10.01.2015 | 07:44 pm
Do you have a dental check up every six months? Do you get your oil changed regularly? How long has it been since you’ve taken your cat to the vet? If it’s more than a year, it’s time for kitty to get a checkup.
Annual vet visits can uncover any potential problems — before they become serious. For example, regular veterinarian visits can uncover diabetes, thyroid problems and chronic kidney disease in the early stages so you have a better opportunity to manage it. Veterinarians say cats are 3-10 times more likely than dogs to develop chronic kidney disease and it’s one of the leading causes of death for cats.
Of course, that’s only one reason to visit your veterinarian every year.
A Typical Wellness Visit Includes:
- Checking your cat for any unusual lumps
- Comparing appearance and activity from the last visit (based on past notes)
- Ensuring your pet is up to date on immunizations
- Taking care of any blood work (this can catch potential problems before they become issues.)
All of this is important for your kitty’s health. But, let me guess. Mr. Furry Paws isn’t exactly waiting by the front door waiting for you to say the magic words…”want to go for a ride?” is he?
How do you get your cat to the vet?
How do you convince your feline friends that it’s a good idea not to hide under the bed when you bring out the kitty carrier? Very carefully….Actually, you can use psychology on them. Just like Pavlov’s dog learned to associate the ringing bell with food, you can help your cat associate the kitty carrier with good things. The key is patience.
Rather than bringing out the carrier 15 minutes before it’s time to leave, put it out a few days before. Let it sit near the door you use. Leave the door to the carrier open and put tasty treats inside. If your cat likes toys add your cat’s favorite toys. That will help to desensitize kitty to the carrier.
Practice makes perfect. Take kitty in the car more than once a year. Even if you just drive down the street and back, it’s a way to help your kitty feel slightly calmer about the whole experience. Especially if you feed tasty treats all the way there and back (you may need assistance from a willing friend in this department.) Almost twice as many cats than dogs never visit the veterinarian. Don’t let your cat be one of them! Schedule your appointment today.
08.12.2015 | 12:05 pm
Holistic health is becoming a more common approach in our world and our pets are no exception. What do people mean when they say ‘holistic health’ though? Well, holistic health is more of an approach to life and considering the mind and body as a whole when it comes to our health, rather than focusing on treating certain diseases or illnesses. The holistic approach is important for our pets because their overall health relies both on their mental and physical health. We are going to talk about how to master the holistic approach when caring for our pets.
4 Factors of Holistic Health for Your Pet
- Adequate Diet: Diet is probably one of the biggest factors of holistic health for your pet. What you choose to feed your pet greatly effects their overall health. A holistic diet is one that is packed full of natural, nutrient-dense ingredients without containing ‘filler’ ingredients that are useless and sometimes harmful to your pet’s health. Holistic Select that offers a wide selection of products that will support your pet’s digestive health and provide them with the proper nutrition. A holistic diet is typically one that is low in carbohydrates and either low-grain or completely grain free. Talk to your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet.. Supplements can also be a good addition to your pet’s holistic diet, such as probuitics, fatty acids, and antioxidants.
- Minimalistic Approach to Vaccinations: Veterinarians that practice the holistic approach will often suggest that our pets are over-vaccinated and that it directly effects our pets’ health. Here are some important things to know. The holistic approach certainly doesn’t restrict your pet from receiving vaccinations. It only suggests testing their level of antibody protection before vaccinating too frequently when it may be unnecessary. A Titer Test can be given to determine your pet’s level of antibody protection against certain viruses. For example, when it comes time for vaccinations each year, your veterinarian can use the Titer Test to determine which vaccinations are appropriate for your pet to receive, rather than blindly pumping them full of vaccinations that they may not need year after year, as studies have shown this can be harmful to your pet’s overall health.
- Fresh Air and Proper Exercise: All pets require a certain level of exercise, but fresh air and exercise are especially important for dogs. Proper exercise has a direct effect on your dog’s overall health, both mentally and physically. Neglecting to give your dog the proper exercise can result in problems such as obesity, digestive problems, depression, destructive behavior, anxiety, and aggressive behavior.
