Fireworks are enjoyed year-round by people but can be a source of fear for many animals. Follow our top tips to make firework celebrations less frightening for your pet. Planning ahead can help your pet cope with the firework season.
Dr John Lowe, the Trophy Nutritionist and Sue Reid Trophy's resident expert wrote this piece. The Trophy Customer Hotline (01367 240333) is always busy on the same subject, do give us a call to discuss.
Dogs and cats are living longer today than in the past. This is without doubt due to the combination of improvements in both pet nutrition and veterinary medicine.
Studies have examined not just specific aspects of the pet’s needs and nutrient requirements, but also looked at lifetime impact of diet, concepts of optimum nutrition and the way in which nutrition at one stage of life impacts another.
Nutritional research has also extended into the role of designing diets that directly support and are integral to the success of veterinary care, for example where specific disease situations force changes in nutrient supply to help manage the animal more successfully during the period of illness or in some cases for the rest of their life. Such diets, termed diets for particular nutritional purposes (PARNUTS), are controlled under additional legislation to that for conventional pet foods, and are almost exclusively sold by the veterinary profession. These diets should be considered as a key component of veterinary management.
One can readily understand some pet owners’ reactions to being told that they need a “special” diet for their pet, particularly when they see the price. However, in some circumstances these specialist diets will aid the management of and the success of the treatment of their pet. They are bound to be expensive as they are difficult to make, use very specific ingredients and have limited distribution and demand in the market place.
For some disease conditions the use of such a diet is for a limited period only and once the animal recovers it can revert to a conventional pet food. The return to one of Trophy’s top quality premium diets would seem highly appropriate in such circumstances, guaranteeing the pet owner the delivery of quality nutrition at affordable prices.
The use of these diets for specific nutritional purposes should not be confused with the fact that like all of us, veterinary surgeons need to make a living. Consequently, many have turned to selling conventional pet food (often made by the same company as the veterinarian prescribed ones) as well as veterinary services. Selling pet food in this way means the veterinary surgeon can not only recommend a diet of his or her choice, but can actually earn from this endorsement, by selling from the surgery.
Trophy Premium Foods and many of the Trophy additional ranges compete extremely well with those conventional pet foods sold from veterinary surgeries. When one looks at ingredients, nutritional content and the range of recipes which do not contain certain ingredients, they provide the pet owner with a wide choice with which to feed and manage their pet’s needs. It is easy to consult your Trophy representative in order to be able to make an informed selection from the Trophy range that matches the pet food recommended by the veterinary surgeon. However it would be unwise to consider alternatives if the diet was an integral part of the veterinary management of a disease or life-threatening, long-term condition.
Let’s look at one problem. Food allergy - an adverse reaction to a food ingredient with an immunological basis - seems to have become a very topical subject and as such, reactions are often manifested as skin irritation. Sometimes these conditions are also called food hypersensitivities or intolerances.
Given the wide range of foods and food ingredients our pets consume it should not be surprising that adverse reactions occur; but they are comparatively rare. The incidence often reported is 1-6% of all skin conditions seen by veterinary surgeons and no more than 10-20% of all allergic reactions reported; flea hypersensitivity and atopy, a genetic predisposition towards allergic reactions to common antigens, like pollen, mould, and house dust, are far more common. Plug in air-fresheners and concrete dust are less common, but can also cause a reaction.
The causal agents of food allergies in dogs are considered protein-based and thus any protein could be the agent. However, the most common food ingredients resulting in reactions are wheat, dairy, beef and soya. Hardly surprising as these would be common in many dog foods and prior exposure is a factor in developing an allergy.
