Our friends over at Fidose of Reality love and care for your dogs just as much as we do. That’s why they’ve put together this useful guide of 8 Hacks to Prevent Dog Fleas and Ticks. Packed with natural solutions to the nastiest biting insects, this post is all-natural and a must read for any dog parents out there who want to protect their dogs from fleas and ticks and from dangerous chemicals and pesticides.
Can Dogs Catch the Flu?
Canine flu is a contagious respiratory disease in dogs. It is thought to be a mainly airborne virus, most likely transmitted by an infected dog coughing or sneezing on another. In otherwise healthy dogs, statistics show that the canine flu is a fairly mild disease with most dogs recovering completely in two to three weeks.
The canine influenza virus (CIV), type H3N8, was first noted in greyhounds several years ago, and appeared quite dangerous at the time, with many deaths. However, its deadly effects are attributed to secondary pneumonia that developed due to the unsanitary conditions in which the greyhounds lived and worked.
What is the Difference Between H3N8 and H3N2?
In March 2015, a new outbreak began in Chicago and quickly spread around the Midwest; other areas have also reported cases. This is a different strain, H3N2, that originated in Asia. This form of CIV appears to be generally mild, except in susceptible individuals, including young puppies. This strain is also unusual in that it can affect cats and possibly other animals, though not humans.
What are Canine Influenza Virus Symptoms?
In the vast majority of dogs, CIV produces only mild, self-limiting respiratory signs: coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and fever, for up to 3 weeks. In some cases, lethargy and poor appetite may develop. Canine flu is similar to kennel cough in that antibiotics do not affect the course of the disease.
The canine flu is highly contagious; and like human flu, it is most contagious during the 2-4 day incubation period before signs of illness appear. Infected dogs continue to shed virus for about 10 days. These traits make prevention difficult.
The most likely places for your dog (or cat) to contract this flu virus are daycare and boarding kennels, dog parks, grooming facilities, pet stores, and veterinary clinics – all places where a lot of animals (especially puppies) pass through, and the chances of spreading the virus are high.
Is There a Vaccine for Canine Influenza Virus
A vaccine against the H3N8 strain of CIV is available. However, again, like human flu vaccines, it neither prevents infection nor prevents symptoms. At best, it may reduce the severity and duration of illness, and it may reduce viral shedding by an infected dog. Because it is a killed vaccine, a 2-shot series is required, with at least 10-14 days between inoculations. Immunity develops slowly; so the vaccine doesn’t really take effect until 3-4 weeks after the first shot. Giving the vaccine after a dog has been exposed to the virus is therefore useless.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The currently available vaccine does not protect against the H3N2 strain that is going around in 2015.
The CIV vaccine is considered non-core, and vaccination is not recommended for most dogs; or for any dogs that may be exposed to the newer, H3N2 strain. Some boarding kennels require vaccination for CIV; however, such requirements are not based on science, but on fear.
How is the Canine Influenza Virus Spread?
CIV spreads through respiratory secretions and contaminated objects (kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leashes), and by people moving between infected and uninfected dogs without using proper precautions.
The virus can remain infectious on surfaces for up to 48 hours, on clothing for 24 hours, and on hands for 12 hours. Good hygiene and isolation of infected dogs will limit, if not eliminate, transmission.
What Dogs Does the Canine Influenza Affect?
CIV, like many other viruses, is most likely to cause serious problems in young puppies, and in older dogs who already have other health issues.
What is the Best Defense Against Canine Influenza?
The best defense against canine flu (or any other infectious disease) is a healthy immune system — that is, one that is supported with top quality nutrition, appropriate supplements (antioxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids, and other immune supporters), limiting exposure, appropriate exercise, and good stress management.
Marty Grosjean, the founder and president of Only Natural Pet, recently took to the Pet X Talk stage to share the natural pet philosophy with pet parents. Learn how to get started on a path to better health and a natural lifestyle for your pet with this informative video.
Listen to Only Natural Pet’s Founder & CEO Marty Grosjean interviewed on Pet Radio. He discusses everything from ingredient standards, the true meaning of natural, and the important impact a natural lifestyle can have on your pet’s life.
Natural Pet Product Pioneer Only Natural Pet, Receives Overwhelmingly Positive Response to New Product Launch
Boulder, Colo., September 24, 2014― Only Natural Pet (http://www.onlynaturalpet.com), a Boulder-based pioneer of natural pet food, supplements and supplies, announced today that it is enhancing its pet food offering with an October 6, 2014 release of its natural dog kibble and canned cat food. To formulate the new foods, Only Natural Pet worked with holistic veterinarian Dr. Jean Hofve to create the new allergy-friendly Canine PowerFood™ and Feline PowerPâté™.