- Holistic Medications & Treatment: It is becoming more common for pet owners to utilize a combination of holistic and contemporary veterinary care for their pets. A veterinarian who specializes in holistic care can provide insight into alternative, more natural flea and tick and heartworm prevention.
6 Ways to Improve Your Pet’s Holistic Health
- Switch your pet to a holistic diet, such as Holistic Select, but talk to your veterinarian first about a proper diet plan and how to slowly introduce your pet to a new diet.
- Create a daily exercise regimen for your pet and stick to the schedule as much as possible.
- Ask your veterinarian about the Titer Test and avoid overly vaccinating your pet each year.
- Consider more holistic measures for flea and tick and heartworm prevention, and explore holistic options before resorting to treatment for other illnesses or ailments.
- Explore new activities with your pet – have you ever heard of ‘Doga?’ Well, it’s yoga with your dog of course!
- Talk to your veterinarian about any supplements that your pet may need and incorporate them into your pet’s daily routine.
Is your pet ready to hop up on board the holistic train? We hope that you have found this information helpful in determining what holistic pet health care really is and how your pets can benefit from this approach. Happy National Holistic Pet Day, friends!
07.27.2015 | 10:50 am
What is a grain-free diet and is it right for your pet? Well, that’s what we are here to talk about. With so many different brands and recipes out there for pet food, it can be overwhelming to try and find the perfect one for your pet. Our pets are just like us in the sense that no diet is perfect for everyone, so a grain-free diet isn’t necessarily the right fit for all pets. However, for some pets it can prove to be very beneficial to their overall health. Let’s break it down and find out what this grain-free diet is really all about.
What are the Benefits of a Grain-Free Diet?
It is always important to talk to your veterinarian to figure out what type of diet is recommended for your pet. If a grain-free diet is something that both you and your veterinarian agree is the right choice for your pet, it can benefit your pet in many ways.
- Less is more. With a grain-free diet, your pet is likely to thrive on a smaller amount of food than with their previous diet. Grain-free pet food contains a lot of proteins and nutrient-dense ingredients that will leave your pet feeling energetic and satisfied and less likely to want to ‘graze’ all day long around the food bowl.
- Improve the condition of your pet’s skin and coat. Pets that may have intolerances or allergies to grains can benefit from a grain free diet. A grain free diet can help to decrease the itching and scratching that can be associated with allergies and intolerance’s.
- Improve digestion. For pets with sensitive stomachs, grain free diets can help support digestive health. The absence of grains and rice can help improve overall digestibility.
Is a Grain-Free Diet Right for my Pet?
There are some pets that can benefit from a grain-free diet more than others. Some of those pets include –
- Pets with high energy levels. Grain-free diets are especially beneficial to pets and breeds that are known to have high energy levels due to the higher protein and fat levels along with additional nutrient-dense ingredients. Combined, these cater to a dog or cat that require enhanced energy sources.
- Pets with allergies. It is common for some pets to develop an allergy to grains in their food, causing symptoms such as vomiting, bloating, stomach distress and itching and scratching. Your veterinarian can help to diagnose these allergies and a grain-free diet could be the answer to your pet’s problems.
Making the Switch
If after consulting with your veterinarian, it is decided that a grain-free diet is the right choice for your pet, be sure to transition into a new diet properly. Transitioning your pet into a new diet is a slow process. New foods should be introduced in small amounts at first and increasing those amounts over the course of a full week at least.
Now that you have the low-down on what a grain-free diet is all about, talk to your veterinarian and decide if you should make the switch. Holistic Select offers a high-quality grain-free recipes for both cats and dogs that could be the perfect fit for your pet.
