Pets with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

ibd cats dogs

Are you noticing rapid weight loss in your pet? Does your cat or dog vomit often? While these symptoms could present in an array of conditions, they are prevalent in pets with an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD is in most cases the primary cause of prolonged diarrhea and vomiting in dogs and cats. Pets suffering from IBD also suffer substantial nutrient deficiencies along with the discomfort its symptoms present. According to research, IBD is more common in Yorkshire Terriers, German Shepherds, and purebred cats, although other breeds could also suffer from the same. Even though IBD is common in older pets, it has been known to affect pets younger than two years.

What is IBD?

IBD is a condition that occurs when the pet’s small intestines or the mucosal lining is prone to irritation due to the presence of an abnormally large amount of inflammatory cells. This abnormal invasion interferes with the mucosal lining’s ability to digest and absorb food. This results in diarrhea or vomiting depending on which part of the digestive system is affected. Pets whose stomachs or upper intestines are affected will vomit while those whose lower digestive system is affected normally have chronic diarrhea.

Signs and symptoms that your pet could be suffering from IBD include;

  • Diarrhea
  • Chronic vomiting
  • Fatigue or lethargy mostly caused by a poor appetite
  • Excess gas or flatulence
  • Weight loss
  • Traces of blood in the pet’s stool
  • Rumbling sounds in the stomach
  • Abdominal pain
  • Distressed coat

Quite a number of conditions can cause the above symptoms, but when they become intermittent and chronic, the probability of your pet suffering from IBD is high.

What Causes IBD?

Researchers haven’t found a single cause for IBD, however, potential causes include; bacteria, parasites, food allergies, and a non-functional or poor immune system. Most of the food allergens that are believed to cause IBD are milk proteins, the gluten in wheat products, artificial coloring, food preservatives, and certain meat proteins. There is a genetic factor also believed to play a major role in the likelihood of a pet suffering from IBD. Due to the varying potential causes, vets treat each case individually. This helps to customize the treatment plan, so its root cause is addressed.

How is IBD Diagnosed in Dogs and Cats?

Once you suspect that your pet is suffering from IBD, it is vital that you schedule an appointment with a vet as soon as possible. On your appointment, the vet will most likely ask you to provide a detailed history of your pet, how long the symptoms have persisted, and their severity. They will then run a number of blood, stool, and urine tests. The vet may also do an ultrasound to rule out other conditions such as bacterial or parasitic infections, metabolic diseases, or even cancer. A food test using hypoallergenic diet may also be necessary to rule out food allergy as the cause. Presence of IBD could also be confirmed through biopsy performed on the intestinal tissue. This can be done through endoscopy, colonoscopy, or abdominal surgery. The biopsy is often the last resort as the procedures are invasive and costly.

The Disadvantage of Treating IBD through Conventional Means

Conventional treatment typically includes one of the veterinary “prescription” diets. They may prescribe an expensive, specialized hydrolyzed protein diet available only through them that has synthetically minimized protein so that the allergen is undetected by the pet’s body. Often, these diets are expensive and only sold at the vet’s office.

The vet will additionally prescribe an immunosuppressant, drugs which suppress the lymphocytes, antacids, anti-nausea drugs, and synthetic corticosteroids. While a specially hydrolyzed diet and these drugs may work, they do not address the root cause of the IBD by getting rid of the irritation. You might also need to medicate your dog for a prolonged period or even the rest of it’s life when you choose these routes of treatment.

Treating IBD with a Raw Pet Diet

Canine Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Feline Inflammatory Bowel Disease may be effectively controlled through raw pet foods. Healing of the pet’s digestive system will only begin once we acknowledge that the pets are carnivores and feed them on a diet that’s suitable for them. Feeding your pet with a raw pet diet restores its digestive system’s physiological balance. We do not claim that a raw diet “cures” IBD, but feeding dogs and cats a high quality (human grade, unadulterated), fresh meat-and-organ based diet their digestive systems are designed to metabolize, enables those systems to return to physiological balance.

Pets with gastrointestinal conditions respond quite well to raw diets, and once they successfully transition, you will no longer need additional supplements to maintain their health or reduce IBD symptoms. However, if the pet is diagnosed with severe inflammation, it might get infected by the bacteria that occur naturally in raw meat. It would be ideal to start feeding him with cooked food and slowly reduce the cooking times as symptoms subside. Keep in mind that it might take some time for symptoms to subside even after the irritants have been removed from the pet’s diet.

Probiotics are the good bacteria that are important to humans and pets alike. Their role is to maintain a healthy stomach through the re-population of the digestive tract with healthy bacteria and helping in digestion. While giving your pet probiotic supplements is a good way of maintaining a healthy gut, it would be better the probiotic was incorporated with his meal. Steve’s Real Food is fortified with raw goat milk which is rich in probiotics, supports metabolism, boosts the pet’s immune system, and is an effective anti-inflammatory agent. Our raw pet food is balanced and features the most superior ingredients on the market. Alternatively, you could top your pet’s meal with a raw goat milk product. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our products.

