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3 Reasons to Give Your Dog Hemp

Why We Think You Should Give Your Dog Hemp

Hemp is one of the oldest and most versatile plants, dating back to the 28th century BC. Today, hemp is used in foods and textiles, but in the pet world, we’re most interested in hemp seed and the oil it produces.

You may be thinking, “Hemp is a variety of cannabis, I’m not giving that to my dog!” If you are, try and open your mind to the many health promoting properties that nearly every dog could use.

Unlike fish oil, hemp seed oil contains the perfect ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3, the essential fatty acids that your dog can’t produce and needs in his diet. A good balance of these Omega oils is critical to your dog’s health, because they work synergistically in the body. Hemp seeds are high in an essential Omega-6 fatty acid called gamma linolenic acid (GLA). There are some really good reasons to boost the GLA in your dog’s diet:

1. It Fights Cancer

Researchers at the American Cancer Society say there’s evidence that people with cancer, diabetes, and skin allergies don’t make enough GLA, and these issues are incredibly common in dogs too. While GLA is considered a conditionally essential fatty acid (which means most dogs can make enough of it, mist of the time), there are plenty of circumstances (hard exercise or stress) where dogs can’t make enough GLA and supplementing becomes important. And, because the GLA is perfectly balanced with Omega-3 fats, hemp seed oil will help reduce inflammation in your dog and strengthen the immune system.

2. It Reduces Joint Pain

Researchers in The Journal of Arthritis and Rheumatology found that the GLA found in hemp seeds reduced arthritis symptoms by 25% compared to a placebo at 4%. Once again, this is because the balance of fatty acids helps to reduce inflammation naturally.

3. It Improves Skin and Coat

Hemp seed has long been used in cosmetic products and soaps because the oil can penetrate the inner layers of the skin and promote healthy cellular growth. The fatty acid balance also plays an important role in reducing inflammation associated with common skin issues, including atopic dermatitis, pruritic skin disease and granulomas.

How Hemp Seed Oil Works

Your dog has substances in his body called prostaglandins. These are line hormones that circulate around the body, helping smooth muscle contractions, control inflammation, regulate body temperature, and other vital functions. The GLA that’s abundant in hemp seed is a building block for prostaglandins. Researchers are currently looking at GLA supplementation as an important component to proper hormone and health development.

A Word of Caution!

Before you start adding hemp oil to your dog’s meals, there are a couple of things you should first know:

  1. Hemp seed oil is a polyunsaturated fat, which means the oil is unstable. If you cook your dog’s food, you won’t want to add hemp seed oil to the food while cooking as this can cause the oil to become rancid and cause health issues.
  2. If your dog is eating a poultry-based diet, adding hemp seed oil may cause an imbalance in his diet. This is because chicken is already quite high in polyunsaturated fats and linoleic acid. According to Steve Brown, author of Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet, flaxseed oil is a better choice for chicken-based diets. But if your dog is eating a diet rich in beef and other ruminants, hemp seed oil is a great way to balance the diet.

How Much to Give

Now you may be wondering how much hemp seed oil to add to your dog’s red-meat diet for an added health boost. Steve Brown recommends adding a teaspoon for every 1 to 1 1/4 pounds of food.

Cannabis sativa actually means “useful hemp” in Latin. Try adding some to your dog’s diet and see for yourself why this ancient superfood is making such a huge comeback.

For more on hemp oil, visit our friends at Dogs Naturally Magazine, or ask a Brookside Barkery & Bath associate on your next visit in!

The Secret to a Happier, Healthier, Longer-Lived Pet

We Are What We Eat: Good Food Is the Foundation for Good Health

Dr. Susan Klein, a veterinarian based in Colorado, spent several years in a conventional veterinary practice after graduating from Colorado State University. She now runs Alpine Meadows Animal Clinic, an integrative practice in the Vail Valley.

Dr. Klein’s passion for nutrition started about 15 years ago with a patient who had severe, chronic gastrointestinal (GI) problems. Her patient’s condition prompted her to begin investigating commercial pet food, since she had received no useful nutrition training in vet school.

