The Low Down on Supplements

Supplements. We’re all familiar with that word. By definition a supplement is something that completes or enhances something else when added to it.

Should you be adding supplements into your pets diet? I can’t answer that for you. Do I? Yes. As with anything else, you should do your research and use your best judgement about what is best for your pet.

With my own supplements I go through a 5 step thought processing when deciding on a supplement. Questions 1 through 3 help me determine if I should add something into my pet’s diet. Questions 4 and 5 help me determine what supplements are best for my dogs diet.

1. Does my pet need this?

2. What benefit will it provide to my pet?

3. Is this supplement the best one to solve a problem or complete a benefit?

4. What else am I adding to my pet’s diet with this supplement?

5. Is there a natural route to take to achieve a goal?

Does my pet need this?

The answer to this should be yes. If your pet is having joint problems, then you would use a supplement to confront those issues. If your pet has itchy skin, there are supplements you can add to that. When my dog has itchy skin, I first try to rule out different allergies. It could be seasonal/environmental or an allergy to food. By ruling those obstacles out first I can avoid adding something additional into my dogs diet that he may not need.

What benefit will this provide to my pet?

Sometimes our pets do fine without supplements. In this case you don’t need to add anything. But, maybe you want to. You found this awesome immunity boosting supplement that you think your pet could benefit from. Maybe you want to make your pet a bit shinier or a bit softer. Adding these supplements isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I refer you to the next question.

What else am I adding to my pet’s diet with this supplement?

In my opinion, this is the most important question you can ask yourself. Two words: inactive ingredients. Inactive ingredients are the other ingredients that are in a supplement that are not addressing or treating an issue. It’s what else is in the powder used to deliver the treatment to your pet’s system. I look for supplements with no inactive ingredients, or if necessary few (or healthy) inactive ingredients.

This requires being a conscious consumer and flipping the bottle over and reading what you are actually giving your pet. Why add corn, soy, and wheat into your pet’s system if your feeding a good food to keep it out!

Is there a natural route to achieve this goal?

Without sounding like a total hippie, this is often a question I ask myself. Yes, sometimes the “medicine” avenue cannot be avoided and I am a huge supporter of modern science. However, for dogs with a sensitive stomach I am for more happy to see them eating canned pumpkin or goat milk then being given pro-biotics full of unnecessary ingredients. A little bit of research will help you decipher the world of natural supplements, or a stop into your local pet store should be able to get you started.

Here is a list of supplements I have used and that I often recommend to people.

Pumpkin:

I believe pumpkin to be the best kept secret of the pet industry. Seriously: upset tummies, loose stool, constipation, and dhiarreah. It’s all about the fiber in the pumpkin! I use plain canned pumpkin from the grocery store. My dogs get it fairly regularly in their diets. Whenever I am doing a food transition, I always add pumpkin.

The Honest Kitchen: Perfect Form

This digestive supplement from The Honest Kitchen goes a step further to help pets that have digestive issues. With no inactive ingredients, this dehydrated supplement is easy to  use and good for your pet. The ingredients are: Papaya leaf, plantain leaf, slippery elm, pumpkin seed, pectin, papain and fennel. Together these herbs and other ingredients work to regulate the digestive system, aid in diet change, and help to clear up loose stool. _0003_thk-perfect-form-3.2oz-web-2.jpg

 

Raw Goats Milk

I am convinced raw goats milk is magic. It is unpasterized, not processed. You can usally

Answers Pet Food Additional Formula, Raw Goat’s Milk Formula

Answers Pet Food Additional Formula, Raw Goat’s Milk Formula

buy it frozen from your local pet store. I always recommend putting puppies/ kittens, elders, and sick pets on it to give their immune systems a boost. If a dog has been diagnosed with cancer, this is one of my first recommendations. The benefits are endless: increased immunity, increased appetite, and to assist in weight gain. My own dogs get raw goats milk in their food a few times a week. *If you have an overweight dog, use with caution as it can put weight on your pet!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green Lipped Muscle

If your dog has joint problems this is some seriously good stuff. I give my dog freeze dried green lipped muscles a couple of days a week. He does not have any joint problems and is still young, so this does the trick as a maintenance supplement for now.

