Springtime Pet Safety Tips (from ASPCA)

Springtime Safety Tips

Spring has sprung, and with the change of season, our thoughts turn to Easter celebrations, spring cleaning and much-needed home improvement projects. Before you embark on seasonal chores or outdoor revelry, take inventory of potential springtime hazards for your furry friends.

*If you suspect your pet may have come in contact with or ingested a potentially poisonous substance, contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately at (888) 426-4435.

Easter Treats and Decorations
Keep lilies and candy in check—chocolate goodies are toxic to cats and dogs, and all true lilies can be fatal if ingested by cats. And be mindful, kitties love to nibble on colorful plastic grass, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting and dehydration. Moreover, while live bunnies, chicks and other festive animals are adorable, resist the urge to buy them—these cute babies grow up fast and often require specialized care!

Screen Yourself
Many pet parents welcome the breezy days of spring by opening their windows. Unfortunately, they also unknowingly put their pets at risk—especially cats, who are apt to jump or fall through unscreened windows. Be sure to install snug and sturdy screens in all of your windows.

Buckle Up!
While most dogs love to feel the wind on their furry faces, allowing them to ride in the beds of pick-up trucks or stick their heads out of moving-car windows is dangerous. Flying debris and insects can cause inner ear or eye injuries and lung infections, and abrupt stops or turns can cause major injury, or worse! Pets riding in cars should always be secured in a crate or wearing a seatbelt harness designed especially for them.

Spring Cleaning
Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition in many households, but be sure to keep all cleaners and chemicals out of your pets’ way! Almost all cleaning products, even all natural ones, contain chemicals that may be harmful to pets. The key to using them safely is to read and follow label directions for proper use and storage. Please visit our Poisonous Household Products page for more information.

Home Improvement 101
Products such as paints, mineral spirits and solvents can be toxic to your pets and cause severe irritation or chemical burns. Carefully read all labels to see if the product is safe to use around your furry friends. Also, be cautious of physical hazards, including nails, staples, insulation, blades and power tools. It may be wise to confine your dog or cat to a designated pet-friendly room during home improvement projects.

Let Your Garden Grow—With Care
Pet parents, take care—fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides keep our plants and lawns healthy and green, but their ingredients may be dangerous if your pet ingests them. Always store these products in out-of-the-way places and follow label instructions carefully. Many popular springtime plants—including rhododendron and azaleas—are also highly toxic to pets and can prove fatal if eaten. Check out our full list—of toxic and non-toxic plants for your home and garden.

Ah-Ah-Achoo!
Like us, pets can be allergic to foods, dust, plants and pollens. Allergic reactions in dogs and cats can cause itching, minor sniffling and sneezing, or life-threatening anaphylactic shock to insect bites and stings. If you suspect your pet has a springtime allergy, please visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Pesky Little Critters
April showers bring May flowers—and an onslaught of bugs! Make sure your pet is on year-round heartworm preventive medication, as well as a flea and tick control program. Ask your doctor to recommend a plan designed specifically for your pet. Please visit our Fleas and Ticks page for more information.

Out and About
Warmer weather means more trips to the park, longer walks and more chances for your pet to wander off! Make sure your dog or cat has a microchip for identification and wears a tag imprinted with your home address, cell phone and any other relevant contact information.

Bladder Health from Herbsmith

Bladder Health

Bladder Health

  1. An animal eats some food
  2. The animal’s body digests the food
    • Through digestion, the food is absorbed into the blood stream
  3. The process of digestion causes the liver to produce ammonia, which combines with other elements in the body (like carbon, hydrogen & oxygen) creating a by-product called urea nitrogen
  4. The kidney concentrates the urea nitrogen and excretes it into the bladder as urine
  5. The urine is stored in the bladder until it’s eliminated (on some grass, in the litter box, or—god-forbid—on the new carpet)

In the urinary storage bin we call a bladder, environment is critical in minimizing the growth of bacteria (which ultimately are what cause infections). The optimal urinary environment is achieved through balanced pH levels—the chemical indicator of acidity. If you remember anything from 10th grade chemistry, you’d recognize the terms “acidic” and “basic”. Solutions with a pH level less than seven are considered acidic, and solutions greater than seven are alkaline or basic. Water comes in neutral at exactly seven. Here’s where your pets should fall on the pH scale (and where a couple other things fall for reference):

 

Lemon juice and battery acid have extremely acidic properties, while bleach and soapy water have very alkaline (or basic) properties. Compared to these solutions, your pet’s pee is pretty close to water (no matter how much you complain about it smelling like ammonia).

