06.17.2016 | 08:25 pm
As the sunshine and warm weather creeps back into our lives, we asked our fans to capture their favorite moments of pets showcasing their spring spirit. After reviewing hundreds of submissions, the results are in and we’re happy to announce a grand prize winner who’ll receive a 1-year-supply of Holistic Select Pet Food and 3 runner’s-up. Drum roll please…
Spring Spirit Grand Prize Winner
Terra- Sierra Vista, AZ
Cooper- Charlotte, NC
Lola- Fredericksburg, VA
Thank you to all of those who submitted!
05.19.2016 | 10:13 am
In people, food allergy symptoms usually include a tingly sensation and a itching of the throat. For pets, food allergy symptoms include itchy skin, chronic ear infections, and frequent hot spots, as well as the licking and chewing on feet.
If your pet shows any of these symptoms, it’s a good time to reevaluate what you’re feeding. After all, May is Food Allergy Action month. Your veterinarian can run tests on your pet but it can be tough to pinpoint the exact allergy triggers simply because allergies develop over time. You can feed your pet the same food for years but when you notice him chewing his paws or random hot spots, it’s time to take a look at his diet.
What Causes Food Allergies?
Medical professionals say allergies are triggered as a result of the body’s immune system going into overdrive. Essentially, your pet eats something that his body “thinks” is a problem and overwhelms the body with chemicals to “fix” it. It’s a hypersensitivity to the food source. Proteins like chicken and beef as well as wheat or gluten are common allergens for dogs. These food allergies typically develop over time which is why your pet can be eating the same food for years and then start displaying the symptoms. That makes it tricky for both uncovering the exact trigger as well as treating it.
How to Treat for a Food Allergy
You may have heard of the elimination diet. Just like it sounds, you eliminate everything you can from your pet’s diet and try a new food.
For example, you can try a food that includes a protein that your pet has never eaten. These are often called “novel proteins” – Venison, bison and lamb often fall into this category. You may also want to avoid wheat & grains in your pet’s food and treats by checking out grain-free recipes. Holistic Select offers grain-free recipes.
- Choose a food your pet has never eaten with a different protein source – for example, if your pet usually eats chicken based food, choose salmon. Make sure your pet’s treats fit within the new approach as well.
- Make sure everyone in the family is on board with this test. If anyone is sneaking your pet treats or people food that’s not on the diet, you won’t have a pure test.
- Allow enough time, it can take 10 – 18 weeks to see a difference
- Keep a notebook – times that you feed your pet, any reactions (or not), write it all down.
You may have to try this more than once, each time eliminating a protein source, or a grain or other ingredients you find common. Proteins and wheat are the typical triggers so it makes sense to start there.
If you keep notes about the food you feed, then you’ll have an easier time distinguishing if your pet’s symptoms improve or worsen.
We hope you find a solution. Check out Holistic Select’s offerings of dry and wet food that contain different proteins and are available in grain-free options.
04.27.2016 | 08:49 am
World Veterinary Day is celebrated each year on the last Saturday in April. The World Veterinary Association initiated the recognition of this day in the year 2000 in order to bring attention to the many ways that veterinarians contribute to the health of both animals and humans around the world. What has your veterinarian done for you and your four-legged friends lately? Chances are they have done a lot more than you may think. Let’s talk about some big reasons why the veterinarians of the world deserve to be celebrated.
6 Reasons to Celebrate Your Veterinarian
- They provide quality care for your beloved pet. For many of us, our pets are considered members of our family and just as we would any family member, we expect only the best possible care for our pets. Finding a veterinarian that you love and who provides your pet with the quality care that he deserves is like striking gold!
- They remind you about important health screening updates for your pet. Life gets busy sometimes, am I right? It can be difficult to remember when your pet had their last health screening or routine vaccinations, especially when you have multiple pets. A good veterinarian takes on the responsibility of remembering when your pet is due for certain screenings and vaccinations and sends you a reminder when it’s time to schedule your pet’s next visit. Thank goodness for good veterinarians!
- They can help you choose the proper diet for your pet. Pet owners are starting to pay more attention to what they feed their pets (and rightfully so)! Your pet’s diet has a huge impact on their overall health and your veterinarian can help you find the diet that will provide optimal nutrition for your pet, helping them to live longer and healthier lives.
- You trust them with your pet’s life. Let’s be honest – how many people can you say this about? When it comes to your pet’s health, you pretty much hand the key over to your veterinarian. Obviously, no one knows your pet as well as you do, but when you sense that something is off, your veterinarian is the one who has dedicated themselves to diagnosing and treating the problem at hand. Veterinarians save the lives of our pets every single day!
