Archive for March, 2012

NJ Life Article about K9 Pet Chef

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

The K-9 Pet Chef
By Amanda Wright, NJ Life Magazine

How did you come up with the idea of cooking only natural food for pets?
During a life-coaching session, I pinpointed my three major interests as dogs, nutrition, and nature. I Googled those three words and found a company called K-9 Pet Chef (30 year old company), which creates a home style dog food for different breeds according to their needs using only natural ingredients. I contacted the owners, Lynda Kramer and her son, John Kramer, and expressed my interest in canine nutrition. John trained me the proper way to cook foods to help treat specific illnesses in dogs as well as nutritious meals for healthy dogs. I then went on to become a certified pet chef, creating meals with the cooking process I learned from them to keep dogs healthy in a natural diet, which I have been doing since August of 2008.
How is this food healthier than other store-bought diets?
With the help of a dog nutritionist, Dr. Donald Collins, we formulate exactly the right diet for the dog, and that includes not just the protein, but also the carbohydrate that’s required for the dog’s system. For protein, we use the dark meats of the chicken and turkey as well as chopped beef, ground lamb, and salmon. The carbohydrate source is a range of brown rice, oatmeal, millet, and barley. Wherever the breed initiated determines which ingredients the dog should be fed. To give an example, my Labrador’s body cannot assimilate beef fat, so her protein should not be coming from beef—instead, I feed her poultry.

Also, the only two ingredients we cook are the meats and the carbohydrates. The rest of the ingredients — fruis and vegetables, flaxseed oil, garlic, and powdered eggshells for pure calcium — do not get heated, so the animal gets the full potency of the vitamins and minerals from those ingredients. That way, they’re getting the proper proteins and carbohydrates, and the rest of the nutrients are coming to them in fresh ingredients. The foods are not losing their nutritional value, and they keep the dog’s system running smoothly and properly so he has fewer health issues when he gets older.
Is this kind of diet geared toward dogs with illnesses or for healthy dogs as well?
It’s an all-around healthy way of being. We also do special diets for dogs that have already succumbed to diabetes, thyroid disease, or cancer because dogs get all of the same ailments as we do. Our meals are custom-made according to the health conditions.
It’s noted on your website that this food is safe for humans. Would you ever try it?
Yes, I would eat it until I put the powdered eggshells in it, which makes it a little gritty!
What other benefits does the food have?
It can actually calm down dogs that have a tendency of being hyper, like the Jack Russell terrier. Some dogs are high-strung because of their diet. Our food is known for calming the dogs because it does not include any chemicals, preservatives, or colors and dyes which are known for enhancing hyper-tension. We are practically the only pet food company out there that can say its food is all-natural.
Do dogs adjust well to this kind of food even if what they are used to originally is processed with preservatives and chemicals?
You know the old saying, “Do not feed a dog table food”? Well, when fed this food, the dog thinks it’s getting table food. Even the finicky eaters are diving into K-9 Pet Chef meals.
As the proud owner of a chocolate lab yourself, what tips do you normally share with people about caring for their pet?
A tip I give to everybody and anybody is that they should feed their dogs a sardine a week. That helps boost the immune system. We also advise people to give their dog a biscuit a day so that they can keep their teeth clean. And pet owners should be feeding their dog twice a day.
Where can consumers purchase the food?
Our food is being carried by Whole Foods in Marlton, NJ and Plymouth Meeting, PA Whole Foods. They can also order it by calling Chef Loreen direct at 856-461-3736 and the delivery will be made to their door step or email her questions to loreen@k9petcheftlc.com. Effective April 1, 2012 a Grain FREE line of K9 Pet Chef will be introduced. Keep your eyes and ears open to the surrounding stores that will be carrying this fantastic nutrition bound food.

Loreen truly loves pets and wants them to be as happy and healthy as they can. Hopefully, her tips and ideas help you keep your pet in the healthiest condition possible, but if you have any specific issues that you would like to discuss about your pet, Loreen takes all kinds of questions from pet owners about food, nutrition, healthy pet tips, and more. She can be reached at Loreen@k9petchef.com. For further information about her all-natural pet food or ordering information, please visit k9petchef.com.

Beware of Poisions

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Pet lovers here are Poisons to be aware of:

Chocolate
Depending on the dose ingested, chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, hyperactivity, increased thirst and urination, and an increased heart rate.