Cats should be at around a 6.3 – 6.6 (slightly acidic)

Dogs should be at around a 7.0 – 7.4 (slightly alkaline)

In comparison to our pee (that would be human pee, to clarify), our position on the scale actually ranges from mid-sixes to eights. We wake up with slightly acidic pee (6.5 – 7.0) and, as we eat and drink things throughout the day (and as the liver produces more ammonia—a basic solution—as a result), our pee steadily becomes more basic toward the end of the day (7.5 – 8.0). Then, it resets back to acidic as we sleep, as we don’t typically eat or drink while we’re unconscious.1

 

When pH levels become an issue:

Changes in pH in either direction (too acidic or too alkaline) are a problem. Certain bacteria and crystals can develop and survive better in certain pH ranges, which can open the door to infections. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur when bacteria invades the urinary tract, creating damp heat (or inflammation) in the bladder. This inflammation can lead to UTIs, urinary obstructions, or prostate inflammation, depending on the pH level of the bladder environment. Bad bacteria on the skin or in the GI tract can find its way to the urinary tract, and improper diet can actually help this bacteria survive, as it contributes to the damp heat in the bladder.

Urinary obstructions are crystals or stones in the urine. Struvite crystals are the most common form of crystalluria in dogs and cats. They can congeal into struvite stones, which block the urinary tract (and are almost impossible to pass). Struvite stones are composed of magnesium, ammonium, and phosphate, and are primarily caused by high dietary magnesium (which will get into down below). Struvite crystals thrive in high-pH (alkaline/basic) environments. Cranberry is great for acidifying urine and decreasing the presence of struvite crystals. Calcium oxalate crystals and stones, however, thrive in low-pH (acidic) environments. So, over-acidifying urine in order to prevent struvite crystals can actually invite a different type of crystal & stone. Moderation is everything.

 

A dog’s pee should be very close to neutral: a light yellow color if you’re visually-wired (though we should note that, while less color is better, dog urine should not be consistently clear, as this could signal that your dog is over-hydrated). Because dog urine tends to fall just above neutral, they are more at risk for struvite crystals and stones, as these thrive in alkaline environments.

 

 

Cats are often especially prone toward UTIs. Their increased risk for UTIs is partially due to their anatomy, but can be greatly impacted by their diet. Diet is really an issue for cats who are consistently fed commercial dry food, as it does not provide an adequate amount of moisture. Dehydration is often grounds for cat urine to become too concentrated, and therefore, too acidic or too alkaline. Adding moist food to their daily diet can help combat the chronic dehydration often seen in cats, also helping to combat the formation of crystals. As an obligate carnivore, a cat would receive most of its moisture from its prey. In fact, the thirst center in the brain of a cat is not nearly as active as in a dog’s. Because of this, it’s important to give your cat sources of moisture outside of just her water bowl.

Beyond a healthy diet, cats can be at higher risk toward UTIs simply because of their anatomy. Male cats, because of their long, narrow urethras, are more prone to urinary obstructions.


 

Nutrition plays a huge role!

A pet’s nutrition is what supports organ function throughout the body, and the proper diet can make all the difference (it may seem like we say this phrase all the time, but that’s only because we say this phrase all the time. Diet really does make a difference!). Dietary magnesium is considered one of the main contributors to urinary struvite formation. The excessive amounts of grains and carbs in most generic dry pet food brands make it high in magnesium. (Contrarily, meat-based diets are high in phosphorus, which decreases urinary excretion of magnesium and can prevent stone formation). Especially for a carnivore, a diet low in magnesium and high in phosphorus promotes healthy bladder and urinary function.