06.01.2015 | 11:03 am
05.21.2015 | 02:15 pm
7 Ways to Spoil Your Cat
Sure, you can hug your cat today as many times as you would like – that is, as long as your cat appreciates hugs. Cats can be moody, but those of us who are true cat lovers can find even the less pleasant moods endearing. Here are some ways that you can spoil your cat:
- Improve the King or Queen’s Living Quarters – Even if you also have dogs in the house, chances are the cat(s) rule the roost. Two words for you – cat condo. These living spaces for cats are a dream come true for the boss of the house. They have everything your cat needs – from built in scratching posts to several perches and perfectly sized sleeping spots. Trust us, your cat will be the one hugging you.
- Give them the best of both worlds – Do you have an indoor/outdoor cat? Have a cat door installed in your home that allows your cat to go outside freely. If you do not have a fenced in yard, be sure that your cat has a collar with your information in case of emergency and be sure that your neighborhood is safe for your cat to roam. As always, make sure to have your cat spayed or neutered to avoid any surprise litters.
- Get Frisky – Sometimes our cats grow out of their frisky stage as they get older. Did you know that there is an all-natural way to bring back the spunk of your cat’s younger years? It’s called catnip, and it is no joke. You are guaranteed to get some serious laughs watching your cat’s reaction to this stuff. Give your cat some catnip and watch their frisky side come to life!
- Tasty Meals – Holistic Select has some really great dry and wet cat recipes that will quickly put you at the top of your cat’s list of favorite people! They are delicious and they are HEALTHY. They are made from all natural ingredients that are sure to keep your cat happy and healthy.
- Treat them to something new – Does your cat stay outside the majority of the time? Do they rarely get the opportunity to come inside? If this is the case, make a point to change things up on occasion. If you have an indoor cat, spend the day outside with your cat and allow them to experience the fresh air and their outdoor surroundings. Be sure to keep them safe while they are exploring. If your cat stays outdoors the majority of the time, bring them inside for the day. Let them curl up on the couch with you while you indulge in a lazy day of mindless television or a good book.
- Replace old toys with new ones – People often have this idea in their heads that you can’t interact with cats in the way that you can with dogs. While all cats are different, this is an overall misconception. There are plenty of cats who love toys and love for their owners to play and interact with them. Maybe your cat is just bored with the toys that have been collecting dust the last few months – or maybe even years. Buy some new toys and have a play-date with your cat.
- Quality Time – Cats can be so self-sufficient and independent that sometimes it is easy to let too much time pass without giving them the attention they deserve. Be sure to set aside time on a regular basis to focus on giving your cat that attention and extra love – even when they play hard to get.
Don’t forget to give a little extra love to your cat this May!
04.27.2015 | 04:12 pm
Lyme disease is an infectious disease that is transmitted by the deer tick. After a cold winter, Spring arises and out comes tick season. To be able to prevent Lyme disease, pet owners must first understand the disease, how it is transmitted, and be able to recognize the symptoms. The following information will help you to understand, recognize, and prevent Lyme disease in your dog.
Understanding Lyme Disease
Lyme disease was first recognized in dogs in 1985. It is caused by the bacteria Borrellia burgdorferi, and it is transmitted by the common deer tick. Humans are also susceptible to the disease, but it cannot be transmitted from one to the other.
In order for the disease to be transmitted, the tick must be attached to its host for about 48 hours
- If the tick dies or is removed before then, the disease will likely not be transmitted
- Even if the tick is attached for 48 hours or longer, it does not guarantee transmission of the disease
- A dog infected with Lyme disease does not pose a threat to other members of the household – the deer tick is the only carrier that is capable of spreading the disease
Sometimes, symptoms of Lyme disease can be difficult to recognize in your dog. It can take up to 2 to 5 months for symptoms to arise once the disease has been transmitted. The symptoms that occur in dogs are different than the symptoms of humans infected with the disease. The most common symptoms shown in dogs have been –
- Loss of appetite
- Swelling of the joints
Although not as common, some dogs infected with Lyme disease develop kidney disease which can result in kidney failure and/or death. It is important to have additional blood and urinalysis tests run on your dog if he or she is infected with Lyme disease, to be sure no further problems exist.
