Do dogs need sweaters in Winter weather?

Do dogs really need sweaters when the weather turns? Having grown up with rough and tough farm dogs I used to scoff at such things. But of course those dogs weren’t going from inside 70 degrees to 10 below outside and they developed thick winter coats.

Here is some info and a relevant link from PetMD….

Smaller, light bodied breeds, toy breeds, and breeds that naturally have very short or thin hair coats benefit from a warm dog sweater for when they need to go outside, or for just hanging around the house. A sweater can make a significant difference in your dog’s feeling of well-being.

Do Dogs Need Sweaters in Winter? | petMD

www.petmd.com/dog/seasonal/evr_dg_sweaters_for_dogs

“All Natural” Pet Foods

The following is excerpted from the “Canine Journal”:   (with some added notes from WPE in italics)

 

Dog owners want what is best for their pets and for many people that means feeding an all natural dog food. There are two varieties of all natural dog food: commercially produced and raw. Depending upon your budget and the time you have to devote to your dogs diet, one of these may better suit your needs than the other.

All Natural Dog Food is a Healthier Option

Just as humans thrive on diets without fillers and artificial ingredients, so too do dogs. All natural dog foods eliminate the additives and artificial ingredients that many manufacturers include to “improve the taste”, prolong the life of their products or simply add more inexpensive weight and bulk to the bag to justify the consumer price. On the other hand, all natural foods mimic the natural diet of wild canines and provide a more balanced approach to nutrition.

All Natural Dog Food Helps to Eliminate Allergies

For dog owners that must cope with canine allergies, all natural dog foods are a good option. Whether a dog suffers from skin or food allergies, all natural diets help to improve overall health and boost the dog’s immune system naturally. The majority of dogs that experience food allergies have trouble processing grains or specific protein sources, both of which are found commonly in mass market, non-natural dog foods.

All Natural Dog Foods Promote Better Digestion

Where many non-natural dog foods contain products that were never “designed” to be eaten by dogs, all natural foods contain only natural products that wild canines eat and process effectively. Many commercially produced dog foods contain a significant amount of fillers that can cause constipation and flatulence, as they create roadblocks to digestion.

Dogs Fed All Natural Foods Have Fewer Food Related Vet Visits

All natural dog foods are created with a balance of nutrition in mind rather than a maximization of profit. Nutritionally balanced foods result in fewer incidences of diabetes and joint concerns as well as a healthier weight because of the inclusion of daily required vitamin and mineral complexes in addition to more natural and regular digestion. Dogs who have experienced upset stomachs are often aided significantly by transitioning to an all natural dog food.

Checking Ingredients of All Natural Dog Foods

All natural dog foods will always be marked as such simply because it is a selling point for the companies that make them. Even if a dog food is labeled as “all natural”, it is still important to carefully check the ingredients of each food to look for potential allergens. High quality dog foods of all types will always list real protein sources in the top three ingredients. Real protein sources are not vague references such as “chicken meal” or “chicken by-products,” they should be listed as “chicken.” Healthy foods never include by-products or anything labeled as “meal” or “digest” because these are references to mystery meat products.

Understanding Nutritional Balance in All Natural Dog Foods

All dog foods claim to be nutritionally balanced with your dog in mind; however, not all nutritional balances are equal. It is important to research the nutritional needs of your dog based upon their special dietary needs (check with your vet) and their life stage in order to find a good food match. Some all natural foods have higher levels of protein than your dog may be used to, others may have higher carbohydrate or fat contents – these are all things to consider.

  • Protein:Pregnant dogs, lactating dogs, performance dogs, sled racing dogs and puppies all require higher levels of proteins than the average adult dog. Dogs battling illness also benefit from higher levels of protein, the exception to this is dogs with kidney disease. It should also be noted that puppies require a unique blend of nutrients that should be obtained through a specialty blend puppy formula.
  • Carbohydrates:Carbohydrates provide energy sources and fiber. While in the wild dogs diets contain less than 10% carbohydrates, commercial dog foods cannot be formed without the inclusion of carbohydrates. It is important to look for high quality carbohydrates rather than corn and wheat.    (ie., potato, tapioca, lentels, sweet potato, etc.) Since carbohydrates are not a significant part of a dog’s natural diet, there is no data concerning how much carbohydrates are beneficial.
  • Fat:Racing sled dogs and performance dogs have higher fat requirements from their foods than other dogs. Lactating or pregnant dogs and puppies also have slightly higher fat requirements than the average adult dog.

