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Tippy the Fainting Squirrel Has Internet Dying To Find Diagnosis

Bing Video: Tippy the fainting squirrel

HuffPo: This candid video above, titled "Tippy the Fainting Squirrel," has slowly become the talk of the Internet this week.

The short clip with no information provided by poster Honor Via depicts a squirrel appearing to eat a nut while standing, only to suddenly freeze, tip over for a few seconds, stand back up and start eating again. (Wash and repeat.)

The video has become the source of one burning question: what exactly is causing these ‘fainting spells’ to befall this poor squirrel?

Answers have varied from fermented foods causing drunkenness, orthostatic hypotension, forms of myotonia and more. Do you have some insight on this bizarre, medical condition? Be sure to leave some comment love below to let us know.

Via Scallywag and Vagabond

December 5, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Unusual Stories, Wild Animals | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving From Just One More Pet (JOMP)

Happy Thanksgiving JOMP

Thanksgiving Pet Recipe of the Day

Simple Roasted Organs

(This is a great recipe to make up for Thanksgiving to feed your canine friends… you can substitute chicken for the turkey and add a few turkey scraps at carving time, or just bake the liver and giblets and add the warm turkey as you carve… just go easy on the skin and watch for bones.)

This dish can actually double up as a treat, or healthy topping to your pet’s usual meal. Turkey giblets (hearts, livers and kidneys) are available from butcher shops and many natural food markets – and also come included with most Thanksgiving turkeys!

This recipe is super-simple and just about all pets love it! Since this recipe is cooked, turkey necks should not be used.

Ingredients

Up to 1 lb Turkey scraps, organs/giblets (don’t include bones)

6 tbsp Olive Oil

½ tsp Dried or Fresh Rosemary

1 Clove Garlic, crushed or finely diced (optional)

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the organs on a baking sheet. Slowly pour on the olive and gently shake the pan so that the oil is evenly distributed. Sprinkle on the rosemary and crushed garlic. Place in the oven and cook for about 35 minutes, until golden brown. Cool before serving and refrigerate any leftovers for up to 3 days.

For cats, dice the organs finely with a sharp knife before serving. This technique also works well to create bite-sized training treats that are a little bit different. 

The “Not So Safe” or No-No Pet Food List 

How to keep your dog safe during Thanksgiving holidays 

A Dogs Special Thanksgiving Day

November 29, 2013 Posted by | Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, pet fun, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pet Recipes | , , , , | 2 Comments

Being Overweight Shaves Nearly a Year from Your Dog’s Life, Especially in These 5 Breeds

Story at-a-glance

  • Recent research suggests that dogs that are overweight at middle age may not live as long as dogs of normal weight.
  • A study of approximately 5,500 dogs from 10 different breeds showed that those who are overweight at middle age can have their lives cut short by up to 10 months. This is especially prevalent in certain breeds, including Labrador and Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, Beagles and Shih Tzus.
  • Overweight dogs can also suffer from a long list of costly obesity-related conditions that can compromise their mobility and quality of life.
  • Orthopedic problems are occurring in ever-younger pets, and with greater severity, due to obesity. Dogs that are nearly immobile from a combination of weight and joint or bone problems are becoming commonplace.
  • Helping your dog achieve and maintain a healthy weight involves a combination of feeding species-appropriate nutrition in portion-controlled meals, and insuring your pet is getting plenty of regular exercise.

Overweight Dog

By Dr. Becker

If your dog is overweight or obese, you now have another huge incentive to help him slim down. According to recent research conducted by scientists from the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition in collaboration with Banfield Pet Hospital, being overweight shortens a dog’s lifespan.

Information was collected from veterinarians on approximately 5,500 pet dogs across 10 popular breeds throughout the U.S., using body condition scores for neutered male and spayed female dogs between 6.5 and 8.5 years of age.

The study results show that dogs that are overweight at middle age may not be around as long as those at a healthy weight. The research suggests that being too heavy can shave up to 10 months off a dog’s life, and this is particularly apparent in five breeds: the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, American Cocker Spaniel, Beagle and the Shih Tzu.

Overweight Dogs Also Acquire Devastating Obesity-Related Diseases

One thing the Waltham Centre study does not address is the quality of life of overweight and obese pets, many of which suffer from mobility problems and other obesity-related conditions for the final months of their lives.

Because so many pets are overweight these days, it’s common for veterinarians to see animals suffering from health conditions secondary to their obesity, including arthritis, hip dysplasia, diabetes, hypertension, respiratory problems, and kidney disease.

According to Petplan USA, in 2011, insurance claims for pets with diabetes increased over 250 percent from the prior year. Claims for heart disease rose over 30 percent, and for arthritic pets, nearly 350 percent. Orthopedic conditions are occurring in younger and younger pets, and with greater severity, because so many animals are overweight. Dogs that are nearly immobile from a combination of weight and joint or bone problems are becoming commonplace. Otherwise alert, healthy dogs are being euthanized because they simply can’t get around anymore, which destroys their quality of life.

How to Help a Heavy Dog Reach and Maintain His Ideal Weight

Excess weight on the relatively small sized body of a dog has serious and more immediate consequences than added weight on a human body. Couple that with the already short average lifespan of canines, and it’s easy to see how quickly and completely a dog’s life can be devastated by obesity.

If your dog is too heavy, isn’t it time to get him safely down to a healthy weight, so you can have him around as long as possible, and with a good quality of life?

My top three recommendations for helping an overweight pet lose weight:

  • Feed a balanced, species-appropriate diet. Regardless of his weight, your dog still needs the right nutrition for his species, which means food that is high in animal protein and moisture, with low or no grain content.
  • Practice portion control — usually a morning and evening meal, carefully measured. A high protein, low carb diet with the right amount of calories for weight loss, controlled through the portions you feed, is what will take the weight off your dog. And don’t forget to factor in any calories from treats.
  • Regularly exercise your pet. Daily exercise, including at least 20 minutes of consistent aerobic activity, will help your pet burn fat and increase muscle tone.