How to Sniff Out Quality Pet Food

choosing best pet food

It can be a mystifying experience trying to pick the right food for your dog. TV and print ads are often misleading. Package labels can be so lengthy and confusing that it can be very hard to figure out what you’re buying. And, your dog may be a bit of a finicky eater. Now what? All things combined, the quest for truly nutritious food that your dog really likes can turn into a pretty long journey. Here’s some helpful information to help you choose food that is healthful, that your dog likes, and that is ethically and environmentally responsible.

Rendered Meat Products

Popular pet food brands often use a meat rendering process. In the rendering process, a bunch of “leftover” meat products are mixed and ground together into a sludge. The substance is then cooked in a vat at high heat for a few hours to render the grease, fat, and solids. When these drifts up to the surface, they’re skimmed off. This scraped-off substance is then packaged and labeled as “meat by-product” or “meat meal.”

That may not seem like an ideal way of producing high-quality pet food. That’s because it’s not. You don’t have to be a pet food industry expert to recognize the major shortfalls in such a process, or in terms of producing an optimally nutritious, good-tasting or well-balanced pet food.

What’s in Meat By-Products?

Pet food industry experts have conflicting opinions on the advisability of feeding a dog meat by-products. Some argue that pet food production from by-products fulfills an important ecological need, repurposing biological materials that would otherwise be discarded as waste. But, others have concerns about meat-rendering pet food plants possibly using meat sources that are unfit for use as food.

Pet food producers are legally permitted to mix protein sources in rendered meat products. Adding to the uncertainty is the matter of relatively weak regulation of rendered by-products, which has led to reports that meat used in plants is from dead animals taken from roadways. There have also been reports of producers using ingredients like hooves and heads from cattle, pigs, horses, and sheep. Some reports have claimed that diseased animals and others that are unfit for human food are used. That’s why pet food labels list “by-products” or “by-product meal” instead of easily identifiable meat sources. This situation has led many people to look for food with proteins from a single animal source and ingredients that are of a quality fit for human food.

Know Pet Food Packaging Buzz Words

At a minimum, people should be able to understand dog food labels. The labels shouldn’t be misleading in the language they use. Quality producers of pet food products back up their labels with sufficiently clear information. But run-of-the-mill producers may use language that makes information about what’s really in the can or paper package pretty obscure.

For example, if the label says:

  • “Contains Beef” or “With Beef” — Can mean that the product contains as much as 97% of other substances and as little as 3% beef.
  • “Beef Flavored” — Can mean that the product does not contain any actual beef.
  • “Beef Dinner,” “Beef Recipe,” or “Beef Formula”— Must mean that at least 25% of food’s total weight is real beef. The remainder of the weight (up to 75%) can consist of other ingredients.
  • “Beef Dog Food” — Must mean that at least 95% of the food’s total weight is real beef.

Flashy Pet Food Labeling Adds Mystery

With all the baffling labels, decoding the terms to figure out which ones offer your high-quality pet food becomes more than a minor challenge. Throw in another layer of labeling ambiguity, such as one of these below, and you’ve really got a vague description of whatever is in the package.

  • “Premium”
  • “Super-Premium”
  • “Ultra-Premium”
  • “Gourmet”

What do those descriptions really mean? Fingers crossed. Do they at least mean that the pet food in the package is better and actually worth paying a little extra for it? The answer is—not really. Such adjectives in labeling are often just embellishments used to stimulate some excitement in buyers.

Pet foods with “premium” on the label, or any of the other above enthusiasm-building adjectives are not required to consist of different ingredients or any higher quality of the same kinds of ingredients than any other product that contains complete and balanced pet food.

Natural” Pet Foods

Don’t be discouraged. Even though by now you’re probably dreading hearing about yet another misleading labeling term, this is where things improve for pet food buyers. This term “natural” is one that has much tighter rules attached to it. Any pet food with a “natural” label, is regulated by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. The AAFCO is a collective of local, state, and federal government agencies that regulate animal food manufacturing.

The AAFCO requires pet foods labeled as “natural” to contain only ingredients from animal, plant or mined sources. Foods with the “natural” label are not permitted to be highly processed. They also cannot contain artificial flavoring, coloring, preservatives or other synthetic chemical ingredients.

Organic” Pet Foods

Pet foods labeled as “organic” must be produced, according to AAFCO standards, without using artificial fertilizers or chemical pesticides, and without food additives or use of radiation for ionization. Pet foods wearing the “organic” label must also be free of contaminants from industrial or human waste. Further, food animals must be raised with a healthy diet, without growth hormones, and without routine administration of antibiotics.

Organic pet foods can be produced at differing grades of organic quality:

  • “100% Organic” — Pet food bearing this label must contain a minimum of 95% organic ingredients.
  • “Made with Organic Ingredients” — Products with this labeling must consist of at least 70% ingredients that are certified as organic.

Organic pet food producers are required to obtain certification and to meet standards specified for production, in order to qualify to label their pet food products as “organic.”

How Can You Be Sure You’re Choosing a High-Quality Pet Food?

As we’ve seen, there are a lot of misleading labels on pet foods. Since there are currently no general regulations that require pet food labels to be clearer, it’s up to us as consumers to look past the packaging and do our due diligence in pet food selection.

First, when researching which pet foods make the best sense to buy for your dog, you can use this little questionnaire as your checklist:

  1. Is the first ingredient listed on the Ingredients List identifiable as a single-source of protein?
  2. Do the ingredients in the pet food product together form food that is nutritionally complete and balanced?
  3. Is the animal protein source from a producer that is confirmed as one using humane farming practices? Or, if it’s a fish source, does the producer use sustainable fishing practices?
  4. If there are whole vegetable and fruit ingredients included and are these grown naturally and in an environmentally responsible way?
  5. Where are the raw ingredients for the pet food from? (Producers of premium pet foods avoid obtaining ingredients from countries where pet food recalls have caused widespread concerns.)

Second, be willing to reach out and questions. Pet food companies that label their products as “Made in the USA” should not avoid answering questions you may have. Here are a few of the kinds of questions to consider asking a pet food company before you decided to start or continue feeding your pet the foods they produce.

  • Where are your pet foods ingredients produced?
  • Where are your pet food formulations manufactured?

A Good Rule of Thumb in Considering The Best Pet Food

Consumers must use the information and tools we have to figure out what’s best for our dogs in pet food. We have to pretty much accept that the Ingredients List is accurate. That makes a pet food producer’s willingness to be transparent about their sources and processes a central consideration in choosing the food that your dog needs to live a healthy and happy life. So, look for a pet food provider that is transparent about their product. Remember, a pet food company that is committed to top quality will openly explain what is in the food product that you are buying for your dog.

pet-food-infographic

Enhance – CannaGurt

Our product contains 3 ingredients: Raw Goat Milk, Hemp Protein, and Hemp Oil – the last of which contains the CBD.

The Hemp protein supplies an added burst of Omega fatty acids for heart health and anti-inflammatory benefits. Partner that with the goat milk yogurt, which contains over 50 nutrients, including vitamins A, C, B1, B12 and E, minerals, enzymes, citric acid, amino acids, fatty acids, and electrolytes, six probiotic strains, and the final ingredient, CBD, and you have a power food with endless healing possibilities.

Enhanced – DogNog

Whole, Raw Egg
Eggs are one of the most complete foods available and contain 8 Raw Eggessential amino acids. It also has Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Folate, Vitamin B12, Iron, Selenium, biotin, and Fatty Acids. The high levels of Vitamin D help calcium from the egg shell absorb better into the body. It is a common misconception that you should not give your pets raw eggs because the egg whites contain a biotin inhibitor, but since the egg yolks are high in biotin, this is not an issue as long as you feed the yoke in addition to the white.

Nutrition’s Role in Senior Pets, Cognitive Dysfunction, and Longevity

Most people can expect around a dozen years with their companion, as the average age at death is around 12.5. Smaller dogs generally have longer lives than their larger cousins, with some giant breeds rarely making it to double digits. Still, the record books have dogs living twice as long. One of the oldest living dogs is a 27-year-old Australian Cattle Dog, a bull terrier mix named “Jerry” who lived with his family in the Australian outback. When his family was asked what they believe contributed to his longevity, they replied “his raw diet of outback wildlife”.

Prebiotics and Probiotics

The difference between pre- and pro-biotics. Pre-biotics are, essentially, a type of fiber that feeds the healthy gut bacteria (probiotics) in our digestive tract. So the Prebiotics are the fuel, and the probiotics are the car if you will. Prebiotics are fibrous materials that do fermented-foodsnot digest in the stomach but pass undigested to the gut, where probiotics feed on them and use them for fuel.

Do People Make You Feel Guilty For Buying Commercial Raw Pet Food?

On a recent forum post about commercially prepared raw food for pets, there were over fifty comments from raw feeders bragging about how they prepare all their meals for their pets and that is is THE only way to feed your pets. Although we applaud these passionate people pet parents, it is important to know homemade raw diets are not for everyone.

CANINE CANCER

The wait is over on the diagnostic tests, and yes it confirms our worst fear for our dog: definitive diagnosis is CANCER. These tests will also tell us what type and grade of cancer our pet has. There are many types of cancer, but according to Veterinary Oncologists, some of the most common types are:

CANINE CANCER Part 1

Cancer describes diseases involving the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells within the body. These cells are able to invade other tissues, spreading to other parts of the body through the blood and lymphatic systems. If caught early cancer may not be a life threatening illness; however, if left undetected the abnormal cells can spend to vital organs shutting down your pets system and eventually leading to death

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Steve's Real Food

2034 East Fort Union
Cottonwood , UT 84121
United States
801-432-7478