05.08.2013 | 01:13 pm
Q: I have a pair of two year old Greyhounds. Their weight is between 55 and 60 lbs. I feed them 1 1/2 cups of Holistic Select Anchovy, Sardine and Salmon dry dog food morning and evening, which is a little more than you recommend. In addition to their Holistic Select dry food, they get several treats during the day, and yet they are still starving! When I let them outside I have to watch them closely so that they don’t consume their stools. They do scavenge around the yard eating sticks, acorns and droppings from the trees. What should I do?
A: In my experience, the behavior you have described is typical of a rescued greyhound. Much has developed as a result of boredom and periods of very little stimulation. Exercise is essential for these dogs. They need regular activities that stimulate their interest, both in the home and outside.
With regard to feeding, never feed to satisfy appetite, rather always feed just enough to maintain a slightly lean body mass. The Holistic Select Anchovy, Sardine and Salmon dry dog food is a relatively low calorie recipe (354 kcals./cup). I would suggest trying the Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Recipe dry dog food as it contains more calories (almost 400 kcals./cup)and uses three different animal protein sources which is an excellent source of calories for a dog such as a Greyhound.
Remember to transition slowly to any new diet over a week’s time.
Archive for September, 2010
09.24.2010 | 01:36 pm
This month, Dr. Al answers your questions about adding fiber to a dog’s diet and switching to a lower protein diet for a senior cat.
Q: I have a 5 year old active Rat Terrier that weighs 10 pounds who sometimes has problems with his anal gland. It has been recommended that I increase her fiber intake (to help firm up her stools). Which food would you recommend for my dog?
A: Chronic loose stools can alter the anal gland’s normal secretions and make it more difficult for the glands to empty naturally, resulting in what is known as impaction. As the glands fill up, they can cause discomfort, scooting and increased licking in the area. Working closely with your veterinarian to relieve the buildup of secretions and make sure there is no infection or other complication is essential.
In many cases, re-occurring impaction does respond to increased fiber content in the diet. Holistic Select® Weight Management Recipe Dry Dog Food contains increased fiber and may help the problem.
If you decide to try the Weight Management recipe, remember to transition to the new diet slowly, over a 5-7 day period in order to allow the body to easily adjust to the change.
Q: Recently at a check-up, and our vet suggested we switch our 15 year old cat over to a low-protein diet. Does Holistic Select carry a low-protein product for cats? What do you recommend?
A: There has long been a controversy over protein levels for healthy older cats. Many vets agree that as cats get older, their digestive tract becomes less efficient at digesting nutrients which is an important consideration. In addition, one of the most common conditions that ultimately takes our beloved pets is renal (kidney) failure. Protein can play a significant role in the progression of kidney disease.
It is essential that you work closely with your veterinarian to determine the over-all health of your older cat, especially, the health of the kidneys.
As long as the kidneys are functioning normally, it is essential to provide adequate protein in order to maintain sufficient lean body mass, protein synthesis and immune function. Reducing the level of protein in a healthy cat’s diet may not be the best. However, if the kidney function tests and urinalysis indicate that the kidneys are not functioning adequately reducing the protein may be appropriate. Again, working closely with your veterinarian is essential.
Just as important as the amount of protein, is the quality of the protein. It must be easily digestible by the older animal. All of the Holistic Select Feline Recipes contain highly digestible protein sources.
Adequate water consumption must also be maintained in order for proper kidney function to occur and that is critical in older cats.
Feeding canned foods, or a combination of canned and dry foods, can provide additional moisture as well as quality protein levels for the older cat.
05.08.2013 | 10:47 am
Summer fun usually means more time outdoors and traveling as a family. Though Max is an important family member, when you take him along, you have to think a little differently.
Here are 4 Ways to Keep Your Pet Safe:
- Never leave him in the car. In just 10 minutes, your car interior can climb to 100 degrees—even with the windows cracked. Your dog could overheat and dehydrate during your “quick” errand.
- Work up to exercise – If your pet has been a couch potato most of the winter and now you want to take him for a long run, work up to it. Go for longer walks and short runs frequently rather than suddenly deciding to “go for the gold”. That’s how sprains, pulled muscles and other injuries happen.
- Asphalt burns paws—If you’ll be walking on asphalt for a good portion of your outing, be sensitive to your pet and dab the paw pads with cooling alcohol pads, douse them in water and look for grassy areas to let your pet cool off.
