Monthly Archives: May 2013

Recipe Friday – Peanut Butter Oaty Cookies for Dogs

Your dog may enjoy this peanut buttery treat; I will post the regular recipe, along with substitutions for those doggies with allergies:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour  (you can use 1 3/4 cups of brown rice flour, or any other gluten free flour, you may have to play with the actual amount, but this amount worked well for me.)
  • 1 cup oats (you can buy organic oats, or gluten free ones)
  • 1/3 cup all natural peanut butter ( you can buy all natural peanut butter, where peanuts are the only ingredient)
  • 1 cup warm water

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix all dry ingredients together. Add in the peanut butter and slowly add in the warm water while mixing together.

3. Roll out into 1 inch balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for an hour to firm up.

4. Store in the refrigerator for about a week and freeze any leftovers.  Remember to feed in moderation.

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Recipe Friday – White and Black Dog Cookies Wheat Free!

These are a favorite around this house, just be sure to feed in moderation.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 Cup Rice Flour
  • 1 Free Range Egg
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 50g Natural Carob Drops (1.8 ounces or almost a ¼ cup)
  • 50g Plain Yogurt Drops (1.8 ounces or almost a ¼ cup)

 

Directions

Cookies

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a flat baking tray with baking paper.

2. Whisk egg and vegetable oil in a bowl.

3. Add the rice flour to the wet ingredients and mix well to form a dough.

4. Roll dough onto floured surface to approximately 1/4 inch thickness.

5. Using a large round cookie cutter, cut out the cookies and place on lined baking tray. Repeat until dough is finished.

6. Bake cookies for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Place on baking rack to cool.

 

Icing

1. Melt the yogurt drops in a small heat safe bowl over boiling water.

2. Once melted use a spatula to spread over one half of each cookie. Allow to set.

3. Melt the carob drops in a small heat safe bowl over boiling water. Once melted use a spatula to spread over the second half of each cookie. Allow to set then serve.

Product Review – West Paw Design Hair Ball

When purchasing this toy, remember if you leave it on the floor, or at 3am, if you get up, you might find this toy and step on it, and scream, thinking you just stepped on a mouse.  Okay, maybe that was just me, but this toy definitely scared me several times when I would spy it out of the corner of my eye.

The West Paw Design Hair Ball is a small ball, with synthetic hair/fur on it, making it look like a long haired hamster.  The toy has organic catnip inside to attract the cat to get your cat to play with it.  It is similar to stuffed mice that seem to be very popular with many cats to pounce on and throw in the air, or kick with their back feet.

I bought two or Isis to play with and at first I let her smell the wonderful catnip aroma emanating from the belly of this strange looking toy.  She became mesmerized very quickly and once I threw it on the floor, it was game over for the hair ball.

Pouncing, chasing, and kicking of this toy ensued for several hours off and on.  The toy was batted across the floor and chased after and even I got involved and shook the toy on the floor and enjoyed some play time and interaction with Isis.

Even after one month of having this toy, it is still a favorite for Isis to play with.  Every other day she seems to have a pounce or two, then puts it in her mouth and walks around with it, like she just killed her prey.

The downside to this toy is the long hair/fur.  It can come off easily and for some cats, if they swallow it, it cannot be digested so they may have it come right back up.

Final verdict: If you can get past the way it looks, and the fact that sometimes the fur falls out, it is a great toy that your cat should enjoy thoroughly.  Hours upon hours of fun can be had by your cat, and you can get involved with this toy.  I did buy two and I took the second one and tied it to a stick and I will play with Isis by swinging the toy around and swishing it just overhead so that she has to jump and play that way.  It is for sale for a modest price on wag.com.  I hope your cat enjoys it as much as Isis has.

 

https://i0.wp.com/www.onlynaturalpet.com/images/products/195021_500.jpg

Recipe Friday – Simple Dog Treats (4 ingredients!)

These simple, four ingredient treats are easy to make and fun for your dogs to eat!  I will include a gluten free option in the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1. 2 tbsp natural peanut butter (check the label to make sure it says gluten free.  You can buy all natural peanut butter where the only ingredient is peanuts).
  • 2. 2 scoops (using the scoop that comes in the canister or about 1/2 cup total) rolled oats (get the gluten free oats option, if you are trying to make the recipe gluten free)
  • 3. 1/2 cup natural, unsweetened applesauce (make sure there is NO high fructose corn syrup.)
  • 4. 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or you can use about 1/3 cup rice flour for gluten free option)

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl until they form a soft dough ball.

3. Roll out dough onto floured surface with lightly floured rolling pin. (I used a little more whole wheat flour.)

4. Cut out small sections of dough using a cookie cutter or slice with a pizza cutter into about 1.5 in. squares.

5. Place on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until browned slightly.

*You can play around with the thickness of the dough.  If you want softer treats, the dough can be rolled out thicker.  If you want crisp treats, the dough should be rolled out thinner.  Keep refrigerated for a week and freeze any left overs.

Non-Profit Provides “Food Stamps” For Pets

I am still waiting on publishing a product review as I like my little tester (Isis) to test out the stuff for about a month before I give it a thumbs up or thumbs down.  I came across this video/article that warmed my heart.

