Dog's Health https://www.dogshealth.com Joint and Pain Specialists Since 1990 Sat, 20 Apr 2019 03:38:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 What’s Really In Pet Food https://www.dogshealth.com/blog/whats-really-in-pet-food/ https://www.dogshealth.com/blog/whats-really-in-pet-food/#comments Wed, 13 Mar 2019 16:02:34 +0000 https://www.dogshealth.com/?p=3626 AN API INVESTIGATIVE REPORT This information provided by the Animal Protection Institute. “Plump whole chickens, choice cuts of beef, fresh grains, and all the wholesome nutrition your dog or cat will ever need.” (Sounds good?) These are the images pet food manufacturers promulgate through the media and advertising. This is what the $11 billion per […]

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AN API INVESTIGATIVE REPORT
This information provided by the Animal Protection Institute.

“Plump whole chickens, choice cuts of beef, fresh grains, and all the wholesome nutrition your dog or cat will ever need.” (Sounds good?)

These are the images pet food manufacturers promulgate through the media and advertising. This is what the $11 billion per year U.S. pet food industry wants consumers to believe they are buying when they purchase their products.

This report explores the differences between what consumers think they are buying and what they are actually getting. It focuses in very general terms on the most visible name brands — the pet food labels that are mass-distributed to supermarkets and discount stores — but there are many highly respected brands that may be guilty of the same offenses.

What most consumers don’t know is that the pet food industry is an extension of the human food and agriculture industries. Pet food provides a market for slaughterhouse offal, grains considered “unfit for human consumption,” and similar waste products to be turned into profit. This waste includes intestines, udders, esophagi, and possibly diseased and cancerous animal parts.

Three of the five major pet food companies in the United States are subsidiaries of major multinational companies:

  1. Nestlé (Alpo, Fancy Feast, Friskies, Mighty Dog, and Ralston Purina products such as Dog Chow, ProPlan, and Purina One)
  2. Heinz (9 Lives, Amore, Gravy Train, Kibbles n Bits, Nature’s Recipe, Vets)
  3. Colgate-Palmolive (Hill’s Science Diet Pet Food).

Other leading companies are:

  1. Procter & Gamble (Eukanuba and Iams)
  2. Mars (Kal Kan, Mealtime, Pedigree, Sheba, Waltham’s)
  3. Nutro

From a business standpoint, multinational companies owning pet food manufacturing companies is an ideal relationship. The multinationals have increased bulk-purchasing power; those that make human food products have a captive market in which to capitalize on their waste products, and pet food divisions have a more reliable capital base and, in many cases, a convenient source of ingredients.

There are hundreds of different pet foods available in this country. And while many of the foods on the market are similar, not all of the pet food manufacturing companies use poor quality and potentially dangerous ingredients.

INGREDIENTS
Although the purchase price of pet food does not always determine whether a pet food is good or bad, the price is often a good indicator of quality. It would be impossible for a company that sells a generic brand of dog food at $9.95 for a 40-lb. bag to use quality protein and grain in its food. The cost of purchasing quality ingredients would be much higher than the selling price.

BY-PRODUCTS
The protein used in pet food comes from a variety of sources. When cattle, swine, chickens, lambs, or any number of other animals are slaughtered, the choice cuts such as lean muscle tissue are trimmed away from the carcass for human consumption. However, about 50% of every food-producing animal does not get used in human foods. Whatever remains of the carcass — bones, blood, intestines, lungs, ligaments, and almost all the other parts not generally consumed by humans — is used in pet food, animal feed, and other products. These “other parts” are known as “by-products,” “meat-and-bone-meal,” or similar names on pet food labels.

The Pet Food Institute — the trade association of pet food manufacturers — acknowledges the use of by-products in pet foods as additional income for processors and farmers: “The growth of the pet food industry not only provided pet owners with better foods for their pets, but also created profitable additional markets for American farm products and for the byproducts of the meat packing, poultry, and other food industries which prepare food for human consumption.”1

Many of these remnants provide a questionable source of nourishment for our animals. The nutritional quality of meat and poultry by-products, meals, and digests can vary from batch to batch. James Morris and Quinton Rogers, two professors with the Department of Molecular Biosciences, University of California at Davis Veterinary School of Medicine, assert that;

“There is virtually no information on the bioavailability of nutrients for companion animals in many of the common dietary ingredients used in pet foods. These ingredients are generally by-products of the meat, poultry and fishing industries, with the potential for a wide variation in nutrient composition. Claims of nutritional adequacy of pet foods based on the current Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) nutrient allowances (‘profiles’) do not give assurances of nutritional adequacy and will not until ingredients are analyzed and bioavailability values are incorporated.”2

RENDERING
Meat and poultry meals, by-product meals, and meat-and-bone meal are common ingredients in pet foods. The term “meal” means that these materials are not used fresh, but have been rendered. What is rendering? Rendering, as defined by Webster’s Dictionary, is “to process as for industrial use: to render livestock carcasses and to extract oil from fat, blubber, etc., by melting.” Home-made chicken soup, with its thick layer of fat that forms over the top when the soup is cooled, is a sort of mini-rendering process. Rendering separates fat-soluble from water-soluble and solid materials, and kills bacterial contaminants, but may alter or destroy some of the natural enzymes and proteins found in the raw ingredients. Meat and poultry by-products, while not rendered, vary widely in composition and quality.

What can the feeding of such products do to your companion animal? Some veterinarians claim that feeding slaughterhouse wastes to animals increases their risk of getting cancer and other degenerative diseases. The cooking methods used by pet food manufacturers – such as rendering and extruding (a heat-and-pressure system used to “puff” dry foods into nuggets or kibbles) — do not necessarily destroy the hormones used to fatten livestock or increase milk production, or drugs such as antibiotics or the barbiturates used to euthanize animals.

ANIMAL AND POULTRY FAT
You may have noticed a unique, pungent odor when you open a new bag of pet food — what is the source of that delightful smell? It is most often rendered animal fat, restaurant grease, or other oils too rancid or deemed inedible for humans.

Restaurant grease has become a major component of feed grade animal fat over the last fifteen years. This grease, often held in fifty-gallon drums, is usually kept outside for weeks, exposed to extreme temperatures with no regard for its future use. “Fat blenders” or rendering companies then pick up this used grease and mix the different types of fat together, stabilize them with powerful antioxidants to retard further spoilage, and then sell the blended products to pet food companies and other end users.3

These fats are sprayed directly onto dried kibbles or extruded pellets to make an otherwise bland or distasteful product palatable. The fat also acts as a binding agent to which manufacturers add other flavor enhancers such as digests. Pet food scientists have discovered that animals love the taste of these sprayed fats. Manufacturers are masters at getting a dog or a cat to eat something she would normally turn up her nose at.

