Fact Vs. Fiction: Grain Free Dog Food

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When I adopted my dog, Juniper, the shelter handed me a baggie dog food and told me they had fed her a grain free diet, so it was best I did the same. They were adamant it would keep her coat shiny and her health in tip-top shape. I was a new dog owner, so of course I took their advice!

For almost three years, I kept the pantry stocked with high-end grain free food, which cost me a whopping $60 a bag. But it was healthy and kept her coat shiny, right? According to this article, grain-free food dominates the top of the niche pet food markets and caters to people like me, without having any scientific evidence to back their claims of being better suited for dog’s digestion. Surprised to learn that? Here are four other things that you may not know about grain-free food, broken down into fact vs. fiction…

Fiction: Grain-free means carb free.

Fact: In most instances, “grain-free” dog food still has carbohydrates in it, usually in the form of sweet potatoes, cassava, yams, and other high-starch ingredients, which are not necessarily better for dogs, and in some instances might be harder to digest than whole grains.

Fiction: A grain free diet will help with your dog’s food allergies.

Fact: In one study on food allergies tested on 278 dogs, beef, not grain, was actually the most common allergen, followed by dairy. Only 7 dogs were allergic to grain (in the form of corn).

Fiction: Grains are bad for dogs

Fact: Rather than focusing on grain itself, pet owners should be considering their furry friend’s entire diet. “Grain-free diets offer no more health benefits than a diet with grains,” states the article, “and each diet should be considered based on the overall nutrient profile rather than individual ingredients.”

Of course, always check with your veterinarian when making an adjustment in your four-legged friend’s diet.



Your Cat Loves You More Than You Think


Cats get the bad rep for being the less affectionate of our four-legged pets, but if you’re a cat owner, you know it’s far from the truth. In fact, cats can be the most loving and loyal companions you can have, and new research is here to back it up….

In a new study conducted by Oregon State University, researchers presented 50 felines with four stimuli: human interaction, food, toy, and scent. This study was done in conjunction with dogs, but it was the behavior of the felines that peeked researcher’s interest: across the board, cats were drawn to the social interaction first, even after being deprived of all four for a few hours. It even rang true for shelter cats, too.

So why it is such common belief that cats are not very personable? “This disconnect may be due, in part, to a lack of knowledge of what stimuli cats prefer, and thus may be most motivated to work for,” states the author of the study. We have the tendency, as pet owners, to compare our felines to canines, but maybe that’s where we’re getting it wrong – after all, they couldn’t be any more different (their ways of communicating love and affection are vastly different, too!). While it comes as no surprise that kitties do, actually, seek human contact, we love the attention this study is bringing to the media.

And just for fun, here are some wonderful photos of cats, because we couldn’t love the creatures any more than we already do.


2 Ingredient Dog Treats


We’re doing something a little different today, and sharing a homemade dog treat recipe that wins over even the pickiest canines, and requires minimal effort (no stirring or measuring!). Plus, they’re made with sweet potatoes, which are an excellent source of minerals and vitamins for your four-legged friend. Here’s how to whip them up…

Chicken Wrapped Sweet Potato Treats

2 sweet potatoes
1 chicken breast, fat removed, chilled in the freezer.

Preheat oven to 175 F*. Peel sweet potatoes, and cut them into matchsticks — about the size of fries. Cut them in half or thirds so each one is about an inch in length. Arrange them on a sheet tray and bake for 1-2 hours, or until they start to dry out. They should still be firm.

Thinly slice the chicken breast into strips, as you would for chicken jerky (it’s easier if the chicken is a little frozen). Wrap the pieces snugly around the sweet potato pieces and place back on baking sheet seam side down. Bake for an additional 2 hours, or until the sweet potatoes are soft but somewhat dry, and the chicken is completely cooked and dry in appearance. That’s it! I haven’t met a single dog that doesn’t love these. They should last for about a week in an airtight container. These make a special, healthy treat for your furry pal. Enjoy!

4 Things You Should be Doing to Maintain Your Cat’s Dental Hygiene


According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by the young age of 3. While certainly troublesome, there’s good news, because dental disease is entirely preventable. The key is to start right away (like today). Here are 4 tips for keeping your kitty’s teeth clean.

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4 Things You Should be Doing to Maintain Your Dog’s Dental Hygiene

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We’ve all heard the theory that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s. While we’re skeptical of its truth, we do know that dental hygiene is incredibly important when it comes to not just our own health, but our pups as well. Here are 4 big ways to keep those slobbery kisses clean…

BRUSH. We repeat, brush your dog’s teeth. Yes, we know it’s a pain, but it’s also VERY important. Brushing your furry friend’s chompers will not only prevent the buildup of bacteria and plaque, but it will keep Fido’s teeth healthy, strong, and bacteria-free. The next time you feel like skipping it just remember: periodontal disease is the number one killer among cats and dogs. Read how to brush your dog’s teeth here.

Dental treats and raw bones. Synthetic bones are great ways to keep your dog’s teeth clean between brushings. These days, there are plenty on the market that specifically target dental care (we like the Plaque Attacker. And of course, Greenies work wonderfully and double as tasty treats! A quick note: we recommend avoiding cow hooves, antlers, and any other hard bone that could cause teeth cracking or excessive bleeding – especially if your dog already suffers from teeth decay.

