Glyphosate and Your Pet: Another Reason To Go Organic

You Guys,

Crepes in the woods

Down with herbicides!

 

Being a family of organic urban gardeners here, MomFOD has been on the alert for this nonsense called “Glyphosate” finding its way into her garden. It has now been brought to her attention that it is also getting into pet foods and, when mixed with certain other ingredients (think preservatives) in the pet foods, it may be causing major issues for pet health. Here’s the lowdown:

What is it: Glyphosate is a chemical manufactured by Monsanto and marketed as “RoundUp,” an herbicide or week killer. Monsanto is also genetically modifying crops to be more glyphosate tolerant or “Roundup-Ready” so they don’t get murdered by the herbicide as they’re doused in it. It is the world’s most widely used herbicide and a suspected carcinogen, meaning it may cause cancer in people and other mammals.

Where do we find it? Pretty much everywhere, particularly in GMO corn and soybean crops. It might also be in your garage and possibly in your pet food. Several common pet foods tested positive for the presence of glyphosate (see article linked below.)

Why is it bad? In a recent article by TruthAboutPetFood.com (I highly recommend this site if you don’t already follow it), a pair of doctors suggests that any glyphosate remaining in pet food may be a serious health risk to pets. In addition to being a possible carcinogen, GMO foods may be linked to IBD, allergies, and skin and organ problems. Worse yet, the presence of glyphosate, when mixed with sodium nitrate (a common pet food preservative) can be deadly to animals. All the details and links to studies can be found in the article cited above.

Scary, isn’t it?  Always read labels on your pet food and, whenever possible, go organic. I know it’s more expensive, but if you have a pet that’s at particular risk for IBD or other illnesses, it may save you a lot of heartache and vet bills in the long run.

For more information on Glyphosate in general, visit:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/04/150422-glyphosate-roundup-herbicide-weeds/

Live long and stay healthy. Knowledge is power.

Love,

Crepes.

 

Nature’s Variety Instinct® Raw: My #InstinctRaw Experience, Your Coupon

This post is sponsored by Instinct® and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Instinct Raw but CatInTheFridge.com only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Instinct is not responsible for the content of this article.

Me and the product. I feel like I could really nail being their new model.

Me and the product. I feel like I could really nail being their new model.

Dear Readers,

Many of you may know by now that my FODs keep me on a raw food diet. Sometimes I grumble, sometimes I find a food that pleases my delicate palate. In either case, the FODs are pretty set on raw food for a variety of reasons. For instance, did you know that when I was adopted I was super sick with upper respiratory infections and herpes outbreaks? The doctors said I’d never breathe normally again. MomFOD put me on a raw diet and within two weeks, I was looking good! I mean, I always looked good. Great, really, but the raw definitely put me over the edge and those stump modeling contracts really began pouring in But, I digress.

This is from my "Sexy Raw" photo shoot.

This is from my “Sexy Raw modeling photo shoot.

Ponder this: can cats in the wild cook their dinner? Have you ever seen a wild animal constructing a fire of twigs and tinder bundles so they can delicately sear their recently snared vole? You haven’t? That’s because they don’t. Raw diets are what nature had in mind for cats and we felines have all the right digestive enzymes for being able to eat raw. We are also obligate carnivores meaning we MUST eat meat. Therefore, when one of our favorite food brands approached us and asked us to share our experience with our readers, we were all for it! So, without further ado, please have a look at:

 

Nature’s Variety Instinct® Raw Bites

::Cue exciting music::

Nevermind. Nature’s Variety didn’t send us any music. They did send us this fabulous picture though:

The bites in action. Or inaction. Whatever. This is what they look like.

The bites in action. Or inaction. Whatever. This is what they look like.

So, let’s look at this scientifically, shall we?

Let's do this.

Let’s do this.

What is it:

Instinct Raw is made of 95% meat, organs, and bones, 5% fruits and vegetables, and 0% grain. It’s made in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.

The Hypothesis:

I volunteered to try Instinct Raw Bites because I’ve already tried it and know it’s delicious. We believe that raw is the way to go for most cats and we hypothesize that we will eat and enjoy this food.

Oh, what's this? Could this be for me?

Oh, what’s this? Could this be for me?

The Test:

Four out of five cats were used as testers on the rabbit and chicken flavors. The dog also eats this food but she’s away on holiday at the GrandFODs’ place. Since we already eat raw, we did not have to transition slowly and ate is all by itself.  The bites are cool because they are really quick to thaw and, since MomFOD often forgets to plan ahead, it only takes a few minutes before we can chow down.

I didn't trust this cat. I think he was there to take my food.

I had to whip my head around because I didn’t trust this cat. I think he was there to take my food.

The Conclusion:

It was delicious. Four out of four testers ate the food.

Four out of four testers enjoyed the Raw Bites.

Four out of four testers enjoyed the instinct Raw Bites.

