What are Purines?

Purines are a type of chemical compound found in foods and are part of a normal diet. Purines can be found in the nucleus of any plant or animal cell. The name “purines” refers to a specific type of molecule made up of carbon and nitrogen atoms, and these molecules are found in cells’ DNA and RNA.
Why would you care as a pet owner? When purine is eaten by humans and animals as it degrades it forms uric acid. The most common problem in humans this can cause is gout, a sharply painful form of arthritis. In susceptible dogs, purines trigger the formation of urate uroliths because they cannot break down the uric acid into allantonin. These dogs will require low purine foods to prevent the formation of uric acid and thereby reduces the chance of stones forming in their body. These “urate stones” can form in the kidneys, urethra or urinary bladder which can cause irritation to the dog. In rare cases, it might even stop the flow of urine completely, causing a lot of pain and even death.
The most common dog breed that you will see this condition in are Dalmatians. A Dalmatian owner should seek a lower purine diet as standard course of ownership. Ninety seven percent of stones in male Dalmatians and 69% in females are urate which form from purine. Other breeds that can have this abnormality are English Bulldogs, Weimaraners, German Shepherds, Giant Schnauzers and some terrier breeds.
How to prevent urate stones?
The best way to prevent this condition is to tailor a low purine diet. There is sometimes a blanket thought that a low purine diet means a low protein diet. While it is probably a good idea to lean towards a moderate amount of protein if you own an at-risk breed, it is a bit more complicated than that. There are specific animal and plant protein sources that are higher than others in purine. So those specific ingredients must be avoided. The simple rules of thumb you will always want to follow if you are limiting purine.
Avoid these animal proteins:
Avoid these vegetable sources:
Kidney beans
Ingredients that are lower in purines are the following. It should be noted that organ meat from ANY ANIMAL SOURCE should be avoided. Organ meat is very high in purine.
Most fish (there are exceptions like mackerel, sardines’ or anchovies)
Whole grains
Knowing this; grain free recipes should be avoided or analyzed very closely. Often grain free foods are high in protein and a moderate protein amount is a better choice. Also grain free foods will often use peas or lentils in the recipe.
In addition to diet always make sure your pet has lots of fresh clean water to drink. Some Dalmatian owners will even use mineral free distilled water (there have not been any proven studies that this makes a difference though). The science says the amount of water is the important thing. An at-risk pet owner may want to use urine test strips to monitor the PH level. A change in urinary pH does not indicate the presence or absence of stones but does reveal conditions that are more likely to trigger stone production. A sudden change may signal a bacterial infection, which requires medical attention. It’s important to control urinary tract infections in dogs prone to forming stones.

Are you a Dalmatian parent that manages Purine?

Top Tips for Feline Hygiene

Cats are usually totally into hygiene all by themselves; constantly self-grooming.  In fact, cats spend up to fifty percent of their waking hours grooming themselves. Cats start grooming their kittens right away and it is an instant bond between Mom and kitten.  This can be the case between owner and cat as well.  There are definite reasons that grooming your cat is a good idea.

  • Hair balls are a common issue for cat owners and brushing or grooming your cat is the best way to reduce the hair they will ingest doing their own grooming and will greatly reduce hair balls.
  • Detecting injury or illness.  Grooming is a good chance to pay close attention to any boo-boo’s or other concerns around you cat’s health.
  • Accustoming a cat to regular handling and providing valuable interaction between cat and owner.  If you cat ever does have an injury it will be easier for you to assess if your cat is accustomed to being touched everywhere by you.
  • Long haired cats or cats that spend time outdoors do get dirt that is more difficult to clean away.

For many cat owners the thought of grooming their cat sounds like something they would put on their wish list right after root canal!  If you are going to take on grooming your cat yourself make it as easy on yourself as possible.

The right tools.  Like any important job, there are tools that can make the job easier.

The Basics:

  • Brushes- Slicker brushes are curved or slanted brushes with very thin teeth. They are ideal for medium- to long-coated cats. The Pin Brush helps to remove knots and tangles in fur to prevent matting. The pins easily go through long fur to carefully comb and neaten the coat. And cats with short, sleek hair can often be groomed with a bristle brush.
  • Combs- A Fine toothed comb (sometimes also called a flea comb) can be run through your cat’s coat from head to tail, being sure to always brush in the direction of the fur to avoid any discomfort. Concentrate on one section at a time to remove any dead hair, dirt, and debris, and take extra caution when brushing around the face and belly as the skin is particularly delicate. Steel Toothed combs (sometimes two sided) are popular to reach below your cat’s topcoat to gently remove loose hairs and reduce shedding.  They can also be great to remove mats. Mats can occur anywhere, but main problem areas for long haired cats include behind the ears, on and around the legs, under arms, tail and around the anus.  These areas are also among the most sensitive areas on the body. Exercise great care in brushing and combing through them.
  • Cat Wipes– These are a must have to quickly and frequently wipe away dander, dirt, and saliva residue. Make sure to choose a product that is unscented and free from parabens, chlorine, and other harmful ingredients.
  • Grooming Glove– These are an awesome option especially for cats who distrust traditional brushes and grooming tools. You just slide the glove onto your hand and stroke your cat like you would normally do petting them. The velcro-like surfaces will feel like a cat’s tongue to them; like a massage similar to grooming they got as a kitten.
  • A Toothbrush and Paste- I know this is a lot to ask but…you should try to brush your cat’s teeth daily. At minimum 3 times a week.   If you are very regular about brushing it will be less stressful for your cat.  Plaque begins to harden in less than one day, so it is most effectively removed before it turns to tartar.  Poor dental hygiene can lead to many health risks for felines.

