Caring for Your Best Friends

Creature Comforts: My Dog Acts Like a Cow!

If your dog is only eating grass, you should consider yourself lucky. While it isn’t surprising that a dog can eat all kinds of vile, disgusting things, it may be surprising to learn why they do. To understand these behaviors, we need to go back thousands of years, long before dogs were domesticated, when they roamed the countryside in packs, hunting their food, as referenced from an article published out of American Animal Hospital Association: “Dogs and Grass Eating”

Wild dogs ate their food on the run. They hunted all kinds of animals, and ate the whole of the animal, except for things like the skin. They ate the major organs, the muscles and even the bones, all to get the nutrients they needed to be healthy and strong. They didn’t have the easy life of most dogs today. Most of the prey they subsisted on were herbivores. While a dog’s digestive system is strong, it does need vegetable matter to help digest meat proteins, especially those in the raw meat it was eating. They ate the vital organs first; the stomach and intestines of the animals they were eating were full of partially digested vegetable matter.

Even though their digestive processes remain the same, you need to carefully review what your dog is eating to ensure they are getting a well-balanced diet. Without a proper balance of nutrients, a dog will develop all kinds of health problems, just like their human masters. Read More

Creature Comforts – Your Pet’s Diet

Happy New Year!

Anyone planning to change your pet(s) diet as a New Year Resolution? If so, it warrants looking at the new pet food craze of grain free foods.

Grain free and foods with grains are usually both meat based, and both contain carbohydrates and starches. The “grain free” foods contain different forms of starches in the way of vegetables rather than rice or barley, etc. These non-grain ingredients break down into sugars just like the grains however. So the new things to look at are the quantities of sweet potatoes, potatoes and peas in the servings. These are all forms of starch/carbohydrates and can also lead to too many sugars in the system feeding an overabundance of yeast.

The point here is to continue to read the labels on the foods you choose for your pet to ensure the best nutritional balance.  Yeasts feed on sugars in the system. The symptoms of yeast can take many different forms coming out through the ears, the pores and can cause a lot of itching, scratching and discomfort. Another symptom of yeast overgrowth is a distinct odor coming from the skin even after a bath. One way to help cut the level of yeast is to wash the ears, and bathe your dog with a gentle shampoo containing Tea-tree oil or other cleaners with anti-bacterial properties.

However, the  best way to reduce the levels of yeast in the body is to change the diet. Feeding mainly meat proteins coupled with vitamins is a great way to provide the vitamins and minerals your pet needs to build up a healthy immune system. Creatures stocks Taste of the Wild and Diamond Naturals grain free foods in varieties of flavors and can also order many reputable brands.

Also available are the Pet Naturals of Vermont supplements for both cats and dogs and new in the store for January is the new Lumino Wellness line of pet products out of Vancouver, WA. These use a combination of organic and natural ingredients from Nose and Paw Butter to oral supplements for fighting yeast!

Come by and check out what’s new Mon-Fri 10-6, Sat 10-5 and Sun 12-4; 503-429-PETS(7387).

 

Creature Comforts: Feral Cats and Kittens

Last month was all about controlling late hatching fleas, catching feral cats and raising kittens. This month we take it to the next level in controlling the feral cat population and preparing for the holidays.

Creatures, as have several volunteers in the community, cared for many feral kittens associated with the valiant and commendable efforts of Kim Tierney, City Council Member, and the partnership she was able to form with Feral Cat coalition of Oregon (FCCO) on behalf of Vernonia residents. Residents have been  “managing” the feral cat overpopulation for years since the flood but it has become somewhat out of control in the last year. Kim heard the complaints and concerns and took action. The last count had 104 cats and kittens caught and turned in by Kim and local residents to be spayed/neutered by the FCCO– WOW!

The OFCC provides this service free of charge, but does ask for a $30 donation to help defray the expense of the surgeries.  They are providing a great service for our community.  If you’re looking for a great cause to support with a donation this one should be high on the list. All donations are tax deductible: Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon
P.O. Box 82734
Portland, OR  97282 Read More

Creature Comforts -Spring Allergy Season Can Cause Trouble for Our Dogs, Too!

The most common symptom of any allergy in dogs is itching. An allergy to flea bites is the most common type of allergy in dogs, but an allergy to something in the dog’s environment, such as pollen, dust, or exposure to dust mites (actually, the feces of dust mites), is the second-most common allergy. Food allergies are surprisingly a distant third.

Owners who have eliminated flea problems with regular flea and tick elimination programs (topical drops either OTC or prescribed by the vet; sprays; regular baths etc.) and still witness the itching, biting till raw etc. should take note of the pollen counts to see if the dog’s symptoms are worse as the counts rise.

Skin problems, scratching and itching are the main signs associated with pollen allergy. Signs of allergy include alopecia (hair loss) and skin lesions. Upper respiratory tract involvement is common which includes signs such as sneezing, cough, rhinitis (runny nose) and mild type of bronchitis.  Read More

Creature Comforts: Is Your Dog “Ticked Off?”

Now that I’ve got your attention:- let’s talk about that common parasite-the tick.

Here at Creatures pet store, we’ve been hearing from many local pet owners that they’ve found a tick on their pet/livestock already this season.

Ticks can be found anywhere, from the deep woods to urban parks. Unfortunately dogs become infected with serious diseases transmitted by ticks. Diseases like ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and others – which are generally known as vector-borne diseases. The symptoms of these diseases are usually hard to detect until it’s causing your pet to suffer. The risk ticks pose to your pet(s) can easily be minimized by topical medications or tick collars and daily checks.  Read More

Creature Comforts – What’s New

Exciting things are happening at the Creatures Pet store this month.

First, we’ve added Buxton Feed Company (BFC) non GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) feeds for chickens, rabbits, goats, swine and horses! According to the World Health Organization, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are “organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in such a way that does not occur naturally.” Not only are BFC feeds best choice for the animals, they’re good for our local economy. BFC  feeds are milled on site in BUXTON, OR! Read More