One of Dr. Klein’s first adventures in nutrition was learning just how important a species-appropriate, real food diet is. She quickly learned that this is the foundation of good health.

If You’re Upgrading Your Pet’s Diet, the Change Should Be Gradual

For an animal that is sensitive (GI tracts, skin, or other sensitivities), switching the diet to raw will take some time. Starting with a grain-free and potato-free kibble is the first step before adding in some cooked foods that are easy to digest. Gradually work toward less cooking of the food, understanding that a pet who is in an extreme state of sympathetic nervous system stimulation may have a difficult time with a raw diet.

It’s important to understand that if you or your pet can’t seem to tolerate a diet of fresh, whole foods, there’s a problem in the body. The answers as to “why” can be found in nutrigenomics, but it’s a fairly new concept and interested veterinarians are trying to learn it on the fly.

Most Treatment Protocols Should Start With a Food Change

In her practice, Dr. Klein has to learn which patients need to make dietary changes in baby steps, and which can make faster transitions. She usually begins a patient’s treatment protocol with a food change. Many veterinarians, especially conventional practitioners, never address the diet at all.

No number of supplements or probiotics will be effective if the diet is not also addressed. Supplements are not bad, but should be used for specific reasons. Feeding your furry companion, a diet that creates disease in his body and then trying to fix the problem with supplements is not a good approach.

How Pet Food Creates Disease

Dr. Klein explains to us how commercial pet food can create diseases. From a nutrigenomics perspective, everything in the body runs on a protein-based metabolism. This means it’s very important that the body is taking in proteins it can recognize and use in an efficient manner.

Dr. Klein tells mentions that commercial pet food is sourced from ingredients unfit for human consumption, including remains of dead, dying, diseased, and disabled animals. The process involved in making the average dry pet food involves heating ingredients at high temperatures, which causes the core nutrients to be destroyed. They are then added back in synthetically, and they are foreign to pets’ bodies.

The food is then dried, pressed into cute shapes, and placed in bags with shelf lives up to two years. From a nutritional perspective, there is nothing living in that food anymore, but we’re putting it into living bodies. If we want to transcribe for healthy genes, we have to have healthy, live proteins.

Pet food contains a number of byproducts as a result of the manufacturing process. The most significant is advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Simply put, this means there’s way too much sugar in the food that is coating the proteins in the in the food in such a way that the body doesn’t recognize it as a food source. It also coats the tissues of the body such that the immune system doesn’t recognize them, and we start down the path of autoimmune disease and cancer.

Pet Parents Must Continue to Push for Change

The veterinary profession is the only healthcare profession that advocates feeding entirely processed foods versus fresh foods. Veterinarians are also the only healthcare profession with practitioners that tell clients fresh food could be risky and harmful to animal companions.

Because this information is difficult to replicate in a research setting, it is unlikely it will be taught in vet school, because where would the funding come from? This is why pet parents should be the ones to push for change. If it’s good for human’s, why isn’t it good for pets?

Good Food Is Good Medicine! Pass It On!

The bad news is that most people rely 100 percent on what their veterinarian tells them. When it comes to nutrition, misinformation about processed pet food will be perpetuated. In addition, there’s a lot of money being made by the processed pet food industry.

For the foreseeable future, it looks as though information about the importance of a nutritionally balanced, species-appropriate diet will have to continue to travel by word of mouth from people who have experienced the tremendous healing of fresh, whole food.

Click here to watch Dr. Becker and Dr. Klein’s full discussion on nutrigenomics.

Brookside Barkery

9 Puppy Tips to Help You Stay Sane

March 23 is National Puppy Day! Puppy love is a wonderful thing, however, as well all know, plenty of stress comes along with the responsibility of a new four-legged friend in the house. Puppies require a lot of attention, training, and socialization to become confident, balanced dogs. Here are some puppy tips to help you navigate the first few months of pet parenthood.

