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Dog Nutrition Cheat Sheet: Helpful Tips & Products

Dog nutrition education Seattle Pet NutritionistThanks to everyone who came to my dog nutrition seminar on Nov.3rd ! Hope you received some valuable information. Personally, following our speaker Patti Howard‘s suggestions I started integrating raw food into my dog’s diet with a raw meal in the morning (consisting of raw beef and Honest Kitchen’s Keen dehydrated food which has tons of veggies!) and her Acana high quality dry food in the evenings. She’s made the transition with NO trouble at all and seems to love her food. She now eats with gusto and actually wants more! Apparently, she wasn’t finicky – she just had finer and more diverse taste than I gave her credit for!

So once again – Thank-you Patti!! And thanks to Melanie Carroll and everyone at Fido-n-Scratch for hosting!

Below is a quick and easy dog nutrition reference guide that covers the main topics discussed during the talk and lists any recommended products. For anyone in the area, most of the products can be found at Fido-n-Scratch either at their Leschi or Mt. Baker location.  However, if this is out of the way for you, I’ve provided links where you can purchase these products online. I’ve generally given links to smaller sizes of these products in case you’re trying them for the first time. For the frozen raw foods, you’ll need to check the freezer aisle at your best local pet food store.

If you try any of these products and/or suggestions, drop me a line and let me know what your experience was!

Super-Duper Dog Nutrition Tip Sheet

Q. What gluten-free dog foods would you suggest?

A. Gluten is typically introduced into dog food through fillers. Because dry foods generally contain the most fillers, I first recommend raw foods for people looking for gluten-free options, then wet foods, dehydrated options, then specially made gluten-free kibble. Here are some recommendations:

Raw Foods

  • Nature’s Instinct
  • Darwins
  • Northwest

Wet Foods

Dry Foods (Note: These are Grain-Free. We’ ll check in on completely Gluten-Free dry foods and add any that we find.)

  • Orijen (Orijen and Acana are made by the same company and the only dry food my dog willingly eats!)
  • Acana
  • Now

**As a general rule always try and stay away from Corn, Wheat and Soy in your dog’s diet. These ingredients mean gluten is present and they are also common triggers to allergic reactions which can cause not only physical issues, but behavioral ones as well.

Q. What foods will help you switch your dog over to a raw diet.

A. Ideally a dog’s biology makes their digestive tract capable of safely passing the bacteria found in raw food. However, due to modern feeding habits many dogs’ digestive tracts no longer have the appropriate amount of probiotics needed to handle raw material therefore they may at first have a difficult time switching over to Raw food if this is not addressed. Here are some foods you can add to your dog’s diet in order to replenish those probiotics and make the transition to raw easier.

  • Goat’s milk – Give a ¼ cup to your dog 15 minutes before or after they’ve eaten.
  • Raw Okra – Blend the okra in a blender in advance and keep in the fridge or freezer. Add to your dog’s raw meat during meal times.
  • Pumpkin – Give your dog a Tbsp. of pureed pumpkin (canned with no spices is great) with their food.
  • Aloe Vera Juice – Add a Tbsp to your dogs water, can help soothe digestive issues, as well as help balance ph.

Q. What are some options if you want to feed raw, but don’t have the time to prepare fresh.

A.

  • Frozen raw is an excellent option to the time and energy of preparing fresh food
  • Prepare your own frozen raw food for the week, in advance. Blend an array of veggie/fruit choices, chop meat and package in freezer safe Ziploc bags.

Q. Do dogs only eat grass when they’re sick?

A. My business partner, Prescott, wrote an excellent article to the Examiner, where research says no, they do not eat grass ‘just because they are sick’.  Not only does it taste yummy, but those spring grasses must be like a taste of sunshine!  For those dogs that do have intestinal upset it can help, and also has been shown to help rid them of worms with the blades of grass carrying from their intestinal tract.  Studies have also shown that if Mom-dog grazed on grass, her pups will have higher incidence of doing so themselves.   For dogs not getting any ‘fresh ingredients’ in their daily diet, it must be pure heaven to forage for the just the right grass!

