Wednesday, September 24, 2014

World Rabies Day

Each year on Sept. 28, the world unites in the fight against rabies. World Rabies Day is a global health observance created to raise awareness about rabies, and enhance prevention and control efforts. Co-sponsored by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Alliance for Rabies Control (ARC) since 2007, events are held in countries across the globe.

Celebrating the interdependence of human and animal health, this year’s theme is “Together Against Rabies.” Rabies is a preventable, neglected disease that takes the life of one person every 10 minutes. Nearly 85% of those who die from rabies are from impoverished communities in rural areas of Africa and Asia. A study published in 2013 found that while rabies currently costs the world’s poor $124 billion, it could be prevented for just $6 billion.

Photo Credit: Lynn Pannicke
That’s why this global initiative is so important at the grassroots level. Preventing and controlling rabies begins at home, where we can take the necessary steps to keep ourselves, our families and our pets free from horrible disease.

Again, we must take care of our own pets. It’s an excellent time to have your dogs and cats vaccinated, and to learn more about avoiding the animals that typically transmit rabies – raccoons, bats, skunks and foxes.

Too often, fear of rabies pitches people against dogs. It’s estimated that 20 million dogs around the world are indiscriminately culled every year in misguided attempts to control the disease. But when dogs are vaccinated, it helps to halt the disease at its source and prevent human deaths.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Evanger's Breed Buzz: Boston Terrier

Nicknamed "The American Gentleman" because of its dapper appearance, the Boston Terrier is known for a gentle disposition that makes the breed especially suitable as a companion and house pet. They’re intelligent, alert and loving. Requiring moderate exercise and minimal grooming since they don’t shed much, they’re easy to train and eager to learn. While devoted to their owners, these canines tend to be a bit reserved with strangers, and can show aggression toward strange dogs.

Retaining many of the attributes of its bulldog ancestors, the Boston Terrier features a short, fine coat with distinctive markings. Clean-cut physical characteristics include a compact build, square head, broad chest, wrinkle-free muzzle, short tail, soft dark eyes and short back. Their smooth, fine coats come in brindle and white, seal and white, or black and white. Both males and females typically weigh 10 to 25 pounds and are 15 to 17 inches tall.

Bred in the 1870s from a mixture of English Terriers and English Bulldogs, Boston Terriers were originally known as Round Heads or Bull Terriers. Two years after the breed’s name was changed in 1891, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the Boston Terrier as the first genuinely American bred dog.

These playful pups enjoy interacting with family members of all ages, although they can become a bit testy with the very young. Protective at just the right times, they’ll bark excessively if someone approaches their home in a suspicious manner. They’re also fine apartment dwellers that can maintain positive mental and physical shape with a nice daily walk and regular activity in a park or yard.

A healthy Boston Terrier can live as long as 16 years. However, they are prone to heat stroke and should be monitored when playing outdoors on hot days. Their short snouts may cause them to snore, drool and snort in a pug-like manner. Other common health issues include cataracts, allergies and heart problems.

Because of their sensitive skin, avoid foods with wheat and corn. Consider Evanger’s Hi Bio™ Beef SuperFood that’s both grain- and gluten-free. Made with 85% meat, the gentle drying process of this food offers dogs higher moisture level than traditional kibble – making it easier to digest while enabling optimal nutritional absorption. The addition of LactoSacc™ also supports a healthy digestive system, SelPlex™ provides immune support, and BioPlex™ helps maintain healthy skin, coat, superior mineral bioavailability and absorption.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Evanger's and Pioneer Pet Feed & Supply Partner for Cat Food Donations

Last month, The Seattle Animal Shelter announced a need for cat food. Evanger's retailer Pioneer Pet Feed & Supply in Seattle contacted us to partner for a donation. We were thrilled to donate 1,400 cans and partner with this fantastic store to supply even more discounted food through funds raised by Pioneer Pet customers. We absolutely adore the people we get to work with every day who support pets in need!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Evanger's Health Tip: Struvite Crystals and Nutrition

A major cause of inflammation and infection in dogs and cats, struvite crystals are rock-like accretions that scrape sensitive tissues in the urinary tract. Among the symptoms of this condition are frequent urination, straining to urinate, frequent passing of small amounts of urine, urinating in inappropriate places, cloudy or bloody urine, tenderness in the bladder area, fever, lethargy and increased thirst.

