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What A Treat! The Do’s And Don’ts Of Pet Treats

dogPet owners who feed a bones and raw food diet (BARF) to their dogs and cats understand just how important nutrition is to the overall health and well-being of their pets. These savvy pet parents read ingredients labels before deciding upon the best diet for their companion animal.

In talking with our clients who are strict when it comes to the food they feed their pets, one thing that many unknowingly overlook are the treats they reward their pets with. So today I thought I would touch on the do’s and don’ts of pet treats to help highlight the importance of good nutrition – from bowl to hand.

Many pet owners use treats on a daily basis. Treats are put to good use when dog owners are training, rewarding or simply giving their dog a midday snack.

Here is a list of a few good reasons to use treats:

Potty Training
Tricks and Games
Obedience
Traveling
Socializing

A high value treat is not only tasty for your dog but it can be a great way to motivate your dog to work very hard for that yummy snack!
What Is A “High Value” Treat?

Dog trainers recognize the hierarchy of pet treats and the different responses that dogs offer when given various forms of treats. High value treats are foods that cause dogs to drop what they’re doing and focus on you in order to get their reward. High value treats include cheese, meat, and freeze-dried or dehydrated treats. These would be the equivalent of offering a child a chocolate cookie or lollipop – they’ll stop what they’re doing and come right over!

High value treats are ideal for training because they keep your dog interested during training. They also will not harm their health when fed appropriately.

Low value treats – on the other hand – are foods that dog likes but can tire easily from. These include dog biscuits, jerky, crackers and kibble. Low value treats may be hard to chew for your dog and can cause distractions during training.
They are usually cheaper than high value treats so pet parents often rely on these for day-to-day rewards and snacks.
Proper Dog Nutrition And Treats

Although there are many treats that your dog may go crazy for, they may not be as tasty and valuable in nutrients as you may think. Many store-bought pet treats out there are the equivalent of a candy bar or junk food to your pet. Standard treats are jam-packed with artificial ingredients and preservatives. You may even be surprised to know that some treats even contain sugar, corn, high levels of carbohydrates and chemicals. Imagine what the long-term effect of a so-called “yummy snack” for your dog would be if you fed these types of treats to your pet every day!

Instead of choosing low-quality treats for your beloved pooch, opt for those with very little ingredients and that contain natural ingredients. Do the pet food label check: if you can read and understand the ingredient list then you’re a step in the right direction. Choose treats that don’t contain any sugars, grains, preservatives, or artificial flavors or dyes. Baked, dehydrated and freeze-dried treats are best if you can’t go totally raw.

Your dog may absolutely LOVE the treats that you pick up from your nearby pet store, but are they harming your dog? You may not think that a junk food treat will do your dog any harm but they will definitely add up over time. Just looking at the labels of many popular commercial pet treats is alarming. Some of these treats are not even manufactured in the US.

Since 2007, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received reports of hundreds of animals falling ill and even dying after ingesting tainted jerky treats manufactured in China. Many pet owners whose pets got sick were unaware that the treats they were feeding their pets were made in China because the company headquarters for these brands was in the United States. Worse still, because the FDA could not pinpoint the cause of the problem (or the companies directly involved) the treats were not forcefully recalled…so they remained on store shelves for unsuspecting pet parents to continue to purchase and feed to their pets. If you’re uncertain of the ingredient source or country of origin of your pet treats, call the company and ask. You might be surprised by what you discover.

Other pet treats contain poor quality ingredients such as meat by-products and meals. Just like every other food item you may purchase, look at the dog treat labels to ensure that they are healthy for your dog.
Offer Your Dog A Better, Healthier, (Yummier) Treat Option

It is easy to say that we should reward our furry friends with a tasty treat when they do good, but how many can really say that they are providing healthy foods and nutrient-rich treats to their pets? Well luckily there are ways that a dog or cat can get excited about learning a new trick or be rewarded for being so well-behaved.

The BARF team has done a lot of research on the current treat options on the market and, in keeping in line with our philosophy of biologically appropriate raw food for dogs, we have only endorsed one pet treat and that is the freeze-dried liver treats by Etta Says! These single-ingredient treats are freeze-dried raw livers and come in chicken, beef, and lamb flavors. They are as close to raw as you can get and compliment the natural healthy dog food you’re feeding your pet. Best of all, these are considered high value treats by hundreds of trainers, breeders, pet parents and of course our very own dogs and cats. Etta Says! liver treats are ideal because not only will your dog (or cat) find them delightful, but they also provide good nutrition and a much healthier option for your companion animal.

References:

http://www.dogguide.net/basic-training-tips.php

http://www.rawfed.com/myths/training2.html

http://dawgbusiness.blogspot.com/2012/05/dog-treat-ingredients-beware.html

http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/ProductSafetyInformation/ucm319463.htm

2013-06-27_1338Monica Reyes is a Raw Pet Food Specialist for BARF World Inc. She is a full-time student and working mom to a young toddler, a terrier mix named Mookie and a tabby cat named Phillip. Monica enjoys healthy home cooking and spending quality time with her family. For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for The Intelligent Pet monthly e-zine at www.barfworld.com.

 
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Working Like A Dog: 4 Things To Consider When Adopting a Working Dog Breed

working dogThinking of adding a German Shepherd, Rottweiler or maybe a Mastiff to the family? Well then congratulations! Now, before you run out and adopt your new bundle of joy, make sure you’ve put some thought into whether a working dog breed is right for your family lifestyle…and whether you will be able to meet all their needs from a growing, active pup to a senior dog.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) classifies the following breeds as “working dogs”:

Akita
Alaskan Malamute
Anatolian Shepherd Dog
Bernese Mountain Dog
Black Russian Terrier
Boxer
Bullmastiff
Cane Corso
Chinook
Doberman Pinscher
Dogue de Bordeaux
German Pinscher
Giant Schnauzer
Great Dane
Great Pyrenees
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
Komondor
Kuvasz
Leonberger
Mastiff
Neapolitan Mastiff
Newfoundland
Portuguese Water Dog
Rottweiler
Saint Bernard
Samoyed
Siberian Husky
Standard Schnauzer
Tibetan Mastiff

These dogs preform tougher jobs than herding or hunting. They’re bred to be guard dogs, sled runners, or work alongside law enforcement or rescue workers. These tasks involve lots of focus, intelligence, strength, and above all – loyalty.

Here are four things most people don’t take time to consider (but should) when adopting a working dog breed:

1. Temperament
These breeds are protective of their owners, since many of them are bred to be good guard dogs. They also have a need to follow the pack leader, so if you do not quickly establish yourself as the leader, they will assume the role instead (as many unprepared dog owners know). This is often the cause behind dog attacks involving a child or owner. Proper dog training and socialization is of the upmost importance to ensure your new puppy successfully assimilates into your home.

2. Energy & Exercise
These dogs are bred to work – that means they need lost of exercise and a “job” to do. Because of their high intelligence and instinct to work, these breeds are full of energy. Agility and obedience training are great for these dogs as it helps them express their need for mental stimulation and physical work.

3. Children
In general, the dogs listed above as “working breeds” are not well suited for families with children. Their protective, guarding instincts make them skittish around the types of loud noises and erratic behaviors that are common with children.

Growing up, our family had a Rottweiler, Pit Bull, and a German Shepherd – all of which were loving households pets…but these dogs were well-trained from puppyhood. My dad made sure to quickly establish himself as the pack leader and taught my brother and I not to play rough with the dogs. We also learned to watch for stress signals in the dogs: body stiffening, yawning, licking of lips, or general avoidance. These signs meant that the dogs needed some “alone time” and were to be left alone.

4. Food
One thing you’ll notice right away is that the physical size of the average working dog breed falls into the large and giant breed categories. Coupled with the need for these dogs to be worked/exercised more than other “indoor” or small dog breeds, you should be aware that the volume of dog food these pooches will go through will be significantly more than a small or medium breed dog.

