Archives for Homemade Dog Food category

4 Tips For A Pet-Friendly Super Bowl – from Tails Magazine

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Hi Everybody,

Since this is Super Bowl weekend, and since Rick and I are each HUGE football fans (Roxie and Gypsy not so much), I thought this article from Tails Magazine was quite timely:

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4 Tips For A Pet-Friendly Super Bowl

With all the food, fun, and football on Super Bowl Sunday, it can be surprisingly easy to neglect your furry friend. But just because it’s the game of the century doesn’t mean your pet can suddenly fend for himself. Petco has some tips for making the balance work:

Super Sunday typically equals several hours logged jumping up and down on the couch, shouting at the television, and consuming mass amounts of waistline expanding substances that lead to a serious calorie overdose, all while a befuddled pet looks on. Pets aren’t passing judgment as they watch the party’s outrageous antics. They are simply imploring you with their eyes to take care of their special physical, mental, social, and emotional needs.

Since not everyone speaks dog, cat, fish, hamster, or the like, esteemed animal behaviorist, Dr. Debra Horwitz, and “America’s Veterinarian,” Dr. Marty Becker, have partnered with Petco to translate for your pet and share these four tips to avoid neglecting your pet on game day.

TIP #1: By recording halftime and taking a quick trip to the dog park you can take care of your pet’s physical and social needs and still see all the highlights. For those worried about missing the second half of the game, opt for an activity closer to home—like a walk around the block or a rousing game of fetch in the yard.

TIP #2: Fans will consume some 11 million pounds of chips and 450 million chicken wings on game day, which makes this America’s second biggest food consuming day of the year behind Thanksgiving. Guests may be tempted to sneak these fattening foods to pets, but people food can be harmful, particularly chicken wings, which pets can choke on. Do pets a favor and offer healthy, pet-specific treats so they can share in the big game spread without the risk of getting sick.

TIP #3: When the action gets intense and you’re on the edge of your seat, take a moment to pet your furry friend. Giving a pet some love strengthens the human animal bond, provides for a pet’s emotional health needs, and studies show it has even greater benefits for people. The hormone oxytocin kicks into high gear when petting an animal, helping to reduce blood pressure and decrease cortisol, a hormone related to stress and anxiety. Even stopping to watch fish swim will make a difference in your mood. And if your team is on the losing end, therapists have been prescribing pets for years as a way to deal with depression.

TIP #4: Create a quiet place. Loud party voices and booming music can make pets anxious. Even well-socialized animals are likely to be pushed beyond their limits. To take care of pet’s mental health, make sure pets have a restful room or area to which they can retreat. And if you’re getting particularly worked up, it may be good for you to have a timeout from the game too!

Image: Young-Williams.org

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Here is the link to the original article:

4 Tips For A Pet-Friendly Super Bowl

Whether you like football or not, I hope you enjoy your weekend!

Until next time,

Jean

Feb 01, 2013 | 0 | Animal Communication, animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Home Health Care for Dogs, Homemade Dog Food

Ten Most Toxic Foods to Dogs

Hello to All,

We have all seen lists of foods that our dogs should not eat, but this is a great visual reminder. I would add macademia nuts, caffeine, moldy food, Xylitol (an artificial sweetener used in gum and toothpaste), other artificial sweeteners, and MSG to the list of no-nos, and I have given Roxie and Gypsy small amounts of garlic without a problem. Thanks to Lea Ann Goettsch of Green Dog Delicacies for posting this on Facebook:

Take care, and give your dogs a hug for me!

Jean

Jun 19, 2012 | 3 | Animal Communication, animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Holistic, Home Health Care for Dogs, Homemade Dog Food

Video 2-Your Pet’s Food: Exposing Manufacturers’ Dirty Tricks

Hello again,

Here is Video 2 of 2 of from Dr. Karen Becker regarding the quality of pet food ingredients.

