Superfoods for Pets: Eggs

Eggs for pets

As a great source of protein, riboflavin, and selenium, eggs are a pet-approved people food to feed your cat or dog. Feeding eggs to your pet is a healthy supplement to their kibble, and the protein in them helps build muscle, repair tissue and strengthen hair.  

The beauty of eggs is they hold all the vitamins and minerals necessary to grow a newborn chicken, making them an excellent source of nutrients for your pet. They’re also a complete source of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Plus, eggs are a rich source of essential fatty acids and can help settle your pet’s upset stomach.

While eggs are a healthy snack to feed your pet from the table or to add to their food bowl, The Petnet Team strongly recommends you not to feed your pet raw egg, as they pose potential health risks for your pet.

Keep em’ hardboiled

Eggs for pets

The best way to feed eggs to your pets is to hard boil them. Once boiled, you can cut the eggs into slices and feed them to your pet as a treat, or dice them up and blend them in with your pet’s kibble.

Don’t forget the eggshells  

Eggs for pets

If all the nutritional value of eggs weren’t enough, the shell is uber healthy too.

Eggshells give a protein and calcium boost to your pet’s food. However, you’ll want to be sure the eggshells have been boiled first, to protect your furry friend from possible salmonella poisoning. You can crush eggshells in a coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle and sprinkle half a teaspoon in your pet’s food bowl to promote Sparky’s strong bones and teeth.

Eggs in Commercially Available Pet Food

Eggs are a common ingredient in pet food.  They are present in almost 40% of all dog and cat foods.  If you would like to use foods that already contain egg, here are some quality foods that contain egg in their recipes: (Insert links to these )

Dry      Original Adult Orijen            Adult
Dry      Regional Red Orijen              All Life Stages
Dry      Wild Salmon Sojos                 All Life Stages
Dry      Chicken Farmina                    Natural & Delicious          Kitten
Dry      Chicken Adult Farmina      Natural & Delicious          Adult

Discuss with your vet

While eggs are safe for most dogs and cats to have in their everyday diet, overfeeding your pet eggs can potentially lead to obesity and other health problems. Discuss adding eggs to your pet’s diet with your veterinarian to decide the optimal amount to feed your four-legged friend.

3 Herbs That Can Improve Pet Health

Holistic medicine is a method of healing that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – when treating an ailment. It’s a practice that uses both traditional and alternative therapies to treat illnesses and promote overall wellness in people. Some owners also take a holistic approach when caring for the health of their pets, using natural remedies as opposed to or in conjunction with conventional Western methods that rely more heavily on prescription medications. We discussed a few holistic ingredients that can improve pet health in a previous blog, and today we’re taking a closer look at three herbs that can help improve your pet’s well being and keep them healthy, naturally.

Aloe Vera

 

pet health

Aloe vera has been used medicinally for thousands of years, with records of its use dating back to the ancient Egyptians. Today this plant is widely used for sunburn relief, but also has been known to alleviate heartburn and potentially lower the risk of breast cancer. Aloe vera has great health benefits for your pet as well, especially for helping to rejuvenate and hydrate their skin. When applied topically, this plant can be used to help soothe skin irritation with its antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. The aloe vera plant can help ease your pet’s discomfort from skin allergies, infections, and other diseases. It’s an at home first aid kit that can live happily on a shelf in your living room.     

Licorice root

Pet health

Licorice root super healthy for your pet, and they’ll enjoy the taste of it too. One of the uses of licorice is to help treat arthritis, due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Licorice helps quell respiratory issues as well, as it soothes mucous membranes which can lessen the effects of colds and allergies. Some say licorice can improve the effectiveness of other herbs when taken in unison. This root can also help improve digestive issues like stomach ulcers and gives the immune system a healthy boost.

Licorice is often used in commercially available pet food recipes: it is present in only about 0.5% of all dog and cat foods.  Here are a few recipes that contain licorice:

Large Breed Adult       Recipe Petcurean      Now Fresh Dog
Large Breed Senior     Recipe Petcurean      Now Fresh Dog
Senior Orijen Dog

  1. Ginger

Pet health

Last but not least, we have ginger. This herb is excellent at settling your dog or cat’s upset stomach. It has numerous benefits related to the digestive system, including helping to reduce gas and nausea. Like licorice, ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory which aids in lessening inflammatory-related illnesses like arthritis. Some studies have even shown it to possess cancer-fighting properties. It seems this herb can truly do it all.   

