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Q & A with TLC Canine Heart Health

A recent press release from the FDA has indicated concerns that “...dogs that ate certain pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legumes or potatoes as their main ingredients...” [most often labeled ‘grain-free’] are at higher risk of developing canine heart disease, known as dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). This announcement has rattled the pet food industry and lead to many concerned pet parents, wondering about the nutritional value of the food they’ve chosen for their dogs.

We wanted to break down the FDA’s concerns and help answer any questions you may have. We’ve taken some of the questions we’ve received from customers and laid them out along with our responses to give you the answers you need to make the right choices for your pet.


What does the FDA press release mean?

The FDA is investigating potential links between an unusual surge in DCM found in dogs whose primary diet consisted of pet food made with legumes and/or potatoes listed as primary ingredients, which is the case in many “grain-free” formulas. Grain-free formulas often replace grains with vegetable-based protein sources, like peas, lentils, and other legumes. This leads to either having to reduce the amount of higher quality meat-based protein sources, or an unnaturally high protein level (30% or higher), which can have its own health implications.

Meat, like chicken, lamb, and salmon are considered higher quality protein sources for pups and dogs compared to vegetable-based protein sources. This is because meat-based proteins are easily digested and turned into important amino acids, including taurine, an amino acid only available in meat-based protein sources and important to supporting canine heart health. Reducing the amount of quality meat-based protein sources in a formula can mean that pups aren’t getting important nutrients they need to thrive. The FDA is investigating the potential link between formulas relying on vegetable-based proteins and the sudden and unusual increase in cases of canine heart disease.


FDA Investigating potential link

Is TLC a “grain-free” pet food?

No. TLC formulas include ancient whole grains.The nutritional benefits these ingredients add to our formulas include high digestibility, a quality source of dietary fibre, magnesium, and carbohydrates.


Why is taurine not listed as an ingredient in TLC?

TLC’s primary ingredients include high quality meat-based protein sources, like farm fresh Chicken, New Zealand Lamb and Atlantic Salmon. As mentioned above, most quality meat-based protein sources are easily digested and naturally turned into important amino acids, like taurine, by your pup’s own body. TLC includes an adequate amount of meat-based protein and there is no need to artificially add taurine to our food.


Meat-based proteins are easily digested

Aren’t legumes “bad” ingredients?

A misconception since the FDA’s announcement has been that legumes are unhealthy ingredients. This is untrue. It’s not the ingredients themselves but the lack of quality meat-based protein sources believed to be causing the unusual surge in DCM cases. TLC includes legumes, not as a primary protein source but sources of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals.


How can I tell which ingredients are being used as “primary ingredients” in pet food?

Thanks to the FDA and AAFCO, pet food labeling is heavily regulated. All pet food labels must clearly list ingredients in order by weight, meaning that ingredients listed first, have higher inclusion rates. Although reading the label will give you a pretty good sense of what ingredients are being relied upon for primary sources of nutrition, pet parents should be aware of “ingredient splitting”. A formula relying on legumes for protein may attempt to push wanted meat-protein sources up the list by splitting legumes, like peas, into multiple named ingredients. For example, instead of listing “peas” as a single ingredient, a label may say, “pea fiber”, “green peas”, “yellow peas”, “pea hulls”, and “pea fibre”. This practice can be misleading and should be looked for when considering different pet food.


Have Questions?


Dog Days of Summer

As the summer enters its last leg, we wanted to take a moment to share all of the adventures, road trips and adorable moments our customers have experienced so far this season.

Check out “TLC’s Dog Days of Summer”, a collection of fun memories captured and shared by the TLC family!


Playing it cool by the beach

Playing it cool by the beach!


Grady and friends had a sleepover!

Grady and friends had a sleepover!


Letting it ‘all hang out’ by the pool!

Letting it ‘all hang out’ by the pool!


Goldie went road trippin’ in style!

Goldie went road trippin’ in style!


Sam took a moment to teach Piper the ‘house rules’!

Sam took a moment to teach Piper the ‘house rules’!


Time was spent boating and enjoying the water!

Time was spent boating and enjoying the water!


We love getting to know our TLC customers and their pets! Feel free to send your own TLC story, photos or videos to mytlcpuppy@tlcpetfood.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


Canine Water Safety

Spending time with your pet in the pool, at the beach or at a lakeside cottage can be a fun and exciting way to keep cool and enjoy the ‘Dog Days of Summer’! That said, any time your pet spends near open water comes with a level of risk and it’s important to take the time to prepare and understand canine water safety. We’ve laid out the following tips so you and your furry family member can stay safe and make the most of your time spent on the water this summer.


NO, DOGS AREN’T BORN KNOWING HOW TO SWIM

Contrary to popular belief, dogs are not born with the ability to swim. While many will instinctively do some form of the ‘doggy paddle’ if they find themselves in water, this movement is done out of an instinct to survive and is not a reliable indication of whether your pup is capable of a solo swim or enjoying themselves. In fact, breeds with round bodies, shorter legs and/or flat faces will likely never be strong swimmers and can find themselves in trouble quickly if left unassisted in deeper water. Smaller breeds, brachycephalic breeds, and senior dogs will probably fare better using a kiddie pool to splash around in rather than struggling in a full-size pool or open body of water.

Breed with round bodies should be monitored


FIND THE RIGHT SPOT TO INTRODUCE SWIMMING TO YOUR PET

The younger your pup is when you introduce them to the idea of swimming, the more likely they are to enjoy it. Being in water for the first time can be an overwhelming experience on its own; so choose a quiet, calm area to get your pet used to being in the water. Do NOT throw your pet into the deep end of a pool or body of water. They may paddle but it’s out of instinct to survive and taking this approach is guaranteed to cause unnecessary stress, potentially leading to future anxiety around water.


