Monday, August 26, 2019

Kids and young adults need to know they are loved...

Dr. Virginia A. Rockhill
On my podcast and radio show recently, I had my mom as a guest. She wrote a book for young adults (ages 11 and up) called UnconditionalThis is the story of the unlikely friendship of a dog and a toad. Their many adventures in “the world that is invisible to humans” leads them to fulfilling their true purpose in life. The delightful personalities of the animals they befriend prove that, despite their differences, they can work together to overcome evil, defeat the dark plot of the sinister scientist and save the environment from his destruction through the power of Unconditional Love.

During the podcast my mom explained how important it is for kids to know they are loved, particularly if they experienced the loss of a parent (death, divorce or abandonment), suffered abuse, or trauma. These situations can be difficult for young adults and often times they struggle later in life. In addition, kids who have ADD, ADHD (attention deficit disorders) or even autism need to discover important lessons of life and love in a way that is approachable and enjoyable. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, guardian, aunt, uncle or a caring neighbor, this book Unconditional is a helpful read that kids will enjoy. 

You can listen to my interview from this podcast here. Below is a recap of the book, I hope this is helpful. Please feel free to share this with anyone you know who may be in need.

A Toad, A Dog and Varying Animals Work Together to “Save the Planet” and Deliver a World from Racism, Homophobia and Hatred in New Adult Children’s Book “Unconditional
Virginia A. Rockhill, Ph.D, uses the Innocence of animals to tell the tale of how Faith, Love and Acceptance can overcome the biggest problems the world faces today. This new adult children’s fictional novel subtly confronts today’s toughest moral issues.  Unconditional is available for ($14.95) on Amazon.com
Dr Virginia A. Rockhill is a licensed, practicing psychologist in both private practice and in long term care. She earned her degree in Psychology and Chemistry at Rhode Island College, and received her Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Rhode Island.  Influenced by C. S. Lewis’ “Narnia” series the books features talking animals interacting with one another to overcome the forces of evil. “Unconditional” was written to “plant the seeds” of awareness, each person has the ability to make his or her own choices, and have far-reaching effects on others and the world around us. 
This podcast a great listen for anyone who cares about a young adult healthy development. In particular children who experienced divorce, absent fathers, absent parents, loss of a parent or experienced some kid of trauma or stress. This book is also helpful for anyone who knows a young adult with conditions like ADHD, ADD, attention deficits, and autism.
Related topics in this podcast include:
  • Faith,
  •  Love,
  •  Fiction,
  •  Novel,
  •  Natural Law
  • , Friendship,
  •  Animals,
  •  Acceptance,
  •  family values
  • family support
  • , ADD,
  •  adhd,
  •  ADHD, Teen,
  •  Christian Values,
  •  Father absence,
  •  absent fathers,
  • fatherless,
  • fatherless daughters,
  • Fatherless Sons,
  •  children of divorce,
  •  Good vs Evil
  • , cultural differences, feeling loved,
  •  Creator, God,
  •  Unconditional love,
  •  Self Awareness
  • , Self Awareness, Help, Faith,
  •  Peace,
  •  Peace of God
  • , books for kids
  • , books for Young, adults
  • Self Esteem
  • , self worth,
  •  purpose in life, and 
  • Purpose of life.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

When is it time to change your dog's food?

During a recent podcast, a caller asked me for recommendations on things to get for their new puppy. I shared a story about a friend who recently added a dog to his family, who also asked me for advice on what he needed. Having spent nearly a quarter of a century in the pet industry, he knew I would be able to answer most of these questions about pet supplies. From the basics like what kind of bowls are best for dogs, the toys, the poop bags, or even deciding the best choice for a harness, collar and leash, I was never at a loss on what to recommend. When it comes to food and treats I am especially opinionated because I am a pet nutrition specialist. Whether you walk into a brick-and-mortar pet store or shop online at Chewy.com or Amazon, it can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of brands or pet food, and it can be very difficult to sort through the marketing claims and labels. My friend was surprised just how many brands were available. When he told me what the dog had been eating previously I was horrified and encouraged him to change the food he was feeding right away. He flat out asked me, "What is the best dog food to feed?" I replied that finding the best dog food for your dog can depend on factors such as health conditions, age, body weight, breed needs, etc. Aside from the brand I recommended, my first advice was to IGNORE the marketing claims on pet food labels. Most marketing claims are there to influence you by getting you to focus on what they want you to respond to, and not necessarily what is best for your dog's health and nutrition needs.

