More Home Made Treats

Welcome to Daisy’s Rescue. We are all about helping owners and rescue groups to learn helpful tricks and tips on how to take care of your dog(s). We are here for you to help with useful information on all types of routine dog care. Please feel free to leave comments and questions you may have for us. For your convenience we have added links to the products that we like to use, here in the article for you to find them more easily.

Today’s session is about making healthy all natural treats.

With all the problems that are going on with treats and dog food made in China, it’s time to start making our own dog treats. I know what goes in them and how they were made. Today, we are going to make sweet potato treats and pumpkin treats. There are two kinds of sweet potato treats, chewy and crunchy. We will start with the pumpkin treats.

What you will need: a dehydrator, I like the Nesco American Harvest FD-61 Snackmaster Encore Dehydrator and Jerky Maker,

IMG_7797IMG_7798IMG_7796

it is a really nice machine that has a fan to circulate the hot air and speed drying time, and adjustable temperature too. A box of 5 pounds of sweet potato’s and a pumpkin or two. A deep baking pan and a large pot to boil water. A sharp knife or two and a mandolin slicer if you want and an ice cream scoop for the pumpkin.

This is really easy. You find a fresh pumpkin at the store and bring it home. Cut it in half. Clean out the seeds, then cut it into strips of a few inches wide. Prepare a deep baking pan by filling it with 2 inches of water. Now pre-heat the oven to 375. Put the slices into the pan and place the pan in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes. This will soften the pumpkin and allow the soft flesh to be removed from the outer rind. After 20 minutes, test the pumpkin to see if the flesh is soft. Remove the pumpkin slices and place on a plate to cool. I use an ice cream scoop to separate the soft flesh from the rind. I pile the pumpkin in a bowl or on another plate. I take the pumpkin and I put it in my hand and I roll out the pumpkin like a “hot dog” and place it on the dehydrator tray. You could make “cookies” as well. What ever shape you would like.

IMG_7809The orange mis-shaped things are the pumpkin treats. I’m sorry that I don’t have photo’s of the pumpkin preparation, I prepared the pumpkin a few weeks prior to writing this.

Next are the sweet potato treats. Around Thanksgiving, most food stores sell the potato’s in 5 pound boxes really cheap.

IMG_7754Now,get a big pot and boil some water. Put about 3/4 of the pot full of water. Now take the sweet potato and get a sharp knife. Slice the potato like a salami, I like 3/16 to a 1/4 inch thick slices. Remember, these will shrink, so don’t worry about the thickness. I also take a few potato’s and slice them longways, like a filet. Again, make them about 1/4 thick. If you have a mechanical slicer like a mandolin slicer, you can use that too. I find they tend to slice too thin and make sweet potato chips.

IMG_7761IMG_7767

IMG_7779Now if you want to make chewy treats, dump some of the potato slices in the boiling water and let them stay for about 10 minutes or so. This is not a precise operation, so the time is not to critical.

IMG_7803You will see the potato become a brighter orange.

IMG_7806The top slice is raw and the bottom slice is boiled. As you remove the boiled slices from the water, put them directly on to the dehydrator trays.

IMG_7807IMG_7805The nice thing with this dehydrator is that you have to have a minimum of 4 trays in place to operate, but you can add trays up to 12. You don’t want the slices to over lap. When all the trays are filled, it’s time to set the temperature.

IMG_7810We will use the fruits and vegetables setting at 135 degrees.

IMG_7811We put the top on and plug it in and you can hear the fan start blowing and now we wait for 9 hours or so. Again, this is not an exact operation, so if you want them drier, keep it on longer.

After 9 hours, I lift the top and see how things are coming along. This batch of treats came out great. Now I have all the dogs at my feet patiently waiting for me to drop one or two. This is the first time that I made the pumpkin treats. Luckily, I have some more pumpkin frozen, so I can make more. My dogs really love the pumpkin treats.

I was able to make 4 sandwich baggies and two quart baggies worth of treats. Let us know how you made out with your treat making.

On a side note, you need a sharp knife. I have been using this knife sharpener for years, it works great and I highly recommend it. The Edge Maker Knife Sharpener

IMG_7785IMG_7787You just put the sharpener on the edge of the counter and then you just run the blade through the metal prongs, like your trying to slice through it.