GET INTO THE WATER TOO

Your pet looks to you for cues on how to approach new situations. If you’re in the water too, supporting them, you can offer comfort as they get themselves used to the water. If your puppy is a smaller breed, or they seem to be paddling themselves vertically with only their front legs, physically support their midsection. They should begin using their hind legs and will eventually learn to propel themselves forward. Remain in the shallow end of the water for a quick and comfortable exit if needed. Use bits of treats, like TLC Whole Life Dog Biscuits and lots of praise to encourage them as they acclimate to this strange new experience!


NEVER LEAVE YOUR PUP UNATTENDED IN THE WATER

Your pet needs to be closely monitored around a pool or body of water, even if you believe they are strong swimmers. Keep them in your eyesight and remain close. Distress is hard to detect and can happen quickly. You want to be close enough to intervene and help your pet get out of the water at any moment. Remember to bring your leash when visiting public beaches or lakes so you can keep them close if needed.


LIFE JACKETS ARE NOT ONLY FOR SMALL BREEDS

If you’re going to allow your dog to roam around in the water freely, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Exhaustion can set in quickly and even the strongest swimmers can find themselves in trouble if they venture out too far from shore and their owners. A well-fitted life jacket keeps your pet afloat and allows them to fully enjoy themselves. Research the appropriate size and fit before buying and introduce it to them by placing it on them while they’re on land. Once they’re used to it, they should enter the water and behave as they normally would!


Well fitted life jackets should be employed in open water


DISCOURAGE YOUR PUP FROM DRINKING LAKE OR POOL WATER

Pools are often full of chemicals and ingested lake water can contain parasites and diseases. Make fresh, cool water available to your pet throughout your time spent near open water and discourage your pet, using strong verbal cues, if they start drinking from the pool or lake.


TAKE BREAKS & AVOID OVERDOING IT

Some dogs will be tuckered out after just ten minutes in the water, while others might seem like they’d swim all day! It’s important to take breaks and rest, helping to prevent exhaustion and avoid overexposure to the sun.


GIVE A GOOD RINSE & DRY WHEN FINISHED

Give your dog a good rinse after spending time in a pool or lake to remove chemicals, dirt, debris and critters. Use a towel to dry your pup and pay special attention to their ears. Leftover moisture from a swim can get trapped in there and lead to irritation or a nasty infection. Once you’re finished, give them lots of snuggles and find a spot to enjoy a nice long nap!


Carefully dry your pup's ears to prevent infection or irritation

Canine Digestion

You’ve made the decision to feed your dog TLC, a complete and balanced diet from a company you trust. You know that the food they’re eating is made with fresh, natural ingredients and packed with beneficial nutrition but do you understand what happens once their tasty kibble makes its way from bowl to mouth? We break down ‘The Ins and Outs of Canine Digestion’ to give you a better understanding of how it all works; how the essential nutrients, found in every bite of TLC, are broken down and used to provide your pup with Whole Life Nutrition™.


BREAKING IT ALL DOWN

Break it down

The Mouth

Did you know that digestion begins the second your pup’s kibble enters their mouth? The tongue helps to direct food around the mouth, while saliva softens, and teeth tear, chew and crush, in preparation for the next stage of digestion.


The Esophagus

From the mouth, your dog’s food travels through a short, muscular tube called the esophagus. The esophagus contracts and relaxes to help propel food from the mouth to the stomach.


The Stomach

Once the food enters your dog’s stomach, it is stored and ‘processed’ before moving on to the small intestine. The stomach is really where the magic begins! Digestive enzymes, called pepsin and lipase, begin pulling essential amino acids from protein and break down the fat found in your dog’s kibble.


The Small Intestine

With the help of organs like the pancreas and liver, food that enters the small intestine is turned from semi-solid to liquid. Wavelike movements, called peristalsis, help move food through the small intestine, mixing it with digestive enzymes and further breaking it down. The last part of your dog’s small intestine is where absorption occurs and nutrients enter the bloodstream.


The Pancreas

Your dog’s pancreas plays a significant role in turning food into fuel for their body. It secretes digestive enzymes into the gut and also releases insulin and glucagon into the blood.


The Liver

Your dog’s liver is a hardworking organ and plays an important role in the digestive system too! The liver acts as a filter, processing plant and storage facility all in one. The liver delivers a substance called bile to the small intestine to help with the digestion of your dog’s food. Once the food has passed through the stomach and small intestine, the liver is the first tissue to come into contact with the resulting nutrients. The liver breaks them down into forms that are easier for the rest of the body to use. It also protects your pup from potentially harmful chemicals, filtering them out of the blood and stores proteins, fatty acids, carbs and vitamins for future use.


The Large Intestine

The final leg of your dog's digestive system begins in the large intestine. Connecting to the small intestine, as you can imagine, at this stage, what was once kibble has now been depleted and transformed into, well, poo. The large intestines’ primary function is to absorb water and electrolytes from what’s left and to move it through to the rectum.


Packed Ingredients

Meat Meal

HOW TO TRIM YOUR PUP’S NAILS

For new puppy parents, clipping your pup’s nails for the first time (and the second, and the third…) can be somewhat daunting. How do you have them sit still long enough? What if you clip too far? We lay out helpful tips and advice below to help you and your pup get comfortable with this essential aspect of grooming. It can take some time, but if you stick with it, you can help your puppy (and yourself) feel relaxed and secure, while helping maintain their overall paw health!


INTRODUCE CLIPPERS SLOWLY, OVER TIME

Busting out the clippers without warning and trying to grab your pet’s paw is likely not going to get you anywhere and worse, could leave your pup feeling stressed and anxious. Allow your puppy or dog to become familiar with the clippers by holding them in your hand while you pet them with the other.


Meat Meal

GET YOUR PUP USED TO HAVING THEIR PAW HELD

For dogs who resist having their paws held all together, try taking things slow. Start with the usual belly rub, scratch behind the ears and lead to slowly touching their paw. Touch one toe at a time, eventually and gently lifting their paw in your hand. Reward them with affection after they allow you to hold their paw in your hand. Incorporate the clippers into the experience by holding them in one hand while you hold their paw in the other.