(Pro-tip: Meat-based diets don’t have to require a ton more work than generic kibble. There are lots of great options out there that are meat-based with minimal grains & carbs and are still just as easy to feed. Freeze-dried raw foods are often meat-based, and are much better for your pet in the long run.)

 

 

In addition to a proper diet, we also have are a few herbal recommendations (I mean, we are Herbsmith) for combatting bladder infections:

  • Plantago Seed: promotes healthy bladder function, drains damp heat & can calm urination discomfort
  • Talcum Powder: drains damp heat & calms urination discomfort
  • Rush Pit: clears heat from body, has mild diuretic properties
  • Polygonum Root: draining & cooling abilities
  • Dianthus: draining & cooling abilities
  • Gardenia: draining & cooling abilities
  • Licorice Root: draining & cooling abilities
  • Cranberry: acidifies urine to create an unfavorable environment for bacteria
  • Rhubarb Root: empties systems of waste, high fiber content to support colon function & bowel movements
  • Akebia: draining & cooling abilities, eliminates damp heat, promotes healthy urination

 

85%-90% of UTIs are from E. Coli bacteria. E. Coli has a fringed border (which allows it to attach to the bladder wall) helping it to avoid excretion with urine. Proanthocyanidins (one of the active ingredients in cranberries) attach to the E. Coli’s fringed border, effectively preventing it from attaching to the bladder wall. D-Mannose is also used to support bladder health. It’s a long-chained sugar that allows bacteria to hitch a ride on its long body as it travels through the urinary tract. Once attached, the bacteria are eliminated through urination along with the D-Mannose.

 


Herbsmith’s Bladder Health Supplements:

Bladder Care Bladder Care®: Containing ingredients to support a healthy urinary tract, Bladder Care is a great formula to support bladder health. By maintaining a normal bladder pH, Bladder Care may reduce the likelihood of crystal and stone formation. It promotes optimal bladder and urinary tract health and function by supporting healthy urine elimination. D-mannose, cranberry, and herbs (like talcum, plantago seed, dianthus, polygonum, gardenia, licorice) support bladder health, which is key to developing the proper urinary environment.

 

Happy With Fromm! Testimonial

We are so grateful for our customers!  Reprinted here with permission of the owner.

Thanks, Bev!

 

fromm Logo

 

 

 

 

 

Subject: Happy with FROMM
>
> Tracy- Just wanted to share with you what great review we got from Chloe’s
> vet check today. When the vet came in her first comment was how sleek and
> shiny her coat was. Then we we were discussing that over the past year I had
> switched all 3 of my dogs over to FROMM Gold and had notice less shedding
> with my short hair chihuahuas as well as the soft and shiny coat on my
> Yorkie, the vet said “FROMM foods are great! Keep them on it!”
>
> We are not only pleased with how the dogs are doing but appreciate the cost
> savings over the food we previously had to purchase from the vet for our
> senior dog that had the same ingredients we found in “Gold”.
>
> Congratulations on being a part of our family over the past 2 years!
>
> Bev Davis

Chicken Fat and Allergies

We frequently have customers concerned about the presence of chicken fat in pet foods.   They have pets believed to be allergic or that show sensitivity to chicken proteins.    That is the key point….protein is the normal component that is responsible for causing an allergic reaction.    And chicken fat contains virtually no protein component.   Note this from Fromm:

Chicken fat is a quality source of essential fatty acids and an excellent source of energy.  Fat has a positive effect on the immune system and plays a beneficial role in stress response.  Essential fatty acids are required for proper growth, reproduction, normal skin structure, and a healthy coat.  Because chicken fat contains virtually no protein, its use does not cause allergic reactions associated with the use of fresh chicken or chicken meal, both of which contain high amounts of protein.

That being said if you are still concerned about anything that says “chicken” we do have alternatives!

Selecting The Right Dry Dog Food

From Whole Dog Journal….

How to select the right dry dog food (kibble) for your unique dog in 10 steps.

