Wednesday, October 17, 2018
October is Pet Obesity Awareness Month. It's also a great time to think about the paradigms that lead us to allow our pets to become overweight or obese in the first place.
We've all seen those pet food commercials where Fluffy races around the corner and skids to a halt in front of a heaping - and I mean heaping! - bowl of food. If you'll pardon the obvious pun, this is a huge pet peeve for me. Other advertisements feature toy breeds plowing into portions that would gorge a Golden Retriever. With these types of images bombarding pet parents' senses, it's easy to see why over 60% of America's pets are either overweight or obese.
In their zeal to avoid becoming victims of marketing, many consumers take what is usually a wise course of action, and read the instructions on their pet's food bag for portion sizes. However, the suggested portions printed on these bags are usually enough to make my jaw hit the floor. It's important to remember these are only suggestions, and many food companies would rather err on the side of overfeeding than underfeeding. Additionally, pet food companies are for-profit entities. At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, no pet food company is going to print a label asking consumers to please use less of their product. Generally speaking, I advise my clients to read the recommended feeding amounts on the package, then reduce that amount by roughly 20%. Your veterinary team can best advise you on the best diets for your pet, as well as the portion sizes that fit your pet's individual needs.
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
October is Pet Obesity Awareness Month - and to draw attention to round hound reality, we've asked Charley to be our October Pet Of The Month!
Charley is a six-year-old, mixed breed pound pup with a big heart - and up until recently - an even bigger waistline. Because of his size, he was not a suitable candidate for anesthesia, and he developed severe dental disease. When Charley was adopted, his new mom and dad trashed the treats, changed his diet, and took him for brisk, daily walks. Thanks to their efforts, Charley has lost over nine pounds. That's roughly 22% of his body weight!
Congratulations Charley, and share with all your friends! You're our biggest "loser" - and our Pet Of The Month!
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Is My Cat In Pain?
September is Animal Pain Awareness Month - and now is a great time to look at our furry friends for signs which may indicate discomfort.
While a dog's body language tends to show clinical signs of pain, cats have been described by many in our profession as The Great Masqueraders. Generally speaking, cats will do everything in their power to hide their pain and discomfort. Fortunately, there are many clues you can look for which can point to the presence of pain. When our cats are hurting, they can be a bit temperamental. This makes them more likely than usual to bite or scratch. They may also pant, or have a faster, more shallow pattern of breathing than usual. You may notice changes in their food or water intake, and subsequently, changes in their litter box habits. Any changes in your kitty's gait, mobility or energy level can also be signs of a brewing problem. Cats who stop grooming or who over groom, especially in localized areas of the body might also be trying to tell you something. Finally, be advised that a cat who purrs is not necessarily expressing contentment. Cats who are in pain will often purr to comfort themselves, so excessive purring or any change in vocalization, should be seen as a sign of trouble.
If you suspect your cat is in pain, it's important to take her to her veterinarian as soon as possible. Never give any pain relievers intended for human use, as even a single dose of over-the-counter children's formulas can be fatal to a cat. A thorough examination and routine diagnostics are often all that's needed to diagnose and treat your painful pet.
Saturday, September 1, 2018
This September, our Pet of the Month is Emma! Emma is a 16-month-old Persian princess who loves being cuddled and looking fabulous. While this upscale cutie has no interest in looking for trouble, her mom has her covered with Trupanion Pet Insurance just in case trouble finds her. And since September is Pet Health Insurance Month, there's no better time to reflect on the peace of mind that the price of a modest premium can provide.
Congratulations Emma, and share with all your friends - you're our Pet Of The Month!
|"Don't hate me 'cuz I'm beautiful!"|
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
When it comes to summer temperatures, August in Miami is about as brutal as it gets. While most dog owners are aware of the risks of heatstroke in overly active pets, many are surprised by the effect of heat on dogs who are simply going for a walk.
Temperatures on or near the ground range from ten to forty degrees higher than ambient temperatures. This is especially problematic for darker colored dogs, brachycephalic (or "smush-faced") dogs, or dogs who are lower than usual to the ground. Outdoor exercise for these pets is especially challenging, and heat exhaustion can set in quickly. Additionally the ground temperatures of sidewalks and asphalt can burn the pads of their feet. A good rule of thumb when measuring heat tolerance is to simply place your hand on the pavement. Temperatures which feel uncomfortable for a human are likely to be dangerous to a dog. Until the hottest days of summer have passed, dog owners are advised to schedule walks for early mornings and after dusk.
|Hot street, hot feet!|
Thursday, August 2, 2018
World, meet Leo. our August Pet of the Month!
Leo is a five-year-old tuxedo cat who provides our team with lots of love and cuteness during his stays at our kitty hotel. When he's not playing with his emoji toy, or sampling the newest batch of catnip, Leo enjoys being treated to a leisurely chin scratch. And he's none too shy about helping us find that perfect spot!
Congratulations Leo, and share with all your friends - you're our Pet Of The Month!
|Yup, that's the spot...|
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
One of the most common sources of angst for veterinary professionals is the plight of the underserved cat. Unlike their canine counterparts, many pet cats never venture outdoors. While this is one of the healthiest and most environmentally responsible choices cat owners can make, the result is often a false sense of owner security. It is often assumed that cats who never go outside never get sick, and therefore never need to go to the vet. Complicating matters further is the natural feline instinct to hide the clinical signs of illness for as long as possible.
The most common diseases seen in indoor cats include diabetes, renal failure, hyperthyroidism, dental disease, heart problems, and urinary tract disease. When caught early, all of these conditions are easily managed. Some can be reversed entirely, and others stopped in their tracks simply by changing your cat’s diet or adding a supplement. In advanced stages, however, these conditions become difficult and expensive to treat. Additionally, the cat’s prognosis may be far more uncertain. If your cat lives exclusively indoors and has not had a checkup in over a year, call your veterinarian and schedule a visit as soon as possible. An annual exam can easily add years to the life of your feline companion.
|Indoor cats need checkups too!|