Thursday, 28 February 2013

CTV Morning Live - the Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer on Tips for Training Your Dog

Click to view... 

Click to view...
 
Thank you CTV Morning Live
 

For having me on the show yesterday!
I really enjoyed meeting you!
 

Special thanks to... 
 
Kurt Stoodley and his Jack Russell terrier 'Henry' 

Melissa Lamb and her poodle 'Zoe'
 
And, of course to my own dear dog Jordie...



Holistic Wellness Services and Holistic Behaviorist Services 

Do you need support and guidance tailored to suit your needs? Individual support is available through my client services.

My Client Services are Available Worldwide
🇺🇸USA
🇨🇦Canada
🇬🇧UK
🇦🇺Australia
🇪🇺Europe
🇨🇷Costa Rica and other Central American Countries
🇦🇪United Arab Emirates
🇸🇪Sweden and other Scandinavian Countries
🇸🇬Singapore and other Countries in Asia

Consultations and Sessions
📧Email
📞Phone
📱FaceBook video or voice
💻Skype
📖Holistic Wellness eBooks custom designed to suit
🚶In-person Sessions only available in Ontario, Canada.

Holistic Wellness Services for Dogs and Cats 🐕🐈
✔︎ Maintenance of Health
✔︎ Addressing Health Issues and Conditions
✔︎ Custom designed whole food diets, raw and gently cooked.
✔︎ Recommendations for commercial whole food diets.
✔︎ Recommendation and specification of...
✔︎ Species Appropriate:
✔︎ Whole foods
✔︎ Treats
✔︎ Herbs
✔︎ Alternative medicines
✔︎ Supplemental foods
✔︎ Treatment and Remedy

Holistic Behaviorist Services for Dogs 🐕

Affiliations to Companies - none.
I don’t sell food or supplements. 
I am NOT aligned with any companies. 
I prefer to select best solutions for my individual clients’ situation.

Contact me
karen@ottawavalleydogwhisperer.ca to discuss your requirements and quote for services.

Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld. 

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Species Appropriate Diet for Dogs - Get the Grains Out of Your Dog's Diet – For Your Dog's Health



A dog’s ancestral diet looked very different from the diet that has been made popular by pet-food manufacturers.

The composition of a Dog’s Ancestral Diet looked like this…

  • 56% Protein   
  • 25% to 30% Fat          
  • 14% Carbohydrates    
Carbohydrates are NOT nutritionally necessary in a dog’s diet. Protein and fat ARE essential components for a healthy canine diet.


Carbohydrates are NOT bad for dogs – in fact, when provided in appropriate quantity and from an appropriate source carbs can provide a useful source of energy and nutrients.

Grains are, however NOT an appropriate source of carbohydrates for multiple reasons as you will see further below.

Why Are Grains Included in Dog Kibble?

In the 1950’s dog food manufactures began a love affair with carbohydrates because carbs are:

  • Easily obtainable;
  • Have a long shelf-life;
  • Enable the formation of hard/compact kibble;
  • Are cheap to buy compared to the cost of good-source protein.
The inclusion of grains in dog food is not for the benefit of a dog’s health.

Highly processed grains are a good way for the manufacturer to bulk-up food but the resulting product provides poor quality nutrition and is species inappropriate.  A very bad situation if you consider that the major ingredient in a lot of dog kibble is grain or grain by-products of one sort or another.  For example:

  • Barley (pearled barley etc.);
  • Brewers rice;
  • Cereal food fines (leftovers from human grade cereal production)
  • Corn, Corn Bran, Corn Gluten Meal, Corn Germ Meal;
  • Corn Middlings;
  • Grain fermentation soluble;
  • Oats or Oatmeal;
  • Oat Hulls;
  • Rice;
  • Soy, Soy Flour or Soy (Soybean) Meal;
  • Wheat Flour, Meal or Middlings (wheat mill run)
Negative Impacts on Your Dog's Health

I will cover some of the impacts on your dog's health just below. The negative impacts of grains in your dog's diet are many, some are complicated. I will not cover all impacts here but will cover enough for you to see just how serious this issue is.
 
Unwanted Weight Gain and Obesity 

Many of the grains used in commercially manufactured dog kibble are processed grain (cereal) carbohydrates.  These are highly digestible, low nutrient, high bulk ingredients which the dog’s digestive system quickly converts to sugar, which in-turn spikes the amount of insulin in the dog’s system – over working the pancreas and resulting in a feeling of constant hunger.  

