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Newsletter - February 2006

The News At Home

Happy Birthday Cassie! It’s hard to believe that she’s nine years old. She doesn’t look it and doesn’t act it and if you don’t believe me, there’s a neutered male Shih Tzu who would take an oath on my behalf. The Shih Tzu is a resident of the vet clinic we go to. He belongs to one of the vet techs and wanders around freely. One look at Cassie and this twelve year old was in love. Our girl flirted outrageously and then . . . I’ll leave the rest to your imagination as long as you promise to include the loud laughter in the waiting area while you’re thinking about the possibilities. Cassie, now very full of herself, pranced around with a wagging tail flung high over her back. She may be a senior citizen but as far as she’s concerned, she’s still got it. We didn’t raise her to be a wild woman but you know how kids are these days!

What’s New at

We’re very pleased to announce Vitamin B Compound under the Monica Segal label. This high quality product has been tested for potency and microbial limits. We’re thrilled with the results and have the laboratory report available on our web site for your perusal.

Our Vitamin B Compound has a base of alfalfa, rosehips and watercress. These items add a nutritional boost from bioflavanoids that work as antioxidants while allowing the product to be as pure as possible.

Fact of the Month “The Critical Roles of B Vitamins”

While some people think that feeding a home prepared diet, raw or cooked, will provide all the vitamins and minerals a dog needs, B vitamins are not always as available as we might hope. Diets based on red meats such as beef and lamb usually provide enough Bs but even this isn’t a guarantee. It depends on how much red meat someone feeds as compared to the other food items in the diet. Poultry based diets or those that focus on fish or cheese certainly won’t provide the amount of B vitamins required.

Sometimes we can improve the condition of the dog by making sure the diet is rich in all B vitamins. You might be surprised at how behavioral issues can be helped as well. For instance, vitamin B 1 (thiamine) helps appetite. I’ve seen some dogs that were “picky” be far less so once there was enough B1 in their diet. It may be fair to say that at least one B vitamin is related to just about every function we can think of. Here are examples of how critical Bs really are: Vitamin B1 (thiamine) Brain and heart function, digestion, energy, appetite Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) Healthy skin, metabolism of fats, proteins, carbohydrates Vitamin B3 (niacinamide) Function of nervous system, healthy skin Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) Fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) Taurine and carnitine synthesis, promotion of red blood cell formation Vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) Cell formation, supports nerve structure.

Metabolism is defined as chemical processes that happen so that a substance can be handled and incorporated. In the case of fats, protein and carbohydrates, it’s clear that without B vitamins, the body would be less able to digest food well much less incorporate the nutrients required to provide energy. Now let’s take this a few steps further. Consider that key roles of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. In a nutshell, they sustain life giving the body brain fuel and amino acids to build new cells and repair itself. Obviously, without B vitamins supporting these critical roles, the dog would be threatened in numerous ways including poor muscle tone, less energy, poor appetite, poor digestion, skin condition, and more.

Look at B6 and notice it’s relationship to taurine and carnitine, both being critical to heart health. If you’re adding taurine to the dog’s diet but aren’t supplying enough B vitamins, you’re doing little good and don’t forget about B1 being important for normal heart function. Look at B2 and B3 and notice their relationship to healthy skin. If you’re adding fat to your dog’s diet in order to improve skin, be sure you’re also providing enough B vitamins because the root cause can be a deficiency of Bs.

B vitamins are also play roles in what we sometimes call detoxification. For example, vitamin B1 helps to remove harmful material from the blood. B vitamins are water soluble. Excess is simply excreted through the urine without toxicity being a concern. For this reason, some people ask if they can supplement with just one or two B vitamins rather than a compound. B vitamins are like one big happy family, working together as a group. They need each other in order to do their jobs well. Supplementing with just one B vitamin can throw off the functions of others. It’s best to use a B compound in order to see results and be assured that the group remains balanced.

Soup of the Month

We’ve had very little snow this year and the temperature has been warmer than usual. Cassie loves snow so on the rare occasion that there’s been some in the yard, she’s insisted on staying outdoors for longer period of times. She comes inside acting very frisky and wanting a treat but her winter preference runs toward soup rather than something crunchy. I give her a few spoons of the following and I hope your dog enjoys it too.

4 cups water

1 large potato, peeled, halved

1 stalk celery

1 medium sized carrot

1/2 acorn squash, peeled

1 beef rib (about 3 oz )

Boil beef rib in water until meat is soft. Discard beef rib. If you have a dog that’s sensitive to fat, remove pot from stove, let cool and place in fridge until fat rises to the top and you can skim it off. Add all vegetables and simmer until soft. Remove vegetables and put them through the food processor until they have a creamy texture. Add vegetables back to the broth. Let cool. Remaining soup can be frozen and served as needed.

I freeze mine in ice cube trays and warm up a cube to feed as a treat or add to food now and then.


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