health

A holistic approach to heartworm

When warm weather finally arrives, dogs are just as eager to get out and enjoy it as their owners are. But both canines and humans alike face a trade-off: with sunshine and climbing temperatures come pests like fleas and the dreaded mosquito. Those biting little buggers can do more than give you an itch to scratch – they can give your dog heartworm, a potentially fatal parasite.

a Pug's weight loss

Meet Riley. Riley is a four-year-old Pug who was adopted into to his forever family with a serious weight problem. Riley and his little Pug sister Penelope live in Montana and enjoy mountain hikes and trips to the dog park, but Riley’s weight made it difficult for him to keep up. Pugs, in general, are often thought of as chubby pups. Their fat rolls are endearing, and their small statures often allow them to gain weight easily. However, just like any other breed, an overweight Pug faces serious health problems.

Can dogs get colds or the flu?

With widespread illness grabbing headlines these days, most of us are trying our best to stay healthy. As we’re washing our hands, lining up for flu shots and boosting our vitamin C consumption, another question often comes to pet owners’ minds: Can my dog catch a cold or the flu?

Can Dogs Really Be Vegetarians?

Many vegetarian dog owners have questions about whether or not a vegetarian diet for dogs could be feasible or even healthy. After all, much has been made of the fact that dogs are omnivores – meaning they eat both plants and meat. If this is true, shouldn’t they do just as well on plant-based diets as meat-based ones? The answer to this question can be found by looking at the circumstances of canine evolution and examining the anatomy of a dog’s digestive system. 

Caring for your pet’s pearly whites: How diet affects dental health

We all know that a person whose diet is packed with unhealthy, over-processed and nutrient-poor foods is going to have dental problems. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that the same would be true for a dog or a cat. But while more and more people are coming to understand the power of a healthy, whole-foods-based diet for themselves, when it comes to pets, kibble, though increasingly understood as being nutritionally inferior, is still what many people trust and use. And that mindset is contributing to pets developing oral health problems on an unprecedented level.

Cat litter: What’s the scoop?

At the pet supply store, the choices of cat litter are mind-boggling. For a long time, clay and clumping litter were your only choices. But they have downsides that many owners want to avoid:

do allergies have your dog itching this spring?

It’s springtime and many of us are looking at the fresh buds on the trees through red, watery eyes. Unfortunately our four-legged friends don’t get a hall pass when it comes to allergies. While environmental allergies (ie. pollen, etc.) and genetics can play a role, often the guilty-party can be found on the ingredient panel of your dog’s food. Dog food allergies can mimic seasonal allergies, causing flaky, itchy skin, scratching, shedding, irritated ears, goopy, watery eyes and digestive issues.

Doggy DIY: How to make the best first aid kit for your pup

Dogs love nothing more than to get out and play – and sometimes they play rough. That can mean bumps, bruises, cuts and scrapes, so every dog owner should be prepared to treat their dog in case of a minor boo-boo or a more major injury. Pre-made first aid kits can come in handy, but they often don’t contain enough of the key essentials to fixing up your pet when he needs it most. Taking a DIY approach and building your own first aid kit will ensure that you have everything you need – and enough of it.

Dogs and essential oils: Get to know the basics

If you hear “essential oils” and think they’re only for pampering beauty products, think again. These powerful natural remedies can be and are used for much, much more. For dogs, essential oils can provide helpful solutions for both physical and behavioral problems, but only when used safely and wisely. That’s why it’s important to learn a bit more about essential oils before incorporating them into your pet care regimen.

Don’t fight the fat! Healthy ways to add fat to a raw dog food diet

“Fat” is a dirty word when it comes to nutrition, but the advertising messages we’ve all heard through the years have, in a lot of ways, given the wrong impression.

Eye of the (tiny) tiger: Keeping your cat’s eyes healthy

Good vision is critical to quality of life for your cat, so doing what you can to maintain her eyesight is incredibly important. Knowing how to spot problems is key, but so is maintaining a lifestyle that supports her eye health. Whether you’ve got a new kitten or a senior cat, you can do a number of things to ensure she can see clearly for as long as possible.