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Obesity… It’s Not Just for Humans Any More.

Welcome to Daisy’s Rescue. We are all about helping owners and rescue groups to learn helpful tricks and tips on how to take care of your dog(s). We are here for you to help with useful information on all types of routine dog care. Please feel free to leave comments and questions you may have for us. For your convenience we have added links to the products that we like to use, here in the article for you to find them more easily.

Today’s session is about Senior Dogs and obesity, by Cathie Garnier, the founder and President of Elder Paws Senior Dog Rescue.

Food…while necessary to sustain life it can also be a catalyst to   obesity and diminished life span.  Canine obesity is one of the fastest growing health problems for senior dogs today.  In a nation of nearly 170 million pets up to 50% of pets in the US are overweight or even obese.  That equates to a whopping 85 million pets carrying too much weight on their bodies.

As with humans obesity in our four legged companions has been associated with a host of chronic health conditions, including, but not limited to, diabetes, heart and lung disease, and even cancer, all of which negatively impact a pet’s quality of life and longevity and cause a dramatic increase in the cost of vet care.  For example the average cost to treat a diabetic dog in 2011 was over $900 (according to Pet Plan USA, a pet insurance company).  All too often owners are not able to afford the high cost of such treatment resulting in senior dogs being surrendered to kill shelters, where they are likely to never make it out alive.

Excess weight causes increased stress on a dog’s heart and lungs, which have to work harder, leading to breathing problems.  This results in a higher risk of complications under anesthesia for such procedures as regular dental cleanings or life saving surgeries.  For those living in warmer climates the extra weight, combined with a dogs coat, can make obese dogs miserable in hot weather and make it harder for them to cool down.

The most common health condition by far that we, as a senior dog rescue, see in seniors is Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), also known as osteoarthritis.   Excess weight puts added strain on the joints, resulting in a higher level of joint damage leading to more significant DJD.  Eventually joints begin to prematurely wear under the strain of excess weight leading to intense pain that limits mobility and decreases quality of life.  Dogs with longer backs and shorter legs, i.e., Doxies and Corgis, are at a greater risk of suffering from DJD.

Vet care to treat DJD and ligament tears costs an average of $2,000  (according to Pet Plan USA).  Dr. Jules Benson, V.P. of Vet Services at Pet Plan USA states “It is not uncommon to see dogs that are rendered practically immobile by a combination of weight and joint issues.”  Personally, I find it heartbreaking to watch a senior dog suffer with the increasing pain and lack of mobility caused by a condition that could have been avoided in the first place.

While dogs do not die directly from DJD the intense negative impact to their mobility and quality of life often leads owners to a premature decision to euthanize due to debilitating pain issues coupled with the high cost of continued vet care.

Your dog depends on you to keep them healthy and happy.  Your dog pays a very high cost when you “love your dog with food”.  Leaner, trimmer dogs are at a lower risk of developing DJD, thereby improving quality of life and the number of years your pet has to spend with you, as well as reducing the cost of vet care.  Helping them shed those excess pounds may be the most loving thing an owner can do for their pet.

Cathie Garnier is Founder and President of Elder Paws Senior Dog Rescue, a California non-profit which is committed to reducing the euthanasia rate of dogs 7 and older in high kill shelters based on age and age related health conditions.  As a 501©(3) Elder Paws relies solely on tax deductible donations to cover the higher cost of vet care to treat senior dogs and prepare them for adoption.  www.elderpawsrescue.org and www.petfinder.com.

 www.daisysrescue.com  daisysrescue@comcast.net, www.facebook.com/daisysrescue , DaisysRescue on twitter

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I’m Hungry! What I Feed My Pack

Welcome to Daisy’s Rescue. We are all about helping owners and rescue groups to learn helpful tricks and tips on how to take care of your dog(s). We are here for you to help with useful information on all types of routine dog care. Please feel free to leave comments and questions you may have for us. For your convenience we have added links to the products that we like to use, here in the article for you to find them more easily.

Today’s session is about the food I feed my pack.