It turns out that dogs have very specific nutrition needs. Dogs are omnivores, meaning they eat both meat and plants. Dogs are not wolves, no more than we humans are not the same as our caveman ancestors. Neither humans or domesticated dogs hunt exclusively for our food. We eat in regular intervals and have relatively sedentary lifestyles. So dogs require very specific nutrition which can come from protein, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Being omnivores does not mean it is OK to feed them everything. Home cooking, table scraps, etc is not a healthy choice for your dog. If you want to give your dog a treat once in a while, in addition to their kibble, that's generally OK; their main source of nutrition should come from kibble. Dog food kibble is hands down the best option to feed your dog because it is designed to be complete and balanced and provide the 40+ essential vitamins and minerals your dog requires. I also said not to fall for those trendy raw and fresh foods, they just are not scientifically right, and are extremely expensive anyway. Avoid those brands at the supermarket or mass merchant mega-marts.

Instead look for a dog food that talks about all the ingredients, and not just the first few ingredients on the label. Imagine if you were buying a car, and all the car company talked about was the hood and the lights. Most people want to know about the cars interior, engine, wheels, fuel efficiency, trunk space, safety stats, etc, etc. So when you see a dog food label focus on something like "high protein" and focus on the meat ingredients, what are they hiding? Why aren't they talking about the importance of everything in the food?

Most people just don't have time to research pet foods and try to find the best dog food, so they rely on reviews, and what friends say. I do tell people to at least look at the dog food brand's website, and see what the company is focusing on. Look for companies with science based nutrition, and not just marketing fads or slogans. Because I have been closely involved in the development of Lucy Pet Formulas for Life dog foods, I am very knowledgeable about what is in them and why they are the best dog foods on the market. Science now shows that gut health is the key to overall better health. The digestive system in dogs is the epicenter of the immune system, so getting the balance of bacteria is essential. Lucy Pet's dog foods focus on creating better gut health through a proprietary blend of prebiotic fibers that actually change the gut by creating more good bacteria and outnumbering the bad bacteria. The end result is your dog will have a stronger immune system to stay healthy and fight disease as they age. The quality of ingredients Lucy Pet uses in their dog foods will really make a difference to your dog, especially when they have a healthy gut from these diets.

So when is it time to change your dog's food?
  • When a pet food company is sold to one of those huge conglomerates, it is time to switch. I have seen, first hand how big companies immediately start looking for ways to save money, cut costs, cheapen ingredients, and change suppliers. So if you have been feeding your dog one of those brands that has been sold, and is now available in the big discount stores, ask yourself, how is it they can afford to do that? The answer is often because they quietly changed the formula and are using cheap ingredients. 
  •  If you find that your dog is experiencing ongoing digestive issues that do not clear up in a reasonable time frame, it may be time to switch to a new brand. 
  •  Read the pet food bag. If it says "high protein" it is time to switch your dog's diet. There are studies that now show feeding high protein foods over long periods of time can cause cancer. 
  •  Read the ingredient panel on your dog food bag. If you see any non-specific animal protein such as "meat by-product meal" or "poultry by-product meal" instead of "beef meal" or "duck meal" or "chicken meal", you should change your dog's food immediately. Non-specific animal protein means the company can use whatever is cheapest and available.
  • If the brand says anything about implying your dog is a wolf, or this is an "Ancestral Diet" They are trying to mislead you with marketing hype, instead of proven nutritional science.
It is very hard to navigate all the dog food brands. There are so many brands that are really garbage. There are a handful that in my opinion are decent and safe for feeding. Of course I am partial to Lucy Pet foods, but not only because I work at Lucy Pet, but also because I know first hand what is in the diets and I know how the formulas were developed. Including how they ensure the proper ratios of amino acids, omegas, and proper fiber ratios for gut health. When should you change your dog's food? The answer is now. Dogs don't live nearly as long as we would like them to, so why not feed the best dog food to help them stay health and live as long as possible. That's why I am so passionate about recommending Lucy Pet Formulas for Life dog food.

So what about those other pet supplies I recommend when getting a new dog?

