Happy New Year

The year 2016 is quickly coming to an end and as always, we finish each year with a great big bang. The beginning of the new year is a wonderful thing and we enjoy the celebration, but usually much more than our four-legged family members. 

The people, loud noises and fireworks can get your pet quite worked up and result in lasting anxiety or worse, them getting lost or hurt. It is important to keep a few things in mind before you get your New Years celebrations rolling:

1.    Make sure your pet has a safe area to escape to. Somewhere that allows them to get some distance from all the hassle and relax. In this case, an area in the basement or a sound proof room is preferred to cancel out some of the loud noise from fireworks and people.

2.    Keep all doors and windows closed and make sure your guests do the same. The loud bangs, and thus stress, can cause your pet to run off. This is very dangerous as they may not only get lost, but also causes them to face dangers such as traffic. 

3.    If your pet is very anxious already and you know they don't do very well with company and events, try giving them a calming aid 30-45 minutes before the commotion begins to allow them to relax more easily. We carry multiple options that may work for your pet.

4.    Keep your pet away from fireworks! Ingesting any part of them can be life-threatening and result in a bad start to the New Year. Their loud expressions can also traumatize your pet and go as far as causing damage to their ears or other body parts. Make sure you get all the fireworks remains cleaned up the next day as well, so your pet doesn't ingest any materials they aren't supposed to. 

5.    In the chance that your pet does get out, make sure they have appropriate identification with the correct phone numbers and ensure that they are microchipped so that any finders can return your pet to you. We have multiple tag options and can engrave them for you while you shop! 

Keeping these few things in mind and being prepared for any situation can ensure the safety of your pet, and allow you to enjoy the beginning of 2017 much more! We hope you had a great 2016. Here's to a happy, healthy and most of all furry 2017 for you and your pets! 

Peanut Butter

If you haven’t already figured it out, dogs love peanut butter. It is such a great snack to stuff into their Kong or Water Buffalo Horn, a great disguise for their medications and just in general a fun treat for any time of the day. Whether straight out of the jar or frozen into pupsicles, peanut butter supplies very healthy fats and nutritious vitamins such as E and B.

There is just one thing that is very important to remember. Your dog should consume only all natural peanut butter that is considered raw and does not have any salt added to it. Also make sure to never feed sugar-free or “lite” peanut butter because these are usually sweetened artificially and this is where the problem sets in. Some sweeteners such as xylitol are poisonous to your dog. Xylitol is a naturally occurring substance that is found in berries, mushroom and trees, however it is also extracted from plants sources and used as a sugar replacer in many low sugar foods.

The reason why you want to avoid any products containing artificial sweetener is because when your dog ingests these products, they go directly into the bloodstream causing an elevated release of insulin which can cause your dog to go into hypoglycemia. If left untreated this can become a life-threatening condition. Ingesting 100 mg of xylitol per kilogram of body weight can result in hypoglycemia and in this situation you would want to contact your vet immediately.

In order to prevent a life-threatening condition and that trip to the vet, make sure you keep xylitol-containing products, such as toothpaste, chewing gum and low-sugar or "lite" items, out of reach. And a good way to make sure you are giving your pup the right stuff is by giving peanut butter just for dogs.. That way you can ensure your dog stays healthy and can enjoy their treat without any risks. 

Stop by the store to check out Dog For Dog's peanut butter and treats that are completely safe for your pup! Like us on Facebook, follow our Instagram and read up on some other blogs on our site. Stay tuned for upcoming posts and events!

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The jolly holiday season is upon us and tis the season for family and friend gatherings, involving delicious food, decorating and gift exchanges. We are all preparing to have a cheerful time and that time should include our four-legged family members. This time of the year can not only be stressful for us, but it can affect our furkids just the same. Here are a few tips and tricks to make things go over smoothly for everyone!

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Having guests is a wonderful thing and though our pets may know all of them, this time of the year can become rather stressful and bring out anxiety in any of them. It is important to keep these things in mind when it comes to your pets, but also your guests:

  • With most pets, especially dogs, food is a number one motivator. In order to get your pets more comfortable with guests, try having their favorite bag of treats at the front door for them to give to your dog. This may help them to easily warm up and make the transition into having company much easier.

  • Let guests know how to properly approach your pet, especially if you have a shy or nervous one. Keep an eye on children, this is a great time to teach children how to correctly behave around pets. Teach kids the following:

    • Do not approach a dog without the owner’s permission - even if you already know the dog is friendly.

    • Do not jump or yell near a sleeping dog - this may scare them

    • Do not run after a dog who wants to get away - allow them to calm down and find peace on their own terms.

    • Do not bother a dog that is eating or chewing a bone or toy - keep your hands to yourself and wait until the pup is done.

