Ask the Vet: April 2014


04.11.2014 | 09:26 am
My 9 year old German Shepherd gets a fair amount of exercise but since he was a puppy he has had diarrhea problems on and off. He tolerates Holistic Select best, but he’s currently only eating one cup of the dry food and one half a cup of rice a day.  He weighs 109 pounds.  He is a big dog.  How will I know whether to increase his feeding amount?
I am wondering what Holistic Select food is working best for your 9 year old German Shepherd? It is certainly not normal for a dog to have intermittent diarrhea issues most of its life.
The digestive health focus in Holistic Select makes the food an ideal choice for your pet but there must be something else going on too.
Emotional stress can cause intermittent digestive issues around those tense times. Recognizing them and trying to avoid them may help. There are medications that might help too and so I would suggest speaking to your veterinarian if you feel that may be playing a role in the problem.
Food sensitivities are also something to consider. They are not like allergies which are almost always to protein, Food sensitivities or intolerances can be to any ingredient in the food. Holistic Select Anchovy, Sardine and Salmon would be a good single protein  Holistic Select food to try if you are not already on it. Remember, a very slow transition for any dog already having issues.
Shepherds are also noted for having an increased incidence of Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) which is a condition caused by the pancreas not producing enough digestive enzymes, which are essential for proper digestion. All of the Holistic Select diets have added guaranteed levels of many of those enzymes, and that may be helping; your dog may need even more. I would check with your veterinarian about the symptoms and tests available to look into the issue and possibly supplement the dog with even more of those enzymes.

Q. My 9 year old German Shepherd gets a fair amount of exercise but since he was a puppy he has had diarrhea problems on and off. He tolerates Holistic Select best, but he’s currently only eating one cup of the dry food and one half a cup of rice a day.  He weighs 109 pounds.  He is a big dog.  How will I know whether he’s getting the right amount of nutrition?

A. It’s certainly not normal for a dog to have intermittent diarrhea issues most of his life. The digestive health focus in Holistic Select makes the food an ideal choice for your pet but there may be something else going on too.

Emotional stress can cause intermittent digestive issues around those tense times. Recognizing the cause of the stress and trying to avoid those situations may help. If you feel that stress may be playing a role in the problem, I would suggest speaking to your veterinarian about any medication options as well.

Food sensitivities are also something to consider. They are not like allergies which are almost always to protein. A food sensitivity or intolerance can be to any ingredient in the food.

Holistic Select Anchovy & Sardine and Salmon Meals Recipe would be a good single protein recipe to try if you are not already feeding it. Remember, a very slow transition to the new food is best, especially for animals already dealing with digestion issues.

Shepherds are also known for having an increased incidence of Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) which is a condition where the pancreas does not produce enough digestive enzymes, which are essential for proper digestion. All of the Holistic Select diets have added guaranteed levels of many of those enzymes, and that may be helping, however your dog may need even more. I would check with your veterinarian about the symptoms and tests available to look into the issue and possibly supplement the dog with even more of those enzymes.

Responsible Pet Owners Month: 10 Ways to be a Responsible Pet Owner


02.27.2014 | 10:24 am
It’s Responsible Pet Owners month and while we’re sure you do all you can for your furry friends, let’s see if you hit all 10 on this checklist. If not, you know what to do!
1- Spay or neuter your pet – we love our pets, but every home has a “fur friend” limit and the shelters are overflowing. Let’s make sure we can care for the ones we have by not contributing to pet overpopulation.
2- Annual “wellness” visit – even if your pet seems healthy, it’s a good idea to visit the vet annually. They’ll keep records of your pet’s last vaccination and be able to spot any potential problems while they are still treatable.
3- Well groomed – No one wants matted fur. It’s doesn’t look nice, it’s uncomfortable and stuff gets stuck in it (you know, food, sticks, LEGOs…). Keep your pets brushed and groomed–they’ll love you for it, and it’s an opportunity for a little bonding time.
4- Collars/leashes – while we’re on the subject of grooming, isn’t it time for a new collar? Spring will be here soon and your pet will want to look sharp on the promenade. Plus, ensuring a secure leash and harness will prevent your pet from getting away.
5- Update Your Tags – Take a good look at your pet’s tags. Are they so scratched and faded you can’t read them? Or, do they still have your last address on them?  Take five minutes and update those puppies online at  http://www.luckypet.com/.
6- Be a Boy (Girl) Scout – Are you ready in case of emergency?  It’s a good idea to keep a stash of fresh food, water, medications, vet papers, emergency contact info and pet carrier – just in case.
7- Safe Travels-  Do you have a pet carrier, crate or seat belt for your pet or do let your friends ride “loose”?  For safety’s sake, keep them secured. According to www.esurance.com  a 10 lb. dog can equate 500 lbs. of force in a crash. You buckle up, so why shouldn’t your pet?
8- Training – You know those dogs who run wild and jump on everything in sight? Don’t be like them. Get a trainer or learn the basics so you can teach your dog some manners. A well-mannered pooch is welcomed in far more places. Plus, you can relax knowing Fido won’t knock over Great Aunt Edna next time she visits.
9- Pet-proof – If you’re bringing home a new pup or kitten, make sure you remove hazardous plants, dangling strings (like on blinds—just wind them around the blinds out of the reach of curious kitties) and cleaning products. You never know what’s going to seem irresistible to your pet and cause you heartache later.
10- Food – Good nutrition is essential to good health. Try a Holistic Select diet, natural pet food packed with high-quality protein sources, probiotics and tasty fruits and vegetables.

