Myth Busting Raw Food Diets for Dogs and Cats

Just like when we eat raw food, we need to ensure that we are feeding our pets the sort of clean, high-quality food that we would eat ourselves. When managed correctly, a raw food diet or partial diet can be exceptionally healthy for your pet and keep them living vibrant and active lives for years. And, just like us, you are what you eat so feeding your pets low-quality, over-processed food products day in and day out can lead to health issues and deficiencies. Here are a few myth-busting facts about raw food diets that you can take to the bank. Or, to our store, because we have tons of really great raw food to try!

We will say this, when considering a transition to a raw food diet or partial diet consider that your pet will go through an adjustment period. After living off kibble for their lives, their tummies are used to a certain type of food. Just like you and I, if we suddenly change to some exotic food we may have a … reaction. You know… The same thing can happen to your pet, so be prepared. While a little runny poop might be alarming, it’s just the pet adjusting to a new diet with a lot more moisture. It’s no biggie.

Myth 1: Raw food is smothered in salmonella and bacteria and your pet will die!

Okay, that might be a bit gratuitous, but we hear similar sentiments all the time; this is just fear-mongering. While ALL things carry bacteria from your fingers to apples, lettuce, toys, door handles, cell phones (you don’t want to know), get what we’re saying? It’s true that raw food that isn’t handled or stored correctly can lead to an increase in harmful bacteria, the handling of food should carry with it some basic common sense.

It’s a fact that both dogs and cats carry traces of salmonella in about 20-30% of all healthy pets. To limit any exposure to harmful bacteria, handle your pet’s raw meat/food as you would your own. Wash your hands before and after handling raw food. Serve the food shortly after thawing or immediately after prep. The rest should just come naturally.

Myth 2: Raw food diets for pets are unhealthy.

Again, this just isn’t true when applied with proper direction and common sense. It’s not healthy for humans to exist solely on fast food, right? I hope you said yes. Likewise for your pet. Dropping a handful of ground beef into your dog’s bowl isn’t going to be healthy over time, although doggo might wolf it down every time. Raw diets are a significant shift from over-engineered dry food that, depending on what you buy, is providing most of the required nutrients for a healthy diet. It just tastes like sawdust.

A raw food diet should be well researched and planned out with the help of your vet or a pet nutritionist possibly through your local pet store. Raw food diets can certainly deliver sub-optimal nutrition if it’s managed incorrectly, and who would do that to their pet?

Myth 3: Raw food diets are expensive and cumbersome.

As with all food, this can certainly be the case. A pre-made lasagne is many times the cost of the ingredients; the same goes for raw food diets. Companies that develop highly nutritious bricks of frozen, pre-made raw food dinners are providing an understandable convenience which is accounted for in the price. It takes a great deal of research, testing and regulatory hopscotch to produce a retail-approved product that meets all of your pet’s dietary needs. That adds up to a little more overhead but with the added assurance of the amazing, fresh and fully balanced diet, it’s well worth it in the end.

You will quickly fall into a rhythm of moving food from the freezer to the fridge and finally to the bowl so the food is only thawed for the least amount of time. You’ll get a kick out of watching your pets eating carrots and brocoly and other yummy vegetables.

Consultation and proper food handling will save the day.

All that aside, there is certainly the potential to do harm to yourself and your pet when choosing to feed a raw food diet that hasn’t been vetted by a pet nutritionist or your vet. This is why the pre-made options are very convenient but come with a higher price tag. There’s no guessing, it’s balanced, clean and processed according to approved food prep regulations.

Mishandling raw food can and will cause health issues and possibly, very serious health issues; as it would for humans. At the end of the day, transitioning to a raw food diet should be carried out in stages by slowly adding portions to your pet’s existing diet. Over a few weeks, your pet (your pet’s digestive tract) will adjust to the new meals and you’ll be off to the races.

Thinking of giving raw food a try? We have a whole host of assorted raw food options from very reputable companies. Here are just a few options to browse. Don’t hesitate to give us a call and chat about what might be a good fit for you and your fur-kids.

 

Traveling With Your Dog

When you travel locally and you have a dog, there’s no question, they’re coming with you! You’ve got the back seat covered and some great tunes to keep you occupied as you gobble up the highway miles, but your pooch is going to need to be entertained, exercised, watered and all the normal doggy things that you take care of at home. We’ve put together a few super helpful gadgets and stuff that will make your pet travels so much more bearable for both you and your pet; well, in this case, it’s a dog.
Camping with a dog next to a lake

Splash-Free Water Bowls

You know what we mean, right? Put a panting, thirsty doggo next to an open bowl of water and you’re going to end up with a Picasso water painting on the floor of your van or wherever you drop the bowl. Its wedge design is to allow you to ‘water your dog’ on the back seat which is tapered and keeps the mess completely inside the bowl! If anything is going to save you on those long trips (except perhaps the showerhead down below), it’s this splash-free dog water bowl from Kurgo. We’ll even demo it for you, just ask! We absolutely love them. They hold up to 24oz, are made from food-grade silicone and can be used for water or food. Shop here

Foldable Vehicle Dog Ramp

As your doggies age, their joints get a little unstable (know what I mean?). Dogs and hips are notorious for getting a little out of sorts as they age. The impact of jumping down from your car trunk can cause long-term issues that we don’t notice until it’s too late. It’s heartbreaking when your best walking or hiking buddy is in distress or visibly limping. Why not make their lives a whole lot easier with an extremely durable and lightweight, foldable ramp. This groovy ramp is just the thing that can make going out for walks enjoyable again and can hold up to 200lbs! Shop here