Q. How do you prepare raw bones so that you can be sure there is no risk of choking?

A. We cut risk dramatically by feeding raw vs. cooked bones, and if you are feeding poultry necks, it is a good idea to pulverize them a bit with a hammer to help your dog get accustomed to chewing on those types of bones.  Poultry backs are also very popular, and can be prepared in the same way. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as ‘no risk’, however so it’s always good to supervise your dog while eating bones. Also, be aware of how your dog eats. If they aren’t a chewer and just swallow everything you may want to first try various sizes to see how your dog handles them.

Q. What are the top 3-5 supplements and/or foods you would add to an older dog’s diet to avoid typical senior dog issues?

A. To answer that question best, as all dogs are individual, we have what is called a Canine Animal Nutrition questionnaire that clients fill out for consultation, and helps to identify what areas of the body may be struggling nutritionally.  Along with this nutritional information fur mineral analysis is also a service that is available to help us better determine where your dog is now for overall adrenal, kidney, liver, digestive and muscular health.   Most vets can do a full analysis of your older pet’s health as well. Once we understand the current status of your pet’s health, we can identify with better accuracy what will be particularly helpful to bringing your dog back into balance. Having said that, here are supplements I commonly recommend with recipes I provide:

  • Animal based omega 3 fatty acids, so prepared fish oils that you are taking yourself! or salmon, mackerel, sardines packed in water and rinsed. An exceptionally high quality product is Iceland Pure Pharmaceutical Grade Salmon Oil.
  • Calcium, I use  Animal Essentials Seaweed Calcium. I also regularly give raw bones to satisfy that need in place of the powder.
  • A probiotic, especially if your dog is on antibiotics of any type.  We want to re-establish good intestinal health consistently, and this is good way to provide that.  A great probiotic product is Total Biotics another is ‘Inner Garden’ which can be found at www.gobeyondorganic.com You can also add a healthy Tbsp of PLAIN yogurt (no sugar please) in their food each day.

Q. Can my tap water affect my pet’s sensitive stomach and what can I do to find out or fix this?

A. Chlorine is an agent that can disrupt your dog’s digestion, so the rule of thumb is that if you filter your own water, do so for your animals.

Q. How much should I feed my dog?

A. When feeding raw, the standard number is 2-1/2% of their ideal body weight.  So a 100lbs dog will get 2-1/2 lbs of food per day, split between an AM and PM meal.  Take note that this amount is accurate for the ideal ratio of food, which will fluctuate with the type of ingredients that the food is composed of, exercise level of dog, breed, etc. So seek help from professional to help you set up a good standard recipe, which can be altered with seasonal ingredients, sale items, availability, etc.

Q. What should I look for when reading a nutrition label?

A. Add up protein, moisture, and fat percentages, subtract this number from 100% and that is percentage of carbohydrate load there is in the food.  The optimal amount of carbohydrates to have in a food is 12-18%, so you will quickly see how kibble disrupts the ideal balance.  A dog’s primary energy source is fat, not carbs, so this is an important number if you’re finding that there are physical or behavioral issues with your dog. Remember you can also bring your dog to a nutrition specialist to find out more about normalizing this percentage.

About Patti Howard

Patti Howard, BS, CCS has her Bachelors in Holistic Nutrition, and with her 11 years of working with dogs became certified in Canine Nutrition from Building Better Bodies with Canine Nutrition, with Dr. Ava Frick DVM as Instructor/Mentor.   Patti is a Behavior and Nutrition Specialist and COO with The Pawsitive Packleader, Inc., which services the greater Seattle area.  She consults individually and speaks publicly on Canine Nutrition.  The Pawsitive Packleader Inc., with a scientist on staff, is committed to the research and study of nutrition on behavior.  Calling all dogs to the table!

Reminder: Seattle Dog Nutrition Expert Answers Your Questions TOMORROW Nov.3rd

SEATTLE DOG LOVERS

GET THE SCOOP ON:

DOG NUTRITION

From Dog Nutrition Expert Patti Howard of Pawsitive Packleader

Seattle Pet Nutrition Expert Event Seminar

Learn how to give your dog the best diet possible and get answers to

nutrition-related health & behavioral problems

November 3rd @ 5PM

Fido-n-Scratch  in Leschi  140 Lakeside Avenue.  Suite A

 

For more information visit BarkofSeattle.com or call 917-345-5157.

** Dogs always welcome, but we invite you to make this **

parents’ night & leave your pooch at home

 to get the most out of this informative event.

