Dogs - Health & Nutrition Fri, 29 Aug 2014 19:55:00 GMT Dogs like Food Variety too! Fri, 29 Aug 2014 19:55:00 GMT <p> <span style="color:rgb(26, 20, 20);font-family:Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;font-size:11px;background-color:rgb(252, 252, 246);">We like variety in our<a href="//" rel="nofollow"> food choices</a> but for our dogs it can be more than just the flavor.  Current research suggests that if we feed the same protein continously over time that dogs are more likely to develop allergies.  Rotating food with different protein sources is a healthier choice and maybe our dogs might even like the change.  There are other causes of allergies but this is one category we can control from day one after we get that new puppy.</span></p> Blog:122294d2-017f-4a1e-9ca3-e2056d4275f7Post:2face30b-7c95-4dbe-a7ac-2fdb1a2481db Roundworms: A Problem at Twenty Degrees Below Zero? How Your Heartworm Preventive Medication Helps Mon, 02 Dec 2013 17:02:00 GMT <p> Roundworms are one of the most common intestinal worms in dogs and are found throughout the U.S.  A single adult roundworm can produce 85,000 eggs per day, so the soil in the environment can become contaminated very quickly.  This can be a real concern in public areas such as dog parks.  Once the soil becomes contaminated, new infections can start very soon again after worming unless preventive measures are taken.</p> <p> Roundworm eggs have a very tough outer coating and are capable of surviving extreme temperatures.  Eggs are capable of surviving temperatures as low as 5<sup>o</sup> F.  However once eggs have matured to the embryo stage, then the embryonated eggs can survive temperatures as low as -20<sup>o</sup> F.  And this is an extreme concern since roundworms can potentially infect humans (usually children that play in dirt or eat dirt).</p> <p> Since roundworms are such a concern, what is the best way to prevent them? </p> <p> Many of the monthly heartworm preventive medications also treat roundworms with each monthly dose.  If your dog is on one of these heartworm preventive drugs that treat roundworms, your dog receives treatment for roundworms every month when you give the drug.  Ask your veterinarian if your heartworm preventive also treats roundworms.</p> <p> So remember, the next time you give your dog its monthly heartworm preventive (even in the winter), you can be protecting your dog and your children against the harmful effects of roundworms.</p> Blog:122294d2-017f-4a1e-9ca3-e2056d4275f7Post:51da4c13-fdb3-4e45-833b-2bbc1ef6b036 Holiday Food Hazards for Pets Tue, 26 Nov 2013 18:32:00 GMT <p> Holidays often involve enjoyable family gatherings and LOTS of food.  But it's also a time with numerous potential hazards for pets.  Veterinarians are often presented with many health problems in animals after holidays.</p> <p> One of the most frequent problems is gastrointestinal upset resulting from feeding table food and most frequently from feeding the scraps from holiday meats (chicken or turkey skin, fat scraps from ham, etc.).  Many of these types of items contain high levels of fats and grease which will often trigger vomiting and/or diarrhea.  Even worse, feeding these types of foods may lead to pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) which can potentially be life-threatening if not treated quickly.</p> <p> Another common problem involves animals that get into the garbage can and eat a variety of foods or trash items.  One of the common culprits is the "string cradle" that comes with many turkeys and is used to lift the cooked turkey out of the roasting pan.  This "cradle" is usually several pieces of string which are joined by plastic beads.  When the turkey is fully cooked, these strings are saturated in the turkey juices and are a "tasty morsel" for pets.  Unfortunately if eaten, the string can be stretched out through the intestines and require surgery for removal.</p> <p> Other trash items can include a variety of items that get covered with juices and gravy making them tasty but DEADLY.  Beware of pieces of aluminum foil, plastic wrap, bones, twist ties, corks from wine bottles and wire used to secure champagne corks.  Keep your trash in a secure container with a lid - not just in plastic trash bags and don't leave food items on the kitchen counter.</p> <p> If your pet has any health issues right after a holiday, be sure to contact your veterinarian right away.</p> Blog:122294d2-017f-4a1e-9ca3-e2056d4275f7Post:c45967a1-7e72-45a3-8d7c-39e102914e3f Fish Oil Supplements - Healthy Cells, Healthy Body Mon, 09 Sep 2013 20:20:00 GMT <p> Healthy cells make healthy organs, healthy organs make healthy systems, and healthy systems make healthy bodies.  Balancing the large array of nutrients required can seem overwhelming, but nature does provide all that is necessary if we could utilize a variety of foods for our pets every day.  Unfortunately, it is too difficult or virtually impossible for most people to gather up such a variety that would be required to balance a pet's ration.  Therefore, we depend upon the dog food industry to make a product that can fill that niche. </p> <p> The big question is, "Does my pet's food provide all the necessary nutrients to support a healthy body or does it just sustain life?"  Remember, your pet can be alive but unfortunately still not healthy.  There is a big difference.  What can we do when we realize there is a deficiency of a particular nutrient?  We can add specific supplements to the daily food ration. </p> <p> A good example is with omega-3 fatty acids.  Fish oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.  Fish oil contains approximately 54% omega-3 fatty acid.  The maximum amount of fish oil that can be added daily is 1000 mg per 20 lbs. of body weight. Most pets usually do not need that much fish oil on a daily basis.  The amount of fish oil needed will vary with age, other dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids, special needs, digestion, level of activity, breed and any pre-existing health issues.  Always check with your veterinarian before starting to give any supplement and to determine the amount of fish oil you could safely add to your pet's daily ration, especially when other health concerns exist. </p> Blog:122294d2-017f-4a1e-9ca3-e2056d4275f7Post:5d2b344b-5921-441d-a21b-8dfce555e25c Obesity in Pets Thu, 22 Aug 2013 15:48:00 GMT <p> Prevention of illness is becoming more important among pet owners, and they aren’t just taking their pets into the veterinarian when they are sick. This is an excellent practice for pet owners to follow, however, there is one health issue that is often considered normal but unfortunately predisposes your pet to more serious diseases. An estimated 40% of the pet population can be classified as obese, and it is the most common nutritional problem encountered in veterinary medicine today. An animal is considered obese when it is 10-15% above its ideal weight. Obesity can lead to other health conditions such as arthritis, respiratory problems, heart disease, skin problems, heat intolerance, urinary problems, diabetes, a shorter lifespan and more.</p> <p> How can you determine if your pet is overweight? When you run your fingers over your pet’s ribs you should be able to feel the ribs easily but not visually see them. When you look from above at your pet’s body shape, you should see a definite waistline just behind the ribs. If you are still unsure if your pet is overweight, ask your veterinarian to examine your pet. Your veterinarian will weigh your pet and determine its ideal weight. </p> <p> If your pet is overweight, your veterinarian can recommend an appropriate diet and exercise plan for you to use with your pet. The weight loss is calculated so it occurs gradually over time. This is extremely important when dealing with cats because they are susceptible to a liver problem (hepatic lipidosis) if their food intake is decreased too rapidly. Make sure everyone involved with caring for the pet is aware of the strict food restriction so extra treats aren’t offered causing the whole plan to fail.  This doesn’t have to mean treats are not allowed. There are reduced calorie and/or low-fat treats available that can be calculated into your pet's reducing diet. There are even <a href="">supplements</a> that can help your dog lose weight easier. Last but not least, don’t forget more exercise.  This is an excellent chance for you <u><em>and</em></u> your pet to get in better shape together.</p> Blog:122294d2-017f-4a1e-9ca3-e2056d4275f7Post:0b095459-378f-4ce2-870f-dc5f8764c33e