Ginger is present in 3.5 % of all commercially available pet foods.  Some good choices include:

Cat & Kitten Orijen

Grasslands Acana Cat

T23 Grain Free Turkey, Chicken & Duck

Holistic healing is a part of the puzzle

Much of holistic healing is about considering the underlying causes of or the long-term prevention of a disease, rather than treating symptoms. In certain circumstances, the right medical care for your pet might not strictly involve conventional methods. Often, herbal remedies can be used in conjunction with traditional medicine to give your pet the best care possible. While Western medicine is certainly useful and can be life-saving for your pet, it doesn’t hurt to consider natural approaches as well.

Each situation is unique; if you’re considering using an herbal remedy to help bolster your pet’s health, discuss with your veterinarian to ensure the right treatment best suited to your pet’s needs.

Superfoods for Pets: Blueberries

Blueberries are a delicious, nutritious superfood that is easy to pop into your pet’s food bowl or use as treats. These little blue gems are low calorie but high in nutrients, packed with fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

Some dogs even like to catch them.  Or not.

A superfood for pets and humans alike

Blueberries are a common ingredient in dog food, found in about 25-percent of dog foods on the market – and with good reason. These beauties are chock-full of flavonoids – antioxidants that help reduce inflammation, protect the body’s cells from damage and aid in the battle against bulge. That’s right – if your pooch is getting pudgy, the flavonoids found in blueberries can help manage their weight.    

Blueberries for pets

Vitamins, minerals, and nutrients – oh my!

Blueberries are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and fibers. These berries also support healthy joints and strong bones. They promote good cognitive functioning and can help improve memory. This low-fat, natural treat is full of essential minerals like iron and potassium, making them an excellent supplement to your dog or cat’s breakfast.

In warmer months, frozen blueberries are a crunchy treat that can help keep your pet cool. This serving method is probably best for dogs, as cats may have a harder time chowing down on the frozen berries.  

Blueberries for pets

Moderation is key whenever you introduce a new people-food to your pet’s diet. Slip a few blueberries into your pet’s bowl so they can enjoy this fruit’s numerous benefits, but do so conservatively. If you’d rather not give your pet a nibble of the real thing, you can look for pet foods that contain blueberries in their recipes to ensure your pet reaps the benefits of this wonderful superfood.  

Common Cat Allergies and How to Treat Them

If your cat is sneezing, wheezing, itching and scratching, they may be having an allergic reaction. When a cat has allergies, their immune system becomes especially sensitive due to certain substances that the immune system thinks are threatening to the body.

Most common pet allergens are prevalent in the environment and are normally harmless to pets and people. To cats with allergies, however, these substances can cause unpleasant symptoms, like flaky skin or gastrointestinal issues as they try to rid their bodies of allergens. Read on to learn about common cat allergies, their symptoms and how to treat them.

Pollen

Common cat allergies

Trees, weeds, and grass can all be allergy sources for cats. Most cats aren’t adversely affected when exposed to environmental factors like pollen. Some, however, will have an improper immune response to ingesting pollen that triggers an allergic reaction. Pollen allergies vary in severity from cat to cat, and their symptoms may differ. Some signs your cat may be having a pollen allergy include itchy eyes that lead to eye scratching, a runny nose and coughing, and sneezing.

Pollen allergies are treated based on their severity. Your vet may prescribe medication, or simply advise you to keep your cat indoors with the air conditioning turned on during prime allergy season depending on your cat’s specific symptoms.

Fleas

Common cat allergies

Fleas are among the most common allergens for pets. Any time a cat has fleas, they’ll itch, but for cats that are specifically allergic to fleas, being bitten by a flea just once will make them extremely uncomfortable. The difficulty is, you may not be able to see evidence of a flea bite on your cat because cats experiencing flea allergies tend to clean themselves aggressively.

Check if your cat is gnawing at certain areas, like their belly or inner thighs, both of which are indicative of flea bites. You can also look for itchy spots along the back half of their body. To find the proper flea treatment to suit your cat’s needs, consult with your veterinarian.

