The thought of feeding a pet raw food can quite frankly, freak people out. The funny part is, it is the most natural way to feed a dog, kibble is actually unnatural. Now don’t get me wrong. I am by no means saying don’t feed your dog kibble, it is a necessary convenience for a huge percentage of pet owners.
So why feed raw? Its simply nutrition the way nature intended. Dogs are carnivores. Grain free foods have become more and more popular due to food allergies so many dogs are showing these days. It just isn’t in their natural diet to have so many of the carbohydrates that are in dry kibble. These grains can cause many skin problems, itchy feet, ears, etc.. often removing these these grains can relieve these symptoms.
What about when it doesn’t seem to work? Nothing is more beneficial than taking a dog back to the diet they were designed to eat. A raw frozen diet is a diet rich in meat, poultry and fish and free of grains, fillers, by-products and synthetic vitamins & minerals. The benefits that come with feeding raw are endless! Shinier, healthier coat, less shedding, cleaner teeth and better breath, improvement with allergy symptoms, slow down, arthritis relief, increased energy, smaller, firmer stools.
We have a 12 year old shi-poo that has hip dysphasia in one hip, has battled ear infections since she was a pup & hands down the worst teeth on the planet. I know, we hit jackpot with her! We started her and our lab Mo-cho on raw a year ago. Phoebe’s ears are doing fantastic, she climbs stairs now, runs around like a 5-year old and her teeth are 3 shades lighter. I tell everyone, “they are like watching two science projects in front of our eyes!” One of the best parts of feeding raw??? The better the food you put in, the more is absorbed by the body and the less there is to pick up!!
A raw diet is not only for an animal with problems but is a great way to feed your dog to avoid any issues and keep your pet healthy and happy. Here at Furry Fanatics we carry Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen Diet in bites, medallions & patties. A variety of protein choices, raw frozen bones, even freeze dried raw treats! Stop in for a visit if you would like to see or learn more about a raw diet!
Owner – Furry Fanatics
February Classesat K9-5 Doggie Daycare:
• Prepare for the Canine Good Citizen
- Clinic Thursday Feb 21 5:30-6:30 $15.
- Clinic Thursday Feb 28 5:30-6:30 $15
• CGC test will be given the first week of March
• First Aid for Pets
- Learn basic first aid for your companion animal.
- Well behaved dogs welcome to join the class.
• Saturday Feb 16 9:00-11:00 $40.
• Monday Feb 25 5:30-7:30 $40
• Reserve a spot in the March Puppy Kindergarten class
• Learn more about the Therapy Dog International Tail Waggin Tutors
program. Our dogs will be participating in the Children’s Reading
Program at the Coastal Branch of the Walton County Library
Feb 21 3:30-5:00
By Dr. Tonia Shatzel February 2013
Going to the vet can be intimidating: there’s so much to consider, not just about your pet, but also about what’s right for your family budget. After practicing for fifteen years, I’ve seen people make some very difficult choices, but the comfort they received from me was in knowing we had explored and considered every possible option and outcome. Below are some tips for working with your veterinarian to be sure the decisions you make regarding your pet are the right ones for both your pet and your family.
1. Jot down notes before you come to the vet.
If your pet is sick, try to re-create a timeline of odd things you’ve noticed, even before you realized there was a problem. Don’t ever be shy about spilling everything that comes to mind. You know your baby better than anyone, and listening to clients is the most important thing that any vet can do. Remember, your vet is trying to work with you to solve a mystery, so even if your hypothesis is not correct regarding why your pet is ill, it still may spark an idea or help lead your vet down the right path.
2. Ask the veterinarian what they would do if it were their pet.
Most vets will not offer this tidbit unless asked for it, for the obvious reason that you don’t want to pressure a client into doing something that doesn’t make sense for them. However, it’s a terrific way to know what someone who understands every possible outcome would do. Even if you don’t follow their path, at least you have that information.
