Is your Four-Legged Friend Going on a Raw or Organic Diet?

In recent years, Americans have been spending more money than ever on organic and natural foods.  It should come as no surprise that many people are also beginning to buy natural or organic foods for their animal companions. Many of us feel like our dogs and cats are members of our family. As we begin to think more about finding healthy foods for ourselves, many of us are also becoming interested in feeding our pets better foods too. At pet stores around the country, new foods are cropping up featuring specialty ingredients like blueberries, alfalfa and brewer’s yeast.

There is some debate, however, as to whether these more costly “natural” foods actually have health benefits for your pet. It certainly can’t hurt your pet to keep them on a diet made from higher quality ingredients however some brands may be lower in important nutrients such as potassium, calcium and phosphorus. Grain-free foods also promise many benefits but there is debate as to the truth of these claims. According to some veterinarians, grain-free foods mainly benefit pets with specific food allergies.

In the end, it’s up to you to decide if a natural diet would be a good thing to try with your pet. If your pet has allergies or suffers from any feline or canine digestive troubles, paying more attention to their diet might help improve their overall condition. Rest assured, even if you can’t afford the additional cost of organic, specialty pet foods, more traditional brands are still a safe and cost effective way to fill up that furry little tummy.

Kroger Co. Pet Food Recall

Kroger Co. has recalled certain packages of pet food due to a possible contamination of Aflatoxin.  Aflatoxin is a poisonous byproduct from the growth of fungus on common crops such as corn. Aflaxtoxin poisoning can cause liver damage and can be lethal. Symptoms of poisoning due to Aflatoxin include lethargy, loss of appetite, discoloration of eyes or gums, and diarrhea.  If your pet is experiencing these symptoms, contact their veterinarian immediately.

According to the FDA, the Kroger grocery store chain is recalling the following pet foods:

•Pet Pride Cat Food sold in 3.5 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111088128.

•Pet Pride Cat Food sold in 18 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111071357.

•Pet Pride Tasty Blend Poultry & Seafood Cat Food sold in 3.5 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111088152.

•Pet Pride Tasty Blend Poultry & Seafood Cat Food sold in 18 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111074580.

•Pet Pride Kitten Formula Food sold in 3.5 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111071903.

•Old Yeller Chunk Dog Food sold in 22 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111074566.

•Old Yeller Chunk Dog Food sold in 50 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111074563.

•Kroger Value Cat Food sold in 3 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111000018.

•Kroger Value Chunk Dog Food sold in 15 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code: 1111071559.

•Kroger Value Chunk Dog Food sold in 50 lb. packages with a sell by date of OCT 23 11 DP and OCT 24 11 DP under the following UPC code:1111000108.

Affected Kroger stores include those locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. For a full list of stores and pet foods affected by the recall, visit http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm237459.htm

5 Thanksgiving Tips You and Your Dog Will Be Thankful For

Preparing a Thanksgiving feast can be a difficult time for you and your dogs.  Due to all the chaos dogs often times can find themselves feeling neglected and indulging themselves in a little too much turkey.  This Thanksgiving follow these helpful tips to help keep you and your dog happy and safe.

  1.  Don’t neglect your pet.  During all the hustle and bustle of preparing a Thanksgiving feast your pets may start to feel neglected.  Take the time to play with and/or walk you pet.  Not only will it make them feel loved but it will make them more inclined to rest while you continue to prepare and eat your turkey dinner.
  2. Don’t leave the turkey unattended.  The rich aroma of a cooked turkey is enough to make anyone want to dig in but even an uncooked turkey is irresistible to a dog.  Raw meat, turkey bones and dark turkey meat can all be harmful to your dog.  Cooked dark turkey meat and turkey skin are difficult to digest and can cause vomiting, diarrhea and pancreatitis.
  3. Clean as you go.  Continue to clean and tidy the kitchen as you go.  Not only will it save you a huge mess at the end of the night but it will eliminate potential hazards to your dog.
  4. Keep the trashcan out of reach.  Many dogs can’t resist the smell of food, even if it has already been disposed.  Keep your trashcans in a safe place away from your dogs so there are no temptations to dig in.
  5. Give your pet a Thanksgiving treat.  Allow your pet to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner without begging for scraps at the table.  Giving your pet a Kong filled with white turkey meat and dog food will keep your pet satisfied and out of trouble.  If your pet finishes their treat while other guests are continuing to enjoy their dinner, don’t cave in to their begging, you wouldn’t want them to over indulge.

We hope these tips will help you and your loving companions to have a Thanksgiving that you can be thankful for.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Smartphones Lead to Smart Pet Owners

Like owner like pet!  Each year Americans are getting fatter and our pets are too!  According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) we are “obesogenic.”  In layman’s terms our environment tends to encourage excessive weight gain.  This helps to explain why 51.5% of dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese.  Just like us our pets are at risk for osteoarthritis, insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart and respiratory disease, several forms of cancer, and much more.

Owners can prevent their pet from being exposed to obesity simply by feeding them the right amount of food.  But how do we know how much is too much for our pet?  CU-PetHealth, a new app created by the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University for iPhones and iPads, may be the perfect solution for us tech savvy Americans.  CU-PetHealth can be compared to many other pet apps that allow users to store their pet’s medical history and set reminders for upcoming vet appointments.  But CU-PetHealth goes above and beyond all other apps by allowing the user to find out the proper amount of food to feed their dog or cat based on age, weight and other factors.  Keep being a smart pet owner simple and purchase CU-PetHealth for $3.99 on iTunes.

Blue Buffalo Company Recall

On October 8, 2010 Blue Buffalo Company, Ltd, recalled certain dry dog food products due to the possibility of harmfully high levels of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is healthy for dogs in small amounts but in high doses may cause dogs to become lethargic, consume an abnormally large amount of water and increase urination. The affected products, Blue Wilderness Chicken, Basics Salmon and Large Breed Adult Chicken dry dog foods, were distributed nationwide to pet specialty stores like vetdepot. If your pet consumed one of the recalled products and is exhibiting symptoms of a Vitamin D overdose, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.  If you purchased any of the named products please contact the place of purchase for a full refund; you may also call Blue Buffalo Company with any questions or concerns at 1-877-523-9114.