Archive for Nutrition

Food Transitions

Our newest family member, Eider is an 8 week old Labrador Puppy.  He and his littermates were weaned to a food called Sportsman’s Pride.  In the grand scheme of things, this food is fine and clearly works for Eider’s relatives.  My reasons for switching include:

A. I’m not completely 100% thrilled with the ingredients,

B.  It is difficult to find in Maine and,

C.  I have a dog/cat food store, so he is going to eat something we sell at the Biscuit.  Let’s be honest.  

 

Yummy Fish Chewy!

Yummy Fish Chewy!

 

Ahhhh, the dreaded food switch!  Why are we all so frightened to switch our pets’ foods?  The number one issue we hear about is fear of intestinal upset.  Translation?  Diarhea.  

Food transitions don’t have to be messy or painful for you or your pet.  Here are some simple steps to make things go a little more, um, smoothly?!?  😉

1. Start with a small bag of what is already “working” for your dog or cat. 

2.  Get a small bag of the food you want to switch to.

3. For the first 2-3 days feed about 90% old food and 10% new food, even if it means you are merely sprinkling a few bits of new food on top of the old food.  

Note: It is also advisable to use a digestive supplement like Animal Essentials Enzymes and Probiotics as well as some vegetable fiber like Fruitables Pumpkin Puree, both available at our shop.  These items should be used during the entire transition period and may be used indefinitely.

4. If the first 2 or 3 days go well, feel free to move to a 75/25% ratio for 2 or 3 more days.  Then go to 50/50% for another few days, then 25/75, 10/90 and you’re done.  

A healthy transition should take just under two weeks.  It is well worth the time and effort to do this properly as any abrupt switch can cause major poo problems.  

What if you are transitioning to something completely different, as in dry to raw or dry to dehydrated?  Well, deydrated foods are not raw, so the transition from dry to dehydrated should follow the same track as dry to dry.  However, a raw food switch will take a little more planning and time.  

Start with just a little chunk of raw food (we prefer Primal) as a special treat or with a meal.  This will let you know if your dog or cat is even interested in the new type of food.  Not all pets like raw food, so trust your dog’s desires.  This diet is not for everyone.  Once you’ve established that your pet is interested in raw, add a little bit more every few days and simultaneously decrease their dry food.  I prefer a two to three week transition for raw.  Again, a digestive enzyme and some veg fiber are very helpful during this time and afterwards.  

So, maybe you are wondering what Eider is eating.  He is in week two of transitioning to California Natural Puppy Chicken and Rice Formula.  This formula is simple and basic and has wonderfully low Calcium/Phosphorous ratios, which are important numbers for large breed puppies. ( We prefer to see both values below 1.9%)  This food is also not a dramatic change from the food he was weaned to.  I didn’t want to put something exotic into his tummy just to keep with dog food trends.  I would also never start a puppy on raw food if he/she wasn’t weaned to raw by the breeder.  My other dog Orli, is and always will be a raw/dehydrated food eater, but I’m more comfortable keeping our puppy in basic puppy formula.

If you are interested in Orli’s diet, read this little post from last year.   Since that time, we’ve incorporated more dehydrated foods into her diet for convenience.  Plus she loves it!  We are currently using Primal Grinds and Sojo’s Complete.

 

If you have any questions about transitions or any sort of diet change and we haven’t addressed it, please email us at info@loyalbiscuit.com .  

Have a fabulous week and we’ll see you at the Biscuit!

DSC_0011 by you.

Comments (2)

The Freezers are Full Again!

To all my fabulous raw foodies, 

The freezers are full again!  Two deliveries today and every Tuesday for the rest of the summer!

