Thursday, July 30, 2020

Meat Treats; Pieces and Parts

While rawhide has been a popular dog chew for decades, it is actually one of the most common causes of bowel obstruction. Rawhide is a byproduct of the leather industry and it isn't very digestible. It may also be treated with preservative chemicals making it even more dangerous. Dogs love to chew, and they also need to. It is a stress reliever and helps keep their teeth clean. So what are some good choices?

Trachea, necks, duck heads and pig ears
Giving your dog or cat freeze dried animal parts, like pig ears or beef trachea adds a minimally processed component to the diet. Pig ears and snouts are made up of cartilage, highly digestible
while providing a longer lasting chew. Beef trachea or esophagus, duck or chicken feet are also good choices. Freeze dried organ meats like hearts or gizzards are a pretty quick chew but are rich in protein, supplying amino acids and vitamins that can be lacking in processed pet foods. Farm Hounds has a great selection of organ meats made from pasture raised animals, hearts, livers and poultry gizzards just to name a few. They source their ingredients from small family farms, avoiding the contamination risks of factory farming.


A popular choice on the Vital Essentials Raw Bar are freeze dried poultry 
Magic shopping the Raw Bar
necks. Neck bones contain a lot of cartilage so are a good source of glucosamine and chondroitin, both important for joint health. Because the necks are freeze dried the bones are essentially raw, so unlikely to splinter into sharp edges. It is important to choose the necks that are the appropriate size for your dog. Small dogs would do fine with chicken necks, medium and large dogs would do better with duck or turkey necks. Fish skin jerky is a great way to add Omega 3 to your dog's diet, a fatty acid that can be missing in processed dog food. Omega 3 is thought to decrease the inflammation response in dogs with arthritis and can decrease skin itchiness for dogs with allergies. 

For many pet owners giving treats is showing love. Our pets are perfectly ok with that and enjoy every crumb. By giving freeze dried or dehydrated pieces and parts you are adding important nutrition to your pet's diet and adding quality to their lives without piling on excess calories and carbs from starches. Definitely a win-win.










Friday, April 10, 2020

So You Have A New Puppy; What To Do Next

Bringing home a new puppy is a very exciting time. They are cute and fluffy, but they will also chew your house apart if you aren't careful. Especially now that everyone is social distancing, how can you make sure your new dog gets everything they need?

Magic, Mayhem and Fritz
Nutrition is extremely important for a growing puppy. Large breed pups especially need food that is formulated to support healthy growth, but at a slower rate than smaller breeds. All puppies need food with the proper calcium to phosphorus ratio for healthy bone growth. Regardless of breed, the first year is a time of rapid growth and development. A high quality food will support that growth and get your puppy off to a good start. It is also a good idea to feed a variety of different proteins. Studies have shown that introducing different proteins early in life can help prevent allergies later in life.

Oliver with a Bully Stick
Safe and healthy chews are very important for a puppy. There are a lot of different chews on the market, some are better than others. Rawhide is very popular, but can be very dangerous if your dog bites a piece off and swallows it. Most vets advise against rawhide for this reason. I like to give my dogs Bully sticks. These are pieces of dried beef tendon and they are very digestible. Freeze dried necks, chicken or duck feet or other "pieces and parts" are also good choices. The Benebone Company makes a nylon based chew, these are made to wear down very slowly and even the tough chewers don't break pieces off.

Puppy classes are great for socialization and training, but with the current shelter in place order in Ohio training classes have been cancelled. Abbe Moen at Affinity Canine is currently holding virtual classes, and can help get your new puppy off to a great start. Check out www.affinitycanine.com.

Most important, enjoy this time with your new family member!