3. Ask for an estimate before doing any tests.
You already know you’re paying for an office visit/exam, but you should try to get a good idea where everything might be headed before you dive in. Once some tests have been run, and a diagnosis is made, you may need to ask for a new estimate. (Be sure the new estimate includes the work already done so you can get a “big picture” of the entire process.)
4. Ask the veterinarian what each test is for, and why they’ve asked to run it.
The veterinarian can then walk you down his/her thought process. If you don’t agree with something, don’t be afraid to ask more questions. Vets are here for you and your pet, and our goal is to help you make good decisions. The only way you can know if you’re making a good decision is by gathering as much information as you can from the vet and staff!
5. Ask the vet if there are any other options or approaches.
Often there’s more than one way to approach a problem. The vet may have their favorite way, but you can also ask them if there’s a more creative or different way to approach something if the estimate doesn’t fit your budget. Other ways may not be ideal, but in a non-emergency situation, they may be worth a try.
6. Be understanding.
Your veterinarian does not have a crystal ball. No two cases are the same, and when I give estimates, I try to give a range, based on previous cases. For example: Exploratory surgeries can be short and sweet, or take hours with a severely complicated and expensive recovery, or perhaps no recovery at all. There’s no way to predict exactly what you will find when opening up a patient’s abdomen… that’s why they are called “exploratory.” Make sure you are comfortable with paying anything within the range presented to you at the time of admitting your pet to the hospital. If you’re not, then tell the vet just exactly what you are interested in doing so everyone is on the same page.
7. Finally, believe in yourself!
There is only one person in the universe who knows what the right choice is for both your pet and your family. If you are not comfortable with where something seems to be going, speak up and stop the process! Even if your decision is not what the vet and staff are expecting, they will understand and should support your choice. Ultimately, the vet’s job is to be an advocate for your pet, and to advise and educate you. After that, the ultimate decision is yours!
By Monica Loveall February 2013
Ask most people in Florida, what the most annoying insect is, and I bet the answer would be mosquito. I have a different answer… it is the flea. They are the sneaky little creatures plaguing your furry friends. We don’t even get a break in the winter. They seem to live everywhere here.
Whenever you or your dog happen to leave the house, the risk of flea exposure is great. Walking into the groom shop, the dog park, or just walking around the block, you’re at risk. We even bring them in the house on our shoes sometimes. They are very sneaky.
I am sure your grandmother said “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When dealing with fleas that is the best advice. One female flea can infest a whole house just by laying eggs. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 5000 eggs in a lifetime. Half of those probably being female as well, so imagine the numbers. They also can carry disease and parasites such as tapeworm.
The best prevention is the once a month flea treatment. We recommend Trifexis for dogs or the Comfortis. We are hearing good things about each product’s success, and they have been effective for our dogs. However, some dogs could have a reaction, so be sure to talk with your veterinarian to decide which treatment is best for your pet. There are also the once a month drops like Frontline or Advantix. These products start killing fleas quickly and breaking up the lifecycle.
The question now is, “what do I do if my dog already has fleas?” Don’t panic, we can fix this. Dapper Dogs uses an all natural flea shampoo that has been very successful at killing the fleas on dogs, and while your dog is at the spa… take this time to treat the house. Take all the dogs bedding and yours (if he gsets in the bed), wash it in hot water and run it through the dryer. You can always use a chemical flea bomb from the hardware store. There are more natural methods that work well, too. Food-grade diatomaceous earth is natural and a safer flea killer. Just sprinkle it on the carpet and around the dog bed… and fleas die. Furry Fanatics is the place to get it.
And there are other options. Baking soda smothers fleas and is also safe. Some people use salt or a combination of salt and baking soda. The smell of cedar in the dogs area helps keep them away and rosemary steeped in hot water, cooled down and poured on the dog can also help. If you have a small puppy or kitten you can wash them in Dawn dishwashing soap which can help get rid of fleas. For help or more information, give us a call with any questions or concerns that you may have about fleas.
