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The Best Ways To Help Your Cat Fight Kidney Failure

Kidneys are some of the most important organs in the body. Dealing almost strictly with blood, kidneys control blood pressure, filter out waste and excess water, stimulate red blood cells, and help maintain a proper balance of acids and minerals. Without kidneys, your system is much more susceptible to urinary tract infections, diarrhea, weight loss, and lethargy, among other things. This post will be covering the topic of kidney failure in cats, detailing exactly what it is and how to treat it.

There are two types of kidney failure that cats experience: Acute renal failure, and chronic renal failure. Acute failure is usually caused by the ingestion of a poison (like antifreeze or pesticide), trauma, dehydration, blood loss, or infection. It flares up very quickly, and can be deadly if left untreated. If you notice your cat vomiting an unusual amount, urinating less than usual, having a general lack of energy, or experiencing a loss of coordination, take her to the vet right away. Acute renal failure is not hard to cure if it is caught early enough, but the longer you wait, the harder it becomes to treat.

The same, unfortunately, cannot be said for chronic failure. Developed by years of wear and tear, kidney failure becomes chronic when the kidney tissue is actually replaced entirely by scar tissue. This condition is untreatable, and is often caused by simple old age, although it can also be brought about by trauma and infection. Life expectancy after diagnosis is a few months at best, and prolongment of life is rare. Treatment of chronic kidney failure is more about alleviating pain than curing the illness, although sometimes proper care can slow the spread of the symptoms. As your cat ages, notice her weight, energy, and urination habits, all of which can indicate chronic renal failure.

When treating kidney failure of any kind, diet is the most important thing. Look for a food that has a low amount of high-quality protein, like turkey, duck, or eggs, preferably a limited ingredient food. These are usually single-source proteins packed with beneficial nutrients. Most limited ingredient foods are designed specifically for pets with health problems, so finding the right one to support your cat shouldn’t be a problem.

Both kinds of kidney failure can be brought on or aggravated by dehydration. Cats don’t naturally drink a lot of water because in the wild, they get their moisture from the raw meat they eat. Needless to say, they aren’t getting any moisture at all from their dry kibble. Supplementing a canned or dehydrated food every few days will be a good way to ensure that your cat is getting properly hydrated. You can also try mixing some warm water into her kibble.

While these methods might not entirely cure kidney failure, they will help your cat’s system fight the symptoms and greatly reduce the pain she is in. Kidney failure is a serious problem and we’d love to do what we can to help you and your cat fight it. Please let us know how we can help by emailing eric.nault@longdogfatcat.com, or by calling one of our stores.

 

 

Eric Face

 

Eric Nault 

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Just Eat It! 5 Appetite Stimulators For Dogs And Cats


A lacking appetite is one of the most common problems I run into among dog and cat owners. It’s a very confusing and concerning issue, and people have spent thousands of dollars trying out new foods or medicines to make their pet eat. In this post, I’d like to provide you with a list of appetite stimulants that should get your best friend eating again.

 

  1. Hot food.

Heating your pet’s food will enhance the flavors and smells, making it that much more enticing. This method works especially well with canned and dehydrated food. Just stick it in the microwave for fifteen seconds and you should be good to go.

  1. Exercise

The body craves food that it has worked for. Nothing makes a boring old PBJ taste better than a long, uphill hike through the heat. A long walk before mealtime can make your dog’s regular old kibble seem very tempting. If your cat is playing consistently throughout the day, she is much more likely to eat what you put down.

 

  1. Goat’s milk

Raw goat’s milk is packed full of natural probiotics, proteins and other nutrients that make it ideal for healthy weight gain. Its small fat molecules make it very easily digestible, perfect for dogs and cats suffering from malnutrition. Just pour it over their regular food, or serve it plain.

 

  1. Broth

With its strong odor and distinctive taste, a good chicken or beef broth will serve the same purpose as heating up the food, just making the kibble a bit harder to resist. This one does work with kibble a bit better than the heating method, as you can just stir it in to add some good texture.