For more information: "How to Help Your Chunky Dog Release Excess Pounds." 

Sharing Thanksgiving With Your Pets

November 27, 2013 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The “Not So Safe” or No-No Pet Food List

pet-friendly-home The following foods are not safe for dogs, cats, potbellied pigs, or guinea pigs. Never give the following foods or beverages to your pets:

  • *Alcohol of any kind (a no-no for all animals)
  • *Anything with Caffeine (a no-no for all animals)
  • Avocados – especially for birds and cats
  • Baby food if it contains onion powder
  • Bones from Ham, Chicken, Turkey or Cooked Bones that can splinter
  • * (Raw) Bread or Yeast Dough
  • Candied Yams
  • Casseroles (unless you absolutely know that none of the no-no foods are in them)
  • *Chocolate and Cocoa (this includes things like brownies and chocolate chip cookies) and dark chocolate is the worst
  • Raw cookie dough can also kill dogs and small children.
  • *Grapes or raisins
  • Jell-O Molds
  • (Raw) Liver
  • *Macadamia Nuts (this includes things like cookies and pies) and go easy on nuts in general (nuts in general are not great for dogs, but walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans are particularly harmful and add the additional possibilities of health problems caused by fungus and mold. Peanuts and peanut butter are not on the no-no list but could also cause problems because of mold issues). Nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, which are healthy for humans, but too much fat of any kind increases the risk of pancreatitis in dogs.
  • Milk (and American Cheese) can be a problem for some dogs. They can be lactose intolerant like some people.
  • Mushrooms, particularly wild mushrooms.
  • Nutmeg
  • *Onions, including onion powder (garlic should be fed in moderation)
  • Pecans, including Pecan Pie (nuts in general are not great for dogs, but walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans are particularly harmful and add the additional possibilities of health problems caused by fungus and mold.  Peanuts and peanut butter are not on the no-no list but could also cause problems because of mold issues).
  • Potato Skins and Green Potatoes (potatoes in general are not digestible by dogs).
  • Pork Products because of the nitrates
  • Stuffing (it usually contains onions, which are very harmful to pets)
  • Large amounts of Grains (often a main ingredient in cheap commercial pet foods)
  • *Raisins and grapes
  • Raw eggs (raw egg whites) – (According to the ASPCA, raw egg whites contain avidin, which damages a dog’s metabolism and creates a biotin deficiency, so they recommend owners should discard the white if feeding a dog raw eggs.  Others disagree.)
  • Tomatoes (plant and fruit) – All parts of the plant except the tomato itself are poisonous to humans
  • Vitamin A in large amounts causes toxicity
  • Walnuts (nuts in general are not great for dogs, but walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans are particularly harmful and add the additional possibilities of health problems caused by fungus and mold. Peanuts and peanut butter are not on the no-no list but could also cause problems, for humans as well, because of mold issues).
  • *Xylitol and anything with it in it.

Depending on the amount consumed and the size, breed, species and age of the animal many of the items above can cause death, but they definitely can and usually cause discomfort for the pet/animal, more and expensive vet bills for you, butt scooting, and stress in your pets and for you. Distention of the abdomen, vomiting, muscle tremors, paralysis bloody stool, depression, stress, jaundice, disorientation, diarrhea, lethargy, lack of coordination, difficulty breathing, tremors, coma, abnormal fluid accumulation, drooling, restlessness, anemia and seizures are among the symptoms and conditions that can be caused by the aforementioned foods.

The range of diseases and conditions caused or intensified by the No-No Foods for pets include: coma, heart arrhythmia and cardiac arrest, paralysis, pancreatitis, inflammation throughout the body, seizures and tremors, gastric-dilitation volvulus (twisted stomach) and death.

*Causing the most severe health problems and the most incidents of death.

Tobacco products and many plants and herbs are also bad for pets.  Poinsettias, tomato plants and the Sago Palm are among the common plants that are toxic to dogs/pets. 

How to keep your dog safe during Thanksgiving holidays

“Holidays Are Great and Fun To Share With Our Pets, As Long As We Avoid the No-No Foods”

Common Foods That Are Harmful Or Even Fatal to Dogs

Pets and Toxic Plants

More Dogs (and Cats) Getting High, Sick and Fat In States Where Marijuana Is Legal – Drugs, unless prescribed or are specifically made and approved for animals, are a No-No!

Cooking real food or feeding a raw diet is generally the best option for most pets, but pet parents need to know the general restrictions as well as those for their particular pet plus make sure that their furkids are getting all the nutrients they need and avoiding too many fats, sugars and of course the no-no food list!  Commercial pet food, including kibble, is a rather new creation along with pre-packaged, processed and restaurant-style junk food for humans, including baby food and baby formula, filled with questionable additives and unrecognizable ingredients; none of which are proving to be the best choices, just read the labels.  All were invented for the consumers’ convenience and the profit for their manufacturers not good health and nutrition. The more fresh and freshly prepared food from good sources, as well as mother’s milk over formula for babies, the healthier we, our children and our pets are and will be!

When Raw Food is NOT the Right Food for Your Pet

Every species, breed or type of animal has its own requirements and no-no’s.  As a pet parent or the parent of a learning pet parent, it is your job to find out what those requirements and no-no’s are and meet those needs.  A pet is a living creature that adds joy to our lives.  We are all God’s creatures and any animal is a gift that has been given to you to cherish and take care of properly!!

Cross-posted at True Health Is True Wealth (THITW) and at AskMarion

November 23, 2013 Posted by | Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

How to keep your dog safe during Thanksgiving holidays

Dog Eating Raw Turkey Examiner: Now is the time you give thanks in your life for all you have; a secure place to live, food on the table, clothes on your back, your family, friends and of course the precious pets. Your dog is full of loyalty, devotion and unconditional love. There is no better time to say thank you than during this holiday season.

