Breed Of The Month:BOXER

One of America's most favorite dog breed, Boxers are known for their fun-loving personalities.

They are alert and silly with endless amounts of affection to give. No matter what age, boxers are always young at heart. 

Boxers are athletes named after their graceful abilities and powerful forward movements.

Their life expectancy is 10-12 years. And weight commonly ranges from 65-80 lbs.



Veterinary Hot Topics: GRAIN FREE DIETS

As a pet owner, I know first-hand our dogs are considered family members and as such we want to insure they have the best of the best. Because there are thousands of new “fad” diets circulating online, it is hard to tell what is nutritionally best for your furry friend. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating a correlation in feeding grain free diets to increased risk of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). DCM is a disease that causes the heart muscles to weaken and the heart to enlarge. The results of DCM can be arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), congestive heart failure, even sudden death. Early signs of heart disease include; lethargy, shortness of breath, coughing, or fainting.  Although this disease is not considered rare in dogs (large and giant breeds are more prone to it), the FDA found that breeds of dogs not typically prone to DCM were diagnosed with it after eating grain-free diets for several months to years. Updated research has indicated that grain-free diets are not the only culprits. The suspected diets are referred to as “BEG” diets meaning; boutique companies, exotic ingredients, and grain-free. Ingredients such as chickpeas or lentils that replace grains and exotic meats, fruits, and vegetables may be the link between DCM and “BEG” diets. Contrary to marketing and what is online, there are no real health benefits for feeding grain-free diets, unless in the rare case that your dog has a grain allergy. Grain-free diets usually have higher fat and calorie content than what’s required by your dog. Cutting back on the amount they are fed to reduce weight gain can pose a real danger of becoming malnourished because they may not get enough of the vitamins and minerals necessary. The commercial diets containing grains have been around much longer, therefore they have been meticulously tested compared to the new grain-free products.

 If you have been feeding a BEG diet, this newsletter was not written to make you feel guilty. We all want to provide the best care for our dogs by feeding the best diet possible. Hopefully this has enlightened you to do further research with nutritional experts.

Thank you for taking the time to read my newsletter.

Ashlynn Dickman