We’ve Moved!

Hi everyone-

It’s a brand new year and we’re celebrating with a brand new blog that’s actually attached to our website!  Woohoo!  We’d love for you to follow us at our new location http://www.addictionfoods.com/blog/ where we’ve got some new blogs up and more good stuff to come.

We hope you and your four legged friends are having a great start to 2014.

 

-Addiction Pet Foods

 

 

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Puget Sound Rescue

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This is Newton. How can you resist this face? Newton!

I’d like to introduce you to another rescue that received some of the food we donated to AARF recently.  Every dog has it’s day and Puget Sound Rescue is hoping that maybe today is the day you’ll adopt one of their cute pups.   Puget Sound Rescue doesn’t care what kind of dog it is, they just want to make sure that goods dog get a second chance.

Barbara Wadleigh founded Puget Sound Rescue because of a lifelong love of animals.  She majored in zoology in college and followed that up with vet school.  After spending some time helping out another rescue organization, she decided to take matters into her own hands and began rescuing animals.  Barbara has been rescuing animals since 1995, but made it official in 2009 and received 501c3 status from the IRS in 2010.

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This silly girl is Rhea and she’s available through Puget Sound Rescue

Dogs are rescued from shelters where they are likely to be euthanized and then placed in foster homes so they can receive proper care, nutrition and some basic training.  This allows PSR to figure out what type of home would be best for each dog.  If you think you might have the time to help out, Puget Sound Rescue is always looking for good foster homes and volunteers.

Puget Sound Rescue also rescues goats in case you’re interested in adding a goat to your family!

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Puget Sound Rescue also has a Facebook page where you can see tons of pictures of the wonderful dogs they currently have up for adoption.

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Fat Cat

Is your cat more fat than fur?  Being fat means more than just trying to find extra large kitty beds for your cat, being overweight can cause some serious health problems for your feline friend.  Obesity can lead to feline diabetes, arthritis and even fatty liver disease.  But first let’s explore some ways you can keep your cat trim.

 

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This cat could probably use some more exercise.

Feed Small Meals.  Ideally, you would feed your cat about four small meals a day.  Most of us have jobs and can’t be home to cater to our cat’s needs, so this may not be realistic for everyone.  There are fabulous food dishes made for this though.  You just set the timer for each of the doors and at the pre-set time, viola!  The doors open and lunch is served!!  Otherwise, break your cat’s meals up into feedings in the morning and at night and pick up the dishes after 30 minutes.  This gives your cat plenty of time to eat, but doesn’t allow for constant access to food.  I think most of us would put on some pounds if we had a buffet of food available any time of the day.

Exercise Your Kitty.  If your cat is in an indoor cat, you can help them exercise by using specially made cat toys.  The feather on a string is a popular toy.  You can get your cat running and jumping after this toy.  Laser pointers are another great way of playing ‘chase’ with your cat.  Be creative.  Interact with your cat.  Get them moving!  Provide cats with cat trees and towers to build muscle while they climb.

Limit Treats.  Treats add calories.  Pay attention to how many treats your cat is getting.  If you feed your cat food from your table, that adds up too.  Feed treats that are high quality meat.

Grooming your cat regularly and paying attention when you are petting your cat can provide early warning signs that your cat may be getting chubby.  You should be able to feel their ribs with light pressure when you pet them.  If you can’t feel your kitty’s ribs, it’s time for a diet.  You can also tell if your cat is overweight by looking down at them.  They should have an hourglass shape with a waistline.

Following a few simple steps will keep your cute cat from becoming a chubby kitty and could add years on to your pet’s life.

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Don’t Shop for Puppies, Adopt One!

Everyone loves puppies.   With their tiny little paws and sweet puppy breath, it’s hard to not fall in love with puppies.  If you think you have to buy a puppy  from a pet store in order to get to experience puppy love, think again.  With rescues like Georgia Peaches Puppy Rescue, you can rescue a puppy and go through the joys of raising your very own dog.

