Holistic Diets for Dogs : Not Just for Humans Anymore

Dogs know two things: our love and the love you can’t eat. For many dog lovers, it can sometimes be difficult to separate the two, especially when berated with a pleading look from those soulful, manipulative eyes. However, just as it is not good for humans to eat certain ingredients ourselves, it is the same  for dogs, which can have sensitive stomachs, and physical reactions to their food. (itchy skin, ear infections, anal gland problems, bladder infections, bladder stones, diarrhea, and seizures) Whether after meals your pet’s rear becomes a noxious weapon of doom, he exhibits diarrhea or vomiting, or appears to have no adverse reactions at all, one thing is certain; a healthy, balanced diet will allow your pet to live a longer, healthier  life and allow for a less toxic living space. Win-win. 

            But where do you start? Well, the phrase “holistic food” gets thrown around a lot, but what does that mean? And how can you be sure it is what you’re getting?

First, a holistic diet for dogs is simply one in which all nutrition requirements are met, in quantities which the body can absorb and utilize. Essentially, holistic foods don’t mess around with extra stuff like dies, animal by-products, or chemical preservatives.  Feeding dogs processed “people food”or allergenic ingredients is not a good choice, because it tends to have items that inflame the body or don’t break down very easily. They either wreak havoc with the digestive system (most notably the pancreas) or get stored as extra weight. Dogs, like people, need six basic nutrient types for energy, proper growth, and overall well-being (no sluggish, depressed mutant puppies for us!). These nutrient classes are proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water.

 Proteins

This will be the Schwarzenegger portion of your dog’s diet, sans the impressive biceps. As the basic building blocks for cells, tissues, organs, enzymes, hormones and antibodies, proteins are essential for growth, maintenance, reproduction, repair and energy. Proteins can be obtained from a number of sources. Animal-based proteins such as chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, fish and egg have complete amino acid profiles, meaning they contain all of the amino acids (the building blocks for proteins) that your dog needs.

Fats

The most concentrated form of food energy, fats provide your pet with more than twice the energy of proteins or carbohydrates. Fats are essential in the structure of cells and are needed for the production of some hormones. They are also required for absorption and utilization of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, and E. They are also essential for healthy skin and coat. Essential fatty acids are divided into two groups—Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Ingredients like chicken fat and sunflower oil are great sources of Omega-6 fatty acids while flax seed, herring oil and salmon oil are key sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. The correct balance of fats can be found in top rated healthy dog food. Because while people come in all shapes and sizes, dogs really should stay dog-shaped, not stumpy and round.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are a key source of energy for dogs. Whole grains, like whole ground brown rice, and whole ground barley and oats, are all low-fat sources of highly-digestible complex carbohydrates. Whole grains are also a rich source of dietary fiber—both soluble and insoluble—which is crucial for healthy intestinal function (limiting deadly fume emissions). Whole grains are also helpful with the common problem of constipation in dogs, which can be caused by a diet that is lacking in fiber. So basically, the perfect amount of poop.

Vitamins and Chelated Minerals

Vitamins and minerals work together, in conjunction with your pet’s natural enzymes, to help with digestion, reproduction and muscle and bone growth. They are also essential for healthy skin and coat and support immune system health, too.

 Here are some of the key vitamins your pet needs on a daily basis: vitamins A, B12, C, D, and E. A higher-quality dog food contains nutritious fruit and vegetables which provide many key vitamins. For example, peas, potatoes and carrots are great sources of Vitamin A, while blueberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C. Pretty much all the stuff you can’t get your kids to eat, except that they’re mixed with chicken or beef, so your dog is all about it.

Also, the better the food, the more likely it is to contain these minerals: manganese, iron, potassium, copper, and calcium and phosphorus. But, because these minerals are hard for dogs to absorb, it’s important their food be supplemented with “chelated” minerals (which sounds made up, but bear with me…).  A chelated mineral is one that is “attached” to easily absorbable amino acids, which means they will get into your pet’s bloodstream more readily.

Water (Duh)

A vital nutrient, water accounts for between 60 to 70 percent of an adult pet’s body weight. While food may help meet some of your pet’s water needs (dry food has up to 10 percent moisture, while canned food has up to 78 percent moisture), dogs need to have fresh clean water available to them at all times. Water is the medium for all chemical reactions in the body that produce energy. Plus, how else would they manage to pee all over your garden/house/yard?