Incredible Travel Dog Shower

We’ve been there. You’re out in the woods for a hike and your buddy disappears for a short time. When they find you again, panting and full of pride, it hits you; the stench. He’s managed to find a rotten ‘something’ that you’d rather not know and you can barely breathe. Dogs love to roll in sh… er, stuff. The smellier the better, right? Or, if you’re just looking to clean off a layer of mud, this travel dog shower adapter is a life-saver (and a car or even relationship saver!). This hardy little nozzle fits on the end of most standard 2-litre pop bottles and more! Turn your lightweight water bottle into a super functional dog shower. You can get a couple of minutes out of a single 2-litre bottle. This is a MUST for any dog travel kit. Shop here

Floating Fetch Skipping Rocks

This is one of our neatest travel toys that we have available. It’s water playtime with these ingenious, floating, skipping rocks. Skipp them over the surface of the water and watch the doggos go mad chasing them down. These brightly coloured skippers will keep you both in shape throwing and retrieving all day long. Remember though, these particular toys aren’t meant to be chewed on, they’re a fetching toy, so try to limit the amount of chewing that they do on these little things. Give them a once over each time you toss them in case your pooch is a serious chewer. Shop here 
Be sure to check out our complete line of great travel gear for you and your dog. We’ve always got sales going on so drop by and introduce us to your travel buddy.

5 Easy Ways to Entertain Pets When Working from Home

Working from home with your pet

Keeping our pets entertained while working from home can be challenging, especially when you’re working long days or are always on a Zoom call! Despite how busy we might be, our pets need mental stimulation to help keep their minds sharp and to nurture their instincts, especially as they grow older.  Let’s take a look at 5 simple yet effective (and fun!) ways you can keep your pet entertained while you work from home.

 

Give your dog something to chew

Dogs love to chew, so let’s give them something to gnaw on (besides the couch!). Provided the chew toy is the appropriate size for your dog, this will keep your dog busy and entertained while avoiding any destructive behavior. Try one of our quiet Hush toys or Benebone’s to keep your pup busy when you are!

Try interactive toys for your cat

Cats are tiny little hunters, and they love trying to hunt down and catch things! To stimulate their
senses and their hunting instincts, you can use interactive toys like puzzle toys lasers, and
interactive tunnels to keep them busy (and their instincts busy, too).

Give them treat puzzles

Treat puzzles are a simple yet effective way to entertain pets as they hunt for treats and will keep
them busy for hours. They’re also a great way to train your dog’s or cat’s minds!

Get longer walks in earlier

If your dog appears to be bored while you’re working from home or has lots of energy in the
morning, consider taking them for a long walk or jog in the early morning. This will help them burn
off excess energy and give them a daily dose of exercise.

Make pet popsicles!

Not only are pet popsicles a great way to make healthy, nutrient-rich treats for your pets at home,
but dogs and cats alike will be kept busy licking and eating their popsicles while you’re on work calls
or getting projects done! Pet-healthy ingredients like bone broth, goat’s milk and
other nutrient-rich foods right from your fridge can make popsicles delicious and good for your pet!

With these 5 simple yet effective ways you can keep your pet entertained all day!
If you’re looking for new and healthy toys, treats, and accessories for your furry friend, stop by our
store or shop our variety of products online. We have an array of goodies for your pet that will keep
them entertained and stimulate their senses!

How To Tell Your Dog That You Love Them in Ways They Will Understand

Owning a dog is one of the greatest joys in life—they have so much love to give, they offer comfort, playfulness, and an innate level of understanding. Learning how to reciprocate their unbounding loyalty can build an even stronger bond between you and your pet. Here are some helpful tips to spread the love!

EAR RUBS

Most dogs love ear rubs! Their ears are full of nerve endings and rubbing them releases endorphins, making them feel good.

HAND FEEDING

Feeding your dog by hand shows that you’re a food provider—very important for a pack animal. This helps create a strong bond, especially for puppies. Don’t overdo it and don’t allow any sign of food grabbing or aggression. Use feeding by hand as an opportunity to teach dog patience.

USE WORDS OF PRAISE AND AFFECTION

Our furry friends listen to our tone, and see our body language, to tell him that you love him, and mean it!

PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT HE OR SHE IS “SAYING”

Learn how dogs communicate and relate to them that way. For example, most dogs don’t like being hugged. Don’t approach them directly. Don’t expect them to like strangers. Knowing how they communicate will help them feel less stressed and they will associate you with those feelings.

LEANING

Dogs lean on people because they want to be close to them. By nature, dogs are social animals. Most dogs enjoy physical contact with their humans. Check out our article on why dogs lean on you here, to learn more.

RAISE YOUR EYEBROWS

Don’t stare, that’s intimidating to a dog. Eye contact with soft expressions are read as positive and caring by your pet.

GROOMING + MASSAGE

Petting releases oxytocin which make them feel good.

TRAINING

Using positive reinforcement shows that you care for your dog. Use food, praise, and play, which are things dogs like, and helps him to understand how you feel about him.

PLAY + SPEND TIME

Another thing that most dogs love, they have fun and will enjoy being with you. Bonding with him occurs naturally, but it takes time from you.

While most of these tips are second-nature to dog owners, they’re great to keep in mind, especially if your dog is new to the family, and to ensure your pal is living their best life!

Thank you