    • Do not stare a dog in the eye for a long time - this can be intimidating and scare some dogs.

    • Avoid playing tug of war or other games that promote aggression

  • There will be a lot of food passed around, and some people may be inclined to share with your pets. In order to keep your pets from getting an upset stomach, or packing on a few pounds themselves, let your guests know to enjoy their meal and that there is no need to share with the four legged companions. Instead, offer your pets some long lasting chews while you enjoy your meal. Here are some of our favorites:

    Shankzilla - an air-dried beef shank that withstands pressure of even the extreme chewers.

    No-Hide Chews - these are your most comparable thing to rawhide but so much healthier. These are actually digestible and thus cause for less of a chocking and blockage hazard. Always monitor your dog while chewing!

    BUBA Water Buffalo Horns - these are easy to stuff with peanut butter and freeze to make for a longer lasting chew experience. They themselves are pretty tough too!

    Bully Sticks - these are a great and tough chew to keep your pup occupied for a bit. There are different types but our favorite are the new Honey I’m Home sticks that are infused with honey!

  • Give your pets an area of personal space in the house. This can be their crate or a familiar room that they spend time in. It is also best to keep your pet’s routine intact throughout this time. Try to keep their walks, playtime and feeding schedule as similar as possible. Our companion animals can get stressed and confused when there are structure changes and those happen very easily when our own routine changes.

Since this time can be overwhelming we hope these tips allow you to sit back, kick your feet up and enjoy an accident and trouble free holiday season, with pets and guests. Stop by Pure Pet for some great treats and holiday toys during our 12 Days of Christmas sale!

Have a holly, jolly Holiday season!

Pumpkin for your Pooch

We have all experienced the occasional upset belly and with that, unpleasant surprises on our living room carpet. Pumpkin is a great solution to your dog's acute belly instability, and this is because it has wonderful abilities when it comes to your dog’s gut. It is very rich in something called fiber.

Fiber is made up of those little threadlike structures that are found in fruits, vegetables and grains that cannot be digested by your dog. There are 2 types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber mixes very easily with water and is responsible for slowing the passage rate of your dog. It does this by binding to fatty acids. Not only does this lower the amount of times your dog has to use the bathroom, but it will also stabilize blood sugar levels. Insoluble fiber on the other hand is mainly made up of cellulose and lignin which do not mix well with water. This results in bulking of your dog’s stool and prevents constipation. You want to avoid this type of fiber if your dog is suffering from diarrhea.

To help stabilize your dog’s upset belly, rice is a #1 recommended fiber source. However, this may not be your best option. Rice actually does not meet any nutritional requirements of dogs because it is a grain and this is not natural to a dog’s diet, will actually cause additional inflammation of the digestive tract. So instead, try using pumpkin as your bland, stabilizing agent. Not only does pumpkin pack a whole 7 grams of soluble fiber per cup, unlike 1.2 grams in a cup of rice, but it can also replace lost electrolytes that put your dog at risk for dehydration. An example of an important electrolyte is potassium. Low levels of this element can result in cramping, weakness, heart irregularities and fatigue. Pumpkin replaces this quite easily as it has 505 milligrams of naturally occurring potassium per cup. Have a diabetic patient? No problem. Pumpkin will restore those important beta cell function responsible for healthy insulin production. Rice will actually just break down into sugars, causing even more health risks for your dog.

So next time your dog is suffering from an unstable belly, try adding 2 teaspoons of pumpkin per 10 pounds of body weight to your dog's regular food. Make sure the pumpkin you feed is natural and has no sugar added like the canned pumpkin by Nummy-Tum-Tum or the dehydrated pumpkin supplement made by Diggin’ Your Dog. We sell both at Pure Pet.

Stop in, grab some pumpkin and make sure you are prepared for those unstable days!

6 feet vs 26 feet

A leash is a very important part of your dog’s life. Not only is it used to keep them in proximity and from running away, but it plays a huge role in safety and outdoor activities. Teaching your dog to walk on a leash early is very important because it allows you to take them on adventures and in general just creates a safety barrier between them and the environment.  

Now many dog owners take great tendencies to those 26-foot retractable leashes because it offers the dog great freedom and allows them to sniff everything, without dragging them into the grass or bushes, but there are also a lot of downfalls to them as listed below.

1.     For one, retractable leashes teach your dog to pull on the leash, since they learn that pulling extends the leash. Getting this habit started makes it very hard to break if you ever have to walk your dog on a 6-foot leash. Once your dog has created enough distance between you and them, things can quickly spiral out of control. There are a few scenarios that occur on a regular basis.

2.     If your dog is approached by an aggressive dog, it is very tricky to get a handle of the situation. A 6-foot lead will come in much more efficient as you have more substance in your hand to get a hold of, and not just a thin string.

