Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. One of the functions of the pancreas is to release enzymes to help digest food. When the pancreas becomes inflamed, it releases enzymes in excess and begins to digest its own tissue. This creates great trauma and pain to the dog. Symptoms of pancreatitis include loss of appetite, vomiting, arching of the back with stomach pain, diarrhea, dehydration, and in some cases jaundice.
On occasion, I come across some commercial cooked food for dogs as well as certain recipes and idea on how to feed dogs, that are baffling to me. Most have far too many carbohydrates and too little animal fat. I believe most of the inventors of these foods or recipes mean well, but what I see is many people using human nutrition needs mixed up with canine nutrition. What many forget (or even don’t know) is that dogs are carnivores and humans are omnivores.
An important factor to consider in meat has to do with Taurine. There has been much talk about this amino acid lately. It is only found in animal food sources. It is paramount for heart health. When meat is cooked, the taurine is leached out with the juices. It is important to put this liquid back into the meat mixture you will feed your dog. Because of taurine loss, I do not recommend over cooking the meat at high heats.
Calcium levels have the ability to remain stable in the body because calcium is stored in the bones and teeth. If the diet is low in calcium, the body will use the resources stored in these areas until more calcium is introduced into the diet. While this stored supply helps keep other body functions running smoothly, shortages of calcium can affect bone and tooth health. That is why it is always a good idea to make sure your dog has a healthy supply of calcium in the diet.
Knowing blood value terms and their significance, when they are elevated or decreased, can be helpful in making treatment decisions for your dog. However, while dog owners are oftentimes given this information from their veterinarian, they are frequently uncertain or confused about what all the different levels mean. This month, we take another look at a few of the most common blood chemistry terms. Blood values and terms can vary by the test or the laboratory producing the results, but for the purpose of this newsletter, we will use the values and terms that are primarily the United States terms and values.
The history of commercial dog food is short in comparison to the length of time that dogs have been companion animals. The use of bagged and canned foods became popular in the United States after World War II. Most people born in the last fifty years do not have any memory of feeding dogs in any other manner. The notion of the term ‘dog food’ has become so entrenched in the vocabulary that most people state they would never feed their dog ‘people food’. The misunderstanding is that food is ‘food’, and that commercial dog foods are simply heavily processed ‘people food’ that is specifically made for shelf life and economy.
This month I asked for suggestions for the December B-Naturals newsletter and I received several. After receiving several responses, I realized many people may not be aware that I have been writing and distributing this newsletter since 1998. I think I have written a newsletter on almost every topic regarding canine diet, health and Nutrition, which is why I wanted some suggestions this month!
Most dog owners have experienced their dogs having issues with constipation (dry hard stools, or trouble passing the stool) and diarrhea (loose stools and/or with frequent bowel movements). Most of the time either of these issues are temporary. It may be due to stress or something they ate, and it tends to resolve itself. Just like us, dogs can experience temporary bowel upsets.