How do you select your dog’s food? Do you just buy what your dog’s breeder recommended? Get whatever dog food is on sale? Ask the sales clerk for his opinion? Well, that’s too bad; none of these methods allow for a thorough dog food analysis, or take into account all the factors that should be considered in order to buy and feed the food that best suits your dog and you. There’s a better way!

whole dog journal dog food review

1. Buy the best dog food you can afford.

Good dog food costs a lot more than low-quality dog food because good dog food is made with better-quality ingredients, which cost more than low-quality ingredients.

That said, the most expensive food is not necessarily the best, nor does the price always correlate precisely with a food’s quality. There are lots of low-quality foods that are sold for good-food prices, because some companies spend a ton on marketing and advertising!

There are bad, better, good, and best foods at every price level. You should have an idea of how much you are willing to spend; look for the best foods you can find at the level you can afford.

How can you determine which foods are the good and bad ones at your price point? Read on!

If you have more than one dog, don’t forget that you can, and maybe should, feed each of your dogs a different food. Your adolescent Lab-mix might be able to eat practically anything and look like a million bucks, but your arthritic, allergic Border Collie might need a grain-free food with a novel protein in order to keep physically sound and not constantly itching.

 

2. Don’t always choose the same dog food, or even dog foods from the same company.

Many companies use the same vitamin/mineral pre-mix in every one of their products. This means that the nutrient levels in all the foods in the company’s product line will likely have very similar nutrient levels. If you feed the same food (or even different foods from the same company) for months or years on end, your dog could develop problems caused by nutritional deficiencies or excesses.

It seems odd, but there is a wide range of nutrient levels allowed in foods that are legally described as “complete and balanced.” Some products have levels of some minerals or fat-soluble vitamins that are inadequate or excessive. These imbalances won’t cause problems in a short period of time, but if you never vary your dog’s diet, the deficiencies or excesses compound over time and can cause health problems. Periodically switching your dog’s diet to products from different companies prevents this.

3. Look for the AAFCO statement on your dog food’s label and make sure the food is “complete and balanced” for dogs in your dog’s life stage.

Some foods are formulated to meet the nutritional requirements of adult dogs only. If you are feeding a puppy, a high-performance athlete, a pregnant or nursing female, a dog who needs to gain weight, or a debilitated dog, you should look for a product that is formulated for dogs “of all life stages.” Products labelled with that statement must meet the higher nutrient requirements of puppies and pregnant or nursing mothers.

4. Check the protein and fat levels in the dog food’s Guaranteed Analysis.

The minimum levels of protein and fat that are guaranteed to be present in the food are listed in the “guaranteed analysis” (GA) section on the label. When you switch your dog’s food to a new one, you should be aware of how much protein and fat the old food contained, and how much is present in the new food. If the new food contains a lot more fat than the old food (as just one example), you will probably need to reduce the amount you feed your dog.

5. Look for the “best by” date on the dog food.

In general, you want to buy and feed the freshest food available. If a product is within six or fewer months of its “best by” date, we’d look through the pile for a fresher bag.

6. Save so-called “novel” proteins and exotic carbohydrate sources in store-bought dog foods for dogs who really need them.

There is zero benefit to feeding ostrich or alligator or even rabbit or quail to a dog who easily digests the most common animal proteins used in pet food (such as chicken, beef, lamb, and pork). However, if your dog ever develops an allergy to or intolerance of these common animal proteins, it will be invaluable to be able to employ more exotic animal proteins in an “elimination diet” (in which a protein that the dog has never eaten before is used).

The same principle applies to exotic carb sources. Carbohydrates such as quinoa, chickpeas, peas, and others are showing up in mainstream foods more and more frequently. Avoid them unless you need them for an elimination trial.

7. Look for dog food ingredients that your dog is allergic to or intolerant of.

This is (obviously) so you can avoid feeding a product that will distress your dog.

If you have proven, through your own feeding trials of various products, that your dog reacts badly to certain ingredients, you should be reading the ingredients list of every product you buy, to make sure the problematic ingredient isn’t present in the product. Don’t count on the fact that the ingredient wasn’t present in the last bag of the same product; food manufacturers do change their formulas from time to time.

