Realizing the Dangers of Raw Pet Food

For some pet owners, a raw food diet for their cats and dogs seems obvious – animals thrive on food they would naturally eat in the wild. While some vets agree with this and others do not, the Food and Drug Administration(FDA) has released new information warning against feeding your pet a raw food diet due to the risk of bacteria that thrive in uncooked meat.

These bacteria include Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes and pose a health risk not just to pets but to their owners as well.

In an extensive study, the FDA took samples from commercial brands of raw pet food, jerky-type treats, semi-moist, and dry pet foods for cats and dogs. The research found that while dry and semi-moist foods were virtually disease free, nearly 24% of the 196 raw pet food samples contained either salmonella or listeria.

The bacteria that could potentially be housed in raw pet food poses a risk not only to the animals to eat it, but to their owners as well. Without careful sanitation practices, these bacteria can easily make their way into the human immune system.

While the FDA wants to highlight the potential threat of raw pet foods, it also acknowledges that some owners choose raw food for their pets and thus recommends specific food safety tips for owners when handling raw meat:

To Protect Your Dog

  1. Freeze meat until use
  2. Defrost in the refrigerator or in the microwave
  3. Immediately cover and refrigerate what your pet doesn’t eat. If it’s been sitting out for a while, go ahead and toss it.

To Protect Yourself

  1. Keep raw pet food separate from other food
  2. Clean and disinfect all surfaces that were used for raw food preparation
  3. Always wash your hands after preparing or cleaning up raw food.
  4. Don’t accept kisses from your pet after they eat raw food. If their mouth comes in contact with your face or hands, be sure to wash the area thoroughly.

Salmonella bacteria are a familiar cause of food poisoning in the United States. It can cause fever, vomiting, diarrhea that may be bloody, and lethargy in both humans and animals.

Listeria is a less known and less common cause of food poisoning. While it rarely affects dogs and cats, it is more dangerous for humans than salmonella. The FDA reports that it is the leading cause of food borne illness hospitalization and death in the developed world. Signs of listeria in humans include fever, stiff neck and headache, loss of balance, and convulsions.

Given the new research, pet owners should consider the risks and benefits of raw food pet diets for both their pets and themselves,

Regardless of what you choose to feed your pet, the Pet Super Store has a wide variety of bowls and feeders to make your pet feel like royalty. And if you’re looking for tips on nutrition or other pet care concerns, be sure to visit our Knowledge Center to learn more.

11-25-13

Pets Eating Non-Food Items Can Lead to Surgery

Canine Surgery

Dogs and cats are either finicky eaters or they eat everything in sight—even non-food items.

Lots of pets chew on a variety of objects, but if you have a pet that literally eats the chewed off pieces, you could find yourself with a large vet fee to remove the item(s).

Here’s a list of objects veterinarians report removing from family pets:

  • 5 pounds of rocks
  • 10-12 feet of yarn from a rug
  • Phones & other small electronics
  • Small ball
  • Small clothing (socks are number 1)
  • Coins (111 pennies eaten by a 13-year-old Jack Russell terrier)
  • Jewelry
  • Condoms
  • A new No. 2 pencil with an eraser
  • Forks and blades
  • A Mickey Mouse hat

Objects swallowed like a rock or a small ball may need surgery to remove it from the pet’s stomach, but fabric and items that easily tear are much riskier.

Vets perform hundreds of pet surgeries every year to remove small articles of clothing and other objects from pets’ stomachs and intestines.

While it is common practice to remove non-food items out of dog and cats, it also can be dangerous.

For example, clothing and fabric items ingested don’t appear on X-rays.

So, how can you tell if your pet has ingested something she shouldn’t have? Within 48 hours, a pet that has consumed a piece of clothing will develop symptoms including:

  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Depression

When detected early, a vet can remove the item from inside the animal and everything is usually fine. If not, the pet’s intestines will start to die because blood can’t get through. Sometimes removing the intestine is an option.

