February 22nd, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Charlie enjoyed watching the Puppy Bowl on Super Bowl Sunday, but some of her human guests managed to slip her a variety of questionable snacks during the day’s events.
Not surprisingly, Charlie repaid everyone’s generosity with a series of gastrointestinal upheavals. As a puppy that eats table food only when it drops from the kitchen prep area, she’s not used to anything other than her carefully selected organic dog food, which contains:
- Protein to build and maintain strong muscles
- Vitamins and minerals for heart health
- Antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamin E to promote a strong immune system
- A fiber blend for optimal digestive health
- Omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
- Multigrain carbohydrates like corn, rice, sorghum and barley for energy and vitality
- Natural calcium for strong teeth and bones
Instead of recommending a specific brand of food, I’d encourage you to talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s specific needs, based on age, size, weight, breed, health conditions and other variables. Tell the vet you want to buy an organic food, and review the available options.
Tune in tomorrow for info on prebiotic and probiotic supplements for pets.
Read More:7 Organic Pet-Food Ingredients Your Dog Needs
November 26th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Dear Mom & Dad:
So, this is my first Turkey Day! Seems like a great opportunity to scavenge for whatever drops off the kitchen counter. I’m so there!
But Dr. Ron DeHaven, CEO of the American Veterinary Medical Association, is pooping on my organic poultry parade.
“This is the time of year that many veterinary hospitals report more emergency calls than any other time,” he says. “Often, this is associated with your pets getting into food that they simply shouldn’t have. Consider the dog that gets into that turkey carcass. Because of the high fat content, this can cause a really serious condition called pancreatitis.”
Dr. Ron is really beginning to bug me.
“Many of the worst poisonings during the holiday season occur when we’re not at home,” he adds. “Be sure after Thanksgiving dinner that you put that turkey carcass out in the trash, well out of reach of your pets.
“Also consider wrapped candies or foods that may be in holiday packages. Your pets have sensitive noses, so they could get into those things. If that happens while you’re not home, you wouldn’t be there to help them.”
C’mon, Mom, what’s next? Is Dr. Ron going to take away the furry slippers I steal? I want turkey! Today! Hurry! Aaargh!
No one’s listening to me. Whatever.
Happy freakin’ Thanksgiving. You’d better hide your socks.
The Charlie Chronicles
Read More:Charlie’s First Thanksgiving
November 8th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Charlie, my dog-niece, is now 6 months old. As with 75% of pet owners, we consider her to be an important member of the family. She enjoys a variety of canine creature comforts: sleeping in bed with her “parents,” vacationing in the Hamptons and exercising during play dates with her pals.
The same mindset applies to Charlie’s food. My sister opts for a veterinarian-recommended dog food, made from only the most wholesome, organic, chemical-free ingredients—and she’s not alone.
“Gourmet foods and flavors once considered upscale and limited only to fine-dining establishments are now appearing in mass channels such as grocery stores and even in commercial dog food,” says Lucien Vendome, executive chef for Nestlé.
Dogs can also dine on pet foods that contain unique ingredients, such as fruits, vegetables and good-for-you grains. For example, some dog foods are now formulated with accents of antioxidant-rich cranberries and sweet potatoes. Others deliver excellent nutrition through whole grains like oatmeal and brown rice.
As more of us embrace a healthy lifestyle and eat natural and organic foods, we choose similar options for our pets. Purchases of natural/organic pet foods and treats have skyrocketed.
Nutritional supplements are another trend, with pet foods that support joints and omega fatty acids that promote a healthy skin and coat. Advanced formulas are available at veterinarians’ offices for pets with specific health conditions.
The Charlie Chronicles
Study findings courtesy of Nestlé
Read More:Dogs Go Organic
September 22nd, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
My dog-niece Charlie, now 4 months old, enjoyed several baths over the summer.
There have been only a few days of that familiar “stinky dog smell.” Luckily, Charlie enjoys a good shampoo and fluff, so there’s no battle in getting her into the sink or tub.
Many dog shampoos contain toxic chemicals, so it’s important to purchase green products.
Kimberly Delaney, author of Knack Clean Home, Green Home: The Complete Illustrated Guide to Eco-Friendly Homekeeping, offers these recommendations:
- Shampoo products should be made from plant-derived ingredients, with nontoxic preservatives.
- If the product is scented, make sure natural oils are used.
- Product labels should list all ingredients.
- Shampoos should be 100% biodegradable.
- Whenever possible, select a product with recyclable packaging.
If your dog has any acute or chronic skin conditions, consult with your veterinarian before selecting bath products.
5 Natural and Organic Dog Shampoos
- Aubrey Organimals
- Spot Organics No More Itch Shampoo
- Richard’s Organics Deodorizing Dog & Cat Shampoo
- Earthbath All Natural Mango Tango Shampoo and Conditioner in One
- TrueBlue Pure and Sure Puppy Shampoo
Read More:You Can Lead a Dog to Water…
August 25th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Meet Charlie, my new dog-niece.
She’s a Labradoodle puppy who’s amazingly cute, with a wonderful temperament.
Charlie is already housebroken, but she’s had a few accidents when overexcited. Toxic chemicals are definitely not a cleaning option, so my sister takes the natural route.
Enzyme products “do a superb job destroying stains and odors,” according to Mary Findley and Linda Formichelli, authors of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Cleaning. They write:
Enzymes eat away at bacteria and solid waste matter. They are unmatched in their ability to destroy urine, feces, vomit, odors and stains.
Findley and Formichelli recommend three products:
- Kleen-Free Naturally (organic), which also helps control pests
- PetGuest 100% Enzyme Concentrate Stain & Odor Remover (nonpolluting, environmentally friendly, biodegradable)
- Nature’s Miracle Stain & Odor Remover (natural)
I’ll provide Charlie updates as she continues to settle in!
Read More:Leaky Puppies