Good Protein Sources in Commercial All Natural Dog Foods

There is a wide variety of whole protein sources available for commercially produced dog foods, depending upon dogs unique needs one source may be a better choice than another. If a dog has experienced allergies to food products in the past it is generally better to go with a single source protein food.

  • Fish:Fish protein sources provide an array of natural oils and vitamins that help improve a dogs coat and joint mobility.
  • Bison: Bison is a very digestible protein source that is a good option for dogs that experience allergies to other protein sources.
  • Kangaroo: Kangaroo is an easily digested protein source and another good choice for dogs with allergies to certain protein sources. Kangaroo is an expensive protein source however making it cost prohibitive for many dog owners.
  • Beef: Beef is one of the more common protein sources for dog foods; however, it is also one that many dogs with allergies react to.
  • Chicken: Chicken is the most popular protein source but it is also the most common allergen as far as protein sources go.
  • Lamb: Lamb is a more commonly available protein source for dogs with chicken or beef allergies.
  • Venison: Venison is an easier to digest protein source recommended for dogs with allergies and it is less cost prohibitive than other options.
  • Duck: Duck is a common protein ingredient in “hypoallergenic” dog foods; it is easier to digest than chicken and is more affordable than other easily digested protein based foods.

Good Carbohydrate Sources in Commercial All Natural Dog Foods

Carbohydrates are another common source of allergies and while they are not necessary as a staple in a dog’s diet, they are necessary to create “kibble.” A dog’s tolerance to specific grain types will vary from individual to individual. All of the carbs listed below are gluten-free.

Grain Free Carbohydrates

  • Potatoes:Potatoes are commonly included in grain free foods as a carbohydrate source.
  • Sweet Potatoes:Sweet potatoes are an alternative carbohydrate source for grain free foods. This is a good carbohydrate option for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
  • Tapioca:Tapioca is an alternative carbohydrate that can be found in many grain free food options.
  • Peas:Peas are a non-grain carbohydrate and are commonly found in grain free foods.

Grain Carbohydrates

  • Barley:Barley is a substitute for corn or wheat and is considered to be a grain.
  • Oats:Oats are often used as a substitute for corn or wheat. Oats are considered a grain and will not be found in “grain free” foods.
  • Rice:Rice is a low gluten carbohydrate that is considered a grain. Dogs requiring a grain free diet will not thrive on this carbohydrate but dogs needing a low gluten diet may.

Good Fat and Oil Sources in Commercial All Natural Dog Foods

Fats and oils are a necessary part of all dogs’ diets; they help with brain development, bodily processes and skin and coat health. Just as with people, it is important to find high quality fat and oil sources that are not high in saturated fats and that provide as many fatty acids as possible. When looking at fats and oils in all natural dog foods there are a few things to look for:

  • Fats and oils should have a specific source such as: sunflower oil, flax oil, chicken fat and herring oil. Non-specific fat and oil sources should be avoided, these include: poultry fat, generic fish oil, animal fat and vegetable oil.
  • A minimum ration of 7:1 of Omega-6s to Omega-3s should be present or a fish oil supplement should be provided.
  • Mineral oil should be avoided.

What is Raw Feeding?

Raw feeding is another all natural approach to feeding your dog. Unlike commercially produced kibble, raw feeding centers on feeding dogs items that would be found in the wild. Raw feeding is also known as the BARF diet or Biologically Approved Raw Foods or Bones and Raw Foods; however, BARF is just one variety of raw feeding. The second type of raw feeding is known as the “prey model”. The principle of both of these types of diets is to feed uncooked meats, edible bones and organs.

BARF

The BARF diet is made up of 60 to 80% raw meaty bones and 20 to 40% fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, offal (internal organs or entrails) or dairy food.  Raw meaty bones are bones that have 50% meat on them and include chicken back, wings and neck.