I know that we have touched on nutrition before in other articles, I just wanted to let everyone know what I feed my pack and why. I like  Orijen Puppy Grain-Free Dry Dog Food.
I can’t find a better dry food. It has no by-products, no fillers, only a large amount of quality protein (from multiple sources), vegetables and fruits. It is expensive, but like I said, I can’t find another food that is even close. I have people ask me, “what about Blue? Or what about Natural Balance”? There are other foods out there that don’t contain grains and may have vegetables and fruits. What sets Orijen apart, is the multiple sources of proteins.

Here is the ingredients list directly from Orijen’s web site: Orijen Puppy

Boneless chicken*, chicken meal, chicken liver*, whole herring*, boneless turkey*, turkey meal, turkey liver*, whole eggs*, boneless walleye*, whole salmon*, chicken heart*, chicken cartilage*, herring meal, salmon meal, chicken liver oil, chicken fat, red lentils, green peas, green lentils, sun-cured alfalfa, yams*, pea fiber, chickpeas, pumpkin*, butternut squash*, spinach greens*, carrots*, Red Delicious apples*, Bartlett pears*, cranberries*, blueberries*, brown kelp, licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary, Enterococcus faecium.

* FRESH AND PRESERVATIVE-FREE

There are 11 sources of protein. If you remove the eggs, boneless walleye, whole salmon and just stay with the meal, you still have 8 protein sources. No other food has that.

Here is Blue Buffalo Dry Food for Puppies, Chicken and Rice Recipe,
:

  • Deboned Chicken,
  • Chicken Meal,
  • Whole Ground Brown Rice,
  • Oatmeal,
  • Whole Ground Barley,
  • Menhaden Fish Meal (source of DHA-Docosahexaenoic Acid),
  • Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols),
  • Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids),
  • Natural Chicken Flavor,
  • Peas,
  • Tomato Pomace (source of Lycopene),
  • Whole Potatoes,
  • Fish Oil (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids),

 

  • Alfalfa Meal,
  • Whole Carrots,
  • Whole Sweet Potatoes,
  • Blueberries,
  • Cranberries,
  • Apples,
  • Blackberries,
  • Pomegranate,
  • Spinach,
  • Pumpkin,
  • Barley Grass,
  • Dried Parsley,
  • Garlic,
  • Dried Kelp,
  • Yucca Schidigera Extract,
  • L-Carnitine,
  • L-Lysine,
  • Turmeric,
  • Dried Chicory Root,
  • Oil of Rosemary,
  • Beta Carotene,
  • Vitamin A Supplement,
  • Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1),
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2),
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3),
  • d-Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5),
  • Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6),
  • Biotin (Vitamin B7),
  • Folic Acid (Vitamin B9),
  • Vitamin B12 Supplement,
  • Calcium Ascorbate (source of Vitamin C),
  • Vitamin D3 Supplement,
  • Vitamin E Supplement,
  • Iron Amino Acid Chelate,
  • Zinc Amino Acid Chelate,
  • Manganese Amino Acid Chelate,
  • Copper Amino Acid Chelate,
  • Choline Chloride,
  • Sodium Selenite,
  • Calcium Iodate,
  • Salt,
  • Calcium Carbonate,
  • Potassium Chloride,
  • Caramel,

 

  • Dried Yeast (source of Saccharomyces cerevisiae),
  • Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product,
  • Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product,
  • Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product

Blue Puppy is has grains and only two sources of protein.

We can go to Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain Free Chicken Dry Puppy Food:
:

  • Deboned Chicken,
  • Chicken Meal,
  • Turkey Meal,
  • Tapioca Starch,
  • Peas,
  • Tomato Pomace (source of Lycopene),
  • Dried Egg,
  • Natural Chicken Flavor,
  • Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid),
  • Fish Oil (source of DHA-Docosahexaenoic Acid),
  • Potatoes,
  • Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids),
  • Alfalfa Meal,
  • Potato Starch,
  • Whole Carrots,
  • Whole Sweet Potatoes,
  • Blueberries,
  • Cranberries,
  • Barley Grass,
  • Dried Parsley,
  • Dried Kelp,
  • Taurine,
  • Yucca Schidigera Extract,
  • L-Carnitine,
  • L-Lysine,
  • Turmeric,
  • Oil of Rosemary,
  • Beta Carotene,
  • Vitamin A Supplement,
  • Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1),
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2),
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3),
  • d-Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5),
  • Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6),
  • Biotin (Vitamin B7),
  • Folic Acid (Vitamin B9),
  • Vitamin B12 Supplement,
  • Calcium Ascorbate (source of Vitamin C),
  • Vitamin D3 Supplement,
  • Vitamin E Supplement,
  • Iron Amino Acid Chelate,
  • Zinc Amino Acid Chelate,
  • Manganese Amino Acid Chelate,
  • Copper Amino Acid Chelate,
  • Choline Chloride,
  • Sodium Selenite,
  • Calcium Iodate,
  • Salt,
  • Caramel,
  • Potassium Chloride,
  • Dried Yeast (source of Saccharomyces cerevisiae),
  • Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product,
  • Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product,
  • Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product

Even Blue Wilderness Puppy only has two sources of proteins.

I’m not picking on Blue, That just happens to be the name that is mostly brought up. I’m not saying Blue is not a good food, I just find Orijen to be better and if you compare the cost of each, Orijen isn’t that much more.

If you go to Orijen’s website http://www.orijen.ca you will see that they do not outsource, they do not accept frozen or preserved ingredients. They control all of the production and manufacture of the food. It’s a good company.

Many of the cheaper quality foods use what I consider to be substandard ingredients. Here are some things that you want to watch out for:

Animal Digest – This is what is left of the animal when all the meat, organs and bones are used for food. What’s left is gathered up and boiled, this is digest. Digest is added to the outside of cheap dog food the “trick” the dog into eating it.  By-Products – This is what is left of the animal when all the usable meat, acceptable organs and bones are used for food. This could be stuff like sex organs, lungs, intestines, bladder, eyes, and kidneys. What it can’t be is skin, fur, hooves.

Purina has a whole web site dedicated to telling people how great Animal Digest and By-Products are and that Purina only uses the best quality of ingredients. I personally would not buy any Purina food. They and many other cheap dog food makers use Dyes, preservatives like TBHQ, BHA, and BHT. These as well as Ethoxyquine are approved by the USDA and the FDA, but they have been proven to cause cancer in humans and animals and most are banned in the use of human food. So, why is it ok for dog food?

Another thing to watch out for is “4 D” ingredients, “4 D”, stands for Dead, Dying, Diseased and Disabled animals. Basically, if an animal is dying or died before being killed at the slaughter house the meat from the animal can not be used for human consumption, but some dog food makers use it for their dog food. Of course they do not advertise this, so you need to do your home work. My rule of thumb on dog food is, If you can buy the dog food at the local super market, or Pet Smart and Petco, I wouldn’t buy it. Go to the smaller local pet food suppliers and you will find a whole new world of healthy quality dog food.

Another thing people don’t realize is that the big dog food companies, experiment on dog and cats. Purina USDA Number 43-R-0054, has 500 dog and 700 cats in their lab. IAMS USDA Number 31-R-0018, has 235 cats and 257 dogs in their labs. As of this writing I was not able to find Blue Buffalo’s USDA Number. Go to http://truthaboutpetfood2.com/ to learn more about animal labs in dog food manufacturing.

If you like this article, please leave a comment. Don’t forget, you can get all of your pet care needs here at Daisy’s Rescue, just use the Amazon portals. We are starting new features. Rescue Wednesday: featuring select dogs from various rescues. Senior Sunday’s: featuring well deserving Senior’s looking for a forever homes.  Keep on the look out for Podcasts coming soon.  Follow us on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/daisysrescue and twitter DaisysResce@daisysrescue and email us at daisysrescue@comcast.net

Thank you, Daisy.

Does Your Canned Food Hold “Water” ? Yes It Does…

Welcome to Daisy’s Rescue. We are all about helping owners and rescue groups to learn helpful tricks and tips on how to take care of your dog(s). We are here for you to help with useful information on all types of routine dog care. Please feel free to leave comments and questions you may have for us. For your convenience we have added links to the products that we like to use, here in the article for you to find them more easily.

