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Welcome to our blog about animal rescue, pet parenting, adoptions, foster care, and ethical products.

The Best Food to Feed an Elderly Dog

Here at Waldo’s Friends, we are big fans of dogs of all sizes, colours, and ages. Senior dogs hold a special place in our hearts because we’ve encountered some of the sweetest and kindest aging canines over the years. Though they are not as playful and active as young puppies, they still have a lot Read More...

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Here at Waldo’s Friends, we are big fans of dogs of all sizes, colours, and ages. Senior dogs hold a special place in our hearts because we’ve encountered some of the sweetest and kindest aging canines over the years. Though they are not as playful and active as young puppies, they still have a lot of sloppy kisses and warm cuddles to give. 

If you’re wondering about how to care for senior dogs through the food they eat, you’ve come to the right place! This Waldo’s Friends blog post discusses:

But remember, this article should not replace a visit to your veterinarian. This is only meant to be a guide to help you make informed decisions on the well-being of your aging pet. 

How old is a senior dog?

Dogs can go through six life stages. Your dog is considered a puppy when he is born until he is able to reproduce, which is dependent on his breed. He becomes a junior from about 6 to 12 months old, then officially turns into an adult when he stops growing. When he goes past 7 years old, he is considered a mature dog. Then, he is called a senior during the last quarter of his life expectancy, and a geriatric when he goes beyond his breed’s life expectancy.  

Take note that age is only an approximate indicator. In an interview with Fetch, Fred Metzger, DVM revealed that being categorised as senior or geriatric “really depends on the breed and body weight [of a dog]. Large and giant breeds age faster than smaller dogs.” Additionally, your dog can be considered mature when he has reached half of his life expectancy. RSPCA shared a list of the average lifespan of popular dog breeds, ranging from 5.5 years (dogue de bordeaux) to 14.2 years (miniature poodle). As long as your dog is healthy and provided for in every aspect of his life, he may live beyond his breed’s life expectancy. 

When should I switch to senior dog food?

Large-sized dogs are generally called seniors by the time they turn 6 years old. Meanwhile, small-sized dogs more or less become seniors when they hit the 10-year mark. As these beloved dogs grow older, it is common for their health and stamina to deteriorate. As such, aging canines may suffer from these common health problems:

  • Cancer
  • Dementia
  • Gastrointestinal problems 
  • Hearing loss 
  • Heart issues
  • Joint problems
  • Kidney issues 
  • Obesity 
  • Vision loss

Switching your pet’s meals to specially formulated senior dog food is something that you should discuss with your veterinarian. He would most likely run physical exams, blood tests, and other wellness tests to assess your dog’s health before he can recommend the best diet. The new meal plan may include food formulation changes, as well as adjustments to the quantity and frequency of his meals.

What should be in the food of my senior dog?

It’s time to purchase (or even make) your senior dog’s new food after getting your vet’s approval and recommendations. Remember that it should be a well-balanced diet that caters to your dog’s specific needs. If you need to feed him a new brand or type of food, gradually introduce this to him over 7 days to prevent gastrointestinal troubles. Adjust the ratio by slowly increasing the amount of the new food, helping your dog get used to its taste and texture. Stop feeding the new food if your dog vomits or has the runs. 

It is recommended that you give your senior dog food which are:

  • Adequate in protein: Aging dogs need the right amount of high-quality protein (about 25%) to help them retain body weight and muscle mass. Protein also helps keep the body strong by assisting the immune system. However, dogs with kidney issues should have a lower amount of protein in their diet, so it doesn’t put too much strain on their kidneys.
  • High in fiber: Constipation is a common condition of senior dogs, so getting them food rich in fiber (containing 3 to 5%) can assist their bowel movement.  
  • Low in calories: Because older dogs are not as active as young pups, they do not need to use as much energy throughout the day. Low-calorie meals can help prevent obesity, which develops into diabetes in some dogs. 
  • Low in fat: Senior dog food tends to have lower levels of fat (about 8 to 12%), which translates to lower calories. Diabetic dogs will benefit from eating meals that are low in fat but high in fiber. 

