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March 2018

February 2018

The Benefits of Grain-Free Dog Food

Guest Post by Olivia Williams

ID-10049938Dog-lovers everywhere simply want the best for their pooches. And when it comes to providing our four-legged, furry friends optimum nutrition, many of us would rather choose grain-free dog food for a variety of reasons, many of which are tied to the benefits of grain-free dog food. Here are some of them:

  • More nutrients per gram of dog food

 Ancestral dogs always preferred meats over any other type of food. However, today’s dogs aren’t necessarily carnivores; in fact, they are omnivores like you and me.

Sadly, with the commercialization of dog food, companies sometimes minimize production costs. Instead of putting high-quality ingredients in sufficient amounts into dog food, some companies use ‘fillers’ in the form of wheat, corn, and other cereal grains for the simple fact that these are generally ‘cheaper’ than protein like beef or chicken. That is why low-quality dog foods will have a greater proportion of these so-called ‘fillers’ that do not necessarily contain all the right amounts of nutrients needed by your pooch.

But when you give your dog grain-free food, you are almost certain that the ‘fillers’ have been significantly replaced with more nutritious ingredients such as wholesome grains, vegetables, and fruits as well as more protein like chicken, beef, turkey, and others. This simply means you are giving your dog more nutrients for exactly the same amount of dog food.

  • Less incidence of food allergies

 Wheat, corn, and soy, as well as other cereal grains, are considered allergenic. Chicken, pork, and beef as well as any other food that has protein in it can also be allergenic. The good news is that the digestive system of a dog is naturally designed to digest proteins from animal sources a lot more efficiently than they do proteins coming from cereal grains. This leads to fewer incidences of food allergies and other forms of allergies in dogs. The reason is simple. Because an allergic reaction is triggered by the exposure of a protein molecule to immune system cells, digesting large proteins into peptides and amino acids eliminates this antigen-recognition capability of immune system cells.

 Since dogs are able to digest animal proteins into amino acids, they experience less stomach upsets and other symptoms of food allergies. On the other hand, since they cannot process cereal grain proteins into amino acids that efficiently, some of the undigested proteins are ‘sensed’ by the immune system of the dog, triggering an allergic response.

  • More energy to support your dog’s lifestyle

 It is important to distinguish the difference between a grain-free and carb-free dog diet. Dogs, like us, rely on carbohydrates for energy. This is especially true if you’re the type of dog-owner who goes on a trek with your pooch on the trails of the Blue Ridge Mountains or even the Great Smoky Mountains. They will need energy for the adventure. While cereal grains are a good source of carbohydrates, these are not the only sources. For instance, sweet potatoes and rice, often found in grain-free food, are excellent sources of carbohydrates for your pooch. They’re generally friendly to the tummy, too. This can help support your dog’s active lifestyle.

  • Healthier skin and coat

 Trekking in the Blue Ridge Mountains means exposing your dogs to the elements, not to mention objects and particles that can irritate its skin and make its coat frizzled. Since a grain-free dog diet has more nutrients that come from healthier grains, fruits, and vegetables, you can feel more confident about promoting healthier coat and skin for your pet. This is the function of antioxidants that are mostly found in many fruits and vegetables. As such, dog foods that are rich with these kinds of nutrients can help improve the condition of your pet’s skin and coat.

  • Less shedding

 Because your dog’s coat is naturally healthier brought about by the various nutrients that are supplied to every hair root, your pooch will have lesser incidence of shedding. Your dog will still shed its fur, but this will be significantly less than if your pet were on a dog food that contains cereal grains. This can also translate to easier cleaning of your upholstery and carpet at home.

There are many other reasons why pet parents today would want grain-free dog food for their beloved pets. You only want to give your dog the best nutrition possible, just like any responsible parent would give to her kids.

Olivia Williams is mum of 2 and a true animal lover with 3 dogs, 2 cats and a parrot called Charlie. Heading up the content for MyPetNeedsThat.com amongst a busy family schedule, her goal is to try help people all around the world become better pet owners.

