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Healthy Three Legged Dog & Cat Diets, Supplements & Health Tips

Perso and Snoopy’s Drastic Change When Switching to a Raw Diet

April 7th, 2014 by jerry in Diet · 2 Comments

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The following guest blog post was submitted by Carol Segovia, Mom to Perso the Great Dane Tripawd and his sidekick Snoopy. If you have a nutrition story you’d like to share, contact us today!

Two years ago, if you looked in my kitchen pantry, you would see two bags of dog food; a bag of Nutro Large Breed Puppy and a bag of Nutro Weight Control.

Perso

My Great Dane puppy and Walker Beagle had always eaten kibble except for the occasional table scrap. They ate two times a day once in the morning and once in the evening. They were both healthy and lived an average dog life.

Snoopy my Beagle would occasionally throw up. It was almost always yellow frothy foam, no food bits. I noticed that when he would throw up it was about an hour or so before their next meal time. I eventually came to the conclusion that he was throwing up because he was hungry.

In an effort to combat his hunger, I increased his food portion by a half a cup. The throwing up stopped for a time but he started gaining weight. Because Snoopy was never much for running around or playing, he wasn’t losing any weight. I called him my grumpy old man. To combat this second problem, and because he was getting up in age (seven years old) I switched him to Nutro Old Age. I lowered his severing size back down to what he used to get since it was a new food. He gobbled it down like usual and didn’t have any upset stomach since it was the same brand of food. After a few weeks of being on this new food he started throwing up again.

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I once again increased his food portion by a half cup. He was great for a few more weeks and then he started throwing up again. So, I once again increased his portion by a half a cup.

My Walker Beagle, who was supposed to be around 35 pounds, was now eating four cups of food a day and tipping the scales at 50 pounds! Even with four cups a day he was throwing up every other day and always about an hour before his next meal.

With our work schedule we couldn’t add an extra meal during the day. And even if we could, Snoopy’s weight screamed “Diet!” not “More food!”

Finally I was fed up with always cleaning up frothy vomit and started looking online for a different diet option. I came across a web site talking about feeding Raw. I never heard about it before so I started digging.

After a full day of researching online, I told my husband I wanted to put Perso our Dane and Snoopy on Raw. He rolled his eyes and said “Yes dear, whatever you like.”

The next day I went to the store and bought everything I needed and got to work. Perso our Great Dane didn’t react to the switch in food very much. He was still a puppy at 1.5 years old and was always happy and playful. He had softer stools for a day or two but other than that he was great.

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Snoopy however, was another story. He had some softer stools for a few days as well but his personality was a completely different story. My grumpy old man, who never ran unless it was raining and who never played, was running circles in the back yard and playing with Perso.

He had a whole new level of energy. Once he got good food into his body he was a new man. He stopped throwing up and he was acting like a puppy again. I started noticing some physical changes with Perso.

Growing up he always had pimples. They would be spread out on his body and sometimes on his face. We tried medical shampoos and such with no success. He is a Harlequin Great Dane and both of his sides, just past his ribs, are white. As he got older and his spots started filling in, he got lots of tiny brown spots in the white parts on his sides. We assumed it was just his markings. After a few months on Raw, Perso’s pimples were all gone.

I also noticed he had fewer brown spots on his sides. It finally clicked that Perso was allergic to something in his food. The pimples and brown spots were allergic reactions to the kibble! I couldn’t believe it. Today, Perso no longer has brown spots and he only has the occasional pimple (I still give them milk bones every day when I get home from work).

The change in both of my boys was huge. Once I received confirmation that Raw really worked for them in how they acted and looked, I never turned back. They have been on Raw for over a year and a half and they couldn’t be happier.

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My Raw Ingredients

Through lots of research online I put together a list of foods that were safe and not safe for the boys to eat. If I saw even one website or forum that listed a food as being bad for dogs, I took it off my list of foods. Here is the list I came up with:

Good

  • Uncooked Bones (Calcium)
  • Boneless Fish
  • Eggs (Shell included)
  • Organ Meats
  • Sardines
  • Turkey Wings
  • Turkey Necks (Should get between 25%-50% meat per meal)
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Beans (Canned or Cooked)
  • Beats
  • Berries
  • Brewer’s Yeast
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cheese
  • Collard Greens
  • Flaxseed (Ground)
  • Green Beans
  • Kale
  • Mustard Greens
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Radishes
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips
  • Yogurt
  • Zucchini

Bad

  • Avocado
  • Barley
  • Broccoli
  • Corn
  • Garlic
  • Grains
  • Grapes
  • Oatmeal
  • Onions
  • Ox Tails
  • Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Soy Beans
  • Wheat

I believe corn is considered bad simply because it’s not a good source of nutrition for them. It won’t kill them or make them sick but it doesn’t provide any vitamins or nutrients either. Rice is listed as bad for the same reason I believe. There have been a few occasions where I had to feed Perso rice and cooked chicken because of an upset stomach after going to the vet’s office for X-Rays. From the list above, I selected several foods based on price and availability and I made these my staples in the boy’s diets. The food I selected and still currently use is:

  • Chicken (Bones, skin, tendons, etc.)
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Green Beans
  • Peas
  • Black Beans
  • Collard Greens
  • Mustard Greens
  • Turnip Greens
  • Tomatoes

I occasionally add Apples, Bananas, and Eggs (no shell because my boys won’t eat it).

For their meat, I went with chicken because it was the cheapest meat on my list. I can get a 10 pound bag of chicken leg quarters at Wal-Mart for about seven dollars a bag. I usually buy 40 or 50 pounds at a time (four or five bags) for less than $40 total. It’s perfect and the chicken lasts my boys about two weeks. The way I used the do their chicken is I would take the chicken leg quarter and chop it into five pieces.

I stopped doing this however because when the boys would eat it, the chicken would be flying around and flinging juices everywhere. Additionally, it’s difficult to get accurate weight measurements with pieces this large. It still works you just have to constantly clean your walls of chicken guts and veggies. What I do now is I use a meat grinder and grind up all the chicken (bones and everything). I get accurate measurements and there is no need to clean the walls anymore.