Today’s session is about Canned dog food and how you can compare it to Dry dog food. We have guest writer Mark Whitney, Certified Canine Nutritionist and head of West Chester Canine Nutrition. Mark brings his 25 years of experience to Daisy’s Rescue to help shed some light on nutrition for your dog.

Does Your Canned Food Hold “Water”? Yes It Does…

I get this one often “My Vet wants me to put my dog on canned food because my dog has blah, blah, blah and he/she instructed me to buy canned food because it’s a LOW protein and/or LOW fat and that will help with my problem”  Unfortunately (and a little frightening…) this is untrue!!! I always like to assume they heard their Vet incorrectly…(it helps me sleep at night). At first glance that statement may seem to hold “water”…but therein lies the problem. All canned foods contain anywhere from 70% to 85% water which is an important factor when reading the nutrient level and how your dogs body handles and breaks down those nutrients.

That’s because pet food companies report the nutrient content of their products using something known as
Guaranteed Analysis. The Guaranteed Analysis is the dog food industry’s version of the Nutrition Facts panel printed on every package of human food sold in North America.
According to AAFCO rules, the guaranteed analysis must consist of the following:

  •  Minimum Percentage of Protein
  •  Minimum Percentage of Fat
  •  Maximum Percentage of Fiber
  •  Maximum Percentage of Moisture

But when using this method can be misleading.
That’s because the system used for reporting the percentages fails to consider water content
Even the Food and Drug Administration admits to the importance of this problem on its own website…Interpreting Pet Food Labels FDA

“To make meaningful comparisons of nutrient levels between a canned and dry product, they should be expressed on the same moisture basis.”

Let’s me show you how you can choose a better option for your dog.

How to Calculate Dry Matter Basis

The formula is quite simple.

Percentage of Guaranteed Analysis Component Divided by Percentage of Dry Matter
Multiplied by 100

Assuming a can of dog food contains:

  •  9% protein
  •  4% fat
  •  1% fiber
  •  81% moisture

At first glance, 9% protein looks on the very low side compared to dry dog food. Now watch this number after we convert it.
1.  Calculate the dry matter of the canned food by deducting the moisture
percentage (81%) from 100.   i.e. 100 – 81 = 19% or .19
2.  Now, using this dry matter figure of .19 apply the formula to each of
the components, as follows:
Protein: 9 divided by .19= 47.4%
Fat: 4 divided by .19= 21%
Fiber: 1 divided by .19= 5.3%
Notice the protein percentage now. Not really a LOW Protein and/or LOW Fat that you may have been looking for huh? You will find in many cases, canned dog food values tend to exceed that of dry dog food.

At first glance the dry kibble looks to be higher protein and fat compared to its canned counterpart. Take a look at the protein values after converting the data to dry matter basis…
pastedGraphic.pdf
Can you see how the canned product now lists 40% protein, compared to kibble’s 26% figure?
If you had simply followed your vets suggestion and chose the canned food because of its lower protein and lower fat content, you’d have been wrong.
The wet food actually contains much more protein and fat (on a dry matter basis) than does the kibble.

The Bottom Line

Don’t be fooled by a dog food label’s protein or fat numbers. And remember, numbers are just numbers. They can’t reveal the true quality (or the digestibility) of the product’s proteins or fats.
Be sure to take the time to look over the ingredients list. Your dog will surely be better off for your effort.

Thank you Mark. Hopfully this sesion has given you some insight on how to buy the best dog food for your dog. Mark can be contacted at info@dubcpet.com or you can call 610-314-6124. Mark’s company is West Chester Canine Nutrition.

Don’t forget to like Daisy’s Rescue Face Book Page .   facebook.com/daisysrescue

 

How To Choose The Right Food For Your Dog

Welcome to Daisy’s Rescue. We are all about helping owners and rescue groups to learn helpful tricks and tips on how to take care of your dog(s). We are here for you to help with useful information on all types of routine dog care. Please feel free to leave comments and questions you may have for us. For your convenience we have added links to the products that we like to use, here in the article for you to find them more easily.

Today’s session is about Dog Food. We have Mark Whitney a certified canine nutritionist, who is going to share his nowledge of dog food and explain how to pick the right food for your dog. Mark heads West Chester Canine Nutrition. Using his 25 years of experience, Mark helps his clients provide the best food for the needs of their dogs.

