The Happy Beast - Blog - Dog Health

Change a Pet’s Life Day

Here are four ways for us to change an animal’s life for the better this year (Which will ultimately make our lives better too!)

Adopt

The motivation behind Change a Pet’s Life Day is to help animals in shelters and rescue groups find their forever homes. PetFinder.com is an awesome site that lets you search for animals by breed, size and age or you can browse through all the dogs and cats in your area. You can find puppies and kittens or older animals who already have some training. Providing a great home for an animal in need is the ultimate way to change their life!

Foster

If you’re not ready to commit to keeping an animal for the rest of his life, consider fostering! Most rescue groups are based solely in fosters homes and many shelters rely on fosters for animals who are stressed by the shelter situation. Dogs in foster homes tend to find their forever family faster than ones in shelters because they’re out and about meeting friends and neighbors! (Be warned: many foster families “fail” the process and end up adopting their foster pup! It’s a happy accident!)

Volunteer

We’ve made a friend at The Happy Beast who volunteers for the Colorado Rabbit House Society in Broomfield- a rescue devoted entirely to bunnies! She told me they are always looking for volunteers to feed the rabbits, clean the cages and to take care of daily chores. How fun would it be to spend an afternoon with a whole bunch of rabbits??

Check out volunteermatch.org to find opportunities to volunteer with animals in your area. We can put you in touch with our favorite rescue groups too!

Exercise & Train

Behavioral problems are the most common reasons given when people drop their animals off at a shelter. While most of us can’t imagine giving up our pets, providing them with a balanced and active home can make sure we’re never faced with that dilemma! Make sure your pets get plenty of mental and physical exercise. Play with your cats and give them a variety of toys. Walk your dog, take him on hikes and teach him new tricks.

Alright, now get out there and change some lives!

Raw Green Tripe – Our Latest and Greatest Super Food!

Whenever I find a new health food, I want to know how it benefits me and how it’ll benefit my dog. A lot of the time, my dog and I indulge in the same health foods (like fish oil, chia seeds, and apple cider vinegar.) Right now, I’m super excited about raw green tripe, but it’s one super food that I’ll let my dog have all to herself!

Tripe is the stomach of ruminant (grazing) animals including sheep, bison, cows and venison. To get the benefits of tripe, you need the RAW GREEN stuff! (Not the bleached tripe found in grocery stores. That kind has been stripped of its color, smell and nutrients.)

Tripe has a lot to offer, but it’s one of the stinkiest foods I’ve found. I have to hold my breath when I serve it up to my dog, and she thinks it’s delicious!

The benefits of feeding green tripe include:

  • improved digestion
  • healthier skin & coat
  • improved immunity
  • healthier teeth and gums
  • rejuvenation for senior dogs
  • aids in transitioning to a new diet
  • entices picky dogs or dogs who’ve lost their appetite to eat

How does tripe provide all this goodness? Raw green tripe contains significant levels of digestive enzymes, amino acids and lactobacillus acidophilus. Let’s take a look at each:

Digestive enzymes help break down food into nutrients for the body to absorb.

  • Who needs them most? Dogs with pancreatitis, food allergies, older dogs, dogs who eat poo.

Amino acids are the building blocks of healthy muscles, organs and skin cells. Supplying complete amino acids in the diet rejuvenates the body.

  • Who needs them most? All dogs! Particularly, older animals, athletic dogs and growing puppies.

Lactobacillus acidophilus is a probiotic- one of the healthy bacteria that facilitate digestion in the intestines. Adding probiotics to the system works to “flood-out” bad bacteria from the digestive tract

  • Who needs it most? Dogs who have recently been on antibiotics, or have a weak or compromised immune system.

Want to see how tripe benefits your dog? We all feed our animals a little tripe, so we can help you find the best one for yours! At The Happy Beast, we carry green tripe in cans, freeze-dried or raw. K9 Natural’s raw and freeze-dried lamb tripe is easy to store (either in the freezer or in the cupboar.) Some dogs prefer the texture and smell of canned tripe. Tripett’s offers canned tripe from venison, beef, lamb and bison.