The Quality of Pet Food Ingredients – Part 2

Best Regards,

Jean

May 17, 2011 | 0 | animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Holistic, Home Health Care for Dogs, Homemade Dog Food

Video 1-The 3 BEST Pet Foods You Can Buy

Hello Everyone,

Here is Video 1 of 2 of from Dr. Karen Becker regarding the quality of pet food ingredients. In my opinion, these mini-seminars are superb and offer practical advice when selecting a food for our beloved pets.

The Quality of Pet Food Ingredients – Part 1

Please give your dogs a big hug for me,

Jean

May 17, 2011 | 0 | animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Holistic, Home Health Care for Dogs, Homemade Dog Food

Roxie’s bout with pancreatitis

Hi Everybody,

Our little family had a pretty intense week last week. This post will be about Roxie’s pancreatitis attack, but Gypsy also had a rough few days. I’ll cover that in another post.

Early morning last Wednesday Roxie woke us up multiple times to go outside, and when we finally got up, we figured out why. She had been throwing up. She went on a walk with us that morning as usual, but didn’t have her normal spunk, threw up during our walk, and her throwup looked slightly bloody. She drank some water when we got home, but refused to eat anything, even though Rick cooked her a scrambled egg. This is a dog that NEVER turns down food. She was also whining quietly. Rick said she threw up again a couple of more times and it was still slightly bloody. By that time I was freaking out, thinking maybe she had an obstruction.

We called our regular vet, but she was booked, so in desparation we called one right down the street. He was able to look at her that morning, so Rick took her in. This particular vet apparently has very traditional beliefs, because he spent considerable time berating Rick for having Roxie on a homemade diet. Plus Rick’s comment was it seemed like he was right out of vet school and wanted to pay off his student loans with Roxie’s visit. Anyway, they took blood and urine from Roxie, gave Rick a prescription for five days of Sucralfate to help heal her digestive system, and sent Rick and Roxie on their way.

We got the blood results the next day, and Roxie was diagnosed with pancreatitis. We were advised to give her nothing but white rice for about 24 hours, and then slowly transition her to a normal diet. By that time, Roxie was ready to scarf down anything, so she ate the rice with gusto, and looked at me like “is that all there is?” We also picked up some low fat cottage cheese, and started adding that in to the rice.

Rick and I both spend a lot of time researching canine pancreatitis, and found out that Schnauzers (Roxie is half-Schnauzer) have a predisposition to pancreatitis. Although we found a lot of conflicting information, especially regarding feeding raw food or eggs, a couple of things were clear: we needed to get her started on digestive enzymes, and modify her diet to be less fatty.

Of course, I was feeling horribly guilty since I am the one who did all the research on homemade diets for dogs. So, what we are going to change: boil any ground meat instead of sauteeing, cut way back on the amount of raw organ meat we give them, and hold off on feeding eggs, pork, beef, or anything raw for at least a couple of weeks. Plus add some digestive enzymes and probiotics. I also found several recommendations for a product called Standard Process Pancreatrophin, which is actually a supplement for humans, so I am on the hunt for that.

So far, other than acting like we are starving her to death, Roxie is recovering nicely:

If anyone has had a dog with pancreatitis, I would really like to hear about your experience.

Jean

Sep 01, 2010 | 1 | animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Holistic, Home Health Care for Dogs, Homemade Dog Food

Working with an Animal Communicator – session 2

Hi Everybody,

We had our second session with Val Heart recently, so I wanted to tell you all how that went.

But first, I really should give you an update of what we’ve noticed since our last session (see my last post for a summary). Roxie and Gypsy have not once gotten into a fight, and our whole household seems calmer and more at peace. We have made a concerted effort to be as firm with Roxie as we are with Gypsy, and we are more consistent when enforcing the rules. I was gone to the Seattle area for a week, so it was up to Rick to keep up the work with them while I was gone. He specifically worked on the “place” command, where we have Gypsy and then Roxie go to their blankets when someone comes to the door. We still have work to do, but progress is being made.

