Several weeks ago, Hill's Prescription Diet announced a revolutionary new concept in the diet pet food arena, their Canine Metabolic Advanced Weight Solution product. The food is designed to help your dog loose 28% body fat in two months, because it works to control hunger. (Source: http://www.hillspet.com/products/pd-canine-metabolic-prescription-diet-dry.html). Hills has it right: a glaring 50% of American pets are overweight. Yikes!
Upon close examination, the first few ingredients are listed here: Chicken By-Product Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, Pea Bran Meal, Soybean Mill Run, Soybean Meal, Dried Tomato Pomace, Chicken Liver Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp, Flaxseed, Coconut Oil, Pork Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid) (Source: Hillspet.com). Though really well intentioned, some of these ingredients may raise the hair on the necks of those who watch their pet's intake of byproducts and grains. Oh... and did I mention Image C. Hills Pet Food that a 27.5 lb. bag is priced at $71.69? (petfooddirect.com)
The first ingredient is chicken by-product meal, but do you know what that is? According to AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials), the product is defined as follows: Chicken By-Product Meal - consists of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidable in good processing practice. Keep in mind that the ingredient that your pet food contains the most of is listed first. Yep.
The next products, such as Whole Grain Wheat, Corn, Corn Gluten Mean, Pea Bran Meal, and Soybean meal product sound just fine, that is, if you're feeding cattle. Dogs share 99% of their DNA with the wolf, and they are carnivores. The necessity of these grain products is questioned, as well as the digestibility. Not to mention, we HOPE they are being sourced from America and not China. Perhaps most concerning is that these grain products contribute to some of the most common dog allergens.
Moving on to "Liver Flavor".... just what species is that liver from? So... what if my Cocker Spaniel has a beef allergy, and it's beef liver? How would I know? Hmmm... how do we know? Beet Pulp is simply the dried residue from sugar beets, but we still see some pets with an allergy to this ingredient. Tomato pomace, which is likely added to boost fiber, is defined by Wikipedia as...." an inexpensive by-product of tomato manufacturing. Effectively, it is what is left-over after processing tomatoes for juice, ketchup, soup, etc". And that leaves us with Flaxseed, Coconut Oil, and Pork fat. Leaving the flax and coconut oil alone, let's look at pork fat.
By AAFCO standards, Pork Fat is obtained from the tissues of mammals and/or poultry in the commercial
processes of rendering or extracting. It consists predominantly of glyceride esters of fatty acids and contains no additions of free fatty acids. If an antioxidant is used, the common name or names must be indicated, followed
by the words "used as a preservative". What is wrong with this picture? Is there anything that sounds even remotely healthy here?
It is reasonable to think that pet weight loss is very possible with some control on the part of the human. After all, dogs and cats don't shop at the store or fill their own bowls. They eat what we feed them, and there certainly are lots of food to choose from. Watch for future posts featuring natural options, holistic foods, and some insight on RAW feeding.
What are your thoughts? Would you feed this food to your dog? What dog or cat food do you love?
Maybe the title of this post offended you as much as the original question did me. And still does. It's just one of a few common things that come up in my work...... That question is the most frequent one I encounter as an animal communicator, and it still makes me cringe today!
When we communicate with animals, the entire process is based on Quantum Physics. In essence, energy is never lost or destroyed, only transferred. Therefore, when an animal transitions, their "energy" of thought is still very much accessible and active. You don't need me to tell them how much you love them and miss them- find a quiet place and talk to them. They hear you!
The same is true for people also! Most Mediums can talk with deceased humans.
What this means is when an animal crosses over, most Animal Communicators can still talk with them and provide tremendous closure for their human. Take for example the case of a pet who vanishes, and never returns. What happened to them? In this case, an Animal Communicator may be able to fill in the gaps and provide much needed closure.
If you're not sure if an Animal Communicator can help you with a deceased pet, just ask them. Everyone works a little differently, and you don't know until you ask. But rest assured, the process is very much the same, and it's truly based upon Quantum Physics. Yes, there is science behind what we do! And that leads to the second most common question.....
"Um, I'm a little skeptical about what you do, does it really work?" Healthy skepticism is good- it makes us stronger. We must also realize that Animal Communicators are asking you to accept information that you can't see- it's not tangible. In addition, you may not be able to verify it, in some cases..... however, most of the time, professional Animal Communication sessions are riddled with amazing facts, incredible information, and a perspective that acts as the glue to help you put all of the puzzle pieces together.
"How did I know what I just told you?" Your dog told me. Let's take the case of Timmy, a handsome Australian Cattle Dog who was chained to a propane tank as a pup. He came to see me one evening with his human and grand-human. We had an excellent communication session, and Timmy provided his people with much needed information about his past.