If left untreated, the problem can be fatal because of dehydration or bacteria leaking into the stomach, causing peritonitis.

And surgeries to remove or dislodge things that pets swallow are not cheap: $2,500 to $5,000.

It’s important for pet owners to know the personality of their pets. For example, puppies are more apt to swallow things than older dogs. So, don’t leave things around that they like to swallow.

Also, for pet owners who keep flower bouquets in the house or growing outside the house, eating just one lily can kill a cat. Preservative packets added to the water in the vase to help keep them fresh can also make animals sick if they drink it.

Not all non-food items eaten by dogs and cats need surgically removed:

  • Sticks
  • Pinecone pieces
  • Small plastic or rubber pieces
  • Weeds & grass

While ingesting these items does not usually require surgery, your pet will display the symptoms listed above, especially vomiting as that is a natural function in an attempt to rid the body of the foreign matter.

Try to purchase toys for your dog or cat that are less likely to be chewed into pieces and swallowed. The Nylabones are an excellent option. They can satisfy your dog’s need to chew.

Nylabone’s Durable Bone is built to withstand the most aggressive chewers. Made of flavor-infused solid nylon, it will last a long time. While your dog chews, he’ll create raised nylon bristles that help keep his teeth clean and his breath fresh.

Pet Super Store has several Nylabones and other chewy treats your pets are sure to love.

And with some of the top dog treat brands available like Kong, Nylabone, Dingo and StarMark, they are sure to be satisfied to the fullest.

To learn more about foods you should avoid feeding your pet, we invite you to check out our infographic “11 Foods Fatal to Fido” today.

5 Ways Your Pet’s Diet Impacts Health

hungry puppyObesity is a major concern with pets because it at the root of many illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.

A sick pet can end up costing a lot of money. Just ask any pet owners who has experienced a sick pet or one that required surgery.

Multiple trips to the vet are to be expected whether the pet has a short term illness or a chronic one. Thankfully, there are things that pet owners can do in order to help their pets live a healthier, happier life.

The best place to start is to take a look at your pet’s diet, which can have a huge impact on their health.

New pet owners often don’t realize just how important the quality of food is that they feed their pets. What a pet eats is something that affects nearly every aspect of their wellbeing. Your pet’s diet is important and should not be overlooked.

Our diet affects our health as humans just as it does for our pets. For pets to be healthy, they need certain specific nutrients. Feeding them an unhealthy diet essentially prevents them from getting the nutrients needed to be healthy.

Here are five ways our pets’ diet can impact their health:

  1. Allergies and sensitivities. It’s not uncommon for cats and dogs to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. Foods that contribute to the problem include things like corn, soy, dyes, and preservatives.
  2. Urinary tract problems. Urinary tract problems, including stones or crystals, and inflammation and infection are also common. Pets tend to have less of a problem when eating canned food that contains more water content that also usually contain more meat.
  3. Weight issues. Obesity is an issue for pets just as it is for people. Contributing factors include overfeeding, getting too many treats or eating people food regularly. Weight problems can lead to numerous other health and quality of life issues for your pet.
  4. Diabetes. Overweight dogs and cats are also more susceptible to developing diabetes, which can lead to a variety of quality of life and health issues on its own.
  5. Dental concerns. Pets who are not eating a healthy diet and, thus, not getting the proper nutrients can also suffer from dental problems like periodontal disease. Many people prefer to buy dry pet food because it is cheaper, but it tends to be harder on the teeth for many cats and dogs.

In an effort to save money, people often feed their pets whatever is cheapest. However, in the long run it isn’t cheaper when you add in the health problems and vet bills that can occur. The better quality food is more likely to help your pet avoid being sick and having to visit the veterinarian more often.

Look for brands that more closely fits your pet’s natural diet: high in meat/protein and no fillers or by products. Foods such as rendered animal fats, corn, soy, wheat, sugar, and artificial flavors and preservatives, can be difficult for your pet’s digestive system.