The protein molecule has to be of a certain size to stimulate the immune system. A number of diets specifically designed for dogs that have developed allergies to food contain hydrolysed protein. These proteins, in simple terms have been made broken down into tiny fractions which the immune system does not recognise. They will essentially ‘fly under the radar’ of the immune system and not provoke an allergic reaction. These diets can be useful in cases where food allergies are suspected, but the exact culprit can never be pinpointed. The problem with the allergy-prone dog is that they can develop intolerances to any ingredient (or indeed more than one ingredient). Thus the preferred approach for initial management is to use an exclusion food trial. This will hopefully pinpoint the problem ingredient and thus allow you to select a food that avoids it. Ask your local Trophy Nutritional Adviser about the best way to go about this.
Remember that treats are food too and these need to be looked at in terms of what ingredients are in them.
If your dog is eating any of the ingredients most commonly associated with allergens, eliminate these first. It’s a good place to start – wheat, dairy, soya, beef. Try our Trophy Premium or Holistic Range, which contain none of these ingredients in the recipes and lots of key benefits for the allergy-prone dog.Bear in mind that it can take 6-8 weeks for skin conditions to recover, so it’s important to give a food trial a fair chance. Unless the symptoms get far worse on the new food! The intestinal tract may well have suffered damage so it important to make life as easy as you can from this point forward for the immune and digestion systems – Trophy Premium Lite, Trophy Premium Hypo-allergenic, Trophy Premium Holistic and Trophy Premium Duck & Vegetables are all very suitable diets to try.
Around 40% of all dogs in the U.K. are now overweight or obese! The PFMA Size-O -Meter guide is an excellent starting point. Use this as a guide to see what your dog should look like. Then:
Recommended Products: Trophy Premium Active, Trophy Premium Hypo-Allergenic, Trophy Premium Duck & Vegetables, Trophy Lamb & Rice, Trophy Whole Body, Trophy Easy-Going.
All dogs suffer from this from time to time and within 24 hours all will be back to normal. In most case this would have been as a result of eating something they should not have or they may have had a minor upset that lasted a short while.
Recommended products: Trophy Premium Maintenance, Trophy Premium Holistic, Trophy Premium Hypo-Allergenic, Trophy Premium Lite, Trophy Chicken, Rice & Veg, Trophy Working Dog with Chicken & Corn (Sensitive), Trophy Digestive Aid.
Recommended Products: Trophy Premium Duck & Vegetables, Trophy Hypo-Allergenic, Trophy Special, Trophy Premium Active, Trophy Digestive Aid, Trophy Whole Body.
Recommended Products: Trophy Premium Hypo-Allergenic, Trophy Premium Duck & Vegetables, Trophy Premium Lite, Trophy Premium Holistic, Trophy Premium Maintenance, Trophy Seaweed & Nettle.
Trophy uses chicken fat in our recipes as it is widely considered to be the highest quality and most digestible fat source for dogs. The chicken fat is filtered and purified to remove the protein molecules and therefore the fat itself cannot cause an allergic response. Our recipes which are chicken meal / protein free may well be suitable for a dog that cannot have chicken protein.
Recommended Products: Trophy Premium Hypo-Allergenic, Trophy Premium Duck & Vegetables.
It is a fact that beet pulp is one of the best fibre sources available for dogs as it contains both soluble and insoluble fibre. The soluble fibre is a good food source for the friendly bacteria in the gut and the insoluble fibre ensures the correct transition time of food passage through the gut. This leads to maximum digestion and absorption of the nutrients in the food.
Beet pulp also provides texture to the kibble, ensuring it fractures well in the mouth and therefore could promote good oral health. Beet pulp comes from the sugar beet plant, however all the sugar has been extracted before we use it, we use unmolassed beet pulp. It is therefore not bad for your dog’s teeth.
Colitis is not as such a medical condition (it is a term used to describe inflammation and irritation of the colon). Symptoms are loose stools, which are often covered in mucus and there may also be fresh blood evident. There are many possible causes of colitis. A good diet and food management can be very helpful, but it is not a cure. It is essential that the root cause is diagnosed by your vet and treated accordingly.
Unfortunately many owners find themselves trying all manner of new foods, but not seeing an improvement in stool formation. This is because there will be an underlying reason for the symptoms. A high quality, low fat, hypo-allergenic food will help and in some cases will lessen the bouts of diarrhoea. However please seek veterinary advice in the first instance.