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For their veggies, I buy the cabbage, celery, and carrots fresh. Everything else is canned food. I tried using fresh greens but it just adds more time to the process because I have to put them in the food processor as well. When I select my cabbage, I go for the biggest heads I can find. They usually weigh 3-5 pounds a head.

I do my veggies in batches and I use three heads of cabbage per batch. I use about one pound of carrots per batch (I cut off the leafy tops from the carrots and throw them away). I use one bunch of celery per batch (I use the leafy tops in the batch). For the canned food I buy 12.5-15 ounce cans of everything except the tomatoes. I get the cheapest brand I can find for all the canned food. Also, if the canned food is offered in a no salt or low sodium option, I get that.

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I buy four cans of green beans (cut doesn’t matter; French or other) two cans sweet peas, two can black beans, one can each of mustard greens, collard greens, and turnip greens, and one large can of petite diced tomatoes (28 ounce can.) All of this makes up one batch of veggies which is usually between 20-25 pounds of veggies.

I use my shredder attachment on my food processor and shred the cabbage, celery, and carrots. I drain as much juice out of the canned foods. I combine all the above ingredients into a five gallon, food grade bucket, and mix everything together. The veggies are done. All that’s left is to separate the veggies into the containers and pop them into the deep freezer.

The “Technically” Raw Diet for Weakened/Compromised Immune Systems

In January, Perso was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in his left hind leg. On January 16th we amputated. On January 30th he received his first treatment of Chemotherapy. At his first appointment the Oncologist recommended we take Perso off Raw. He stated that when receiving chemo, there is the chance that it will affect his white blood cells making him more susceptible to getting an infection. Also, if he gets a bad batch of chicken, something that wouldn’t be a problem for a healthy dog, could put him in the hospital while receiving chemo. He suggested cooking the chicken or switching him back to kibble. He didn’t even finish his sentence and I already made up my mind what I was going to do. I was going to cook the chicken.

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Everything is the same in regards to the veggies and the weight he gets. He still receives the same amount of chicken as well. Once I grind the chicken up using the standard plate on my meat grinder, I double grind the chicken using the smaller plate.

I do this because I need to make sure the bones are as small as possible because I don’t want them to puncture his insides but I still want him to get the bones. Once the chicken has been ground up the second time, I cook it. I use my largest pot (a canning and preserving pot from Ball) to boil the chicken in. I fill it halfway with water and get it boiling.

I take the chicken mash and roll into large meatballs. They are about the size of a baseball or softball. I drop them into the boiling water. I’ll put about 20 meat balls in the pot at a time. Once the water returns to boiling, I set my timer for 15 minutes. I mix them every five minutes or so just make sure each one gets cooked. Once my timer is up, I’ll find the biggest one and take it out. I split it in half to make sure it’s cooked all the way through. If not, I cook the whole batch another 5 minutes.

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Once they are all cooked, I take them all out and put them into another bowl. I put the whole bowl of cooked meat balls in the sink and fill the bowl with cold water. I keep the cold water running over the meat balls for about 5 minutes. This cools them down quickly and allows me to package the chicken almost immediately after it’s been cooked. Once the chicken has cooled down and has been packaged up, I put the containers back in the deep freezer.

One thing to keep in mind when cooking chicken is that the fat from the chicken gets cooked out. But he still needs some fat in his diet. What I did after cooking the chicken, I left the broth in the pot to cool overnight. The next day I mixed up the broth and bits and ladled it into ice cube trays. I put them in the freezer overnight. The next day I emptied the trays into gallon zip lock bags. Now, with each meal Perso gets one “fat cube”. Now I know he is getting at least some fat in his meal. It is a longer process because it takes about one to one and a half extra hours to cook 30 pounds of chicken (Snoopy gets about 10 pounds raw). Plus the two days it takes to freeze the fat. But, I am willing to give it the extra time to ensure Perso is getting the best diet possible while going through chemo and fighting cancer.

Check out my videos for detailed instructions on
how do everything listed here.

http://www.youtube.com/user/casegovia1/videos

The Measurements for Raw Diet

Figuring out the measurements was a challenge. When I switched my boys to Raw Perso was getting eight cups of kibble a day and Snoopy was getting four cups of kibble a day. I started Perso with one pound of chicken and one pound of veggies, two times a day. Snoopy got 5 ounces of chicken and seven ounces of veggies, two times a day. When I switched them, I didn’t go a little at a time, I went cold turkey. They had some softer stools for a few days but that was about it.

After a few months Perso started losing weight. We could start seeing his ribs a little too much. I increased his chicken to two pounds and 1 pound veggies, two times a day. He put the weight right back on and actually started getting a little chunky. I dropped his chicken down to 1.5 pounds and 1 pound veggies, two times a day. This helped him stop gaining weight but he needed to lose a pound or two to be at a good weight. To do that I lowered his chicken to 1.25 pounds and 1 pound veggies, two times a day. This is what he is currently getting. It keeps him on the leaner side which is preferred with his amputation. Extra weight would put extra strain on his one back leg.

Snoopy is maintaining a good weight on his current serving of five and seven ounces.

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How I Store Raw Food

I thought of several different ways to store my boy’s raw food. Zip lock bags, Food Saver bags, and Tupperware. The first two options were not really cost effective and I would need a large amount of bags constantly. I decided on using Tupperware. It could reuse the containers and I was able to find them really cheap at Wal-Mart. I use a 3.75 cups container for Snoopy’s food and a 7 cup container for Perso’s food. It’s about $1.88 for one pack with 4 containers and lids.

I weigh out the needed veggies and chicken in the containers and then I put them into a deep freezer. The boys have their own small deep freezer. I also have three days’ worth of food in the refrigerator at all times. Once I feed the boys a meal, I rotate the food in the refrigerator and put in a meals worth of frozen food. By the time that frozen container gets to the front of the refrigerator, it’s been thawing in the refrigerator for 2.5 days. It does require extra storage space unless you want to share your freezer and a shelf in the refrigerator with your pets. But, I’ve found this to be the best option.