Aside from consuming high-quality meals, senior dogs should eat treats low in fat and sodium. Fresh vegetables and fruits, such as carrots and apples, are healthy alternatives. Just make sure his snack portions do not go over his recommended daily intake. 

TIP: Check out which vegetables and fruits dogs can safely eat through our Can Dogs Eat category!

Other reminders for feeding older dogs 

  • Water is essential in keeping aging dogs hydrated. Some diseases or medications cause older dogs to pee frequently, so they need to continuously replenish the lost fluids from their bodies. Place bowls filled with fresh, cool water throughout the house to encourage your senior dog to drink up. 
  • Dry kibble may help reduce gum disease and control tartar buildup in senior dogs. But if your dog is used to eating wet food, he may not appreciate the switch.
  • If your dog isn’t too keen on eating dry food, you can add some warm water or chicken broth to make it more palatable. Adding a small amount of canned dog food might also do the trick!
  • If your senior dog doesn’t receive enough nutrients from his food, your veterinarian may recommend feeding him supplements. Dogs suffering from arthritis and joint pain may benefit from eating omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin. These chemicals help decrease inflammation and support the rebuilding of lost cartilage substance. 

If you notice any changes in your senior dog’s energy levels, his appearance, his food/water intake, his behaviour, or his toilet habits, speak with your veterinarian.  

Check out our guides to read more articles on responsible dog parenting. Uncover the best slow feeder bowl to get for your pooch, or learn 10 ways to help an anxious dog.

Is Head & Shoulders Cruelty Free?

The short answer: No, Head & Shoulders is not cruelty free. The long answer: Head & Shoulders is an anti-dandruff shampoo that was developed in 1961. It was originally created as a cream by a team working under chemical engineer and bacteriologist, John Parran Jr. Fourteen years later, they transformed it into a clinically proven Read More...

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The short answer: No, Head & Shoulders is not cruelty free.

The long answer: Head & Shoulders is an anti-dandruff shampoo that was developed in 1961. It was originally created as a cream by a team working under chemical engineer and bacteriologist, John Parran Jr. Fourteen years later, they transformed it into a clinically proven dandruff-fighting shampoo. At present, Head & Shoulders not only sells anti-dandruff shampoo and conditioner, but also hair styling products.

Head & Shoulders is owned by American multinational consumer goods corporation Procter & Gamble (P&G), which also distributes Herbal Essences, Aussie, and Pantene. On its website, it states, “As part of the Procter & Gamble family, Head & Shoulders adheres to the same standards of safety as regulatory bodies around the world.” This hair care line is one of the P&G brands that is being sold in mainland China. As such, it needs to follow the country’s importation laws—one of which is to undergo product testing on animals before they can be sold across the country. Chinese health authorities can also choose to retest the products on animals if a customer files a complaint, or simply to do a random check. Because of these reasons, Head & Shoulders cannot be considered a cruelty-free brand.  

References:

Beauty Without Bunnies: Head & Shoulders

Head & Shoulders

CFK: Head & Shoulders

Is Colgate Cruelty Free?

The short answer: No, Colgate is not cruelty free. The long answer: Colgate is owned by the Colgate-Palmolive Company, an American multinational consumer products company. The company manufactures and distributes health care, personal care, household, and veterinary products. One of its earliest products is Colgate, a toothpaste that was originally sold in jars as early Read More...

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The short answer: No, Colgate is not cruelty free.

The long answer: Colgate is owned by the Colgate-Palmolive Company, an American multinational consumer products company. The company manufactures and distributes health care, personal care, household, and veterinary products. One of its earliest products is Colgate, a toothpaste that was originally sold in jars as early as 1873. At present, Colgate sells oral hygiene products ranging from toothbrushes to mouthwashes. 

On their company website, Colgate-Palmolive reveals their policy on animal testing: 

“We are committed to work toward the elimination of laboratory safety testing using animals.

In 1999, we declared a voluntary moratorium on all animal testing of our adult Personal Care Products and the ingredients used in these products. This moratorium remains in effect worldwide.