8. Look for the following; these are good things you want to see on the ingredients list of your dog food:

Lots of animal protein at the top of the ingredients list. Ingredients in pet food, just like human food, are listed in order of the weight of that ingredient in the formula, so you want to see a named animal protein or named animal protein meal first on the list. (“Named” means the species is identified: chicken, beef, lamb, etc. “Meal” means a dry, rendered product made from an identified species.)

When a fresh, named meat is first on the ingredient list, there should be a named animal-protein meal immediately or closely following that fresh meat. Fresh meat contains a lot of moisture (which is heavy), so if meat is first on the list, it acts like a diluted protein source; while it adds an appealing flavor and aroma to the food, it doesn’t actually contribute that much protein. That’s why another named source of animal protein should appear in the top three or so ingredients.

When vegetables, fruits, grains, and or carbohydrate sources such as potatoes, chickpeas, or sweet potatoes are used, they should be whole. Fresh, unprocessed food ingredients contain nutrients in all their complex glory, with their vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants intact. Don’t be too alarmed by one or two “fractions” (a by-product or part of an ingredient, like tomato pomace or oatmeal), especially if they are lower on the ingredient list. But the more fractions present in the food, and the higher they appear on the list, the lower quality the result.

9. Don’t buy dog foods that contain the following ingredients; these are things to look out for:

Meat by-products, poultry by-products, meat by-product meal, and poultry by-product meal. Many of the animal tissues that are defined as animal by-products are highly nutritious, but they are also considered waste products of the human food industry.

“Generic” fat sources. “Animal fat” can literally be any mixed fat of animal origin; it need not have originated from slaughtered animals. Meaning, it can be obtained from renderers that process dead animals. “Poultry” fat is not quite as suspect as “animal fat,” but “chicken fat” or “duck fat” is better (and traceable).

Added sweeteners. Dogs, like humans, enjoy the taste of sweet foods. Sweeteners effectively persuade many dogs to eat foods comprised mainly of grain fragments (and containing less healthy animal protein and fats).

Artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives (such as BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin). The color of the food doesn’t matter to your dog. And it should be flavored well enough with healthy meats and fats to be enticing. Natural preservatives, such as mixed tocopherols, can be used instead.

10. Contact your favorite dog food makers and ask them for the complete nutrient analyses of their products.

It was a shock to learn, not long ago, that pet food companies don’t have to show regulators (or anyone else) any sort of proof that their foods contain all the nutrients that dogs need. Instead, they fill out and sign an affidavit stating that “This product meets the nutrient levels established in the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for (growth/reproduction, maintenance, or all life stages).”

In our opinion, since pet food companies make food that’s meant to provide 100 percent of the nutrients dogs need, they ought to be able to show some proof that their finished products do, in fact, contain the nutrients, in appropriate amounts, that they are supposed to, so we have begun asking companies to provide us with these analyses.

Do You Buy Pet Food From Any of These 6 Con Artists?

Reprinted from http://healthypets.mercola.com/

By Dr. Becker

I frequently discuss “prescription” pet diets here at Mercola Healthy Pets in terms of the cheap, biologically inappropriate ingredients they contain, much like most other processed pet foods on the market.

I typically don’t talk as much about the high cost of these diets or the fact that there’s nothing in the majority of them that requires a prescription, because my focus is usually on the low-quality ingredients instead.

But if you’ve ever purchased one of these “special” dry or canned diets for a pet, you know how expensive they are, and you might be interested to learn that a group of pet parents recently filed a class action lawsuit against several pet industry companies, alleging they engaged in price fixing of prescription dog and cat food in the U.S. in violation of anti-trust and consumer protection laws.

Defendants Include 6 of the Biggest Pet Industry Players

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court of Northern California and lists the defendants as Mars Petcare, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Nestlé Purina Petcare, Banfield Pet Hospital, Blue Pearl Pet Hospital and PetSmart. Read the full complaint.

