Tag Archives: raw dog food

Spring Has Sprung!

CATS everywhere are yowling for attention…the females are restless and the boys are a ’fightin’. Even your spayed and neutered felines are feeling the fun in the air. I have had a few early fighters in my practice already, with small abscess repairs and a not-so-fun week of confinement with that embarrassing e-collar….

Be aware that it is far better to build a “catio,” or other large wired-in area for your kitties, so they can safely play “wildcat” without the associated risk. Along with cat-fights, the risks on the rise as it gets sunnier include coyote predators, owls, bobcats and of course, cars driven by happy teens out for spring and summer fun.

If you must let your kitty wander the ‘hood during the day, please have them in for supper (theirs) by about 5 pm, before dusk descends. If you notice your pet lying around, a little quiet, or subdued, often they have a developing abscess somewhere that just hasn’t demanded your attention yet. It’s best to really feel around for a sore spot on kitty’s body so you can detect that swelling before it gets too big or-yuck-ruptures.

Lastly, let’s talk about restless DOGS and spring. Most of you responsible pet owners have spayed and neutered dogs. But for other reasons, dogs too, want to really get out there and run and play and sniff our (finally) abundant, post-rain grass!

With all of that drive and activity, you may start to notice more knee and elbow strains in the more active pups, and joint stiffness and pronounced limping in those older “weekend warrior” canines. We have been using several amazing ALL-NATURAL products that are REVERSING JOINT DISEASE, REMOVING INFLAMMATION FROM THE JOINTS AND BONES, and doing a little general reverse aging as well. (I’m in for the human version….). Call and ask today about BIOCELL, EXCEL CAMELINA OIL, AND VETSMART HIP AND JOINT…remember, pure, clean, and 95% absorbed the minute it passes their doggy lips!

Let’s keep the SPRING in your pet’s steps this Spring!

Obesity: Not Just a Human Problem

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So your vet has told you your dog is FAT, obese or just a little overweight. But you have been only feeding him dry food, and just two cups a day, at that. The bag says to feed him/her 4 cups a day, which seems excessive, even to you. This is disheartening and confusing for lots of owners. 

Pet Obesity Issue: Commercial Pet Food 

Why is your pet still overweight? Unfortunately in this country, the pet food industry is not well regulated when it comes to counting calories. By using the words “light” or “weight management” on many pet food bags, you feel you’re helping your pet with accurate recommendations for food intake. Unfortunately, these words are mere marketing ploys to get you to pay for “healthy” food. And if your pet eats more, you run out sooner, etc. You can see where I’m going with this. 

Tiffany Noreuil, an animal care technician at the Humane Society, holds Goliath, the cat found stuck in a doggie door trying to steal food.  Benjamin Brink/The Oregonian

First of all, let’s talk about what puts weight on your dog in the first place. The much maligned “table food” is NOT the problem. In fact, healthy table foods such as lean meats and vegetables (non-starchy), are a great choice for your dog. However, pet store pet treats, are typically very high in simple carbohydrates.

Another and very unexpected one is DRY DOG FOOD. What????? Yes, it’s true. Dry food isn’t the natural composition of food your dog consumes in the “wild”. Dry food, no matter what the calorie count, has a lot of carbohydrates in it. These carbohydrates convert directly to fat in the body, which is why it’s much better to feed your dog lean protein and vegetables. Any simple carbohydrate or starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn, carrots or peas, are converted quickly to fat stores in the body.

Ways to Help Your Pet Slimdown 

Ideally, I recommend the raw, frozen clean diets created for dogs, and carried in smaller pet stores. As long as your dog doesn’t easily get diarrhea, this is an excellent choice for weight loss. 

An alternative to this is the freeze dried diets such as Natural Balance. A homemade diet from real foods –again lean fish, chicken, beef or turkey is a great option. I always tell people to keep a bag of frozen green beans on hand for a “treat.” Your pup may turn up his nose, at first, but when his tummy is rumbling and you are not answering with a treat, he will often investigate and eat a bowl of warm green beans. You can also add this to small meals to make them more bulky and filling for your plump pup. By using a manufactured diet, you will still generally feed less than the bag recommends….Please consult an integrative veterinarian for the exact amounts.

How much you feed your dog is very dependent on the breed and metabolism of YOUR particular dog. Some dogs have true thyroid problems, a disease called “hypothyroidism”. This means they don’t have or don’t use the normal levels of thyroid hormone, the hormone that controls metabolism. That means your dog will not burn calories at the normal rate, so they cannot eat as much as another dog without gaining excess weight.

Obesity is as bad or worse for your dog as it is for you. Back and knee problems are far more common and frequent than in dogs of a normal weight, and are extremely expensive to treat.

In short, if raw food or high quality/homemade diets cost a bit more, the cost is FAR less than the vet bills you will incur from problems caused by obesity.

Is your pet struggling with obesity? Looking for a veterinarian’s opinion on diet changes? Please contact me, Dr. Tiffany Margolin at info@fromtheheartvet.com.