Wheat, Soy, Corn, Peanut Hulls, and Other Vegetable Protein
The amount of grain products used in pet food has risen over the last decade. Once considered filler by the pet food industry, cereal and grain products now replace a considerable proportion of the meat that was used in the first commercial pet foods. The availability of nutrients in these products is dependent upon the digestibility of the grain. The amount and type of carbohydrate in pet food determines the amount of nutrient value the animal actually gets. Dogs and cats can almost completely absorb carbohydrates from some grains, such as white rice. Up to 20% of the nutritional value of other grains can escape digestion. The availability of nutrients for wheat, beans, and oats is poor. The nutrients in potatoes and corn are far less available than those in rice. Some ingredients, such as peanut hulls, are used for filler or fiber, and have no significant nutritional value.

Two of the top three ingredients in pet foods, particularly dry foods, are almost always some form of grain products. Pedigree Performance Food for Dogs lists Ground Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, and Corn Gluten Meal as its top three ingredients. 9 Lives Crunchy Meals for cats lists Ground Yellow Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, and Poultry By-Product Meal as its first three ingredients. Since cats are true carnivores — they must eat meat to fulfill certain physiological needs — one may wonder why we are feeding a corn-based product to them. The answer is that corn is much cheaper than meat.

VOMITOXIN
In 1995, Nature’s Recipe pulled thousands of tons of dog food off the shelf after consumers complained that their dogs were vomiting and losing their appetite. Nature’s Recipe’s loss amounted to $20 million. The problem was a fungus that produced vomitoxin (an aflatoxin or “mycotoxin,” a toxic substance produced by mold) contaminating the wheat. In 1999, another fungal toxin triggered the recall of dry dog food made by Doane Pet Care at one of its plants, including Ol’ Roy (Wal-Mart’s brand) and 53 other brands. This time, the toxin killed 25 dogs.

Although it caused many dogs to vomit, stop eating, and have diarrhea, vomitoxin is a milder toxin than most. The more dangerous mycotoxins can cause weight loss, liver damage, lameness, and even death as in the Doane case. The Nature’s Recipe incident prompted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to intervene. Dina Butcher, Agriculture Policy Advisor for North Dakota Governor Ed Schafer, concluded that the discovery of vomitoxin in Nature’s Recipe wasn’t much of a threat to the human population because “the grain that would go into pet food is not a high quality grain.”3

Soy is another common ingredient that is sometimes used as a protein and energy source in pet food. Manufacturers also use it to add bulk so that when an animal eats a product containing soy he will feel more sated. While soy has been linked to gas in some dogs, other dogs do quite well with it. Vegetarian dog foods use soy as a protein source.

ADDITIVES
Many chemicals are added to commercial pet foods to improve the taste, stability, characteristics, or appearance of the food. Additives provide no nutritional value. Additives include emulsifiers to prevent water and fat from separating, antioxidants to prevent fat from turning rancid, and artificial colors and flavors to make the product more attractive to consumers and more palatable to their companion animals.

Adding chemicals to food originated thousands of years ago with spices, natural preservatives, and ripening agents. In the last 40 years, however, the number of food additives has greatly increased.

PRESERVATIVES
All commercial pet foods contain preservatives. Some of these are added to ingredients or raw materials by the suppliers, and others may be added by the manufacturer.

Because manufacturers need to ensure that dry foods have a long shelf life to remain edible after shipping and prolonged storage, fats included in pet foods are preserved with either synthetic or “natural” preservatives.

BHA – BHT – ETHOXIQUIN 
Synthetic preservatives include butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), propyl gallate, propylene glycol (also used as a less-toxic version of automotive antifreeze), and ethoxyquin. For these antioxidants, there is little information documenting their toxicity, safety, or chronic use in pet foods that may be eaten every day for the life of the animal.

Potentially cancer-causing agents such as BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin are permitted at relatively low levels. The use of these chemicals in pet foods has not been thoroughly studied, and long term build-up of these agents may ultimately be harmful. Due to questionable data in the original study on its safety, ethoxyquin’s manufacturer, Monsanto, was required to perform a new, more rigorous study. This was completed in 1996. Even though Monsanto found no significant toxicity associated with its own product, in July 1997, the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine requested that manufacturers voluntarily reduce the maximum level for ethoxyquin by half, to 75 parts per million. While some pet food critics and veterinarians believe that ethoxyquin is a major cause of disease, skin problems, and infertility in dogs, others claim it is the safest, strongest, most stable preservative available for pet food. Ethoxyquin is only approved for use in human food for preserving spices, such as cayenne and chili powder, at a level of 100 ppm — but it would be very difficult to consume as much chili powder every day as a dog would eat dry food. Ethoxyquin has never been tested for safety in cats.

Some manufacturers have responded to consumer concern, and are now using “natural” preservatives such as Vitamin C (ascorbate), Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols), and oils of rosemary, clove, or other spices, to preserve the fats in their products. Other ingredients, however, may be individually preserved. Fish meal, and some prepared vitamin mixtures used to supplement pet food, contain chemical preservatives. This means that your companion animal may be eating food containing several types of preservatives. Not all of these are required to be disclosed on the label. However, due to consumer pressure, preservatives used in fat are now required to be listed on the label.

ADDITIVES IN PROCESSED FOODS

Anticaking agents
Flavoring agents
pH control agents
Antimicrobial agents
Flour treating agents
Processing aids
Antioxidants
Formulation aids
Sequestrants
Coloring agents
Humectants
Solvents, Vehicles
Curing agents
Leavening agents
Stabilizers, thickeners
Drying agents
Lubricants
Surface active agents
Emulsifiers
Nonnutritive sweeteners
Surface finishing agents
Firming agents
Nutritive sweeteners
Synergists
Flavor enhancers
Oxidizing and reducing agents
Texturizers

 

While the law requires studies of direct toxicity of these additives and preservatives, they have not been tested for their potential synergistic effects on each other once ingested. Some authors have suggested that dangerous interactions occur among some of the common synthetic preservatives.

Natural preservatives do not provide as long a shelf life as chemical preservatives, but they are safe.

PROCESSING – How Pet Food Is Made
Although feeding trials are no longer required for a food to meet the requirements for labeling a food “complete and balanced,” most manufacturers perform palatability studies when developing a new pet food. One set of animals is fed a new food while a “control” group is fed a current formula. The total volume eaten is used as a gauge for the palatability of the food. The larger and more reputable companies do use feeding trials, which are considered to be a much more accurate assessment of the actual nutritional value of the food. They keep large colonies of dogs and cats for this purpose, or use testing laboratories that have their own animals.

Most dry food is made with a machine called an expander or extruder. First, raw materials are blended, sometimes by hand, other times by computer, in accordance with a recipe developed by animal nutritionists. This mixture is fed into an expander and steam or hot water is added. The mixture is subjected to steam, pressure, and high heat as it is extruded through dies that determine the shape of the final product and puffed like popcorn. The food is allowed to dry, and then is usually sprayed with fat, digests, or other compounds to make it more palatable. Although the cooking process may kill bacteria in pet food, the final product can lose its sterility during the subsequent drying, fat coating, and packaging process. A few foods are baked at high temperatures rather than extruded. This produces a dense, crunchy kibble that is palatable without the addition of sprayed on palatability enhancers. Animals can be fed about 25% less of a baked food, by volume (but not by weight), than an extruded food.

