Cats Stand For Health.

All of our pet foods, dog and cat, have the Good 4 Life system in them, which are nutritional products added to help maintain health and well being. We were talking about cats in the last blog, and how they have two of the same beneficial Alltech products that our dog food contains, the minerals and prebiotics.  

But now it's time to tell the cats from the dogs – cats have 2 different supplements in their feline Good 4 Life system.

One has to do with how your cat relieves itself.  

My dog, Rosy, (below) does not pee into a box (does yours?) but my cat, Willie, did for 19 years.

397300_498452910174513_709604955_nDo guests come over and tell you your house smells like a giant litter box?  If so, you might want to try our cat food if you don't already. That's because we have another great Alltech product called DeOdorase™ in our food.  This is made using the extract from the yucca plant and yucca is known for it's ability to reduce ammonia arising from your cat's waste.  Here's the story of what we smell when we change that litter box.  

Since cats are true carnivores requiring high protein diets of animal origin, that protein is excreted through urea in urine; therefore cat's waste produces a lot of ammonia. I'm sure you agree that this is a fairly strong odor, but it doesn't stop there, decomposition of animal feces by bacterial activity also releases ammonia and other noxious gases. Pee-uuu!  

De-Odorase™ takes care of overall fecal odor, including ammonia, and, university studies have reported that De-Odorase™ can promote a 30 to 50% reduction of gases released from feces of companion animals.

So, by adding De-Odorase™ to your cat's diet by feeding our cat food, litter box ammonia odors are reduced. Phew! You can breathe easier now.

z68-summ-kittyJust so you know, our ingredient panel does not say, Alltech's De-Odorase™. If listed this way, no one would know what it was and all ingredients on pet food must be transparent to you, the consumer. Find yucca schidigera extract on our ingredient panel. There it is!

Young kittens experience many stresses during early stages of life and a good diet can be the difference between a healthy start and a more challenging one. The last of the 4 products in cat's Good 4 Life, can help. We include, NUCLEO-SACC™ which is functional protein that contains essential and functional nutrients that supports development in the early stages of life, such as enhancing muscular, nervous system and gastrointestinal tract development.

Best of all, from your cat's perspective is, it enhances the flavor of the pet food.

Here's why. Let's talk about our tongues first. So do you remember the four different tastes that our taste buds can detect?   Did you recall, sweetness, sourness, bitterness and saltiness? There are actually 5!  The fifth taste identified is called umami.  What? I know, it's an unusual, surprising, word. It's Japanese that basically means pleasant, savory, taste. So umami is a full, rounded, savory taste. The umami taste can be found in meats and vegetables and in nutritional yeast. That is what NUCLEO-SACC™ is. Functional, nutritional yeast that has a savory taste. (For you scientific types, it's the glutamates in the different foods that gives it the umami taste) Cats taste savory as well so the food is more appealing and palatable to your tiny tiger.

Bottom line to remember, we take the health and well-being of your cat seriously, and all of our cat food brands, NutriSource, Pure Vita and Natural Planet contain these four great ingredients that makes our cat food so Good 4 it's long and healthy life.

 

 

Good 4 Life For All “Nine” Lives.

Even if it is just our perception of how lucky and resilient cats are, taking their health seriously is no joke and so all of our cat foods have our Good 4 Life system in them.

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That's four, Alltech made patented, trademarked, nutritional products packaged together for our cat food that is EXCLUSIVE to our company. Look up the company, Alltech. They care about animals, you and the environment.

Just like in our dog food, all of our cat brands have Bioplex® minerals. 

Let's review minerals 101. Trace minerals such as iron, zinc, copper, manganese and cobalt play a crucial role in pet nutrition. In order to help maintain a healthy coat and skin, balanced growth and optimum disease resistance, pets require a consistent, available and active mineral supply.

To get this, one wants really good minerals that withstand the pet food formulation process and can get through the cats volatile GI (gastrointestinal tract.) We've got them. Alltech's Bioplex® brand organic trace minerals are unique in that they are protected by multiple amino acids and peptides which gets them safely through the volatile GI environment to absorption sites, which prevents loss of these essential trace minerals.
And, it gets better.  Bioplex®, trace minerals are proteinated which means they are easily absorbed from the intestine, and more highly retained by your cat's body. This establishes adequate tissue reserves that support disease defense and overall nine "live"ly-ness. New made up word!!

Number "2" supplement in our cat's Good 4 Life, is the same cool prebiotics, that we use in our dog food.

It's called Bio-Mos® and is a natural (derived from the cell wall of a select strain of yeast) solution to intestinal health issues. It promotes good bacteria and builds natural defenses there by maximizing animal performance and profitability.  Bottom line, means good gut health.