Mulch
Licorce mulch is highly toxic to dogs and cats. Please keep an eye out if your dog or cat is digging in mulch…they then lick their feet and digest the mulch.

Gum
Candies or gum containing the sweetener xylitol can cause a drop in blood sugar, resulting in depression, loss of coordination, and seizures.

Leftovers
Bones can splinter and cause blockages. Greasy, spicy, and fatty foods can cause an upset stomach.

Alcohol
Alcohol can cause a pet to go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.

Aluminum foil
Aluminum foil and cellophane wrappers can cause vomiting and intestinal blockage.

Lilies
Toxic lilies can cause kidney failure in cats.

Mistletoe
Mistletoe and holly berries can cause gastrointestinal upset (vomiting, nausea, diarrhea), cardiovascular problems, and lethargy.

Poinsettias
Considered very low in toxicity, poinsettias might cause mild vomiting or nausea.

Christmas tree water
Christmas tree water may contain fertilizers that can upset a pet’s stomach. Stagnant water can also be a breeding ground for bacteria.

Decorations
Decorations like ribbon or tinsel can become lodged in intestines and cause an obstruction.

If your pet digests poisonous objects or foods follow these steps:
1. Give granular activated charcoal. Mix five heaping teaspoons of granules in 1 cup of water. Depending on the animal’s size, give about 1/4 to 1 cup by spoonfuls in the cheek pouch. If this causes excess struggle or worsens symptoms, discontinue. Your veterinarian will be able to apply treatment under sedation or anesthesia.
2. Keep the animal warm and as quiet as possible. Stress has a very negative influence.
3. Call the National Animal Poison Control Center if you know where the poison came from. Call 800-548-2423 for specific advise on treatment or antidotes.
Otherwise, bring the suspected poisons and container (if known), as well as any vomited material, to the doctor for possible identification of the poison.

Sardines – a great source of…

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Try a Sardine a Week!
Sardines provide
dogs with large
amounts of good fatty
acids, such as Omega
-3.
Giving your pet one
sardine a week can
boost his immune
system, help keep
him allergy-free, and
keep his coat looking
its very best.

Barking dog.

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Barking

Below is the answer we gave to a recent question on barking. The dog is 7 months old and started barking at night, despite being kept in the laundry. It all started after a stay at a kennel….

It sounds like he may be a bit anxious or is otherwise displaying attention seeking behavior. It’s good that you are not giving him attention for the barking, however it is important to find out why he is barking so you can address the cause.

It’s not uncommon for dogs to be anxious after being away, especially if they haven’t been used to it. Also he is a ‘teenager’ at the moment and they do go through stages of development which can sometimes lead to feelings of insecurity etc. But at the same time they can also tend to push the boundaries a bit.

Start him on some Rescue Remedy (Bach Flower drops) just to take the edge off him and perhaps make a few minor changes in his routine. The rescue remedy can be given in his food and water bowls (4 drops). The water bowl is good as he will get small amounts often.

Rescue remedy is very good for any changes in routine (humans and animals). If you have access to different Bach Flowers you could also try Heather (not in place of, but in addition to rescue remedy); Heather is useful for those who like the sound of their own voice!

Also monitor any other behavior changes such as following you around the house or an increase in destructiveness or disobedience as this could be a sign that he is feeling insecure after you going away.

It is definitely possible that he has picked up bad habits from other dogs while boarding, but with time and consistency you should be able to break the habit.

Other minor changes you can make; increase his exercise or change it around a bit. Make sure he knows that you are around after putting him in the laundry; either that he can see through a child gate barrier or that he can hear background noise (TV, radio, kitchen noises etc) this may help to comfort him so he knows that you haven’t ‘left him’. Make sure when he goes in the laundry that he gets a few items to chew on or play with (make sure you mix his toys around: See 101 Ways to Keep your dog entertained; you can download a free sample via the links page of our website or purchase it via the products page). A rawhide chew would keep him occupied for a while plus the chewing action can help reduce any anxiety. Sometimes you can also give a comfort item (old jumper or an old towel that you have used and not washed).

Don’t get angry with him, but at the same time don’t feel sorry for him and spoil him rotten (this sometimes happens when we go away and feel bad so come back and overcompensate). Try the changes above and if you don’t get a response in a few weeks or if other behaviors point towards separation anxiety then further changes would be needed.