Since I mentioned this at the beginning of the post, I decided to share my opinions on a few other pet supplies when you have a new dog. Bowls: ceramic or stainless steel bowls are best for food and water, because they are durable and can be put in the dishwasher regularly. The choice of toys depends highly on factors such as the age, breed and size of dog you have. Toys are meant to occupy your dog and allow them something that they know is "theirs". Be prepared for toys to get destroyed and worn out, your dog's individual traits will dictate how often you'll need to replace them. I like to have a variety of toys, hard rubber toys (like a Kong), one or two flavored Nylabone bones, an antler for long lasting chewing, tennis balls, and a variety of plush toys with the dreaded squeakers. Personally I choose to avoid any and all rawhide and prefer the antlers or plain large white bones. Depending on your breed/size and how well they are trained, I usually recommend using a harness to walk your dog. However, all dogs should always wear a collar with a name tag. The harness is good for walks because it gives you better control and prevents you from choking your dog if you need to yank the leash suddenly. Remember to get your dog micro-chipped an registered and also have them spayed or neutered.

Other things to purchase for your new dog:
  • Dog bed
  • Brush (type varies on the coat)
  • Treats (get biscuits, and also a small meaty treat for training)
  • Shampoo (bath your dog regularly to keep their skin and coat healthy)
  • Stain/Odor Remover (accidents will happen so be prepared)
  • Wire Crate (for sleeping, travel, or for emergency preparedness)
  • Exercise Pen and Baby gates (ideal for containment)
  • Tie-Out stake for the yard 
  • Paw wipes (tidy up after walks)
  • More Toys and Balls
  • Soft blanket for them to nest or to protect your sofa
I hope this information is helpful to you. If you have questions please feel free to contact me.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

High protein pet foods linked to Cancer

So many people are blindly following the marketing fad of high protein diets for dogs and cats. Slick marketing tries to convince you that "your dog is a wolf" and so forth. Not only is that untrue, wildly inaccurate, but it is quite dangerous to your dog in particular. Science shows that there are links between feeding excessively high protein diets to cancer in dogs and cats. 

Dogs have specific nutrient requirements for their health and wellness, feeding excessively high protein levels over a long period of time can be unhealthy for dogs. There have been studies in humans and rats that found a correlation between high levels of ammonia from certain high protein diets and higher rates of cancer. These cancer rates were attributed to high levels of toxins created by the higher protein, such as ammonia and other nitrogen components which build up in the large intestine. 

Check out this explanation by Dr. George C. Fahey, of the University of Illinois.



Check the label of the pet food you are feeding. Your dog food protein should not exceed 28% and cat food protein should not exceed 35%. Use science as your guide, not marketing hype.  
Disclosure: This video was presented by Lucy Pet Products, and I work for Lucy Pet.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Why kibble is still the best choice for dog & cat food

With more than two decades of experience in the pet food industry, I consider myself reasonably well informed when it comes to dog food and cat food. The internet is full of all sorts of misleading and inaccurate information as it relates to pet food. I would like to share my point of view with you. So why is my opinion worth reading? Well, you can decide for yourself.

My professional background and experience is in pet nutrition marketing. I am not a nutritionist. I do work intimately with the process of developing and manufacturing pet foods. I have developed numerous dog and cat foods (dry, wet and treats) that have been marketing around the world. I work closely with some of the top nutritionists and researchers at major US Universities. I have served on the board of a major pet food manufacturer, and currently serve on a nutrition innovation team with a major global ingredient supplier to the pet industry. I also work for Lucy Pet, a California based family-owned pet health company. We make dog and cat food and we are committed to truth, transparency and honesty in pet food.

Throughout my career I have visited nearly every major pet food manufacturing facilities, and numerous small ones too. I regularly attend professional conferences such as the Pet Food Forum, the annual meetings of AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials), and stay current with official publications and pet food conference calls by the FDA, FEDIAF (the European Pet Food Industry body) and of course the National Research Council (NRC), the body that actually sets the nutritional requirements for animals. I have also spent extensive amounts of time on farms, fisheries and ranches where various ingredients are grown, raised or procured. Over the past two decades I have seen all sorts of things that have given me an education as to what can improve or diminish the quality of a pet food.

I am a fact based person, and leery of fads and trend diets (human or animal). I always prefer science over emotion, and look for long term feeding trials before judging a new food or ingredient. Last year I wrote an article here entitled: A Quick Lesson On Pet Food. Feel free check that out later.

