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Articles and News

Listen to Sarah’s Radio Interview on Pet Connections

On Sunday, April 14,2019 I was the guest on the “Pet Connections” radio show based out of Minneapolis, MN. Host Cathy Menard interviewed me at length about the benefits of homemade dog food. What a wonderful hour!

We discussed recipe formulation, quality issues in the pet food industry, and healthy ingredients dog parents can include for optimal health.

We also spent some time talking about the “grain free” craze and the recent related discovery of diet-induced heart disease popping up in otherwise healthy dogs, and what you can do about it.

Please enjoy this interview and you can tune into Pet Connections every Sunday on AM950 Radio in Minneapolis.

Listen to my interview on Pet Connections

 

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Articles and News Foods for Specific Issues Supplements

Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Dogs – Foods & Making a Long Term Plan

Just like us, dogs can get irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a chronic digestive system disorders that can cause discomfort, diarrhea, constipation, mucus in stool and other GI issues.

Although the cause is not known for sure, it is an inflammatory condition. Therefore, it is important to reduce inflammation, eliminate unhealthy foods and add healing ones.  Fog caregivers can use good food to help fix the problem long term.

Sensitive intestinal tract compromised in irritable bowel syndrome

The intestines are lined with muscle that normally work and contract without discomfort. However, those with IBS may have muscles that contract more intensely or for longer times, resulting in discomfort.

Another reason is connected with the gastrointestinal (GI) nervous system. If the GI system and the brain are not communicating properly, it can cause the GI system to overreact.

Poor quality food, stress contribute to IBS

Other, perhaps more tangible reasons include food sensitivities, poor quality food, stress, anxiety or illness.

Do you know any dogs who are experiencing any of these issues or symptoms? Gradually experimenting with better diet can make a profound difference in the long term.   Begin with a bland diet of ground turkey and sweet potatoes, both cooked and mashed. From there, we branch out slowly but surely, adding one new food at a time – perhaps one per week, in small amounts. Please contact me if your dog is experiencing tummy troubles as a result of a bothersome food. We will work together to create a customized meal plan for your dog.

Other suggestions based on my readings geared to humans include stress reduction. This can include daily walks, lots of love, and a safe environment. Probiotics are another recommendation, as they help balance intestinal flora. And high quality omega-3s reduce inflammation.

Love, exercise and good food can help keep your pal healthy!

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Articles and News Foods for Specific Issues

Is Your Dog Prone to Kidney Issues?

Oxalates in Vegetables

If you have a dog with kidney issues, you probably know about oxalates.

Oxalates are naturally occurring substances in many foods, including numerous vegetables. People who have dogs with kidney stones, crystals or kidney failure are often advised to stay away from oxalate-rich foods including some otherwise healthy vegetables like spinach (seen here), chard, Brussels sprouts and beets.

I recently read a study on vegetable cooking methods on oxalate content. A team of researchers analyzed nine different vegetables to see if cooking methods had any effect on oxalate content. Turns out, a great deal of oxalates actually boil out into the cooking water. So, according to their findings, pouring off the cooking water means pouring off a lot of the oxalates.

Most of the time, I recommend saving the cooking water because some vitamins boil out too. But in the case of dogs with kidney issues, boiling oxalate-containing vegetables and tossing the water can mean hope for including at least small amounts of nutrient-rich vegetables that are otherwise off the list. You can look at the study abstract here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15826055

If you’re not comfortable serving any amounts of these vegetables to your kidney-compromised furbaby, no problem. There are seemingly endless vegetables out there to enjoy. As with us, vegetables offer your dog dramatically protective benefits against cancer, inflammation and more. Basically every dog food batch I make, every recipe I create includes at least one type of vegetable, usually more than one. You can explore my recipes and much more here on DogFoodCoach.com.

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Articles and News Recalls and Contamination

Hill’s Dog Food Recall Expands

Dear friends of dogs,

A few weeks back, I sent a notice about the Hill’s prescription food recall. That recall has expanded to include more products. You can see the new list on the FDA site here: https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/ucm634138.htm.

Serving better quality food is one of the most important ways to protect your dog – not just from unsafe foods, but from disease and so much more. Join me in this mission!

For the love of dogs,

Sarah

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Articles and News Featured Ingredients Foods for Specific Issues Supplements

Why Give Dogs Coconut Oil

Dear friends of dogs,

Inner and outer beauty… coconut oil does it!

On the outside, it feels velvety soft and can be applied to skin, rough paws, and can enhance skin’s health in general.

On the inside, it offers a wide range of benefits too. The fat in coconut oil (medium chain triglycerides, or MCT) is absorbed quickly and efficiently, making it quite usable by the body in general.

Coconut oil can aid in cognitive function, inflammatory conditions, viral and bacterial issues and much more.

Unrefined coconut oil is a staple in my dog’s diet, and I include it in many of my recipes and ingredient suggestions.

You can offer this gem straight out of the jar, or you can cook with it. Most dogs I give it to seem to like the taste.

I hope you and your dog enjoy this healthy addition. And remember, joining DogFoodCoach.com gives you full access to all members-only content, including recipes, articles and much more.

Best wishes,
Sarah

Sarah Whitman, MS
Founder, DogFoodCoach.com

Categories
Articles and News Supplements

Making Eggs? You Can Make a Calcium Supplement

Dear friends of dogs,

You know what they say about eggs … incredible, edible and lots more! They take very little time to prepare, can be used alone or in recipes, and provide a highly digestible protein for your dog.

If that didn’t offer enough reasons to include them in your dog’s diet, here’s another reason: You can use eggshell as a calcium supplement.

See below for more details on using eggs and eggshell as a natural, nutritious calcium supplement. You can see more in-depth members-only content about eggs and tons more ingredients.

Enjoy!
Sarah

Sarah Whitman, MS
Founder, DogFoodCoach.com

Incredible Egg!

What’s so great about ’em?

Eggs contain a wide range of nutrients and highly digestible protein. Eggshells contain calcium and other minerals and compounds that can promote bone health and more. Power food!

How can I make eggs?

Scrambled, fried, mixed into your usual recipes… you name it. They are versatile little buggers.

How can I make eggshells?

Eggshells are sharp, so they should be finely ground or well crushed. You can grind or crush them raw and then cook into your recipes, OR you can cook them on their own and then grind them into a powder.

How much should I use as a supplement?

The answer varies depending on what else your dog is eating. But the holistic vets I’ve talked with recommend approximately 1/2 teaspoon of ground eggshell per pound of meat, if you are making a homemade diet.

Is there anything to worry about?

Just a quick note aside from the need to make sure the shells are well crushed:

  • Some dogs are sensitive to eggs or just egg whites. Just start slow and see how your furbaby does. I recommend this with all dietary changes.
Categories
Articles and News Foods for Specific Issues Supplements

Arthritis in Dogs – Foods to Consider

Arthritis is common in dogs, just like it is in us humans. So what can we do for our furry friends who are feeling achy, inflamed and sore from arthritis? There are some dietary and lifestyle adjustments we humans can use — look into them for your dogs too!

What is arthritis?

Depending on its form, arthritis can cause swelling, pain, joint damage, reduced activity and lessened quality of life. Often it happens simply as a by-product of age, or can be a result of previous injury, overuse or underlying viral or bacterial causes

Often, anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed and likely provide some relief, but also can come with their own potential problems.

What’s a good diet for a dog with arthritis?

An antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory diet is crucial. As a holistic minded vet I know once said, “all commercial pet food is inflammatory.” This is true for many reasons, including heavy processing, nutrient depletion, poor quality and many other potential factors.

Transitioning to a clean, human-grade, homemade diet can work wonders for the body in numerous ways including reducing inflammation.

Recipes for dogs with arthritis

Pet parents can do this easily, using any of numerous healthy recipes found on my website.

You can help your dog by cutting out processed foods and poor quality items and replacing them with fresh ingredients that help curb inflammation. A clean, high quality diet in general will help with this, but specific foods that are known to reduce inflammation include many vegetables and fruits, healthy oils (real olive oil, unrefined coconut oil) wild fish, sardines and other high quality meats your dog’s body needs.

Other natural approaches to arthritis

For a more comprehensive summary of natural approaches to arthritis in dogs, you can order my e-booklet, Natural Approaches to Arthritis in Dogs.

Glucosamine with chondroitin is also a popular, likely beneficial supplement. Many other supplements have been reviewed, and I am working on a report about this. Contact me for more information.

Improving your dog’s diet, taking him for regular walks and providing him with a low-stress, love-filled environment can go a long way.

Outside of diet, there are other natural approaches that can really help. These include acupuncture, homeopathy, massage and more.

