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Let’s Beat Pancreatitis!

By Stephanie Minturn

We have all heard of pancreatitis and most of us are well aware that it can become a problem in pets just as easily as in humans. What most people don’t know, however, are some of the details of this issue and how a natural, raw diet, like the Barf diet, can help to eliminate the incidence of this disease.

First, let’s talk definitions. Simply put, pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas (an organ located in the abdomen) becomes irritated and inflamed. Though small, the pancreas is very important, as it is responsible for producing hormones such as insulin and glucagon to control metabolism and glucose levels as well as other enzymes which are critical for digestion. When the pancreas becomes inflamed, digestive enzymes which are normally inactive until reaching the small intestine, become active in the pancreas instead. This causes a plethora of symptoms and can cause serious damage to the organ if the condition becomes chronic.

It is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of pancreatitis but it has been found that it can be attributed to certain factors including a high fat, low protein diet, trauma, predisposing conditions such as Diabetes or Cushing’s Syndrome or certain medications and toxins.

Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Sleepiness or depression
  • Anorexia
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain as evident by unusual posture or guarding of the abdominal area
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Jaundice

If you notice these symptoms in your pet, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Diagnosis is usually determined by blood tests which analyze enzyme levels. Elevations suggest pancreatitis but do not provide a definitive diagnosis as other health issues may also reflect elevated levels. Abdominal X-rays and Ultrasound may be performed as well as a needle aspiration biopsy to help identify whether or not your pet is experiencing true pancreatitis.

So how is it treated? Unfortunately, it’s not easy. There is no magic medication that will simply take this away. The treatment can be a lengthy process and is circumstantial to each pet. The plan of care often includes pancreatic rest, reducing the inflammation and pain and preventing further complications such as dehydration as well as keeping the dog free from infection. Usually, with acute pancreatitis, the dog is hospitalized and restricted from consuming any food or fluid by mouth for 3 to 5 days. This allows the digestive system to rest without the stress of creating enzymes. Once enzyme levels are within normal limits, small amounts of a low fat diet may begin. Antibiotics, pain medication and anti-emetics are often administered to minimize complications.

I know what you’re thinking, what an awful thing for our pets to endure! The good new is, pancreatitis can be prevented! And even if your dog has already been plagued with a pancreatic attack or even suffering from chronic pancreatitis, it’s not too late for help!

There articles out there that will tell you that it’s time to start practicing “tough love” on your pet and forcing them to abide by a low fat diet which you know they will hate.

So, is a diet that helps keep a lean body mass really that important? It absolutely is! But what if I told you that there is a diet that can not only help lower body fat but can also provide the living enzymes which are so crucial for digestion? A diet that gives your pet’s pancreas a break, so it doesn’t have to work so hard? Does this really exist? The answer is YES, it certainly does! The BARF World diet does just that and more! Except, you certainly won’t be practicing “tough love!” While providing low fat, high protein content, your pet’s risk of pancreatitis is significantly lower and your dog is sure to love his natural, raw meat diet meaning that you can have a healthy AND happy pet! How can you go wrong? To learn more about pancreatitis and how The BARF diet can help, visit our website at www.barfworld.com or call us at 1-866-282- 2273 (BARF)!

Mueller, Robert. “My Dog Has Pancreatitis. Can a Raw Dog Food Diet Help?” 11 June 2014. Blog.barfworld.com

Simpson, Mary. “Let’s Talk About Pancreatitis in Dogs.” 3 March 2015.

“Pancreatitis and Diabetes.” August 2001. www.caninediabetes.org.

Saxon, Bill. “Acute Pancreatitis in Dogs.” May 2014. www.pethealthnetwork.com.

Stephanie, is a Registered Nurse and proud mother, of 4 whom has always loved animals and the purity and beauty they bring into the world. She enjoys researching current trends and evidence based practice in the pet industry and relating it to the healthcare industry for humans. She has passion in discovering new found knowledge with other pet owners like herself.

 
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Two Dogs are Better than One

By Stephanie Minturn

If you are a pet parent of one amazing pup, you may already be thinking of bringing a second dog into your home to love and care for. Extending your fur family can be a very exciting time for the entire family but it is not uncommon to have some fears. A concern among pet parents around the globe is introducing additional pets into the home and the anxiety it may cause your already settled pet. Well, not to worry, you are not alone. As a matter of fact, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the average American household has at least two dogs and many of them had only one dog for a significant period of time before introducing a second. It is not uncommon to worry about how your first pet will handle the stress of having a new animal in the home and fortunately, there are many tips available to help alleviate some of this stress.

A new dog can cause your pet stress

First, it is important to determine whether or not your dog is ready for a playmate. Does he have any behavioral issues that needs to be addressed such as excessive hyperactivity, separation anxiety, house training accidents or aggression? If so, you may want to resolve these issues before bringing a new pet into the mix. Many behaviorists feel that a second dog is opt to mirror the current dog’s behavior, causing more problems, not only you as an owner but for the pets as well. Most Vets recommend either getting two dogs at the same time or waiting for at least a year and until initial training is complete before adding a second.

 

Another important step in the process is selecting the right dog. It is vital to choose a dog that is compatible with your first dog. For example, if your first dog’s personality is more docile, bringing in a high energy pup could be annoying to your dog and cause some unnecessary problems. On the other hand, a slight increase in energy or perhaps adding a more confident dog to the home with a dog who lacks confidence may help your first pet. This is very situational and should be given careful thought. Size and breed are also important considerations and should be researched beforehand.

After taking these steps into account, you are ready to introduce your new member. You have done everything in your power to choose the right fit for your family and the day has finally arrived! Here are some tips to make that first introduction a smooth one:After taking these steps into account, you are ready to introduce your new member. You have done everything in your power to choose the right fit for your family and the day has finally arrived! Here are some tips to make that first introduction a smooth one:

  • Don’t attempt to introduce the pups alone. Be sure that both dogs are on a leash and each has their own handler.
  • It’s a good idea to have an activity planned, such as taking a walk. Walking allows some parallel interaction and also provides enough of a distraction until the dogs warm up to one another.
  • Allow the dogs to sniff each other, ideally dogs like to sniff nose to nose and then nose to rear. Watch the sniffing closely and be aware of any signs such as growling or showing teeth. If this takes place, firmly tell the dog “no” and back off a little, calmly separating the dogs and trying again in ten minutes.
  • If there are no negative signs displayed but instead, a great deal of excitement, hold the leashes up high as the dog’s sniff and play so that they do not become tangled. Still, keep them on their leashes, as a great deal of excitement can sometimes turn to aggression in a hurry. Once you feel comfortable, you can let the dogs off of their leashes.

Once the pups are off of their leashes, here are a few ongoing tips and precautions to take while things are still new:

  • In the beginning, it may be a good idea to keep the pets separated in the home while you are away. The use of baby gates are a good way of accomplishing this. Be sure to show each dog individualized attention, by talking to them and petting them in front of the other when returning home.
  • Keep the dogs separated during mealtimes and “chew times” with their bones or toys until they are very comfortable with each other and the new environment.
  • Monitor play times and introduce these times slowly, watching for any signs of aggression.
  • Take your dogs on walks together. Walks are especially important to strengthen the bond between them. It gives the effect of walking in a pack which is instinctual. By walking in between them or in front of them, it shows them that you are the only alpha and that they are on the same playing field as one another. This will ultimately allow your pets to become closer.

Remember, patience and consistency is key. Adding to your family is a heart warming experience and the rewards of two canine personalities in one home are endless! Chances are, they will love one another just as much as you love them both. By following these tips, I hope that you find your experience to be a positive one!

 

Stephanie, is a Registered Nurse and proud mother, of 4 whom has always loved animals and the purity and beauty they bring into the world. She enjoys researching current trends and evidence based practice in the pet industry and relating it to the healthcare industry for humans. She has passion in discovering new found knowledge with other pet owners like herself.

    
 
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Satisfying the Itch

By Stephanie Minturn

itchy-dog

You’ve heard it before, Raw Diets can help eliminate those pesky allergies that haunt our pets! But why? How can we eliminate this issue with something as simple as a diet change? Well, allow me to explain.

When your pet is itching and digging at their skin, your first instinct is to treat the symptoms of allergies to relieve your pet. But this will only mask their symptoms rather than treat the underlying cause, leaving you to pay hundreds of dollars in Vet bills and prescription medications.

Symptoms of dog allergies include:

  • Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin Increased scratching
  • Itchy, runny eyes
  • Itchy back or base of tail (most commonly flea allergy)
  • Itchy ears and ear infections
  • Sneezing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Snoring caused by an inflamed throat
  • Paw chewing/swollen paws
  • Constant licking

These symptoms can lead to some very serious health problems, including infections and a variety of intestinal disorders. If your pet is suffering from any of these symptoms, the answer could be in their food. Pet allergies became more common as the popularity of “convenient” grain based diets began to consume popularity. Luckily, more and more folks are catching on to this trend and are returning to Raw diets to rescue their pets from this potential harm.

Food allergies can arise when a protein is misidentified as an invader in common pet foods and triggers an immune response in the body. This accounts for the inflammatory symptoms that plagues your dogs and is the body’s way to protect itself from the invader. A Raw diet mimics your dog’s natural diet, normalizing and strengthening his digestion and immune system naturally. Containing a good balance of essential fatty acids, active enzymes and other immune-normalizing and strengthening nutrients, the Raw diet reduces stress on the body, while allowing a natural reduction of inflammatory conditions and a lower risk of infection.