Unfortunately, many people overlook this very important fact…leaving the dog to suffer with an inadequate diet of cheap carbohydrate-laden kibble. This inevitably causes these dogs to suffer a myriad of health problems like allergies, obesity, digestion problems, and dental issues later in life. Feeding large breed puppies a high carbohydrate diet can cause the puppy to grow too rapidly, risking growth and skeletal issues, like hip dysplasia.

Opting instead for a biologically appropriate diet for your puppy (like the BARF Diet) will ensure your dog has a better chance at proper development and excellent long-term health. A raw food diet may cost more than kibble, but it’s a great investment in the health and longevity of your pet.

References

http://www.akc.org/breeds/working_group.cfm

http://www.workingdogdigest.com/articles/article1.html

http://www.cesarsway.com/dog-training/discipline/Types-of-Working-Dogs

http://www.robinkbennett.com/2013/08/19/why-supervising-dogs-and-kids-doesnt-work/

2013-08-15_1120Amber Keiper is the Marketing Coordinator and Raw Pet Food Specialist for BARF World Inc. She is “mom” to two animal rescues – a spoiled Havanese mix named Chewy and a sassy tabby mix named Chiquita. For more holistic pet health, nutrition and wellness tips, go to barfworld.com or sign up for the FREE weekly newsletter, The Intelligent Pet.

 
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How To Spot An Allergic Reaction With Your Pet

2013-08-28_1736By Robert Mueller

Sometimes the simplest answers are the most remarkable. In the case of allergic reactions, we many times resort to treating the allergic response by applying what I call “Band-Aid fixes”. That is, trying to mask the symptoms rather than targeting the core problem.

Many of my profound, yet simplistic approaches to reversing poor health conditions can be summarized by improving the immune system. The immune system is by far the most advanced medical break-through known to man. The explanation is simple…strengthen the immune system, and you have targeted the core of the problem in most cases.

Just like people, dogs can show allergic symptoms when their immune systems begin to recognize allergy triggers (called allergens). These allergens are present in our environment, and in most cases, are not harmful to most animals. Dogs with allergies however, will have an extreme reaction to them. Allergens can be contracted by various means; they can be inhaled, ingested, or come in contact with the dog’s skin. As the body’s natural immune system defense mechanism tries to rid itself of these substances, a variety of skin, digestive, and respiratory symptoms may appear.

The mechanism of action to counter the effects of the allergens is quite complex. The technical discussion involving the immunoglobulin antibodies, mast cells, histamines, and the resultant inflammation that results are topics for another discussion. Suffice it to say, that the resultant inflammation causes the various signs associated with an allergic reaction.

Without question, the primary conditions that we try to resolve are the problematic symptoms that these allergens create. The symptoms are dependent on the type of exposure. To varying degrees, humans and dogs react in similar fashion to skin lesions, itching and scratching, runny eyes, ear infections, sneezing, vomiting, diarrhea, paw chewing, swollen paws, and many symptoms associated with constant licking.

Left untreated and unsupervised, these can lead to secondary infections and may cause hair loss, scabs, or crusty skin.

Many owners resort to doing a blood test to try and determine the type of allergen causing the problem. The allergens come in many forms and can be identified. The resultant suggestions then are to eliminate these triggers from the diet or environment. Some common triggers are grasses and mold spores, dust mites, fleas, household cleaning products, various food ingredients, shampoos, etc. The interesting point is that there are a multitude of potential allergens that can make life miserable for an animal, and there are many more animals that are never affected by these allergens. So, there is a simple explanation why these other dogs are not affected with an allergic response.

The answer is the strength of the immune system. It is no wonder that our pets are suffering so badly from allergies when they are continually exposed to environmental triggers, vaccinations, steroids, antibiotics, and most of all, a continuous diet of dead and devitalized dry dog food. Our company has partnered with several companies to provide adequate protection and corrective action for both internal and external allergen responses. We suggest using Noni Lotion on those reddened and irritated areas of the skin.