What drove me to write this post is the latest trend of alternate forms of pet foods that have no proven science behind them. I welcome new innovation to the marketplace, provided it is proven as safe and made by experienced nutritionists. What alarms me is that trends such as "fresh pet foods" and "raw dog foods" are misleading consumers to think they are properly balanced. Many of these new companies are attempting to gain popularity and market share by making patently false and misleading claims about dog kibble and cat kibble foods. In order to scare consumers, they claim that dry kibble is cooked at such high temperatures, it "cooks out all the nutrients". This is false. Then they extol the virtues of gently cooked, or slow cooked, or raw diets as better. These statements are not only inaccurate but they are misleading. When a nutritionist designs a kibble diet, they take into account cooking temperatures, storage conditions and shelf-life timelines of the pet food and calculate the ingredients accordingly. The pet food formulation and the cooking anticipates how all the raw ingredients, when blended and cooked will react to ensure that your dog or cat has the proper levels of nutrition they require.  The bottom line is that when made properly, by an experienced team of nutritionists, dog kibble and cat kibble offer consistent nutrition in every bite. Kibble is not deficient of nutrients, and in fact, some ingredients actually become more bio-available when cooked. So don't let anyone try to fool you into thinking that all the nutrients cooked out of kibble dog food.

Some of these fad diet companies hire a veterinarian who puts on their white coat, wears a stethoscope and pretends to understand nutrition. I am here to tell you that the overwhelming majority of veterinarians have little to no training and education in nutrition science. The next time a veterinarian tries to tell you what to feed your pet, ask them how many years of education in nutrition they have. Most will admit they had none, or maybe had an hour during one course of their degree.  So just because a pet food brand has a vet talking about the food, that alone does not mean they understand nutrition and can vouch for the diet as properly balanced.

One major issue I have with these trendy "fresh" pet foods, or human-food looking pet foods, or raw pet foods is that they often times are not properly balanced, even when they claim to be "complete and balanced". The concern I have with these fad diets is that the people making them are not experienced nutritionists who understand the complex nature of food ingredients. For example, there are multiple amino acids that animals require at certain levels. In order to formulate correctly, it requires a thorough understanding of the natural chemical composition and functionality of proteins, amino acids, and all sorts of compounds with how they react when ingested and digested by the animal. There are considerable consequences to animal health and well being just when basic ingredient formulas are not balanced properly. Remember that your pet is depending on that meal for all of its nutrition, so feeding a diet that does not take into account the complexity of nutrition science can have an adverse effect on vital organ functionality and life span of the animal. The digestive system plays a very important role in animal health, therefore ingredients and the formulation really matter.

Many of these diets promote the fact that they include fresh vegetables or fruits, but this is merely for label appeal to the consumer. Consider that fruits and veggies are mainly water, so in order to derive the amount of vitamins and minerals the dog or cat requires, you would need to feed many times higher levels of those veggies to meet the requirements of the animal. Also consider that after veggies and fruits are picked, and as the age, they gradually begin to loose freshness and the nutrients degrade. So those foods made with fruits and veggies could have older, wilted veggies that are not as potent as when they were fresh. That variability in freshness and their potency, coupled with the fact that you would still need many times more than they are using, makes this aspect of fresh or raw less than desirable as a complete and balanced source of nutrients. I imagine that it is possible some of these new, small fresh made pet food brands are trying to do something better, but the problem is they don't know what they don't know. They created a pet food on a formulated basis only and not tested it or understand how that diet performs over time when digested, and how the vital organs are affected.

Raw pet food is even riskier because in addition to being imbalanced, they present significant health and safety issues to the pet and the consumer. Aside from the risks of  Salmonella, and E. Coli, there are documented studies showing that the gut of the dog or cat has dangerous bacteria that continues to grow and build over time. This has a negative effect on the animals' gut health and ph levels. 

Despite what companies are trying to tell you in their marketing, your dog is not a wolf. Just as we as humans are not caveman anymore, we have evolved, over tens of thousands of years. And as a result our DNA has changed. Just look to science, yes science, not emotion for the facts. Science has documented that there are over three dozen different strands of DNA that are different between the dog and the wolf. Those DNA genome differences are significant because they relate to digestion. So while it may seem fun to think you should feed your dog the same way they would "eat in the wild" and therefore mimic a wolf's diet, the fact is your dog is NOT A WOLF. Keep in mind that that message has been perpetuated by pet food companies trying to sell you something. Personally I would never feed a raw pet food diet, ever.

