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Great podcast from Veterinary Nutrition specialists. Covers all the important information owners need to know to make intelligent choices about dogs and pet foods.
I recommend one food company at this time; Drfostersmith.com These recommendation will change over time because the pet food industry is not well regulated and the successful companies are often bought by one of the “Big Two”, multinational food companies, They are Mars and Proctor & Gamble, who are owned by even bigger, multinational, Tobacco Companies.
Great resource check it out !! here is the link
Here is a link to a summary of a nice well done study on this question.
What is important to know about supplements with:
Glucosamine, Chondroitin or Omega Fats (Omega 3 Fatty acids)
1. With or without Chondroitin. Remember this; all animal source glucosamine (GA) supplements contain chondroitin sulfate (CS), whether listed on the label or not.
2. Dose. Studies comparing the glucosamines from cartilaginous fishes (shark, mussels, clams, shimp, crab) v.s. animals (cow, chicken, pig) all have the same beneficial effects when the dose of GA & CS is made the same. The amount of active ingredients in each gram of fish cartilage is much higher than animals. This means less powder needed if you use fish compared to animal cartilage. This explains why capsules from shark or green mussel work better than the same size capsule made of cow, chicken or pig cartilage. The same size capsule has more active ingredient when made from cartilaginous fishes.
3. New stuff- a plant based, synthesized form of glucosamine. A word about the soybean derived formulations of glucosamines. The available information comes from the company that makes the product. They claim that it works as well as other GA products. I read the studies & found a few problems. The product was tested on only a few animals (<12 dogs) for a few weeks and there was no control group. I could not conclude from their information that these products are equal to natural GAs. Publications that directly compare the soy v.s the cartilage based supplements are needed but haven’t been published yet. Since Cosequin(Soy based) is more expensive than most shark or green mussel nutriceuticals, I don’t recommend it at this time for dogs or cats.
4. Fish oil or Omega fats= Omega 3 fatty acids.
The high quality fish oils contain the omega 3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation. These are from Salmon, Mackerel, Cod Liver oil. Plant oil sources of Omega FAs like: Flax, Borage, Safflower that are converted to Omega3 FA by people, horses, cows are not metabolized by dogs or cats into a usable form of Omega 3 FA. Many carnivores lack the liver enzymes that covert these fats for use. So read the labels of all supplements to see if the Omega 3 FAs are all from fish sources.
5.One more important point to remember: Omega 3 Fats are not stable when heated . So dry/packaged treats or dog foods that are “fortified” with Omega 3 fats, and have been cooked, have destroyed the Omega fats, a waste of money. Fortified and other “catch words” are added to product labels to sell more product. If Omega 3 fats is not listed on the label in mg amount, chances are it is not high enough. Food companies are happy to list the exact amounts when they are using the good stuff. I find many will mix, <20% fish oil with 80%+ vegetable oils for cooking. Then just list the total omega fats. Most veggie sources have Omega 4, 6, 9 fatty acids. This example would be 20% Omega 3 and 80% Omega 4 & 6.
6. Omega 3 fats have a short shelf life, should be refrigerated, and never smell strongly fishy. Strong Fishy odor = fats that are spoiled. Belching of fishy taste/odor indicates the same problem, the product is spoiled. Enough spoiled or “rancid” fat can irritate the stomach.
I recommend Now® Brand of either Shark or Sea Mussel capsules and Shark powder when available. I have switched to the Veterinary prescription brands for fish oils because these are filtered and concentrated. Which removes the contaminates from the oil, such as pollution and heavy metals. Plus these are concentrated which makes the price of the Omega 3 FA, based on milligrams (mg) the same as the over the counter brands. If not available in your area look for a cold pressed Atlantic Wild Salmon oil, hopefully without flavors for dogs and cats.
This is the best website to getup to date info on the prevalence of different parasites in the united states. The information is based on data from the “center for disease control”, the CDC. Future forecasts combine this data and weather reports that affect the population of parasites. “Look-up” Map are available for each parasite and by species. Also the many informative articles can help you determine how to handle parasite control for your pet. This is the information used by Vet.s to make recommendations to their clients.
Great talk about why we struggle to allow into our world, new information when, “we know what we know”.
Takes about 15 minutes to watch this video about how we and creatures map reality.
Applies to pet owners because many problem behaviors that happen in the average home are based on the principles revealed in this TED talk. Basically, our prior learning results in ideas and remembered brain images, about a subject within our world. These image-ideas can interfere with seeing what is really happening. Our brains are constantly editing out information that is in the environment, so that we only pay attention to what is judged important. This is a brain based shortcut for daily living. Obviously, we don’t take as long to do activities of daily life compared to when we first learned them. This is the result of editing out any information that is not important to the task. How does this interfere with learning as life goes on? We create a very detailed map of the world as we acquire experiences. This map is brought out of our memory as we go through our day. Visual maps, hearing maps, feeling and movement maps and even thinking and emotional maps. There is even an area of the brain dedicated to making us feel certain about our maps. Even though we know that maps are only a guide, as we gain repeated experiences we begin to feel certain that our personal map is the same as reality. This is how phobias are formed and knowing that repeating experiences creates a new map is also how phobias are treated effectively.
