Freeze-dried has quickly become a favourite among the different kinds of dog food. It’s the top choice and a safer, more convenient alternative to serving raw meat. It’s shelf-stable, retains most flavour, colour, texture, and nutritional value.
Not all freeze-dried recipes are made equal.
Freeze-drying is a method of preserving food by removing its moisture content. But this process depletes water soluble vitamins, like Vitamin B. As water is taken out during the drying process, it can potentially lead to the loss of Vitamin B.
Most freeze-dried are fortified with a few of the Vitamin B but none of them have the full suite of Vitamin B like Boneve Freeze-Dried Raw Prey.
The first freeze-dried fortified with complete B-vitamins
Boneve Freeze-Dried Raw Prey has all 8 types of B vitamins. This addition is important to your dog’s health as they cannot produce this essential vitamin on their own. Vitamin B is crucial for maintaining health and overall wellness as it performs several important functions in the body. Here is a breakdown of each type of vitamin B and what it can do for your dog’s health:
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) – vital for muscle development and maintaining healthy weight
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) – supports a healthy digestive system
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) – provides essential nutrients to support joint health Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) – essential for liver health and eyesight
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) – essential for liver health and eyesight
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) – supports a robust immune system
Vitamin B7 (Biotin) – contributes to healthy skin and coat
Vitamin B9 (Folate) – increases red blood cell production in the bone marrow to support heart health
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) – aids in cognitive and neurological functions
For your dogs, Vitamin B is like their little helper making sure everything from head to tail are working smoothly.
Complete and balanced with highest meat content
Packed with 98.8% meat, organs, and bones, our freeze-dried recipes mirror your dog’s natural diet and what they might eat in the wild. The food is in their most natural state, making it easy for dogs to absorb the vital nutrients they need for optimal health.
Freeze-Dried Raw Prey is complete, balanced, and exceeds AAFCO standards to give what your dogs need at every stage of life.
Ground bones for safe feeding
No need to worry about your dogs choking on bones, we’ve ground everything into a fine powder. While the texture is different, the nutritional value remains the same. It’s packed with minerals, amino acids, protein, Vitamin B12, and collagen. All the nutrients and benefits without bones or chunks for your peace of mind.
Ethically sourced ingredients
We take pride in the way we source our ingredients. Our cows, lambs, and chickens from New Zealand are ethically raised with humane standards. And when it comes to our fish, we only go for wild-caught, straight from certified fisheries. All our ingredients are non-GMO, free of antibiotics and additional growth hormones. With boneve, you’re sure everything on your dog’s bowl is as good for them as it is for the planet.
Adding freeze-dried to your dog’s diet brings heaps of benefits for their health. Always remember to slowly introduce new food to avoid tummy troubles, and to chat with your vet for guidance.
Our freeze-dried recipes are made with your dogs in mind, ensuring every bite is the absolute best. With Freeze-Dried Raw Prey, we promise a meal that brings joy, health, and satisfaction—the boneve way.
Order a sample of Freeze-dried Raw Prey for your dogs here.
Is your dog incessantly scratching and gnawing their skin? It’s easy to chalk it up to allergies but it could be something else entirely. One such common issue is zinc deficiency, and it’s often mistaken for allergies.
Zinc is the skin’s best friend. It’s essential for forming new skin cells and repairing damaged tissue. A deficiency can lead to a range of health issues for your dogs, especially affecting their skin. This condition is known as Zinc-Responsive Dermatosis. It’s a sneaky culprit that usually hides in plain sight.
Your pup’s scratching and itching might mean they’re low in zinc. Let’s decode what it means, its most common symptoms, and how to differentiate it from pesky allergies.
What is Zinc-Responsive Dermatosis?
Zinc-Responsive Dermatosis or Canine Zinc-Responsive Dermatosis (CZRD), is a skin problem that can affect dogs when they don’t get enough zinc in their diet. Sometimes it’s also because some have an impaired ability to absorb and utilise zinc from their food. This can manifest through an array of skin and coat problems, impacting their overall well-being.
There are 3 types of Zinc-Responsive Dermatosis. Type 1 usually happens in dogs when their guts struggle to soak up zinc. It’s common in certain breeds, like the Siberian Husky and the Alaskan Malamute.
Type 2 is caused by dietary issues and mostly affects gigantic breeds. Diets that are supplemented or high in phytates, phosphorus, or calcium inhibits the body’s ability to absorb zinc.
Type 3 or Generic Food Disease stems from your dog’s diet. When dogs eat food that’s low on zinc, not meeting the recommended minimum.
Zinc deficiency can be addressed through a nutritious diet, which not only provides essential nourishment but also serves as a defence against potential skin problems. A complete diet like boneve dry dog food and our latest freeze-dried raw are fortified with zinc to support the maintenance of healthy skin, and reduce the likelihood of allergies.
Figuring out whether it’s allergies or Zinc-Responsive Dermatosis can be a bit tricky. They both share some similar symptoms, after all. But don’t worry, here’s how you can tell them apart.
Dry, flaky skin
Because zinc plays a huge role in keeping skin healthy, lack of it makes the skin dry, flaky, and itchy.
Scruffy, dull fur
No more soft and shiny fur. Your dog’s coat could turn coarse and thin, and they’ll shed more than usual.
Especially around the eyes, snout, and paws. This can result in patchy or uneven hair growth.
Crusty, scaly spots
Some dogs end up with these odd, crusty spots on their skin. They’re usually more noticeable on the face and paws.
Red, irritated skin
The skin can get all red and angry, with some areas being really uncomfortable. Sometimes, this can even cause infections from nasty bacteria or fungi.
Sores and Ulcers
In really bad cases, dogs might develop painful sores and ulcers on their skin, especially in places that rub or press against things a lot. Ouch!
Bumps (Pustules and papules)
It’s the little raised bumps on the skin. Some are filled with yucky pus, like doggy pimples, while others are just hard, like tiny skin speed bumps.
Thick paw pads
The paw pads can get all thick and grow bigger than they should. That’s not comfy for the dog at all!
In a nutshell, Zinc-Responsive Dermatosis usually presents with skin lesions and other symptoms, while allergies manifest as itching, redness, ear infections, sneezing, watery eyes, and gastrointestinal problems.
Ensuring your pets receive the appropriate levels of this vital mineral is paramount for their health and happiness. Whether it’s for strong immunity, a shiny coat, or overall vitality, zinc plays a crucial role.
Don’t forget to chat with your vet! They can figure out just how much zinc your pet’s need and make sure their diet is spot on. That way, you can keep skin worries at bay and have a happy, healthy furry pal.
If you feel calmer and happier around your four-legged friend, you’re not alone. Many studies have shown that our pets can provide more than just snuggles and kisses. They actually do wonders to our mental health.
This World Mental Health Day, we shine the light on the furry members of our family. They’re always there for us, and we often feel they know when we’re feeling sad or upset. When we’re overwhelmed and having a rough time, they give us extra love and compassion.
The therapeutic power of the human-bond is a deep connection that knows no bounds. We become each others’ confidant, listener, and most loyal friend. We’re pleased to share stories that beautifully illustrate how sometimes the most profound healing can come from four-legged friends.
“It’s been a rough year. Leaving a relationship of 9 years wasn’t easy for me or the boys. I had to reconfigure from what I was used to for 9 years, on top of juggling a career change and the launch of a side business for pet tags. I did not want to sacrifice the boys’ level of care no matter the situation. I was alone, I was tired, I wanted to scream. I suddenly had no time for myself, I couldn’t even stop to hear myself think, I felt like I was going through a mental breakdown. There wasn’t and still isn’t a day where I could admit that I needed to throw in the towel because I am not functioning right.”
“I am still struggling even after months. But though I no longer have a partner to come home to, I still had the boys who were so patient with their change of routine. Holding Hex when I can’t take it anymore and need to catch a break also helped me a lot. I lost a partner, and the boys lost a parent. Taking care of three boys as one person isn’t easy, but I don’t think I’ll be able to make it this far without them giving me the drive and comfort, as well as my three good friends from within the cat community.”
“At the start of the covid pandemic and just before lockdown, I was already suffering from anxiety and depression as we were previously living in quite a depressing city. A colleague who knew about my mental health recommended getting a cat to keep me company at home, and showed me videos of Princess (then Tallulah) at the shelter. Talking to my therapist, we agreed that adopting a cat will definitely help with my mental well-being, but only if I was sure I could properly care for her and not cause additional stress and anxiety for myself. I met Princess and immediately fell in love.”
“Having Princess at home helped establish a routine both for me and her. Feeding, playtime, etc, even down to cleaning her litter box. She gave me purpose – to give her the best life she could have. Throughout lockdown, I never experienced cabin fever like I thought I would because I had Princess around all the time. I knew friends who were desperate to go out, but I just wanted to stay in and spend time with my baby girl.”
These are just a few of the countless stories on how our furry friends can give inspiration, hope, and a renewed sense of purpose. And in the hustle and bustle of life, it’s quite easy to forget that our furry companions are not just pets. In their presence, we have peace and a refuge from the battles we silently face.
Our furry friends are truly the unsung heroes of our lives, giving love and comfort that words alone could never express. They remind us that healing happens in many forms. And that sometimes, it comes in four paws, wrapped in fur, and filled with boundless affection.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, please do not hesitate to seek help from a qualified mental health professional or a trusted healthcare provider. There is hope, support, and healing waiting for you.
September is not just about the warm hues, changing seasons, or the start of all things fall. It’s also Responsible Dog Ownership Month! A great time to reflect on being pet parents and the bond we have with our four-legged pals.
Dogs are unmatched in their devotion, loyalty, and friendship. From their unconditional love to their ability to sense when we’re happy or sad, they make our lives better in countless forms. Taking responsibility and learning new ways to grow as a pet parent can strengthen the bond between you and your dog.
We know you have the basics of responsible parenting down pat. So, we’re sharing ways to foster the bond and make your connection with your dogs even stronger. And the great part is, these are easy things you can do every day.
