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    Ideal Weight

    Ideal Weight

    Ideal weight is something that many pet parents struggle with. After long gaps between vet visits, many of us have stopped in to learn that all those treats are starting to add up. Our vets will have better idea of what our pets ideal weight should look like, but we wanted to point out some easy tips to help us stay on track between vet visits. 
    Studies show year after year that pets in America are universally suffering from obesity. In 2018, an estimated 60% of cats and 56% of dogs in the United States were overweight or obese. Reports notes that dogs and cats are considered overweight if they are at least 10%–20% heavier than their ideal weight. The true issue lies in what comes because of this obesity epidemic. Everything from cardiovascular diseases, metabolic abnormalities, joint disorders, and decreased immune function can be attributed to less than ideal weight conditions. 
    Key factors to obesity tend to be age and breed oriented. Older pets tend to experience weight issues as well as smaller breeds. Thankfully, smaller breeds also tend to have an easier time losing the weight.  
    With this in mind, it is clear to see why keeping an eye on our pets body condition is so important. There are ideal weights associated with breeds and this information is readily available online. But what if our pet falls outside of breed standard (either being larger or smaller than the typical pet of this breed) or we have a super mutt that has no general benchmark? 
    Here are some general tips to help us along. Of course, relaying any concerns with your vet will be the most accurate way of making sure our pets are staying healthy, but as we know this isn't always an available option.  (3) Generally, for a healthy pet weight, we should be able to see the contours of their bodies. In dogs, bones should not be overtly visible but we should be able to feel them with a light press. There should be a noticable tuck where their ribs meet their pelvic girdle. (2) With more athletic breeds we may see a slightly different, but still entirely healthy body condition. Spine and pelvic bones still should not be visible, but the last few ribs may be. That tuck we spoke of previous should be even more pronounced along with the muscle definition our go-get-em dogs have worked so hard for. 
    For cats, we see very similar trends. We should still be able to feel, but not see the ribs. The abdominal tuck is back again, following the ribs and tucking into the pelvic girdle. In cats we should be able to see the shoulder blades articulate (go up and down) with movement, much like their relatives the lion. 
    What this infographic doesn't feature is what is known as the primordial pouch, which is a fleshy pouch that develops for many of our feline friends as they mature. This is thought to protect vital organs in the event of a scuffle. Although this is prominant in many cats, it shouldn't effect the overall contour of our pets bodies and the markers should still be visible.
    Feeding our pets appropriately is a large part of a healthy life, as most of us may be feeding more than is intended. It is always best to feed dogs at their ideal weight when trying to lose or maintain weight, not the weight they are currently. Cats struggling with obesity issues should always be gradually fed down to their ideal weight, as large changes in their diet can be harmful to their normal digestive system and can induce hepatic lipidosis, especially in obese cats. Frequent activity and a well regulated diet are always keys to a happy and healthy life. 
    Understanding ideal weight is a crucial tool in us maintaining our pet's healthy weight throughout their lives. Maintaining a healthy weight is key to a long and healthy life with our pets. 

    What's Raw Food All About

    What's Raw Food All About

    Have you ever peered into the freezers as you beeline to the kibble isle? Perhaps selecting a few frozen treats but too intimidated to even ask about a raw feeding diet? Well here is all you need to get to know the fastest growing diet for pet owners in America.

    Raw food, simply put, is the most simplistic pet food on the market. It will have the lowest amount of general processing that goes into the product as well as typically the smallest ingredients panel. This makes it a great option for dogs with sensitivities and pet owners who are concious of the exact food items their pets are injesting every day.

    So what is in it?

    The key components to any Raw Food Diet is as follows:

    • Meat: High quality muscle meat from the listed recipe animal

    • Bones: High quality bone meal either introduced or included in a “whole animal grind”

    • Organs: High quality, nutrient rich organ items providing our pets with a plethora of nutrition

    • Moisture moisture moisture: with the items being raw, the natural moisture is still present in all the ingredients. This greatly benefits our cats and dogs who do not have an innate instinct to drink water. Often only relying on the water bowl as a last resort.

    Most brands will include additional items that are not the nutritional basis of recipes:

    • Fruits: Fresh fruit providing phytonutrients and antioxidants

    • Vegetables: Puréed, steamed, or fermented vegetables providing phytonutriets and fiber

    • Botanicals: Fresh herbs providing phytonutrients, antioxidants, antinflammatories, and much more

    • Minerals: whole natural minerals such as Montmorillonite Clay rounding out any gaps

    Quality ingredients included in raw food are typically pasture raised, free range, organically grown.