Taking care of your furry little friend will be a cinch with the outstanding products and quality brand names we have to offer at Pet Super Store. With a vast number of products to choose from, you will get exactly what you’re looking for all in one stop.

From the eyes to the ears, teeth to the fur, all aspects of your dog is covered with the flurry of products available.

Feed Pets on Demand

water

Whether you’re going away for a night or just don’t feel like getting out of bed on Sunday morning, an automatic pet feeder can take over your pet watering and feeding obligations.

Many of us work and are unable to be there for our beloved pet every moment of the day. Having a back-up feeding plan is not just convenient –it can help keep our pets healthy.

Between work, soccer practice, Girl Scouts meetings and stopping to grab milk, by the time we get home, Fido has been out of water for two hours and his stomach is growling with hunger.

Auto pet feeders will keep your pets hydrated and properly fed.

On the days you must be away for 12 to 15 hours, you never have to worry about your pet going thirsty or hungry with auto feeders.

Even when our days run like clock-work, some days our pets are thirstier than other days. It’s great comfort knowing our pets are hydrated. Try one of our fountain auto water options.

Pets come in all sizes, shapes and forms as do automatic pet feeders. We have an excellent choice of different sizes and styles to choose from ensuring you get the perfect fit.

We even carry auto feeders you can program to whatever schedule you choose. This allows you to feed your pet once, twice, three times a day or more without physically lifting a bowl or pouring a bag.

At the pre-set time, your pet will be jumping for joy with a full bowl of water and delicious food at paw! The automated pet feeders put a whole new meaning in the word convenience for you and your pet.

Automatically control the time and quantity of your pets’ meals.

Designed specifically for the on-the-go pet owner, the ERGO pet feeder allows you to feed your pet at set intervals during the day. Also controlling the amount of food dispensed, gives you full control over your pets’ food intake even when you aren’t home.

Featuring a stylish design that is pleasing to the eye and can be kept anywhere in your home. The bowl is detachable for easy cleaning and is removable without having to empty the container. Controlled dispensing allows up to 8 feedings a day, and the feeder holds up to 20lbs of food.

The K-9 Cafe Tray pack is the perfect automatic pet food dispenser for those pet owners with large dogs. Automatic dog feeders capable of storing and dispensing up to 25lbs of food and keeps the food sealed inside until your pet decides it is time to eat. It will also hold and dispense up to 5 gallons of water.

This is a great solution for pet owners take frequent trips and need a solution to keep their pet dog fed while they are gone. Order today and have it delivered to your doorstep.

Remember, we have free shipping on all orders over $75!

Infographic: Foods Toxic to Dogs

Infographic_blog imageLet’s be honest, we all do it. Even the most conscientious pet parent will toss their dog some table scraps from time to time.

While it’s true that dogs have pretty tough constitutions, it’s also true that they don’t inherently know what’s food and what’s not. If you’ve ever even met a dog, then you know the kinds of things they will indiscriminately put in their mouths. As pet parents, though, it’s our responsibility to make sure that that the foods they eat – while they might not always be the healthiest options – aren’t dangerous to their well-being.

Think you know what’s safe to feed to your furry friend? Each pair of foods below contains one item that’s dog-approved, and one that could potentially make your canine companion very ill. Do you know which is which?

Make your choices, then click the link below to check out our infographic and find out how much you know about which foods are toxic to dogs.

a. Eggs
b. Alcohol

a. Milk
b. Peanut Butter

a. Caffeinated Foods and Beverages
b. Cheese

a. Cooked Chicken
b. Raw Meat

a. Grapes
b. Carrots

a. Yogurt
b. Avocado

a. Salt
b. Green Beans

a. Macadamia Nuts
b. Pumpkin

a. Sliced Apples
b. Onions & Garlic

a. Salmon
b. Yeast

a. Oatmeal
b. Artificial Sweeteners

Check Your Answers on our Infographic!

Additional references: Dog Approved People Food