Product Review: Steve’s Raw Goat Milk Yogurt

My poor dog was up all night, and poor me, I was up all night too…cleaning up her vomit. Dogs occasionally get stomach aches, just like we do. Pi is a healthy, raw-fed dog, so her digestive system is pretty solid, but even she isn’t immune to the effects of the neighbor kids feeding her brownies through the fence.

I’ve long been a proponent of using raw goat milk as a supplement for dogs and cats and I’ve seen it work wonders in animals suffering from cancer, diabetes, allergies and digestive illnesses. Steve’s Real Food just released their Raw Goat Milk Yogurt, so I was eager to try it on Pi’s upset tummy.

Steve’s Raw Goat Milk Yogurt has just three (AMAZING) ingredients:

  1. Raw Goat Milk- Full of probiotics and digestive enzymes (i.e. digestive aids and upset-tummy soothers)
  2. Chia Seed- Superfood that absorbs toxins from the large intestine. Also, awesome source of magnesium and phosphorus
  3. Coconut Flour- Believed to be antiviral, antibiotic and anti-parasitic

Goat Milk acts as a complete diet for dogs (remember unpasteurized milk is the first thing infants eat!)  It’s super gentle on their stomachs and is helps keep them hydrated.  For the first 24 hours after Pi’s puke-y night, I just fed her Steve’s Raw Goat Milk Yogurt. Those probiotics got to work, and she quickly made a full recovery back to her wild self.  Hooray!

The yogurt comes in a convenient, resealable, absolutely mess-free container (available in 4oz. or 16oz.) And you can serve it to your dog daily, as a treat, or just when his digestive or immune system needs a boost.  Cats love it too!

And of course, being a crazy dog-mom, I had to try a spoonful of the yogurt too. It’s tangy, smooth and pretty delicious!

Eat Well my Happy Beasts!

3 Super Simple New Year’s Resolutions for You and Your Dog

Sticking to resolutions can be hard, but everything’s easier with a buddy. This year, let’s make New Year’s resolutions for you and your dog! Here are three easy ideas for you and your pup to do together.

  1. Exercise
    You don’t have to join a gym or start training for a marathon. To get started, take your dog for a walk around the block. Getting out for a ten minute walk promotes healthy blood flow, allows you to soak up Vitamin D from the sun and helps boost your mood, altogether protecting his you from stress and disease. Your dog will benefit from the mental stimulation provided by the ever-changing smells in the environment and the relationship-building power of leashed walking. (Read more here!)
  2. Eat Fresh Food
    YOU: Grab a salad for lunch or replace your afternoon sugar snack with an apple.YOUR DOG: Add a little life to your dog’s food! Dogs fed mostly kibble miss out on all the awesome nutrients and enzymes found in fresh foods. Adding a dehydrated food like Sojos or The Honest Kitchen is an easy way to provide the benefits of home cooking without having to do all the work.
  3. Take a Fish Oil Supplement
    Omega 3s reduce inflammation, joint pain and promote healthy skin, fur and hair! This one’s easy. Keep your dog’s fish oil next to yours, and when you take two, he takes one (or two if he’s a big guy.) I’ve been giving my dog the awesome Omega 3 supplement from InClover called Glow. She LOVES these little treats, and reminds me to give her one every day.

Happy New Year’s to all you happy beasts and good luck with those resolutions!

Warming Foods for Winter

So…winter finally showed up this morning in Lafayette. It’s dropped below freezing and all we want to do is eat a spicy bowl of chili. In the winter months, we tend to center our meal plan on soups, stews, tea and roasts. Why? Warm, hearty foods help starve off the cold! In studying Chinese medicine, we find that certain “warming foods” have a positive effect on the body.

You can take advantage of this to help your dog stay warm this winter too! Older dogs, small dogs, and ones with short hair or arthritis and joint pain may benefit from warming foods. Most pet food companies offer a few  recipes that can be fed in rotation, allowing your dog to easily transition to a different food. (Read our Happy Beast transition tips here!)

For the next few months, choose a diet based with a warming protein like venison, lamb, chicken or turkey.

(And, be sure to spend extra time cuddling your pup by the fireplace!)