But now it's time to tell the cats from the dogs – the other 2 supplements in our feline Good 4 life system are different from the canines. I'll give you a hint about one of them.  Hate that strong ammonia smell coming from your cat litter box?

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We have a solution. Find out in two weeks – next blog.   

A healthy Gut – Another Way To “Good 4 Life”.

There are two more nutritional products besides the minerals I spoke about in the last blog, in our Good 4 Life system for dogs, which helps maintain optimal health and well being. They are prebiotics and probiotics.  You may be familiar with probiotics which are healthy living bacteria, if you eat yogurt or take them in pill form.  While you may be aware of the benefits of PRO-biotics, PRE-biotics are less known but just as important.

A prebiotic is a non-living, special type of dietary fiber that provides the environment in the gut for the living bacteria, the probiotic, to survive. Both are needed and both have great health benefits for your dog. So what do they do? In a nutshell they provide good gut health for your pet. 

Here's why this is important.  

Did you know that the interaction between the bacteria that lives in your dog's digestive tract and the rest of its body is one of the single biggest factors that dictate your pet's health? Extensive research in digestive health has proven that most disease situations originate from a compromised immune system, which you probably already know, or the malfunctioning of the GI (gastrointestinal) tract, which I didn't know.   

This means the GI tract (the gut) needs to be in a state of stable balance between good and bad bacteria. When there are more beneficial bacteria in the gut, they suppress the activity of the negative or pathogenic, bacteria present. When an imbalance occurs, the opportunistic “bad” bugs can overcome the number of desirable microbes reducing their beneficial effects – typically resulting in disease or symptoms such as diarrhea.

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Having Bio-mos®, the special Alltech pre-biotic in our pet food combats the negative microorganisms in the gut and actually attracts these undesirable bugs to its surface and traps them. Then these bad strains of bacteria, e-coli as one possible example, are reduced dramatically in the gut, as they are ‘washed out’ in the animal’s droppings. Pretty cool for a little bit of fiber.

Our probiotic, (the good living bacteria) helps with the absorption of nutrients, improves digestion of  the nutrients in the stomach and helps maintain an environment that doesn't allow bad bacteria to grow. Big job for good little bugs.

And, to retain the integrity of the living probiotics, at KLN family brands we spray them on the kibble after it has been cooked.  

Next blog, Good4life for cats, and remember the Good4Life system is exclusive to our brands. 

Want Food That’s Good For Your Pet’s Life?

One of the things that really make us different from other pet foods is our Good 4 Life System. See the little blue and orange symbol on our bags?

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Here's what it means.

There is another family owned company, called Alltech, (www.alltech.com) a very cool company from Kentucky that makes nutritional products for animals using real ingredients from the earth, (not synthesized drugs).

KLN family brands wanted to make sure that the minerals and pre and probiotics used in their pet foods would be highly effective ones so they approached Alltech and together, they created the Good 4 Life system. This is a combination of Alltech nutritional products designed to maintain the health and well being of your pets. Its 4, patented, trademarked, nutritional products in our dog food and four in our cat food that maintains gut health, assists reproduction and supports the overall immune system which is needed to fight off disease when challenged.

We'll start with discussing two of the items in our dog food.

Let's talk minerals.

You probably know that the immune system in both our bodies and in our dogs is the first line of defense against infectious disease.

What you might not know is to maintain a properly functioning immune system a dog's body requires optimal nutrition and minerals play a key role.

During times of stress and disease, the body draws on its mineral stores in the tissues in order to increase the efficiency of the immune response. So having top notch minerals is crucial. We've got them! The Bioplex® organic trace minerals (copper, iron, manganese, zinc,) in our food made by Alltech, are 100% proteinated minerals. These are organic minerals that are attached to natural protein amino acids, causing them to act like a protein which results in more efficient use of the regular trace minerals. For your dog, this means they are better absorbed and used by the body and most closely mimic the green leafy vegetables from Mother Nature.

But there's more. Before this process happens, Alltech takes the minerals mined from the United States and puts the minerals through some heavy duty testing, to make sure they are not contaminated by any heavy toxic metals, dioxins, or PCB's. You may be surprised to learn that a fair amount is rejected due to contamination. So, then the pure minerals are proteinated and sent along to KLN.

Wanting to provide the highest mineral status we can get for optimal health, we also are using organic selenium. Selenium is another very important mineral that we and our dogs need. Here is what selenium does: it plays an essential role in metabolism, orchestrates normal growth, aids reproduction and supports the immune system, to name just a few of its benefits.