The tough part for consumers is to figure out which brand of kibble is the best. There are so many brands of dog and cat food now, it can be overwhelming. Of course I have my opinion and preference. Go to a pet specialty store to do research, but don't just go with what the store employee or demo person says. They are paid or commissioned in some way sell a particular brand. My advice is buy the best you can afford, but read up on the brand. Look closely at the brand website, what are they emphasizing? What are they not talking about? Are they trying to fool you by only talking about the first few ingredients on the label, or do they talk openly about the entire formula? Do they share details about their nutritionist? Do they talk about the science behind their food? If they are mostly marketing "feel good" traits, and nothing else, then move on. Just because a food is organic, or natural, or humane, does not necessarily mean it is the best. Our pets only live a short time relative to human lifespan. Don't we owe it to feed them the best possible, so they can be healthy?  I get frustrated by companies, large and small who literally lie and mislead consumers. I am merely advocating FACT and SCIENCE when it comes to nutrition. The point of this article is to assure you that kibble is still the best choice for dog and cat food.

In full disclosure I mentioned previously that I work with Lucy Pet, and we have a kibble dog food. However, even if I did not work for Lucy Pet, I would still be sharing the same information because what I am writing about is rooted in science and facts. I added a few links within this article to things we wrote about on the Lucy Pet Products website. I hope this helps shed some insights into what I have learned over my 23+ years in pet food. If you want to see my other article on A Quick Lesson on Pet Food, click here
Thanks for reading.

Monday, October 15, 2018

TV Personality Randy Jackson Teams Up with Lucy Pet -- “The Dawg” is Doing Something Good for the Dogs

  I'm thrilled to share this news about our new partners at Lucy Pet. American Idol's Randy Jackson and trainer Brandon McMillan, from CBS TV's 'Lucky Dog'.

 

TV Personality Randy Jackson Teams Up with Lucy Pet -- “The Dawg” is Doing Something Good for the Dogs

Randy partners with 3-time EMMY® winning TV host and dog trainer Brandon McMillan who joins Lucy Pet’s goal to help pets live a healthier life
LOS ANGELES--()--Randy Jackson and Brandon McMillan have joined forces to bring breakthrough nutrition to dogs and cats with Lucy Pet Products Formulas for Life™ pet foods. Randy and Brandon are headlining a campaign to launch sales on Amazon and Chewy.com and in select stores across the country.
“I love dogs… they are an important part of my family and give unconditional love,” said Randy Jackson. “Keeping pets healthy with the best food possible is everything, and I’ve recently learned that prebiotics are very important in helping dogs and cats live a healthier life. These formulas were developed by the leading expert in gut health, Dr. George C. Fahey, and I truly believe that Lucy Pet Formulas for Life™ are the best you can do for your pet.”
Randy Jackson and Surfin' Jack
Brandon McMillan added, “I have a training ranch where over a hundred dogs pass through every year. I've been feeding Lucy Pet Formulas for Life™ food to every one of them for over a year, and the dogs have thrived. They love it and I love it because I know they are getting great nutrition. Good nutrition is a vital and very underrated element to a dog's behavior and brain function while being trained. What’s also important to me is that the sales of these foods help support the Lucy Pet Foundation, which has performed over 21,000 free spay and neuters in low income areas. Lucy Pet helps reduce pet overpopulation and the needless euthanasia of over 60,000 dogs and cats a week in the United States.”
Together Jackson and McMillan said, “We are proud to be associated with this cause and Lucy Pet because it’s the real deal… real ingredients…and Products with a Cause that truly saves animals lives.”
Randy Jackson is a business entrepreneur who spans beyond music and entertainment. His successful career
as an A&R executive also includes producer and music manager. He became a household name as a talent judge on television for 13 seasons. Jackson became a partner at Lucy Pet because he was inspired by the Lucy Pet Foundation. He wanted to create a movement for truth, transparency and higher quality pet food for better health of animals.


Brandon McMillan with Surfin' Jack & Service Dog trainee Dahlia
As the son of an animal trainer, Brandon McMillan was born and raised in the animal industry. When he was 18 he moved to Los Angeles to train animals for film and television. During this period, he worked on hundreds of Hollywood productions, training everything from tigers, bears, primates, wolves and of course plenty of dogs. In 2012 he co-founded The Argus Service Dog Foundation, a non-profit that rescues shelter dogs and trains them to become highly trained service dogs for disabled veterans. This can often be seen on his 3-time EMMY AWARD® winning television series ‘Lucky Dog’ on CBS. Brandon is also a trainer to some of Hollywood's top A-listers. Some of Brandon’s extensive list of private training clients include: Ellen DeGeneresAndy Cohen, James Caan and Kate Hudson.
“We are very excited to have Randy and Brandon join Lucy Pet to bring our Formulas for Life™ to pet lovers,” said Joey Herrick, President and Founder of Lucy Pet. “These foods have breakthrough nutritional advancements and will actually help pets build a stronger immune system to stay active and have overall better health. Their bodies will have long-term health benefits from a healthy gut, especially as they age.”
About Lucy Pet
Lucy Pet Products of Westlake Village, California creates Products with a Cause to help animals by funding the Lucy Pet Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit whose mission is to reduce pet overpopulation and the euthanasia of over 60,000 dogs and cats per week in the United States. www.lucypetfood.com