As we neared the end of the session, Timmy suddenly sprang up, and started communicating urgently to me. "I have to go, now!". Timmy communicated. I asked what was so urgent. "I have nuggets on the seat, there were four, and I only ate one. I have three left, and I don't want my humans to eat them!". I relayed this information to his people, who looked absolutely stunned.
Timmy's owner ran outside and looked on the seat. There, in the box of Chicken Nuggets were three... Timmy had eaten one, just as he had stated.
"How did you know we stopped at McDonald's before we came?" She asked. "I didn't. Everything I said came from Timmy". I laughed. Both women were astounded. So was I! And this is just one of the wonderful things that can be experienced when you open your heart to the process of animal communication.
What questions do you have about how animal communication works?
6. Feed Really Good Quality Dog Food Although it might be really tempting to buy whatever is cheapest, you're doing yourself, your pet, and your wallet a huge dis-service in doing so. The cereal grains, artificial colors & sweeteners, and less than perfect meat products can contribute to skin allergies and infection. This is very critical for people with white or fair skinned-dogs. Food allergies from these inferior ingredients can contribute to frequent vet visits, as often as monthly. Not only do food allergies create skin problems, but can also contribute to chronic ear infections. Do your dog's ears smell bad? Feed a grain free, super premium kibble, or better yet, raw feed. Total cost savings at the vet per year varies, but on average, $720!
7. Leash your Pet! It may sound simple to leash your dog or cat, but it could save their life. We are NOT advocating that your chain your dog. We are recommending that you do not allow your dog (or cat) to roam freely, even if they are a "farm" dog. Not only can they get hit on the road, which can cost hundreds in repair, but they also breed if not sterilized. It's also common for wandering dogs to feed off of road-kill, leading to all kinds of intestinal problems. The vet cost savings will vary, but between hit-by-car repairs and intestinal illness treatment, the cost savings PER incident could be 50-500$
8. Use Flea Prevention I'm not referring to the stuff available at your local superstore. Use a high quality prevention, even if it's natural, and avoid the devastating results of fleas. Vet flea product should contain an insect growth regulator, and you should use it every single month. Avoid using fipronil products, which many consumers are reporting a huge flea resistance to. If you'd like to use a flea repellent, we like doTerra's Terra Shield, which repels fleas, ticks, and even mosquitos. Plus, it's dog safe, and smells great. Beware of a combo product that contains "flea birth control", which requires that the flea still bites the dog to ingest the chemical. Prevention is the important part here, because once you have fleas in the house, you must treat the environment and the yard. Extreme cases may even require extermination. NEVER try to save money by using a dog product on cats.... the results can he deadly. Total cost savings will vary depending on the situation, but in the case of flea bite dermatitis with moderate infestation is about 200$ per year.
9. Don't Try to Fix it Yourself or Play Vet The worst thing you can do with a sick pet is to try to wait it out, or to fix it yourself. Seriously, vets have to go to school for at least eight years! There are two possible scenarios that waiting with a sick pet creates. The first one is that you try to make it and think things are getting better... then panic in the middle of the night, and have to pay an emergency fee. Not the best way to save. Secondly, letting conditions go thinking they "might get better" can worsen many situations. A few examples are: a pet getting hit by a car, vomiting and diarrhea, obvious infection, and anorexia. The last three things are SYMPTOMS for some other, potentially serious condition. Better safe than sorry. Call the vet, and don't wait. Also, don't vaccinate your pets on your own. Yes, it might be cheaper to go to the feed store and buy the vaccine, but what are you going to do if your pet has a reaction? You're stuck. You'll be calling your vet, possibly paying an emergency fee, and not going to get much sympathy from them. Do you know if your pet has a heart murmur? Or some medical condition that may be worsened by vaccinating yourself? Better let the vet vaccinate. Potential savings will vary, but generally, a minimum of $100.
10. Create a Pet Emergency Fund This is the most common overlooked way to save money at the vet, and to provide the best care for your pet. Remember that vets are not in the business of lending people money, and they don't provide their care for an I.O.U. Putting back 500-1000$ for a pet emergency will allow you to get care when you need it, without waiting to gather the funds. This fund will also allow you to provide care without having to pay interest on a credit card or loan. It's a great idea to start thinking about the what if's. How much money would you put into your pet? What would your cap be? With this fund, keep all of your pet records, showing your animal's medical history. This may in some cases, prevent duplication of some things (vaccines, etc.) in an emergency. Further, having the funds accessible allow you to expedite the decision to let your vet provide emergency care- potentially saving their life. The cost savings will vary, but on average is $50-300.
Does your vet offer emergency care? Do you have an emergency plan in place?
Jen Ortman, owner of Holistipet (LLC) is a Professional Animal Communicator, Animal Reiki Master Teacher, author, and speaker.