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July 2013

Homemade Dog Food May Not Meet Dogs’ Nutrient Needs, Study Finds

Researchers find many dog food recipes lack important nutrients and are too vague

Most homemade dog food recipes do not meet all of a pet's nutritional requirements, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine. Researchers caution that, unlike commercial petfood, homemade petfood is not usually nutritionally complete.

The study, published in the June issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, analyzed 200 homemade dog food recipes, but found that just nine contained enough of the nutrients required by dogs. 

"Some of the deficiencies, particularly those related to choline, vitamin D, zinc and vitamin E, could result in significant health problems such as immune dysfunction, accumulation of fat in the liver and musculoskeletal abnormalities," said Jennifer Larsen, an assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at UC Davis and lead author on the study.

Additionally, researchers found that 92 percent of the recipes contained instructions that were too vague and required pet owners to make assumptions about ingredients, or they failed to include calorie information or account for the size of the dog being fed. 

"It is extremely difficult for the average pet owner - or even veterinarians - to come up with balanced recipes to create appropriate meals that are safe for long-term use," Larsen said. "Homemade food is a great option for many pets, but we recommend that owners avoid general recipes from books and the Internet and instead consult with a board-certified veterinary nutritionist. These specialists have advanced training in nutrition to help formulate customized and nutritionally appropriate recipes."

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Looking for a pet food delivered fresh to your door that has NEVER been recalled? Look no further! Life's Abundance natural dog and cat food is formulated by a holistic vet and has been in business for 14 years. Life's Abundance does not sit in an uncontrolled warehouse for 12-18 months before it hits the store shelves because it is made in small batches, packaged and sent immediately to our climate controlled warehouses where the orders are completed and sent to you. Shop here for Life's Abundance!

 

Dogswell Recalls Dog and Cat Jerky Treats

The affected dog and cat jerky treats were made in China. Arthur Dogswell LLC is voluntarily withdrawing certain Dogswell and Catswell brand jerky treats made with chicken or duck with a “Best Before” date of January 28th, 2015 or any earlier date. The vast majority of these products were distributed via retail stores and mail order before March 1st, 2013. These products may contain trace amounts of an antibiotic residue that has not been approved for use in the United States. There is no evidence that products containing trace amounts of this antibiotic pose a health risk for pets or humans.

July 26th, 2013

Dogswell and Catswell Voluntary Market Withdrawal
A Letter from Company Spokesperson, Brad Armistead

Dear Fellow Pet Parent:

At Dogswell, our number one priority is the safety of our products and the health of our canine and feline customers. We strive to make and sell only the highest quality treats and food with added vitamins that provide great taste and functional benefits such as improved hip health, skin and coat health, and other benefits.

During routine testing of our products, the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets (NYSDAM) discovered that a sample of our Dogswell Happy Hips Chicken Breast Jerky contained trace amounts of an antibiotic residue that has not been approved for use in the United States. It is important to note that this antibiotic is accepted for use in other countries (including the European Union), and there is no evidence that products containing trace amounts of this antibiotic pose a health risk for pets or humans. Since we were notified by the NYSDAM the week of July 22nd, we have made the decision to voluntarily withdraw Chicken Breast and Duck Breast jerky under the Breathies, Happy Heart, Happy Hips, Mellow Mut, Shape Up, Veggie Life, Vitality, and Vitakitty brands that are labeled with a “Best Before” date of January 28th, 2015 or any earlier date. The vast majority of these products were distributed before March 1st of this year. No other products are affected.

Since January, we have been using state-of-the-art testing procedures to ensure that our chicken and duck products do not contain these or other unapproved antibiotics. All chicken and duck breast jerky products with a “Best Before” date of January 29, 2015 and later have been fully tested for and do not contain these antibiotics.

It is important that you know that all Dogswell and Catswell products remaining on the market are safe to feed as directed.

We have issued a press release to make our consumers like you aware of the situation. We also identified the stores that received the product, and contacted them to destroy any affected products in their possession (if any).

We are doing everything we can to resolve this situation quickly and ensure that our consumers like you can feel confident feeding Dogswell and Catswell products to their companions, as we do here.

To learn more about the affected product, we invite you to read our “frequently asked questions” below. If you would like to speak with someone live, you can call us at 1-888-559-8833 or email us at info@dogswell.com. If we are unable to get to your call or it is after hours, please leave us a message and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.

We thank you, our valued customers, for your understanding, and we hope to be able to regain your trust.