The Prey Model

The prey model diet is designed to replicate the natural feeding proportions that animals experience in the wild. This diet is comprised of whole prey animals such as chickens, turkeys, hens and rabbits. Around 80% of the prey model diet consists of meat, 10% bone and 10% organs (5% of this is liver.) Those who focus on this method of naturally feeding do not believe that dogs require vegetation or carbohydrates and as such they simply focus on feeding meat from a number of different “prey animals.” There are some people who feed the prey model that also supplement with vegetable matter to provide more vitamins and minerals. Additionally some feeders of the prey model add fish oil to food items to increase fatty acid intake.

The Importance of Balance in Raw Feeding

To many, raw feeding may seem as easy as throwing a few pieces of raw meat in a bowl and feeding; however, balance in raw feeding is very important. A significant portion of the balance in raw feeding comes from variation in protein sources. By switching protein sources not only do dogs receive varied nutrients from the meat but they also receive varied stomach contents which make up a portion of carbohydrate and vegetation intake. Many opponents to raw feeding believe that obtaining a balance in raw feeding is not possible and rely upon research to back up their claims.

 

At Wholesome Pet Essentials we have several options for you to consider with raw feeding.   Frozen complete, Freeze Dried complete,  Freeze dried premixes,  dehydrated foods, etc.   All will provide a complete nutritional profile for your pet!   

Pet Emergency Kit (from PetMD.com)

From Petmd.com

When disaster strikes, being stocked and ready to face an emergency is the best way to keep your family safe. Your pets can’t fend for themselves and are especially vulnerable if you’re forced to batten down the hatches because of bad weather. Here, ten items to include in a pet emergency kit so that your entire family can weather a natural disaster safely.

 

#10 Water

When bad weather strikes, obtaining fresh water becomes a top priority. When you go to the store to stock up on emergency supplies and reach for the bottled water, don’t forget to think of your pet. The more you can store for you and your family the better, but a week’s worth of water for each family member, including your pet, is a safe bet.

 

#9 Food

Because your pet is less likely to understand food and water rations, it is best to stock up on canned, wet food. Food in cans keeps better, and your pet will be less thirsty if they get moisture from their meal, thus enabling you to stretch out the precious water supply. Don’t forget to pack a can opener!    (A small supply of freeze-dried food is also a great option!)

 

#8 Medications

Like people, some pets suffer from chronic conditions that require the constant administration of medicine to keep them healthy. Speak with your veterinarian ahead of time to secure an emergency supply of pet medicines you may not have access to if your community is hit with severe weather.

 

#7 Proof of Ownership

You’ll want to place photographs and/or any ownership papers of your pets in a sealed, airtight container as an essential component of your pet emergency kit. If your family has to evacuate to a shelter, you may have to board your pet. Keeping proof of ownership on hand will identify you as a pet owner.

 

#6 Proof of Recent Vaccinations

Again, if your family has to evacuate and relocate to a shelter, note that due to capacity and safety issues, you may have to board your pet. Some animal clinics and boarding facilities will offer shelter to pets, but require your animal have up-to-date vaccinations. If you need to take your pet to an emergency animal shelter, taking a copy of their vaccination record with you will help ensure they get a spot.

 

#5 An Emergency Help List

Because everyone in the affected community will be in survival mode, you will want to have a list of helpful neighbors and/or emergency boarding facilities handy. Knowing where you’ll need to go to ensure your pet is safely cared for ahead of time will ensure your pet is safe for the duration of the emergency.

 

#4 Leashes and / or Pet Carriers

In the event of severe weather, your pet may panic and try to break loose to find a place to hide. Many pets become fatally trapped or injured because of this. In addition, the aftermath of a natural disaster usually results in downed power lines, fallen debris and contaminated groundwater. Therefore, it is best to utilize leashes and/or carriers to restrain your pet from running out into unsafe conditions.

 

# 3 ID Tags

Whether faced with an emergency situation or not, if you do become separated from your pets the best way to be reunited with them is to have additional ID tags you can fit them with in a hurry. Consider installing a microchip in your pet to help locate them as well. Just don’t forget to keep your contact information up to date!