As the dog is constantly hungry (due to high-insulin levels) the dog’s human may continue to feed the dog more of the grain-heavy food which then results in excessive weight gain – a condition on its own that can cause massive health issues…stress on joints, diabetes, inflammation leading to cancer, etc. Unfortunately all too often a veterinarian will then recommend a low calorie high fibre kibble (invariably grain based but expensive i.e. Royal Canine or Hill’s Science Diet) which further exacerbates the problem.

Carcinogens and Toxins in Grain and Grain By-Products

The Proof is In The Numbers
Statistics recorded by veterinary organizations from the 1950's up to present day are very telling. 
  • The life-span of a companion dog in North America is now half of what it was in the 1950's;
  • In the 1950's the average life-span of a golden retriever was 15 to 16 years, today the average is in the range of 8 to12 years;
  • In 2005, 50% of older dogs dies from cancer, and the number is on the rise.
Cereal By-Products
The cereal by products used in the manufacturing of many dog foods are derived from the leftovers of human food processing.  It is important to understand that these are remaindered end of the line substances and as such, they can be full of chemicals.

Aflatoxins
If the grains/grain derivatives are not from human grade sources they are very likely to contain aflatoxins.  Aflatoxins cause liver cancer.

Aflatoxins grow mainly on grains but they also grow on legumes - like peanuts, walnuts and pecans. This is one reason why you will hear some people say do not give your dogs peanuts. Actually it is fine to give your dog peanuts or natural peanut butter – as long as you are using human grade product. Other nuts such as walnuts and pecans are toxic to dogs, regardless of whether they are human or animal grade.

Aflatoxins can also be found in cottonseed oil, fish meal and peanut oil. Human grade foods are monitored closely for aflatoxins - if present the raw product (i.e. grain) is not allowed to be used in human grade food production. There are no such regulations for animal grade foods so most commercially manufactured animal food (dog, cat, bird, etc.) will contain aflatoxins. While the body can usually detoxify small amounts, constant ingestion of aflatoxins is not manageable and therefore causes toxic loading.

The majority of corn and soy grown in North America are from Genetically Modified Round-up Ready seeds.  GM corn has now been proven to cause the growth of massive tumours, organ damage and death.  All of the long-term effects of eating GM food is not known. In addition, large factory farms in North America use a method to process soy that creates very high levels of photoestrogens and phytates in the resulting product.
  • Photoestrogens have been proven to interfere with reproduction and thyroid function;
  • Phytates prevent mineral absorption (further exacerbation of poor nutrient intake);
  • Phytates interfere with the normal function of enzymes required to digest protein.
Herbicides and pesticides - another thing to keep in mind , the grains used in many pet foods are purchased for their low cost not for their quality. Crops for this market sector are grown based on high yield and that is usually accomplished with the profuse use of pesticides and herbicides - resulting in more toxins and carcinogens ingested by your dog.

Gluten Hypersensitivity

Grain is the harvested seeds of grasses. Large amounts of grains are not part of a dog’s ancestral diet.  Yes our dog’s ancestors did eat small amounts of grasses – as do present day domesticated dogs; but they (our dog’s ancestors) did not consume large amounts of the seed of the grass – the grain.

The number of dogs today developing and living with gluten hypersensitivity is epidemic. One of the ailments of gluten hypersensitivity is Candida (overgrowth of bad bacteria in the GI Tract).  Overgrowth of bad bacteria is an assault on the dog’s immune system and is a common cause of yeast-based ear infections – that can become chronic and debilitating; yeast-based skin infections located at the paws; leaky gut syndrome, chronic diarrhea and more.

Lack of Nutrients
High grain content is used when making kibble - to create volume at the lowest possible cost to the manufacturer, which serves profit while creating serious gaps in a dog’s nutrient intake. Compound this with the many other ‘indiscretions’ (i.e. fish meal, low levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, poor source protein) adopted by pet food manufacturers in the production of dog food and your dog’s health is in serious trouble. Did you know that 10 of the top 10 reasons for a veterinarian visit can be directly related to inappropriate diet and exposure to ingested, inhaled and topically absorbed toxins – plenty of which are found in commercially manufactured dog foods and treats.  