Now that we all are a little more educated on the disease itself, let’s talk about how you can prevent your dog from becoming infected.
Tick Control – Tick control is the best and most effective way of preventing your dog from becoming infected with Lyme disease. There are many different kinds of flea and tick prevention that you can buy for your dog. Whether you want a topical treatment that you usually apply once a month, or an oral medication also usually given once a month, there are plenty of options. Ask your veterinarian which method is recommended for your dog. Remember to also check your dog carefully on a regular basis, especially after outdoor excursions.
Vaccination – Most veterinarians do offer a vaccination to protect your dog from Lyme disease; however, there is some debate surrounding the vaccine and its effectiveness. Some studies have shown that it is not 100% effective in preventing Lyme disease. Talk to your veterinarian before making any decisions regarding any vaccinations.
Lyme disease can be a scary thing for you and your dog. The symptoms can sometimes be hard to recognize, meaning your dog could become infected and go untreated for any length of time. It is important for us as dog owners to educate ourselves on these kinds of diseases so that we can protect our dogs from unnecessary harm. Help spread the knowledge this month for Lyme Disease Prevention!
04.10.2015 | 12:54 pm
April 11th is National Pet Day and it’s a perfect time to celebrate your pets. Spring is sprung, the snow is melting and summer fun is but a few months away. Plus, April 11 falls on a Saturday this year which makes it even more perfect for celebrating your pet!
Here are 10 ideas for celebrating National Pet Day:
1—Take your dog to a Yappy Hour. Many dog bakeries (barkeries?) and some restaurants/hotels celebrate pups and their people with a regular Yappy Hour. Like Happy Hour for people but with dogs, it’s a social time that usually includes treats of some kind.
To find one near you Google “Yappy Your + your town” or call a local store to inquire if they’re hosting one.
2—Bring catnip to Mr./Ms. Furry Paws – Watch your cat go crazy over catnip. A member of the mint family, catnip is an herb that acts as an aphrodisiac for some cats because of an essential oil called nepetalactone. Your cat might sniff, roll it in, run wild through the house and even eat it. Scientists think it triggers “happy” hormones.
3—Take your dog on a long walk—Like most of us, our dogs probably need more exercise. Take them out on a hike or a long city stroll so they can sniff the air and the bushes and the fire hydrants. Dogs smell up to 100,000 times better than humans and it’s the way they “see” the world.
To dogs, scents are stories. Whereas, we might see an object—fire hydrant—and if pushed might describe it as ridged metal, oblong and red, a dog smells all the dogs that were there before. And they love it.
4—Brush your pets – Both dogs and cats are shedding more this time of year and a good brushing will eliminate the dead hair. They’ll feel lighter and you’ll be able to throw out the piles of fur with less housekeeping needed. (HUGE bonus!)
5—Have a photo shoot – Hiring a pet photographer can help you capture treasured memories. Whether your home, their studio or another location—like a park—an experienced pet photographer will get the shots you want.
6—Massage – Both dogs and cats can enjoy the gift of massage. Slow, steady movements along the joints can be especially relaxing. If your pet suffers with arthritis, massage can help loosen her joints so she can move with less pain.
Plus, massage isn’t just stress reducing for the receiver but also for the masseuse!
7—Teach your dog a new trick – If your pup has the basics down—sit, stay, come—you can teach him to roll over or even to dance. “Canine freestyle” is a dance you do with your pet. It takes a lot of practice but if you want to spend quality time with your pet and bond, it can be a fun activity.
You can find out more at the World Canine Freestyle Organization.
8—New Toys – Both dogs and cats enjoy new toys. Let them shred, chase and pounce to their hearts content. Does your pet prefer squeaky toys or chew toys?
9—Adopt –through at your local shelter or connect with a breed specific rescue to find your new furry companion. If you’re not ready to take on a new pet, you can make a donation. Most shelters are happy to accept old towels/linens/food and of course, financial donations.
How will you celebrate National Pet Day?