Indoor allergens

Common cat allergies

Mold and dust are common household allergens your cat may react to. Instead of the seasonal scratching and itching that happens with outdoor allergies, indoor allergies can last year-round.   

An intradermal test by your veterinarian can help determine if your cat is experiencing indoor allergies. This test will allow your vet to uncover the precise cause of your pet’s allergy, along with the information needed to properly diagnose how they should be treated.

The last thing a pet owner wants is for their furry friend to be uncomfortable or in pain. Be mindful of your pet’s behavior and actions so that you can talk to your vet if your pet is displaying signs of an allergic reaction. Look for excessive biting, scratching or licking, all of which could indicate an allergy.

As always, check with your veterinarian if you suspect your cat has an allergy or displays allergic symptoms. Your vet can help to diagnose the specific allergen that is causing the reaction and help prescribe a course of treatment, which might include medication, supplements, or a change in food or environment. 

More Reading

Pet MD

Pet Education

Web MD

Wag

Pet Health Network

Animal Allergy and Dermatology Clinic

Hilarious and Adorable Dog Breeds You’ve Never Heard Of

From Teacup Chihuahuas to Great Danes, dogs are one of the most diverse species of mammals on the planet. With more than 150 dog breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club, there are bound to be a few species that even the keenest of dog fanatics haven’t heard of. Some dog breeds are unbelievably cute, some are goofy, and some seem downright made up. Read on to hear our top picks for hilarious and adorable dog breeds you won’t likely see at the dog park.  

Whippet

Dog breeds you've never heard of

The Whippet may look like it just ended a juice cleanse, but these dogs are strong, sleek and excel at chasing neighborhood cats. As a bonus, these dogs help keep your house rodent-free with their sharp eyesight and quick feet. They’re friendly towards other dogs, kids, and strangers and have a happy but sometimes hyper temperament. The Whippet’s short mane is easy to groom and they’re relatively small in size, meaning they can assimilate well to apartment living. Whippet good, into shape, shape it up.

Tibetan Mastiff

Dog breeds you've never heard of

We know what you’re thinking, and no we didn’t photoshop the Tibetan Mastiff into existence. This breed looks like it would be an incredible cuddler, but you might get lost in its insanely furry mane after just one hug. These dogs are huge in stature and have an impressive double-coat. They were originally used centuries ago in Tibet as guard dogs for livestock and property, and today make excellent family dogs. These playful pups are an incredibly affectionate, intelligent, and kid-friendly breed.

Catahoula Leopard Dog

Dog breeds you've never heard of

The Catahoula Leopard Dog isn’t necessarily obscure looking, we just liked saying “Catahoula” and figured it would be a new breed for most people. Originally bred to work in swamp and forest environments, these tough dogs need firm owners with ample time to spend with their four-legged friend. The Catahoula Leopard Dog needs lots of exercise and fits well into the lifestyle of an active, experienced dog owner.   

Peruvian Inca Orchid

Dog breeds you've never heard of

Okay, we admit it, the Peruvian Inca Orchid is a little scary looking. Peruvian Inca Orchids are an ancient breed that date back to at least the Incan civilization. While they might make us do a double-take, The AKC says this hairless breed is affectionate, loyal and noble. Their energetic, affectionate personalities and minimal grooming requirements make Peruvian Inca Orchids a low-maintenance dog breed that meshes well with families.

With so many dog breeds and so little time, it was tough to pick out  just a few rare breeds to share. If you’re interested in bolstering your dog knowledge, Dog Time maintains a comprehensive list of dog breeds with a breakdown of personality traits for each one; you never know when an opportunity to share obscure dog trivia will present itself.

Petnet Testimonial: Helen and Michael

Helen and Michael are parents of three—two of which are furry dogs, Ginger and Gia.

With a baby son into the mix, they both lead a busy life with their own unpredictable schedules, Helen being a tech director and Michael a celebrity photographer. Remembering to feed Ginger and Gia can be a struggle at times.

 

But thanks to the Petnet SmartFeeder, gone are the days of almost forgetting to feed their dogs! Helen and Michael can trust that the feeder dispenses the correct amount of food on time for their dogs to eat at home, regardless of how late they might come home from work.