Contacts


Jo Hunt, 310.413.1157
jo@delyon-hunt.com
 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

7 Days to Vegas, the movie ♠️♥️♣️♦️

Long time readers of this blog will recall that I am a big supporter of Independent films. Last night I attended a private screening in Hollywood for a new film called 7 Days to Vegas (formerly titled "Walk to Vegas". Inspired by a true story, 7 Days to Vegas is a comedy about a group of high stakes gamblers and poker hustlers who will bet on-- and against, anything. The well written script draws in the viewer through a fascinating cast of characters with their crazy quirks, obsessions, and flaws that help lay the foundation for the entire story line. Anyone who has spent any time at a poker table will appreciate the playful pace and banter among the friends who sometimes defy the concept of friendship to one another. The classic highs and lows of heavy gamblers are masterfully conveyed, thanks to sharp writing by Vincent Van Patten ad Steve Alper. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the story are the never-ending series of proposition bets (Prop bets or side bets) among the group of friends. The ultimate prop, which is the film's namesake is the prop-bet-to-end-all-prop-bets. For sure, this is a laugh-out-loud comedy (for those of you under 40, that's "LOL"). The laughter keeps the story moving, as the character antics have you trying to decide who you like, dislike, and who to trust. The true mastery of this comedy however are thickest plot twists with unexpected outcomes. Aside from some salty language and the usual stereotypes about people in the fast lane of life, 7 Days to Vegas is a fun night at the movies, regardless of whether or not you are a poker player. As it turns out, poker players will love 7 Days to Vegas. World Poker Tour fans will be thrilled to see long time WPT host Vince Van Patten as 'Duke' in the lead role. His real life brother James Van Patten,  nearly steals the film with his portrayal of 'Carl' who has more than a few surprises in store throughout the film.

One unexpected star is the cinematography itself; the natural beauty of the California Mojave desert provides gorgeous scenery and serves as a 'supporting actor' to Duke's plight in his epic walk.

The cast includes Ross McCall as 'Sebastion', who you love to hate, the beautiful Eileen Davidson, as Duke's wife 'KC', James Kyson as 'Wing', John O'Hurley as 'Walter', Willie Garson, as 'Danny' Jennifer Tilly, Chad Lowe and Lucas Bryant, who plays 'Chucky' a drug addicted Hollywood actor with a gambling problem. 

They say laughter is the medicine, and this is just what the doctor ordered for us all. In short, I loved this movie, so don't miss it when it comes out. For now you can see the trailer for 7 Days to Vegas here. Follow the film on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest news. 

♠️♥️♣️♦️

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Sheldon the K9 Product Development Assistant

Sheldon was my trusty assistant for the taste-test panel
This has been a busy year so far, with no end in sight to the fun and interesting projects in my world of pet food. I've just completed a product development project of our new Lucy Pet Hip to Be Square™ dog treats. Sheldon, Ellie and Adele all helped with the formula development and taste testing. They all have such discriminating taste buds, so it took us time to get the formula just right. We make our dog treats right here in sunny Southern California. They are meaty, chewy, semi-moist natural treats. We insisted in using premium ingredients from the US, such as duck meat, wild Alaskan salmon, or free range chicken as the first ingredients of each treat. 
The first batch of treats are made!
We blended in some pumpkin for some fiber and a delicious taste. Since our Hip to Be Square dog treats are grain-free and Limited Ingredient Treats, they are an excellent choice for pets who have sensitivities to grain. 
Like everything we do at Lucy Pet, these are 'Products with a Cause', so proceeds help animals through the Lucy Pet Foundation. I couldn't have done it without my faithful poodle pal Sheldon Gryffindor, who is still going strong at nine years old. I should have asked him to be in this ad for the new treats! Oh well, next time, Sheldon.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Are euthanized dogs and cats ending up in your pet’s food?

How could PENTOBARBITAL end up in pet food? My company, Lucy Pet Products is taking a stand against what some pet food brands are doing that is harmful to pets.

