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What Amount of Dog Treats do I feed my Dog?

Too Much of a Good Thing

 

Dogs and humans aren’t much different in some respects.  Think of the last time you popped open a bag of potato chips. Did you eat just one? How can we expect our dogs to be content with just one treat, especially when they’re a delicious, soft and chewy, grain and gluten free freeze dried dog and cat single ingredient treats…like Northwest Naturals?

 

We can’t, and we shouldn’t.  Treats are just one more way that we can show our pets how much we love them.  So, the first part of our answer to this important question is to buy nutritionally healthy treats that taste as good as they sound.  When the treats are healthy, it’s easier to give them more frequently.

 

The second answer is a bit more situation dependent, as it’s based on the daily nutritional requirements of your pet.  The food you give to your pet, the amount of that food your pet receives at each meal, and how many times you feed your pet per day are the big factors.  If you are over-feeding or meeting the total nutritional requirements with your dog’s daily meals, it leaves less room for tasty treats and rewards throughout the day.

 

When feeding your pet, a raw based food diet, free from fillers like grains and gluten’s, your pet is getting optimal nutrition.  Imagine if every meal you ate was specifically designed to promote your health and well-being.  You’d have more room in your diet for a sweet treat now and again.  Just like you might work with a nutritionist or medical expert to develop that diet, we work with vets and pet health experts to develop our dog and cat foods and treats.

 

Pet food and treats should have recommended daily portions and serving sizes on the packaging.  But, you still need to know the specific nutritional needs of your pet.  And some companies are focused on selling more product vs. the health of your pet.  When shopping for your pet, read the ingredient labels.  Try to pick out the main ingredients.  In healthy pet food and treats, this is easy to do.  Aim for a single ingredient treat, or chicken, rather than chicken by product or chicken meal.  Avoid grains and gluten’s as these are fillers, which aren’t good for your pet, or your wallet.

 

Our dietary feeding suggestions are based on your pet’s weight and caloric needs, but we cannot know things like your pet’s activity levels, dietary restrictions, and/or allergies.  You can use the Feeding Calculator on our website or find another one online. You can also take the information on our packaging to your vet to develop a recommendation for daily meals and treats that will spoil your pet while maintaining good health.  Pair this nutritional information with healthy exercise levels and your fur baby will be set to live a happier, healthier, and longer life.


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keeping your pets safe on halloween

Keeping Your Pets Safe on Halloween

The Dangers Hiding in the Sweets, Tricks, and Treats.

You’ve worked hard to switch your pets over to a healthy and balanced diet, and take care to make sure that they are eating only the best foods and treats.  To ensure they stay healthy, here are some tips on keeping your pets safe on Halloween.

Chocolate

Most people know that chocolate is bad for dogs, but the reason why is a lesser known fact. One of the ingredients is chocolate is something called theobromine.  This is something that we humans can easily metabolize, but dogs cannot process it out of their system.  Depending on the size of your dog and the amount of chocolate ingested, the effects can range from an upset stomach too much more serious issues and even death.  Keep chocolate out of reach and if your dog does eat some, be sure to call your vet.

Artificial Sweeteners

While low calorie candy might be the lesser of two evils for us humans, artificial sweeteners like Xylitol are harmful to pets.  Xylitol is dangerous to both cats and dogs because it causes a sharp increase in the production or release of insulin, which can make your them hypoglycemic. These sweeteners are in everything from chewing gum, to candies, to beverages.  Keep things with artificial sweeteners out of your pets reach.

Small Toys

With the rise of food allergies, humans are opting in some cases to give away small toys.  Just like in small humans, these toys can be a choking hazard to your pets and may even cause other damage like intestinal blockage.  Be sure to watch for the little treats in your small human’s treat bags.

Streamers, Faux Cobwebs and Other Decorations

Keep an eye on your pets around Halloween decorations.  Things that are brightly colored might attract them and look like something fun to chew on.  What your fur baby doesn’t know, is that eating these string-like decorations can lead to a trip to the emergency vet.