Yours,

Brad Armistead

Frequently Asked Questions

What products are being withdrawn by Dogswell and Catswell?

Dogswell and Catswell are voluntarily withdrawing Dogswell and Catswell brand jerky treats made with chicken or duck with a ”Best Before” date of January 28th, 2015 or any earlier date.

Why are Dogswell and Catswell withdrawing these treats?

We were recently notified by the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets (NYSDAM) that a batch of our Happy Hips Chicken Jerky treats contained trace amounts of an antibiotic residue that has not been approved for use in the United States. Therefore, the company decided to withdraw any chicken or duck jerky treats that have not been tested for this antibiotic.

Have there been any reports of pets getting sick from eating treats that contain this antibiotic?

There is no evidence that products containing trace amounts of this antibiotic pose a health risk for pets.

How can I tell if I have a product that is affected by the withdrawal?
First, you should check the name of the front of the package. If it says anything other than Chicken Breast or Duck Breast, it is not a part of this withdrawal.

If your package does say Chicken Breast or Duck Breast, you should turn the package over. In the bottom right hand corner of the package printed in black ink on the seam, you should find the words “Best Before”. After “Best Before” is a series of eight numbers, such as:

07262015 or 07/26/2015

This number would be translated to the date July 26, 2015 (07 for July, 26 for the day of the month, and 2015 for the year). The products affected by this withdrawal are for “Best Before” dates of January 28th, 2015 or any earlier date (which would read as 01282015 or 01/28/2015). Any product with a “Best Before” date after that time has been tested for unapproved antibiotics and has been cleared.

If you find that you have a product that is affected, please call us for a full refund at 1-888-559-8833.

If you are having trouble determining if you have the product that was affected, or if you would like to speak with us directly about a full refund, please contact us directly at 1-888-559-8833 or email us at info@dogswell.com.

I just went to the store and saw your products there. Why is there so much Dogswell product on the shelf there if it has been withdrawn?

As of January, we have been using state-of-the-art testing on each batch of chicken and duck jerky to ensure that they do not contain these unapproved antibiotics. All of the products that you see on the shelf have passed testing and were approved to be sold.
 
Call us directly if you have any concerns or questions about DOGSWELL® products. We're here until 5:00 PM PST Mon-Fri  888-559-8833.


What does DOGSWELL do to make sure its products are safe?  

Our manufacturing facilities are designed to prevent cross-contamination and all of our products are manufactured under strict sanitary conditions. We closely monitor these facilities, and also regularly visit them to ensure the quality and safety of our products. Our co-packing plants operate under HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points), a system for managing food safety. Also, U.S. - based Third Party Food Safety Auditors make announced and unannounced visits to the audit all food safety and quality systems in which our facilities have always received high scores.

Where are your products manufactured?
Most DOGSWELL products are manufactured in the US. Some of our treats are manufactured in China, but we hold these facilities to the same stringent quality standards we maintain at our US facilities. DOGSWELL sources its ingredients based upon where we find top quality ingredients and a high quality supplier whose facilities and practices meet our safety testing standards.

Why are the jerky treats made in China?
China is a country where dark meat is more popular due to its inherent fat and flavor. DOGSWELL believes it is less wasteful to obtain our white meat in China where it is abundant, rather than sourcing it domestically, where white meat is less available and held at a premium. Not only do we care about your pet's health by sourcing only the healthiest meat available, we also practice sustainability by reducing as much waste as possible.

How do you test your products?
Every batch of DOGSWELL product is tested for melamine, bacteria and other contaminants.  All of our ingredients are carefully chosen and we conduct regular testing in U.S. facilities using APPA-approved methodology. Quality assurance is critically important and has been part of our standard operating procedure, and an integral part of our company, since day one. Please see below for a link to our test results.

How do you prevent salmonella from contaminating your jerky products?
The DOGSWELL® facility is specifically designed to prevent any cross contamination. Salmonella is one of the easiest contaminants to prevent. Salmonella is killed after 23 seconds at 160 degrees. We ensure that that all of our poultry jerky products are cooked at 160 degrees for ten hours. While some manufacturers choose a quicker “flash cooking process” to irradiate their products, DOGSWELL® has chosen the slow-cooking method to provide a clean, safe treat.

What is the Cage-Free Difference?
Cage-free chickens are kept in barns where they can roam, scratch and perch as they please. Our chickens eat a natural diet, have plenty of room to roam, and live and grow free of stress.
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Tired of Dog and Cat food and treat recalls? Life's Abundance has NEVER BEEN RECALLED and their products are not made in China. Life's Abundance cares about your dog and cat and does not jeopardize them like these repeat offenders. Shop online for Life's Abundance dog and cat food, treats, supplements and pet care products. Be a safe consumer!

Spark: The All in One Supplement for your Pet's Needs

dog-cat

Spark is a comprehensive supplement designed to supply more nutrition that dogs and cats can get from their diet. A leading naturopathic veterinarian developed Spark to be a complete, all in one delivery system of 43 natural ingredients, all researched and synergistically combined for their ability to maintain excellent health.

Spark's Amazing Eight Benefits

Enzymes - Destroyed in the high heat manufacturing process of traditional pet food. Enzymes drive nearly every chemical and metabolic pathway in the body. Supports the absorption of vitamins and minerals.

Vitamin D - Important for bone mineralization and integrity. Regulates blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Helps support the immune system and joint health.

Synbiotics - Probiotics & prebiotics “good bacteria” supports the living microbiome, the garden of beneficial bacteria in the digestive system. Supports proper digestion and the assimilation of nutrients.

Aquatic SuperFoods - Algae provide the body with vitamins B, C, E, beta-carotene, magnesium, iron, trace miner - als and protein. Supports normal immunity, intestinal health and helps maintain strong bones & muscles.

Fruit & Vegetable SuperFoods - Blueberries, spinach and broccoli work as powerful antioxidants. Supports the body to fight free radicals.

Amino Acids - The body’s building blocks, approximately 20% cannot be produced by the body and must come from food. Critical to maintaining good health right down to the cellular level, while supporting healthy protein levels.

Sea Vegetables - Provide trace minerals like calcium, iron, and iodine. Maintains strong bones and supports healthy thyroid and hormone levels.

Juvenile Greens - Contains Vitamin E, phosphorus, magnesium, iron & potassium as well as protein and carotenoids. Helps maintain a healthy immune system and supports normal shedding.


Related Product: SPARK - Daily Nutritional Supplement for Dogs & Cats

 


The Holistic Approach to Dealing with Dog Diabetes

 

dog-drinking-waterDiabetes is one of the most common endocrine diseases seen today in dogs and cats. Of the 3 forms of diabetes, dogs will get Type 1 or insulin dependent diabetes.Type 1 Diabetes is caused by immune disease, genetics and other poorly defined environmental factors. Type 1 Diabetes is treated with insulin.

Symptoms of diabetes are increased drinking, increased urination and usually increased appetite. Urinary tract infections are also common in diabetics. Diabetic dogs frequently develop cataracts. These cataracts progress very quickly. Diabetic dogs with cataracts should be examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist as they may need special eye drops. Unless surgery is done, however, the blindness is usually permanent.

Conventional treatments for diabetes include insulin and dietary therapy. Most conventional veterinarians will put their patients on a diabetic maintenance diet --a commercial, usually dry diet that is higher in fiber and lower in fat than most diets. This diet is also available in canned food.

Natural treatments for diabetes may be added along with conventional insulin. These include natural, raw, or cooked homemade diets that are high in fiber but low in carbs, herbal supplements, and minerals such as chromium. It is important that the diet be tailored to the dog's body weight as most diabetic diets assume the pet is obese and are in fact weight loss diets. If your dog is underweight when he or she is diagnosed with diabetes, you may need a diet with higher calories.

Most homemade diets for pets with diabetes need to have increased levels of soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fibers are things like inulin and guar gum which are tasteless and can be added to the diet. These fibers help slow the absorption of glucose from the digestive tract. Insoluble fibers such as those found in pumpkin and squash have similar effects. Diets high in fiber should not be fed to diabetic animals who are already thin. They require a maintenance food until they are a normal weight

Natural supplements that are helpful to stabilize blood sugar are chromium, vanadium and herbal supplements containing fenugreek, gymnema and bilberry. One such supplement is Blood Sugar Gold from Pet Wellbeing. These supplements can be used along with insulin but blood sugar needs to be monitored. Sometimes these work so well that conventional therapy is not needed, but it is important that your veterinarian knows what you are giving your pet and that he or she approves it.


Related Products: Blood Sugar Gold - Dog Diabetes Support


New "First Aid" Herbal Formula for Pets

dog-cat-summer

Pet Wellbeing has come out with a new formula to help with your pet’s immunity. Immune Sure is a “first aid” herbal formula that has several herbs with anti-microbial properties. It can be used along with antibiotics for infections and has affects against viruses. It is an herbal antibiotic but unlike regular antibiotics, it does not affect the gastrointestinal tract’s natural flora or natural “good” bacteria.

Immune Sure is a multi-purpose formula designed to support the immune system against many of the microorganisms that can cause infections. Immune Sure can help enhance the body’s immune system and help the pet’s body to fight off bacteria, viruses, fungus, parasites and cancers.

Immune Sure can be a primary formula that would be used to prevent and treat viral infections. In some cases, it is a secondary or helper formula. For example , if your pet has a bladder infection, the primary formula would be Urinary Gold. The secondary or supportive formula would be Immune Sure. This would support the work of the primary formula. It can be used whenever the immune system needs an extra boost.

Immune Sure can be used with acute or chronic infections. It can also be used as a preventive in the case of a community outbreak. It is not meant for continuous use and should be used with caution in cases of kidney disease, heart disease and in any pet that is on steroid medication.

Immune Sure can help improve your pet’s immunity, but be sure to let your veterinarian know that you are using it with your pet.


Related Product: Immune SURE for Feline Immune System and Canine Immune System Support


Asthma in Cats

 

kitten-5

Just like their human companions, cats can suffer from asthma. It is thought that currently about 1 % of all cats suffer from this condition but that number is increasing with increased environment pollution. Feline asthma, or feline bronchial disease (allergic airway disease or allergic bronchitis) is caused by a spasm of the small airways in the lungs, the bronchii. This spasm is... usually caused by an allergic reaction to something inhaled and causes inflammation and swelling. This restricts the airflow and causes life threatening respiratory distress within a matter of minutes. The lungs also secrete excess mucus when this occurs and the cat's breathing space become clogged. Your cat needs immediate attention or he will die! Asthma attacks can also cause permanent scarring of the lungs.

Asthma is generally triggered by an allergen in the cat's environment. Common allergens are molds and mildew, smoke, house dust, cat litter, and household cleaners. Food allergy, vaccines, exercise and cold dry air can be triggers for some cats.

Asthma attacks can be mild or severe. The cat may cough and stand or sit with his neck extended, or breathe quickly with his mouth open. Open mouth breathing is never normal in cats! You may hear wheezing or gagging, see bluish lips or gums or notice things like lethargy and soft coughing. Mild attacks may not even be noticed by the owner. Some cats will have more mucus secretions from their eyes.

If your cat has these symptoms, he needs to get to the veterinarian immediately for diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis of asthma can be difficult as the symptoms may look like many other things including cancer, heartworm, respiratory infections, heart disease, or lungworms. Your veterinarian will want to do blood work and radiographs and may wish to do a broncho-alveolar lavage ( a tiny sample of mucus is taken from the bronchioles).

If your cat is in distress, the first course of treatment will be oxygen and likely intravenous fluids and steroids. If radiographs show confirm asthma then a puffer may be used on the cat as well as other medication to open the airways. Continuing treatment for these cats may be prednisone orally and the use of an AeroKat Inhaler with steroids or bronchodilators.

Acupuncture can be used along with conventional medication to reduce the severity of the attacks and the amount of steroid that is used. It helps to reduce bronchospasm and rebalance the immune system.

Herbal remedies such as Lung Gold can be used to help with lung immunity and relieve spasms.It is frequently used with Nettle-Eyebright to help with allergic reactions.

Other supplements can include Omega 3 fatty acids for inflammation, Vitamin C and E, Co enzyme Q 10, Vitamin B and L-Lysine.

Asthma can be a life threatening condition. If your cat has this condition you need talk to your veterinarian and have an emergency plan incase of an attack. It just might save your cat's life.

Related Products: Lung Gold for Cat Lung Infections and Nettle-Eyebright Gold for Cats With Allergies 


Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs

Congestive heart failure ( CHF)is common in dogs. Small breed dogs such as poodles, Yorkshire terriers and ShihTzu tend to suffer from chronic valvular disease and this leads to congestive heart failure. In large breed dogs, the problem is generally with the heart muscle and is actually called cardiomyopathy. With congestive heart failure the heart is not able to... pump efficiently so the rest of the body suffers because of the heart’s weakness.

Many times the first indication that there is something wrong with the heart is a murmur that is picked up by a veterinarian at a regular check up.Early signs of CHF can include a intermittent coughing that is worse at night, tiring easily especially after exercise, and decreased activity. As the disease progresses, the dog may have weight loss, lack of appetite, constant coughing, a swollen abdomen and rapid breathing.

Because the heart is not pumping the blood forward there is a back up of the blood in the vessels. If the left side of the heart is involved then the fluid back up leaks into the lungs and pulmonary edema results in coughing. If the right side of the heart is involved , then the fluid back up is in the liver and the abdomen swells. This is called ascites. Sometimes the legs swell too. Pleural effusion --which is fluid between the lungs and the chest wall can also occur.

Dogs suffering from severe CHF have laboured breathing, a rapid thready pulse, bluish mucous membranes, weakness, and sometime fainting. They tend to lay or sit with their heads extended and their mouths open. If you feel the chest wall you can feel the heart buzzing.

CHF is diagnosed with radiographs, cardiac ultrasound, electrocardiograms and other tests. Many times a referral to a veterinary cardiologist ( a dog heart specialist ) is required.

Treatments consist of restricting exercise, restricting dietary salt and using medications, drugs or herbs to help the heart work better.There are some holistic supplements that can be given to strengthen and support the heart . Some that I commonly recommend are Coenzyme Q 10, Omega 3 fatty acids, L-Carnitine and Taurine. These supplements are all very safe. Acupuncture can also help the heart to increase the strength of contraction and can be used for any heart condition. Chinese and western herbs should be used with caution as these may interfere with conventional medication. Only an integrative veterinarian who understands conventional medication and herbals should prescribe both together. One herbal that has been used as a single herb for heart problems is Hawthorne ( berry and leaf). It works best for congestive problems and not cardiomyopathy. On its own, it is not strong enough to treat severe congestive heart issues, but it can support a failing heart. PetWellbeing.com carries a combination herbal called Young at Heart. It should not be used along with conventional medication unless okayed by your veterinarian but can be used for support for a dog with a heart murmur, or undergoing heartworm treatment.


Related Product: Young at Heart for  Dog Heart Disease


On Sale Now ... New and Improved Sealogix 500 mg Fish Oil Capsules with Sesamin and Astaxanthin!

On Sale Now ... New and Improved Sealogix 500 mg Capsules with Sesamin and Astaxanthin!

We are pleased to announce that our new and improved Sealogix Omega-3 Ultra-Refined Fish Oil 500 mg capsules (240 a bottle) are on sale now! This new formula has a more powerful preservative system and an improved citrus flavor.

Sealogix Omega-3 is an ultra-concentrated, ultra-refined fish oil that is independently tested for purity, quality and concentration. It goes beyond molecular distillation to provide you and your customers with a highly concentrated and purified fish oil supplement.

As you may know, this formula already contained sesamin, which is derived from sesame lignans. Both sesame and its derived lignans are associated with multiple health benefits. 

The new formula has an improved preservative system with the addition of a plant-derived nutrient and antioxidant called Astaxanthin. We also added mixed tocopherols (a natural form of vitamin E) and ascorbyl palmitate (a natural form of vitamin C). Together, these antioxidants form a preservative system that ensures our oil retains its health-promoting benefits longer while remaining easily digestible. We have also enhanced the flavor of our new formula by adding a citrusy blend of natural orange and lime flavors.

Each serving of Sealogix contains a minimum of 60% EPA/DHA, packed with 1,600 mg of EPA and 800 mg of DHA. (Serving size is eight 500-mg capsules.) When compared to other popular brands on the market, our supplement continues to be an outstanding value for fish oil consumers.

The health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil are well-known. It is now very common for doctors to recommend fish oil supplementation to their patients. Taking a Sealogix Ultra-Refined Fish Oil supplement may be one of the best decisions you could make.

The BEST part - the price has stayed the same!! Purchase SeaLogix today - http://www.lifesabundance.com/People/SeaLogixCompare.aspx?realname=10075847

A Great Remedy for Pets with Anxiety

Stress Gold Works Great!

This time of year with all the thunderstorms, parties and fireworks our pets can get very stressed and anxious. Pet Wellbeing's Stress Gold works very well in these high stress situations. It is easy to give and has a great bacon flavour.   

Here is a review from one of our Facebook fans, Suzi from New York:

"I am sooo pleased with the results!!! I have a ten yr old shih tzu with anxiety problems and after trying prozac and other harmful drugs [some with gastric side effects] came upon a "better mouse trap" so to speak.Our little "Bubba" does not take pills very readily and the ease of putting a few drops in his food as well as the very obvious positive results makes this product a "keeper"..I have spoken to my groomer and others about it and plan to continue using it indefinitely.Thank you for making such a beneficial and safe product!"

Suzi's Shih Tzu

Related Product: Stress Gold for High Stress Situations in Dogs