Ingredients are similar for wet, dry, and semi-moist foods, although the ratios of protein, fat, and fiber may change. A typical can of ordinary cat food reportedly contains about 45-50% meat or poultry by-products. The main difference between the types of food is the water content. It is impossible to directly compare labels from different kinds of food without a mathematical conversion to “dry matter basis.”5 Wet or canned food begins with ground ingredients mixed with additives. If chunks are required, a special extruder forms them. Then the mixture is cooked and canned. The sealed cans are then put into containers resembling pressure cookers and commercial sterilization takes place. Some manufacturers cook the food right in the can.

There are special labeling requirements for pet food, all of which are contained in the annually revised Official Publication of AAFCO.6 The use of the terms “all” or “100%” cannot be used “if the product contains more than one ingredient, not including water sufficient for processing, decharacterizing agents, or trace amounts of preservatives and condiments.” Products containing multiple ingredients are covered by AAFCO Regulation PF3(b) and (c). The “95% rule” applies when the ingredient(s) derived from animals, poultry, or fish constitutes at least 95% or more of the total weight of the product (or 70% excluding water for processing).

Because all-meat diets are usually not nutritionally balanced, they fell out of favor for many years. However, due to rising consumer interest in high quality meat products, several companies are now promoting 95% and 100% canned meats as a supplemental feeding option.

The “dinner” product is defined by the 25% Rule, which applies when “an ingredient or a combination of ingredients constitutes at least 25% of the weight of the product” (excluding water sufficient for processing) as long as the ingredient(s) shall constitute at least 10% of the total product weight; and a descriptor that implies other ingredients are included in the product formula is used on the label. Such descriptors include “recipe,” “platter,” “entree,” and “formula.” A combination of ingredients included in the product name is permissible when each ingredient comprises at least 3% of the product weight, excluding water for processing, and the ingredient names appear in descending order by weight.

The “with” rule allows an ingredient name to appear on the label, such as “with real chicken,” as long as each such ingredient constitutes at least 3% of the food by weight, excluding water for processing.

The “flavor” rule allows a food to be designated as a certain flavor as long as the ingredient(s) are sufficient to “impart a distinctive characteristic”to the food. Thus, a “beef flavor” food may contain a small quantity of digest or other extract of tissues from cattle, without containing any actual beef meat at all.

What Happened to the Nutrients?
Dr. Randy L. Wysong is a veterinarian and produces his own line of pet foods. A long time critic of pet food industry practices, he said, “Processing is the wild card in nutritional value that is, by and large, simply ignored.

Heating, cooking, rendering, freezing, dehydrating, canning, extruding, pelleting, baking, and so forth, are so commonplace that they are simply thought of as synonymous with food itself.”9 Processing meat and by-products used in pet food can greatly diminish their nutritional value, but cooking increases the digestibility of cereal grains.

To make pet food nutritious, pet food manufacturers must “fortify” it with vitamins and minerals. Why? Because the ingredients they are using are not wholesome, their quality may be extremely variable, and the harsh manufacturing practices destroy many of the nutrients the food had to begin with.

Contaminants
Commercially manufactured or rendered meat meals and by-product meals are frequently highly contaminated with bacteria because their source is not always slaughtered animals. Animals that have died because of disease, injury, or natural causes are a source of meat for meat meal. The dead animal might not be rendered until days after its death. Therefore the carcass is often contaminated with bacteria such as Salmonella and Escherichia coli. Dangerous E. Coli bacteria are estimated to contaminate more than 50% of meat meals. While the cooking process may kill bacteria, it does not eliminate the endotoxins some bacteria produce during their growth and are released when they die. These toxins can cause sickness and disease. Pet food manufacturers do not test their products for endotoxins.

Mycotoxins — These toxins comes from mold or fungi, such as vomitoxin in the Nature’s Recipe case, and aflatoxin in Doane’s food. Poor farming practices and improper drying and storage of crops can cause mold growth. Ingredients that are most likely to be contaminated with mycotoxins are grains such as wheat and corn, cottonseed meal, peanut meal, and fish meal.

Labeling – Back to Top
The National Research Council (NRC) of the Academy of Sciences set the nutritional standards for pet food that were used by the pet food industry until the late 1980s. The NRC standards, which still exist and are being revised as of 2001, were based on purified diets, and required feeding trials for pet foods claimed to be “complete” and “balanced.” The pet food industry found the feeding trials too restrictive and expensive, so AAFCO designed an alternate procedure for claiming the nutritional adequacy of pet food, by testing the food for compliance with “Nutrient Profiles.” AAFCO also created “expert committees” for canine and feline nutrition, which developed separate canine and feline standards. While feeding trials can still be done, a standard chemical analysis may be also be used to determine if a food meets the profiles.

Chemical analysis, however, does not address the palatability, digestibility, or biological availability of nutrients in pet food. Thus it is unreliable for determining whether a food will provide an animal with sufficient nutrients.

To compensate for the limitations of chemical analysis, AAFCO added a “safety factor,” which was to exceed the minimum amount of nutrients required to meet the complete and balanced requirements.

The digestibility and availability of nutrients is not listed on pet food labels.

The 100% Myth:
Your Pet Food Provides All the Nutrition A Pet needs
The idea of one pet food providing all the nutrition a companion animal will ever need for its entire life is a myth.

Cereal grains are the primary ingredients in most commercial pet foods. Many people select one pet food and feed it to their dogs and cats for a prolonged period of time. Therefore companion dogs and cats eat a primarily carbohydrate diet with little variety. Today, the diets of cats and dogs are a far cry from the primarily protein diets with a lot of variety that their ancestors ate.

Health Problems Caused by Inadequate Nutrition
The problems associated with a commercial diet are seen every day at veterinary establishments. Chronic digestive problems, such as chronic vomiting, diarrhea, and inflammatory bowel disease are among the most frequent illnesses treated.

These are often the result of an allergy or intolerance to pet food ingredients. The market for “limited antigen” or “novel protein” diets is now a multi-million dollar business. These diets were formulated to address the increasing intolerance to commercial foods that animals have developed. The newest twist is the truly “hypoallergenic” food that has had all its proteins artificially chopped into pieces smaller than can be recognized and reacted to by the immune system.

Dry commercial pet food is often contaminated with bacteria, which may or may not cause problems. Improper food storage and some feeding practices may result in the multiplication of this bacteria. For example, adding water or milk to moisten pet food and then leaving it at room temperature causes bacteria to multiply. Yet this practice is suggested on the back of packages of some kitten and puppy foods.

Pet food formulas and the practice of feeding that manufacturers recommend have increased other digestive problems. Feeding only one meal per day can cause the irritation of the esophagus by stomach acid. Feeding two smaller meals is better.