Scary Lights and Sounds

Halloween is full of frights for pets and humans alike.  People dressed up in costumes, ringing your doorbell and yelling words that dogs don’t understand can cause high fear and anxiety.   In fact, aside from holidays with fireworks, Halloween is the night when more pets go missing, as they run off in fear.  Take a few steps this Halloween to make sure that your pets are comforted and safe.

Have some Fun!

Dress up your pets! Check out your local pet store for fun costume ideas or contests. Northwest Naturals is having a contest – watch for our posts!

You can do some good this Halloween for shelter pets in need!

Many shelters accept gently used pet Halloween costumes and use them at different events to help shy pets get adopted.  If you have costumes lying around your house, consider dropping them off at your local shelter.  Call ahead if you have questions about their need or whether they accept costumes – they’ll be happy to hear from you!


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Puppy in field - NWN Logo

The Benefits of a Raw Pet Food Diet

There are many benefits of a raw pet food diet, which allows them to develop and maintain a healthy digestive system. Processed foods are easy to feed but cause pets to experience more health problems, which means more trips to the veterinarian. Consumers are researching and educating themselves on the benefits of health care through nutrition. One of the first steps is to try a raw diet. By adding even a little raw food to your dog’s diet, you will notice immediate benefits.

  • Fresher breath, cleaner teeth, improved coat condition and smaller stools.
  • Heat processing destroys natural vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids.
  • Raw meats, properly prepared minimally processed, quick frozen or freeze dried are high in Essential Fatty Acids, amino acids and enzymes.
  • Along with the Essential Fatty Acids, live enzymes, antioxidants and friendly bacteria are found in a bio-available form in raw meats, fruits and vegetables.  The long-term health and strength of any given companion animal is reliant on these nutrients.
  • Remember what our doctor says, “Eating 20% fresh fruits and vegetables will make us healthier.” Why would we not do the same for our pets?
  • Minerals are found in abundance and in nature’s own ratio in the uncooked bones of animals.  Not only does giving your dog a bone make them happy; it may well be the best thing you can do to provide for their nutritional well-being.

All of these lead to healthy, happy dogs!

Health Benefits of a Raw Diet:

  • Brighter Teeth – Cleaner Teeth – Less chance of plaque buildup especially if combined with Raw Meaty Bones.
  • Better Breath – Almost odorless indicating a healthy start to the digestive process and cleaner teeth.
  • Healthy Skin – Indication the immune system is healthy. Healthy immune systems are not bothered by parasites.
  • Shiny Coat – Helps decrease shedding. Raw Feeding is very popular among kennels, show dog owners and judges. Currently many of our top working, performance and show dogs are fed raw diets.
  • Less Stool – Dogs utilize more, eliminate less.
  • Optimal Body Weight – A healthy weight is easily obtained and maintained. Better muscle mass.
  • Healthier Joints – Ranging from puppies to seniors. This is greatly attributed to the natural Essential Fatty Acids as well as the overall PH balance becoming normalized, reducing inflammation. Glucosamine, chondroitin and collagen are a natural component in raw meat.
  • Quicker Recovery – from surgery, infections or infestations as well as over-all healing occurs.  The strength of the immune system is revitalized.

A series of positive changes will occur in your pet in response to being fed Northwest Naturals™ pet food. These changes may occur almost immediately while others appear as prolonged quality of life.