Georgia Peaches Puppy Rescue (GPPR) started unofficially in 2011 and by May of 2012 became an independent organization. The founder of GPPR is Mia Swartz; she started the organization after realizing there was a high demand for rescue puppies locally. In 2011, an adult dog in need caught her eye and she offered to financially sponsor this dog for a rescue. However, the owner of the dog ultimately reclaimed the dog and the shelter asked if she would rescue two 6 month old puppies instead. Both puppies did not have a rescue and were scheduled to be euthanized the following morning. She orchestrated this rescue while traveling in Australia and upon her return to the United States she picked up two puppies from the airport. They both found wonderful homes and ultimately provided the foundation for what would become Georgia Peaches Puppy Rescue!

Why puppies from Georgia?  Well, here in the Pacific Northwest we are pretty darn good at getting our animals spayed and neutered.  Which is great for keeping the population down, but not so great if you have your heart set on a puppy.  In rural places where spaying and neutering isn’t as common, it’s sadly standard to euthanize puppies who require too much money and care to keep at a shelter.  So, Georgia Peaches brings the pups here where they are taken to foster homes around Seattle and adopted out.  We were glad that we were able to help Georgia Peaches out with some puppy food donations for these adorable dogs!

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Lulu is waiting to go home with her new family.

Georgia Peaches is completely volunteer run and is always in need of foster homes and donations.  It’s been said it takes a village to raise a child.  The same can be said about rescuing puppies.  There are volunteers who fly to Georgia to set up transport for puppies, there are volunteers who pick up pups from the airport, volunteers who offer training solutions, volunteers who take pictures of prospective dogs and of course, volunteers who take puppies into their homes until they are adopted.  Georgia Peaches provides all foster puppies with complete veterinary care.  You can find a list of adoptable dogs here and you can find more information on Georgia Peaches and how you can help at http://peachpuppies.org/.

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Teddy is cute as a bug and would like a family!

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Itchy Kitty

Does your cat seem itchy, even when it’s not flea season and there’s not a flea in sight?  Does your kitty have dandruff or dry skin?  Some cats get extra oily skin from food allergies.  Others develop little pustules on their chins or the base of their tail.  Some cats throw up more often or will have runny stools.  If your cat is suffering from any of these, it may be a food intolerance.  The first thing you should always do is check with your vet, as any or all of these could be signs of a more serious condition.  Once you’ve ruled those out, take a look at your cat’s diet to find the culprit.cat-20773_640

Lots of cat foods contain chicken or poultry or seafood.  These are fine proteins, but if fed a diet exclusively of these ingredients, most cats can develop an intolerance.  This is where feeding a novel protein can be helpful.  A novel protein is a protein that most animals haven’t been fed before.  The dictionary defines ‘novel’ as ‘new and not resembling something formerly known or used.’  We use proteins like brushtail, unagi and venison, which usually fall into the novel category for most cats.  Not only have most cats not eaten brushtail and unagi, most people haven’t heard of it either!

Brushtail is a marsupial that was brought into New Zealand for the fur trade.  Since it’s a non native species, it didn’t have natural predators and in a short period of time began overpopulating and destroying natural forestation.  We found that brushtail contained extremely high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids and was very palatable to finicky animals, a great combination for allergic pets.  We teamed up with the New Zealand government to use brushtail meat in our pet foods and have had great success ever since.

If you suspect your cat has food allergies, the first thing to do is to put them on a simple diet with only one protein.  Use a notebook to keep track of foods, as this sometimes can take a while and it’s helpful to know what you’ve already tried.  While you are doing the elimination diet, it’s important to not feed your cat table scraps or treats unless they have the same ingredients as the food.  The idea is to narrow down what could be causing the problem.  So, you might start with New Zealand Venison and Apples or Hunter’s Venison Stew.  You would feed this diet exclusively and would pay close attention to your cat’s symptoms.  If the symptoms got worse, switch to a new protein.  If the symptoms got better, you would stay on the Venison until everything cleared up.  At that point, you would begin to add in other proteins.

It’s important to add in more proteins as soon as your cat is feeling/looking normal.  Having a wide variety of proteins builds better digestion and helps prevent future allergies.  A quality rotation diet is the best diet for your cat.  Since we have multiple proteins available, including rabbit and buffalo, there’s lots of choices even for cats with allergies.

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Give A Little Bit

Sometimes, we are a little optimistic about how much of our food we can sell and we make a little bit too much.  When this happens, we end up with bags of food in our warehouse that will spoil if we don’t move them.  What a waste of perfectly good food!  So, what do we do?  We give it away to local rescues.