- They have a heart full of compassion for animals. Us animal lovers have to stick together – wouldn’t you agree? Feeling a strong compassion towards animals is likely what inspired your veterinarian to do what they do, and for most veterinarians, their job doesn’t stop at treating the pets that come into their office. Many veterinarians also dedicate themselves to animal advocacy all around the globe.
- They always have the answers that you need. This is true for all pet owners, but can be especially true for new pet owners. How many times have you had a question about something related to your pet (especially a new pet) and called your veterinarian? There is a reason why people always say ‘consult with your veterinarian’ before doing certain things – it’s because they always have an answer to help you out and ease your mind.
Finding the right veterinarian for you and your pet can prove to be challenging – you don’t always find the right fit immediately. So, finding a veterinarian that both you and your pet feel connected to is reason enough to celebrate World Veterinary Day! How are you celebrating this year?
04.22.2016 | 10:41 am
Maybe you consider yourself pretty environmentally friendly. We’ve heard of pet parents who compost their pet’s waste in order to reduce their carbon paw print. If so, kudos to you. Other pet parents would like a few pointers on selecting eco-friendly and pet friendly, landscaping materials.
Where ever you are in your environmental awareness, Earth Day on April 22 is a good opportunity to celebrate the world we live in. Spring has arrived and with it the promise of outdoor activities and a beautiful summer ahead.
So go ahead, participate in one or all 5 of the below ideas to make the world a little better for you and your pets.
7 Ways to Create a Greener Environment for You and Your Pets
- Clean Out Your Linen Closet — Those tattered towels and threadbare sheets can provide second life as crate liners for your dog. If you’re a crafty sort, you might even rip a towel into several pieces and braid them together for a chew toy for your dog. You’ve just found a new use for an old item. Still have towels and linens left over? Drop them off at a local animal shelter. They’re usually happy to have something soft to put in the kennels.
- Skip the Clumping Kitty Litter – Clay litters have two problems, one is that it contains silica which is a known carcinogen. When your cat scratches in the box, she stirs up the litter and fragments of the silica drift about and she breathes it in. You do too. The other concern is that clay mining destroys the land around it and it’s dangerous. Eco-friendly litter alternatives include newspaper, pine pellets and litters made of corn or wheat.
- Eco-Friendly toys – Skip the toys made of PVC and other questionable materials. It’s far better for your pet and the environment to either make chew toys like we mentioned above with old towels or to buy fabric toys – preferably made of organic cotton. That lessens the risk that your dog will ingest dangerous plastic items and the eco-friendly toys will usually last longer.
- Buy in Bulk – Larger bags and cans mean less packaging which leads to less waste. As long as you can use the food before it goes stale, it’s environmentally friendly to go big.
- Eco-Friendly Flea and Tick Prevention – 30 years ago, it was common to take your pet in to the vet for a flea and tick dip where they’d be bathed in a toxic chemical bath designed to kill fleas and ticks. Now, we realize that those toxins get into the bloodstream of our pets and many pet parents reach for a less toxic solution.
- Feed High-Quality Food and Treats– If you’re reading this, you probably understand the value and benefit of feeding your pet a high quality diet such as Holistic Select. They get better nutrition and you skip worrying about potential contaminated products.
- Pet-Friendly Mulch – If you like to spend time gardening, your pets probably accompany you. Depending on their activity levels, they may romp around and chew on things they shouldn’t. It’s a good idea to make sure you’re using pet-safe mulch so you can avoid a trip to the veterinary hospital. Rubber, natural wood, cedar, and leaves are all safe mulch alternatives. Pine needles are ok unless you have an avid chewer as the needles can penetrate the delicate stomach lining. If you have dogs, you’ll want to avoid cocoa mulch because it’s a derivative of the cocoa plant. This chocolatey smelling mulch has theobromine which is the active ingredient in chocolate that can be toxic to dogs.
Which of these pet friendly earth day (and every day) suggestions will you incorporate into your life this spring and what would you add?
04.11.2016 | 04:48 pm
Chances are good that if you’re reading this, you have a pet. Maybe you have a multi-pet household. However, you may not know that April 11 is National Pet Day. You might be thinking to yourself, “Every day is National Pet Day. My dog or cat is spoiled rotten.” Of course, if you’re like a lot of pet parents, you like to do something a little extra special for them at times.