Info On Nov. 3rd Pet Nutritionist Patti Howard

My free dog nutrition education event featuring Pet Nutritionist Extraordinaire, Patti Howard, is coming up next Saturday!!

I’ve been running around putting notices up on phone poles and have decided that the reason they keep disappearing is because people love them so much they’re taking them home and framing them. Let’s just go with that. Anyway, I’m doing my best to make sure every dog lover in the vicinity knows about this event, because Patti has so much valuable information to share and I don’t want anyone to miss out!

Here’s some background on Patti and hope to see you at the event!

Patti Howard, BS, CCS

Dog nutrition behavior training Bark of Seattle Event SpeakerEver since Patti could remember, dogs have been her sanctuary. Like many of us, nothing in life could pull her away from her love of them. Even in her start, she opened her own training studio and pet specialty store–committed to challenging owners to give their dogs an even better life. Patti received her Bachelor of Science in nutrition and through extensive continuing education she has become a Certified Canine Nutrition Specialist. But what really sets Patti aside from other nutrition experts is her complete foundation in canine studies. Patti graduated from the Seattle School of Canine Studies where she continued to hone her incredible diagnostic skills with canine behavior modification. It was at this point where Patti began to apply her nutrition programs not only for improving health, but also improving behavior. Patti is an integral part of all our success with our clients thanks to her expertise in service dog training, progressive behavior modification, and nutrition. She is an inspirational student of science, a born teacher, and her passion for dogs is unparalleled.

Best Seattle Doggie Halloween Parties & Parades

Seattle Dog Nutrition Event Expert Speaker

Dog Halloween costumes events Seattle Times

Seattle Times Doggie Halloween Gallery

I think dog Halloween parades, dog Halloween parties, and dog Halloween costumes are the bees knees. My dog Pipa, however, has tried to make me an opponent of doggie dress-up time. She has made it clear that under no circumstances will she be wearing the ridiculously super neato harem costume; apparently she won’t even be wearing a t-shirt. The only way I could enter a people/pooch costume contest is if I dressed like her. So basically, she insists on raining on my doggie Halloween parade…. but that doesn’t mean she has to rain on everyone else’s!!!

Here’s a list of the best dog Halloween parades and Dog-O-Ween parties taking place in Seattle this weekend. If anyone’s participating please send pics, I’d love to do a collage – maybe Pipa will take the hint.

My Top Pick

Dog Halloween Contest Run Scared 5K SeattleOctober 28
Run Scared 5K in Seward Park. Run, walk, do the zombie shuffle, whatever works for you, at this event benefiting The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Dogs on short leashes allowed and there will be a costume contest for pups afterwards.
9AM at Seward Park, click here for a course map.

Other Spooktacular Options 

October 27
Pug-O-Ween. In addition to pugs in costumes (you know how awesome any pug looks in costume) there will be pug races and pug-friendly vendors.
1-3pm at Bitter Lake Community Center (13035 Linden Ave N., Seattle)

October 28
Dmarie’s Dog-O-Ween Pawty. Includes costume runway and The Dining Dog pie eating contest.
1-3pm at Dmarie’s Doggie Boutique (9639 Firdale Ave, Suite B, Edmonds)

October 29
Central Bark’s 1st Howl-O-Ween party.  Bobbing for hot dogs – need I say more. Oh yes –  and pie eating contests (for dogs), musical sit, dog and human goodies, photos, and much more!
2-4pm at Central Bark (838 Poplar Place South, Seattle)

October 30
CityDog Howl-at-the-Moon Muttmixer. There will be a costume contest with categories like Best Pack (group), Best Dog + Owner pair, Most Original and more!
6-8pm at Woodmark Hotel (1200 Carillon Point, Kirkland)

Cutest Halloween Dog Costumes This Season!

Cute Halloween Dog Costumes

Somehow this only got 1 star on Amazon. Presumably it was from the dog.

This is the time of year when dogs have to put on their game face and just accept the fact that humans are stupid.

There is not one reason on earth why your dog needs to dress up like a lobster, but it will happen so fido just has to suck it up and be happy they’re not dressed like a Whoopie Cushion…. Oh wait, the Whoopie cushion costume is totally on my list of this season’s cutest dog costumes!!!!

Clearly, a Frenchie or a Pug in ANYTHING is gonna look cute, but these picks for cutest dog halloween costumes of the season will make any dog look adorable/pissed off!

