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The Mystery of Dog Food Ingredients

Have you ever tried to decipher the meaning of the ingredients listed in dog food? For example, what does “meat” mean? Dog Food ingredients are overseen by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. There are many problems, however, with pet food manufacturers using misleading labels to describe their food. The goal is to make you believe their food is really healthy for your dog.Dog-Food

Many vets recommend choosing a high quality dog food, despite the high price tag. Better quality foods will contain more easily digestible proteins. The easier the ingredients are to digest, the better for your dog’s health. High quality foods will have meat, chicken or fish listed as one of the first three ingredients. Lower quality foods will be vegetable-based and have ingredients that are far more difficult for your dog to digest. For example, oats, wheat and corn are harder to digest than egg whites, muscle meats and organ meats.

Dog food ingredients are listed according to the weight of the ingredient in descending order. Some manufacturers will use “ingredient splitting.” This means that even though corn may be the main ingredient, it will be broken up into 4 different types of ingredients that are related to corn. This way they can appear further down on the list and it may mislead the consumer to believe a healthier ingredient is more prominent in the food.


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The Power of the Purr

purring-catA purring cat is a fascinating experience. Cats purr mostly out of contentment, but there are times when the purr can signal distress or pain. Purr vibrations are generated at a low-frequency (25-140Hz), which is beneficial to the health of cats and humans alike. For example, when humans receive low-frequency ultrasound treatments, fractures and soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments) injuries tend to heal more quickly. A cat’s purr has a similar frequency.

Kittens are born deaf and blind, so they use the purring vibrations from their mother to help them navigate the new world. On day 2, the newborn kittens are able to purr themselves. This helps them show their mother that they are happy. When mother cats give birth, they tend to purr. Purring releases endorphins which may help reduce the stress and pain of delivering kittens. Cats also purr during the end of life, which again may help control their pain and stress.


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Importance of Brushing a Dog’s Teeth

It seems like an impossible task, but it is very important to brush your dog’s teeth. I have heard several stories from folks who say their dog had to have teeth pulled due to infection and poor dental hygiene.  If your dog develops a bacterial infection, he or she is at risk of it entering the bloodstream and affecting the kidneys, liver, heart or brain.


Using a toothbrush makes the task more difficult, in my opinion, but wrapping gauze around your finger or using one of those nubby rubber sleeves that fit on your finger seems to work the best.

There are many different kinds of toothpaste for dogs, although I can’t imagine that  any of them are actually flavorful to them! But since dogs cannot spit out the toothpaste, using the human kind is not a good idea.

Be sure to brush the teeth and the gums, many suggest doing this with a circular motion. It is also suggested that you brush the teeth two times a week. If too much plague builds up on your dog’s teeth, you may be looking at a professional cleaning. This is costly and your dog will have to go under anaesthesia. That does not sound appealing!



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I Think My Cat Is Stressed Out

Cats aren’t exactly crystal-clear communicators, and you may not realize the point when he or she is experiencing too much stress. The stress your cat feels may be due to a health and/or a behavior problem. If you notice any patterns of seemingly abnormal behavior, then it’s time to visit an animal behaviorist or your vet. If a cat endures stress over a long period of time, his or her immune system is at risk for suppression and this may lead to a host of possible illnesses. So, keep an eye out for:

cat stress

  1. Urinating outside the litter box
  2. Excessive grooming, that leads to baldness or sores
  3. Physical isolation from people
  4. Aggression toward other pets or you
  5. Panicky “meows” that are more frequent than usual
  6. Decrease in eating, diarrhea or constipation


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