EXERCISE BEFORE TRIMMING

By giving your pup a workout, like going for a long walk or playing at the dog park, you have a better chance of catching them while they’re relaxed and less excitable, presenting the perfect opportunity to begin trimming.


PREP BEFOREHAND

  • Scissors
  • Towel
  • Emery Board
  • Quality Clippers
  • Styptic Powder or Sticks (helps to quickly stop bleeding from minor cuts in the event you over-clip)

CHECK FOR INJURY AND REMOVE DEBRIS & DIRT

Begin by slowly picking up your pup’s foot and checking for signs of injury, debris, and wiping any dirt away.


TRIM FUR AROUND FEET

Once you’ve confirmed there are no injuries, begin by trimming the fur around your puppy’s feet and toes, if needed. This helps to prevent discomfort and injury, also making it easier to see what you’re doing when trimming their nails!


Meat Meal

ONE TOE AT A TIME

Start by gently holding your pet’s paw in one hand and the clippers in the other. Carefully clip one toenail at a time and at a 45° angle, avoiding a vein found in each nail called a ‘quick’. Once you’ve successfully clipped the first nail, reward your pup with a treat, like a TLC Whole Life Dog Biscuit, broken into pieces. If your pup seems nervous, provide them comfort and wait until they settle, gently picking up the same paw, preparing to clip the next nail. Continue this until you’ve clipped each nail. Take your time and maintain a calm and controlled attitude, if you feel yourself stressing out, pause what you’re doing and wait until things settle. If you find you cannot get your pup to settle, don’t push it. Try introducing the clippers over time and when your pup is comfortable, make another attempt.


If the length of your dog’s nails will not allow the time it might take to get them comfortable with having you trim them, then it’s time to consider taking them to a professional! Outgrown nails actually increase the blood flow to the quick and can cause discomfort, poor ‘gait’ or quality of movement, with an increased risk of becoming ingrown(potentially leading to abscess).

Meat Meal

INGREDIENT HIGHLIGHT: MEAT MEALS

Feeding your pet the best quality food possible is important to you and now more than ever, pet owners want to understand what it is they’re pouring into their fur baby’s bowls. Founded in 1994 in response to the lack of quality nutrition found in commercial pet food, TLC proudly lists the ingredients found in our Whole Life Pet Food and we aim to educate our customers so they understand, not only what’s inside of our kibble, but why. Ingredients, including lamb and chicken meal, are listed first in all TLC Pet Food. So what is lamb or chicken meal? What are their nutritional benefits?


Check it out and explore more ingredients found in your pet’s TLC:


WHAT IS A MEAT MEAL?

When you remove the moisture from fresh meat you leave behind a high quality and nutritionally beneficial ingredient, called a meat meal. The process of removing the moisture from the fresh meat does not diminish the nutritional value, and the chicken meal, lamb meal and salmon meal used in TLC Pet Food contain 90% digestible protein, low ash and valuable amino acids.

Meat Meal


WHY MEAT MEALS?

In addition to the benefits noted above, the same quantity of meat meal has 4-5 x the nutrients found in the same weight of fresh meat, due to the difference in moisture. Meat meal is left with approximately 5% moisture content compared to fresh meat, which is 70% water. Weight matters because ingredients are listed in order and by weight. Pet food listing only fresh meat in their food, must offset the weight of the water removed in cooking. Once food using only fresh meat has been cooked, the quantity of the actual meat will be significantly less than what’s listed and therefore, the nutritional benefits from the meat, diminished. This means that your pet would actually be receiving much of its protein from lower quality, plant-based sources, like potatoes or tapioca versus high-quality sources like lamb and salmon meal found in TLC Whole Life Pet Food. Using meat meals, like quality lamb and chicken meal, allows for a greater quantity to be included in the food. The lamb, chicken and salmon meals found in TLC Pet Food are considered some of the best and most nutritionally beneficial pet food ingredients available and is the reason we choose to include them, in combination with fresh meat, in our Whole Life Puppy, Dog, and Cat Food.


QUALITY OF TLC’S MEAT MEALS

None of the fresh meat or meals in TLC include byproducts or animal waste, like feathers, heads, feet, or entrails and all of TLC’s meat meals include only the animal listed, ie., salmon meal = 100% salmon.

Winter Boredom Busters

We can all get a little stir-crazy during the long winter months and that goes for our pets too! We lay out “10 Winter Boredom Busters” that help address your dog’s cognitive, physical and emotional well-being. Most can be done in the comfort of your home and all of them are easy to prepare and guaranteed to help keep your pup happy and healthy this winter!

Check it out and don’t forget to grab a bag of TLC Whole Life Biscuits for the fun DIY puzzles and training games!

Winter Boredom Busters

Muffin Tin Treat Game

What You Need:

  • A clean muffin tin
  • Whole Life Dog Biscuits broken into little pieces
  • 12 Tennis Balls

Directions:

  • Place the broken biscuit pieces into some of the muffin cups
  • Cover every cup with a tennis ball
  • Let your pooch use their nose to discover where each of the hidden treats are!

Tip: For pups of the toy and small breed variety, use mini-muffin trays and ping pong balls instead!

Muffin Tin Game


DIY Treat Tube

What You Need:

  • An emptied paper towel roll (for smaller breeds or cats) or PVC pipe for something a little more durable
  • Scissors (if using the paper towel roll)/drill for PVC pipe
  • Whole Life Dog Biscuits broken into pieces

Directions:

  • Cut or drill holes sporadically from one end of the tube to the other (make them small enough to just allow a piece of treat to pass through)
  • Seal off one end of the tube by folding it closed (if using the paper towel roll) or using a PVC cap Fill with biscuit pieces
  • Seal off the other end
  • Set in front of your pup and watch them bat it around. They’ll learn cause and effect when one of their treats appears after pushing the tube! (Remember to never leave your pet with homemade toys unattended!)