It’s Responsible Pet Owners month and while we’re sure you do all you can for your furry friends, let’s see if you hit all 10 on this checklist. If not, you know what to do!

1- Spaying and neutering – we love our pets, but every home has a “fur friend” limit and the shelters are overflowing. It may be a good idea to spay/neuter your pet.

2- Annual “wellness” visit – even if your pet seems healthy, it’s a good idea to visit the vet annually. They’ll keep records of your pet’s last vaccination and be able to spot any potential problems while they are still treatable.

3- Well groomed – No one wants matted fur. It’s doesn’t look nice, it’s uncomfortable and stuff gets stuck in it (you know, food, sticks, LEGOs…). Keep your pets brushed and groomed–they’ll love you for it, and it’s an opportunity for a little bonding time.

4- Collars/leashes – while we’re on the subject of grooming, isn’t it time for a new collar? Spring will be here soon and your pet will want to look sharp on the promenade. Plus, ensuring a secure leash and harness will prevent your pet from getting away.

5- Update Your Tags – Take a good look at your pet’s tags. Are they so scratched and faded you can’t read them? Or, do they still have your last address on them?  Take five minutes and update those puppies online at  http://www.luckypet.com/.

6- Be a Boy (Girl) Scout – Are you ready in case of emergency?  It’s a good idea to keep a stash of fresh food, water, medications, vet papers, emergency contact info and pet carrier – just in case.

7- Safe Travels- Do you have a pet carrier, crate or seat belt for your pet or do let your friends ride “loose”?  For safety’s sake, keep them secured. According to www.esurance.com  a 10 lb. dog can equate 500 lbs. of force in a crash. You buckle up, so why shouldn’t your pet?

8- Training – You know those dogs who run wild and jump on everything in sight? Don’t be like them. Get a trainer or learn the basics so you can teach your dog some manners. A well-mannered pooch is welcomed in far more places. Plus, you can relax knowing Fido won’t knock over Great Aunt Edna next time she visits.

9- Pet-proof – If you’re bringing home a new pup or kitten, make sure you remove hazardous plants, dangling strings (like on blinds—just wind them around the blinds out of the reach of curious kitties) and cleaning products. You never know what’s going to seem irresistible to your pet and cause you heartache later.

10- Food – Good nutrition is essential to good health. Try a Holistic Select diet, natural pet food packed with high-quality protein sources, probiotics and tasty fruits and vegetables.  

Ask the Vet: February 2014


02.25.2014 | 11:47 am
I’ve been feeding my two cats the Holistic Select Salmon & Shrimp recipe canned cat food for the last 4 months. I recently read that fish diets are not good for cats; is it safe for cats to have a diet consisting primarily of fish? Is the fish used in Holistic Select free of heavy metals?
The fish used in the Holistic Select foods (canned and dry) are tested for heavy metals such as mercury and are safe for regular feeding. Shrimp are not a concern but salmon is one fish that can contain significant levels of mercury and should be tested.

Q. I’ve been feeding my two cats the Holistic Select Salmon & Shrimp recipe canned cat food for the last 4 months. I recently read that fish diets are not good for cats; is it safe for cats to have a diet consisting primarily of fish? Is the fish used in Holistic Select free of heavy metals?

A. The fish used in the Holistic Select foods (canned and dry) are tested for heavy metals such as mercury and are safe for regular feeding. Shrimp are not a concern but salmon is one fish that can contain significant levels of mercury and should be tested.

Ask the Vet: January 2014


01.22.2014 | 12:18 pm
Q. My Chloe is about 2 years old. Her joints crack a lot. Is that normal? Is there a supplement that I should be giving her for her bones & joints like Omegas? –Danette (has a shepherd/shar pei)
A. It is certainly not normal for a pet’s joints to crack and so I would strongly recommend that you have your veterinarian examine the pet. There are many conditions that can cause an abnormal noise when a pet gets up or moves. Some can be corrected if caught early so please have your veterinarian check it out as soon as possible.

