The holidays are a wonderful time for family and friends to get together and celebrate, and most celebrations include a wide variety of delicious, mouth-watering food and drink. While pets are often included in the celebrations (I know mine are), be careful how you celebrate with them, and keep in mind that cats and dogs have much more sensitive bodies than humans and the simple foods we eat during the holidays can cause severe and sometimes life-threatening side effects. Below is a list of foods to avoid giving Fido and Whiskers this holiday season to keep them healthy and out of the animal hospital. Here are some holiday food safety tips for your pets:
October may be over, but concern for pet obesity isn’t over! Many pets are overweight or obese, which can cause some significant problems if not addressed.
How do I know if my pet is obese?
Typically, your veterinarian will look for three main physical characteristics to determine your pet’s body condition score (BCS). BCS is graded on a scale of 1-9, with 1 being severely underweight, 4-5 being ideal, and 8-9 being obese. The first thing to consider is fat deposits along the chest. When you feel along your pet’s chest, your fingers should bump along the ribs underneath the skin and a thin layer of fat. If you can’t feel your pet’s ribs, they likely are overweight. The next two characteristics go together, and they form your pet’s waist. Looking at your pet from above, the chest should be the widest point, and the body should narrow in front of the hips/hind legs. Similarly, from the side, your pet’s chest should be the deepest point, and the abdomen should tuck up in front of the hips. Continue…
If you are like most people who own cats, getting them in to the veterinarian tends to be stressful for both you and the kitty. Most cats maybe get checked out by their veterinarian every other year or less, and that is if the owner can catch them, get them in a carrier without getting bitten or scratched, and drive to the clinic without them howling and hissing in the car. However, most cats should have an annual exam. What if they are sick and need to come in sooner? For most people, going through this process is uncomfortable and we dread it. Never fear! There are ways to help facilitate and reduce the stress of this process.
- Try leaving the pet carrier out in the room where your cat spends most of her time. Try making it a comfortable place for your cat by putting a blanket or bed inside. Try feeding your cat next to, on, or in the carrier so that they get used to being around it. You can even try playing with your cat in and around the carrier.
- Play with your cat prior to bringing her into your veterinarian. Burning off some energy first helps reduce the stress of the car ride for both of you. It has been shown that petting and playing with your pet significantly reduces stress!
- A pheromone spray spritzed on a towel in the carrier the morning of the appointment can help calm your kitty down as well. You can even place a towel that smells like home or carries the scent of the pheromone spray over the carrier. Leaving this towel over the carrier when in the clinic can help minimize stress while in the waiting room.
- Examine your cat from head to tail every so often at home. This will get your cat used to being handled and touched, and will help your veterinarian when examining your cat. This will also keep you in tune with your cat and help you notice something before it becomes concerning.
- Make sure your carrier is big enough that your cat can stand up and move around. Having a carrier where the top comes off is really helpful for the cats that won’t willingly come out. This allows the veterinarian or technician to safely remove your cat in the exam room without having to pull on her.
- Most cats hate car rides, and most cats associate the car ride with going to the doctor, as this is the only time they travel. Try taking them on small, 5 minute car rides to get used to being in the car. You can even take your cat to the veterinary hospital when there is no appointment to get them used to the place without being examined.
- For the really anxious cats, there are medications and supplements (such as Zylkene, Composure, and others) to give the morning of your appointment to help them feel calm and less stressed. If your cat is one that will need these, call your veterinarian and discuss this prior to bringing your cat in.
Take the time to try some or all of these options. They can really help you get your cat to her appointment with the least amount of stress to both of you. We want your cat to be her happiest and healthiest!
By: Jessica Groeneweg, DVM
Kidney Disease is a concern in our pets, both dogs and cats. However, cats are more likely to have kidney disease at some point. Over 30% of cats will have kidney disease at any age in their lives. When cats get older, almost half of the cat population acquires some form or stage of kidney disease. This causes sickness and death in many cats. Continue…
International Cat Day is a full 24 hours of recognition and veneration of one of humanity’s oldest and most beloved pets. This holiday was created to celebrate the most popular pet on the planet.
An estimated 500 million cats are companions to people across the world. And that’s great, because owning a cat has been shown to improve mental health and to relieve stress, anxiety and depression. No matter what kind of cat you have black, ginger, Persian, Siamese, Burmese, Bengal, Shorthair, Munchkin, Balinese, RagaMuffin, cuddling your feline friend will always put you in a good mood.
Roll out the red carpet, cat treats and the catnip for your furry feline friend, because International Cat Day is a day to show your feline friends how much you appreciate having them in your life.
Did You know?
A cat’s meow can mean a lot of things, but mostly cat’s meow to communicate with humans more so than other cats. Cat communication is a subtle language. Cat’s mainly communicate with each other with scent and body language. There are 19 different types of meow which differ in pitch, rhythm, volume, pitch and the situation. Meows are usually used to communicate a cat’s wants or needs to their person (i.e. hungry, seeking attention, asking for help).
Fleas and ticks are both pains in the butt and most people assume that fleas and ticks are the are the same but, fleas and ticks are very different. To protect your pets from both of these parasites it’s important to know the differences between them. Here are some differences that separate these parasites.
When it comes to fleas and ticks an ounce of prevention is worth tons of cure. You probably have lots of questions about fleas and flea infestations, like how to protect your family from a harmful attack, what type of disease fleas spread an so on.
We have some answers for some of the more important questions that pet parents ask about fleas: