Why Small Dogs May Need Boots In Winter.

In this week’s podcast (Dec. 26 – episode 6) I shared what it is about medium to large sized dog breeds,  that allows them to walk in the snow during winter without a lot of discomfort.  It has to do with them inheriting the trait that wolves have, that protects their feet from freezing, in the cold climates where they live. Wolves do not come with UGG boots after all.  Listen to episode 6 to find out what the really cool trait your dog has.

The reason the smaller dogs may need some additional protection from the cold is that through the specialized breeding that has created them, the adaptation that protects the wolves feet, has been lessened or lost.

I’m talking about the designer dogs, the pocket pet dogs, the ones that are slightly larger than a rodent but smaller than a cat. You know, the rat dogs, now don’t get offended……… there is a breed called a rat terrier.

That’s a guinea pig in the middle. I don’t know what happened to its fur either.

These miniatures are cute…….but don’t have the insulation in their coats or the heating system in their feet that the big dogs have. So they may need some extra help from you. Don’t let anyone tease you about putting that purple wool coat and matching fleece booties on your small dog when you take it outside in cold weather. You are doing right by it.

 

Look at these designer dog names!

Chorkie Chihuahua and Yorkie
Daug Dachshund and Pug
Doxie-Poo Dachshund and Poodle
Foodle Fox Terrier and Poodle
Jack-a-Poo Jack Russell and Poodle
Malti-Poo Maltese and Poodle
Morkie Maltese and Yorkie
Pug-a-Poo Pug and Poodle
Puggat Pug and Rat Terrier
Pugston Pug and Boston Terrier
Pugshire Pug and Yorkshire Terrier
Puginese Pug and Pekinese
Schoodle Scotty and Poodle
Shih-pooh Shih-Tzu and Poodle
(Really? Say it out loud, you know what it sounds like…..that’s just not right… and anyway it’s redundant)
A Shih-Poo.
Looks like it resents its name.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poor poodles, how did this breed get picked on to help create all these new dogs?  Oh, I can guess, probably because the “poo” part make funny names.

Resources for Raising Your Paws Podcast, Episode 6

Here’s a particularly useful article about frostbite for your pets I like to refer to when I’m teaching my pet first aid classes.  It’s good because it tells you some of the signs to look for, what to do and NOT to do, before you take your pet to the vet – which you will – immediately – if you suspect frostbite.

https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/frostbite-in-dogs

 We have the winner of our Podcast Launch Celebration give-away! 

Myra from Topeka, Kansas won 6 months of free NutriSource pet food.

Congratulations Myra and Callie, (a lucky 2 year old American Staffordshire Terrier mix.)

We’ll be offering another free food give away in 2018.

If you like our podcast please tell a friend.

 

 

 

 

How to Reduce Your Dog’s Leash Pulling. (Episode 5)

In the last episode of our podcast, (episode 5,) I talked about how difficult it was for me to walk my dog Rosy, on her leash, when I first adopted her,  due to her extreme pulling. Then I found out about a special type of harness that has a front ring at the chest to clip her leash to instead of her collar. It made all the difference – the very first time she wore her new harness, she instantly stopped pulling like she had been doing.

There is a physiological reason your dog pulls. Did you know this?  Listen to the beginning of episode 5 to discover what the biological reason is, that encourages pulling.

Here are a few photos of Rosy wearing her front clipping harness.  

She is wearing the “Freedom No-Pull” brand harness.  This harness is sold in some of the independent pet supply stores, and on the web. If you want to do some reading or ordering online, there are two places to look for this type of harness.

The website of Jessica MacDonald, the woman who designed, invented and patented the “Freedom No-Pull” Harness.

www.FreedomNoPullHarness.com

The website of the exclusive manufacturer of the “Freedom No-Pull” harness.

2 Hounds Design “Freedom-No-Pull”Harness.  

You will notice the front vertical strap of the harness is rather loose, hanging away from Rosy’s chest.  This is not the original way the harness was adjusted to fit her – the front pieces sat tighter and higher on her chest. However I chose to loosen it when my vet expressed her concern about how the harness sat on her, which was putting pressure on a nerve at her chest.  This works for Rosy. You’ll want to consult with your pet care professionals to get the correct and safe fit for your dog.

There are a number of different brands of the front clipping harnesses in the market. You may want to check out these two similar brands as well.

Victoria Stilwell’s Positively No-Pull Harness

Walk Your Dog With Love No-Pull harness.

There are some other more lightweight ones you can find in a number of the larger pet supply stores – I selected the brand I did, as it is very sturdy for her breed, (Shetland Sheepdog/German Shepherd mix) and her weight, (44 lbs.) and she cannot slip out of the harness. Please call the companies that sell the harnesses and read the reviews online to determine if a particular brand will be a good match for your dog.

Peaceful, happy, walking!  And don’t fret too much if they want to stop and sniff every few feet. Be patient. You don’t like to be interrupted reading the morning newspaper, do you?  For your dog, it’s how they find out what’s going on in their world – to use the famous slogan, they’re getting “all the news that’s fit to pee.”

 

Resources for Episode 5 – Title: The Biological Reason Your Dog Pulls, How to Stop it & Fulfilling Your Cat’s Primary Need.

The link to Pam Johnson- Bennett’s, website where you can also order her books.

www.catbehaviorassociates.com

 

 

 

How Your Pets Communicate Feelings. (Podcast Episode 4)

Your dog has a few body language signals that indicates they may be feeling uneasy or somewhat stressed. One of the signals is when your dog licks its nose, a rather quick motion – just a flick of the tongue.  I’m not talking about when your dog has just eaten something and is cleaning its mouth.  As a sign of how your dog is feeling, it happens when there is nothing around that your dog may have eaten. This licking also serves as a self-calming action, or used to calm others and so in addition to hinting at your pet’s mood, its called a calming signal.

This dog looks a bit anxious.
This dog looks a bit anxious.
Only the nose lick indicates the dog may be needing to calm itself.
Only the nose lick indicates the dog may be needing to calm itself.

You and I may have similar calming actions. When I feel anxious about things, while sitting down, I tend to rock back and forth a bit. Do you do something in particular like tapping your leg or foot?

Another calming sign is when your dog yawns when there is no reason for them to be tired.

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Start watching for these signals and pay attention to when they happen. Commonly your dog may yawn during a visit at the Vet’s office, or the groomers or may be a response to something you or other people are doing that makes your dog uncomfortable. When I go over to Rosy, my dog, and start lavishing kisses on her head and muzzle, if she starts licking her nose and yawning, I realize I’m making her nervous and get my head out of her face so she can feel comfortable again and be receptive to me being close to her.

 Your cat communicates its feelings as well.  The whiskers and ears can indicate its mood.

This cat’s ears –  sitting high on its head and the whiskers hanging loosely, somewhat downward on both sides of its face, not very fanned out, are showing a relaxed cat.

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When they are facing more forward and somewhat spread out it usually indicates that your cat is alert and ready to play or hunt.

Here, is an ear position called “airplane ears” – sticking out horizontally like airplane wings. This may mean that your cat is feeling agitated or irritated and could become aggressive if pushed.

“Airplane ears” position

One caveat, when reading your pet’s body language, you don’t want to interpret your cat’s mood by just one thing. Take all of its body language into consideration along with the immediate situation your cat is in. Your cat can also display airplane ears in one or both ears if your cat has an ear infections, ear mites or other ear discomfort.

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This cat is feeling frightened or getting ready to fight. Note its whiskers which are flattened back against the face tightly spaced.

When the cat’s ears are tightly clenched, flattened against the head, it can mean your cat is ready to go on the offensive or aggressively defend itself.  Even if nothing happens,  these ears tell you don’t touch me right now.

Very scared cat. Do not touch me!
Very scared cat. Do not touch me!

You can hear more details about these cat and dog signals in the Raising Your Paws podcast episode 4.

Resources For The Podcast, Episode 4 – Show Title: Why Your Dog Loves Playing Tug & Another Need-to-Know Truth About Cats. 

Link to Jean Donaldson’s website:  http://bit.ly/2hvgEdx

How to order Jean Donaldson’s book The Culture Clash:  http://bit.ly/2ABT8jg

Pam Johnson-Bennett’s Website:

http://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/

How to order Pam Johnson-Bennett’s book, Cat Wise. http://amzn.to/2mRv7Cu

See the new NutriSource canned cat food flavors that will be coming out soon.  

Cat Scratching Posts – On a Need-to-Know Basis. (Podcast episode 3)

When cats scratch on their posts or your furniture, you may think that they do it to sharpen their claws. There are many more important reasons they do this. In my interview with Pam Johnson-Bennett, (podcast episode 3) one of our countries leading certified cat behavior consultants, we spoke about how living with felines is much easier if we make sure we meet their primary needs. Scratching is one of them, but of course you want them to do it appropriately. Here is your need-to-know information about the subject.  (Source material from Pam's book, Cat Wise) 

Bad.
Bad.

 

Good.
Good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actually, scratching serves many purposes.

It’s a territorial marking behavior.  The vertical marks left, are a visual sign for other animals passing by. Doesn’t matter if your cat lives indoors. This is hardwired behavior. An odor is also left on the object scratched from scent glands in the cat’s paw pads.

It relieves tension. Scratching is an emotional release or displacement behavior so when your cat is happy, excited, stressed or frustrated, she can release some of the built-up emotion by doing this. 

The kind of scratching posts that best meet your cat’s needs are:

The right texture. A rough texture is most effective. The material, sisal is the preferred one. Wood or corrugated cardboard can work as well if your cat likes it.

Sturdy and the right height.  If the post is wobbly or feels unstable, your cat will not use it. The post must also be tall enough so that the cat can fully stretch up when scratching. Make sure the base is a good wide one, so the post is stable. 

Placed In the correct spot. Please don’t hide the post in a corner of a room you and your cat do not use. Pick a spot where your cat normally tends to want to scratch. If trying to change your cat’s habit of using the couch, place the post by the furniture.

During our conversation in episode 3 of Raising Your Paws, Pam Johnson-Bennett, names the top three truths about cats and what this means to you if you have them. The first truth you’ll hear in this episode just might surprise you. You’ll hear the second and third truths in upcoming episodes so please subscribe to the podcast so you get all the goodies.    

 

Resources for Episode 3. Top 3 Things To Know About Cats & Why Dogs May Repeat Certain Behaviors.

cat wise

Order Pam Johnson-Bennett’s book  Cat Wise, Americas Favorite Cat Expert Answers Your Cat Behavior Questions

Here’s Pam’s Website

Link to see why you can feed less of NutriSource pet foods.

Heres the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline Phone number I talked about – 888-426-4435.

I'll tell you another story about when I had to call this number in episode 1 as well as sharing more information to know about the hotline. Check it out. 

Hey, you could win 6-months of free NutriSource pet food by subscribing, rating and reviewing one of the first five episodes of Raising Your Paws during our launch celebration. Click the box above at the top of the page to enter our drawing. 

 

How old is your pet in human years? New info! (Podcast episode 2)

You’ve heard that for every 1 year of your pet’s life, it counts as 7 human years, right?  Well, there's new thinking in this regard that lets you be a bit more accurate.

Our pets mature quicker than we do during their early years, so a dog and cats first year is really more equivalent to about 15 human years and by the time they are two, it is like them being 24 years old.  It really makes sense doesn’t it? Your pets can reproduce before they are a year old. If they were only 7 in our terms – now, that doesn’t seem right.   

Remember, any age estimations are a simplification of the issue – this is not hard and fast science. There are many factors that affect how your pets age and if you check on the web, you’re going to find a range of different age estimates. The figures I am using are the average of the ones commonly thought to be most realistic.   

Getting back to the point – with cats, after their second year – (24 years old human wise) count another 4 years for each calendar year.  With dogs, after the first 2 years, it’s a little more varied. Add another 4-7 years each birthday depending upon its breed size and weight – approximately 4 years for the small breeds, 5 for medium, 6 years for large breeds and 7 years for the giants.

                                            Here are some charts to help you figure your pet’s age.

 

Dog-Age

Cats age chart.
Cats age chart.

Find out more about your cat's age from the website I found this chart. International Cat Care. 

Ever wonder why your dog does some of the crazy thing it does?  

Jean Donaldson, author of the book, The Culture Clash: A revolutionary new way of understanding the relationship between humans and domestic dogs was my guest on Raising Your Paws podcast, episode 2 and she explained alot about how the true nature of a dog greatly affects what we see them do. 

You'll want to hear this interview if you havent already!  You can find the episode by clicking the "Where to listen" button at the top of this website page.

In her Top 10 List of Things Known About Real Dogs, she writes that one of the things that "really captures the essence of dogs, is that they are social predators. This means that alot of your dog's behavior can be traced to their evolutionary legacy as predators and as beings that lived constantly around others." (from the Culture Clash.)   

Because your dog is a predator, even though you probably don't make them hunt for their meals, they are still going to exhibit behaviors that they'd use to kill and eat their prey. These are hardwired into them.

Things like searching, stalking, chasing, biting, grabbing, chewing, shaking. You know, you see these all the time and your dog wants to do these things – like chase that squirrel or that car, grab your glove while on your hand and tug, and rip apart every toy you give it.   A way to help your pet release these "predatory energies," is to play some games with them that involve these behaviors but in a contained appropriate way.  Giving them this kind of stimulation regularly, is a great way to ward off unwanted behavior problems. We all know, a bored, frustrated dog, can get into trouble at times.  

Here is one of the games, Jean Donaldson recommends from her book, The Culture Clash. 

Hide & Seek. 

Put the dog in a sit-stay out of visual contact with the room where you will hide the object. Alternatively, you can simply shut the dog in another room to prevent him from peeking. Hide the object and then initiate the search by releasing him from the room (or the sit-stay) and asking him excitedly, "where's your toy?!" Then prompt and coach him to search. The object can be a cookie, a stuffed chew toy, a ball or a tug of war toy. There must be some motiviation for the find. If the dog is a maniacal retriever, a ball or other retrieve toy is perfect: when the dog makes a find, you may celebrate with a few intense retrieves before setting up another search. Likewise, if the dog is a tug of war addict, give him a ten or fifteen second round of tug as reinforcement for a find. If he's more food-motivated, use a Kong stuffed with something delicious.

Start with easy finds and big celebrations to get the dog hooked on the game. It only takes a few rounds for the dog to learn that he is looking for something of great interest to him. As he gets into it, go for tougher hiding places. As soon as possible, stop helping him to make finds so that he gains confidence in his own ability. If you constantly bail the dog out, he will learn that giving up is the most effective strategy, rather than perservering. Most dogs will natually begin to use their noses to make the find. This is magical to watch. At this point, they can find objects buried deepy into sofa cushions or anywhere else you might try to stump them. (from The Culture Clash, Jean Donaldson) 

Jean Donaldson also shares why playing tug is such a good game for you and your dog and the three rules to follow. You'll hear this in an upcoming episode, so you might want to subcribe to the podcast right away.  

To celebrate the new podcast,  we're giving away a reward for subscribing, rating and reviewing one of our first podcast episodes. Enter your name in the box at the top of the website page to be entered in the random drawing. 

 

Resources for Podcast episode 2. 

Top 3 Things To Know About Dogs & Solving Cat Litter Box Problems.  

Jean Donaldson
Jean Donaldson
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Hey Pet Parents! New Podcast & Matching Blog. (Podcast episode 1)

Hello!  I'm Susan Frank. I know it’s been awhile since you’ve heard from us. We’re happy to announce that we now have a new podcast. Introducing, "Raising Your Paws," your go-to pet parent resource, along with this brand new website. Our blog will accompany and expand on things we talk about in the podcast episodes.

Please give our podcast a listen! It’s designed for you, the pet parent and offers quick tips and practical solutions for caring for your four-legged family members – cats and dogs.

happy dog and cat

I’m hosting the podcast and writing this blog. Here's a photo of me and my dog, Rosy. She's a Shetland Sheepdog/German Shephard mix. 6 years old. 

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You'll be hearing some stories about her as we cover topics such as "why do our pets do what they do," the reasons for their mystifying behaviors. You'll know what to do about their actions and how to best meet the needs of our canine and feline family members while still maintaining a happy and sane household.

I welcome your comments and questions about our blog postings and the podcast –  and now will be responding regularly to them. If you’re not sure what a podcast is or how to get one or listen to it, here is what to do.

A podcast is a talk radio show that you get on the internet and can listen to any time you want. There are two ways to listen. Through a website, (called streaming) or by downloading a podcast. Downloading saves it on your phone, tablet or computer so that you can listen anytime even without an internet connection.

To Stream it: From our website, Raising Your Paws.com, click the play button in the box at the top of the page. 

To download: Get it delivered to your phone or tablet each week using an app.

On iphones and ipads, Use the podcast app. (newer devices have it already installed)

Find us on iTunes

If you don’t have the app, you get this from the App store.  You do need to have an account with itunes. So either sign in to your account or open one. Simple, create user name and password. Then go to the app store. Type podcasts in search field. Tap purple podcasts app and tap get to download the app. Open the podcast app, and use the search field to find Raising Your Paws, and when you get to our page, hit subscribe.

Please also rate and review our episodes. To do this, tap reviews. Then you will make up a user name, and can tap how many stars to give the podcast and leave comments on what you think of the podcast.  

On Android phones and tablets

Find us on Stitcher
 

If you do not have the Stitcher app, go to Google Play and install the Stitcher app. Once in Stitcher, use the search button to find Raising Your Paws. Click the plus icon (+) found on the right upper corner to add it to your favorites list. Now go to the favorites list. Tell it to download new episodes by clicking the gear in the upper right hand corner. Enjoy listening.

Even though there will be references to the podcast here, this blog will still stand on its own offering cute photos, and fun and helpful insights and articles about your beloved cats and dogs plus news about our company and products.

We're celebrating our new podcast launch with a bonus reward!  You can be the lucky winner of 6 months worth of free NutriSource pet food by listening to, subscribing, rating and reviewing one of our first five podcast episodes. Enter the drawing by clicking the button on the header of this page.

 

Resources for Episode 1.  – Should You Get Pet Health Insurance & A Necessary Pet First Aid Emergency Number. 

ASPCA Poison Control Hotline phone number – 888-426-4435.

Order Dr. Kenney's book, Pet Health Insurance. A Veterinarians Perspective.

podcast

Dr. Kenney’s Website and Blog.

Pet Health Insurance Tool Kit.

Dr. Kenney’s Podcast: Pet Insurance Guide.

 

How Can I Get NutriSource/Pure Vita/Natural Planet Delivered To Me?

Have you been buying our pet foods, NutriSource, Pure Vita or Natural Planet, kibble and cans online? Maybe a friend told you great things about our food and now you want to try it.

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Perhaps you have heard that we will no longer be selling our food through the online company Chewy.com since the Pet Smart acquisition. Are you worried about where you can buy the food now?

First, know that we are sold in about 6,000 independent and family owned stores all over the country. Since we are a family owned company in Minnesota, manufacturing the dog and cat foods only in our own family plant, our focus has always been and continues to be partnering with independent pet specialty and family owned stores.

Second, you can easily find the closest stores near you, that sell our food.

Just go to our website directory page, put in your zip code and all the closest stores to you will pop up.

Here is the Dealer Directory.

We recommend that you call ahead to make sure the exact product you are looking for is in stock. Changes do occur in the stores and we don't want you to waste a trip and be frustrated. If the food is not there at the time, also, please remember to ask our retailers if they can special order a particular bag in for you. There is no charge to do this, and most every store is happy to do so – usually the food will be in the store in a weeks time.