  1. Bring your puppy to the vet as soon as possible for an exam. Regardless of where you acquired the puppy, you should make immediate arrangements for a vet exam. If you can, bring a stool sample to go ahead and test for internal parasites. It’s important to research the type of veterinary practice you would like your dog to visit. Ideally, your dog will have a lifelong relationship with the vet that you choose, so be sure that your vet’s perspective aligns accordingly. Ask your vet for their protocol on vaccinations, diets, and training. Find a vet that is inviting, friendly, and respects your concerns regarding your dog’s health.
  2. Crate/kennel train your puppy from the start. To new dog owners, crate training can seem cruel and lonely for your dog. However, when used properly, crates can be seen as a safe haven for dogs, and is a great place to retreat when situations are overwhelming or when your pup needs to relax and reenergize. Prior to bringing your puppy home, set up a size-appropriate crate with a soft pad and a few cozy toys. You and your dog both will be grateful to have this space available.
  3. Co-sleep with your puppy for the first few nights. Even if you don’t plan on having your dog sleep in your bedroom, consider making the first few nights an exception. The transition to a new home can be stressful, especially if your pup was just separated from his litter mates. Putting the crate next to your bed for the first few nights allows you to comfort him if he’s whimpering and will give a sense of security having you nearby. Once you have established trust, transition your puppy to the new designated space.
  4. Establish a routine. Just like humans, dogs tend to thrive on a schedule. Dogs build trust and understanding by learning to expect what is happening next. It’s a good idea to establish a little consistency as far as feeding schedules, potty schedules, walks, and bed time. Soon you will notice your puppy develop his own routine and fall into more predictable patterns, which is mutually beneficial.
  5. Create a puppy perimeter. A new space can be overwhelming for a small puppy. Before bringing him home, decide where you’d like him to spend his time so that he has the freedom to explore without the risk of getting hurt or getting into something he shouldn’t. Set up his kennel (unless you plan on sharing a bedroom with him long term), a soft bed, food and water, and toys in this space. Ensure you block off any potential escape points with baby gates or doors.
  6. Be a hands-on owner. Getting your puppy used to being handled is one of the best things you can do for him. A puppy that is used to being touched is much more likely to be comfortable being handled by the vet, groomer, children and adults once he grows up. Make it a habit of touching his paws, mouth, and tail gently so that he’s not caught off guard. It is also helpful to touch him while he eats to avoid food aggression.
  7. Nip bad habits in the butt. It’s undeniably sweet to cuddle on the couch with your 12 pound puppy, but will you feel the same when he’s tipping the scales at 100 pounds? If you don’t anticipate your dog carrying puppy behavior through adulthood, don’t let the behavior become a habit in the first place. Establishing guidelines and being consistent is much more difficult for the pet owner, but it is completely worth it down the road. Decide in the beginning what your plan is concerning dogs on the furniture, where the puppy sits in the car, how food is handled, and which areas are off limits.
  8. Socialize your puppy. Introduce your puppy to everything. You want your dog to feel comfortable around different looking people, other dogs, other animals, places, and noises. It is best to have yummy treats on hand for rewarding your puppy for remaining calm and comfortable in various situations. If your dog hesitates in a particular situation, let him make a step of sniff forward, and reward that by tossing a treat in front of him. Socialization goes a long way in making your dog fee confident and well balanced all around.
  9. Most importantly, feed your puppy a healthy diet. Educate yourself on the type of diet you want to feed your puppy before you make the decision to bring him home. Raw diets are undeniably the most natural and biologically appropriate diet for your pup, but may not be the most realistic depending on the dog owner’s lifestyle and income. Feeding a whole, balanced, nutritional diet will save you money and stress down the road. It’s important to remember that your dog’s diet should be rotated consistently to maintain good gut health. Different life stages will also affect the appropriateness of your dog’s diet.

5 Benefits of Feeding a Raw Diet

When you believe that fresh is best, that belief makes it into every meal – including your pet’s! As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that your pet’s needs are being met, including a healthy diet. The quality of your pet’s diet will have a direct impact on his general health and wellbeing, and can seriously impact your dog’s lifespan in general.

What is a Raw Diet?

