The Kibble Conundrum: Simple Tips on Finding the Best Food for Your Pup

In the age of avocado toast and pressed juices, it seems like everyone is more and more cautious about what they choose to consume on a daily basis. Eating nutritious food is one of the most vital parts of a healthy lifestyle and it is no different for our canine companions. A treat here and there is rarely a bad thing, but making sure that your canine companion is on a diet that fits them is important for their long-term health and well being. It may seem like a simple task, but the pet food industry is growing quickly as traditional food companies move into the pet food space.
According to the American Pet Food Association, retail sales of pet food in the U.S. have nearly doubled in the last decade to more than $30 billion. This growth has led some major food companies to buy up pet food businesses in an attempt to break into the industry. With these companies moving into the pet food space, there are more dietary options for owners and their canine companions than ever before. With all these options, finding the best diet for your pup can be a daunting task. In this post, we will explore the pet food industry and give out some tips on how to find the best food for your pup.
From organic dog foods to natural dog foods and wet foods to dry foods and everything in between, there are a lot of options for pet parents. The important thing is making sure that your dog gets the proper nutrition that is appropriate for their size and breed. Dogs are not strict carnivores and, while meat makes up a majority of their diet, domestic dogs also derive nutrients from grains, fruits, and vegetables. These non-meat foods are a valuable source of essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The best quality dog foods contain high-quality versions of these ingredients that are appropriate for your pups digestive system. Dogs require a wide range of nutrients in different quantities over the course of their lives and it is important to understand that the nutritional needs of a puppy are different than those of an adult dog when selecting a new brand of dog food. The Merck Veterinary Manual is a good source if you are looking for information on nutritional requirements as well as recommended servings based on your dog’s age and weight.
Some dogs have dietary restrictions and allergies which can affect how they process certain pet food ingredients. It is important to know if your dog has any food allergies and to buy pet food accordingly. For example, if your dog has a grain allergy it is best to choose a grain-free diet. It is also important to understand that some things we may see as inedible contain important nutrients for pups. Quality animal byproducts like organs and entrails often contain more nutrients than the muscle meat consumed by humans.
The easiest way to determine if a dog food is good or bad is to read the label. It seems simple, but most dog food labels are written in small print and can be misleading if not read properly. Labels are required to tell you the product name, net weight of the product, name, and address of the manufacturer, guaranteed analysis, list of ingredients, intended animal species, statement of nutritional adequacy, and feeding guidelines. This information is basic, but it is vital in making an informed decision when purchasing dog food.
Product names tell you a lot about the product. If the term “beef” is used that means beef must make up at least 70 percent of the entire product. The terms “beef dinner” and “beef platter” only require that beef makes up at least 10 percent of the entire product. “With beef” only requires that 3 percent of the total product be beef, and “beef flavor” implies that there is enough beef in the product to flavor it, which is typically less than 3 percent. The ingredients list on the label will tell you what’s in the product, but not necessarily the quality of the ingredients. Though reading the ingredients may not inform you of the quality, it does tell you what is in the food which is important for pups with special dietary needs or allergies.
One of the most important things to look for on a dog food label is the statement “complete and balanced.” Products with this statement on the label are held to strict requirements by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. Complete and balanced diets must contain the minimum amount of all nutrients necessary for dogs. It is also important to research your dogs breed to find out if there are any additional nutritional requirements you need to be aware of.
These are just some basic tips to help you on your journey to finding the diet that best fits your pet. If you need further details, the American Kennel Club has more information on pet nutrition and pet food. We hope this helps you on your journey to finding the perfect diet for your canine companion!

Understanding Canine Influenza: What’s the Big Deal

As pet care professionals, we here at Elliot’s House Pet Care + More understand the importance of vaccinations. Keeping your pup’s vaccinations up to date is the easiest way to ensure they stay happy and healthy. Vaccines are essential for social dogs that go on frequent walks to the dog park and visit daycare on a regular basis.  Vaccinations do not guarantee that your pup won’t catch something while out with other dogs, but they help to protect your pup against communicable diseases and reduce the chance of a disease spreading around the dog park or daycare.

Up until 2015, most dog daycares only required Bordetella, Rabies, and Distemper vaccinations. These vaccinations are considered the “Big Three” by most pet care specialists as they help to prevent the spread of kennel cough and distemper while ensuring that attendants are protected from contracting rabies. This all changed in 2015 when a massive outbreak of dog flu (canine influenza) hit the United States. The outbreak affected thousands of dogs initially and the virus quickly spread across more than half of the country in the span of nine months. Since this outbreak, veterinarians and other pet care specialists have increasingly called for pet parents to consider vaccinating their pup against canine influenza. In this post, we will look into the causes of canine influenza, what we currently know about canine influenza and the best ways to prevent and treat canine influenza.

Canine Influenza, also known as the dog flu, was first recognized in 2004, but the first major outbreak didn’t occur until 2015. In 2015, the H3N2 strain of canine influenza popped up for the first time in the United States. The virus spread quickly across the United States and now outbreaks of the H3N2 strain and the newer H3N8 strain of Canine Influenza occur in nearly every state.