 

  1. Natural food supplements

Ginger, mint, pumpkin, and cranberry will all greatly improve your pet’s digestion, which will make them more eager to eat. As they are better able to absorb nutrients and pass waste, their bodies will once again settle into a regular eating cycle.

These aren’t the only appetite enhancers by any means. If you try them all and they don’t work, please don’t worry. Email me at eric.nault@longdogfatcat.com if you have any questions or concerns, and keep this in mind: all dogs and cats are different, yes, but they are also similar. Chances are, if you are experiencing a problem, someone else has before too, and we can certainly help you find the solution. Again, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email, or feel free to call the store. We’d be more than happy to help you.

 

Eric Face

 

 Eric Nault 

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Why Groom? 3 Reasons To Get Your Dog Groomed Regularly

If you never took care of your hair, you probably would not be an especially happy camper. Your hair, matted and tangled, would accumulate grease and dirt that would be impossible to completely clean out. You would feel hot and dirty, and you honestly would not smell very good. A regular shower and haircut does wonders, not only for your appearance, but for your mentality.

SImilarly, a regularly groomed dog is a happier dog. Many people think that grooming is just about making your pet look pretty, but it is so much more than that. Our resident groomers, Steven, Tara and Reba, had a lot to say on the subject. Based on their comments, this is our list of the top 3 reasons to get your dog groomed regularly.

Health

First and foremost comes your dog’s health. Think of getting groomed as kind of like a checkup with your doctor. A professional groomer will be able to identify a lot of problems associated with your dog’s skin, such as rashes, bruising, cysts, and the like. They’ll also be able to inform you of problems with their ears, feet, and teeth, as they are going to be dealing with those a lot during the grooming process. Regular grooming will prevent a matted coat, which can cause serious damage to the skin and fur by cutting off circulation, and it can also work wonders on your dog’s joints, preventing early-onset arthritis that can be caused by unclipped nails. Consistent grooming will help your dog stay healthy and happy, and keep you a lot less stressed out. Keep in mind, however, that a groomer is not a vet, and shouldn’t be expected to give a diagnostic.

Nerves

Grooming is a lifelong process, just like going to the doctor is. Acclimating your puppies to the groomer’s touch will make it that much easier for them to be calm as older dogs. The stereotype is that all dogs hate getting haircuts and baths, but in reality, a dog that has been properly trained to accept these necessary steps will go along with them just as easily as a child does. Young children might squirm and complain when you stick them in the bathtub, but eventually, they will accept it as a natural part of life and even learn to enjoy it. Same goes for dogs. The more your dogs get groomed, the less they will struggle and fight about it.

Hygiene

Hair gets messy. Skin gets greasy. Ears get waxy and nails get dirty. A regular groom will ensure that these blemishes are dealt with professionally and swiftly, and that your dog doesn’t drag that infamous “wet dog stench” around with him wherever he goes. Letting him go too long without a groom would be like letting your kid to school smelling like body odor and last week’s tee-shirt. Nobody is going to be especially eager to pet a dog that stinks or feels like grease. Keeping up regular hygiene is essential to being able to fully appreciate all that your dog has to offer.

Grooming is a vital element of owning a dog, whether it’s a fluffy little Pom or a sleek labrador retriever. Come in a talk with our groomers about brushing, bathing, trimming, or anything else you’d like to know. They’ll give you regular upkeep tips and also scheduling advice. Reba, Steven, and Tarra are adept professionals and can answer any questions you have about the process and the details. To get in contact with us, please email eric.nault@longdogfatcat.com, or you can call the groomers directly.

 

Reba can be reached at 402-469-1917, and you can call Tara at 402-278-2775, and both can be found at our location on 90th and Center. Steven can be reached at 402-933-1123 at the store on 168th and Burke. 

