Grain Free Diets-Should you Make the Switch

The following is from a recently posted blog entry by Holistic Select….

Grain-Free Diets – Should You Make the Switch?

07.27.2015 | 10:50 am

What is a grain-free diet and is it right for your pet? Well, that’s what we are here to talk about. With so many different brands and recipes out there for pet food, it can be overwhelming to try and find the perfect one for your pet. Our pets are just like us in the sense that no diet is perfect for everyone, so a grain-free diet isn’t necessarily the right fit for all pets. However, for some pets it can prove to be very beneficial to their overall health. Let’s break it down and find out what this grain-free diet is really all about.

What are the Benefits of a Grain-Free Diet?

It is always important to talk to your veterinarian to figure out what type of diet is recommended for your pet. If a grain-free diet is something that both you and your veterinarian agree is the right choice for your pet, it can benefit your pet in many ways.

  • Less is more. With a grain-free diet, your pet is likely to thrive on a smaller amount of food than with their previous diet. Grain-free pet food contains a lot of proteins and nutrient-dense ingredients that will leave your pet feeling energetic and satisfied and less likely to want to ‘graze’ all day long around the food bowl.
  • Improve the condition of your pet’s skin and coat. Pets that may have intolerances or allergies to grains can benefit from a grain free diet. A grain free diet can help to decrease the itching and scratching that can be associated with allergies and intolerance’s.
  • Improve digestion. For pets with sensitive stomachs, grain free diets can help support digestive health. The absence of grains and rice can help improve overall digestibility.

Is a Grain-Free Diet Right for my Pet?

There are some pets that can benefit from a grain-free diet more than others. Some of those pets include –

  • Pets with high energy levels. Grain-free diets are especially beneficial to pets and breeds that are known to have high energy levels due to the higher protein and fat levels along with additional nutrient-dense ingredients. Combined, these cater to a dog or cat that require enhanced energy sources.
  • Pets with allergies. It is common for some pets to develop an allergy to grains in their food, causing symptoms such as vomiting, bloating, stomach distress and itching and scratching. Your veterinarian can help to diagnose these allergies and a grain-free diet could be the answer to your pet’s problems.

Making the Switch

If after consulting with your veterinarian, it is decided that a grain-free diet is the right choice for your pet, be sure to transition into a new diet properly. Transitioning your pet into a new diet is a slow process. New foods should be introduced in small amounts at first and increasing those amounts over the course of a full week at least.

Now that you have the low-down on what a grain-free diet is all about, talk to your veterinarian and decide if you should make the switch. Holistic Select offers a high-quality grain-free recipes for both cats and dogs that could be the perfect fit for your pet.

Advice from AKC for National Pet Fire Safety Day

PREVENT YOUR PET FROM STARTING FIRES

  • Extinguish open flames – Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
  • Remove stove knobs – Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
  • Invest in flameless candles – These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
  • Beware of water bowls on wooden decks – Do not leave a glass water bowl for your pet outside on a wooden deck.  The sun’s rays when filtered through the glass and water can actually heat up and ignite the wooden deck beneath it. Choose stainless steel or ceramic bowls instead.

 

KEEP YOUR PETS SAFE

  • Keep Pets Near Entrances When Away From Home – Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet.  When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
  • Secure Young Pets – Especially with young puppies, keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.
  • Since Pets Left Alone Can’t Escape a Burning Home – Consider using monitored smoke detectors which are connected to a monitoring center so emergency responders can be contacted when you’re not home. These systems provide an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms.
  • Affix a Pet Alert Window Cling – Write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets.  Make sure to update the number of pets listed.

 

If you find a tick…..

If you find a tick….

* When finding a tick, carefully remove the whole tick from the pet’s body. . How to remove a tick using tweezers: Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible by gripping its head. Carefully, pull upward until the tick releases his grip. Do not twist or jerk the tick or you might break off the head or mouth parts, and you do not want to leave the tick head embedded in your pet’s skin. Also, do not squeeze to the point of crushing the tick, or disease-spreading secretions may be released. If you do not have tweezers or a tick scoop, you can use your fingers, a loop of thread around the jaws, or a needle between the jaws to pull it out.

Note: Studies show that using petroleum jelly, alcohol and hot match heads do not work to loosen ticks from skin, although a few people still use the petroleum jelly and rubbing alcohol approaches, but the hot match technique has caused skin injuries.

* Another way to remove a tick: Apply liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for 15 seconds.  The tick should release and come out when you lift the cotton ball.

* Ticks do not drown in water, so dispose of them by wrapping in a tissue and flushing down the toilet, or drowning in rubbing alcohol. Do not crush the tick; that can spread disease. Some vets may want to see the tick if disease transmission is suspected.

* Swab the pet’s bitten area with antiseptic.