The economy has been rough lately and a lot of people may be on public assistance.  A non-profit agency has started a program for those who are on public assistance for themselves, they can now apply for “food stamps” for their pets.  The Pet Food Stamps non-profit agency has teamed up with Pet Flow to send people and pets in need, their dog or cats food.

The family that cares for the pet must apply for this program and if they are accepted, they will have the food delivered to their door.

I thought it would be good to share here because you never know who may need this program.  If you have a friend or family member that is struggling, this might be something to help them breathe and not stress as much, or it might even help someone not have to give their pet away because they can no longer handle paying for food for their pet.

Please take a look at the video and read the article, and please pass on this information to anyone you know who may need it.  I think it is a wonderful program that may save a pet’s life.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57581800/non-profit-provides-food-stamps-for-pets/

 

Recipe Friday – Strawberry Chicken Treats For Dogs Grain & Gluten Free

Here is a great recipe for dogs that have food allergies and even for those who do not.  The strawberries add a sweet touch to the treat!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Chicken breast, cooked and chopped
  • 1 Cup chopped Strawberries (approximately 3 large strawberries)
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Milk
  • 1 1/2 Cup Buckwheat Flour

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. In a large bowl add all ingredients and mix well.

3. Knead dough into ball and pat onto a heavily floured surface 1/2 inch thick, this is a very sticky dough so you wont be able to use a rolling pin and its best to work in small sections.  Cut with your cookie cutter of choice.

4. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

5. Cool and refrigerate.  Depending on the cookie cutter, you can make 2-4 dozen treats.

Caring For Senior Cats

I received this great article from Isis vet and wanted to share it with you.  If you have a senior citizen cat, this is a great article to keep for future reference:

Thanks to advancements in veterinary care, today’s cats can live well into their teen years. It is not uncommon for cats to live to be 18 or even older. However, in order for cats to live a long full life, they need proactive veterinary care to stay healthy.

As cats age, they are at greater risk for chronic diseases and health complications. However, cats are also masters at hiding illness. Semi-annual veterinary appointments are the best way to monitor a cat’s well being. For a senior cat, six months can be the equivalent of two years – a number of health changes can happen during this period.

During a wellness exam, a veterinarian will check a cat’s weight and body condition, skin and coat quality, eyes, ears, thyroid, heart, lungs, joints, mouth and abdomen. A veterinarian may also conduct diagnostic blood work and parasite screenings. While physical changes are easily noticed (e.g., weight loss or change in coat quality), internal changes are more difficult to detect. Diagnostic tests provide an important snapshot of a cat’s internal health and can detect problems such as hyperthyroidism and kidney disease.

Feline hyperthyroidism and kidney problems are the most common health conditions affecting older cats. Hyperthyroidism affects many organs in the body, including the heart. Hyperthyroidism can lead to secondary heart disease as well as hypertension (high blood pressure). Kidney disease can also cause hypertension. Your veterinarian can check for this during your cat’s exam. Blood  tests during a semi-annual wellness screening are the best way to detect hyperthyroidism and kidney problems. With early diagnosis, medical treatments can be very successful in managing these disease.  These are examples  of why proactive veterinary care is so important for senior cats.

Wellness exams are also an opportunity to evaluate a cat’s dietary needs. As cats age, their nutritional needs change.  For example, cats with kidney problems should have a diet low in protein and phosphorus. Less active cats may need to be fed less in order to prevent weight gain and obesity. Other cats may become disinterested in food, resulting in weight loss. Cats that lose their sense of taste and smell may also lose interest in eating. Unfortunately, gradual weight loss can also go unnoticed, especially for longhaired cats. This is why nutrition evaluations and regular weigh-ins are so important.

Just like humans, cats will have different wellness needs as they age. Some cats may need a special diet while other cats may need medication to manage a chronic disease. Your veterinarian will make specific recommendations based on your cat’s wellness needs.

Does My Cat Need Senior Care?

Could your cat benefit from senior care? Like people, cats all age at different rates. Generally speaking, senior cats are between the ages of 11 to 14 years, which is the equivalent of 60 to 72 years for humans. Look out for the following age-related changes in your cat’s behavior:

•    Drinking more water than normal
•    More urine in the litter box than normal
•    Weight loss, may occur in spite of a ravenous appetite
•    Nails that don’t shed, and grow into their pads
•    Change in appetite or unwillingness to eat
•    Changes in litter box habits
•    Changes in behavior and mood

These are signs that your cat needs additional veterinary care.

Sources:

American Association of Feline Practitioners. Friends for Life, Caring for your Older Cat.

Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine. Hyperthyroidism in Cats.

Dog Food Alert – Great Life Withholds Specific Buffalo Recipe Dog Foods

Great Life is withholding certain Buffalo recipe dog foods due to a suspicious odor, please read this release for more information:

pril 30, 2013 – Great Life Performance Pet Products has written a letter to its distributors requesting they withhold certain products from sale to consumers.

According to the company, the action is being taken because some packages are “not reaching full expiration date” as suggested by the presence of an unexplained odor.