Feeding pets with medical issues

When you consider your pets family members, there’s no question about whether you’re going to help them when they need special medical attention. Whether it’s a short-term injury or a chronic condition, making your pet feel well and doing what you can to keep him healthy is second nature.

Food safety tips to keep you and your pet healthy

To the disappointment of those who feed raw dog food and raw cat food, the American Veterinary Medical Association adopted their proposed policy to discourage the feeding of raw foods to pets (as we recently discussed). And while the language of the policy was changed from “never feed” to “avoid feeding,” the controversy around the topic seems unlikely to quiet down any time soon.

Grumbly tummies: How to help your dog deal with stomach upset

If you own a dog, you have, at some point, looked at him and wondered how on earth his stomach can rumble and squeak quite so loudly. But while those sounds might inspire amazement, they’re also a signal that your dog isn’t feeling well. And if the discomfort we humans get from stomach upset is any indication, he can really be miserable. So, what can you do to help him feel better?

Hear that? Tips for your dog’s ear health

  Whether your pup’s ears flop or stand straight up, there’s a good chance that at some point in his life, he’ll get an ear infection. It’s an incredibly common condition and can be triggered by a multitude of causes, so it’s important that every owner knows what to look for and how to treat it. Luckily, symptoms are pretty easy to notice, giving you a good indication of when your dog needs special treatment. They include: * Persistent bad odor coming from the ears

Help your dog keep his cool

Summer is a fun time for dogs and their owners. There are lots of opportunities for walks, runs, swims and relaxing together in the sunshine. Dogs can easily get overheated, though, and owners need to watch for signs of hyperthermia (elevation in body temperature). Heat stroke in dogs is a serious condition that can be avoided! Your dog sweats through his foot pads and releases heat by panting. Neither of these is adequate when it’s really hot out there, so you need to make sure he doesn’t overheat.

Helping cold-sensitive dogs deal with dropping temperatures

We humans are lucky: We have an array of ultra-high-tech winter gear that helps us get through the winter cold. While we’re piling on the socks, thermals, gloves and gaiters, we sometimes assume that because our dogs have fur, they can handle whatever Father Frost throws at him. But cold tolerance, like so many things, varies from breed to breed, and can even be dependent on what your dog’s used to.

Hip displaysia: what you should know and how you can help your dog

Hereditary health problems can affect purebred dogs as well as mixed breed dogs –whether your pup comes from a pedigree of champions or the shelter, genes don’t discriminate. Hip dysplasia is just one of those hereditary conditions, and it can have a dramatic effect on your dog’s mobility, health and happiness. It develops because of poorly formed hip joints – think of it as a ball-and-socket joint, in which the ball is loose in the socket. That looseness causes difficulty in moving, and can lead to degeneration and a significant amount of pain.

Hot spots: What they are and how to treat them naturally

Sometimes dogs’ skin and coat concerns go beyond the cosmetic. While proper care and feeding will help stave off a host of skin issues, sometimes it’s outside of your control. Problems like hot spots, which appear as itchy, bald patches, can cause your dog a lot of discomfort. Here are some of the key things you should know about treating this troublesome skin issue.

how to choose a holistic vet

If you’re like many pet owners, you grew up with the idea that there was only one kind of veterinarian for house pets. But that was then – now, pet owners have the option to take their dogs, cats and other household critters to a holistic vet clinic, where the emphasis is on wellness and treating the whole animal, rather than simply dealing with problems as they arise.

if it’s good enough for Fido ....

For a guy who owns a pet food company that touts its Grain-Free products, I sure do eat a lot of gluten. So, it is with great pride that I can say that since April 12, 2012, I have been 100% gluten-free. It all started one night when I came home from an exceptionally long day at the office. It was around 10 pm, and my wife and kids were fast asleep. Given how late it was, you’d think that I’d be a bundle of stress. But on the contrary, I was feeling pretty good. (It must have been a sense of accomplishment from finally finishing my 2011 workers comp insurance audit).