How can it be that another year has flown by and we are heading into our third year?!? As I look back on this year and look forward to the next, I have to take a moment and thank each and every one of you for making Furry Fanatics a success.
When we set out to open the store, never in a million years would I have thought it would be as fulfilling as it has turned out to be. I can honestly say, I love coming to work every day. It has been a learning experience beyond words and the people I’ve met in the animal community have, without a doubt, the biggest hearts in the world.
This year we’ve had the pleasure of returning a fantastic dog back to their owner after being lost for a weekend, helped to find forever homes for a few displaced animals & most recently, been lucky enough to help foster a beautiful senior lab that was pulled for BCAC after loosing her family and fellow siblings.
Thanks to the miracle of Facebook, she was re-adopted by her original foster family that took her in when she was a pup, rehabilitated her & found her a home. She is now back with people that love her and a buddy to play non stop with. That was an experience I will not soon forget and feel very lucky to have been a part of!
We look forward to the next chapters in the New Year, the launch of our online store, new Dogs of 30A gear & some exciting adoption events, to mention a few. If you haven’t “liked” our Facebook page, be sure to do so to keep up with new products, events and information about the store.
Have a wonderful Holiday Season, we look forward to seeing you in the New Year!!
Owner – Furry Fanatics
By Dr. Tonia Shatzel December 2012
There’s really no such thing as “winter” on 30A. Ectoparasites (fleas and ticks) are active in this neighborhood year-round, and therefore require more attention from us than people who live in, say, Kalamazoo, Michigan (poor souls!). I say embrace the trade-off, use the powerful treatments available to you, and don’t even think about moving to Kalamazoo!
Fleas are not terribly dangerous (they can lead to tapeworm infections since they are the host), but ticks can be deadly, carrying such diseases to you and your pets as Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Ehrlichiosis. These diseases can be deadly, difficult to diagnose, and expensive to treat, and are much better prevented than trying to cure after infection.
Let’s talk about dogs: First, just to make it easy, I’ll tell you what I use on my dog, keeping in mind that not every product works for every pet. I use TRIFEXIS, a prescription product that prevents heartworms, fleas and intestinal parasites, year-round (If you already have plenty of heartworm prevention, just add COMFORTIS, it’s the active ingredient from Trifexis that kills fleas.) I do not skip using the product in “winter” because the flea life-cycle takes place INSIDE THE HOUSE, in your couch, throw rugs, carpet, baseboards and under your bed! The first flea may come from outside, but once it gets into your climate-controlled house, it’s as snug as a bug in a rug! One pregnant flea can lay 2000 eggs in your carpet which will hatch in just a couple of weeks. You can see why prevention is easier than treating a problem once it starts.
For ticks on DOGS, I add Frontline, Advantix, or use a Preventick collar. All three are available without a prescription, although I always
recommend going through your vet so you have some recourse if the product isn’t working for you or there is a problem.
Now, let’s talk about CATS. They are far more sensitive, so there are fewer safe products out there for them. I like REVOLUTION once a month to prevent fleas, heartworms and intestinal worms. Then, if ticks are a problem, I will add FRONTLINE. There are products out there for dogs that will kill cats dead in hours, so please, please, PLEASE read the instructions thoroughly before using them on your cat!
One last tip: all of your pets should receive a monthly flea prevention every month year round forever and ever to prevent you from getting a flea problem in your house. If you are seeing fleas, they are in your house, and I recommend treating your home with Diatomaceous Earth every 6-12 months. Cheap and completely natural and safe, although it won’t knock down fleas immediately, it does work over the long haul and you will notice fewer and fewer fleas over the next few weeks. (It only works when dry, however, so don’t bother using it outside)
Keep in mind that not all products work for all pets, and that we do sometimes see resistance to certain products over time in the flea and tick population. Also, some can have side effects, so if you see any problems while your pet is on these products (very rare, but possible), then stop the product and work with your vet to find a product that is safe and effective for your pet.
Finally, and this is the saddest part I see as a veterinarian, there are TONS of products available at feed stores and mega pet stores that are not the real thing! The products I mentioned above, or whatever your vet recommends are the products I would stick with. I’ve seen some incredibly sick cats from products picked up at pet mega marts, and people wasting large amounts of money on products that “look” like Frontline, etc, but are old-fashioned, ineffective and, in my opinion false advertising! The products I’ve mentioned above are worth every penny and will save you money and problems down the road!
Dr. Tonia Shatzel has a part-time non-emergency mobile service serving the SoWal region, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. She also provides dog photography services, and is the author/photographer of “The Dogs of 30A”.
The holidays are a perfect time for you and your dog to enjoy nice long walks. As you hum along to “just hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring ting tingling too, come on it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you,” you grab Fido’s leash and immediately envision a walk around the neighborhood reminiscent of a Currier & Ives holiday scene, greeting neighbors as you soak up the holiday spirit.
However, before the door closes behind you, Fido starts humming “Giddy yap, giddy yap, giddy yap, let’s go, let’s look at the show”… and suddenly all hopes of a leisurely winter wonderland dog walk immediately end.
But wait, “it’s grand just holding the hand” of the new Softtouch Concepts’ front hook harness, designed to help make your walks stress-free. The no-pull harness helps solve choking, pulling, lunging, jumping and other on leash problems. These harnesses are perfect for shy, nervous and fearful dogs.
The revolutionary design greatly increases communication between you and your dog, resulting in pleasant time spent with Fido. You’ll both be singing “let’s take that road before us and sing a chorus or two, come on it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you”! And if “there’s a birthday party at the home of Farmer Gray” over the holidays, or if Fido and the hustle and bustle of the season have your days filled to capacity and you need some time without him to celebrate with friends or finish your Christmas shopping, make your appointment today at K9-5 Doggie Daycare by calling 850-376-4190.
By treating yourself and Fido to a play day you’ll experience that “happy feeling nothing in this world can buy” and you’ll both be singing “these wonderful things are the things we remember all through our life!” later that evening as you “snuggle close together like two birds of a feather would be!”
Happy Holidays from K9-5 Doggie Daycare!
This is an oldie from the net, but there is some truth, so for fun…
The Top Ten Reasons Your Dog’s Haircut Costs More.
10. Your hairdresser doesn’t wash and clean your rear end
9. You don’t go for 8 weeks without washing or brushing your hair
8. Your hairdresser doesn’t give you a sanitary trim
7. Your hairdresser doesn’t have to clean your ears
6. Your hairdresser doesn’t have to clean boogies from your eyes
5. You sit still for your hairdresser
4. Your haircut doesn’t include a manicure or pedicure
3. Your hairdresser only washes and cut’s the hair on your head
2. You don’t BITE or SCRATCH your hairdresser (at least I hope not!)
And the NUMBER ONE reason your dog’s hair cut costs more than yours….
1. The likelihood of you pooping or peeing while your hair is being cut is extremely slim.
Happy Holidays and the best of the New Year!
You do everything you can for your beloved pet: you visit your vet regularly for checkups, keep him up to date on heartworm and flea prevention, you buy him the finest food, socialize him at the dog park, keep him stimulated with new treats and toys, and take him new and interesting places every chance you get.
But are you killing him with kindness?
New research says that 55% of dogs and 54% of cats in the U.S. are obese or overweight according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.
Just as with humans, being overweight can send your pet to an early grave. As a veterinarian, I’ve witnessed small dogs, such as Pomeranians and Pugs, die far before their time because they were so overweight that otherwise manageable breathing issues became unmanageable due to not being able to expand their lungs properly and catch their breath. I’ve seen middle-aged cats die of diabetes, and I’ve been forced to euthanize large-breed dogs, such as Labradors far before their time for no other reason than arthritis simply because they could no longer get up off the floor. And, just like us, being overweight predisposes our pets to certain types of cancer.
