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 (www.akc.org) and ASPCA (www.aspca.org).
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.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Evanger's Safety Tips: Keeping Pets Safe for the July 4th Holiday

According to the American Humane Association, July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters. Reacting the opposite of their human counterparts, pets tend to panic with all the bangs, flashes and smoke from July 4th fireworks.

Take some time to plan ahead and protect your pet from the stress with a few simple steps:
  • Microchip your pet – Be proactive and fit your pet with microchip identification, and ID tags with their name and your telephone number in case he does escape.
  • Keep your pet indoors – Try to keep your pets inside at all times during July 4th festivities. Loud noises may make them panic and break their restraint or jump a fence to seek safety. If you’re leaving the house to celebrate, try to find someone who will stay at home with your pets. Always keep your dog on a leash during the holiday, no matter how “off-leash trained” he may be.
  • Make pets feel safe – Pet, hug and talk to your furry friends in a calm voice. Reward them with healthy snacks like Evanger’s Raw Gently Dried Beef Liver Treats. Provide access to a “safe place,” whether it’s a crate or favorite pillow.
  • Mask the sound – Try to diminish the fireworks noise by keeping windows closed, and turning on the television or playing music.
  • Maintain your routine – Since pets react to your energy, stick to your normal routine as much as possible.
  • Be mindful of toxins – Make sure your holiday supplies are kept well out of reach of your pets. These include sunscreen, unused fireworks, lighter fluid, matches and citronella-based bug repellants. If you’re hosting a backyard barbecue, advise your guests to avoid sharing their food, as some human foods and beverages can cause gastrointestinal distress if not much more serious symptoms requiring immediate medical attention. 
The Evanger's family wishes you and your pets a happy and safe 4th of July!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Evanger’s Tips – Pet-friendly Hotels

The best part of summer is the ability to travel – visiting out-of-town relatives, the beach, or one of our amazing national parks. While the options for travel are endless, accommodations along the way for your pets are not. Fortunately, hotels are becoming more attuned to pet owners’ needs, providing more rooms and accommodations to traveling pets. Make sure to research the hotels along your travel route and ensure they allow pets. Be aware that most hotels do charge an extra non-refundable pet fee, and limit the number of pets allowed in each room.
Some hotels are extremely accommodating to traveling pets, providing bowls, relief mats, pet beds, and even a pet-friendly menu. So call ahead to see what is provided- it may save you some room in your suitcase. Your packing list should include food, bowls, leashes, toys, a waste scoop, plastic bags, a first aid kit, collar with identification tags, grooming supplies, and any medications. Even if you are traveling by road, it is always a good idea to bring your pet’s health records and vaccination history – you may need these if traveling across state lines or if your pet is injured during your trip. 

While kibble might be more convenient to carry, we always recommend canned food when traveling. Canned foods provide high moisture content, which aids in hydration and digestion. Pets can easily become dehydrated or experience digestive issues such as upset stomach, constipation, or diarrhea while traveling. Canned foods such as Evanger’s Chicken and Rice Dinner for Dogs or Beef It Up Dinner for Cats provide fresh meat and produce that is nutrient packed and gentle on the digestive system for pets on the go!

This rescued Chihuahua, Mickey, is a therapy dog for Photographer Stacy Royer's disabled daughter.  And Mickey is dressed and ready for travel!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Evanger’s Diet Tips for Pets Prone to Hairballs

When your pet grooms herself, she swallows a certain amount of loose hair that passes through the digestive system into her stool. Sometimes a small amount of hair remains in the intestinal tract or stomach, causing her to retch and hack until the hair comes up. Normally, this process isn’t problematic, but sometimes retching can cause your pet to vomit up food and mucus, or result in constipation and diarrhea. In rare cases, hairballs can get stuck in the esophagus or cause other blockages that have to be cleared with surgery. Fortunately, there are a few ways to help reduce the tendency of hairballs in long-haired pets.   
   

First and foremost, consistent grooming is needed to eliminate excess hair and control shedding. Nutrition is also vital in reducing hairballs. Premium, highly digestible ingredients can improve coat strength and reduce shedding, as well as add quality fiber to aid in the digestion of hair through the intestinal tract. Try Evanger’s Holistic Pheasant Dinner or Organics ™ Turkey & Butternut Squash Dinner, both of which contain optimal levels of fiber and nutrition to help your pet reduce the formation of hairballs.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Evanger’s Tips - Keeping Your Pet Hydrated in Hot Weather

When the temperature climbs, the body sweats more to regulate its temperature, which requires greater water intake to replenish fluids – it’s a fact of life for humans AND pets. Be aware of the signs of dehydration and overheating by keeping an eye on your pet’s tongue and demeanor. The mouth is a pet’s way of eliminating heat and panting is a critical part of reducing body temperature. If your pet is too hot, his tongue will hang completely out of his mouth and you may notice his tongue “cups” at the end.  The tongue and gums may also become bright red. A dehydrated dog will drool excessively, become lethargic, or have glassy or bloodshot eyes. If your pet exhibits any signs of overheating, take him to the veterinarian immediately. 




Diet also plays an important role in hydration. Kibble can actually dehydrate your pet, as it draws moisture from the body to aid in digestion. Opt for canned food instead to help keep your pet hydrated and ease digestion. For a moist and meaty summer dinner for your dog, try Evanger's Chunky Chicken Casserole, a hand-packed complete meal for canines, loaded with protein and vitamins from USA-sourced meats and produce. Packed by hand, these savory meals are cooked in individual cans to retain maximum nutrition and flavor. For cats, try Evanger's Slow Cooked Turkey Stew, a complete and balanced dinner formulated with USA-sourced turkey, cranberries, and blueberries in a savory sauce that adds flavor and moisture for optimal digestion.

Photo submitted to Evanger's Calendar Contest by Wendy Patterson