On Wheat and Flour

Exciting things have been happening recently. Along with family, we are starting a business selling dog treats that are biologically appropriate for dogs. It is very important to me that the correct ingredients are used and that they won’t harm the dogs in any way. I make my own treats and have been using coconut flour as it is grain free and goes a long way. After reading Jean Dodd’s book, Canine Nutrigenomics, it highlighted even more the dangers of using gluten based flours for dogs. So, I started researching about other flours to see what was out there. I came across this link: http://www.wheat-free.org/wheat-free-gluten-free-alternative-flours.html. Now I always like to look at lots of different sources of information so I get a balanced view. I don’t take anything at face value. It amazed me just what they can make flour out of!

After much searching for products and looking at prices, I went for the Aramanth Flour. I like the fact that it is high in protein, however I will use other flours for dogs that need a low protein diet for health reasons. One thing I have learnt from trying different flours, is that you need to do lots of practicing! Not all flours react the same when added to other ingredients. Coconut flour, for example, is used sparingly as it soaks up a lot of the moisture.

So what exactly is the problem with wheat based flours? The following is an extract from Canine Nutrigenomics:

Gluten is what holds bread together and makes it rise. Gluten is linked to a whole host of serious health conditions in people and dogs…But your dog doesn’t have to have wheat sensitive enteropathy to suffer from the harmful effects of gluten. A less obvious, low-grade autoimmune reaction to gluten can trigger a wildfire of chronic inflammation that affects every organ system in the body, including the brain, heart, joints and digestive tract (Hyman 2013). It can even create an immune response that causes subclinical brain inflammation, resulting in age-related dementia (Perricone, 2010).

While this is only a snippet, this is one of the reasons why I choose not to feed my dog gluten based flours or gluten based food at all.

Do your own research and come up with your own conclusions.

For more information, go to www.thepossiblecanine.com or http://drjeandoddspethealthresource.tumblr.com/

I will be doing a series on different ingredients in the near future, so check back soon!

To view our products and our articles, go to www.holistichounds.org.uk

Advertisements

Top 5 Harnesses

A common question often comes up – What is the best harness for my dog?
After talking to many people, here are the results:

1. Perfect Fit Harness – Dog Games

PF_with_diagram5

How it works:
– Easy to put on and take off with 3 clips
– Adjustable in 5 places
– Pieces can be replaced
– Calming as it is a snug fit
– Soft and non-rubbing

What people say:

“It comes in three pieces so there no need to buy a complete new one if your dog grows or if one piece gets damaged. The top piece is interchangeable if you like to colour co-ordinate it’s well made, strong, comfortable, snug fitting (no wriggle room for Houdini’s) but best of all for us, our reactive girl no longer has to wear a head halti, we love it.”

“We got a Perfect Fit just a few days ago. It is the best thing we’ve ever bought. Spike is now much more relaxed on his walks and has freedom of movement for his head. For the last couple of years we have used a Gentle Leader headcollar so I was a bit dubious about the change (not to mention the expense) but I wish we had done it long ago now!”

2. Julius K-9 Harnessjulius

How it works:
– Heavy duty buckles
– Reflective edges and chest strap
– Option for attaching sidebags
– Removable velcro labels
– Certified quality
– Breathable, skin friendly lining

 

What people say:

“Ive used it on all my dogs and I love it’s versatility. Most useful is the handle which I’ve used for a number of different reasons. I think it’s quite difficult for a dog to back out of and it’s easy to fit and comfortable too. It also has attachments for good sized saddle bags which come in handy.”

“Purchased it as a Christmas gift for myself and my dog. It fitted perfectly (thanks to the awesome measurement and weight guide), good fit and it look great on my dog 🙂

I am looking forward to working and competing with her in this harness at scent detection!”

2.TTouch Harness – Xtra Dog

ttouch

How it works:
– Non-habitual movements release tension using gentle bodywork and physically balancing groundwork exercises
– Works on the nervous system, helping to improve mental, physical and emotional balance
– It’s ideal for dogs who are nervous of harnesses.
– Two shaped fasteners either side of the neck, and two shaped fasteners either side of the barrel enable you to put the harness on your dog without having to place it over his head or having to lift a leg.