What Are Appropriate Sources Of Carbohydrates For Dogs?
  • For a comprehensive list go here.
It is important to note that even these better forms of carbohydrate can become a problem if used in inappropriate quantities.
If you would like to try making a homemade dog food that is rich in nutrients you can read more here.

If your dog is suffering from renal issues you need to avoid phosphorous in his/her diet, so no legumes (as legumes are high in phosphorous), use squash and sweet potato for carbs.


Holistic Support

Holistic Wellness Services and Holistic Behaviorist Services 

Do you need support and guidance tailored to suit your needs? Individual support is available through my client services.

My Client Services are Available Worldwide
🇺🇸USA
🇨🇦Canada
🇬🇧UK
🇦🇺Australia
🇪🇺Europe
🇨🇷Costa Rica and other Central American Countries
🇦🇪United Arab Emirates
🇸🇪Sweden and other Scandinavian Countries
🇸🇬Singapore and other Countries in Asia

Consultations and Sessions
📧Email
📞Phone
📱FaceBook video or voice
💻Skype
📖Holistic Wellness eBooks custom designed to suit
🚶In-person Sessions only available in Ontario, Canada.

Holistic Wellness Services for Dogs and Cats 🐕🐈
✔︎ Maintenance of Health
✔︎ Addressing Health Issues and Conditions
✔︎ Custom designed whole food diets, raw and gently cooked.
✔︎ Recommendations for commercial whole food diets.
✔︎ Recommendation and specification of...
✔︎ Species Appropriate:
✔︎ Whole foods
✔︎ Treats
✔︎ Herbs
✔︎ Alternative medicines
✔︎ Supplemental foods
✔︎ Treatment and Remedy

Holistic Behaviorist Services for Dogs 🐕

Affiliations to Companies - none.
I don’t sell food or supplements. 
I am NOT aligned with any companies. 
I prefer to select best solutions for my individual clients’ situation.

Contact me
karen@ottawavalleydogwhisperer.ca to discuss your requirements and quote for services.

Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld. 

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Anxiety and Stress in Dogs – The Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Treating, Preventing Dog Anxiety and Stress



 
Anxiety is a very serious and increasingly common issue in dogs – in-fact it has become an epidemic issue. 

Anxiety when left unaddressed or when addressed in the wrong way can quickly increase in intensity. Anxiety may take many forms, separation anxiety, fear of unfamiliar inanimate or animate objects, sounds, weather – i.e. thunderstorms, or insecurity leading to aggressive-reactive behaviour.

The most effective and beneficial approach to solving your dog’s anxiety issues is definitely NOT medicating your dog with anti-depressants such as Doggie-Prozac. Doggie-Prozac will not cure your dog – in addition it can also cause very serious health issues, you can read about that here. On the other hand, ensuring that your dog has a sufficient daily intake of quality Omega-3 fatty acids can have a beneficial effect on your dog’s ability to overcome anxiety.



In order to successfully remedy anxiety, each factor that contributes to the condition must be addressed. My approach is two-fold  - during the course of a session:
  • My primary focus in curing anxiety in a dog is to observe, analyze and improve the dog’s peoples’ habits and communication skills;
  • Then once habits and communication are addressed it is time to look at the dog’s overall diet.



Omega Fatty Acids are a good example of the gap between that actual ability of a kibble to meet a dog’s nutritional requirements vs. the dog owner’s expectations that he/she has purchased a nutritionally appropriate and complete product. Purchasing an expensive dog kibble (regardless if from a pet store or veterinary office) is not an assurance that your dog’s nutritional needs will be properly met.  

I have yet to find a dog kibble that comes close to providing the correct balance of Omega-3 fatty acids (Polyinsaturated Alpha-linolenic acid [ALA], Eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA] and Docosahexaenoic acid [DHA] vs. Omega 6-fatty acids. This means that you need to know how to make-up for the lack-of-balance of good fats in your dog’s diet.


EPA’s Importance In Proper Brain Function

A proper daily in-take of EPA can help your dog better handle stress…

EPA:
  • Increases the fluidity of cell membranes;
  • Improves communication between brain cells;
  • As such daily ingestion of enough EPA:
    • Works to support proper functioning of the brain, and;
    • Enables calming.