Take daily walks, play fetch, or let them run
Since dogs are usually bursting with energy, taking them on walks is a great way to help them release it. Even if you don’t have an active dog, time outdoors is still important. This keeps them mentally and physically fit. Plus, it’s a good bonding experience while burning some extra calories too.
Make grooming a pleasant experience
Some dogs may not enjoy bath time but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a good splashy time. Make grooming fun by using treats, toys, and positive reinforcement. Keep sessions short and upbeat to make your dog comfortable. With patience and creativity, grooming can become a joyful shared activity that strengthens your connection even more.
Visit the dog park or set playdates
As much as our dogs love us, they need to spend time with other dogs too. Playdates and visits to dog parks allow dogs to socialise with their peers. This helps improve their social skills and reduce behaviour issues stemming from isolation.
Go for interactive toys
Give their brains a workout with toys that will keep them entertained and have their neurons firing. To avoid destructive behaviours brought on by excess energy and boredom, try challenging your buddy with puzzles and having them work for treats.
You can also hide treats around the house. The hunt can be a fun activity for the whole family. Try hiding our air-dried treats for a tail-wagging good time.
Make sure their diet is healthy and nourishing
While dogs are generally not finicky about food, it’s still important to give them the highest quality nutrition. A diet that’s tailored to their age, size, and specific needs ensures optimal health for them. See our line of dog food for nutrition that’s all natural and made only with ingredients your dog needs to live their best life.
The love we have for our dogs goes beyond providing food and shelter. When we understand their needs, we make sure they’re happy and healthy overall. The extra love and care can actually increase their life expectancy. A little cuddling and a whole lot of love can go a long way!
There are all sorts of things you can do to enrich your dog’s life even after Responsible Dog Ownership Month. Whatever chosen activity, your dog will surely relish every moment in your company.
Big changes are on the horizon as Singapore considers allowing cats in Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats. This new development signifies a progressive shift, recognising the bond between pet parents and their feline companions.
The ban on cats remains in place to this day. This decision is based on concerns about cats freely wandering around. Some get a bit uneasy around them, and others claim that cats relieve themselves in public places as a result of inadequate care from their owners. Additionally, their meowing are said to be bothersome to some. But a lot of these concerns can be easily managed with responsible cat ownership.
Things are changing, and living with cats might not be too far away in the future. And with July being Lost Pet Prevention month, it’s the perfect time to reflect on responsible pet parenting. As HDB considers allowing cats in homes, here’s what to remember to keep your feline companions safe, sound, and healthy.
A simple yet effective way to ensure the safety of your feline friend. With a tiny identification chip, pet parents provide a permanent link between themselves and their beloved pets. In the unfortunate event that a cat goes missing, microchipping significantly increases the chances of a joyful reunion. Don’t forget to update or register your microchip with AVS here.
No free roaming
Allowing cats to roam freely poses numerous risks to their safety. Cats can face dangers like traffic accidents, encounters with aggressive animals, exposure to diseases, and even getting lost. By keeping cats indoors or providing them with a safe, enclosed outdoor space, we ensure their protection while still allowing them to enjoy in a controlled environment.
Spaying and neutering
These measures not only help avoid unplanned litter but also offer a range of health advantages for cats. By spaying female cats and neutering male cats, we can reduce the chances of certain cancers and behavioural issues. This also helps minimise caterwauling, particularly when they are in heat, which is one of the reasons why neighbours might complain. Spaying and neutering plays a vital role in managing the population of stray cats, leading to a healthier and more balanced community.
Mesh windows and balcony
Create a secure environment by installing meshes or barriers. This nifty solution prevents those accidental falls, keeps them away from outdoor hazards, and even reduces the chance of a sneaky escape. This way, your cats can bask in the fresh air and sunlight while you kick back and relax, knowing they’re well-protected.
Use carriers and leashes
When taking your cats outside, it’s essential to use safe carriers, crates, or leashes. These can help them feel secure, cosy, and most importantly, they prevent any escape attempts or accidents. Just remember, it’s all about introducing them gradually and making it a positive experience, so your cats can have a blast too.
As Lost Pet Prevention month approaches, and as Singapore considers cats in HDB flats, it’s important to prioritise the safety and well-being of our feline companions. These efforts help them keep safe and happy in our homes. Let’s take this opportunity to raise awareness about responsible pet ownership and keep our cats safe, whether indoors or out
Are you the pet parent who spoils to no end, or do you have strict rules your pal knows not to cross? Do you have hypoallergenic dogs and cats that are too precious and a challenge to manage? Parenting our furry friends is no easy feat and certainly not a one-size fits all endeavor. Pets come with different personalities, needs, and it’s up to us to figure out what makes them tick.
Some with special conditions and sensitivities are bound to get stricter treatment while generally healthy pets can get more gentle handling. Are you strict or sweet? Which is the best approach for our pets?
Either way, both parenting styles can lead to guilt. Are you being too harsh that they may not be living their best life? Or are you being too carefree and neglecting proper nutrition? Is there a sweet spot where you can provide the best in everything?
Why some pet parents think too strict will do the trick
As important members of the family, furrents only want the best for their pets. This stems from unconditional love and the desire to never overlook anything that could bring discomfort, pain, or unease to their beloved pal. Pet food allergies, diseases caught outdoors or from other animals, and nutritional imbalance from too many treats are all issues that caregivers are wary of.
This structured and disciplined system is quite justifiable since some pets do have more intolerances and health concerns than others. The challenge only arises when fur parents go overboard. This is when they get too fussy and nitpicky, implementing strict diet regimens feeding only dry food for hypoallergenic dogs and cats, limited outdoor time, and stern rules when it comes to treats and rewards. This usually takes the fun out of the pet-owner bond, which could be lonely and tyrannical for the pet and stressful and exhausting for the pet owner.
Why some furrents equate leniency as the ultimate proof of love
At the other end of the spectrum are the permissive furrents. Those who overindulge their pals with no limits and whose ultimate goal is to make their pets happy. Their love language is generosity, never wanting their fur babies to feel neglected or unloved. They constantly shower them with dry food, treats, and activities.
There is generally nothing wrong with being carefree and indulging with pets, but most of the time, this type of approach entails some misinformed takes on pet care. Beliefs like ‘the fatter the better’ or indoor pets don’t require preventive care. This could be dangerous and may lead to illnesses that are too late to treat. A lifetime of regrets that the caretakers will have to carry.
The secret is finding the perfect balance
There is no exact formula to the perfect pet parenting style but finding the right balance of strictness and sweetness that suits our pal’s specific needs is enough. One way to determine this ideal combination is by familiarizing ourselves with our fur baby’s health history, hypersensitivities, and dietary requirements based on their breed or bloodline. This knowledge will enable us to provide better and informed nurturing choices along with a more streamlined diet, rewards, and recreation habits.
Taking time to research higher-quality nourishment options is always great practice. What we’re used to giving our pal may not always be the right one for them, so we should be open to change. Go for tried and tested hypoallergenic dogs and cats food that’s made with the best ingredients – free-range, grass-fed, fresh, hormone and antibiotic-free meat, cooked in small batches, and brimming benefits.
As pet parents, we should not let our emotions get in the way. We should address our pet’s needs without being too obsessed with instant results or too laid back by letting them heal on their own. Our fur friend’s peak wellness needs time and effort to develop. To achieve this, we need to be patient, calm, and objective. When in doubt, always seek professional help.
Lastly, we should never take away the fun in the pet-furrent relationship. Just because we’re being cautious does not mean our pal doesn’t deserve goodies from time to time. What’s on the treats shelf may not always be good for them so we should make sure that our little rewards are not only delicious but also functional – air-dried treats that they would enjoy munching on whether we’re training or just feeling a little bit generous.
Investing in the optimal amount of indulgence and caution where our pal’s nutrition and happiness are taken care of may sound like a challenging task. But once we’ve found that sweet spot, the guilt will melt away and the best pet parenting reward one could ever want would follow: peace of mind.
Jump-start your journey to better pet parenting with earthmade by Boneve’s dry food for cats and dry food for dogs. Made with 100% fresh ingredients from New Zealand and prepared and cooked artisanally for optimum quality and nutrition. Natural pet food that suits your pal’s needs.
We don’t like to discuss it, but our pets age. Part and parcel of aging are achy and creaky joints.
When it comes to fighting the effects of aging in joints, glucosamine is the ingredient we search for. A mouthful to say but an important nutrient to remember because it plays a significant part in joint health and the mobility of your pets.
But what makes glucosamine so great for pets? Here’s an easy guide on what you need to know about glucosamine and why it makes your pet’s joints stronger and healthier.
What is glucosamine?
Glucosamine is a compound composed of the amino acid ‘glutamine’ and the sugar ‘glucose.’ It’s a substance that helps in the formation and repair of cartilage in your pet’s joints.
You can find glucosamine in pet food, treats, and supplements everywhere. Natural sources include the shells of crustaceans like oysters, mussels, and crab.
Another natural cartilage building block is chondroitin. It increases water retention and shock absorption in your pet’s joints. When it comes to making and keeping healthy joints, glucosamine and chondroitin are the ultimate power couple. They work together to lessen the feeling of pain and increase resistance to delay joint tissue deterioration.
Why is glucosamine necessary for cats and dogs?
While glucosamine is naturally produced by the body, our pets produce less as they age. This makes it harder for their bodies to rebuild cartilage, which is important for healthy, pain-free movement. Adding glucosamine-rich foods or a glucosamine supplement to your pet’s diet can give their joints the extra protection they need to stay healthy and mobile. This is especially true when glucosamine is combined with chondroitin.
What can glucosamine do?
Delay the development of joint deterioration
Glucosamine in your pet’s diet will replenish the cartilage-building functionality their body loses with time. Pets can maintain their youthful vigour and stay lively, bouncy, and carefree with healthy levels of glucosamine.
Boosts mobility and range of motion
Glucosamine relieves joint pain, so your pets can jump, prance, and roll without resistance or discomfort.
Reduces joint and/or arthritic discomfort
Because glucosamine helps reduce inflammation, their limbs will feel less stiff and sore.
Aids in recovery from joint surgery or injury
Glucosamine supplements can improve your pet’s natural glucosamine production, allowing joints to heal more quickly and thoroughly.
Enhances mood, energy, and quality of life
If your pet is becoming more lethargic as they get older, giving them a diet rich in glucosamine may help them feel less achy and more flexible. This may help them regain their joie de vivre! Their quality of life will also improve if they have the energy to take longer walks and spend more time outdoors.
Give your pets a glucosamine boost with our wide range of dry food for cats and dogs. Brimming with tasty protein and essential nutrients to keep your pets in peak form.
We are what we eat. The same goes for your pet cat or dog–what they eat can determine their overall health, be it their gut health or their physical and mental wellbeing.
As such, choosing the pet food he’ll have for his everyday meals needs a lot of research and planning. For paw parents, this may be a daunting task. What if I choose the wrong type of pet food? What if my pet baby doesn’t like it? What if it doesn’t have the best nutrients that he needs, especially for growing fur babies?
These questions can be answered by a simple but discerning look at one of the most important aspects of pet food: the label. There can be a lot of difference between knowing what you’re looking for and just choosing a brand on the fly.
Here are a few key things you should remember the next time you go grocery shopping for your fur baby’s dietary needs.
Don’t Decide Based On The Cover
As with anything we shop for, it’s easy to fall prey to how a certain product is marketed. Presentation is everything, even when it comes to the pet food that we purchase. From cute pets on the covers to fresh ingredients appetisingly arranged, these are all elements that help to entice you as the fur parent. After all, we just want what’s best for our dogs and cats.
However, some brands can use the packaging as a way to divert attention from the things that matter. The way certain words are phrased or the way the ingredients are enumerated in the packaging all provide a clue to what’s really in the kibble bag. That’s why it pays to build your label lingo.
Know The Different Meats
When it comes to ingredients, one of the most important ones that you want to consider is the protein content. Whether it’s for cats and dogs, protein is a crucial part of their daily needs. That’s because there are some amino acids that your pet cannot produce on his own.
But not all proteins are made equal. Some are high in nutrients while others merely add taste or even filling to the kibble or the canned food. Experts note that, when buying dog or cat food, you need to have some knowledge about protein types, especially if your pet suffers from intolerance to some proteins.
Perhaps the lowest-grade protein type on the list, animal digest may be an ingredient to avoid as it is usually added in the most generic pet food brands or as flavour for some premium ones.
Animal digest is the product of the chemical breakdown of animal tissue, which produces a concentration of gelatinous peptide. However, only in very rare cases is the meat fresh and free from chemical and waste contaminants. It’s best to stick to dog and cat food that clearly outlines the state of meat that was added into the mix.
Going up the food chain of meat products, you may encounter meat or animal by-products. While they typically include meat that can be safely consumed, they tend to include blood, bone and fatty tissue–not exactly the most premium of ingredients.
This meat type sits in the most ambiguous categories of all. Some meat meals have proper nutrients, particularly due to the meat parts used. However, given the extensive processing that some meat meals undergo, some kinds can be difficult to classify altogether.
The healthier meat meals consist of animal organs, muscle, and fat. Poultry meals, sourced from different kinds of poultry, may also contain some bone traces. As long as these meat and poultry sources come from legitimate USDA-inspected and passed animal sources, the meat meals may have a more nutrient-dense makeup.
For the best source with no compromises, always trust in “meat” sources for your furry pet. Meat sources means these are made from muscle meat, skin, and bone of the animal that is named on the label.
The only differences that you may anticipate is in the ratio of muscle meat to skin and bone. This may vary from brand to brand, but as a whole, it is the safest option for both cats and dogs.
Need to be assured of the right meat for your pet? Go with brands that opt to use fresh ingredients and go with single-source protein for their kibble. Brands like earthmade by Boneve source its meat from the freshest farms in New Zealand, so you know exactly where your meat comes from.
In fact, New Zealand is known for being a non-GMO country. Under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996, manufacturers of products including pet food cannot make use of ingredients that are not naturally made–not even those that have been genetically engineered. This is an important clause that earthmade by Boneve has incorporated into its philosophy and operations.
When you go for single-source protein, you know that when you buy “beef” then your pet will definitely only eat beef protein. This is a big plus for pets with intolerance to different proteins–no more trial and error!
A Cautious Note: “Dinner”
If you’ve ever seen the word “dinner” in dog or cat food, you may have assumed that this meant a complete meal that your pet can enjoy. However, this is exactly where you should pay the most attention.
Some brands may use a variant of the name. This includes “platter,” “formula,” or even “entree.” All of them ideally mean the same thing: this dinner formula only comprises 25% proportion of protein found in the pet food. As an example, if you buy beef dinner for your pet dog, there’s a big chance that the beef portions in the formula is only a fourth of the entire ratio. The pet food contains more of the other ingredients than the meat protein you were going for.
How do you make sure about the meat? Check the label and see the order in which the ingredients are laid out. Brands that follow The Association of American Feed Control Officials’ (AAFCO) recommended labelling practices will likely list the ingredients from the most proportions to the smallest servings per ingredient.
The 100%, 95%, and 25% Rule
More than just what a pet food manufacturer offers, AAFCO actually has specific rules when packaging and marketing pet food. This protects pet owners, so that they know exactly what they are getting with each bag. So what are these three major rules?
Is it actually possible to give your pooch or feline friend 100% of the ingredient on the label? Using “100%” can be a major selling point, but manufacturers need to adhere to a number of prerequisites.
For starters, 100% should mean exactly what it says–that the listed ingredients are the only inclusions in the pet food. Manufacturers are also only allowed to label it as “100%” if the kibble bag contains just one or two ingredients, minus water.
So if you see a brand that just says “Lamb dog food” note that it may not be 100% just lamb. The key here is to also look at just how much each ingredient is in relation to all the other ingredients on the label.
The ratio of how much a specific ingredient matters a lot–and that should reflect in the packaging. Thus, even if you can’t be too sure that “chicken cat food” actually has 100%, it’s still required for chicken to comprise 95% of the entire product.
Since there are some pet food that tend to make use of terms like “formula” or “dinner” in their packaging, you should note that the protein source mentioned in their label will likely only comprise 25% of the entire weight of the kibble bag.
This is where you need to exercise more caution; 25% is already quite low in terms of the percentage of how much meat is in the bag. Sometimes, fillers, like by-products or even some grain can be included–so be discerning at all times!
Part of reading the label also means knowing which fillers tend to bring more harm than good. A lot of pet food brands still resort to palm oil as a way filler ingredient–and it has been incorporated as propylene glycol or even pure palm oil in an attempt to shift gears towards supposed wellness.
Opt for more natural and healthier alternatives, such as fish-derived fatty acids that are loaded with Omega 3 and 6. Considering earthmade by Boneve’s naturally sourced ingredients like cold-water mackerel, each kibble bag is brimming with healthy fatty acids that are perfect for management of certain ailments like inflammation.
Grain vs Grain-free: Does It Matter?
What is grain?
Some types of grain provide carbohydrate, fat, and antioxidants. The last one is important for developing cats and dogs. But the good thing is you can also get antioxidants from brands that add these as main ingredients to their kibble.
It pays to stick with a trusted brand, because you can be sure of their process, from source to stocks.
Preservatives–Yay or Nay?
While it can’t be denied that natural is best, the likes of dry kibble for both cats and dogs requires some additional preservatives to make them last longer.
Still, just like with ingredients, some preservatives are better than others, namely natural and artificial preservatives. The latter may carry more risk, even though they are commonly found in more affordable pet food options. According to some experts, the top synthetic preservatives in both dog and cat food include butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), and propylene glycol.
Look for dog and cat food brands with natural preservatives like vitamin C, and vitamin E. These add-ons not only keep your kibble safe for longer in your cupboard–they keep your furry pals safe, too!
Pet labels put all the nutritional value for protein, fibre, and fat in this section.
A cat’s nutritional needs
It’s common practice to have a minimum and maximum percentage for nutrients. For cats, the FDA has regulations for calcium, sodium, phosphorus, and linoleic acid.
Paw parent’s protection:
The AAFCO regulations dictate 78% of moisture is the maximum percentage for common pet food. However, there are exemptions, including those labelled “stew,” “sauce,” or “gravy” as they follow a different formulation.
By looking at the label, you can check if you get what you pay for with each kibble bag. For instance, brands like earthmade by Boneve list down the exact ingredients, so you know the inclusions–sauce, bits, and all!
Some dogs are not picky eaters. They eat anything we put in their bowl (sometimes even anything we accidentally leave on the table or drop on the floor!). While our canine friends are not choosy, as pet parents, we still want to give them the best and a bit of variety in their diet.
Adding variety to our dog’s diet is not only important for their health but it also makes mealtimes more fun. Lamb is quickly becoming a favourite alternative—and for good reason!
You must be thinking, ‘can my dog eat lamb?’ Yes, dogs can eat lamb. As with most meats, lamb is not at all toxic to your dog; canines are omnivores well-equipped to digest freshly prepared meat. As always, consult your vet before making any changes in your dog’s diet.
Why add lamb to your dog’s diet
Aside from beef and chicken, lamb is a great way for dogs to get the protein, fats, and essential fatty acids they need. It helps maintain digestive health, keeps teeth healthy, coats shiny, and provides energy.
If you have a physically active dog, lamb is a healthy and tasty treat after a workout. Lamb is full of protein that agile dogs need to thrive. Carbohydrates are a good source of quick energy, but protein gives your dog the building blocks their body needs. Because the dog’s body cannot store protein like it can fat and other nutrients, this must be provided in their daily diet.
