Scent Dog News- September 2017 Search & Rescue Dog Association of Alberta

Maryann and Twang during a training session on the North Saskatchewan River in August 2017.

New Members

Elisa and PaCe (German Shorthair Pointer) from Edmonton, AB

Elisa and PaCe

Kim and Remington (Malinois) from Edmonton, AB

Kim and Remington

Jenna and Sohke (Dutch Shepherd) from Red Deer, AB

Jenna and Sohke

Member News

Congratulations to Anita passed all SARDAA's requirements to become Active Field Tech. Anita has just over 12 years experience in SAR.

Congratulations to the following members who have passed SARDAA's requirements to move to the Associate Level - Carla and Roo (HRD); Kate and Jenga, plus Karin and Koko to live find Associate Level.

Congratulations to Julia and Valla, plus Mark and Shadow who passed our Disaster testing to move to the Active Level joining Cathy and Vi, Lisa and Zane, and Carlene and Jake.

Congratulations to Jenna and Ivy on completing their Active Level certification with Edmonton Police Service.

Jenna and Ivy with Edmonton Police Service evaluators S/Sgt Troy Carriere, DEOPS (left) and A/S/Sgt Bechtold, Dog Unit .

Advanced Wilderness First Aid

held in September 2017.....

Kerri and Kate with the assistance of two Klondike Trail members care for a simulatedcasualty.
Simulated 'victim' trussed up like the Christmas turkey!!!
Instructor, Jennifer, looks pleased with her hand even though there's a stick impaled in it! Jennifer is with ActFast First Aid and Safety Training.

Note - 2017 SAR Alberta AGM will be held on April 28. Mark your calendar!

Coconut Oil for Dogs: Is it Really Good for Them?

by Jan Reisen | August 01, 2017

(Originally from American Kennel Club on line publication)

Coconut oil has become a popular supplement for humans. It's thought to have benefits like boosting the immune system, aiding in weight loss, working as an anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal, and improving cognitive skills in patients with Alzheimer's. Used topically, coconut oil is an effective moisturizer and lip balm. But pet owners are asking: Is coconut oil beneficial to dogs? The answer is a qualified "yes." Some holistic and naturopathic veterinarians believe that coconut oil has qualities that can aid in many types of canine conditions.

The Science Behind Coconut Oil - Coconut oil comes from the meat of coconuts harvested from the coconut palm. Coconut oil consists of at least 90% saturated fats, most of which are Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs). Although we're used to thinking of fats as bad for us, MCTs are "good" fat and can provide several benefits, including being a source of fuel and energy. The components of MCTs include lauric acid, which is antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral; capric acid and caprylic acid, which are known for their anti-fungal effects; and other acids that are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. According to Dogs Naturally Magazine, MCTs are quickly metabolized to provide energy. For a more in-depth explanation of the components of coconut oil, take a look at the presentation from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University.

What Are the Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs? • Lauric Acid - We've already mentioned the anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties of coconut oil. The lauric acid is also supposed to fight off viruses. • Medium Chain Triglycerides - Some vets believe that the MCTs in coconut oil aid in digestion and can help heal digestive disorders, as well as improve brain energy and mental function in older dogs. • Reduces coughing and helps eliminate hairballs. • Topical Benefits - It's been known to help skin conditions like hot spots, bites, stings, or itchy, dry skin. Shampoos made with organic oils such as coconut oil can improve damaged skin and reduce allergens. Some pet owners have even made a DIY paw balm with coconut oil as one of the ingredients. • Makes dogs' coats glossy and sleek. • Eliminates doggy odor. • Benefits metabolic function, weight loss, arthritis and bone health.

But, and this is a big "but," there is skepticism among scientists and veterinarians about all of these claims. According to Dr. Kathy Boehme at the Drake Center for Veterinary Care in California, while coconut oil has beneficial topical uses, it's not the cure-all some believe it is. Before you make the decision to use it for whatever ails your dog, talk to your vet and take into account that there have been no credible studies proving that coconut oil aids in thyroid dysfunction, weight loss, gum and teeth diseases, or cancer prevention. Additionally, coconut oil doesn't provide the daily fat requirements your dog needs. The acids in MCTs don't have enough omega-6 and omega-3 acids, and what it does contain isn't processed very efficiently. As for claims that MCTs protect against bacteria, viruses, and fungi, while the lauric acid in MCTs does kill germs in lab tests, there is no clear evidence that it can be used in great enough quantities to offer dogs much protection. However, given that so many pet owners are wary of the overuse of pharmaceutical antibiotics and anti-fungals, you and your vet may decide it's worth trying this natural and holistic approach.