Annamaet: Endure

My cat on the other hand, is an old man. Sometimes he struggles to jump up onto my bed.  I put him on Annamaet “Endure”. I cannot speak more highly of a joint supplement. The ingredient panel is beautiful and it also helps to regulate the digestive system. With only five ingredients (Psyllium Husk, Green Lipped Mussel (Freeze Dried), Glucosamine HCL, Chondroitin Sulfate (Shark), Vitamin C), I have no qualms about adding it into my pet’s diet. While it is formulated for dogs, I reached out to the company and they recommended a pinch a day.

 

Salmon/Pollock Oil:

Salmon or pollock oil are great to help aid in itchy/ dry skin. A lot of pets, just like people, get dry itchy skin during the winter months. Some pets have it all the time. These fish oils are a great wait to help combat that in a natural way.

Grizzly-Wild-Alaskan-Salmon-Oil-Line.png

As with anything else, you should confirm with your vet before starting your dog on a supplement. These are some of the regular supplements I choose to use with my pets. They may not be right for yours.

What supplements do you use for your pets? Have you ever read the ingredient panels before?

 

 

Liver and Vegetable Cubes

Since I started feeding raw, one of the biggest problems I have is that Emmett turns his nose up at organs. I strolled through the usual support groups and the advice was to sear the outside of the organs. I hate the smell of liver cooking, so I set out to find a different way to get him to eat it.

Emmett loves pumpkin and peas (I was surprised about the peas). In the past I have made a vegetable puree with canned carrots and peas that I had left over from something else.

Using that concept as my base, I pureed the veggies with the beef liver and some vegetable broth. He loved the puree. I then froze it into cubes that could easily be given in his meals.

The recipe is below. Changing this recipe to fit your dog is extremely simple. You can use beef or chicken broth if you think your animal will find that more appealing. Use vegetables your animal prefers, or maybe even some fruits (just watch the sugar).

I chose to use canned peas instead of fresh or frozen. They already come a bit mushy and are easier to blend together with the other ingredients. A substitution of fresh or frozen could be made.

My ninja bullet held up fine to this test, but a food processor could also be used.

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of beef liver
  • 1 can of peas
  • 1 can of pumpkin
  • Vegetable broth (no sodium)

Steps:

  1. Cut up the beef liver into bit sized pieces.
  2. Layer beef liver, peas, and pumpkin into the ninja.
  3. Continue to layer until the bullet is filled 3/4 of the way.
  4. Add vegetable broth until it reaches to just about the top of the bullet.
  5. Blend.
  6. Add more broth if needed.
  7. Spoon into ice cube tray
  8. Freeze
  9. Enjoy, hassle free!

In the end I had left over peas and pumpkin. I used this to make a quick vegetable puree that I can add into his meals or feed as a separate treat. This could also be frozen but I keep it in the fridge and use it within the week.

8feb8379-c17b-4bf1-8374-a7f819e80cf6

 

Give this a try, let us know what you think! Did you change any ingredients? Do you have any suggestion for improvement?

xx

Jordyn & Emmett

DIY Dog Teeppee

Scrolling through Instagram last week, I saw a beautiful dog teepee in someone’s living room. I decided that Emmett absolutely NEEDED one!

Pricing them out online I found that they were more then I wanted to pay for them and they weren’t quite the boho chic look I was going for. So as any dog mom would do, I took to Pinterest to help me.

I found this article from  Sweet Teal a blog run by Jenny Bess. It is a blog started to help people get their DIY on. And my mom and I did just that.

I wish I better photo-documented the project but it was an all hands on deck type escapade. The finished project is perfect for what I wanted and the space I had.

I used some left over molding from my parents house, an old dog bed, and old duvet cover to go over the dog bed, a painting canvas, and lights from Walmart. The project in total cost me about $25.

If you want to build your own, I suggest heading over to Sweet Teal and reading DIY 10 Minute Teepee.

 

xx

Jordyn & Emmett

The Developmental Stages in Dogs

People always tell you to socialize your puppy, and you should. But have you ever wondered why? I am taking a deeper look into why that socialization is just as vital in puppies as it is in human babies and children.

My dog trainer, a fabulous woman, always talks about the different stages of development in dogs (for example, the fear stage). I want to take a closer look at the stages, and see what the best things are to do with your puppy at depending on their age.

I will also take a look at what happens if your dog missed out on those stages and how to overcome the resulting issues later in life.