In the first several days your pet may experience:

  • Decreased anxiety level between meals
  • Decreased hyperactivity
  • Increased energy level
  • Increased food drive
  • Normalization of stools

In the first several weeks your pet may have:

  • A more attentive disposition
  • An improvement in or disappearance of skin allergies, disorders and irritation
  • An improvement in colon health
  • Brighter and clearer eyes

In the first several months you may notice:

  • Your dog has a healthier, shinier, softer coat
  • Your dog completely digests dog food
  • Your dog has more stamina

Longevity on a Raw Diet:

Bluey, (Jun 7, 1910 – Nov 14, 1939) was the name of an Australian Cattle Dog owned by Les Hall of Rochester, Victoria, Australia which holds the Guinness World Record as being the longest recorded living dog in history at an age of twenty-nine years, five months, and seven days. Another dog, an Australian Cattle Dog / Labrador mix, died in 1984 reportedly at the age of 32 years and 3 days, but this case was not fully documented, and so it is not official. (As of 2007)

benefits

CANBERRA, Australia — A 26-year-old mongrel living with an Aboriginal family in Australia’s Outback has the potential to become the world’s oldest living dog, a newspaper reported Sunday. Jerry, an Australian cattle dog-bull terrier cross, will next month turn 27 – the equivalent of 189 years for a human – said Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals veterinarian Honey Nelson in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.”He will be 27 years old in August – I have no doubt at all,” Nelson reportedly said after examining Jerry. “He could push on to 28, going by his good body condition.”


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Camping with Your Dog

Tips and Tricks for a Stress Free Getaway with Your Furry Companion

Thinking about taking a camping trip with your dog?  Worried that it might be a bit stressful? With a little bit of preparation, you can bring your canine companion along on your next camping trip for a relaxing getaway.  We’ve pulled together some helpful tips and tricks to help you get started.

Stay… Hydrated

There’s no air conditioning in nature, so staying hydrated is important.  A collapsible bowl is a lightweight and portable tool that helps you make sure your dog is getting enough water.   Allow these bowls to dry before collapsing them to help keep them free from anything unsanitary.

northwest naturals raw dog food - camping with your dog

Meals

Northwest Naturals Freeze Dried Diets makes feeding your pets while hiking and camping with your pets easy. Lightweight and convenient to feed, the NWN Recipes are complete and balanced for your canine companion. Just pour in a bowl and add water.

The Freeze-dried nuggets can be fed during the day to keep the energy level and nutritional requirements stable while hiking. For weekend camping trips, you can pack your raw frozen diets that have been frozen into convenient portions. Smaller portions stay fresh longer and can be frozen to maintain freshness (and act as ice packs).

northwest naturals raw dog food - camping with your dog

Don’t forget the Treats!

Packing an easy to transport treat option like freeze dried treats makes rewarding, and spoiling your pet safer, healthier, and easier.  Freeze dried treats won’t spoil and don’t need to be refrigerated.  They’re wholesome and healthy options for which your pets will go bananas.

Pet First Aid Kit

While bandages and wraps might work on both pets and humans alike, when it comes to scrapes and sores, pet first aid is very different.  Pain pills and anti-inflammatory drugs that are made for us can be poisonous to them.  It’s also a good idea to have a salve or poultice that will stop a scrape from bleeding if you are going to be hiking any rugged terrain.

Flashing Lights

Often overlooked, a small light that can clip to your pets collar or harness is a great way to keep them safe at night.  Keep an eye on your pet as it gets dark, while you sit around the campfire and after the lights go out, make nighttime potty breaks a breeze.

Preparation is the key to a great outdoor experience with your dog.  Now it’s time to hit the trail and enjoy some fresh air and nature!


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two dogs on leashes meeting - dog park etiquette

Dog Park Etiquette

Are you planning your first time taking the new furry companion to the dog park? Perhaps you just want to make sure you’re following all the rules when it comes to doggy socializing time. Many people don’t know proper dog park etiquette which is very understandable. A lot of dog park “should” and “should-nots” are not intuitive, but that’s why we’re writing this article! So, let’s dive straight in on a few quick tips to make sure you and your pup have a safe and fun time!

Doo Doo Diligence

First some basics: clean up after your dog. Nobody likes stepping in refuse. Get off your phone and pay attention to how your pup is interacting. Don’t let your dog be aggressive towards other dogs or attempt to dominate them. If this starts happening, it may be best to leave the dog park today.

