General

Happy Holidays!

With the holidays approaching everything seems faster paced, more rushed and tensions run high. Sometimes it even gets the better of me, I say something negative or out of character and have to centre myself again.

What I’ve found that helps keep the good vibes going

– Understanding that even the grinchy people are people too, say a kind thing to them

– Giving small thoughtful gifts to people and their pets

– Random acts of kindness, holding the door, letting someone in during rush hour, helping someone

– Taking a friend out for coffee

– Listening to up beat music. I like to crank the tunes!

– Having some down time reading, enjoying a bath, having some me time

– Playing with dogs, when we get excited they get excited and it helps to keep the good vibes going!

Advertisements
General

You know you’re a pet sitter and dog walker when…

You know you’re a pet sitter & dog walker when

  • Your work schedule changes from hour long days to 14 hour days. Early mornings and late nights to make sure everyone has been cared for.
  • You’ve put tons of mileage and time into driving from house to house (rural pet sitting)
  • You’ve driven through almost every road condition (black ice, tons of snow, wind, hail, etc) to let a dog outside to pee.
  • A day off consists of an overnight pet sit with furry friends.
  • You feel super sad when you can’t fit in a last minute client into the schedule
  • You’ve walked in the cold -25C winter storm weather with a dog because they were having the time of their life (snow dogs especially)
  • You’ve cut walks short in the same weather to let the chilled pups in the house right away
  • You’ve been slobbered on by various animals (dogs, cats, cows etc.)
  • You’ve stepped or kneeled in Dog poop at least once by accident.
  • Visited Pets on holidays, as even they need some holiday lovin’ too!
  • You’ve celebrated the good times with your clients and supported your clients in the bad times
  • The pets in your care become like your own pets, you celebrate the happy times and mourn the loss of beloved friends when they pass over the rainbow bridge.
  • You wouldn’t trade what you do for the world, even if you happened to win the lottery. You have a passion for pets and their people.

Let us know if there are any points you would add to this!

Chews

Raw Bones – Natures Tooth Brush

raw bone

Just the other day I was performing the weekly check of everyone’s teeth. All of the cats teeth were in fine condition, Vitzy’s teeth were at the same level. Finally I got to Tucker, I checked his left side and everything was pearly white, when I checked the right then I noticed it… A broken tooth with root exposed on his top right carnassial… Damn…

I wondered to myself ‘What had I do wrong?’ & ‘What was different than any other week?’

Then I realized, the one thing that could have caused this was his ‘raw hock bone’ as Tuck doesn’t chew on anything other than dehydrated duck feet and his raw bones. I thought I was doing the right thing by providing raw bones to my pet. I did a little research, and I was right to a degree. Here are some of my findings:

Beef, Bison & Elk Bones
Hock bones, marrowbones (like soup bones and centre cut marrows etc), Dino bones and knuckle bones are among some of the hardest bones available on the market. They are all weight-bearing bones (and to think these animals often are more than 1000lbs in weight) so they are thick and sturdier than other bones. If staying with beef, bison or elk opt for non-weight bearing bones such as rib bones and neck bones as they are more maliable and less likely to fracture teeth.

Chicken & Turkey Bones
I’m still not too keen on feeding chicken or turkey backs and wings, just seems like too many little bones of different sizes. I think they could cause obstruction in a large dog if they don’t chew them down properly. Instead opt for turkey or chicken necks, as the bones in the next are more uniform in size and are easily passable to most dogs.

Other bones to consider
Lamb & llama bones are thinner in profile the the regular beef & bison bone. These are far more easily chewed down and are a better alternative to the larger weight bearing bones.

Pros to Raw Bones
– They help clean teeth by the friction of chewing and the availability of natural enzymes
– They keep dogs entertained and relieve stress
– Save money on unnecessary dental cleaning
– Alternative to artificial and raw hide dental chews

Cons to Raw Bones
– Can cause teeth to fracture and break, if not given an appropriate type of bone
– Dogs could choke on pieces if not supervised

More Information
Dogs Naturally – Recreational Bones
CAUTION: Bones Can Kill Your Dog – Find Out Which Ones Are Safe!
IVC Journal – Raw Bones

Chews

Essential Fatty Acids

salmon

The use of essential fatty acids is vital in any format of nutrition. The use of fish based or plant based oils are the most common forms of supplemental EFA’s. An essential fatty acid is something that the body cannot produce on it’s own and must be supplemented into the diet. Omega 6 is the only essential fatty acid for dogs and cats, although both Omega 3 and Omega 6 are recommended as a combination.

Where the B.A.R.F. diet requires Omega 3 and 6 supplementation, any diet could benefit as well, including any kibble based diet or dehydrated/ freeze dried diet. Common Omega 3 and 6 sources include: Salmon Oil, Pollock Oil, Coconut Oil, Flax oil, all-in-one combinations are also available. Once opened these oils (with the exception of coconut oil) should be refrigerated to maintain their benefits.

Benefits of Fatty Acids (Omega 3 and 6 combination)

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Aids in cardiovascular function (i.e. heart health)
  • Improved skin and coat (i.e. less shedding)
  • Digestive health
  • benefits the nervous system and eye function
  • Improves cognitive function

Efficiency of Oil

  1. Salmon Oil  – most readily bio-available for dogs
  2. Pollock Oil
  3. Coconut Oil
  4. Flax Oil – least readily bio-available for dogs

Other Sources of Omega 3 and 6

  • Salmon, tuna and other fish meat
  • Eggs
  • Spirulina
  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Raw Organ Meats

 

Additional Resources

 Flax Council – Omega 3 Enriched Eggs

Walk N Roll Over – Coconut Oil

The Whole Dog Journal – Salmon Oil

Food Sources of Omega 3 Fats – based towards human nutrition

Dogs Naturally – Omega 3

The Dog Food Project – Essential Fatty Acids

 

Nutrition

Nupro All Natural Supplement for Dogs

 

I like to try new supplements, foods, toys and treats on my dogs to see how they like them and I’d like to share my experiences with you.

Nupro is a All-In-One supplement with natural ingredients to re-enforce supplementation with minerals, vitamins, enzymes and omega fatty acids. It contains Decciated Liver, Norwegian Kelp, Amino Acids and Enzymes, Yeast Cultures, Flaxseed, Lecithin, Garlic, Calcium Citrate and Lactobacillus Acidophilus. It looks like a brown powder and almost smells like gravy in the container. When added directly to the kibble or B.A.R.F. diet with water it mixes in smoothly and smells delicious. When trying to make just the gravy alone with water the kelp and heavier ingredients sink to the bottom making a kind of slush. I’ve tried it on both Vitzy (mixed in with her freeze-dried mix) and Tucker (In his kibble) and both of them polished off their bowls in minimum time. I used it for a two week period and stopped for a day to see what they would do… both stared into their dishes and looked back up to me as if to say “What am I supposed to do with this now?”. From the dogs it gets a Two-Paws up and is added to my regime of supplements.

Benefits of Nupro
– Complete Multivitamin/ Mineral supplement which can be added to any diet (kibble, Raw, dehydrated raw, freeze dried, home made, and any variation thereof)
– Promotes hair growth and stops itchy dry skin
– Steadies nerves (as proper nutrient absorption allows for better flow of nutrient absorption)
– Norwegian Kelp contains vitamins such as A, B1, B2, C and E which helps with bone and muscle growth. And also contains Iodine for proper glandular function and metabolism.
– Bee Pollen contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes. Is known to support the immune system and supports allergy protection.
– Yeast Culture contains proteins, Zinc and Biotin. Which is beneficial to the skin and coat, helping with dry itchy skin, hot spots and excessive shedding.
– Flaxseed contains Omega 3 fatty acids which help with the skin and coat
– Lecithin which contains choline which supports nerve, brain and liver function.
– Garlic contains Allicin and anti-microbial source is used to support the immune system.
– Lactobacillus Acidophilus is a probiotic allowing for gut friendly bacteria and a healthy digestive system.
– Calcium Citrate supports healthy bones, teeth and nerve function

Ways to use Nupro
– As a delicious food topper (gravy)
– Add water to the mix and freeze in ice cube trays for a quick nutritious treat
– Add Nupro to home made biscuits for dogs, for an added plus of vitamins and minerals

 

Website

NUPRO Supplements

 

For Extra Thought

Have you tried NUPRO Supplements? What are your thoughts on it?