Another interesting thing we noticed is when we took them to our vet to get their periodic chiropractic adjustments. In the past, Roxie has been a real mess, just anxious and yippy and tense. Dr. Maria made a comment that Roxie was calmer than she had ever been for an adjustment, which of course makes the adjustment easier and more effective. I was also working on my own energy, to be mindful and remain calm, instead of being worried about Roxie and Gypsy’s behavior.

With our second session, we gave Val an update, and then Val focused in on some specific questions we had for Roxie and Gypsy. As I mentioned in my previous post, this part takes a bit of faith, but what Val told us made sense.

Gypsy has a broken tail and scars on her lips. We know she was homeless for a while before she was rescued, and we’ve always wondered what that was like, and whether her broken tail caused her any problems. According to Val, Gypsy does not have any concern about her broken tail, but being homeless was a scary thing. Val told us that Gypsy seems to have a lighter energy and is more at peace than the last time. Apparently, Gypsy is more than happy to relinquish the job of pack leader to Rick and myself. (We just had to laugh at this, but the good news is Gypsy thinks we are doing our job now!)

For Roxie, we were concerned her vision may be failing, because of some difficulties she has in jumping in our vehicle and going in and out of the doggie door at night. It seems she does have an issue with night blindness and she also has pain in her back and hips. Val suggested we get her a ramp or some stairs to help her get into the truck, and to provide more light for the doggie door.

Also for Roxie, we wanted to know why she feels the need to bark at anything and everything. Val’s answer: it is mostly anxiety, but it’s also fun and Gypsy has given Roxie the task of being the pack “alerter”. So, Val gave us some suggestions in dealing with the barking. For example, during meal times when they hear something and tear off, Val suggested we make a point of leaving the table to check out what they are hearing, acknowledge them doing their job in alerting us, and then ask them to go back to their “place” and settle down. She did say we should remain calm and assertive, and not “bark back” at them.

The last thing Val discussed with us was some nutritional suggestions. Roxie and Gypsy get quite the variety in their diet, and they both eat their food with gusto. The only things she felt were lacking were trace minerals for both Roxie and Gypsy, and blue-green algae for Roxie.

We will have a third session with Val in three weeks, so I’ll sign off until then. I appreciate hearing from you, so feel free to comment on this.

Jean

May 17, 2010 | 1 | Animal Communication, animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Holistic, Home Health Care for Dogs, Homemade Dog Food, Stray Dog

Amazing Gracie – book review

Hello Everyone!

It is a gorgeous day here in San Antonio, and the bluebonnets are spectacular!

I just finished a book that I thoroughly enjoyed: Amazing Gracie by Dan Dye and Mark Beckloff, who are the co-founders of Three Dog Bakery. The book is a quick and compelling read. It tells the story of Dan’s adoption of Gracie, a deaf, blue-eyed, albino, Great Dane puppy they named Grace Dane, or Gracie for short, and how she inspired them to start baking healthy dog treats. This need to get some nutrition into Gracie eventually parlayed into what is now an international business and a successful online presence. The story grabbed me with its intimacy and insight into Dan’s thought process, plus the illustrations are sweet and whimsical. It is a good idea to have a tissue at the ready when you near the end of Gracie’s story.

In full disclosure, if you choose to purchase Amazing Gracie through any of the links I have provided, I will receive an affiliate commission from Amazon.com.

Until next time,

Jean

Apr 01, 2010 | 0 | animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Home Health Care for Dogs, Homemade Dog Food

To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate, that is the question

Hi Everyone from hot and dry San Antonio,

We are experiencing higher than normal temperatures for June, having hit 100 degrees every day for a week with no relief in sight. Even our hyper little girl Roxie has slowed down in the heat, as her daily fetch sessions have become shorter and shorter.

There is growing evidence from more and more credible sources that we are over-vaccinating our dogs. For years, we have faithfully taken our precious pets in to get their round of shots for rabies, parvo, distemper, etc. because that is what we are told by most veterinarians.

I made the mistake of asking our very traditional vet if he does titer (pronounced tighter) testing which is a blood test to show if a dog has immunity. He went ballistic, telling me I had too much time on my hands and spent too much time on the internet! We have since switched to a more open-minded holistic vet.

Here are some sources I’ve found for information regarding vaccinations:

  1. Jan Rasmussen, who is the award-winning author of Scared Poopless, and a tireless advocate for dogs has written several articles about vaccines and titer testing.
  2. Dr. Andrew Jones has stated “Our companions are suffering from generations of over-vaccination, which combined with inadequate nutrition, poor breeding practices and environmental stresses are leaving each generation more susceptible to congenital disorders and chronic disease.”
  3. Dr. Karen Becker has recorded a video about vaccines and titer testing.

For me, all I know is we lost two sweet dogs, Cubby and Skittles, both at the age of 10. Cubby fell victim to liver failure, and Skittles had throat cancer. We had dutifully done everything our vet told us to do: feeding them nothing but dry kibble, giving them annual vaccinations, administering commercial flea products, and putting them on monthly heartworm preventative. Did those things contribute to their early deaths? I can’t help but think they did.

That is why, with Roxie and Gypsy we are doing things differently. I make their dog food, we use natural flea prevention methods, we do not have them on monthly heartworm prevention, and we have found a vet, Dr. Maria Williams, who will titer them for immunity before doing knee-jerk vaccinations.

Here is the link to the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association to find a vet in your area.

I would love to hear what you have experienced regarding vaccinations.

All the best to you and your dogs,

Jean

Jun 17, 2009 | 1 | Holistic, Home Health Care for Dogs, Homemade Dog Food

Is Table Food really bad for your pets?

Hello Everybody,

I’ve been a subscriber to the Dr. Mercola site for years as I’ve found it to be one of the best and most objective sources of health information on the web. I was delighted when recently a Healthy Pets site was added.

Dr. Karen Becker is at the helm of the Mercola Healthy Pets site, and her videos are great! A video that was near and dear to my heart is titled “Is Table Food really bad for your pets?”. She makes the analogy between the idea of dog chow or cat chow vs. “kid chow” as being all you need to feed your child and you shouldn’t feed your child anything else!

Here is the link to the approximately six minute video (and others): Mercola Healthy Pet videos.

Take Care,

Jean

Jun 09, 2009 | 0 | Holistic, Homemade Dog Food

Does your dog have a fat deficiency?

Hi Everyone from a warm evening in San Antonio,

We just finished with our daily flea-combing/brush/play routine with Roxie and Gypsy. Everyday, around five p.m., Roxie starts getting antsy because she know her daily fetch session is about to begin. She has gone so far as to go out the doggie door, get the ball, then bring it back inside to drop it at my feet!

I wanted to pass along some information I learned from Andy Lewis who created Dog Food Secrets. I’ve mentioned him in previous posts as he is a wealth of knowledge about dog food and dog nutrition. He learned the hard way about commercial dog food after losing his dog Noble to kidney failure.

But first, please allow me to digress and go on a short rant about the propaganda we have received over about the last decade to cut fat from our diets. We have listened, and processed food manufacturers have met our demand for low-fat or non-fat food products. I use the term food loosely as some of these items in no way resemble food. The result of avoiding fats is we as a nation are more overweight and sickly than ever! It boils down to common sense, balance, and moderation. We need a certain amount of the right types of fats for our bodies and brains to function properly.

Just like humans, dogs need the right types of fats in their diets. Their diets should be about 5% of monosaturated fats (olive oil, nut oils, canola oil), polyunsaturated fats (corn oil, safflower oil) and saturated fats (butter, lard, coconut oil, palm oil).

Your dog may have a fat deficiency if you see any of the following:

1. Dull coat

2. Delayed wound healing

3. Lack of energy

4. Heart problems

5. Growth deficits

6. Dry skin

Of course, you don’t want to go overboard, as excess fats can result in obesity, liver disease, diabetes, heart disease and more.

Hope you found this helpful.

Until next time,

Jean

May 12, 2009 | 0 | Homemade Dog Food