So how do you know all this is in your dog’s food? Well, it’s a long-held secret: you read the label. Magic, I know.

Conversely, if the label lists any of these products, try and avoid them: chicken or poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat or soy proteins (glutens), and artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. There is a lot of science as to why these items aren’t good for your dog, but the bottom line is they are non-essential and difficult to break down. And they are yucky (mmm, ground, processed chicken feet…).

So, there it is, a quick-and-dirty guide for a happier, healthier pup. Don’t forget though, that like humans, dogs can be born with digestive abnormalities, and can develop allergies. The best way to establish a nutrition plan is to run your research by your local vet.

This article comes from NerdWallet.com, a consumer-focused, data-driven website.

A reader asked me yesterday if I were anti-grain, because in my eBook, “Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet” and in my book, “Dog Dish Diet”, I start with meat and veggies. Many dogs seem to have sensitivities to wheat gluten and that is a known allergen. So I usually avoid wheat and barley until we are sure that they are  comfortable with meat and veggies. Another reason is that many dogs are overweight and don’t need the additional carbohydrate calories in grains.

In the article, the writer comments about “human food” not being as easily digested. Most people assume quality dog food is better for dogs. Raw food and home cooked food are whole food ingredients that are healthy for dogs. I agree with the writer, it is all about ingredients. For example, overweight dogs may not be able to handle the high percentage of carbohydrate in dry commercial foods.

That’s why I wrote Dog Dish Diet and Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet. I want to help you make the right choices in how to feed your pet. No marketing or hype, just common sense.

Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet

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The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far

The apple doesn’t fall far

the apple doesn't fall far from the tree

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The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Two adorable Golden Retrievers resting with their tennis balls

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I Love Broccoli!

Who doesn’t? ;) You can put broccoli in just about any meal, and it is one of the most nutritious veggies you can eat! This is the first year I have attempted to grow broccoli, and I have had great success so far, other than Turk taking a bite off a few leaves here and there. :p  Today I prepped one of my broccoli plants for harvest. To prevent the broccoli head from going all rangy, you have to tie a string or place a rubber band around the leaves to keep the growing head of broccoli in an organized and tight grouping, which will make harvesting easier as well as your broccoli looking prettier ;) I am going to try to get the head of broccoli as big as I can before harvesting. As soon as any of it starts to yellow, that means the plant is going to seed and you have to harvest ASAP. I have two pants growing so far, one is still pretty small, so I won’t be prepping that one for another few weeks. Take a look!

The head of broccoli is growing bigger each day.

Here is the rubber band I placed just under the leaves.

The plant is tied and ready for harvesting soon!

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Q&A: What is the remedy for house dust mite allergy?

Mite
by avlxyz

Question by sohaila: What is the remedy for house dust mite allergy?
I am under house dust mite allergy since 1994. I have taken a lot of vaccine shots but I still need to see doctor after every 3-4 months. I have been asked not to eat meat and rice particularly.

Best answer:

Answer by Dark Cabaret
There are no remedies for allergies however the doctors can put you on some kinds of medication … you might want to see about being put on Allegra D (an allergy medicine that also has a decongestant) OR try Claritan

Give your answer to this question below!

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Holiday Dangers for Pets

You all know that dogs and cats can get into trouble on the Holidays, and some may need a trip to the animal ER. Animal emergency clinics are fully staffed and ready to handle all types of sickness and trauma. With that 24 hour ability, comes a bigger bill than most daytime practices. When your pet needs that level of support, the emergency clinics are invaluable. Just be prepared to pay quite a bit more by cash, check, or credit card.

You can prevent trips to the ER by keeping a watchful eye out for common problems.  I’ll outline a few for you!