Surprise Boxes

What You Need:

  • 5 Emptied shoe boxes with removable lids
  • Whole Life Dog Biscuits broken into pieces OR 2 new toys

Directions:

  • In an open area of your house, place the shoe boxes on the floor
  • Place treats or toy in some of the boxes and leave the others empty
  • Cover with lids
  • Introduce your dog to the scene. Let them use their nose to find their treats or prompt them to search the boxes. They’ll have fun discovering what’s inside!

Muffin Tin Game


Hide and Seek

What You Need:

  • Yourself
  • An area of the house you can hide

Directions:

  • Have your pup stay
  • Hide somewhere in your house
  • Call out or make a noise to grab your pup's attention, then enjoy waiting patiently for them to find you! Reward them with a TLC Whole Life Dog Biscuit when they find you and celebrate their success with them.
  • Repeat and see if you can have them learn to hide (leave the space you're in and stay somewhere else until you approach) while you're counting!

Build a Fort

Section of an area of your home, use cushions, couch pieces and blankets to create a "fort".

Have fun watching your pup run and jump, letting out some much needed energy!


DIY Tug Toy

What You Need:

  • An old (but clean) rag or towel

Directions:

  • Tie a large knot at the end of an old rag or towel, hold the other end in your hand and voila, you have a DIY tug toy to help let off a little extra "steam"

DIY Dog Toy


Snow Track

After a significant snow dump, get out your shovel and create a mini "track" in your yard. Let your pup loose and have fun watching them expend their energy while circling the track!

DIY Dog Toy

Owner Jay Moschella shares his Greyhound racing around a hand shoveled track in the snow. ( Originally posted by @Jay_Moschella via Twitter )

Take A New Route

Let your pup experience a change in scenery by taking alternate routes on your daily walk. When weather permits, visit new destinations and let your pup explore!

Snuggle Time

Give your pup some extra attention this winter! Curl up on the couch and treat them to some one on one time.

New Tricks

Choose a new trick and help bolster your pup's self-esteem as they learn to master it. Remember, TLC Whole Life Biscuits are the perfect treat for rewarding tricks!

Tick Talk: Prevention & What to Do If Your Pet Picks up a Tick

Technically the first day of winter won’t arrive for another month but for many North American families, colder weather has already made its presence known (and felt - brrr!). Keep your fur baby safe and cozy all season long with these 5 essential Winter Care Tips!

1. Fur Coats - the good kind

As temperatures fall, some pups begin shedding their light summer undercoat and grow a thicker winter coat. These fur coats work by trapping the heat from your dog’s body and keeping it next to their skin, allowing them to maintain body heat longer when outdoors. This natural defence against Mother Nature’s plummeting temperatures should be allowed to take place. Avoid significant haircuts during Winter months and keep your dog comfortable by giving them a good brushing to remove excess hair. Smaller pups with thinner coats should be protected from the elements with well-fitting winter doggie jackets!

2. Provide Clean, Dry Shelter

Provide your pet a safe and warm place to shelter from the elements if left outside! Ensure they have a sturdy dog house or kennel that can withstand cold weather. Protect their bodies from cold, hard surfaces like cement by laying straw or a warm, weather-resistant blanket along the floor of the home or kennel. Remember to change the blanket/straw frequently and tidy their space to avoid creating an unpleasant environment!

3. Go For A Walk

Going for walks is an important part of making sure your dog is getting enough exercise, especially during winter! Stay clear of ice patches and areas that have been salted to avoid injuring your pup’s paws.

TIP: Apply a thin, even layer of homemade paw balm (see recipe below) on your pup’s paws, pads and exposed skin before heading out into the cold. Wipe paws and pads clean upon return and apply another layer to help sooth and prevent dry, cracked skin.

4. Whole Life Nutrition All Year ‘Round

The right diet during colder temperatures helps provide the perfect balance of calories and nutrients, supporting fur growth and density, while helping prevent obesity. Feeding your dog a well-balanced food, like TLC Whole Life Pet Food , will keep them happy and healthy, whether they’re acclimating to falling temperatures or spending more time indoors.

[place your order now]

5. Know When It’s Time to Head Indoors

Recognize when your pup is ready to come indoors! Except for certain breeds, most pups prefer and thrive indoors with their loved ones during cold winter months. Look for signs your dog is too cold, like shivering or trembling, lethargy, whimpering, and scratching at the door.

Tick Talk: Prevention & What to Do If Your Pet Picks up a Tick

What you’ll need:

  • Standard size mason jar
  • Stainless steel medium size pot
  • Resealable jars or containers to hold balm
  • Silicone spoon or spatula or one you don’t mind discarding afterward

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup natural beeswax
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. shea butter
  • 10 drops vitamin E

Yields: Approximately 500 ml

  1. Fill a pot about one-third full with water and heat to medium-low.
  2. Create a double-boiler effect by placing a standard size mason jar in the centre of the pot (use a mason jar you don ’t mind recycling, it will be difficult to clean afterward).
  3. Carefully place beeswax into mason jar, stirring continuously until melted approximately 10 minutes depending on stovetop).
  4. Add coconut oil, olive oil and shea butter to the mason jar. Heat until melted, stirring often.
  5. Remove from heat and add Vitamin E drops. Stir.
  6. Pour the mixture into storage containers.
  7. Allow to cool for an hour until firm.

Tip: Smaller mason jars will allow for you to guide your pups paw into the jar and apply the balm. If using smaller containers, apply to paws with your fingers.

 




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Tick Talk: Prevention & What to Do If Your Pet Picks up a Tick

When your dog is showing signs of separation anxiety it is both heartbreaking and frustrating. We love our pups and enjoy our time with them but the reality of work, school, and life in general, makes it impossible to spend every waking minute with them.

