Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Reader Submitted Video On The OSPCA Situation

video

Loyal Reader Shannon Lambe Shares Her Adoption Story With The TPD!

I recently became the adoptive mom to a 9 month Chihuahua.  He integrated into the household great.  He is good with the kids and with the cats, although they have their moments of skepticism about him still.  I had noticed one really terrible trait that would be a deal breaker with a human companion--he had the worst breath.  Kind of like raw sewage.
I decided after checking out all the other possibilities of tooth decay, and anal glands ( I know- eww) that I was going to switch him to a Raw Meaty Bones diet and I did.  I can not tell you in the month that he has been on it how much better his breath is overall.  That's only one benefit to the diet.  He gets plenty of roughage with this diet and it is very efficient in his body so it reduces the overall volume of feces he produces everyday (Just less poop is a 5 star benefit).  He also has to strain more to do his business so it helps to really flush out his anal glands on their own.  No more expressing them hopefully!

He is energetic but not as hyper as he was.  There are variations like the BARF diet (Bones and Raw Food)  but many do not believe that dogs are omnivores so they should not be given raw vegetables or fruits.  The RMB diet is feed in proportion of 80% meat-10% bones and 10% offals (innards like kidneys etc)

It might sound time consuming and complicated but it's not.  I buy the meat from the grocery store and portion it out based on his weight which is 3-4% of his total weight.  I can freeze it and thaw it out to give to him at dinner time.  

The biggest problem I have had so far is that he likes to hide his dinner for late night snacking and I can usually find it by the smell, so I have had to have him eat dinner in his box with the door locked.

I have even switched my cats to the RMB diet and they are a little more reluctant but they are adapting to it fairly well.

Here is some good reference if you are thinking of the switch to a RMB diet:

http://www.rawfed.com/

*Editor's Note : Visit Shannon's Stylist Shop at stella & dot.

A Great Guest Post On Pet Nutrition By Brandon Forder Of Canadian Pet Connection


Organic, Holistic, Natural - what does it all mean?


I am often queried by clients who have become overwhelmed from the myriad of pet food terminologies, and get completely lost trying to figure out what all these terms actually mean. Manufacturers don’t make it any easier by playing with these words, and in many cases giving false impressions of the product. I have seen: Organix, Organik, Holistik, Organics, and many other terms that suggest the product is something it may not necessarily be. So what does it all mean? Let’s break it down.

What is Organic?

The USDA‘s (United States Department of Agriculture) National Agricultural Library lists Organic as:

  • “Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony.
  • “‘Organic’ is a labeling term that denotes products produced under the authority of the Organic Foods Production Act. The principal guidelines for organic production are to use materials and practices that enhance the ecological balance of natural systems and that integrate the parts of the farming system into an ecological whole.
  • “Organic agriculture practices cannot ensure that products are completely free of residues; however, methods are used to minimize pollution from air, soil and water.
  • “Organic food handlers, processors and retailers adhere to standards that maintain the integrity of organic agricultural products. The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals and people.”

Like human food, organic ingredients need to be certified by the USDA, or whichever governing body oversees the process in their respective country.



This is what you’re looking for.


The USDA has developed strict product labeling rules to help consumers know the exact organic content of the food they purchase. Essentially, there are four labeling categories based on the amount of certified organic ingredients in your pets food: 

100% Organic 

All products labeled in this manner must contain only certified organically produced ingredients. Generally, these are single ingredient products.

Organic

All products labeled in this manner must contain 95-100% certified organic ingredients. Some essential vitamins and minerals may not be available in organic for which prevents using the 100% label.

Made with Organic Ingredients

Must contain at least 70% certified organic ingredients. A third party certifying agency’s mark may also be shown on the principle display panel. The USDA symbol cannot be used on the packaging.

Less than 70% Organic Ingredients

These products cannot use the term “organic” anywhere on the package except in the ingredient list. The government approved organic certifying agency must be displayed. The USDA symbol cannot be used.

What is Holistic?
This is a tricky one since there really isn’t a government body certification for holistic ingredients.
According to the dictionary, this is what holistic means:

a. Emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts.
b. Concerned with wholes rather than analysis or separation into parts.
 


Google image search result for “Holistic” - no wonder consumers are confused.

Using this term for pet foods is most misleading because there is no reference as to how your dog’s food ingredients are sourced.

What is Natural?

According to AAFCO (the American Association of Feed Control Officials), the definition of “natural” is as follows:

A feed or ingredient derived solely from plant, animal or mined sources, either in its unprocessed state or having been subject to physical processing, heat processing, rendering, purification, extraction, hydrolysis, enzymolysis or fermentation, but not having been produced by or subject to a chemically synthetic process and not containing any additives or processing aids that are chemically synthetic except in amounts as might occur unavoidably in good manufacturing practices.

This definition is pretty self-explanatory, but essentially any “natural” ingredient is free of any avoidable chemical interference.

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Brandon is a Pet Health Professional with Canadian Pet Connection. Based out of Oakville, Ontario, Canadian Pet Connection is an industry leader in pet nutrition, behaviour and lifestyle.  

photo credit: http://www.nextgenerationfood.com photo credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org photo credit: http://cancer.maxawareness.com/