Thursday, May 16, 2013
Need some help. Just rescued a tiny little kitten this morning, prob about 4-6 weeks when I was walking Cleo and Lucky. She has definitely been in an accident of some sort. Fed her some tiny pieces of raw chicken as soon as got her home which she ate with difficulty.
Then took her to the vet, and he confirmed that she was hit by something. Her jaw is slightly misaligned, and she is very very weak. There was pain in her back and legs, but nothing seemed broken. Vet force fed her some a/d tinned food, and then gave her a shot of steroids and a dose of karo syrup. He's worried that there might be some brain damage. It's a case of - see if she can pull through the next 48 hours. If she makes it, then we will look at realigning her jaw later on.
Since she has been back, she has not eaten anything eventhough I have been trying to put some tinned food down her throat. She won't swallow! Not even water. I've offered her raw chicken again and she just won't have it.
Would appreicate some advice, as am generally a dog person... Would know exactly what to do with a dog... but kittens are so tiny and fragile in comparison...
Monday, May 13, 2013
Just a few pics of Cleo and Lucky eating their Australian lamb shoulder from Giant!
Also, for RM17/kg from a supermarket, it's a good price! I just saw the exact same thing at Cold Storage, Great Eastern Mall this evening for RM24/kg.
So I reckon I shall be making trips to Giant from now on, eventhough I don't actually like shopping in Giant as I find it so messy and disorganised that it usually gives me a headache!
Friday, May 10, 2013
My only gripe is that it's sliced... so not a big hunk like what they're used to these days. But I will be feeding it in large frozen chunks so it should be fine. Will let all of you know how it goes! If they like it, then lamb can be a regular feature in their meals!
You see the kids love lamb! But as I usually buy New Zealand lamb which is rather expensive, they don't get it as often as they would like.
A couple of weeks ago, I got 2 huge leg of lambs to be shared between the 4 of them. It cost me RM40+/kg! But it was enough to last them for 2.5 days... So that was alright as a treat...
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Thursday, March 21, 2013
"Why I will never feed my dogs kibble ever again?", and I meant to write another post to give you the low down on kibble. Unfortunately, due to a number of issues etc, I just haven't had the time to write properly.
So instead, here an article from Dr Karen Becker of Mercola Healthy Pets. While I personally no longer believe that our dogs or cats should consume any grains or even vegetables, this article has alot of useful and important information for all dog or cat owners regarding the ingredients in pet food.
If your canine companion gets plenty of strenuous exercise or participates in athletic events like agility, flyball or dock jumping, you may have noticed some new products in the pet food aisle: formulas designed for active dogs. It seems a growing number of pet food manufacturers have discovered a new sales niche and are hoping to appeal to dog owners who exercise with their pets or get them involved in canine-oriented activities and competitions.
Very active dogs do have somewhat different nutritional requirements than more sedentary pets, but their need for high-quality, biologically-appropriate food is just as important. In fact, I’m sure most parents of athletic, competitive dogs would argue their pets have a greater need than most for the right kind of excellent nutrition.
Since I’m always curious to learn about new and improved pet foods and whether the quality matches the marketing hype, I took a closer look at three formulas for athletic dogs that were introduced in January, all made by the same pet food company.
Ingredient List Does Not Impress
There are three new products in the lineup, all kibble, ranging in dry matter protein content from 26 percent to 30 percent, and in dry matter fat content from 16 to 20 percent. Since most canine nutrition experts agree very active dogs need more fat and protein than average dogs, on the surface, these numbers might seem reasonable. But let’s take a look at the ingredient lists.
All three formulas list chicken as the first ingredient, but as we know, once chicken is processed for kibble, it slides down the list several positions and is no longer the primary ingredient. The next several ingredients in each formula include poultry byproduct meal, corn gluten meal, and animal fat.
Poultry byproduct meal, according to AAFCO, is comprised of the “ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcasses of slaughtered poultry, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines, exclusive of feathers except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices.” Note that “poultry” does not equal chicken, so we don’t know exactly what type of fowl is in the mix. Byproducts are less expensive than chicken meat, and less digestible for pets. In addition, what winds up in each batch can vary tremendously in terms of ingredients, quality, and nutritional value.
The AAFCO definition of corn gluten meal is “The dried residue from corn after the removal of the larger part of the starch and germ, and the separation of the bran by the process employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup, or by enzymatic treatment of the endosperm.”