We’ve broken down how to prevent the onset of separation anxiety, what to look for to properly identify it and how you can give your dog the confidence they need to spend time on their own.

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

  • Excessive salivation and/or licking at paws

  • Sweaty paws

  • Having accidents only when left alone and after successful house-training

  • On-going barking and/or whining

  • Destruction of household items ie., shoes, pillows, magazines, plants a.k.a. Anything within reach

  • Excessive scratching at doors, walls or windows (sometimes to the point of injury)

  • Attempts to escape from the crate or room they’ve been put in

  • Sudden lethargy and disinterest in food or activity

  • Restlessness or a change in behavior when you begin to prepare to leave the house

IS IT REALLY SEPARATION ANXIETY?

Some of the signs and symptoms for separation anxiety disguise themselves as aggression, regression, boredom or visa versa. To resolve the unwanted behaviors your pup is exhibiting, it’s important to understand the root cause. Is your pup soiling all over the house while you’re away because they’re experiencing stress and anxiety or is it an underlying medical issue? Are they destroying anything they can get their paws on while you’re away out of boredom or is it a desperate attempt to escape the confines of their dedicated space?

 

Most symptoms for separation anxiety will begin because of a change in routine (ie., the kids going back to school, you returning to work) and will occur while you’re out of sight or away from the house completely. You also may notice some of the behaviors beginning as you prepare to leave the house (packing your lunch every morning, grabbing your keys, etc.).

Some things you can do to determine if your pup is truly experiencing stress, include:

  • Keeping track of when these behaviors occur. Is it only when you’re away from the house or out of sight?

  • Ask your neighbors if they hear anything while you’re away (they’ll likely be more than happy to share if your pup has been howling consistently throughout the day) or consider using a puppy cam to record your pet’s activity while you’re gone.

  • Ensure your pup is getting enough exercise and cognitive stimulation. A dog suffering from boredom is going to get restless when cooped up in the house, which can also lead to the destruction of furniture/shoes/carpet, etc.,

  • Have a vet offer their opinion. It never hurts to rule out underlying medical issues that could be causing “accidents” around the house.

Once you have ruled out other possibilities for their behavior; use the following tips to prevent or reverse the signs and symptoms of separation anxiety.

GET STARTED EARLY

Providing your puppy with the confidence to be apart from their humans begins as soon as they’re ready for training. Use TLC Whole Life Dog Biscuits to reward behavior you want to see and in this case, ignore the behavior you don’t.

You want them to learn from an early age that:

  • They are safe in their crate/area of the house

  • Your coming and going is a part of life

  • Remaining calm and being patient will reap rewards (like treats and attention)

You want to AVOID teaching them that:

  • It’s a big deal when you leave or are not present

  • When they act out/whine/bark, you will come running

  • They can’t feel secure without you being close by

Separation anxiety is much easier to prevent than it is to reverse, however, the following tips can be used for both training a puppy or retraining a dog experiencing symptoms. Retraining will take time but with a little patience and consistency from the whole family, you can help your dog learn to feel secure when they’re left alone.

WHAT TO DO

PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE

Have your puppy become familiar with the space they’ll be occupying when left alone over time. Whether a crate, a room, or part of the house, let them explore and sniff their way to comfort. Slowly have them spend longer intervals of time in this space alone. Start with leaving the area and progress to short trips and so on.

AVOID REWARDING UNWANTED BEHAVIOR

Although sometimes hard to resist, avoid rewarding unwanted behaviors with affection and attention. Even reprimanding your pup can be viewed as a reward if they’re looking for attention. If your puppy begins barking or whining from their crate, wait until they’ve stopped before entering the room. When they’re calm and ready, open the door and give them a TLC Whole Life Dog Biscuit. If they follow you around, nudging your leg, or pounce on you the second you walk through the door, ignore them. Wait until they’ve calmed down, are sitting patiently and then give them the attention.

HINT: TLC Whole Life Dog Biscuits can be broken into pieces for training. Packed with wholesome, natural ingredients and including glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy hips and joints; TLC biscuits are a healthy reward your pup will love.

Add biscuits to your order today!

KEEP IT CALM

For some of us, leaving our dogs for work or an extended period of time can be just as stressful as it is on them. Regardless, avoid making a big deal about your departure. Our pups look to us for cues on how to feel, when we exhibit signs of stress or anxiety, their bound to pick up on it. You need to treat your leaving as “no big deal”. You’ll be back.  

SEE YOU LATER

Avoid creating a long drawn out routine that signals your departure. Say goodbye if you have to but keep it short or avoid it altogether if you can. The idea is to make your coming and going a normal and unimportant aspect of daily life. Fit your snuggles in well before leaving. Even sensing that you’re about to leave can cause a pup with separation anxiety stress, so not making a fuss and carrying on as normal will help to keep things calm.

BACKGROUND NOISE

Some dogs respond well to a little distraction. Try leaving the T.V. on low, playing music, a sound machine or audio book. Just the feeling of humans being present can help to keep an otherwise anxious pup calm.

MEDICATION

The last thing we want is to prolong suffering for our pets. If your dog happens to have a severe case of separation anxiety (to the point where they are injuring themselves when left alone), your vet may recommend medication to keep them calm. This should be considered a temporary solution and used in combination with efforts to retrain your dog to feel secure and confident, no matter if they’re close by or on their own.


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Tick Talk: Prevention & What to Do If Your Pet Picks up a Tick

10 CAUSES FOR A CHANGE IN YOUR DOG’S STOOL, URINE OR BATHROOM ROUTINE

Since part of caring for a dog is cleaning up after they’ve done their “doody”, owners are keenly aware of their pup’s individual bathroom habits and what comes from it. The slightest change in frequency, shape, size, color, etc., can have you concerned. Here, we lay out ten reasons your pup could be experiencing changes in their routine, bowel movements or urine and what you can do to help get them back to “regular” order!