How Do I Use Coconut Oils for My Dog? If you plan to give coconut oil to your dog orally, you must start with small amounts and build up the dosage gradually. You should consult with your veterinarian regarding dosage. There can be side effects, such as greasy stools or diarrhea, which usually happens if the dose is too large. To use coconut oil topically, apply it to the skin about once a week, and let it be absorbed for a few minutes. After five minutes or so, rinse your dog off. If he still feels excessively greasy or oily, you can follow up with a light shampoo and rinse. Alternatively, use a shampoo made with organic coconut oil. Again, consult your veterinarian. If your dog has a tendency to gain weight, has pancreatitis, or he metabolizes fat inefficiently, you're better off using coconut oil topically or in very small doses. How Do I Choose a Coconut Oil for My Dog? Choose unrefined coconut oil, also called virgin coconut oil. Better yet, look for cold-pressed oil, which uses a method to process the oil quickly after the coconuts are harvested to preserve nutrients. If you're feeding it to your dog, be aware that different oils have different smells and tastes. Some have a bold coconut taste, while others are bland. Some are buttery and smooth, while others are nutty. You may have to experiment a bit to find one your dog likes. There's no doubt that we all want to take care of our dogs as safely, effectively, and naturally as possible. Coconut oil may be the next great thing, but it's wise to take into account the healthy skepticism that surrounds it. You and your veterinarian can make the decision whether coconut oil is a beneficial supplement to your dog's life.

Feeding Performance Dogs

American Kennel Club on-line information....

Top Dogs need a top performing diet. During training or working periods, working and performance dogs engage in intense physical activity that requires extra energy compared to adult dogs that are not as active. This article highlights the key dietary components of a canine athlete.

Sources of Energy Fats and carbohydrates are the main sources of energy during exercise. The energy requirements for canine athletes varies with the duration, frequency and intensity of the exercise.

Fat [Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2Max) = the highest quantity of oxygen that can be used by the body during exhaustive exercise.] In addition to exercise intensity, dietary fat requirements are affected by the duration of exercise. The longer the canine athlete exercises, the more dietary fat it requires. A study of sled dogs showed that when the dietary fat increased from 15% to 60% of the calories, the VO2 Max increased by almost 50% 1. A high VO2 Max and maximal fat oxidation means better performance during the exercise.

Carbohydrates - Carbohydrates are broken down into sugars like glucose and are stored in the muscle and liver cells as glycogen. These stores provide energy for canine athletes during periods of increased intensity in exercise. Once glycogen stores are depleted, the body will shift to fat as an energy source. It is important to find a complete and balanced diet to help meet a hard-working dog’s carbohydrate needs when it comes to exercise.

Additional Dietary Factors -

Protein - Fat and carbohydrates aren’t the only important components of a balanced diet for performance and working dogs. Increased protein in the canine athlete’s daily diet supports healthy muscles and more efficient use of fat as an energy source. Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, are used to build new muscles and repair damaged muscles. As tissue mass tends to increase with training, this increase must be supplied by extra protein in the diet. Increasing dietary protein has also been shown to decrease injuries2. Amino acids are also used to make red blood cells which carry oxygen to the cells. An increased level of oxygen in muscle cells means there is an increased capacity of the muscles to use fat as an energy source. This allows for a more efficient use of fat during prolonged exercise and a delayed onset of fatigue. Endurance dogs should be fed a formula with high protein for best results. If protein is consumed in excess amounts, it can be used as an energy source so be sure to find a formula that is complete and balanced for your dog’s needs.

Digestibility - Feeding working and performance dogs requires more than increasing the quantity of food in a canine’s daily diet, especially where stomach capacity is a factor. A highly digestible diet provides the necessary calories more efficiently than a lower digestible diet, supporting canine athletes with the necessary energy sources in smaller volumes.

Water - Always provide adequate amounts of water for hard-working dogs. Small amounts of water should be offered throughout exercise to maintain hydration.

Complete and Balanced:Performance Formulas - Feeding performance and working dogs for optimum performance during exercise requires a deep understanding of the canine athlete’s needs both during exercise and for recuperation. Support your canine athlete with a complete and balanced formula, tuned specifically to the needs of the ‘top dog’ in your life. There are a myriad of quality foods available – do your research (Editor) and remember, you typically get what you pay for!

References 1. Reynolds A, Hoppeler H, Reinhar, G. et al. Sled dog endurance: a result of high fat diet or selective breeding? FASEB J 9:A996, 1995.

2. Reynolds A: Effect of diet on performance. In Proc Perform Dog Nutrition Symp, Fort Collins, 1995 Colorado State University.

Remembering -

Pete and Roo in 2016

Pete Garvey passed away earlier this year in Regina, SK after a short illness. Pete and his GSD Roo were in training for HRD with SARDAA. Pete was a wonderful man with a wicked sense of humour. He was passionate about civilian search dogs and was on the path to get a SAR dog group started for Saskatchewan. We miss Pete and very much regret a wonderful life cut short...

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