Of course, National Pet Day is really a way to bring attention to the thousands of dogs and cats who fill our shelters around the country. And while it’s impossible to adopt every needy animal, you can help remind them that they’re not forgotten and shower a little extra love on your own pets.
Here are 5 Ways You Can Celebrate National Pet Day
- Spread the Word – Local shelters often post pictures of adoptable pets on social media. If you can share that post with your network, you may help that pet find a forever home that much quicker.
- New Toys – Who doesn’t like a new toy? You can pick a few toys for the shelter pups. They’ll appreciate them. If you have a social dog you can take your pup to the pet store to choose a toy. While there, why not pick up a catnip mouse for the cat in your life?
- Give Your Pet a Massage – Everyone likes a massage. It can soothe tired joints and stimulate the circulation. Pets with stiff joints will especially benefit. You can start when your pet is relaxed and lying near you. Just start petting them. To move into massage, use the heel of your hand to rub the larger muscles – shoulders, thighs – you can move your hands briskly and apply a bit more pressure if your pet is enjoying it.
- Schedule a Wellness Exam – Has it been awhile since your pet was last at the veterinarian? As your pet’s age, it’s a good idea to visit your vet every six months. That’s enough time in between visits for your veterinarian to notice any changes in your pet yet it’s a short enough time to catch anything in the early stages.
- Donate – You can’t adopt all the worthy pets in the world but you can provide a gift to your local shelter. Maybe you volunteer to walk the dogs, maybe you provide a monetary gift or bags of dog food, whatever you can do, there’s a need. Just call your local shelter to find out what their biggest need is.
There you go, 5 ways you can celebrate National Pet Day. How many more can you come up with?
03.23.2016 | 11:46 am
Just saying “National Puppy Day” makes us smile. After all, puppies are fun and cute. Technically, it’s a day to encourage adoption started by pet enthusiast Colleen Paige in 2006 and it happens twice a year. March 23rd and August 26th.
Every year, thousands of puppies wind up in shelters for a variety of reasons. There are poor breeding practices practiced by puppy mill breeders, there’s an overflow of stray pups due to lack of spaying/neutering and sometimes people have to relinquish their beloved pups due to health and other reasons.
In other words, the shelters are full of wonderful animals looking for their forever homes. If you’re considering a new furry family member, why not look first to your local shelter. Many of them even have pure bred dogs.
March is a great time to adopt a new pup because the days are getting longer and a new pup gives you a great excuse to get out and enjoy the weather.
Ways to Celebrate National Puppy Day
Even if you aren’t in a position to adopt a new furry friend, you can still help out by donating pet food, toys, time or cash. Just call your local shelter and ask them what they need most. Every shelter has ongoing needs and occasionally critical needs that the people who are in the trenches will know about.
Another way to celebrate is to spend extra time with your own pup. Go for an extra-long walk or buy him a fun new puppy toy. If your pup needs a little extra training to be a model family member, make an appointment with a dog trainer. You may be amazed at how much your quality of life will improve when you know how to best communicate with your pup.
How will you celebrate National Puppy Day?
03.03.2016 | 12:22 pm
March 20th is the first official day of spring! It’s almost as if you can see the clouds parting as visions of frolicking in the sunshine with your pet start to dance in your head. As the sun and warm weather creeps back into our lives, it’s time to start thinking of some ways that both you and your pet can start getting your daily dose of Vitamin D. Let’s talk about some ways that you and your pet can get outside and enjoy yourselves!
Trips to the Dog Park
A trip to the dog park is a treat for your pet any time of year, but when the sunshine and warm weather make their debut, trips to the dog park become even more enjoyable for both you and your dog! Carve out some time for weekly dog park outings and you will have a happy dog on your hands. Trips to the dog park are also a great way to improve your dog’s socialization skills as well as give them proper exercise.
Check out the Local State Park
Research and find a pet friendly State Park in your area and take your pet exploring! Your dog would love to join you as you both explore the nature and trails, and maybe even some creatures. You can explore the state park by foot or bike, or some parks even have trails that you can explore by car. As long as your dog has a window seat, he’ll be happy!
Pick up a flying disc that is appropriately sized for your dog and visit a large open field. While some training may be in order (look online for training tips), most dogs find this to be an enjoyable activity. It gives them the opportunity to run and chase – two of their favorite things!
Schedule a Backyard Play Date
After being cooped up in the house throughout the winter, your dog probably hasn’t had much of an opportunity to play with others. Schedule a play date with a friend who also has a dog. You and your friend can enjoy sitting outside and enjoying each other’s company, while your dogs enjoy a backyard romp, which is also a great form of exercise!