1. SUBMISSIVE PEEING

Happening most often in puppies under a year old, submissive peeing occurs when your puppy is trying to demonstrate to you (or another dog) that they are not a threat. This results in sudden puddles throughout the house and is often mistaken for a regression in house training. Prevent this innate response in your puppy by staying calm when it happens and avoid giving them a reaction. Getting upset or overreacting will only reinforce their sense of intimidation and lead to more “accidents”.

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2. ADOLESCENT BRAIN CHANGES

Another situation mistaken for regression occurs in dogs 6-18 months. Just like humans, your adolescent pup experiences some major changes in their brain and this can sometimes lead to a resurgence of accidents happening in the house. Your best option is to stick to a routine and return to rewarding successful bathroom breaks!


3. SCAVENGING

Seeing a sudden change in the color, consistency, odor, etc., of your pup’s stool can be alarming. If your dog likes to scavenge, it could be caused by something they picked up on one of their adventures so it’s important to pay attention. You should always contact your animal health professional if your pup’s stool appears bloody, they seem in pain or there are other symptoms with the change in stool. You can prevent these mystery poops by keeping your yard and home free of unofficial “chew toys” and other hazards.


4. MEDICAL ISSUES (IN THE OWNER)

Amazingly, some dogs have the ability to sense a change in their owner’s health. Attempting to alert their people to these changes, they will begin urinating, sometimes right before a medical emergency occurs, like a seizure or heart attack. The relationship between humans and their dogs is truly an amazing thing!


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5. HOMECOMING

By the time you bring your new puppy home, it’s likely they’re leaving the only environment they’ve ever known. This is a major change for a little pup to deal with and it can sometimes lead to a few days (even weeks) of loose stool. Providing a caring environment and keeping a watchful eye is your best bet in this situation. If you don’t see a return to firm (but not hard) stool after a few weeks, or if there are other accompanying symptoms, it’s time to visit the vet!



6. STRESS

Just like people, some dogs have a nervous stomach. Similar to what can happen with a new pup, if there are sudden changes in the household (new baby, someone moves out, etc.,) your dog can experience a certain level of stress, leading to loose stools or even sudden accidents after being housetrained. As in most situations, the best way to manage this is to stay calm, comfort your pup whenever possible and maintain a regular bathroom routine.


7. ALLERGIES OR INTOLERANCE

A change in stool can sometimes be an indication that your pup has developed or has an allergy or intolerance to something. Schedule an appointment with your vet if you suspect an allergy.



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8. VIRAL, BACTERIAL OR PARASITIC INFECTIONS

You should always get the advice of your dog’s health practitioner if a sudden change in stool or urine accompanies symptoms like lethargy, blood in the stool, major discomfort, etc. On-going diarrhea is sometimes the sign of another underlying issue and medical concerns should always be ruled out.


9. AGING

As our pup’s age, they can sometimes experience changes in their bathroom routines. Similar to humans, our puppies-at-heart can lose control of their bladders (not able to hold it as long) or even “forget” their body’s cues for needing to head outside. It’s incredibly important to have your senior dog checked out by a veterinarian so they can help pinpoint the reason for the change and what steps you can take to address it.




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10.  SUDDEN CHANGE IN DIET

Choosing to feed your pet TLC is an excellent decision and promotes lifelong health and longevity. Avoid upsetting your pup’s stomach by transitioning over time, using the instructions provided on the bag. Changes in stool can occur and should return to normal after a couple of weeks feeding premium quality TLC!


COMMON QUESTION: My puppy is eating his poop, is this normal?


Although there is plenty of misinformation out there claiming that a dog eating its own feces is a sign of malnutrition; this idea has largely been debunked by leading Nutritionists, Animal Behaviorists and Veterinarians. Accepted theories include that they may just like it, especially if they’re fed a high-quality diet packed with quality proteins, fats and oils (which would also be found in their poop). Another thought is it could be an instinct, leftover from their wild ancestors who might have eaten feces as a way of tidying their living quarters. Regardless, there is a way to help discourage the behavior by immediately removing the poop, bringing them inside and offering a treat. By repeating this action, your pup will come to expect the yummy treat and should lose interest in their feces.


If you have any questions or concerns about TLC, we want to hear from you! Our dedicated Pet Service Team is available by phone or email so feel free to reach out to 1-877-328-8400 or petservice@tlcpetfood.com



 


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Tick Talk: Prevention & What to Do If Your Pet Picks up a Tick

Camping and spending time outdoors is a favorite Summer pastime for many North American families and their pets. With this Summer seeing more ticks than in years past, it’s more important than ever for pet parents like you to know how to avoid them and what to do if you discover them on your pet!

BEFORE YOU LEAVE

  • There are a variety of ticks found all over North America and several different species. Research your destination prior to leaving to find out the risk-level for tick bites, the kind of tick native to the area and any associated diseases they might carry.

  • Purchase a tick and flea collar and speak with your vet to find a repellant lotion or oral medication safe for pets.

  • Pack a tick-removal kit or bring tweezers, iodine scrub, rubbing alcohol and shampoo.

WHEN YOU ARRIVE

  • Ticks prefer humid, moist environments and are most often found in heavily wooded areas, brush and overgrown grass. If you have control over where you set-up camp, choose a clearing, away from the woods.

  • Avoid letting your pet take off into the woods or romp through the brush and stop to check your pet for ticks often if going on long hikes, portaging or spending time in marshy areas.

CHECKING YOUR PET FOR TICKS

Ticks feast on blood and seek out warm moving animals like dogs, cats and humans. They latch onto their host and can feast for several hours up to several days, depending on the tick! Diseases found in ticks are transmitted up to 24-36 hours after the initial bite, making early detection and removal even more important.


To check your pet for ticks, run your hands over their body and feel for any unusual lumps or bumps and watch their skin for any signs of irritation.

Use this helpful graphic to know where to pay extra special attention when looking for ticks on your pet!

