The Importance of Toys for a Cat's Health - Wellness
Toys should be an important part of your cat's life. Not only do toys provide entertainment and enjoyment, but they also keep your cat healthy. One of the most common health concerns for cats is weight. Indoor cats are particularly susceptible to putting on the pounds from lack of activity. Cats frequently sleep up to 16 hours a day, which makes physical and mental stimulation when they are awake a high priority. Interactive toys can entice your cat into exercising, keeping his muscles strong and flexible. This can be something as simple as an empty box to a laser pointer, teaser and feather toys for your cat to chase.Cats also need interaction and stimulation to relive boredom, anxiety and stress. Stress can exacerbate any pre-existing health problems in your cat and can also lead to aggressive behavior, withdrawal and depression. Toys and playtime will relieve your cat's boredom through interactive entertainment.
Scratching is an instinctual behavior for all cats, so it is important to keep your cat's claws in shape. A cat's claws are important in self-defense and for climbing. Toys such as scratching pads and posts will keep you cat's claws in excellent condition.
Chew toys should be an important part of your cat's dental health routine. These toys, which are often filled with catnip and fibrous catnip stalks, gently scrape soft tartar from your cat's teeth and gums. These chew toys also satisfy your cat's inane desire to chew and bat.
5 Tips to Keep Pets Active This Winter - Wellness
Beat your pet’s winter blues. The following are tips to keep your pet active and happy the whole winter through.
Hide and seek games. Stow treats throughout the house. Your pet will make a game out of sniffing down the treat.
Send your pet to a pet day care for a break. This will allow him to socialize and burn off some excess energy.
Spend more time playing with and engaging your pet. Break out his favorite toy and spend some time interactively stimulating your pet.
Have an indoor play date. Invite a friend with a pet over to mingle. Just make sure you know they get along beforehand.
Take your pet on a road trip. Whether you just drive around so that your pet can see the view or have a destination, like a friend’s house, in mind this will keep your pet occupied.
Choosing the Right Lifestyle for your Puppy - Wellness
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Pet parents take on a tremendous responsibility; the care and wellbeing of a very precious bundle of joy. When every effort is made to provide a superior environment and quality of life for your pet, the rewards are tremendous. Will Rogers once stated "dogs are put on this earth to please man, and they spend 24 hours a day doing just that". Superior nutrition, exercise and regular veterinary check-ups are quintessential to a pet's long, happy and healthy life.
Veterinarian Care We all know that pets age much faster than humans. It's important to remember that subtle changes in behavior and/or physical appearance should not be dismissed, as they may be the first indicator of a developing health issue. It is essential that pets are scheduled for regular annual examinations by a trusted veterinarian to monitor for any changes in your pet that can be detected only by a trained professional. Your veterinarian is dedicated to providing your pet with the very best care possible and it is absolutely necessary for him to regularly examine your pet in order to maintain the highest level of care for your pet.
Excercise As with humans, exercise is essential for a happy and long life of your pet. Exercise doesn't have to be strenuous in order to be beneficial to your pet's wellbeing. Regular exercise is key, so set aside a brief period of time each day dedicated to physical activity for your pet. Doing this on a regular basis also gives your pet something to look forward to each day and strengthens the bond with your pet. Reward your puppy with a healthy treat such as Wellness Just for Puppy Treats.
Nutrition and Well-Being All puppies need a diet that encourages an active immune system. The immunity puppies receive from the mother's milk will not last forever. Probiotics are an essential part of the digestive immune system. Puppies need to acquire these "good bacteria" from the environment to maintain a healthy intestinal tract and help fight illness and disease. Diets like Wellness Super5Mix Just for Puppy add Probiotics after the food has cooled, making it ideal for all puppies.
Customize Your Puppy's Diet Ideally, optimum diets for all stages of life are essential for a long, happy and healthy existence. This begins with puppy hood and continues well into the senior years of your dog. An ideal diet for puppies depends on many factors, not the least of which is whether the pup is a large breed or a small breed. The nutritional needs are very different for each.
Small breed puppies, such as the Jack Russell Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, and Miniature Pinscher require more calories per pound than larger breed puppies as they generally are highly active by comparison. Omega 3 fats such as Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are critical in small breed puppies for enhanced brain development, healthy skin and coat. Because small breeds are more active, they can be susceptible to low blood sugar levels. To combat low blood sugar levels, your puppy should be fed small, energy rich portions on a frequent basis. It is also important to have adequate levels of fiber in the diet to help maintain a steady blood sugar level.
Large breed puppies such as Great Danes, Saint Bernards, and Labrador Retrievers require a far different diet from their small breed relatives. Controlled growth is essential for large breed puppies. These breeds actually need fewer calories per pound than the small breeds. With a potential growth of up to 100 times their birth weight, a large breed puppy's energy intake must be regulated to ensure consistent, steady growth. If weight gain is too rapid, the result is stress on the developing bones which can lead to one of several severe developmental bone disorders. A slightly lean body condition throughout the first 10 to 12 months of life helps to maintain proper development of your puppy, while reducing the potential for problems. Optimum calcium and phosphorus levels, in the proper ratio to one another, are also critical for proper growth. Supplements that reduce the stress on developing joints such as glucosamine are an ideal diet supplement for these pups. As with the small breeds, the large breeds also need optimum levels of DHA in order to enhance brain development and a healthy skin and coat.