Thanksgiving is such a busy, hectic holiday, with lots of foods, drinks and goodies. Your dog may love all the extra company and attention, but it may soon become too stressful for your pet. Most animals survive on a regular routine, and Thanksgiving is anything but routine. Along with the hectic schedule, there is a lot of tempting food sitting around, very appealing to the pooch sniffer. Showing your love to your dog does not mean you set a place at the table; on the contrary, that can cause your pet more harm than good. Also take precautions by not allowing any foods, including the infamous turkey from being accessible to an inquisitive, hungry pooch.

Thanksgiving consists of lots of fatty greasy items that disagrees with your dog’s system, especially the scrumptious turkey skin. Eating such foods can cause pancreatitis, vomiting and diarrhea. The last thing you want is to end up at the veterinarian’s office, while all your guests are living it up at home with the festivities.

When it comes to the holiday, try to keep your pet on its normal routine as much as possible. Try a little fun time such as a walk, jog or tossing a ball around before the festivities and at day’s end to work off some of the extra foods enjoyed at the Thanksgiving table. Avoid giving treats of the holidays to your dog and also inform your guest to do the same. A teeny bit of lean turkey added to your dog’s dinner will not hurt but keep it to a minimum. If you have a dog that gets easily stressed, preparing a dog-safe room with bed, blankets, toys and water away from the festivities, hustle and bustle may be an option for the pet’s safety.

Also remember to ensure that your trash is completely sealed off so that your pet cannot access it and rummage for “goodies.” There are a lot of dangers that lurk within that garbage, including turkey bones, butter, fat, string for tying up the turkey and more. It all takes a little effort to ward off the dangers of the holidays when it comes to showing your appreciation for all the family, together with your canine. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

 

By Susan LeeRockford Pet Care ExaminerAnimal Care Blog. Be the most educated pet parent!

Related:

Pancreatitis in Dogs 

Don’t Let This Organ Ruin Your Pet’s Life 

Can Dogs Eat Nuts? 

No-No Foods for Pets

“Holidays Are Great and Fun To Share With Our Pets, As Long As We Avoid the No-No Foods”

Common Foods That Are Harmful Or Even Fatal to Dogs

Pets and Toxic Plants

More Dogs (and Cats) Getting High, Sick and Fat In States Where Marijuana Is Legal

November 17, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets | , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Best "Pet" Food Money Can Buy… And the Absolute Worst

Story at-a-glance

  • The pet food industry in the U.S. is relatively young, which is surprising when you consider the vast and confusing array of pet food offerings available on the market. Prepared pet food has only been around for about 60 years, and has experienced most of its growth spurt in just the last 30 years.
  • World War II introduced Americans to two things that have shown great staying power – dry pet food and processed human food, which would also ultimately have a tremendous impact on the pet food industry.
  • After WWII, the U.S. enjoyed a period of tremendous growth and expansion in every direction. During those boom years, in response to the tremendous increase in consumer appetites, the human food industry created vast quantities of waste from slaughterhouses, grain mills, and processing plants. Pet food manufacturers – still in their infancy — immediately understood the unlimited opportunity of human food waste to their industry. By 1960, pet food companies had figured out how to mass-produce dry pet food to meet growing consumer demand for pet “convenience” foods.
  • There’s a problem, however. Carnivorous dogs and cats have not evolved to digest and assimilate the primary ingredients in the vast majority of commercially prepared pet foods. As a result, for over a half-century we’ve created dozens of generations of animals that suffer from degenerative diseases linked to nutritional deficiencies.
  • To be optimally healthy, dogs and cats need unadulterated, fresh, moisture-rich whole foods. They don’t need grains, fillers, artificial preservatives, colors, additives, chemicals, or byproducts. Although animals can eat some processed foods, they aren’t designed to consume a lifetime of dry or canned diets.

Pet Food Industry

By Dr. Becker

Commercially prepared pet food in the U.S. has a relatively short (less than 100 years), but interesting history. Believe it or not, the only food made exclusively for pets prior to the early 1920s were dog biscuits!

During the 1920s and ‘30s, the pet food market began to expand a bit. Americans with enough money to purchase their pet’s food could find dehydrated, pelleted and canned formulas made from meat and grain mill scraps. But most pets were still fed primarily raw meat and table scraps, plus whatever food they hunted for themselves.

The Great Depression of the 1930s and early ‘40s had a significant impact on the growth of the commercial pet food market, however, lack of industry regulation invited anyone who wanted to make a buck to produce a can or bag of pet food. During that period, canned pet food accounted for over 90 percent of the market.

During World War II (1939 to 1945), not only was metal rationed, but pet food was categorized as “non-essential” by the U.S. government. The combination spelled death for the canned pet food industry. In addition, food rationing led to fewer table scraps. Pet owners who could afford to bought dry pet food or dog biscuits – the only commercially available products at the time.

Byproducts of WWII: Dry Pet Food and Processed Human Food

Unfortunately, the American pet owner’s love of dry pet food has endured well past the end of World War II. The war also sparked the processed food revolution in the U.S. Spam and similar products were developed in the 1930s to feed the troops abroad and to help with food rationing restrictions at home. All the factors that made processed food attractive to humans ultimately had a significant impact on the pet food industry as well.

The period after the end of WWII was a time of enormous economic growth and expansion in the U.S. Jobs were plentiful and more Americans were able to buy their own homes. As more families moved out of cities to suburbia, giant supermarkets replaced small grocery stores. Consumer demand for processed foods, for fast food – for food in general – kept pace with increases in educational and employment opportunities, individual wealth, and ever-expanding lifestyle options.

In responding to the tremendous increase in U.S. consumer appetites, the human food industry created vast quantities of agricultural scraps from slaughterhouses, grain mills, and processing plants. Pet food manufacturers immediately understood the unlimited opportunity of human food waste to their industry.

By 1960, Pet Food Companies Were Able to Mass-Market Kibble

It’s absolutely true — our pet population provides a place for recycling waste from the human food industry. Grains that fail inspection, uninspected pieces and parts of waste from the seafood industry, leftover restaurant grease, deceased livestock, and even roadkill is collected and disposed of through rendering — a process that converts all sorts of human food industry waste into raw materials for the pet food industry.