- Prevent Escape Artists—If you have a fenced in yard, make sure your pet cannot escape. You might enact a family wide “safety check” to review the fence and ensure everyone understands the importance of triple checking the gate.
05.08.2013 | 10:33 am
Probiotics for Dogs
Chances are, you’ve heard of probiotics. You may even know they’re micro-organisms that live in your gut and keep your digestion healthy. What you may not know is your pet needs them too.
Sometimes called “friendly” bacteria, probiotics protect your pet’s body. The term “probiotics” comes from the Greek and means, “for life.” No wonder they’re essential to your pet’s health! The best thing you can do is replenish them daily.
These micro-organisms keep your pet’s immune system strong, reduce food allergies and help your dog maintain a settled tummy.
Plus, they can reduce shedding, rashes, and yeast infections.
If your pet has a lot of tummy upset such as diarrhea, adding probiotics to his diet may help. Gastrointestinal problems are one of the major symptoms that your pet is lacking in probiotics.
What Makes Them Disappear?
Illness, stress, exposure to chemicals and prescription drugs (antibiotics) all deplete your pet’s body of these healthy organisms. Just you being gone all day at work can cause stress in your furry friend. So, it’s important to make sure he’s replenished.
Antibiotics strip out all the bacteria, good or bad to do its work. That’s why doctors sometimes recommend yogurt after a round of antibiotics to rebuild the “good” bacteria. Filled with these live and active cultures, yogurt may be the best-known source for probiotics.
Probiotics are also available in supplement form and in Holistic Select® Dry food recipes.
It’s important to ensure your pet gets a healthy dose of these probiotics daily to maintain good health. What’s your experience with probiotics? We’d love to hear in the comments below.
04.22.2013 | 02:02 pm
Like us, no two pets are exactly the same. This goes for their health too. Each dog and cat has different dietary needs. The best way to determine what your pet’s individual nutritional needs are is to work with those who know them best- you, your vet and your local pet store nutritional expert.
By consulting with your vet, you can get a better sense of any medical issues your pet may have, such as dry skin, digestive issues or even allergies. Then, take this information to your local pet shop expert.
Why choose a local pet shop over a big chain pet store?
Holistic Select has been working closely with our partners at independent pet specialty stores and regional chains to provide them with the resources they need to ensure that their employees possess not only an extensive knowledge of pet nutrition, but also a complete understanding of our recipes. By teaming up with your vet and local pet shop nutrition expert, you’ll be able to find the exact food that’s right for your pet, which will help ensure that they will live a long, healthy and happy life with you.
04.22.2013 | 01:08 pm
A. It is normal for your cat’s skin to slightly slough away resulting in what is commonly referred to as dandruff. Especially in cold winters, low humidity can dry the skin of an animal causing excessive flaking.
Diet can play a role in helping to prevent dandruff. Be sure the foods you are feeding are complete and balanced and contain optimum levels of the essential fats to encourage a healthy skin and hair coat. Diets like Holistic Select® canned and dry recipes for cats provide whole-body nutritional support for a healthier skin and coat.
Brushing your cat will help remove the flakes. Most cats are very particular about proper grooming and so when you see dandruff, it may be more than just the normal flaking of the cells of the skin. If your cat has excessive dandruff, it is important to have the problem checked by your veterinarian to determine the cause so an effective treatment can be developed.
Q: I have a 5 month old, 1 lb 6oz teacup Miniature Pinscher. I got her this past weekend and would like to start her on your products. Since she’s under two pounds, I’m not sure how much to feed her, which recipe, and how often?
A: Holistic Select Small and Mini Breed Puppy Health Recipe dry dog food would be a great diet for your Min-Pin. I would suggest starting with ¼ cup per day divided into three feedings. By feeding this higher fiber recipe over multiple meals, you may help to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which can be common in smaller breed puppies. Keep in mind that this is a starting point and that feeding guidelines are meant to be just that – a guideline, which can be adjusted for different variables such as activity level, sex, time of the year, metabolic rate and more. I recommend adjusting the amount fed so as to maintain a slightly lean body mass while allowing for your puppy to grow at a healthy pace.
Be sure to transition her diet from her current food to Holistic Select slowly, over 7 days to assure no digestive problems occur during the switch.