Recommended Products:Trophy Premium Lite, Trophy Premium Holistic.
The problems associated with ageing will vary with each individual dog. There will be the steady deterioration in cells, cell systems, organs and outward appearance. There may well be a reduced immune function, loss of cognitive abilities and loss of sensory perception. The need for rest increases and this reduction in exercise can lead to many other problems. And there could be problems with sleeping and a reduced ability to cope with stress and / or change of routine.
However, there are some things that can be done to put off and / or slow down the ageing process. With a life-time approach on things like – calorie restriction – never allow your dog to become overweight; optimum nutrition – always feed a quality (Trophy) Premium dog food; making time for and ensuring that your dog gets plenty of regular exercise; ensuring that your dogs food provides plenty of natural antioxidants that support the immune function (just like Trophy Premium Dog Foods do); and finally, it may well be advisable to neuter your dog.
Life expectancy will, of course, depend on genetics, breed, environment, life-style and nutrition. Smaller breeds do tend to live longer than larger breeds. (Deeb and Wolf 1994), but by having this life-time approach it may help slow down the ageing process.
There are certain myths about the older dog that research has shown not to be the case: there is no evidence, for example, that digestibility deteriorates with age, protein requirements do not have to decrease, in fact for a normal older dog, where it is important to maintain muscle mass, protein is essential. Energy requirements do not always have to decrease in old age, again, as well exercised older dog, will still have a need for a moderate amount of energy. And finally we may well accept a decline in cognitive function but optimum nutrition and mental stimulation can help to offset this.
Recommended Products:Trophy Premium Holistic Mature.
Dogs love to munch away on grass and some even make it part of their daily routine. Fortunately, most experts believe it isn't something you should worry about. Nearly every dog eats grass sometimes, and some dogs eat it all the time. You would think that by now we would have a good reason why they do it. But we don’t. Dogs explore their worlds with their noses and mouths...And there's the grass - attractive, sweet, with an appealing texture and it's very accessible on the ground. Why not eat it?
Dogs are very flexible in their tastes. They'll eat their dog food, then walk over to see if there's anything good left in the rubbish bin. Basically, they'll eat or try to eat, whatever they find in front of them. They didn't care too much if had been lying in the sun for a week or was half-buried or even had other things crawling in it. It is food to them and they are not going to pass it up.
Dogs, unlike their catty counterparts, are not carnivores. But they're not like your normal omnivores, either. For tens of thousands of years, these opportunistic scavengers have devoured anything and everything, as long as it fulfilled their basic dietary requirements. Dogs are best described as carnivorous omnivores. They don't need to eat grass or vegetable matter from the garden anymore because most commercial dog foods are nutritionally complete. But dogs aren't nutritionists they just know what they like. Their natural instincts tell them that grass can be eaten, so they eat it.
Vets still aren't sure if dogs eat grass because they feel sick or if their stomachs get upset after they have eaten the grass. One theory suggests that there's something in grass that does stimulate the urge to vomit. Another theory suggests that when ingested, the grass blade tickles the throat and stomach lining; this sensation, in turn, may cause the dog to vomit, again we don’t really know.
So, when you think about it, grass munching isn’t that bad at all, just be aware that when grass has been treated with insecticides, herbicides, or other chemicals it can be very hazardous to your dog. Avoiding letting your dog eat grass in public places is a good idea as some areas could have been treated with these type of chemicals.
We hope you have found these FAQ useful and that they have dispelled some of the myths surrounding complete pet foods. The internet has a lot to answer for! While there are a huge number of excellent websites and forums where owners can source accurate and informative information, there are also some which contain misleading and inaccurate information. And where this information is put forward as fact with little or no scientific evidence to support it; it is misleading.
Here at Trophy we are happy to answer any question you may have concerning our foods, pet nutrition, general advice etc. So do give us a call on 01367 240333. We will be delighted to hear from you.