Raw Food Diet For Pets

iStock_000013572263_SmallLately, I’ve been hearing a lot about “raw food” diets for pets. It’s something that I didn’t really know very much about, but found some really helpful information here and here.

Raw dog food diets have become widely popular, and the interest in them is increasing. They emphasize raw meat, bones, fruits and vegetables as the staples of a dog’s diet. These diets are based on the “fact” that dogs and cats evolved as carnivores eating raw foods.

A raw dog food diet would typically consist of:

  • Muscle meat, many times still on the bone
  • Bones, whole or ground
  • Organ meat, like livers or kidneys
  • Raw eggs
  • Vegetables, like broccoli, spinach and celery
  • Apples, other fruits
  • Dairy, such as yogurt

The potential benefits of such a diet include:

  • Shinier coat
  • Healthier skin
  • Cleaner teeth
  • Higher energy
  • Smaller stool

The potential risks of such a diet are:

  • Exposure to bacteria in raw meat for human and dog health
  • Unbalanced diet that may harm the health of dogs if given for an extended period
  • Possibility of bones to choke an animal, break teeth or cause an internal puncture

Have you ever tried, or would you try a raw food diet? If you have tried one, what was your experience? Would you recommend it?

Cats and Medication

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Anyone have a cat that “LIKES” to take their medication? Yeah, I know, cats love taking pills about as much as they like taking bubble baths. I cannot tell you how often we have someone ask if we have any tricks for getting a kitty to take their medication. Between experience and some research we have a few tips for you!

Pill Pockets – these are treats with a built-in pouch to easily hide pills! That’s right, your kitty probably won’t even realize they are taking their meds! So instead of making pill time a stressful occurrence, it can be a treat time for your kitty.

Canned Food “Meatballs” – canned food can be a great treat for a kitty and can disguise a pill much in the same way a pill pocket does. Making up a tiny “meatball” and give the kitty one or two undoctored meatball treats, followed by one with the pill and then one more un-doctored. This method works since the cat will continue to take the treats even if there is a small taste of the medicine.

*These methods only work if the medication can be taken with food, so be sure to check with your veterinarian before using these methods.

Pet Supply stores often have in stock pill shooters. They are somewhat like a syringe. At the end of the syringe is a soft, rubber, pill holder, which will allow you to gently press the plunger of the syringe. It then shoots the pill into the animals mouth.hqdefault

Keep calm! Kitties are sensitive to nervousness. Never try to medicate a cat that is excited or nervous.

To Insert The Pill – 1) Apply gentle pressure in the space between the teeth to open the mouth. OR place your thumb and middle finger at the hinge of the jaw and gently pry open the mouth. 2) As the cat’s mouth opens, press down on the lower jaw and deposit the pill well to the back of the tongue. 3) Close the mouth and massage or rub the throat until the cat swallows. Tip! Blowing softly into the cat’s nose or face will also cause many cats to gulp or swallow. If the kitty licks his nose, it is likely the pill has been swallowed.

Important! Avoid breaking up pills, when broken the powder may have an unpleasant taste that is usually poorly accepted. Many pills have a protective coating that is important, as they aid in a delayed reaction in the intestinal tract.

Do you have any tips or tricks to get your kitty to take a pill? What methods have you found to have success?

Love our new site?

Love our new site?? Bellaworks, located here in Charlotte, helped us design our amazing website. They are great to work with! Check out their website and view the other wonderful websites they have developed.

We are so happy to be working with them, and hope you enjoy our site as not only a place to schedule services, but also as a resource tool on learning about pet health, animals events, and how to stay involved with the latest new trends regarding pets!

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Reflections By Rhiannon

Reflections by Rhiannon does an amazing job on any kind of portraits you may need. From announcements to pet portraits, no job is too big.

She has a beautiful studio with many set up props and even does off site photography as well. She supports the Humane Society often and many times she does discounted pet portraits for the holidays – all to benefit the HSC. Just donate to the Humane Society or bring in a bag of dog food and you will receive a discounted rate.

Rhiannon, we cannot wait to work with you again. It was a pleasure! We love your work and will continue to refer you as a great pet photographer! Thank you from Little Friends Pet Sitting and all the pups who enjoyed their “Glamour Shot” moments!

For more information about Rhiannon and her Portrait Boutique, please visit her website.

Reflections by Rhiannon
307 Atherton Street
Charlotte, NC 28203

Pet Allergies and How to Help!

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I read this wonderful article on CNN.com. While we (humans) suffer with allergies, we have many medications and supplements that can help ease our suffering. The poor pet family members are not as lucky as us. It’s hard for them to avoid these elements.

Some great tips and pointers from this article:

  • Symptoms include excessive itching, licking, hair loss, or hot spots
  • Dogs suffer from allergies more than cats
  • Cats, if suffering, show signs of hair loss or open sores
  • Wipe paws off if you’ve been outside with your pet
  • Remove your human shoes at the door 😉
  • House dust mites and house dust is the most common allergen. So, keep your home clean and dust free.
  • Benadryl works for the pups!
  • Allergy tests on your pet can be performed, however, are costly.
  • Keep is flea free
  • Limit pet’s intake to lots of protein and vegetables and see if there is a change- it’s a great first step!

Does your pet have allergies? Have to taken any steps to help with this? If so, what?

What is Grain Free Pet Food, Really?

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After noticing a rash on one of my dog’s tummy, I contacted my vet. I scheduled an appointment, when asked what food I fed my pup, I told the vet Blue Buffalo. The vet then asked if I had ever considered going Grain Free to see if this was the issue. To be honest, what does grain free food really mean? So I decided to first start looking into online resources about the actual definition of grain free.

I read this article on petmd.com and it has really helped with my introductory knowledge of pets being on a grain free diet. Here are some highlights of the knowledge that I gained while doing research:

  • Grain free diets came about more for the consumer preference then what your pet really needs. It is true however, that many pets do great with this diet change.
  • Just like no one pet is the same, no one diet works for every pet. I like how the article stated “no pet food is a one-size-fits –all nutritional solution
  • Grain free does not mean carb free. Potatoes (“sweet potatoes” preferred by my pups) are often used in grain free diets.
  • Grain free is not more natural. Our pets have evolved and are able to digest grains and carbohydrates.
  • Grain Free doesn’t necessarily mean is will help with food allergies. Corn is one of the least likely sources of food allergies. Beef is the highest.

Nonetheless, I have switched over to a grain free diet for my pups. They seem to enjoy it the same. I also give them Nupro, a great all natural supplement, and they enjoy their roasted sweet potato, dry food and broth mixture topped with a little cheese J for dinner every night! My pup’s rash is not all the way better, but the severity of it has decreased greatly.

Have you tried the grain free diet? Do you like the idea of it? What are your questions or concerns about it?