The reason this ingredient is used so often in commercial pet food is because it’s inexpensive and contains some protein, which helps to increase the overall percentage of protein contained in the formula. You, as a savvy dog owner, already know that animal-based protein – not grain-based protein – is the most beneficial protein source for your pet.
AAFCO defines animal fat as derived “from the tissues of mammals and/or poultry in the commercial processes of rendering or extracting. It consists predominantly of glyceride esters of fatty acids and contains no additions of free fatty acids.”
No animal is specified in “animal fat,” and this fat doesn’t come solely from slaughtered animals. In fact, any kind of animal from almost any source can be used, including “4-D animals” (dead, diseased, disabled, or dying prior to slaughter), rats, roadkill, restaurant and supermarket waste, and even animals euthanized at shelters.
Liberal Use of Inexpensive, Poor Quality, and Grain-Based Protein Sources
All three formulas also contained, among the top ten ingredients, corn germ meal, fish meal, and animal digest.
Corn germ meal is another inexpensive ingredient that’s high in protein, and like corn gluten meal is used to boost the overall protein content of the formula without the need to use more expensive – and biologically appropriate – animal protein. As I discuss frequently here at Mercola Healthy Pets, corn and all corn-derived products are also well known in the holistic veterinary community as allergenic, problematic ingredients in pet food.
AAFCO defines fish meal as “The clean, rendered, dried ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish or fish cuttings, either or both, with or without the extraction of part of the oil.”
Once again, “fish” isn’t specific. In addition, unless the manufacturer can assure you they use human grade fish or fish meal, it’s a sure bet this ingredient has been preserved with ethoxyquin. Ethoxyquin is a banned substance in human foods except for very small quantities used in spices. It has been implicated in liver failure and other health problems in dogs.
Animal digest is essentially a cooked-down brew of unspecified pieces and parts of unspecified animals sourced from wherever. As is the case with animal fat, the source can be any combination of slaughtered or 4-D animals, horses, goats, pigs, rodents, roadkill, restaurant or supermarket garbage, or euthanized shelter pets.
How to Feed Your Canine Athlete
Your very active, athletic dog needs a nutrient-dense diet that provides optimum energy in a small quantity of food. The protein source should be good quality and animal-based, and the food should be relatively high in dietary fat, including supplementation with raw organic coconut oil.
The main components of a raw diet for an athletic dog with no health problems include raw meaty bones, muscle and organ meats, a few dark green vegetables, a constant supply of fresh clean water, and appropriate supplementation as needed. As always, I recommend you talk with your holistic vet about the right diet for your active pet’s individual needs.
In my experience, no dog – whether a couch potato or an elite athlete – will thrive on the kind of low quality, biologically inappropriate nutrition found in the new formulas described above. So again I must caution you to look past the attractive marketing claims and beautiful packaging, and go right to the ingredient list to determine whether a newly niched pet food formula is really all it’s cracked up to be.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
As you would know by now, I am against animal testing and am trying very hard to purchase products that are cruelty free. And as such, I am quite excited to learn that the EU has now officially banned Animal Testing. However, although this is great news, it still means that we need to push for an end to animal testing in the rest of the world! So please do try to purchase Cruelty Free products as far as possible!
Extracted from Go Cruelty Free
The EU Animal Testing Ban
The BUAV, founder organisation of Cruelty Free International, and its partners at the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments have been instrumental in achieving a European ban on animal testing for cosmetic and toiletry products and ingredients. However, after the ban comes into force on 11 March 2013, the Leaping Bunny continues to be the only way consumers can be sure they are buying truly ‘cruelty-free’ beauty products.
When the ban takes effect, companies will not be able to animal test new cosmetic products and ingredients on sale in the EU. However, companies can still carry on animal testing cosmetics outside the EU where these cosmetics are also sold outside the EU.
There are a number of issues for companies selling their products on the global market. For example, at present, before new products can go on sale in China, they must be submitted for testing to the Chinese authorities, which normally involves a range of animal tests.
The Leaping Bunny, however, is a global standard and applies to all of the operations and sales of companies, not just those for the EU. It is an explicit condition of Leaping Bunny certification that companies do not export cosmetic products to sell on the Chinese market unless they can demonstrate an official exemption to animal testing.
