Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Warming Up Your Dog for Spring

Even a mild winter usually ends up adding weight to your dog and causing some muscle loss due to holiday treats and inactivity. The first sunny and warm days of spring rekindle thoughts of outdoor summer fun. It’s not going to take much motivation to get your dog outdoors and active in the warm sunshine. However, you do need to take some precautions to build up stamina and prevent injuries:

Friday, March 10, 2017

Keeping Playtime Fun and Creative for Your Cat

Regardless of your cat's age or personality, chances are they enjoy playtime. However, like humans, cats get bored with doing the same thing over and over again. That's why it's important to keep your cat's playtime creative and fun. Use the following few tips to keep playtime exciting for your pet:

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Importance of Moisturizing Paw Pads and Skin

Do you struggle with dry skin during the winter? If so, it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that this problem can affect dogs as well. Not only can winter conditions cause a dog's skin to get quite dry, but it can also impact their paw pads. In fact, a dog's paws can go right past dry and end up visibly rough or even cracked.
A common sign of this condition is a dog that repeatedly licks its paws. But even if you don't notice that happening, it's worth getting your dog and checking out its paws. When you inspect them, you'll notice that they're quite thick. Just keep in mind that despite being designed to stand up to less than ideal conditions, a dog's paws may need some extra help from you.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

How a Rotational Diet Can Help Your Pet in the Winter and Beyond

The cold weather and often harsh conditions can be hard on animals of all sizes. Both dogs and cats may need some extra help during this time of the year to stay warm. The same is true for keeping their skin and coats healthy.

 One way to address this kind of issue is by giving your pet food with heartier proteins. Specifically, both lamb and fish with oils work really well. If you're wondering how to introduce these new options into your pet's diet, feeding a rotational diet is a strategy that works very well.

The Basics of a Rotational Diet 

Although people may eat the same meal on a regular basis if they're trying to lose weight or have another issue related to health, most of us enjoy a lot of variety with your food. While there's nothing wrong with consistently feeding your pet the same type of food (as long as it's one that's nutritionally balanced), the concept of a rotational diet is something that's gotten a lot of attention in recent years thanks to enthusiastic support by a number of prominent veterinarians.

 Even though a rotational diet is something you can customize to your specific pet, the basic concept is to feed a variety of protein sources and food forms. By taking this approach, your pet will get to enjoy new tastes on a regular basis. This can help create excitement when it's time for your pet to eat. And by feeding different forms, you can help ensure your pet gets enough water. Utilizing this type of variety in a pet's diet has also been linked to reducing the risk of food intolerances and allergies.

More Information About Feeding a Rotational Diet

 It's generally easiest to introduce a pet to this type of feeding when it's still a puppy or kitten. However, that doesn't mean you can't do it for an older dog. Just be aware that getting your pet used to all the variety may take a little bit of time. One helpful tip is to keep a log of when and what your pet eats. This will help you spot any trends.

If you have any other questions about following this type of feeding strategy for your pet, we'd love to talk to you about it. You can easily reach us by calling 513-502-0407.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Making New Year's Resolutions for the Sake of Your Pet

New Year’s is the perfect opportunity to think about what you want from life during the next twelve months. Once you know what you want the most, you can make relevant resolutions. While there’s nothing wrong with popular resolutions like spending more time with family or losing weight, we want to focus on a different group of resolutions.

Specifically, we want to focus on resolutions related to your pet. Given all the joy that a pet can bring to your life, it’s normal to want to provide the best quality of life for your pet. But with all the challenges and obligations that life can bring, it’s normal to get overwhelmed and fall short in some areas of pet care. Fortunately, you can always make improvements if you’re willing to prioritize doing so, which is exactly what we’re going to focus on now:

1. Socialize

Not every pet wants to socialize in large settings like dog parks. However, almost all pets enjoy playing with a companion that’s similar in size. So if you not only want to spend more time playing with your pet but also want it to reap the benefits of being around other animals, committing to consistently arranging 1-on-1 play dates is a great resolution. While cat playdates may be more difficult because there is much more to consider - territory, anxiety, watching over them, neutral zones, transport - they are still possible, just trickier. 

2. Measure Your Pet’s Food

By using high-quality pet food ingredients, we’re able to ensure that dogs and cats get the nutrients they need. While eyeballing the serving size of your pet’s food may seem good enough, the variance in servings can really add up over the course of daily feedings. Resolving to use a measuring cup is a simple but very effective way to optimize your pet’s food intake.

3. Save Money

Even if your pet seems incredibly healthy, there’s always the chance of an accident or other incident requiring significant medical care. Since you never want to be in a position where you have to compromise about this kind of care, making a resolution to creating a savings fund for your pet can provide a lot of peace of mind. In terms of how much to save, a poll by Angie’s List about this topic found that 34% of respondents paid between $251 and $500 for an emergency vet visit, while 16% spent as much as $1,000 or more.

4. Check Your Pet’s Tag and/or Microchip

Although it’s something you will only need to do a couple of times a year, resolving to check your pet’s tag and/or microchip for accurate information can make all the difference in the event your pet ever accidentally gets out of your home. There are different types of chips and multiple registry databases, which means some chip companies let you do everything online and others require you to call them.

