March 22, 2018

Listeriosis - the Truth about Dogs and Cats

With the recent outbreak in SA, we wanted to shed some light on Listeriosis in dogs and cats – yes, they are susceptible to the infection as well.

Firstly, Listeriosis is a food-borne bacterial illness caused primarily by the bacterium species Listeria monocytogenes, which can be found in soil, water and in certain livestock animals such as pigs, sheep etc.

Secondly, the outbreak in SA has been linked to contaminated food products such as polony and viennas. The risk of your furry loved ones contracting the Listeria infection is mainly by consuming such food products that have either been given directly to them or through other means such as waste disposal methods.

What can we do to prevent our Fur Children from being affected by this infection?

  1. Do not directly give any food products mentioned in relation to the current outbreak to your pets or anyone else’s. Even though cooking the food products at high temperatures could rid the food item of Listeria, why would we take that chance?
  2. Make sure any food products mentioned in relation to the outbreak are correctly disposed of by returning the items to the retailer for correct disposal.

What should you do if your beloved pet may have been exposed to the abovementioned products recently?

Watch out for the symptoms, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fever
  • Vomiting / Nausea
  • Weakness / Stiffness / lack of coordination.

Symptoms may present more strongly in puppies and senior dogs. When in doubt, always consult your trusted veterinarian.

The key to keeping our pets safe is to ensure we always maintain good hygiene and food safety practices.

 

February 14, 2015

Helping Your Dog To Lose Weight

Here are 8 ways you can do something TODAY to kick start your dog's weight loss program!

1.) Food

Most prescription diets are high in carbohydrates and low in meat protein and  fat.


FACT: Protein and carbs have the same calories however protein builds lean muscle and carbs are stored as fat. Fat must be given in correct amounts - it provides twice the amount of calories p/gram to protein and carbs so must be given in moderation, however if to too little fat is given then your dog will constantly be hungry.

<What to look for on food labels>

  • Protein content must be more than 25% - the higher the better, generally means higher the protein, lower the carbs
  • Fat content should be between 12 – 16%
  • Avoid food with high fiber (more than 5 – 6%) – this is the left over carbs that cannot be digested which can interfere with absorption if too high. One top weight loss vet brand has an alarmingly high amount of 26% fiber, of which 10% is cellulose (pretty much sawdust).

Orijen Adult represents a good ratio - 40 percent protein, 16 percent fat, 2.5 percent fiber

Canned food is normally higher in protein than dry food - just check quality 
If you are making food from scratch use lean meat, low fat dairy, greens instead of grains and starch. Remove fat from meat and avoid your fatty meat such as pork, lamb and high fat beef or cook to remove most fat. You can also include eggs and if you want use some of this to replace commercial kibble – it will remove some of the carbs.

Check out our range of high protein, med fat and zero / low grain dog food. View HERE

2.) How much do I feed?

Reduce gradually – reduce initially by 5% -> weigh your dog in one to two weeks and if they have not lost weight then reduce by another 5%
If you switch to a new high protein, low carb diet you will need to cut down drastically as this food is more nutritionally dense.
Weigh every time – don’t guesstimate !

3.) Monitoring your dog’s weight

Weigh your pooch regularly – you should aim for 1% body weight p/week; 3 – 5% p/week.

4.) Treats

Treats, although small here and there can be a huge factor in weight gain as they go almost unnoticed. They are important in a dog’s life if used for reward and changing behaviour. Try and avoid fatty, calorie induced and large treats. We give our dogs fruit and veggies, the favourite being carrots – you can also give celery, broccoli and zucchini. Try bananas and apples but avoid raisins and grapes. OrIjen Treats are high quality, low calorie and nutritious - just in moderation. They have approximately 5 calories p/ treat

5.) Chews

Avoid fatty chews like pig’s ears and look for something that can last a long time like Stagbars (naturally shed antlers) and Nylabones (peanut butter, bacon or chicken flavoured non-toxic nylon chews) that are designed to last for months or raw hide (non-peroxided). It provides the chewing pleasure without the calories.

6.) Toys and Stimulation

You can also fill interactive toys like Kong and Westpaw Tizzi and Toppl with kibble or treats to provide stimulation or try a Slow Feed Bowl to slow down food intake and turn meal times into fun times!

7.) Exercise

This goes without saying!  As we know from our own experience exercise turns fat into muscle improving the overall body condition. Hydrotherapy or exercise like swimming with non-bearing weight is great for joints  

8.) Variety is the spice of life

Feed smaller portions throughout the day if you feel you need to and your lifestyle allows for it. Replace some of the usual kibble with fresh meat or canned food so they think they're getting something special. Put food in interactive toy or food dispensing device. Freeze dry or wet food with low fat yoghurt in a Kong or Westpaw Tizzi make him work for it. Give carrot stick so they don’t feel deprived! Exercise to distract and take mind off food! 

If your dog is constantly hungry try changing food to high protein, low carb diet.

February 12, 2015

Allergies, Fussy Eater or Weight Sensitive? What Dog Food is Best?

Can you associate with one, maybe two or even all of the above?

Champion Pet Foods in Canada has recently launched their Acana Singles range. The world’s first and only *Biologically Appropriate and Limited Ingredient Dog Foods.

The two flavours available in South Africa are ACANA DUCK & BARTLETT PEAR and ACANA LAMB & OKANAGAN APPLE.