There are also a number of outstanding issues with the EU’s Cosmetics Regulation text, which are yet to be clarified. Until full guidance is given, it is sadly likely that many companies that have not yet joined the Leaping Bunny programme may continue to use animal-tested ingredients in some circumstances.
Until Cruelty Free International achieves a meaningful, global ban on animal testing, the Leaping Bunny continues to be the only guarantee that animals are not still being used to test the cosmetic ingredients in a company’s products.
Friday, March 08, 2013
So you're thinking, is there a need to give your dog supplements if she is fed raw?
Well as a general rule, there is no real need to supplement your dog if she's healthy, (i.e. not suffering from any problems or diease etc), and if you're feeding your dog a good variety of meats, bone and organ in the appropriate ratio of 80:10:10 over time. So she should be getting all the nutrition that she needs.
However, the other exception to the rule would be where the majority of the meats that are being fed to your dog are your regular grocery store variety, i.e. not organic/free range, whereby the Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio is completely out of balance.
|100mg Salmon Oil & 100mg Fish Body Oils|
If you have a healthy dog and you're concerned that your dog may need some supplements to her raw diet, then consider getting a good quality Fish Body Oil or Wild Salmon Oil (both referred to as Fish Oil hereafter). Please note that this is quite different from cod liver oil.
Fish Oil is used to supplement or balance Omega 3 fatty acids which are usually lacking in commercially produced meats.
Cod liver oil, on the other hand, contains a high amount of Vitamin A & D (which your dog should get from the 10% organ meat esp liver in her raw diet) which your healthy dog does not really need; and usually has a much lower EPA + DHA content per gel cap. So you will need to give a lot more cod liver oil gel caps to achieve the required EPA +DHA content, but it will also mean that you will be giving your dog way too much Vitamin A & D.
|Please check the EPA + DHA values and not just the dosage of the fish oil!|
You need to make sure that you refer to the information/supplement facts on the back of the bottle. This is quite different from the dosage of the oil as indicated on the front label of the bottle.
Also, please ensure that the Fish Oil or Salmon Oil that you get is free from unnecessary additives such as soy, corn, sugar, colours etc.
Another important thing to look out for is Vitamin E or Tocopherols in the Fish Oil that you have purchased. These are almost always derived from soy. So if the Fish Oil that you have purchased contains either of these, do not feed it to your dog because we know our dogs are carnivores and cannot digest grains.
So for example, if Cleo (who is about 66 lbs) was perfectly healthy, she would get about 600mg of DHA + EPA daily, which means about 2 capsules per day based on the 1000mg Fish Oil that we have from GNC.
Dogs who are suffering from certain diseases or is recovering from illness should take a therapeutic dose instead. For example, heart problems, skin problems, ear problems etc. A therapeutic dose would usually be three times the normal dose. So my Cleo takes about 6 capsules a day to get her 1800mg of DHA + EPA as she has a severely enlarged heart and a few other problems.
I will write a separate post later on about other supplements that you may want to consider for your dog if she has health issues.
Note: This post is intended as a guide or reference and is not meant to replace veterinary advice. The information on this post is based on conclusions that I have made after extensive reading, advice from other raw feeders in particular the Raw Feeding and Raw Chat Facebook groups, and on my experience with my own dogs. Please consult your holistic veterinarian for advice on supplements for your dogs.
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
Sunday, February 24, 2013
|How do we know if these products are cruelty free?|
I am quite disappointed to learn that recently, a number of skincare/cosmetic companies that used to be Cruelty Free are no longer listed under PETA's list of companies that DO NOT test on animals. The reason for this is that these companies have chosen to market their products in China whereby animal testing is a requirement by law!
So, some of my favourite brands are now listed on PETA's list of companies that DO TEST on animals. These include Bobbi Brown, Clinique and L'Occitane.
This effectively means that I have had to make changes to brands that I can use. So I have been shopping around for "new" brands that do not test on animals, but as in the past, this is more difficult than it should be. The main reason still lies in the fact that most of the sales personnel selling the cosmetics are not actually aware of animal testing and what it means.
Whenever I ask, if they test on animals, most of the time I still get a yes! And even when I know for a fact that the company does not test on animals. I really wish that companies who do not test on animals would spend a little more effort in educating their staff on this matter. But then again, I am not sure if it would be worth the effort, because I have also been told many times (after lengthy explanations on what animal testing is), that no one ever asks them these questions.
