Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Calculating Daily Calories


With today's pet obesity epidemic, I highly recommend not only measuring your pet's food portions with a measuring cup, but also calculating your dog or cat's daily caloric needs to keep them at a healthy weight or to help them lose weight to achieve a healthier weight and maintain it. It's not hard to do but does require a little math.

To calculate the kcal (kilocalorie) requirements for your pet, first you have to figure out what is their ideal weight. If you don't know what the ideal weight is for your pet, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention provides a chart of ideal weight ranges for popular breeds of dogs and cats or ask your veterinarian.

To use an example, let's say your dog🐶 is 60 pounds and his/her ideal weight is 50.

Daily calories (canine) = Body Weight (kg) x 30 + 70
To use this formula, first you need to convert his/her weight from pounds to kilograms.
One kilogram = 2.2 pounds, so divide her ideal weight (not her current weight) in pounds by 2.2. 50/2.2 = 22.7, so you dog's ideal weight in kilograms is 22.7.
Now our formula looks like this: Daily calories = 22.7 (kg) x 30 + 70
And finally, it looks like this: Daily calories = 751
If your dog eats 750 calories a day he/she should drop steadily to his/her ideal weight of 50 pounds and maintain it.

Experts recommend the total daily calories should be split between two or three meals.

The formula for cats has a slight variation to account for the very sedentary lifestyle of most house cats:
Daily calories (feline) = Body Weight (kg) x 30 + 70 x 0.8
Let's say your cat🐱 is 12 pounds and should be 10.
Divide your cat's ideal weight (not current weight) in pounds by 2.2.  10/2.2 = 4.5, so your cat's ideal weight in kilograms is 4.5. 
Formula looks like this: Daily calories = 4.5 (kg) x 30 + 70 x 0.8 = 164

If your cats eats 164 calories a day he/she should drop steadily to his/her ideal weight of 10 pounds and maintain it.
Of course the calories don't have to be exact, but you can get it pretty close, and they may vary a little with each meal if fed a variety of foods. It's best to divide the daily calories into two or more meals a day.

Now that you've figured out how many calories they need per day for an ideal, healthy weight, you have to figure out how many kcal are in the portions of the foods you currently feed, INCLUDING any treats given throughout the day and modify accordingly.

If you're feeding a dry kibble, the serving amount will be listed on the back of the bag and is usually a cup. The calorie content will be listed per serving, such as 373 kcal/cup in the example below.


On can foods, the calorie content is usually listed per can, like 131 kcal per 5 oz can, as shown below:


Treats will usually list the kcal per treat. Most pet foods and treats will have the kcal listed on the back of the package. If not, you can usually find it on the manufacturer's website.

Now add up the kcal of foods and treats you give your pet in a day based on the portions they are currently given. Are you feeding too many calories? Not enough? You may have to do a little math to figure the amounts you need to cut back (or add in) and should be feeding each meal for a healthy weight. And this may vary a little if you feed a variety of foods or change foods, etc.

As pet guardians it is our responsibility to educate ourselves on how to properly care for them, including what and how much we should be feeding. They depend on us for their well-being. 

And we can't leave out the importance of daily exercise for your pets too!




Tuesday, July 3, 2018

7 Suggestions for Dog Anxiety

Does your dog suffer from separation anxiety when you travel or are gone for more than a few hours?

It really saddens me to see how our society has carried over the pill-will-fix-it syndrome onto the pets.Here are seven recommendations to try before considering the use of pharmaceuticals, which can have serious side affects and should be the last resort:

🐶Classical music or pet music. Studies have shown that pets prefer classical music. Now there are CDs that were made specifically for pets. You'd be amazed of how many are listed on Amazon now. I have several of them. They are great for playing in the car when transporting pets as well as for at home. Music is healing.

🐶Dog pheromone plug-ins - like the ones for cats, but contain dog pheromones. We cannot smell it but dogs can. It's the calming pheromones their mothers put out when they are puppies. It has helped other client's dogs with separation anxiety. No side affects. It plugs into an outlet. Refills available. One lasts about a month.

🐶Diffusion of Lavender essential oil (safe for pets, links are to vet's site) is a wonderful way for people and pets to experience a pleasant smell that calms and relaxes. I've been doing this for years. Can also put one drop of Lavender essential oil on a dog bandanna and tie it around their neck so they can smell it on an on-going basis. (One drop is all you need!) If you are allergic to or don't like Lavender, try Frankincense or Melissa essential oils. There are others good for anxiety as well.

🐶Dietary supplement Zen Pet created by a holistic veterinarian and contains safe and healthy ingredients. For both dogs and cats.

🐶Rescue Remedy for Pets is a homeopathic remedy that is alcohol free, easy to administer and safe for many different kinds of pets. There is also a human version.

🐶The Anxiety Wrap for dogs is not just for fear of thunderstorms. It's also for separation anxiety.

🐶An extra pet sitting visit/walk once or twice a week in the middle of the day to break up the monotony for those longer trips, if your dog is receiving twice a day visits from us.


We want your dog to be like this while you're away!  😉

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Pets and GMOs


As a huge proponent of living and eating healthy, including organic and non-GMOs for us and our pets, I am so glad that one of the well known experts on GMOs, Jeffrey Smith, with The Institute of Responsible Technology, has created a website PetsandGMOs.com.  He created the short 10 minute movie below too. Check it out!

Jeffrey Smith also produced the documentary about GMOs called Genetic Roulette, which came out about 5 years ago. I highly recommend this documentary to anyone to hasn't seen it. It's available to rent, buy or you can find it on YouTube for free.

If you visit the Pets and GMOs website and sign up for their emails and updates you will receive a free gift -- The Pet Food Guide, a list of the best organic and non-GMO dog and cat foods! This list can help you navigate through the maze of pet foods in finding some of the healthiest organic and non-GMO brands to buy.

I downloaded my copy of The Pet Food Guide and the foods I've been buying for my own pets (other than what I make myself) are on there. Are yours? If not, for your pets' sake, you may want to seriously consider switching to some of these brands.



Monday, June 18, 2018

New Structured Water Website


It is my hope to educate and raise awareness to what Structured Water is and to the many benefits of drinking, showering, and using Structured Water in multiple ways. In that effort, I have created a new website! Click the button to check it out.

We have the best selection and prices of Structured Water devices!





World's Oldest Dog





Sadly, we don't see this very often these days due to all the toxins our pets are exposed to on a daily basis in their food, water, air, on the ground, as well as other sources. But it IS possible. Meet Maggie, the world's oldest dog, who lived to be 30!

In this article you can get free access to the entire video interview Rodney Habib (PlantPaws.ca) did with Maggie's owner by clicking on the "full article" button, or by going here: http://www.worldsoldestdog.planetpaws.ca/ and find out why Maggie lived to be 30 years old. This is a great example of what is possible.

Maggie was also in USA Today,  The Huffington Post, Fox News and more.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Courageous and Determined Pet Owner


Although this took place in Australia, this courageous and determined pet owner speaks for many of us here in the U.S. too -- those of us who have done due diligence in researching pet foods any way. And for those of you who have not done any serious research on the foods (and treats) you buy and feed your pets, I know that if you had (or do), you would (or will) have come to the same conclusions and be standing there right beside this woman!

In 2016 I wrote about some of the problems with prescription pet foods, and another article about a class action lawsuit against the major makers of prescription pet foods. Also in 2016, a movie came out about pet food called Pet Fooled, which is now available to see here.

Not to mention, just this year two new documentaries came out -- The Dog Cancer Series: Rethinking the Canine Epidemic, and The Truth About Pet Cancer, both of which have dozens of experts discussing the role that food has on a pet's health.

I applaud Maria in Australia for being brave and determined to bring attention to the problems with prescription pet foods. One person CAN make a difference.

Read Maria's story here: https://truthaboutpetfood.com/one-determined-pet-owner/

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Are Your Pets Eating Food Coloring?

Learning how to read the labels on pet food is one of the best things you can do for your pet. 

For instance, do you buy those "colorful" foods because you think it will be tastier or better for your pets? Better think again! It's just a marketing ploy to get you to buy it. The colors are for your benefit. Pets don't care what color their food is; besides, studies have shown that they don't see the same color spectrum as we do.

Do you know what you're really feeding your pet(s)?