Organic Dog Food

Organic Dog Food

Your Questions About Dog Training Classes Denver

Chris asks…

How much does a puppy cost?average?

i want to buy one a german sheperd

admin answers:

Please to go petfinder.com and take a look for your area. I would recommend looking at the ones in shelters first — rescue first :-). But, that is up to you. Please take it to doggie classes. If you live in the Denver Metro area in Colorado, check out Clearwater dog training, they also run a rescue for German Shepherds and their dogs are well trained and fun to be around.

Donna asks…

How can I keep my female pitbull 1 1/2 yrs from running away, and walk or hang out with her without a leash?

Training a dog with no leash

admin answers:

Terriers are extremely difficult to get reliable off-leash, even if you’re an expert trainer. You have to start when they are 8 weeks old, getting them to follow you and stay on your property. Once the dog has learned that she can run away, you’ll never get her to forget that she can. If a barking dog or a cat or a squirrel comes along – wham! – there goes your dog. Instinct is much more powerful than training.

You’ve also got a problem because of the pit bull’s reputation. People who see a loose pit bull may panic and scream and run – that will make even the mildest dog chase them. If your dog runs after them and the person is hit by a car, YOU will be liable since most communites require all dogs to be leashed. Your dog could also be injured or even shot by a cop in some places (like Denver, rumor has it).

Read some great books on training. (Try not to pick books randomly – there are a lot of bad books out there also!) These are some of my favorites and you can get them on Amazon.com

The Koehler Method of Dog Training – by William Koehler has some good techniques about off-leash training, but you’ll have to modify the method and make it a lot more fun for your terrier. They are much smarter and more stubborn than Shepherds and Goldens. You can’t do twenty repetitions of sit-down-sit-down with a terrier. He will get pissed off and turned off.

Also, read:
What All Good Dogs Should Know – Volhard
Good Owners, Great Dogs – Brian Kilcommins
Dog Tricks : Eighty-Eight Challenging Activities for Your Dog from World-Class Trainers by Haggerty and Benjamin
Don’t Shoot the Dog – Pryor
Training Your Dog: The Step by Step Method – Volhard
Dog Problems – Benjamin
Cesar’s Way – Cesar Millan
Also, watch the Dog Whisperer on the National Geographic Channel. Cesar Millan is the best trainer I’ve ever seen on TV.

Richard asks…

Argh! This is so frustrating!?

Okay so this guy from the Denver post came to my door. I poked the door open a little bit and greeted him. He and I spoke for a little white and then my Chihuahua came out of the front door to greet him. I asked him to step inside so the dog wouldn’t run off. He did and I closed the door. We spoke for a bit and then I said “I’m interested but I’ll have to speak with my fiance before signing up.” He abruptly opened the door and let my dog out(on purpose) and walked off. I ran after my dog and got him. The man kept walking as if nothing happened. I screamed “A**hole!” at the top of my lungs as I walked inside with my dog. He looked back causally and continued at the same pace. I was not happy. How would you feel?

PS: I’m getting a whole bunch of baby gates and I’m currently in the process of door training my dog with distractions. He’s working on it and so am I.

admin answers:

Hahaha i know exactly how u feel i have a min pin, and had the same thing happen i hate it when ppl c im trying to keep her inside and they just radomly open the door giving her the chance to run off…..its irritating cuz i had to chase her down the block but like u i also decided to invest in classes and baby gates, now thats all an issue of the past..

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Your Questions About Collie

George asks…

How much would a male border collie weigh at 10 months to 1 years old?

I am looking at getting a border collie for my townhouse next year. I’ve done a lot of research on it and will be able to give it plenty of exercise. My townhouse rules, though, prohibit dogs over 25 lbs. I will graduate from college and be on my own in a year where I can get less lenient rules, but will a border collie be under 25 lbs at 1 year old.

admin answers:

No, a Border Collie will not be under 25# at 10 months to a year old, esp a male.

Chris asks…

How active would a Border Collie x Spaniel be?

I found a Border Collie x Spaniel and he is 2 years old and he is desperate for a home. How many hours would i need to excersise him. If i do get him i would plan on giving him a daily walk. How many hours would be enough excersise for him?) and i was planning on playing fetch etc in the backyard.
Oh sorry i didnt put this is.. Its from a shelter.

admin answers:

Border Collie-2 hours to keep them calm and satisfied.
Spaniels-Generally 1-2 hours.

So, I would say a 45 minute walk in the morning, half an hour play time in the afternoon, and an hour run at night. Yep, that outta do it!

You also need to provide heaps of mental stimulation. Obedience training, interactive toys, hiding food around the house, etc. BCs are incredibly smart and need something to do or else they become destructive.

I would bet money this dog is need of a desperate home because of his exercise levels. Most likely he doesn’t have much training and is destructive because of lack of mental stimulation.

Just realize he may be some work the first few weeks you have him. And also remember that this dog will be a huge commitment.

Good luck!

William asks…

Should i get a collie although I already have a working spaniel?

I would LOVE a border collie. I’ve wanted one for years because i do agility with my other dog which is a english working cocker spaniel. Im always outside working with my other dog, but having a border collie will just put the icing on the cake! I find them absoloutly fantastic and so so clever. I have worked with a few of them before at my agility club, running with them at shows and everything and i also know everything about them. Its just a matter of working two dogs. Will this need to work get in the way of showing my other dog aswell? Thankyou very much for your help!

admin answers:

First rule with Border Collies:

You can never know everything about them. They will always surprise you.

However, back to the question at hand. Border Collies excel at agility and anything really that engages their minds and their brilliant physical attributes and talents.

Please bare in mind though that they have an infinite level of energy. My two BC’s hike with me for most of the day on my days off and they can come home, sleep for half and hour, and be willing to go out again.

If you can honestly say you have the time and a 14+ year commitment then I think a BC would be a good addition to your family. However, BC’s, if not properly socialised can be quite an anxious breed so be sure to get your pup from a reputable breeder that has a line of brilliant herders/workers with great temperaments.

Hope this helps.

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Your Questions About Organic Dog Food

Sandra asks…

We are hearing so much about additives, what’s the best kind of dog food to feed your dog?

raw fed diet, organic, dog food found in the frozen food section or just the everyday dry kibble you find in the grocery store?

admin answers:

Personally, I use Evo food for my husky. She had been eating Purina, and something in the food upset her stomach and caused very runny stool. Through talking with my vet and experimentation, we figured out that my puppy seems to have a sensitivity to grains. This particular food has no grains in it at all, and is based on meats. Its still a dry dog food, so I can just toss the bag in a big rubbermaid tub in the closet. Makes storage of the food easy, and since its dry, its easy to take food with us when we travel. About once a week she gets a can of the same brand as a treat. She still gets table scraps occasionally, but I try to watch which ones she gets. Lol she thought she’d died and gone to heaven the other day when I accidentally dropped a piece of bacon!

I like the Evo food because its of a high enough quality that technically I could sit down and eat a bowl of it and be fine. There are a lot of brands that would potentially make me sick if I were to do that.

I included the website for the food I use for the dog, and an article from the Animal Protection Institute on dog foods and the nasty stuff we don’t want to think about that happens with that food. The site has quite a few articles on similar topics, I’d suggest looking over much of the site.

Daniel asks…

Bil Jac Dog Food? I got a free sample at PetSmart yesterday?

I have read an equal amount of good and bad things about Bil Jac. In one I read it helps get rid of the tear satains on Maltese’s and others I read that it causes gum disease. Would you recomend this for my Maltese? He usually eats organic dog food, would it be bad to switch? Do you feed your dog Bil Jac?

admin answers:

Bill Jack is Garbage dog food with a capital G!
Here is a site that will show you which dog foods are the best and the worst. I suggest that you get any one of the dog foods that are top rated.
Http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/
Most of grocery store dog food formulas, like IAMS, Pedigree, Science Diet, Purina,and etc contain “meat and bone meal” which has been known to contain dead dogs and cats that were euthanized in animal shelters. Their bodies are picked up and bought by the truck load by “rendering plants” , that also pick up road kill, dead live stock, and etc. They are shredded, and boiled. They skim off the fat on the top of the “soup” and collected it and sell it to pet food companies as “animal fat”, the rest of the animals’ remains are crushed up, dried and sold to dog and cat food companies as meat and bone meal.
You can read more about it here.
Http://earthislandprojects.org/eijournal/fall97/fe_fall97petfood.html
Here is an article where the owner of a rendering plant talks about it. He says that cremating the dead shelter animals would cause pollution, and that rendering them is good.
Http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m5072/is_12_26/ai_115041999
Here is further information on what you shouldn’t see in the ingredients list in your dog’s food.
Http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=badingredients
Top rated dog foods like Canidae contain good healthy ingredients.

Ruth asks…

How to properly switch an adult dogs dry dog food?

My pitbull currently eats a certain kind of dry dog food. That said, I want to switch my dogs food to a more organic and higher quality dry dog food.
What is the proper routine/process to introduce the new dry food and how long is the process/routine?

admin answers:

Try mixing a little of the new into the old. Gradually increase the proportion of new until you are switched over. Keep an eye on your pets reaction, but typically figure on something like a week or so. And best of luck :)

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Your Questions About Dog Training Collars

Lizzie asks…

Worst dog training class you were ever in?

If you have been in a seriously bad dog training class, tell me about it! I was in one class where the instructor did her homework for a class she was taking, rarely looking up to see what and how we were doing…(but not for long). What story do you care to share?

admin answers:

The other trainer that was hired at my store teaches a training method called the compulsive learning theory. Basically it states the dog obeys to avoid punishment. If he was a real trainer who is up to date on the proven positive methods, he would know that dogs learn best by a positive based punishment rather than a physical one. In short I have seen this brut of a man hang and jerk aggressive dog via on leashes. He has even gone as fare as pinching the whisker glands on the dog to get them to obey. Some of you may not see the problem in this, but as someone who has gone to school to study dog behavior, it is insulting and honestly if I can be so bold cheating clients in thinking this is the right way into training dogs. If anyone wants to have a good dog trainer here are the list of criteria that will insure you they are good teachers:
1) Ask if they have a valid Dog training certificate from a positive training school( look up the school via google)
2) Ask if they use prong choke or shocks collars in training. They say yes to any of them DO NOT GO WITH THEM!
3) Do they use any physical correction with there hands in training? The answer should be no.
4) Ceaser Mulan or Victoria Stillwell? If it Ceaser they love, I promise you they will screw up your dog.
5) Ask where the training will be. Outside?How many dogs? Is it sanitary?

In my expeirance pet store trainers have little or no knowledge on how to properly train dogs. I have met many and have seen their classes. Best advice is to get a personal trainer who can come to your home and let your dog be in it’s own home where he will learn the best.

And in case your are wondering where my education comes from here is the school I am going to
animalbehaviorcollege.com. Same school Victoria Stilwell from ” It’s me or the Dog” graduated from. That and also I had to work on an externship for 7 months versing myself in different AKC breed groups. Am I educated? Yes. Do I know my material? Yes. Am I a dog whisper? No. I am a person who can get into about a 90% radius of what your dog may be thinking. Thank you for this question, and if you ever have training questions feel free to ask me. ^_^

Dare2howl@yahoo.com

Charles asks…

What does a martingale dog training collar do?

I have only just heard about them and was interested to know if they help to train a dog to walk on a lead properly without pulling or barking. Thanks if you can help.
Well she is just a small dog that I got from a shelter who has never learnt to walk properly. I’ve tried the other harnesses that go over the nose and under the body but they just cause her to have skin irritations so I stopped using them. I’m at a loss to know what to do with her. Any ideas would be appreciated.

admin answers:

They can be used instead of a chain (collar). The fabric is easier on fragile necks than the regular chain collar. When adjusted properly, it will not close around the neck like a chain collar But you still get the chain sound of the correction. I do not reccommend a flat, chain or martingale for a dog that has pulling issues. For that a prong collar used correctly is actually much safer for the trachea as it stops the pulling with the least pressure on the trachea.

I use the martingale for my two poms. Poms have delicate neck and also they have large heads compared to their necks and a regular chain collar is too long when it is long enough to get over their heads. The martingale can be adjusted after it is put on so the chain does not hang down too low. They do not have pulling issues but a quick jiggle of the chain will put them back into proper position. Plain flat collars are too damaging for small dog’s necks when training or the dog is pulling. They have no “give” and no warning “jiggle”.

Michael asks…

How old does my dog need to be to wear a training collar?

i know a lot of people do not approve of dog shock collars. I have been taking my puppy to a training class and has not gotten too much better. maybe just time would work. How old SHOULD a dog/puppy be when deciding to use a training shock collar? Thanks!

admin answers:

Much older than a puppy.

In my opinion, shock collars shouldn’t be used to *teach* anything – they should be used to *proof* what has already been taught by positive training, rewards (not just treats) and corrections.

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Your Questions About Organic Dog Food Reviews

Sandy asks…

What is the best “natural” dog food? Halo, Innova or does anyone else have a suggestion?

I have a 4 month old dachshund and would really like to stay away from “processed” foods. Right now I feed him Beneful for puppies and once a day he gets 1/2 packet of Cesar.
The more I read about dog food, the scarier it gets…..can anyone help?

admin answers:

It can be overwhelming at first trying to choose a food, especially when you’re just starting to learn about all the stuff that goes into dog food and hearing about a bunch of brands that aren’t advertised.

But remember, it’s dog food, not rocket science. Relax and try out a few foods, see which high-quality one works for you and your dog.

===

There is no food that is the *best*, different individual dog may thrive on different foods. What is best for one may not be the best for the next. And just because a food is good quality, it doesn’t mean it will jive the best for your dog.

What you want to find is the HIGH-QUALITY food that *your dog* does best on.

Read the ingredients before you buy.

Here is my “short list” of rules when I am looking at dog food ingredients:
1) When I chose a dog food, I chose one high meat content. I want to see preferably at least 2-3 out of the top 5 ingredients be meat or meat meal (first ingredient must be!). Meal is simply the meat with the moisture removed.
2) I want to see higher quality grains, such as barley, brown rice, and oatmeal, instead of seeing wheat and corn. Or an alternative starch/carbohydrate such as potatoes or sweet potatoes.
3) I don’t want to see any byproducts.
4) I don’t want to see a lot of fillers.
5) I don’t want to see preservatives that are believed to be carcinogens (BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin).
6) I don’t want to see artificial colorings such as the Red, Blue, and Yellow dyes.
7) I don’t want to see added sugars (sugar, corn syrup).
8) I don’t want to see mystery meats (meats identified only as “meat” or “poultry”.)

Here is an article about byproducts:
http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=ingrd

And an article on what ingredients to avoid:
http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=badingredients

Here are some examples of GOOD dog foods:
* Artemis (Fresh Mix)
* Blue Buffalo
* California Natural
* Canidae
* Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul
* Eagle Pack Holistic Selects
* EVO
* Fromm
* Innova
* Merrick
* Nature’s Variety
* Orijen
* Solid Gold
* Taste of the Wild
* Timberwolf Organics
* Wellness
* ZiwiPeak

Or check this website; the 4, 5, or 6 star rated foods are all good foods. Http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/

Higher quality food may seem more expensive at first, but it evens out. The higher quality the food, the less fillers eaten (and therefore the less poop comes out the other end). Your dog eats more of a low-quality food to try to get the nutrition it needs, and most of the food just passes right on through. Also, higher-quality food will make your animals healthier, so you save money on vet bills in the long run.

What *NOT* to buy:

Stay away from grocery stores brands. They are low-quality foods chalk full of fillers, preservatives, dyes, etc.. (Grocery store foods are those like Beneful, Old Roy, Alpo, Pedigree, Purina, etc.)

Beware “premium” foods. “Premium” does not always mean good nutritionally, and is not a nutritionally high quality food. Most of these foods have the same types of ingredients as grocery store foods, just a bit better quality of those not-so-good ingredients. (Premium foods are those like Iams, Eukanuba, Science Diet, Bil-Jac, Royal Canin, etc..)

Another thing to be wary of: A lot of vets will recommend what they sell in their office. They get profit from the brands they keep on their shelves, that’s why they push it. Truth is, vet schools don’t focus a lot on nutrition. It’s not saying that a vet is a bad vet because he recommends those foods, a lot of vets just are told “this is good food”, so they pass the message along without proper nutrition knowledge. Also, some dog food brands (like Hills) support vet schools, so vets have heard of it from the time they start college, which makes them think it’s good as well.

Hills company, the makers of Science Diet, are heavily involved in vet schools. “Hill’s scientists author more than 50 research papers and textbook chapters each year and teach at leading schools of veterinary medicine” (Source of quoted section: http://www.hillsvet.com/zSkin_2/company_info/company_info_general.jsp?JSESSIONID=HMz2B3Jn3hv0rnSoxCobfbBhOec35ODG7yh5t3P0vcvhOtzRlQ9M!598359213!167846923!7005!8005&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302026072&bmUID=1196192566575 )

“Big box” petstores like Petco and Petsmart rarely have quality foods. (I do believe that PetCo sells “Solid Gold” and “Natural Balance” brands and Petsmart sells “Blue Buffallo”, which are all higher quality foods, but most of the foods aren’t.)

Also, grocery stores and Walmart aren’t good places to buy food either.

Your best bets for getting quality dog food are:
– small, locally owned petstores
– dog boutiques
– farm supply stores

When switching foods, do it gradually. I do this over about a two week timespan:
25% food A, 75% food B
50% food A, 50% food B
75% food A, 25% food B
100% food A
.

Linda asks…

Are dog foods like Purina Beneful, Alpo, Kibble n Bits, and other commercial dog foods healthy for my pup?

I recently had my 8 week old chihuahua pup on beneful puppy chow. But i read and heard it was very unhealthy for dogs. So i switched her too Earthborn Holistic. Organic dog food. So, the question is, are those commercial foods really unhealthy, and why are they unhealthy?

admin answers:

If you can buy it in the supermarket, it’s probably not good for your dog…the brands you mention are all literally garbage…they will provide some calories to keep a dog alive, but have very little nutritional value at all…

Not familiar with the brand you switched to (I feed Chicken Soup for the Puppy Lover’s Soul at the moment) but see the source links for some info…the first is a good guide on the types of ingredients you do and do not want in your dog’s food…the 2nd is a review of a number of the “better” dog foods (better than anything you’ll find in the grocery store)…

Why are the brands you mention unhealthy??? They are loaded with fillers and animal parts there was no other use for…I shoot for a food with “human grade” ingredients…

Paul asks…

What is the best thing I can feed my shih tzu?

I don’t have time to make her food so what is the best bag dog food?

admin answers:

Http://www.dogaware.com/ – information on commercial dog foods, ingredients to avoid, good and bad human foods, supplements and raw diets.

Http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/ – in-depth reviews on dog food brands and their ingredients

Wellness & Wellness CORE, Solid Gold, Taste of the Wild, Timber Wolf Organics, California Naturals, Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul, Merrick, Canidae, Blue Buffalo, By Nature, Eagle Pack Holistic, Innova & EVO, Instinct and Orijen

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Your Questions About Dog Training Collars

Sandy asks…

What exactly is a martingale collar and what is it used for?

I understand its to help keep dogs from slipping their heads out if their neck is the same size as their head. I’ve seen many people have them on their dogs and just never really thought to ask what they did. Are they like training collars only cloth? Why are so many people against them?

admin answers:

I use martingale collars on my dogs, mainly because they are easy to slip on over the dogs heads and I don’t have to worry about buckles. My dogs only wear collars when we’re out walking.
I’ve never heard anyone say a word against martingales.

Betty asks…

What are your thoughts on remote training collars?

What are your thoughts on remote training collars?

admin answers:

It really depends on what you are using them for and you should always use them in conjunction with other training methods. They are not going to solve all your problems immediately and they might cause more harm then good. I would only suggest using them as a very last resort b/c there are a lot easier and less harmful ways to train just about any behavior. If you are going to get one then you need to find a trainer who is well versed in their use and can help you use them.

Used in the wrong way you could do a lot of damage to your dog and his relationship with you.

Chris asks…

How can I help my antisocial dog?

My husband and I adopted a 4-year-old boxer from his coworkers because they recently had a baby, and the dog was very jealous. When we first got Sadie, she was very sweet. In fact, she is still an angel with us. But as time goes on, we have realized that Sadie is VERY jealous, VERY territorial, and is just not very socialized at all. It seems that those people did not ever have her around other dogs OR children.

Is there any way to socialize the dog at this stage? Some people have suggested that I get one of the training collars, and deliver a small shock via remote every time she is aggressive (when we are walking, usually). Does anyone agree/disagree or have any other suggestions? This is a very large dog, 70 pounds, and though she does not try to bite, she is very loud and menacing. Please help!

admin answers:

Yes, you should be able to socialize this dog at her age. Shock collars do not train dogs – they mask the problem and are great for people too lazy to teach their dogs anything.

If you can find a really good obedience class with trainers who understand dogs (and the important thing here is that they treat dogs as individuals, not those who only know 1 method and use it no matter the dog’s temperament), take her to classes. But what I would do is start her off at home.

How is she with kids? Is she actually aggressive? Does she growl to warm them away? Is it because she isn’t used to kids and is using it as self-defense? Is she ok with older kids but not with young ones? A good behaviourist might be the best solution for you because they can see the dog in a situation and will be able to read her to determine why she’s doing what she’s doing, from there you can fix it.

If you’re experienced with dogs, you should be able to do it yourselves. Don’t leave her alone with any kids, gauge her reactions. With other dogs, you can’t take her to a dog park, but you can get her used to walking on leash near other dogs on leash. She’ll pick up on your body language – if you tense up, tighten the leash, etc., she’ll think there’s a reason and it encourages her to act aggressively. You need to keep her close to you but be very calm, talk to her, distract her and give her lots of praise and/or treats for any good behaviour.

If she doesn’t like you having visitors, you need to make that into a good experience for her. Let her greet them at the door – they are not to talk to her, pet her or make eye contact with her until after she’s done sniffing. They can then pet her if she’s willing, maybe offer her treats and she’ll learn that new people are a good thing. It’s hard to give too much advice without actually seeing how she interacts with other people or dogs.

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Your Questions About Organic Dog Food Recipes

Sandra asks…

Is cottage cheese considered the same as milk when referring to lactose intolerance?

It appears that a lot of people mention lactose intolerance in dogs, but many suggest adding yoghurt or cottage cheese. Do they affect dogs differently?

admin answers:

It depends who diagnosed your dog, first of all.
They are indeed basically the same thing. They are made with milk. If you want to try to give it to them, and you have a Whole Foods nearby, go and buy “Nancy’s” cultured cottage cheese. It contains cultures just like yogurt, which help your dogs digestive system.

Cultures are “probiotics” and these are healthy friendly bacteria. Probiotics keep the dogs stomach in top shape.

You can give probiotics without milk, by buying an ‘enzyme and probiotic’ in powder form that you just add to the dogs food.

Enzymes help a dog to digest food. If you give your dog dry dog food, it definitely needs enzymes. Try this brand- ANIMAL ESSENTIALS Plant Enzymes & Probiotics.

Here’s what you do. Sprinkle about a quarter to a half tsp on the food once a day. I give my dogs cultured cottage cheese, two or three times a week, just a spoonful, but its not necessary. They just love it.

Try ANIMAL ESSENTIALS Plant Enzymes & Probiotics and you will see a difference. Also, they won’t have gas. My dogs used to have bad gas. But not anymore.

I have found that the ANIMAL ESSENTIALS Plant Enzymes & Probiotics helps the dogs to digest milk easier too.

I do however, feed one of my dogs raw food, and the other one eats completely grain free. He just loves cheese and yogurt tho!!

If you do try yogurt, here is a great recipe!!

1 container of PLAIN organic FAT FREE yogurt.
1 RIPE banana
1 TBS of NATURAL peanut butter

Mash the banana, add all ingredients into a blender, or mix by hand until well mixed. Feed 1/4 cup of yogurt to the dogs as is, or freeze it for an extra yummy treat! You can freeze it in an ice cube tray, and then give them 2 or three cubes at a time!

Good Luck!

Charles asks…

what is the BEST of the BEST dog food I can give my 4month old american bulldog puppy?

What would be the best there is…Price is not a factor. Any supplements you would say are the best for giving it muscle and energy as a puppy or as an adult later on?

admin answers:

There are so many dog foods on the market right now and most people are totally oblivious to healthy and unhealthy dog food. I used to be, but after looking into dog food and researching it I have completely changed my ways when it comes to dog food. All of the food in Wal Mart and most foods from other stores such as Petsmart are unhealthy garbage. Why? Because they either carry:

“Artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives,” all of these can cause cancer and several other health problems. Cancer is the #1 killer of cats and dogs.

“By-products,” they are the junk in meat that are not approved for humans to eat. Road kill, cancerous, dead, and dying animals are allowed as well.

“Fillers,” are corn, wheat, and soy products that virtually don’t have any nutrition in them. They pass right through. Which also makes your dog have to eat more food to feel full.

Surely good dog foods such as Science diet, Eukanuba, Iams, Pedigree, and Purina don’t have any of those and are great to feed my dogs right? Wrong. These foods have most if not all of these terrible things.

Here are the first ten ingredients of three of the so called best foods, which make up most of what your dogs eat and are the most important. The capitol words are the main things that are wrong in the ingredient lists.

Purina adult complete nutrition- WHOLE GRAIN CORN, POULTY BY-PRODUCT MEAL, ANIMAL FAT preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), CORN GLUTEN MEAL, MEAT AND BONE MEAL, brewers rice, soybean meal, barley, whole grain wheat, animal digest… (There is nothing good in that list at all)

Eukanuba-Chicken, CHICKEN BY-PRODUCTS MEAL, CORN MEAL, GROUND WHOLE GRAIN SORGUM, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Fish Meal (source of fish oil), Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Brewers Rice, Natural Chicken Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp (sugar removed)… (Most of what you see are either fillers or by-products)

Science Diet- GROUND WHOLE GRAIN CORN, CHICKEN BY-PRODUCT MEAL, Soybean Meal, ANIMAL FAT (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Soybean Oil, Chicken Liver Flavor, Flaxseed, Iodized Salt, vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, … (first ingredient is a filler followed by by-products and more fillers)

Here is a list of both cat and dog well known foods and treats to stay away from-Fancy Feast, Alpo, Friskies,Mighty Dog, Dog Chow, Cat Chow, Puppy Chow, Kitten Chow, Beneful, Purina One, Purina ProPlan, DeliCat, HiPro, Kit’n’Kaboodle, Tender Vittles, Purina Veterinary Diets, MeowMix, Gravy Train, Kibbles ’n Bits, Wagwells, 9Lives, Cycle, Skippy, Nature’s Recipe, Milk Bone, Pup-Peroni, Snausages, Pounce, Pedigree, Waltham’s, Cesar, Sheba, Temptations, Goodlife Recipe, Sensible Choice, Excel, Hills Prescription Diets, Nature’s Best, Diamond, Ol’Roy, Iams, Nutro, Royal Canin.

Here are some foods that I recommend- Timberwolf organics, Innova, California Natural, Evo, Blue Buffalo, Taste of the wild, Wellness, Merrick Before grains, Chicken soup for the dog lovers soul, Health Wise, Karma, Orijen. Plus there are many more great foods not listed. You have to look at the ingredients list of any food that you feed your dog. If it have any of the things listed as bad then immediately put it down.

To show what a good healthy dog food looks like, here is the ingredient list of Taste of the Wild High Prairie- Bison, venison, lamb meal, chicken meal, egg product, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, canola oil, roasted bison, roasted venison, natural flavor, tomato pomace, ocean fish meal, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Saccharomyces cerevesiae fermentation solubles, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.

Steven asks…

Healthy Quick kid friendly recipes?

I have a 6 year old daughter, who doesn’t eat chicken (yeah, I know), cheese, anything green except for green beans, lettuce, cukes (are they considered a green veg?) and peas. I have started a PhD program and find myself making her fishsticks, hot dogs, tater tots, etc. I make myself feel better by serving a side of salad or green beans. Are there companies that sell these types of food that are healthier, possibly organic. I just don’t have the time to cook the way I used to, work and do this coursework. I really need food I can just pop in the oven and serve her. But the food I am serving her is full of sodium, preservatives and other things I have no idea what they need to be in chicken nuggets for. Not to be judgemental, I don’t mind health food, but I don’t want boca nuggets, etc. I used to spend a lot of time preparing food she would like but is healthy.

admin answers:

Yikes! It sounds like you don’t have a lot of time on your hands. The below recipe can be made WITHOUT the chicken. It freezes pretty well, so you could make it on the weekend and pull it out during the week. You could also use turkey or beef if she’ll eat those! Good luck!

Chicken & Vegetable Scallop

2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 package (10 oz.) frozen corn, thawed
1 package (10 oz.) frozen peas, thawed
2 tbsp. Butter or margarine
2 tbsp. Chopped onions (although I always us an entire onion)
2 tbsp. Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Freshly ground pepper
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine chicken, corn & peas in a 13x9x2-inch greased baking dish.

2. In a medium-size sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, approx. 3 minutes (more for the whole onion). Blend in flour, salt, and pepper. Cook 1-2 minutes without browning. Gradually whisk in broth & milk. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly until thick & smooth.

3. Remove from heat & stir in eggs. Pour sauce over chicken mixture.

4. Combine bread crumbs & cheese in a small bowl and sprinkle on top of casserole. Cover with foil. Bake 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes until lightly browned on top.

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Your Questions About Dog Training

David asks…

Trying to find a book about running a dog training business?

I am looking for the single best book I could get that has the most information about starting and running a dog training business.

Also if you have any websites on the same topic that would be great

admin answers:

These are the 3 best resources that were given to me when I was researching the very same question for my sister.

1. First off, research the market you are getting into. I know this sounds like a Mr. Obvious type of statement, but there are effective, and not-so-effective ways of doing this type of research. So what would be the most effective and cheapest way to research the dog training world? I’d head on over to Mr. P’s dog training pages. Tons and tons of information all geared towards the dog training subject.

2. Get a mentor or become an apprentice… The best and cheapest way to do this is either contact someone who is actively in the business (make sure they are out of your proposed territory – you will not get any help or advice from someone you may take business away from), or tap into SCORE. Go to their website and type in “dog trainer” as part of your criteria for a business mentor. It’s free, and you may fall onto some retired dog trainer who will give you priceless guidance not found in any book.

3. Look at books recommended by established organizations. There are tons of how-to ebooks being marketed online today – and most of them carry inflated price tags since anywhere from 50-75% of the price goes to the affiliates who are marketing them. Sorry, but this is a truism in most cases.

Good luck in your search…

Lizzie asks…

What would my role be in a dog training class?

No, i’m not taking a dog to be trained myself… i offered myself as a volunteer and i got a couple of replies back saying that they could use my help.

I have never been to a dog training session, so i was just wondering what kind of tasks you think they might give me being neither an owner or an instructor.

admin answers:

My trainer has assistants that help him to check the dog’s collars (to make sure they are fitted properly), brew coffee (lol), “fetch” treats from the cupboard to drop in front of the dogs when teaching/practicing food refusal, act as distractions (walking by and snapping fingers, etc). All sorts of fun stuff!

I hope you like it! I did the same thing, and am now apprenticing under my trainer, to become one myself!

Sharon asks…

What do you think is the most important misunderstanding in dog training?

There are so many questions asked here every day about training that just make me want to bang my head against a wall, and I know I’m not alone in this.

What do you think is the most fundamental misunderstanding people hold about dog training?
Ok, I am assuming that these people think they are trying to train, not that the puppy came fully loaded with excellent behavior. Although those people do drive me batty. 😉

admin answers:

There a re several that I see:
1. Only one way works for all dogs;
2. Certain types of training equipment is cruel and abusive;
3. Purely positive training (no consequences) is the only way to train;
4. The dog knows when he has been bad;
5. The dog should know better;
6. An old dog can’t be taught;
7. Small dogs don’t need training because they’re small;
8. The best way to train is some famous TV trainer’s way;
9. Dogs are little children in fur coats; and that’s all that I can think of right now.

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Your Questions About Organic Dog Food Brands

Michael asks…

What would be the best brand of dry dog food for my 4 month Lab/Golden?

I need to know what is the best or good kind of dry-dog food for my 4 month dog :) Which is a Golden Retriever mix Labrador.

admin answers:

There are so many dog foods on the market right now and most people are totally oblivious to healthy and unhealthy dog food. I used to be, but after looking into dog food and researching it I have completely changed my ways when it comes to dog food. All of the food in Wal Mart and most foods from other stores such as Petsmart are unhealthy garbage. Why? Because they either carry:

“Artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives,” all of these can cause cancer and several other health problems. Cancer is the #1 killer of cats and dogs.

“By-products,” they are the junk in meat that are not approved for humans to eat. Road kill, cancerous, dead, and dying animals are allowed as well.

“Fillers,” are corn, wheat, and soy products that virtually don’t have any nutrition in them. They pass right through. Which also makes your dog have to eat more food to feel full.

Surely good dog foods such as Science diet, Eukanuba, Iams, Pedigree, and Purina don’t have any of those and are great to feed my dogs right? Wrong. These foods have most if not all of these terrible things.

Here are the first ten ingredients of three of the so called best foods, which make up most of what your dogs eat and are the most important. The capitol words are the main things that are wrong in the ingredient lists.

Purina adult complete nutrition- WHOLE GRAIN CORN, POULTY BY-PRODUCT MEAL, ANIMAL FAT preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), CORN GLUTEN MEAL, MEAT AND BONE MEAL, brewers rice, soybean meal, barley, whole grain wheat, animal digest… (There is nothing good in that list at all)

Eukanuba-Chicken, CHICKEN BY-PRODUCTS MEAL, CORN MEAL, GROUND WHOLE GRAIN SORGUM, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Fish Meal (source of fish oil), Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Brewers Rice, Natural Chicken Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp (sugar removed)… (Most of what you see are either fillers or by-products)

Science Diet- GROUND WHOLE GRAIN CORN, CHICKEN BY-PRODUCT MEAL, Soybean Meal, ANIMAL FAT (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Soybean Oil, Chicken Liver Flavor, Flaxseed, Iodized Salt, vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, … (first ingredient is a filler followed by by-products and more fillers)

Here is a list of both cat and dog well known foods and treats to stay away from-Fancy Feast, Alpo, Friskies,Mighty Dog, Dog Chow, Cat Chow, Puppy Chow, Kitten Chow, Beneful, Purina One, Purina ProPlan, DeliCat, HiPro, Kit’n’Kaboodle, Tender Vittles, Purina Veterinary Diets, MeowMix, Gravy Train, Kibbles ’n Bits, Wagwells, 9Lives, Cycle, Skippy, Nature’s Recipe, Milk Bone, Pup-Peroni, Snausages, Pounce, Pedigree, Waltham’s, Cesar, Sheba, Temptations, Goodlife Recipe, Sensible Choice, Excel, Hills Prescription Diets, Nature’s Best, Diamond, Ol’Roy, Iams, Nutro, Royal Canin.

Here are some foods that I recommend- Timberwolf organics, Innova, California Natural, Evo, Blue Buffalo, Taste of the wild, Wellness, Merrick Before grains, Chicken soup for the dog lovers soul, Health Wise, Karma, Orijen. Plus there are many more great foods not listed. You have to look at the ingredients list of any food that you feed your dog. If it have any of the things listed as bad then immediately put it down.

To show what a good healthy dog food looks like, here is the ingredient list of Taste of the Wild High Prairie- Bison, venison, lamb meal, chicken meal, egg product, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, canola oil, roasted bison, roasted venison, natural flavor, tomato pomace, ocean fish meal, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Saccharomyces cerevesiae fermentation solubles, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.

Thomas asks…

What brand of dog food do you feed your dog? why did you choose this food?

Feed Canidea since my dog has a taste for organic food. It’s better for them too. My cat is eating Felidae.
OH YEAH by the way cat owners you can awnser too!

admin answers:

I feed a variation of the BARF diet. This diet is comprised of human grade raw foods- chicken, beef heart, liver, kidney, broccoli, sweet potatoe, carrots etc… They are doing wonderful on it *and* I know exactly what they are eating!

My cats get this with a small amount of kibble so they get taurine. Aside from the fact they are highly picky..

Donald asks…

Where can I buy or get these dog foods?

I have been feeding my 2 dogs Beneful dog food and it is not giving them the proper nutrients they need and it has caused my youngest dog to have an allergic reaction from it. What are some really good dog foods that I can maybe buy that has no artificial preservatives, no vegetables, and especially no wheat?

What would you recommend I buy? where can I get it?

admin answers:

Anything by these brands; Eagle Pack, Canidae, Timberwolf Organics, California Natural, Innova, Solid Gold and Chicken Soup For the Pet Lovers Soul are high quality foods. Even some of the brands you can get in places such as PetSmart (Natural Balance, Nutro, etc.) are ok.

If you are in the UK, James Wellbeloved is probably the best easily available dog food on the market.

Avoid junk like Pedigree, Science Diet, etc. These foods contain little meat (and any meat that they do contain is poor quality) and rediculous amount of grains and fillers. Feeding high grain/high carb food is terrible for the health of your dog therefore they should be avoided at all costs.

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Your Questions About Organic Dog Food Grain Free

Chris asks…

What is the best brand of food for a kitten?

Nothing too expensive I am a poor student! I have him on iams chicken pate right now because his teeth are still coming in. I would like to use wet food until he’s and older kitten, and then eventually dry cat food as an adult.

admin answers:

Let me share with you what I have learned about feline nutrition to help you make an informed decision on what diet you should feed your cat.

Many brands of manufactured cat foods claiming to be “healthy” really are not. In fact they are made of the lowest ingredients possible. I’m not saying that a cat can’t live off them… Just the same as you could live off hot dogs and Mac and cheese forever, but better choices can and should be made for your feline friends. I would not venture to say that any manufactured food is “best” for a cat but a grain free organic wet food would be a good start. Feeding canned is certainly better than feeding dry in all cases.

Cats were never meant to eat dry food, also known as cereals or kibble. We, humans, make them eat it for convenience to us. It has nothing to do with them or their nutritional needs. It’s completely species inappropriate.

All small domestic cats descended from desert cats. In the wild, desert cats derive their entire liquid intake from their prey. They do not have a thirst mechanism because they don’t need it when eating a species appropriate diet. They get all they need from what they eat. Additionally water was usually not available to them in their desert climate. So they do not often drink water. Regular ol’ house cats have descended from those same wild desert cats.

So in a home environment, your kitty does not get the moisture it needs from dry food and it’s almost always in a constant state of dehydration. Water fountains are encouraged to TRY to get your cat to drink more and your kitty may even enjoy it, but it will never meet its water intake needs drinking from a bowl.

Deadly feline illnesses such as diabetes, kidney failure, obesity, allergies, Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), bladder stones, kidney stones, urinary tract blockages and Urinary Tract Infections (FLUTD), with and without deadly crystals run rampant these days. Cats are not taking in enough water to stave them off. Proper water intake through a species appropriate diet alone can prevent most of these conditions.

Overall, wet is all around better for any cats diet, be it canned or Raw and they should never be fed dry cereal kibble if we wish to most closely match their wild nutritional and dietary needs. Kibble meets our needs… not our cats.

It is also bogus that kibble cleans teeth. DRY FOOD DOES NOT CLEAN TEETH. It’s an old myth that has been scientifically disproved for years, but old-school vets drilled it into people’s heads for so long (and sadly still do) that people still believe it. Cats can not “chew”. They do not have flat “chewing” teeth. Their molars are not for grinding food. They have meat ripping pointy carnivorous teeth. You may see them “crunch” a piece of food once to crack and break it… but they are absolutely unable to chew a hard piece of food. Want your cat to have clean teeth? Give them an appropriately sized raw bone to chew on. :o)

I personally feed a Raw Meat and Bones based diet to my cats and they are very healthy on it. I HIGHLY recommend it. Once I got the hang of it and felt comfortable with it it’s a snap to prepare. It’s something you might want to consider someday. Cats are obligate carnivores after all and must derive ALL their nutrients from meat based sources. They are unable to absorb them from any other source. Despite thousands of years of domestication they remain strictly carnivorous. True and honest meat eaters and that is what they need most. Protein from meat!

If you are interested in feeding a raw diet some great places to start learning are http://www.catinfo.org/ , http://www.catnutrition.org/ , and http://www.felinefuture.com/nutrition/ .

If you would like to try raw with your cats and don’t want to get all technical about it but want to try a trusted, time tested and balanced raw diet you can order from http://www.felinespride.com/products/catfood.aspx . I purchased this myself when I first started and my cats loved it!

Another premade Raw you can try is Natures Varity. I personally have never used this but know many people that do and it’s pretty easy to find http://www.naturesvariety.com/content.lasso?page=1507&-session=naturesvariety:D04EC9250597c11908GJS417647E.

If raw is not an option for you please be aware that there are three Categories of manufactured Pet Foods:

-“Grocery store” foods – (Generic Brands and cheap name brands) Those foods found in grocery stores and mass-market retailers are made with lower-quality, less-digestible, inexpensive ingredients and are therefore a cheaper alternative. While easy on the pocketbook, “grocery store” foods normally do not provide your cat with the healthiest, most nutrient-dense ingredients.

-Premium foods – (Iams/Eukanuba, Purina One, Hills Science Diet, Nutro and such) Foods often found in grocery stores, pet stores, and veterinarian offices that contain higher-grade ingredients, but still include many elements of “grocery store” food, such as artificial colors, artificial flavors, chemical preservatives, and “filler” ingredients such as corn and wheat products, by-products and even animal digest. Yuck! Premium foods are usually more expensive than “grocery store” foods because their ingredients are sometimes of a higher quality, and are therefore somewhat more beneficial and digestible. But don’t be fooled, some of those same so called Premium brands are sometimes worse than grocery store foods, but they charge prices like they are better. They aren’t!

-Healthy foods – (Wellness, Merrick, Eagle Pack, Drs Foster & Smith) The newest addition to the pet food market – provide pets with the highest quality, healthiest, and most nutritious ingredients. They are typically available for purchase online or direct from the manufacturer. Some better retailers are starting to carry them now. Complete Petmart carries a few healthy brand foods. Foods in the Healthy class contain nutrient-rich ingredients. Formulated to provide optimum health benefits for pets, these foods often use real meat as the primary protein source, carbohydrate-rich whole grains like brown rice and barley and whole, fresh fruits and vegetables. They should not contain artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors. They will almost always be fortified with additional vitamins and minerals, and will use the best natural sources for fatty acids to help build healthy skin and a beautiful coat. Because healthy foods use high quality ingredients, you should expect to pay a little more than you would for other types of pet food. Remember, though, with healthy foods you can feed less since healthy foods are more nutrient-dense than other types of food so it often evens out or cost’s les than feeding foods filled with cheap non-nutritional by-products fillers.

With all that information in mind, when you are choosing a new cat food, study the ingredients. All ingredients on pet food labels are listed by weight. Meaning whatever ingredients are listed first on the list, there is more in there. The first ingredients listed should be whole meat ingredients, protein sources, such as Chicken or Turkey. NOT just the word “meat”! Who the heck knows what that is? The word Chicken Meal is ok, but it should be a secondary ingredient, not first. Meal is the meat dehydrated and ground into a powder.

The ingredients also should NOT include any by-products or animal digest whatsoever. Those are disgusting left over animal parts that are scraped off the filthy floors of meat and poultry plants. They should just go into the trash but they put them into pet food instead. EW!!!! Also make sure there are no artificial colors or flavors. And make sure there is no BHA and BHT used preservatives. These preservatives have been shown to cause cancer in both cats and dogs. Bad Bad stuff and it’s in almost every cat treat on the market. :(

So, in summery of the ingredients… if you see the words by-products, Animal Digest, the word “meat” alone, Corn, Corn Gluten, Wheat Gluten, or BHA or BHT… stop reading, put down that product and move on to the next.

Be aware that when switching to a Healthy, Holistic or Organic food, you will pay for what you get. Good foods are not cheap. They are pricey and will cost you more than cheaper products, just like steak costs more than hotdogs. But again, you will be feeding a better food and improving the over all health of your pet. This in turn leads to less vet visits for illness now and more importantly later in life in their geriatric years. You will also feed less of this food on a per animal basis because a smaller amount of food contains what your cat needs. Overall healthy wet foods are well worth it, if only for the piece of mind that the ingredients are better for your cat than cheap crap.

You can start your research for a healthy cat food here if you are not ready to try feeding a Raw diet:
http://www.onlynaturalpet.com

If you want to buy in a store, Complete Petmart is a good store and carries quite a few natural, organic, and holistic blends. Also check with your local feed/grain stores.

I highly recommend you take the time to research for yourself, but the information I have given should get you off to a good start. Good luck choosing a healthy food!

********IMPORTANT*******Don’t forget to switch your Pets food slowly over a period of 10 to 14 days, if you can. Mixing 25% new to 75% old. Then 50/50… then 75% new to 25% old. And finally switch over to 100% new. Take it slow as not to upset their digestive system.

Steven asks…

My dog just threw up her dog food about four hours after eating. What is wrong and what should I do?

The food was whole and there was a grayish clearish liquid with it. What do I do? Will she be okay?

admin answers:

Never feed your dog Iams or any other advertised commercial dog foods. They are extremely bad and can even cause cancer.They have hooves,horns, beaks, chicken feet, intestines and chemicals in them. Choose from these great brands Innova, Canidae, solid gold, Merrick Timberwolf, Wellness,Orijen,Go Natural Grain Free,Newman’s Organic,Organix Organic. They are harder to find but the manufacturers will usually ship to your door. Please your dog deserves better.

Ken asks…

What is your opinion on Eukenuba dry food for my two 3 year old cats?

I picked up a small bag of Eukenuba weight management and hairball control formula food for my newly adopted 3 year old cats. Anybody have any opinions on this being a good or bad choice to feed my cats?

admin answers:

My opinion is that it’s an overpriced bag of crappy ingredients with a huge parent company that can afford a high profile marketing plan. Simply put… It’s garbage no matter how many ads they put out to tell you it isn’t.

Let me share with you what I have learned about feline nutrition to help you make an informed decision on what diet you should feed your cat.

Many brands of manufactured cat foods claiming to be “healthy” really are not. In fact they are made of the lowest ingredients possible. I’m not saying that a cat can’t live off them… Just the same as you could live off hot dogs and Mac and cheese forever, but better choices can and should be made for your feline friends. I would not venture to say that any manufactured food is “best” for a cat but a grain free organic wet food would be a good start. Feeding canned is certainly better than feeding dry in all cases.

Cats were never meant to eat dry food, also known as cereals or kibble. We, humans, make them eat it for convenience to us. It has nothing to do with them or their nutritional needs. It’s completely species inappropriate.

All small domestic cats descended from desert cats. In the wild, desert cats derive their entire liquid intake from their prey. They do not have a thirst mechanism because they don’t need it when eating a species appropriate diet. They get all they need from what they eat. Additionally water was usually not available to them in their desert climate. So they do not often drink water. Regular ol’ house cats have descended from those same wild desert cats.

So in a home environment, your kitty does not get the moisture it needs from dry food and it’s almost always in a constant state of dehydration. Water fountains are encouraged to TRY to get your cat to drink more and your kitty may even enjoy it, but it will never meet its water intake needs drinking from a bowl.

Deadly feline illnesses such as diabetes, kidney failure, obesity, allergies, Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), bladder stones, kidney stones, urinary tract blockages and Urinary Tract Infections (FLUTD), with and without deadly crystals run rampant these days. Cats are not taking in enough water to stave them off. Proper water intake through a species appropriate diet alone can prevent most of these conditions.

Overall, wet is all around better for any cats diet, be it canned or Raw and they should never be fed dry cereal kibble if we wish to most closely match their wild nutritional and dietary needs. Kibble meets our needs… not our cats.

It is also bogus that kibble cleans teeth. DRY FOOD DOES NOT CLEAN TEETH. It’s an old myth that has been scientifically disproved for years, but old-school vets drilled it into people’s heads for so long (and sadly still do) that people still believe it. Cats can not “chew”. They do not have flat “chewing” teeth. Their molars are not for grinding food. They have meat ripping pointy carnivorous teeth. You may see them “crunch” a piece of food once to crack and break it… but they are absolutely unable to chew a hard piece of food. Want your cat to have clean teeth? Give them an appropriately sized raw bone to chew on. :o)

I personally feed a Raw Meat and Bones based diet to my cats and they are very healthy on it. I HIGHLY recommend it. Once I got the hang of it and felt comfortable with it it’s a snap to prepare. It’s something you might want to consider someday. Cats are obligate carnivores after all and must derive ALL their nutrients from meat based sources. They are unable to absorb them from any other source. Despite thousands of years of domestication they remain strictly carnivorous. True and honest meat eaters and that is what they need most. Protein from meat!

If you are interested in feeding a raw diet some great places to start learning are http://www.catinfo.org/ , http://www.catnutrition.org/ , and http://www.felinefuture.com/nutrition/ .

If you would like to try raw with your cats and don’t want to get all technical about it but want to try a trusted, time tested and balanced raw diet you can order from http://www.felinespride.com/products/catfood.aspx . I purchased this myself when I first started and my cats loved it!

Another premade Raw you can try is Natures Varity. I personally have never used this but know many people that do and it’s pretty easy to find http://www.naturesvariety.com/content.lasso?page=1507&-session=naturesvariety:D04EC9250597c11908GJS417647E.

If raw is not an option for you please be aware that there are three Categories of manufactured Pet Foods:

-“Grocery store” foods – (Generic Brands and cheap name brands) Those foods found in grocery stores and mass-market retailers are made with lower-quality, less-digestible, inexpensive ingredients and are therefore a cheaper alternative. While easy on the pocketbook, “grocery store” foods normally do not provide your cat with the healthiest, most nutrient-dense ingredients.

-Premium foods – (Iams/Eukanuba, Purina One, Hills Science Diet, Nutro and such) Foods often found in grocery stores, pet stores, and veterinarian offices that contain higher-grade ingredients, but still include many elements of “grocery store” food, such as artificial colors, artificial flavors, chemical preservatives, and “filler” ingredients such as corn and wheat products, by-products and even animal digest. Yuck! Premium foods are usually more expensive than “grocery store” foods because their ingredients are sometimes of a higher quality, and are therefore somewhat more beneficial and digestible. But don’t be fooled, some of those same so called Premium brands are sometimes worse than grocery store foods, but they charge prices like they are better. They aren’t!

-Healthy foods – (Wellness, Merrick, Eagle Pack, Drs Foster & Smith) The newest addition to the pet food market – provide pets with the highest quality, healthiest, and most nutritious ingredients. They are typically available for purchase online or direct from the manufacturer. Some better retailers are starting to carry them now. Complete Petmart carries a few healthy brand foods. Foods in the Healthy class contain nutrient-rich ingredients. Formulated to provide optimum health benefits for pets, these foods often use real meat as the primary protein source, carbohydrate-rich whole grains like brown rice and barley and whole, fresh fruits and vegetables. They should not contain artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors. They will almost always be fortified with additional vitamins and minerals, and will use the best natural sources for fatty acids to help build healthy skin and a beautiful coat. Because healthy foods use high quality ingredients, you should expect to pay a little more than you would for other types of pet food. Remember, though, with healthy foods you can feed less since healthy foods are more nutrient-dense than other types of food so it often evens out or cost’s les than feeding foods filled with cheap non-nutritional by-products fillers.

With all that information in mind, when you are choosing a new cat food, study the ingredients. All ingredients on pet food labels are listed by weight. Meaning whatever ingredients are listed first on the list, there is more in there. The first ingredients listed should be whole meat ingredients, protein sources, such as Chicken or Turkey. NOT just the word “meat”! Who the heck knows what that is? The word Chicken Meal is ok, but it should be a secondary ingredient, not first. Meal is the meat dehydrated and ground into a powder.

The ingredients also should NOT include any by-products or animal digest whatsoever. Those are disgusting left over animal parts that are scraped off the filthy floors of meat and poultry plants. They should just go into the trash but they put them into pet food instead. EW!!!! Also make sure there are no artificial colors or flavors. And make sure there is no BHA and BHT used preservatives. These preservatives have been shown to cause cancer in both cats and dogs. Bad Bad stuff and it’s in almost every cat treat on the market. :(

So, in summery of the ingredients… if you see the words by-products, Animal Digest, the word “meat” alone, Corn, Corn Gluten, Wheat Gluten, or BHA or BHT… stop reading, put down that product and move on to the next.

Be aware that when switching to a Healthy, Holistic or Organic food, you will pay for what you get. Good foods are not cheap. They are pricey and will cost you more than cheaper products, just like steak costs more than hotdogs. But again, you will be feeding a better food and improving the over all health of your pet. This in turn leads to less vet visits for illness now and more importantly later in life in their geriatric years. You will also feed less of this food on a per animal basis because a smaller amount of food contains what your cat needs. Overall healthy wet foods are well worth it, if only for the piece of mind that the ingredients are better for your cat than cheap crap.

You can start your research for a healthy cat food here if you are not ready to try feeding a Raw diet:
http://www.onlynaturalpet.com

If you want to buy in a store, Complete Petmart is a good store and carries quite a few natural, organic, and holistic blends. Also check with your local feed/grain stores.

I highly recommend you take the time to research for yourself, but the information I have given should get you off to a good start. Good luck choosing a healthy food!

********IMPORTANT*******Don’t forget to switch your Pets food slowly over a period of 10 to 14 days, if you can. Mixing 25% new to 75% old. Then 50/50… then 75% new to 25% old. And finally switch over to 100% new. Take it slow as not to upset their digestive system.

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Organix, Grain Free Organic Turkey & Vegetable Canned Dog Food, 12.7 oz

Organix, Grain Free Organic Turkey & Vegetable Canned Dog Food, 12.7 oz

Our Organix Grain-Free Formula is a great option for dogs with sensitvities to grains. The #1 ingredient in our Organix Grain-Free Adult Dog Food is organic free-range turkey. We build on that foundation by adding fresh, organic fruit and vegetable purees that provide natural sources of vitamins, minerals, anioxidants and fiber with prebiotics to help support digestion. But we're overachievers, so we don't stop there.
Price:$49.63 (as of June 24, 2016 at 1:02 am UTC detailsProduct prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on www.amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.)

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Organix, Grain Free Organic Turkey & Vegetable Canned Dog Food, 12.7 oz

Embark Dehydrated Dry Dog Food Size: 10 lbs

Embark Dehydrated Dry Dog Food Size: 10 lbs

183413000109 Size: 10 lbs Features: -Made with cage-free, hormone-free Turkey and like all of our diets. -Just add water for a fresh, wholesome and human grade meal. -100% Human-grade. -Does not contain corn, soy, rice, beet pulp or wheat. Food Type: -Dehydrated. Life Stage: -Adult/Puppy. Flavor: -Turkey. Number of Items Included:
Price:$95.05 (as of June 24, 2016 at 10:11 am UTC detailsProduct prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on www.amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.)

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Embark Dehydrated Dry Dog Food Size: 10 lbs

Natural Balance Canned Dog Food, Grain Free Limited Ingredient Diet Venison and Sweet Potato Recipe, 12 x 13 Ounce Pack

Natural Balance Canned Dog Food, Grain Free Limited Ingredient Diet Venison and Sweet Potato Recipe, 12 x 13 Ounce Pack

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Venison & Sweet Potato Canned Formula is a proven formula for dogs with allergies based on our unique blend of a premium protein and carbohydrate not commonly found in dog foods. No grains such as wheat, barley, rice, or corn.
Price:$20.04 (as of June 24, 2016 at 1:02 am UTC detailsProduct prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on www.amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.)

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Natural Balance Canned Dog Food, Grain Free Limited Ingredient Diet Venison and Sweet Potato Recipe, 12 x 13 Ounce Pack

CASTOR & POLLUX DOG FOOD DRY ADULT, 14.5 LB, PK- 1

CASTOR & POLLUX DOG FOOD DRY ADULT, 14.5 LB, PK- 1

Adult Dog Food #1 ingredient is organic free-range chicken. No corn, wheat or soy. Our organic ingredients are made without anitbiotics, chemical pesticides, artificial preservatives, synthetic fertilizers or added growth hormones.
Price:$56.63 (as of June 24, 2016 at 10:11 am UTC detailsProduct prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on www.amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.)

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CASTOR & POLLUX DOG FOOD DRY ADULT, 14.5 LB, PK- 1

Natural Planet Organics Grain Free Rabbit & Salmon – 5lb

Natural Planet Organics Grain Free Rabbit & Salmon - 5lb

Natural Planet Organics is the Ultra Premium organic food for your pets. Fresh, organic ingredients including chicken, rabbit, salmon, duck, whitefish, turkey select grains, fruits and vegetables build uncompromising nutrition for your pet. Natural Planet Organics contains important supplements: proteinated minerals and vitamins. Natural Planet Organics dog food contains high levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and taurine.
Price:$22.91 (as of June 24, 2016 at 1:02 am UTC detailsProduct prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on www.amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.)

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Natural Planet Organics Grain Free Rabbit & Salmon - 5lb

Blue Buffalo Family Favorite Recipes Turducken Adult Canned Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Family Favorite Recipes Turducken Adult Canned Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Family Favorite Recipes Adult Canned Dog FoodHearty and irresistible, these mouth-watering favorites contain everything a dog needs for a satisfying and healthy dining experience. Home-style cooking at its finest, and a rare treat for the whole family. Now your dog can enjoy his version of the savory goodness that your entire family loves. Like all Blue Buffalo dog food, Family Favorite Recipes have no chicken or poultry by-product meals, no corn, wheat or soy, and no artificial pre
Price:$49.94 (as of June 24, 2016 at 10:11 am UTC detailsProduct prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on www.amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.)

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Blue Buffalo Family Favorite Recipes Turducken Adult Canned Dog Food

CANIDAE Grain Free Pure Elements with Fresh Lamb for Dogs

CANIDAE Grain Free Pure Elements with Fresh Lamb for Dogs

Fresh Meat, Whole Foods, Simple Recipes CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Elements formula includes just 10 ingredients; along with natural flavors, vitamins, minerals and probiotics. This recipe is made with fresh lamb, plus three high quality meat and fish meals; turkey, chicken and menhaden fish. We also use whole foods including sweet potatoes, peas and chickpeas for naturally great nutrition. CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Elements contains 41 grams of protein in every cup. That's equal to an 8 ounce lamb c
Price:$50.99 (as of June 24, 2016 at 1:02 am UTC detailsProduct prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on www.amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.)

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CANIDAE Grain Free Pure Elements with Fresh Lamb for Dogs

Organix, Adult Dry Dog Food, 25 lb

Organix, Adult Dry Dog Food, 25 lb

Adult Dog Food #1 ingredient is organic free-range chicken. No corn, wheat or soy. Our organic ingredients are made without anitbiotics, chemical pesticides, artificial preservatives, synthetic fertilizers or added growth hormones.
Price:NA (as of June 24, 2016 at 10:11 am UTC product was unavailable detailsProduct prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on www.amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.)

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Organix, Adult Dry Dog Food, 25 lb

Party Animal Organic Blazin’ Beef Dog Canned Food 13 Oz (Case of 12)

Party Animal Organic Blazin

Party Animal Canned Dog Foods are made solely with organic meats, fruits and vegetables plus added vitamins and minerals to ensure a complete diet. These formula's contain no junk or filler ingredients, no corn, wheat or soy and no artificial ingredients.
Price:$46.50 (as of June 24, 2016 at 1:02 am UTC detailsProduct prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on www.amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.)

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Party Animal Organic Blazin

Your Questions About Dog Training Classes Denver

Sharon asks…

Which dog training place would you recommend in the north Denver area?

I live in north Commerce City/south Brighton and have a 12 weeks old puppy goldendoodle. I’ve been searching for decent puppy obedience class and I’m lost. Who would you recommend? Thank you!

admin answers:

I don’t live in your area, but this is what i did when I was looking for a trainer. I went to the local dog park, and dog friendly areas and watched dogs and their owners interacting. The dogs who had a pleasant demeanor and the owners who really watched them…well, I approached and asked for a training recommendation. Between 4 or 5 people I got 2 names. I did a little reading on training methods and had a pretty good idea of what might be best for my dog. I went to observe both these trainers teach a group lesson. One of them really impressed me and I chose to work with him. This organization has a package deal that is way more expensive than Petsmart. But all of these trainers are certified, with years of experience in ALL methods of training and all types of breeds. Their package does include 5 hours personal one on one training in your home or area outside, training tools AND free group classes for the life of your dog. The classes are 3 x a week. You can go, or not. I like the classes and the reinforcement is great for the dog’s obedience. And, if some problem arises, they are always there for you by phone , internet or after group class. Goldendoodles are great dogs with a fairly high energy level. The petsmart trainers are OK for basic obedience for dogs that are happy go lucky and benefit from the socialization. In case a dog is challenging, dominant/ aggressive or presenting any problem out of the ordinary, they are not the way to go. Sometimes you do get what you pay for! Hope you find a good trainer…good luck.

James asks…

Does anyone know of a good dog trainer in Denver?

admin answers:

It depends on what you want: private lessons, group classes, someone else to train your dog for you
Is this for general/basic obedience or something more advanced/specific (e.g. Aggression problems)?
The Dumb Friends League offers group classes at a good rate. The instructors are behavior department staff and usually have 1 or more behavior volunteers helping. All behavior staff are extremely knowledgeable about dog behavior. They emphasize positive reinforcement/clicker training. DDFL offers many classes beyond basic obedience. Visit their website for more information:
http://ddfl.convio.net/site/PageServer?pagename=training_dog

William asks…

dog is always hyper what to do?

i asked this question before and i appreciated all your answers but im still not having any luck. my boyfriend has a german shephard, hes 1 yrs. old. he is EXTREMELY HYPER! no aggeration. any ways since my last question we have taken him outside for an hour or even 2 on really nice days,just to let him run and play ball. we’ve been trying to walk him but he wants nothung to do with a leash. we’re still trying like around the yard for now. we do this everyday. still no change. he jumps on you all the time, doesnt pay attention to his little boy who is 3,always knocking him down or nipping at him. i know hes playin but he does not stop not even with time outs,hes more hyper when he comes out. we put him in time out starting at 1 min. then we esculate up to 7 mins. it doesnt change. and we dont over do it. that can be too much to be put in time out. he also chews on things even right in front of you,even if things are put up. i swear he doesnt sleep. he wines and tramples on us at night

admin answers:

You need to take him to training. With a professional trainer. German Shepards are extremely intelligent. You need to be exercising his MIND as well as his body. He is not being challenged enough. Pet Co and Petsmart have CHEAP training classes. They are not the best, but they will do. You can then work with him on training several times a day in shorter increments. That will help his as well. Plus, with training he will learn to walk on leash just fine.

Also, is he being taught he proper things to chew on? He needs bully sticks, kongs, buster cubes – things that will work his mind. The minute he gets ahold of something he shouldn’t have, you say “eh eh”, remove it, replace it with a proper toy and then praise him for chewing on that. You can get a product called SCAT that you place on the counters, tabletops, etc. It is motion activated. The minute the paws hit the counter, a blast of air and noise is activated. It works like a charm. My male no longer counter surfs and we haven’t had the SCAT on the couters, tabletops or bed for a year. We’re getting ready to use it again with our 7 month pup as she’s starting to surf when she’s bored.

Timeouts should be for a minimum of 10 minutes. You are not giving him enough time to calm himself down. Timeouts aren’t just for him, they are for you as well. Have you tried crate training for sleep? This will help both you and he get rest. You get into a regular routine. Just like a baby going into their crib, the crate at night signifies bed time. It will be easy to transition him to sleeping on his own bed once he used to the evening routine. Denver Dumb Friends has a GREAT article that can guide you through crate training here:

www.ddfl.org

This is all very fixable with training. Training isn’t just for him, it’s for you two as well. You will be amazed at the helpful tips you learn! It’s also a lot of fun. He’s super smart so you will be able to teach him all kinds of cool tricks to impress friends as well as burn off that energy. You might also hook up with a dog or two that he likes from the class. We met a few couples and have been having playdates with our newest pup for a few months now. It’s an amazing energy burner because they can go at it much better than we can!!

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