Posts

July Aug 13 | Dogs and Pups

Table of Contents

+ Editorial
+ Just Fur Fun
+ New face
+ My Dreamy Boo
+ Love in a fur ball!
+ Beat the heat!
+ Neutering your dog may be a wise choice
+ Heat stroke hazards!
+ Different strokes for different coats!
+ Fun & exercise for brain & body
+ Doggies check in…
+ Your pooch has individuality!
+ Our pooches, our heroes!
+ Swallowing Objects
+ Paws and their stars
+ Picture Perfect
+ Bravo the ‘Four-Legged’ commandos!
+ New Face
+ Say No to animal abuse!
+ Wags’ for the wonderful vet
+ Ambassador got groomed!
+ Ask the expert…
+ Rejuvenating your pooch’s liver
+ dehydration in dog
+ Paw-tales
+ Events
nutrition

Are proteins really bad for dogs?

It’s a myth that high level of proteins causes aggression and kidney failure in pets. Here’s the myth buster.

Role of proteins: Proteins perform numerous functions in the body, encompassing roles as diverse as Nutritionstructural components of practically all body tissues, enzymes for digestion of food and metabolic reactions, homeostatic hormones and transport proteins, and immunoglobulins and other components of the immune system. Body proteins are constantly being turned over, requiring a supply of amino acid building blocks.

Proteins: Dogs and cats are able to synthesise 12 of the 22 different amino acids found in proteins, but only as long as sufficient nitrogen is present in the diet. These are the so-called non-essential or dispensable amino acids. The other 10 amino acids – the essential or indispensable – must be supplied in the diet and include arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. Cats require an eleventh amino acid, namely taurine.

Dietary protein and amino acid requirements vary according to life stage and lifestyle, as well as factors such as disease, environmental temperature and stress. The ability of a food to meet these requirements depends upon how digestible the protein is and how well its amino acid profile meets the amino acid needs of body tissues. The latter represents the biological value or quality of a protein.

Protein dietary requirements: National Research Council 2006 recommends that adult dogs should be fed a diet containing at least 25 g protein per 1000 kcal. This requirement increases to 50 g/1000 kcal in female dogs during pregnancy and lactation and 56g/1000 kcal in puppies. Protein requirements are also higher in working and racing dogs, reflecting the demands of increased muscle turnover and protein synthesis.

Protein supplied in excess of requirements is simply converted to energy and stored or utilised as such. There are no recommended maximum protein intakes for dogs.

Myth busted: Anecdotally there are claims that raw meat (high protein) diets are linked with aggression in dogs. This has led to speculation that a high protein level in dog food causes aggression. Brain biochemistry indicates that certain amino acids are linked with production of ‘calming’ hormones; hence there is a leap of faith suggesting that certain diets are calming and others have the opposite effect. Likewise there has been speculation that high protein diets cause kidney disease, especially in cats. This has partly come about because low protein diets are used to treat the symptoms of kidney disease.

Dogs are semi-carnivores, cats are carnivores; this means that they evolved to eat diets rich in protein. For example, the maternal milk of dogs is much higher in protein than human or cow’s milk.

Scientific studies have shown that there is no link between high protein diets and aggression in dogs. Our resident dogs at our Pet Centres in Waltham and Verden, Germany are continuously looked after and monitored with respect to their health, happiness and behaviour. Over many years of feeding foods containing a range of protein levels, we have never experienced any indication of a relationship between dietary protein and aggression.

Similarly, several scientific studies have shown that there is no link between high protein diets and risk of kidney disease in healthy cats and dogs.

The independent international nutrition guidelines for dogs (NRC) are based on the latest science and they have not specified a limit to upper levels of protein for dogs.

Dogs and Pups, May June 13 Issue

Table of Contents

+ Editorial
+ Just Fur Fun
+ New face
+ My Dreamy Boo
+ Love in a fur ball!
+ Beat the heat!
+ Neutering your dog may be a wise choice
+ Heat stroke hazards!
+ Different strokes for different coats!
+ Fun & exercise for brain & body
+ Doggies check in…
+ Your pooch has individuality!
+ Our pooches, our heroes!
+ Swallowing Objects
+ Paws and their stars
+ Picture Perfect
+ Bravo the ‘Four-Legged’ commandos!
+ New Face
+ Say No to animal abuse!
+ Wags’ for the wonderful vet
+ Ambassador got groomed!
+ Ask the expert…
+ Rejuvenating your pooch’s liver
+ dehydration in dog
+ Paw-tales
+ Events

Frequently Asked Questions About Dogs & Cats

Here’s a comprehensive book on dog and cat care written by Dr CS Arun, MVSc, PGDMM, My Pet Clinic & PetBook Review Fancies, Mysore. The book titled Frequently Asked Questions About Dogs & Cats gives not just the basic information like origin and utility of dogs, common breeds, etc, it also gives information on selecting a dog, care and management of puppy, training your puppy, breeding, common diseases, first-aid, dog shows, etc. Besides, these are a few miscellaneous questions that arise in pet parents’ minds. You can even find names for your pet as well as informative FAQs about cat. To get your copy, e-mail at: dr_csarun@yahoo.com

Food allergies in dogs

How can I look after my pet’s skin and coat?