    No carbs? No problem!!

    One of the most beneficial things that aren’t found in raw foods are starch and carbohydrate heavy fruits and vegetables. This is one of the largest benefits to avoiding kibble and wet food. Our pets bodies have absolutely no need for plant based carbohydrates and starches. These items actually work dogs liver harder because it requires a specialized enzyme to be produced in order to utilize it, which dogs do poorly at regardless. Cats cannot utilize it all together. Carbs and starches cause tooth decay, obesity issues, renal issues, and countless other medical problems in our pets bodies. The more you move away from them, the better for your pets health.

    Is it safe?

    Common concerns revolve around pets or pet parents getting sick from contact with the food. The reality is that meat that we may buy at the market has a much higher potential for bacterial contamination with the intent of cooking. Raw food has a zero tolerance policy for pathogens and is often 3rd party tested for safety. Some brands take additional pasterization steps such as fermentation and high pressure pasturization. Fermentation is typically a lacto-fermentation innoculation process, allowing beneficial bateria to thrive and change the food for the better. The lactobacillus bacteria will overwhelm and destroy harmful bacteria. High pressure pasturization is an step taken by few raw feeding companies, but provides additional certainty of safety. The food undergoes high pressure to kill of any existing bacteria. This process can be seen as a net neutral or even negative because it eliminates all bacteria and enzymes, including beneficial ones, from the food. This process also can alter the nutritional quality of the food. For these reasons many in the raw feeding community believe this is not true raw food, being devoid of enzymes and beneficial bacteria that would be naturally present.

    Can it be considered a whole meal?

    Another common concern is that our pets may not get everything they need from raw foods, but what gives us the impression that kibble would do any different? Raw food provides all the necessary proteins, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and more. All of which that are entirely biologically available to our pets digestive systems and absorb easier and put less strain on the body than kibble does. Much like we know for ourselves, eating food that is fresh and less processed is more nutritious and filling than the many heavily processed foods we encounter, all while being healthier.

    Can we use it with kibble?

    While we won’t typically recommend using raw food in conjunction with kibble, it can be done. Digestability is the main concern when using both. The body’s pH fluctuates throughout the day, especially when they have eaten. When food enters the stomach, the pH becomes acidic in order to properly digest the food in the stomach. As food passes and is absorbed, the pH will return to a somewhat alkaline. This results in all of the raw food processing properly, leaving the kibble in the stomach. This can cause digestive upset and can be remedied by simply feeding them seperately. Raw food for breakfast and kibble for dinner, or vice versa.

    World Ocean Day

    World Ocean Day

    Happy World Ocean Day! We wanted to celebrate by sharing some wonderful ocean facts and highlight some brands that are working their best to ensure that the oceans and the life within them stays healthy for years to come. 

    The ocean covers over 70% of the planet surface! It powers life within it and on land as well.  50% of the oxygen we breathe is produced in the oceans. It is also home to most of the earth's biodiversity. Humanity and cultures around the world have defined themselves by their relationship with the ocean. Countless cultures rely on it for food, energy, transportation, etc since time immemorial. The time is now to begin to understand our impacts on our oceans and what we can do to minimize those impacts.

    90% of large fish populations are significanlty depleted and 50% of coral reefs have been destroyed. Luckily, many of the oceans wonders can be restored and replenished with a little help. We must continue to advocate for the ocean, amplify indigenous voices that have fought for the oceans since time immemorial, and make daily decisions to lessen our impacts. 

    Luckily, we are not alone. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Ocean Wise are a few of many allies we have. These organizations monitor fish populations, work with fisheries, scientists, and industry leaders to help keep oceans intact. Monitoring helps determine best practices and ensure oceans are fished sustainably. It also aids in educating industy members and consumers alike to make the right decisions when purchasing seafood products. 

    Open Farm is one of our favorite leaders in the pet food industry taking the right steps to ensure their products are being produced in the most humane, sustainable, and ethical ways possible. They are partnered with Ocean Wise which sets strict standards related to species, method of catch and other criteria aimed at minimizing the environmental impact of fishing associated with their products. They are also partnered with Terracycle in order to remove many of their packaged products from landfills and keep them in the loop, recycling them into new products. To date, they have successfully collected and recycled over 100,000 Open Farm bags and kept them from landfills! 

