Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Benefits of Fish Oil for Dogs & Cats

by David E. Neuwirth
There are a lot of supplements available for your pet to help with a myriad of health issues.  One commonly used supplement is fish oil; mainly because it’s a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids.  Some pet owners learn about fish oil for pets with skin or coat issues (such as dry or itchy skin, hot spots, etc.); however, dogs and cats with no known skin or coat issues will also see an improvement after using fish oil.  Your pet’s coat will become shinier and softer when supplementing their diet regularly with fish oil.  You might also find that your pet sheds less when incorporating fish oil into your pet’s regular diet. 
While many people have heard about fish oil benefitting the skin and coat, there are additional benefits to supplementing your dog or cat’s diet with fish oil.  The Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil have been shown to help reduce inflammation, making it useful for pets suffering from arthritis and stiff joints, allergies and even I.B.S (inflammatory bowel disease).  Omega 3 fatty acids help regulate the immune system, lower blood pressure, improve brain function and cognitive abilities.  Research has found that Fish Oil with Omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA can reduce the risk of heart problems, making fish oil ideal for pets affected by heart disease.  Pets with cancer and kidney disease can also benefit from regularly taking fish oil supplements.
There are numerous types of fish oil products for pets on the market.  Usually fish oil is administered to pets in a gel capsule or liquid form.  I’ve used both with my pets, but found the liquid to be more convenient for me.  Grizzly Salmon Oil is a good quality, all natural product that is easy to use.  Grizzly Salmon Oil only uses wild caught Alaskan Salmon.  It comes in a pump bottle so it’s easy to use.  Just pump the fish oil on your pet’s food.  A chart on the bottle tells you how many pump strokes to use based on your pet’s weight.  Grizzly Pollock Oil is another alternative with many of the same benefits as salmon oil.
For pets suffering from extreme itching and skin issues, Ark Naturals’ Omega Mender! Itch Ender! combines wild fish oil with borage oil (a natural anti-inflammatory oil with benefits for healthy skin).  This product is also in a liquid form and is administered with meals.  Omega Mender, Itch Ender (formerly known as Royal Coat Express) is made in the USA.  NaturVet’s Unscented Salmon Oil is ideal for anyone who might not like to give their pet salmon oil without any smell.  Also, some cats can be more picky about salmon oil; unscented oil might work well for finicky cats.  Regardless of which salmon oil supplement you use, make sure you read the label for proper storage instructions and feeding guidelines. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pack Walk in the Park (August 2013)

The August Pack Walk will take place on Sunday 25, 2013 at TY Park.

Pack Walk in the Park (group dog walk) is an opportunity to get some exercise (for you and your dog) and socialize with other dog owners (non-dog owners are welcome, too!).

We will walk the two-mile loop of newly paved pathways for walking, jogging, skating, and biking. Plants to attract butterflies have also been placed along the park’s northern corridor.
TY Park requires all dogs to be on a 6' leash (no retractable / flexi leads) at all times.TY Park's admission fee is $1.50 per person (ages 6 and up)

After you enter the park through the toll booth, take your 1st right turn & park. You will see a red & white sign with a picture of a butterfly that says "Listen to Nature! Please turn down your radio." We will meet in this area and start walking at 9 AM (please arrive by 8:45 AM and allow time for entry, parking, etc).

We will have some treats, samples, and some give aways for your dogs after the walk!*

Info on TY Park:
The Seminole Indian name of this 150-acre urban park, Topeekeegee Yugnee, means “meeting or gathering place.” T.Y. is well known for its shady picnic areas, numerous shelters, and a gazebo.
(located at 3300 N Park Road in Hollywood, FL)

*This event is sponsored by Harlo's Healthy Pets and Kat Walking Dogs

For more information:  954-667-7387

Friday, July 19, 2013

Are Your Dog’s Chicken Treats Made in the USA?

by David Neuwirth

            It seems like every so often there are multiple recalls for chicken jerky dog treats.  In most cases the treats use chicken from China.  Multiple companies use the same source of chicken for their treats, so it’s not surprising that the recalls will often involve several brands.  Once the news coverage and social media buzz diminishes, many consumers go back to buying low quality chicken treats for their beloved pets.
            I do not feed my dogs ANY treats (or foods) that have ingredients from China.  Many deaths have been linked to treats from China, so it’s hard to imagine why would anyone ever feed their pet these low quality treats?  My guess it’s probably a combination of ignorance and convenience.  Aside from the time shortly after a series of recalls, many pet owners aren’t thinking about the potential risks involved with the use of Chinese ingredients.
Quite a few companies have also been using creative packaging to make the Made In China difficult to find on the package, so it’s crucial to read the packaging carefully.  Some companies will put where the products are packaged or distributed (in the USA) in a larger font, but put the fact that the ingredients are from China in a less conspicuous location (in a small font) on the package, so it’s vital that you take the time to read the package carefully.  The low quality treats are often the most easy to find; they are everywhere (chain pet stores, grocery stores and in wholesale stores), making it convenient for pet owners to grab a bag just about anywhere.   
Good quality dog treats made with chicken raised in the USA with antibiotics or added hormones do exist.  Primal makes Chicken Shredders, a dog treat with just one ingredient:  100% chicken breast meat from chickens raised in the USA.  Bravo Bonus Bites Dry-Roasted Chicken Breast Treats are made with antibiotic-free poultry for a healthy, all-natural, grain-free dog treat.  Of course both of these companies make other types of treats with USA meats, including turkey, lamb, venison and buffalo.
I try to support local business whenever possible.  Recently I came across a dog treat that is made in Florida, using chickens that come from a farm in Florida, too.  Chicken Chips are made with 100% USDA Grade A, all natural chicken breasts (they are made from human grade quality chicken).  Chicken Chips are only 2 calories per chip so you don’t have to worry about too many calories with these treats.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Get A Life Pet Rescue's "Baby I'm A Star"

This is a fundraising event for Get A Life Pet Rescue.  A portion of all sales on 8/10/13 will be donated to the Get A Life Pet Rescue, a non-profit organization. Get A Life Pet Rescue is a non-profit, foster home only, quality of life-no kill organization dedicated to end pet suffering!

Free style dance performance by American Idogs.  Enter the Dog Talent Contest with a $5 donation

This is a great opportunity to support a local dog rescue organization simply by purchasing items you might need for your pets (food, treats, toys, grooming supplies, flea & tick prevention, etc.).

There will also be raffle prizes, free samples of food and treats from Stella & Chewys, Nature's Kitchen, My Doggy Delights, Sojos, Earthbath, Nupro, Tiki Dog, Babka Bars, Kat Walking Dogs and others.

You can meet some adoptable small dogs and learn about volunteer opportunities & how to become a foster home.

Call 954-667-7387 for more info

All social dogs (well behaved with humans and canines) are welcome. All dogs must be on a 6 foot leash (No retractable / flexi leashes).

Saturday, August 10, 2013
11 AM - 3 PM
250 N Dixie Highway
Hollywood, FL  33020 
(between Taylor Street & Polk Street on the West side of the railroad tracks)