In the late 1950s, a U.S. pet food company developed a way to create kibble from boiling cauldrons of meat, fat and grain scraps – it’s called extrusion. The raw materials are purchased by pet food manufacturers who then blend the rendered fat and meat with starch fillers. They add bulk vitamin and mineral supplements, and then they extrude the mix at high temperatures, creating all sorts of toxic reactions including advanced glycation end products and heterocyclic amines. This is what passes for pet food and it’s sold to consumers at a tremendous profit.

This “advancement” in manufacturing allowed pet food companies to capitalize on the popularity of kibble. Now, they were able to mass-market the type of pet food most popular with U.S. pet owners due to its convenience and low cost.

Today, there are hundreds of kibbles, canned and semi-most dog and cat foods to choose from. This is remarkable, given that not quite 60 years ago, commercial pet food was almost unheard of.

Have We Chosen Convenience Over the Health of Our Pets?

No one really argues with the fact that in order for optimal health to occur, animals – including humans — must consume the foods they were designed to eat, and preferably whole, fresh and unadulterated. This is known as species-appropriate nutrition. For example, vegetarian animals must eat vegetation for optimal health. Carnivores must eat fresh whole prey for optimal health.

Carnivorous pets have not evolved to digest and assimilate foods like corn, wheat, rice or potatoes – yet these are the very foods the vast majority of pet food manufacturers use as primary ingredients in their formulas. Fortunately, dogs and cats are extremely resilient creatures. Not only do they not die immediately upon eating biologically inappropriate foods, but it often takes years before the significant physical degeneration that occurs from a lifetime of eating the wrong foods becomes noticeable.

One of the reasons we’re able to deceive ourselves into believing convenience pet foods are good for dogs and cats is because the changes to a pet’s health and vitality brought on by a dead, processed diet are usually not immediate or acute.

For over a half-century, our pets have been fed inappropriate diets that have kept them alive, but not thriving. In fact, we’ve created dozens of generations of animals that suffer from degenerative diseases linked to nutritional deficiencies.

Optimal Nutrition for Your Dog or Cat

Dogs and cats need quality protein, fats, and a small amount of vegetables and fruits, which provide antioxidants and fiber to animals that no longer hunt whole prey.

Natural sources of trace minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids must be added, since the soils in which foods are grown are depleted of many of the nutrients pets need. Also, food storage, whether it’s in a freezer or a pantry, decreases critical essential fatty acid levels in foods.

Pets need unadulterated, fresh, whole foods that are moisture dense. They don’t need grains, fillers, artificial preservatives, colors, additives, chemicals, byproducts, or processed foods. Although animals can eat some processed foods, they aren’t designed to consume a lifetime of dry or canned diets.

If you would like to learn more about the importance of fresh, whole, unprocessed diets for dogs and cats, I recommend you watch or read my three-part series on raw food diets for pets:

Part 1 — The Feeding Mistake Linked to the Cause of Most Disease-Are You Making It?
Part 2 — The Biggest Myths About Raw Food (And Why They’re Mostly Nonsense)
Part 3 – Common Feeding Mistakes That Can Harm Your Pet

You can also find a vast amount of additional information here at Mercola Healthy Pets on how to choose the best foods for your pet, and what foods to avoid.

Ditch This Pet Food Now – Can Be Deadly to Your Pets 

Dr. Becker’s Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats: Simple Homemade Food – Cookbook

Surprise, Surprise… the Best Food for Dogs Is Homemade Food

Real meat is the best food for your dog….nothing else even comes close.

The best food for your dog is . . .

Real food. Fresh food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, fish. Fresh vegetables. Yogurt, eggs, cottage cheese.

No, this is not "people food." Calling real food "people food" makes it sound as though people are the only living creatures entitled to eat real food. That’s not true.

ALL living creatures deserve real, fresh food.

"You can boost your pet’s health profoundly by making one simple decision. All you have to do is change his diet from commercial-brand fare to something you may never have imagined giving him – real food. The fresh food you buy at the market for yourself is the food you should give your pet, too."

Generations of dogs lived to ripe old ages on fresh foods…before the pet food corporations came along and changed (ruined) everything.

Dog food corporations. "Just say no."

Dogs have been domesticated for about 15,000 years (that’s amazing, isn’t it?) and up until the 1930s, they were NEVER fed "kibble" or "canned" brands from a store. Dogs were fed real meat and vegetables, and a little homemade bread. On this diet they thrived, frequently living into their late teens.

Dogs didn’t eat kibble until the 1930s when the grain and meat industries needed a market for their rejects.

That all changed in the 1930s, when cereal and grain manufacturers were looking for something profitable to do with their rejected cereals and grain – their wheat and corn that failed USDA inspection because of mold, rancidity, and other contaminants.

These companies discovered that hey, the meat industry faced the same dilemma – meat that failed USDA inspection because it had spoiled or because the livestock was diseased.

The ingenious idea of mixing the rejects together and calling it "dog food" was born.

Marketing firms spent an enormous amount of money planting this lamentable idea in the public’s mind, and today commercial diets are promoted by multi-billion dollar pet food corporations and the veterinary industry, both of whom have a huge financial stake in getting you to feed these products.

But processed kibble and canned products were not then – nor are they now – "dog food."

Real dog food was, is, and always will be real food.  That’s what your dog should be eating.

"The whole concept of Insta-Meal for humans is repulsive. Most people would soon be climbing the walls in frustration, desperate for a salad or some fruit – anything whole and fresh, or just different. Perhaps the thought of eating kibbles for the rest of your own life helps make the point that pets forced to do so are being shortchanged. All of us – humans and animals – should have fresh, wholesome, unprocessed food in our daily diet.

The awful ingredients in commercial "dog food"

THE GRAIN

Virtually all dog food brands are heavily based on fibrous grains and cereals. But dogs do not have the long, winding digestive tract required to digest fibrous grains and cereals. Dogs have a short straight digestive tract designed to digest meat.