Q. My Chloe is about 2 years old. Her joints crack a lot. Is that normal? Is there a supplement that I should be giving her for her bones and joints like Omegas?

A. It is not normal for a pet’s joints to crack. I would strongly recommend that you have your veterinarian examine the pet. There are many conditions that can cause an abnormal noise when a pet gets up or moves. Many can be caught early and corrected, so a vet visit will be best for Chloe. Holistic Select foods do contain Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids which support joint well-being, as well as Glucosamine which can improve flexibility and reduce joint pain. Once you determine the cause of Chloe’s joint condition, you may want to discuss Holistic Select recipes with your veterinarian.

Ingredient Spotlight: How Can Cranberries Benefit Your Pets?


01.22.2014 | 11:09 am

There’s no reason to relegate the healthy cranberry strictly to holiday meals. The truth is those small, antioxidant-rich berries are good for you and your pets year-round. They’re low in calories and fat and high in cancer-preventing components. Plus, they’re good for urinary tract health.

Cranberries can fight free radicals. A free radical is a molecule that’s lost one of its components and flies freely around the body. These free radicals are dangerous because they damage healthy cells. Free radicals can lead to inflammation, cancer and other health problems.

While free radicals are a natural part of today’s environment and occur due to air pollution, cleaning supplies and stress, antioxidants like the ones in Holistic Select food destroy them. This helps keep your pet’s cells healthy.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Prevention

Cranberries also protect against recurring urinary tract infections.  The proanthocyanidins (PACs) in cranberries can prevent bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract walls; that’s why many pets (and humans) find that eating cranberries may prevent future UTIs.

Good for Your Pet’s Teeth

Researchers at the University of Rochester found those same PACs may help prevent gum disease because they prevent harmful bacteria from adhering to the teeth.

As if that isn’t enough, cranberries can also contribute to heart health by decreasing inflammation in the body.

Holistic Select includes cranberries in all dry and canned recipes for cats and dogs, including the Adult & Kitten Health Chicken Meal Recipe for cats and the Adult Health Lamb Meal Recipe for dogs.

Holistix Select Natural Biscuits for Dogs with Whitefish, Cranberries, Apples and Blueberries include cranberries as a featured ingredient.

With all these health benefits, there’s no reason not to include cranberries more often in your pet’s diet.

Ask the Vet Holiday 2013


12.16.2013 | 01:36 pm

Q. My 2-year-old cat weighs 10 pounds and I cannot get her to eat more than 3-4 ounces of healthy food a day. She’s an indoor cat and maintaining her (slim) weight, but I’m worried it’s not enough to keep her healthy.  What can I do?

cat eating food

Ten pounds is not a bad weight. The average cat (all breeds) is 8 pounds. Keeping a kitty at an optimum, slightly lean body mass is ideal. Keep in mind that cats eat to satisfy their caloric needs so this may be a normal and ideal weight for this kitty, based on activity level, age, breed, sex and metabolic rate.

Cats have preferences just as we do. Many times it’s necessary to experiment with feeding different types of proteins in order to find kitty’s favorite. Holistic Select makes a variety of flavors for our feline friends. One in particular you might want to try is the Holistic Select Adult Health Anchovy & Sardine and Salmon Meals Recipe as seafood proteins tend to have a stronger aroma and appeal to many cats.  They all contain high quality, natural ingredients and they are calorically dense recipes that should help maintain that slightly lean body mass that is ideal.

How to Plan a Great Pet Photography Shoot


12.16.2013 | 12:53 pm

The holidays are here and if you’re like many pet lovers, you want pet photos of your adorable furry family members. However, many pets are not great models. In fact, some are downright resistant to showing their cuteness to your camera.

Planning and preparation are the keys to good pet photography. So, in the spirit of the holidays we’d like to offer you five ways to get a great shot of your pets.

featureddogwinter

1)  Make sure your lighting is good – Nothing ruins a picture faster than bad lighting. Go outside or get near a big window during daylight hours. If you use a flash, your pet will likely get red-eye which detracts from your picture. Plus, flashes can scare some pets.

Cats posing pet photography Holistic Select

2) Aim for a quiet moment – When your pet is tired they may be more likely to accommodate you. This is especially true if you’re dressing them up in costume. Speaking of costumes, if you plan to turn your pug into an elf for the occasion, you might want to have someone else dress them so that you’re ready with the camera as soon as the hat goes on. Every second counts!

Dog Mountain Holistic Select pet photography

3) Get on their level – Your pet is shorter than you. Consider kneeling on the floor or the ground to photograph them. You never know what magic may happen when you’re on their level.

Upside down dog pet photography Holistic Select

4) Go for the element of surprise— When your pet is happily playing, quietly start snapping away. You can have a helper call your pet’s name so she looks up. Have your finger on the button when this moment comes.