Do you need to have your pet food delivered right to your door? We understand. Here is what to do.

shutterstock_259055843 Call those stores nearest to you on the directory.  Ask them two things.

1. Do they have their own online store? Many of them, knowing that e-commerce is just getting bigger due to the convenience, have or will be creating their own on-line stores for ordering and shipping.

2. Ask if they have home delivery? Many do or are currently beginning a program.

We ourselves are currently contacting all of our retailers so we can add this valuable information to our directory website. Stay tuned. We know how important it is that the directory be really useful to you.

In addition to supporting those family owned businesses, by purchasing directly through one of our authorized brick and mortar retailers, you will benefit from a knowledgeable trained staff, special promotions we may be running in the stores or use of our coupons we hand out at local pet expos and during pet food demos in the stores. Win, Win!

Another good reason to call those Ma and Pa stores next to you – ask for our free samples. I bet your pet would like some. shutterstock_96202397

There is a dollar off coupon on the back of each sample bag. We always provide our dealers with good sized, complimentary samples for your furry friends. Best way to find out how it will do in your kitty or pooch's tummy.

Why Not Free Feed Your Cat?

Do you keep your cat’s bowl of kibble filled all day long letting them eat whenever they want?
Once you know about how cats digest their food, you might want to change your feeding style.

It is their nose, not their mouth that plays the most crucial part in digesting their food. When your cats smells food, this triggers its brain to prepare the body for digestion. The olfactory center in the brain sends a message to slow down metabolism so the body can focus on digesting food. Saliva and digestive juices start to flow while blood flow and waste disposal slow. This is a perfect arrangement for digesting food efficiently, but it is not the state you want your cat to be in twenty four hours a day.

By leaving the food out, your cat is smelling it all day and your cat’s body stays in constant preparation for digesting food. In this state of a slower metabolism, several health issues can arise, dandruff or obesity. Worse, the trigger mechanism in the brain that starts the digestive process can wear out and fail to respond, resulting in an under supply of blood to all the organs but the stomach. This can lead to faster aging.

Maybe your cat is too skinny and has a poor appetite. The answer is not to leave more food out, more often, but just the opposite, remove all the food after a short while to give the trigger response a chance to rest.
Try feeding twice a day, and pick up the food after your cat eats. If your cat is a slow eater, than you can leave it for about a half hour to forty five minutes. Then take it away and wash everything, so that no smell remains.

It may surprise you but leaving food available all day is a primary cause of the finicky eater syndrome. You may find your cat is more interested in eating when its presented rather than left out. By the way, a cat must eat every day, to stay healthy, even if it is overweight and on a diet.

So, feed feeding is something we came up with. Think about it. If your cat was hunting for food outside, and catches a mouse, the mouse is not kept around all day, to be nibbled on bit by bit.
Cats in the wild that hunt, catch and kill their prey, gorge on it and then may not eat for days. This fast helps the cats organs, the intestines, kidneys, lungs and skin get a good cleaning. When we don’t provide a fasting period for our house cats, their body has little time to process the food and accomplish necessary waste disposal. By feeding twice a day and removing the food between meals gives your cat the fast that mother nature intended.

Try this with your kitty and let me know how it goes.

Is Your Dog Bored? Make Feeding More Fun!

Assuming you feed your dog (hopefully our brands of food), don't squander the opportunity for mental enrichment that mealtime can present.

Currently, perhaps you simply plop your dog's food in its same standard bowl, same place, every day which makes your dog very happy to eat, but does not ask much of her/him.

Bring out the inner genetic wolf in your dog (wolves forage and hunt for food), by changing how you feed breakfast and dinner and let your dog find its food. It's a job your dog will love.