Even if you’re sure that your dog’s allergies arise from pollens and other environmental allergies, a Raw diet is the answer to your issues as well! A Raw diet is so easy on the dog’s digestive system and thanks to its immune system strengthening properties, it allows your dog to handle the load of environmental allergies much easier. Many times, allergic responses are caused by an extreme overload to all of these allergies and a weakened immune system.

A natural, Raw diet takes your dog back to his roots. Back when allergies were obsolete. No more cortisone shots, no more prescriptions, no more antibiotics. Just a healthy and vibrant pup, thriving without the constant nagging of allergy symptoms!

https://www.barfworld.com/allergies October 2017.

https://wagwalking.com/condition/grain-allergiesGrain Allergies in Dogs.” October 2017.

https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/allergies-dogs#1Allergies in Dogs.” 2015-2017.

 
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Raw Diet for Puppies

 

By Robert Mueller

 

It has been proven that the more raw, unadulterated foods we consume, the better our health will become as a result.This is the same dietary change that is also being suggested to promote optimum health for pets.  With the recent expansion of dietary concepts for pets that center around an evolutionary feeding regimen, pet owners now have a way to give their companion animals the best chance of stopping the decline of their pet’s general health.

Puppies need good food.

Puppies need good food.

Why Feed A Raw Meat Diet To Your Puppy

To address this topic I think it first requires some education on the advancement of pet food diets.  Since the early 1930ʼs, the health of domestic dogs in the Western world has gradually declined; I am specifically referring to the skeletal health of puppies and the reproductive health of the parents.  This decline can be attributed to a combination of factors; predominantly the societal switch to commercial dog food containing an inferior level of nutritious ingredients, the manufacturing processing, and the inappropriate restriction of proper exercise.  However, the main culprit for the decline in canine and feline health is the ingestion of an inappropriate diet, caused by the inclusion of grain-based ingredients in pet food.  This has led to the development of unwanted degenerative diseases, obesity, and developmental skeletal issues.

Skeletal issues normally result from rapid muscle and bone growth.  Feeding a puppy a natural raw food diet that is biologically appropriate is the key to encouraging gradual skeletal growth and to promote healthier reproductive capacities of the adult dog.  Providing a well-balanced raw diet for puppies will help reverse existing conditions as well as prevent future disease and skeletal problems.

Transitioning A Puppy From Mother’s Milk To Raw

Now that you understand how important it is to feed your growing puppy a raw dog food diet, making the conversion to raw becomes a matter of learning the proper combination of ingredients to give your pet for maximum nutrition.  Having a basic understanding of how heat processing (cooking) is detrimental to the final product is also important.  You must feed Mother Nature’s blend of naturally obtained ingredients, in the right proportions, in order for your pet to truly experience the benefits of being fed a bones and raw food (BARF).

The best time to convert your puppy to a raw, species-appropriate diet is at the 4-5 week stage.  This is a critical time in the development of the skeletal frame thus the importance of allowing the development to be gradual is the critical factor.  To achieve your puppy’s desired rate of growth, you must only feed enough food to support a moderate growth rate of about 75%.  Introduce the raw meat dog food blend and eliminate any grain-based, or heat processed diets from the animal’s dietary plan; if the mother has been given the proper raw food nutrition as well, there will be an adequate supply of nutrients from the milk.

Pumpkins aid in digestion.

Pumpkins aid in digestion.

 

How To Make The Switch For Puppies

We offer two suggestions for the introduction; the fast switch, or the slow approach.  Most puppies (which have not yet been influenced at this point with dry dog foods that have been flavor enhanced) can be converted to a raw dog food diet with a fast switch approach without incident.  The young puppy often takes to the new diet like a duck to water.  However, we do offer suggestions for a slow conversion for any puppy that has developed gastrointestinal issues in the past, mainly from ingesting inappropriate dry dog food.

It is also important to note that feeding a raw meat diet, which is nutrient dense, eliminates the need to have separate “puppy”, “adult”, and “senior” formulas; instead portion control is used throughout the different stages of the animals life.  This is totally different than the commercial pet food industry’s attempt to adjust the inferior nature of their dry pet food ingredients to accommodate the various nutritional requirements for each life stage.

Here is an additional list of potential benefits your puppy will experience from being fed a raw food diet:

  • A reduction in stool volume and odor
  • Elimination of doggie breath
  • Controlled bone and muscle development
  • Improved skin and coat
  • Increased energy
  • Improved immune system function

A word of caution:  It is critical to eliminate long periods of walking/running or strenuous exercise, beginning from the 5-week puppy stage until the growth stage has ended and the bones have hardened.  Following this advice will additionally help to eliminate any future skeletal issues in your growing puppy.  Remember that bone health is even more important in large and giant breeds.  It is recommended that you wait until at least 15 to 18 months of age before stressing the joints, however, smaller breeds can be exercised sooner (at the 10 to 12 month stage).

ggggRobert 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.  To receive more articles like these in your email inbox,click here to sign up for “The Intelligent Pet” weekly e-zine absolutely FREE!

 

 

 

 
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