    The Honest Kitchen is yet another of our favorites! They exclusively use MSC Certified Fish in their food recipes and treats. This includes wild caught salmon, cod, whitefish, and wolffish. They use fish caught sustainably as well, in line with MSC Certification. Using a variety of fish for their products allows them to have flexibility for seasonality, reducing the quota for any individual fish species and lowering their impact on the oceans and fisheries. As a coastal-based company, they have a deep respect for maintaining balance in the ocean. 

    West Paw is one of our favorite toy brands! Not only are the fun and functional, but they are sustainable too! Operating out of Bozeman, Montana since 1996 they have been thoughtfully designing their products with the environment in mind. Long lasting toys, making the demand on new ones lower. Not only are they long lasting, but they can essentially be endlessly recycled into new products in the very plant that the new ones are cranked out of. Many of their textiles are made of recycled plastics, polyester, or OEKO-TEX which is manufactured free of harmful chemicals. Not to mention their newest line made with Seaflex, an exclusive blend of reclaimed and recycled ocean-bound plastics and zero-waste Zogoflex material. In collaboration with Oceanworks, they are able to safely and responsibly source these ocean-bound plastics from threatened coastal areas in Central America.

    To find out more about these or any other brands, please follow the links in the article. Thank you for reading and keeping our oceans safe, clean, and healthy. 

    7 Ways to Improve Your Environmental Pawprint for Earth Day

    7 Ways to Improve Your Environmental Pawprint for Earth Day
    Pet ownership is a learning process and we are here to help. Everything from getting outside responsibly to spaying and neutering your pets can help reduce your environmental pawprint and make you a greener pet parent! Each step not only improves pet ownership's impact, but sets each of us up in the right mindset to make changes easier in the future.

    Read more

    Wildly Blended

    Wildly Blended

    Supplementation is something that many of us take great pleasure and pride in for our own health. We love the turmeric lattes, smoothies full of superfoods, etc etc. But what about our pets? Their lives can be impacted by many of the same ailments that ours are. Helping them with fresh, nutritionally balanced diets but also specific supplementation can go a long way in living a long and healthy life. 

    We at HPS always love bringing in the best in whole supplements, avoiding synthesized supplements that can sometimes prove difficult to fully absorb. We recently brought in a supplement line from Wildly Blended! Wildly Blended offers a holistic approach to all your canine and feline needs. All of their products are handmade here in the USA by a single business owner using only high quality, human-grade, USDA Certified Organic ingredients in all of her products. No additives, preservatives, binders, fillers, or hormones here. They’re simply pure. Just the way nature intended. We wanted to give everyone an overview of what products we are currently carrying.

     

    Blue Spirulina

    I'm sure many of us know this one well. Green Spirulina is a blue-green algae found in both fresh and saltwater. The blue pigment comes from a phytochemical called phycocyanin. When phycocyanin is extracted from Green Spirulina, we call it, simply, Blue Spirulina. These phycocyanins are rich antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. It can aid in everything from allergies to immune health. A perfect powerful punch perfect for working and athletic dogs to aid in recovery, perfect for aging dogs aiding in fighting and preventing generative or viral illnesses as well.

    On the Move

    Many of our customers are using joint supplementation for their active or aging pets. Keeping their joints healthy can improve quality of life extensively throughout life.  A collagen based supplement, On the Move approaches joint supplementation differently than most. The collagen based peptides found in this formula help rebuild collagen in our pets joints and prevents further loss of collagen. Coupled with a powerful anti-inflammatory in turmeric, this is the perfect alternative to most glucosamine supplements. 

    Gut Feeling

    Digestive support typically goes one of three routes: Probiotics, Fiber, or Enzymes. Gut Feeling is packed with  prebiotics, probiotics, and organic herbs that support natural digestion and help prevent bad bacteria from taking over and causing gastrointestinal upset. Preboitics keep the probiotics moving and fed on their voyage through our gut. Herb blend aids in reducing inflammation, increasing nutrient absorption, soothe acid reflux and so much more!

     

    The Exotics

    A doozy of a whole food supplement packed full of exotic fruits and berries. This blend is intended to boost your pets immune system while offering a myriad of other health benefits. Everything from Anti-cancer effects, joint pain reduction, blood sugar regulation, gut support, and heart health benefits!

    12 Mushroom Matrix

    Mushrooms are a powerhouse of health benefits. Chalk full of selenium, mushrooms are shown to have anticancer, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. A great addition to keep your pets healthy and happy throughout their lives.

     

    We are very excited to have Wildly Blended in our store and for all of you to try some out! We hope they can find a place in your pet's daily routine. Looking forward to all of your feedback!