Where to Check Your Pet for Ticks

REMOVING A TICK FROM YOUR PET

Although you may feel squeamish about removing a tick from your pet yourself, doing so can help prevent your pet contracting a disease from the bite. If you can’t successfully remove the tick yourself be sure to see a healthcare provider ASAP and always follow up with your vet after a tick bite if you have concerns about your pet’s well-being.


Follow these steps to remove a tick from your pet’s body:

  • To help calm your pet and keep them from moving during the process, always have another person present to help.

  • If a tick is found before it has successfully attached, remove it from your pet using a pair of tweezers. Always wash your hands and never crush a tick, doing so can inadvertently spread disease.

  • If the tick is found after it’s attached, use the tweezers to grasp the tick as close to your pet’s body as possible.

  • When you feel you have a firm grip on the tick, slowly but firmly begin pulling the tick in an outwards direction away from your pet’s body.

  • Avoid pulling too quickly, jerking or twisting the tweezers, this could cause parts of the tick to break off underneath the skin where you can’t grab it.

  • After removal, use iodine scrub to clean the area then apply rubbing alcohol. Finally, give your pet a bath using shampoo and warm water to thoroughly clean the affected area.

  • Consider placing the tick in a plastic bottle or container with a moist cotton ball and bring it with you to the vet to have it identified.

  • Monitor your pet and the site of the bite for signs of illness or infection.

  • Seek medical attention immediately if you feel your pet may have contracted a disease or has an infection caused by the bite.

With record-breaking temperatures a regular occurrence during the Summer months, it’s more important than ever to take care and prevent overheating in our pets. We break down need-to-know information and helpful tips to help you keep your pet cool, safe, happy and healthy all summer long!

 

SCHEDULE YOUR WALKS ACCORDINGLY

You should shift your daily walk to early morning or early evening, before or after the sun is at its highest point in the sky.

 

SHORTER SPURTS OF RIGOROUS ACTIVITY

Avoid going for lengthy walks or exercising your pet too vigorously while temperatures are high. Try having shorter spurts of activity outdoors throughout the day and monitor your pet for cues to how they’re managing the heat.

 

WATER, WATER, WATER

Like humans, it’s important to replace fluids your pet may lose to the heat. Unlike humans, a dog cools off from panting more than they do from sweating. Making sure your pet has easy access to cool, clean water throughout the day can help prevent dehydration or heat stress.

 

QUICK TIP: Bring a travel bowl and fresh water with you when going on walks during the summer and remember to pack a serving of their favorite TLC Whole Life Pet Food or treats. Making sure your pet is getting adequate nutrition and keeping hydrated will help to keep them happy and healthy all summer long!

 

SPRAY YOUR PUP’S BELLY & PAWS

If you notice your dog is feeling the heat, start by cooling their paws and belly first. It’s this part of their body where heat escapes the quickest and doing so can help to bring your pup’s temperature right down. Use a spray bottle with cool water, a hose on a gentle setting, wet cloth, or sponge.

 

LET ‘EM DIG

Allowing your pet to dig in the dirt is just another way they instinctually cool themselves down! Digging into the top layer of dirt helps to expose the cooler earth beneath the surface. You may find after digging, your pup will curl up on the cooler dirt and help themselves to a little summer’s nap!

 

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SHADE & SHELTER

If your pet will be spending any length of time outside, it’s important to make sure that they have access to a shaded area outside of their dog house and preferably on the grass. Even the largest dog houses can reach fatally high temperatures during the summer months.

 

GROOMING

Giving your cat a nice brush and trimming your pup’s hair is an excellent way to lose excess fur and provide a little heat-relief. Take care not to trim all the way to the skin as your pet’s fur actually acts as a sunblock and without it, their sensitive skin is exposed to the sun’s rays.

 

QUICK TIP: Did you know there is sunblock for pets? Protect your furry family member’s ears and nose by applying a pet-approved sunblock prior to letting them outdoors!

 

NEVER EVER LEAVE YOUR PET UNATTENDED IN A VEHICLE

With rising temperatures, your vehicle can become as hot as an oven in under ten minutes and in as much time, your pet could be affected by heat stress or even death if left alone in your car. This hazard is avoidable and preventable and TLC encourages you to commit to never leaving your pet alone in your vehicle even for short periods of time!

 

PROTECT THEIR PAWS

Before you take your pet on a walk or let them out in the yard, feel out the sidewalk or asphalt by using your bare hand or foot. If the surface is too hot for you to handle, then it’s definitely too

hot for your pet!

 

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QUICK TIP: Find a pair of heat-resistant booties for your pet to protect their paws this summer

 


 

How to store your pet food safely !

We all take precautions when it comes to properly storing the food we purchase to feed our families and the same precautions should be taken when storing food for your pet.

Use these guidelines to store your pet’s TLC and their premium quality food will maintain its freshness and continue providing the best nutrition possible for lifelong health!

DELIVERED FRESH

Unlike other commercial pet food that may sit on a grocery store shelf before being purchased, TLC Pet Food is made fresh using natural ingredients. It arrives to your door for free soon after it was packaged.



Place your order of TLC today and our premium quality pet food will be delivered fresh and delivered FREE to your door!

Thanks to how fresh it is and the resealable bag that it arrives in, TLC is safe to feed your pet approximately one year after it was packaged.

 

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IT’S IN THE BAG!

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The bag your pet’s TLC arrives in has been designed to maintain freshness and prevent the natural ingredients it holds from spoiling. This bag helps to keep things like oxygen and humidity out and hold the naturally occurring oils in. After opening a bag of TLC, simply run your fingers across the seal at the top of the bag to close it.

Store your TLC in a cool, dry place and for ensured freshness, you can place the re-sealed bag of TLC in an airtight container.