Feeding recommendations or instructions on the packaging are sometimes inflated so that the consumer will end up purchasing more food. However, Procter & Gamble allegedly took the opposite tack with its Iams and Eukanuba lines, reducing the feeding amounts in order to claim that its foods were less expensive to feed. Independent studies commissioned by a competing manufacturer suggested that these reduced levels were inadequate to maintain health. Procter & Gamble has since sued and been countersued by that competing manufacturer, and a consumer complaint has also been filed seeking class-action status for harm caused to dogs by the revised feeding instructions.

Urinary tract disease is directly related to diet in both cats and dogs. Plugs, crystals, and stones in cat bladders are often triggered or aggravated by commercial pet food formulas. One type of stone found in cats is less common now, but another more dangerous type has become more common. Manipulation of manufactured cat food formulas to affect acidity in urine and the amount of some minerals has directly affected these diseases. Dogs also form stones as a result of their diet.

History has shown that commercial pet food products can cause disease. An often-fatal heart disease in cats and some dogs was shown to be caused by a deficiency of an amino acid called taurine. Blindness is another symptom of taurine deficiency. This deficiency occurred because of inadequate amounts of taurine in cat food formulas. Cat foods are now supplemented with taurine. New research suggests that supplementing taurine may also be helpful for dogs, but as yet few manufacturers are adding extra taurine to dog food. Inadequate potassium in certain feline diets also caused kidney failure in young cats; potassium is now added in greater amounts to all cat foods.

Rapid growth in large breed puppies has been shown to contribute to bone and joint disease. Excess calories in manufactured puppy food formulas promote rapid growth. There are now special puppy foods for large breed dogs. But this recent change will not help the countless dogs who lived and died with hip and elbow disease.

There is also evidence that hyperthyroidism in cats may be related to excess iodine in commercial pet food diets.9 This is a new disease that first surfaced in the 1970s, when canned food products appeared on the market. The exact cause and effect are not yet known. This is a serious and sometimes terminal disease, and treatment is expensive.

Many nutritional problems appeared with the popularity of cereal-based commercial pet foods. Some have occurred because the diet was incomplete. Although several ingredients are now supplemented, we do not know what ingredients future researchers may discover that should have been supplemented in pet foods all along. Other problems may result from reactions to additives. Others are a result of contamination with bacteria, mold, drugs, or other toxins. In some diseases the role of commercial pet food is understood; in others, it is not. The bottom line is that diets composed primarily of low quality cereals and rendered meat meals are not as nutritious or safe as you should expect for your cat or dog.

What Consumers Can Do

Write or call pet food companies and the Pet Food Institute and express your concerns about commercial pet foods. Demand that they improve the quality of ingredients in their products.

Call API with any information about the pet food industry, specific manufacturers, or specific products.

Print out a copy of this report for your veterinarian to further his or her knowledge about commercial pet food.

Direct your family and friends with companion animals to this website, to alert them of the dangers of commercial pet food. Or request copies of our Fact Sheet on Selecting a Good Commercial Food.

Stop buying commercial pet food. Or if that is not possible, reduce the quantity of commercial pet food and supplement with fresh foods. Purchase one of the books available on pet nutrition and make your own food. Be sure that a veterinarian or a nutritionist writes the recipes to ensure that they are balanced and complete.

Check our sample diets you can make yourself.

Please be aware that API is not a veterinary hospital, clinic, or service. API does not and will not offer any medical advice. If you have concerns about your companion animal’s health or nutritional requirements, please consult your veterinarian.

For Further Reading about Animal Nutrition
The Animal Protection Institute recommends the following books, many of which include recipes for home-prepared diets:

Rudy Edalati. Barker’s Grub: Easy, Wholesome Home Cooking for Your Dog. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0-609-80442-1.
Richard H. Pitcairn, D.V.M., and Susan Hubble Pitcairn. Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. Rodale Press, Inc. ISBN 0-87596-243-2.
Kate Solisti-Mattelon and Patrice Mattelon. The Holistic Animal Handbook: A Guidebook to Nutrition, Health, and Communication. Beyond Words Publishing Co. ISBN 1-5827-0023-0.
Donald R. Strombeck. Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: The Healthful Alternative. Iowa State University Press. ISBN 0-8138-2149-5.
Celeste Yarnall. Natural Cat Care. Journey Editions. ISBN 1-8852-0363-2.
Celeste Yarnall. Natural Dog Care. Journey Editions. ISBN 0-7858-1123-0.

The books listed above are a fraction of all the titles currently available, and the omission of a title does not necessarily mean it is not useful for further reading about animal nutrition.

Please note: The Animal Protection Institute is not a bookseller, and cannot sell or send these books to you. Please contact your local book retailer or an online bookstore, who can supply these books based on the ISBN provided for each title.

——————————————————————————–

What API is Doing
API is a liaison to the AAFCO Pet Food and Ingredient Definitions Committees. By attending AAFCO meetings, we hope to learn more about the industry itself and about potential avenues for bringing about change.

An API representative attends other petfood industry meetings to give voice to our and the consumers’ concerns about pet food.

API is involved in lobbying for the federal regulation of pet food and the development of more stringent standards for the quality of ingredients used.

API will continue to provide information to the public about the pet food industry and the products it promotes.

API is preparing a detailed scientific paper documenting the numerous problems associated with commercial pet food, for presentation to veterinarians.

Who to Write
AAFCO Pet Food Committee
Dr. Rodney Noel — Chair
Office of Indiana State Chemist
Purdue University
1154 Biochemistry Building
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1154
www.aafco.org

FDA – Center for Veterinary Medicine
Sharon Benz
7500 Standish Place
Rockville, MD 20855
301-594-1728
www.cvm.fda.gov/

Pet Food Institute
2025 M Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20036
202-367-1120
Fax 202-367-2120