Holistic Select Small and Mini Breed Puppy Health Recipe dry dog food is formulated to contain more protein and fat than regular puppy foods to meet the needs of highly active smaller breed puppies. This special puppy food also has an ideal amount of DHA, an Omega 3 fatty acid known to improve brain development and five different probiotics for digestive health and enhanced immune system function.
04.22.2013 | 11:14 am
With dog parks cropping up everywhere, it can be tempting to pop into one and let your dog run around and make new friends. However, keep in mind that many dog parks may require a membership and keycard to get inside, so it may require some planning. Some even require a “welcome session” where the rules are spelled out and dog parents sign paperwork.
Even if your local pup run is “all access”, there are a few rules to follow to make sure that everyone stays safe and has fun.
Dog Park Etiquette
- Make sure your pet is up to date on his/her vaccines and rabies shots.
- Keep your pet on-leash until you get to the off leash area. It’s safer than letting your dog bound out of your car without any restriction. You don’t want him running in the wrong direction.
- Don’t drop your dog off while you run errands. If your dog were to get hurt or to hurt someone else’s pet, you’d want to be there.
- Pay attention to your dog. While it’s fun to chat with other dog parents, it’s important to watch your dog’s behavior and make sure they’re playing nicely. If they’re being aggressive, take them home.
- Pick up after your pet. Most dog parks have pooper scoopers and bags for this purpose with a trash can. No one wants to step in doggie droppings.
What if someone doesn’t pick up after their charge? You can politely point out the tools available for this purpose.
- Make sure you close all doors and gates when entering or leaving the dog park. Double check that they’re latched. You don’t want to be responsible for any escapees.
- Don’t bring a picnic. If you’re eating a sandwich and someone’s overeager lab snatches it right out of your lap, you’ll be very disappointed – and hungry.
Dog parks can be a lot of fun for both humans and dogs. Being mindful of the others will keep it an enjoyable experience for all. Share your favorite dog park experience on our Facebook Page.
02.22.2013 | 01:25 am
This month Dr. Townshend answers your questions about a Siamese cat’s chronic vomiting and reducing gas for a Red Heeler.
Q: I have two Siamese cats. The female mother cat throws up her food, daily. My vet tells me there is nothing I can do for her. What (if anything) can I do? I have tried many different brands and types of food, including foods with higher meat/protein content and fewer grains. Do you have any suggestions?
A: There are many reasons a cat might throw up his food. Although sometimes this can be a reaction to food, there are many other possible causes. It is certainly not normal for a cat to throw up daily, and I would recommend working closely with your veterinarian to make every effort to resolve the issue.
When trying to pinpoint the reason for your cat’s chronic vomiting, consider the following possible causes:
1. Eating too fast can increase the potential for vomiting regularly. Hairballs building up in the stomach can also cause the problem. Adding a small amount of oil to the diet may help. Try olive oil or canola oil, about a teaspoon full daily. Make sure you feed the cats separately as eating together may cause stress and cause the mother to eat too quickly.
2. A change in the normal bacterial flora of the GI tract may be a problem. Supplementing with Probiotics such as Holistic Solution®, for a few days may help.
3. Foreign body in the stomach could also be a cause. Be sure your veterinarian has ruled that out with a series of X-Rays if needed.
4. Pathogenic organisms in the upper parts of the digestive tract have been known to cause vomiting. Many times they can be eliminated with antibiotics.
Q: My 1 year old Red Heeler has a lot of gas. What can I do to help him with this issue?
A: Excess gas can be a frustrating problem. Eating too quickly and gulping in excess air can cause the problem. Feed frequent smaller meals in a quiet location where there is no stress or competition for the food.
Changing the bacteria in the digestive tract may help. Supplement with a “Probiotic” such as that contained in Holistic Solution® for a week to ten days may resolve the problem.
Changing the protein and/or the carbohydrates in the diet may help. If you are feeding a chicken based diet, try lamb or fish such as in the Holistic Select single protein recipes (Anchovy, Sardine and Salmon or Lamb).
Exercise is also important in reducing gas. Keep in mind that some gas is normal so don’t expect it to go away completely.
02.21.2013 | 03:05 pm
According to some vets, about 10-15% of dogs with allergies suffer from food allergies. Some may get sick when they eat chicken, pork, beef or other protein.
Protein allergies are usually isolated– meaning your pet may be allergic to beef but is fine with chicken.
