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North Country SPCA

Many people are under the impression that one brand of pet food is "better than" or ideal for all dogs and cats. The truth is that, although there are some "rules of thumb" regarding the quality of pet food, different types of food are preferable for different breeds of pet, as well as specific health needs. For example, I have a cat with skin allergies who was recommended by her vet to have a diet of Innova by Evo. This is a very rich food that is low in carbohydrates and additives. However, my other cat has a sensitive stomach, and his food of choice is California Natural, a balanced food that is very easy to digest.

Dr. Sally Perea identifies six health problems that can be addressed by pet food ingredients. Immune system problems are best addressed by food that states it is "complete and balanced" on the label. A seal of approval from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) will verify the food's claim that the food contains all essential nutrients. Flakiness or dryness of skin and coat can be ameliorated by food that contains a high concentration of fatty acids, such as chicken, fish oil, and eggs, as well as vitamins A, B, E, and zinc. Joint and mobility problems can be addressed by foods that are high in glucosamine, chondroitin, and fish oil. Overall weight and body condition can be regulated by portion control and high levels of L-carnitine. Digestive disorders can be aided by foods high in fiber. Oral health is supported by dry food with larger kibble sizes, which encourages more chewing.

Our featured pet this week is Molly, a 4 year old Rottweiler mix who was surrendered by her former owner. She was pregnant when she arrived at the shelter and gave birth 12-5-08 to 8 puppies. Her puppies are now available for adoption and Molly herself is hoping to find a "forever" home. If you are interested in adopting her please stop by the shelter for an application. Molly is a very good mother with a sweet disposition. She loves to go for walks and does not pull on a leash.

When you come to visit Mollie, please keep in mind that we have many other adult dogs who might make a wonderful addition to your family. Staffordshire-Terrier mix Princess, Chow-mix Ozzie, and sweet Lab-mix Lady have all been featured in the past. They all have plenty of love to give and are hoping to find the perfect home!

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