What people say:

“Front connection designed for balancing and ttouch on the xtra dog. With fleece padding too. Only downside is non adjustable neck.”

“Tried various ones at Crufts including the perfect fit but I think my dog is a funny shape so they all pulled under the armpits. The Ttouch harness from xtra dog was the only one that fit great! This is the one that adjusts everywhere (neck, chest, sides).”

3. Zero DC Padded Harness

zerodc

How it works:
– It is made from non-absorbent materials and therefore the frost resistant
– fulfills all the conditions for the distribution of the maximum tensile force
– Does not slip
– Allows free movement of the back
– no contact with the neck of the dog and enables free breathing

What people say:

“I pick the Zero Dc as it is soft and “wide” so there are no thin straps that chafe armpits, fits my fluffy shelties body perfectly and I feel in control ob our walk”

“One of the best features of this harness, particularly for smaller dogs, is the small area of padding which extends beyond the back length of the harness, below the ring for attaching your bungee line clip to. This additional padding means that a metal clip which may normally have bounced on the dogs’ back if the line becomes slack, doesn’t cause any issues for your dog.”

4. Halti Harness

pvi-halti-harness-01

How does it work?
– Steers the dog from his chest rather than by his head
– The HALTI Harness puts owners in control of dogs that don’t like or cannot wear a HALTI Headcollar
– the HALTI does not put painful pressure on the body and is always comfortable
– Ideally used with a double-ended lead to give maximum control
– The back ring above the shoulders acts as a brake while the front lead steers

What people say:

“Completely size adjustable, light weight and simple to fit, can be used with a single ended lead connecting to the front (so it actually targets the problem of pulling) or a double ended lead attached to the front and one to the back. I use the single lead to the front with my ex-pulling samoyed. He walks beautifully in this harness, the ones with rear connecting clips if anything made his pulling even worse.”

“Bought this harness after hearing all the positive reviews I had read. We didn’t really believe it could be that good but have been at the end of our tether with our staffie/bulldog mix so were willing to try anything! It did work instantly and meant I was able to walk the dog having not been able to before because of his relentless pulling. He walked slowly and by my side with this harness coupled with the training lead, however, he doesn’t seem to enjoy it and did get a little aggressive a couple of times (out of frustration at being controlled I think) :(We still use it for street walks though and I would thoroughly recommend it, well worth the money and smart to look at too.”

5. Mekuti Balance Harness

mekuti

How it works:
– Fully adjustable, comfortable and secure
– Promotes even muscle development which can help with recovery from injury or hip dysplasia
– Reduces lead reactivity
– Improves posture which can help with back problems in both dog and handler
– Improve control, direction and speed gently

 

 

What people say:

(taken from the website)

“I received the harness today and took my rottie for a walk just to see what it was like. When I was told about it , I had my reservations about putting a rottie in a harness. I have to say though, that today was the best walk I have ever had with him. He had lunged at other dogs in the past and at 42kgs it’s hard to keep him down. Today we passed other dogs & he really did not bother…. I can’t believe the difference. After Christmas I am going to order another just to keep as spare….I am so impressed….Thank you.”

“I have a Shiba Inu puppy, just 19 weeks at the time of writing.She had got to the stage that when I appeared with a lead she ran away and hid, the reason being she didn’t like the harness and lead/collar combination that she was in because when she pulled it choked her. I didn’t like them either, until I heard about your product, I didn’t know of another way to walk her. I suffer from arthritis and my arms hurt so much that I was beginning to despair.”

“Then my friend gave me the “Battersea Dogs magazine” and my eyes riveted on your advert, as it reminded me of a harness I used to use on my Chow Chow’s, 20 years ago. I was on the internet that day, it came the next. We tried it that same day and it made me cry because she walked WITHOUT PULLING, and without choking. We have not looked back, we are both now very happy, many, many thanks for a wonderful product. “

NOTE: Remember that harnesses are not a replacement or alternative to training and behaviour management. They are an aid to fit in with other interventions. If you need a trainer or behaviourist, please go to www.moderndoggroup.com/directory.