By regularly and carefully checking your pet’s skin and coat, you will often notice changes that were not Nutritionimmediately apparent. For example, you might notice dandruff, a splinter or a mass (lump) that only recently appeared…. Similarly, your pet’s behaviour can be very significant. If he keeps scratching or licking, it is important to check the affected areas closely. Do not hesitate to contact your vet if you are unsure.

The level or care your pet’s skin needs depends on several factors, such as:

  • Species: cats are often more difficult to handle than dogs.
  • Lifestyle: does he mainly live indoors or outdoors?
  • Coat type: long or short hair? Rough or silky?
  • Skin type: oily, dry or normal?

Generally speaking:

  • Check your dog after walks for splinters or grass seeds and remove any ticks or fleas you come across.
  • Dry your dog if he is wet (with a clean bath towel), without forgetting his ears.
  • Regularly groom your pet with a suitable brush or comb. This untangles any knots that may have formed and also removes dead hair.
  • Only wash your pet with shampoos specifically designed for cats and dogs. Companion animals have more acidic skin than humans, so human shampoos may irritate your pet’s skin. If the shampoo you use was prescribed by your vet as part of your pet’s skin treatment, make sure you follow recommendations regarding contact time and frequency of application for this local treatment to be fully effective.

My vet suspects a food allergy: What does this mean?

Food allergies are caused by dietary allergens encountered during feeding. Animal proteins (beef, chicken…) are most commonly involved.

Mechanisms behind allergies

During the ‘sensitisation’ period (which may last several months, sometimes years), the animal is in contact with the allergen but does not show any symptoms. During this phase, however, he develops antibodies to the dietary allergen. In cases of allergic reactions, these antibodies recognise the allergen, leading to histamine release, which is responsible for the clinical signs.

Dietary treatment aims to eliminate all contact between your cat or dog’s body and the proteins to which he is allergic.

There are two types of hypoallergenic diets. They contain:

  • Either Selected proteins. In this case, the animal should be exclusively fed one type of protein (combined with one type of carbohydrate) that he has never been in contact with. This type of diet may be home-made. In this case, it is essential for pet parents to seek veterinary advice to ensure that the diet has the right protein, vitamin and mineral balance. This approach requires the pet parent to be highly committed to preparing meals and to have sufficient storage space available.
  • Or Hydrolysed proteins. These are proteins that have been broken down into little sections, called polypeptides or hydrolysates. These peptides are so small that they are no longer recognised as allergens by immune cells, and therefore do not trigger allergic reactions. Royal Canin Hypoallergenic diet was developed using this principle. Hypoallergenic diet is available from veterinary clinics only. Signs presented by affected animals may vary from case to case: some animals present digestive symptoms (e.g. chronic diarrhea, regular vomiting, flatulence), others will simply show skin symptoms (e.g. pruritus, regular ear infections, skin inflammation) while a proportion of affected animals will display a combination of digestive and skin symptoms. This is why this condition, which is actually fairly uncommon, often takes time and diligence to be diagnosed. Your vet may suggest an ‘exclusion diet’ to be able to accurately diagnose that your pet is allergic to a dietary protein. This involves your animal being exclusively fed a diet known to be hypoallergenic, for approximately two months. If your pet is allergic, his symptoms will improve during the test, and he will have to be fed a hypoallergenic diet for life.

Advice for pet parents

  • It is essential that you only feed your pet the prescribed diet (no table scraps or treats), or its beneficial effect will be cancelled out.
  • Tell your friends and family about your pet’s allergy and about the need to comply with the exclusion diet.
  • Ensue stringent compliance with the parasite control programme (fleas and ticks) prescribed by your vet.

Why is my pet scratching?

Animals may express itchiness by simply scratching themselves with their back feet, but also by nibbling particular body areas, rubbing or rolling on the floor.

There are many different reasons why animals scratch. The leading cause is contact with fleas: when they bite, fleas secrete irritating saliva that causes itchiness.

In animals suffering from a ‘flea bite allergy’, a few bites are enough for the animal to scratch frenetically. However, fleas cannot always be seen on the animal, since their small size (a few millimeters at most) means that they hide between hair.

How do I know if my pet has fleas?

The most common indicator of fleas is finding flea droppings (small black flecks) on the animal. Droplets of water will become reddish when mixed with these droppings.

Therefore, regular flea treatment of pets and their environment (including other animals) is advisable in all animals, and essential in all allergic pets.

Other less common causes of pruritus (itching) in cats and dogs include:

  • Other parasites (lice, harvest mites, cheyletiella…). It should be pointed out that sarcoptic mange (transmissible to humans) is very uncommon.
  • Skin infections
  • Canine atopic dermatitis
  • Dietary allergies/intolerances

The large number of reasons why pets can be itchy implies that many different treatments are possible. Your vet will carry out any additional investigations required for him to reach a diagnosis, which is essential to prescribing the right treatment.