Ingesting too much of the Omega-6 fatty acid Arachidonic Acid (AA) causes cellular inflammation.
  • The brain is very sensitive to cellular inflammation. 
  • Cellular inflammation creates a breakdown in the signalling between cells. 
  • When breakdown occurs the brain cannot function at optimal levels.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines are ineffective in treating brain cell inflammation as they cannot cross the blood-brain barrier that isolates the brain from undesirable substances in the blood-stream. 

When brain cells become inflamed the only substance that can protect these compromised cells is sufficient levels of Omega 3 fatty acids. 

When the level of Omega 3 fatty acids available to the brain are insufficient, neuro-inflammation is exacerbated and disruption of signalling between nerves becomes significant. 

The brain uses two Omega 3 fatty acids – DHA and EPA. While DHA is an important and necessary structural component of the brain, EPA is the primary anti-inflammatory Omega fatty acid for the brain. When used by the brain EPA has a short life-span. This means that the supply of EPA (via the blood stream to the brain) must be constantly present. For this reason it is very important to make sure that your dog is taking in a sufficient amount of EPA on a daily basis. 


Commercially manufactured dog kibble has relatively high levels of Omega-6 fatty acids and respectively low levels of Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • To make matters worse, when coupled with increased consumption of omega-6 fatty acids refined carbohydrates (such as wheat flour, rice and sugar):
    • Increase insulin production;
    • Which in-turn increases the amount of AA (the Omega-6 fatty acid which causes inflammation);
    • At the same time decreased consumption of EPA:
      • Results in an increased AA to EPA ratio;
      • Which further exacerbates inflammation.


DHA’s Importance To Brain Function


When the brain is not receiving sufficient daily amounts of DHA, serotonin levels are decreased. Decreased levels of serotonin are associated with anxiety.

Other Impacts on Brain Function, of Insufficient Intake of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 Deficiency Can:
  • Compromise the blood-brain barrier. 
    • This barrier protects the brain from uninhibited flow of undesirable substances/matter into the brain;
  • Decrease normal blood flow to the brain;
  • Decrease phosphatidylserine (PS) levels; 
    • PS is a naturally occurring anti-depressant, and also helps improve the ability to concentrate.
In Conclusion…

If you are feeding your dog commercially manufactured dog kibble:
  • I encourage you to read the food manufactures' label,and;
  • Check the Omega-3 vs. Omega-6 fatty acid percentage, and; 
  • Then supplement your dog’s diet with Omega-3 fatty acids to suit. 
If you are feeding your dog a raw diet or homemade dog food you will still need to supplement your dog’s intake of Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • You can read more about Omega Fatty Acids for your dog:
  • All of the other ways Omega-3 fatty acids support your dog’s health;
  • Options for providing Omega-3 fatty acids in your dog’s daily diet;
    by clicking here.

Holistic Support
Holistic Wellness Services and Holistic Behaviorist Services 

Do you need support and guidance tailored to suit your needs? Individual support is available through my client services.

My Client Services are Available Worldwide
🇺🇸USA
🇨🇦Canada
🇬🇧UK
🇦🇺Australia
🇪🇺Europe
🇨🇷Costa Rica and other Central American Countries
🇦🇪United Arab Emirates
🇸🇪Sweden and other Scandinavian Countries
🇸🇬Singapore and other Countries in Asia

Consultations and Sessions
📧Email
📞Phone
📱FaceBook video or voice
💻Skype
📖Holistic Wellness eBooks custom designed to suit
🚶In-person Sessions only available in Ontario, Canada.

Holistic Wellness Services for Dogs and Cats 🐕🐈
✔︎ Maintenance of Health
✔︎ Addressing Health Issues and Conditions
✔︎ Custom designed whole food diets, raw and gently cooked.
✔︎ Recommendations for commercial whole food diets.
✔︎ Recommendation and specification of...
✔︎ Species Appropriate:
✔︎ Whole foods
✔︎ Treats
✔︎ Herbs
✔︎ Alternative medicines
✔︎ Supplemental foods
✔︎ Treatment and Remedy

Holistic Behaviorist Services for Dogs 🐕

Affiliations to Companies - none.
I don’t sell food or supplements. 
I am NOT aligned with any companies. 
I prefer to select best solutions for my individual clients’ situation.

Contact me
karen@ottawavalleydogwhisperer.ca to discuss your requirements and quote for services.

Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld.