December 12, 2014

Bruisa - Dog of the Week

Name: Bruisa
Breed: Malteze Shin Tzu
Age: 2
Favourite Park: Queenscliff Lagoon
DoggyBag Meal: Chicken

His Story
Meet Bruisa - he's an adorable little pup with a tough name (chosen by Dad) but the sweetest softest teddybear.

Bruisa has been in our lives since he was a puppy, and due to a wonderful friendship with Bruisa’s ‘hoomans’, Bruisa and Soldier became forced besties.

Our first memory of Bruisa was on a picnic down at the beach, Soldier and Bruisa were playing chasing on the sand and out of nowhere Bruiser jumped over a wave and into the water.  In went a big fluffy white furball - out came a little drowned rat!

Inside that tiny body is a pup with a big beautiful heart, Bruisa loves cuddles and snuggles and wouldn’t hurt a fly.  He loves being on the beach and his favourite place is Queensie Lagoon where he goes every night when his parents get home from work.

Bruisa is a bit of a fussy eater.  One time on a family holiday Bruisa was given a can of tuna with his kibble.  Within 5 minutes Bruisa’s face had swollen up to the size of a basketball.. No more fish for Bruisa!

DoggyBag decided to stick to the chicken recipe for Bruisa which gives him variety to his kibble only diet.  As Bruisa is under our 5kg weight, we’ve tailored a meal plan for him, so he can enjoy both his dry breakfast and a delicious chicken meal for dinner.

Keep being a cutie Bruisa, you make us laugh! 

December 10, 2014

Is My Dog Obese?

Hi DoggyBaggers, my name is Dr Oliver Conradi a veterinarian working in Sydney. I will be bringing you blogs about some of the most important nutritional topics regarding our furry four legged friends. Remember if you have any concerns for your dog’s health and weight, or want to discuss these topics in more detail be sure to book a visit with your veterinarian. 

Prevalence of Obesity

I believe obesity to be one of the most common and important preventable diseases affecting dogs and cats in the modern world. In recent years, as has been seen in humans, obesity rates have been on the rise in dog and cat populations.

Perception Of Obesity

The public’s perception of what is considered a ‘normal’ weight for a dog has become skewed. This is likely due to the high proportion of the dog population now being overweight. Dogs that are actually overweight are often perceived to have a normal or healthy weight, and a dog that actually has a healthy weight may be perceived by some as being underweight. 

Is My Dog Obese?

Dogs come in a wide rage of shapes and sizes with a huge range of dog breeds existing meaning it can be hard to know what is a healthy weight for your dog. A few basic rules can be used to assess whether or not your dog is overweight. Regardless of breed, a dog with a healthy weight will have the following features:

  • The ribs and spine should be easily felt and not buried underneath excess fat.
  • When viewed from above, the dog should have a waist which tapers in. The abdomen should not bulge out at the sides.
  • When viewed from the side, the underside of the dog’s abdomen should slope up towards the pelvis. It should not hang or sag.

source: www.aplaceforpaws.com


Obesity And Other Diseases

In recent years research has made us think differently about obesity and the way excess amounts of fat behaves within the body. Excess fat is able to produce hormones and chemical factors which stimulate inflammatory processes. Inflammation is an important process that helps our bodies fight off infections and allows it to undergo healing.  However, if it occurs on a global level in the body and for extended periods of time, it can have negative impacts for health. 

We have known for a long time that obesity is a risk factor for a wide range of diseases and certain cancers in dogs and humans. It is now thought that the chronic state of inflammation that is present within obese animals and humans is directly involved with causing cancer. Other diseases that obese dogs are at a higher risk of developing include diabetes and arthritis. 

Excess weight puts undue pressure and strain on joints, making obese dogs more prone to arthritis and also hastens its progression. Obesity not only makes certain diseases more likely, but also shortens the life span of obese dogs. Studies have shown that dogs fed on calorie-restricted diets have longer life spans when compared with dogs that have free access to food. 

These are just a few of the multitude of negative health consequences associated with obesity. It is critically important to feed your dog a diet that is tailored to their individual energy requirements in order to maintain a healthy weight.



Dr Oliver Conradi graduated from the University of Sydney with 1st Class Honours and currently works as a Vet in Lindfield, NSW.  He grew up with dogs and cats, and had a love and keen interest for science and biology as a child. He decided to become a veterinarian and discovered his passion after seeing the great work veterinarians carry out during a two month backpacking trip through Africa.


December 4, 2014

Bella - Dog of the Week

Name:  Bella
Breed: Pug x Jack Russell
Age: 3
Favourite Park: Sirius Cove, Mosman
DoggyBag Dinner:  Chicken

Her Story:

Meet beautiful Bella!  She was DoggyBag’s very first customer so she’s very special to us.

Bella’s ‘hoomans’ came to us as close friends to express their frustration and concerns over Bella’s eating habits and constant vomiting after eating.  As we had experienced similar problems with Soldier we took up the challenge to make her fall in love with food again.


We started Bella on the DoggyBag Fish meal, which is great for dogs with sensitive tummies. There’s not much more to say other than Bella hasn’t vomited since and now she woofs down her dinner every night.  We’ve also introduced different flavours like the Chicken recipe every now and then to give her variety.


Bella’s a tomboy at heart, she’s sociable and independent and will often befriend other families down at the park but watch her because she’s also known to steal other dogs toys.


But when at home Bella loves nothing more than a cuddle with Mum, but gets jealous of her parents affection for each other, which is why she chooses to sleep in her parent’s bed just to make sure no funny business happens.


