Monthly Archives: August 2012

Recipe Friday – Kitty Jelly

This interesting looking recipe when completed will surely please even the most finicky kitty out there.

 
Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chicken broth (or any broth that works for you and your kitty)
  • 4-1/2 tablespoons flour (if your cat has a gluten allergy, you can use 4 tablespoons of rice flour)
  • 1/4 cup carrots –diced into small cubes
  • 3/4 cup minced meat (cooked)
  • pieces of fish – optional (any fish that works well for your kitty such as: salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout, about a half cup if you are using fish and minced meat, if you are just using fish, use about a cup).

 

Directions:

1. After the broth has been made, allow it too cool for around 2 minutes.

2. Add all the flour and mix well, make sure the lumps are out, and try to get it like a gravy consistency. (If it doesn’t come together as gravy or all the lumps are not out right now, it should come together after reheating it in the next steps.

3. Heat broth and flour mixture on high heat until a gravy starts to form, if it hasn’t formed already (skip this step if it is gravy consistency already).

4. Immediately add all other ingredients and pour all contents of this meal into an airtight container, suitable for the refrigerator.

5. Allow it to set into jelly like substance with the carrots, minced meat and fish suspended in it.

6. Put in refrigerator to set if you wish.  Once set, use a melon baller or spoon and dish out and serve to your cat.

7. Keep all leftovers in same container in refrigerator for a week, and toss any leftovers then.

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Beautiful Fur Starts With Healthy Skin

The skin is the largest organ.  We all need to take care of our skin, and in order for cats to be healthy and happy and have shiny, healthy fur, their skin needs to be taken care of just like ours.

Many times, we can tell if a cat is healthy or ill just by looking at their fur.  Is it dull and matted?  Shiny and just enough oil throughout to make it full?  Then you know your cat is doing something right!

Sometimes cats need our help to keep their coat and skin in good health.  Bathing them with product that is SPECIFICALLY made for cats is key.

Brushing them helps to distribute the oil in their coat and make their fur shine.  It also helps to stimulate the skin, and get rid of flakes, should they have dandruff.

A good diet helps to keep their coat and skin healthy by providing necessary nutrients and vitamins to promote growth and luster.  Vitamin E, as well as supplements located here, can be helpful in keeping your cat’s fur shiny and their skin healthy.

For more information on how to keep your cat’s skin healthy and fur beautiful, here is a great article with good information on the subject.

Cats And Rapid Weight Loss

The article I will share is a great lesson to learn in observing your cat and their behaviors, patterns and general health.

The lady in the case profiled in the article lead a busy life and had cats that were 10 years old.  She noticed that there was more voiding in the litter box than usual, but attributed it to the fact that her cats were getting older and that it came with age.

After a while, the excessive voiding started to bother her and she took her cat to the vet.  Right away he was x-rayed and his blood was tested and found that his Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) was elevated and thus the thinking was that he had kidney function issues.

He was dehydrated and was given fluid via IV.  It was a difficult and stressful time for both the vet and pet parent.

To read more about what happened click here.

Also, here is an article that talks about kidney failure.  I would not follow any of the advice on these articles before speaking to your vet and see what they say is a good plan of action for treating your cat.

One of the take home lessons from this article is that if something seems off with your fur baby, a trip to the vet wouldn’t hurt just to rule out anything nasty such as this.

 

PBDE’s and Your Pet

I received this interesting article from my vet and wanted to pass it along. PDBE’s are polybrominated diphenyl ethers, which will be explained in the following article:

Can PBDEs Harm Your Pet?

 

Eliminate Toxic PBDEs
An industrial chemical known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) used in home furnishings could be diminishing your pet’s health.  This chemical is a flame retardant used by manufacturers to reduce the flammability of padded chairs, sofas, mattresses and other cushy seats in homes and offices.

You can reduce or eliminate the PBDE levels in your environment by choosing electronics made with alternatives to PBDEs available from Apple, Sony, Intel, Erickson, HP, Canon and Dell.  Select wild salmon rather than farmed fish.  Use lean meats, poultry, and low-fat dairy products rather than their higher fat counterparts.  Fatty tissue serves as an accumulation zone for PBDEs.

The Environmental Protection Agency indicates that polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have a negative impact on your health and environment.  These chemicals in your home environment may be causing harm to your pet without your knowledge.

