Monday, October 28, 2013

Meow Monday

So, Smokey and Sunny have been on an exclusively grain-free diet for a few months now (Blue Buffalo Wilderness dry and Sheba wet) and I must say, I'm very impressed. Sunny's "issues" of being sick (for whatever unknown reason) are gone and she is now very frisky (she was not before). Both Smokey and Sunny have very nice looking coats and they don't shed excessively. Sunny still needs to lose some weight but that is just because she and Smokey need differing amounts of food (Smokey is incredibly active and needs quite a lot more calories/food than Sunny). I attribute this seemingly better health to eating a diet that is meat-based instead of corn, wheat, soy, or rice based like some foods on the market. While some cats seem to be fine on the cheaper foods (Friskies, "Purina Be Happy", Deli-Cat, etc) I do believe that the reason certain medical problems (feline diabetes, feline obesity, hyperthyroidism due to too much salt in the food like many cheaper foods add, kidney problems, some types of cancer, etc) in cats have become more common is because of the food. Obviously not all cases of these diseases are because of the food but quite a few could very easily be traced back to improper nutrition (cats are meant to eat meat, they evolved to do it and we should, therefore, feed them appropriately).
I feed two different brands of food (the Blue Buffalo and the Sheba canned) simply because, if there is a recall of either one, I will have less trouble getting the cats to eat something that they are already used to (a big deal for Sunny who is quite picky and will go hungry instead of eat the new food).
If anyone has tips to get Sunny to lose weight (I know exercise is the key but am not sure how to get her to do it!), If anyone has an idea, leave a comment below!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Suggestions about Potential Problems with Pet Foods

In light of the various pet food recalls and what the FDA has come out with about the jerky treats, I just wanted to take a minute to tell everyone something you probably already know but is worth repeating: How to know if there is a problem with your pet's food and what to do about it.

Besides obvious visible problems such as mold/foreign matter in the food, here are some of the signs/symptoms that may be associated with problems related to your pet's food.
1. Vomiting/diarrhea (make sure your pet(s) didn't get into something toxic before you assume it's the food)
2. Using the bathroom more often than usual or avoiding using the bathroom (urinating more frequently/less frequently can be a sign of kidney issues that could be because of the food or some other reason)
3. Lethargy
4. Pain
5. Refusal to eat
6. Increased thirst/decreased thirst
Please note: your pet(s) may not experience all of these symptoms and this is not a complete list of all possible symptoms (just the most common ones). Depending on the problem with the food, symptoms may be different.

Here are a few tips of things to do if you suspect something is wrong with your pet's food.
1. Stop feeding the suspect food IMMEDIATELY. I know that you are supposed to change a pet's food slowly (over a week or more) but in the case of potential problems, it is more important to get the pet(s) off the suspect food.
2. Go to your veterinarian if your pet(s) is very sick or does not improve after removing the suspect food.
3. Submit a report through the FDA website/on the phone and give as much information as possible (lot numbers, dates, size of package, brand, flavor, best-by date, UPC, etc)
4. Alert the pet food manufacturer to your problem(s) if possible (give the same information that you gave the FDA).
5. Keep the food sealed up in an inaccessible area for a few weeks to see if the FDA wants/needs to test it for problems.

Hope these tips are helpful in the event that you have a problem in the future (I hope you don't). Feel free to share this with friends, family, etc.