Ingredient profiles: The herbs that do good for your dog’s diet

For millennia, people have used herbs to treat illness and bolster their health. We might not necessarily think of those healing properties when we grab a sprig or a leaf to season our foods, but the value they possess for flavoring is certainly equal to their value to our well-being – and that of our pets.

Ingredient profiles: What fall fruits do for your pooch

At Sojos our mission is to provide you with an easy-to-use, made-from-scratch raw dog food that provides your best four-legged friend with nutrition that meets all his body’s needs. We talk a lot about using ingredients that you’d find in your own kitchen, and it’s not just lip service, we really mean it.

Is your pet well-adjusted? What to know about pet chiropractic care

Chiropractic work can be an all natural way to boost your pet’s health. It is the realignment of the nervous system to restore proper nerve connections and flow. Adjustments work to restore the root problem, not just alleviate surface symptoms like many medications do. Pet chiropractors work on a wide range of animals from dogs and cats to horses and elephants.

Keep pets happy and healthy while on vacation

Summer isn’t summer without a vacation, and there’s no better time of year to bring your dog along for the fun. As you plan the great getaway, whether it’s a weekend visit or a two-week camping extravaganza, make sure that your pets’ needs are covered and plan for ways to make the trip comfortable for them.

Keep that puppyish figure! Using food to maintain your pet’s weight

Pet obesity has been getting a lot of notice in recent years, as our four-legged buddies’ waistlines expand right along with those of many humans. And just as in humans, diet and exercise are the two key factors in how your pet gains - or doesn’t gain - weight. 

Looking out for No. 2: Using poo as a clue to your dog’s health

Pet owners and new parents have one thing in common that confuses anyone who doesn’t fit into either of those categories: an almost unlimited ability to discuss what happens when their precious little one has a bowel movement. For others, it’s a gross-out discussion, but dog owners have to keep an eye on their dog’s stool. It’s an important indicator of health. Besides, on walks and in the yard, there’s no shortage of opportunities to check up on it.

Love stinks: Expressing your dog’s anal glands

While it certainly is not a glamorous part of being a pet owner, it’s important to care for even the smelliest parts of your pup. Anal glands play an important role in your dog’s life, and all dogs – no matter what breed – produce the pungent, musky fluid. This fluid identifies your dog to other dogs, telling them things like his gender, age and health status.

Prepare your dog to fight arthritis

There’s something charming about an old, gray-faced, slow-moving dog. He’s not a playful pup anymore – he’s a good old boy. But those creaky old bones and stiff movement – likely caused by arthritis – are probably causing him more pain than his sweet face and wagging tail are letting on. And even if your dog is just starting out his golden years, arthritis can still profoundly affect his quality of life.

Primping your pup: At-home grooming basics every owner should know

Grooming your dog is about much more than looking good – it’s also important to his health and comfort. Grooming helps protect your pet from diseases and parasites that could harm him. Luckily, it’s easy to avoid these problems by getting into a regular grooming routine. Your pooch will look and feel his best. To get started, keep these grooming necessities in mind: Brushing

Slow Down: How to help your dog take his time at mealtime

Does your dog wolf down his meal in a matter of seconds? Most dogs love food—cry for treats—beg for a bite and go absolutely bananas at mealtime. The fresh ingredients in Sojos all-natural raw dog foods can be absolutely tantalizing for your furry friend, so it’s no wonder he’s ready to scarf it down ASAP! Excitement is totally normal, but when your dog eats his breakfast in a few seconds flat, it might be time to try and slow him down.

soaking it all in

One of the biggest challenges we have faced when converting even the most health-conscious pet owner from feeding a kibble or canned diet into a shelf-stable raw dog food diet, like Sojos, is the 15 minutes of soaking time required. Everything is moving along smoothly as new customer reads the bag and smiles at the REAL food they can see through the clear window. Then they read the part in our instructions that says “soak for 15 minutes”.