Image: Aopsan, Freedigitalphotos.net


February 27 is World Spay Day

SpayneuterFebruary is Spay/Neuter Awareness Month, and World Spay Day is an international day of action to promote the sterilization of pets, community cats and stray dogs as a way to save animals’ lives. It takes place each year on the last Tuesday of February; this year it is February 27, 2018.

Created as Spay Day USA by the Doris Day Animal League (DDAL) in 1995, World Spay Day is now a program of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Humane Society International (HSI) and Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA). On World Spay Day and throughout the month of February — Spay/Neuter Awareness Month — veterinary and animal welfare professionals, business owners and concerned individuals join forces to shine a spotlight on spay/neuter as the most effective and humane means of decreasing the number of homeless animals put down in shelters or living on the street.

Why World Spay Day

Millions of animals suffer on the streets worldwide. Too often, governments deal with this overpopulation through cruel means, such as poisoning, electrocution or shooting. 

Preventing litters reduces the number of animals for whom resources are not available. Most people support spay/neuter, but affordable services are out of reach for many pet owners, and funding is always needed for street animal surgeries.

You can make a difference by helping to raise awareness of available services or the need for them by organizing a related event or activity on World Spay Day or sometime during the month. At the very least, spay/neuter your own pet, and support spay/neuter initiatives in your own community.

We are very fortunate to have the ASPCA Spay/Neuter Alliance in Asheville. This internationally known spay/neuter clinic and training center makes low cost spay/neuter available to local residents. To book an appointment online or for more information visit: https://www.aspca.org/humane-alliance


Pilates with Puppies - Asheville, March 13

Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 3.04.01 PMOn Tuesday, March 13, Cisco Pilates will hold a "Pilates with Puppies" class from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM -- at the Asheville Humane Society Adoption & Education Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville (off Brevard and Pond Roads near the WNC Farmers Market).

Pilates with Puppies will be a basic Pilates class, with puppies provided by Asheville Humane Society. Please bring your own yoga or Pilates mat and a small towel. Please do not bring your own puppy! The cost is $15, which is a donation to Asheville Humane Society on behalf of Buncombe County animals.

Pre-registration is required and these classes are very popular. Early registration is suggested as space is limited and this event is expected to sell out! Visit https://www.ciscopilates.com/pricing/ to sign up. Questions? Email alexis@ciscopilates.com

Image: Cisco Pilates


Low Cost Vaccinations - Candler, Feb. 24

AHS Low Cost VaccinationsAsheville Humane Society offers pet owners access to low cost vaccinations, microchips and ID tagging.

Come to a low cost vaccination clinic on Saturday, February 24 from 11 AM to 2 PM at Francis Asbury United Methodist Church, 725 Asbury Road, Candler, NC. No appointment is necessary.

Services provided:

Rabies 1 year  |  (Dogs or cats over 3 months)  |  $10.00
Rabies 3 year  |  (Dogs or cats with rabies paper certificate)  |  $10.00  
-Rabies tags are not accepted as proof of rabies vaccination-
Bordetella - Kennel cough  |  (Dogs over 2 months)  |  $15.00
DA2PPV - |  (Dogs 6 to 12 weeks or under 25 lbs)  |  $15.00
DA2PPV + Lepto - |  (Dogs 12 weeks or older and over 25 lbs)  |  $15.00
FVRCP/FELV - Rhinotracheitis, Calici, Panleukopenia and Leukemia  |  (Cats over 2 months)  | $20.00
FVRCP  (Cats over 2 months)  |   $15.00
FELV |  (Cats over 2 months)  |   $15.00
Microchip  |  (Dogs or cats over 2 months)  |  $15.00

Please note: Cash is the only accepted form of payment.


$5 Adoptions - Asheville, Feb. 20 - 24

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Valentine's Day has come and gone, but "Love Your Pet Day" is Tuesday, February 20th, and Asheville Humane Society is celebrating all week long with a $5 "FURiends" adoption special!

