Answers to our most frequently asked questions
What makes Red Bandanna different from other pet retailers?
Red Bandanna focuses on overall better nutrition for better health for our animals. We carry a wide variety of all natural food, treats, supplements and other pet necessities. We focus on personal relationships with our customers and their animals within our stores to give customers the best experience possible. All of our stores are staffed with knowledgeable associates that can assist you in getting everything your pet needs.
How do I switch my pet to a new food?
When switching from one brand of food to another it is best to follow these guidelines:
· Days 1-3 75% old food 25% new food
· Days 4-6 50% old food 50% new food
· Days 7-9 25% old food 75% new food
If your pet is doing fine after each decrease/increase, then by day 10 they should be completely on the new food. If they develop loose stool then slow down on the percent given of the new food for a few more days. If you do not have any of the old food left you can always give them “Canned 100% Pumpkin” to help ease them onto the new food. Give 1TBS per 40 lbs. of dog twice a day for a week.
What should I look for in a new food?
When looking for a new food do your research. Look for specific meat ingredients such as Chicken Meal or Lamb Meal- NOT Meat Meal or Poultry Meal. Meat and poultry is too generic of a term; meaning there are numerous meats combined to make up that meal. Stay away from by-products, as they are the waste of that product not the nutritious parts. Chemical preservative is another ingredient to steer clear of, as they are a cheap way to preserve pet foods. Instead look for foods preserved with (Mixed Tocopherols and Ascorbic Acid). Stay away from foods that list too many grains in the ingredients list. Whole grains are a much better ingredient then fragmented grains. Foods should always list specific meat within the first 3 ingredients.
What is the difference between a food allergy and an environmental allergy?
A food allergy is a condition of being allergic to a specific ingredient within a bag of food. The most common sign of a food allergy is a yeast infection in the ear. These can start in pets as young as 6 months old, and if the yeast infection comes back more than 3 times in a year and usually only in one ear to begin with it is a true sign of food allergies. Another true sign of food allergies is licking the bottoms of their feet.
An environmental allergy is something they come in contact with on a daily basis that causes a reaction such as itchy skin, hot spots, and licking. Environmental allergies can be tested for much like they can for humans.
Food allergies, however, are more of a feed trial by elimination of common ingredients over a course of 10 weeks. During this time they are to eat only that food and no treats or chews.
How often should I feed my pet?
Adult pets can be feed two times a day where puppies require more feedings throughout the day. Always read the feeding guidelines on the package of food. The recommended amount is the total for the day- NOT per feeding. So if it says to feed a 40 lb. dog 1 cup of food and you feed your dog twice a day then give him ½ cup in the morning and ½ cup in the evening. Also, remember these are just guidelines, and just as you and I have a different metabolism so does each of our pets. So when feeding a natural food remember to truly measure the food and adjust according to your dog’s activity level and metabolism. Most vets do not recommend free feeding as it can lead to an obese senior dog. Scheduled feedings are the best for your pet.
What type of bowls should I feed my pet in?
Stainless steel or ceramic dishes are considered the best ones to use to feed a pet. Over time plastic dishes can breed bacteria, and they have been known to make the chins on pets break out with what look like blackheads- especially with pets that have environmental allergies. No matter what bowl material you decide to feed or water your pet in, use the same sanitation practice that you do with your own dishes. Wash water bowls daily and wash food bowls after each meal with hot soapy water; even your pet does not want to eat or drink out of dirty dishes!
Is canned food good for cats?
Yes, holistic vets actually recommend that a cat receive at least 50% of its diet from canned food. Canned food has on average 76% moisture, and since cats are not true water drinkers by nature, this helps them stay hydrated. Cats also do not “chew” their food like a dog does, as they are designed to tear their prey. To prove this point, most of us have seen the remains of food after our kitties have gotten sick. The food is usually in the same shape coming up, as it was when it went down.
What is the best way to store natural foods?
Natural foods should always be stored in the original package they came in. These packages are designed to keep your pet’s food fresh. Storage containers made of plastic can also be used however you need to put the bag inside the container and not just dump the food inside it. Plastic containers over time can breed bacteria and leech the natural preservatives out of pet food, therefore causing the food to turn rancid. Also, since most people do not think about cleaning the container between bags with hot soapy water and letting it air dry, you can cross-contaminate the food from one bag to the next.
My dog scratches all the time-what can I do?
Scratching can be a sign of an environmental allergy. Pollens that are deposited into the air, on the carpet, or outside in the yard can get on your pet’s skin and coat , starting an allergic reaction. There are a few things you can do to help relieve allergy symptoms. First, feed your pet an all-natural food- this helps keep their immune system working properly. Bathe your pet weekly when the allergens seem to be at their highest with an all-natural shampoo such as a Colloidal Oatmeal shampoo. You can also make an after-bath rinse with 50% white vinegar and 50% water if your pet has broke out with hot spots. Pour this solution on the pet (avoiding the eyes) and let it set for 10 minutes then towel dry. Vinegar water helps the PH level of the pet’s skin return to normal and makes it harder for the yeast that causes hot spots to grow.
My cat gets sick right after eating-is there anything to stop this?
Try switching your cat to an all-natural diet or grain-free diet. Some cats cannot tolerate grains as well as others since cats are true carnivores. You could also try an oven-baked formula, which will help with digestive problems. Oven-baked formulas are nutrient-dense and already in an easier-to-digest state. Feed your cat smaller meals and add some canned food to their diet.