Take a Day Trip
A day trip to the beach, mountains, or a nearby dog-friendly lake can be tons of fun. Be sure to stay with your dog at all times. He should be close enough that you can safely retrieve him without putting either of you in danger. Make sure that dogs are allowed and you have the proper permit (if applicable) wherever you decide to go. This is a great way for both you and your dog to enjoy the sunshine and soak up some Vitamin D. Your dog will be snoring the whole way home!
Many pet advocacy groups and local animal shelters will host fundraisers, festivals, and other spring events that are fun for both you and your pet. They’re a great way to get outside and enjoy the sunshine and meet new friends while supporting a good cause. You may even make a new friend to invite over for your next backyard play date!
How do you and your dog enjoy the sunshine together? This is the perfect time of year for enjoying outdoor activities with your pet and making memories that will last a lifetime. Get outside and have some fun!
03.03.2016 | 11:44 am
Sometimes the most unlikely ingredients can have the most health benefits for your pet, and we love to spotlight those healthy ingredients – especially when so many of our Holistic Select recipes are packed full of them! It is so important to pay attention to the ingredients in your pet’s food because there are a lot of pet food brands out there that are lacking in proper nutrition. Today we are focusing on salmon and oatmeal – two ingredients that are beneficial to multiple aspects of your pet’s health.
The Benefits of Salmon
Pet food recipes that include salmon as a source of protein are gaining in popularity and the benefits of salmon are becoming widely known among pet owners for a variety of different reasons. Including salmon to your pet’s diet is beneficial in many different ways –
Improves Brain Health: Salmon is a lean fish that is full of Omega-3 fatty acids, which is wonderful for a long lasting, healthy canine & feline brain. This can be beneficial to developing puppies & kittens as well as older dogs & cats. Nurturing the health of your pet’s brain will lead to a longer, healthier life – that is our ultimate goal for our furry friends, right?
Enhances Immune System: Without a healthy immune system, our pets are susceptible to a multitude of disease and illness. Studies have shown that including salmon in your pet’s diet can help to enhance their immune system, ultimately protecting them from acquiring such illnesses.
Reduces Joint Inflammation: The Omega fatty acids found in salmon basically have supernatural powers when it comes to your pet’s health. There are so many benefits to a diet that is high in Omega-3, and salmon is packed full of that fatty acid goodness, which also helps to reduce joint inflammation. Such stiffness, caused by arthritis, is known to respond well to foods high in Omega fatty acids.
Maintains Healthy Skin and Coat: Does your pet suffer from skin allergies or irritations? A diet that is rich in salmon can greatly improve your pet’s skin and coat condition, and is often one of the biggest reasons that pet owners make the switch. Those skin irritations can really have a negative effect on your pet’s quality of life, so an easy fix like switching diets is always worth a try.
The Benefits of Oatmeal
I know what you might be thinking – I thought grains were bad for our pets? Well, that isn’t necessarily the case. Every dog has different nutritional needs and a grain free diet may be the right choice for some dogs, but not all of them. Natural, whole grains have always been known to be healthy and nutritious for our pets, and oatmeal is no exception. Why is oatmeal good for your dog?
Great Source of Protein: The protein in oatmeal is an ideal complement to the meat proteins found in all of our foods. It contains almost a complete list of the essential amino acids vital to a complete and balanced diet.
Contains Natural Antioxidants: There are natural antioxidants in oatmeal that help to protect our pets from the toxins in our environment that are thought to be responsible for some diseases and conditions.
Relieves Digestive Issues: The fiber content found in oatmeal makes it an ingredient that supports optimum bowel function. The soothing properties of oatmeal can help to relieve certain digestive issues and aid in the process of digestion as a whole.
Are you considering incorporating salmon and/or oatmeal into your pet’s diet? Holistic Select offers many different recipes that feature both of these ingredients. Don’t be afraid to step outside of the box and experiment with different recipes that can greatly improve the quality of your pet’s life.
02.26.2016 | 05:16 pm
Tell the truth – when was the last time that you gave any thought to your pet’s dental health? If it has been a while, you’re not alone. When it comes to pet health, dental health often gets overlooked – not this month, though! February is Pet Dental Health Month, so now is the time to talk about the importance of proper dental care for our four-legged friends. Let’s talk about why you should pay closer attention to your pet’s dental health and how you can do that.
