As we summer comes to a close we want to share a few of the hot things we did and how we kept cool!
Dora is an English Mastiff full of love! One of her favorite summer activities is go swimming at the lake. Dora waits patiently all week for the weekend to come because she knows that is when she gets to swim! Dora always makes sure that she is safe in the water by always wearing her Ruffwear Float Coat. When Dora wears her Float Coat she knows she can enjoy the delightfully cold water all day! The Ruffwear Float Coat is made for many dogs of different shapes and sizes, it comes with a handy handle which can make it easier to lift your canine friend out of the water, it also comes with reflective trim to ensure your dog can always be seen.
Theo Mem’s lovable Boxer. He always looks sad but is the happiest pooch you could meet. He loves getting exercise but int he summer can get very hot. To make sure he gets is exercise but does not get overheated he goes on early morning runs with his mom and dad. During the day when Theo is enjoying a hike or just hanging out in the backyard in the summer, he wears his Ruffwear Swamp Cooler. The Swamp Cooler helps your dog stay cool. You soak it in water, wring it out and place on your dog, because it’s light color it reflects the sun and the fabric help to evaporate the heat off of your dog, resulting in one happy pooch!
Now Theo can keep cool during the hot Utah summer.
In the summer months, our furry friends at the office enjoy a frozen beef marrow bones a few times a week. They all go out to a shady spot of the grass and relax will working endlessly to get every last lick of marrow.
Many of the staff pet parents also switch to feeding the food frozen during these hot summer days. Not only do the pooches like the cool food, but they like that they get a chance to bite down and chew the food.
We hope you had a great summer with your pets and were able to find unique ways to keep you and your pet cool.
Cats are weird. It takes only one internet search of “funny cats” to see just how weird they are. But there’s no doubt about it—we love them dearly. Because we love our cats so darn much, it makes sense that we would want to extend their lives for as long as possible, and one of the most effective ways to do so is through a good diet. But with so many different kinds of cats foods on the market, how do you know which is best?
Cats are Natural Hunters
Our common house-cats were domesticated as late as 3,500 years ago. That’s a heck of a long time that we humans have been living with cats, and yet commercially available cat food has only been around for the last 50-60 years or so. Also in the time period, here in the US, we have seen a rise in disease and a fall in life expectancy in our cats. So what changed? Cats went from hunting outside and eating scraps to diets that were full of grains, byproducts, and other ingredients that are difficult for cats to digest. What I’m trying to get at is that for thousands of years, cats were eating a pretty natural diet and were doing really well, so why not try to mimic that as best we can?
Cats have two major species-specific needs regarding food. First, they are true (obligate) carnivores, meaning they require an almost entirely meat-based diet. In fact, most “wild” cats would only eat plants in the form of stomach contents of smaller prey they’d eat whole. Since cats do not have an adequate amount of the enzyme in their body (amalyse) that can break down carbohydrates, they have to get nearly all of their nutrition, including the vital amino acid taurine, from meat.
Cats are NOT Natual Drinkers
Second, since cats evolved in the arid near east climate, they are somewhat adverse to drinking water and so have developed a system to gather most of their moisture needs from the foods they eat. This is why we don’t see our cats at the water bowl nearly as often as we do our dogs. Interestingly, MIT did a study on how cats drink and found that they cannot scoop up water like a dog. Basically, they dip their tongue in the water and slurp it into their mouth in very small amounts. It’s an awful lot of work for little water. It’s much easier for them to absorb moisture as they’re digesting food, which is why a diet naturally high in moisture is so very important for cats.
So what kind of food can provide everything a cat needs, naturally? Raw food! Raw foods formulated with cats in mind offer raw meat as the base, with supplemental nutrition derived from whole food sources like fruits and vegetables (ground fine to mimic what produce would be found in stomach contents of prey). The predominate meat formula provides all of that unadulterated nutrition cats need, and since raw foods are chock-full of naturally occurring moisture (called intracellular moisture), cats have their moisture needs met without having to deal with that pesky water-drinking business.
Steve’s Real Food offers five different formulas approved for feeding to cats—the Beef, Chicken, Turke, Turducken, and Pork formulas provide the meat, moisture, and nutrition that cats crave and need. With luck and proper nutrition, we can keep our cats as healthy and happy for as long as possible!
Cats don’t always do what we want them to. Actually, they rarely do what we want them to, especially when it comes to their food. Many times, introducing a new food becomes a frustrating battle-of-wills, with the finicky cat often coming out on top. We seem to be always at the whim of whatever our cats decide they want to eat at the moment, trying to keep up with their changing tastes and preferences. It can definitely be a frustrating challenge. But, as it turns out, cats aren’t purposely being difficult—it’s more or less built into their nature.
Cats are what we call “imprint eaters”. This means that whatever the first kinds of food the cat ate after nursing are “imprinted” in the cat’s brain as something that is appropriate to eat. This includes things like taste, temperature, smell, and even shape of the food. It originally was an evolutionary mechanism to protect the cat from unknown, spoiled, or harmful foods. Now it means that if we try to introduce our cats to a new food with a different smell/flavor, texture, temperature, or shape, they may be wary of it because it doesn’t fit into their own personal definition of food (know any children who have the same tendencies?). This instinct is stronger in some cats than others and can be mitigated by offering a large variety of foods to our cats when they are still young.
Tips and Tricks
Okay, now we understand why cats are so weird about their food, but how does that apply to giving our cats raw food for the first time? It means that it may or may not go smoothly at first and that we might have to get creative. Luckily, we have a few tricks up our metaphorical sleeve:
First of all, make sure the raw food is completely thawed before offering it to your cat. Cats don’t tend to enjoy even slightly frozen foods. Even better, leave it (covered) on the counter for a little while to warm it closer to room temperature.
Try putting a small amount of raw food on the bottom of their food bowl, beneath their regular food. Sometimes the smell and little taste of the raw food mixed with their regular stuff can be enough to convince them to give it a chance.
You can also try putting a little of the raw food on a plate and setting it next to their regular food bowl at meal times.
If the two above strategies haven’t worked, try par-boiling the raw food. Bring a pot of water up to boil, drop a couple of nuggets in and immediately scoop them back out. That thin outer layer of cooked food, or the change in temperature, can sometimes be enough to convince the finicky feline.
Taking some defrosted food and putting a little on their paw may also get them trying the food. They don’t like dirty paws so they will want it off.
This one may sound weird, but give it a try if the other methods haven’t worked: try placing a small amount of the raw food in their bowl in an area of the house where your cat isn’t normally fed. The hope is that the cat stumbles upon it during its daytime adventures and is tempted into “hunting” for the food. Really, it works!
Whatever you do though, be sure to never get into a standoff with your cat over food. Cats are stubborn little fluffers and they are unlikely to give in and eat the food when “they are hungry enough”. What’s more likely to happen is the cat will skip a couple of meals. This can be very harmful to the health of the cat because, being the great hunters they are, cats are not used to going long stretches without meals. After skipping multiple meals over a few days, cats can easily go into liver or renal failure, often with irreversible effects. So if your cat absolutely won’t eat the new food you’re introducing, give in and feed their old food, and try again in a few days.