More Advanced:

  • Professional Pet Nail Clippers- The main reason cats’ claw at things is to keep their nails in good shape. You may want to choose a pair with a safety guard to keep you from cutting too much or too close to the nerve.  You should also keep a nail file to smooth out the rough edges right after a cut.
  • Grooming Clippers- A popular option is a “silent” trimmer to safely remove fur without the buzzing and vibration of conventional clippers. This will be less stressful alternative for sensitive cats.  If the mats are to tight be very careful not to cut the cat with the clippers also. It takes just one fast movement of the cat to do this, especially the loose areas.  The mats can be tight and pull on the skin and make it very uncomfortable to the cat.  Make sure to get the correct size blades.

When grooming matted fur do not use scissors because it is very easy to cut the cat.

In closing…remember to always have lots of your cats’ favorite treats around with all the above to make grooming a fun rewarding activity if you can.  Also; there are some cats who just do not tolerate being groomed. If your cat fights the grooming process, and there is some potential that injury could occur to your cat or yourself it is safer for everybody to make an appointment with a professional groomer or a veterinarian to have your cat groomed.


Should my dog be eating senior food?

April 18, 2018

This is a question people ask frequently.  People with small dogs generally think about it later but people who own large breeds may think about it sooner.  But what is the right age?

In some ways age really is just a number.  There is absolutely no cut and dried answer.  I think the better question is, what are a couple nutritional factors that you might find in a senior formula food?

  • Senior formula food will usually be lower in fat content. Most animals see a slow in their metabolism or may have a lower activity level and it gets tougher to keep extra weight off.
  • A premium producer will probably add high quality glucosamine and chondroitin to keep aging joints healthy. If you have a large breed your normal adult food may already have an adequate dosage added in your food.
  • Did you know pet food has salt? A senior formula will have a lower amount of sodium to avoid hypertension.
  • Added Nutraceuticals such as stabilized Vitamin C and Taurine. These are strong anti-oxidants to preserve healthy cells and provide good cardiac health.
  • Added Seaweed and fibers to promote lower tartar and healthy teeth.
  • Balanced Calcium and Phosphorus for healthy bones.
  • Provide a good fiber source for healthy digestion.

So, if you are reading through this list and thinking; ”those things sound like healthy things for just about any dog” … You are not necessarily wrong.  Not all older dogs eat senior food, and some younger dogs eat senior food.  Let’s talk about some examples of when this might happen.

Some examples of when to consider a senior formula for a younger dog include:

  • A dog with kidney problems needing a lower protein to energy ratio
  • A dog with any type of cardiac disease, regardless of age. Some pet owners will be advised to choose a food with a low sodium level.
  • Dogs with pancreatic problems need to eat a food with a low-fat content. Pancreatitis or other pancreatic disorders can make it difficult for a dog to process fat.
  • Some dogs that do not have a high activity level and are seeking a low-fat option for weight control may choose a food with the attributes of a senior formula. The low-fat content coupled with the likely addition of joint supplements are both positive things for a pet carrying extra weight.

A couple of examples of older dogs that might not have their needs best met by a senior formula include:

  • Dogs with cancer or other chronic illness that make it a struggle to keep weight on might prompt looking for a more robust recipe.
  • An active pet needing more energy content.

The easy answer…. ASK AN EXPERT.  You can’t just go by the name or even the label if you want to know to everything. Therefore, it is important to work with a pet nutrition expert to match the nutrition to the needs of your pet.  A pet food expert understands how these ingredients react in the body of an animal and under what circumstances they will benefit an individual pet.

When did you make the transition?


Welcome to “Happy Tails from Husse”

For nearly 28 years, the Husse brand has stood for QUALITY, SERVICE and KNOWLEDGE in Europe and now it is available here in the United States.

Husse is different than all the other premium pet food companies out there. Not only is our food made from ultra-premium, fully traceable, ethically sourced and GMO-free ingredients, but your Husse franchise owner is also your personal pet nutrition consultant. They are here to help you. If your pet is having a health problem, they can help you choose the right food. If a food isn’t working out for your pet, they can suggest a better alternative. Your Husse rep will get to know your pet and what’s right for them.

As the U.S. representatives for Husse, we want to be a true resource to pet owners. Beyond the premium quality pet food, cat litter and pet accessories we deliver to the doorstep of our customers, we want to deliver valuable information to ALL pet owners about how they can contribute to the good health of the pets they love.

Husse devotes an incredible amount of resources to the development of foods that truly provide the balanced nutrition our pets need. But there is SO MUCH NOISE today about the latest pet food fad that it can be hard for pet owners to know what’s right for their dog or cat.

Our goal on this blog is to provide you with information each week that will help you understand what’s good for your pet. All of the Husse franchisees go through extensive training initially, and receive comprehensive ongoing nutritional education so that we are the best information resource a pet owner can have. We hope to share that knowledge with you on this blog in an easy to understand way.

Not only can you count on your Husse rep to be your go-to source for nutrition information, but you can also count on Husse’s manufacturing process to meet your high quality standards. Our manufacturing facilities have been approved by EU authorities, USDA, FDA and AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials). Our customers can have peace of mind that only highly professional people and equipment are involved in our process.

Thank you for taking the time to be the best pet parent you can be!

Samantha Borelli – Husse AZ Master Franchisee

Do you have a pet health topic you’d like to learn more about? Let us know in the Comment section above so we can answer the questions you have on the Happy Tails from Husse blog.