 
Are euthanized dogs and cats ending up in your pet’s food?
YouTube link below:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtkESeMlHyA&sns=tw 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Honoring Hero Dogs and Cats at the Rose Parade

If you didn't see the 2018 Rose Parade on January 1st, you missed seeing the Lucy Pet Paws for Life float that honors hero dogs and hero cats.  The float featured brave animals that have saved and protected human lives. From Tara the Cat who fought off a stray dog who attacked the family toddler, to Sirius, the military working dog who served bravely alongside his handler, 22-year-old Marine Lance Cpl. Joshua Ashley, who was killed fighting in Afghanistan. Also featured was Jax the K9 officer in the Oxnard Police Department, rocket the Search and Rescue dog, to Surfin Jack a therapy dog. Here is a clip of the TV coverage about our Lucy Pet float:
Lucy Pet Paws for Life Rose Parade 2018 KTLA5 Coverage from Lucy Pet on Vimeo.
As a side note, Lucy Pet is proud to honor these hero pets. It is part of the mission to help animals through their Lucy Pet Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) charity. Lucy Pet also has really great dog and cat food where proceeds go to help support the Lucy Pet Foundation. Check out Lucy Pet Formulas for Life dog and cat foods, at local pet stores or online too. Lucy Pet also has Cats Incredible litter, an awesome litter that actually stops ammonia from forming in the litter box.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Honoring Pet Heroes Who Have Saved Human Lives

On January 1st, 
Lucy Pet
​ will be participating the annual Tournament of Rose​
’s 
​parade, in Pasadena, CA. This will be Lucy Pet's ​
third Rose Parade, and we couldn’t be more excited
​! The Rose Parade is an opportunity for us to share our message about helping animals, and raising awareness of the Lucy Pet Foundation.​
We're especially proud of this year's float. 
The Rose Parade theme this year is “Making A Difference,” and our float, “Paws for Life,” honors animal heroes who, all together, have saved over 200 human lives! Look for us during the second half of the parade; we are float number 79. Tune in to the Rose Parade on January 1st starting at 8 am PST, or watch it live on Amazon Prime.

Paws for Life Lucy Pet Rose Parade 2018
Visit https://www.lucypetproducts.com/rose-parade/2018-pawsforlife/ for more info

We worked with Fiesta Parade Floats—the most award-winning float builder in Rose Parade history to create an amazing float, fit for our animal heroes! Thousands of volunteers worked hundreds of hours to create our spectacular float, using organic plant materials including flowers, seeds, petals, bark, leaves, and more. 

Watch the Rose Parade on Monday, January 1st, to see the brave animals that have saved and protected human lives on our incredible Lucy Pet “Paws for Life” float. From search and rescue dogs to a fearless feline, we salute these courageous animals for putting themselves in the line of danger to rescue and defend humans in need.

To read more about our float, visit the Lucy Pet website.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

A quick lesson on pet food nutrition

Ellie loves her Lucy Pet Formulas for Life food
Last week a magazine writer (who was writing an article about Lucy Pet) called us for a few quotes about the company and our new Lucy Pet Formulas for Life dog food. She was writing a broader feature about what's new and truly innovative in pet food, specifically in the area of improving health for dogs and cats. She was particularly interested in our P.B.F. Prebiotic Balanced Fiber blend for Gut Health. Gut health, she said is emerging on the scene to be the next frontier of health benefits for animals, and follows the science in humans. We agreed, and were all too happy to share the science and extensive research that went into formulating our new Lucy Pet dog and cat foods.

The reporter was interested in learning about the role the fiber plays in gut health. I explained that the key is in the variety of fibers used in the food. Since all pet foods contain some fiber, having a prebiotic fiber isn't enough to claim gut health. Lucy Pet is able to claim gut health benefits to dogs and cats because of the extensive research on fiber and gut health by one of the world's leading experts on gut health and fiber, Dr George C Fahey. Our pet foods truly are revolutionary because we combine a variety of quality fibers (soluble and insoluble) along with a range of very high quality proteins and fats to yield a remarkable result in pets. I explained to the reporter that people often misunderstand the role of fiber, and also complex carbohydrates. Those who view them as "unnecessary" are misinformed and have an outdated view about animal nutrition.

Consumers today are searching for the latest and best for their pets. All they seem to find are the endless range of useless things with slick marketing campaigns, claims of "meat first", "high protein" or those raw and dehydrated diets. Those offerings often miss the big picture of what truly improves the health of pets. The reporter was curious to learn more about why "meat first" wasn't the most important indication of a quality pet food. I explained that it is the combination of ingredients in a pet food, when digested contribute to the body in some way. To think that just the meat based ingredients alone are what matter most is highly misleading. For example, if you made a cake and only asked about the flour, and ignored the rest of the ingredients, you would not be fully understanding what went into the cake and how to evaluate it.