References
Association of American Feed Control Officials Incorporated. Official Publication 2001. Atlanta: AAFCO, 2001.
Barfield, Carol. FDA Petition, Docket Number 93P0081/CP1, accepted February 25, 1993.
Becker, Ross. “Is your dog’s food safe?” Good Dog!, November/December 1995, 7.
Cargill, James, MA, MBA, MS, and Susan Thorpe-Vargas, MS. “Feed that dog! Part VI.” DOGworld, December 1993, 36.
Case, Linda P., M.S., Daniel P. Carey, D.V.M., and Diane A. Hirakawa, Ph.D. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. St. Louis: Mosby, 1995.
Coffman, Howard D. The Dry Dog Food Reference. Nashua: PigDog Press, 1995.
Corbin, Jim. “Pet Foods and Feeding.” Feedstuffs, July 17, 1996, 80-85.
Knight-Ridder News Syndicate. “Nature’s Recipe Recalls Dog Food That Contains Vomitoxin.” August 28, 1995.
Morris, James G., and Quinton R. Rogers. “Assessment of the Nutritional Adequacy of Pet Foods Through the Life Cycle.” Journal of Nutrition, 124 (1994): 2520S-2533S.
Newman, Lisa. What’s in your pet’s food? Tucson & Phoenix: Holistic Animal Care, 1994.
New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. 1994 Commercial Feed Analysis Annual Report. Albany: Division of Food Inspection Services, 1995.
Parker, J. Michael. “Tainted dog food blamed on corn.” San Antonio Express News, April 1, 1999.
“Petfood activist.” Petfood Industry, September/October 1991, 4.
Pet Food Institute. Fact Sheet 1994. Washington: Pet Food Institute, 1994.
Phillips, Tim, DVM. “Rendered Products Guide.” Petfood Industry, January/February 1994, 12-17, 21.
Pitcairn, Richard H., D.V.M., Ph.D., and Susan Hubble Pitcairn. Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats. Emmaus: Rodale, 1995.
Plechner, Alfred J., DVM, and Martin Zucker. Pet Allergies: Remedies for an Epidemic. Inglewood: Wilshire Book Co., 1986.
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Division of Agriculture. 1994 Report of the Inspection and Analysis of Commercial Feeds, Fertilizers and Liming Materials. Providence: Division of Agriculture, 1995.
Roudebush, Philip, DVM. “Pet food additives.” JAVMA, 203 (1993): 1667-1670.
Rouse, Raymond H. “Feed Fats.” Petfood Industry, March/April 1987, 7.
Sellers, Richard. “Regulating petfood with an open mind.” Petfood Industry, November/December 1990, 41-44.
Smith, Carin A. “Research Roundup: Changes and challenges in feline nutrition.” JAVMA 203 (1993), 1395-1400.
Strombeck, Donald. R. Home-Prepared Dog and Cat Foods: The Healthful Alternative. Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1999.
Winters, Ruth, M.S. A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives. New York: Crown, 1994.
Wysong, R. L. “The ‘complete’ myth.” Petfood Industry, September/October 1990, 24-28.
[Wysong, R. L.] Fresh and Whole: Getting Involved in Your Pet’s Diet. Midland: Wysong Corporation, 1990.
Wysong, R. L. Rationale for Animal Nutrition. Midland: Inquiry Press, 1993.

Notes

  1. Pet Food Institute, 2.
  2. Morris, 2520S.
  3. Corbin, 81.
  4. Cargill, 36.
  5. The conversion is: ingredient percentage divided by (100 minus moisture percentage).
  6. Official Publication, Regulation PE3, 114-115.
  7. Wysong, Rationale, 40-41.
  8. Strombeck, 50-52.
  9. Smith, 1397.

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Why Dogs Vomit Undigested Food https://www.dogshealth.com/blog/why-dogs-vomit-undigested-food/ https://www.dogshealth.com/blog/why-dogs-vomit-undigested-food/#comments Sun, 27 Jan 2019 18:23:54 +0000 https://www.dogshealth.com/blog/?p=2768 Vomiting Causes Vomiting is not the same as regurgitation, which is the passive expulsion of undigested food or fluid from the esophagus that is not accompanied by abdominal effort. Vomiting is common in domestic dogs and usually is a sign of some other underlying problem. Many things can cause a dog to vomit. Dogs often […]

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Vomiting Causes

Vomiting is not the same as regurgitation, which is the passive expulsion of undigested food or fluid from the esophagus that is not accompanied by abdominal effort. Vomiting is common in domestic dogs and usually is a sign of some other underlying problem.

Many things can cause a dog to vomit. Dogs often vomit after eating rancid food, foreign bodies, trash, poisonous plants or other toxic or unpleasant things.

Chronic vomiting, especially if accompanied by profuse or bloody diarrhea, is a serious medical condition that may be attributable to food or environmental allergies, gastrointestinal disease, dietary imbalances, infections, adverse drug reactions, kidney or liver disease, ingestion of toxins or neurological abnormalities. Vomiting can also be triggered by stress, excitement or exposure to loud noises, such as thunderstorms or fireworks.

Vomiting of undigested or partially digested food more than 12 hours after it was eaten reflects an abnormal delay in the proper emptying of stomach contents into the intestinal tract. Frequent vomiting can cause dehydration/volume depletion, electrolyte disturbances, nutritional deficiencies, poor body condition, weight loss, inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis) and/or aspiration pneumonia.

Chronic vomiting, regardless of the cause, can lead to severe dietary deficiencies if the problem is not addressed. Dehydration can be life-threatening, and electrolytic imbalances can cause muscle weakness, tremors and neurological problems.
While an occasional bout of vomiting can be normal, frequent episodes should be assessed by a veterinarian. Vomiting that is accompanied by severe, bloody or mucoid diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, depression, pain, fever or confusion warrants an immediate trip to the veterinary clinic. If a dog can’t hold down even small amounts of food or water, something is seriously wrong. The dog could be suffering from poisoning, an intestinal obstruction, pancreatitis, bloat/gastric dilatation and volvulus, or an infection with parvovirus. All of these conditions are life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.

Vomiting Prevention

There is no magical way to prevent a dog from vomiting. Prevention requires identification and removal of the underlying cause of the condition. Because there are so many diverse causes of vomiting, there is no one protocol to recommend. In general, dogs should not be exposed to potentially toxic substances. They also should have regular veterinary examinations to ensure their good health. High-quality nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, with moderate exercise, lots of fresh air, warm and comfortable housing and plenty of human companionship, are also important to maintaining the good health of our beloved canine companions.
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Treating recurrent vomiting in dogs requires identifying and removing the initiating cause and then providing the appropriate fluids, electrolytes and medications to soothe the stomach. Owners should not panic over an occasional episode of vomiting, but they probably should take their dog to the veterinarian if it is vomiting repeatedly.

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When A Dog Is Ready To Whelp https://www.dogshealth.com/blog/when-a-dog-is-ready-to-whelp/ https://www.dogshealth.com/blog/when-a-dog-is-ready-to-whelp/#respond Sun, 27 Jan 2019 00:52:48 +0000 https://www.dogshealth.com/blog/?p=2765 Is your dog about to give birth? Read this blog for some answers to common questions about whelping. The first thing to do is talk to your vet. It is important to understand the potential risks and be able to identify signs of complications. Ideally, your vet has been checking on your dog throughout the […]

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Is your dog about to give birth? Read this blog for some answers to common questions about whelping.

The first thing to do is talk to your vet. It is important to understand the potential risks and be able to identify signs of complications. Ideally, your vet has been checking on your dog throughout the pregnancy. The vet will talk to you about preparation and may also be able to help you find the right supplies.

Knowing When Your Dog Is Ready to Give Birth

Within about 48 hours of delivery, a pregnant dog typically shows signs of nesting. These signs may include scratching at her bed and looking for a safe place to have the puppies. You should begin to take your dog’s rectal temperature once or twice a day as her due date approaches. When the rectal temperature drops below 100°F (normal body temperature is 100-102°F) this is a good sign that labor will begin within about 24 hours.

