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Hubbard Life Blog

Your resource for advice from Hubbard® Life experts.


Hoof Care: Do Your Horses have Happy Feet?

Nutrition plays role in hoof health

Several new movies have been released for the holiday season and you can now go to the theater to see Happy Feet 2.

The title makes me wonder, do our horses have happy feet? What can we do to ensure that their feet (hooves) are healthy and functional?

One important consideration is your horse’s nutrition. What goes in the mouth certainly affects the feet. Hubbard Life horse feeds contain organic (chelated) trace minerals, which specifically target good hoof condition, general health, immunity and growth. 

Biotin is also part of the vitamin package in Hubbard Life horse feeds. Biotin has received more attention in terms of hoof growth than any other nutrient. Biotin is a B-complex vitamin that is generally produced by bacterial growth in the horse’s hindgut in sufficient amounts to meet nutritional needs. But some horses appear to benefit from supplemental biotin. Studies have shown increased hoof growth and improved hoof quality (less cracking) in horses supplemented with biotin.

You can learn more about these Hubbard Life products designed by our equine nutritionists at www.HubbardLife.com.

Making sure the shoe fits

Maintaining your horse’s hooves may not be your favorite way to spend time in the company of your horse, but it’s an important part of keeping your horse healthy.

Hooves, like our toenails, have to be trimmed back or their growth makes them frail and uneven, causing large pieces to break off. If your horse’s hooves break, split or grow unevenly, they can cause your horse to become lame. 

When people wear shoes that don’t fit properly, their balance and spinal health become compromised. Proper hoof care for horses is as important as wearing properly fitting shoes is for humans.

Farrier Facts

Hooves grow about a quarter inch each month and need trimming to stay even and to prevent breakage. A good practice is to schedule trimming by a farrier every six weeks.

If you need help finding a farrier, the American Farriers Association can point you to a certified, experienced practitioner. Their website is www.americanfarriers.org.

A farrier can educate owners on proper hoof care. A farrier should watch your horse walk before they begin their work each time to see how the hoof makes contact with the ground. Also, check for signs of imbalance when the horse is standing still.

A farrier will remove the shoes, trim the hooves and replace the shoes. Shoes won’t keep your horse’s hooves from growing, so a regular schedule needs to be maintained, whether your horses wear shoes or go barefoot.

Winter hoof care

During winter, you will most likely ride your horses less, which makes it a perfect time to care for their hooves. A good way to begin winter hoof care is to pull the horse’s shoes to give the hooves some time to thicken, to permit for heel expansion and to increase the circulation within the hoof capsule. However, evaluate the terrain where the horse is kept and the overall health of the hooves before removing the shoes.

You can learn more about caring for your horse’s hooves by visiting the website www.horses-and-horse-information.com

As always, Hubbard Life nutritionists are eager to help you with your horse’s nutrition and health needs.

 

Posted on 11/30/2011 by Amy Brown  |  Category: Equine
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Cat food ingredients: What is taurine and why is it in cat food?

Hubbard Life answers your questions about pet health

One important feature that sets Hubbard Life apart, is we welcome customer questions about their pet’s health and they have direct access to the expertise of our on-staff nutritionists.

More and more pet owners are taking advantage of that ability and I would like to share a recent customer question.

Wes asked me about taurine via e-mail: “What is taurine, what is its nutritional contribution and why is it added in Hubbard Life Cat Stars?”

Taurine is considered an amino acid, although in the classic sense it has some different characteristics. Taurine has many biological roles such as conjugation of bile acids, cell membrane stabilization and modulation of calcium signaling. It is required for cardiovascular function, the development and function of skeletal muscle, the retina of the eye and the central nervous system.

Taurine is an essential dietary nutrient for cats and cats cannot synthesize taurine. A deficiency of taurine causes a cat’s retina to slowly deteriorate, causing eye problems and eventually irreversible blindness – a condition known as central retinal degeneration (CRD).

Cats may also show hair loss and tooth decay plus heart failure termed feline dilated cardiomyopathy. Feline dilated cardiomyopathy is an enlarged heart that cannot pump blood efficiently. Unlike CRD, the condition is reversible with supplementation.

Taurine for cat foods is required by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and any dry or wet food product labeled and approved by the AAFCO must have a minimum of 0.1 percent taurine in dry food and 0.2 percent in wet food.

Hubbard Life Cat Stars is a complete, balanced food formulated specifically for cats that also has excellent palatability and digestibly, resulting in improved appetites and performance.

Thanks, Wes, for your question and I welcome anyone with questions about your pet’s nutrition or health to contact us at Hubbard Life. If you don’t find answers to your questions in our vast amount of information on our website, www.hubbardlife.com, you will find ways to contact nutritionists directly to respond to your needs.

 

Posted on 11/23/2011 by Dr. Doug Pamp  |  Category: Cat
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“Chocolate” and Labs, not a great combination

At the end of a stressful day, when I want a treat – or just because – chocolate is one way I indulge. While a treat for us humans, most of us know that chocolate is not good for our dogs. Have you ever wondered why? 

Chocolate contains theobromine. This is a stimulant that is naturally occurring in the cocoa bean. Theobromine increases urination and affects the central nervous system and the heart muscle in dogs.  The amount of this compound varies by type of chocolate, so not all are created equal. 

You can recognize if your dog has overindulged in chocolate from the symptoms. Within the first few hours you will see vomiting, diarrhea, and/or hyperactivity. Eventually, the dog’s heart rate will increase. This can lead to hyporthermia, muscle tremors, seizures, coma, even death. 

How much is too much? The answer to that question depends on the health, age and weight of your dog. Here is a general guideline of how much, from safest to most toxic:

  • White chocolate: 200 ounces per pound of bodyweight. That means a 20-pound dog would have to eat 250 pounds of white chocolate to show signs of poisoning. 
  • Milk chocolate: 1 ounce per pound of bodyweight. One pound is poisonous for a 20-pound dog; ½ pound for a 10 pound dog. The average chocolate bar contains 2-3 ounces. 
  • Sweet cocoa: 0.3 ounces per pound of bodyweight. One-third of a pound is toxic to a 20-pound dog; one-sixth of a pound for a 10 pound dog. 
  • Baking chocolate: 0.1 ounce per pound body weight. Two one-ounce squares of bakers’ chocolate is toxic to a 20-pound dog; one ounce for a 10-pound dog. 

Source: www.dogownersdigest.com

Now that you are more familiar with why and what amount of chocolate is bad for your canine friend, remember to set sweets out of reach during the upcoming holiday season.

Instead, treat your dog to a healthy option with Hubbard Life’s Pro-Pet Multi-Flavor or Large Biscuits. You dog will love the extra attention, along with the extra treat. Paired with a nutritious Hubbard Life dog food, your four-legged friend will have a complete diet that will keep them healthy and happy. 

 

 

 

 

Posted on 11/16/2011 by Sharon Kill  |  Category: Dog
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