  1. Dogs or cats running out open doors or gates. Guests, friends, and family may not notice escapees. Let everyone know or post a sign! Keep nervous dogs or cats in comfortable bedrooms, studies, garages, or laundry rooms with warm areas and water. Warn guests that nervous dogs or cats don’t really want attention!
  2. Make sure human medication and over the counter anti-inflammatory medicine like Tylenol, Ibuprofen are kept off counters and night stands.  Keep bedroom doors closed because dogs and cats love to explore and lend their odor to a stranger’s room. They may pee, poop, chew, or puke on a family members things. Of course that may be a good way to shorten a visit. Just kidding…we all love our family!
  3. Keep known toxins out of reach.(chocolate, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts , bread dough, and plants  like poinsettias, mistletoe, and Easter lilies)
  4. Puppies and Kittens will hunt and destroy stuff! The world is for smelling, chewing, attacking, and destroying when you are a young pet. Power cords are to be chewed on. Ornaments, tinsel, plants, Christmas trees, and treated tree water are all fair game. Puppies and kittens may become nauseous from eating plants, flocking, and trees or drinking tree water. That may pass after a puking session or two. However, tinsel and ornaments can cause intestinal blockage in dogs or cats. Kittens and cats love to jump and attack light moving tinsel, but it can knot their intestines up and require surgery to fix. Tinsel may not be a good idea with pets. Keep those younger pets away from the pretty, yet dangerous tree!
  5. You can use hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting in dogs(not cats) by giving them several tablespoons. Vomiting will get rid of medications or chocolate. If your dog is down or real sick do not give peroxide. Just head for help at the nearest vet ER.
  6. If a dog or cat is used to dry kibble or cat food, a different food or fatty food may cause stomach upset, vomiting, or diarrhea. Pieces of chicken, turkey, fish, pork, or beef may be fine for those used to meat and not sensitive to the meat in question. Vegetables like green beans , carrots, potatoes, peas, or fruit are also healthy human food you can feed to dogs . Rice is also a good treat. However, a dog not used to other food beside kibble may become ill when fed too much fat, or a meat they don’t tolerate well. Some people are allergic or sensitive to ingredients. We wouldn’t advise a sensitive human to eat peanuts, glutens, shrimp, beef, or other ingredients they are sensitive to. Dogs are no different.  Fasting for 12 hours , then feeding white rice with a tsp of chicken baby food  and tsp of plain cultured yogurt may help with mild cases of diarrhea. Take your dog or cat to the ER if they are acting really sick (lots of vomiting and diarrhea).
  7. You can use pepcid AC for mild stomach upset in dogs. 10mg tablet (1/2 for a small dog, one for a medium or large dog daily for a couple days)
  8. Cooked bones can be brittle and sharp. Big pieces, or too many bones can cause intestinal obstruction or severe constipation. In Dog Dish Diet and Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet I advise feeding slow cooked or raw bones for the minerals and joint nutrition. Dogs that wolf down bones may be at risk for intestinal problems. However feeding the right bones and letting dogs chew on them can clean teeth and provide great nutrition.

Greg Martinez DVM has advised his clients to feed better diets for years.  He wrote Dog Dish Diet and Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet to help pet owners learn how to cure medical problems  or prevent new ones with a better mix of ingredients. He has found many medical problems (skin problems, ear infections, bladder problems, bowel problems , and seizures ) respond when allergens are avoided, carbohydrates are decreased, omega oils are added, and moisture in the diet is increased. He feeds his pets home cooked food , raw food, and hypoallergenic  canned food .

Video on Holiday Dangers in Pets

Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet

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Searching For A Efficient Water Damage Company Located Near Boca Raton

Body: Mold problems are often very damaging to a property or home. Without the assistance of a reliable water removal Boca Raton fl crew, it could be just about impossible for any prroperty owner to correctly get rid of all of the mold within their home. For this reason it is so significant, in the [...]
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We Can Do It! Join Me in Supporting Small Businesses This Holiday Season (+ Free Banners For You)!

Support Small Businesses this Holiday Season!

Last year, I wrote a post about the importance of supporting small businesses during the holidays.  I was thrilled by the response it got, and by how many of you spread the word by using the banners I designed on your blogs and websites.  So I decided to whip up some new buttons and banners for 2012, and to reiterate my thoughts on the awesomeness of making the choice to do at least some of our holiday shopping with small and independent companies.  For those of you who remember last year’s post, I’m probably going to repeat myself, because my opinions haven’t changed.  But I figure it’s a good thing to repeat.  It’s hard to not feel charmed by the huge sales and low price tags of big box stores, and a little reminder of why small can be better never hurts.

In 2000, I set up a hand-me-down sewing machine on a cardboard box and worked 16-18 hour days, 7 days a week, with the goal of starting my own clothing line.  I had a degree in theatre, and aside from working at a boutique for a year right out of college, had absolutely no business experience.  I was clueless but determined.  I learned bookkeeping and accounting, marketing, networking, taxes, and all of the other important elements that go into owning your own company.  It was admittedly much harder than I thought it would be, but I stuck with it, and my dream to create Mountains of the Moon Eco-Fashion eventually became a reality. 