During the first stage of labor, your dog will begin to experience uterine contractions. She may also start pacing or digging. Many dogs will pant or shake. Some dogs even vomit. All of this is considered normal behavior and typically lasts for six to 12 hours until the cervix dilates and she is ready to deliver her pups.

What You Can Do to Help

In the beginning, the best thing you can do is keep your distance while quietly observing your dog whelp. It may surprise you to learn that dogs don’t usually need much help giving birth. In fact, it is fascinating to watch a dog’s instincts take over as they whelp and nurse.

When the dog is ready to deliver a puppy, she will typically strain, or push, for about 10-30 minutes before the puppy emerges. Each newborn puppy is covered with a membrane that must be removed in order for the puppy to breathe. Most mothers instinctively do this by biting at the membrane and licking the puppy clean. If the mother does not do this within about two minutes, you will need to assist. Remove the membrane and rub the puppy clean with a towel. Clamp the umbilical cord with a hemostat and tie it with the umbilical tape or string (or, you can tie the actual cord in a knot). Cut the cord with surgical scissors on the side away from the puppy. Note: Never pull on the umbilical cord as it could cause injury.

The puppies are generally born about 45-60 minutes apart. In between pups, the mother may or may not pass the placenta from the previous pup. You might want to prevent your dog from eating the placenta because it often causes vomiting later.

About halfway through delivering the pups, the mother may need to take a break. Up to four hours may pass before she begins straining again. There is no cause for concern unless she goes longer than four hours before beginning to deliver the next pup. Hopefully, you have an idea of the number of pups and their sizes. Your vet may take x-rays around day 45 to determine the number of puppies.

Some puppies may be born tail first. This is not abnormal and is not usually a problem unless the pup seems stuck.

Signs of Complications

Call your veterinarian right away if any of the following occurs:

She does not go into labor within 24 hours of her temperature dropping below 100°F

Your dog is straining/having contractions for more than 30-60 minutes and no puppy is born

A puppy appears to be stuck in the birth canal, or the puppy is halfway out, and the mother cannot push the puppy anymore.

It has been more than four hours since the last pup, and you know there are more inside

She appears to be in extreme pain

The gestation period has reached 70 days

You have other concerns about the mother or her puppies

When in doubt, contact a veterinarian with questions. Ideally, you will already have a relationship with a vet experienced in canine reproduction.

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Pig Ears For Dogs https://www.dogshealth.com/blog/pig-ears-for-dogs/ https://www.dogshealth.com/blog/pig-ears-for-dogs/#respond Sat, 26 Jan 2019 16:27:01 +0000 https://www.dogshealth.com/blog/?p=2762 Just like humans, pets deserve a special treat every so often, and times like these call for dog owners to go out of their way to do something their dogs will love. Surprises of this nature go a long way in showing your canine companion that you appreciate them for all the unconditional love they […]

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Just like humans, pets deserve a special treat every so often, and times like these call for dog owners to go out of their way to do something their dogs will love. Surprises of this nature go a long way in showing your canine companion that you appreciate them for all the unconditional love they give you.

Dog owners have all sorts of questions. Among the most commonly asked, is whether dogs should be given pig’s ears for a treat. To help make an informed decision, we provide the following advantages/disadvantages list:

The Good…

1. It is almost impossible for a dog to turn down a pig’s ears dog treat. They find the chews simply delicious and will even love and obey you more. Perhaps this is the most appealing advantage of this type of dog’s chews. At the very least, you know that your gift will be received with a lot of joy and love.

2. Giving your dog pig’s ears allows you to kill two birds using one stone. Apart from it being a gesture of appreciation, you get to capitalize on the benefit the chews have on your dog’s teeth. The chews keep your companion’s teeth clean and the gums healthy, and this translates to fresh breath. Furthermore, the chews are also odorless.

3. Since these type of chews have a thick hide and density, they permit easy chewing particularly for small dogs, delicate chewers, as well as senior dogs.

4. Compared to other dog chews, pig’s ears are relatively inexpensive and readily available. They are sold both online and in local pet stores.

The Bad…

1. This type of dog chews is associated with a dangerous level of fat – especially for dogs that are prone to obesity. As such, if you decide to administer it to your dog, moderate the intake.

2. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, stay clear of pig’s ears chews as they may cause vomiting or diarrhea.

3. Sometimes, pig’s ears are infected with salmonella bacteria; an infection that can lead to gastrointestinal infection. Some of the symptoms of salmonella infection include diarrhea, lethargy, and vomiting. For this reason, the chews should only be purchased from a reputable company. Ensure that your source usually conducts heat treatment on their products for about half a day. Heat treatment is an effective way of eliminating possible bacteria.

Note: salmonella is transmittable from pigs or dogs to humans – the more reasons you should handle dog’s feces carefully. Also, remember to wash your hands thoroughly after interacting with the chews.

When administered as a treat, pig’s ears are a good way of rewarding your dog for their company, love, and obedience. As long as you observe safety rules, they are the best for small dogs, senior dogs, and delicate chewers. To prevent or curb incidences of digestive obstructions, choking and the consequences of the highly sensitive stomach, supervise your dog while it chews.

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Shih Tzu Care Tips https://www.dogshealth.com/blog/shih-tzu-care-tips/ https://www.dogshealth.com/blog/shih-tzu-care-tips/#respond Mon, 25 Jul 2016 13:45:41 +0000 http://www.dogshealth.com/blog/?p=2348 Shih tzu’s are good-natured and easy to train, making them great family pets. But caring for a Shih tzu can be time consuming because they require a lot of grooming. A major part of Shih tzu care is proper grooming which will begin as soon as you bring your new dog home. Their thick, double-coated […]

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Shih tzu’s are good-natured and easy to train, making them great family pets. But caring for a Shih tzu can be time consuming because they require a lot of grooming.

A major part of Shih tzu care is proper grooming which will begin as soon as you bring your new dog home. Their thick, double-coated hair can be grown long, or for easier care, kept in a short cut.

As soon as you bring your Shih tzu home it’s a good idea to start desensitizing your pet to brushing since it will need to be brushed daily. Start with a quick brushing, being careful not to get too forceful with the first few brushings.

During grooming sessions you’ll need to lift the top coat of its hair and brush the undercoat thoroughly. Be sure to brush its stomach, under the ears and between its legs where hair mats are particularly likely to collect.

Good Shih tzu care includes keeping the hair trimmed from their eyes, or in lieu of trimming you can use a special dog rubber band to place the hair in a ponytail on top of the dog’s head. These ribbons are available from almost every pet store.

Since shih tzus have floppy ears, you will need to clean their ears regularly using a special ear cleaner or mild soap. Use a cotton ball or something equally as soft to clean the ear flaps; then use a Q-Tip to clean the part of its ear canal that you can easily see. Take special care not to clean too far inside the ear canal or you can easily damage its ear drum.

Because they have flat faces, Shih tzus often have difficulty eating and drinking. It’s a good idea to supervise your dog when it’s eating or drinking water from its bowls. It helps if you put their food and water in wide, flat pans to make it easier for them to get their whole face in the bowl. Some owners prefer to hand feed their pet to make it easier for the dog to eat.