Perform routine inspections. After brushing and while you’ve still got your dog’s mouth in your hands, we recommend performing mini inspections. Take a minute to root around in your furry friend’s mouth for any lumps, bumps, or discoloring. While not necessarily pleasant, also make note of any changes in your dog’s breath. To keep bad breath at bay, try Plaque Remover Pet Water or these dental wipes.

Schedule dental cleanings and oral exams with your veterinarian. For older dogs, every 6 months. For younger dogs, annually. Don’t skip this part! Consistency is key for maintaining your furry friend’s dental hygiene.


Why Cats Meow at Night (And Tips for Stopping it)


Picture this: you’re settling in to bed after a long day. The cat is curled up at your feet and you can’t wait to catch up on some sleep. You dose off — only to be awoken in the middle of the night to loud meowing. Your cat sounds distressed and anxious as he paces about the room. You throw a pillow over your head, but your furry companion’s sounds can still be heard. Sound familiar?

This behavior, while common, can be disruptive and, we’ll admit, very annoying. Cats are nocturnal animals, which means (unfortunately) that they’re somewhat hardwired to stir come nightfall. Still, there are a few ways to make it bearable…

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8 Books Every Dog and Cat Owner Should Own


Today, we’ve rounded up our 8 favorite books for both dog and cat owners — from a coffee table book guests will love flipping through – to the ultimate guide on owning a cat, there’s something for everyone.


Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook. This might not be the most exciting read, and we’d be crazy to tell you to read it cover to cover, but it’s a great resource to have around – especially in those moments when your dog has eaten something from the kitchen, or can’t stop biting his tail, or has a weird bump on his ear. It doesn’t replace a veterinarian visit, but it’s a great place to start for those unpredictable moments (plus, it’s less frightening than looking up a symptom on Google!).

Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know. This bestselling book takes everything that you think you know about your furry pooch and knocks it on its head. If you ever wonder what your dog is thinking, or how he knows you’ve picked up dog treats even though they’re in a sealed bag, this is your book. Just warn your family members: you won’t be able to stop talking about it. This interview with the writer is fascinating.

Underwater Dogs. While not necessarily an informative book, this coffee table read is a must have for any dog lover. With a perfect 5 star rating on Amazon, it’ll bring a little bit of joy into your life every time you pick it up. Bonus: it makes a great gift, too.

How Dogs Love Us.” A great read for anyone fascinated by the unconditional love shared between owner and pet, this book delves deep into the relationships shared between humans and dogs. Without giving too much away, this Ted Talk is a great introduction by the author.


Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook. The feline’s version of the veterinary handbook listed above, and just as useful.

Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat. Even the most devoted cat lovers can learn from this book, which covers all of cat parent’s “most pressing concerns.” And even though it’s packed with useful information and tips, author Pam Johnson-Bennett keeps it light, funny, and entertaining – you’ll be sad when you reach the last chapter.

The Big New Yorker Book of Cats. Because we couldn’t include a coffee table book for dogs and not cats – this one is jam packed full of illustrations, photographs, articles, poems, cartoons, and more.

Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet. As described by the Guardian: “Bradshaw’s book mixes pellets of cat lore with accounts of feline evolution, anatomy, genetics, and development from newborn kittens to adulthood, plus descriptions of cat-psychology experiments in the laboratory, many of which he has conducted himself…”

Read anything good recently about our four-legged friends? Please share in the comments!

Help! My Cat Has Separation Anxiety


Cats are often considered the more independent of our four-legged pets; they like to keep to themselves, they’ll spend hours in hiding, and they are often royally unimpressed by us humans. So, it may come as a surprise that cats actually suffer from separation anxiety just as much as dogs. In fact, it’s common for a kitty to become distressed when left alone, and days spent separated from their owners can be quite hard on them. Here are 5 ways to ease your furry pal’s separation anxiety…

How do you detect it? There are a few tell-tale signs. Misuse of the litter box, excessive scratching, and hair pulling are all red flags that your cat might be suffering from separation anxiety. Does your neighbor hear him crying while you’re gone? Vocalizing their distress is also quite common for felines. Luckily, there are several ways to manage your kitties anxiety, and it starts before you leave the house.

First, practice: cats that aren’t used to their owners leaving have a harder time adjusting to their absence. Plan several short errands and leave the house for 15 or 30 minutes. While it seems counter productive, the more you leave, the more your cat will begin to understand that you always return!

Keep departure cues at a miminum. Cats (and dogs) pay attention to your every move. Picking up your keys or putting on your shoes are all indications that you’re heading out. Keep your departure as brief and uncomplicated as possible, and don’t prolong a goodbye. In fact, some cat experts recommend briefly ignoring your furry feline before you leave, and once you return.

Leave them toys and distractions. If you have time, setting up a scavenger hunt will keep your furry pal occupied while you’re gone, and he may even begin to associate your absence with a fun game. Try hiding treats or his favorite toys around the house.

Consider a cat sitter for peace of mind, especially if you plan on being gone for most of the day. Our cat sitters are well-versed in all things feline, and will keep your furry pal happy and stimulated while you’re away.

If your cat’s anxiety worsens, consider a trip to the veterinarian. It may take some time (and patience), but stay hopeful!