Archive for the ‘Pet food’ Category

The Basics Of Pet Health

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Small but healthy Jack RusselDog diet, cat diet, diet and diet again!

It can’t be said enough - “Diet is the key to health!”  We say it over and over again here on Pet Health Problems.

Lets deal with the marketing hype first.

Do older people buy special food? No! They eat less of the same!

Then why should we have food for older dogs or cats?

If you look closely at the analysis of food for older dogs and  cats you will see that the protein and fat level is lower than the adult foods. You may also see some supplements added for healthy joints or a herb for urinary problems and the only reason these products are in there is to sell the product – to appeal to your sense of what you think is right. The reality is common sense.

We have puppy foods and puppy foods for large breed dogs. Let me tell you how the large breed puppy food came about.

Originally we had the puppy foods which were high in protein and fat, This acted like a fertiliser on a young plant – it forced growth of the muscle mass beyond the capability of the skeletal system. In other words problems like hip dysplasia became very prominent, especially in large breed dogs.

The pet food companies recognized this dilemma and the marketers, being good at what they do, turned a negative into a positive.

A light bulb went off in someone’s head and they said – “lets have a puppy food for large breed dogs – it will have lower protein and fat and hey presto – we can market the new food as avoiding problems like hip dysplasia”. Problem solved folks. The concept was then applied throughout the industry and across the pet food range.

Just imagine Mrs. Jones, walking through the supermarket with her 4 year old son sat high up in the trolley and she meets Mrs. Smith  who has her 5 year old daughter standing in the trolley. The conversation begins. “Oh hi Dorothy, I am in here looking for a lower protein and fat food for our Jimmy here, he is getting a bit on the big side and I need to slow down his growth”.   Absolute garbage – Is it not? Lets get real here!!

Of course we now have the breed specific and those poor souls who have bought into that will no doubt buy into the new dog food coming on the market in a bout 5 years time – the “Curly Coated Dog Food” or the “Curly tailed dog food”. Made specifically for your dog with a curly coat. Maybe they will match it with a food for men with hairy chests!

Lets get back to basics – puppies need higher levels of protein and fat for growth but they eat more food per body weight than adult dogs so they naturally get more protein and fat.

Let me show you this simple truth.

An adult dog, 2 years old and not spayed or neutered, weighing 20 kg, fed a high quality diet, should thrive on around 200 grams of food per day. That is 10 grams per kilogram of body weight is enough. The protein level is 20% and the fat level is 10%.

Now the puppy at 4 months weighs 12 kgs but eats 140 grams of food. The puppy takes in 28grams of protein and 14grams of fat. The adult dog takes in 20grams of protein and 10grams of fat.

It is as simple as that – don’t be fooled. Read about the problems associated with the long term use of high levels of protein and you will see the dangers.

Colitis in dogs

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Colitis in dogs is the term used to describe inflamation of the colon (lower bowel).

When the colon becomes inflamed for whatever reason, it can no longer store faeces or absorb water normally.

Symptoms of colitis in dogs can include:

  • Stools containing mucus
  • Cramping
  • Fresh blood in the stools
  • Diarrhoea or loose stools
  • Lack of stool consistency, from complete liquid to solid or a mixture
  • Vomiting, fever, abdominal pain and weight loss in severe cases

CAUSES OF COLITIS IN DOGS

  • Dog eating something that it should not have done.
  • Dogs who habitually raid the bins get colitis quite frequently.
  • Poor quality foods, dairy products, or fatty foods are common culprits.
  • Dietary intolerance to specific food ingredients.
  • Parasites, including hookworm and whipworm.

Please note that the cause of colitis in dogs sometimes cannot be identified.

MANAGING COLITIS

Diet is now recognised as being of major importance in the long-term management of colitis in dogs.

Robbie’s Holistic Cuisine from the Land Of Holistic Pets is known to be an excellent diet for dogs with colitis.

Land of Holistic Pets also have a herbal formula called Intesti-Care which works wonders if an outbreak occurs.

One very important point about colitis - remember it is inflamation of the colon. The skin in the digestive track is for the want of a better term - raw and maybe bleeding.

You need to go gently with food. DO NOT give your dogs digestive system too much work to do by giving poor quality foods or too much food.

Choosing the right pet food - what to feed your dog or cat.

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Eating food  is more than  just ‘fuel’. It is a source (or not) of many vital compounds that can represent the difference between top health and disease or symptoms. Food is the major factor in our pets total well-being and while investing in a good quality cat or dog food  may seem costly,  compared to many of the budget pet foods and generic brands available, a wholesome diet can help to reduce or eliminate many of the unnecessary vet bills that are incurred when nutrition is poor.

Consider the needs of the individual dog or cat

Age, activity level, breed and health history of your pet, as well as food intolerances or allergies, are all very important factors to consider when selecting a diet for your pup or kitten.

There are many  gimmicky diets for our dogs and cats being introduced to the market each year, designed for specific dog breeds, sizes, life stages and so on – but in actual fact, the nutritional needs of a dog or cat should be based on his or her particular requirements, rather than a ‘category’ that he or she falls into.

Beware generic dog foods and cat foods

We are seeing more and more ‘generic’ pet foods coming on to the market each year. In fact there is one pet food manufacturer in the midlands who has a telephone message while your waiting,  advocating that you can arrive in the morning and leave with your brand in the evening. You don’t need to have knowledge of food, nutrition, diet or anything else for that matter. The company offers you a product it is turning out hundreds of tonnes a year  and only stopping to put it in different customers  brand bags. The customer only needs to add their own ‘bells and whistles’ as the pet food manufacturer claims.

What are the downsides of a poor quality pet food?

It has been suggested that there is a direct correlation between chronic diseases such as cancer, kidney failure, diabetes and other degenerative disease and  poor quality food in humans. In fact the NHS is overrun now with degenerative disease and the advent of the industrial revolution and food processing has been blamed in many quarters . The same for our dog foods and cat foods. Of course other factors like vaccines and genetics also predispose pets to disease, but the incidence of these disorders has increased dramatically in the western world since the introduction of commercial, highly processed pet food in 1950’s.

The long term effects of feeding a highly processed diet can also lead to a compromised immune system and in turn hypersensitivity to the environment. Dogs who enjoy a high quality, fresh and varied diet are often noted to be far less bothered by seasonal allergies and fleas, than their junk-food fed counterparts.

Where does nutrition fit into Holistic Health Care?

Nutrition simply means providing the nutrients to sustain life. Health is something completely different. Diet is  the fundamental cornerstone to total health. But simply feeding a natural, raw or home made diet, or adding supplements to your pooch’s bowl does not constitute ‘holistic health care’ in the true sense of the term. Other decisions like vaccinations, veterinary choices, environment & lifestyle are also important to consider when giving your dog or cat  the best chance at good  health.

Remember your vet only receives training in diet and nutrition from the pet food companies who’s food they are selling. They have no specialised knowledge as a rule. Always ask your vet how much training they had in nutrition and who provided it!