Probiotics…the WHEN, WHERE, WHY AND HOW

A lot of people and Vets talk about adding a probiotic to your car or dog food, but what kind do you choose??? There are so many options, it’s difficult to know what probiotics are going to be effective.

Personally, I’m a HUGE fan of green tripe. Grass has lots of natural probiotics and because prey animals usually dine on grass, it’s the most natural source or added probiotics. Think about it this way…your dog or cat is a carnivore…therefore, the tripe (which is the intestines and pre-digested grass, is good bacteria that already lives inside the gut of your carnivore), is the most effective form of adding good bacteria back into the gut. Makes sense, right?

However, not all grass eaters are ACTUALLY eating grass! Cows that are fed corn and other grains are not getting what they SHOULD BE eating. So, their intestines are not filled with that good, green bacteria that is beneficial to their predators. ALWAYS stick with green tripe! I cannot stress this ENOUGH! The carnivores diet is specialized…it needs certain things to be healthy.

Synthetic probiotics will probably not survive the digestive tract and will be wasted, so either get raw, frozen green tripe (and yes, it SHOULD be GREEN), or freeze-dried, or canned green tripe. This is the easiest and best way to cure your carnivore’s digestive issues. Trust me. I’ve been doing this for YEARS and, as always, know what I’m talking about.

As always, your trusted and trustworthy carnivore specialist, the crazy cat servant. Don’t bother with FortaFlora…synthetics will do almost nothing for your carnivores. Always trust nature…it knows what it’s doing.

Scaredy Cat or Whatever Cat?

We all know cats are easily spooked and I’m pretty sure we all have scratch scars to prove it…but, somehow, I managed to adopt 2 cats who don’t give A F*CK about anything. Thunder and lightning? Meh. Fireworks? What fireworks? Gunshots? They lift their heads then go back to sleep. Needless to say, I rarely need to think about things like calmatives.

That being said, I know a lot of you are going to need calmatives for 4th of July and thunderstorms…so, here are my recommendations.

My all time favorite product for anxious pets is Rescue Remedy This product is something I’ve used for myself and my pets for years! It calms the anxious mind and the body, without making our pets groggy or dizzy. You can get it by clicking on the link or you can usually get it at your independent pet supply stores.

Next on the list is…of course, CBD. You can find this in almost all pet stores now. Just make sure it’s pure and only has hemp or coconut oil as an additive.

I also like Composure treats for cats, by VetriScience…if you can get your cats to wait them, these treats work well!

And that’s it for cat calmatives! I wish there were more options but, for our felines, that’s all I got.

Good luck with your scaredy cats this July 4th!

Quarantining with the Crazy Cats

So, I’ve been unemployed for several months, which means it’s been me and the cats, all this time. I’m pretty sure they love having me home, although sometimes, they go find their hidey holes for the day.

Otherwise, it’s Bugsy snuggles in the morning and Ezmerelda snuggles in the afternoons.

I’ve been feeding Ezmerelda less food since she is a bit chunkier than Bugsy. They both gets treats several times a day.

This is, literally, the most boring blog post ever! I do apologize! There just hasn’t been much going on.

We have decided to find a house to rent, come January, with Danny and Freddy. We plan to put up a cat shelf wall and I’ll finally be able to get Freddy onto all raw food. I’m so excited, I can barely stand it.

Stay tuned for updates about the move but I doubt I’ll have much to tell you until then. Stay safe. Wear your mask. Wash your hands! Take care!

Love, your crazy cat servant!

My Cats Are Melting!

So, we have been in isolation for about 2 months. I lost my job, so we are just hanging out, watching TV and doing a whole lot of nothing. There is a heat wave in Las Vegas, and come to find out, our AC is broken! Ugh! It’s so hot in my house. I’ve been keeping my cat’s water bowl refreshed, every day and still feeding raw meat, which has enough moisture to keep them hydrated but I’m constantly worried about their well-being.

 

My poor babies are just kitty puddles, on the floor. So, what does a crazy cat servant do for them? Whatever I can! The 3 fans are going all day and all night, like the said, the water is fresh, every day, the meat is cold, although Bugsy doesn’t like it cold, and I’m adding as much extra moisture as I can to their diets. Until the AC is fixed, this is all I can do.