Currently, over 99 percent of internal requests for safety assessment of our products are addressed by using available databases and non-animal alternatives.

Animal testing is only conducted where specifically required by regulatory agencies or where alternative testing methods are unavailable to ensure the safety of our products. In such limited instances, the tests are conducted only at contract testing facilities that meet both government standards and the more rigorous requirements established by Colgate with input from animal welfare groups.”

PETA considers Colgate-Palmolive as a company “working toward regulatory changes to reduce the number of animals used for testing.” However, it is important to note that Colgate is being sold in mainland China. This country is known for testing imported health care products on animals before and possibly even after they have been proven safe for human use. Until China changes its import laws or Colgate refuses to sell its products in China, they cannot be considered 100% cruelty free. 

References:

Beauty Without Bunnies: Colgate-Palmolive

Product Safety Research Policy

Wikipedia: Colgate-Palmolive

Is Colgate-Palmolive Cruelty-Free?

Is Matrix Cruelty Free?

The short answer: No, Matrix is not cruelty free. The long answer: Previously known as Matrix Essentials, Matrix was founded in 1980 by an American hair styling team/husband and wife, Arnie and Sydell Miller. Matrix is known for selling hair care, hair colour, hair styling, and texture creating products for professional hair stylists. It has Read More...

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The short answer: No, Matrix is not cruelty free.

The long answer: Previously known as Matrix Essentials, Matrix was founded in 1980 by an American hair styling team/husband and wife, Arnie and Sydell Miller. Matrix is known for selling hair care, hair colour, hair styling, and texture creating products for professional hair stylists. It has been owned by French personal care company L’Oréal since 2000. 

Matrix does not discuss its position regarding animal testing on its official website. However, various sites have confirmed that they sell their products in China. It is a known fact that imported beauty products must undergo compulsory animal testing before entering this particular country. Chinese health officials or authorised third parties administer tests using animals to make sure imported products are safe for human use. Unless they pull out their products in China, Matrix cannot be considered cruelty free.

References:

Beauty Without Bunnies: Matrix

Wikipedia: L’Oréal

Matrix

Is Matrix Cruelty-Free in 2020?

CFK: Matrix

The Difference Between Kitten Food and Cat Food

There are so many things a first-time cat parent needs to learn, such as preparing a starter kit before your cat comes home to finding ways to groom her at home. Depending on the age of the cat you decide to adopt or foster, you’ll also need to provide the right meals so that she Read More...

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There are so many things a first-time cat parent needs to learn, such as preparing a starter kit before your cat comes home to finding ways to groom her at home. Depending on the age of the cat you decide to adopt or foster, you’ll also need to provide the right meals so that she receives the proper nutrients to make her grow into a healthy pet. For kittens, feeding her right will help her achieve her maximum size and weight. 

When it comes to food, it’s important to provide the appropriate meals for your cat’s physical and mental well-being. You should not give adult cat food to kittens, and young cat food to fully grown cats. (Also, feeding your pregnant cat is a totally different matter.) Both cats have specific needs, and letting them eat the wrong type of food may lead to malnutrition or obesity. 

Before we reveal the difference between each food type, let’s break down the components of regular cat food and discover what should be in it.

Cat Food Components

Fetch by WebMD states that complete and balanced cat food needs to have four key nutrients: protein, fat, fiber, and moisture. Protein should come in the form of high-quality meat such as beef, turkey, and chicken—not low-grade rendered meat. 

To guarantee you’re getting the best for your cat, check the label found on the side or back of the package. It should list the percentages of nutrients found in the cat food, starting with the heaviest weight. Aside from listing the minimum protein, minimum fat, maximum fiber, and maximum moisture, other vitamins and minerals can be indicated as well. 

Make sure to get your veterinarian’s approval before feeding something to your cat or switching brands. Some cat food may trigger stomach irritation, especially if they’re made with ingredients your cat is intolerant or allergic to. Other brands may also contain additives, flavourings, and/or preservatives that are not recommended for your cat.