Both formulas are grain-free and loaded with 50% single source FRESH cage-free Duck and 50% single source FRESH ranch raised New Zealand Lamb delivered in nutritious raw proportions of *WholePrey™ meat, liver, tripe and cartilage. Acana supplies whole food so there is no need to add in synthetic substitutes, which most commercial food does. All ingredients including fruit, vegetables and botanicals are delivered FRESH (never preserved or exposed to heat) and a rich source of soluble fiber is included for healthy digestion and firm stool.

Weight Sensitive

Due to the absence of grain this food is perfect for weight loss and maintenance. Also great for your breeds requiring hip and joint support due to high levels of Glucosamine and Chrondrotin.

Selective Eaters

The inclusions of the freeze-dried lamb and duck liver increases palatability dramatically – great for selective and fussy eaters.

Hypoallergenic

Allergies are caused by a number of factors, the most common being environmental, flea allergy dermatitis and lastly, food.

However, if you are attempting to rule out the food component, your best bet is to switch to a hypoallergenic food.

Without the fancy marketing and hypoallergenic label - what is a hypoallergenic diet?

  • Limited Ingredients:If you can reduce this to one ingredient then it is easier to identify the allergen that your dog is allergic to vs a formula with five different meat sources.
  • Unique Ingredients:Ingredients that your dog may not have been exposed to before and not built up resistance eg: Chicken is a common allergen as it is found in most dog food.
  • Hypoallergenic Recipes:Recipes that exclude ingredients that are most likely to cause allergic reaction. Such as Beef, Dairy, Chicken, Lamb, Fish, Corn, Wheat, Soy, Yeast.
  • Grain-free:Dogs and cats (carnivores) cannot break down grain properly, especially corn and wheat which are very difficult to digest

Please note: These two great formulas can also be given to puppies – they are all-life stage and are great for food sensitive puppies

VIEW RANGE


Testimonial:

'5 STARS FOR ACANA'

My Odin, has been a very fussy eater... When I first started him on Acana, I tried the duck, then moved to chicken, and finally lamb, which he seems to love. He will eat nothing else. A happy Odin equals a happy me. Thank you Acana... "

*WholePrey™ mirrors Mother Nature’s diet of a dog and cat by incorporating exact natural ratios of nutritious meat, cartilage, marrow and organs.

In the wild dogs and wolves flourish on fowl, fish or game which contains nutrient rich vitamins and minerals, muscle meat for protein and fat intake and bones for calcium and phosphorus needed for overall body nourishment.

Compared to today’s ‘scientifically formulated’ foods which are carbohydrate based, contain reduced meat and that are highly loaded with processed grains and plant protein, therefore high amounts of synthetic amino acids, vitamins and minerals is required to replace what is missing. Read the labels yourself.

*Biologically Appropriate™: In a nutshell, dogs and cat are hunters. The structure of their jaws, teeth and digestive system are designed to classify them as carnivores and are evolved to function on a meat based diet. Completely different to conventional pet food, Biologically Appropriate food is rich in protein and low in carbohydrates and contains unmated variety of poultry, meat and fish that are fresh, preservative free and busting with goodness that nourishes and develops.

February 12, 2015

To BARF or not to BARF?

We are all aware that highly processed foods are an unhealthy choice when it comes to optimal health, and a well-balanced diet. We have understood that our bodies are not designed to digest process foods healthily, and most of us try to avoid them. If we have made educated choices about what we put into our mouths, why are we still feeding our beloved pets highly processed food?

Why have we bought into the widespread acceptance that grain-based, cooked and processed foods are best for our furry friends?

Most, if not all dog food sold in supermarkets, and vet retailers are gluten filled grain based foods that have poor quality proteins, have heat damaged fats, and are cooked beyond any nutritional redemption.

This means that your pooch has to eat large quantities in order to assimilate the calories and nutrition it needs to get through the day. The mounds of poop you have to pick up on a daily basis is testament to your dog’s inability to assimilate the highly processed, grain based food that is readily available.

So what are the alternatives?

Le Pawtique firmly believes in this new school of thought and proudly stocks and sells protein based kibble foods that have very established pedigrees like: Acana, Orijen and Earthborn. A growing number of our clients have wisely started to feed their pets these highly acclaimed foods that are designed to meet our “hunter’s” evolutionary need for a protein rich diet. Their produce is locally sourced, fresh, free range, sustainable, and is packed with all the vitamins, minerals and amino acids your pampered pets will every need.

Now... taking the protein based philosophy a step further is biologically appropriate raw food, a.k.a

BARF!

“BARF means not feeding your dog cooked and or processed food, and not feeding your dog a diet based on cooked grains, no matter how persuasive the advertising. The aim of BARF is to maximize the health, longevity and reproductive capacity of dogs and by so doing, minimize the need for veterinary intervention. How do you feed a dog properly? You feed it the diet that it evolved to eat. Artificial grain based dog foods cause innumerable health problems. They are not what your dog was programmed to eat during its long process of evolution.” Dr. Billinghurst (Vet).

BARF is a carefully balanced blend of raw meat, fruits, vegetables and bone. The various formulas mimic what nature designed our pets to thrive on in the wild. The health benefits of feeding your pets biologically appropriate raw food is that your pets will more than likely be free of allergies, digestive problems, and as an added bonus be... full of life!

So... to BARF... or not to BARF... that is indeed the question!

At Le Pawtique we sell a range of BARF products, pop in to find out more from our knowledgeable staff.

We are situated in The Valley Centre, 396 Jan Smuts Avenue, Craighall, or call us on (011) 781 0964.

Click here for our range of meat based, low to zero grain cat and dog food.