The plaintiffs, pet owners who purchased prescription diets from one or more of the companies, assert they conspired with each other to falsely promote “prescription” pet food. The specific pet diets mentioned in the complaint include:

  • Hill’s Prescription Diet
  • Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets
  • Royal Canin Veterinary Diet
  • Iams Veterinary Formula

The complaint points out there’s no reason for the foods to require a prescription, since they contain no drug or other ingredient not commonly found in non-prescription pet diets. The lawsuit further alleges:

“Retail consumers, including Plaintiffs, have overpaid and made purchases they otherwise would not have made on account of Defendants’ abuse and manipulation of the ‘prescription’ requirement.”

Lawsuit Accuses Big Pet Food of Abusing Their Dominant Position in the Marketplace

Mars PetCare is the largest supplier of pet food in the world. Nestlé Purina Petcare is in second place, and Hill’s Pet Nutrition is No. 4.

PetSmart is the largest pet supply chain in the U.S., Banfield is the largest veterinary clinic chain and Blue Pearl is the largest veterinary specialty and emergency care chain.

The lawsuit argues that these companies abuse their position as the biggest players in the industry to promote “prescription” diets for dogs and cats.

Veterinarians actually hand pet owners written prescriptions for a certain kind of pet food, and the pet owners go to PetSmart or another location to purchase the prescribed food. These pet guardians, according to the complaint, are typical of people who consistently follow the advice and direction of medical professionals.

Why Is a Pet Product Containing No Drugs or Other Controlled Substances Being Sold by Prescription Only?

However, the “prescription” dog and cat diets manufactured by Mars, Purina and Hill’s are not evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because they don’t contain drugs or other controlled substances. According to Tim Wall, writing for PetfoodIndustry.com:

“The case document states that the American public reasonably expects a prescription requirement implies that a substance is medically necessary, contains a drug, medicine or controlled ingredient, has been FDA evaluated and legally requires a prescription. The plaintiffs allege that the prescription pet foods do not meet these criteria.”1

The lawsuit asserts that the prescription requirement allows the defendants to “… market and sell Prescription Pet Food at well-above market prices that would not otherwise prevail in the absence of the Prescription Authorization.”

There are legitimate reasons why “prescription” diets for specific medical conditions should not be fed to healthy animals.

For instance, feeding a diet intentionally lower in protein and phosphorus may be warranted for end-stage kidney disease patients, but it would be a poor choice for healthy or growing animals.

The deception about “prescription” ingredients in the foods, for the most part, is legitimate. There is one exception. One human-grade, fresh pet food company producing medical diets that actually do contain therapeutic ingredients, such as Chitosan to bind phosphorus in their kidney formula.

‘Defendants Are Engaged in an Anticompetitive Conspiracy’

The complaint further asserts that the positioning of the pet food as “prescription” is effective in part because all the defendants work together to promote it. The veterinary clinic defendants write the “prescriptions” for the food, which is made by the pet food company defendants, and sold by defendant PetSmart.

Many people are unaware that Mars owns 79 percent of Banfield. Guess who owns the remaining 21 percent? PetSmart (which is why many Banfield clinics are located inside PetSmart stores). Mars also owns 100 percent of Blue Pearl. According to the complaint:

“Defendants are engaged in an anticompetitive conspiracy to market and sell pet food as prescription pet food to consumers at above-market prices that would not otherwise prevail in the absence of their collusive prescription-authorization requirement.”

The lawsuit alleges that selling the pet food as “prescription” is unfair and deceptive under California consumer protection laws. I’ll definitely keep an eye out for activity on this class action lawsuit and update you when there’s progress.

Meanwhile, if your own veterinarian is in the habit of recommending “prescription” pet food for your dog or cat, I encourage you to ask for balanced, homemade recipes instead. Otherwise, you’ll be spending a lot of money for poor-quality pet food that will not improve your furry family member’s health in the long run.

 

8 Tips for Wintering with your Pet

from PetMD

Living in a Winter Wonderland?

 

 

Unless you’re one of the lucky ones living in one of the balmier states, you’ve felt the cold chill of winter arrive. For some of us, cold weather is regarded as a mere nuisance; for others, it’s a fun time filled with snowboarding, skiing and other winter joys; and still others will find this time of bone-chilling weather and huge piles of snow a veritable nightmare to endure.