It’s heartbreaking to see beloved pets die before their time due to completely preventable problems that are no fault of their own. The reason pets are overweight is the exact same reason as us: consuming more calories than they burn.
So what can you do?
First, find out if your pet needs to lose weight. Most (not all) pets are at their optimal weight at about a year old, so if you know that number, it can give you a general goal. Next, work with your vet to see if your pet is overweight, or use a body condition scoring system, such as this one from Ohio State Veterinary School. All pets should be a “3” out of 5 using this type of system.
Next, weigh your pet regularly (you can use the new scale at Furry Fanatics, and they will even keep track of your pet’s weight each time you come in so you can see your pet’s progress!)
Nothing will make you say OHHHH NOOOOO quicker than spotting a stray, lost animal and knowing you have now been given the challenging task of finding their family. This month was our turn (again) to try and find the owner of a sweet, sweet boxer that was found at a local restaurant. Fortunately, as much as I enjoyed (LOVED!!!!!) my weekend with her, this story has a happy ending and she was returned to her owner a few days after she was found, both owner and dog ecstatic to find one another.
There are always circumstances where the tag or collar is not present and that’s understandable. Maybe it broke off while they were on the run or Fido decided to bolt right after a bath before the collar was put back on. There is one thing we can all do for our pets to ensure being identified and that is to microchip them. It may sound all sci-fi-ish but it can really make a difference in reuniting a pet with their family much quicker. It is a painless process where a microchip is inserted below the skin at the back of the neck between the shoulder blades. No anesthetic is required. An enrollment form is completed with chip ID, owner contact information, pet name and description, shelter and/or veterinarian and an emergency contact designated by the pet owner. The form is sent to a registry & for a small fee, the registry typically provides 24 hour, toll-free telephone service for the life of the pet. If you have found a pet and would like to check to see if the animal has a microchip, most veterinarians and local shelters will have a scanner they can run over the animal to see if a chip is detected. Animal control will even send someone out with a scanner if you are unable to get somewhere that would have one and bing, bang, boom- you know who to contact!!
I always tell my customers that I believe every animal should be microchiped but that doesn’t mean you can forego a tag on the collar. Inevitably, like in our case this month, the dog decides to be lost & found on the weekend when no vet is open in the area! If the dog has the extra security of having that tag on their collar, you can instantly get in contact with the owners and cut down on the stress being felt by all involved! Plus, your pet has a lovely piece of jewelry to complete their look! Red Dingo make a fantastic tag, very durable and comes in many different sizes, patterns & colors. All you need to do is fill a form out, we fax it off & in a few short days you have a beautiful new tag in your mailbox.
We are currently working with Tonia Shatzel, DVM to plan a microchip day here at Furry Fanatics, an idea she recently came up with that I think is wonderful. Our Furry Fanatics Facebook page is a great spot to keep up with all of the happenings going on, so if you’re not a friend yet, be sure to go over to our page and like us or sign up for our email list on our website at furry-fanatics.com. As soon as we pick the chip date, we’ll put it up on Facebook as well as shoot an email out.
Another event coming up, we are so excited about, is our first adoption day with H.E.A.R.T. Animal Rescue on Saturday, November 17. When this group of people comes around, you know there is going to be some fun happening so you don’t want to miss it. They are a fantastic bunch of people that have been involved in animal rescue/foster/adoption/volunteering, you name it for quite a while. Please check them out at www.heartanimalrescue.com or on their Facebook page H.E.A.R.T Animal Rescue Inc. to learn about the wonderful work they do.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Fall, a safe Halloween & Happy Thanksgiving! We’ll see you again in December!
Owner of Furry Fanatics