Photo Credit: Jeff Legasse
These crystals account for more than one third of all urinary tract stones in dogs and about half of all urinary stones in cats. The problem is more prevalent in middle-aged female pets. Dog breeds prone to struvite stones include Miniature Bichons, Lhasa Apso, Miniature Poodles, Schnauzer, Shih Tzus and Cocker Spaniels.

If your pet is straining to urinate and produces little urine or no urine at all, consider it an extreme emergency that requires immediate veterinarian attention. Otherwise, it can become fatal.

By nature, canines and felines should eat meat. Meat provides a natural acidifier that promotes overall good health. When fed a grain-based diet, the starch alkalizes urine pH that can lead to the development of struvite crystals and stones. To reduce urine pH, you must feed your pet a diet that’s low carb, grain free, potato free and species appropriate. Increasing the amount of high quality meat in their diet can acidify the urine and help prevent crystals.

Evanger's offers a variety of balanced canned dinners that provide ample high quality proteins that meat the unique needs of canine and feline diets. For balanced meals containing vitamins and minerals, try Evanger’s Slow Cooked Chicken Stew for dogs. For cats, consider certified Organic Braised Chicken Dinner, Organic Turkey with Butternut Squash, and Holistic Pheasant Dinner. Evanger’s also offers pure protein supplements, such as Evanger’s Grain Free Game Meats and 100% Organic Chicken that serve as an excellent protein punch to any regular meal.

Your pets will benefit from this proactive approach to help them maintain good nutrition, and help avoid painful and dangerous struvite crystal formation.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Evanger's Breed Buzz: Yorkshire Terrier

Developed in the 19th century in Yorkshire, England to catch rats in clothing mills, the Yorkshire Terrier is a small breed with a maximum weight of seven pounds. With its “Yorkie” nickname, the terrier-rooted breed sports a long coat of tan or steel blue that should be straight, silky and fine. Since the coat is long, it requires regular brushing. 

Yorkshire Terriers thrive on Evanger's premium dog food

The popular companion dog is easy to train since it’s in their nature to work free of human assistance. Since they were developed as a working breed, they require physical and mental stimulation. They behave best when walked daily and enjoying play time interaction with their human companions.

While they’re known to be a bit yappy – which makes them naturals to sound an audible alarm when strangers approach - they tend to mellow down when kept content. Owners who tire of barking can resolve that issue with more exercise and proper training. Yorkies also travel well since they adapt easily to their surroundings.

The breed seems to be oblivious of size. While small, attention-craving Yorkies are very overprotective, active and curious. That said, those that are emotionally secure won't likely show the submissive temperament of your typical lap dog. They’re better suited for older families. In fact, many more reputable breeders may home Yorkies to families with children older than eight years to benefit both the canine and the kids.

Yorkshire Terriers are prone to such health issues as cataracts, eye infections, bronchitis, skin allergies, slipped stifle and poor anesthetic tolerance. They also have a delicate digestive system that may react when they consume foods outside of their regular diet. As is common among toy dogs, Yorkies are more likely to be injured by other dogs, falls and mishaps with humans.

Since the breed also has early tooth decay that require regular cleanings by a vet, pet parents should feed a mix of small kibble dry food with nutrient dense canned food to help keep teeth clean and strong. Consider USA Made Evanger’s Grain-Free Meat Lover's Medley with Rabbit Dry Food mixed with Grain Free Sweet Potato. This savory combination uses nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables instead of grains for optimal canine health. Probiotics help support healthy immune and digestive systems, while omegas 3 and 6 aid with healthy joint, skin and coat. For treats, Evanger’s Raw Gently Dried Beef Tripe is excellent for finicky pets or pets with food sensitivities.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Evanger's Pet Nutrition Profile: Benefits of Softened Bones

Because humans don’t make a habit of eating bones, it is sometimes difficult to imagine the health benefits of bones for our furry pet companions. Many of Evanger’s dog and cat foods contain softened bones because they are incredibly nutritious!

