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. 

 

 

 

 

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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Pet Insurance 101

Click the image to see the larger version!
Pet Insurance 101
Pet Insurance 101 graphic created by Trupanion.

 

 

We were not compensated for this post.

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?