Welcome to Amy’s Animals Family! ☆

Logo 2Hello!  We’re Amy & Rich Fiumarelli, and we would like to welcome you to our Amy’s Animals family, where we really care about the health of your pet.  We work hard to make sure that we can provide you with everything you need to keep your pet in tip top shape!  I’m not only talking about the products we sell.  AmyI’m talking about the information we can share with you about any new research findings, medical or wellness tips, or other tidbits that we’ve picked up in the 20 years I’ve been in the pet industry.  All the information we provide is based on proven, factual research and also on anecdotal evidence.  We have a passion for helping you learn everything you ever wondered about regarding your pet. 

Check out our facebook page, Amy’s Animals Holistic Nutrition Center, our website, Amy’s Pet Nutrition Center, and my blog, Amy’s Animals Holistic Canine & Feline Nutrition Center for plenty of great information and some fun pet articles!  Also, sign-up to receive our email news..keep in the know, by being part of the Amy’s Animals Family. Join our Furry Followers and have a picture of your pet posted on our website!  You’ll also meet our little pack.  Clyde, our boxer, his chi-bee brothers Ollie, Ernie & Tyler and sister Ellie Crumbles.  Be sure to check us out regularly.  There is always something happening at Amy’s Animals!

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Dogs…Wolves that live in your house! ☆

Logo 2Dogs are not far removed from their wild ancestors. They share 99% of their mitochondrial DNA with the wolf. Some people argue that domestication has changed their physiology enough that they are now not made to eat the same diet as that of the wolf.

Evolutionary changes in species take hundreds of graywolfthousands of years, if not longer. Studies of remains found in caves throughout the world have shown that the oldest traces of dogs were approximately 30,000 years ago. Even with the studies of those remains it is not known exactly what part the dog played in the interaction with humans. Were they companions? Were they simply scavengers? Or were they used as a food source themselves? One thing we do know is that upon examination of the domestic dog today, science has concluded that the domestic dog’s nutritional needs are the same as that of the wolf. A high meat protein, low carbohydrate diet is the ideal diet for most dogs. By feeding a diet that more closely resembles a dog’s natural diet you will notice many improvements in your dog such as, less shedding, shinier coat, cleaner teeth, less “doggie” smell and best of all, less poop!

I advise people to feed the best food you can afford. By spending more on your dog’s food, you will have a much healthier dog. You will also lessen the chances of your dog developing some of the diet related health issues such as, skin conditions, hot spots & obesity to name a few.

dogs evolutionAll inclusive frozen raw meat diets make it very easy to feed your dog the best nutritionally packed meal as possible. Grain free dehydrated and grain free kibbled diets are also great choices. For small dogs, grain free dehydrated or grain free canned foods are affordable and convenient.

If you are going to choose a dry kibble or canned diet be sure to read the ingredients list. The first couple of ingredients on the list should be meat. Wheat, Corn & Soy should be avoided. No high quality dog food contains these grains. Artificial colors, flavors & preservatives should also be avoided. In the pet food market you truly do get what you pay for. Meat is much more expensive than grain, so a higher meat protein dog food will cost more than a poor quality grain based food. But remember, the higher the quality food, the healthier your dog is going to be!

The same rules apply to the treats you give to your dog. Read the ingredients. Avoid any brightly colored treats. Avoid any treats that look like Play-Doh! These treats are FILLED with chemicals that contribute to poor health. Choose meat based treats whenever possible. You can also use frozen or fresh vegetables and fruits such as:  Green beans, broccoli florets, Asparagus spears, baby carrots, peas, blueberries, raspberries, all make great all natural healthy treats. Meat that is cut into little cubes, frozen individually on a cookie sheet and stored in a bag in the freezer also make great treats. Dogs love them!! Just make sure to size them appropriately for your dog.

This is a list of some of the ingredients to AVOID when shopping for food and treats:   meat & bone meal, sugar, chicken by products or meal, sorbitol, corn syrup,  poultry by products or meal, meat by products or meal, beef & bone meal, peanut hulls soybean mill run, wheat middlings, bha or, wheat, hydrochloric acid, ethoxyquin, ground yellow corn, corn gluten meal chicken liver digest corn meal, wheat gluten, soy flour, wheat flour soybean meal, animal fat, animal digest, corn, beef tallow, propylene glycol, ground wheat, and soy.

So remember, don’t let the front of the package fool you! Turn it around and read the back. Your dog can’t shop for himself so he is relying on you to choose a diet that is going to keep him happy and healthy for years to come! Happy Shopping!301870_401344289918537_1525901855_n

 

Cats..The lion lurking in the living room! ☆

Logo 2Although cats have been domesticated for thousands of years, their nutritional needs have not changed at all.  Cats are obligate carnivores. They are meant to only eat meat. In their natural environment, cats will get most of their moisture from their food source. Since they are descended from desert dwellers, they do not have the instinct to drink. They will never drink enough water to satisfy their hydration needs. If they do not get adequate moisture in their food they will live out their lives partially dehydrated. This eventually leads to the common health problems we see in cats such as urinary tract disease and kidney disease. Since they are true obligate carnivores, cats will not voluntarily eat carbohydrates. When they catch prey, they eat all but the intestinal system of that prey. This would be the only source of carbohydrates the cat would be presented with.  A mouse in a can would be the ideal diet for a cat! Think of the lions and tigers you see in Africa.     They are not sitting around a huge bowl of dry kibble! They are hunting and eating prey animals. These prey animals offer all the nutrition the cat needs.

Meat for protein, bones for calcium, organs for fat, blood for micronutrients and 78-80% moisture content! The cat that prowls around your living room needs the same type of diet! Knowing now what the ideal diet for a cat really is, try to buy the closest to this diet that you can find.

Lion with mouth openRaw frozen diets are now available. Just thaw it and feed your cat twice a day. The next best alternative is grain free dehydrated food. Just add water and feed twice a day. The third choice is canned food. Also feed twice a day. Grain free dry food is the last alternative as it doesn’t contain enough moisture for the cat to thrive, but it is a better alternative than a carbohydrate based kibbled food. There is now a starch free kibble food available that would be the ideal choice if choosing a kibble. Even though most cat owners like to leave food out all day for their cats, this is not the best choice. Cats should not be fed free choice. They are not meant to graze. They benefit from the fasting period between meals. In the wild, they only ate if they had a successful hunt. If they didn’t, they would fast, sometimes for days. This allows the cats body to use its Cat with mouth openenergy in areas other than digestion.

For male cats, this is especially important. One study has shown that just in the presence of food, alkaline is directly released into the urinary system of the cat.  In male cats this makes them more susceptible to urinary tract disease. By feeding the cat and then removing the bowl this risk is eliminated. The cat foods available in the supermarket are usually high carbohydrate based foods. Grain is much cheaper than meat. The manufacturers add flavor enhancer’s to them to make them palatable to the cat. Remember, cats won’t voluntarily eat carbohydrates. Read the ingredient label. If the product has wheat, corn or soy in it, don’t buy it. If it has by-products in it, don’t buy it. These ingredients are very poor quality and very hard for the cats body to digest and process. This puts unnecessary strain on the organs of the cat which eventually will cause health problems.

The same rules apply when picking out treats for your cat. Better choices for treats include freeze dried meat or freeze dried fish.  By feeding a more species appropriate diet to your cat you will be assured that you will keep your cat happy & healthy for years to come!

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