Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Feeding Bones is an Expensive Gamble!

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Bones 8 326 245No matter if it’s a brand new puppy or a senior citizen dog, pet owners love to spoil their canine friends with bones.  After all, what’s more natural than a dog with a bone?  But veterinarians warn that feeding bones is a gamble that could end up creating a very unnatural veterinary bill!

We have all seen the cartoons and commercials depicting dogs burying bones and stashing them away for later.  Unfortunately, most pet owners are completely unaware of the significant risks and problems that are associated with feeding these treats.  The situation has gotten so bad that even the FDA has warned consumers to avoid giving bones to their dogs.

Advocates of raw pet foods and other so-called “natural diets” claim that, given properly, bones are a great way to clean your pet’s teeth and provide an instinctive means of stress relief. Some even state that bones provide important nutrients and should be included in your pet’s daily routine.

So, is it okay to give a dog a bone?

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Pet Food Marketing is Confusing and Misleading

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Grain free label 307x173The pet food industry has spent billions of marketing dollars motivating pet owners to buy their brand of food.  That does not always mean that these brands are good for your pets.  Let’s look at some key features in pet food marketing that will make you a smarter consumer and your pets healthier.

We all want to find the freshest ingredients and highest quality foods when preparing meals for our families.  It’s also likely that we want the best food for our pets too.

You’ve probably heard the terms “natural”, “organic” or even “human-grade” when referring to pet food.  But what do they actually mean?

The pet food market has become extremely competitive and very confusing.  More than 3,000 different brands of food sit on store shelves and highly paid, successful ad agencies are often recruited to find ways to convince pet owners that their particular brand is the very best.

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Looking for the Right Pet Food

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

This is a discussion we have with our clients everyday. It’s been said that along with genetics and environment, nutrition plays a crucial role in the overall health of your pets. But, whether it’s due to excessive marketing or simply confusion, most pet owners don’t give much thought to that bag of pet food they purchase from the grocery store or pet store. Are there ways to find better food for our four-legged friends?

Our pets depend on us to keep them properly fed and in the best health. But for most pet owners, the overabundance of different types of pet foods as well as the enormous number of brand names is often overwhelming. Then, Internet chat rooms and forums are simply full of a wide variety of opinions on what is the “best” pet food. How can the average pet owner make the best decision when it comes to feeding their pets?

Thankfully, there are experts in the area of pet nutrition. Diplomates from the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (acvn.org) are specialists whose focus is the advancement of veterinary nutrition. Put another way, these knowledgeable veterinarians know what makes a good pet food!

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Raw Diet Controversy

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

For a majority of pet owners, a quick trip to the local grocery or even pet superstore is the easiest way to pick up their pets’ food.  People might debate favorite brands, but most will use some sort of commercial dry or canned diet for their four legged friends.  For a few pet owners though, preparing a meal for the family dog involves a little more work and a lot of raw meat.  Are homemade or raw diets a good idea?

Take a stroll down the pet food aisle of your favorite store and your eyes will take in every imaginable color, a few cartoon characters and a lot of claims stating the food is “improved”, “natural” or even “organic”.  It’s truly a marketing bonanza!

More than 3,000 brands of pet food fill the aisles and pet owners will spend about $18 billion to feed their pets each and every year.

But, high profile recalls, sick pets and corporate mistrust has moved a small number of pet owners to consider making their pets’ food at home, instead of buying it in a bag.  An Internet search for “raw diets” brings up almost 3 million different results, many of which claim that this sort of food is nutritionally superior to the commercially prepared diets. (more…)

Your Pet’s Next Best Friend – Cod Liver Oil

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

You may have heard of Omega-3 fatty acids, or “fish oil” to promote human health and wellness.  However did you know that such oils may be your pet’s best friend? – After you of course! 

Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of beneficial oils that are critical to body function.  They cannot be produced by the body and so we and our pets must get them in our diets.  While most of the research on omega-3’s have been done in humans, dogs and cats are reaping the benefits. 

Thousands of studies have proven the benefits of fish oil such as reducing triglycerides, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, helping diabetics, eye function and even recovery from neurological damage and reducing cancer risks.  They are also a natural and potent anti-inflammatory and help with arthritis. 

The evidence is so compelling that a pharmaceutical company has recently been promoting a prescription form of simple omega-3 fatty acids. Clearly omega-3’s are the “next big thing” in medicine and veterinary medicine. 

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Feline Food Controversy Confounds Cat Lovers

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Cat Food ArticleAs predators go, it’s pretty hard to beat the cat family.  Designed to thrive on meat, cats have perfected their bodies, both inside and out, as “obligate carnivores”.  Now, a debate about the right type of diet has many pet owners, and veterinarians, perplexed.

Even when times are tough, pet owners still find ways to make sure their furry companions have the right food.  For many cat owners, that food has always been a high quality dry kibble.  Some experts are now saying that these commercial diets are at the center of an epidemic of obesity and diabetes among our feline friends.  So, how do you know what’s best to feed?

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Sometimes Good Medicine is Simply Good Nutrition

Monday, June 1st, 2009

For pets with chronic health issues, veterinarians might recommend specific therapeutic diets. Designed to provide the right type of nutrition for the pet’s unique problems, these diets are often used for the lifetime of the pet. But, when finances are tight, are these “prescription diets” really worth the cost?

Feeding your dog or cat seems like an easy chore, but if your pet is suffering from kidney disease, allergies or even cancer, his nutritional needs require special attention. Most veterinarians keep an inventory of therapeutic or “prescription” diets on hand to help manage chronically sick pets. In spite of the benefits provided by these diets, the weak economy and rising prices have many owners thinking twice about staying on the more expensive diets.

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