Many dogs who eat corn, soybeans, or wheat develop health problems.Excessive shedding or dandruff. Loose stools. Gassiness and flatulence. Itchy skin, where your dog licks his feet or rubs his face against the carpet, trying to ease the itch. You might never think to associate these problems with the grain in your dog’s diet, but that is often the case.

To make matters worse, GOOD grain is reserved for the human market. What goes into the pet food bin is deemed unfit for human consumption because of mold, rancidity, or contaminants – yuck!

THE MEAT

Unless a dog food brand says its meat passed USDA inspection…it didn’t.

Contrary to what the dog food companies show you on TV commercials, your dog doesn’t get sirloin from a healthy cow who spent its life cropping grass, nor does he get white chicken breast from a hen who spent its life pecking happily around the barnyard.

No, your dog gets the meat that didn’t make the cut for the human market – 4D meat from livestock that was Diseased,Disabled, Dying, or already Dead when it arrived at the slaughterhouse. It won’t pass USDA inspection, so into the pet food bin it goes….

….along with the growth hormones that were fed to the livestock to make them grow faster…and with the antibiotics fed to the livestock to prevent massive outbreaks of disease in their crowded living conditions. These hormones and antibiotics trickle through to your dog.

THE GREASY FAT

You know that pungent smell that wafts up from a freshly opened bag of kibble? That’s greasy fat sprayed onto the hard little pebbles to tempt your dog to eat it. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be recognizable to him as food. So dogs gobble up their kibble for the same reason kids gobble up french fries. But we don’t let our kids eat only french fries just because they love the smell or taste, do we?

Bags of kibble can sit on a shelf for so long because of the chemical preservatives.

THE PRESERVATIVES

Preservatives make the bags and cans last longer That’s convenient for the dog food company, which can leave it sitting in their warehouse for a long time. Convenient for the retailer who can leave it sitting on his shelf for a long time. Convenient for the owner who can leave it in the pantry for a long time, then pour it into his dog’s bowl and leave it sitting there all day if necessary.

But what is this stuff that keeps ingredients from spoiling?

The most common dog food preservatives are BHA and BHT (both of which are associated with liver and kidney dysfunction, and bladder and stomach cancer) and ethoxyquin, which is manufactured by that giant chemical corporation Monsanto as a rubber preservative. The Department of Agriculture lists it as a pesticide. OSHA lists it as a hazardous chemical. The containers are marked POISON.

All 3 chemicals are banned in Europe, but because their manufacturers have so much legislative clout here in the U.S., they’re still tolerated here. Sad, but true.

"Good news!" you say. "None of those preservatives are in MY dog food brand." Well, not so fast. Even when it’s not listed, it can be in there, anyway. A legal loophole, you see, allows dog food companies to only list what they themselves put into the bag. If they buy some of their ingredients from a supplier who has already added the chemical, the dog food company doesn’t have to disclose that on the bag.

Isn’t that nice?

THE UNRECOGNIZABLE INGREDIENTS

Brewer’s rice? Wheat bran? Beet pulp? Corn gluten? Do you know what any of that stuff is? Can you see yourself picking up a bag of corn gluten or a carton of beet pulp for your dog’s supper?

What about animal digest? This ingredient is officially described as "material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue." Doesn’t that sound tasty? It’s actually a boiled concoction from the rendering plant, and the "animal tissue" can include anything from cattle to rats to roadkill to dogs and cats euthanized at the animal shelter. Yes, the FDA has found sodium pentobarbital – the chemical used to euthanize animals – in some brands of dog food.

Australian veterinarian Dr. Ian Billinghurst says:

"If you look at the ingredient list on a can or a bag of pet food – with understanding – you will realise that what is being listed is a heap of rubbish. Definitely not the wholesome nutritious food you would want to feed to a valued member of your family!"

Artificial diets are causing health problems in dogs.

How commercial dog food affects your dog’s health

Every day, unhappy dogs parade through veterinary offices. They suffer from:

  • itching
  • hot spots
  • dandruff
  • excessive shedding
  • foot-licking
  • face-rubbing
  • loose stools
  • gassiness

What are these dogs eating? Virtually every one of them is eating an artificial diet.

"Since I graduated from veterinary school in 1965, I’ve noticed a general deterioration in pet health. We now see very young animals with diseases that we used to see only in older animals. Without the perspective of several decades, vets just coming out of veterinary school think these degenerative conditions in younger animals are "normal." They do not realize what has happened over the passage of time.

I believe, along with poor quality nutrients, the chemical additives in pet food play a major part in that decline. Pet foods contain slaughterhouse wastes, toxic products from spoiled foodstuffs, non-nutritive fillers, heavy-metal contaminants, pesticides, herbicides, drug residues, sugar, and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives."

Dr. Martin Goldstein D.V.M. sums it up:

"When I tell an owner that a change of diet can affect her pet’s health in a matter of days, the first reaction is usually delight, sometimes even exhilaration."

Dr. Richard Pitcairn D.V.M.  Packaged and canned dog food like packaged and jarred baby food and insta-meals or artificial diets for people are not only not better but are generally bad for those who eat them. Insta-meals, commercial baby food and commercial pet food are industries dreamed up for profits by entrepreneurs that only get worse as the companies and their focus on profits gets bigger.

Without a doubt pets who eat real healthy food live longer and healthier lives… and it saves on the vet bills! 

And cooking for your pets does not have to be a chore.  They can eat many of the same things you eat and there are some great recipes for meats, stews, etc that you can fix for both you and your pet!

h/t to my great friend and vet Dr. Susan for sending this article~

Resources

The Natural Pet Food Cookbook: Healthful Recipes for Dogs and Cats

Everything Cooking for Dogs Book: 150 Quick and Easy Healthy Recipes Your Dog Will Bark For (Everything: Cooking)

Keep Your Dog Healthy the Natural Way

Your Purebred Puppy, Second Edition: A Buyer’s Guide, Completely Revised and Updated

Cooking for Your Dog

Bone Appetit!: Gourmet Cooking for Your Dog

And after dinner how about a nice massage?