The Main Difference Between Cat Food for Kittens and Adults

A kitten’s nutritional needs vary greatly from that of a full-grown cat. During this stage in her life, she is engaged in high-level activities and grows double or triple in size. Because of these factors, she needs more protein, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals in her body—much more than what an adult cat needs. 

Protein and Fats: Fetch by WebMD recommends that kittens get approximately 30 to 40% of their energy from protein. The Nest adds that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires kitten food to have a minimum of 22% protein and 8% fat, plus amino acids and essential fatty acids to help with healthy tissue growth. Meanwhile, the US FDA requires adult cat food to contain at least 18% protein and 5% fat.

Vitamins and Minerals: There should be calcium and phosphorus in kitten food to assist in proper bone and teeth growth. Aside from these, vitamin E and selenium aid in developing a kitten’s immune system. Adult cats do not need these aforementioned vitamins and minerals, so they may or may not be found in their food. 

Other Kitten Food Considerations

It is advisable to feed kittens food high in protein, fat, vitamins, nutrients, and calories until she turns one year old. Your kitten should eat specially formulated kitten food multiple times a day since her stomach can only hold a small amount of food. This will also prevent her from gorging and vomiting what she eats.

Kitten food is available in wet and dry forms. It is best to let your young cat eat canned food since it is softer and has more protein than dry food. If you prefer feeding your cat dry and canned food, it is recommended that you do canned feedings two times a day. But if you choose to feed her only wet food, do so four times a day.

What Happens If You Feed the Wrong Food to Your Cat?

Kittens that consume adult cat food may not achieve their ideal height and size. Worse, the food may not sit well in their stomach and may cause indigestion. On the other hand, adult cats that regularly consume kitten food may gain unnecessary weight and become obese. 

With the proper meals, your cat should appear healthy, active, and alert. She should have a glossy coat and energy to do her everyday activities. If something in her appearance or behaviour changes, speak with your veterinarian. 

Decipher your cat’s intriguing behaviour through our blog. Find out how long she can go without making a trip to the toilet or learn how to prevent her from sleeping in your bed.

What Kind of Milk Can Cats Have?

Cats and milk go hand in hand… or at least that’s what popular media would like people to believe. Animal experts have revealed that most adult cats are actually lactose intolerant, meaning they are unable to fully digest the sugar (lactose) found in milk.  So does this mean cats can’t drink milk at all? This Read More...

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Cats and milk go hand in hand… or at least that’s what popular media would like people to believe. Animal experts have revealed that most adult cats are actually lactose intolerant, meaning they are unable to fully digest the sugar (lactose) found in milk. 

So does this mean cats can’t drink milk at all? This Waldo’s Friends article discusses:

Can kittens drink milk?

Kittens have the capacity to digest their mother’s milk or kitten glop. Kitten glop is a specially formulated cat milk substitute or kitten supplement formula. It is usually given to kittens who are orphaned, or those who refuse to nurse. But more than just kittens, other cats can also benefit from drinking kitten glop. Senior cats who have a difficult time eating solids, convalescing cats, and nursing cats are just a few examples. 

Note that not just any type of milk can be given to kittens. Cow’s milk contains too much lactose, and the casein to whey proportions found in it are not appropriate for them. Feeding a kitten cow’s milk may lead to diarrhea and dehydration. Though other types of milk may not have lactose, they do not provide the necessary amino acids kittens need to flourish. 

As kittens grow older, their bodies begin to produce less lactase, making it more difficult for them to digest milk.  

What happens when cats drink milk?

When an adult cat drinks milk, she will most likely vomit, have diarrhea, or experience an upset stomach within 8 to 12 hours of consumption. This is caused by the undigested lactose that passes through the intestinal tract. As it goes through her digestive system, it draws water with it. The bacteria found in the colon also ferment the undigested sugars and produce fatty acids. 

What kind of milk can cats have?