How To Choose the Right Food For Your Dog

Ask ten people what the best thing to feed your dog is and you’ll probably get ten different answers. I must get this question a hundred times a week “What is the best dog food I can buy” Some people believe that dogs are dogs and eating the $20 for 40 lb bag of dog food from the discount store is perfectly fine. Others argue that if you are not feeding your dog raw food your dogs gonna die a long painful death..

The truth is somewhere in between. Your approach to finding the best dog food for your dog is to be as educated as possible and that means reading what is listed in the ingredients on the back of
the bag, rather than paying attention to the marketing that went into the front of the bag. Here are some steps that may help.

  1. Locate the first source of fat in the ingredient list (chicken fat, salmon oil, etc. the phrase “preserved with mixed tocopherols” usually follows it ). Everything that is listed prior to the first source of fat, including that fat, make up the majority of the dog food. Food A is clearrly the winner here.. Note that the examples are for traditional foods, Limited Ingredient / Allergy Foods are critiqued differently.
    1. ex. Food AFresh deboned wild boar*, fresh deboned lamb*, fresh beef liver*, fresh deboned pork*, lamb meal, peas, salmon meal, russet potato, herring meal, fresh whole eggs*, fresh deboned bison*, potato starch, fresh deboned salmon*, pacific whitefish meal, fresh deboned walleye*, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols) = 80% Meat
    2. ex. Food B –  Chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb meal, brown rice, white rice, rice bran, peas, potatoes, oatmeal, cracked pearled barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols) = 20%-30% Meat
  2. When choosing a dog food, it makes good sense to favor products lower in carbohydrates (in my opinion, under 40%). Do you know how many carbs your dog should have on a daily basis to sustain life? Go ahead…Guess!! Zero!!! That’s right Zero, that’s how many carbohydrates are required by a dog to sustain life. According to the National Research Council and compared to the other two major nutrients — protein and fat — no carbs are considered essential for a healthy canine diet. Don’t get me wrong…carbohydrates aren’t bad for dogs in reasonable amounts…The problem lies in their quantity. The list of problems that to many carbs can cause for your dog is worthy of another blog. How to calculate carbs in your dogs food:

1. Here is a typical adult dry food

Minimum percentage of crude protein 26%
Minimum percentage of crude fat 15%
Maximum percentage of crude fiber 4% (Fiber is a carb..so you don’t need to subtract it out)

Maximum percentage of moisture 10%

Take 100% protein% fat% moisture% ash% (usually not listed, I avg. 8%) = Carbohydrate Using the Guaranteed analysis example above: 

Carbohydrate = 100% 26% protein 15% Fat 10% moisture 8% ash = 43% carbohydrate.

Basically that means 43% of that bag is sugar!!

2. Here is another adult dry food

Minimum percentage of crude protein 38%
Minimum percentage of crude fat 18%
Maximum percentage of crude fiber 3% (Fiber is a carb..so you don’t need to subtract it out)
Maximum percentage of moisture 10%

Take 100% protein% fat% moisture% ash% (usually not listed, I avg. 8%) = Carbohydrate Using the Guaranteed analysis example above: 

Carbohydrate = 100% 38% protein 18% Fat 10% moisture 8% ash = 26% carbohydrate.

That means 26% of that bag is sugar!!

3. A list of some ingredients to AVOID!!!

Unnamed Meat and Meat Bone Meal, Meat By-Products, Poultry By-Products, Unnamed Fish Meal, Beef Tallow, Corn or Wheat Gluten Meal, Brewers Rice, Soybean Meal, BHA, Ethoxyquin,

Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), Salt

With these steps you are off to a good start at making a better choice for your dog. Do not rely on anyone’s information without doing your own research including consultation with a trusted veterinarian. (although when speaking to a veterinarian about nutrition this is the response I got “I am a veterinarian and I tell folks to feed any commercial diet they like. I don’t think there is a “bad” dog food on the market, though I do think that some are better than others. In general you get what you pay for, especially if you are sticking with the mainstream brands. In terms of bang-for-the-buck the Costco Kirkland brands are actually pretty impressive.”) scary huh!?!?  So be an educated consumer and a rabid advocate for your dog’s health.

 

Footnote

  1. National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, “Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats”, 2006 Edition, National Academies Press, Washington, DC

 

Thank you Mark. Hopfully this sesion has given you some insight on how to buy the best dog food for your dog. Mark can be contacted at info@dubcpet.com or you can call 610-314-6124. Mark’s company is West Chester Canine Nutrition.

Don’t forget to like Daisy’s Rescue Face Book Page .   facebook.com/Daisysrescue

Treating Arthritis with Nutrition

First off I just want to say and warn you, that I’m a dog food snob! I’m also not a veterinarian or a nutritionist, I’ve just done some research and I’m explaining my experiences and what has worked for me. I feed my dog the best food I can find. Having said that, I have a old girl who is about 13 to 15 years old, we have had her for about 2 years and she has arthritis pretty bad.   Her right rear leg is stiff and she has a cute hobble that does not slow her down! When we take her out for a walk she runs the whole way. She is one tough old lady. She went down in her back about a year ago and we treated her with steroids and muscle relaxers and limited activity. It should have been crate rest but, Duchess did not want any part of crate rest, limited, area sequestering, nothing. So, rather than having her cause herself more injury, we just attempted to keep her quiet.

After she got over the back problem, we decided to start treating her arthritis. I went to Pet Smart and bought some GNC pet vitamins on sale for half off, they were the Senior dog vitamins and senior dog chondroitin and glucosamine. I also bought her GNC Triple strength fish oil that has 1000mg of omega 3’s.  Now Duchess is 15 pounds, so 1000mg is a good dose. Even at 1/2 price they were still pretty expensive. Duchess improved slightly, but not enough to say it was working. Then my veterinarian started to offer cold laser therapy. We started Duchess on the laser and we saw marked improvement. The laser works like this:  The laser is a light that penetrates the skins and stimulates the deep tissue. By stimulating the tissue, blood flow increases to that area and inflammation and pain is decreased. We were told that it would take up to 3 treatments before you see results, they weren’t lying. Duchess actually became worse over the first 3 treatments and then on the fourth, became markedly better. She was able to move easier and actually stood up on her hind legs.

After we started with the laser treatments, Denise learned (in nutrition class), that flax seed has a lot of omega 3 oil that the body can actually use. We bought a 1 pound box of Organic flax seed and we now feed Duchess 1 teaspoon of flax seed with each meal. She is much better, in fact she improve more with the flax seed then the fish oil and laser combined.

We still get laser treatments for Duchess in addition to the flax seed. I also feed her Orijin dry dog food the puppy variety. I like the puppy , because it has more chondroitin and glucosamine in it then the other varieties of Orijen. While this isn’t a dog food post, but I will give you some info on this food. I feel that Orijen is the best dry dog food on the market. It is grain free and filler free. This is a very high protein food that has multiple sources of protein. I haven’t found another dry food that is on the same level as Orijen.

I hope this helps you.

Daisy

Just a disclaimer here. I am not a veterinarian or nutritionist, this is what I do, before changing your food or adding supplements, please consult your veterinarian and or nutritionist. I share things that work for me and they may not work for you, it is up to you to use your judgement on deciding to try new things.

Home Made Dog Treats

Hello, today we are going to talk about dog treats. It seems that every few weeks anymore, you hear that dog treats made in China are being recalled again! The news blasts that so many dogs have died from this latest batch of bad Chinese treats. I refuse to buy any dog food or treats from China. So I recommend that you read the label on any treats you buy. I’ve noticed a growth in “all natural” treats made by small companies in the USA. This is great, because let’s face it, most typical treats are no more than junk food for dogs. Which is why I am writing this today.

I typically feed my dogs fresh or frozen green beans, fresh baby carrots or fresh raw sweet potato slices as treats. These are high quality, low calorie, nutritious treats and I don’t have to worry about my dogs getting fat. Until recently I would still go out and buy commercial “healthy” treats that were typically dehydrated chicken and something. Of course my dogs love these. Problem is the cost! A bag of 2 to 3 ounces of dehydrated chicken is around $6 and you only get a few pieces. WOW! I looked around different stores and I found that you can not buy any quality food or treats for your dog in supermarket food stores or discount stores. The two major chains of pet stores, Pet Smart and Pet Co, while they have a much higher quality of food and treats, they still are not the best quality. I found that Pet Value and local private pet food stores sell the best quality dog food and treats.