Shih tzus need regular exercise but usually can’t handle long walks. Shorter exercise periods once or twice a day is better for these little dogs. In the summer you should keep the walks shorter as Shih tzus don’t tolerate heat very well.

Shih tzus are very playful dogs and they enjoy short stretches of play. If you teach your Shih tzu to fetch a toy or play hide and seek, it will provide enough exercise for your pet and also allow it to rest when tired.

Although Shih tzu care can involve high maintenance, these dogs make a great addition to a family as long as you’re prepared for the effort it takes to keep them safe and well-groomed.

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Living with a Blind Dog https://www.dogshealth.com/blog/living-with-a-blind-dog-2/ https://www.dogshealth.com/blog/living-with-a-blind-dog-2/#respond Mon, 18 Jul 2016 13:55:24 +0000 http://www.dogshealth.com/blog/?p=2345 Living with a blind dog can be a challenging undertaking, both for the dog and for its owner who now must be the eyes for both of them. A dog who suddenly develops blindness is usually able to adjust to living life without its vision which has been an important and indispensable sense all its […]

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Living with a blind dog can be a challenging undertaking, both for the dog and for its owner who now must be the eyes for both of them.

A dog who suddenly develops blindness is usually able to adjust to living life without its vision which has been an important and indispensable sense all its life.

More than likely your dog has a good appetite which will not be affected by the loss of sight. Just help guide your pet to its food and water bowls until it gets used to locating them itself. Some owners whose dogs have lost their sight find that adding a little lemon to the water bowl gives the water a scent the dog can detect from a distance.

To properly care for your dog and to be sure that you are helping it all you can, you may need to make some adjustments to your living space. The first thing you’ll probably notice is that your pet will bump into furniture and other objects around the house that it used to avoid without a second thought. It can take a while before your dog gets re-accustomed to the layout of your house and learns how to get around without bumping into furniture. To quickly illustrate how much of a problem this can be for your dog, close your own eyes and try maneuvering around your rooms without bumping into things.

If you have furniture with sharp corners, place foam pads on the corners to prevent serious injuries if your pet should bump into the sharp edges.

Don’t change the layout of your rooms in the early stages of your dog’s blindness. Keeping your furniture in the same positions allows your blind dog to familiarize itself with its suddenly “new” surroundings. Be extra careful not to leave large or sharp objects lying around on the floor if your dog is not used to encountering them in the room. Leaving something lying around that you wouldn’t even think could be a problem may end up injuring your dog.

If you have stairs in your home, don’t let your dog climb up and down them unless you are sure it can easily and safely maneuver them.

Your dog is probably used to going outside to play or simply relieve itself. Look carefully around your yard to check for rakes, mowers, or any other large objects that could cause injury to your pet.

If you have a swimming pool you’ll need to watch your dog carefully when it’s outside because it’s very easy for the dog to accidentally fall into your pool and possibly drown if you’re not there to help. If it’s not feasible to place a fence around your pool you’ll need to be aware of the dog’s whereabouts the entire time it’s outside.

After your dog has lost its sight it will take some time before it can begin to rely solely on its sense of smell and hearing rather than using its eyesight also. Helping your dog find objects when it’s having trouble adjusting will speed the process of it adapting to the blindness as long as you don’t do everything for your pet, making it completely dependent on your assistance.

Living with a blind dog does not mean you’re now charged with the responsibility of caring for an animal that will require your constant attention. The quicker you can help your pet adjust to this new way of life, the easier it will be for both of you and the sooner you’ll regain the full attention of your loving pet again.

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Dogs With OCD https://www.dogshealth.com/blog/dogs-with-ocd/ https://www.dogshealth.com/blog/dogs-with-ocd/#respond Mon, 11 Jul 2016 13:53:45 +0000 http://www.dogshealth.com/blog/?p=2351 Dogs with OCD (or Osteochondrosis) suffer a great deal of pain and mobility issues. When a dog has OCD, fragments of bone and cartilage become detached from larger bones and end up floating around the area encompassing a dog’s joints. The result is that any movement in the joint where those fragments are located will […]

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Dogs with OCD (or Osteochondrosis) suffer a great deal of pain and mobility issues.

When a dog has OCD, fragments of bone and cartilage become detached from larger bones and end up floating around the area encompassing a dog’s joints. The result is that any movement in the joint where those fragments are located will cause a dog to suffer from severe pain.

Dogs With OCD (or osteochondrosis)

What is Osteochondrosis (OCD)

OCD is a congenital problem that usually affects only larger dogs who seem to be predisposed to the condition.

The best way to understand the true cause of this condition is that it is a disease of the cartilage that results in large pieces of cartilage and bone becoming detached and floating freely. This causes a dog with OCD a lot of pain.

These free floating bone and cartilage pieces can lead to the development of arthritis, hip dysplasia, secondary degenerative joint disease, or other side effects.

There are several variations of osteochondrosis (OCD), and all typically affect the dog’s joints at the ankle, shoulder, elbow and knee on one or both sides of a dog’s body.

The different types of OCD are distinguished by their location on a dog’s body. They are also differentiated from each other based on the severity and the primary cause of the condition.

It’s more common for OCD to affect the forelimbs than a dog’s hind feet and legs.

Symptoms of OCD in dogs

To properly treat and identify OCD in your pet, you need to be able to recognize the symptoms of this disease. OCD can develop at any stage of a dog’s life, although it is more common in younger dogs than in older ones.

Dogs with OCD will show some of the following warning signs:

  • Pain when the affected limb is touched;
  • Muscle degeneration on the affected side of the dog’s body;
  • A general limitation of movement;
  • Lameness or difficulty moving around.

How to diagnose and treat OCD in dogs

A veterinarian will diagnose osteochondrosis using a series of X-ray tests.

Treatment of the disease requires lifestyle changes. The dog’s exercise routine must be changed to ensure that the dog can remain active and suffer fewer mobility problems.

Dogs suffering with joint diseases like OCD, arthritis, bursitis, hip dysplasia and other degenerative problems with the shoulders, elbows and hocks can find immediate and long-term relief without drugs with a regular regimen of Winston’s Joint System, a combination of three, totally-natural whole food supplements developed by a Naturopathic Doctor for his own dog. Winston’s contains no drugs and there are no side-effects.

Winston’s Pain Formula is another product proven to be fast acting and highly effective in relieving the pain in a dog caused by these diseases. Both of these products help your dog to recover much faster.

Dogs with OCD will require a change in diet and careful observation to prevent overfeeding and weight gain which contribute to damage of the joints due to OCD. Work with your vet to determine if your dog’s diet is properly supporting its joint health or if it can be changed to be more effective.

Since 1990, Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula have helped heal over twenty thousand dogs from all over the world. Our staff specializes in hip dysplasia, arthritis and all joint, pain and mobility issues.
 
