Food Safety: We’ve Got your Dog’s Back

It seems like we’re frequently hearing of major pet food brands being recalled, and we can understand what a scary feeling that must be for pet owners. While we can proudly say we’ve never experienced a recall on any of our products, we want to take a minute to let you know that food recalls happen for a variety of different reasons but, here at Stewart®, we go above and beyond to provide your pet with the best nutrition and you with the peace of mind that it’s safe. All of our food and treats are made in the USA with responsibly resourced meats (no mysteries here!) in a USDA-approved human-grade facility – meaning, we could [technically] make YOUR food here if we wanted, but we’ll stick to pets.

If you have any questions about our products, their processing, or providing quality nutrition to your pet, head to our Learning Center or feel free to Contact Us!

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Pet Obesity Awareness

Chubby cats and dogs are the cutest, but underneath all that extra fluff could be a health issue waiting to emerge. Pet obesity has become more aware in the United States, given that over half of cats and dogs are overweight or obese. Overweight pets can develop arthritis, diabetes, and many other life risking issues if not taken care of. Some reasons our pets may become overweight is because of lack of exercise, which is why just 30 minutes of walking a day can do wonders for your loving pet.

Obesity can occur in our pets when we are:pet obesity

  • Feeding them more food than they should be fed
  • Providing them with high calorie dog food
  • Rewarding with fatty treats
  • Feeding table food and scraps

All of these factors, combined with not enough exercise, is the perfect mixture for an overweight pup. Some useful tips to lessen the inches and increase the heartrate for your dog are:

  • Frequent walks- even if they are short 15 minute walks twice a day
  • Playing fetch
  • Running around at the dog park
  • Having a play date with another dog

All of these activities can increase not only yours, but your dog’s overall health. Exercising your dog is a very important part of good health, but don’t forget the diet. Stewart® Raw Naturals™ comes in freeze dried and frozen raw dog food packed with nutrients and vitamins to increase your dog’s health. Along with our raw dog food, Stewart® Pro-Treat™ Liver Treats only contain 6 calories per treat, perfect for a good dog who deserves a reward.

As always, talk to your veterinarian before changing your dog’s diet and be aware of how much exercise your dog can handle.

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A Tribute to Responsible Pet Owners

UntitledFebruary is Responsible Pet Owners Month, a nod to the humans that give so many animals the best love and care their furry hearts could hope for. From daily feedings, to walks, grooming, and plain ol’ TLC, being a responsible pet owner is exactly that – a responsibility. But responsible pet ownership extends beyond a doggy door and two feedings a day. Your pet is part of the family and caring for a loved one means a lot of different things – below is a checklist of things to ensure you’re being a conscious, caring pet owner:

  • Spay and neuter – not only is this healthier for your pet, but it combats pet overpopulation, which we can all agree is beneficial to our communities.
  • Keep up with appointments – Your vet should send you reminder postcards for vaccinations; be sure to call and schedule as soon as you get it so it’s on the calendar. It’s important that your pet sees a health care professional at least once a year.
  • Proper identification – While this is pretty basic, it’s recommended to go beyond the usual tag with your name and phone number on it. Microchip your pet – it’s a built-in ID tag and the success rate is considerably more than just a collar (which can fall off) or no tags at all.
  • Be prepared – Consider a pet first aid kit. It’s a huge relief to know that if anything went wrong on a hike or at home that you can help your pet.
  • Travel safety – If your pet frequently accompanies you in the car, consider a safety harness designed for travel like our Seat Leash™ Car Restraint. You’d never let your son or daughter ride without a seatbelt – pets are no different!

From the pawttom of our hearts, thank you for being a responsible, doting pet owner!

 

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Beating The Winter Blues

We are getting closer to the end of winter, which most of us- including our pets- are thrilled about, yet we are noticing mood changes not only in ourselves but in our pets too. Winter can be a beautiful, majestic experience, but too much of that brown slush and scraping the car windshield one more time is going to drive you insane.

Since both humans and animals respond to light, various studies have shown that catching the winter blues is an effect of limited sunlight exposure.