Lamb is also a terrific alternative if your dog is sensitive to certain foods. Allergies can be a tricky thing—you need to know how they develop to treat them. But in most cases, it’s mostly because of excessive or near-exclusive consumption of one type of meat. Eventually, dogs’ bodies process the protein in that meat as a ‘familiar protein,’ which may result in allergic reactions. A novel protein source might be necessary, such as lamb.
Although lamb is a high-protein source, it should never be served raw or undercooked. Drain the fat and cook it separately before giving it to your dog. Too much fat in your dog’s daily diet can lead to severe health issues like pancreatitis. It’s always best to keep portions to a manageable amount.
Lamb health benefits
Other than being a tasty protein, lamb is high in other essential nutrients that contribute to a well-balanced, healthy diet. Here are some additional nutritional advantages of lamb dog food:
Rich in omega fatty acids – lamb contains beneficial omega-3 and -6 acids. These fatty acids also help prevent inflammation and promote kidney and heart function. Omega fatty acids help dogs with arthritis and other long-term pain disorders.
High in vitamins B12 and B3 – vitamin B12 is essential for a healthy immune system, nervous system, and RBC formation while vitamin B3 promotes better digestion and energy production.
Rich in iron and zinc – these minerals work by keeping the body’s functions in good shape, which makes it easier for your dog to fight off illnesses. Zinc is a crucial component of thyroid function and metabolism, while iron is vital for blood production, giving your dog the energy they need.
Getting the right nutrients makes a world of difference between sickness and good health. Add lamb to your dog’s diet by trying our Free-Range Grass-Fed Lamb adult dog food. We use a unique recipe that includes antioxidant-rich manuka honey and vitamin-rich rosehip, as well as glucosamine and chondroitin for bone health.Our grain-free pet food is made in New Zealand with locally procured, single-source protein, making it suitable for dogs with allergies.
Lamb has numerous health benefits for your dog. As a natural source of healthy fats, minerals, vitamins, and acids, lamb is a superior choice—and the best part is that it is a flavour that dogs enjoy!
‘Small batch’ is the emblem we see on several products in our grocery aisles that has now made its way to our pet’s food bowls.
You may have stumbled upon the term while searching for quality pet food or a fellow paw parent may have recommended it. Whatever the case, pet food made in small batches is a promising new norm—it’s healthy and nutrient-dense, which means it meets our pets’ nutritional needs, adult or otherwise.
While it’s easy to chalk up a small batch as a trend, it’s more than just a buzzword or a fad. It’s here to stay (and for a long time). But what is it, and why does it matter?
What Is Small Batch?
Small batch is a more ethical approach to crafting high-quality pet food, where care and attention to detail influence the quality of the final product. Small batch production combines traditional and modern techniques, resulting in fewer but higher quality products.
Small-batch producers make the conscious decision to create lower quantities rather than sacrifice quality to ramp up output.
earthmade by Boneve Small-batch Difference
Here in earthmade by Boneve, we craft in small batches and inspect each pack to make sure it meets our standards. It’s well-balanced nutrition combined with 100% locally sourced, grain-free, hypoallergenic, and limited-ingredient components selected to work together for pet diets. Plus, we use only the best quality protein sources (no antibiotics or hormones). All are GMO-free.
Combined with our well-thought-out recipes, the result is natural pet food that does not sacrifice nutritional balance.
The earthmade by Boneve difference is characterised by:
Quality – crafting in small quantities allows for more careful cooking and better production, resulting in a fresh, high-quality product.
Clean ingredients – the quality of ingredients is a huge factor in feeding our pets. Pet food made in small batches uses carefully chosen, whole ingredients that meet your pet’s dietary requirements for optimal health. Fresh and natural pet food eliminates the need for harmful additives, lowering your pet’s chances of developing or triggering a food allergy.
Better palatability – Small batch production often means that the products are always naturally harvested, so they taste better and are ideal even for the pickiest of eaters.
Additive-free – Our products are in their purest, most natural form because there are absolutely zero chemical additives or artificial extenders. These are unnecessary fillers since pet food aren’t supposed to sit on a shelf for years.
Purity – Recalls and contamination in pet food are becoming increasingly common, making the quality of ingredients even more of a worry. Small batches are less likely to be contaminated because they contain ingredients from fewer sources.
We do not believe in minimising expenses, cutting corners, or changing our methods. Our products stay true to our recipes, which embody our ‘less is more’ culture. Choosing our small batch of pet food means healthier, more natural, and more sustainable nourishment for your pets.
With small batch, the process is just as important as the ingredients. Because our focus is on quality, our small batch pet food not only makes our dogs and cats enjoy chow time a bit more, but they also gain more substantial nutritional and health benefits.
Browse our products and see the earthmade difference here.
Fat has a bad rep; we often look elsewhere when we find it on food. But fat is an essential component of a well-balanced diet; an inadequate balance of good fats in our dog’s diet results in dry, itchy skin, dull coat, weakened immune system, and vulnerability to other health problems.
One alternative is chicken fat. It’s a highly digestible source of animal fat with a high linoleic (omega-6) acid content. Chicken fat not only provides a more natural source of omega-3 fatty acids but it also makes food more appetising for our dogs. It’s a natural animal fat source that provides your pet with essential fatty acids that they can’t produce on their own but are vital for proper growth and development. Fats also help the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K. Vitamin D, in particular, helps the body take in calcium and keep your dog’s bones healthy and strong.
Chicken fat can be part of a healthy diet for your dog. But, as always, the key is moderation and making sure that your protein, carbs, and fat are all in the right amounts.
In case your dog is allergic to chicken, this means they are actually allergic to the protein found in chicken meat rather than chicken as a whole. And because chicken fat has no chicken protein, it’s less likely to provoke your dog’s immune system.
Dog food with fats already in them is the best and wholesome option, like earthmade by Boneve grain-free dry food. It’s a great choice for growing dogs and sensitive dogs alike, packed with tasty protein, iron, essential nutrients, novel ingredients, and chicken fat. Our chicken fat is easily digestible, so dogs can quickly turn it into energy.
If you reside in a chilly climate, your dogs will require extra energy to stay warm. A higher fat diet can help while also providing them with the stamina necessary to adapt to the cold and wind.
As always, make the change gradually when introducing a new diet to your dog. If you have concerns about your dog’s allergies, please consult your veterinarian before selecting a new dog food or switching from an existing one. Your veterinarian can go over the ingredients and assist you in choosing the best food for your dog.
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need a hefty amount of protein to be healthy. They can eat meat like chicken, fish meat like tuna, salmon, and sardine. But this also begs the question, ‘Can cats eat beef?’
It’s no surprise if your cat turns up their nose at even the most decadent of food. So we’re always on the lookout for alternatives that aren’t just delicious but nutritious as well. The thought may have crossed your mind to let your finicky friend try beef, but you’re unsure if they can eat it or if it’s actually safe for them.
Can cats eat beef?
The simple and straight answer is, yes, your cat can eat beef. It’s nutritious and an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. It will even help give their muscles and soft tissues the building blocks they need to repair and stay healthy. Most cats like to eat beef, so they are likely to enjoy some every now and then.
As with any new food, some cats may get a reaction on the first try. Start with a small amount. If your cat enjoys it and there are no ill effects, you can continue to include beef in their diet.
A reasonable suggestion would be to feed them beef once or twice a week. This way, you can be sure that your cat’s getting everything they need while also enjoying a little variety. When in doubt, talk to your veterinarian to help create a diet designed specifically for your cat’s needs.
Health benefits of beef
Beef is also rich in minerals like iron, zinc, manganese, and selenium, which are all important for health and nourishment. Beef is also a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and B complex vitamins.
It’s well-known that cats require adequate taurine intake, and beef liver is a wonderful source. Feeding your cat beef liver will keep them strong and healthy while meeting their taurine needs.
Can cats eat raw beef?
There’s a significant debate on whether or not a raw diet is advisable for cats.
Nutrition-wise, raw beef brings some benefits to your cat’s health. Raw beef is high in protein, nutrition, and moisture. It’s suitable for cats who don’t like to drink water.
However, we have to be cautious of the meat’s source, especially its quality and handling process (particularly salmonella). Cats can get sick because of parasites and bacteria living in raw meat. It’s possible for cats to pass this on to humans, spreading bacteria around the house.
Raw beef can pose a threat to your cat’s health. Always get ingredients from safe and reliable sources to ensure food safety. Our cats’ ancestors have grown in the wild, and meat from prey has always been their primary diet. But our domesticated felines have come a long way, so raw beef may be too much for their sensitive stomachs to handle.
If you want to try feeding raw beef to your cat, reach out to an animal nutritionist. They can assist you in developing a complete and balanced diet for your cat that includes raw beef. They can also advise you on how to properly manage a raw diet.
The pros of beef for your cat
Beef comes with many benefits. The fatty acids found in meat improves a cat’s coat and gives it a healthy sheen. Chewing raw beef also aids in dental health, making teeth strong and sturdy.
Just be extra cautious as raw beef (or any kind of raw meat, for that matter) tends to come with bacteria. Some can be good for your cat, but most are not. Certain harmful bacteria, like salmonella, E. coli, and legionella, can pass from cats to humans, which can cause illness in both.
Also, if your cat accidentally ingested a piece of bone, it could lead to choking or internal injuries. This requires immediate attention and can sometimes need a surgical procedure to remove the bone.
To include beef in your cat’s diet without the risk of harmful bacteria, try earthmade Free-Range Grass-Fed Beef. Our beef is free-range and grass-fed, sustainably sourced from New Zealand. Our kibbles are also BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy)-free. BSE is a transmissible and fatal neurodegenerative disease that affects cattle, which has never been detected in New Zealand.
It’s enriched with rosehip extract and high in antioxidants, vitamins A and E, and omega-3 fatty acids. It also has kiwi for vitamin C, which helps with hairball control. Glucosamine and chondroitin are also present for joint health. Manuka honey’s antibacterial properties can strengthen the immune system while also reducing gut inflammation. earthmade kibbles are suitable for all life stages too.