 Canine Raw Frozen FormulaFeline Raw Frozen Formula

Wholesome Raw Frozen Foods for Dogs and CatsWholesome Raw Frozen Foods for Dogs and Cats

 



Leave a Comment

This Week at the Biscuit 5.27.09

Good evening, Loyal Cust0mers!  We have some exciting new products in this week, plus some updates on some Biscuit Classics…

Walk-E-Woo TugRRR! Toys

5

4748Walk E Woo TugRRR Toys are made in the USA!  These toys are made with a silly-as-heck faux fur sewn onto tubular nylon webbing.  The TugRRR toy has no squeakers, which decreases the need for your dog to murder the toy.  Each toy is about 21″ long so as to maximize floppy good times and, ANDDDDD comes in 3 nutty color combinations!  Orli has been conducting extensive product testing and results are excellent thus far.  P.S. Machine washable = awesome.

Snook’s Tooth Oil

 

Snook's Tooth Oil $11

Snook's Tooth Oil $11

 

Ok, so you all know I have very strong, passionate devotion to the Snook’s Sweet Potato Chews and Chips.  Now, these fabulous Snooks have gone wild and made a tooth oil to accompany their snacks (or any other favorite chew snack).  Wild!!!  Basically, it is totally natural awesome herbal stuff that you can apply ( a little goes a long way) to your dog’s gumline and then set them free to chew on a Snook Chew or Bully stick.  Translation?  Fresh Breath and clean teeth without battling over a toothbrush.  JOY!

Snook’s Tooth Oil: Food Grade Myrrh Extract, Food Grade essential oils of Anise, Spearmint, Clove and Vit E blended in a Vegetable Glycerin Base. Rub on teeth and gums to soften and remove tarter. Apply with doggie tooth brush or cotton swab then give hard healthy treat (we recommend Snook’s Sweet Potato Dog Chips or Chews) to help remove build up. Helps keep teeth and gums healthy and clean. Helps freshen breath. 

Just to put some icing on the cake that is Snook’s, here is an adorable article about a rescued pig in Utah.  He LOVES Snook’s!  

Sojo’s Complete Dog Food Mix

 

SOJOS COMPLETE DOG FOOD MIX is a wholesome GRAIN-FREE pre-mix that you simply combine with water to create your own fresh, homemade pet food. Made with USDA freeze-dried raw Turkey and other all-natural ingredients:

 sweet potatoes, USDA turkey, whole egg, broccoli, celery, apples, flax meal, pecans, tricalcium phosphate, pumpkin, cranberries, basil, dried alfalfa, ginger root, dried kelp, zinc sulfate, vitamin E acetate, vitamin D2

1 lb. of SOJOS COMPLETE makes approximately 6.5 lbs. of fresh, raw dog food.

This is a great food.  Period.  Wonderful for dogs with grain sensitivities.  While most grain free foods use white flesh potatoes, this formula does not.  Orli has a potato allergy, so it is an option for even the most sensitive dog I know!  She has been eating this for two weeks with her Primal Grinds and she actually does a little “stomp-stomp” dance whilst she awaits her breakfast.

For Your Dogs Only Bagel Beds

A.  My sincerest apologies on the poor photo quality.  These photos were taken on a blackberry which I have no clue how to use.  Let’s be honest here, I can barely write complete sentences.   

B.  These dog beds just rock!  They are all furniture grade polyfill with sturdy cotton fabrics.  Totally machine washable and non-clumpy.  

C.  Made in the USA!  Come to the Loyal Biscuit Co on Main Street in Rockland to get a gorgeous new dog bed!  

Delivery updates:  

Memorial Day delivery schedules were totally messed up, so stock levels are pretty off this week.  Everything should be caught up this Monday and Tuesday.  If you are running low on food, shoot me a quick email or contact us on our Facebook page and I will make sure you have what you need!  info@loyalbiscuit.com

Molly Mutt Dog Duvet Covers (for more info, click HERE) has announced a new fabric.  Because I have a severe weakness for stylish dog beds, I pre-ordered this line and expect them any day now!  Here is a little preview….


 Don’t forget!  Loyal Biscuit Fan Page on Facebook

 

That’s all for now!  Goodnight Biscuit-eers!


Comments (5)

Rawhide is horrific.

End of story.

Here is the wikipedia info for Rawhide….