 The Benefits of A Raw Food Diet:

Some of the most-oft cited benefits of feeding raw (and those we’ve noticed here) are:

  • Healthy skin and coat
  • Optimal Digestion
  • Healthy teeth and gums
  • Relief from food sensitivities
  • Ideal Body Weight

I’d also like to add:

  • Poop smells better
  • Anal gland expression issues in dog have resolved (thank goodness)

Tips:

  1. If your cat has never tried raw before, start slowly with small amounts to make the transition. Many raw companies advocate mixing your cat’s current diet with some raw. This can work for some, though in our house, some of the more sensitive stomachs are unable to handle raw and cooked at the same time. You know your cat’s stomach. Choose wisely.
  2. In addition, we often get tired of the same protein source, so it’s helpful to rotate to make sure we’re getting as much nutrition as possible and don’t snub the food.
  3. Raw doesn’t have a strong smell, so if your pet doesn’t like it right away, keep trying! Sprinkle hated the idea of raw the first few times and her tummy got a bit grumbly. We stopped trying to give it to her and a week later, she was stealing Louie’s (and my) raw food all on her own.
Raw matches Sprinkle's digestive tract and her eyes.

Raw pairs well with Sprinkle’s digestive tract and her eyes.

Where to find it:

While we only used to be able to find our raw food in Chicago health food stores, we are now able to find it at PetSmart! Please be aware, though, that it’s not in ALL PetSmart stores yet and was only in 50% of the two we visited. In addition, the cat variety was hidden in the dog section way up on the top. You may have to ask. Here’s what the display looks like:

instinct petsmart

I circled the cat section for you way up there past the dogs.

 

Try It:

Now then! If our experience has made you curious, Instinct is kindly offering a $3 off coupon on their website, which you can use towards a trial size or a larger bag. Larger bags tend to be more cost effective, and we hope that they come up with a “We have five cats” size bag soon.

Safety concerns:

Those are addressed here! We make sure to keep our bowls and hands clean, and haven’t had any problems! For more info, visit: http://www.instinctpetfood.com/quality-and-safety

You can also discuss on their Facebook page.

That’s it! We are really pleased to have participated in this campaign because we feel diet is THE MOST IMPORTANT HEALTH ASPECT of pet care. We always advocate using species-appropriate, healthy foods to keep your pets healthy and we are huge advocates of the raw diet and have been for years.

What do you think of raw? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Let’s discuss!

Love,

Crepes.

A Probiotic Approach to Treating Kidney Problems and CRF in Cats

Alana here today.

As you know, when something medical occurs at our home, we tend to write about it in order to share our experience. Recently, my eldest kitty Niles went in for his yearly checkup. At the age of fifteen and a half, he had been suffering from occasional vomiting and some weight loss, as well as elevated stomach acid that seemed to be causing nausea.

Niles, at age fifteen and a half.

Niles looking cool.

His blood test results showed elevated levels of creatinine and, though not out of normal range, these levels were indeed higher than last year by a quite a bit. These signs all point to chronic renal failure, also known as CRF. Our doctor suggested a recheck in three weeks and, in the meantime, he was to get started on a probiotic supplement that was entirely new to us. Here is what we found out:

What is it: Azodyl, a patented probiotic supplement that claims to offer enteric dialysis, meaning it helps clean the blood of toxic buildup from the inside using beneficial bacteria that are supposed to aid in kidney function. It is not classified as a drug and does not require a prescription.

AdobePhotoshopExpress_2015_04_29_08_26_53

How do you use it: Your veterinarian can help you figure out the dosing for your particular animal. The instructions say that you should not crush it and must give the pill as a whole, but our veterinarian recommended opening the capsule and mixing it into food. Another source online written by a DVM suggested the same thing since the capsules are a bit large for cats and they’re unlikely to swallow them whole. Dogs may be able to take them more easily if hidden in a bit of food.

Cost: Azodyl is a bit pricy. A 90-pill supply can run about $90 or more. You can purchase it online, but it’s recommended to be cold-shipped because the pills must remain chilled, so that may add $25 to $30 to your purchase price.

Our Experience: I decided to wait a few weeks to see how this went for Niles. After three weeks of use, his kidney levels tested lower by .4, (down from 2.4) which the doctor said was excellent. Since then, I have discontinued daily use and am only administering it a few times a week, sometimes only once. If it works as other probiotics do, less frequent use should still replenish the effects. (This isn’t my doctor’s suggestion, but my own.) Niles has had a much greater appetite lately and is drinking far less water, but I have also decreased his dry food and increased his wet food, which could contribute to his water habits. I have also increased his feeding times to more frequent, smaller meals. His vomiting has subsided by 99% and his behavior and energy levels are back to normal.

We’re not positive if the product definitely helped, but the results we saw were positive. The reviews we’ve read online seem to point to a high number of satisfied users, so we wanted to share this information with others in case it may help your own pet.

Have you tried Azodyl? Any thoughts?

Sincerely,

Alana.

 

Further Reading:

A Preliminary Clinical Evaluation of Kibow Biotics, a Probiotic Agent, on Feline Azotemia – Keep in mind, this article uses a small sample size and appears on the Kibow Biotics site. It’s unclear if it was sponsored by Kibow Biotics.

Info on Azodyl from FelineCRF.org

 

**Disclaimer: This is not a paid review. This is a product that we used ourselves for a medical purpose and wanted to share our story with you. No money or goods were exchanged for this article. If you plan to try it, please consult your veterinarian first. **