In the body, PBDEs are found in breast milk, blood and the blood of umbilical cords.  These chemical compounds persist in the environment and accumulate in wild animals.  They are thought to cause brain damage, birth defects, and contribute to disease of the liver and thyroid.

PBDE chemical compounds are used as flame retardants in industries that produce electronics, furniture and foam.  These products have a propensity of giving off airborne particles that build up in your home’s dust.  Seventeen pet dogs who live primarily indoors participated in an analysis at Indiana University.  The analysis found their PBDE concentration levels to be five to 10 times higher than that of humans.

“In the U.S., we the have highest levels of flame retardants in our dust and in our bodies,” indicates Arelene Blum, Executive Director of the Green Science Policy Institute.  Pollution in People asserts that these toxic PBDE industrial chemicals have been used for more than 30 years in the manufacturing of mattresses, furniture and consumer-used electronic plastics.

Household furniture is frequently produced with flame retardant chemicals and materials before it is shipped to consumers.  Furniture that is made with organic cotton stuffing or wool padding will be free of the hazards of PBDE.  This means when shopping for sofas, loveseats, easy chairs, mattresses and other furniture with seat, arm or back padding, it will be important to ask the contents.  Ask if flame retardants are used and if there are alternate choices.  Request that organic cotton or wool padding be provided as a condition of your purchase.  The use of flame retardant materials varies from state to state.  Its use will depend on governmental laws and regulations that are in effect.

It is estimated that approximately five percent of the weight of the petroleum-based fill known as polyurethane foam is flame retardant chemicals.  Polyurethane foam is used in nearly all sofas, easy chairs, loveseats and mattresses manufactured.

“PBDEs are an important, but generally unrecognized, persistent organic pollutant,” advised Robert C. Hale in Nature.  Hale is a professor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences.  Persistent organic pollutants can remain in our environment for many years without breaking down.  Body fat in animals and humans become the storage zones for these pollutants.

”There is an enormous need to act quickly when there is a problem with a chemical that is not only toxic but is persistent and accumulates,” says Gina Solomon, Natural Resources Defense Council senior scientist.

Talk with your veterinarian about the impact of these industrial chemicals on your pet’s health and wellness.  Your veterinarian will guide you in reducing the negative impact on your pet’s health.

Sources:

Environmental Protection Agency.

Green Science Policy Institute.

Hale, Robert. Nature.

Main, Emily. Flame retardant furniture: Unhealthy, and doesn’t stop fires.

Natural Resources Defense Council.

Pollution in People.

Practically Green.

Dog Food Recall – Bil-Jac Food

Sorry for not having a trick this week, but I figured this recall is more important to share.  I received this in my e-mail today and wanted to share:

August 24, 2012 – Bil-Jac Foods of Medinia Ohio has announced a voluntary dog food recall of a limited number of one of its dry products due to possible contamination with mold.

According to a company spokesperson, the recall includes only the 6 pound package of its Bil-Jac Adult Select Formula dry dog food with a lot code of 1792-02 and a Best By date of 27 December 2013.

The products in question are currently being tested for the presence of mold toxins and the company has assured us they will share more information as it becomes available.1

Be sure to save a link to this page as additional information will be posted here as soon as it is published.

What You Can Do

You can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

Get Dog Food Recall Alerts
Delivered to You

Get dog food recall alerts delivered right to your Inbox the moment we become aware of them. Subscribe to The Dog Food Advisor’s Dog Food Recall Alert email notification list now.

Or simply follow Dog Food Advisor on Twitter.

Footnotes

  1. All information provided by Bil-Jac Customer Service on 8/24/2012

Recipe Friday – Chicken Carrot Frozen Yummies For Dogs

Since there seems to be a resurgence of warm weather, this recipe is sure to cool your pup down and make them happy all at the same time!  It is very simple and quick to make as well.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup shredded Chicken (or Beef, or Pork)
  • 32 ounces Plain Yogurt (should be full fat, not a diet yogurt)
  • 2 Carrots, shredded

 

Directions:

1. Cook the meat of your choice and let it cool completely.

2. Shred the carrots.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients until well mixed.

4. Pour into any molds you may have and freeze.  (I love this one from Bed, Bath and Beyond.  It is perfect for this recipe)

5. When ready, pop it out of the mold and serve to your pup!

Top 10 Questions Asked Of Dog Veterinarians

As pet parents, we all care about the well-being of our dogs.  Many times we ask questions to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep our pets healthy.  Many vets were contacted, and these were the most common questions that were asked:

What is the best way to make sure my dog is receiving the best nutrition?