Things have changed immensely since I first became a small business owner, in ways that have proved both helpful and challenging.  On the plus side, things like social networking now allow us to reach much wider audiences for little to no cost.  The DIY movement has also taught small business owners to do many of the things ourselves that had to be outsourced in the past. On the challenging side, the economy took a major hit, making it more difficult for everyone – especially small entrepreneurs – to make a living.  And as I mentioned above, more and more big chain stores have popped up who are able to sell mass-produced merchandise to the public that is often made overseas for very cheap (marketed via glossy, luring advertisements), creating difficult “competition” for us little guys. 

In last year’s post, I talked about how the one thing that hasn’t changed for me since I started my company is the determination to succeed in a career doing what I love, and this continues to hold true.  A couple of years ago, I added my art and greeting card shop to mix, along with this blog.  And although I’ve had plenty of bumps in the road and numerous wake-up calls, I’m beyond grateful for where I am.  I’m somehow able to find ways to sustain myself, and I’ve learned so much more than I ever knew possible.  And times like this past weekend, where I had record breaking sales in my shops thanks to the support of incredible people (like you!), remind me of why I do this.  I still work longer hours than most of my friends, and I still consistently worry about paying the bills, but I wouldn’t change my career for anything in the world. 

I am proud to be a small business owner and equally as proud of my fellow small business owners.  I like to think that we really make a difference with what we do.  I am also proud of all the people who make the choice to support small companies.  I’m pretty confident that I can speak for everyone who works as an independent designer, artist or entrepeuner when I say that we appreciate you more than can be expressed in words.  Truly.  If it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t exist.  The end.

During the holiday season, when we’re all shopping more than usual, the decision to support small businesses is more crucial than ever.  I’ll be real with you guys – I’m not saying that we’re not allowed to go to the mall or order goods from big stores online without feeling guilty.  Even if you buy one gift from an independent shop this season, you’re making a positive impact.  (And major kudos to those who buy all of their gifts that way!)  Small businesses return more of each dollar into the local economy and provide more new jobs than large chain stores, so every purchase counts.  And when we shop handmade and local, we get to give unique gifts made with love, and we also get higher quality products and more personalized customer service.  Because small and local companies create much less waste and use many less fossil fuels by choosing not to produce merchandise overseas, we’re also helping out the earth.  Win-win!  But best of all, when we shop small businesses, we are supporting creativity, fostering community, and encouraging talent, which truly does make our world a more beautiful place.

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If you’ve gotten this far, I hope you’ll join me in supporting small businesses for the holidays again this year and encouraging others to do the same.  The buttons banners (above and below) were designed to show support for and spread the word about the importance of shopping handmade, local, and indie. I decided to make a variety of different sizes and styles (including some inspired by my holiday cards, plus a couple of my favorites from last year). Please feel free to use them on your websites, blogs, facebook pages, etc.   Just right click on an image to copy and paste, or copy the code below it to insert into your html.  (A link back to www.bubbyandbean.com or this post is appreciated, but not required.)  And then be sure to leave a comment on this post with the link to your blog, website or page that is displaying the banner/button so others can visit you!

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Thank you for listening to me repeat my (perhaps overly passionate) views on this topic again this year, thank you for supporting small businesses, and thank you for being wonderful readers.  Happy Holidays!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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What would sarcoptic mange look like on a puppy?

Question by LIL_A: What would sarcoptic mange look like on a puppy?
Im beginning to think what my vet treated my puppy for is NOT sarcoptic mange..Im curious to know what it would look like on a puppy..He has NOT lost any hair or anything..If u have pics or a description that would greatly help..Thanx

Best answer:

Answer by dedum
Here ya go, my favorite reference for these things:

http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/72005.htm

Add your own answer in the comments!

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Guilty Puppy

Guilty puppy eyes

guilty puppy eyes

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The cutest guilty puppy, just look at those puppy dog eyes!! Guilty as charged!

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A Place to Love Dogs

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True or false: The World Vets Technical Animal Course rocked

“What time does your flight land?”