November 14, 2013 Posted by | Animal Related Education, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

3 Reasons Your Dog’s Urine Kills Your Grass – And What to Do About It

Story at-a-glance

  • Most veterinarians at one time or another get questions from clients about why their dog’s urine burns the grass … and what they can do about it.
  • There are three reasons a dog’s urine burns grass: an alkaline pH, concentrated (vs. dilute) urine, and nitrogen load. The most important factor of the three is urine pH.
  • Dogs are carnivores, and as such, their urine pH should be on the acidic side – ideally from 6 to 6.5, but no more than 7. A urine pH over 7 will not only burn your grass, it can predispose your pet to struvite crystals and other urinary tract disorders.
  • A dog’s urine pH can often be maintained in the healthy range by feeding a species-appropriate diet — low-carb, grain-free, potato-free, and preferably fresh or at least canned food for the increased moisture content.
  • If improving your dog’s urine pH doesn’t fully resolve the problem of your burned lawn, alternatives are to water down the spots where he urinates, or cover the area with about an inch of compost to help rebalance the soil pH.

Dog Urine

By Dr. Becker

A question veterinarians get asked all the time by pet owners is, “Why does my dog’s urine seem to kill my grass?” And “Is there anything I can do about it?” Actually, there is. Your pet’s urine pH has a lot to do with whether your grass stays green.

Since winter is on the way and in many parts of the U.S. people won’t be thinking about their lawns for a few months, I thought now would be a good time to offer some tips on how to naturally adjust your dog’s urine pH so he or she will be less likely to burn the grass next spring and summer.

The Three Reasons a Dog’s Urine Burns the Grass

There are three primary reasons why dog urine burns grass: alkaline urine pH, the concentration of the urine, and its nitrogen load. The most important of these factors is urine pH. The best way to find out which is the causative factor in your dog’s situation is to drop a urine sample off at your vet for a urinalysis.

Concentrated urine has more solutes (particles) than dilute urine, which can affect grass health. The reason many people believe female dogs kill more grass than males is because females typically squat and pee in one spot (depositing a whopper load of solutes), whereas males tend to urinate in smaller amounts as they wander from spot to spot.

In my experience, urine nitrogen can affect grass health, but only when the nitrogen load is very high. Normal nitrogenous waste excreted in urine should not kill the grass. But if a dog’s urine pH is in the correct range and his urinalysis shows a high nitrogen level, some pet owners have had success reducing urine nitrogen levels with products like Dog Rocks.

Your Dog’s Urine pH Should Be Between 6 and 6.5

Dogs are carnivores and should have a slightly acidic urine pH of between 6 and 6.5. (The higher the urine pH, the more alkaline it is.) Vegetarian mammals like rabbits and horses naturally have a very alkaline urine pH. Human urine is naturally slightly more alkaline (6.5-7), and many pet owners wrongly assume their dog’s body functions in the same manner as their own.

It’s important to keep your healthy dog’s urine pH below 7, because a higher pH will not only burn your lawn – it will predispose your dog to developing struvite crystals. The flip side of that coin is a urine pH below 6, which can cause dogs to develop a different type of problem — calcium oxalate stones. So for the health of both your dog and your lawn, you should strive to keep your pet’s urine pH right around 6.5, and no higher than 7.

I recommend buying pH strips from your vet or at the local drug store to check your pet’s urine pH at home so you know when it’s in or outside the desired range. In the morning prior to feeding your dog is when you should collect the urine sample. You can either hold the pH tape in the stream of urine while your dog is voiding, or you can catch a urine sample in a container and dip the tape into the sample to check the pH. This should be done immediately with a fresh sample to insure accuracy. Don’t measure urine pH throughout the day after feeding your pet.

Dietary Recommendations to Lower Your Dog’s Urine pH

When we feed carnivores a cereal-based diet, their urine becomes alkaline as a result, and alkaline urine burns grass. Meat-based diets are innately acidic, which is perfect for carnivores. Alkalizing diets are not a good idea for carnivores. Not only do they create urine that burns grass, more importantly, they very often are the cause of chronic urinary tract infections (UTIs) because lack of acidity removes the antimicrobial activity in urine. Alkaline urine can also create cystitis (irritation of the lining of the bladder), crystals, and even uroliths, or stones, that require surgery.

Dry foods increase urine concentrations and also ammonia levels. Ammonia has a pH of 10 or more. A moisture-rich diet promotes a healthy specific gravity (urine concentration) that decreases the likelihood the urine will burn your lawn. In fact, a healthy dog’s urine should act as a fertilizer — everywhere she pees, the grass should be twice as dark, lush and tall as surrounding grass.

Often, a dog’s urine pH can be maintained naturally between 6 and 6.5 by feeding a species-appropriate diet. To reduce urine pH you must feed a low-carb, grain-free, potato-free, and preferably fresh or at least canned food diet for the increased moisture content.

There are products on the market to reduce urine pH that contain the acidifying amino acid DL-methionine. This is a safe addition to your dog’s diet, but a more logical approach is to simply stop feeding grains and alkalizing foods.

Other Tips for Protecting Your Lawn from Urine Scalding

If you’ve managed to get your dog’s urine pH into the 6 to 6.5 range and his vet says his urinalysis is perfect, but he’s still killing your lawn, there are a couple of other ways to deal with those burn marks.

One way is to hose down or at least pour water on the patch of grass as soon as your pet urinates. I have a client who walks his dog in the grassy common area in his condominium complex. He keeps a couple of 16 oz. bottles filled with tap water, and grabs one along with the dog leash and poop bag whenever he takes his dog out to relieve himself. When the dog urinates, my client follows behind him and splashes or pours water on the spot.

Alternatively, you can cover the area with about an inch of compost. Either method will help rebalance the soil pH and reduce urine burning.

November 11, 2013 Posted by | Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dog Age…

A popular old wives’ tale claims that one year of a dog’s life is equal to seven human years. This has been proven to be false. For example, dogs are capable of reproducing at around one year of age, but a seven-year-old child is far from sexually mature. Veterinarians have now come up with a much more realistic comparison between human and dog years.  This new chart has been updated from pet age charts created just a couple years back.