“Our customers were looking for a natural, grain-free food where meat was the #1 ingredient. After listening to customer requests, we formulated a natural recipe that is high-quality, made in the USA, and affordable. Our exclusively online approach to serving pet parents streamlines the entire process and passes on significant savings.” said Kersten Lee, Director of Product for Only Natural Pet. Canine PowerFood is a dry food based on the latest scientific research into packing optimal nutrition into a dog kibble, including high animal protein content and inclusion of healthy fats. This revolutionary new food comes in three recipes: Poultry Feast, Just Fish Feast and Red Meat Feast. These allergy-friendly recipes are grain-free and gluten-free and contain low-glycemic carbs like garbanzo beans and lentils, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, offering dogs whole food sources of important vitamins and minerals. Each piece of kibble is infused with Only Natural Pet’s proprietary PowerBoost™, a raw, freeze-dried blend of superfoods like green-lipped mussels, sea cucumber, pumpkin, probiotics, and digestive enzymes.
Feline PowerPâté is a canned cat food that also comes in three recipes: Chicken Dinner, Turkey Dinner and Seafood Dinner. Each recipe comes in a BPA-free can and is made in small batches at a micro-cannery in the USA with 100% human grade, grain-free and gluten-free ingredients. All three recipes feature fresh meat, fruits and vegetables and are packed in a homemade broth.
“Our commitment to improving the health of our companion animals with a holistic approach to pet health has been our top priority since founding Only Natural Pet over 10 years ago,” said Marty Grosjean, Founder and President of Only Natural Pet. “Our success with pre-orders alone demonstrates the trust we have built with customers in developing natural products and shipping them directly to the home. We have been overwhelmed by the positive response from customers that have been shopping with us for years, we can’t thank them enough for their loyal support and trust over the years.”
The new products will be sold exclusively online at http://www.onlynaturalpet.com, http://www.pet360.com and http://www.petfooddirect.com. The Canine PowerFood will be sold in 4.5-pound and 22.5-pound bags; the Feline PowerPâté will be offered in individual 5.5 oz cans and in cases of 24. The new PowerFood line joins Only Natural Pet’s three existing food lines: HealthMeals™, EasyRaw™, and MaxMeat™.
Only Natural Pet worked with BlogPaws (http://www.blogpaws.com), the go-to social media company for pet bloggers and social media enthusiasts, to assist with the launch. BlogPaws recruited 20 pet bloggers to review and sample the PowerFood in an exclusive pre-launch campaign.
About Only Natural Pet
Only Natural Pet (http://www.onlynaturalpet.com) was founded in 2004 in Boulder, Colorado, with a commitment to finding the most effective and sustainable natural pet products for every facet of a pet’s life. Today, Only Natural Pet is the leading online retailer in the natural pet food, supplements and supplies market. The company operates an e-commerce site, flagship retail store, and a print catalog that offers more than 3,900 products from Only Natural Pet and leading manufacturers in the natural, organic, and eco-friendly pet supply market. Only Natural Pet produces more than 200 of its own highly popular Only Natural Pet branded products, including food, vitamins, supplements, flea prevention, and homeopathic treatments.
Only Natural Pet, a Boulder, CO-based online retailer of natural pet products, has a lot to celebrate for its 10th Anniversary―ten successful years in business, an expanding product offering, and a reputation as a stalwart of a booming industry where natural pet products are the fastest growing segment. Founded in Boulder, Colorado, in 2004, Only Natural Pet has spent the past 10 years finding innovative, cutting-edge holistic health solutions for dogs and cats and has become a leader in the natural pet products industry.
“Only Natural Pet was founded when I realized that while I was thriving on a healthy, natural lifestyle, my dog was struggling on conventional pet foods and treatments,” said Marty Grosjean, founder and CEO of Only Natural Pet. “I started feeding my dog a natural, healthy diet that also included natural supplements and saw great strides in her health. As a result, I realized that I someone needed to make it easier for all consumers to buy natural products for their pets, and Only Natural Pet was born.”
According to data from both Mintel’s U.S. Pet Food report and PetFoodIndustry.com, between the years of 2012 and 2016, the current and anticipated increase in general pet food spending is $2 billion, with natural pet food making up approximately $1.3 billion of the total amount. This isn’t surprising to Only Natural Pet; in its first 10 years, the company has gone from an online retailer of the leading food, treats and supplements from existing pet companies, to a company who has developed and tested their own cutting-edge line of natural products with the help of a holistic veterinarian and extensive industry research. Today, Only Natural Pet offers conscious consumers more than 3,900 natural product options, with over 500 of those products under the Only Natural Pet brand.
Throughout the past 10 years, Only Natural Pet has remained true to its belief that a natural lifestyle contributes to a longer and healthier life for one’s pet. The company is committed to educating consumers on important pet health topics through its extensive Holistic Healthcare Library, which houses more than 200 articles and videos to help customers improve their pet’s health. In addition, Only Natural Pet is a founding member of the Pet Industry Sustainability Project, which strives to make the planet healthier for both humans and their pets. Only Natural Pet works closely with other industry leaders to set standards that cover everything from efficient facilities to sustainable products.
