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.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Evanger's Tips: Back to School Transition for Pets

While heading back to school is usually exhilarating for your children, it often unfolds as a stressful time for your pets. Since kids typically spend so much more time around their furry friends during the summer, household pets must adjust to more solo time once the school bell rings. Many actually suffer from separation anxiety when left alone and out of their short-term summer routine.
"Lola" by Krystal F.

Aside from stressing when family members depart and showing hyper excitement when you return, separation anxiety signs include:
  • Defecating and/or urinating in inappropriate areas
  • Destructive behavior such as chewing and digging
  • Vocal distress that includes whining, barking and howling from dogs and increased meowing from cats
When separation anxiety is not as severe, you can aid your pets in handling the stress with:
  • Exercise prior to leaving the house. When pets are tired, they’re less prone to cause trouble while you’re away.
  • Take short separation periods to help your pets adjust to being home alone for longer periods.
  • Leave and return with a very mellow demeanor. Long good-byes and overly zealous greetings can only emphasize the anxiety of the event.
  • As a comfort element, leave pets with a piece of clothing that carries your scent.
  • Leave music or your television on so the environment sounds more familiar.
  • Engage pets with interactive toys (especially ones stuffed with pet food or treats) to distract them in your absence. 
Use USA Made Evanger’s Meat Lover’s Medley for Dogs or Evanger’s Meat Lovers Medley for Cats as a small kibble treat that is perfect for hiding in stimulating pet toys. Reward both cats and dogs with Evanger’s Freeze Dried Treats made of beef liver or wild salmon. For dogs needing a low calorie option, consider USA Made Nothing But Natural Grain Free Jerky Treats available in Organic Chicken, Venison, Natural Pheasant, or Buffalo with Fruits & Veggies.

Symptoms typically decrease when your dog or cat grows more familiar with the new routine. If the separation anxiety persists, speak with a trainer, your vet or an animal behaviorist for advice on another route to help eliminate the issue.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Evanger's Tips: Nutrition for Kittens

Much more than “miniature cats,” kittens require early nutrition that plays a major role in how healthy they’ll be as they mature through different life cycles. After four weeks of mother’s milk, they should gradually transition to food and be completely weaned by eight weeks.

According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), the recommended amount of protein for an adult cat is a minimum of 26% on a dry matter basis. That percentage increases to at least 30% for kittens so they can develop strong muscles and supporting tissue.

The best foods for kittens and adult cats are made with quality protein sources like fish, chicken, lamb or other named animal sources. Feline foods should also have minimal carbohydrates and grains, as cats thrive best on meat rich diets.

Because kittens have such high energy and smaller stomachs, they should eat at least three or four meals daily. While they enter their adolescence phase at around six months and may appear adult size, kittens are still growing. As the growth rate begins to decline, gradually feed them fewer and larger meals each day.

Combining protein-rich rabbit, beef and pork, Evanger's Grain-Free Meat Lover's Medley with Rabbit Dry Cat Food is formulated to meet the AAFCO’s nutritional levels for all life stages. This formula contains probiotics to support healthy immune and digestive systems, as well as flaxseed and omegas 3 and 6 for healthy joint, skin and coat.
Consider supplementing a dry diet with a nutrient-dense Super Supreme canned food for optimum health and digestion. Check out Evanger’s Beef Tips with Gravy, Catch of the Day, and Seafood & Caviar Dinner

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Evanger's Safety Tips: National Pet Fire Safety Day

Our family at Evanger’s treat our pets as part of the family, so safety is always our number one priority. That’s why it never hurts to remind ourselves of ways we can help protect our pets from home fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, pets cause some 1,000 house fires annually, affecting nearly 500,000 pets. To help prevent these accidents, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) sponsors National Pet Fire Safety Day each July 15.

NVFC offers the following fire prevention and safety tips to prevent fires and protect pets when there is a fire.

To Prevent Fires
  • Remove stove knobs – Stoves and cook tops are the biggest culprits involved in your pet starting a fire. Be sure to remove knobs or protect them with covers when leaving the house.
  • Extinguish open flames – Since they’re curious by nature, never leave your cats and dogs unsupervised around open flames. Also consider investing in flameless candles that contain a light bulb rather than an open flame.
  •  Replace glass water bowls on wooden decks – When the sun’s rays filter through water and glass, it can heat up and ignite the wooden deck beneath it. Opt for ceramic or stainless steel bowls instead.
  • Pet proof your home - Locate areas where pets might start fires inadvertently. Check for loose wires and other potential hazards.

To Keep Your Pets Safe in Case of a Fire
  • Consider monitored smoke detection services – Adding protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms, smoke detectors connected to a monitoring center help save pets home alone.
  •  Plan an escape route – Keep collars and leashes easily accessible near front and back doors in case you have to evacuate quickly with your pet, or to help firefighters rescue it.
  • Keep pets near entrances – When leaving pets home alone, confine them in rooms or areas near entrances where firefighters can easily find them. Also consider confining young pets – especially puppies –in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas away from potential fire-starting hazards.
  • Affix a pet alert window sticker – To save rescue time, write down (and update) the number of pets inside your house and attach the sticker to a front window where it’s clearly visible to emergency responders. For a free window cling, visit  AKC ( and ASPCA (
A little planning can go a long way in keeping your pets safe in case of emergencies. Always be prepared!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Evanger's Breed Buzz: Beagle

With a square, straight muzzle and squarely built body, the Beagle is a sturdy breed resembling a miniature Foxhound. The modern dog breed was developed around the 1830s in Great Britain from a mix of the North Country Beagle, Southern Hound, Talbot Hound and possibly the Harrier. Among its distinguishing characteristics are long ears, large hazel or brown eyes, and a distinctive howl or bay of a bark when on the hunt.

The Beagle’s shorter length coat reflects hound-type colors combinations that include black and tan, red and white, orange and white, lemon and white, tricolor, red tick and blue tick. Just slightly larger and heavier than females, males average 14-16 inches and weight 22-25 pounds. 

While they are especially good with children and typically good with other dogs, the Beagle’s hunting instincts may come into play with non-canine pets. It’s critical that they are socialized at a young age with cats and other household pets.

Since they have a mind of their own, these intelligent dogs require firm, patient training. As an owner, you need to establish that you’re the pack leader. They also require both physical and mental exercise daily since they’re so energetic and have such high stamina. Be certain to keep your Beagle on a leash while walking it to prevent it from running off to chase game or trail scents.

With a life expectancy of 12-15 years, this dog breed is prone to mast cell tumors, obesity, allergies and chondroplasia (warped front legs). Some lines are also prone to back problems, heart disease, epilepsy and cherry eye.

To help these social pets remain strong and avoid allergies, consider Evanger’s Super Premium Beef Dinner mixed with Grain-Free Sweet Potato. This blend offers a complete, balanced and highly nutritious meal that’s both grain and gluten free. It also includes such superfood ingredients as spinach, kale and chelated minerals. Since Beagles are scent hounds, they also enjoy sniffing out their food bowl when you place it in new locations and finding hidden treats.