5. Try Something New Together

While all of the ideas for resolutions we’ve covered are great for both pets and their owners, trying something new together is our personal favorite. Whether it’s swimming with your dog or giving your cat the opportunity to see if it likes walking outside on a leash, introducing a new activity into your routine will give you a great new way to bond with your pet throughout the new year! 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Human Foods That Dogs CAN Eat This Holiday

While larger dogs are generally better able to tolerate different foods than smaller breeds, there are a couple of key reasons why feeding table food to dogs isn’t the best thing to do. Not only will this inevitably result in dogs eating substances that aren’t great for their health, but it also trains them to beg for food.

Although this isn’t a practice we encourage, we also understand that dogs are a big part of families, which means there may be times when you want to include your pooch in a meal. This is especially true during special occasions like Thanksgiving. However, it’s important to mention that pancreatitis cases in dogs spike during the holiday season. The increase in this condition, which can unfortunately be fatal, is the result of dogs being fed a surplus of fatty foods.

So if you’re looking for the best way to include your dog in a meal without going overboard or feeding foods that might not be safe or healthy, we’ve put together a list of holiday suggestions for you:

1. Apples

Since apple pie is filled with sugar, you should avoid it and instead opt for regular apples. Just be sure to provide slices that don’t include the core, as ingesting too many apple seeds can make a dog sick. With apples and the next two items on our list, it’s best to choose fresh and certified organic whenever possible.

2. Sweet Potatoes

As with apple pie, candied yams have a lot of sugar. That’s why you should skip those and go with regular sweet potatoes. Vitamin C, fiber, Vitamin B6 and beta carotene are all healthy elements found in sweet potatoes. A very important thing to remember is you need to cook sweet potatoes before giving them to your dog! Doing so will ensure your dog can easily digest this food and has the added benefit of bringing out the sweet flavor.

3. Pumpkin

Even though pumpkin pie may be a favorite around the Thanksgiving table, it continues the trend of goodies with a bit too much sugar for dogs. However, dogs can safely eat pumpkin and most definitely enjoy doing so. Keep in mind that pumpkin tends to have a direct positive impact on a dog’s digestive system, so you’ll want to limit the amount you give to your dog in a single sitting.

4. Green Beans

Given the cream and other elements that tend to go in green bean casserole, it often ends up being too rich for a dog to digest without problems. But if you want to give your dog a Thanksgiving treat that has plenty of Vitamin K, plant fiber, Vitamin C and manganese, plain green beans are the perfect option. It’s worth noting that fresh, canned and frozen green beans are all fine for dogs to eat in moderation. Just be sure that if you go with canned, you choose a brand that doesn’t have added salt.

5. Yogurt

If everyone is enjoying dessert and you want to give your dog something sweet that’s not too heavy on sugar, yogurt is a great option. As long as you pick a brand that’s made without artificial sweeteners, your dog will enjoy this treat and get a dose of calcium & protein in the process.

6. Bonus: Pet Wants Beef Jerky

While any of the items we covered above are fine for your dog to snack on during Thanksgiving, if you want to provide a snack that’s going to make your dog super happy, Pet Wants beef jerky is the perfect option. Available as treats in 1/8 or 1/4 pound sizes, our house-made jerky is made with human grade top round steak and marinated overnight to create a tasty flavor your pooch will absolutely love!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Why Do Cats Arch Their Backs?

Halloween is coming up very soon, and we hope you’ve been having plenty of spooky fun all October long. There are a lot of different symbols associated with this holiday, including black cats. While black cats can be depicted in a variety of ways on Halloween decorations and other items, having an arched back is one of the most common poses.

If you have a cat of any color, you’ve probably noticed it posing in this way. Curious about what a cat is trying to communicate when it arches its back? Keep reading to get the full answer:

1. Intimidation

When cats are depicted with their backs arched, they may also be shown to have a snarl on their face. Although this pose can be quite intimidating, it’s actually the result of a cat being scared. If a cat senses any type of threat and wants to protect themselves, they may assume this pose to show that threat just how tough they are. An arched back that’s triggered by this emotion may also be accompanied by spitting, growling or hissing. If your cat acts this way, you’ll want to see if you can figure out what’s triggering it. And if you ever encounter a cat outside that’s displaying this combination of behaviors, it’s best to keep your distance.

2. Playfulness

Just because a cat arches its back doesn’t mean it feels scared and is trying to intimidate whatever is around it. This behavior may occur when a cat is feeling playful. As you may have guessed from our detailed description above, the best way to figure out whether arching is the result of a negative or positive emotion is by seeing what other signs your cat is showing. If your cat’s back is arched and it’s pouncing or hopping instead of doing things like showing teeth, chances are very good that your pet is in the mood to play.

3. Stretching

In addition to intimidation and playfulness, it’s possible for a cat to arch its back without having any specific message to communicate. This pose can be as simple as a cat stretching. Similar to how humans stretch throughout the day, a cat may just be loosening up or working out some kinks. The main difference is because cats are so flexible, stretching via an arch is usually much more noticeable in them than it would be a human.

When it comes to figuring out if your cat is arching its back for intimidation, playfulness or stretching, you can generally pinpoint the reason by taking other context clues into account. Now that you know more about what this type of body language means from your cat, we hope this helps with your kitty communication:) - Pet Wants Hamilton