A raw food diet for your pet is exactly what it sounds like – a diet made up of fresh, raw foods. While there are different ways to create a raw food diet for dogs, the most popular and beneficial options consist of mostly raw meat and bones, fortified with some fruits and vegetables or supplements to ensure nutritional balance.

Dogs are carnivorous animals, which means their bodies are adapted to gaining nutrition from animal-based protein. This mean that meat should be the primary focus in a dog’s diet.

The Benefits of Raw Diets

  1. Improved Nutrition – Raw diets are not cooked, so the original nutritional integrity of the raw ingredients is preserved. Synthetic vitamin and mineral supplements added to commercial dog and cat food are not necessary since the diet is fresh and never cooked.
  2. Healthy/Regular Digestion – Both dogs and cats have short digestive tracts which limits their ability to digest fibrous plant foods. Sine raw food is largely meat based, it requires less energy for your pet to digest, which in turn makes the digestive system work more smoothly and regulary – and results in fewer, firmer stools.
  3. Cleaner Teeth – The process of chewing raw meats and raw bones provide dental benefits by helping to scrape the plaque off the surface of your pet’s teeth. The chewing process also massages your dog’s gums, increasing circulation.
  4. Shinier Coat – A diet that consists of fresh, natural foods will give your dog the nutrients it needs and help to maintain healthy skin and a shiny coat. Raw food diets include essential fatty acids which are key to optimal skin and coat health.
  5. Relief from Food Allergies/Sensitivities – The more dogs are exposed to potential, unnatural allergens such as corn, wheat, and soy, the more likely they are to develop a reaction. Raw food diets are typically grain-free which reduces the risk for allergic reactions.

In the end, it is completely up to you what to feed your pet. Because your pet’s diet has a direct impact on his well-being, it is important to choose a diet that provides for his nutritional needs in a healthy, wholesome way.

There has never been a better time to start feeding raw, or simply substituting a raw meal here and there. Huge savings are available this month at The Barkery on OC RAW DOG frozen/raw dog food. Stop in and ask a Barkery Associate how feeding a raw diet can benefit your furry friend.

 

Read more on raw diets here.

Pet Wellness Assessment Kit

Many pet owners come to the Barkery for advice regarding their pet’s food allergies and environmental sensitivities. Eating the wrong food or being in the wrong environment can put stress on your pet that leads to itchiness, redness, dry skin, sneezing, vomiting, paw chewing, and more.

Changing your dogs diet could improve its quality of life. We all know how important it is to get our pets on the right diet, but how do we know what specifically causes your pet to react to food and environmental triggers?

We Have the Solution! Pinpoint Your Pet’s Food Intolerances

Dogs can be sensitive to a variety of elements, and Brookside Barkery now has the solution that pinpoints EXACTLY what stresses your pet and PRECISELY what causes allergic reactions.

With the new Pet Wellness Assessment Kit from Glacier Peak, you can look at no fewer than 300 food and environmental factors that may disturb your pet’s homeostasis. That means you will be able to craft the perfect diet for your pet, reduce stressors and allow your pet to live the longest, healthiest life possible.

The Pet Wellness Assessment Kit involves mailing in a couple of swabs with your pet’s saliva, and a bit of their hair.  Within days, you’ll have the results!  Take a look at the results here.

Once you test your pet, the Barkery will provide a free Nutrition Consultation to work with you and with the results of the test, guiding your selections on food, treats, and supplements to make sure we’re giving your pet exactly what they need.

We are offering the Wellness Assessment Kit at a special rate of $75.  Only $75 to give your pet the perfect diet AND eliminate allergens!

Customer Testimonial

Theodore is a prime example of the relief a Pet Wellness Assessment Kit can bring to your pet.

“We had tried every food out there and couldn’t find relief for our pup. The staff help us find some relief by getting Theodore tested for food & environmental sensitivities and stressors. We have peace of mind knowing we are feeding our dog food that doesn’t cause a reaction! Thanks Brookside Lee’s Summit!”

– Kelly B.

Read more customer testimonials here.