Experts agree that having a high quality protein is important, but what is equally important is the quality and role of the fiber, fats, vitamins/minerals, and even the complex carbohydrates as well. Carbohydrates can contribute many things to a pet food; such as a source of energy, fiber, protein, amino acids, etc. Again- anyone who dismisses carbohydrates as bad or unnecessary out of hand is clearly misinformed and does not understand nutrition. Carbohydrates- particularly complex carbs can be very beneficial to dogs and cats when used in conjunction with other quality ingredients.


The fact is that pets are living in domesticated environments with humans and need to consume food that provides the nutrition they need. Pet food has been formulated to provide what is best for the animal, while at the same time making easy to serve, easy to digest, and easy for the human to clean up when our pets poop. Today's pet food diets were developed to meet these needs, and carbohydrates  play an important role in pet nutrition. Recently there was a wave of brands who started marketing against pet foods with carbohydrates, and it turned out to be nothing more than misinformed slick marketers trying to confuse consumers. Fortunately this has been addressed by regulators. AAFCO (The American Association of Feed Control Officers) who oversees pet food, recently ruled that there is no basis to make claims of glycemic levels in dogs and cats, and does not allow claims of "low glycemic" any longer on pet food.

 So just having a meat first formula--even if it is high quality meat, may not be giving your pet what they need to truly excel and be healthy. What should consumers look for in the sea of confusing shelves at the pet store? Read labels, research the brand, and look for what they focus on in their message. Don't be fooled by brands that claim only "meat first" or "high protein" as their key benefits. Look for brands that have high quality ingredients AND formulas based on science. Read brand websites to see if the company is using the latest nutritional science available, or do they seem to be following outdated nutrition from 30-40 years ago?

As we have launched our Lucy Pet Formulas for Life pet food, we have been flooded with testimonials from people telling us how much their cat or dog loves our food. Anecdotally, many veterinarians are reporting that they are seeing cases of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) clear up in pets who started feeding Lucy Pet Formulas for Life. It is exciting to be part of a company that is helping animals and delivering great nutrition.

At the conclusion of the interview, I thanked the reporter for taking the time to hear our story. Lucy Pet is the only brand marketing gut health for pets, and it is exciting to be on the frontier brining years of nutritional research to benefit our dogs and cats. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Helping homeless hurricane pets

Lucy Pet is chartering a plane to fly homeless hurricane pets to safety. Please watch this 30 second video and SHARE. Donate here: www.lucypetfoundation.org

Lucy Pet Hurricane Air Lift PSA 1 from Lucy Pet

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Memory from 1978 in Rhode Island



It was 39 years ago, on a cold snowy winter day in Rhode Island. A photographer from a local newspaper, The Observer took a photo of my brother and I with three other kids in the neighborhood. It was a bitter cold day and we were waiting for the school bus. I remember the photographer asked us to "look cold". I fastened my knit scarf and lowered by Snoopy hat below my eyes and did as good a job as any ten year old kid could do. The result was this front page photo that ran on January 12, 1978. I am the little kid in the lower left, and my brother is behind me, top left. I still have the full copy of the edition, the pages are yellow and brittle, but it is a nice memory of my childhood. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Celebrate International Assistance Dog Week with Lucy Pet & KTLA

Help Lucy Pet and KTLA TV celebrate International Assistance Dog Week!  Upload a photo of your pet to Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #PickMyHeroLucy and tell us why he or she is your hero. To enter click here.


Disclaimers...

This blog is about life experiences & observations and stuff I am interested in. It is simply a side hobby and creative outlet; generally, with a tongue-in-cheek tone. I don't take it too seriously, nor should you. I do not profess to represent every point of view. Nothing on this site is a paid post.

It is for entertainment purposes only it, so just lighten up and just enjoy it. Life is short, live in the moment.

As the author, thoughts/views have no affiliation to my clients, business colleagues or my company.

This blog is independent and free of any type of financial affiliations. Some images used are from the internet and sometimes hard to credit them, so if you own any and want them removed just send me a message.

No copyright infringement intended. I am not responsible for defamatory statements bound to government, religious, or other laws from the reader’s country of origin or residence. The intention of this blog is to do no harm, defame, libel or offend anyone.