The verdict is beef can be safely fed to cats. Start in small quantities to give your cat time to adjust to their new food. This also gives you ample time to check for side effects that can cause health problems. As always, consult your vet to make sure beef is suitable for your cat.
Time to spring into action! April is Canine Fitness Month, and it’s the best time to grab your running shoes together with your furry best friend.
Our loyal companions need regular exercise for both their physical and mental health. Because dogs tend to become sedentary as they age, they can be prone to obesity, which can cause sore joints, diabetes, and more.
To combat a sedentary lifestyle, Canine Fitness Month encourages paw parents to take a step toward developing healthier habits with our four-legged family members. Regular exercise is crucial to your dog’s health, and it comes with a plethora of benefits, including keeping your dog’s joints and muscles healthy, shedding extra pounds, and working off the excess energy. Plus, it’s a great bonding time too! But before you start, check with your veterinarian to make sure your dog has a clean bill of health before exercising.
Now, time to stretch your legs! Here are some ways to help boost your dog’s activity level.
Walking around your neighbourhood is one of the best and simplest ways to start your dog’s road to physical fitness. Walking provides mental stimulation, physical exercise, and a chance to socialise. Like kids, dogs are curious and want to explore. If they are confined indoors for too long, they will get bored, which can sometimes lead to destructive behavior.
Walking helps with proper weight and it’s a good outlet for pent-up energy. You can also consider walking as a training opportunity. Not all dogs are comfortable to walk on a leash, so this is a chance to teach your dog how to follow your lead. Don’t forget to bring treats and water for your dog and yourself!
Playing with your dogs is always fun. What we don’t often consider is that the benefits go well beyond just having fun. Aside from bonding with your dog, playtime can improve behaviour and relieve stress.
Adding in a little more playtime improves your dog’s overall mood (yours too). Spending time with your pup can have a calming effect, and some studies have shown that it can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Dogs with regular play are also less likely to develop problematic behaviour like excessive barking and chewing. When dogs get bored, they’ll find their own ways to entertain themselves—and that boredom often leads to chewed-up shoes and a couch. Keep your dogs active and engaged with regular playtime!
Hide-and-seek can boost your dog’s problem-solving abilities, stay calm when you are gone, and reinforce their recall skills (running back to you when called). It’s an exercise for both the dog’s body and brain because they’ll have to think and walk around to search for you.
Dogs have all the basic instincts for hide-and-seek. Teach your dog the rules, and you both can have fun indoors or out playing this beneficial game. Don’t forget to reward your dog with treats or a belly rub for being a good sport!
Take the stairs
Stair exercise may not be suitable for all dogs, but it comes with a lot of benefits for those who can. One of the many advantages of stair exercise is that it uses muscles not typically targeted when walking. It engages a dog’s legs, hips, shoulders, lower back muscles, and even their core.
Dogs have to lift their entire body weight from one step to the next. When they go back down, they have to control their descent, which involves negative contraction of the muscles. However, this exercise should be done carefully, as running up and down the steps at speed may result in injury.
Dog park visits
Going to the dog park rather than the yard fosters a more active environment. Dog parks are an excellent place to improve your dog’s social skills by letting them interact with other dogs of all shapes, ages, breeds, and sizes. They will also have the chance to meet and greet lots of dog-loving people. Dogs who interact and play with others get a lot of mental stimulation as well.
Make sure your dog is comfortable playing with others before going to the dog park. Not all dogs are candidates for dog-park play, and not all dog parks are suitable for all dogs.
Nosework is probably one of the best activities you can do to bond with your dog. Inspired by working detection dogs, nose work taps your dog’s hunting instincts for a specific purpose: to detect a scent and find its source.
No prior training and obedience are required for nosework. Start with hiding treats and reward your pup after they find it! This will help increase their interest in the game. The beauty of this sport is that it allows your dog to use their most highly developed sense while also keeping them active physically. Plus, nosework helps shy or fearful dogs build confidence or channel the energy of hyper dogs into fun searches.
Any dog can do nosework. You can set it up anywhere, even in the smallest of spaces.
Dogs are a big fluffy ball of energy. As you can probably guess, agility is great for helping your pup release their potential energy in a safe and fun way.
Jumping is a great first activity to teach your dog, especially if you’re both new to obstacle training. Setting up your own is doable without breaking the bank. If you have a laundry basket, empty cardboard boxes, or a stack of pillows, you’re ready to make short, beginner jumps for your buddy.
Apart from the physical benefits, an obstacle course can also help build your dog’s confidence, develop self-control, and strengthen natural instincts, to name a few.
Hiking is not just a great way to relax; it’s also the best time to bond with nature. You don’t need any high-tech gear to start. If you can walk, you and your dog can hike!
Adventuring with your dog in the woods is a great workout that doesn’t feel like it. Your focus will shift to the beauty of nature and your dog’s enjoyment.
Hiking helps with weight maintenance and mental stimulation as trails provide new scents, sounds, and sights. Make sure your dog is physically ready before hiking! Once you start hiking, increase the distance and intensity over time.
Besides being fun, swimming does great things to your dog’s overall health. Water resistance makes your dog work harder to swim.
The aerobic workout helps improve muscular strength while also working the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. It’s also an excellent therapy for dogs rehabilitating from an injury or surgery or having joint problems.
Not all dogs are good swimmers. If your pet struggles with swimming, use a safety vest designed for dogs. This will help them stay afloat and have a great time.
Mental health is just as important as physical health. Give your dog the mental stimulation they need for a happy and healthy lifestyle.
Puzzles provide mental exercise, decrease anxiety and boredom, and increase your dog’s problem-solving skills. Keep in mind that most dogs are quick to solve the problem. To keep your dog motivated, advance your pup to more complex puzzles once they’ve mastered the simpler ones.
Many interactive toys are designed to stimulate a dog’s brain and satisfy natural canine behaviours. Look for one that best resonates with your pup!
Remember that exercise needs are based on your dog’s age, breed, size, and overall health. A good rule of thumb is at least 30 minutes of exercise every day (when in doubt, reach out to your veterinarian). Younger dogs and dogs bred for sports may need much more.
Keep your dog’s vaccination up to date to prevent transmission of diseases when socialising or exploring nature. Don’t forget to keep your pup hydrated too! Outdoor activities are fun but can sometimes be strenuous. Last but not the least, reward your dog for a job well done! A reward will make them look forward to your next adventure!
Any cat parent will tell you that senior cats are wonderful companions and make excellent cuddle partners. But as your feline friend ages, their needs will change and they’ll require extra love and care to stay healthy.
What once was a rambunctious kitty is now older and beginning to show subtle signs of ageing –often referred to as ‘slowing down.’ Cats mature between 7 to 10, become officially old at around 11, and geriatric around 15 years. It’s important to recognize that senior cats have entirely different needs.
Caring for your ageing cat takes extra time and effort. You may need to make changes around the house and their everyday routine. We’ve compiled a few helpful tips to increase your cat’s quality of life as they age.
Change their diet
A proper diet means feeding the right food at the appropriate amount. As cats get older, their bodily function and nutritional needs will change. They often become thinner, losing both fat and muscle mass. Their system now makes more effort to digest and absorb nutrients, particularly fat and protein.
High quality and easily digestible protein from sources like chicken is beneficial for senior cats along with a diet that’s low in sodium and phosphorus. Senior cats are prone to kidney problems as they age so those with chronic kidney disease should go for a kidney support diet. Food with glucosamine and/or fatty acids such as DHA is also ideal, especially for senior cats with mobility issues. Gradually transition to avoid stomach issues. If you’re unsure of how to begin, your vet can help guide you on the most suitable diet for your senior cat.
Senior cats are also prone to obesity. Be mindful of the extra weight that puts more pressure on your cat’s joints.
Keep them hydrated
Staying hydrated is incredibly vital for senior cats. Water intake keeps organs functioning properly. It supports a healthy urinary tract and helps the kidneys flush out toxins. Cats can be picky with water, so it’s best to encourage them to drink enough. Getting your cat hydrated is just as important as feeding them proper nutrition.
To encourage water consumption, give your senior cat easy access to their water bowls. Don’t forget to consider your senior cat’s personal preference in water (cool, warm, etc) and to use their favorite water bowl if they have one.
Place them in areas they frequent and always keep the bowl fresh and wash every after use. A drinking fountain is also an excellent way to entice your senior cat to drink. Cats are keener on flowing water than a stagnant one. If you suspect that your cat is dehydrated, reach out to your veterinarian.
Help with their grooming and hygiene
Cats are fastidious groomers but your senior cat may struggle to groom themselves as much as they used to. A loss in mobility or health issues may make it difficult for them to reach certain areas of their body. Help maintain their coat in good condition with gentle brushing, trimming their fur, or bathing them in lukewarm water.
The claws of an ageing feline can become thick and brittle and may require more frequent clipping. You can trim them on your own or professionally to ensure no overgrown nails could cause them pain.
It’s also important to look after your senior cat’s teeth and gums. Poor dental hygiene can put them at risk and cause damage to other organs. Brush their teeth daily at home or talk to your vet about maintaining good dental health for senior cats.
Keep them moving and active
It’s sad to see our cats become less active as they age. No more sudden swinging from drapes or chasing laser pointers! However, it’s vital that they remain active for good health, just not with vigorous exercise as it can potentially injure them.
Make time for gentle play to get your senior cat’s joints moving and increase blood flow throughout the body. Use catnip, feathers on strings, or soft toys you can toss to get them moving.
But don’t forget their mental health. Mental stimulation is crucial for preventing cognitive decline. Food games will help stimulate their mind to keep it active and sharp.
Take your senior cat to regular visits and exams with your trusted veterinarian since it’s best to detect health problems early. Senior cats need your love, compassion, and attention. Give them extra care and cherish every moment together.
Many dogs become lifetime companions for humans. A pup can be born in a household, grow up, then reach old age at the same address. Dogs have limited lifespans, but that doesn’t make them any less special than a human’s other companions in the household. We can treat these canines with care that they deserve, especially once they grow old. So it’s not surprising that managing senior dogs continues to be a trending topic among pet owners. What are some significant steps to take as you care for your ageing dog at home? Follow these tips below.
