Book:Health and Nutrition for DOGS and CATS:A Guide for Pet Parents by David G. Wellock, ENTER TO WIN!

As many of you know who have followed Dakota’s blog for some time now,  I consider myself to be a “dog hobbyist or a pet parent.”  Dakota is the first dog that I have had the pleasure of sharing my home and life with as an adult, and the only other dog that I shared my life with was a Boxer named Brandy when I was a toddler. As a “dog hobbyist or a pet parent” there are red-flag topics that I felt that I wouldn’t broach on his blog, and were better left to those in the dog blogging world that I consider to be “Dog Experts, (either by virtue of their “pedigree” or their life experience).” What topics are those?

Health and Nutrition

I have always felt if I were going to attempt to discuss my red flag topics it would boil down to regurgitating information from the internet, but much of that information is difficult to understand, and taking the time to peruse it? Much worse! For those of you who are like me, “dog hobbyists or pet parents” and need and would like information and guidance from those that ARE “in-the-know”, our prayers have been answered! Enter  the book Health and Nutrition for DOGS and CATS: A Guide for Pet Parents by David G. Wellock, which I am delighted to say was sent to me by the author, to share with all of YOU!

Click on the book cover to visit the publisher Rowman.com

Click on the book cover to visit the publisher Rowman.com

FROM THE PUBLISHER: Health and Nutrition for DOGS and CATS: A Guide for Pet Parents by David G. Wellock is timely, informative, and delivers sensible information on topics of importance to all pet owners.  From reading pet food labels to storing food, from understanding appropriate calorie intake to food allergies, David Wellock helps readers better understand the dietary needs of their dogs and cats.

David G. Wellock is a “seasoned expert in the care and feeding of dogs and cats. He provides fact-filled, no nonsense, understandable information on the topics pet parents need to know in order to purchase and prepare food and develop an appropriate diet for their furry charges.”

For me, this is not a book that I would sit and read the way I would a novel, rather,  it is an invaluable resource that I will refer to again and again. Take a look at a few of the chapter topics and you will see why:

  • The Rise of Pet Foods
  • Shopping for your Pet’s Food
  • How to Read a Pet Food Package
  • Nutrition and Osteoarthritis
  • Dental Details
  • Urinary Disorders
  • The Scoop on Poop

Want to know?

  • About grain-free diets?
  • Red-flag ingredients that should NEVER be in the food that you purchase

One of my personal favorites from this book is a list of:

Dave’s Table Scrap Rules:

  • Leftovers designated for your pets should consist of lean meats and veggies
  • All things in moderation
  • Portion control

Just to name a few!

What I love about Dave, (yes, “Dave!”  is that his writing style isn’t lecturing, condescending or “preachy”, his style is such that you feel as if you can have a conversation with him without feeling intimidated!)  also,  that after fourteen years in the pet food business (he had opened his own store!), he is “still learning about cats and dogs and their nutrition and health issues.” Dave says: ” Much of the knowledge I have acquired over these years has come to me as a result of interaction with customers and their pets. My store became my school, and my customers and their pets my teachers. My opinions are anecdotal rather than scientific, based on my experiences in dealing with thousands of customers and their pets. Hopefully whatever passes for wisdom and insight on the pages of this book will benefit you, my fellow two-footers, in your dealings with those furry family members sharing your life.”

There you have it, a book written for the “dog hobbyist” (as I like to refer to myself) or as Dave lovingly says “parent of a pet” or  “paropet.” A book written in language that even I can make sense of, I am certain that you will be able to as well!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: David G. Wellock is the owner/operator of a franchised Global Pet Foods store in St.Catharines, Ontario, Canada, where he currently resides. 

ONE LUCKY PERSON WHO RESIDES IN THE USA WILL BE ABLE TO ENTER TO WIN A SIGNED COPY (A $36 value!)!

HOW TO ENTER: just leave a comment telling me what your dog’s (or cat’s or pig’s or whatever!) favorite food is (the “favorite food” can be “people food” or commercial!) The give-away is open NOW and will end MONDAY JUNE 17TH AT 5PM. Comments that do NOT  follow the requirement will be disqualified. WINNER will be chosen by random.org and will be announced WEDNESDAY JUNE 19th. 

Good luck!

If you can’t wait to see who wins the contest, you can purchase Health and Nutrition for DOGS and CATS: A Guide for Pet Parents, in either hardcover form or as an ebook by visiting the publisher by clicking here, or visiting Amazon by clicking here, or visiting Barnes & Noble by clicking here. 

 

 

 

 

Today is World Veterinary Day!

Logo taken from AVMA to visit their website click on the logo

Logo taken from AVMA to visit their website click on the logo

FROM AVMA:

On April 27, World Veterinary Day 2013 will seek to raise awareness of vaccination as a means to prevent disease.

The World Veterinary Association created World Veterinary Day in 2000 as an annual celebration of the veterinary profession, falling on the last Saturday of April. Each year, the WVA and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) choose a theme for the event.

“Vaccination of animals helps people to protect their livestock and their companion animals, as well as themselves in case of zoonotic diseases,” according to an online announcement for World Veterinary Day 2013. “Through well organised campaigns, vaccination contributes to the eradication of diseases from certain areas and even from the world.”

According to the announcement, the veterinary profession is crucial to the success of vaccination in protecting animal health.

 

I don't mind visiting my vet (THAT MUCH!) He keeps me healthy!

I don’t mind visiting my vet (THAT MUCH!) He keeps me healthy!

Mom and I were looking around the Internet because we wanted to share info with you about what vaccines your puppies and dogs should have, and here is what we found from WebMD:

How Important Are Vaccines to the Health of My Dog?

Bottom line-vaccines are very important in managing the health of your dog. That said, not every dog needs to be vaccinated against every disease. It is very important to discuss with your veterinarian a vaccination protocol that’s right for your dog. Factors that should be examined include age, medical history, environment, travel habits and lifestyle. Most vets highly recommend administering core vaccines to healthy dogs.

What Are Core Vaccines?

In 2006, the American Animal Hospital Association’s Canine Task Force published a revised version of guidelines regarding canine vaccinations. The guidelines divide vaccines into three categories-core, non-core and not recommended.

  • Core vaccines are considered vital to all dogs based on risk of exposure, severity of disease or transmissibility to humans. Canine parvovirusdistemper, canine hepatitis and rabies are considered core vaccines by the Task Force.
  • Non-core vaccines are given depending on the dog’s exposure risk. These include vaccines against Bordetella bronchiseptica, Borrelia burgdorferi and Leptospira bacteria. 

 

My Mom makes sure I am up-t0-date on all of my vaccines because they are super important! They don’t really even hurt that much do they? What do you think?

Barks and licks and love, 

Dakota

 

 

Seven Warning Signs That Your Pet Needs to See a Vet A Guest Blog By Dr. Ed Darrin, (CARES)

Little dogs beware, it’s one of the most common neurological problems in pets and quick action could mean the difference between life and death.

Dr. Ed Darrin, Board Certified Veterinary Neurologist at The Center for Animal Referral and Emergency Services (CARES) says there are Seven Warning Signs for Spinal Cord Injuries that all pet owners should be aware of. Here’s what you need to know:

The condition is a herniated spinal disc, a spinal cord injury that happens most often in smaller breed dogs but can occur in all breeds. The #1 breed where this happens is Dachshunds, with Chihuahuas, Beagles, Cocker Spaniels, and Shih Tzus also experiencing it more often.

Disc disease requires prompt diagnosis and treatment to prevent permanent paralysis or other long-term problems for the pet and its owner. This most often happens in middle age, from about age six on, however it can happen in dogs as young as two.

As a pet owner, it is important to be able to recognize signs of a disc herniation or other spinal cord injury. Here are the top 7 symptoms:

●    Arching of the back

●    Holding the neck stiff or refusal to turn or lift the head

●    Weakness of the legs (most often the hind legs, but any combination is possible)

●    Loss of coordination—dragging feet, walking on the knuckles, crossing the feet over, acting “drunk”

●    Holding a leg up in the air

●    Muscle spasms along the back, neck, or shoulders

●    Pain when touching along the back or neck

If you see any of these signs, your dog should be examined by your family veterinarian immediately to determine if it needs to be referred to a veterinary neurologist. Early signs of pain can progress to become worse injuries. Any loss of function in the legs (loss of strength or coordination) should be treated as a true emergency, and you should try to take your dog to an emergency clinic if your primary vet is unavailable. IF YOUR DOG HAS SIGNS OF A SPINAL CORD INJURY, IT IS IMPORTANT NOT TO WAIT.

If your vet suspects a spinal cord injury, they may prescribe anti-inflammatory or pain medication, or they may suggest advanced testing and treatment, depending on the severity of signs. For severe disc problems, specialty care is necessary for the best chance of recovery. Advanced imaging, such as MRI, can be used to diagnose the problem, and the most serious cases require spinal surgery. Primary care veterinarians will typically refer you to a board-certified veterinary neurologist for such procedures.

 

 

About the Center for Animal Referral and Emergency Services (CARES): CARES is a full service specialty referral, 24-hour emergency and critical care veterinary hospital, with one clear goal: to provide a gold standard of care for your pet. Our highly trained, hand selected and compassionate team of veterinarians pride themselves in collaboration between the CARES specialties as well as the referring veterinarian. By engaging multiple, dedicated professionals in the care of your pet, CARES provides the latest, most advanced and best treatments available. Specialty and referral services include: Anesthesiology, The Cancer Center at CARES, Cardiology, Clinical Pathology, Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Ophthalmology, Radiology and Surgery. Specialty cases are seen by referral from the primary care veterinarian. CARES also offers 24 hour emergency care. For more information, visit www.vetcares.com. You can also find CARES on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/CARESvet.

REJUV-A-WAFERS, “Give Your Pet the Power of Superfood!” And A GIVE-AWAY!

Hi everyone! Dakota’s Mom here. A few weeks ago I was contacted by the wonderful people at REJUV-A-WAFERS™asking if I would feature and review their product on Dakota’s blog. The product sounded as if it would be a wonderful addition to Dakota’s diet, so I happily agreed.

I believe in being completely honest with the products that I share with you on Dakota’s blog so I wanted to let you know that so far I have only given Dakota one wafer (which he gobbled up!) so I cannot speak about  how the product has  benefited HIM  so far but he eagerly ate it and I am going to continue to give him a wafer a day and see what benefits I notice.

I do believe that REJUV-A-WAFERS™are a wonderful addition to your dog’s diet (and to Dakota’s, REJUV-A-WAFERS™ may also be given to cats!) and I am pleased to share information about them from REJUV-A-WAFERS™ website.

“Cherish Every Moment, Nourish Everyday”

“Give Your Pet the Power of Superfood”

Managing your pet’s health is now easier with REJUV-A-WAFERS™, the quality pet Superfood used and recommended by America’s top breeders and veterinarians.

REJUV-A-WAFERS™ combines the unique benefits of Sun Chlorella and Sun Eleuthero, which means your pet can experience the amazing health benefits of CGF and the adaptogenic benefits of Eleuthero. You won’t find this in any other pet food supplement.

Just like Sun Chlorella for humans, REJUV-A-WAFERS™ will help purify your pet’s body of dangerous toxins and chemicals, enhance your pet’s health with an abundance of beta-carotene, and help improve your pet’s appearance and overall health and well-being.

Why give your beloved pets commercial pet treats that are loaded with artificial flavors and fillers when you can give them REJUV-A-WAFERS™? Your pet will love the delicious, wholesome flavor, and you will love your pet’s visible good health.

This is what the wafer looks like. Dakota gobbled his up so fast that I couldn’t photograph him eating it!

Each tiny tablet of REJUV-A-WAFERS™ has been blended with eleuthero and lecithin, providing your pet with added support to maintain good health.

Directions For Use

Pets Up To 25 Pounds: 1 Wafer
Pets Over 25 Pounds: 2 Wafers

TO PURCHASE CLICK HERE

GIVE-AWAY!!! The kind people at REJUV-A-WAFERS™ sent me an extra box to share with YOU!  This give-away is for the U.S. AND CANADA ONLY.  All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post. PLEASE BE SURE TO INCLUDE A WAY FOR ME TO CONTACT YOU SHOULD YOU BE THE WINNER…ENTRIES WITH NO MEANS OF CONTACT WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. 

ENTRY DEADLINE: (this is a QUICKIE!!) is MONDAY MAY 7th AT 11PM EASTERN TIME. ONE WINNER WILL BE SELECTED AND ANNOUNCED WEDNESDAY MAY 9TH. 

GOOD LUCK!!

Pet Food Marketing 101: What Consumers Should Know about Purchasing Pet Food

Martin J. Glinsky, Ph.D.

A Guest Blog By: 

By Martin J. Glinsky, Ph.D.

Chief Science Officer of SmartBones (www.smartbones.com)

Pet food products have changed significantly over the last 30 years, as have our purchasing patterns. In the 1970s, almost all pet food was purchased at the grocery store and there was not very much real difference between various brands. Corn, meat and bone meal, animal fat and vitamin/mineral fortification were common ingredients of almost all dry pet foods. Today, a significant amount of pet food is bought at pet food stores, mass market retailers, farm and fleet locations and even on-line (although this is fairly limited at the moment).

Pet food formulas have also changed dramatically. Categories now include: natural, holistic, organic, grain-free, hypo-allergenic (the FDA does not allow this terminology any more) and others. Ingredient listings often contain a variety of unique ingredients, including rice, sweet potatoes, omega-3 fatty acids, bison, real chicken, salmon meal, etc. Commonly, this segment is often referred to as the “high-end market.”

