Why Give Dogs Yucca?

Why Give Dogs Yucca?

If you have taken a look at our ingredients, you may have noticed yucca is one of them. Unless you have a semi-tropical garden, you may be unfamiliar with this plant that’s part of the agave family. So why did we decide to put it on your dog’s food?

What is Yucca?

The yucca plant has stiff leaves – sword like – with beautiful white bell-shaped flowers. It’s a root vegetable that grows in sub-tropical climates like Mexico and South America.

And, like everything we put in Stay Loyal, it has some great properties!

Why Put Yucca in Dog Food?

Yucca is full of great nutritional value. For example, yucca is an excellent source of vitamin C, B vitamins, protein, and magnesium, to name a few nutrients it contains.

Then there’s the saponins contained within the yucca root. Saponins are plant glycosides that react to water by foaming. This foam aids in digestion by helping those vitamins and minerals pass through your dog’s intestinal wall. This basically means it helps your dog absorb and digest his food better, giving him more nutrition at each meal.

Yucca is known for helping with arthritis pain, so it’s good for aging dogs! In fact one study found it significantly helped 59 percent of the dogs in the study with knee and hip pain.

BONUS! Yucca helps keep urine and feces odor down – something every dog owner appreciates.

Yucca can be used topically as well. In shampoo form, yucca is good for all kinds of skin issues.

A Note of Caution

While yucca sounds like a wonder root – like all good things, too much can be harmful. An over dosage of yucca can cause vomiting, diarrhea and bloat. If you decide to feed a supplement, it is vital you give the right dosage. It is recommended that any food with yucca in it that is fed daily, should have less than 2 percent. We are careful with all our ingredients to make sure we have the correct balance for the health of your dog, taking the guesswork out of feeding these supplements.

If you are thinking of feeding an extra yucca supplement, do your research and make sure you know the correct dosage. For example, to aid in digestion, it is recommended to add 2- 4 grams of dried yucca root per kilogram of food fed each day. As you can see, if your dog is only getting 120g of food a day – say for a small or medium sized dog – they are going to need very little yucca.

For this reason, it’s easier to feed a food with yucca already in it – making those small measurements is time consuming! Not to mention doing the math to figure out how much your dog needs.

Fed correctly, yucca is a great additive to any dog’s diet. It helps boost the amount of nutrition being absorbed, with the added bonus of decreasing smells! Who could ask for more out of their dog’s food?

How to Teach Your Dog to Wait for His Meal

How to Teach Your Dog to Wait for His Meal

It’s amazing how our animals always know when meal time is. If you feed on even a semi-regular schedule, your dog probably starts to act excited or even demanding right around that time each day. For most dogs, mealtime is one of their favorite times of the day, which means that when you walk to where their food is kept, or pick up their dish, they get excited. Very excited. This can lead to some pretty annoying habits, including demand barking and jumping on you.

Instead of fighting your pup to get their food and set it on the ground without spilling it everywhere, you can train her to wait nicely for it.

There are a few ways you can do this. It’s just a personal preference on what works for you and your dog.

Teach Your Dog to Sit For His Meal

This option is good for the dog that is excited, but not jumping all over and demand barking. Maybe they get a little “hoppy” – bouncing those front feet off the floor – but they aren’t all over you. It’s fairly easy to teach and just takes a bit of patience. It works better if your dog already knows sit, because they are used to doing that behavior, but it’s not necessary.

To teach, all you have to do is hold your dog’s bowl of food in your hand and wait for him to sit. It’s best to stand so that the bowl will be several inches away from your dog when you set it down.

If he jumps on you, turn away from him.

As soon as he sits, start to bring the bowl to the floor. If he pops up, stand back upright, bringing the bowl with you.

The first few times this is going to take a few minutes! Be patient!

If your dog starts to demand bark, walk away! Leave the room he is in if you have to and close the door so he can’t follow. Return when he stops barking.

When you can get the bowl all the way to the ground and your dog doesn’t move, start to move your hand away – BUT BE READY! If your dog breaks his stay before your hand is away, pick the bowl up before he can get to it. And Start over.

When your dog sits and stays so you can lower the bowl, move your hand away and stand up, then you can say your stay release word (if you have one) or whatever word you want to use – like “free,” “okay,” “break,” etc. This lets the dog know he can get his food. If it’s the first time you are using this word, you may have to point to food or encourage him to move, but it won’t take long for them to figure it out.

Variations

The following variations are good for dogs that are more excited at mealtime and have a tendency to jump all over you as you try to get their food ready. These options give them a job “stay where you put them and wait quietly” while you prepare their meal. It’s definitely handy if you have to get their food ready, such as preparing meaty bones, chopping up vegetables or measuring medications.

If your dog is already kennel trained, you can train him to go in his kennel and stay, with the door open, until you bring him his food. It’s just like teaching a stay. If your dog breaks it, return him to the kennel. Same directions as above, except he is lying or sitting in his kennel. Once he realises he won’t get fed until he waits quietly in his kennel, he will be happy to wait.

If your dog is trained to stay on a mat/dog bed, you can do this with that behavior as well. Same steps as above, just he is lying on his mat waiting for you to release him to get his food rather than in the kennel.

Remember – If your dog starts to demand bark, walk away! Close a door and leave the room he is in if you have to. Return when he stops barking.

Teaching your dog manners at mealtime is not just nice for you, it’s nice for anyone who may have to watch him for you when you go out of town. Just be consistent and your dog will be a polite dinner guest in no time.

What’s the Best Diet for a Diabetic Dog?

What’s the Best Diet for a Diabetic Dog?

With obesity being so prevalent in the dog population – 41 percent of Australia’s dog are overweight – diabetes is a real threat. Animals that are overweight are predisposed to developing Type 1 Diabetes, which is caused by the destruction or abnormal function of the pancreas. Senior pets are also more at risk.

Outward symptoms of diabetes:

* Excessive urination

* Excessive Thirst

* Increased appetite

* Weight loss (even though they are eating more)

However, many dogs may seem fine or have very subtle signs. A blood and/or urine test is needed to diagnose the disorder, which is why routine tests for pets at risk are so important.

Living with a Dog with Diabetes

Once your dog has diabetes, there is no cure. Treatment is your only option. Your vet will prescribe insulin medication and tell you your dog needs to lose weight. The last piece is management through diet. It’s important that your diabetic dog is on the correct diet – something that will not cause blood glucose spikes.

Unfortunately, there are some differing opinions on what exactly is the best diet. Your dog’s individual health is a major factor in this – you may have to experiment a bit to find a food that works with your dog. Here are some things to look for and consider when selecting a meal plan.

Fibre

It is believed that high fibre diets can help manage obesity by curbing blood glucose levels is also helps your dog feel full longer. However, if your dog is one of the diabetics that is having trouble keeping on weight (rather than obese), high fibre can increase that weight loss. Conversely, for obese dogs it can help with weight loss. If you are looking to add fibre, you can add a fibre supplement to your dog’s regular food or switch dog food formulas if necessary.

Complex Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are another “controversial” topic when it comes to treating the diabetic dog. Carbohydrates have a strong association with “after eating blood glucose levels” – that much is certain. This means the amount of insulin your dog needs can be affected by the amount of carbohydrates in his food, but again, it depends on each individual dog.

The most important thing is to keep the amount of carbohydrates steady – whatever that amount is – so that your insulin dosage remains correct and your dog stays stable.

Simple Carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates create rapid spikes in blood glucose and should be avoided. This means sugar, including corn syrup and propylene glycol. Watch for these ingredients in treats and moist foods especially.

Protein

Most agree a high-protein diet is best, especially for over or under weight dogs. Diabetic dogs should never be on a low-protein diet.

Low Glycemic Foods

Low glycemic foods release glucose slowly and steady – these are the types of foods that are good for a diabetic dog. Low glycemic foods include most berries and vegetables, some whole grains and legumes.

High glycemic foods, which should be avoided, are white rice, white or wheat bread and anything with high amounts of sugar and no fiber.

Feeding Time

Another important factor is when your dog eats. Ideally she should be fed two meals, 12 hours apart. Some dogs may need a snack in between. The most important thing is to keep them on a steady schedule – this helps their blood glucose level stay stable as well.

When selecting a food for your diabetic dog, be sure to check the Ingredients and Guaranteed analysis. Our formulas are high in protein and relatively low in Carbs compared to other dry foods. Our Salmon and Turkey is high in protein and fiber so is worth considering.

Whenever you are changing a diabetic dog’s diet, do so even slower than you would a healthy dog. Monitor them carefully for any changes, especially after eating. Keep track of any affects and let your vet know so you can determine what may be causing any glucose spikes and adjust the diet and insulin accordingly. Feeding your dog correctly will allow him to live comfortably for many years.