If someone out there goes with any of these costumes send me a pic!

[Note: Some of these cover a dog's ears. This can be really disconcerting as they can't hear properly. So if your dog has a problem with headgear, try cutting holes out so their ears will be exposed. They'll still totally hate you for putting them in a costume, but at least their seething anger will be tamed to a smoldering dislike.]

Cute Top Dog Halloween Costumes

Panda Dog Costume. $23.50 All sizes.

Cute Top Halloween Dog Costumes

Harem Dog Costume. $11.69-18.83.

Top Cute Halloween Dog Costumes

Whoopi Cushion Dog Costume. $12.99 All sizes.

Cute Halloween Costumes for Dogs

Riding Jockey Dog Costume. $20.29. One size fits all!!

Top Halloween Costumes for Dogs

Little Red Riding Hood Dog Costume. $21-30. 30% off!!

Pet Nutritionist Talks About Best Diet Options for Your Dog on Nov. 3rd @ 5PM

Nov 3 Dog nutrition expert advice seattle

Certified pet nutritionist, Patti Howard of The Pawsitive Packleader, will be speaking on Nov. 3rd at fido-n-scratch (Leschi) about how you to give your dog the best possible diet and what nutrition options are available to help alleviate common food related health and behavioral issues.

I’m actually coordinating the event and am so excited that Patti Howard agreed to speak. She is PASSIONATE about dogs and their health and is a great source of information about proper dog nutrition.

I thought of doing this event when my dog started eating dirt all of a sudden. I knew it was probably because something was lacking in her diet. Of course, my first thought was that if she actually ate her food then maybe whatever it was wouldn’t be missing. However, Pipa clearly decided that I was an idiot and that whatever food I gave her paled in comparison to dirt, sooooo getting her to eat her very, very well-balanced dog food was simply out of the question.  I asked around and was told probiotics could help her absorb the nutrients in her food better and Patti suggested that she may need more fresh foods.

Now, I used to cook for Pip all the time. In fact, she didn’t really get dry food until about 2 years ago because I was doing the cooked food thing with a professional supplement powder. That was awesome… until she stopped eating the powder. I mean what dog refuses to eat steak because she doesn’t like the sauce? My dog Pip.

Anyway, Patti suggested fresh food. I got my butt back into the kitchen and literally a couple of days later NO MORE DIRT EATING. Yeah!!!! Happy to know my cooking is better than dirt.

So if you’re here in Seattle and would like to know more about giving your dog the proper diet, what dietary changes you should make for senior dogs, what you can do for dogs with sensitive stomachs, etc. then come by on November 3rd at 5PM to the fido-n-scratch in Leschi (140 Lakeside Avenue.  Suite A.). Of course dogs are welcome (fido-n-scratch is a fab pet store!), but we’re inviting you to make this parents’ night & leave your pooch at home to get the most out of this informative event.

Also, prior to the event I’ll be asking Patti to answer some common dog nutrition questions/concerns, so if you have any questions for her, please send them my way!

Hope to see some of you at the event!!

 

 

Doley The Guatemalan Street Dog Children’s Book

Children's Book Dogs ArtIt’s such a pleasure to get a children’s book that not only has a story that children can easily follow, but which also has something special to which adults can relate. Doley The Guatemalan Street Dog by Seattle based author Jill Brazier, is such a book. While Doley has a simple story line, the illustrations by Marcio Diaz are magical and highlight Brazier’s endearing description of the life of a special Guatemalan street dog named Doley. The happy simplicity of Doley’s life is one which most grown-ups would envy.

The idea for the book came from Brazier’s real-life experience living in a bamboo tree-house above Lake Atitlan, in the small village of San Marcos, La Laguna. At twenty years-old, Jill met Doley, a starving little street dog. She nurtured Doley back to health and they spent the next fourteen years together as best friends and travel companions.Chidren's Book Dogs Art

Artist Marcio Diaz was born in a small farming community in Northern Nicaragua. His experiences as a child growing up in a rural environment gave him an awareness of natural beauty and lifestyle that he brings to his art with bold, vibrant and rich colors.

Doley the Guatemalan Street Dog is available on Amazon. To find out more about Jill Brazier and Marcio Diaz visit www.doleybook.com .

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