We love you Bella.






December 3, 2014

Why The Dry?


A lot of people have been asking us why we serve dry food as part of our daily meal plans.  When we were formulating our diets we did countless hours of research speaking with local vets and nutritionists, reading reputable sources from the Internet and even a few late nights reading university textbooks.

So I thought I would take some time to explain the rational behind our decision.  So let's get started:

(A FEW) PROS AND CONS

DRY FOOD
PROS
CONS
Cheaper and more energy dense
Lower palatability, the lack of smell can be a deterrent for many dogs, that’s why it’s left in the bowl sometimes!

In most cases very balanced and meets all nutritional requirements (AAFCO)

More likely to contain preservatives and lacks good sources of protein

Good for the teeth.  Dogs like to chew so the dry option allows them to meet this need at the same time as cleaning and hardening gums to prevent gum disease. Note: for some dogs with sensitive gums dry food many not be an option.


Dry foods do not provide as much moisture as wet foods, this becomes more important as a dog ages, when an animal becomes ill, and in hotter climates commonly experienced in Australia.
WET FOOD
PROS
CONS

Wet foods typically contain more meat protein than their dry counterparts.  Dry food companies use meat by-products instead of fresh meat and sometimes substitute with grain proteins like Soy

All dogs are more prone to developing dental and gum disease when solely on a wet diet.

Wet foods are often more palatable than comparable dry diets. While manufacturers boost the taste appeal of dry kibble by coating it with tempting fats, gravy, and other flavorings, it’s hard to compete with the delectable aroma from a freshly cooked meal with quality meats

Canned foods contain a lot of binding agents like gelatin and coloring agents that can upset your dog’s tummy.

Not all dogs drink as much water as they should and wet foods can help replace any fluid deficits..

Dogs being fed on an incorrectly formulated home cooked diets are at a high risk of developing nutritional deficiencies (more below)

HOME COOKED MEALS
It’s very common these days for pet owners to prepare home cook meals for their dogs – that’s how DoggyBag was born!  It is however very important that when cooking for your dog you prepare the right food that meets their daily nutrient requirements (as defined by the AAFCO) – Especially if your dog is a puppy, elderly or has sensitivities or special requirements.

In many cases the home cooked meals don't meet theses requirements and those nutrient deficiencies could potentially be harming your dog over long periods of time.  As an example - if you feed your dog a raw meat diet then it’s important to supplement their diet with calcium to avoid deficiencies in this important nutrient. Calcium deficiency can lead to brittle bones and other diseases    This can be prevented by regularly given you dog raw bones - however this is not always possible for some dogs with sensitivities or not always readily available for the owners. 

THE VERDICT
So at DoggyBag when we were formulating our daily meal plans we decided on a dry breakfast and a wet dinner to balance out all pros and cons. 

We offer dry food in the morning for the dense energy push to keep the dogs going during the day, plus the added benefit of keeping their teeth healthy.  Then at night-time we serve a specially formulated wet dinner that rehydrates your dog and gives them quality sources of proteins and minerals to help repair muscles and keep them living longer.

However we do understand that all dogs are different and sometimes the mixed meal plan won’t work for all dogs.  If you have a fussy eater make sure you get in touch and we’ll formulate the perfect meal for your pooch.  For more information on our meal plans please visit the Our Food section of our website.

If you have any questions please get in touch and don’t forget to sign your pooch up to DoggyBag today





November 30, 2014

Welcome to DoggyBlog

Hey DoggyBaggers,

Welcome to the DoggyBlog!  This is our forum to share our story and all the knowledge we have discovered along the DoggyBag adventure.  We have worked with many wonderful nutritionist and local Vets to get DoggyBag to where it is today, and we're only just beginning.   So join us, follow us, share us and become a DoggyBagger as we'd love to hear your story!


We will tackle many topics on dog health and nutrition and we will share our own views and learnings, rescue stories, loving stories and of course our own personal stories of our famous Frenchie - Soldier .


Let me formally introduce Soldier.  He is our stubborn, playful, noisy, snoring, unique, spoilt, four year old, brindle French Bulldog.  We adopted Soldier when he was only 8 weeks old, and driving home with him in my arms we feel in love. From that moment on we have treated Soldier like he was a real little boy, a real life Pinnochio (a hairy, four legged version).


As Soldier grew out of his puppy years we noticed we were constantly at the vet, for itchy ears and paws, diarrhoea, vomiting, skin irritations, you name it!  Soldier has cost us thousands in vet bills but we wouldn't have it any other way!




We tested many variables of proteins and carbohydrates and vegetables, until we finally got it right.  Soldier is allergic to chicken, so we keep Soldier on the DoggyBag Fish Recipe and he has never been healthier. Let's just say we've cancelled pet insurance :)

I won't bore you with too much more today, and will share some other great DoggyBag result stories later...


Soldier is our inspiration, he brings so much joy to Simon and I.  He is a creature of habit and knocks on our door at 5:30am every morning to let us know he needs to go toilet, which afterwards he comes in for some cuddle-time.  He has his favourite 'Mr Bonems' which he holds in his front paws and chews every night whilst we work or watch TV and then we tuck him in to bed and kiss him on the soft fur on his forehead every night and tell him how much we love him........what can we say we're crazy dog people.  


We just love dogs and we're so passionate about all dogs, their health and their safety, and we want every dog to live a beautiful loving life like our Soldier-man.


Enjoy DoggyBaggers.



Bianca.