Feeding Raw does become a bit of a pain when it comes to traveling. We have to take an ice chest with us and take several days’ worth of food depending on how long our trip is going to be. In regards to leaving the boys somewhere, we do not kennel them, ever. We tried kenneling Perso once when he was about a year old. Even though they kept Perso and Snoopy together in the same kennel, Perso stopped eating (they were still on kibble at the time). We had to cut our trip short and come back and get them. Now they go on all our trips.

I did all my research online and after talking to other pawrents that fed raw. Here is a list of a few websites I visited.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained here is intended as education/information only. It is not intended to replace your veterinarian. Please use your own good judgment and always discuss any dietary changes for your pet with your veterinary team.

Recommended Reading


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Bentley’s Osteosarcoma Journey and Cancer-Fighting Diet

March 24th, 2014 by jerry in Diet · 7 Comments

Tripawds is a user-supported community. Thank you for your support!

Today’s pawesome guest blog post was generously provided by Bentley’s Mom, Kate. If you would like to share your Tripawd’s nutrition plan, contact us today!

My 7 year old, 110lb Rottweiler Bentley, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in his front left leg on 11/27/2013. It was by far the worst day of my life thus far. CANCER. That word in itself, can give chills to most people. It ruins lives. It stops a mother in her tracks. Human child or not, this boy is my world. To say my world was turned inside out, and the wind knocked completely out of my sails in an understatement! I cried for 4 days straight, but then I woke one day with a new fight in my heart.

Bentley and Kate

We have vowed to fight the good fight, and will do everything in our power to beat this monster – until the day that my sweet boy says it’s time to let go. We have heard so many positive story, and although we know that statically this disease in 95% fatal in the first year…we are determined that we can be part of that 5%. Here is a little bit of our history:

  • 11.27.13: OS Diagnosis
  • 11.28.2013: Began home cooking the ‘anti-cancer’ diet and supplements, he loves it!!
  • 12.3.2013: Visit to Oncologist, elected to put him under anesthesia and do a complete CT scan to assess the progression of cancer.
  • 12.4.2013: Results from scans back – no spread of cancer that we can see wahoo!!! But scan did show tiny nodule on his spleen, took him back in to be sedated and biopsy nodule.
  • 12.5.2013: Result of biopsy showed that is was just a fatty tumor – yayy!!!
  • 12.6.2013: Amputation of front left leg: Bentley is now a member of the badass tripawd nation!!
  • 12.20.2013: Bentley’s first round of Carboplatin Chemotherapy administered at half of the full dosage.
  • 1.15.2014: Bentley’s blood work all looks perfect, second round of Carboplatin Chemotherapy administered at the full dosage.
  • 2.6.2014: Bentley’s blood work all looks perfect again, third round of Carboplatin Chemotherapy administered

I have always felt that the biggest part of winning any battle, is mental and emotional health! Since the first week Bentley’s was diagnosed, I have not shed a single tear. We have vowed that as long as Bentley is happy and loving life, we are not going to act any other way!

We go about our day everyday just as we used to, with the exception that we have really learned to slow down and enjoy life. It’s crazy how much this monster can change how you live your life. Not only does my schedule and life revolve around his medications haha, but I never take for granted a day we have together.

We enjoy daily walks and morning snuggles. I have people tell me every day, I can’t believe how strong you are, I could never do what you do. But in reality, I don’t feel like I’m doing anything different than anyone else in our shoes would do. What else can I do? Giving up and NOT fighting this, isn’t an option. And there are dogs that beat the odds every day, so why can’t Bentley be one of those??

Waiting Patiently

Bentley’s Dog Cancer Diet

Upon receiving our diagnosis, the other big puzzle piece that we needed to change was diet! At first I was home cooking, all grain free, and A LOT of proteins. Bentley absolutely LOVED this, and I continued this for about 6 weeks until I couldn’t do it any longer. I was spending about 6 hours a week preparing food for him, and it became really frustrating and hard to manage.

Home Cooking Dog Food Recipe Guidelines

My schedule is very flexible with work, so I tend to work odd hours sometimes. We have a full time dog sitter that stays with Bentley, and there were times that I would have to get up really early in the morning or stay up super late at night to make sure that Bentley had food for the next meal. Then if we were traveling at all, I’d have to be sure to plan days ahead to make sure he’d have enough food while we were gone.

Home Cooking Dog Food Recipe

I did get some really good, simple, crock-pot recipes from my holistic vet – but unfortunately with Bentley weighing in at 96 lbs (we slimmed him down a bit after amputation so that he would get around better), the crock pot meal would only last him about a day. Here are the anti-cancer crock pot meals, along with the feeding guide for home cooking.

When you’re home cooking, the amount that they need to eat is significantly more than when they eat kibble (because it tends to be more calorically dense). Remember, if you’re going to do home cooking for your baby – always use ORGANIC EVERYTHING (you want to avoid any chemicals possible), and do not cook meats above 212 degrees (to avoid carcinogens being produced).

Home Cooking Dog Food Recipe

Once I decided that I could no longer home cook for him as his main source of nutrition, I began my hunt for a very high quality kibble that was grain free, packed with proteins and fish oil, and that was NOT heated when processed. I did find Orijen Six Fish that I found to be an excellent alternative to home cooking, and the best part is that Bentley LOVES it.

I do still cook for Bentley occasionally on the weekends when I have time, just to give him a special treat! The Orijen Six Fish runs about $85 a bag, which lasts us about 5-6 weeks. Because the Orijen is PACKED with good lean protein (fish), the amount that he has to eat is about a 1/3 of what he would have to eat if using any other typical dry dog food.

Home Cooking Dog Food Recipe

Aside from food change, the other side to this coin is adding supplements to help boost his immune system and assist the Chemotherapy in killing cancer cells. This is where things can get very overwhelming and stressful. There are SO many different theories out there about what supplement therapies work and what don’t.

Bentley’s Supplements

Even from vet to vet, some will swear by a supplement, and others will say it has only negative effects. This is where you have to become your own scientist, experimenter, researcher, doctor, vet, mother, etc. You have to lead this fight, and only you know what is best for your baby! I relied a lot on knowledge and support from two Yahoo groups that we belong to: Bone Cancer Dogs, and Artemisinin and Cancer. The people in these groups have SO much knowledge about all of the trials that are going on, current ‘up and coming’ therapies, and experience with most of them as well.

Holistic Supplements to Fight Dog Cancer

It took me a little bit to get Bentley’s protocol in order, and to be honest – I’m still changing it weekly. You really have to listen to them and see how they handle everything, especially as you’re introducing new supplements it’s best to take it slow!

Here are the supplements and medications Bentley is currently on and what they do:

  • Vetri-Science Glyco-Flex III: supports joint health and helps with range of motion (Bentley was diagnoses with severe hip and knee dysplasia in both rear legs at 6 months old)
  • Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil 8 ozTramadol and Gabapentin: given for hip and joint pain
  • Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil: promotes tumor shrinkage
  • K9 Immunity Plus: Immune system booster
  • Ester-C (Vitamin C) and Vitamin E: given daily to help flush out dead cancer cells
  • Tumeric and Curcumin: given in the morning as an anti-inflammatory, and also at night after Arte combo to increase efficacy of Arte
  • Artemisinin, Artememther, and Butyrex: given as an anti-cancer supplement believed to attack cancer cells

We have also purchased Coconut Oil which I will be adding next week, and Essiac Tea which we will begin once Bentley is finished with Chemotherapy.

Here is Bentley’s actual protocol and timing breakdown:

BREAKFAST (8 AM):

  • 1 ¼ cups Orijen Six Fish dog food (fill just under purple line in cup)
  • (2) Glyco-Flex III Tablets (cut up into tiny pieces)
  • Vetri-Science Glyco-Flex III Joint Dog 90 Tablets(2) tsp. of Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil (10 mls)
  • (3) K9 Immunity Plus Chews
  • (1) Ester-C Capsule 500mg (open capsule and dump directly into food)
  • (1) Vitamin E Capsule (400 i.u.)
  • (1) Gabapentin (300mg)
  • (2) Tramadol (100mg total)
  • (1) Curcumin 95 Capsule (500mg total)
  • ¼ tsp. of Tumeric Powder (in labeled bottle)
  • *Mix Ester-C & Glycoflex in with food and stir in Fish Oil.
  • Put Tramadol/Gabapentin, Curcumin, & Vitamin E into one chunk of
  • Orijen Six Fish Dry Cat Foodcream cheese & Turmeric in another – then put chunks on floor in front of him*

DINNER (5 PM):

  • 1 ¼ cups Orijen Six Fish dog food (fill just under purple line in cup)
  • *After dinner he needs to stay very active for 2-3 hours, playing with his toys or playing with you outside are his two favorite things*

8 PM:

  • (1) Gabapentin (300mg)
  • (2) Tramadol (100mg total)
  • *Put into chunk of cream cheese, and set in front of him on floor*

9 PM:
*HAS TO BE GIVEN AT LEAST 4 HOURS AFTER FOOD AND AN HOUR AFTER PAIN MEDS!*

  • Doctor's Best's Artemisinin (100 mg) 90Vcaps(2) Hepamether Capsules (80mg total)
  • (4) Artemisinin Capsules (400mg total)
  • (5) Butyrex Capsules (3000mg total)

(Put 3-4 pills together in chunks of cream cheese and place on floor in front of him)

10 PM:
*HAS TO BE EXACTLY AN HOUR AFTER LAST MEDICATIONS!*

  • (2) Curcumin 95 Capsules (1000mg total)
  • ½ tsp. of Tumeric Powder (in labeled bottle)

(open Curcumin capsules each into their own chunk of cream cheese and Turmeric in another, then place in front of him on floor)

Whew, seeing all of this written out makes my head spin! Noone ever said fighting cancer would be easy, but I know he’s worth it!

Bentley and Family

We know that the odds are not in our favor, but we also know that we have no reason not to fight! We are going to continue to fight until our sweet boy says that he’s had enough! I encourage everyone facing this battle, to fight it from every angle – and of course love, snuggles, and kisses are great medicine!

As we always say at the start of every new day,

You have to fight through some really tough days, to live the best days of your life..so never stop fighting!”

Healing hugs from Kate and Sloppy Rotty Kisses from Bentley

Recommended Reading:

Tripawds Downloads Blog: Dr. Dressler’s Free Dog Cancer Diet Guide
Tripawds Nutrition Blog: What’s All this Talk About Artemisinin?
Best Diet Tips in The Tripawds Nutrition Blog


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The Basics of Cat Nutrition

March 12th, 2014 by jerry in Diet · 1 Comment

The Tripawds Nation is so hoppy to have so many new feline friends joining us these days and as a result, we’re pleased to bring you more resources and information about cat care. We hope you enjoy the following guest blog post about cat nutrition, written by Allison Martin, mom to Tripawd Boomer and Quadpawd Amy.

Understanding a Cat’s Nutritional Needs

JamboWhile dogs have similar nutritional needs and digestive capabilities to humans, cats have some very specific needs that can significantly impact their overall health and quality of life.

Dogs and cats are both carnivores but they are different classes of carnivores. Dogs are known as opportunistic carnivores, meaning that while they do best on a meat centered diet, they can survive on a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Cats, however, are obligate carnivores, meaning they require meat for long-term survival. They can eat other plant based foods but require certain essential nutrients they can only get from meat.

While humans and dogs are able to convert certain plant based nutrients into ones normally found in meat sources, cats do not have the ability to do this efficiently. Taurine, arachidonic acid, vitamin A, and vitamin B12 are all essential nutrients that cats can not get in sufficient amounts through plant based foods. A prolonged taurine deficiency can lead to irreversible blindness and congestive heart failure.

KiliCats have a very short digestive tract compared to that of a human. It is designed to digest meats quickly and efficiently which decreases the risk of illness from food borne pathogens. They also have a larger liver that is designed to convert fat directly into glucose which equates to energy.

Humans often rely on carbohydrates for their energy however cats systems are very inefficient at converting carbs into energy, most of it is converted directly into body fat. The incidence of obesity and diabetes in domestic cats has increased with the popularity of feeding dry foods due in part to the fact that most traditional dry foods rely much to heavily on grain and plant based ingredients.

In addition to weight related issues, dry food’s popularity has also led to a dramatic increase in urinary tract problems in cats. As carnivores, cats have evolved to get the majority of their moisture from the food they eat – as one of the pet nutrition specialists I work with likes to tell people, “No matter how much water your cat drinks, it is not enough.”

They were not designed to eat dry, crunchy food and drink water, so many cats will spend much of their lives at least mildly dehydrated which can lead to poor kidney function, urinary tract infections, and the development of stones. Feeding a primarily wet food diet to cats is the best way to insure against these problems.

Wysong Chicken Stew in Gravy Canned Dog and Cat FoodDoesn’t dry food keep their teeth clean, though? In short, no. If eating crunchy foods kept your pet’s teeth clean, dentists would be telling people to eat potato chips and pretzels instead of brushing their teeth. Cat’s mouths are designed to swallow foods in whole chunks torn from their prey.

As is characteristic of all carnivores, the jaws of a cat only move up and down, not side to side like a human. Their teeth are sharp and fine, designed to slice and tear soft tissue not crunch and grind dry hard kibbles.

Some studies are beginning to show that an exclusively dry diet may be detrimental to a cat’s dental health. Those hard kibbles grating against their teeth everyday may actually be flaking away their teeth over time.

The bottom line is that cats are meant to eat meat. Canned food is more convenient for some people but now there are some great frozen raw, freeze-dried and dehydrated options out there.

Vital Essentials Feline Freeze Dried Mini Pet Chicken Patties EntreeIf you are changing your cat’s diet, experimentation is often the key – try a variety of flavors and textures to figure out what they like. If you prefer to continue feeding a dry food, the highest meat content options out there are EVO and Wysong.

As for wet foods there are many great options – Weruva, The Honest Kitchen, and Vital Essentials make just a few of the many outstanding products out there.

A little about me and my pack: I work at a family owned pet supplies store that prides itself on high-quality products and knowledgeable staff. I am owned by two dogs, both of whom adopted me at the sanctuary where I used to work. Amy is probably a McNab and Boomer is probably a boxer mix. In January 2013, Boomer developed a limp and after many months of wait-and-see, supplements, and tests he was finally diagnosed in July 2013 with disseminated Valley Fever, a rare fungal infection, in his right hock. He became a tripawd on September 13, 2013 and is now back to his old self.




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Vaccinations After a Dog or Cat Cancer Diagnosis

February 24th, 2014 by jerry in Medication · 3 Comments

If your Tripawd dog or cat was diagnosed with osteosarcoma or another cancer, at some point you may be confronted with the vaccination decision:

Is it safe to vaccinate my Tripawd
after a cancer diagnosis?

It’s common for veterinarians to recommend routine vaccinations for dogs and cats with cancer, but over the last few years we’ve learned that vaccinations should not be given to animals with compromised immune systems.

As the Dog Cancer Vet Dr. Dressler stated in his blog post “Vaccination and Dog Cancer,”

For those who want the bottom line now: No vaccinations for dogs with cancer. None. Vaccinations have complex interactions with the immune system and these are not predictable and can be harmful in dogs with cancer.  Use the minimum vaccinations for your pet’s lifestyle, needs, and other health issues. . . But don’t eliminate all vaccinations in healthy pets.”

Some oncologists recommend taking a more conservative approach. According to Lili Duda, VMD, Section Editor of the excellent pet cancer website OncoLink

AS A GENERAL GUIDELINE ONLY, most vaccinations probably provide immunity for much longer than the 1 year currently suggested by vaccine manufacturers, and most adult dogs will have adequate immunity if they have been vaccinated within the past three years. Every dog should be evaluated as an individual based on his risk, potential exposure to disease, and general health.

To help you weigh the pros and cons of the vaccination decision, one of our favorite holistic veterinary practitioners, Gina Snow, has written an informative blog post about how vaccines work, when they should be given and why she feels they should not be given to dogs and cats with cancer.

Why a sick pet should not be vaccinated

So, from the brief information above, you can see that the immune system is very busy if it is reacting to any type of invader or infectious organisms. This could be a vaccine, a bacterial ear infection, a urinary tract infection, autoimmune disease like lupus or an immune disaster such as cancer. If a vaccine is given when the system is already working hard it makes sense that this would be potentially harmful. Best case scenario is that the immune system steps up and deals with both the vaccine and the illness. Worst case is the immune system “breaks” and you either have improper healing of disease or improper immunity with the injected vaccine. Common sense tells us that vaccinating while a pet is already sick is not good or proper medicine. Even the vaccine manufactures tell us this on each and every package insert.

Read more in Gina’s blog, “Vaccines; How they work and when they should not be given.”

As with most decisions you’ll make on the cancer journey, you need to weigh the pros and cons for every choice you are given. One way you can feel more confident doing so is by learning how to become a better advocate for your dog or cat. A great place to discuss your health dilemmas is with your veterinarian and in the Tripawds Discussion Forums. See you there!

Recommended Reading

Rabies Vaccination Waiver for Cancer Dogs
Boost your dog’s immune system with K9 Immunity
Life Gold Pet Cancer Support Supplement Boosts Immune Systems
Health Concerns Power Mushrooms Testimonials

The Nature of Animal Healing : The Definitive Holistic Medicine Guide to Caring for Your Dog and Cat

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Grain-free vs. Low Carb: Understanding the Differences in Dry Food

February 10th, 2014 by jerry in Diet · 5 Comments

The following guest blog post was submitted by Allison Martin, mom to Tripawd Boomer and Quadpawd Amy, pictured here.

AmyBoomer

If you have an area of expertise you’d like to share with the Tripawds community, contact us today!

Grain-free vs. Low Carb: Understanding the Differences in Dry Food

By Allison Martin, Boomer and Amy’s Mom

Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain-Free Adult Chicken Recipe (11 lb)Did you know not all grain-free foods are low carb? More and more research is accumulating each year to suggest that a low or no carb diet can significantly boost survival rates for both pets and people fighting cancer. Many people find that their cancer warriors do best on a raw diet but some people don’t have the time, money, or stomach to feed raw and vets are usually hesitant to switch dogs to raw during chemo.


Pet parents often opt for a grain-free dry food to give their pets an edge over cancer when raw isn’t an option. However, many people make the mistake of thinking that because a food says “grain-free” on the bag, it is therefore low carb. This isn’t always the case, for example, Blue Buffalo’s Freedom grain-free line is over 50% carb and Nature’s Logic, which contains millet (a grain), is about 36% carb.

No study has ever shown that dogs or cats need any carbs in their diet, but most dry dog and cat foods consist of 30-60% carbohydrates. Why? In dry food, some kind of starch has always been necessary, it is what holds the kibble together. Without it, any traditional kibble would turn into a giant bag of crumbs.

Wysong Dry Diets Epigen Venison Formula Pet Food Wysong has a line of food, Epigen, that is actually starch free. They have figured out a way to create a kibble without using a starchy binder and instead use plant based proteins to help keep the food from crumbling. At about 11% carb, it is one of the lowest carb dry foods out there – and it’s not even grain-free!

Since carbs are not considered an essential nutrient for dogs and cats, companies don’t have to put the carb count on the label – a handful of them do, but they are few and far between. Our friends over at Dogfoodadvisor.com have helped us out a lot by calculating the estimated level of carbs as part of their review. It is a simple calculation but I won’t go into it here.

Check out the explanation at http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/choosing-dog-food/dog-food-carbohydrate-content/. This calculation can be used on cat food as well. As of right now, I know of no site for cat food that comes close to the depth and breadth of Dogfoodadvisor.com, so you’ll have to do a bit more of the math yourself if you are looking for a low carb kitty option.

EVO Dry Dog Turkey & Chicken 28.6 lb Small BitesThe lowest carb line of grain-free dry foods out there for both dogs and cats is EVO by Natura. Depending on flavor, the dog food is 12-20% carb and the cat food is 7-14% carb using dry-matter analysis. (Natura did go through a large recall last year for a higher-than-acceptable salmonella test. As a result, they have made significant modifications to their plant and production practices – check out www.gettoknownatura.com for more on what happened and what was done to fix it if you are concerned.) EVO is also an exceptionally calorie dense food with a very high meat content, so if you have a picky eater or someone who is not feeling great and not eating well, a food like this can help get more calories into them in smaller quantities of food.

Few foods out there come close to EVO and Wysong, but some of my other lower-carb dry favorites are Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural (28% dog, 20% cat), Orijen (30%, 22%), and Nature’s Variety Instinct RAW Boost (31%, 25%).

Nature's Variety Instinct RAW Boost Bites - Chicken - 4 oz.Investigate what is available in your local pet supply stores (not the chains) because they will have regional options that are far superior to many of the national brands – just because you’ve never heard of it before doesn’t mean it is an inferior food, in fact in my experience, the ones you haven’t heard of are often some of the best. And don’t hesitate to go investigate their selection and do some independent research before you buy.

There is also the world of freeze-dried, dehydrated, frozen raw, and canned which are by and large going to be lower carb than most dry foods, but we’ll discuss that a different day.

A little about me and my pack: I work at a family owned pet supplies store that prides itself on high-quality products and knowledgeable staff. I am owned by two dogs, both of whom adopted me at the sanctuary where I used to work. Amy is probably a McNab and Boomer is probably a boxer mix. In January 2013, Boomer developed a limp and after many months of wait-and-see, supplements, and tests he was finally diagnosed in July 2013 with disseminated Valley Fever, a rare fungal infection, in his right hock. He became a tripawd on September 13, 2013 and is now back to his old self.





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Joint Health Conclusions and #NaturalStride Giveaway Contest

January 22nd, 2014 by jerry in Supplements · 14 Comments

Loving a Tripawd means being extra vigilant about joint health maintenance. As a result, we’re always on the lookout for high quality, proven supplements that take good care of your dog’s joints. Today we’re happy to let you know our test run results of a product that does just that.

And, you can enter to win a free bag to try it for yourself! Keep reading for details on how to enter the contest.

Wyatt Stays Active with Natural Stride

After trying the Natural Stride Hip & Joint health supplement on Tripawds Spokesdog Wyatt Ray we feel that this is a supplement that delivers what it promises: joint pain relief for dogs.

Since November Wyatt has been lucky enough to benefit from a company-sponsored trial run of this highly effective anti-inflammatory natural supplement that includes:

  • Glucosamine HCL: a shell fish-based natural compound that is found in healthy cartilage.
  • N-Acetyl Glucosamine: Shown to decrease pain and inflammation, increase range of motion in osteoarthritis patients, and help repair cartilage.
  • Hyaluronic Acid (HA): Studied for its effectiveness in the treatment of different types of arthritis such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Yucca Extract: Noted for centuries for its anti-inflammatory properties

Despite his notoriously sensitive belly, Wyatt had no gastrointestinal effects from this powerful combination of remedies. He was diagnosed with hip displaysia as a puppy, so this is a great product for us to stick with.

Natural Stride Liver Flavor Hip and Joint Supplement

Whether he was trying the powdered form or the newer chewable supplements (both have equal amounts of pain relief), we are noticing that he shows fewer aches and pains after extra-long play sessions and activity.

We rate Natural Stride Hip & Joint “Three Paws Up!” for their high quality, made-in-America approach toward good joint health for all dogs.

Natural Stride Hip and Joint Dog Chews Review

If your dog has been diagnosed with arthritis or hip displaysia, or you’re just in need of a good supplement to give as preventive medicine, give this product a try and let us know what you think.

Order use this special Tripawds coupon to receive 20% of any order through 3/31/14 on any dog, equine or human product:

SAVE 20 PAWCENT:
COUPON CODE “TRIPAWDS20″

Natural Solutions, the makers of Natural Stride, guarantees you’ll see results in days, not months. They’re so certain it works, they even offer a 60-day money back guarantee to customers.

Win a Free Bag of Natural Stride

And now the part you’ve been waiting for! Here’s how to enter to win a free full-size bag of Natural Stride powder or chewable formula! Just follow the next two fast and easy steps.

Step 1: Take the Joint Health Survey

Natural Solutions is looking for feedback from Tripawds pawrents. Please take this fast easy survey about joint health to help them learn more about a Tripawd’s special needs. Then, return here for your final steps to enter the contest.

Joint Supplement Survey For Dog Parents

Step 2: Enter to Win a Full-Size Natural Stride Package

To enter the Natural Stride giveaway, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. There are two different ways to enter, so select as many or as few as you like each day. By completing more than one entry option you increase your chances of winning! The giveaway starts now and ends on January 29th. US residents only please.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hey folks: This post is sponsored by Natural Solutions for Life on behalf of the BlogPaws Blogger Network. Tripawds is being compensated for helping spread the word about Natural Solutions for Life’s Natural Stride Supplement, but the Tripawds Nutrition Blog only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Natural Solutions for Life is not responsible for the content of this article.

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Mushroom Therapy for Canine Hemangiosarcoma

January 13th, 2014 by jerry in Supplements · 1 Comment

Canine hemangiosarcoma is a dreaded diagnosis, but amazing dogs like Butchey Hudson often make those statistics look silly. Butchey Hudson is an angel now, but he beat the hemangioscaroma odds for a whopping twenty-six months!

Butchey Hudson, Tripawd Warrior
October 15, 2004 – September 9, 2013
26 months of ampuversaries

Mushroom Therapy for Canine Hemangiosarcoma

Butchey was a leader in helping to find a cure for canine hemangiosarcoma.  His participation in a clinical trial conducted by two University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine faculty helped provide a groundbreaking mushroom therapy treatment for treating this disease.

The Zhi Mushroom. Photo from I’m-Yunity.

The trial found that dogs with hemangiosarcoma who were treated with a compound derived from the Coriolus versicolor mushroom had the longest survival times ever reported for dogs with the disease. These promising findings offer hope that the compound may one day offer cancer patients — human and canine alike — a viable alternative or complementary treatment to traditional chemotherapies.

A U-PENN press release about the study states:

The Coriolus versicolor mushroom, known commonly as the Yunzhi mushroom, has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years. The compound in the mushroom that is believed to have immune-boosting properties is polysaccharopeptide, or PSP. In the last two decades, some studies have suggested that PSP also has a tumor-fighting effect.

Butchey wrote about his experience with this trial in his blog:

Momma wants me to mention that I am taking a new mushroom product to fight my cancer.  I’ve been on it for about 3 weeks now.  It is called I’m Yunity.  There was a study released by U Penn in September I think.  The study was done on 15 dogs with splenic hemangiosarcoma and had very good results.  The mushroom is specifically Coriolus versicolor.  The press release link is here, and the study link is here.  She says we will keep posting in the blog about how I am doing with it.

In the study he was in, fifteen dogs that had been diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma participated in the trial. Divided into three groups of five, each group received a different dose — 25, 50 or 100 mg/kg/day — of I’m-Yunity, a formulation of PSP that according to the U-PENN scientists has been tested for consistency and good manufacturing processes.

We located another manufacturer, Mushroom Science, which also formulates PSP but we don’t have firsthand experience using it. If you do, any feedback is appreciated.

The American Cancer Society’s website states promising information about treating cancer with Coriolus versicolor mushrooms:

Available scientific evidence does not support claims that the raw mushroom itself is an effective anti-cancer agent in humans. But there is some scientific evidence that substances derived from parts of the mushroom may be useful against cancer. Clinical trials suggest that PSK may help people with certain types of cancer by increasing survival rates and lengthening periods of time without disease, without causing major side effects. PSK is commonly used with other cancer treatments in Japan. PSP and VPS have not been studied as thoroughly.

If you’re coping with canine hemangiosarcoma, Coriolus versicolor is something you may want to discuss with your holistic-minded veterinarian. Find a holistic veterinary medical provider at the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association website directory or at the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine.

NOTE: If you choose to work with I’m-Yunity, you can receive a 5% discount** on your I’m-Yunity® for Dogs order, when referred by a veterinarian and free domestic shipping on next orders. Please have your Vet complete and sign the form located here.

 Thank you for this great information Butchey (and Momma Nancy), you will always be a Tripawd Hero.

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Dogs Stress Less with PetNaturals Calming Supplement, Try it Free

December 31st, 2013 by jerry in Supplements · 1 Comment

Is your dog stressed out over the holidays? Do New Year’s Eve fireworks celebrations make your pup run for cover? If so, PetNaturals of Vermont’s Calming stress reduction chews are the solution, which you can try for FREE! Read on for details about getting a free trial size for your pooch.

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PetNaturals of Vermont feels so certain that Calming works that they recently sent Tripawds Spokespup Wyatt Ray a sample package to test. Talk about a perfect test case: Wyatt is so anxious that no natural calming remedies that we’ve tried in the past have ever had much of a lasting effect on him. But as soon as he opened the package, we had a feeling they might be different.

Calming4

Calming is a tasty treat that’s flavored with chicken and features a ‘Colostrum Calming Complex,” which supports stress reduction and cognitive function, and works synergistically with L-theanine.

Calming5

This naturally occurring amino acid helps the body produce other amino acids like dopamine and GABA, and has been studied for its ability to curb destructive behaviors often associated with stress, without causing adverse affects or drowsiness. B vitamins like thiamine support calming and relaxation, as well as normal energy levels. CALMING can be used daily or when extra help to relax is needed.

Sure, we were skeptical but we let Wyatt gobble three down, since it’s OK to give that amount to dogs with extreme anxiety, which Wyatt definitely has.

Calming3And two hours later in the car, instead of barking his head off at everything that goes by, he’s doing this:

Calming7

We’re pretty sure that Calming is doing its stuff, but we’ll test it again later during tonight’s New Year’s Eve festivities.

How to Score a Free Sample of Calming

Get a free sample of Calming to evaluate and a valuable coupon too. Visit The PetNatural Calming Offer page and sign up!

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Win a Bone-anza of Soup Bones

December 23rd, 2013 by wyattraydawg in Diet · 4 Comments

Soup bones without the mess?