Vets agree, the sensitivity starts because your pet’s immune system is low. Eating a lot of the same ingredients paired with weak immunity can lead to allergies.
The symptoms include digestive problems, excessive chewing, itchy skin and even chronic ear infections.
Preventing food allergies is one reason why it makes sense to rotate your pet’s food. There’s no reason to keep Max on a steady diet of Chicken Meal and Rice blend year after year when there’s Anchovy and Sardine flavors to try. By varying your pet’s diet, he’ll benefit from a mix of nutrients.
Diagnosing a Protein Allergy
Because your dog can develop a sensitivity to anything – the environment, grains or other foods, it can be tough to pinpoint the allergy. If you suspect a food trigger, then you can change food and make sure it doesn’t contain the same ingredients. For example, if your dog has eaten a chicken based food for a long time, you can switch to a fish or lamb based food.
Make sure you note the date you switched on your calendar – you don’t want to rely on memory. Then, feed the new food for a few weeks and see if you notice any change. Write them down with the date. Since the old food can stay in your pet’s system for several weeks, you may not see an “instant” change.
Do you suspect your pet has a protein allergy? If so, share about it on our Facebook Page.
01.18.2013 | 10:45 am
Whether or not your dog has a wheat allergy, you’ve likely encountered dogs who do. One of the reasons so many pets develop sensitivity to wheat is because our environment is filled with this grain.
From food to treats, most dogs eat an overabundance of wheat. Over time, they become sensitive to it and find it hard to digest. For some dogs, years of eating wheat can take a toll on their health. It knocks their immune system out of whack, resulting in itchy skin, hot spots and upset tummies.
Essentially, wheat is a filler ingredient in many foods.
Because wheat is so prevalent in pet foods, you have to be sure to read the labels to prevent your wheat sensitive doggie from ingesting it. If it’s listed as the first ingredient on the label, put it back. Your dog won’t be getting the proper balance of nutrients– the first ingredient is the primary ingredient and pets need a higher ratio of protein.
Veterinarians say they’re seeing an increase in the numbers of dogs with wheat allergies and pets are beginning to show symptoms at a younger age.
By ensuring your pet gets a high quality diet and avoiding foods that don’t agree with him, your pet will feel better.
Because of the high sensitivity to wheat, Holistic Select® foods are wheat free. It’s part of our ongoing commitment to provide only the best for your pets.
01.18.2013 | 10:39 am
There are almost as many pet shampoos on the market as there are people shampoos. As a result, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the variety of them. There are medicated shampoos, pet shampoo for white fur, flea and tick shampoos, shampoo for pets with sensitive skin, just to name a few.
You may even ask yourself, “why can’t I just use my own shampoo on my pet?” After all, shampoo is shampoo, right? Well, it turns out the chemistry of our bodies are different from those of our pets, and people shampoo can be overly harsh on sensitive pet skin. In fact, people shampoo can dry out pet skin, making it itchy and flaky. So, if your pet already suffers from itchy dry skin, people shampoo can make it worse.
Which brings us back to discovering the right shampoo for your pet.
If your pet has sensitive skin caused by allergies, hot spots or simply seasonal dryness, you may want to try a shampoo with aloe vera and oatmeal. Both ingredients will soothe your pet’s skin in the short term and will help it heal in the long term.
Aloe is loaded with vitamins and is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial—both of which can contribute to healing your pet’s itchy skin. Oatmeal also nourishes your pet’s skin and the two together can provide excellent relief.
If you have an American Eskimo or other white breed, the whitening shampoos will remove yellow stains and make their beautiful coats “pop”. The reason is, many whitening shampoos have a “bluing” component as a color enhancer. Blue gives an optical illusion to a white coat, making it appear even whiter than it really is.
If it’s flea season, you will find a lot of “flea and tick” shampoos on the market. One natural pest repellant is neem oil– which you’ll find in many botanical blends. Peppermint is also a pest repellant and will leave your pet smelling fresh and clean.
As a Holistic Select® customer, you’re aware of the harsh chemicals found in many everyday products—including some dog shampoos.
In order to limit your pet’s exposure to harsh chemicals, be sure to read the labels of shampoos to make sure you’re truly choosing a natural, botanical shampoo loaded with pure ingredients. Look for ones without parabens, as these preservatives are linked to cancer.
Do you have a favorite dog shampoo? We’d love to hear about it on our Facebook Page!