Exercise is beneficial in arthritis management, and can help keep weight in check – another beneficial aspect. Start slowly and gently, as your dog may be sore.

Feel free to contact me if you need help finding a holistic vet.

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Articles and News Recalls and Contamination

Dog Food Recalls – What to Do?

Dear friends of dogs,

I am sure you saw my email the other day about the latest dog food recall.

It seems every time we turn around, we see another pet food recall. From plastic, prescription medications and even euthanasia drugs found in pet food, how can we have confidence in what our pets are eating?

When I asked myself this question years ago, I came up with one answer: I need to make the food myself.

I know that may sound like a scary idea. But I know first hand that it gets easy. It becomes second nature. There are seemingly endless tricks you can use to simplify your techniques, maximize your time and get the most out what goes into your dog’s food bowls. If you like, you can visit my website for some of the most frequently asked questions about homemade dog food.

If you’re thinking about a transition to homemade, but are still in decision-making mode, what can you do in the short term? Here are some ideas and questions to ask yourself:

  • Is your dog’s food on any recall lists?
  • Is your dog healthy?
  • Do you think your dog will stay healthy long term?
  • Do you know the ingredients in your dog’s food?
  • Are you happy with the food you serve your dog on a daily basis, or do you feel you can do better?

In conclusion – and as I always say – the phrase “food is medicine” applies to dogs too! Feel free to contact me via my website or email me at dogfoodcoach@gmail.com.

The latest FDA recall is developing, meaning more brands may be added. You can visit the FDA page to keep apprised and read the latest recall list on the FDA website,

For the love of dogs,
Sarah

Sarah Whitman, MS
Founder & Publisher, DogFoodCoach.com
Class is open: Your Dog’s Diet

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Articles and News Recalls and Contamination

Foods Recalled – Dangerous Levels of Vitamin D

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just sent out another pet food warning! This time, it is for potentially toxic levels of vitamin D. Several dogs have already gotten sick, and tests have found excessive levels of vitamin D in many dog foods. The FDA notes this is a developing situation, and more recalls may occur.

This kind of thing will keep happening! Your dog is simply not safe eating commercial food. Please, please consider transitioning to the only safe food for your dog: homemade.

Feeding better food can be one of the most important ways to protect your dog! Becoming a DogFoodCoach.com member is one way to make this happen.

For the love of dogs,
Sarah

Sarah Whitman, MS
Founder & Publisher, DogFoodCoach.com
Class is open: Your Dog’s Diet

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Articles and News Holistic Vets

Importance of a Varied Diet – From Adorable Pets Veterinary Center

Please enjoy my latest article in the Adorable Pets Veterinary Center newsletter.


holistic vet

From Adorable Pets Veterinary Center Newsletter

September 2018

Written by Sarah Whitman, M.S. Dip.C.N., HCA
Founder, DogFoodCoach.com

We know a varied diet is healthy for us humans. It benefits our animal friends too, for many of the same reasons. Different foods have different nutrients, along with non-nutrient compounds that can benefit health.

For example, vegetables and fruits have a range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other components that defend against disease and inflammation. Many animal-based foods also have healing, protective qualities. Just as with our own diet, your dog’s diet is better in its intact, fresh form, not in processed form.

If you’re ready to expand your dog’s culinary horizons, try adding small amounts of nutrient-dense foods to your dog’s meals. Highly nutritious vegetables like broccoli and kale may be better digested when cooked. Because some nutrients can be lost during cooking, try lightly steaming these items in filtered water. Then, save the cooking water and parcel out in your dog’s meals. You might also try topping a meal with a no-salt added, packed in water sardine. These are just a few examples.

How much of these extras to include will vary depending on weight, calorie requirements, serving size and other factors. Importantly, introducing new foods slowly allows your dog’s body to adjust, minimizes digestive upset, and gives you a chance to monitor your furkid for potential food sensitivities.

As you progress, you may find your dog is more enthusiastic about meals that include fresh foods. And seeing his or her happiness may inspire you to keep going. It’s also quite likely you will see both short and long-term health improvements shine through.

You may want to consider making some healthy recipes and adding a multivitamin and mineral supplement. Whatever your level of interest in improving diet, you are not alone in the process. We can help you simplify and make it a reality for you and your pet. If chosen wisely, food really is medicine!

… Are you interested in learning more? Email Sarah for more info on how to get started.

Visit the Adorable Pets Veterinary Center website:  www.adorablepetsvet.com