Rawhide is a hide or animal skin that has not been exposed to tanning. It is much lighter in color than leather made by traditional vegetable tanning. The skin from buffalo, deer, elk or cattle from which most rawhide originates is prepared by removing all fur, meat and fat. The hide is then usually stretched over a frame before being dried. The resulting material is hard and translucent. It can be shaped by rewetting and forming before being allowed to thoroughly re-dry. It can be rendered more pliable by ‘working’, i.e. bending repeatedly in multiple directions, often by rubbing it over a post, sometimes traditionally by chewing. It may also be oiled or greased for a degree of waterproofing.

It is often used for objects such as whips, drumheads or lampshades, and more recently chew toys for dogs. It is thought to be more durable than leather, especially in items suffering abrasion during use, and its hardness and shapability render it more suitable than leather for some items. For example, rawhide is often used to cover saddle trees, which make up the foundation of a western saddle, while wet: it strengthens the wooden tree by drawing up very tight as it dries, and resists the abrasion regularly encountered during stock work or rodeo sports. It can also be used as a backing on a wooden bow. Such a backing prevents the bow from breaking by taking a share of the tension stress. Bows made from weaker woods such as birch or cherry benefit more from a rawhide backing. Rawhide is, however more susceptible to water than leather, and will quickly soften and stretch if left wet unless well waterproofed. It is quite effective when used for training dogs and also satisfies their natural desire for meat.   Or you could give your dog meat?  Hmmmm…

Wet rawhide has been used by some earlier cultures as a means of torture or execution, gradually biting into or squeezing the flesh of body parts it encloses as it dries. Example is buskin.  (This is my favorite part)

Still wonder why we won’t sell it?  It isn’t good enough for your dog. 

Check out this awesome blog post at Cup Of Dog.  

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE OF RAWHIDE PRODUCTION.  NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART!


Comments (2)

Table Scraps… The Truth Revealed!

Hi Loyal Readers!  Welcome back to the Biscuit Blog.  Tonight we are discussing “people food”.  Tonight’s post is brought to you by Maddi Young, a fabulous pug who LOVES Pumpkin! Maddi is going to be featured as a Dog of the Blog as soon as she has time for the formal interview…She’s extremely busy and important!  

 

Maddi Young

Maddi Young

 

 

It always cracks me up when a new customer proudly announces, “My dog never gets people food!”.  I am forever perplexed by this absolutist approach to dog nutrition.  I always encourage people to LIFT THE BAN ON TABLE SCRAPS by feeding whole, healthy foods along with the dogs’ primary source of nutrition, be it raw, cooked, dry or canned.  

To be clear, we’re not telling you to give your dog pizza crust!  That’s a big no-no.  However, you can be very liberal with your use of healthy meats, dairy and vegetables in your pup’s diet.  

For safety’s sake, we will start with a list of things to avoid:

-Onions

-Garlic (in excess, a little is fine…beneficial even!)

-Grapes and Raisins

-Chocolate of any kind, dark chocolate is the most dangerous

-Wheat, corn (we know that already) This means no PIZZA CRUST OR PASTA OR HAMBURGER BUNS

-Refined sugars of any kind.  This means NO ICE CREAM!  It isn’t cute.  Yoghund is fine.

 

Photo by PortlandGat

Photo by PortlandGat

 

Now, the fun part!  Here is the list of things you can and often should, add to your dog’s regular feedings.  This foods are loaded with nutrition, good fats and antioxidants…

-Root vegetables:  Yams, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, etc.  (White potatoes are fine for most dogs, but some dogs may have an allergic response, so if you aren’t sure just skip it! )  Chop, then steam or lightly boil, then mash or puree in the food processor or by hand.  I usually do this in large batches and store in the fridge so it is always ready 

-Leafy greens: Kale, Spinach, Collards.  Lightly steam and add to your root veggies in the food processor

-Squashes:  Any and all, including pumpkins.  This can also be steamed and pureed with roots and greens

-Baked, steamed or boiled meat and fish:  Even if you are feeding completely raw or prey model, it doesn’t hurt to throw in some baked chicken in to the mix.  This also makes a great filler for Kongs and Canine Geniuses.  If you serve fish, leave the skin off.  