There are so many homeless pets who are looking for a new best friend! If you've never experienced the love of a pet, now is the time find out what you're missing!

A four-legged FURiend will always be there for you. Stop by Asheville Humane Society this Tuesday through Saturday to adopt your new BFF! 

Although the love of a pet is priceless, all of the following are still included when you adopt! Each adoption fee includes spay/neuter, all up-to-date vaccines, behavioral training when appropriate, microchip and free 1-year registration, a free starter bag of food, and a free wellness visit with a participating veterinarian. 

To see available animals, visit www.ashevillehumane.org. The Adoption Center is located at 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville (off Brevard and Pond Roads, near the WNC Farmers Market). It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM (Tuesdays until 7 PM). The dog and cat rooms are closed daily for naptime from 1 to 2 PM, giving animals a much-needed break. The lobby remains open where you can speak with staff, enjoy refreshments, read or watch videos!


Tour the Asheville Animal Care Campus - Feb. 24

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Did you know the Animal Care Campus in Asheville is one of the country's leading examples of a private-public partnership in animal welfare? Asheville Humane Society and Buncombe County work in close collaboration to take in, care for, re-home, and adopt out thousands of domestic animals each year. Their collective goal is to save every adoptable animal's life and make each animal's life worth living.

Now you have the opportunity to see first-hand why the Animal Care Campus is a national model. Asheville Humane Society is hosting a guided behind-the-scenes tour of the society's Adoption Center (14 Forever Friend Lane) and the Buncombe County Animal Shelter (16 Forever Friend Lane) on Saturday, Feb. 24, from 1:30 to 3:00 PM. The tour is free and open to the public.

The Animal Care Campus is located on Forever Friend Lane, off Pond Road and Brevard Road, near the WNC Farmers Market. For more information, call (828) 761-2001.


Hiking Hounds, Feb. 25

Hiking houndsHiking Hounds is one of the most popular Asheville Humane Society volunteer activities. Each month, volunteers take shelter dogs on hikes as part of the enrichment programming. You'll spend a few hours in Bent Creek hiking the trails with dogs who will love you for it.

The next hike with the Hiking Hounds group is Sunday, Feb. 25. Start time is 10 AM for repeat hikers and 9:30 AM for new hikers. Hikers generally return to the shelter at 16 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville around 12:30 to 1 PM. Note: New and repeat hikers alike are required to sign up in advance. If you'd like to sign up for this hike, email ahshikinghounds@outlook.com.

Hikers are signed up on a "first come-first served basis" and you must have a confirmed reservation to attend a hike. And please make sure you can actually make the hike; if we have late cancellations, a dog gets left behind without a hike.

For more information visit the Hiking Hounds Facebook page.


Do You Sleep with Your Dog?

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 4.35.23 PMAbout half of U.S. pet owners sleep with their pets, and about 45 percent of dog owners sleep with their dogs.

Do you sleep with your dog? If so, you are definitely not alone! But there are some things that you should know about sleeping with your dog. There are health benefits and health risks, for example, and there are tips to make the experience more enjoyable for both of you.

The folks at Tuck.com, whose aim is to to improve sleep hygiene, health, and wellness through the creation and dissemination of comprehensive, unbiased, free resources, have put together "Sleeping with Pets." This informative guide answers a lot of questions about sleeping with your dog, including one all dog owners wonder about: "Is snoring normal for dogs?"

You'll find this free guide here:  https://www.tuck.com/sleeping-with-pets/

Image: Tuck.com


Hiking Hounds - Asheville, Feb. 18

Hiking houndsHiking Hounds is one of the most popular Asheville Humane Society volunteer activities. Each month, volunteers take shelter dogs on hikes as part of the enrichment programming. You'll spend a few hours in Bent Creek hiking the trails with dogs who will love you for it.