Almost all dogs are susceptible to the strains of Canine Influenza when they are exposed because it is a newer virus and they have no built up natural immunity. Most dogs that develop an infection caused by this virus only experience mild symptoms, but some dogs get very sick and require treatment by a licensed veterinarian. Dog flu can pass between dogs via coughing, dog kisses, and shared toys/bowls. Humans can also transfer the virus between dogs if they do not properly sanitize themselves after touching an infected dog. A dog can be infected with dog flu for 2-4 days before any symptoms are present. Common symptoms are persistent cough, nasal discharge, and fever. It is important to get your dog tested by the veterinarian if they have a canine cough as Dog Flu symptoms can sometimes seem like other respiratory infections. Most clinics have multiple methods to test for both strains of Dog Flu (CIV H3N8 and CIV H3N2). Once a dog is infected symptoms can last from 7-10 days depending on the dog.

The best method of prevention for Canine Influenza is vaccination. There are vaccinations that protect your dog from both strains of the Dog Flu all in one vaccination. Other than vaccination being attentive and careful when socializing your dog is important. Airborne diseases can spread quickly so if you think that your dog has been exposed it is best to book an appointment with your family veterinarian as soon as possible.

If you are looking for more information on the Dog Flu, visit www.dogflu.com for in-depth information from a network of trusted veterinarians.

Elliot’s House Pet care & More New Boarding Location!

Elliot’s House Pet care & More New Boarding Location!

New Boarding Location

Boarding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elliot has found us a new home! With Elliot working so hard, we have had increased inquiries for boarding, and we decided it was time to expand! We have secured a new boarding location to better serve our growing number clients. It is a beautiful spot with plenty of land for all of Elliot’s fur friends to run and play!   Elliot bought plenty of balls, Frisbees, and fun toys for him and all of his buddies. The location is completely secured, with a PVC/concrete safeguarded fence around the property. There is even enough space for a pool! And don’t say anything, but Elliot told me he has future plans to build one for him and his friends to swim! We are beyond excited to be able to offer this new feature to our clients and we cannot wait for our fur clients to indulge in their new vacation spot!

New Boarding Location

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elliot has already started the fun!

New Boarding Location

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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They say you are what you eat

With so many brands out there today it can be difficult to decide what the best selection of dog food will be best for your pet. I think most people get advice from their vets on what brands to use and which ones not to; but on the other hand I think that many people just go to the store and grab whatever looks yummy for their pet. What those people don’t always know is that there are so many brands out there that are just flat out false advertising their “organic” and “all natural” dog food. Just like we as humans need to be cautious about the chemicals and artificial fillers in our food, our fur babies do too!  Feeding your dog food that has chemicals and low-quality ingredients can lead to both physical and mental health issues like obesity, digestive problems, poor temperament, and lack of focus. I was recently shown a great article on this dilemma, where researchers, expert contributors, and dog owners gave their two cents on health and safety of dog food over the last several years, how to look for food that is beneficial for your dog, and which ones they found to be the best. Check out the link: http://www.reviews.com/dog-food/

 

Like the article says…

 

“Don’t trust the brand trust the ingredients.”

 

 

And keep watching Elliot hard at work!

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elliots.house.9

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Dog Friendly Living in Boston

Dog Friendly Living in Boston

Bartlett (Bartlett)

So in this day in age it can be extremely difficult to find a cool pad to settle into for you and your fur love. I don’t know about you, but when I’ve looked for rentals in the Boston area, it can be slim pickings when it comes to finding a true pet friendly environment. Lucky for you guys, there’s the Kensington! Located downtown, the Kensington is a pet friendly luxury apartment building that caters to you and all of your pet needs! The building is a beautiful, modern establishment, with great staff, amazing residents, and the cutest fur friends! I have to say I am lucky to have the opportunity to work with such remarkable individuals on a regular basis (both human and fur alike)! Every month they have fun events for residents and some even incorporate your pets! They introduce up and coming businesses of all kind to suit your needs and make city living a breeze! They have a 24 hour concierge and have numerous amenities on site, like a pet spa, solarium, yoga studio, pool, fitness center, business center, car cleaning and detail services, charging station, theatre tickets, dinner reservations, dry cleaning,  laundry service, and more! They have everything! Also, I can’t tell you how amazing it is to walk into a building that doesn’t blink twice if your dog does something crazy like pee in the lobby or knock over a bowl of treats! I’m telling you if you have a pet and you are looking for a place in town, check out the Kensington!

Here are some more of Elliot’s fur friends from the Kensington!

Okemo(Okemo)

Max(Max)

Brady(Brady)

Chauncey(Chauncey)

Samson(Samson)

Baxter(Baxter)

Check out The Kensington living at:

http://www.kensingtonboston.com

 

And keep following Elliot at:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/elliotshouse

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elliots.house.9

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