We’ve worked with Animal Aid and Rescue Foundation before.  Besides the obvious reason to like them (who doesn’t like organizations that rescue animals!) we also love AARF for their generosity to other rescues.  When we give food to AARF, it doesn’t just go to AARF it also goes to a bunch of other rescues.

We’d like to feature some of the rescues that we work with directly, as well as some of those that we give food to through AARF.  Since we are located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, all of these rescues are local to that area.  So if you live here, please consider rescuing a dog from one of these fine charities.  There really is a rescue for whatever you are looking for, from the very young puppy to the senior dog.

Let’s start with AARF, also known as Animal Aid and Rescue Foundation.  Since 2007 AARF has rescued and found loving homes for over 350 animals (dogs, cats, turtles and guinea pigs), with over 70 dogs adopted in 2012.  They specialize in taking in animals that are typically overlooked or take longer to find homes for, such as:  Bully Breeds, Seniors and animals with health problems.

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Mr. Pace is a perfect older gentleman looking for a quiet retirement home.

One of the things that makes AARF a little different from a regular rescue is their belief in helping good people KEEP their animals.  There are so many cases where people surrender their animals to shelters because they can’t afford to feed them or had to have their animals euthanized when they got ill or injured because they couldn’t afford the medical care.

“It’s become a very important part of our mission to help these people through food/supply donations and paying for medical care when needed.  In 2012 we created a special fund for these cases, called the AARF Angel Fund.  Because of the nature of the animals we take in, our vet bills are very high and the adoption fees seldom cover it.  When you add in funds spent through the ‘AARF Angel Fund’ program, our vet bills exceed $25k per year.  We don’t have a facility, so we rely on foster homes.  When we have an animal in need and no foster home available, we have to place them in a boarding facility.  Our boarding costs exceeded $15k last year.”  says Heather E., one of AARF’s dedicated volunteers.

AARF is run by a handful of dedicated volunteers.  They have no paid staff and they depend on donations and foster homes.  If you’ve thought of fostering, it’s a great way to help out an organization like AARF and get to know a dog.  AARF covers all food and medical costs for it’s foster dogs.

The other thing AARF does a little differently is their outreach program, where they donate to food banks and other rescue groups.  They have donated over 10,000 pounds of pet food each year to food banks and rescue groups since 2008.  It’s this spirit that makes us proud to partner with AARF to get food to multiple rescues.

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This is Calvin! He’s a fabulous family dog, ready for adoption!

 

If you’re looking for a new addition to your family, consider one of these cuties now available through AARF.  You can also find more information at http://www.myaarf.org/.

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Water Kitties

Most cats aren’t big fans of water.  Those of us who have tried to give their cats a bath may have ended up needing to wear long sleeve shirts while the wounds healed up.  There are always exceptions to the rule.  I know of a few cats who love to sit on the edge of the bathtub while their human takes a shower.  They bat the shower curtain and occasionally put a nose in to catch a few drops of spray.  Despite cats natural aversion to water, water is one of the most critical components of their diet and the thing often most overlooked for house cats.

Some cats find their own ways of getting water!

Some cats find their own ways of getting water!

There are cat water fountains, attachments that you stick on to your bathroom faucet for cats to drink out of, cat water bowls and various other devices manufactured to try and convince your cat to drink more water.  Water is important to cats and is the single most important factor in reducing urinary tract diseases in cats.  But here’s the thing, drinking water from the bowl or from your sink is not enough to do the trick.  Cats need to derive water from their food source.  In the wild, this happens naturally.  Cats are either birders or mousers and both of these prey contain about 80% water.  Indoor cats that are fed a dry food diet do not receive enough water through their diet.

The best thing you can do for your cat’s health is to add in a diet with moisture built in.  You don’t have to bring your cat fresh mice or birds, but feeding canned food or dehydrated food can put some much needed moisture back in to your cat’s diet.  Feeding a diet fully comprised of canned or dehydrated food is best, but supplementing your cat’s kibble will go a long way to improving your cat’s health.