 

#2 First Aid Kit

Together with the telephone number of the nearest emergency animal clinic, you can put together an emergency medical kit for your pets should they become injured. Include items such as gauze to bandage an injury, hydrogen peroxide to disinfect a wound, and milk of magnesia to absorb poison should accidental ingestion occur.

 

#1 Creature Comforts

Your pet may be confined to a small space for an undetermined amount of time. Try to include a pet bed, extra litter, clean blankets and towels in your pet emergency kit. Like you, your pets will be nervous and frightened. Soothing them any way you can, will make your pets more likely to stay calm and relaxed until conditions improve.

 

Honorable Mention: “Pets Inside” Sticker

Placing these stickers on all entrance doors to your home will ensure that emergency responders and passerby will be vigilant just in case you were unable to evacuate your pet during an emergency.

 

 

How to Choose the Best Large Breed Puppy Food and Lower Your Dog’s Risk of Hip Dysplasia

The following is from the Dog Food Advisor website:

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/best-large-breed-puppy-food/

 

Choosing the best large breed puppy foods — and feeding them in the right amount — can significantly lower your dog’s risk of developing hip dysplasia during growth.1

That’s because the nutritional needs of large and giant breedpuppies are different from those of small and medium breeds.

And ignoring those needs can lead to crippling bone and joint disorders like:
Canine Hip Dysplasia Xray

  • Elbow dysplasia2
  • Osteochondrosis (OCD)
  • Canine hip dysplasia (CHD)
  • Developmental orthopedic disease (DOD)

However, before a dog owner can take steps to help prevent these conditions, it’s important to first understand the cause.

Why Large Breeds Are
at Greater Risk

Large breed puppies are those whose adult weight will ultimatelyexceed 50 pounds.3

When compared to smaller breeds, two important factors aboutthe way they grow make large breed puppies more prone to skeletal problems:

  1. They grow faster
  2. They remain puppies longer

A Labrador retriever can grow from just under a pound at birth to over 70 pounds in a year. That’s a whopping 70-fold increase in size in just 12 months.

In comparison, a human being can take 18 years to achieve results that are less than half that much.

What’s more, unlike smaller breeds that can be fed as adults at about 9-12 months, many larger breeds continue to grow and can still be considered puppies until 12 to 24 months.4

Rapid growth means the bones must change quickly — a factor that can put them at risk of forming improperly.

And it is this remarkable rate of growth that makes large and giant breeds so sensitive to nutritional imbalances.

The Protein Myth

Unfortunately, the Internet is awash with misinformation about how to feed large breed puppies.

For example, many insist that high levels of dietary protein can lead to hip dysplasia.

Yet contrary to that popular myth…

No evidence exists to link high protein intake to skeletal disease in large breed dogs.5

So, if high protein isn’t the problem — what is?

The Real Causes
of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

If you exclude all the less common factors, orthopedic disease in large breeds appears to be the result of at least one of 3 proven causes:

  • Genetics6
  • Overfeeding7
  • Excessive dietary calcium8

So, since after birth there’s nothing you can do to change your puppy’s genetics

It’s important to avoid overnutrition — feeding too many calories or too much calcium — to help lower your dog’s risk of hip dysplasia.

The Danger
of Overfeeding

Free choice is a popular feeding method in which the food remains in the bowl and continuously available — so a puppy can eat whenever it wants.

And many owners of large breed puppies mistakenly believe that this form of uncontrolled eating is the correct way to feed their pets.

However, free choice feeding has been shown to cause a puppy togrow too fast — and lead to serious problems.

For example, a 1995 German study of Great Danes demonstrated a significant increase in the risk of developing skeletal disease when the puppies were fed free choice.9

In another study, one group of Labrador Retriever puppies was fed throughout life a restricted calorie diet while a second was fed free choice.10

The restricted calorie group experienced a much lower incidenceand later onset of hip joint arthritis.

And Too Much Calcium

Like overfeeding, excessive dietary calcium has also been shown toincrease the risk of skeletal disease in large breed puppies.11

That’s because puppies can have trouble regulating how much calcium is absorbed from their intestinal tracts.12

And that’s not all.

Feeding too little calcium can also lead to problems.

That’s why it’s so important to feed a dog food that contains an amount of calcium believed to be safe for large breed puppies.