Sel-Plex® is Alltech's proprietary organic form of selenium, manufactured to again, mimic Mother Nature, and is better absorbed, stored in the body and utilized more efficiently by your dog than inorganic selenium. (The inorganic type goes by the name sodium selenite on most other pet food bags).

On our ingredient panel, you will see Sel-Plex® listed as selenium yeast and it is the most researched and proven form of organic selenium and is also the only FDA reviewed and first EU approved source of organic selenium. The point is, our selenium does what it is suppose to do.

Take a look at this part of our ingredient panel on all our dog food.

Ingredients:
Minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, cobalt proteinate, selenium yeast),

We are one of the few pet foods that have 100 percent proteinated minerals and organic selenium! We take the health of your pets seriously and want to make sure our pet food is good for supporting your dog's life and longevity.

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And remember, because KLN family brands and Alltech created the Good 4 life system, for our foods, it is exclusive to our brands!

Next time, find out about how the Good 4 Life system provides for good gut health – something that every-body, human and furry needs.

Why Does My Cat Eat Grass?

If you spend time with your cat outdoors, you have probably noticed that your kitty enjoys munching on grass  and then….weirdly, vomits.

Poor thing. Seems to be a hard time, if you’ve watched your cat upchuck. So, why on earth would they eat something if it makes them sick, right?

Actually, it is believed that your cat is eating  grass in order to vomit. What? Who’d want to do that? First of all, know that your cat is not sick, but since it’s body cannot digest the plant, (grass is mainly fiber and cats lack the necessary enzymes to break it down) therein lies the beauty of the dilemma. Since it can’t be digested, back up it comes and whatever else that may have been sitting in the cats stomach. Vomiting the grass then becomes a way of ridding their digestive tract of something that is unpleasant or inedible.

For example, when cats groom themselves, since their tongues are equipped with little hooks, they wind up scooping up and swallowing loose fur.  Hair is not digestible either and it can bundle up in the stomach to create hairballs. You’ve seen them before on your floor or may have stepped on those wet little clumps. Ick. Wait, this is a good thing. They need to get them out, so that they don’t become a problem in the cat’s body.

In addition, grass nibbling may be of particular importance to outdoor cats who eat prey.  Since cats tend to swallow a mouse or bird whole, once the meat has been digested,  the hair, feathers and bones remain in the cat’s stomach. Problem – getting  those undigested mouse or bird parts out so that the cat doesn’t have to pass the spikey little bones through their intestines that could puncture or block their gut. Solution: eat some grass, it will wrap around those mousy parts and voila, back up through the mouth it all comes.

Another theory is that grass juices contain folic acid,  which is an essential vitamin for a cat’s bodily functions, so a cat may benefit from this nutrient and its possible that they even may enjoy the taste.

So, ingesting grass is a good thing for your cat. Be aware however that the lawn your cat is grazing from may have been treated with chemicals and your cat could accidently ingest pesticides or herbicides. You can make sure your feline has clean grass by buying a small indoor tray of it and many pet food stores sell special little containers of cat grass.

This is helpful for stopping your cat from wanting to eat other household plants, many of which are toxic to your feline.

 

Ever notice this symbol on our pet food? Wonder what it means? Check out our next blog. It’s the key to what makes our pet food different from all the rest.

 

 

 

Why Feed Your Cat Grain Free Food?

Because your cat is the obligate or “true” carnivore. This means that eating meat is biologically essential for their survival.  It is highly important that meat and not grains, makes up the majority of your cat’s food.

Some cat foods contain a majority of plant proteins, such as corn, wheat or soy as the leading ingredients. These plants do not contain all the necessary amino acids present in meat, that are critical for the health of your cat. (Amino acids are the chief components of protein.) Cats also can’t digest plant-based foods efficiently, nor do plant-based foods provide the nutrients felines require. Cats can consume a small amount of plant material, (we’ll talk about why your cat likes to eat grass next time) but the less carbs, the better – for optimal health!

The quality of the protein you feed your cat is also important. Better quality proteins have higher biological values, meaning they are easier for the body to digest, absorb, and make use of.  NutriSource and Pure Vita cat foods are made with high quality proteins, have no meat by-products and meat is the leading ingredient in the food. There is no corn, wheat or soy in any of our cat foods and the grain free kibble contains only peas as the starch that is needed to form the kibble.

Did you know that your domesticated kitty cat is very similar biologically and behaviorally to the wild cats, i.e. lions and tigers?

Cats in the wild don’t normally drink a lot of water, they obtain the moisture needed from the prey animals they eat, so if you are feeding dry kibble, make sure your cat drinks a good amount of water and/or feed canned food. Canned foods contain more moisture.  We’ve got great, canned, grain free cat food in three flavors, chicken, turkey and beef.