Training

Show dogs: Treat them right

A typical show dog in India is generally a champion dog, imported from a good breeder overseas. But most breeders overseas are not too keen on sending dogs to India as they feel that dogs in India are kept and bred just for money. Why?

A typical show dog who is generally imported from a good breeder has already been a champion in his country of origin.

A right reason…

People seem to have got so engrossed in just winning that at times they have forgotten the main reason of shows and or breeding a particular breed, which is for the love of the dog breed. Some clubs have made conscious efforts and are doing really well in improving the dog show scene in India.

Family first…

Dogs must be part of our family and then show dogs. That’s how we can actually enjoy a particular breed and his individual traits which along with his looks drew us to him in the first place. Don’t make these dogs mere exhibits and prized processions kept in enclosures or cages. Let’s not reduce them to just an object, like an expensive car in our garage or an artifact in the house.

Little differences…

Most breeders in other countries share their homes with their dogs and one would find them in their house enjoying what a dog loves the most, roaming freely in the house with the entire family. Yes, if the breeder has too many dogs it’s not practical to have them all at the same time at home. There are some breeders who keep dogs on terraces or roof tops in their houses or flats. Let’s think—is it advisable in the hot and dry climate of India? Of course, there are breeders in our country who maintain ample places or kennels with proper facilities for their dogs.

Reality check…

Most people in other countries have home-bred dogs of great standards and occasionally get imported dogs to further improve their stock. Why can’t we do the same in India? If we truly love dogs, showing and breeding them, why do we just follow breeders overseas? How many of us have visited a typical breeder or kennel in India and found old show dogs or brood female dogs residing together with the current show and breeding dogs? Very few I would say! Should this be the life of aged/retired show dogs in India? Are we the so-called dog lovers becoming so heartless and is money the only driving factor for some breeders?

Bring a change…

We can make a difference together and save the Man’s Best Friend from this ill fate. Let’s rethink over the reason of keeping a pet dog – which was love for the animal. Let us try together to rebuild the past glory of the dog world in India. Let us take an active part and give our suggestions to Kennel Club of India (KCI). In this way, we can further bring a prosperous, friendly and brave new world for our furry buddies to a greater height where we can sweep out all unethical or puppy mill breeders.

(Dinkar Singh is a passionate animal and bird lover. The love for all types of living things runs in his family. He likes to occasionally show and breed dogs as a hobby).

Dogs and Pups, Nov Dec 12 Issue

+   Editorial
+   Breed Profile
+   Common food myths busted!
+   Mastering the art of canine communication
+   Inspiring tails
+   Starter kit for puppies
+   Female vs Male Is love gender specific?
+   Fur dressing – Brush to shine
+   It’s all in the ears!
+   In memory of Richie
+   Picture Perfect
+   Paws and their stars
+   Ask the expert…
+   Training secrets by commando kennels
+   ‘WAGS’ For the wonderful vet
+   Fighting the dreadful cancer
+   FAQs on blood donation in pooches
+   Healthy petting
+   Events
+   PAW’-tales
+   Freedom from fleas!
+   Grouped to instincts!
+   Tracing the paws!

Dogs and Pups, Sep -Oct 12 Issue

+ Editorial
+ Breed Profile
+ Common food myths busted!
+ Mastering the art of canine communication
+ Inspiring tails
+ Starter kit for puppies
+ Female vs Male Is love gender specific?
+ Fur dressing – Brush to shine
+ It’s all in the ears!
+ In memory of Richie
+ Picture Perfect
+ Paws and their stars
+ Ask the expert…
+ Training secrets by commando kennels
+ ‘WAGS’ For the wonderful vet
+ Fighting the dreadful cancer
+ FAQs on blood donation in pooches
+ Healthy petting
+ Events
+ PAW’-tales
+ Freedom from fleas!
+ Grouped to instincts!
+ Tracing the paws!

Dogs and Pups, July Aug 2012 Issue

 

+   Editorial
+   Breed Profile
+   Educating your puppy
+   Play with Royal Canin!!!
+   Seasonal care
+   Health myths busted!
+   Pedigree
+   Training myths busted!
+   Grooming myths busted!
+   Breeding myths busted!
+   Paws and their stars
+   Picture Perfect
+   Inspiring Tails
+   Remembrance
+   Ask the Expert
+   Training secrets
+   Understanding fleas for better control
+   ‘WAGS’ For the wonderful vet
+   Kick the ticks!
+   Preserving the genes
+   Book Review
+   Don’t abandon me please!
+   Events
+   PAW’-tales

Emergency First Aid for Dogs

Author: Martin Bucksch
Publisher: Hubble & Hattie
(Pp 64, ISBN 978-1-845843-86-1)book review

Accidents can happen anywhere…even in the comfortable confines of your home? Every time, it is not possible to run to a vet…sometimes there’s no time to wait for the vet. This is not the time to panic! It is time to act…act fast. Emergency First Aid for Dogs is a read reckoner for all dog lovers who need advice to tackle the most common emergency situations. The book gives tips on how to perform first-aid, and provides advice on emergency treatment.

The size of the book is perfect…you can carry it anywhere. Written in an easy-to-understand language, the book is an indispensable guide for every pet parent.