Dakota enjoying his SmartBone

From a business perspective, pet stores needed high-end pet foods, not available in mass retailers, in order to increase their margins selling pet food and allow them to make a profit. Pet owners would not pay 15-25% more for the same food sold at the pet store. Thus, pet food marketers kept developing more unique foods for this burgeoning retail segment.

This proliferation of brands and formulas is an area of intense marketing differentiation. Every brand is looking for an identity that key their marketing efforts. “No corn,” “no soy,” “no wheat” have become important formula attributes in this segment. While there is absolutely no data to support the notion that these three excellent grains are somehow “bad” for pets, the high-end pet food segment, needing to differentiate it from “grocery-store brands,” have developed and proliferated this false theory.

There is no doubt that many of today’s high-end pet foods do indeed possess some “performance characteristics” that many pet owners recognize and are willing to pay more for at their pet store. These include higher palatability, lower stool volume, and sometimes, “functional advantages” such as the association of increased levels of omega-3 fatty acids and a healthy immune system. On the other hand, using false and inflammatory statements to try and debase other products is an unscrupulous way to increase sales.

Dakota and his SmartBone

It is important to differentiate between sound nutritional concepts and marketing hype. Beware of those products that make claims or allude to concepts that seem overvalued. Contact these companies and ask them if they have scientific data to support their claims. The answer may surprise you, but it shouldn’t. Use common sense when choosing the best food for your pet. Pets, just like humans, require specific nutrients, not necessarily special ingredients, to obtain the nutrition necessary for a healthy life.

Published in: on April 12, 2012 at 1:00 am  Comments (12)  
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Pets And The Holidays, From Trupanion

Pets and the Holidays
Pets and the Holidays graphic created by Trupanion.

Let’s Talk About Shelties! A Guest Blog By Heather Kalinowski Of Trupanion Pet Insurance

Heather Kalinowski is a pet lover and internet journalist at Trupanion pet insurance. Trupanion offers 90% coverage for diagnostic tests, surgeries, medications, and other treatments if a pet becomes sick or injured.

 

I have been a fan of the Sheltie ever since I was six years old and my mom brought a Sheltie mix home as an Easter present for my brother and me. My brother named her Rebel (he was 15 and thought that would be cool… sigh) and we soon discovered she had all the wonderful traits of the Sheltie. She was incredibly smart and quickly became quite devoted to me and my family. She was so gentle and sensitive and was the perfect companion for my young, shy self.

 

Shetland Sheepdogs like Dakota and Rebel have brought joy to people since they were first developed in Scotland in the early 1900s. They are herding dogs and it always makes me smile to see them taking that job to heart today, even when not in the pasture! Rebel used to herd anything she came in contact with, especially other dogs and children. It was a site to see her circling a group of happy children, who had no idea they were being ‘contained’ by the cute dog in front of them.

This breed has so much energy as well, requiring a lot of play time and exercise during the day. As a child, this was fantastic, as my dog could always keep up with me as I was zooming around the yard. But as I got older I remember thinking of it as a chore to walk her around the block. Poor pup! It must be hard to grow up with a girl who was once so active and who slowly decided reading books and watching movies was much more fun than playing tag outside.

 

 

But Rebel and I had other activities that kept us busy. We enrolled in training programs and canine good citizen classes to help keep us bonded and our minds sharp. Shelties are so smart and really need to have mental exercise as well as physical to keep them healthy. She was a star in her classes, picking things up so easily. She definitely made me look good!

 

Of course, like all dog breeds, Shelties are prone to certain ailments that can cause heartbreak in a family, including hypothyroidism (insufficient production of the thyroid hormone), Legg-Perthes (a degenerative disease of the hip joint), patellar luxation (the displacement of the kneecap), and allergies. Luckily, advances in veterinary care make it possible – even easy – to treat these conditions and keep these dogs happy and healthy for a lifetime. Of course, it doesn’t come without a cost. Veterinary treatment can be very expensive, especially when long-term care is required.

 

One way to offset the costs of treating medical conditions in our pets is with pet insurance. Pet insurance can be beneficial, especially for purebred pets like Dakota. Purebred pets are notoriously more prone to ailments because of the hereditary nature of many conditions and the long line of breeding that occurs. Pet insurance reimburses you a large part of veterinary bills so that you can rest assured that you can afford the treatment your pet needs. We all know there is nothing worse than sitting at a vet listening to a treatment plan your dog needs but you know you can’t afford.

 

But let’s not dwell on the less fortunate traits of the breed we love. We accept those traits and prepare for them so we can enjoy the characteristics and companionship this breed shows us every day. So what is your favorite thing about the Sheltie?