So if cats do not normally eat plants, why do they occasionally munch on grass? Find out more in our next blog post!

How To Get You And Your Dog Moving!

All dogs must get exercise for their physical and mental well-being. You know this…. but like many others, perhaps you don’t like walking your dog when the weather is awful, or may not have a large home or backyard for the dog to run around. Do you feel guilty that you are not providing enough activity for your pet?

Here’s a really fun solution that will get both you and your dog moving and working together. Try Dog Agility!

Dog agility is a popular canine sport where you, as the handler, direct your dog through a variety of obstacles such as a tunnel, weave poles, hoops, an A frame, standard jumps, etc.

You can go at your own pace with your dog, moving slower or faster through the agility course and do it simply for the sheer fun and exercise it provides. However if you and your dog are fast and agile moving through the obstacles, you may discover that you want to take it to the next level and start competing. During competitive agility events, handlers attempt to navigate dogs through a course as quickly and as accurately as they can.

There are some really great benefits of agility training for your dog.

1. It fulfills your dog’s natural instincts. 

Evolving from wolves, dogs are natural hunters, with the instinct to chase and run after a variety of prey. Their natural behavior is to pursue a possible meal. While in pursuit of food, dogs must often follow rabbits and foxes through a forest and navigate through a variety of barriers. Their natural instincts involve jumping over fallen logs, climbing up steep slopes, and squeezing through bushes and vegetation. Since the end goal is to catch up with prey, time is of the essence and the faster a dog runs, the better their chances of ending up with a satisfying meal. Agility courses are designed to mimic these types of natural scenarios and fulfill the hunting and chasing desires of your dog.

2. Agility is great exercise for your dog.

Agility is a great way to get rid of your dog’s excess energy. Running through a course that involves passing over and through a variety of obstacles will challenge your dog’s mind and body. Involving your dog in agility will help to strengthen his muscles, improve coordination, keep him fit, and increase endurance.

3. Agility will help you get in shape, too!

As the handler, you will be running alongside your dog, and assisting him with soaring over jumps, weaving through poles, and crawling out of collapsed tunnels. While you and your dog compete to swiftly finish the course, you will be treated to a heart-healthy cardiovascular workout.

4. It helps strengthen the bond between you and your dog

Agility courses are set up so that dogs would not be able to complete them without the help of the handler. As the dog must rely on the verbal and hand instructions from the handler in order to navigate the course, the trust between owner and dog will be increased. Helping your dog to pass through agility obstacles will help reinforce basic obedience commands, improve dog/owner communication, and ultimately help to improve your dog’s behavior outside of the agility course.

Find out more about the sport and where you and your dog can learn how to do it, by looking up “dog agility” on your computer or by researching it at your local library.

Next time, we’ll talk about cats. No, we haven’t forgotten about them.

 

 

 

 

 

The Nose Leads The Way To Better Health.

For optimal health, your dog has got to get a good amount of exercise.

Ask your vet how much daily exercise your breed needs. My collie/mix, Rosy,  needs at least an hour a day – optimally an hour and a half.  Hard to walk her that much at times. And I don’t have a fenced in backyard to let her romp. Do you have that same problem?

Here’s an idea. Try Nose work. We’re talking about your dog’s nose here – using their amazing ability to detect scent and how putting their nose to work in a guided activity becomes a fun, engaging game for your dog that can actually tire them out.  This is an activity that requires little effort from you, not much physical space yet provides great mental and physical stimulation for your dog. It can be done outside or inside at home, any time of day and can be repeated in small increments of time. It’s great when the weather outdoors is just dreadful or the times you just don’t have the time for that long walk or run.

Here’s a description of what Nose Work is, as found on the , K9 Nose Work® website.

“Inspired by working detection dogs,  K9 Nose Work® is the fun search and scenting activity for virtually all dogs and people. This easy to learn activity and sport builds confidence and focus in many dogs, and provides a safe way to keep dogs fit and healthy through mental and physical exercise.

K9 Nose Work starts with getting your dog excited about using his nose to seek out a favorite toy or treat reward hidden in one of several boxes, expanding the game to entire rooms, exterior areas, and vehicles. As your dog grows more confident with his nose, target odors are introduced, and competition skills are taught.”

Watch a video of dogs doing Nose work.

Of course, you may never want to compete with your dog, it’s still a fun activity to do over your dog’s lifetime.

The benefits of Nose work are that dogs easily burn lots of mental & physical energy doing searches, the searches can be done anywhere you can take your dog,  any age or size dog can learn it, no obedience is needed, shy or fearful dogs build confidence and overactive dogs put their energy into fun searches.