I  like to take 8-12 small bowls, divide up Rosy's meal into them, have her sit in the middle of the living room, cue her to wait, and then plant the bowls all over the various rooms of my condo – No, of course not the bathroom. When I return to her, I tell her to go find. Tail starts wagging, ears perk up, with intense sparkly eyes, she springs from her sit, and darts off, her wiggling nose leading the way.  

How good at smelling is that remarkable canine nose? shutterstock_134308931

To give you a bit of perspective, your nose has about 6 million olfactory receptors, which detect different scents in your environment – your dog's nose has up to 300 million! Also, proportionally speaking,  the part of a dog's brain devoted to analyzing smells is 40 times greater than yours.  And, their noses are very sensitive to the specific odors they can detect. For example, a tracking dog may be able to follow the trail of a particular person that walked a path 24 hours before, even if thousands of people have crossed the same trail.  

Letting your pet use that natural scenting ability to purposely and specifically locate their dinner, breaks up the routine of a day, capitalizes on their desire to hunt, engages their love of food and exercise, and uses their critical thinking while burning mental and physical energy. Good things all around.

 Added benefit, by dividing the meal into many smaller portions, it slows the dogs eating down and turns it into a fun seeking game.

I'm sure once you start this, you can think up many other creative ways to feed those meals – change them so your dog stays interested – just make sure the containers, props you use are safe and your pet can't swallow something it's not suppose to.  Even if you only stuff a kong toy with canned food, freeze it and feed them their meal this way as you're walking out the door to get to work, it still provides variety and more of a challenge to get fed.

By the way, on your walks together, be a bit more patient when your dog wants to stop every second and sniff EVERYTHING. It's their way of reading the newspaper – taking in all the news of the day/hour. Solution to frustration on either of your parts? Take turns. Walk for 5 minutes with the dog by your side on a short leash, then say "go sniff" (you are providing the reward this way) and then give your dog some loose lead to sniff on the trail for a few minutes. Then return to controlled walking. Back and forth. Both happy.

What about cat's noses and why it's REALLY best not to free feed your kitty. Next blog….  

Why Lentils Are Good For You And Your Dog.

In our new Pure Vita Beef, Duck and Venison grain free dog foods, we've replaced peas with lentils.

Why these vegetables at all? In making dry pet food, there needs to be a starchy carbohydrate to bind the kibble together.  Always learning more about the health of your pets, KLN family brands decided to use lentils in their new formulas due to their outstanding health benefits.

shutterstock_194909357First, as a carbohydrate, all lentils are ranked as having low glycemic index values.  Heard that term before but don't know what it means or why it matters? Here's why.

Many foods have been ranked on what is called the Glycemic Index (GI). This is a relative ranking of the carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood sugar (glucose) levels when eaten.  This is important because high sugar levels in the blood can cause short and long term health complications, diabetes being one example.

Carbohydrates with a low GI value (55 or less) are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolized and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and, therefore usually, insulin levels.  The resulting smaller fluctuations in blood glucose and insulin levels produced is good for long term health, reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

You can see that it's better for both you and your pet's health to consume low ranked vegetables. Green and red lentils, the ones in Pure Vita are all ranked in the 20's and 30's – concidered very low.  

For pets that have diabetes, because of their low sugar content and high fiber, lentils are favored as a carbohydrate if there has to be one in the diet.

They also are an excellent source of iron which is a needed mineral that provides your furry pet the amount of energy  required to be healthy and active. 

So, next time you're planning what you and your dog are going to eat, grab yourself some lentil soup, pick up some of our new Pure Vita dog food with duck, venison or beef, at your favorite family owned pet supply store, and sit down and eat well together.  Win, win! 

Doesn't this bowl of chicken and lentil soup look yummy?
Doesn't this bowl of chicken and lentil soup look yummy?

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Oh, by the way, most every one of the stores that carries our food, will have free samples for you to try. Great way to know if your dog and cat will like the food. Ask for them. Or go ahead  – be bold and buy a bag and don't worry if your pet won't eat it (very unlikely). We also have a 100% guarantee on the food, no matter where you buy it, so you can return it and get your money back. Nothing to lose, I say, and everything for your pet to gain.