They also used to free feed their dogs, leaving a bowl of food out for them to eat as they please and refilling the bowl whenever it ran empty. But Helen and Michael realized that free feeding wasn’t the healthiest way to feed Ginger and Gia.

The SmartFeeder helps them implement a regular feeding schedule for their dogs, which proves much healthier in the long run.

Kibble blocking the chute was a problem, though. Since Helen and Michael feed both Ginger and Gia with the SmartFeeder, kibble portions are doubled, leading to too much kibble crowding at the chute. But they installed the SmartFeeder ramp that elevates the feeder at an angle, and the kibble now slides smoothly into the bowl.

The SmartFeeder assures pet owners like Helen and Michael that their pets are fed, healthy, and happy, even when they can’t be at home to feed them sometimes.

Holistic Ingredients That Can Improve Pet Health

Holistic Pet Care

When it comes to the health of our pets, we want nothing but the best for our furry friends. We’ve previously discussed superfoods for pets on the Petnet.io blog and the many health benefits that ingredients like turmeric and coconut oil can provide for your cat or dog beyond just their nutritional value. Today we’re highlighting three holistic ingredients that can help improve a pet’s health: peppermint, catnip, and cranberries.

Peppermint

Peppermint

Peppermint helps manage peristalsis in pets, meaning it regulates the contractions that help move food along their digestive tracts. Giving your pet a little peppermint can help improve irritable bowel syndrome. When paired with catnip, peppermint can reduce nausea in pets as well, which brings us to number two.

Catnip

Catnip

Your cat may or may not have a euphoric type “high” after getting into some catnip, about 50-percent of cats do not. Either way, catnip improves digestion in both dogs and cats and can be an appetite stimulant if your pet has difficulty eating. You can give your feline friend about a pinch or 1/16 of a teaspoon of dried, crushed catnip in their kibble. Or, you can put some on the ground for them to roll in if they’re attracted enough to catnip on its own.    

Cranberries

Cranberries

Some pets are prone to bladder infections and dietary supplements like cranberries can sometimes improve their bladder function and level of comfort. Cranberries can be particularly helpful in aiding with bladder related illnesses in pets because they help prevent bacteria from forming on the walls of the bladder. While cranberries can help improve your pet’s bladder function, bladder infections are a serious condition and  you should consult with your veterinarian for treatment and a strategy to reduce the chances of a recurring infection.

“We love our four-legged friends and want them to live well. A holistic dietary supplement approach is a natural way to keep your pet’s body functioning as nature intended it to and can be an important part of a long-term pet healthcare strategy.

Of course, you should always check with your veterinarian before using new dietary supplements to treat your pet for any diagnosed or assumed illness or condition.

Tune into our blog next week for three more holistic ingredients that can help your pet stay healthy and happy.

References and Further Reading

Pet MD

The Nest

Healthy Pets

Animal Wellness Magazine

Petnet Testimonial: Nate and Marlyn

One of the first steps to building a dog’s confidence surprisingly starts with consistent meals.

Nate and Marlyn own a rescue dog named Charlie. While Charlie has had issues that needed to be worked on with trainers, a consistent feeding schedule regulated by the SmartFeeder was a crucial factor in helping develop Charlie’s budding confidence.

Nate and Marlyn also use Amazon Alexa’s voice command functions to direct the feeder to dispense food for Charlie. They can be specific with the portions that they want to feed him, giving them control over portion sizes.

Consistent feeding is healthy for pets like Charlie but not always easy for their owners—that’s where the SmartFeeder comes in to help. The SmartFeeder is a tool that helps keeping pets healthy, happy and fed a lot easier for pet owners who may already balance busy lives themselves.

Superfoods for Pets: Fish Oil

Fish oil

Fish oil is a common supplement owners add to their pet’s food, and with good reason. In both cats and dogs, fish oil promotes a healthy heart, strong joints, clear skin and a shiny coat. The supplement contains both EPA and DHA, two omega-3 fatty acids your pet’s body needs to function that also provide plentiful health benefits.