Provide Accessories for Senior Dogs
Just like us humans, senior dogs don’t have the same strength or vitality they had when they were younger. This is why certain products or accessories are available to help senior dogs maintain a comfortable quality of life at their age. Orthopaedic beds, warmers, and anti-slip socks are some examples you can provide for your elderly doggy. These simple investments can help relieve joint aches, maintain a comfortable temperature, or stabilise walking.
Maintain a Healthy Diet for Them
Feed senior dogs food that’s recommended for their age to maintain a healthy diet for their age. Follow a veterinarian’s advice if your senior dog has specific medical needs. After all, veterinary doctors know what diet or supplement would best work for your pet’s condition. Your canine companion’s diet becomes more delicate as they age, so don’t feed them anything not approved by their vet.
Visit Your Veterinarian Regularly
Speaking of veterinary help, pet owners are still expected to visit their trusted vets regularly. This lets veterinarians monitor your senior dog’s health and recommend specific plans of action in case of medical conditions that need urgent attention. This habit is a worthwhile investment with how it gives you peace of mind and your ageing dog a healthier quality of life.
Maintain Their Mental and Physical Activity
Stimulate your dog with brain games and scavenger hunts to keep their mind and body active at their age. You can do these at a pace that they can keep up with so as not to tire them out. For example, you can hide their favourite treats at various hidden spots around the house that they can then go and find. For physical activities, you can do simple fetch, provide chew toys, or do simple swimming if your canine is unafraid of the water.
Senior dogs deserve the same attention and love we gave them when they were younger, if no moreso. They are our furry, loyal life companions that often bore witness to every ups and downs in our life. They might not have the same youthful playfulness they had before, we must still understand their lifespan, age, and the changes that come with such. By taking these to heart, we can learn to respect our canine friends and realise our role as their human caretakers.
The time we have with our cats and dogs will never be long enough. But just like us, they grow old and their habits change. Understanding our pets’ life cycle allows us to enjoy each stage and cherish every moment with them.
Our pets’ life stage is one of the most important factors in their overall wellness and health. As they grow, their bodies change, and so do the nutrients from their food—such as protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Knowing what to expect with your pet’s different life stages won’t leave you surprised when they start showing signs of odd behavior. But before we dive in, first thing first.
Your pet’s nutritional needs
Good nutrition is the cornerstone of lifelong health for our pets. One of the most important feeding fundamentals to remember is that dogs and cats do not have the same nutritional requirements. Cats are obligate carnivores, while dogs are considered omnivores. Dog food lacks some of the essential nutrients cats need (the opposite may be true as well).
In general, dog food may have a combination of meat, fruits, and vegetables. On the other hand, cats need a higher amount of protein in their diet. Both cats and dogs break down protein during digestion and absorb amino acids from it. Dogs require 10 essential amino acids while cats require 11 proper growth and development.
Besides the nutritional component, taste is a big difference between dog food and cat food. Cats may not appreciate some elements found in dog food. Meanwhile, dogs may enjoy cat food because of its high protein content, but that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for them. Plus, protein levels in cat food might upset your dog’s stomach, so best to keep it out of reach.
Your pet’s life stage
Now that we’ve covered your pet’s nutritional needs, here’s a brief guide on what to expect as your pets move through different stages of life.
Puppies and kittens
The most crucial stage of growth is the puppy/kitten stage. Feeding them properly will avoid stunted growth and deficiencies.
Both puppies and kittens need food higher in calcium and phosphorus, which help good bone health. But for the first four to five weeks, it’s essential to let puppies and kittens nurse for as long as possible. They get essential protection from germs through antibodies in their mother’s milk. If their mother isn’t around, milk replacement formulas, commercial or homemade, would suffice.
By the fourth or fifth week, puppies will start getting their teeth, and the weaning process will begin. Puppies may eat solid food at about 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 weeks old. They become mobile at this age and will start to explore their environment. If you see your puppy sampling food from their mother’s bowl, it’s usually a sign that they are ready to try solid food.
On the other hand, kittens usually start weaning from three to four weeks old, taking two to three weeks to complete. This is the time to start setting out moistened food for them. Kittens typically have sensitive tummies so a longer food transition period is recommended. By the time your kitten is five to seven weeks old, they are ready to get nutrition from solid food.
Adult cats and dogs
Adult pets require a balance of protein, vitamins and minerals, fatty acids, fibre, and carbohydrates. Their diet should have just the right amount of calories to maintain a healthy weight.
For dogs at this stage, the food they need will largely depend on size and breed, and to a lesser extent, how regularly they exercise. Ensure you’re not overfeeding or underfeeding by keeping portion sizes consistent, which helps maintain your dog’s ideal weight.
Meanwhile, cats are creatures of habit so getting them into a fixed feeding routine as soon as they reach adulthood is most effective. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all diet that’s ideal for ALL cats, but they do need food that’s high in protein. Cats break down amino acids faster than dogs, but they’re also unable to make their own. Their bodies’ metabolism does not adjust the rate of protein breakdown (like other animals do), so they consistently need a high amount of protein in their diet.
Senior/mature pets have no medically clear definition. The label ‘senior’ or ‘mature’ generally refers to dogs older than six to eight years, but it depends on the dog’s breed. For example, smaller breeds are considered seniors when they are 10 to 12 years old, but bigger breeds become seniors at five or six years old.
Senior or mature dogs usually require reduced fat and calories but with a blend of vitamins, minerals, and supplements. This is to help their immune system and promote healthy kidneys and joints. Some may need more protein in their diet because the protein stores of a senior dog run out more quickly than those of younger dogs. Dogs start to lose muscle mass as they age—just like us—but extra protein may supply the amino acids to help make up for that loss.
Cats mature between 7-10 years while senior catsare generally classified as ‘senior’ between 11-14 years old. Like dogs, cats use less energy as they age so they won’t need as many calories to keep them going. Plenty of cat food is formulated with protein that’s easier on a mature cat’s stomach and gentler on their teeth.
What we recommend
Made for all life stages, earthmade products are easily digestible and nutritious. It’s naturally made without using artificial preservatives.
Dogs run the gamut of ‘I want to eat everything’ to ‘eating isn’t fun,’ but earthmade Free-Range Grass-Fed Lamb Adult Dog Food is brimming with tasty protein, iron, and essential nutrients that they can’t say no to. It boosts your dog’s vitality, strength, and energy. With added rosehip for coat care, manuka honey for antioxidants and healthy digestion, and kiwi for vitamin C, it’s great for both adult and senior dogs.
It also has glucosamine, which helps support joint health and slow down the progression of arthritis, and chondroitin, which improves mobility in your senior pet’s arthritic limbs. It’s an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids for a more robust immune system and enhanced brain development.
Cats can be picky eaters but not with earthmade New Zealand Mackerel Cat Food. It’s an ideal addition to their diet as it’s rich in omega-3 and -6 fatty acids that can lessen allergic reactions and develop better skin and coat, to name a few. It’s high in antioxidants, vitamins A and E, and kiwi for vitamin C. Kiwi also contains a good amount of fibre that can help with digestive issues and hairball control.
As always, speak to your vet when making major changes in your pet’s diet. They can guide you with what’s best for your pet inside and out.
Each stage of your pet’s life has its own challenges but it also comes with joys and experiences to remember. Make every moment count and be proactive in supporting them as their health and needs change.
There is nothing more natural than food made fresh from the source. This is why the popularity of locally-sourced ingredients keeps attracting new followers through the years. Such ingredients benefit humans, pets, and the environment in specific ways.
Experts and laymen alike cite health benefits as the main reason why locally made ingredients are better than ones imported elsewhere. Besides this, you might not be familiar with the other benefits of ingredients sourced locally. Here are four major benefits of locally-sourced ingredients to humans, nature, and pets.
Reduction of carbon footprint or pollution
For the environment, locally-sourced ingredients minimise pollution because they don’t typically call for far transportation. Usually, importation of ingredients involves air, land or sea transport that consumes fuel and expel smoke during long drives. Locally-sourced ingredients have less need of this, which helps reduce carbon footprint and pollution. While it may be impossible to completely omit carbon footprint in business, let’s support brands that reduce as best as they can.
Safety checked by local authorities
Local authorities can also guarantee the safety and quality of ingredients made locally. They are able to get more hands-on and see the production themselves. Local authorities may already know the farmers and producers who handle the ingredients, so there’s a level of trust and familiarity in the process. An example would be the ingredients of pet food brand earthmade. They are checked for safety and quality by the Ministry of Primary Industries in New Zealand where earthmade ingredients are made.
Freshness and nutrients with less travel time
The certification issued by authorities guarantee the quality of locally-made ingredients, but another factor is also the travel time. Produce gets picked once ripe, but the time it takes to pack and ship them to stores elsewhere can make them less fresh for consumption. Locally-made ingredients are not coated with chemicals that help them withstand the long commute since such trips aren’t really needed. Because locally-sourced ingredients don’t have such chemicals, these benefit people who want to eat food they choose and enjoy much of its nutrients.
Palatable for pets with picky tastes
Because locally-sourced ingredients tend to be safe, fresh, and packed with nutrients, they can be more palatable as food for pets with picky tastes. Animals have keen senses when it comes to what they eat, so it’s no surprise that they would prefer tasty and nutritious food compared to one that smells and tastes less fresh or healthy. Common household pets like dogs and cats have finite lifespans, so pet owners have to choose food that has the finest ingredients for pets to stay healthy.
Going for Local
Now that you know the benefits of ingredients sourced locally, you can rethink your current choices when it comes to food for you or your pet animal. We’ve learned that such ingredients not only benefit humans and animals but the environment as well. This is the reason more and more are going for local sourcing when it comes to food.
