Episode 15: The Reality of Food Allergies and the Big Pet Food Scare

DogFoodAllergiesFood allergies do exist, and can cause significant discomfort for some pets. Pet foods have vastly oversimplified pet itchiness, often making everything related to grains in foods. Grain allergies do exist, but are much less common than allergies to meats. Which meat depends on the individually pet, and also has no relation to the quality of the meat. If your dog is allergic to chicken, he or she is allergic to all-organic human-grade* chicken breast as well.

* see Episode 8 to learn what this term really means.

Fleas on a Dog

When dogs have fleas, they tend to itch here.

Dogs with food allergies tend to itch here

Dogs with food allergies tend to itch here

Also remember, not all itchiness is food allergies. Allergies to pollens and other things in the environment are common, as well as fleas or other parasites, such as ear mites.

Fleas_on_cat

Cats with fleas tend to itch and get scabs here.

FoodCat

Cats that have food allergies can itch anywhere

Dr. Rumore and John go into depth about the big pet food recall scare of 2007, which was related to melamine put into wheat gluten. We also speak briefly about why some people have to avoid wheat gluten as well.

Hydrolyzed diets can be used to help with food allergies as well. These diets “cut up” the protein molecules so that antibodies and the pet’s immune system can not react to them.

The Kangaroo Diet made by Eukanuba was mentioned.

The Pet’s in the News segment talked about a study showing that limited ingredient pet foods are often contaminated with other ingredients  and how this can make treating food allergies very frustrating.

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Episode 13: Why Your Pet Likes Eating Grass

for those of you who missed it the first time (yes iTunes, I’m talking to you.)

If you’re a person, just look down for the actual post.

Episode 13: Why Your Pet Is Eating Grass

Dog Eating GrassSome dogs and cats seem almost obsessive about eating grass. John and Dr, Rumore discuss why, whether you need to worry about it, and how to slow them down if your pets love of lawn salad is getting too excessive.

If you are trying to add some fiber to your pet’s diet, dogs tend to like canned green beans, carrots (fresh, frozen and canned), romaine leaves, or apples. Avoid garlic and onions, as they can cause anemia is dogs and cats.

We talk a fair amount about herbicides and cancer risks in dogs. If you want more information:

Here is the link to the Purdue study that shows the bladder cancer risk with herbicides and Scotties.

Here is the link to an article about the herbicide 24D and cancer in dogs.

Here is the link to the response from the manufacturer of 24D, refuting the cancer study.

The ASPCA Poison Control Center has much information about which plants in your house and yard may be toxic.

Cat Eating Grass

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Episode 11: Itchy Allergies, Benadryl Doses, and Protein Levels in Pet Food

So Itchy!Many of our pets are itchy, and often it can be related to allergies to pollens and things in the environment. These environmental allergies, called atopy, can sometimes be managed at home with washing and antihistamines. If your pets allergies seem to be seasonal, washing the feet and antihistamines may help.

If you want to try over the counter Benadryl. The active ingredient to look for is Diphenhydramine HCL. You should avoid other active ingredients  and sugar free formulas (xylitol can be toxic.)

The dose of Diphenhydramine is 1 mg per pound. So a 12 pound dog could take 12mg. If you have a 12.5 mg tablet, you could use that. If you have a liquid formula that is 12.5 mg per teaspoon, you could give 1 teaspoon. If it is not that simple, or if you are terrible at math, ask your veterinarian.  If Benadryl and feet washing do not help, there are many other forms of treatment available, just talk to your veterinarian.

Here’s the link to the study feeding extra fat to drug-sniffing dogs. Our Pets in the News segment revealed a study that showed that less protein and more fat improved their sense of smell, and helped increase their exercise tolerance.

Here’s some more info on Oscar the cat who could sense when people would pass in a nursing home, as well as dogs trained to smell melanomas.

Benadryl Dose Chart

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Episode 8: Terrible Food Labels, Knee Replacements and 3-D Printers

Dr. Rumore and John talk about how completely pathetic pet food labels are, and how you can be easily fooled into paying extra money for empty words. Some of useless words include:

Pet Food Label Trickery

Premium,” “Holistic,” “Human-Grade“: These have no actual meaning, and can legally be put on ANY pet food

Natural“: means not synthetic, it does NOT mean organic. Synthetic vitamins are still allowed with this label.

with” and “flavored“: can mean a small, or even minuscule amount

100%“: means 95%

Grain-Free“; is only important for a very few pets. Most pets with food allergies are allergic to a type of meat, not a type of grain

Made in the USA“: can still be made of foreign ingredients, as long as they were mixed together in the United States

Real Meat“: organ meat (by-products) are a much more natural source of nutrition for pets than white chicken breast. “Meat” is important because it appeals to a pet’s owner, not because it is better for the pet

Order of Ingredients: is commonly tampered with by using dried products or components.

Dr. Rumore and John also discuss how 3-D printers may change the way we treat our pet’s joints, and how this makes getting pet insurance a good idea

 

Useless Pet Food Label Words Useless Pet Food Label Words

 

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