Making the change >>
Sauces add variety >>
Vomiting in Cats >>
Foods to try >>
Warnings - Foods to avoid >>
Fleas and flea deterrents >>
Making the change
When switching the diet of your cat or dog to veggie food it is important not to make any sudden changes.
Sudden changes in food can lead to diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, indigestion and even refusal to eat the food at all - so make the switch gently.
Cats and Dogs are generally creatures of habit and unlike humans, who enjoy the novelty of something new, they don't usually like surprises in their dinner bowls. Sometimes when presented with an unfamiliar food the response can be something like:
'Hmm... that's not my dinner - I'll wait 'til those silly humans put the right stuff in...'
...and this can even lead to a feeding strike, with refusal to eat anything until the food they are used to is reintroduced. This can last a couple of days, if it happens, don't give in to old habits. However, it is best and easist to avoid this altogether by introducing the new food gradually by mixing it with the old food.
Another thing to consider is that changing from a mainly wet diet to a dry diet can rather upset the rhythm of a cat or dogs bowels! A sudden change can lead to dramatic diarrhoea!
You may be keen to get rid of the meat based food that you have been using with your cat or dog previously, and your cat or dog might be very keen to eat the new food straight away but the best way to make the switch is to gradually introduce the food over four days to a week. Try starting with 25% of the new food mixed in and gradually change the ratio over the week until they are on only the new food.
Adding sauces for extra flavour
Many of our customers add things to the dry food to make the food more fun, especially when the dog is recovering from a period of illness and may have a loss of appetite.
Some baked beans poured over the top can tempt a dog into scoffing a bowl of food.
For dogs that are used to wet foods and may be finding the new dry foods a little bland at first, adding some warm water can help - be careful about using gravies as dogs shouldn't eat onions and most gravies include onion powder (its potentially poisonous for dogs), also be aware that gravies and stocks can be high in salt which is not good for dogs either.
Other customers have used the Yarrah pate to make an aromatic and tasty gravy. As it has a strong aroma you only need a spoonful of the Yarrah pate, which can be mixed with some warm water and poured over the food. Feedback on this has reported bowls licked clean!
VegeYeast, Yarrah Vegetarian Chunks
Vomiting in cats
Very occasionally we receive reports of cats vomiting. This is not directly related to the fact that the foods are vegetarian as it also happens with meat based foods. Its actually far more commonin cats than people may realise - as cats may be doing it somewhere private.
Often cats are regurgitating their food rather than actually 'vomiting'. Vomiting is where your cat is retching and bringing up food from deeper inside, from the stomach and intestines. Most instances of regurgitation that relate to food happen shortly after the cat has eaten. This is actually regurgitation of food from the esophagus, where the food can be seen as undigested but swollen, often covered in a slimy mucous.
Unlike humans, cats and dogs can regurgitate quite effortlessly and then get on with their business, while we may find the experience much more unpleasant and distressing. A cat bringingup their food does not necessarily indicate an illness. The ability to regurgitate/vomit comfortably is part of cats carnivorous inheritance. Causes can vary from incident to incident - one cat can vomit on different occasions for different reasons however there are a few things that can be a factor in this:
Sometimes vomiting can be caused by simply over eating, or eating too rapidly. The foods we sell are tasty, and people often comment on how much the cats enjoy them. We must stress here how important it is to properly ration the foods (see the feeding guides on the packs).
Another factor to consider is that dry foods expand when they absord the moisture of the stomach juices. Although cats do not usually over eat (unlike greedy dogs!) they will eat until they are full. However, the food can then further expand in the esophagus and stomach, stretching and irritating the stomach wall, stimulating the reflex to bring the food back up.
As the dry foods are quite concentrated, an adult cat typically needs as little 50-80 grams a DAY. And this should ideally be served in two portions. We know that many people put put more food than this each day and let the cat 'graze' through the day. We would encourage you to weigh out the amount of food recommended for the size of your cat and see for yourself how much (or litttle) it is. It is probably less than you think. In cases of 'vomiting' that have been brought to our attention, simply rationing the food out properly solved most problems.
Eating too fast
Cats can eat too quickly when they share a bowl with other cats. The natural competitive instinct in cats means that they can tend to race to eat the most food. Again this can cause the esophagus and/or stomach to stretch which in response sends a signal to the brain to bring the food up.
How to avoid vomiting
Obviously encouraging cats to eat more slowly or to eat less will help. We suggest that you weigh your cat and then weigh out the appropriate amount of food and become familiar with how much your cat actually needs. You will soon get a feel for the amount without relying on scales.
You can moisten dry foods with warm water to help make them more digestible. Although don't leave them to go cold as they will find it as appealing as you would cold porridge!
If these measures do not resolve the problem consult your vet as it is possible a more serious underlying problem needs expert attention.
Other causes can be intestinal worms, hairballs, food allergies and also sometimes serious problems such as diabetes, pancreatis and kidney disorders. So if it is a persistent problem, happening every day or even more than once a day, please consult your vet immediately.
Foods to try
Get your dog into fruit and veg!
Broccoli hearts are the sweet stems of brocollis, after we fusy humans have cut all the florets off. High in vitamin C, folic acid, calcium and fibre.
Carrots too are a popular crunchy snack. Contain pro-vitamin A carotenes, as well as vitamins B, C, D, E, K, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, and iron.
Some cats like cucumber - and this is a good thing as it gives them moisture. Peel the cucumber as it may have been waxed and some folks suggest the skin may be bad for cats.
Other vegetables cats are reported to enjoy are asparagus, broccoli, green beans, peas, tomato juice, celery.
Tomato juice can help to prevent cystitis Cats may also like yeast pates too.
Apparently cats will get excited by Durian fruit which apparently smells and taste a bit... yucky! We do not know where this can be bought as it doesn't grow in the UK, but we are told cans of it may be in Asian/Oriental grocery stores.
Warnings - foods to avoid
Onions are toxic for dogs, causing the oxidisation of red blood cells and leading to anaemia. For that reason you should not use gravy made with dried onions on your dogs food. Garlic is safe, and is a natural flea repellent.
Also avoid salt, as dogs cannot process excess salt. Dogs do enjoy salty foods such as cheese, gravies and stocks but these should be avoided.
Chocolate too is bad for dogs - it contains theobromine which is similar to caffeine and can cause a dogs heart to race. In small doses it can trigger hyperactivity and possibly diarrhea. In higher doses hyperactivity is actute with heart palpitations, seaizures and even death a serious possibility.
My dog/cat has fleas... what can I do?
There are several approaches to natural flea control: shampoos, sprays, collars and drops.
Garlic can also be part of a flea deterrent approach. Garlic as tablets in foods is excreted through the skin and discourages fleas from settling on the fur.
Pennyroyal shampoos, Minty Mutley, Neem Flea Spray, Neem Flea Shampoo, Herbal Flea Collars