With earthmade, we humans, pets, and Nature are all stakeholders. The brand is conscientious with how the business might affect all three, so we do our best in following these four aspects: reducing our carbon footprint, seeking local authorities to check our production, keeping our products fresh, and ensuring our pet food is palatable for picky pets. This is why we champion locally-sourced ingredients.
Cat parents can relate to and recognise the coughing and retching sounds their cats sometimes make. What usually comes next (or out) is usually a wad of wet hair—a hairball—that immediately needs to be cleaned off the floor.
Hairballs are common in a cat household, but what are they really? And should you be worried?
What are hairballs?
Trichobezoars or hairballs are compacted wads of fur that accumulate in your cat’s stomach when grooming. When cats lick their fur, their rough tongues (which are covered with tiny curved spines also called papillae) pick up loose hair, debris, dirt, and dander, which get swallowed. Eventually, they build up in their stomachs, and while some make their way into the litter box, some clump up and irritate your cat’s stomach lining. Hence, the retching and vomiting.
Despite being called ‘ball,’ hairballs aren’t necessarily ball-shaped. They are often thin, long, and cylindrical like your cat’s esophagus. Due to their source, they are also often wet, slimy, or frothy. They range in size from an inch to up to five inches long, with a hue that’s slightly darker than your cat’s fur as it is moistened by bile and other digestive fluids.
What causes hairballs
Cats are fastidious groomers, but this habit has an unpleasant consequence: hairballs. Their rough tongue does an impeccable job keeping them clean, but it’s also what drives ingestible hair down their stomachs.
Due to the volume of hair they inadvertently swallow during grooming, long-haired cat breeds like the Persian or Maine Coon are more prone to hairballs than their short-haired cousins. Kittens are less likely to develop hairballs as they haven’t quite learned how to clean their coats thoroughly.
An unbalanced diet can also cause an increase in hairballs. Cats can handle a moderate amount of hair in their gut, but if they are not getting the proper nutrients they need, it can threaten their overall health.
Signs of serious hairball issues
It’s not uncommon for cats to vomit hairballs occasionally. Expelling hairballs is a natural, albeit unpleasant, way for cats to get rid of hair stuck in their stomach. Typically, hairballs are not dangerous, but in some cases, they can get stuck in your cat’s stomach or intestine and cause blockage.
Decreased appetite, lethargy, constipation, and frequent vomiting or attempts to vomit without output are some of the signs that your cat requires medical assistance. When there is a hairball obstruction, your vet needs to be involved.
Excessive production of hairballs can also be a sign of a skin condition, parasite, or a digestive tract disease. If it grows too large, a wad of matted hair poses a serious health issue. Meanwhile, if it remains trapped in the stomach or intestine for too long, it may mineralise and harden.
Your vet will likely recommend X-rays and bloodwork to check blockage and make sure your cat has no underlying illnesses, respectively.
How to minimise cat hairballs
While you can’t completely stop hairballs from happening, there are ways to minimise them and their potential complications. Here are a few.
Try food that helps with hairball issues. Add more fibre or fatty acids to your cat’s diet. Fatty acids and balanced nutrients keep your cat’s coat healthy while fibre helps stop ingested hair from forming in the stomach. earthmade Grain-Free Cat Food is high in antioxidants, fatty acids, vitamins A and E, and kiwi for vitamin C. Kiwi also contains a good amount of fibre that helps move not just food but hairballs naturally through your cat’s digestive system.
As always, consult your vet when introducing a new diet to your cat. And even then, do so gradually.
Keep your cat hydrated. If your cat is not drinking enough water, her digestive tract will work harder than it should, which may make the hairball problem worse. Make sure your cat has access to clean water all the time. Water helps flush out the hair before it has time to clump in your cat’s stomach. Plus, water is essential to your cat’s overall health, not just her digestive system. It helps hydrate the skin and keep your cat’s fur in better condition so it does not break and shed as easily.
Brushing their hair. Reduce hairball formation with regular brushing of their fur. Brushing helps get rid of loose fur before your cat has a chance to ingest it. The more dead hair you remove, the less they can swallow when they self-groom. Note that not all cats enjoy the experience of brushing, so start slow and use positive reinforcement. Haircuts are also a huge help, especially if your cat has long hair.
Monitor your cat’s grooming habits. Cats are meticulous groomers, but there is such a thing as excessive grooming. When our feline friends lick their fur too much, it can cause skin inflammation, sores, or hair loss. And if your cat grooms every chance they get, they are also likely to swallow more hair, which can cause more hairballs.
Interrupt your cat’s lengthy grooming sessions with a cuddle, game, or a new toy they can play with. Cats sometimes groom when they are bored, so it’s better that they are active and busy. This helps keep parasite and skin allergic issues at bay which can trigger an overgrooming session.
Fruits with natural digestive enzymes as occasional treats. While cats have a completely different set of taste receptors (they can’t taste or enjoy sweet flavors), fruits still provide a few benefits to their health. Fruits like papaya and pineapple have enzymes that can break down ingested hair in your cat’s GI system. Make sure you’re only serving the fruit, and not the skin or seeds.
Give your cats fruit in small amounts as it has high sugar content and can be an issue for overweight cats. Always feed in moderation to avoid upsetting your cat’s stomach. Keep in mind that fruits should not be used as a replacement for cat food.
These strategies can help reduce the severity of your cat’s hairball issue. If your cat is showing symptoms, consult your vet immediately.
You cannot completely prevent hairballs from happening—it’s a natural process to get rid of what irritates a cat’s stomach. But you can help reduce the negative impact hairballs pose on your cat’s health.
So you spot your fur baby scratching incessantly at his tail area or suddenly having a bout of diarrhea with no apparent or urgent issues? It may be a sign that he is suffering from pruritus or itchy skin.
Just like us, our furry pals can be at risk of itchiness due to dry skin. Because of the many different sources of itchy skin, it’s an owner’s duty to investigate and get to the root cause of what makes our pooch feel discomfort.
The Usual Suspects: What Causes The Itch?
There are a number of reasons why your dog may be incessantly scratching. The easiest way to know the cause of itching is to go to the vet. But you can also try to get a sense of the problem, especially if it’s in your home. According to experts, the most common causes for itchy dog skin are food intolerance, flea allergies, artificial food colouring, and environmental and bacterial factors.
Food sensitivities may be among the most known causes of allergies in dogs. When changes to his diet seem to trigger a reaction in our dogs, the common assumption is that he is allergic to an ingredient. While this may be the case, it’s important to first differentiate between food allergies and food sensitivities.
Just like in humans, food allergies trigger reactions from the immune system. Common reactions to this range from breaking into hives or experiencing gastrointestinal issues. Vets agree that actual allergies are not as common and that dogs typically experience food intolerance.
When it comes to food sensitivities, the reactions do not involve the immune system. Rather, it presents gradual symptoms that manifest through dermatologic or gastrointestinal issues. These reactions will likely not go away as long as the intolerance-inducing ingredient is still in his diet.
Many skin diseases and issues that dogs experience may be related to fleas. You may notice that this issue can be more seasonal for some dogs. Warmer weather as in the summer can make the flea infestation worse. The warmer weather, the higher humidity, and the tendency to engage in and have more outdoor activities may all contribute to fleas having more access to your dog.
Flea allergy dermatitis occurs when the flea’s saliva gets onto your dog’s skin. This causes an allergic reaction, causing extreme itchiness, discomfort, inflammation, and redness on the infected area.
Look out for any signs of fleas on your dogs. Typically, allergic reactions can be seen in the region from the middle of the back to the tail base and down the rear legs. Sometimes, dog owners may find flea dirt or the actual fleas on their dogs. Make sure to bring him immediately to the vet to get the proper medication for the allergies, as well as other preventive measures to rid him of the fleas.
Artificial food colouring
Many food items have food colouring, even for those that we consume. Some may argue that trace amounts of food colouring may not be all that bad, but research has continually shown that the risk is still substantial enough for caution.
And as it turns out, artificial food colouring can be just as dangerous for your pup. There are at least four common food colouring types found in dog treats, and each carries a specific risk. Yellow 5 and 6 have been linked to hyperactivity and allergies for pets. Blue 2 is notorious for tumours in the brain, as well as allergic reactions. Red 40 may be among the most dangerous due to its cancer-related effects when ingested steadily for a long period of time.
The best way to go about treats for your dog is to stick with natural treats. Nowadays, brands like earthmade offer grain-free and air-dried dog treats from varying meat products. A classic selection is Free-Range Grass-Fed Beef Clean Tripe Slice, which comes in 100-gram bags. These air-dried treats are low in fat and high in the necessary vitamins, dried raw to steer clear of any artificial food colouring or fillers.
Environmental allergens and bacterial infections
Sometimes, our pooch may pick up certain infections from his surroundings. Various elements in the environment can pose a serious health risk if not properly dealt with. Some dogs may be allergic to dust and mould, which can trigger a reaction that results in a lot of itchiness on their skin. For this type of reaction, you can at least observe your pup when seasons change, to check in and see if the change in environmental conditions influences him in any way.
Being observant in this way is actually very important. Sometimes, when left untreated, environment-induced allergic reactions can trigger a second line of concerns.
Itchiness brings a lot of bouts of scratching. When your dog does not stop scratching and licking the itchy area, this can cause not only redness but also possible wounds. Left untreated, this leaves him vulnerable to possible yeast and bacterial infections. This can become more serious the more it poses a challenge to his immune system.
What Symptoms to Watch Out For
Section is on understanding pruritus (itchy skin)
Top Food Products to Avoid Itchy Skin
If food intolerance seems to be the reason for your pet’s itchy woes, then finding the offending ingredient should be your main priority. The common trend is to do trial and error where you can check different pet food packs with different ingredients to see which one causes the least reaction.
Instead of buying so many pet food brands that may just inconvenience your pet–and you as well in the long run–why not have a more streamlined way of choosing the best food for your dog?
Shifting to a single-source protein food brand allows you the easy option of identifying which protein affects your dog. Some brands tend to put more than one meat product in the recipe, and sometimes, one of those can have an adverse effect on your dog’s tummy.