By reading labels on your dog food and giving them a healthy diet with plenty of protein , some fats and very little if any, fillers (corn, wheat, gluten, etc)., and by giving them healthy treats you will be providing your dog with the best nutrition possible.

 
My dog seems to have trouble rising in the morning (or they are limping) what could this be?

Many times as dogs grow older, they will need to be checked for hip dysplasia, or arthritis.  If this is an issue, there are many medications that can help an elderly dog.

What I suggest, since Sasha is a lab mix, they seem to be likely to develop hip dysplasia, so I opt to give her supplements for healthy, strong bones, and to keep the cartilage strong.  I use Cosequin Plus, but there are many alternatives on that page.  I figure I want to keep her as happy and healthy as long as possible, so I am going to do what it takes to keep her that way,

For more questions that are asked and the answers, click here.

Diabetes and Dogs

Diabetes can be such a scary diagnoses when you don’t arm yourself with information.  If your dog receives this diagnosis, all is not lost.  First we need to know how which dogs are more likely to get diabetes and what we can do to help stop this.

As humans become more sedentary, sometimes our pets do as well.  It is vitally important to keep your dog active by taking walks and playing, all dogs need exercise, some more than others.

The major risk factors to know are:

  • Age (middle-aged to older dogs are more affected)
  • Unspayed females
  • Genetics
  • Obesity

The breeds that are more susceptible to contracting diabetes are:

  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Dachshunds
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • German Shepherds
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Pomeranians
  • Terriers
  • Toy Poodles

You will notice when treating your dog, you may use many of the same treatments that are being used on humans (insulin injections and glucose testing items).

It is important to know that dogs who live with untreated diabetes can develop cataracts and eventually go blind.  If you suspect your pet has diabetes, take them to the vet and get tested, as early detection is the best defense and can prolong the life of your loved one.

For more information on diabetes, click here.

Getting a Hold on Depression With Pets

As many people know, there have been many scientific studies as to having pets helps to curb depression with many individuals.  Being a dog parent is no exception.

For those of you who don’t know, you may be asking how can a dog help curb depression?  Well there are several ways.

The first is the unconditional love and bond that is formed with your dog.  You leave your home and come back, your dog is always excited and happy to see you with a wag of the tail, maybe a happy and playful bark.  This helps to form a connection, a social connection with a living being.  We all need connections to live happy and mentally healthy lives.

The next way a dog helps curb depression is exercise.  Your dog needs to go out for one long walk or several walks/jogs/runs/swims per day.  This gets you out of the house, into nature or out in fresh air at least, which helps lift our spirits and clear our heads.

Another way that animals help depression is that just by petting your dog, that can help release endorphins, which, in simple terms, help to keep us happy and healthy.  This also helps to lower stress and make us feel more like we can tackle our every day issues.

There are many benefits that dogs have in our lives, read here to find out more ways that dogs help with depression.  Of course this is not the be all, and end all.  If you are depressed, it is recommended that you go and speak to someone trained to help, such as a school counselor, a therapist, social worker, psychologist, etc.

Weekly Trick – Eating Treats From Chopsticks (Cats)

This is something I saw on youtube and am teaching Isis how to do this.  She pretty much has it down, but I sometimes have to remind her how to do it.  It’s not difficult and I will explain, along with posting a link to one of the cutest cat eating from chopsticks videos ever!

This is fairly easy to teach your cat.  What you need are wooden chopsticks, patience and time, and some of your cats favorite treats.  I actually use pork because Isis would probably do back flips in order to get some pork.

The first step I did was make sure that Isis hadn’t eaten anytime before doing this trick.  I cut up the pork into small treat size pieces.

For the first day, all I would do is hold out the pork and have Isis take it from my fingers at her eye level.  The next few days, I stood up and would raise the treat up a bit higher each time, until she was standing on her hind legs and taking the treat easily from my fingers (I would make sure that there was a 90% success rate.  That is, she would take it from my fingers at least 9 times out of 10). All the while doing this, I would say the command word “pork”, so that she would associate that word with what she was doing.

On the fifth day, I ended up putting a piece of pork into the chopsticks.  I held the chopsticks up to the level where she would be standing on her hind legs and said my command word “pork”.  She stood on her hind legs and took the pork from between the chopsticks.

As promised, here is the trick in action.  This is such a cute, smart cat!