Raw pet food comes under a lot of scrutiny in the pet industry. There are a lot of myths surrounding the raw diet. One of the most frequently heard myths is that raw pet food contains harmful bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli. One of the reasons there is valid concern here is that pet food manufacturing in Canada remains totally unregulated. That’s why some raw pet food companies have decided to set the bar high by regulating themselves with the highest international food safety certification that can be obtained: HACCP.
Seeing as this is my favorite cat breed, I thought I’d have some fun and write a little blog about them. These amazing cats are set for snowy weather like we’ve been having this February!
Maine Coon ancestors arrived on ships with the vikings. They developed into large, long haired cats over generations that were faced with harsh winter conditions. The survivors were the largest, hairiest cats which makes this breed very hearty in cold climates. They are extremely good natured and that’s a plus due to their large size.
An incredibly valuable protein source that pet owners often miss is fish. Did you know that fish is packed with omega 3 fatty acids? It's a low fat, high protein food with a great polyunsaturated fat profile (the good fats). Most animals, including humans, are not getting enough omega 3 in their diet.
The two most commonly known and important omega 3’s are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahaexenoic acid (DHA). For starters, DHA makes up approximately 25% of the mammalian brain. So if your pet isn't getting enough, it could affect behaviour, nervous system function and array of other systems including the digestive, reproductive and endocrine systems.
Last week, we talked about feline diabetes, what it is and what can cause it. Now, let's take a brief look at what you can do to prevent and manage this common cat disease!
Tips for preventing feline diabetes:
Ditch the kibble. We know it’s convenient but it's not going to do you or your cat any favours. The more glucose that is produced in the body, the higher the risk of obesity and diabetes.
Raw diet! A meat diet is naturally high in protein which is the most important source of energy for obligate carnivores like cats. A high protein, low carbohydrate diet will help maintain a healthy metabolic rhythm for your cat for his lifetime. Protein helps to maintain blood sugar better than fat or carbohydrate. The best insurance you could ask for!
Exercise. So important! Your cat’s metabolic function will often directly correlate with your cat’s exercise regime and diet. Be sure to provide playtime for your indoor cat for extra exercise.
Has your cat been diagnosed with diabetes? Not exactly fun! So what now? Here's what you need to know:
Feline diabetes (mellitus) is a disease characterized by a cat's inability to either produce adequate insulin or use insulin properly to stabilize their blood sugar levels. Common symptoms of feline diabetes are: increased urination, increased thirst, overweight, and lethargy.
Is your pet suffering from obesity? Although you might not think it’s a big deal, it truly is.
Similar for people, obesity can cause a wide variety of medical issues which can be easily avoided if weight is controlled. So how would I know if my dog is overweight? Generally speaking, if your dog or cat is 10-15% heavier than their recommended body weight, then they are overweight. If you can see rolls when they are sitting down, or they are labouring in their run, then they are overweight. Time to make some changes!
Is your pet experiencing a dry, dusty coat? Or maybe they aren’t looking their best? As pet owners we take pride in seeing our dogs and cats as healthy as possible, and the best determinant is a shiny coat and healthy skin.
How to determine if my pet isn’t looking his/her best?
Dry flaky skin
Hair loss or breakage
Red inflamed skin
Chronic hot spots and ear infections
There are a number of vegetarians and vegans out there looking for ways to keep their pets healthy without feeding meat or animal products. The question is: can dogs and cats be healthy for their entire lifetime eating this way? While it’s a romantic idea, the answer is, almost undeniably, no. While there are some vegetarian diets that can sustain dogs, you will find it is not ideal. Cats cannot be fed anything except a meat-based diet. They cannot use vegetable proteins to sustain themselves and will die without animal tissue in their diet. If you are a vegan and cannot bring yourself to handle meat products, a carnivorous animal is not for you!
What's the difference between our "regular" line and our "natural" line? We get this question a lot. I wanted to address it so people understand the differences in meat quality across the board, not just with our products but with commercially prepared raw pet foods in general.
There are several "grades" of meat that you can purchase for your pet. 3P uses only 2 grades: human grade (our regular line) and natural grade. There are other grades as well but we will talk about these two first. Below are the differences so that you can make the most informed decision about what to feed your pet.
This is probably one of the more controversial posts I will make on our blog. I feel strongly about this subject and hope that through my learning, I can help others learn too. Often, I am told by pet owners that their vets have asked them to check with us, as a raw pet food manufacturer, on whether or not our raw foods meet AAFCO standards. AAFCO is the American Association of Food Control Officials. They write standards that veterinarians and pet food manufacturers to follow to ensure that the all required nutrients are available in pet food….or so they say…. Let’s look a little closer look at all of this.
In a recent online seminar conducted by Dogs Naturally Magazine during their popular Raw Roundup seminar series, Dr. Ian Billinghurst, DVM spoke on the confusing subject of AAFCO standards and why it might not be the holy grail of how to distinguish the nutritional integrity of your pet’s food. For those of you who don’t already know who Dr. Billinghurst is, he is the author of “Give Your Dog A Bone” and “The BARF Diet for Dogs and Cats.” He was one of the first vets to speak out about the detrimental effects of processed pet foods and to teach pet owners and vets about feeding a biologically appropriate diet. This article is a product of what I learned while participating in Dr. Billinghurt’s informative talk and what I have learned about pet food of all types over the last 15 years.