Additionally, it is also important to note that PETA's lists may be slightly skewed depending on their take of where a company stands. For example, The Body Shop is listed as a company that DOES NOT TEST eventhough it is owned by L'Oreal who is listed on their list of companies that DO TEST.
Another example, is Bare Minerals/Bare Escentuals - both of which are NOT listed on the DO NOT TEST list although they do not test on animals or work with manufacturers that test, but are owned by Shiseido which obviously does test on animals.
So, how do you choose? I am of the opinion that if the brand does not test on animals or use suppliers that test on animals or chemicals that have been tested on animals, then we should support that brand even if the parent company tests. The reason for my rationale is so that we can send a message to the parent company that there is demand for products that are cruelty free and that we do not support their products that are NOT cruelty free.
However, please note that this is slightly different from purchasing from companies that do not test on animals unless required by law - e.g. Estee Lauder and it's brands, L'Occitane etc - whereby these companies have chosen to test on animals in order to be able to sell their products in certain parts of the world.
For example, on Estee Lauder's FAQ section, they have clearly stated:
DOES YOUR COMPANY TEST ON ANIMALS?
The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. is committed to the elimination of animal testing. We are equally committed to consumer health and safety, and bringing to market products that comply with applicable regulations in every country in which our products are sold. We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law. We evaluate our finished products in clinical tests on volunteer panels. Estée Lauder fully supports the development and global acceptance of non-animal testing alternatives. To this end, the Company works extensively with the industry at large and the global scientific community to research and fund these alternatives.
Another example, on Benefit's FAQ section:
So please read the information stated on each companies' websites carefully when trying to determine if they are cruelty free or not. If they are vague, or if they state that they test where required by law, then they are not deemed cruelty free.
At the same time, there are companies such as L'Occitane, who have decided to sell in China, but are striving to change the animal testing requirements in China. So should we still support these companies or not? This is something I have not quite come to terms with. So for the moment, as much as I love L'Occitane's products I have decided to stop purchasing their stuff.
See L'Occitane's Position on Animal Testing
L’OCCITANE does not and never has tested its products on animals and guarantees that the active ingredients and raw materials have never been tested on animals at any point in the product development or manufacturing process.
L’OCCITANE has long been committed to the suppression of animal testing for beauty products, along with associations including One Voice and PETA. It was one of the first companies to be admitted to the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) in 1997.
China’s policy is to test cosmetic products which are to be sold in the Chinese market in order to safeguard consumer safety. These tests are conducted by external laboratories in China. In December 2011 the BUAV decided to remove their accreditation from all companies operating in China. PETA followed suit this year.
Since December 2010, L’OCCITANE has been meeting with representatives from the Chinese authorities and in February 2011 the company took part in a colloquium in Beijing - together with the BUAV and the Chinese authorities - which aimed to implement alternative tests to animal testing, recognised by these same authorities.
L’OCCITANE is fundamentally committed to the abolition of animal testing of beauty products worldwide and by working with the Chinese authorities and promoting our products, which are not tested on animals during the product development and manufacturing process, to Chinese consumers, we believe we are more likely to encourage positive dialogue and prove the case for the removal of animal testing for beauty products.
L’OCCITANE continues to work alongside the BUAV as one of the main beauty brands represented on its China Taskforce. This group works with European and Chinese groups in order to promote alternative testing methods. The last meeting took place in May 2012 and regular meetings ensue. To this end, the Chinese authorities have recently launched a new program to investigate alternative testing protocols and L’OCCITANE continues to proactively participate to push for these alternatives to be implemented as soon as possible.
I hope that this post has provided some insight into how you can choose cruelty free products. There are also some other sites that you can use to help make informed decisions about companies that do or do not test on animals as I personally do not believe that PETA's list is the most comprehensive or the most objective, although it is probably the most up todate. These include:
Choose Cruelty Free Australia
Not Tested UK
Go Cruelty Free
National Anti-Vivisection Society
Additionally, you can also download some apps for your iPhone to help you figure out if a brand or company is cruelty free:
Leaping Bunny Cruelty Free App for iPhone
Leaping Bunny Cruelty Free App for Android
PETA Be Nice to Bunnies App for iPhone