Friday, July 1, 2016

Flea and Tick Season

There are a lot of products on the market to protect your pets from fleas and ticks.  Its hard to tell which to use and what works best.

In our area, I've found Advantix II to be my top choice.  The not only kills these unwanted pest when they jump on the pet, it also use a repellant, to deter the fleas, ticks and mosquitoes away.  When used monthly on every pet in the house, it has shown to be very effective.

         We offer single month doses for $16 in our Salon.  It is best to stay ahead of the bugs and if your pet is not on a monthly protection all year, starting early in the season is key.  However if you do have fleas we can help!!
          We offer a flea and tick soak package which uses a combination of different shampoos to help #1 kill and remove the fleas and #2 soothe the pets skin back to normal.
Flea and tick shampoos use harsh chemicals and toxins which can irritate the skin and leave the coat dry and stripped of its natural oils.  We also have a variety of Medicated shampoos to help aid pets with inflammed or raw skin.

Now when you have an infestation there are several steps you need to take to get on top of the problem.  But the 1st step is applying a topical product.  Then treating the home and yard.  For some stubborn bugs that may have seemed to become immune, adding an oral medication also can be beneficial.
In our area, local vets sell Comfortis, which offers 30 days of protection and it begins working within hours.  It is safe to use with other topical products as well.  You can also order them online with your veterinarians approval.


Saturday, January 31, 2015

More DayCare Fun... Meet Jeffery

Jeffery is a nice size lab that comes and stays with us every once in a while.  He is a ball full of energy and LOVES to play fetch!!!

He had found the basket of toys and pulled them ALL out!!  He couldn't decide which one he wanted to play with so he just ran around with them all!!

Yes hes a big boy and hes a sweet heart.  He says "throw it again, throw it again!!!"
www.sarahsk9cuttery.com


Pup-blo Picaso


www.sarahsk9cuttery.com
We have been offering hair coloring for a while now.  Diego which is my 2 year old Shih tzu came to get his bath and play at daycare, since we have a new groomer on staff we decided to introduce her to the Creative side of grooming.  She wanted to try out all the colors since Diego is a perfect canvas, because he is white.

At the salon letting his color absorb in....
He sat there so nice. The dyes we use are natural and organic soy based semi permanent dye.  It slowly fades out, some colors faster then others. So after about 30 minuets the color had set and he got a bath and blown dry.
Perfect blend of colors!!!  I say he's getting ready for Mardi Gras!!!
 

Frequent grooming promotes better health for your pet.

       A large portion of the general public believes grooming a dog is just popping the dog in the bath and running a clipper over them and that's the grooming procedure complete. This could not be further from the truth. Your groomer is a very valuable addition to your dog's life. From the moment your dog enters the salon with you, it is being assessed but you are probably not even aware of it happening.
      
      Many health problems and issues can be brought to an owner's attention. Living with your dog day in day out it can be difficult to notice small changes. A foul smell can be anything from a dirty bum to an ear infection. While your pet is being groomed we handle every square inch of their body. We can be an added early warning system by bringing to your attention lumps, bumps, sores, old wounds, torn nails, skin problems, restricted movement in joints an limbs which can be early indications of conditions that vets can help provide relief for...The list can be endless!!
      

    So your little friend is being groomed today. Did you know that while he is being worked on that his ears will be checked and any excess hair, which can lead to problems, will be removed. The ears will then be cleaned and if your dog requires veterinary help to treat an infection you will be advised of this. His nails will be trimmed and can be filed down if requested. Large hard plugs which can form from hair and dirt between the pads which feel like walking with stones in your shoes will be removed for your dogs comfort. All around his privates will be clipped and cleaned for ongoing hygiene at home. His skin and coat will be assessed for the most suitable shampoo. His coat will be attended to whether he is being brushed out or put into a clipped style. Your groomer needs to base their decision on how to best maintain his coat in a style that suite you, and your pet, and his lifestyle keeping him comfortable until his next grooming session.
 

         This is only a brief summary of a dogs day out at the groomers...we haven't even mentioned anal glands............
www.sarahsk9cuttery.com
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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Horizon Premium Pet Food - Not All Grains are Created Equal

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The "Whole Grain" Definition

Whole grains or foods made from them contain all the essential parts and naturally-occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed. If the grain has been processed (e.g., cracked, crushed, rolled, extruded, and/or cooked), the food product should deliver approximately the same rich balance of nutrients that are found in the original grain seed. This definition means that 100% of the original kernel  (all of the bran, germ, and endosperm) must be present to qualify as a whole grain.


Whole Grain vs. Refined Grain....What's the Difference

Whole grain contains all 3 parts of the kernel – bran, germ, endosperm. Refined grains separate out the bran and germ (these are nutrient, protein and fiber rich) - all that remains is the endosperm which is mostly carbohydrate with significantly less nutrition.

Whole grains have higher amounts of vitamins, minerals, fiber, essential fatty acids and phytochemicals (anti-oxidants) than a refined grain. Moreover, whole grains have some valuable antioxidants not found in fruits and vegetables, as well as B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, iron and fiber. When you refine a grain, at least 17 key nutrients are lost, as well as around 25% of it’s protein.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Should Commerical dog foods be supplemented with a multi-vitamin??




Should Commercial dog food be supplemented with a quality multi-vitamin?? This question has many factors to consider.  The factors I researched were, quality of the food, the condition of the pet, and overall storage time.  Generally, If pet is healthy, and eating a higher quality feed, then a multivitamin is not always recommended. However, If the pet is eating a lesser quality food, breeding, ill, under stress, arthritic, or has a chronic skin condition, then a multivitamin could be beneficial.


   Many commercial dog food companies use various nutritional combinations, each having their own pros and cons.  The composition of the food defines the quality.  Having a highly digestible protein source is most important. Meat derived sources have more mineral and vitamins available then plant derived (Hand Pg 111).  The protein source should be first in the ingredients list. Life’s Abundance’s main source of protein is Chicken Meal and a secondary source from catfish meal with a crude protein 26%. It also has ground brown rice, dried fruits and vegetables, probiotics and natural preservatives (Life’s Abundance). Life’s Abundance is a high quality pet food.  In contrast, Pedigree’s main source of protein being from whole ground corn- which is plant derived, and a non-specific meat & bone meal.  The crude protein is 21%. They also include ground whole wheat and brewers rice (Dog Food Advisor- Pedigree).  Pedigree is a lesser quality food.


Another important ingredient in dog food to consider is fiber.  Fiber is necessary in the diet as it aids in digestion.  Fiber can be soluble and hold on to water, or insoluble and not hold water.  Each fiber source has different effects on mineral absorption.  Cellulose affected the most mineral absorption and Beet pulp showed to have the least effect (Hand, Pg 79).  Fruits and vegetables in the diet also help supply fiber and antioxidants.  Higher quality pet foods use barley, oatmeal, and flaxseed- which is highly soluble and rich in omega-3.


 Getting the most nutrition into bite-sized kibble at a low cost is the dog food companies ultimate goal. However the process in making the kibble reduces and can eliminate some important factors in the diet.  The first step in making dry dog food is the meat rendering process, which creates the protein meals like chicken meal and fish meal. The meats undergo extensive grinding and cooking to reduce  the moisture and fat content, creating a highly concentrated protein powder.  Proteins are sensitive to heat and begin to denature.


Most commercial dry pet food is made through the extrusion process.  Cooking time averages from 10 -270 seconds at temperatures ranging from 80-200*.  This process ensures complete cooking and destruction of microorganisms (Hand, Pg 179).  The extrusion process benefits some ingredients like the carbohydrates, by increasing their digestibility.  However the extensive cooking also has many negative side effects.  Proteins are further damaged- which affects the essential amino acids that the pets require.  This breakdown of valuable protein may contribute to food intolerances, food allergies, and inflammatory bowel disease (What is really in dog food).  Starches can overcook and become “resistant starches”, acting more like a fiber. Also soluble fibers can become insoluble fibers, dramatically increasing the actual fiber in the diet.


Vitamins are affected through the entire process, from production to storage.  Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) are the most affected during the extrusion process some with rates as high as 50% lost before the kibble goes in the bag (The formulator’s dilemma).  Dry food lost B-carotene, Vitamin C and Folic Acid all during processing.  During storage massive amounts of Thiamin, Vitamin E, Vitamin B12, Riboflavin, Niacin and Vitamin C are lost as well.  Moist Food also shows vitamin loss with 100% Vitamin C lost and 50% Thiamin and B-carotene lost.  During storage wet foods showed loss in Vitamin E, Folic Acid and Niacin.  (Hand, Pg 181, Box 8-8).  To account for the potential loss it is suggested that you reduce the analytical values by 10-25% (Hand, Pg 126).


            To compensate for the harsh conditions in the cooking process manufactures include supplemented vitamins and minerals. They also use a range of preservatives both synthetic and natural to protect their food from oxidation and to ensure a long shelf life.  Lower quality foods like Pedigree use animal fat and vegetable oils with a long list of added vitamins and supplements, preserved with synthetic BHA and BHT (possibly cancer causing) but they ensure a long shelf life --about 12 months.  Life’s Abundance uses chicken fat preserved with mixed tocopherols, a natural source of vitamin E plus natural antioxidants,dried fermentation products, and added vitamin and minerals.


Higher quality foods are now using “natural” preservatives such as Vitamin C (ascorbate), Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols), and oils of rosemary, clove, or other spices, to preserve the fats in their products.  However,the shelf life is shorter, only about 6 months (What’s Really in pet food).  The dog food  companies add Vitamin C to their food, not for its nutritional value but to preserve the food.  It is suggested that 100 mg/kg vitamin C and at least 500 IU/kg of Vitamin E  to be added to enhance antioxidant performance (Hand Pg 265).  Life’s Abundance has 140 mg/kg ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and 200 IU/kg Vitamin E. Pedigree has minimum 70 mg/kg Vitamin C and 300 IU/kg Vitamin E. 


Healthy pets with a quality diet shouldn’t need much if any supplementation of Vitamin C because they can produce their own, usually 18 mg per pound a day.  Pets who are ill, aging or under stress can benefit greatly from Vitamin C and Vitamin E supplements.  Recommended Vitamin C supplementation to aid in illness ranges from 125-500mg for a small dog and  500-1500mg for a large dog, given twice a day.  Vitamin C can aid in arthritis, chronic ear infections, and skin conditions.  1000 - 2000 IU/kg Vitamin E can be given to aid immune functions in older pets and for skin therapy treatment (The Whole dog Journal).


            The FDA has regulation over pet foods.  The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) requires that all animal foods, like human foods, be safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be truthfully labeled (FDA.gov).  However, the AAFCO is hampering label laws, by allowing listing vague ingredients  and they do not require pet food companies to disclose on their packaging, the date that the pet food was actually made. The Best by date means, by this date, the quality of the dog food ingredients have likely diminished (Safe Dog Food Storage).  The actual expiration date is undeterminable.


Pet food manufactures have also made steps to keep their pet food safe and long lasting as possible.They use modified atmosphere packaging that removes the oxygen before sealing the package, bags with resealable lids,and double layered & lined material.  All to increase the shelf life, prevent oxidation, and preserve the food.  Owners should consider proper storage at home as well.  Once opened and exposed to oxygen, light, moisture and bacteria the nutrition quality drops again.  Web-MD says that the kibble is best if left in the manufactures bag, (resealed, rolled down or pinned shut).  Only using the container as protection from moisture, pests, etc.  Foods are generally good for 6 weeks after opening and safe for about 24 hours in the bowl. 


            If you decided to supplement your pets diet, a well balanced and natural multivitamin that I like is Life’s Abundance Wellness Food Supplements. They use Poultry Liver meal, Dried fruits and vegetables, Egg, dried fermentation products, Alfalfa meal and flax seed meal. THese supplements give a healthy dose of enzymes, fiber, probiotics, vitamins and minerals.  Veterinarian’s Best also has a variety of  multivitamins for more specific purposes like; anxiety, skin & coat, arthritis, digestion, allergies, puppy and senior.


            Every pet is different.  When choosing a pet food, owners should take in consider that the food is the main source of nutrition the pet gets.  You must consider the pets age, activity level, health and body condition.  If you decide to add supplements to the diet, or decide to change the pets diet, always take precautions, by making changes slowly.  If the pet is aging or under stress, then you should consult with your veterinarian first.





References

1) The formulator’s dilemma- “How processing affects pet nutrition”



2) “Whats Really in Pet Food”. Born Free USA. http://www.bornfreeusa.org/facts.php?more=1&p=359


3) Life’s Abundance - Premium Health Food  and Supplements





5) Dog Food Advisor - Life’s Abundance





7) Safe Food Storage Tips - Dog Food Scoop





9) The Dog Food Project - Identifying better products, The "Yuck" Factor,



10)  Vets + Best Supplements - http://vetsbest.com/products/dog-supplements.php


11)Benefits of Vitamin C to your dog - The whole dog journal http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/1_7/features/5309-1.html


12) Small Animal Clinical Nutrition - 5th edition - Hand

Monday, October 22, 2012

Nikki, our new Day Care pup

Meet Nikki.  Our newest Day Care doggie!!

She is full of energy and full of kissess!!!

 
Been Running non- stop!!!