Natural Prevention:

Above all, keep your pets healthy. Fleas and other parasites have less effect on healthy animals…and they tend to live on pets who are unhealthy and/or have weak immune systems. And, as with healthy humans, healthy animals recover from illness faster and in the case of contracting parasites, are not likely to get sick. It’s a matter of immunity.

Also be aware that stressful conditions weaken immunity in humans and animals. A harmonious home is a healthier one.

Chemical-free, drug-free ways to keep your pet from getting “bugged” include inspecting your pet each day, and better yet, after each outing outdoors. Also see above for combing and bug removal tips.

 

 

Stella and Chewy’s Voluntary Recall Update

Stella and Chewy’s had one lot of   Chewy’s Chicken Freeze-Dried Dinner Patties for Dogs, 15 oz. bags (Lot # 111-15) identified by the Maryland Dept of Agriculture as testing positive for  Listeria monocytogenes.     Out of an “abundance of caution” they are also recalling several other lots of product that MAY have been exposed to the affected lot but have NOT tested positive.       Wholesome Pet Essentials has identified one lot of cat food that we had in inventory that is on the list and as of this time believe only one customer may be impacted by this recall and they are being contacted.      All the information from Stella and Chewy’s is listed here:

Stella & Chewy’s Voluntary U.S. Recall Notice

Saturday, July 4th, 2015 at 9:30 pmJuly 4, 2015

 

Dear Valued Customers:

On Thursday, Stella & Chewy’s was notified by the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) that it issued a stop sale order on a single lot of Chewy’s Chicken Freeze-Dried Dinner Patties for Dogs, 15 oz. bags (Lot # 111-15) because MDA detected Listeria monocytogenes in the product. There were no reported pet or human illnesses associated with this recall. Since learning this news, we have been working quickly to review the situation to find answers to the important questions on our customers’ minds. As a precautionary measure, we are voluntarily recalling all products from Lot # 111-15 which are listed below.

Furthermore, while they have not tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes, in an abundance of caution, we are also voluntarily recalling a number of products that may have been exposed to the affected lot (please see the second chart below). The health and safety of our customers and their pets is always of the utmost importance to us. We are accountable for every dinner and treat we make and recognize that we have an important obligation to provide customers with the quality products they deserve and have come to expect from us over the years. Please see below for additional details about our recall actions and please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Jen Guzman

Chief Executive Officer

 

QUESTIONS

What products and lot numbers are being voluntarily recalled by Stella & Chewy’s?

As a precautionary measure, we are voluntarily recalling all products from Lot # 111-15 including:

Product Description/Size/UPC/Lot #/Use By Date

Freeze-Dried Chewy’s Chicken Dinner for Dogs /15oz/UPC: 186011000045/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 4/23/2016

Freeze-Dried Chewy’s Chicken Dinner for Dogs /15oz/UPC: 186011000045/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 4/26/2016

Freeze-Dried Chick, Chick, Chicken Dinner for Cats/12oz/UPC: 186011000434/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 4/29/2016

Freeze-Dried Chick, Chick, Chicken Dinner for Cats/12oz/UPC: 186011000434/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 5/3/2016

Carnivore Crunch – Turkey Recipe/3.25oz/UPC: 186011001103/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 5/3/2016 and 5/4/2016

Frozen Duck Duck Goose Dinner Morsels for Dogs/4lb/UPC: 186011001394/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 4/21/2016

Frozen Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Morsels for Dogs/4lb/UPC: 186011001387/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 4/21/2016

Frozen Surf ‘N Turf Dinner Patties for Dogs/6lb/UPC: 186011000533/Lot: 111-15  and Use By Date: 4/21/2016

Frozen Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Patties for Dogs/6lb/UPC: 186011000120/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 4/21/2016

Frozen Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Patties for Dogs/3lb/UPC: 186011000038/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 4/21/2016

 

Moreover, while the below listed product has not tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes, in an abundance of caution, we are also recalling the following products which may have come into contact with the affected lot:

 

Product Description/Size/UPC/Lot #/Use By Date

Freeze-Dried Chick, Chick, Chicken Dinner for Cats/12oz/UPC: 186011000434/Lot: 104-15 and Use By Date: 4/23/2016

Freeze-Dried Chick, Chick, Chicken Dinner for Cats/12oz/UPC: 186011000434/Lot: 109-15 and Use By Date: 4/29/2016

Freeze-Dried Tantalizing Turkey Meal Mixers/18oz/UPC: 186011000229/Lot: 105-15 and Use By Date: 5/3/2016

Freeze-Dried Tantalizing Turkey Meal Mixers/18oz/UPC: 186011000229/Lot: 113-15 and Use By Date: 5/3/2016