The chart below is an average for a small to middle-sized dog in good health, but there are many factors… breed, health, living conditions, etc. 

Generally speaking the larger the dog, the shorter their lifespan, but there are always exceptions and each breed as well as each dog is different.  One of the shortest living breeds are Great Danes, who live between 7 and 12 years.  The oldest dogs living now are a 32-year-old Chihuahua and two Dachshunds at 26 and 28-years old.

The differences in dog age compared to human age begin at around age 6.  Example… at age 6 small dog is equivalent to 40 in human years, a medium sized dog is more like 42 in human age and a large dog is closer to age 45 and the gaps become wider each year.

Dog Years Chart

Related:

How Long Will Your Dog Be with You? It Depends Heavily on This…

A Dog’s Life… Can Be Longer Than You Think…

Part 2 of Dr. Becker’s Interview with Bestselling Author Ted Kerasote: The Seven Factors that Determine How Long Your Dog Will Live

Pukka’s Promise: The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs, by Bestselling Author Ted Kerasote – Available in Bookstores This Week!

World’s Oldest Dog Dies At Age 26….Requiescat in pace

Pet owners turning to non-traditional

A Natural Herb That Fights Cancer, or Chemotherapy for Your Sick Pet… Which Would You Choose?

‘Until One Has Loved an Animal, Part of Their Sour Remains Unawakened’

Adopt a Senior Pet…

WCBM’s Les Kinsolving’s beautiful tribute to Brendan, Griffen, and all dogs and dog owners

How Long Will Your Dog Be with You? It Depends Heavily on This…

The Nutrient Your Pet Needs More of As They Age: Protein 

Life in a Dog Pack: Old Age 

Cat & Dog Owners Not Considering Age When Selecting Food

‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’

GoD and DoG 

If I Should Die Before My Dog…

Providing for Your Pet’s Future Without You

In Pets We Trust  -  Also see:  Every Dog’s Legal Guide 

Pet Alzheimer’s Disease – Is Your Dog or Cat Showing Signs? 

Celebrating Animals in the Afterlife

Your Dying Pet End Life in a Kind and Gentle Way

A Dog’s Purpose – Out of the Mouth of Babes

Pet owners turning to non-traditional

A Natural Herb That Fights Cancer, or Chemotherapy for Your Sick Pet… Which Would You Choose?

‘Until One Has Loved an Animal, Part of Their Sour Remains Unawakened’

Beck family spends time with Victor – Photos

The Kindest Decision – In Home Euthanasia for Pets

Rainbow Bridge…

Books

Animals and the Afterlife: True Stories of Our Best Friends’ Journey Beyond Death (Kindle)

Canine and Feline Geriatric Oncology: Honoring the Human-Animal Bond (Kindle)

Help Your Dog Fight Cancer: What Every Caretaker Should Know About Canine Cancer, Featuring Bullet’s Survival Story, 2nd Edition

November 2, 2013 Posted by | Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , | 2 Comments

5 Halloween Safety Tips for Your Cats and Dogs

 Dad Can We Please Take Off Our Costumes - Halloween 2008-2 sm

Parade with some JOMP embellishments: Halloween is a fun holiday for kids and adults. Unfortunately, it’s not always the best time of year for cats and dogs. Here are five tips to keep your pets safe.

1. No Sweets for Your Sweetie

Several popular Halloween treats are toxic to pets. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol sweetener can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leads to lack of coordination and seizures. Chocolate, especially baker’s and dark chocolate, can also be potentially poisonous to animals, especially dogs. Symptoms of significant chocolate ingestion may include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, increased thirst and urination, heart rhythm abnormalities, and even seizures. If  your dog or cat accidentally ingests any potentially harmful products and you need emergency advice, please consult with your veterinarian immediately.  Raisins and macadamia nuts are also no-no foods for pets.

2. Watch Out for Those Wrappers

Cats love to play with candy wrappers, but ingesting aluminum foil or cellophane can cause intestinal blockage and induce vomiting.

3. Careful with Costumes

If you dress up your pet for Halloween, make sure the costume does not limit his movement, hearing, sight, or ability to breathe, bark, or drink. Also check the costume for choking hazards.  Also make sure the costumes are inflammable. A simple festive Halloween bandana can be A smart alternative to dressing your pet from head-to-paw, especially if they don’t like dressing up!

4. Decorations Can Be Dangerous

Re-think putting candles in jack-o-lanterns. Pets can easily knock these over and start a fire, and curious kittens are particularly at risk of getting burned by candle flames. (There are many alternatives to candles and open flames these days.) Also take care to prevent your pets from having access to wires and cords from holiday decorations. If chewed, a wire can damage your pet’s mouth with shards of glass or plastic, or deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock.

5. Trick-or-Treating is for Kids, not Pets

During trick-or-treating hours, it’s generally best to keep pets in a room away from your front door. Halloween brings a flurry of activity with visitors constantly arriving at the door, and pets may escape the safety of your home. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with identification tags.

*TIP: If you have social pets, who like people and like to dress-up, put up a babygate at the door.  That cuts down on the door bell rings.

**And every pet is different… I used to live in a close knit neighborhood where several of the supervising parents took their big dogs (labs and setters) out with them as they walked with their kids to trick or treat and one took her Chihuahua out in a costume in her purse… but these are exceptions rather that the rule.

image

Halloween Pet Treats

Your pets don’t have to be left out of the fun.  You can make delicious pet friendly Halloween treats that they’ll enjoy. Pounce on over here for easy-to-make treats for your cats, dogs, and horses. And have a safe and fun Halloween.

By Michele C. Hollow  who writes the pet-friendly blog Pet News and Views. She is the author of The Everything Guide to Working with Animals: From dog groomer to wildlife rescuer – tons of great jobs for animal lovers (Everything (Pets) (Kindle), and is working on a book about a WWI service dog.

*Be sure to check back here at Just One More Pet throughout the week for more Halloween and holiday tips for pet parents and for lots of fun Halloween pet photos.