Tame the Excitement

Before heading to the dog park, make sure that your dog has had some exercise! Wait, I thought exercise was for the dog park? Nope the dog park needs to be supplemental exercise. If your pooch hasn’t had any exercise all day and suddenly they are presented with an extremely stimulating environment, problems can easily arise.

Basic Obedience

Make sure your dog has excellent recall skills. This doesn’t mean coming every tenth time when there is no other external stimulation. Your dog needs to be able to divert their attention immediately to you and return when called in high energy situations. If your dog does not have recall skills and you bring her to a dog park, you are putting her and every other dog and human in the dog park in danger.

Health & Safety

Vaccinate! This one should probably come as a no-brainer. If your dog is younger than 12 weeks not up to date on their vaccines, don’t bring them to the park. Be mindful of any outbreaks or diseases endemic to your area such as Canine Influenza (CI) and ensure that your dog is properly vaccinated for these as well. Also, bring your own water bowl to reduce the risk of diseases in any public water bowls.

bulldog and beagle puppies wrestling - dog park etiquette

Freedom

Take your dog off the leash. When visiting dog parks for the first time, many owners are uneasy letting their dog run loose. However, this can make your dog feel trapped and anxious in this new environment. If another dog runs up and wants to play, your dog may become aggressive because they feel like they cannot get away.

Share

Don’t bring your dog’s own toys if they have trouble sharing. Your dog will not have a fun time at the dog park if they like to steal or guard food and toys. The dog park is a social experience for everyone involved and if your dog can’t play well with others then bringing them puts everyone involved in danger.

Size Matters

For smaller dogs, make sure you don’t put them in the same play area as the large dogs. Even if your tiny pup often plays with the bigger dogs, the predatory instinct can be triggered by their quick movements and higher pitched barks. It’s on you for whatever may happen to your pup when they overly stimulate a larger dog in the big dog play area.

Read the Room

Also, be careful when picking up your smaller dog. If they are being chased in what appears to be a menacing way, bringing them up into the air can trigger a treeing instinct in the chasing dog. With all the stimulation of a dog park, picking up your small dog may result in you being bitten or knocked down. In these situations, it may be better to simply lead your dog away from the confrontation.

It’s a Team Effort

Finally, make sure to be welcoming to other owners. Nobody is born with the innate knowledge of how to raise a dog perfectly or have great dog park etiquette. If you see someone who looks overwhelmed, talk to them and show them the ropes. It’s not rude to politely point at any mistakes that may be putting any dogs or people in danger.


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little girl in english garden with puppy - purples and greens and an old wooden fence - pet pictures

Taking Great Pet Pictures

Taking pet pictures helps us immortalize those candid or exciting moment so we can  relive them months or years into the future. However, we all know that photographing your pets is a much different task than snapping some pictures of friends, family, or a beautiful landscape. While we all love our companions, they don’t always listen, so capturing those key seconds the way we see them can be difficult. Here are a few tips to help you get the best shots of your favorite animal friends.

Get them Used to the Equipment

Make sure your pet is comfortable with the device(s) you’re using to capture them with. The sound of the shutter can sometimes frighten or alter the mood of an animal companion who is not accustomed to it. Let them examine the camera – from a safe distance of course! Make sure that you aren’t doing anything else out of the ordinary because your pet may begin to wonder what is different about this scenario and become frightened or guarded. Nonchalantly begin taking pictures and don’t start distracting them with treats or talking in a different voice than usual.

Angles & Perspectives

Change the camera angle / perspective. Some of the most compelling pictures come from the eye level of our friends. Get down and capture what the world is like for them with them in it. Experiment with different perspectives. Take shots from behind, below, from the side, and even upside down.

Backgrounds & Contrast

Be aware of your surroundings. Make sure that you’re not capturing an overly complex background that will draw the viewers eyes away from your subject. Simple backgrounds that contrast with your pet will make them “pop” and create the most compelling images.

vintage pet photo album - pet pictures

How to Get a Smile

If you’re going for dog pictures and want to see that pearly white smile then make sure to run them a little bit beforehand. Play with them for a few minutes and you’ll see that happy active grin show up. Your furry companion will have all their attention on you, so you can get great portrait shots as well!