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THE RIGHT CONTAINER

If you’d prefer to empty the bag of TLC into a container, follow these tips to ensure proper storage:

  • Wash and thoroughly dry the container before using and before every new bag is poured into it

  • Use a container that can be easily closed and opened with an airtight lid

  • Store the container in a cool dry place and avoid areas where temperatures fluctuate greatly





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QUICK TIPS ON BISCUITS

TLC Whole Life Dog Biscuits are sold in a 5 lb resealable bag or a 20 lb bulk box.

5 lb bag

Firmly press the top of the biscuit bag together and the Velcro™ seal will help keep your pup’s treats fresh for up to one year.

20 lb bulk box

When you purchase the 20 lb bulk box of TLC Whole Life Dog Biscuits, they will arrive fresh and should be transported from the recyclable shipping container they arrived in, to a pre-washed and dried container for proper storage. Use a large RubberMaid container, an unused garbage can or recycling bin, or check out Pinterest for creative storage ideas!


New Look, New Product, Same TLC You Know and Love!

TLC is rolling out some new and exciting developments over the next couple of months and we're pleased to share them with you!

Learn more here

 

 

Change Walking Times:

To avoid the heat, try walking your pets early in the morning or late at night when the humidity isn't as high. It is also important to limit the amount of exercise during the hotter months.

Water:

Always make sure that your pets have access to fresh water, this will help avoid dehydration. Bring water for your pet when taking them for walks or travelling in a car.

Water can also be used to cool your pet down. Try laying down a wet towel for your dog to lie on or set up a kiddie pool in the shade for them to play in.

Stay Off The Pavement:

Pavement and other ground surfaces retain heat, which could burn your pet's paws. A good way to judge whether the ground is too hot is by placing the back of your hand against the pavement and holding it there for 10 seconds. If it's uncomfortable to leave your hand there, then it's too hot for your pets.

Cars:

Do not leave your pets in a parked car. A parked car on a 78-degree day could reach up to 120 degrees in just minutes and on a 90-degree day, the temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees.

With the summer heat comes the bugs. Learn more on how to keep them away

 

 

The health and well-being of our pets is at the heart of everything we do here at TLC Pet Foods, which is why we’re taking part in National Animal Poison Prevention Week and helping to shine a light on the many obvious and seemingly harmless dangers that can be found throughout the average North American home.

All week long we’ll be exploring a different area of the home and identifying the most common hazards that pose a danger to our beloved, four-legged friends. Thousands of household pets are needlessly ill-stricken and, in worse case scenarios, killed due to the accidental exposure or ingestion of medications, foods, pesticides, cleaners, plants and more. By taking action and putting measures into place to prevent your pet’s exposure to these dangers, you are helping to protect them from a potentially fatal accident.

Today we’re taking a look at the bathroom and will explore a new part of our homes every day this week. Take note of the following information and come back each day to learn more about how you can help to protect your pets from accidental poisoning.

The Bathroom

The bathroom may seem like an obvious place for hidden dangers to our pets and rightfully so! Just as you would for a human baby or toddler, measures should be taken to ensure that all cupboards and shelves are void of potentially harmful substances and not easily accessed by your pet. The most harmful and common threats found in our bathrooms include:

  • Prescription medications
  • Over-the-counter medications (common medications for humans like Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen are incredibly toxic for dogs and cats)
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Cosmetics
  • Cleaners (bleach, ammonia, rust-removers)

Take a good look around your bathroom, get on all fours to see the world from your pet’s point of view. Store the items listed above in a safe and unattainable place, making sure to place items like medications, cosmetics and cleaners back where they belong.
If you suspect your pet has been exposed to or ingested a poisonous substance, remain calm, gather any leftover materials that could help to identify what was consumed and determine the most appropriate course of action to take, including:

  • Phone the Pet Poison Helpline (Animal Poison Control) at 1-855-764-7661
  • Contact your personal vet
  • Or go to your nearest emergency Vet Clinic

Take care of your pet from the inside out by offering an ancestral-based diet that includes a balance of quality meats, animal fats, vitamins and minerals! Order TLC Whole Life Pet Food, made fresh to order and shipped directly to your doorstep FREE.

 

Despite the saying that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s, dogs are still prone to the same issues that humans are when it comes to their teeth. Cavities, tartar and plaque buildup, and gum disease are all common in dogs. Here is a list of 5 things that you can do to keep your pet’s teeth clean

  1. TLC Biscuits are designed to clean your dog’s teeth and freshen their breath. This isachieved from the addition of the fine chewing particles that naturally and gently scrub the surface of the tooth.

  2. Dry Food such as TLC Whole Life Pet Food is effective for fighting tartar and plaque build-up by scraping the teeth.

  3. Chew Toys help strengthen your pet’s gums and teeth.

  4. Brushing your pet’s teeth (2-3 times a week) will help break down plaque and help fight bacteria. Use a toothpaste that is formulated for dogs and cats, as human toothpaste foams too much which can cause an upset stomach. If you do not want to use toothpaste at all, just using water or baking soda will also work. Dog specific toothbrushes can be bought at any pet store, as well as finger caps. If you don’t have a toothbrush a warm cloth also works well for cleaning the teeth. Only the outsides of the teeth need to be cleaned, as the dog’s tongue will naturally clean the inside and top surfaces.

  5. Professional Cleaning at the vet will help remove years of tartar and plaque build-up and other bacteria. This cleaning will also ensure that your furry friend does not have any other gum or teeth issues.

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Keep Your Home Free of Pet Hair

Pet’s Diet

Feeding your pet high quality food can help reduce fur loss. TLC Whole Life Natural Pet Food is a super-premium pet food that contains quality animal fats, herbs & oils to give your pet a healthier, shinier coat.

Grooming

Brushing your pet regularly helps keep your home free of shedding hair, dander and even dirt. Brushing your pet’s fur will also help remove knots and distribute the oils that are critical to having a healthy coat.

Squeegee

Run a squeegee through the carpet in your home to get stubborn pet hair out.

Lint Roller

Use a lint roller on clothes and furniture to help get rid of unwanted pet hair.



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