Newsletter - April 2010

The News At Home

Cavaliers are underestimated. Yes, they’re the gentlest of all breeds. Yes, they love people more than life itself. But they’re dogs and anyone who views them as a stuffed toy or nothing more than a couch potato is likely to get a wake-up call. This breed was produced to be company for King Charles, and I think that at that time, they’d have to have been quite sporty. Kings hunted and rode horses for chases of all kinds of sport. They didn’t sit around and watch television all day.

Cassie used to dig for worms and eat them - ugh! Zoey caught a bird in flight. Ok, she didn’t know what to do once she’d caught it, and the bird wasn’t hurt, but leaping that high in the air was quite a feat for a Toy dog. Tori chases rabbits and is so fast that I’m afraid she’ll actually catch one (don’t worry, we do everything possible to ensure it never happens), and this is despite having a luxating patella. I can’t imagine how fast she’d be if her knee was 100%. And her latest ambition might be to make us rich. She’s taken to digging in the yard as if she’d been taught by a Westie. I don’t know what she’s looking for, but we may strike oil soon if those holes get any deeper.

What’s New at monicasegal.com

Savings Package: Healthy Energy Package

We’ve combined three of our best products into one savings package. Both your dog and pocket book can benefit. Buying these products as a package rather than individually, saves $5. Here is what the package includes and what the benefits are:

One bottle Antioxidant Booster: a combination of raspberry seed powder (very high in elagic acid to help fight inflammation), vitamin E and selenium that work as powerful antioxidants.

One bottle of CoQ10: a powerful antioxidant that aids circulation stimulates the immune system and is beneficial for periodontal disease.

One bottle of Taurine: known for its healthy heart function properties, taurine is also active in membrane stabilization, bile acid conjugation, detoxification and modulation of cellular calcium levels.

Fact of The Month

Canine Athletes Must Have Antioxidants

While all dogs need antioxidants, working and performance dogs have special needs. For example, a study of sled dogs found that dogs with higher plasma concentrations of vitamin E had greater endurance than dogs with lower concentrations. Most of the studies on performance dogs are based on sled dogs or Greyhounds. Conclusions can be drawn based on the results of these studies, even though pet dogs are usually considered to be intermediate rather than endurance athletes.

This subject can be complicated, so for the sake of clarity, I’ll start by focusing only the differences between an intermediate and endurance activity. The former includes most active dogs that are used for hunting, service (military, rescue, etc) and high-energy activities. The weekend worker is in this category as well. For instance, a dog that is walked often and for longer period of time, chases balls in the yard and participates in agility is very active yes, but cannot be compared to a sled dog. The endurance athlete (working sled dogs are a perfect example) is usually participating in a long distance endurance event. The diet is almost always quite high in fat. These dogs experience an increase in lipid peroxidation and free radical production. To minimize this effect, an increase in antioxidants is helpful.

As you can see, the endurance activity category is relatively cut and dried, but the intermediate category lacks meaningful definition because people define “active” in various ways. One person might have an agility dog that practices every day. Another might have one that does agility only on weekends, but walks 5 miles and goes uphill for an hour every day. Yet another might describe their hunting dog as active despite that hunting is a weekend activity only for him. All of these dogs are active and all are considered to be in the intermediate category, yet energy requirements and how they utilize nutrients (in some cases more dietary fat can be helpful and in others, carbohydrates play a more important role) can vary.

Short periods of intense activity or longer periods of less intense activity still translate to a greater need for antioxidants. Regardless of how you might describe your canine athlete’s activity level, the fact is dogs in this category, much like the endurance athletes, are susceptible to lipid peroxidation and free radical damage. This is why antioxidants become especially important. Ignore this fact, and you are ignoring the risks that free radicals can bring to the table.

A healthy, balanced diet is very important, but remember that balance is more than providing wholesome food without thought to the special needs of these animals. Joint support is often a focus for owners of these performance dogs, and while that is indeed important, heart health should certainly be a consideration. Remember to add taurine to food, include enough vitamin E, and you may want to consider CoQ10. It hasn’t been proven to help dog hearts, but my experience with it is that it can help maintain gum health longer. In turn, this can support overall health (including heart), so there may not be a direct link, but I’ve seen some small miracles in the oral health department alone. CoQ10 won’t remove tarter, so don’t use it in lieu of a proper dental cleaning, but it should help maintain healthy gums. To keep it simple, remember that what’s healthy for the heart is also healthy for kidneys, eyes and brain, so wild salmon oil is an excellent addition to the diet.

Monica

“When you feel dog tired at night, it may be because you've growled all day long.” - Unknown

 
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