-Oils: Flax, Fish.  We use combination of these oils in our home, but the focus is on fish oils.  Look for small body fish oils with low or no heavy metals.  We love Spectrum Brand.  

-Plain, unsweetened yogurt:  We like Oikos and Fage Greek Style Yogurts.  

-Eggs: These can be served raw, or scrambled, etc. with or without the crushed shell

These are just a few of the many wonderful and healthy foods you can safely incorporate into your pooch’s diet.  Have a great night!

Comments (5)

Honest Kitchen is just AWESOME!

Here is a wonderful video from Leerburg Kennels about Honest Kitchen.  If you are toying with the idea of Raw or Dehydrated diets, this may help you decide.  We stock the full line of Honest Kitchen foods and have free samples for you to try at home!  

Have a great day!

Leave a Comment

BLOAT!

 

Skinny Orli

Skinny Orli

 

 

Tuesday Night of this week, Bill and I went out to dinner.  When we returned home, Orli looked almost swollen in her rib cage.  It was subtle, but we knew something was wrong.  We discovered that the door to our pantry was open (our cat did it) and there was a rather large hole in a bag of Orijen Adult dry food.  Our dogs eat raw, real and dehydrated but we keep some Orijen around to use in Kongs and Canine Genius toys.   It appeared that Orli consumed as many as 10 cups of dry food!  As you can see, Orli is a very deep chested girl and these are the body types that are at the highest risk for bloat and GDV.

Her stomach was bloated, which is a VERY serious issue and can lead to gastric torsion, which is sometimes fatal.  We quickly researched bloat and found that Orli was in some danger, but showed all the signs that gastric torsion had not occurred.  So, we watched her for the next hour for any signs of GDV.  Let’s stop here for a quick tutorial on “bloat”:

Bloat is a medical condition in which the stomach becomes overstretched by excessive gas content.  It is also commonly referred to as torsiongastric torsion, and gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) when the stomach is also twisted.   To be clear, a bloated stomach does not necessarily mean that the stomach is twisted.  All of these scenarios are serious, so call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your dog has bloated.  

Certain dog breeds are at high risk for bloat and GDV.  These include, but are not limited to, Greyhounds, Great Danes, Dobermans, Weimaraners, Labradors, etc.  I’ve even known of Dachsunds being at risk!  

Preventive techniques:

-Divide meals into at least two smaller meals throughout the day.  

-Do not allow your dog to eat too quickly.  This can be achieved by feeding dry food from the use of Kongs or Canine Genius Toys.  Some food-motivated dogs can’t be safely fed from a bowl, and should be fed from toys like these to slow them down.  We also carry bowls at our store that help to slow fast eaters down.  

-Raised feeders, which are disputed in many places, are a popular  option.  I don’t know how much these help in prevention, but it can certainly help with neck strain.  

-Feeding high quality, grain free dry food can be a tremendous preventive.  Cheap, crappy grocery store foods are comprised of highly processed carbohydrates which are highly absorbent.  This means that when the crappy food hits moisture it SWELLS!  This can cause bloat as well.  

Signs of GDV:

-Dog seems uncomfortable when laying down and may have a hump back appearance

-Difficulty breathing

-Attempts to vomit with no success

-Very firm belly, painful to the touch

If you suspect your dog has bloat or GDV, CALL THE VET NOW!

Back to Orli…  Needless to say, she began vomiting late that evening and threw up 4 times and all was well in  her world.  Her mid section was instantly smaller and she seemed very pleased with herself!  This was one of the most frightening two hours of my life, so I just wanted to share what we’ve learned.

We’ll close this post with a really cute video of a Great Dane doing Freestyle. If you are interested in this style of obedience competition with your dog, contact Sumac Grant-Johnson at Wag It Inc in Lincolnville.

Comments (5)

Older Posts »