August 3, 2020
RAWZ Feeder Spotlight: Sharon Alt and Cee Cee of Portsmouth, NH
I have to provide full transparency in this post. Sharon has become almost like a second mother to me since we met at Krempels Center in both of our early days of attending. Whether it's been her expertise in ironing, generous dog walking of Clooney, or a shoulder to cry on, my friendship with Sharon truly brings me great joy! After seeing Clooney's fondness for her, I was thrilled when not too long ago, Sharon told me she would be rescuing a cat who had been saved after being thrown in a pool.
Cee Cee, a now 3 year old adorable Siamese, transitioned to RAWZ Dry Meal Free cat food shortly after joining Sharon. Wanting the best nutrition for Cee Cee, and probably to stop me from describing the benefits of minimal processing, Sharon began alternating between RAWZ's Poultry and Poultry with Salmon recipes. Judging by the clarity in Cee Cee's eyes, her beautiful coat, healthy weight, and the compliments she receives at the vet, it's safe to say Sharon has joined RAWZ in improving the lives of pets!
I chose to introduce Sharon and Cee Cee in this post because of her experience as a brain injury survivor and the joy brought to her life by both Cee Cee and her involvement with Krempels Center. As a RAWZ feeder, Sharon has joined us in improving the life people and pets! Sharon loves that the support she received, and continues to get from her affiliation with the KC community, is supported by her feeding RAWZ!
Married young to a Marine named Morris Alt stationed in Portsmouth, Sharon ultimately moved to Virginia working in healthcare. A decorated Veteran from his time in Vietnam, Morris would ultimately succumb to cancer in 10/03, a result from wartime exposure to Agent Orange. Morris' death occurred just a little over a year after a terrible car accident left Sharon with a Traumatic Brain Injury. Witnessing her immense struggle with brain injury recovery while grieving the loss of her husband, Sharon's family ultimately moved her back to Portsmouth.
Still living in Portsmouth and working part time at a clothing store, Sharon does not get to attend Krempels Center as frequently as she would like. As is often heard at Krempels, ounce a member always a member; and the connections between members remain strong. It's always a joy to spend time with Sharon, and of course, get a cuddle from Cee Cee with her beautiful, soft coat!
July 27, 2020
Hydration in Pets
The importance of humans staying hydrated has been a very hot topic of discussion in modern times. In fact, it's almost the exception rather than the rule for staying hydrated not to come up in almost any health related conversation. Considering that for pets, much like their human companions, hydration is vital to health, it's kind of odd that we don't necessarily hear as much talk concerning the topic. Perhaps it is this reason that July is National Pet Hydration Awareness Month.
While pet hydration is important year round, July presents an especially fitting time to pay close attention as it is typically the hottest month in the US. Many of the benefits of proper hydration impact both people and pets, such as: preventing infection/disease, increased energy, skin and/or coat quality, maintain healthy body temperature and blood pressure/circulation, filter waste and improved digestion, and speed recovery from illness or injury...among many others. We are very aware that our bodies are made up of a large percentage of water, however, many people are unaware that pet's bodies actually may contain a higher percentage of water.
While the importance and benefits of hydration are very similar for dogs and cats, canines and felines have very different thirst drives. Cats began their evolutionary journeys as desert dwellers living in habitats with low moisture/water availability. The resulting lower thirst drive leaves cats prone to dehydration which can often result in urinary tract health issues. While cats can vary in their water consumption, some cats do best with a combination of wet and dry food throughout the day or by adding supplemental, moisture rich options to their diet. Some examples of high moisture, supplemental options are: goat's milk, bone broth and our four ingredient Tapa and Sashi pouches.
Dogs on the other hand have a very strong thirst drive. With this being the case, typically by providing a steady supply of available water most dogs will remain well hydrated. One often overlooked concern for both dogs and cats is how they receive their water. You always want to make sure the dish is kept clean and the water kept fresh. Still water can be a breeding ground for all sorts of bacteria. Also, due to a cat's tongue being covered in tiny barbs called papillae, they do not efficiently lap water. Cats are drawn to fresh water sources which is why they can often be found drinking from dripping faucets, or fountains.
In closing, especially during the summer months, but really year round, remember hydration is an important aspect of pet health! While all pets are unique and hydration needs will vary, a good general rule is that for each pound of body weight a pet needs about one ounce of water daily.
July 20, 2020
RAWZ Feeder Spotlight Julie Ferreira of Willow Rescue Foundation
You may have noticed that at RAWZ we truly value our retail and non-profit partners as they're often the focus of our content. Of course, an integral part of the RAWZ community that we've yet to spotlight are those who join us in improving the lives of pets through feeding minimally processed nutrition. I had the great pleasure of speaking with Julie Ferreira just yesterday, Julie's commitment to animals includes feeding RAWZ, but also her amazing work with Woodbridge, NJ's Willow Rescue Foundation!
As a teenager growing up in an urban NJ area inhabited by lots of stray animals, Julie felt compelled to help. Beginning by rescuing neighborhood strays where she grew frustrated by a lack of responsive rescue organizations, Julie began volunteering with an animal Emergency Hotline focused on facilitating low-cost spay and neuter services. When she reached her early 20's, Julie's strong desire to help pets grew after witnessing widespread animal cruelty.
Prompted to take action by the pervasiveness of the problem in the area, Julie was trained to become an investigative agent with the NJSPCA. Following over a year of training, Julie held the role of investigator for the next 6 years; monitoring the state's internet hotline and investigating cases.
Although she is trained and now works as a paralegal, Julie's passion for pets never faded. A few years ago, after finding a litter of kittens with their mother, who happened to be called "Willow," Julie struggled to link the feline family with a rescue organization. The difficulty of placing Willow and her kittens inspired Julie to found Willow Rescue Foundation 2 years ago.
The non-profit runs on the donations and volunteer time of supporters with its' founder, Julie, also acting as president. A big believer in improving the lives of pets through better nutrition, Julie was feeding her own pets RAWZ after meeting RAWZ team member extraordinaire, Bill Wilson, at Cherrybrook Pet Supplies. Valuing the benefits of minimally processed nutrition made giving Willow's rescues RAWZ an easy choice for Julie! We couldn't be prouder to join Julie in her mission "to prevent cruelty and neglect of animals by way of advocacy, rescue, and humane education initiatives."
Willow Rescue Foundation is a volunteer-run group serving adopters who are at least 30 years of age and reside in Union, Northern Middlesex, and parts of Morris and Monmouth Counties. For more information on this great organization see their info page on Petfinder's site: https://www.petfinder.com/member/us/nj/garwood/willow-rescue-foundation-inc-nj923/
July 13, 2020
National Pet Fire Safety Day
While there seems to be as many "National Days" as there are squares on the calendar, not all of these are purely commercialized creations. In fact, many raise much needed awareness to serious concerns that otherwise garner little attention. One such date is July 15th, or National Pet Fire Safety Day. With the recognition of over a thousand home fires are accidentally started by pets per year, The American Kennel Club and ADT Security started the annual day to bring this issue and some safety tips, to light in 2009. In researching National Pet Fire Safety Day, I frighteningly came upon a statistic from the American Humane Society that roughly 500 thousand pets are affected annually by house fires. Let's look at how we can protect our pets and families from fires...
Steps to take (Offered by The Red Cross and The SPCA)
- Extinguish open flames when leaving home. Pets are often curious and their investigations can lead to disaster
- Remove stove knobs or protect with covers
- Invest in flame-less candles
- Keep pets near entrances with collars on when home alone. Ideally, the leash should be visibly stored near the door to facilitate evacuation
- Affix "pet alert" window cling(s) indicating number and type(s) of pet(s) living at residence
Fail to plan, plan to fail
- Include your pet(s) in your emergency planning
- Training, training, training...it's extremely helpful to have your pet trained to respond when his or her name is called
- Always remember the airplane oxygen mask guidance (put your own mask on before helping others), if you don't keep yourself safe, you can't be of help to anyone else
So while no one likes to think of their home being engulfed in flames, as I've often heard it said, "Plan for the worst but hope for the best". The team here at RAWZ wanted to highlight National Pet Fire Safety Day and offer some suggestions. After all, we want your pets to enjoy the vitality that comes from feeding minimally processed nutrition!
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Order a FREE Pet Safety Pack from the ASPCA[/caption]