Recommended
Calcium Safety Guidelines

Unfortunately, although AAFCO13 has published nutrient profiles forpuppies in general

There are currently no AAFCO nutrient profiles designed to address the special needs of large breed puppies.

Yet fortunately, there’s general agreement among the experts that any food intended for large breed puppies should not only meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth, it should also contain:

  • 3500 to 4000 calories (kcal) per kilogram of food14
  • 3 grams of calcium per 1000 calories of food. That value should not exceed the safe upper limit of 4.5 grams15
  • A calcium-to-phosphorus ratio between 1.1:1 and 1.5:116

Although most AAFCO compliant puppy foods are suitable for small and medium breeds, only a few meet these special guidelines and can be considered safe for large breed puppies.

How to Check for
Safe Calcium Content

for the rest of this article and handy calculator tool please go to:

 

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/best-large-breed-puppy-food/

Introducing Acana Regionals

Announcing the addition of Acana Regionals!

From Champion Pet Foods…..the makers of Orijen.  Made from Canada’s best and freshest ingredients, ACANA Regionals reflect our local heritage and express the diversity of fresh authentic foods produced from western Canada’s vast ranchlands, rich prairies, fertile valleys, and pristine waters.

Rich in protein, low in carbohydrates and entirely grain-free, these unique and flavorful ACANA recipes feature 60-70% meat and 35-40% of fruits and vegetables to nourish cats and dogs completely.

  • RANCHLANDS acana_ranchlandsBlack Angus beef, Alberta Bison, Alberta Lamb
  • For Adult dogs of all breeds and sizes and we have them in both small and large bag sizes!

More exciting news coming soon with new options for single source protein foods for your allergic pets!

Comparing Dog Food Labels

To follow-up on dog food labeling here is a label from a leading seller that many think is a great pet food.

GUARANTEED ANALYSIS

  • 25.0%    Crude Protein (min)
  • 10.0%     Crude Fat (min)
  • 4.0%      Crude Fiber (max)
  • 14.0%    Moisture (max)
  • 1.5%     Linoleic Acid (min)
  • 1.0%     Calcium (Ca) (min)
  • 0.2 mg/kg   Selenium (Se) (min)
  • 10,000 IU/kg   Vitamin A (min

And here is a label from another less known dog food:

GUARANTEED ANALYSIS

  • Crude Protein 24% MIN
  • Crude Fat 15% MIN
  • Crude Fiber 3.5% MAX
  • Moisture 10% MAX
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids      0.5% MIN
  • Omega 6 Fatty Acids      2.6% MIN

Based on this guaranteed analysis they don’t look all that different do they?

 

But let’s take a look at the ingredient panel now…..

INGREDIENTS

Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, chicken, soy flour, rice flour, propylene glycol, sugar, tricalcium phosphate, salt, phosphoric acid, potassium chloride, animal digest, mono and dicalcium phosphate, dried carrots, sorbic acid (a preservative), dried tomatoes, avocado, calcium propionate (a preservative), L-Lysine monohydrochloride, choline chloride, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, Yellow 5, manganese sulfate, niacin, Red 40, Vitamin A supplement, Blue 2, copper sulfate, Vitamin B-12 supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, garlic oil, Yellow 6, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin D-3 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite.

Manufactured by: Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, St. Louis, MO 63164 USA

 

And the second one:

INGREDIENTS

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Pearled Barley, Oatmeal, Sweet Potatoes,Brown Rice, White Rice, Dried Whole Egg, Menhaden Fish Meal, Millet,Chicken Fat, Dried Tomato Pomace,Safflower Oil, Herring Meal, Cheese,Flaxseed, Carrots, Broccoli,Cauliflower, Apples, Green Beans,Chicken Cartilage, Potassium Chloride, Cranberries, Blueberries,Salt, Monocalcium Phosphate,Chicory Root Extract, Alfalfa Sprouts,Calcium Sulfate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Sodium Selenite, Folic Acid,Taurine, Parsley, Sorbic Acid (Preservative), Vitamins, Minerals,Probiotics.

Fromm Family Foods LLC

 

Which one would you think is better for your dog?

The next time you go to pick up that bag of Beneful or other “grocery store/big box” brand please take a look at the label and think about it!