The affected dog food products include:

  • Great Life Grain Free Buffalo
  • Dr. E’s Grain Free Buffalo

In its letter, Great Life assures distributors recent lab tests have found their Grain Free Buffalo products “free of Salmonella, E. coli, toxins, micro-toxins, etc.”.

Our Opinion

Although Great Life is investigating the cause of the problem, it’s important to note the company has not yet technically classified its action “a recall”.

However, it’s always possible some of the affected product may have already made its way to end users.

Since the company has not yet determined the actual cause of the odor, we feel compelled to make consumers aware of the situation and suggest they monitor the developing story closely.

What to 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.

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Understanding Renal Failure in Cats

Instead of a product review this week (I am waiting on my tester, Isis, to test out the product I wanted to review this week), I am sharing this article Isis’ vet sent to me.  It deals with renal failure and is a good read:

What Every Cat Owner Needs to Know

Acute renal failure and chronic renal failure are two health problems that commonly affect cats. Acute renal failure can affect cats at any age; emergency care is essential to treating this condition and saving a cat’s life. Chronic renal failure typically occurs in senior cats. According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners, 49% of all cats over the age of 15 are affected by chronic renal disease. With the diagnosis of kidney problems and renal failure in cats increasingly common, it is essential that cat owners learn the symptoms of this disease and how best to manage the disease.

Kidneys play a critical role in day-to-day functions. The kidneys remove metabolic waste from the blood stream, and produce vital hormones that help control blood pressure and stimulate red blood cell production.  The kidneys follow a complex system for managing and regulating waste; when this system breaks down, severe complications may occur to a cat’s other organs that can ultimately lead to death.

Acute Renal Failure

Acute renal failure is caused by a blockage in the blood flow to the kidneys or the urine away from the kidneys, or due to damage to the kidney tissue itself.  The most common cause for acute renal failure is the ingestion of toxic substances such as antifreeze, anti inflammatory drugs, or lilies.  When acute renal failure is detected and treated early, a full recovery is possible.  Although many times the cat will have only a partial recovery from the acute crisis, and eventually go into chronic renal failure,

Chronic Renal Failure

Chronic renal failure is an incurable condition primarily affecting older cats. It is often the end-stage for other health problems, such as advanced dental disease or a kidney inflammation/obstruction. Thanks to veterinary care advancements, however, with early diagnosis and proper treatment, it is often possible to give the cat a good quality of life for many years.

Treatment for renal failure depends on the condition’s cause and severity. In the case of acute renal failure, if a kidney is blocked by an obstruction, it may be possible to surgically remove the blockage and correct the problem. For chronic renal failure, treatment focuses on diet, fluids, and medications to control secondary problems, such as high blood pressure and anemia that may occur.

There are many brands of diets made for kidney problems in the cat; all have a reduced amount of protein and phosphorus, and may have added potassium.  Talk to your veterinarian before changing your cat’s diet.

The main treatment for both kinds of kidney failure is fluids.  Hospitalization with intensive fluid therapy is required for acute kidney failure, and often also used for the more severe stage of chronic.  Once the cat is stabilized, many veterinarians will have you give fluids subcutaneously at home.  They will teach you how to give the special fluid under the skin.  Cats are surprisingly tolerant of this.

Other medications may include appetite stimulants, stomach acid reducers such as Pepcid, phosphate binders, potassium supplements, and injectable erythropoietin, which is used to stimulate red blood cell production in the anemic cat.  It is very common for cats with kidney problems to have high blood pressure, and therefore need hypertension medication.
While kidney problems are very common in they cat, the disease can often be managed well for many years.

Could My Cat Have Kidney Failure?

Renal failure can occur in cats of any age, although senior cats are at increased risk for chronic renal failure. For both acute and chronic renal failure, early diagnosis can make a significant difference for a cat’s long-term health prognosis.

As a cat owner, look out for the following symptoms of kidney problems in your cats:
•    Increased water consumption and urination, or greatly reduced water consumption
•    Increased amount of urine in the litter box
•    Marked weight loss/loss of appetite
•    Vomiting

If you suspect that your pet is suffering from chronic or acute renal failure, contact your veterinarian. Your cat’s life may depend upon it.

Sources:

American Association of Feline Practitioners, “Feline Chronic Renal Disease.”

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, “Diagnosis: Kidney Disease.”

Recipe Friday – Peanut Butter Popsicles

Now that the warmer weather is here (Hopefully to stay!) I have an easy recipe to make some popsicles for dogs!

Ingredients:

  • Half to one small jar of peanut butter
  • Half to one whole small banana
  • 2 Tablespoons of warm water

 

Directions:

1. In a small mixing bowl, combine peanut butter with a little water or half a mashed banana. (The water and banana aren’t essential but help with freezing consistency.)

2. Line an ice cube tray or cookie sheet with wax paper. (You don’t have to use the paper, but it can make prying the cubes out easier.)

3. Spoon the mixture into the cubes, or drop onto the tray just like you would cookie dough.

4. Freeze. If you need to reuse the tray right away, pop out the cubes and store them in a bag or container in the freezer.

5. Serve. Keep in freezer until consumed.