My husband asks me this every time I go to Nicaragua (OK, it’s only been twice, but still.) He asks because the State Department brief on Nicaragua mentions armed robberies along the highways at night, and he is worried that this will happen to me. And I appreciate his concern, I do, but I sometimes wonder what the State Department would say if it were telling travelers what to do when travelling out of LAX, an airport I lived by for 5 years, or what he would have said had he known I was hopping into a taxi by myself at 1 am in Nairobi, something he didn’t think twice about when I mentioned it after the fact but everyone who has actually BEEN to Nairobi thought was a particularly gutsy stupid thing to do.

The point is, you take calculated risks all the time in life, and do the best you can to protect yourself, because at the end of the day the coolest things in life require that tiny element of risk. Why did the chicken cross the road and all of that. Despite wanting to be able to talk about my mad danger cred, I have to be honest: not all countries in Central and South America can say the same, but Nicaragua was not a worrisome destination for me. At all.

For those who don’t recall why I am talking about Nicaragua, I was there a few weeks ago as part of the Inaugural Technical Animal Rescue course with World Vets. I didn’t talk about it too much beforehand for the simple fact that I really didn’t know what we were going to be doing, other than ‘learning technical animal rescue’ and that I would need a life preserver, but the element of surprise is what makes these adventures so great. And because I ended the course with a test, you get one too. That’s how we roll here. That’s how you LEARN, people.

True or false: Most travelers to Nicaragua end up robbed, jailed, or otherwise victimized.

The area of Nicaragua we were in (Granada) feels very safe. Violent crime is certainly more rare than it is here in San Diego, and the only assault I had was on my dignity during that awkward massage (but I digress). All that stuff you hear about the terrible Nicaraguan jails on Locked Up Abroad? Told by people who were smuggling drugs. Don’t do that. This place is crawling with tourists, who come with money to spend, and the community doesn’t want to jeopardize that by showing people a bad time.

True or false: Granada is ugly.

Granada is gorgeous. It is one of the oldest cities in the Americas, founded in 1542. That means there are lots of old, old churches;

Strange incongruous city blocks whose architecture depends on what century it was built in and which pirate burned it down;

And walls stretching to the horizon, punctuated by doors that lead into the unknown; could be a pharmacy. Could be a pile of rubble. Or it could be a beautifully manicured courtyard, such as that at Casa la Merced, where we were fortunate enough to stay.

I opened my bedroom door to this every day. Hideous.

True or false: World Vets hired some random bozo to teach the course as a front because we all just wanted to go to Granada.

On the first day of the course, we met our instructor, Kim Little from Rescue 3. The first thing we learned about him is that he has been teaching rescue courses professionally for three decades.

The second thing I learned is that he is teaching us the same material taught to the HSUS Disaster Response team and all the other big players you see on the news when disasters happen domestically. So we learned the real deal, FEMA certified, official course. By the way, if you ever invite Kim over for dinner, which you should, ask him to tell you stories from his rescue work during Hurricane Katrina. There’s a story with a tiger, and another story involving a massive pig, a crate, and a film crew.

And the third thing I learned was:

SAFETY FIRST

This is important, as I will get to when I talk about how during lake practice I accidentally demonstrated how one might accidentally kill both oneself and one’s victim during a water rescue, if one forgets this cardinal law.

True or false: Technical Animal Rescue involves the most complicated and expensive elaborate machinery that exists.

After our first day doing classwork, reviewing the hydrodynamics of swift water rescue and me getting to gleefully nerd out on vectors and flow diagrams, we sat down with the meat and potatoes of any rescue team: bags of ropes and carabiners.

It’s amazing what you can do with rope. No, really.

We spent more time doing knots than anything else in this course. Knots, and knots, and more knots. Knots that swivel and knots that pull and knots with two loops and knots that lay flat.

Those who have done climbing fared better than the others, but we all got it eventually. Dr. Augusto Barragan from Panama, seen here with Dr. Lester Tapia from Granada, was particularly adept. He spent a lot of time sitting opposite me trying to explain in his non-native language what I was doing wrong.

Answer: taking too many pictures.

Jen, having quickly mastered the lessons due to her climbing experience, started to freestyle.

Kim had but three precious days to whip this motley bunch of veterinary do-gooders into cool, calm rescue pros who could grab a duffle bag of ropes and clips, look over the edge of a ravine at a dog and human in distress, and figure out how to magically transform those tools into a successful rescue. After that first day of tumbled knots, things were looking grim, but we persevered.

Day One: The newly formed team gathers at the defunct Granada train station, wondering what we had in store.

But did we learn enough? Stay tuned.

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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