Spotting skin problems in cats

A shiny, soft and full coat is a telltale sign of a healthy cat. Logic says that the exact opposite is true as well: if your cat’s coat isn’t looking so good, it’s a sign that her health isn’t up to par. Unfortunately, there is a whole host of skin diseases that your cat can come down with – and it’s up to you as the owner to be able to spot them, treat them and prevent them for the future.

Supporting your dog’s joint health – the natural way

There are plenty of good reasons to explore joint support for your dog. If he’s aging, he’ll certainly need it – likewise if he’s had an injury. But even if your dog is still relatively young, it’s a good idea to talk to a holistic vet about what you can do to support good joint health over his lifetime. There are a variety of holistic options for treatment and support that don’t carry the risks sometimes associated with conventional choices (such as drugs or surgery).

The connections between cancer and nutrition in dogs

It’s a dreaded disease for humans and dogs alike: cancer. While the exact causes aren’t yet clear for the many forms in which canine cancer appears, and cures remain a distant hope, there are actions you can take that encourage your dog’s overall wellness. A healthy body that is both better able to fight disease and stay strong through treatment and recovery. And nutrition –particularly a diet of raw dog food – is at the heart of wellness.

The homeopathic solution

Keeping your pet in good health is a top priority for most pet parents. While medications on the market address every issue imaginable, using natural ingredients to allow the body to fight ailments on its own should always be your first option to keeping your pet in optimal, holistic health.

The importance of food for senior dogs

Your aging dog doesn’t give you any less love than he did as a puppy. But in his golden years, things naturally change – his activity levels might shift into a lower gear, his weight might change and he might face the signs of aging that affect all of us, human or dog, like arthritis, hearing loss or impaired vision. While no owner can stave off all the side effects of growing old for their dog, what you feed him can make an enormous difference in his quality of life.

Watch those paws: how to care for your dog’s feet

Your dog has some durable paws, but they certainly aren’t indestructible. You throw on your hiking boots for a climb in the mountains and your rubber boots in the rain. Dogs don’t have that luxury—their paws come in contact with all kinds of surfaces when they walk, run, play, swim. This exposure can lead to some painful injuries if you aren’t careful to help your pet tend to his tootsies. Here are some tips to help your pet keep those feet healthy: Moisturize

What to do if your dog has a seizure

Seizures can be caused by a variety of things: epilepsy, brain injury, heat stroke, low blood sugar, brain tumor, distemper, kidney or liver failure, or poisoning, to name a few. Seizures are marked by convulsions, dilated pupils, and muscle twitches. These episodes can be frightening for both dogs and owners and the cause may be difficult to pinpoint. Visit your holistic vet to talk about what may have caused your dog to have a seizure. Targeting the cause will allow you to better treat the issue.

What you need to know about puppy mills

There are few things more disarming than a sweet, roly-poly puppy. If you’re looking for a pup to be a new part of your family, it can be hard not to fall in love at first sight, but knowing more about where that adorable little furball comes from can make all the difference in the world.

What’s the difference between holistic and traditional veterinarians?

Keeping pets safe, sound, healthy and happy is something every dedicated owner wants to accomplish. The unconditional bond you share makes you willing to go the extra mile to maintain your animal’s wellness - but what’s the best option for doing so? For many people, the method of safeguarding a pet’s health is changing, moving away from traditional veterinary medicine to a more holistic approach.

Why you don’t need to brush to banish bad ‘doggy breath’

Any dog lover knows how cute puppy breath is, but when those roly-poly little furballs get bigger, “doggy breath” is a whole other aroma – and often not a pleasant one. But don’t be fooled into thinking that bad breath is normal for a dog. In fact, it can be an indicator of deeper health problems. The numerous possible reasons for bad breath mean that brushing his teeth won’t necessarily fix the issue.