Luckily, the night time is cool still, because it’s only April and not in the midst of summer, so the windows and security door stays open most of the night, while the fans are blowing. Still, it makes me feel so bad for them. We aren’t getting our regular snuggles because it’s just too hot to touch each other, but Boo is missing his snuggles, so he comes for them in the morning when it’s still tolerable. I’ve been raising hell with my landlords about fixing the AC, so I’m hoping that a repair person will come tomorrow.

Nevertheless, I’m constantly watching them! Remember, fellow cat servants! Moisture in the food is the KEY!

Take care of yourselves! Stay away from other humans, keep your litter boxes clean and keep your minds active!

It’s Time to Tell You the Truth

As you already know, I don’t mince words here. I have, however, been forced to be less than honest in my professional capacity, which has always made me feel, well, crappy. There have always been a few key rules to working in pet food…the most common rule, don’t badmouth any brands or companies. I’ve done my best to follow this rule, as best I can, but honestly, I’m over it.

I had a customer tell me that she had a puppy and was feeding it Pedigree but was thinking about switching to Science Diet. She asked if Pedigree was a good food, I said “No”, then she said “so Science Diet is better?”, I said “Nope.” I would never have worded it this way before, I would have danced around the benefits of better food and gently steered her away from the junk. I’ve been taking this honest approach for the last 2 weeks and I have to say that customers seem to appreciate my brutal honesty over my typical “salesmanship”. As a consumer, I always appreciate honesty from salespeople and can always tell when they are bullshitting me.

So here’s the truth about pet food…at least what I’ve learned over 8 years of being in pet food. The majority of pet food companies are NOT interested in keeping your pets healthy! I know! It’s crazy but bear with me. If you feed a brand that has food for a thousand different problems and health issues, there’s a reason for that! If your cat DOESN’T have urinary tract problems, guess what? You won’t buy their urinary formula of food. If those companies were really interested in keeping your cat’s urinary tract healthy, they would only make food that KEPT your cat’s urinary tract healthy. Everyone who has any knowledge of cats and their biology knows that dry food of any sort is NOT good for our perpetually dehydrated feline friends, and yet, all of these supposed “expert nutritionists” create kibble that creates a problem with the urinary tract, then creates a different formula to help maintain the problem. I know I hinted at this with my last post, but this is when I get into it.

Everyone in nutrition knows that free-feeding your dog or cat kibble will cause them to get fat…no where on the bag does it read “Do not overfeed or allow your pet to free feed” or “If you free feed, measure out the recommended amount each day to prevent obesity, which can cause health problems.” Nope. Instead, they just create a new formula to help your fat animal lose weight and add the minimum amount of glucosamine and chondroitin to the formula to help with joint pain. They may even add MSM or Turmeric to help with inflammation, but if they really wanted your animal to be a healthy weight, there would have been the aforementioned suggestions, written on the bag of kibble, in large type, so everyone knew to do these things.

Sure, there are documentaries out there, like “Pet-Fooled” that spills the secrets of what goes into pet food, like all the disgusting by-products, euthanized animals, roadkill and other things, but it doesn’t really address what a money maker these different prescription foods and solution based kibble formulas actually are. This is something that has bothered me for a really long time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they made this documentary and I sat there, nodding my head through the entire movie, because I already knew all this information. I’ve spend almost a decade trying to convince other humans of these things, just to walk down the aisle of a big box store to see Beneful and Pedigree still on the shelves, not to mention SO many different prescription foods, for every possible health issue available with a paper prescription from a veterinarian. Did you know that Royal Canin makes a cat food that calms your cat??? Never mind what is causing the mental anxiety in the first place, just feed this plant based food with L-tryptophan in it and it will be fine. Are you freaking kidding me???

We have warning labels on almost everything that is bad for humans, including a warning not to consume toothpaste! Yet, somehow, we think that bags of biscuits with a label that assures us it will help our dog or cat with their diabetes, sensitive stomach or possible food allergies, is the solution to the problem? Come on, people. We have these amazing brains that are capable of SO many amazing things, yet we are so gullible when it comes to the opinion of an “expert”. Veterinarians are NOT nutrition experts! I’ve been doing some research on the subject and found that vets, while they DO know medicine, are just as confused as the rest of us on nutrition. Click here to read a very revealing article written by a vet. They do get some training, often sponsored by Royal Canin or Hill’s, but even those companies change up their food, all the time.