Let’s look at Purina’s “Beggin’ strips”, The Purina website has “made with real beacon” as the ingredients. I “googled Beggin Strips ingredients” and Wikipedia has a list. Each treat is about 30 calories (my Tweeny Dachshunds require 250cal per day), and contain a ton of grain. Incase you did not know, dogs don’t ingest grains very well, they digest corn to well either. Some of the most common allergies in dogs is corn and grains. The main ingredients in “Beggin Strips” are; corn, corn gluten meal, soybean meal and wheat flour, this is in addition to food coloring and dyes. There are also preservatives in the treats.

So, I started buying the dehydrated treats and I would cringe at the price, so I decided to invest in a dehydrator, I figured that with the amount of money I’m spending on treats, I could easily recoup the cost of the dehydrator.  So I did some research and I shopped around and I found a dehydrator that I liked. I bought a Nesco American Harvest FD-61 Snackmaster Encore Dehydrator and Jerky Maker (the FD75A is the same dehydrator with a 700 watt heater). Let me tell you what I learned when researching dehydrators. Not all of them are the same. I bought my dehydrator because it has a fan in addition to the heating element, the fan blows the hot air around and over the food, causing it to dry out faster. Some dehydrators just have the heating element. So it is like putting French fries under the hot lamp and waiting days for them to dry out. My dehydrator takes hours to dehydrate food, so I can make more food in less time. My dehydrator is also adjustable. I can set the temperature according to which type of food I’m drying. Some other dehydrators are set at one temp. The NESCO is also expandable  (use tray Nesco LT-2SG Add-A-Tray for FD-61/FD-61WHC/FD-75A and FD-75PR Dehydrators, Set of 2 , fits both dehydrators), meaning that it comes with 4 drying trays, but I can buy up to 8 more for a total of 12 trays. If I’m making a big batch of treats, I can use 8 trays, if I’m making a small batch, I use 4 trays. The drying time varies with what I’m making. Sweet potatoes and fruit takes about 6 hours, meat takes 12 at a higher temp.

It is very simple to make treats. The easiest and fastest way is to take a sweet potato and wash it, then slice it like lunch meat into discs. If the discs are thin, you get sweet potato chips. Put the discs in the trays, they can touch but not over lay on each other. Fill the trays up and turn on the dehydrator and come back in 6 to 8 hours. I experiment and I found that if you slice the sweet potato and then drop the slices in boiling water for a few minutes (2-3), the color  enhances to a bright orange and the treats come out a little more chewier. Once boiled, put the sweet potato in the trays and dry for the same amount of time 6 to 8 hours.

For chicken treats, I buy chicken breast, rinse and slice into strips. I put the strips onto a baking pan and I bake them at 200 to 300 degrees for 5 minutes to kill and bacteria, then I put them into the drying tray. I turn the temp up to max and I dry for about 8 to 12 hours. I do the same with beef and pork, but you don’t have to precook them, as they don’t have the same level of bacteria. If you want to get fancy, you can wrap the meat around a piece of sweet potato or banana, or carrot and dry them together to get a nice combo treat.

These treats are very nice, good quality treats, you know where they came from and what is in them. But, you need to remember, the meat treats have more calories, these will cause you dog to become overweight if you feed too many to your 4 legged friends.

I haven’t made any yet myself, but there is a gun you can buy, it looks like a cookie press, except the nozzle is bigger. What you do is puree the chicken, sweet potato and anything else you want in your treat. Put the chicken, sweet  potato into a blender and puree until it is a paste, add water if needed, then put the paste into the press and press the paste out on to a tray and dry. Now you have shaped treats.

Because, the treats are dried they stay fresh for a pretty long time. So you can make a nice batch and not have to worry about making another for a few weeks. Enjoy making your dogs health and wholesome treats. Your dogs will love them.  Daisy