Lots of Pictures

Take lots of shots! You aren’t going to get the best shot every first, second, third, or even fiftieth time in most cases. Memory is cheap these days but great memories are priceless! Snap the same shot from different angles, trace your eye around the shot and make sure there isn’t something in it that you don’t want. Try portrait shots, landscape shots, different exposures. Odds are you won’t know which shot was the best until you review them afterwards, so take plenty.

Image Editing

Finally, a little post-processing can really give that extra kick to an otherwise mediocre image. There are plenty of free image manipulation tools on the web such as GIMP, if you don’t already have access to one. Mess with the saturation, exposure, and contrast. Remember that small tweaks go a long way unless you’re going for a very surreal look. There are plenty of short and simple YouTube tutorials out there as well targeted specifically at individuals taking shots of their pets. Now get out there and snap some shots of your animal companions!

More Tips

Here’s a video from Carli Davidson, a Portland pet photographer!


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Pet Dental Health Matters

If a dog’s diet is nutritionally adequate, how can dental disease be so prevalent?  Maybe we need to take a look at diet. Did you know that healthy teeth and gums not only help prevent periodontal disease, mouth pain and bad breath, but also more serious conditions of the kidney, liver, heart, and joints? Pet dental health can significantly impact life quality and longevity and diet does matter.

Clean Eating is not just for Humans

Clean eating has become a focus of healthy living for humans.  People are reading labels, eliminating chemicals and processed foods, and eating “clean” as a means to health, so it’s common sense to consider that option for your pets as well.

Commercial dry or canned foods are often times made with poor quality ingredients, synthetic vitamins, harmful aflatoxins, are highly processed, and are typically high in starch, which sticks to teeth.  On top of that, dogs don’t generally chew it – they just gulp it down, which means they don’t get any benefit from abrasive action during the chewing process. On the contrary, the benefits of a raw diet go far beyond just pet dental health, giving your pet a higher quality of life.

 Toothbrush w/bubbles - Pet Dental Health Month

Raw Diet Benefits

Lean meats are the foundation of a good raw diet and contain natural enzymes.  Organs provide necessary vitamins and nutrients, and bones are needed for calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous. All of these are components that foster pet dental health.

Raw bones are a staple in diets for dogs to ensure a good source of minerals, especially calcium and phosphorous. Meat is lower in calcium and high in phosphorous so meat alone will not provide what your pet needs. Giving raw meaty bones like our chicken or turkey necks allows the chewing action to help clean teeth naturally. Beef bones can also be given as a recreational chew and can offer great exercise. (Please remember to supervise dogs when chewing these and pick an appropriate size for your pet.)

Try an Experiment

Try an experiment by feeding a balanced raw diet, such as Northwest Naturals, for 3-4 weeks.  We’d love to hear your results and see before and after pictures.

For More Information

Read more about Raw Bone Benefits here.  Raw Bone Benefits for Your Pet.

Watch this documentary on the commercial pet food industry.  Pet Fooled Documentary


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Dogs and Baths, Oh My!

Start them out Right

Dog breeds that require a haircut should be seen by a professional groomer for the first time, somewhere between 2-6 months of age. They need to get used to being handled by other people, the clippers, and the noises of a grooming shop. This also helps to gain the puppies confidence going forward. Ask your friends for a recommendation on where they take their dog. (Just because you take a puppy in, doesn’t mean it has to get a haircut, just a bath or to meet the groomer.)

Bathing at Home

Some dogs naturally take to water and like any opportunity to frolic and play. Others, not so much. Here are a few tips to help make bath time more enjoyable.

black lab with hair net dog baths

 Get the Wiggles Out

Taking a long walk is good for both you and your dog and also reduces their energy level.  Some dogs even enjoy going for a “swim” after exercise.

Baby Steppin’

For the first few baths, do one small step at a time, giving your puppy a chance to get used to each new experience. Start with an empty bathtub (with a mat) and a little playtime in the tub.  Then, when the dog is outside the tub, run the water to help him or her get used to the sound. Next time, add a small amount of water to the tub and maybe just dip the paws in.  It’s important not to rush the process. Keep working your way up to a full bath – watching for that state of calm at each new step before you move on.

The Right Tools

  • Bathtubs are slippery, so be sure to use a non-slip mat or large towel that will stay in place.
  • Did you know they make special pet shower spray attachments? Lowering the pressure and water flow and holding it close to the fur can be less surprising.
  • Use a wash cloth around the face and be careful that water doesn’t go up the nose or in the ears.

Attitude

  • Be aware of your body language and tone of voice.
  • Make it fun!  Incorporate toys and make time for play.
  • Make it tasty!  Bring some treats into the bath area – or feed your dog there a few times to get him to associate good things with tub time on days when you aren’t planning a bath.

It’s never too late to employ a little planning and consistent effort to make bath time less of a struggle. And, you can always hire a trainer if you need some extra help!


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Benefits of a Bison/Beef Formula

Even though the popularity of Bison has increased significantly in the past couple of decades, the national population is still small. There are currently about 500,000 Bison in the United States and Canada while, comparatively, there are about 29.3 million beef cattle in the United States alone. Of those 500,000 Bison, only about 40,000 are slaughtered each year. This accounts for the competitive market and limited availability of Bison for both human and pet food such as Bison Beef dog food.

We at Northwest Naturals are very pleased to offer our Bison & Beef Dinner for Dogs, which includes the great benefits of bison in a convenient and affordable way to feed your pet.

bison beef dog food by Northwest Naturals | Raw diet for dogs

Some of the exciting benefits of Bison beef dog food include:

Lean Meat: Bison has less fat than skinless chicken breast and salmon

Iron: Bison contains more iron than beef, chicken, pork, or fish

Protein: Bison contains about 40% more protein per ounce than beef

Nutritionally Dense: Due to the proportion of protein, fat, minerals, and fatty acids to the caloric value

Fatty Acids: Bison meat has a well-proportioned ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

Selenium: Bison has a high concentration of the “mood elevator” element, Selenium

These wonderful benefits of Bison are all included in the Bison & Beef Dinner for Dogs, available in our Original Nugget Diet and our Dinner Bars, both of which are designed for quality, convenience, and value.

 

Check out our other great Bison products too! (marrow and knuckle bones)

 

SOURCES:

http://www.naturalfoodbenefits.com/display.asp?CAT=3&ID=100

http://www.bisoncentral.com/cooking-bison/nutrition-information


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Northwest Naturals the Shape of Things

Over the past few months, we have adjusted the shape of our Raw Frozen & Freeze Dried Nuggets and Freeze Dried treats to a shape that is better suited for our equipment and manufacturing processes.

There have been a few questions from our customers about this change. We want to assure you that we are still the same great food your pets love.

With this change there are a few things to remember:

  • The weight has not changed. There is still the same amount in every package as before.
  • The ingredients have not changed. NWN contains the same wholesome ingredients as before.
  • The shape of nuggets are CLOSE to the same and we recommend that you weigh the food to be certain your pet gets the right amount. Please follow the Feeding Guidelines on the package or on our website.

 

With these changes in shape we have saved on our ever growing cost of energy, labor and ingredient costs.

This allows us to keep the finished product cost in check and provide you, as always, a great value.

Northwest Naturals has always kept the environment in mind when making any decision about changes to equipment and how we produce The Original Raw Nugget Diet. We have updated our equipment to be more efficient and energy conscious.

We have changed our treats from a ground and formed shape to a sliced and diced shape to be more ergonomically friendly to our production team.

We are always looking at ways to improve and reduce our carbon footprint.

We love to hear from our customers! Reach out on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram

And keep sending us great stories and photos of your pets.