July, 2021 Newsletter
Sharing information on nutrition and holistic health for your dog
Hello and welcome to July! Summer is in full swing and it's sizzling in Southern Ontario.
I've been having fun making cool treats for my dogs using summer fruit and plain unsweetened yogurt. I just made a dog-safe version of my favourite "Orange Creamsicle" - details are in the Fresh Food Facts section of this newsletter. Coral loves these treats, but then again I have yet to find any kind food that she does not love.
Do you have a dog who likes to swim? I think you'll enjoy watching the video I've shared of two Labrador Retrievers who love diving underwater to retrieve their toys.
As always, there's lots to read in this newsletter. I'd also like to welcome new subscribers - I'm happy you're here!
I hope you find time this month to enjoy some summer fun with your dog. I'd love to hear about some of the things you enjoy doing with your furry friends.
Thank you for reading, and feel free to share my newsletter with other pet parents who might be interested in fresh food and holistic health tips for dogs.
Question: Pet parents sometimes ask if they can substitute ingredients or supplements in their dog's meal plan or custom formulated diet.
Answer: I get it … sometimes products are out of stock or one type of meat or supplement might be less expensive than another, and you might think that substituting is not a big deal. But, for the most part, if you are following a specific recipe or a meal plan for your dog, you should not substitute ingredients, supplements, or meal components without first checking with your dog nutritionist.
Here are a few reasons why:
I sometimes include canned oysters or frozen cooked mussels in recipes and meal plans. They each have a specific nutritional role in the diet: oysters provide lots of zinc and copper, but are a poor source of manganese; mussels, on the other hand, are an excellent source of manganese but a poor source of zinc. Mussels and oysters aren't interchangeable in the diet since they have different nutrient profiles.
When it comes to supplements such as vitamins, minerals and nutritional oils, some forms are better tolerated and more useful to the dog's body than others.
Different proteins have different amounts of calories, fat, minerals and amino acids, and chicken is not a substitute in a recipe that calls for beef.
These are just a few of the diet and nutrition subtleties that pet owners might not be aware of. If your recipe or meal plan requires specific foods and supplements, it's best if you follow the plan and check with a nutritionist if you have difficulty accessing ingredients or if your dog doesn't tolerate or refuses any food or supplements.
Fresh Food Facts ...
Fresh food facts about cantaloupe ...
Each month I like to feature a vegetable, fruit or protein that can be added as a topper to your dog's meals or fed as a treat whether your dog eats kibble, cooked food, or a raw diet.
Cantaloupe is a fruit tray staple in the summer months. Here are some great reasons why you can share a few chunks of this juicy fruit with your dog:
A 5 cm x 5 cm x 3 cm strip of cantaloupe has only about 10 calories.
Cantaloupe is 90% water which makes it a delicious and hydrating treat.
Cantaloupe is loaded with fiber and beta-carotene, a type of carotenoid that supports eye health.
Do not feed the skin or rind of cantaloupe. The rind is a choking hazard and the skin can cause digestive upset.
This a fun way to share cantaloupe with your dog - a dog-friendly "Orange Creamsicle"
Whiz a few chunks of cantaloupe in the food processor with a spoonful of plain unsweetened yogurt. Freeze in cute molds and and offer as a cool summer treat. Make sure the yogurt does not contain xylitol.
Always test your dog's tolerance for new foods by offering a small amount of one new food at a time, and increase slowly over a few days. Remember that fruit can loosen the stool.
News to Share
News to Share is where I like to share interesting and helpful information for pet parents.
Dog First Aid
It's scary to think about, but recently a friend's dog began choking on an unknown object. Luckily they live within a minute's drive of a veterinary clinic and were able to rush their dog to the clinic for life saving treatment.
Thankfully the dog is fine but it made us all question... how prepared are we to deal with a dog health emergency? An in-person dog first aid course is now on my to-do list.
In the meantime …
This guide from the AVMA outlines some basic pet first aid procedures. Important to note: "Always remember that any first aid administered to your pet should be followed by immediate veterinary care. First aid care is not a substitute for veterinary care, but it may save your pet's life until it receives veterinary treatment."
Chances are you will need to remove a tick from your dog at some point in her life, regardless of the type of flea or tick preventative that you use or don't use. (It's a common misconception that pharmaceutical tick preventatives actually stop these pests from biting your dog.)