Single-source protein pet food takes out those other confounding factors. You can even start with the meat ingredients that are least likely to cause an allergic reaction. The following meat ingredients tend to be very friendly to most dogs’ tummies.
When it comes to meat products, the more commonly used the meat type is, the more likely they can have a more diverse effect on dogs’ gastrointestinal health. Many hypoallergenic dog food brands tend to carry novel meat types that are known to cause fewer allergic reactions.
Fish appears to be one of these meat ingredients, as vets state that dogs rarely experience true allergies when on a fish-based diet. Granted, there will be some exceptions. However, because of the diverse selections of fish ingredients, including mackerel and salmon, experts are more at ease in introducing fish-based products for dogs.
Start your dog with earthmade’s New Zealand Mackerel. It’s grain-free kibble that packs in a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as glucosamine and chondroitin to better take care of your pet’s joints.
While fish oil is not the main ingredient per se, having it as an add-on to the ingredients list will definitely work in favour of improving your dog’s tummy. In case your pup already has allergic reactions, fish oil can help reduce the itchiness and discomfort.
Want hypoallergenic food that also incorporates fish oil? Try out earthmade’s Free-Range Grass-Fed Lamb. This grain-free dog food features fish oil and a lot of nutrients. Its main ingredient is lamb and lamb meal, one of the current favourites of pet owners when it comes to novel hypoallergenic proteins.
Treats will always be part of your dog’s natural diet. Some off-the-shelf treats tend to have artificial colouring which can increase the risk of allergens in your dog’s system.
Nowadays, air-dried treats have become a common staple for every dog diet. Some brands, however, take the extra step of ensuring that the treats are even more beneficial. For instance, earthmade’s Free-Range Grass-Fed Beef Clean Tripe Slice skips any chemical processes, making it a naturally air-dried dog treat that is low in fat and high in vitamins and minerals. Using all-natural beef with no fillers or artificial flavours, pet owners can rest easy when giving their fur friends a slice as a reward.
What do you do if your dog already suffers from inflammation or allergic reactions? Quercetin may be a handy supplement to give him. This plant pigment is found in different fruits, berries, and nuts. Some ingredients, like kale and broccoli can be given to dogs in moderate amounts. You can also opt to give him supplemental doses of Quercetin to suppress any inflammation that may plague your dog.
Natural food high in antioxidants
Just as antioxidants have benefits for people, it also features just as many benefits for our pets. That’s because antioxidants help the body target free radicals that may cause different issues in their bodies. With an antioxidant-rich diet, your furry friend can be better protected from skin allergies, respiratory diseases, heart problems, immunodeficiencies, and even cancer.
Get a good head start by beefing up your dog’s diet with antioxidants. Try out Free-Range Grass-Fed Beef for adult dogs. Some of its added premium ingredients include rosehip, manuka honey, and kiwi, all of which are brimming with antioxidants.
Simple Remedies For An Itch-Free Pup
Natural remedies for itching have become heaven-sent for many owners. If you cannot immediately go to the vet but would want to offer your pup some relief in the meantime, do a quick check in your pantry. Some natural ingredients there may be the source of your relief for your pup!
Colloidal oatmeal baths
An age-old recipe for dealing with mild burns, dry skin, and eczema in humans is a good salve made of colloidal oatmeal. Thus, many households keep them handy, as some moms and even grandmas swear by its relieving effects on many skin conditions. If your fur baby ever gets similar itchiness on his skin, then it’s time to whip out the family colloidal oatmeal salve recipe.
Some pet owners may prefer mixing this into a paste, which you can apply on the afflicted skin. This can bring a soothing effect and help lessen the angry red appearance of the irritated skin. However, if you want to soothe that itching while also making his fur shiny and soft, why not make it into a soak instead?
Mix enough to create a milky solution that you can put in a small tub. Pro-tip for owners who don’t want a messy tub: put the oats in stockings or cheesecloth before soaking it in the tub. Depending on your dog’s size, you may need anywhere between a cup or more of the colloidal oatmeal. Make sure the water is lukewarm, then let your dog soak in the solution for up to 15 minutes. Pat them dry once done. Try to inject this regularly into his daily routine until the itching subsides. Of course, you can continue to give him oatmeal baths to make your pup’s fur shinier and fluffier.
Because of the high-fat content in coconut oil, most vets would not recommend regularly mixing coconut oil into your pooch’s diet. Instead, use coconut oil as a topical treatment. This natural ingredient is useful for improving skin conditions, and this includes addressing dryness and itching on dog’s skin.
Target the areas where the redness and itching are most prominent. Rub down the afflicted areas every day, both on his skin and fur. Even if there may be some skin abrasions and cuts due to incessant scratching, the beauty of coconut oil is that it has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
Even if the itching has somehow elevated to a potential bacterial threat, immediately addressing it with coconut oil and then consulting with your vet the two-punch combo you need to defeat your dog’s itching.
Make your dog’s life easier by taking all the necessary precautions of allergens and food intolerance in his environment. Start by finding the most suitable pet food brand that caters to his every needs. earthmade brings a great difference specifically by introducing sustainable farming that makes for healthy living for your pet as well. With meat products sourced from New Zealand farms, locally single-sourced protein can be the first step to ensure your dog’s optimal health and wellbeing.
Since February is National Cat Health Month, it’s the perfect time to check up on your cat’s overall health and well-being. There’s nothing we want more than keeping them healthy and happy. And one way to do so is to learn how cats communicate with us.
The problem is that cats are complex creatures with unpredictable mood swings. One minute they want to cuddle and the next, they want to be left alone. Admittedly, it’s part of their charm and one of the many reasons why we adore them so much.
When it comes to deciphering “cat language,” it can be confusing. Their facial expressions reveal only a tiny fraction of their thoughts. Instead, cats express themselves through body language and vocalisations.
As paw parents, it’s important for us to know that our cats are truly happy in our care. And while they cannot answer us directly, there are a few ways to tell if they are satisfied. Here are five tell-tail signs to look out for:
Healthy appetite for meals
A healthy appetite is a good sign that your cat is happy and they’re not overeating. When your cat is in good spirits, they eat a consistent but not excessive amount. Proper nutrition is essential to your cat’s health so make sure they are eating a balanced diet with all the nutrients they need.
Keep your cat’s healthy appetite with earthmade’s all-natural and grain-free cat food. Made from New Zealand’s highest quality ingredients, our dry food is prepared in our kitchens, where cooks and nutritionists work together to achieve the optimal nutrition profile for your kitty. Our hypoallergenic cat food is packed with iron, omega-3 and -6 fatty acids that helps improve your cat’s overall wellness, inside and out.
Try our Free-Range Grass-Fed Beef—it’s high in iron and animal protein for enhanced energy and well-being. Or our New Zealand Mackerel, which is full of omega-3 fatty acids for fewer allergies and better skin and coat. Or how about our Cage-Free Chicken? It’s low in calories but high in omega-6 fatty acids not only for that shiny coat but for general wellness.
Our cat food is also made with kiwi, known as a superfruit. A great source of vitamin C that helps with hairball control and collagen production, making your cat’s coat look softer and more radiant.
Self-grooming is a characteristic of most cats and they take it very seriously. Cats are flexible and well-equipped for grooming. You might notice them stretching and twisting into some pretty unusual positions when doing so.
Grooming is an excellent reference for their mood. A cat who feels content tends to groom themselves, so a shiny coat is a good sign that all is well in your cat’s world. But when they’re feeling under the weather or unhappy, they may stop cleaning themselves.
On the other hand, over-grooming can indicate a medical or behavioural problem. If you notice your cat is grooming excessively, talk to your veterinarian.
We can’t communicate verbally with our cats, but they have vocal cues to give us context clues. These will help you tell if they feel hungry, affectionate, anxious, or in pain. Note that cats do not meow at one another; they only do it as a way to get attention from humans.
Murmuring sounds that include purring usually means contentment and approval while chattering or twittering happens when a prey is around. There’s a chance your cat might feel frustrated or excited when seeing a feathered friend nearby.
Purring, in particular, is a good sign that your cat is happy and fond of you. Cats are believed to reserve their purrs exclusively for humans they adore. They don’t even purr for other felines except for their own kitties. The higher the pitch of your cat’s noises, the happier they are.
But remember to give your cat space when they growl or hiss at you. Cats make these sounds when they are annoyed, stressed, or scared. It’s a signal to back off.
Engaged and playful
Another sign of a happy cat is their playful behaviour. It means they’re in the presence of someone they trust and are healthy and active. While cats are famous for thier spontaneous bouts of energy (from chill to maximum energy in a split second), they still make for playful pets.
Your cat will often show you how happy they are by asking to play in several ways. It can be from lying on their side to twitching their tails. Even senior cats still have a sense of fun, albeit in a less physically active way. No matter the age, cats will interact with you and other household pets they like and trust.
A cat that’s ready to play will become alert with their ears forward and tail up.
Cats are expressive if you know what to look for in their body language. Try and pay attention to your cat’s posture. When they rub their bodies or chin against you, it’s often a display of love and affection, but this also means they are marking their territory. A happy cat may roll and display their tummy for you.
How they hold and move their tail communicates a lot of things, too. For example, when it’s curled around your legs, your cat is being friendly. When they hold their tail high, they are projecting confidence.
Cats are expressive with their eyes as well. If your cat gives you a long, slow blink, consider it a compliment—it’s their way of saying they trust you.
Finally, when your cats start to rub their cute little paws into your lap, pushing and pulling like they’re whipping up a batch of biscuits, it’s called kneading. It’s a behaviour they learned as kittens. Cats may knead anywhere, from a soft surface to you, perhaps your shoulders, when they are happy.
Cats do not communicate with us the way we do with other people, but they do talk to us in their own way. Make it a habit to spend more time with your cat. Whether it’s playing or just chilling at home, it will go a long way toward your cat’s mental and emotional health.