Freeze-Dried Tantalizing Turkey Meal Mixers/9oz/UPC: 186011000205/Lot: 105-15 and Use By Date: 5/3/2016

Carnivore Crunch – Chicken Recipe/3.25oz/UPC: 186011001080/Lot: 110-15 and Use By Date: 5/3/2016

Freeze-Dried Chewy’s Chicken Dinners for Dogs/15oz/UPC: 186011000045/Lot: 114-15 and Use By Date: 4/26/2016

Freeze-Dried Tummy Ticklin’ Turkey Dinner for Cats/12oz/UPC: 186011000663/Lot: 114-15 and Use By Date: 5/4/2016

Freeze-Dried Tummy Ticklin’ Turkey Dinner for Cats/12oz/UPC: 186011000663/Lot: 115-15 and Use By Date: 5/4/2016

Freeze-Dried Salmon & Chicken Dinner for Cats/12 oz/UPC: 186011000403/Lot: 107-15 and Use By Date: 4/23/2016

 

Q:        Why were the products recalled?

Listeria monocytogenes was discovered in a package of product during surveillance testing by the Maryland Department of Agriculture. As an extra precautionary measure, we chose to expand the recall list to include products that may have been exposed to the affected lot.

 

Q:        Where are the products sold?

The products included on the recall list above were sold throughout the U.S. to wholesale distributors and retail stores for resale to consumers. The recalled products were not made available in Canada. The best way to determine if you have a product included in the recall is to compare the product description and bag size located on the front of the bag, and the UPC #, the lot code, and use by date located on the back of the bag, with the two charts provided above.

 

Q:        What is Listeria and what are the symptoms?

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism, which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. Animals that become ill with Listeriacould display symptoms similar to the ones listed above for humans.

 

Q:        What should I do if I believe my pet has been exposed Listeria?

Your pet’s health is one of our highest priorities so we strongly encourage you to have your pet examined and treated by a veterinarian to determine the cause of the symptoms. We’d also like to speak with you further and learn more about what your pet is experiencing and discuss how we might be able to help. Please contact our Customer Service team in Wisconsin at info@stellaandchewys.com or 888-477-8977.

 

Q:        Does High Pressure Processing (HPP) eliminate the risk of Listeria?

Yes, scientific studies show that HPP inactivates Listeria. We’re in the process of working with a third-party expert to identify how the organism had entered our post-HPP production area.

 

Q:        What is Stella & Chewy’s doing to correct the situation?

As a precautionary measure, we have issued a voluntary recall of the entire affected lot as well as additional product that could have been exposed to the affected lot, and we are working collaboratively with the FDA to further investigate and address the situation. Furthermore, we’re in the process of working with a third-party expert to conduct a root cause analysis and identify how the organism had entered our post-HPP production area.

 

Q:        Does Stella & Chewy’s test for Listeria?

Because Listeria monocytogenes is considered an environmental pathogen, we conduct environmental testing which is the recommended method for identification in the post-HPP production environment.

 

Q:        How did the Listeria contamination occur?

Listeria monocytogenes is widespread and ubiquitous in the environment in which we live. It can be isolated readily from healthy domestic pets where it rarely causes illness. Additionally, it can be found in many food processing environments and the home. The organism is found in a wide variety of raw agricultural products including lettuce, spinach, fresh vegetables, fruits, raw meat, poultry and fish. We’re in the process of working with a third party expert to identify how the organism had entered our post-HPP production area.

 

Q:          Can I feed my pet the food that is NOT on the recall list?

We have no reason to believe any product other than what has already been voluntarily recalled is affected; the production area is cleaned and sanitized nightly. As soon as were made aware of the positive sample, we began an investigation which included additional intensified testing to ensure Listeria isn’t present in the post-HPP production facility. However, Stella & Chewy’s has an unwavering commitment to stand behind our products. If customers feel any hesitancy in feeding our food, please visit your retailer for a full refund of the purchase price.

 

Q:        Who do I contact if I have further questions or concerns?

For any inquiries, you may contact us at info@stellaandchewys.com or 888-477-8977.

Fireworks or Thunderstorm Anxiety?

What to do about your dog’s anxiety over fireworks?     Thundershirt has a patented design that applies a gentle constant pressure on a dog or cat’s torso.   Using pressure to relieve anxiety has been a common practice for years.  There are several studies under controlled conditions that show not only better behavior during thunderstorm like conditions but also measureable reductions in heart rate.    The manufacturer estimates the garment is effective in 80% of pets.   The Thundershirt comes with a money back guarantee.       Many users report a comforting effect from the Thundershirt during other stressful times for pets such as travel.

 

We also carry a line of Thundershirt holistic calming pheromone spray containing both lavender and chamomile and other holistic calming products as well.    Useful alternatives to drugging up your pet for those stressful times.

TShirt