For digestive issues causing diarrhea and vomiting we are suggesting Luxolite (white bentonite clay). This miracle treatment acts like a magnet by absorbing toxins that have accumulated in the body, and cleanses the system of heavy metal impurities. This is a powerful way to work in conjunction with the immune system to do its magic as the body’s defense mechanism to attack the core problem.

rob muellerRobert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of “Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”, and co-developer of BARF World’s BARF diets patties, nuggets and supplements – the first company to make the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) diet conveniently available to animals everywhere. He and his wife love to travel around the world with their dog, Moxie – a Yorkshire Terrier/Maltese mix. For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for “The Intelligent Pet” monthly ezine at barfworld.com/ezine

BARF WORLD DISCLAIMER: The information provided is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your veterinarian. BARF World’s raw pet food specialists cannot answer specific questions about your pet’s medical issues or make medical recommendations for your pet – instead, please refer to your own veterinarian. BARF World and its agents assume no responsibility for any consequence relating directly or indirectly to any action or inaction you take based on the information, services, or other material on the website. While BARF World strives to keep the information provided on the website accurate, complete, and up-to-date, BARF World cannot guarantee and will not be responsible for any damage or loss related to the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the website. Offers are subject to change or cancellation at any time and BARF World is not responsible for pricing or other errors.

 
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Pet Car Travel: The Dangers of Letting Your Dog Put His Head Out the Window

By Trips With Pets

bwdogwindow
For most dogs, the most pleasurable part of riding in the car is feeling the cool breeze in their little faces as they put their head out the window. Despite how good and invigorating this feels, it’s very dangerous.

Back in the “old” days, automobiles did not have windshields and their maximum speed was about 45 mph. At that time, drivers wore protective goggles to shield their eyes. Currently we have windshields to protect us from the outside elements and we wouldn’t think of sticking our head out the window while the car is moving. Then why do we let our dogs?

Letting your furry travel companion stick his head out the window while driving is a very dangerous habit. Your dog’s eyes are exposed to dirt, stones, sand, and various other types of debris. This debris can very easily scratch or puncture your dog’s eyes. Pet goggles are now available for pets that help to protect your dog from such injuries…that is if you can train him not to paw them off. However, there are still many other dangers associated with letting your dog travel in the car with his head out the window.

Damage to your dog’s ears is another big issue. When your dog’s head is out the window, his ears will flap in the wind. This constant flapping of his soft earflaps can cause irritation and tenderness. Repeated trauma to the ear can cause swelling and can lead to lifelong ear issues for your dog.

Allowing your pup to put his head out the car window can cause other, more serious outcomes. Dogs often times may fall out the window or get their head stuck in the window. If you’re driving a little too fast when you take a turn or traveling on a bumpy road, your dog may lose his balance and fall out of the window. Accidents like this occur more often than many think and can lead to serious injury or even death.

Another very closely related dangerous pet travel habit is allowing your dog to ride in the bed of a pickup truck. A pickup truck bed offers virtually no protection from wind or debris. Further, it is very easy for your dog to fall out of this unsecured area, making it much more dangerous than dogs sticking their head out the window. Extreme heat is another issue associated with pickup truck beds. The pickup’s metal bed can reach dangerously high temperatures on hot, sunny days. The soft tissue on a dog’s paws can easily be damaged by such a hot surface.

The back seat or cargo area of your vehicle is the safest place for your dog to ride – and they must be properly secured. A pet car seat, pet seat belt, travel crate, or vehicle pet barrier are among the best ways to secure your dog in your car. Safe travels!

bwtripspetsAbout TripsWithPets.com
TripsWithPets.com is the #1 online resource for pet travel. Named best pet travel site by Consumer Reports, TripsWithPets.com’s mission is to offer resources that ensure pets are welcome, happy, and safe while traveling. The website features a directory of pet friendly hotels and accommodations across the United States and Canada, as well as airline & car rental pet policies; pet friendly restaurants, beaches, and events; a user-friendly route search option; pet travel tips; pet travel supplies; and other pet travel resources.

Get 10% off your first order at TripsWithPets.com when you use coupon code: BARFWORLD2013 during checkout. (coupon code expires 12/31/2013).

 
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