As you know, I feed raw meat to Bugsy and Ezmerelda, which has kept them pretty damn healthy. The two times Bugsy has gotten sick is when he gets into kibble…imagine that! I’m not saying that everyone needs to feed raw food, although I would love if everyone did, but I get it, it can get pricey. All I’m asking is for you and all pet owners to take a glance at what your brand offers. If you see the basic food, then fifty different formulas to solve health problems that WILL PROBABLY occur after feeding the other formulas for long enough, then find a better quality food that doesn’t have all of those solution formulas. Ask yourself WHY they make all of the urinary formulas, weight loss formulas, sensitive stomach formulas, etc. Our pets are in crisis because we are forcing them to eat things that their bodies are not equipped to eat. It’s simple biology. Our doctors are constantly trying to get us to eat what our bodies NEED, so why are we convinced that forcing our carnivores’ bodies to try to get their required nutrients from overcooked biscuits, is a logical thing? Even when we consume SlimFast for most of our meals, we are still instructed to eat a balanced dinner at the end of the day! Logic! Both our obligate carnivores, or cats, and omnivorous carnivores, or dogs, NEED real food.

So, if you HAVE to feed kibble, pick a brand that DOES NOT have so many options to solve health problems, and yes, there are a few out there. Here are some dog foods that I can stand by: Zignature, Orijen or Acana, Instinct, First Mate, Open Farm, Stella and Chewy’s, and finally, Only Natural Pet.

If you have to feed cats kibble, the list is about the same but smaller: Fussie Cat, Instinct, Orijen, and Only Natural Pet. However, PLEASE always include SOME wet food. Moisture is key to a healthy cat!

Okay, sorry for the super long post, but I just had to get that out to the world!

Let’s start a pet food revolution! Let me know if you have questions! You can comment here or email me directly at thecrazycatservant@gmail.com!

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Cheers to a New Chapter of Life!

Well, I’ve been threatening to leave pet food for a while now and finally, I am. I’ll begin a banking career in February! I’m pretty excited to try something new and different. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll always have a passion for making and keeping my pets and your pets healthy, but I just can’t be surrounded by kibble that claims to be the answer to all our pets’ health problems, while also being the actual problem.

It’s very frustrating to know so much from all of my training and experience, and not being allowed to give that information out because of the powers that be, (Purina, Hills, Royal Canin) have the FDA and AAFCO wrapped up in their bad science and lies.

It was easier working in independent pet stores because people were there to learn but being surrounded by those brands, giving out good advice only to watch people grab a 50 pound bag of Beneful or prescription Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein is just too much for me. My brain is saying “Beneful caused the allergies and Royal Canin is recommended for that? Why not feed actual food and see what happens?” Because while I do know what I’m talking about, “the vet said to feed this”. Sure, those 4 hours of nutrition training in Veterinary school definitely trump my 9 years of pet nutrition. Makes perfect sense.

But I digress.

I will always be available to my friends, family and readers, if they need advice. No matter the pet food trends, carnivores will always need meat over anything else. I will stand by that forever.

Always feel free to email me or comment.

Happy 2020!

The Crazy Cat Servant

It is Time to Stop Jumping to Conclusions

Okay folks…I know everyone loves their pets and that we want them to be healthy and happy. That’s great…I want the same. However, we need to also be logical about things that may not be a veterinary emergency.

If your cat hasn’t pooped in the litter box for 3 weeks, and isn’t dead, then your cat is pooping elsewhere. If your dog is itchy and a bit flaky but not breaking out in hives, rashes or having that yeasty stink, chances are it’s just dry skin and they need a fish oil or better food, not allergy shots and benedryl or apoquel. If people on Facebook are yelling at you for feeding a grain-free diet to your dog because “grain-free food will KILL YOUR DOG”, do some research or talk to actual nutritionists to get the actual facts…shout to Melissa!

I’ve been working in pet nutrition for almost a decade now and have seen SO MANY fads, rumors and fear mongering, you wouldn’t believe it. We humans aren’t much better when it comes to our own fad diets, but you can do whatever you want with your own body…I really don’t care.  However, we are responsible for making sure our pets are getting what they need from their diet and this is my passion. I work, every day to try to educate people on dog and cat nutrition, only to be met with “I heard that grain-free food is bad” or “My vet says my fat cat needs to be on prescription food for weight loss”. Seriously, your cat needs meat and WAY less carbs and your dog is not going to die from grain-free food. These are just ways to fool you into buying certain brands that only have interest in their bottom line, NOT the health of your pet. If they were actually concerned with nutrition and not dollars, they would have a few formulas that would be good for all dogs or cats, not 15 different formulas for certain issues, or life stages or breeds (I could seriously write an entire book on why Royal Canin and their breed specific formulas are complete bullshit, but I won’t go there now), but they don’t. They try to manipulate you into thinking you NEED this specific food to help your 5 year old yorkie or 1 year old neutered male cat or your senior lab!

