Recently we had a visitor to our store who expressed a very strong belief that the prong collar training tools we carry are inhumane. Her experience was in the rescue field of pet care. Those experiences included witnessing the damage prong collars had done to dogs’ necks in the form of punctures and life changing injuries. Her experiences had affected her so greatly that she was unable to stay in the store knowing the prong collars were sold here.
That is a reaction I can say we have never experienced before regarding prong collars, but I had personally experienced when I got my Great Dane puppy who’d had his ears cropped. I had one customer who refused to even look at him, let alone greet or pet him because of her belief that ear cropping was inhumane and wrong.
With so many people making so many choices for their animals, and so many opinions and givers of “expert” advice out there, each person has to rely on their own experience tempered with some common sense and clear thinking to believe she is doing the best she can by her animals.
Today I read a little informative article noting some of the myths about feeding cats and dogs. It was by respected veterinarian Dr. Jean Hofve, DVM. I’ve read Dr. Hofve’s articles with great respect many times. This article however, had a portion that I think panders to those who just don’t want to commit to scientific classifications when it comes to dogs and cats. Dr. Hofve wrote, “Dogs are considered omnivores of sorts – they can eat and digest grains and vegetables IF they have been somewhat pre-digested as they would be in an herbivore’s stomach or intestines.”
Now, the scientific classification of carnivores, omnivores and herbivores does not include a subcategory labeled “of sorts”. In these classifications there are Classes, Orders, Species, Families and many other categories, but no “of sorts”. I believe that category falls a bit outside science.
The search for “new” meats.
So the latest novelty meat I’m seeing in the pet food industry is alligator. Since I’m all about caution when it comes to jumping on any wagons pulled along by pet food and treat manufacturers, I realize I can sometimes miss a good “sell”. Well, better to err on the side of caution.
I decided I needed to look into the alligator meat make-up before I decided this was a good thing for dogs to be consuming. I get that it’s meat- that’s a point in favor. I get that it’s an alternative to chicken- point two. However, when I asked a person who presented the possibility of making it into a food, what the actual analysis is….he didn’t know.
A few years ago it came to my attention that there was something out there that I could get for myself as well as my animals that would not only help keep our digestion healthy, but actually heal our bodies. Well, didn’t I feel stupid. It’s been around for centuries- in fact as long as goats have been around.
Raw goat milk has been a major food source around the world for more time than we’ve even considered keeping track of time. Called ‘the most complete food known…’ according to the Journal of American Medicine, over 70 percent of the milk consumed in the world is from goats. With fat molecules one-fifth the size of cows’ milk, goat milk is easier and faster to digest, enabling everyone to enjoy the benefits of its quickly assimilated higher amounts of vitamin A, B-6, Calcium, Potassium, Niacin and Selenium. All the live enzymes (including lactase which digests Lactose) work with the body to help it direct those nutrients to where they are needed.
Think about it… natural, raw milk is designed to not only sustain life, but to fortify and promote the growth of life in mammals. It is the natural, life giving substance for development of neurological and biological function from birth.
So why isn’t everyone still using it?
Having been a follower of the inside and outside of the pet food industry for many years now, it amazes me how little the general public really knows about the foods available for our dogs and cats. I suppose it’s a lot like anything else we buy to feed ourselves- unless there’s news of a recall on the T.V. most people don’t even question what they’re buying to put in their bodies. Most assume the FDA and USDA and all the other regulating departments are looking out for them. After all- what are we paying taxes for?!? I wish it was so. Unfortunately, we have to look out for ourselves and our pets when it comes to food safety.
Is the problem snobbery or ignorance?
Having a small store that doesn’t carry “mass marketed” brands that people see in commercials and magazine ads seems to set us up for accusations of being elitist, or snobs. We’re called a “boutique” store. We’re scoffed at when we try to explain how our foods can save money when it comes to avoiding repeated trips to the vet or pharmacy.
I have to chalk it up to ignorance.
So many times I speak to customers who cannot figure out why their dogs have loose stool. They may have experienced problems since the dog was a puppy, they may have experienced a change when moving to a new food, or they may have an older dog who recently seems to have a lowered tolerance for change.
While there are many possible reasons for loose stool in dogs (parasites, stress, antibiotics, poor quality ingredients) they all lead back to a lack of healthy bacteria in the gut. Most people are amazed when the introduction of a probiotic and/or enzymes makes all the difference in their dog’s stool. They’re even more amazed at the effect of feeding those enzymes and good bacteria as part of their animal’s regular food.