An anti-inflammatory

EPA and DHA come from fish like salmon, albacore tuna, and mackerel. These essential fatty acids are anti-inflammatories that help ease conditions causing inflammation of the heart, joints, kidneys, and skin. Less inflammation means less pain and swelling in your furry friend and a happier, more comfortable life. These fatty acids also lessen inflammation from allergies, reducing itchy skin and dandruff in your cat or dog.

Healthy cognitive and eye development

DHA, in particular, promotes good brain and eye development in puppies, so feeding fish oil to pregnant or nursing dogs can improve the health of their litter.

How to feed fish oil to your pet

You can give your pet fish oil in either a capsule or liquid form. If your pet doesn’t seem to want to eat a capsule (and seems more interested in batting it around his bowl) try puncturing a hole in it and squeezing the oil onto their kibble. The fishy flavor can also help spark your pet’s appetite if they have difficulty eating, and get them more interested in their kibble.

The Petnet team advises you serve one capsule of 1500 mg fish oil for dogs that weigh 20 pounds or more. Smaller pets should receive lower doses. Consult with your veterinarian and decide the right amount to give your specific pet.    

There are lots of great fish oil supplement brands to choose from for your pet, like Nordic Naturals. If you’ve already realized the benefits of fish oil for humans and happen to take supplements yourself, you can give the same kind to Fluffy or Sparky – so long as you give them the right amount. Depending on the dosage, larger dogs can be given a capsule or two of fish oil meant for humans. For smaller dogs and cats, squeeze a little oil from a capsule and take the rest yourself.

Pets

Whenever you introduce a new ingredient to your pet’s diet, start slowly. It’s best to try a little of the supplement and work your way up to a higher dosage after observing how your pet reacts to the oil. There is no toxicity in fish oil, but if you give your pet more than they can easily absorb, they may get diarrhea or other unpleasant side effects. You want your pet to reap the benefits of fish oil without upsetting their tummy.

If you’re looking for an excellent kibble featuring our spotlighted ingredient, we recommend you try 1st Choice Nutrition All Breeds Sensitive Skin & Coat: Lamb, Fish & Brown Rice. Petnet takes great care to review recipes we think are uber healthy for your pet and share our findings. Take a peek at out our detailed breakdown of the recipe. You deserve to know what’s in your pet’s food, and we care about your pet.

Superfoods for Pets: Pumpkin

Pumpkin for Pets

Rich in fiber and beta-carotene, pumpkins are an excellent people food for pets. These gourds are simply bursting with vital nutrients like potassium and iron, which give your pet’s diet a healthy boost. They’re also low fat, so pumpkins are filling while keeping your pet’s waistline trim.  

A good source of fiber

The fiber in pumpkins makes them good for your pet’s digestion, aiding with unpleasant scenarios no owner wants to encounter like diarrhea and constipation. If Bitsy or Spot is suffering from a little indigestion, a small spoonful of pumpkin can aid in getting their digestive system back on track. Fiber is good for your pet’s gastrointestinal health too and can help lessen Fluffy’s hairballs (score!).   

Plain canned pumpkin is easy to feed your pet and packs a nutritional punch. When you’re picking out a can at the grocery store, be wary of pumpkin pie puree, a spiced mix with lots of added sugars you don’t want to feed your four-legged friend.   

No jack-o-lanterns, please

Also, we love Halloween, but please don’t feed your pet any jack-o-lantern. While they’re festive, these decorative pumpkins can grow mold and bacteria that can be extremely harmful to your pet. Raw pumpkin isn’t safe for pets either. Just stick to a can of pure, organic pumpkin – it’ll make your life easier!

If you do want you to get into the spirit of Halloween with your best bud, check out our recipe for making Halloween Pumpkin Kitty treats. We promise they’ll make you the cat’s meow.

Pumpkin

At this point, you’re probably convinced to start sneaking pumpkin into Sparky’s kibble. The Petnet Team recommends giving one-half of a teaspoon to a full teaspoon of pumpkin puree to adult cats, and one to two teaspoons for dogs.

Be careful when adding pumpkin to your pet’s kibble. Adding too much of this miracle food can sometimes create digestive issues instead of fixing them. Talk to your veterinarian about a proper amount of pumpkin puree that will be suitable for your pet.