Our Wild Brushtail and Berries uses New Zealand Brushtail, high in Omega 3 fatty acids and extremely palatable.  We gently dry the food for a long period at a low temperature, allowing our food to retain most of it’s beneficial enzymes.  To feed to your cat, simply add water and stir.  Let the formula sit for a few minutes to soak in and then feed!  Your cat will enjoy the taste of over 45% Brushtail meat and derive the natural benefits of a diet high in moisture.

Brushtail and Berries

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Dog Days of Summer

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As some of us start to experience warmer weather, we’d like to remind you of a few things to keep your pets safe and happy.

1.  The pavement is often 20 degrees hotter than the air temperature.  Yesterday in Seattle, it was 87 degrees.  The pavement, however, got up to 110 degrees.  If you’re out walking your dog, please stick to grassy areas and stay in the shade as much as possible. Walk in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler.  Do not leave your dog on a concrete patio without shade.

2.  The temperature in cars is often also 20 degrees hotter, even with the windows rolled down or in the shade.  Do not leave your pets in the car in warm weather.

3.  Make sure pets who are indoors have plenty of access to clean water.  They will need extra hydration in the heat.  If you don’t have air conditioning, leave a fan running on extra hot days.

4.  Do not leave your pets outside without access to lots of shade and lots of water.

5.  Watch your animals for signs of heat exhaustion.  If you have a high energy dog that needs exercise, do it in the early morning or the late evening when temperatures have cooled.  Signs of heat exhaustion can include excessive hard panting, dry, hot noses, unsteady gait and thick saliva when they drool.  Short nosed breeds like pugs and bulldogs can overheat very easily and must be watched closely.  If you think you see signs of heat exhaustion, move your dog to a cooler location immediately.  You can use a cold washcloth to help bring their body temperature down.  If symptoms persist, call your vet.

A kiddy pool is a great way for dogs to cool off.  You can fill it with just a bit of water in the bottom so that the dogs can lie down and cool off when they need to.  You can also spray your dog down with the hose if they like that.  Some dogs like to catch the spray too.  If your dog needs some more exercise, running through the sprinkler with your family may cool all of you off!

You can also make ‘dogsicles’ out of low-sodium chicken broth.  Just put the broth in an ice cube tray and then feed as treats on those sweltering days.  Cats may also enjoy these icy chicken treats!

Summer is a great time to spend lots of time with our pets and by following these few simple guidelines, you can make sure it’s happy, safe summer for everyone!

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Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!  We hope you get outside today to spend some time enjoying this beautiful earth we get to live on.  Take your dog out for a walk or a visit to a local park.  Some of you may even have cats that you can take on walks!

We are also celebrating in Te Puke, New Zealand where we manufacture most of our foods, including our raw dehydrated foods.  This gorgeous photo shows the beautiful landscape of New Zealand.

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Did you know Addiction is the first pet food company to pioneer the use of Eco-friendly meats in our efforts to contribute to eco-sustainability.  We harvest kangaroos and brushtails, which are considered major agricultural pests, as an alternative to farming traditional meat sources which contribute to deforestation and destruction of the ozone layer.

New Zealand is lauded for its pristine environment as well as its green and environmentally efficient food production.   This means that even though your food has to travel to get to you, it may not have as big a footprint as you think!  The New York Times cited a DEFRA study which found that importing lamb from New Zealand to Britain, a distance of 11,000 miles, produces less carbon dioxide emissions per ton than locally-produced British lamb[1], as the latter heavily involves fertilizing and transporting feed.

We are continually working on improving our foods and our commitment to our customers, your pets and the environment.  We source only from suppliers who employ sustainable and ethical practices, in line with our eco-friendly philosophy.

If you want to try our raw dehydrated foods, now is a great time!  We are offering a 20% off sale for U.S. customers at http://www.addictionfoods.com on all of our raw dehydrated foods.  The sale goes through the end of April and is good on all flavors AND all sizes, including our perfect trial size 4oz bags.

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Field Trip To Wolf Haven

We work really hard at the North American Headquarters for Addiction Pet Foods and sometimes you just need to take a break.  We had the opportunity to tour a local wolf sanctuary, so we all dressed in our best rain gear and headed to Wolf Haven for their tour and a private Q and A with one of the wolf handlers.  It was great fun and also very educational.  We invite you to take a tour with us through our pictures.

Click on the photos to open up the slideshow and see our comments!

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