 

Reba and Tara are independant contractors and are not on the LDFC payroll. Please do not contact them with questions about store policies or other Long Dog Fat Cat business related questions.

Eric Face

 

Eric Nault 

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10 Local Dog-Friendly Stores

When we go out – to eat, shopping, with friends, whatever –  we leave our dogs at home. The casually accepted rule is that dogs are not allowed into public establishments, be it because they are considered unruly, loud, smelly or a myriad of other possible reasons.

In a society like that, finding a dog-friendly store or shop is like finding a needle in a haystack, to borrow from the popular cliche. Take heart, though! They do, in fact, exist, and some of them on this list might surprise you. This is a list of my favorite 10 Omaha-Area Dog Friendly Stores and Restaurants!

10. Half Priced Books (bookstore) – 120th and West Center; allowed inside

9. Thirst-Tea (cafe) – Midtown Crossing; allowed inside

8. Blue Sushi (sushi and sake bar) – Old Market; patio seating

7. Urban Abbey (coffeehouse, bookstore) – Old Market; allowed inside

6. Dundee Cork & Bottle (bar) – 50th and Underwood; patio seating

5. Caffeine Dreams (coffeehouse) – 46th and Dodge

4. Flying Worm Vintage (retail clothing store) – Old Market; allowed inside

3. La Buvette (fine wine and cheese parlor) – Old Market; patio seating

2. The Bookworm (bookstore) – 90th and Center; allowed inside

1. Amsterdam Falafel & Kabob (restaurant) – 50th and Underwood; patio seating

Just a few handy tips to utilize when you and your dog are visiting these places (or any other dog-friendly establishment, in fact) – Always call ahead to confirm their dog policy. Not only do policies of this nature change often, but this will show that you are courteous and respectful, painting dog-owners in that much of a brighter light. Also, know your dog! If he doesn’t do well around other dogs or people, it probably is not a very good idea to bring him into a public establishment with you. Keep him on a short leash at all times, making sure that he doesn’t cause any problems for the people around you. If you’re people-conscious and polite, there is nothing to prohibit you and your dog from enjoying any of these business’ services. If you have any questions regarding dog-friendly establishments, or proper dog outing etiquette, please email me at eric.nault@longdogfatcat.com!

 

 

Eric Face

 

Eric Nault 

 

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Mind Your Manners! Proper Dog Outing Etiquette

When you bring your dog out with you, you want him to act properly, right? There’s almost nothing worse than an embarrassing display by dogs you are responsible for, especially when you are surrounded by other dogs and dog owners. So, in order to help you avoid any unnecessary fiasco, we have compiled a list of proper etiquette practices to observe when taking your dog out on the town.

1. Know your pet

Before taking your dog out with you, there are several things you need to know about him. How does he react to other people and dogs? How is he around children? Is he good on a leash? Is he potty trained? Does he obey you? Essentially, you need to make sure that your dog is properly trained before you take him out in public. If not, it could prove disastrous for both of you. Keep in mind that young puppies have an excess of energy and, since the concept of training is fairly new to them, it might be a lot harder to keep them in check when they are in new surroundings. If you think your dog might be a handful, it’s better to leave him at home. Better safe than sorry, right?

2. Know the area

Do your research on the place you’re planning on taking your dog. Is it a place where dogs are generally welcomed? Will there be a lot of new people there? Is there a place where he can go to unobtrusively do his business? There are a lot of things you need to find out before you’ll be able to know what kind of environment it will be for your dog. New places are often stressful and making sure it is a place where he can easily relax will make the whole experience a lot more fun for you both.

3. Know the expectations

There are certain things that people always expect dog owners to do when their dogs are out with them, like keeping him on a leash close by you, cleaning up his messes, and not letting him jump all over passersby. You’ll be expected to have a plentiful supply of doggie bags, as well as easy access to water on hot days. A proper leash will be needed to keep excitable dogs from tugging you off your feet, and an adequate stash of treats is encouraged to reward good behavior. Being fully equipped is tantamount to a good time, and also to being courteous to the people around you.