3.     Another problem with the thin string is that it can easily break. If you have a strong, big dog at the end of your leash, the cord can easily snap, not only putting the dog in danger, but also injuring who is at the other end. A 6-foot could come in different widths and therefore would allow for you to adjust for the strength of your dog.

4.     Getting tangled up in the cord of a retractable leash is not fun. Not only does the leash cause burns and cuts, but it can be as serious as broken bones, road rash and even amputations. A slackline or round 6-foot leash will eliminate these risks if used properly.

5.     Not only can these leashes cause you injuries, but they can also be harmful to the dog due to sudden jerks using the stop button or if the dog pulls past the full extension. Yours and other dogs could also get tangled in the leash. These events have resulted in neck wounds, collapsed tracheas or spinal injuries. Since a 6-foot does not have a stop button and there is not as much distance involved, it will be much more gentle on your dog’s neck.

6.     Since the dog has to pull on the leash to extend it, this can look like aggressive behavior to other dogs, which can result in dog fights. Having a shorter leash will allow you to keep your dog close and out of range from other dogs.

7.     Bulky handles make a comfortable grip, but hard to hold when your dog decides to take off. A 6-foot leash will allow for a tighter and closer grip, lowering the risks of losing the leash and your dog.

8.     When the handle does get pulled out of your hand, a lot of dogs are terrorized by the sound of it bouncing on the concrete. This can make your dog take off running and the fear of the handle “chasing” your dog can cause them to not stop. Even though nothing could happen to your dog, there could be a chance that he or she will remain scared of leashes and walks.

9.     The leashes could stop working properly which can become a pain and results in having to invest in new ones more often than with 6-foot leashes. 

10.  If your dog wasn’t taught how to walk on a 6-foot leash early on, then retractable leashes can become a huge safety hazard, not only to your dog, but you and those around you.

At Pure Pet we sell 4 and 6 foot leashes by Molly Mutt, Mendota and Lupine. All three brands make a great quality leash that has a comfortable handle allowing you to enjoy controlled and safe walks. Stop by the store to try them out!

 

 

 

Goat milk?

Recently, probiotics have been supplemented in the form of raw goat's milk. Many of you may wonder - why not cow milk? What makes goat's milk so unique are its properties when it comes to your pets gut health. Raw goat's milk does not contain the alpha-s1-casein protein which can be hard to process by your pet and also encourage allergic reactions. The fat globules in raw goat milk are also very small and the curd formation is smaller too, making this milk more easily digested. The reason why raw goat's milk is used, is because there is no destruction of lactase enzymes which in turn will help with lactose break down. Since processed milk is heated, that enzyme is distorted and that way doesn't allow for effective digestion. 

Using raw goat milk a natural way you can help your pet suffering from anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, hyperactivity or a weakened immune system. Steve’s Real Food makes freeze-dried raw goat’s milk a superfood, by adding hemp oil, spirulina, turmeric, milk thistle among others. There are 3 different formulas that all have different powers:

CannaGurt is freeze-dried raw goat milk yogurt that is finished with hemp protein and oil. Hemp oil contains less than 0.3% THC, which is the psychoactive component of marijuana. However, the most important component is CBD, which is an effective cannabinoid containing great healing properties in regard to anxiety, seizures, pain and even cancer. This would be a great choice for a pet suffering from any of those problems.

DogNog is constructed by raw goat milk, eggs, coconut flour, turmeric, yucca and bromelain. This formula has anti-inflammatory powers due to the yucca and turmeric. These two ingredients function even more effectively in the presence of bromelain, a protein derived from pineapples that help absorb the two. This would be a great option for animals that suffer from mobility issues or inflammatory diseases such as IBD (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Growing puppies can also benefit from Dog Nog as it helps during the stages of growth.

Last but not least is CarnaForage – a super smoothie loaded with spirulina, dandelion, kale, chia seed, parsley, cilantro, spinach and milk thistle. This one has great soothing properties for a upset tummy. Kale, spinach and parsley contain L-glutamine which helps with belly aches and dandelion has high levels of lecithin and vitamin A. The milk thistle and spirulina protect the liver from toxins. This one is great for dogs that have sensitive stomachs, cannot thoroughly digest their meals or suffer from pancreatitis or gastrointestinal tract inflammation.

We sell all 3 formulas at Pure Pet and they come as a starter pack with a re-usable glass bottle. Just slowly add water, while mixing and fill it to the line. Once rehydrated the formula remains good for up to 12 days in the fridge. When it comes to refills, you can purchase a 3 serving tub and reuse your glass bottle. 

Using this all natural option does not only offer your pets a healthy, natural remedy to everyday irritations, but also provides a great immunity boost. 

Raw without the Thaw

Ever wonder if there is something in between kibble and raw that is hassle free? 

We are here to tell you that there is!

Kibble has become very advanced and pet food companies are working very hard to make it more digestible for dogs. However, some dogs that have sensitive stomachs might not be able to digest kibble as well as others, and this can cause owners to switch to making raw food. 

Because this is more natural to the dog, it can help solve these problems. However, this option can be tricky because all meals have to be balanced appropriately to prevent any deficiencies and some dogs may not be able to stomach raw food because it is very rich. It can also become fairly expensive and a hassle to keep up with over time.

We have a solution for you! Let us tell you about “raw without the thaw” – a different way to give your pet that nutritious and all around healthy diet. Diets like these have a very limited ingredient list which is great for dogs with allergies or other sensitivities. They usually only use one protein source and fresh fruits and vegetables. There is room for creativity however as you also have the option to buy a base mix, and add your own protein source.

There are a couple of different ways that these diets are made. One is freeze-drying and the other is dehydration. Freeze-drying involves putting fresh or cooked ingredients into a freezer. Once frozen, a vacuum will kick on, the food will be lightly heated creating a vapor and 98% of the food’s moisture is extracted by evaporation of ice at -85.

The other option is dehydration of ingredients. This is considered one of the oldest and most efficient methods of food processing. It is a very gentle process in which moisture is removed while preserving vitamins and minerals that come from fresh fruits, vegetables and meats. Moisture is removed by heating the ingredients to 140 degrees and then drying to absorb the released moisture, as well as air movement which carries the moisture away from the product. The dried product is then packaged safely to avoid damage. Both processes preserve freshness of food because in order to have bacteria, yeast and mold growth, moisture must be present. Without moisture their enzymatic reactions cannot take place.

Check out this graph of what cooking can do to important vitamins & minerals in your pets food:

Here at Pure Pet, we carry two brands that process their foods this way. Grandma Lucy’s freeze dries their food, and The Honest Kitchen focuses on dehydration. Both products are great options for your pet if you are trying serve raw without the thaw, hassle-free. Just add warm water and the food is as good as fresh.

 

 

Coconut Craze

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Does your pet suffer from digestive upset, sensitive stomachs, bacterial infections or regular skin irritations? Cracked paws and elbow pads? Then coconut oil may be exactly what your pet needs!

Coconut oil is made up of all kinds of healthy saturated fats, classifying it as a superfood. What gives this versatile oil its kick is that it is stuffed with MCT’s, or medium chain triglycerides. These are responsible for most of the oils benefits. They improve digestion, support the immune system and can assist with weight loss, skin and coat strength, as well as thyroid health.

Some Scientific Facts

The MCT’s are made up of 7 acids. The most active one of these is lauric acid which has been found to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, as well as anti-fungal properties. These are great benefits as our pet’s gut can, more often than not, get thrown off balance. Coconut oil can help return gut health back to normal.                                                                                                                  

Check out this list of benefits:

  1. Reduces allergic reactions
  2. Sleek, glossy coat
  3. Prevents fungal infections
  4. Promotes wound healing
  5. Cures hot spots, dry skin, bites and stings
  6. Improves digestion
  7. Increases nutrient absorption
  8. Helps with inflammatory bowl syndrome
  9. Reduces bad breath
  10. Promotes normal thyroid function
  11. Helps arthritis and ligament problems
  12. Prevents infections and diseases

Coconut oil has all these benefits and what makes it so effective is that it does not require digestive enzymes, or anything else for that matter, to be absorbed. Therefore it also proves to be a source of energy which can enhance athletic performance, as well as helping in weight loss. This is achieved by balancing the thyroid and making inactive dogs feel energetic.

How much to give your pet

Your dog may need some time to adjust to anything that is new, so you want to start with small amounts and work your way up. You can mix the following amounts in with their food, or feed it right off the spoon to start out with:

  1. ¼ teaspoon a day for dogs under 30lbs and cats
  2. 1 teaspoon a day for dogs over 30lbs

Slowly increase the amount over a few days to:                                      

  1. 1 teaspoon per 20 lbs bodyweight or
  2. 1 tablespoon per 60 lbs bodyweight

Other than feeding the oil to your pet, it can also be applied directly to the skin if your dog is suffering from dry, itchy skin or insect bites. This way you do not have to be concerned if they lick it off. Cracked paws and irritated ears do very well under the soothing properties of this superfood.

Now that you have read about all the positive effects this oil can have, something to keep in mind is that you should always feed raw, unprocessed oil and avoid labelling that says “cooking oil”. We carry coconut oil by CocoTherapy and Kin+Kind - both are wonderful brands, that use only the highest quality coconuts to create their products! If you have not given this oil a try, now is the time! Your pet will thank you!