Disaster Planning For Pets
Don't Leave Home Without Them! The single most important thing you can do to protect your pets in an emergency is to take them with you when you evacuate. To be sure you can safely & quickly evacuate with your pets, plan in advance.
Before Disaster Strikes
Make sure all your pets have properly fitted collars with your current license tag, rabies tag and personal identification with your current address and phone number. It also helps if the tag has the phone number of a relative who can be contacted if you are ever separated from your home and cannot answer the phone.
Consider getting your pet Microchip Identification. Most shelters can scan for information that helps owners to be quickly reunited with their pets. Several telephone numbers may be associated with the microchip allowing out of the area friends or relatives to be contacted if the emergency leaves us without telephone service. The procedure is quick and humane.
Have current color photographs of all your pets. If you and your pets become separated these photos will make it easier to identify them.
Acquire a pet carrier for each of your pets, especially cats. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand up and turn around inside. Take the time to familiarize you pet to being in the carrier before you need it in an emergency.
Examine your home to determine the best place to keep your pet in an emergency such as a garage, utility room, bathroom, kitchen or other room which will be easy to clean.
Make some calls to determine what you will do with your pets in the event of a disaster. Call trusted friends or relatives inland or in areas less likely to be affected by the disaster to see if they can care for your pets during the emergency.
Survey boarding kennels and veterinary hospitals in advance to find out which might be able to take care of your pets in an emergency.
All Natural or Organic Pet Diet - P&G Pet Care
Consider This From a business perspective, market change is a fact of life. The significance and depth of the change is what establishes the differentiation between the superficial or “fad” and a substantive market trend. Currently the pet food market is experiencing a push toward “all-natural”, “holistic”, and “organic”, the significance of which is still to be determined. The question becomes, is there an actual benefit to an “all-natural”, “holistic”, or “organic” diet?
How AAFCO defines “natural” “…derived solely from plant, animal or mined sources … not containing any additives or processing aids that are chemically synthetic except in amounts as might occur unavoidably in good manufacturing practices”
Consider this, loosely interpreted, this definition could include: tobacco; marijuana; cocaine; feces, or urine.
Would any of these “all-natural”, “holistic”, and “organic” sources be considered healthy additives? Of course not. So it is apparent that regulatory work is needed to define the true beneficial use of these terms. Also noteworthy is the fact that nowhere within the definition are plant and animal by-products excluded. Not only are they “natural” but, they contribute valuable nutrients as ingredients in human and animal foods.
Holistic The term “holistic” is not distinctly defined by any of the regulatory agencies as a classification for food. This is particularly noteworthy in pet food because all diets sold commercially must be “Complete and Balanced” for a designated age or activity level. This is the equivalent of providing a diet that meets all the nutritional needs of that particular animal; in other words a “holistic” dietary approach.
Organic Organic food is produced with renewable resources, conserving both soil and water without using conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients; bioengineering; or radiation. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Before a product can be labeled “organic,” a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards.
Whether organic food provides any additional safety or nutritional value is still being debated by experts and even the USDA refuses to take a position. It is also important to note that there are no strict requirements for organic pet food right now and many companies are taking advantage of the laxity in definition and lack of enforcement. For example, calling a food “organic” when in fact only one ingredient (the grain source or animal protein source) may truly meet the criteria.
There is tremendous confusion surrounding the significance of these terms. Wide-spread use without substantiation has forced several government and “watch-dog” consumer groups to become involved; this will result in more education and clarification as to what these terms really mean to the consumer. But, for now usage of these terms require your consideration.
Rotational Feeding - Natures Variety
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Rotational feeding should start as soon as your puppy or kitten can eat solid food. Start by mixing raw frozen meats with various flavors of kibble or canned food. Eventually increase the amount of raw foods so that your pet is eating from the each of the three food groups, raw, canned and kibble. However, it is not necessary that you do this for each meal. Feeding your pet just kibble and raw meat or kibble and canned food for breakfast and then canned food mixed with raw meat for dinner are perfectly acceptable combinations. The idea is simply to offer your pet variety.
Introducing an older pet to rotational feeding may require a little patience. Some owners find that gently cooking raw food and serving it with kibble or canned food is helpful in easing the transition. It is suggested that you gradually reduce the cooking time of the meats until your pet can eat them raw. Cats, on the other hand, may not like the crunchy texture of kibble after acquiring a taste for canned food. Blending small amounts of kibble into the canned food or adding a little natural chicken broth over the kibble may make their new diet more palatable.
Each pet is unique, with its own likes and dislikes. If your pet has an aversion to one flavor or another, try reintroducing it after a few months. You may be surprised when your pet accepts it! If your pet has already developed food allergies, a stricter diet may be necessary for your pet until the allergy subsides. Once under control, your pet may be able to tolerate small amounts of the problematic ingredient with rotational feeding (as always, consult with your veterinarian first). Raw frozen diets have proven to be excellent alternative for pets with food allergies.
One brand of pet food on the market makes starting a rotational diet easy. Nature's Variety offers dog and cat food in three forms, raw, kibble and canned. Each formulation is available in several animal proteins (chicken, beef, lamb, rabbit, duck, venison, salmon and organic chicken) and offers complete, balanced nutrition for all life stages. So check out a rotational diet for your pet and watch their eyes light up at mealtime!