 

Whatever your viewpoint on winter, one thing remains the same for all of us with pets: it’s a time when our beloved babies need a little extra care. Luckily, PetMD has compiled a list of tips to protect your pet from the dangers of winter.

 

1. In or Out?

Does your pet spend most of the time in the backyard? You might want to keep her indoors during the freezing months, especially if you live in bitterly cold areas. No one wants an icicle for a pet — they’re simply not that cuddly.

 

2. Bare Naked Truth

If you must keep your pet outdoors, consider this: Would a fur coat alone (even if it is faux mink) keep you warm against the elements? No? Well, your pet’s fur coat isn’t enough protection for your pet during winter, either. Be a pal and provide your dog with a warm, dry, and draft free shelter outside; the shelter should also comply with any state laws that apply.

 

3. No More Frozen Dinners!

Because it takes more energy to stay warm when it’s cold, outdoor animals eat more during the winter. Likewise, fresh, running water is vital for maintaining your pet’s health. Keep an eye on the water bowls and make sure they haven’t turned into little skating rinks for fleas (boo, fleas!). While ice pops might be a fun treat, your pet really doesn’t want to have to lick a frozen lump of ice to get his water.

 

4.  Diet?

Indoor animals, meanwhile, have different dietary needs. They conserve energy by sleeping more in the winter. Dogs and cats also exercise much less when they do go outside, so you may need to adjust the amount of food accordingly. After all, no one wants an overweight pet.

5. Frosty the Biting Snowman

We’re not talking about the latest horror movie offering from Hollywood. Frosting is a serious problem during winter, especially for paws, tips of tails, and ears. This makes it even more important in keeping your pet warm, especially if they’re an outdoor pet. Get special booties, coats, and maybe a hat for your pet during her walks, and look for early warning signs of frostbite such as firm, waxy skin and blisters.

 

6. The Deadly Drink

The worst of all the wintertime chemical spills is antifreeze, which often leaks from a car’s radiator. It may taste delicious to your cats or dogs, but it is extremely deadly — even the smallest sip can be fatal. If your pet starts acting “drunk” or begins to convulse, take him to the vet immediately. Better yet, keep all pets away from the garage and clean up any accidental spillage. You should also not let your dog wander too far during his walks. Who knows what dangers lie in your neighbors’ driveways?

 

7. Salty Solution

Do you live in an area with cold and icy winters? Then you are probably accustomed to salt on the sidewalks and roads. However, the types of salt (typically calcium or sodium chloride) used to melt ice and snow and keep it from refreezing are somewhat harsh on delicate paws — not to mention they corrode concrete and damage the beautiful vegetation. Protect your pet’s paws, and keep him warm during walks, by outfitting him with booties.

 

8. Joy Ride

Cars are particularly attractive to animals in the winter-time, especially frigid cats that love to climb up under the hood and curl up on the warm motor. This, as you can imagine, has led to many mishaps when motorists start their car … ouch! Avoid such accidents by tapping your car’s hood before starting the vehicle. Sure, you may wake Kitty from her deep slumber, but she’ll thank you in the long run.

 

Wintering with your pet is mostly common sense. If you’re cold, your beloved pet will most likely be cold too. So snuggle up, keep your pet warm and safe, and sooner than you can say “Jack Russell,” we’ll all be hitting the beaches for some summertime fun.

 

 

Creative Marketing Does NOT Make a Healthy/Nutritious Pet Food!

The makers of Beneful have made some minor changes and launched a new marketing campaign:

 

beneful-claim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raw meat is allowed to be added to the ingredient panel in it’s wet weight.    So by weight it frequently can occupy the first place on the ingredient panel.   However, once included the product dries down in processing and falls way down the list.    Looks like the rest of the ingredients look pretty much like they used to:

beneful-chicken-ingredients

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So even though they now include a little bit of meat in the diet you will find  an ingredient list that includes whole corn, chicken by-product meal, whole grain wheat, corn gluten meal, beef tallow, soybean meal, poultry by-product meal and my favorite…..egg and chicken flavor.     So grain and grain by-products still constitute the majority of the dry product composition.

It’s all about marketing to these folks.