Hopefully by now, someone has taken a photo or video of you that demonstrates that what you remember can be very wrong. Yet we are stuck with feelings of certainty about how we see the reality around us. Luckily neuroscience is pointing out that each persons and each species only perceives a small portion of the world.
Let me explain how this applies to animal training. First, the experience of eye sight, hearing, feeling sensations, smells and second how this information is identified by the brain is very different between us and our animal companions. Many of the difficulties, that happen within human-animal households, can be traced to these facts. We do not see, feel, smell, hear, experience the same World. Modern pet training differs from, the older, so called “Leader of the Pack” beliefs, by applying what has been learned through 200 years scientific study of how animals really experience their world. More importantly, modern science applies the two principles: one – what can be measured can be improved and two – what we know today is just a map of reality so learning never ends.
It is essential to document training ideas, methods and results in ways that can be objectively measured. Renowned Innovators and Entrepreneurs know that accepted thinking gets in the way of discovery. They also know the importance of measuring results. So as you train your animals I suggest that we all; test ideas, document objectively, retest, retest and have someone else look over your methods and results.
Once one realizes that accepted ideas can get in the way of seeing reality this is the best we can do, for now…..
This is a nice article about the effect of pets on children. There is a great deal of interest about the benefit of animals in therapy for Human health. I would like to also see studies about the effects on the pet when paired with a human who life is experiencing difficulty. It is allot to expect of animals to become substitute human therapists i.e. replace the effect of good human to human attention. Are we replacing the effects of “good human social input and bonding” with “animal-human bonding” because we do not provide the input from a human. I would like to see studies that compare the effect of; a human v.s. an animal as the giver of attention/time/activity to subjects of these studies. Then we can have a better idea of whether there is an animal specific effect or are we observing the effect of receiving allot of undivided focused attention.
Important info about – “Ractopamine” – what is this chemical and why do dog owners need to know about it?
Sometimes I wonder what could possibly be going on inside the brains of agriculture researchers. Here is a good example. Ractopamine is a drug that has been approved for use in beef and pork in 2006. Based on one study where six healthy male human volunteers given a single oral dose of 40 mg of ractopamine was approved as safe for human consumption.
What is it. Technically it is a drug, that is a beta-adenoreceptor agonists. These type of drugs are used to treat asthma in people. Beta- adenoreceptors exist through the body and when needed internal hormones bind to these receptors to dilate our blood vessels, speed up the heart, open the bronchial airway and alter the metabolisms of the nutrients we or animals eat. In food animals it is used to increase the percentage of their growth that goes to meat fiber production and lower the percentage of fat in the same muscles. It does this quite well and is approved for use in feed to cattle and pigs for the last month of life before slaughter. The result is an animal with leaner muscle with better rate of growth. The opposite of feeding estrogenic hormones in the 1960’s, which increased growth rates, but did so by adding a higher percentage of fat. The meat producers are certainly responding to public interest in leaner meat.
The meat from these animals does contain very low levels of remaining drug, called residues. The FDA had no choice but to approve it because of the lessening of their powers to control such things and the drug is know to disappear from the human blood stream with 24 to 48 hours and therefore is consider to be very low risk to humans.
Studies attempting to prove safety for the longer term feeding of this drug were reviewed and the main reviewer’s comment was “The study did not comply with appropriate standards for protocol and and was therefore not considered to be suitable for the assessment of the safety of residues of ractopamine.”
Dogs on the other hand were used in studies and found to be much more sensitive to the drug. It has been used experimentally, giving at several oral doses. The most common effects were rapid heart rate and restlessness even at the lowest dose test . More problems were seen in dogs than other species so they were no longer used as a research subjects. It is banned in racing animals.
What if you have a dog with multi-drug sensitivity? Yes this drug is a potential danger and the dose must be lowered by 50% to 70% depending on how many copies of the MDR-1 gene are present in a dog.
So is meat containing residues of this drug included in the general meat supply in America. The answer is yes. I have not found statements indicating meat with or without this “feed-additive” are identified or singled out in anyway. I recommend to owners of dog who have any health problems making your own dog food to get your meat locally or use organically grown only. The same receptors are in the muscle and secretory cells of the GI tract and will only make digestive problems worse.
Further what can we do as consumers. I certainly want to know which batch of meat I am eating has this residue or does not have it, so I can choose. Send this posting and attached article to every one that you know. Lets see if we can go viral to get the subject before the consuming public, doctors and congress. I see no benefit to humans that this residue is in the meat we eat. There are no studies that this meat will will consumed contribute to lowering of cholesterol of fatty acids in the blood that are related to heart disease in humans. Which I hope is the end goal of the meat producers. The averge amount of time for the drug to disapear from blood or meat when feed to animals is< 24 hours, but the metabolites can be in the meat and blood for 4 days in pigs.
Our meat is sold worldwide and many countries are discussing whether they will accept this meat and I think the American consumer should have the same option as consumers in Japan, Taiwan or China.