Saturday, January 31, 2009

Just what IS in my dog's food, part 8: Sweeteners

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Sweeteners have no place in food products that are consumed daily, period. They are generally only added to poor quality foods to make them more attractive, since otherwise dogs would simply refuse to eat them. Many dogs get addicted to sweeteners, which can cause or aggravate health problems, including ear infections and diabetes. This addiction frequently poses a problem when owners are trying to convince their pets to eat a better quality food that does not contain any sweeteners, so frustrated owners continue feeding unhealthy brands.

  • Blackstrap Molasses is not very sweet, a source of many trace minerals and not the same as Cane Molasses. It is harmless as a supplement in small amounts.
  • While any sweeteners should be avoided in food that a dog eats on a daily basis, small amounts of unrefined sugar, such as honey or molasses, are okay in dog treats.
What to avoid:
►Cane molasses, corn syrup in any form, sugar, sorbitol, sucrose, fructose, glucose, ammoniated glycyrrhizin, propylene glycol

Next time....dyes

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

How to Prevent Serious Doggie Illnesses

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Seeing your pooch sick is no fun. You feel powerless. Fortunately, some of the most common and serious canine diseases can be avoided with vaccinations starting in the first few months of your pet's life, with updates as she grows. It also helps to know red-flag warning signs of some of the most life-threatening diseases -- cues that you should call your vet immediately:

Caused by: Canine distemper virus (CDV)
Symptoms: Eye discharge, either watery or pus-like. Symptoms escalate to coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and fever. If virus spreads to nervous system, it can cause seizures and possible paralysis.

Caused by: Canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV-2)
Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea (may be bloody), loss of appetite, dehydration, lethargy, and fever. Most infected dogs die within 2 to 3 days of the first signs of infection, so take immediate action.

Coronavirus (Corona)
Caused by: Canine coronavirus (CCV)
Symptoms: Diarrhea, vomiting, reduced appetite, increased thirst, and weight loss. Similar to parvovirus, but generally more treatable.

Caused by: Leptospira bacterium
Symptoms: Fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and jaundice. Dogs who recover may have permanent kidney damage.

Caused by: Canine adenovirus 1 (CAV-1)
Symptoms: Fever, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain; can also cause lasting kidney damage.

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