The Stages:

The Neonatal Period (0-2 weeks)

Right after the puppies are born before they open their eyes. They mostly eat and sleep.

The Transitional Period (2-4 weeks)

The puppies eyes open and they begin to gain control of their motor skills. Tails will wag and they will start to bark.

29258391_1846578605352901_7534161240424185856_o

My parent’s border collie Fergus in the transitional period. 

The Socialization Period  (4-12 weeks)

Keep in mind most puppies are picked up in between week 7 and week 9. In this stage puppies begin to explore the world around them. Their curiosity is piqued. Socialization during this period is extremely important.

This socialization begins with the litter mates and mothers and for the second half of the stage extends out to humans. When looking at breeders, it is essential to ask how they will go about socializing the puppies.

During this period, the puppies can start to be house broken and learn simple commands such as sit. Boundaries are developed during this period along with learning the strength and pressure with which they bite. The inhibited bite is the dogs ability to control the pressure of his mouth when biting to cause little or no damage.

Fear Impact Period (8-11 weeks)

This falls at the end of the socialization period. It is also right as puppies are coming home to new surroundings. Puppies will find things to be more frightening during this period. This period can lead to long term behavioral effects. Keep socializing and ensure that the puppy is viewing its surroundings in a positive manner during this time.

Puppy classes are a great tool during this period. Look for a trainer that takes a positive reinforcement approach with a heavy focus on socialization. Remembering that your puppy is extremely impressionable at this age.

People often skip the socialization period due to their puppies not having their vaccines completely done. I usually er on the side of preferring the socialization in a safe contained manner.

Ranking Period (3-6 months)

The puppy begins to think in terms of submission and dominance. This is when they will figure out the hierarchy of the pack that is your household. Positive reinforcement works well during this period. Advice I often give people is that nothing should be free.

If your dog wants dinner, they should sit and wait first. Does your dog need to go outside, then they sit before the door is open. Treats are always used as a reward, especially during this period.

Adolescence Period (6-18 months)

Social behaviors are already developed. During this time, energy levels will increase so structured exercise and socialization are important.

This is the time it is usually recommended to spay or neuter your dog. You will begin to see sexual behaviors and the lifting of the leg while peeing.

Unfortunately during this period, your puppy will get its adult coat.

How to Socialize Your Adult Dog?

As some of you may know, Emmett is very nervous of people. He loves other animals, but would rather live in a world sans humans.

When I adopted him, I did a lot of research into socialization for adult dogs.

The first thing I always recommend is a trainer. If you are having serious problems, seek out help. Ask the trainer questions and listen to their responses. There are many different approaches and what works for one dog will not always work for another. Do your research and then pick the one you feel is right for you and your dog.

Emmett has been enrolled in classes since the week I brought him home, that is 7 months of continued classes. We still have so much more work to do, but the classes help with the socialization so much. It also ensures I carve time out every week to help him.

When socializing an adult dog, your are not starting at scratch as with a puppy. You have to take the time to over come their fears. Work with your dog on becoming comfortable in situations they find scary. Treat or a toy can help with this.

One step at a time. Pick one new thing and work on that. I live near a college, so sometimes I will take Emmett and we will go sit on a bench and just watch the people go by for 10-15 minutes. Feeding treats while doing an exercise like this helps to reinforce to your dog that the situation is a positive one.

If your dog shows his or her fear in an aggressive manner, then it is time to reach out to a trainer. If you aren’t sure where to start, reach out to your local rescue groups and explain your problems. They should know a trainer in the area they would recommend for you.

Be relaxed, be positive, and be consistent.

 

xx

 

Jordyn & Emmett

Emmett Passed!

Last night we passed the Therapy Dog test and the Canine Good Citizen. We celebrated with a late dinner of sirloin! 41763520_265032650810028_7498400

I couldn’t be more proud of my little rescue dog. He works everyday to over come his fears. Last night was a huge accomplishment. There is a lot of work ahead of us still, but Emmett will continue to get out there and see the world. We try to take it a day at a time.

 

41392469_532523350504419_7527936

Where do you like to bring your dog to socialize them? Are there any dog-friendly coffee shops or bars near you? Does your dog enjoy the dog park or daycare?

 

xx

Jordyn & Emmett