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When it comes to picking the perfect food for your pet, the choices can seem overwhelming — especially when so many brands claim to be the one and only food you should be feeding your pet. But not all pet foods are the same — and making sense of their labels is nearly impossible without some basic guidelines.

In Part 1 of our series on pet food label claims, we’ll talk about some of the common words you’ll see on pet food labels, and we’ll tell you what they really mean.

Believe it or not, there are rules governing the words that can be used to describe pet food — and those words are linked to the contents of the food.

We’ll look at several imaginary pet food label claims, focusing on meat content.
Pet Food A is “100% chicken”
Pet Food B is “Beef entree”
Pet Food C is “Veal formula”
Pet Food D is “Salmon recipe”
Pet Food E is “Vegetables with lamb”
Pet Food F is “Venison flavor”

So how much meat does each product actually contain?
A: Anything listed as “100%” or “Full”  must be made of at least 95% of the listed ingredient. In this case, the food must be at least 95% chicken.

B/C/D: Anything described as “entree,” “formula,” “recipe,” “dinner,” or “platter” must comprise at least 25% of the listed ingredient. In our examples, beef, veal, and salmon make up at least 25% of the imaginary foods.

E: Anything following the word “with” comprises 3-24% of the food. In our example, lamb may be as little as 3% of that food.

F: Anything listed as “flavor” need only be detectable to a pet as a flavor. Our example does not need to contain a certain percentage of venison; it only needs to taste like venison.

What about words like “holistic,” “premium,” “high quality,” and “human grade”?
There are no legal or standard definitions for those words. Such descriptors are often used as marketing tools to set one company’s food apart from the others. 

However, certain claims, such as “organic” and “natural” are defined and standardized.
Look for the Organic seal on pet food, which indicates the food contains no hormones or pesticides.
Look for the word “natural” which means there have been no chemical alterations of ingredients. (Vitamins are the acceptable exception to this rule.)

Watch for Part II of our series, “How to make sense of pet food label claims.”

 

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RiverFest, hosted by the Elizabeth River Project, is coming to Virginia Beach this Sunday, September 17th — and they’re holding a dog costume contest as part of the fun.

Enjoy kayaking, games, river animals, native plant sales, food trucks, live music, and more, all set in a lush park that is home to 20 acres of forest and wetlands on the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River.

WHERE: Carolanne Farm Neighborhood Park
                 373 Gainsborough Rd, Virginia Beach

WHEN: 11 AM to 4 PM on September 17th

DOG COSTUME CONTEST: 2 PM
“The River’s Gone to the Dogs.” Create a river-themed costume for your pooch!

PARKING: Arrowhead Elementary School
                     5549 Susquehanna Dr.

WEB: www.elizabethriverfest.org 

FREE admission!

See what’s new at this year’s festival:
• “The River’s Gone to the Dogs,” a dog-costumed contest at 2 pm
• Free bike bells and bike valet if you come by bike
• Drawings for a stand-up paddleboard; a birthday party on the Elizabeth River Project’s
Dominion Energy Learning Barge; and tickets to Jack Johnson’s beach concert Sept. 27
• A live mermaid
• Live music with Lewis McGhee, Mountaintide and the Storyweavers
• The free kayak paddles include a tour to a planned new waterfront park
• Native plant sales and plant walks
• Girl Scouts can earn the new Elizabeth River patch
• Symbolic adoption of river otters at the Elizabeth River Project membership tent
• Satellite parking at nearby Arrowwood Elementary School.

Bringing your dog? Dr. Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic reminds you to be sure your pets are protected against common communicable diseases. Learn more here and here.

Where: Norfolk Botanical Garden
[Less than 2 miles from Little Creek Veterinary Clinic. See the map.]

Date and Time:
Date(s) – Sunday, September 3rd, 10th, 17th, and 24th, 2017
9:00 AM – 7:00 PM

“We are extending our summer Sunday Dog Days through September. Help us help the many animals affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas. The Virginia Beach SPCA has representatives in Texas helping with rescue efforts. Explore the Garden with your dog & help other pets reunite with their owners.Your $5 FIDO Fee will go directly to the efforts helping the animals displaced.”

NBG Members & Not-Yet-Members: Your $5 FIDO Fee will go directly
to the efforts helping the animals displaced.
NBG Members: Garden admission is Free
Not-Yet-Members: Garden admission applies

Sept. 3, Sept. 10, Sept. 17 & Sept. 24 (SEPTEMBER ONLY)

(Dogs are not permitted in the Children’s Garden or Butterfly House)

 

At Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, we’re praying that Hurricane Irma stays away, but we advise pet owners to have a plan in place if this storm — or any other — should head our way.

Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian, recommends that pet owners take the following precautions, whether they evacuate, ride out the storm at home, or head for a pet-friendly emergency shelter:

  • Gather your pet’s vaccine records, especially the Rabies certificate; you may need to show this information at shelters or hotels. (If your pet is not current on its vaccines, Contact Us to schedule an appointment today.)
  • Ensure you have at least a two-week supply (or more) of your pet’s most-needed medications. Drug refills can be difficult to come by if veterinary clinics are unable to re-open right away.
  • Pack a first aid kit. Suggested contents can be found in the booklet “Saving The Whole Family,” available at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic for $2.00.
  • Ensure you have adequate food and water for your pet — typically a minimum of two weeks’ worth, if evacuating. If there is time, order extra Prescription Diet food.
  • Be sure your pet can be identified with a microchip ID, ID tag, or tattoo, if it should become separated from you.
  • Gather leashes, collars or harnesses, and pet carriers, to safely transport your pet.
  • Pack a favorite blanket or toy, treats, and food/water dish to give your pet a sense of comfort and familiarity.
  • Continue to treat your pets for fleas and heartworms, as pests can become more problematic after a storm.
  • For dogs: pack a supply of waste bags. For cats: pack a small litter box with litter or paper towels.

For more information, pick up a copy of
“Saving The Whole Family,”
available now, at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

 

WE WELCOMED:

  • Precious
  • Angel
  • Oliver
  • Stormy
  • Elsa
  • Jinxy
  • Cooper
  • Spike
  • Samantha

WE REMEMBER:

  • Gateway

 

 

Click to enlarge

Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, would like to share with you a local event remembering beloved pets that have passed through our lives and yours!

From Hampton Roads Veterinary Hospice:

“A great life deserves to be celebrated. Join us for our fifth annual water lantern lighting ceremony on National Pet Memorial Day. The ceremony will include pet loss readings, personalization of water lanterns, and moment of silent reflection.

“This event is free to attend and open to all. Please RSVP to HRvethospice@gmail.com so we will have a lantern for everyone!”

FREE admission

Kid friendly

(As a reminder, we are closed on Wednesdays, unless otherwise stated.)

Enjoy the Labor Day weekend!