The next hike with the Hiking Hounds group is Sunday, Feb. 18. Start time is 10 AM for repeat hikers and 9:30 AM for new hikers. Hikers generally return to the shelter at 16 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville around 12:30 to 1 PM. Note: New and repeat hikers alike are required to sign up in advance. If you'd like to sign up for this hike, email ahshikinghounds@outlook.com.

Hikers are signed up on a "first come-first served basis" and you must have a confirmed reservation to attend a hike. And please make sure you can actually make the hike; if we have late cancellations, a dog gets left behind without a hike.

For more information visit the Hiking Hounds Facebook page.


How to Perform CPR on Your Dog

ID-100238757It's a scary scenario: Your dog chokes, stops breathing, or is unconscious. You know you need to get your dog to the vet or emergency animal hospital, but you can take some simple steps first that may save your dog's life.

In an article that originally appeared on DogHeirs.com and was republished with permission by Reshareworthy.com, you'll find detailed instructions for performing CPR on your dog. Three specific actions are recommended:

  1. Perform 100-120 chest compressions per minute
  2. Perform a compression to mouth-to-snout ventilation ratio of 30 compressions followed by 2 breaths
  3. Perform cardiac massage / chest compressions according to the different chest types and sizes of dogs.

The article includes illustrations as well as a video that will be very helpful in applying these techniques properly. Performing CPR on your dog is not unlike performing it on humans -- and it could make the difference between life and death.

Find the article here: http://www.reshareworthy.com/cpr-for-dogs-and-cats/

Image: Photokanok, Freedigitalphotos.net


Why Adopt a Shelter Dog?

AngelinaLitvin-unsplash.comTo some dog lovers, answers to the question, "Why Adopt a Shelter Dog?" are obvious. But there are still plenty of people who are uncertain about adopting from a shelter or even have a negative perception about it.

WileyPup.com has come up with an informative online guide that not only answers the question, it presents you with "20 Astonishing Shelter Dog Facts." Did you know, for example, that:

  • About 25 percent of dogs in shelters are purebred
  • Many shelters perform behavioral testing before releasing dogs for adoption
  • Mixed breed dogs tend to be generally healthier than purebred dogs
  • Adoption fees typically cover a range of services adopters would normally have to pay for on their own, including spay/neuter, worm and parasite medication, standard vaccines, and microchipping.

 There's lots more to know about adopting a shelter dog, and it's all in an easy-to-digest format here:  
https://www.wileypup.com/why-adopt-a-shelter-dog/

Image: Angelina Litvin, Unsplash.com

 


Oil Diffusers can be Dangerous to Dogs

Screen Shot 2018-01-19 at 3.49.32 PMThis is an alert from the ASPCA...

"If you have been on social media lately, you may have seen articles or posts concerning essential oils, oil diffusers and the potential danger they may pose to your pets. Essential oils have been, for a long time, a popular home remedy for a number of maladies including nasal congestion, anxiety, sore muscles and skin conditions, among others. With the sudden popularity of oil diffusers—an easy way to release these oils into your home—there has been an emergence of alarm about how these oils may affect animals in the home.

"In their concentrated form (100%), essential oils can absolutely be a danger for pets. Dogs and cats who have either walked through oils, gotten some on their coat or had oils placed directly on them can develop health concerns.

Symptoms include:

  • Unsteadiness on the feet
  • Depression
  • Low body temperature (in severe cases)

 If a pet ingested concentrated essential oils, you may see vomiting, diarrhea and depression, as well."

For more information about the possible dangers of oil diffusers, go to:

https://www.aspca.org/news/latest-home-trend-harmful-your-pets-what-you-need-know


Find Love at the Valentine's Adoption Event - Columbus, NC, Feb. 10

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Foothills Humane Society will be holding a special Valentine's Adoption Event at 989 Little Mountain Road, Columbus, NC on Saturday, February 10, from 11 AM to 5 PM. The staff will help make the perfect match of a dog or cat for you, and you'll be able to take advantage of discounted follow-up professional training. Refreshments will be served.

Visit https://www.foothillshumanesociety.org/ for more information about Foothills Humane Society.