A tablespoon of milk might not upset your cat’s stomach, but this doesn’t mean you should feed her milk regularly. This is because cats are obligate carnivores that don’t need milk in their diet. Milk is considered a treat, which should only make up 5 to 10% of her daily dietary requirements.

Here’s a list of the different types of milk, and whether or not it should be fed to your cat. Remember that there are risks that come with feeding her milk, and that not all kinds should be given to her:

  • Almond milk – Yes, but only occasionally and in limited quantities
  • Cashew milk – No, because it is high in fat
  • Coconut milk – Yes, but only occasionally and in small amounts since it contains a high levels of fat
  • Condensed milk – No, because it is high in sugar
  • Cow’s milk – No, since your cat will not be able to digest the lactose found in it
  • Evaporated milk – No, since it contains sugar, which will not benefit your cat
  • Goat’s milk – Yes, but only if your cat can tolerate milk and in raw form/limited quantities
  • Rice milk – No, because it is high in sugar
  • Soy milk – No, since it contains hormones and chemicals that may produce unwanted side effects

In conclusion

If you really want to feed your cat some milk, get your veterinarian’s approval before doing so. The safest type of milk to give your cat would be properly formulated milk replacement products. These will provide the essential nutrients your cat needs. 

Is your cat experiencing other digestive issues? Learn how to syringe feed a cat, find out what to give a cat with a sensitive stomach, and discover 5 possible reasons why your cat vomits after eating.

Is Tom Ford Beauty Cruelty Free?

The short answer: No, Tom Ford Beauty is not cruelty free. The long answer: Currently owned by the Estée Lauder (EL) Companies Inc., Tom Ford Beauty is a collection of cosmetics and fragrances crafted by the American fashion designer, Tom Ford. Featuring luxurious high-end products, the line was brought about by Tom Ford’s “desire to Read More...

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The short answer: No, Tom Ford Beauty is not cruelty free.

The long answer: Currently owned by the Estée Lauder (EL) Companies Inc., Tom Ford Beauty is a collection of cosmetics and fragrances crafted by the American fashion designer, Tom Ford. Featuring luxurious high-end products, the line was brought about by Tom Ford’s “desire to create the first true luxury brand of the 21st century.” 

Tom Ford Beauty does not explicitly state its stance on animal testing. However, the website EthicalElephant.com reached out to ask them about it. The company wrote back in response, saying, “Tom Ford does not test on animals and we never ask others to do so on our behalf. If a regulatory body demands it for its safety or regulatory assessment, an exception can be made. Our consumers can be certain that we are committed to producing only the highest quality beauty products which meet our exacting efficacy, safety and ethical standards.”

Similar to EL Companies beauty brands M·A·C Cosmetics and Clinique, Tom Ford Beauty is currently being sold in various provinces in China. Before their items can be brought into the country, the company must follow Chinese importation laws. This includes testing on animals. There is also a possibility of conducting random animal tests on items already sold in the market. As such, Tom Ford Beauty cannot be considered cruelty free. 

References:

Beauty Without Bunnies: Tom Ford

Tom Ford Beauty

EL Companies: Tom Ford Beauty

Is Tom Ford Cruelty-Free in 2020? (What You Need To Know Before You Buy!)

Is Elizabeth Arden Cruelty Free?

The short answer: No, Elizabeth Arden is not cruelty free. The long answer: Elizabeth Arden is an American cosmetics, skin care, and fragrance company founded by Canadian-American businesswoman, Florence Nightingale Graham. In 2016, the company became a wholly owned subsidiary of Revlon, Inc. On their official website, the company states, “Elizabeth Arden, Inc. shares your Read More...

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The short answer: No, Elizabeth Arden is not cruelty free.

The long answer: Elizabeth Arden is an American cosmetics, skin care, and fragrance company founded by Canadian-American businesswoman, Florence Nightingale Graham. In 2016, the company became a wholly owned subsidiary of Revlon, Inc.

