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Keeping pets happy and healthy with exercise

Welcome, pet lover! Since you have made your way to our website, then you care enough about your furry friend to look for the best information available to provide your animals with a healthy and happy life! Our goal is to share the tips and tricks that we have learned to make that happen for you. Today, we are going to talk about one of the basics of pet ownership: exercise! Although our pet friends may be cute and cuddly, we can’t forget that their ancestors survived by hunting, stalking, running, and catching their prey. Those traits have been passed on to our pets too, even though we provide them with their daily meals, instead of making them catch food themselves! Cats and dogs still need to engage in these activities for optimum physical and mental health. Did you know that regular exercise and playtime are necessary for your dog to not only be healthy, but happy? Just like we humans need to get our hearts pumping, and bodies moving, dogs of every size and breed need regular activity. One of the simplest activities to ensure your pup is getting what he needs, is a brisk walk at least twice daily. The pace can always be modified to allow for an aging, or special needs dog. If your dog has more energy to burn, you can try playing fetch! Just make sure your yard is enclosed, or you go to a dog-friendly park, to keep your pup safe.   And don’t forget about the kitties! Cats need just as much playtime and mental enrichment as dogs. Some felines are...

Valentines and Chocolate

Valentine’s Day is a day for hugs and kisses, love and chocolate. We know you love your pet so give them all of that except the last one. CHOCOLATE is a no-no. Yes even that tiny little piece you think of giving them when they look at you with those lovey eyes. BEFORE YOU DO, READ THIS. Chocolate is derived from the roasted cacao nut and contains an alkaloid called theobromine.  Theobromine is in the same family as caffeine and is a type of stimulant (they both are mythylxanines).  Theobromine stimulates the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and causes a slightly increased blood pressure. Dogs and certain other animals, such as horses and cats, cannot metabolize theobromine as quickly as humans can; this causes the effects to be much more severe than is the case with humans.   The side effects with toxic levels of theobromine in dogs includes: diarrhea, vomiting, increased urination, muscle twitching, excessive panting, hyperactive behavior, whining, dehydration, digestive problems, seizures, and rapid heart rate.  Some of these symptoms, like the rapid heart rate, can ultimately be fatal to the dog. So how much chocolate is too much for a dog?  That depends on the size and age of the dog, as well as what type of chocolate was consumed.  The larger the dog, the more theobromine they can handle without dying.  Older dogs tend to have more problems with the side effects. The approximate amounts of theobromine per ounce of chocolate are as follows: Cocoa powder: 800 mg/oz Baker’s chocolate (unsweetened): 450 mg/oz Dark chocolate: 150 mg/oz Milk chocolate: 50 mg/oz The general rules for the amount...

What is Homeopathy?

Alternative medicinal practices are on the rise for the treatment of our dogs and cats. Homeopathy is one such alternative. Homeopathy is a healing system that was originally developed over 200 years ago. This healing system stimulates your pet’s immune system by using a very diluted, small dose remedy. “Small doses of what?” you might be thinking. Glad you asked. Homeopathic remedies come from plants, animals and minerals. Interesting, no? There’s more. What is Homeopathy used to treat? In short, homeopathic medicine can be used to treat anything, chronic or acute, but many common uses are listed below. Skin irritations Gastric disorders Intestinal disorders Arthritis Asthma Allergies Pain relief without side effects Bites Stings Diarrhea So, how is Homeopathy different from conventional methods of medicine? As we mentioned above, Homeopathy cures ailments by strengthening the immune system. The body fights the disease. On the other hand, conventional methods of medicine only aim to suppress the symptoms of the disease or illness. The disease is never even fought so it still exists and is left to wreck further havoc on the body of your dog! This suppression of symptoms only serves to weaken the body’s immune system thereby making it susceptible to more diseases. Additionally, Homeopathic treatments are safe. There are no chemicals, no dyes. Giving your dog the treatment is easy too. The pellets can be diluted and dissolved in water, ground and dropped in your pet’s mouth or you can easily drop the pellets in your pet’s mouth! Alternately, you can find homeopathic remedies in liquid form. Homeopathy is a holistic approach to treating illness and it works...

The Raw Dog Food Diet

Do you want your dog to be strong and healthy? Rhetorical question, I know but exactly how are you promoting a healthy lifestyle for your dog? A shiny coat, lean muscles, strong bones and fresh breath are all indications of a healthy dog. It should be no surprise to you that you have some control over just how healthy your dog is, within reason of course. Aside from exercise, diet is one sure fire way that you can either help or hurt your dog’s overall health and now more than ever pet parents are leaning towards a raw dog food diet. Why? Many commercial dog foods are downright unhealthy. Fillers, by-products, and cheap fillers are all common ingredients in commercial dog foods. These are all things that should not be entering your dog’s body. A diet with these ingredients can lead to major health issues. Have you read the labels on your commercially packaged dog food? I suggest you do. Raw Diets promote overall good health.   Fatal illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes can’t always be avoided but wouldn’t you like to lessen the chances of your dog developing a fatal illness? Like we mentioned in our opening paragraph, fresh breath, strong bones and muscles, low body fat, and clear skin are all direct results of proper diet and nutritional choices by YOU for your dog. Dental Health is also directly impacted by your dog’s diet. Tartar, bad breath, and gum disease can result from poor nutrition. What starts out as a little tartar and bad breath can turn into an infection. Infections from poor dental health...

What is Cushing’s Disease?

Cushing’s disease has been around since 1912 but doctors of veterinary medicine are diagnosing it now more than ever. Why is that? Experts are not sure if the syndrome has become more prevalent or if veterinary doctors are just looking for and diagnosing it more. What exactly is Cushing’s disease? Cushing’s Disease, otherwise known as hyperadrenocorticism, is the overproduction of cortisol, which is produced by the adrenal glands. There are two types of Cushing’s disease. Pituitary Dependent Cushing’s is brought on by the overproduction of the hormone produced by the pituitary gland, which controls the amount of cortisol produced by the adrenal glands. These adrenal glands are located close to the kidney. The second type, Adrenal Dependant Cushing’s, is caused by a tumor within that same adrenal gland which will also force the release of too much cortisol. Most commonly a disease that afflicts dogs, cats do fall victim to this as well however, very rarely. Most dogs are about six years old when signs of the disease flare up. The main problem with this disease is that when cortisol is released in such large quantities; it affects the functions of many different organs within the body. It also affects the immune system by suppressing it which leads to a variety of issues health wise. Signs and symptoms are rather varied but can be: Loss of appetite Increase in thirst as well as urination Hair loss Itchy and sometimes thin skin Bruises easily Panting and becoming tired easily Diagnosis of this disease is not very straight forward and can take some time to figure out. The symptoms come on...

4 Indications that Your Cat is Stressed Out

In our recent blog Can my dog keep me healthy? we discussed how the simple act of petting an animal can reduce stress. Stress can wreck havoc on our bodies but you should also know that stress is bad for your cat, too. Can you recognize the signs of stress in your cat? If not, keep reading. Actually, keep reading anyway – you might be surprised by some of the signs that can indicate your cat is stressed out. Does your cat have digestive problems? You know, diarrhea, constipation. A lot of poop or not pooping at all? Eek. In fact, if your cat experiences any digestive health issues, he just might be stressed out. It’s not always just about the treats he got into or the food you are feeding him. Discuss this with your vet before changing his food or treats. Stress may be the culprit. You don’t want to ignore this sign because, as we all know, stress can further exacerbate any ailment or illness. Is your cat licking or scratching? If your cat is licking his paws or other parts of his body excessively or grooming himself more than usual, he just might be stressed out. Don’t neglect this sign. Not only could this mean he’s stressed out but, it could be a sign of some other health issue and your cat is trying to make himself feel better. Additionally, behavior disorders can be noted in cats too. Don’t delay and call your vet today to get this figured out. The longer you wait the more distress your cat will be in. Has your cat’s...