Dog smiling Holistic Select

5) Hire a professional – If you want to ensure fantastic shots, nothing beats a professional photographer. Pennsylvania based photographer Terree O’Neill Yeagle says, “Pet photographers are experienced with capturing moments quickly and keeping pets engaged with the camera.”

large

So there you have it–great lighting and patience are some of the keys to successful pet portraits!

Do you have a favorite pet photo? We’d love to see them on our Facebook page!

Ask the Vet Late Fall 2013


11.11.2013 | 05:09 pm

Q. I have a two-year-old standard poodle and a seven-year-old standard poodle that have been on Holistic Select Adult Health Lamb Meal Recipe for a while now. They both have recently been diagnosed with pancreatitis. They are recovering now but when they are ready to transition back to Holistic Select, should I try a different recipe?

A. Pancreatitis can be a very uncomfortable condition and one that can reoccur. It’s important that your dogs maintain a normal, healthy weight and a slightly lean body mass. We would recommend several smaller meals throughout the day rather than a full portion once a day. Regular exercise is also very important to help maintain good weight and to stimulate proper gut motility.

It might be a good idea to try a Holistic Select diet that is lower in fat content. The Holistic Select Adult Health Anchovy & Sardine and Salmon Meals Recipe has less fat than the Holistic Select Adult Health Lamb Meal Recipe so trying a new recipe is something to consider. If your dogs have trouble maintaining a healthy weight or if you’d  like to use an even lower fat recipe, the Holistic Select Weight Management Chicken Meal & Peas Recipe is a good option. We recommend discussing these options with your veterinarian to be sure you choose the best option to prevent a recurrence of the Pancreatitis. Please remember to transition to the new diet slowly, especially when there have been digestive issues in the past.

Going Green With Your Dog – 6 Steps


11.11.2013 | 04:46 pm

6 Steps to a “Green” Dog

You recycle, you buy organic and you’re concerned for the environment. It’s only natural you want to take a “green” approach to your pets too.

Here are 6 easy steps to a “green” dog.

1—Buy (or make) Biodegradable Dog Toys. Instead of plastic, think hemp or jute rings or tug toys to keep your pooch happy. Once Max has chewed and frayed them beyond recognition, they can safely return to the environment without leaving a paw print.

2—Skip the Plastic Bag – If you use plastic grocery bags to pick up after your pet, you’re simply preserving your pup’s waste— yuck! Studies show plastic grocery bags may never truly decompose. When scientists pitted plastic bags against newspaper, the newspaper began breaking down within a few weeks while the bags didn’t change at all.

What can you do to make sure your pet’s waste, ahem, returns to the earth? Biodegradable bags are the answer. There are plenty of options, including flushable bags that are also biodegradable.

3—Baking Soda Kicks Odors — Chances are, your great-grandmother used baking soda to soak up odors. This time-tested cleaning and deodorizing product has endless uses, and is safe to use around your pup.

To freshen up a dirty dog bed, simply sprinkle some baking soda on the bed, wait a few minutes and then vacuum the baking soda away.

4—Vinegarize! — White vinegar mixed with a bit of water will help remove pesky odors left behind by accidents. Like baking soda, this tried-and-true cleanser is safe to use around pets.

5—Mow Your Leaves – This trick will ensure that you and your dog have a lush lawn to enjoy come spring: turn fall leaves into a mulch by mowing them. The mulch gives grass the healthy nutrients it needs. This all-natural lawn treatment is safe for pets and will save you from needing to use a potentially harmful lawn application.

6—Say “Yes” to Ceramic or Glass Dishes – Studies show that many plastics contain potentially harmful BPAs and phthalates. These chemicals can disrupt the endocrine system leading to cancer, diabetes and other diseases. Ceramic and glass dishes not only match your pet’s refined taste, but they eliminate the chances of chemicals leaching into your pet’s food and water.

There are many steps you can take to make healthy decisions for your family and for the Earth. Thanks for reading!

Ask the Vet Fall 2013


10.04.2013 | 11:12 am

Q. I have a 7-month-old Staffordshire bull terrier puppy currently on Holistic Select Puppy Health Anchovy, Sardine & Chicken Meals Recipe . When should I transfer him to Holistic Select Adult Health Anchovy, Sardine & Chicken Meals Recipe which is what my 2 Jack Russell’s are on?harvey-the-staffordshire-bull-terrier_52864_2010-12-09_w450

A. We generally feel that puppy recipes should be continued for the first year of a puppy’s life. Then, we recommend slowly transitioning to an adult recipe. There is no problem using a puppy recipe a little longer, but your puppy’s first birthday would be a good time to transition him to the Holistic Select Adult Health Anchovy, Sardine & Chicken Meals Recipe.