You both do need to learn how to do it, so you’ll want to get some instruction. My dog Rosy and I took classes and now that we have learned how to do Nose work,  I have a great activity for her that is easy to do in the house or around my car, it fast to set up, basically does not cost anything, is fun for her and best yet, satisfies her need for activity. Intrigued? Check it out.

To find out more about Nose work, who is teaching in your area and where to take classes, look up “Nose work” on your computer or at the library. Here’s the link to the official K-9 Nose work website: www.k9nosework.com

Here’s a great article about Nose Work. http://bit.ly/1AXRtlt

Next time: Both of you want to get more exercise? A very fun, fast moving, thinking activity for you and your dog.

 

 

Eat Less, Exercise More!

How many times have I made that New Year’s resolution? Don’t ask! Of course it is great advice for many of us humans, but right now, I’m not talking about you or me, I’m talking about our dogs. Did you know that your dog being overweight can result in serious health problems? First of all, it can reduce your dog’s lifespan. What? That’s not good. In addition, multiple areas of the body are negatively affected by excess body fat, including the heart, bones and joints, the digestive organs, and the organs responsible for breathing capacity.

How do you know if your dog is overweight?  Do this. While your dog is standing, stand over your dog and look down. See if you can see a defined edge to its rib cage showing a waist and hips. Then try feeling its side. You should be able to feel the ribs without applying too much pressure on the chest. If you can’t feel its ribs easily or if your dog’s body is straight all the way from behind the shoulders to the hips (sausage shaped), with no visible waist or ribs, it may be overweight.

Overweight – note the sausage shape.

Correct weight – note the waist and hip area.  

 

Nothing to be embarrassed about……however you’ll want to help your dog live its longest most healthy life, so think about this.

Could you be overfeeding your dog? Dr. Barbara Royal, in her book, “The Royal Treatment, A Natural Approach to Wildly Healthy Pets” poses this question to know how much to feed – “How many times a day is your dog pooping?” Four, five, six times? “Your dog should be pooping once or twice a day.” The excessive pooping can be an indication that your dog constantly has a full GI tract, and this means they will not be able to use up its own fat and accordingly, it makes sense that they will have alot of waste.  If it’s pooping a lot, try feeding less.

A great benefit of feeding our brands, NutriSource, PureVita, Natural Planet Organics or Natural Planet, is that with our high quality, high nutrition pet food, (meat as first ingredients, great minerals, no corn, wheat, soy, or byproducts), you can feed your dog less than you would with foods loaded with lots of plant proteins and your dog will still be satisfied and getting the proper nutrition.

But I’m following your feeding guidelines, you might say. Please know that pet food feeding guidelines from any of the pet food manufacturers, are not meant to be the gospel for every dog. They are guidelines after all and meant for the average, active dog. You have to take into consideration how active your own dog is, the breed, and its individual body’s needs. If it is overweight, then adjust accordingly. This may mean feeding less than stated on the bag. You may want to talk to your vet more about this.

Yes, your dog can lose weight simply from eating less food but will more greatly benefit, from more exercise. You’ve probably been told this a million times and may feel guilty that you’re not walking your dog as much as you should. Can’t jog your dog? Don’t give up. There are other ways to give your dog some great exercise.

Next time, a fun, novel activity to exercise your dog.

 

Help maintain healthy weight in your pet.

Ever heard of L-carnitine? It’s a nutrient that our dogs and cat bodies (as well as ours) make. It is also found in meat and some other foods. What does it do? A main function is that it helps the body metabolize and convert dietary fat, consumed, into energy. That’s really important for weight management. It’s also beneficial for heart and brain health and muscle development and recovery.

Now, with aging, L-carnitine levels in the tissues can decrease so supplementing diets with L-carnitine can be beneficial.

This is why at Tuffy’s we have been adding  L-carnitine to our Pure Vita dog foods and treats.  We use Carniking, a special grade of L-carnitine, manufactured by Lonza, a Switzerland-based life sciences company.  The value of Carniking and it’s role in supporting weight managment for pets has been well researched and numerous studies are available. Research has shown when diets containing Carniking is fed to both dogs and cats, the level of body fat is reduced while the percentage of lean muscle mass has increased. Because we know that obesity can be an issue for many cats, we chose to add Carniking to one of our newest products, NutriSource Grain free dry cat food.

So, feeding our products that contain Carniking to your pets can help in maintaining a healthy weight. Cat companions, check out our new Country Select and Ocean Select grain free cat foods.

Regarding healthy weight for your pets, of course there are other aspects to consider like not overfeeding and making sure your pet is is getting enough exercise.  We’ll cover those topics next time.