Dental Disease – It Could Happen to Your Pet
We aren’t saying that your pet is going to get cavities if they don’t brush their teeth after each meal; however, even though cavities aren’t very likely, periodontal or gum disease is the number one illness found in both dogs and cats. That’s why it’s so important that pet owners include dental hygiene in their pet’s health and wellness routine.
- Dental disease can lead to all sorts of major health issues for pets.
- Issues like gum inflammation and tooth loss can not only be very painful for your pet, but can also lead to more serious conditions, including heart, lung and kidney damage.
- Studies have suggested that the majority of dogs and cats will have oral disease by the time they are three years old.
- Dental problems often develop gradually, so it can be easy to miss the signs until there is a bad infection.
- Annual check-ups with your pet’s veterinarian are crucial to recognizing the warning signs early on.
Signs and Symptoms of Dental Disease
The symptoms of dental disease can be far less obvious than with other health problems that your pet may be having, but there are some signs that you can look for.
- Yellow and brown build-up of tartar along the gum line
- Inflamed gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Sudden change in eating habits
- Frequent pawing at the mouth
If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, it is important to consult with your pet’s veterinarian as soon as possible, and bring your dog or cat in for a check-up.
Tips for Improving Your Pet’s Dental Health
- Start brushing your pet’s teeth at an early age. It is important to start brushing your pet’s teeth as early as possible. The adult teeth usually come in around 6-9 months, but you can even start introducing a puppy or kitten to the use of a toothbrush even earlier.
- Check your pet’s oral cavity on a regular basis. It is important for you to become familiar with your pet’s oral cavity, so that you can recognize any significant changes during regular check-ups.
- Add pet-safe fruits and vegetables to your dog or cat’s diet. There are some fruits and vegetables that can naturally clean teeth, stimulate gums and freshen breath. You can slice these fruits and vegetables up and give as a treat or add to their meals. Dog-safe fruits and veggies: carrots, cucumber, celery, apples, watermelon, cilantro, and parsley. Cat-safe vegetables: broccoli, green beans, and cooked carrots.
- Clean your pet’s teeth daily. It may be challenging at first, but it is important to incorporate regular teeth cleanings into your pet’s routine. Be sure to use a toothpaste that is safe for pets, and NEVER use a toothpaste that is formulated for humans.
- Add coconut oil to your dog’s food. Bad breath odor in dogs can be reduced or even eliminated by adding a spoonful or two of organic coconut oil to their food. How? Coconut oil possesses antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties that attack bad breath and gum disease causing bacteria. The added bonus? Coconut oil is also good for improving skin and coat, and aids in digestion!
If you have been guilty of neglecting your pet’s dental hygiene, don’t be too hard on yourself – that’s what Pet Dental Health Month is all about – raising awareness and educating pet owners on how to stay on top of their pet’s oral hygiene and recognize the warning signs of a potential problem.
02.05.2016 | 12:17 pm
Love is in the air the whole month of February. You can show those furry friends some love on Love Your Pet Day this February 20th. It looks like February is the perfect opportunity to spoil your four legged loved ones! Why not plan a special date? This is the time your pet craves the most.
You can use our “personality” test to plan a few outings with your furry friends.
If You Have a Sociable Pup
- Why not plan a trip to a nearby dog park? An hour or two of puppy fun will leave your pup tired and you know what they say about a tired puppy!
- Plan a play-date – meet up with a friend who has another dog similar in energy and temperament. You can meet in a fenced in yard or the dog park.
- Grooming appointment – After an exciting play-date, your dog will likely need a bath and who doesn’t feel better after a good haircut!.
If You Have an Mellow (or Senior) Adult Dog
- Your older dog may prefer a one on one walk with you. Do you have a favorite location? Maybe a nearby hiking trail or even just a walk through town? Why not spend the morning or afternoon there?
- Spa day – Every dog loves the clean feeling after a bath. Some areas even have mobile grooming now where they’ll come to your house and conduct the grooming session right outside in their vehicle. This is perfect for pups who don’t enjoy the noise associated with grooming salons.
- Favorite treats – an always appreciated addition.
If You Have a Cat
- New toys! Cats like games too. Spend a few minutes waving around a laser pointer or a string tied to stick. Maybe even catnip…
- New collar with a charm or an updated identification tag. Some cats love to wander outside do you’ll want to make sure they can be easily returned to you if they were to go missing.
- Salmon? Chicken? Treat your cat with her favorite treat!
If you’re anything like us, you spoil your pets every chance you get. Love Your Pet Day gives you another excuse, not that you need one! How will you spend it?