There is an excellent chance we can help your dog, so please contact us at: www.dogshealth.com or call our toll free number at 888-901-5557.

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Human Health Irritations Due to Pets https://www.dogshealth.com/blog/human-health-irritations-due-to-pets/ https://www.dogshealth.com/blog/human-health-irritations-due-to-pets/#respond Mon, 04 Jul 2016 13:51:35 +0000 http://www.dogshealth.com/blog/?p=2343 Some people are unfortunate because they have allergies to dogs and will never be able to enjoy the love, devotion, and companionship a human receives from a pet dog. The symptoms of dog allergies are very similar to the symptoms of other types of allergies or the symptoms of a cold. According to the Asthma […]

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Some people are unfortunate because they have allergies to dogs and will never be able to enjoy the love, devotion, and companionship a human receives from a pet dog.

The symptoms of dog allergies are very similar to the symptoms of other types of allergies or the symptoms of a cold. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, approximately 15 to 30 percent of allergy sufferers are allergic to dogs and cats. Dog allergies are not as commonplace as cat allergies, but the dander that causes the allergy tends to be more widespread. A human with a dog allergy may be allergic only to specific breeds or may be affected by all breeds.

The most common allergic reaction to dogs experienced by humans is caused by dog dander and not dog hair. A dog’s dander consists of dead skin cells that contain allergens. When a dog sheds hair, it often sheds dander along with it. Since a dog’s fur has nothing to do with allergies, adopting a dog with short hair doesn’t help prevent dog dander allergy.

Some of the most common symptoms of dog allergies include coughing, sneezing itchy eyes and skin, skin rashes, runny eyes, stuffed up nose, and difficulty in breathing.

If your allergic reactions are caused by dogs, you probably will want to avoid being around dogs, but if you already have a pet you can get allergy shots for immunization. Allergens will be injected in your system once each month with the goal of making you less allergic to dogs The injections take place over a period of 6 to 9 months. Your allergic reactions won’t disappear, but they will be noticeably reduced.

Antihistamines and corticosteroids are short-term solutions and may also have side effects. If the allergy makes you itchy you can try applying topical ointments that contain steroids.

Symptoms of dog allergies can be reduced by bathing your dog regularly to reduce the amount of dander shed in your house. You can also clean your dog’s skin with a moist sponge each day.

Some hints on lowering the incidence of allergies to dogs include grooming your dog daily, using air cleaners or filters, not allowing your dog to sit on your bed or sofa, clean your home and vacuum all the corners where dander can collect, and using allergy reducing sprays on your pet.

Some people believe there are hypoallergenic dogs they could adopt without suffering from dog allergies. The truth is that hypoallergenic dogs don’t exist; all dogs shed dander. It is true that some breeds don’t shed as much dander as others, but a dog that cannot cause allergies has never existed.

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How to Choose a Dog Groomer https://www.dogshealth.com/blog/how-to-choose-a-dog-groomer/ https://www.dogshealth.com/blog/how-to-choose-a-dog-groomer/#respond Mon, 27 Jun 2016 13:02:29 +0000 http://www.dogshealth.com/blog/?p=2567 When you need to find a dog groomer to keep your pet looking its very best, a good place to start is with your regular vet. A lot of veterinarians, especially those with larger facilities or animal hospitals, also offer dog grooming. The groomers employed in facilities like these are professional dog groomers, trained in […]

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When you need to find a dog groomer to keep your pet looking its very best, a good place to start is with your regular vet. A lot of veterinarians, especially those with larger facilities or animal hospitals, also offer dog grooming. The groomers employed in facilities like these are professional dog groomers, trained in the correct methods of grooming all breeds of dogs. While keeping your dog looking its best, you’ll also feel safe knowing your pet is receiving the best care available while getting its “haircut.”

There are some important questions you should ask a prospective groomer before committing your pet to the scissors.

(1) What breed or breeds of dogs do they personally own?
(2) Did the groomer go to school to learn dog grooming or did they learn it ‘on the job?’
3) How long have they been grooming dogs?
(4) What breeds do they feel comfortable with and which breeds are they best at grooming?
(5) Do they have more than one style of grooming for different breeds?

Questions to ask the staff at the facility:

(A) What hours does the groomer work?
(B) How are dogs checked in and will they call you when it’s time to pick up your pet?
(C) How far in advance do you need to make an appointment?
(D) What is the fee for grooming and what does the fee include?
(E) What type of shampoos and conditioners are used?
(F) Is the ear hair plucked from breeds with hair in their ear canals?
(G) If your dog refuses to willfully submit to a grooming and needs to be sedated during the grooming, what safeguards does the facility have in place for sedating a dog and is there someone who will monitor your pet during the process?

The relationship you will want to develop with your dog’s groomer should be professional yet friendly. The answers you receive to these questions should help in choosing the best groomer for your pet.

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Removing Ticks From Dogs https://www.dogshealth.com/blog/removing-ticks-from-dogs/ https://www.dogshealth.com/blog/removing-ticks-from-dogs/#comments Mon, 13 Jun 2016 13:57:54 +0000 http://www.dogshealth.com/blog/?p=2389 Removing ticks from your dog should be a priority as soon as you notice even one tick appearing on your dog’s skin. Many ticks can carry serious diseases like Lyme’s Disease. The types of environments where ticks are usually found are places with thick vegetation, in tall grasses, bushes, and heavy brush in the woods […]

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Removing ticks from your dog should be a priority as soon as you notice even one tick appearing on your dog’s skin. Many ticks can carry serious diseases like Lyme’s Disease.

The types of environments where ticks are usually found are places with thick vegetation, in tall grasses, bushes, and heavy brush in the woods where ticks have a lot of vegetation to crawl around on.

Removing a tick is not difficult but can be very upsetting to some dogs. To safely remove a tick from your dog’s skin, soak a cotton ball in mineral oil and hold it against the tick for about 30 seconds. Using tweezers to squeeze the dog’s skin surrounding the tick, grab the tick’s head between the tweezers, carefully pulling it out, making sure to remove its entire body.

Next swab the area with rubbing alcohol, and be sure to thoroughly wash your hands after removing all the ticks.

When removing a tick it’s important that you don’t twist or pull too hard on it as you may break the tick’s body, leaving part of it still attached to your dog’s skin. If a tick is not removed completely or correctly, it can leave your dog vulnerable to a number of diseases.

Another method of safely removing a tick from your dog is to rub the tick in a circular motion. Ticks do not like this movement and will oftentimes crawl out on their own, permitting you to easily remove them.

Be sure that you do not make any of these common mistakes when removing a tick from your dog:
(1) crushing the tick, as crushing it will allow its blood to enter your dog’s blood stream, and it may be carrying debilitating diseases;

(2) attempting to remove the tick with your fingers. This not only makes it too easy to crush the tick, but also exposes you to any potential diseases the tick may be carrying.

Ticks are nasty little creatures that neither you or your dog want to see. Learning how to properly remove them will help ensure your dog’s health and prevent the transmission of deadly diseases.

 

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