Seriously, these dogs and cats need a few basics, nutritionally speaking. They need animal protein, animal fat, essential fatty acids and water. That’s it! Give your animals these things and you will be fine. I go into my stores daily and see so many ridiculous options and I wonder what the hell I’m doing with my life. Well, what I’m doing is trying my best to weed through the bullshit and tell you the truth. I really DO want what is best for your carnivore.

Even though doing this job is like Sisyphus pushing the boulder up the hill, only to have it roll back down, I do it because this is my passion. If I can help one person a day, learn something about what is best for their pet, then I’ve done something…but I need your help to try to educate others. Don’t fall for these manipulation tactics put out by Hill’s or Purina…think for yourself, use logic, ask questions and try not to give into the fear mongering. Please stop jumping to conclusions.

That is all.

The Cat Mommy? Maybe…

So, I went to Jackson Galaxy’s Cat Camp this weekend and, while I like my job now, I really would love to do what Jackson does. I talk to so many cat parents who just don’t understand their cats. I listened to many of the lectures and now know that I know as much as these cat behaviorists know. I may be looking at how to do this for a living, very soon. I do not want to have my own TV show, I just want to help cats and cat parents…so now I’m looking for volunteers who need my help with their cats. If you know anyone who needs help, please contact me! Free services for now! Thanks guys!

National Adoption Weekend!

Not only is it National Adoption Weekend at PetSmart, but it’s also Jackson Galaxy weekend in Las Vegas! What an exciting time to be alive!

Most of the PetSmart’s in Las Vegas will be hosting adoption events for cats and dogs this weekend. With any adoption, you get free food and an adoption book FULL of coupons! I’ll be at the Summerlin store this Saturday, with lots of samples and advice for new pet owners…and at the Rainbow and Lake Mead store on Sunday doing the same! Come on down and see me!

I’m going to the NSPCA open house on Friday to, hopefully, meet Jackson Galaxy and meet some amazing adoptable pets!

Let’s get some homeless pets adopted!!!

Dry Matter Analysis…What is it and Why Does it Matter?

Since leaving Mud Bay, I’ve noticed that very few of my coworkers know what Dry Matter Analysis is or how to calculate it. Basically, dry matter analysis is how we accurately calculate how much of any ingredient is in canned/pouched/frozen raw food.

Say your vet tells you to go find food for your pet with less than 20% fat, due to a liver issue…well, in dry food, that’s super simple but if you are feeding wet food, it can be a lot more complicated. See, when they do the guaranteed analysis on dry food, there’s only ever 10% or less moisture in the recipe…however, when they do the G.A. in wet food, there is 75 to 85% moisture in the formula, so we need to subtract that moisture, in order to figure out how much fat is actually in the formula. The G.A. may read 4% fat, which seems low, but if there is 85% moisture, there is actually 26.7% fat.

What a minute! How could I possibly know that??? Here’s the formula:

dmbequation

Confused? Okay, let’s break it down. So, you have a canned food that is 85% moisture, that means that 15% of that formula is NOT moisture. So, 100% of the formula – the moisture is 15%. Now, the G.A. lists the fat as 4%…so, the 4% divided by 15% is .26666 times that by 100, which basically sets the decimal point back by 2, and you have 26.666%.

Still confused? Don’t sweat it, it took me FOREVER to figure this out. There is a link at the beginning of this post, for a calculate you can input the values into to figure out the actual percentages. Even though I know the formula NOW, I still use the calculator all the time…because MATH.

One thing to remember is that ALL canned, pouched and raw food is going to be higher in protein and fat than any dry food, because there is more meat in almost all of it, but it is much more digestible that kibble will EVER be. So, when you are looking for food with certain levels of protein, fat or fiber, which is usually listed in the G.A., do the math…however, remember that wet food and raw food is much easier for the body to digest and get the proper nutrients from than any kibble, so if one of the vital organs is struggling to perform, the more moisture the better. Cats and dogs are carnivores and meant to eat real meat, not biscuits as a main diet. I will always encourage any wet food over any dry food…but you know that by now.