Sometimes, though, things happen regardless of our preparations. In the event that your dog ends up causing a scene anyway, be polite about it. Don’t make excuses for your dog’s behavior, simply apologize and then take extra precautions. Some people don’t like dogs, and pardoning your pet’s inconsiderate actions is a surefire way to make these people angry. Please be respectful if you are planning on taking your dog anywhere.

Proper pet outing etiquette is often simply a matter of common sense and following the Golden Rule. When a mom lets her kid run amok through the grocery store, you get upset, right? So do the people who see an untrained dog wreaking havoc in a dog park. Employing these practices will ensure an enjoyable outing for you, your dog, and everyone else around you. If you need help finding any products I mentioned, or have any questions about finding doggie events, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email at eric.nault@longdogfatcat.com, or call one of our store locations.

 

Eric Face

 

Eric Nault

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A (Relatively) Brief Guide To Worldwide Food Safety Standards

You’d think that the definition of “safe to eat” would be a fairly accepted standard for everyone, right? Sadly, that isn’t the case. Where the food safety regulations in one country might say that a food is fine to eat as long as it is cheap and filling, other countries would say that it is poisonous garbage, never to be consumed under any circumstance. Some regulations are strict when it comes to labeling and advertising, where others are very lax, almost non-existent.

It’s important to know who you’re getting your food from, so let me give you a quick rundown of the big distributing and manufacturing countries’ safety standards, starting with the loosest and ending with the tightest.

China

It’s no surprise that the first country on this list is China. In all my research for this post, the only thing I could find regarding Chinese pet food safety regulations was that the Chinese have no pet food safety regulations. Through the years, they have received a somewhat dubious reputation in regards to food safety, so recently they have begun enforcing several new regulations regarding human food, but have yet to do so with pet food. This means that a Chinese pet food, or an ingredient that is sourced from China, could have anything at all in it, from ground up roadkill to plastic.

United States

The regulatory system in the USA is governed by two establishments called the FDA and AAFCO, with most of the actual standards being set up by AAFCO (the Association of American Feed Control Officials) and the enforcement being handled almost entirely by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) since AAFCO is not actually an official governmental body. This, as you might imagine, makes finding out exactly what the standards are an extremely arduous task.

At first glance, it would appear that that the USA has very very loose standards for pet food. Most people are under the assumption that the FDA controls everything, so when they read on the official website that there is, in fact, no requirement for foods to have FDA approval to be sold, they are taken aback. The only thing that the FDA actually does specific to pet food is review health benefit claims. Their website states that the CVM (College of Veterinary Medicine) and manufacturers themselves hold primary authority for providing safe pet food. Compared to the strict laws in place in other countries, this seems really weak.

However, the people actually making the regulations, AAFCO, have set up a dizzyingly specific set of standards and definitions that pet food suppliers are encouraged to adhere to. While they too say that the manufacturer ultimately holds responsibility for the safety of their food, they also encourage the buyer to be aware of what they are spending their money on, charging pet parents with a certain measure of responsibility. AAFCO sends all complaints, cautions, and recalls towards the FDA to deal with. A full list of requirements is on their website under the “AAFCO Talks Pet Food” column.

Ultimately, in the United States, it is up to you to know what you are feeding your pet. Both FDA law and AAFCO recommendation enforce a tight labelling policy so that you know exactly who makes your food and can easily find out exactly what is in it. In essence, the standards are only as high as you want them to be.    

Canada

While their hyped-up reputation would suggest that they are some sort of pet food safety pioneers, the Canadians are actually fairly run-of-the-mill. Their enhanced animal health safeguards that were implemented in 2007 make it illegal for specified risk materials to be included in pet food, and Industry Canada developed two acts, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and the Competition Act, as labelling and advertising regulations, making sure that customers know exactly what they are getting for their money. All pet food packages are required to show a list of ingredients, feeding instructions, and a guaranteed analysis (which is a fancy term for the minimum and maximum nutritional quantities of the ingredients). All ingredients are required to be listed by their common name. In other words, Canada is in the same boat as the United States, where you have the opportunity to get quality food, but there really isn’t any law requiring all food to be quality.

Also similar to the US, where we have AAFCO, Canada has PFAC, the Pet Food Association of Canada, a non-governmental organization dedicated to producing quality pet food. Most Canadian manufacturers are members, which makes the process of finding a safe Canadian food that much easier. At the end of the day, however, it is up to the buyer to know what they are buying.

Japan

The Japanese aren’t playing around with your pet’s food. The Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of the Environment worked together with the Agricultural Material Council and the Central Environment Council to develop laws against making, selling, and importing/exporting food that is not made according to their guidelines. Governmental Ministers can prevent the sale or production of any food that might be harmful to pets, and they can also order a recall if they have to. Random inspections are conducted and the performing officials are granted the power to seize any resources that aren’t up to code. Results of these inspections are made public, and jail time and steep fines await those who are caught making subpar food or using improper ingredients. As far as actual laws go, very few are doing more than the Japanese.

United Kingdom

The European Union (the EU) manages pet food safety in the UK, and with their Animal Feed Regulations being passed in 2010, they are doing a stellar job. Their regulations cover everything from labeling, nutritional claims, and authorized additives to the enforcement measures that are to be taken if a manufacturer does not comply. All businesses must be registered with and approved by the EU, a mandate which applies to all points in the process, from the farmers growing the ingredients to the store selling the finished product. They prohibit the distribution of “unsafe” food, which is defined as food that is contaminated by foreign objects, food that is decomposing or rotting, and food that contains unapproved additives. Traceability measures are in place, meaning that if they find an ingredient in the food that isn’t supposed to be there, they will be able to tell at exactly what stage in the process it was added in. Enforcement officials are allowed to use their discretion as well. Just because a food “technically” complies with regulations doesn’t mean that the manufacturer is untouchable. This creates a system with no loopholes that makes United Kingdom standards the highest in the world.

I hope this post provided you with a lantern to get you through the fog of laws and legal terms associated with pet food safety. Now you know where the best foods come from, and you know where to have caution. Keep in mind, though, that just because a food is based out of a country doesn’t mean that the manufacturer uses their standard. For example, a country might be based in the USA and use the United Kingdom standards in order to go above and beyond. I know this can be confusing, so if you have any questions, please call either store location, or send me an email at eric.nault@longdogfatcat.com.  

Eric Face

 

Eric Nault

 

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3 Ways To Keep Your Dog Calm On The 4th of July

As the 4th of July steadily approaches, an important question has gained increasing popularity: How to I keep my dog from becoming a stress-ridden mess of anxiety amid the booming cannons, crackling sparklers, and countless strangers? This post will outline the top 3 methods for keeping your dog calm on the 4th of July.

  1. Thundershirts

They look kind of like a fitted life jacket for dogs. The idea is to apply firm, yet gentle, pressure to various sweet spots on the torso, providing a constant reassurance. Make sure to get one that fits perfectly though, as the technology requires it to be very snug. Thundershirts are not a complete fix, and your dog will still exhibit anxious behavior, but they won’t be as prone to completely losing it.

  1. Calming Chews

These all-natural chew treats are designed to reduce stress-related behavior problems without causing any adverse side effects to your pet’s personality or overall health. They use L-Thiamine, an amino acid that is not produced by the body, but found naturally occurring in green tea  and casein, a milk protein, to bring down stress levels in a natural, healthy way by enticing the brain to produce other calming amino acids like Dopamine and Tryptophan. Studies have shown no adverse side effects or drowsiness, just a happier, calmer dog. Give one to your pet a half-hour before you want it to take effect.  

  1. Exercise

Hardly anything out there is going to calm your dog down as much as a good chunk of time every day devoted to exhausting exercise. Before you start your 4th of July festivities, take your dog on a long walk, or put him on the treadmill for a bit. After vigorous exercise, keep him in a relatively quiet, dimly-lit room with a favorite toy and clothing that smells like you. He will likely be too tired to tear around like a maniac every time a firework goes off, and the comforting setting will keep him calm. Couple this method with either of the items mentioned above, and 4th of July will be a breeze.

Every year, dogs across the nation collectively freak out because suddenly, their sensitive ears are bombarded with huge blasts that even our weak human ears consider deafening. Imagine if someone randomly shouted in your ear without warning or explanation, and then imagine that it was about five times louder than any human can shout. You’d be going crazy too. This 4th of July, please give your dog some much needed comfort and respite by investing in the items mentioned in this post. Thundershirts, calming chews, and lots and lots of exercise. Be sure, also, to take extra precautions if you want to have your dog outside. Put out sparklers and other items in a bucket of cold water, and make sure to dispose of any dangerous trash. Keep his collar and ID tag on at all times, just in case he bolts.  If you have any questions regarding these products and practices, please email me at eric.nault@longdogfatcat.com, or call either store location. Happy 4th, to you and your dog!

Eric FaceEric Nault

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Should I Supplement? When and Why You’d Need The Additives

If your mom is at all like my mom, you probably grew up taking mandatory daily vitamins, or “supplements”. These can be in the form of a multivitamin or a need-specific medicine, such as something to specifically help your blood pressure.

Humans take these supplements all the time. Our diets fluctuate so often and so sporadically (one day you eat a salad with carrot sticks on the side, the next you eat nothing but delicious pastries) that we need the multivitamins in order to make sure that we are getting the proper nutrients every day.

What about dogs, though? Many people will give their pet a little added something with their regular food, but is that really necessary? And if it is, what should you add?

Well, according to dog experts like Cesar Millan, your dog probably doesn’t need any supplements after all, as long as the food you are feeding them is an adequate source of nutrients. High-quality pet foods are geared towards meeting all of your dog’s nutritional needs, and many of them are even breed specific. If your dog is healthy and you’re feeding him a proper food, adding a supplement could not only be unnecessary, it could actually be harmful, like when you take an unprescribed mixture of pills and they end up making you more sick. Too many vitamins are just as bad as not enough.

There are, however a few that you can’t really have too much of. Glucosamine, for example, is great for large breeds that tend to have joint trouble and not very many foods include it. Fish oils and coconut oils are good for the coat and the shaggier breeds are probably going to need the extra boost of a supplement in order to work it through all their fur. Natural supplements, like pumpkin and goat’s milk, are going to provide a huge boost in nutrition no matter what you’re feeding.

If your food isn’t cutting it and your dog is still having problems, have your vet recommend something to you. There are supplements for just about anything out there, from arthritis to a protein deficiency, so they should be able to tell you what you need. Once your vet has recommended a particular supplement, we’d be happy to help you find it! Just stop by one of our stores or call ahead to keep it on hold. If you have any other questions regarding supplements, feel free to email us at eric.nault@longdogfatcat.com.

Eric Face Eric Nault

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3 Fun Facts Featuring Finicky Felines

Feeding a cat, it seems, is somewhat of a guessing game. As you crank open the can or pour the portion of kibble, your fingers are crossed and you offer up a prayer that your cat will accept this meager offering. With baited breath, you watch your feline sniff the food… and you exhale a dejected sigh when she turns up her nose and struts away. Another mix, tried and failed.
Why does this happen? Food that you have been feeding for years, suddenly rejected as if it is rotten trash. Why are cats so doggone picky?
Hopefully, these 3 fun facts about cats’ eating habits will help you understand a bit more about your finicky feline. Feel free to email any further questions to info@longdogfatcat.com!

Cat’s Can’t Taste Sweets

Weird, huh? According to a study done in 2005, cats lack the taste bud genes required to taste anything sweet and sugary. This leads to an indifference to any food that is high in carbohydrates, causing your cat to instead prefer a high-protein diet. If your cat scoffs at a new food you’re trying out, it may be that there are just too many carbs and not enough meats for her to be able to taste it properly.

2. Cats Like Variety

Because of their natural hunting habits in the wild, cats don’t like to be fed the same thing every day. They are solitary predators, hunting alone and eating alone, several times a day on a diet that consists of many different types of meat. They get their pick of a huge variety. Contrast to dogs, which are pack hunters and have to scarf whatever food they can in order to get their fill. Maybe if your cat suddenly decides that she doesn’t like what she’s been eating for months, it’s because she is bored with it and needs a change. Try adding in freeze dried meat to her kibble, or new flavors of canned food. Keep the food interesting.

3. Cats Like Comfort

Everyone knows that a cat is happiest when she is comfortable. She doesn’t like to be rushed, or feel pressured by anything while she eats. Make sure that her food bowl is in an easy-access place, where she can nibble slowly at her own pace. This should be a place away from heavy foot-traffic and where you feed other pets that your cat doesn’t get along with. It should also be a constant place, one that doesn’t get changed around very often. House cats are creatures of habit, and too much change freaks them out. Your cat needs to feel safe and comfortable, and this applies to where she eats as well.
Well, there you go, my top 3 fun facts about cat’s eating habits! Let me know if they helped by shooting me an email, or by calling either store. I’d love to hear your feedback. Happy feeding!

Eric Face Eric Nault

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The Lowdown On Dog Allergies

Like humans, dogs can develop allergies to specific food ingredients. This happens when the dog’s immune system begins to believe that the specific ingredient is harmful, and it creates antibodies to fight it off. When there is nothing harmful to fight, the antibodies produce destructive effects that manifest themselves in a number of ways, including:

  • Chronic ear inflammation
  • Constant licking
  • Constant itching
  • Skin rashes
  • Paw biting
  • Hives

Also like humans, dogs can become intolerant of certain food ingredients as well. Intolerance is often confused with an allergy because some of the symptoms are similar, and the general idea is the same, but while an allergy is a problem with the immune system, an intolerance is a problem with the digestive system. When a dog is intolerant of a food, it simply means that he has trouble digesting it, which can lead to the following problems:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Chronic gas
  • Nausea
  • Bloating

Allergies and intolerance can develop through repeated exposure. It’s likely that the ingredient that your dog is allergic to or intolerant of is one that you have been feeding him for a long time. For example, if you have been feeding your dog chicken-or-chicken-based food for years and years, and he suddenly begins to show the symptoms listed above, it is likely that his immune system has begun to recognize chicken as a harmful protein, or he has become unable to digest it. Simply switching proteins would solve the problem, if that were the case.

Other common food allergens include:

  • Beef
  • Dairy
  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Yeast
  • Potato

Dogs are not naturally allergic to or intolerant of any of these ingredients. They are only common allergens because they are found in so many dog foods. So the trick will be finding a food not containing any of them. For help finding a hypoallergenic food or raw/freeze dried dog food that is right for your dog, feel free to call either of our store locations. One of our staff will be happy to help you find just what you need.

Before you go looking for food to help your dog’s allergies, however, you’ll need to make sure that it is actually the food that is causing the symptoms. Dogs can also develop allergies to things like pollen and ragweed and dust mites, the same way humans can. In order to be really sure, make an appointment with your vet. They will likely put your dog on an elimination diet, which means that they’ll start out having you feed your dog only one or two basic ingredients, gradually adding more things to his diet until he begins to exhibit the allergic symptoms. If this test doesn’t produce any results, it is more likely that your dog is allergic to something in the air, rather than something in his food.

If you have any other questions about your dog’s allergies or about hypoallergenic foods, don’t hesitate to contact us! We’d love to answer your questions.

Eric Face   Eric Nault