On their official website, the company states, “Elizabeth Arden, Inc. shares your concern about the use of animals in safety testing and is committed to eliminating the need for animal testing. We are equally committed to the health and safety of consumers and to creating products that comply with the laws of all countries where our products are sold. We do not perform any animal tests on our product formulations or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except in the rare instances where required by law. These laws apply to every company in the beauty industry that sells products globally, and Elizabeth Arden, like all other global beauty companies, must comply with any applicable local laws.”

Elizabeth Arden adds, “Our ultimate goal is to eliminate the necessity for animal testing globally. We work closely with our industry and the scientific community around the world to actively support our industry’s sharing of scientific data and to support and fund research programs to develop and validate non-animal alternatives for product testing.”

Currently, Elizabeth Arden products are being sold in mainland China. This implies that by law, their items must all be tested on animals before being sold in the country. It also means that authorised third parties may do random tests on animals using their products, even if they have already been approved. Because of these reasons, Elizabeth Arden cannot be considered 100% cruelty free. 

References:

Beauty Without Bunnies: Elizabeth Arden

Animal Testing Policy

Wikipedia: Elizabeth Arden Inc.

Is Elizabeth Arden Cruelty-Free in 2020? (What You Need To Know Before You Buy!)

Is TONYMOLY Cruelty Free?

The short answer: Yes, TONYMOLY is cruelty free. The long answer: TONYMOLY is a South Korean cosmetic brand that was founded in 2006. Its name means “putting style into packaging,” which reflects the modern packaging of its skin care and makeup products.  On its US website, TONYMOLY states that they are against animal cruelty. “We Read More...

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The short answer: Yes, TONYMOLY is cruelty free.

The long answer: TONYMOLY is a South Korean cosmetic brand that was founded in 2006. Its name means “putting style into packaging,” which reflects the modern packaging of its skin care and makeup products. 

On its US website, TONYMOLY states that they are against animal cruelty. “We do not test on animals! We love animals as much as we love you.” However, multiple sources confirm that the brand has been selling its cosmetic products in China since 2009. China has a mandatory rule that imported beauty items must be tested on animals before they can be released in the market. Aside from this, they also have the option to do arbitrary animal testing on products that are already on the shelves. 

The good news is that TONYMOLY has confirmed that they no longer sell their products in mainland China. EthicalElephant.com revealed details of their correspondence, with the brand stating, “To be fully transparent, China does require all imported cosmetics to be tested on animals and you are right that our products in China did not get exempted from that requirement.” They added, “However, we acknowledge it is a serious issue and we’re happy to let you know that as of last year [2019], we have stopped importing our products into China’s market which led to the end of Tony Moly products being tested on animals.”

To purchase cruelty-free TONYMOLY items, visit their official website

References:

TONYMOLY

Wikipedia: Tony Moly

Is TONYMOLY Cruelty-Free & Vegan in 2021? (New Update!)

CFK: Tony Moly

Is Jergens Skincare Cruelty Free?

The short answer: No, Jergens Skincare is not completely cruelty free. The long answer: Founded in 1882, Jergens Skincare is a brand that sells moisturizers, body creams, soaps, and other consumer products. It was acquired by Kao Corporation, the makers of Bioré, in the late ‘80s. In their US website, their FAQs reveals their stance Read More...

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The short answer: No, Jergens Skincare is not completely cruelty free.

The long answer: Founded in 1882, Jergens Skincare is a brand that sells moisturizers, body creams, soaps, and other consumer products. It was acquired by Kao Corporation, the makers of Bioré, in the late ‘80s. In their US website, their FAQs reveals their stance on animal testing. “No, KAO does not perform animal testing with any of our products, including our Jergens products.”

Both Cruelty Free Collections and Cruelty Free Kitty have reported that Jergens is commercially sold in China. At present, Kao Corporation already has three local facilities in China that can manufacture eco-friendly products. However, this doesn’t guarantee that Chinese officials or authorised third parties won’t test their products on animals once they’re available in the market. 

Until China changes its animal testing policy on beauty products or Jergens stops selling its products in China, the skin care brand cannot be considered 100% cruelty free. 

References:

Jergens FAQs

CFK: Jergens

Is Jergens Cruelty-Free in 2020?

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