  • Melatonin, a hormone that helps snowboarding
    relaxation and sleepiness, is light sensitive, so the less light it receives results in more melatonin produced which is why we have that sluggish feeling more in the winter.
  • Another hormone, serotonin, affects appetite, mood, and sleep, but needs light to produce these “feel good” sensations. Less light means less serotonin production in you and your pet.

Ways for your pet to beat the winter blues:

  • Open blinds and curtains to let as much light in as possible
  • Play inside games with your pets such as tug-of-war, wrestling, or hide and go seek
  • Hide treats and scented toys around the house to boost their senses
  • Venture outdoors for a roll in the snow or a brisk walk

During these lazy months, make sure you do not over feed your pets. They do not need as much food when their fitness levels are not high. Even though winter may feel like it is never ending, enjoying the simple pleasures of everyday life will cure you and your pup’s winter blues in no time.

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February is Pet Dental Health Month

Picture 1Considering they can’t exactly brush or floss, it may seem silly to dedicate an entire month to pets’ dental health, but it’s actually one of the more important ‘reminder’ holidays established in the pet world. Your pet’s teeth are little white windows into many facets of their health; but what you see is, quite literally, just the tip of the iceberg.

Most dogs start to show signs of gum disease by age four. You may be wondering, what’s the big deal? Well, if left untreated, bacteria from the gums can seep into the bloodstream and effect their heart, kidneys, or liver, which are major contributors to their overall health. Furthermore, gum disease is just plain uncomfortable and can lead to tooth loss, which can be stressful on an animal who relies on their teeth for survival.

The good news is there are a number of at-home ways to keep plaque and gum disease at bay. Chewing and maintaining a healthy diet are two large factors in oral health, making it important that you leave a few bones around and are feeding them a high quality diet (remember, any of our delicious Stewart® Raw Naturals Fresh to Home options that can easily maintain optimal oral health, and our Pro-Treat® Raw Frozen Ground Bones are perfect for chewing, treating, AND maintaining oral health.)

Of course, there’s always brushing your dog’s teeth. Talk to your veterinarian, store clerk, or consult the internet on the best way to go about brushing pets’ teeth, as it’s the best and most direct way to thwart disease-causing plaque and bacteria. For dogs that won’t let you in their mouths, there are oral gels that work to effectively reduce plaque and bacteria, like our Oxy-Dental™ Oral Spray, in addition to specially formulated treats, like our Dental Pro-Treats, with a unique shape to scrape plaque and control doggy breath. We hope you take the time this, and every month to monitor and maintain your pet’s oral health.

Happy brushing!

 

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Two Is Better Than One

Many dog lovers who own a dog consider adding another loyal companion to the family. The usual intention is to have a friend for your current dog to play and bond with. Depending on your situation, getting a second dog could either be the best thing you do or a complete disaster. To ensure your next pup brings an abundance of joy and ease, here are some things to consider before bringing home your next best friend.

  • The cost for an extra dog will 2 doggiesdouble
  • The responsibilities will double
  • Determine your current dog’s behavior before adding a new dog
  • Make sure your current dog is healthy and updated on shots and medications
  • Spay or Neuter at least one of the dogs so they do not procreate
  • Make sure you have complete control over your first dog, otherwise you might get overwhelmed with two dogs not obeying
  • Understand your current dog’s behavior, age, breed, gender, size, and energy levels to choose the perfect friend- an older dog might not feel comfortable with a puppy’s energy level and could get agitated
  • When you have found the next member of the family, introduce both dogs in a neutral environment so territorial issues do not arise

Dogs bring ample amounts of love and joy to their owners, but doing your research first and taking your time to find the best fit for your family will determine the amount of stress you and your dogs will have.

 

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Happy Valentine’s Day

vday pic

Love is in the air this time of year… puppy love that is! Your dog is your prized possession and has always been there for you, so show some love this heartfelt season and surprise your pup with some of his favorites. Treats, food, collars, and leashes will make your dog head over paws for you. Some gift suggestions for your loyal companion are:

Rewarding your dog for being good by always making you happy will continue their desire to want to please you. Having the opportunity to love an animal as magnificent as a dog will never end, so this Valentine’s Day let them know how much you appreciate them and their constant devotion to you.

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Oh, That’s the Spot!

UntitledYes, we know, it’s completely indulgent and humanizing to give your dog a massage – but c’mon! If you’ve ever enjoyed a massage we’re confident you can understand why your dog deserves to experience it, too. While your pet won’t exactly absorb the tranquility we humans love at the spa, they can certainly reap the benefits of having their muscles kneaded and relaxed, especially if they’re working animals like hunting dogs or herders. With the way humans spend on their pets, there should be places in your area that administer professional dog massages, if that’s what you prefer, but we just like to give Fido a little rub down when we’re relaxing after our walk. (Not only does it save us money, it’s an opportunity to bond. We love when our dogs know they’re being spoiled by us.)

There is a science behind dog massage and techniques that can range from novice to bona fide masseuse, so if you’re seeking therapeutic treatment for a specific ailment, consult your veterinarian or a professional in the field. If you’re like us and just want to indulge your dog in something to make him feel great, here are a couple of tips and spots we’ve noticed our dogs just love:

  • Use your palm or top four fingers to knead the muscles in a circular motion. Try your best to administer even pressure with your hand to avoid ‘digging in’ to their muscle, which can actually cause sensitivity rather than alleviating it.
  • Gauge your pet’s reaction. It’s best to start with light pressure and watch their reaction as you increasingly push a little harder. If they jolt at any point, it’s likely you’ve hit an injury you didn’t know existed – stop the massage and call your veterinarian; you may have just discovered something that needs professional assessment.
  • We’ve noticed our dogs’ favorite spots to be massaged are their upper shoulders, behind their ears, and their back legs. And don’t forget about their paws! You’ll know your pup’s enjoying it if their body feels completely relaxed and their eyes are slowly opening and closing.

Remember that this is just a loose guide to indulging your pooch in a new way to relax. If you’re really looking to perfect your craft, there are plenty of informational resources available online, in addition to getting your vet’s recommendations.

If you really want to go the extra mile, consider throwing in a grooming session and pawdicure – head over to our Miracle Care™ page to find the perfect tools to further beautify your pooch!

 

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Stewart® Flavor Enhancer™

dog eating

Do you have a picky eater? Is your pet refusing to eat? Cats and dogs can refuse to eat for many reasons such as; the stress of being kenneled, traveling, having to eat medicated meals, recent illness or surgery, or even just switching food types. Your pet not eating can be stressful on you and them, making the problem even worse. Stewart® Flavor Enhancer™ was made to help entice your pet to eat. With flavors of real beef or chicken and no artificial preservatives, your pet will be begging for food in no time. Stewart® Flavor Enhancer™ is 100% all natural, and made in the USA with just a single ingredient. Shake ½ tsp of flavor enhancer for every 10 pounds of body weight onto food and mix together. If you are feeding dry food, add a little water to mix up the flavor enhancer. Stewart® Flavor Enhancer™ has a strong, delectable taste that will help your pet eat in any situation.

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Dog’s Helping Others

Dogs make great, loyal pets that we, as pet parents know will always be there to comfort us. Aside from our cuddly friends, there are some dogs who risk their lives just to save others. Working dogs go through extensive training, harsh conditions, and strict discipline just to please us.

There are many types or working dogs:working dog
• Military Dogs
• Police Dogs
• Sled Dogs
• Therapy Dogs
• Guide Dogs
Military dogs learn to stay silent when hiding out with troops during combat; they sniff out bombs and mines, and even attack the enemies. Military dogs, as well as police dogs, risk their lives to protect ours, which shows great companionship and pride. Sled dogs endure extreme cold temperatures, exerting themselves by running fast and pulling weight more than their own. Therapy dogs provide comfort to those with conditions such as PTSD and autism. These therapy dogs sense uneasiness with their master and provides happiness and warmth to make them feel better. Guide dogs help those who are in wheelchairs, or are deaf, or blind. The job of the guide dog is to protect their human in any situation. All of these dogs, who help us humans, willingly learn and understand the importance of keeping us safe, and they do it with flying colors. Like most of us who have our loving dogs at home waiting for us to greet them, let’s think about the dogs who are risking their lives and showing ample amounts of greatness.

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