Yep, it’s true, and I wouldn’t mess with ya. My people got a package of the new Soup Bones by Nutrish that the famous celebrity chef Rachael Ray made just for us dawgs, and they are da bomb!

Wyatt Likes Nutrish Savory Bites and Soup Bones Dog Treats

Win a Nutrish Treats Bone-anza

Do you like good, meaty, juicy soup bones? But do your people get mad if you make a mess all over the floor when you eat ‘em? If you know what I’m talking about, then I want YOU to win a bag of ALL THREE Nutrish Treats! Keep reading to find out how.

Eat Natural, Eat Well

Dawgs, you gotta get your people over to the nearest Walmart or Kroger Grocery Store so they can pick up a package of Rachael’s newest treats like these Savory Bites and Soup Bones.

Nutrish Savory Bites and Soup Bones Dog Treats

Here’s what to love about Nutrish Soup Bones:

  • Savory, long-lasting chews with a tender, meaty center
  • Highly digestible with no splintering or mess
  • No meat by-products or artificial colors
  • Perfect for small, medium or large dogs

And Nutrish Savory Bites:

  • Real beef is the #1 ingredient
  • Made with delicious garden veggies you can see like peas and carrots
  • No corn, wheat, fillers, or gluten
  • No beef by-products

My people and I love the Nutrish line because Rachael Ray herself oversees all recipes to make sure they’re tasty, nutritious and safe for dogs. You can learn all about how they’re made on the Nutrish FAQ page.

Nutrish Savory Bites and Soup Bones Dog Treats

They also don’t cost a lot! They’re just $2.99 to $3.49, which really makes my people hoppy knowing they don’t have to spend a lot to give me healthy treats.

How to Win a Nutrish Bone-anza

To enter, just comment below and tell us: what is your favorite human food treat? Enter between today and this Friday at 12 midnight Pacific Time. One winner will be drawn at random on Sunday December 29.

A head’s up: Me and my people were given these yummy treats as compensation to spread the word about Nutrish treats, but we only share news about excellent products that we believe you and your pack will enjoy.

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Joint Health Tips for Tripawds with #NaturalStride

December 19th, 2013 by jerry in Supplements · 3 Comments

Is joint health maintenance high on your priority list for your three-legged hero? If not, it needs to be. Because while Tripawds can do anything that their four-legged counterparts can do, rehabilitation veterinarians warn us that dogs on three legs will definitely pay a higher price in time, especially if we don’t pay close attention to signs of joint pain and arthritis. It’s our responsibility as Tripawd pawrents to do all we can to minimize the risk.

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The good news is that it’s never too late to take steps that will ease the aches and pains of life as a three-legged dog.

Monitor your dog’s activity levels: three-legged dogs should never be allowed to participate in ongoing “explosive” activity like the stop-and-start chasing and racing around that goes on at dog parks. While they’re having a ball doing so, the stress it puts on joints is too much for them to handle over time. Instead, force your dog to take a break for a few minutes while hanging out with his buddies.

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Whether three or four-legged, never let your dog jump in and out of vehicles. While it’s a a joyous thing to see your amazing hero successfully jump in and out of your car, the sudden and ongoing impact of landing on concrete can cause damage. Purchase a harness to aid your dog in getting in and out of your vehicle.

Finally, introduce a daily supplement like NaturalStride Hip & Joint Dog Chews to help protect your dog’s joints from excessive stress.

Take the Supplement Survey!

Do you currently use a supplement for your Tripawd? If so, why or why not?

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The makers of Natural Stride want to learn what you think about joint supplements by taking this very brief survey:

Joint Supplement Survey For Dog Parents

Stay Protected with Natural Stride Hip & Joint Dog Chews

As we recently shared with you, #NaturalStride supplements provide a healthy, natural way to protect the joints and ease the aches and pains associated with arthritis.

Natural Stride Hip and Joint Dog Chews Review

Made with Tripawd-recommended holistic pain relief ingredients like yucca and cetyl myristoleate, an anti-inflammatory, pain reliever and immune system modulator, Natural Stride provides the kind of protection a Tripawd needs against long-term joint stress caused by normal everyday activities.

We’ve been testing this supplement out on Tripawds Spokesdog Wyatt Ray, who at age five years old, already shows signs of hip displaysia.

Natural Stride comes in a powder form that we tried in his food. This is extremely cost effective for large dogs like Wyatt. As an alternative, Natural Stride’s Hip & Joint Dog Chews are now available as a tasty treat! These tasty treats promote:

  • Healthy joints and mobility
  • Normal range of motion
  • Healthy cartilage and synovial fluid
  • Joint comfort

Wyatt was so excited when we received these glucosamine treats!

Natural Stride Hip and Joint Dog Chews Review

He grabbed them out of our hand so quickly, we didn’t even get to use them as training treats!

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We had to hold back; since one treat per 25 pounds of body weight is the recommended dosage, our 80-pound Wyatt would gobble these up in no time! Instead, we prefer their daily powder supplement and enjoy using the chews as incentives for good behavior.
imageFor example:

According to Natural Stride, one $24.95 pouch will provide the following amounts of protection against joint pain:

For a 25 pound dog – 120 days (4 months)
For a 50 pound dog – 60 days (2 months)
For a 75 pound dog – 40 days
For a 100 pound dog – 30 days
For a 125 pound dog – 24 days

Made in the USA and manufactured by an FDA-approved facility, Natural Stride supplements are available online. If you use this special Tripawds coupon you’ll receive 20% of any order through 3/31/14 on any dog, equine or human product:

SAVE 20 PAWCENT:
COUPON CODE “TRIPAWDS20″

Natural Stride guarantees you’ll see results in days, not months. They’re so confident they offer a money-back guarantee if you don’t see improvement in your dog’s mobility.

Protecting our Tripawd’s joints is an easy thing to do now, to avoid huge vet bills later.

Natural Stride Hip and Joint Dog Chews Review

This post is sponsored by Natural Solutions for Life on behalf of the BlogPaws Blogger Network. We are being compensated for helping spread the word about Natural Solutions for Life’s Natural Stride Supplement, but Tripawds only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Diamond Naturals is not responsible for the content of this article.

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