Consisting primarily of calcium phosphate (calcium and phosphorus), bones provide these essential daily nutrients in a natural, non-manufactured form. The calcium and phosphorus ratios plus the total amounts in your canine’s diet are critical - especially if you own a rapidly growing, large breed dog.

"Bruce" loves Evnager's Hand Packed Whole Chicken Thighs
with softened bones for added nutrition.
Photo Credit: Stephanie D.

Bone marrow consists primarily of iron rich red blood cells and fat. This is whole food, not food fractions or synthesized (manufactured) nutrients. Nutrients in bone marrow are easily assimilated because they’re in a bio-available, natural form.

With whole pieces of uncut meat placed into every can by hand, Evanger’s USA Made Grain Free Hand Packed dinners for dogs include the proper amounts of these nutrients while providing texture and flavor that seems almost irresistible to dogs.

Evanger's special slow, pressure-cook process softens the bones so they are splinter-free and easily digestible. When you squeeze a bone in Whole Chicken Thighs or Roasted Chicken Drummette Dinner, you’ll see that it collapses instead of splintering. While feeding products with softened bones is not recommended for small dogs, larger dogs will enjoy these meals that are grain-free, gluten-free, safe, nutritious and delicious.

Evanger's Whole Chicken Thighs a great complement to our Super Premium and Grain Free dry foods. It can also be mixed with Evanger's canned Vegetarian Dinner to make a complete, balanced and very nutritious diet. It’s especially good for dogs with diabetes.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Evanger’s Tips: Deciphering Proteins on Pet Food Labels

When reading a pet food label, the most important thing to note is that the ingredients contained in the food are listed from the highest quantity to the lowest. The first ingredient is considered the most critical since it’s the primary one. In Evanger’s foods, that will be a high-grade ingredient like quality protein found in all of our products (aside from the Vegetarian and Grain-Free Sweet Potato selections that are meat-free and vegetable-based.
"Rue" needs Evanger's quality protein for her active lifestyle.
Photo Credit: Stephanie G.

The highest quality proteins are muscle meats, like chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, fish and other top quality proteins. Evanger’s uses USA grown, fresh, whole muscle meats in our canned food, dry food, and treats for dogs and cats. For example, our Super Premium Duck and Sweet Potato Dinner for dogs contains fresh duck meat as the first ingredient. This product contains no protein “meals.”

It’s important to remember that canines and felines are unable to produce nine essential amino acids. So pet parents must supplement these in their diets. Of poultry, fish, meat, eggs and dairy that all boast a high biological score, eggs hit a perfect 100. Beef follows with a biological value of 80.

In Evanger’s All Fresh Vegetarian Dinner for dogs and cats, the pea and whole grain brown rice combination supplements with complementary proteins. This means that these ingredients may not score as high as separate ingredients since they miss essential amino acids. Together, however, they completely complement one another. So as a result, foods are fine quality with a high biological value protein source.

When evaluating the quality of pet food from the label, remember these important tips:

·Quality ingredients are recognizable meats and vegetables listed by name.

· The first ingredient by weight is the most important.

· The top 10 ingredients usually comprise 80% or more of a dry pet food's entire formula.

· Some brands define food ingredients in a way where those of lower quality are buried further down the ingredient list.

· Proteins are essential for growth, reproduction, energy, repair and maintenance.

· Real meat (lamb, chicken or fish) is a source of highly digestible, high quality protein.

· Fruits and vegetables supply essential phytonutrients, antioxidants and enzymes, plus natural fibers, minerals and vitamins that maintain and promote health and wellness.

· Many name brand cat and dog foods contain ingredients that aren’t high quality. Corn, wheat and soy have been linked to allergic reactions in some pets.

· Beware of artificial color and chemical preservatives like BHT, ethoxyquin, BHA and propylene glycol. They provide no nutritional value and have been associated with possible side effects.

Selecting the right food for your four-legged friend is essential. Before shopping for pet food, take time to review labels on your current dog or cat foods. By applying this label logic, you can help make a substantial improvement in your pet’s diet.