About Only Natural Pet
Only Natural Pet was founded in 2004 in Boulder, Colorado with a commitment to finding the most effective and sustainable natural pet products for every facet of a pet’s life. Today, Only Natural Pet is the leading online retailer in the natural pet supplies market. The company operates an e-commerce site, retail store, and catalog business that offers more than 3,900 products from leading manufacturers in the natural, organic, and eco-friendly pet supply market. Only Natural Pet produces more than 500 of its own highly popular Only Natural Pet branded products, including food, vitamins, supplements, and flea prevention and treatment.
From the deadly chicken jerky coming out of China to your everyday rawhide – identifying safe treats for your dog can be a matter of life and death. Most chews look innocent enough, but the truth is these chews are not only unhealthy for our dogs, they can be downright dangerous! But with some careful research and helpful tips, you can prevent treat time from becoming a terror.
Find the Source
The biggest step you can take for your dog’s treat safety is knowing the country of origin of the treats and chews you’re feeding.
As an educated pet parent, you’re already aware of the recalls and FDA investigations resulting from the Chinese chicken jerky treats, but there are other dangers to avoid when considering your dog’s treats and chews.
Chicken breast is more readily available and less expensive in China because human consumption focuses on dark meat, rather than white meat. However, the chicken sourced from China, as well as Chinese processing, use techniques and additives, like certain antibiotics, that are not allowed in the United States for safety reasons. The end result is a questionable treat that presents a risk not worth taking.
For not only your dog’s chicken jerky treats, but also his sweet potato chews, make the safer choice and only buy products sourced from the USA. They’re overseen by the FDA and must follow strict guidelines to ensure safety for your pet.
Beef and lamb chews can be sourced from several different areas.
USA chews will always be overseen by the FDA, which will mean a safe, high quality product.
Numerous chews also come from Australia and New Zealand, both countries with strict oversight, pristine environments, and high quality products. Beef chews from South America are also very safe, healthy options for your dog. High quality South American beef is a way of life for many ranchers and they are very careful to produce grass-fed, free range, 100% safe products.
Ingredient Dos and Don’ts
When it comes to ingredients in your pet’s treats and chews, a simple rule of thumb is less is more. Single ingredient treats are not only great because they’re a healthy option for your pets, but you can easily determine what’s in them, and more importantly, what’s not. If a product is made with 100% chicken, 100% sweet potato, or 100% beef, you know exactly what your dog will be eating.
Artificial colors, preservatives and flavors are also very common in pet treats. Keep your eyes peeled for any ingredients that don’t look familiar or that you can’t pronounce.
Gently dehydrated treats are easily made without these ingredients, so shop around and find options without artificial, harmful chemicals.
Finally, make sure you read the ingredient panel. A lot of companies will make healthy claims on the front of the bag, but the truth is discovered on the back. Read the ingredient panel carefully and make sure you know everything that’s in the treat.
Back to Nature
Natural ingredients are always going to be better for your dog: they’re easier to digest, they’re in line with a high quality, healthy diet, and they’re less processed than conventional treats. But with so many treats claiming to be natural, finding the truly healthy options can be difficult. There are some simple tips to help.
Look for how the product is marketed. When companies claim that their products are “100% Real,” they are grasping at straws. “Real” is not a substantiated claim and makes no difference in what’s actually in your dog’s treat. This also applies to treats that make big, bold claims on the front of the packaging. When you want to find out what a product is made with, you look at the ingredient panel, not the front of the bag.
Truly natural products can be easily identified by looking for certain phrases, like single ingredient, grass-fed, and free range. But even more important is looking at the ingredient panel: if there’s only one ingredient, then you know what your dog is eating.
It’s also helpful to keep processing in mind. If the chew or treat is bright white or some unnatural color, then it has more than likely gone through a toxic bleaching and dyeing process. If, for example, the sweet potato looks like a sweet potato, then you know that it has simply been dehydrated, which not only maintains nutritional content, but keeps dangerous chemicals out of the process.
Along with knowing what you’re giving your dog, it’s equally important to know how you give it to your dog. Although natural treats like bully sticks and sweet potato chews are 100% digestible, they can still present choking hazards and get lodged in your dog’s throat. Preventing this can be a fairly simple task.
Always be present when giving your dog a chew. You don’t have to be nose to nose, but make sure you’re in the same area as your dog and stop in occasionally to make sure everything is going smoothly. This not only gives you peace of mind that your dog is safe, but it also helps reinforce the bond between you and your dog.
Know your dog’s chewing habits. If he likes to swallow large pieces of treats, take the chew away from him when it gets down to the final bit. This will remove the choking hazard, but still give your dog a satisfying chewing experience.
When it comes to bully sticks, make sure you size your treat to your dog accordingly. Smaller dogs can do well with any size bully stick, but the 4 inch ones will last a while and are
satisfying. For larger dogs, make sure you’re getting a 12 inch or 18 inch bully stick to prevent choking and offer them a longer chewing experience.