October 28, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Chihuahua, Chiweenie, Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Dogs and Cats

101723373By Dr. Becker

Obsessive compulsive behaviors occur in many types of animals, including horses, dogs, cats, exotic birds, pigs and many zoo inhabitants.

Two of the most common behaviors in dogs are obsessive licking which results in acral lick dermatitis (ALD), also known as a lick granuloma, and tail chasing.

In cats, common obsessive behaviors include wool-sucking (pica, or the eating of non-food substances) and psychogenic alopecia, which is hair loss and baldness from excessive grooming of the hair and skin.

According to Veterinary Practice News:

"In people with OCD—and by inference in animals exhibiting compulsive behavior—the cycle goes something like this: Anxiety leads to engagement in a repetitive behavior (a compulsion), which affords temporary relief. Later a constantly recurring thought (an obsession) occurs that causes escalating anxiety. Engagement in the compulsion relieves the anxiety, and so the cycle is propagated."

Animals with compulsive disorders tend to be relatively anxious and high strung. It isn’t common to find OCD-type behavior in laidback animals. An anxious nature may be inherited, however, research indicates a component of ‘nurture,’ for example, a high conflict situation, is necessary for expression of a compulsive behavior.

In considering treatment for a pet with OCD, according to Veterinary Practice News:

"Environmental enrichment alone will not normally reverse a compulsive disorder, but a stress-free, user-friendly environment can prevent compulsive behavior from developing in the first place and make relapse less likely after successful pharmacological treatment."

Preventing a dog or cat from performing a compulsive behavior by physically restraining the animal in some way only leads to more anxiety, not less.

Dr. Becker’s Comments:

Unfortunately, I see a lot of pet dog and cat obsessive compulsive disorders in my practice.

It’s a curse among the many blessings of modern day life and convenience. As much as we love the animals we share our lives with, and as concerned as we are about their health and happiness, very few of us are in a position to allow our pets to live according to their true canine or feline nature.

In my recent interview with Ted Kerasote, we talked about understanding the essential nature of dogs, and how left to their own devices, our canine companions would live extremely active lives, with tremendous amounts of outdoor activity. This is their genetic destiny as descendants of wolves.

Our kitties are natural loners, hunters and athletes. Their place in our lives as indoor-only feline royalty really doesn’t afford them the opportunity to flex their genetic muscles.

Suggestions to Prevent, Control or Reduce OCD in Your Pet

First things first: optimize the physical health of your dog or cat.

If your dog or cat is well-nourished with species-appropriate food, is in good physical condition from plenty of heart-thumping exercise, and is neither over vaccinated nor over medicated, congratulations! You’ve already built a fantastically solid foundation for excellent physical and mental health in your pet.

I don’t see too many extremely healthy, physically active animals with intractable OCD at Natural Pet (my animal hospital).

I also recommend you take your dog or cat to the vet for a wellness exam to insure the source of the obsessive behavior is indeed behavioral and not a physical condition, such as thyroid disease, which needs to be addressed.

If Your Pet is a Dog

Most dogs, especially larger breeds, just aren’t as physically active as they’re designed to be. It can be a challenge to tire out a big dog, especially one of the working or sporting breeds.

If your dog is performing compulsive behaviors, try increasing his exercise. Some suggestions:

  • Walks and hikes
  • Take your dog for a swim
  • Play fetch-the-ball
  • Bike ride with a special dog bike leash
  • Play hide-and-seek with treats and toys
  • Roller blade or jog alongside your dog
  • Get involved in obedience or tracking events, flyball, agility or other sports

I also recommend you help your dog stay mentally stimulated with chew toys and treat-release toys like the Clever K-9. Also place small treats around the house for her to discover, along with other favorite toys.

You might also consider investing in a D.A.P.™ collar or diffuser for your dog. D.A.P.™ is an acronym for Dog Appeasing Pheromone and is designed to have a calming affect on dogs. The collar seems to work well for many dog owners with pups suffering from stress-related behaviors.

Talk with your holistic vet about homeopathic remedies for obsessive behaviors. You can also try a product like Spirit Essences Obsession Remedy.

If You’re Owned by a Cat

Changes in routine are extremely stressful for kitties. When you disrupt your pet’s routine, it translates to him as a loss of control over his very survival.

If a cat in your household is exhibiting OCD behaviors, the first thing you’ll want to do is dramatically limit the number of unusual external events your pet is exposed to.

Cats are independent. They like to set their own schedules, exert full control over their environment, and depend only on themselves for survival.

Just because your beloved feline lives in the house with you doesn’t mean he’s lost his drive to rule the roost. So the more you can do to help your cat feel in control and not an alien in a foreign land, the less stress he’ll endure.

Some suggestions for environmental enrichment for your kitty:

  • Feeding and routine care (litter box scooping, brushing, etc.) should happen at the same time each day.
  • Keep food bowls and litter boxes in the same spot – don’t move them around unnecessarily.
  • Keep litter boxes clean, as well as bedding.
  • Provide an assortment of appropriate cat toys, hiding boxes, scratching posts/trees, etc., and make sure your pet has plenty, if not constant access to these goodies.
  • Consider playing soothing music for an hour or two each day.

You might also consider treat or food-dispensing toys for cats, window perches, and kitty videos.

Spend some time every day playing with your cat, using interactive toys like a laser pointer or Da Bird.

Also consider feline stress remedies by Spirit Essences and OptiBalance cat and kitten formulas. Discuss homeopathic remedies for obsessive behavior with your holistic vet.

Pharmacotherapy for Pet OCD

As you might have guessed, I’m not a big fan of the use of SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Prozac and Zoloft) or N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) blockers in the treatment of obsessive behaviors in animals.

They are sometimes appropriate in extreme, intractable cases and/or when an animal is causing harm to himself. Sometimes they can be used as an interim measure to interrupt the cycle of behavior at the same time other less harmful remedies are being attempted.

But my general recommendation is to try a wide variety of natural remedies first, since every drug has side effects.

October 6, 2013 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , | 2 Comments

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