Posts Tagged ‘franklin county animal hospital’

Pet Obesity – Is Your Pet Overweight?

September 23, 2010

I’m not fat!  I’m just big boned, pleasantly plump, or maybe a little fluffy!

Call it what you want, but your pet being overweight is a BIG problem.

Is Your Pet Overweight?

Is Your Pet Overweight?

Obesity is a raging problem in our pet population. Its effects are difficult to measure because it contributes to the development of so many painful and life-shortening diseases.

Is Your Pet Overweight?

How do you tell?
Your pet should have a waist when viewed from above and the side. Additionally, you should be able to easily feel the ribs, but not see them. Still unsure, stop by and we will help you evaluate your pet’s weight.

Why is your pet overweight?
It is often a combination of many factors including eating an excess of their own dog food, stealing food from other pets in the household, access to table scraps, too many treats, and inactivity.

If your pet is overweight, the kindest gesture you can provide as a loving pet owner is to help them lose weight. This will take excess weight off of their stressed joints, helping to prevent ligament damage that often requires surgery. You pet will also experience decreased fatigue and pain from arthritic joints-allowing your them to become more active furthering the weight loss. Being overweight can also contribute to other diseases including diabetes and liver disease-especially in cats.

We often view feeding our pets and giving them treats as a sign of affection, but in excess, we will shorten their lifespan and promote the development of unnecessary diseases.

To help your pet lose weight, you must be committed to the goal. Begin by weighing your pet and taking a “before” picture. We love to help our patients lose weight so please stop by anytime and use our scale in the lobby-no appointment necessary.

Dogs and cats can safely lose 1-2% of their body weight each week.  We can help you develop an individualized weight loss plan for your pet.

Look at your pet’s food bag. It will give you specific feeding quantities based on weight. Feed the amount of food for your goal weight, not the current weight. It is very important to MEASURE the amount of food given to your pet daily.  In general, pets are not good at self-regulating, so it is important we do that for them.

There are also prescription weight loss foods that help ensure your pet receives adequate nutrition while reducing calories. Most dog treats are very high in calories and can add up quickly. Choose treats that are low in calories and limit your pet to 1 or 2 treats a day. Good treat options include baby carrots and ice cubes.

We just received a shipment of a great new treats called Meaty d’Lites – each treat has just 10 calories and are a great option for all dogs. There is currently a special that allows to you try a bag for FREE!

Purina d'Lites

Table scraps must be eliminated. Scraps are not only high in calories and fat, but also are simply not good for your pet. Small amounts of human food have a HUGE impact on your pet’s weight.

Increase your pet’s activity level. Start with a 15 minute walk twice a day and slowly increase the time/distance your pet exercises each week. This is a great bonding experience for you and your pet.

Swimming is a super exercise for dogs that enjoy water. Fall is a great time of year to get outside and moving. Winter will soon be here, making activity outdoors a challenge-let’s get started now!

Cats can exercise too. Laser lights and toys are great ways to get your cat up and moving. Some cats can be trained to walk on a leash and really enjoy the time outdoors.

These pet weight loss tips provide a great start for getting you and your pet started on the right track. If you have specific questions concerning your pet’s weight, please contact us.

Until next time-enjoy your four-legged family members! Spoil them with love, your time, and good health-not treats.

I Don’t Really Need to Use Flea Preventative during October, Right?

September 15, 2010

Wrong, wrong, wrong! We recommend using flea preventative all-year round. This is our recommendation because that is what is required to maintain a flea-free pet.

Adult fleas(the ugly little black bugs you can see on your pet) are only a small percentage of the fleas present in your pet’s environment. Flea eggs, larvae and pupae are baby fleas and account for 95% of the fleas in the environment. Additionally, fleas can survive inside your home year-round. Indoor pets, while at a lesser risk, certainly suffer from flea infestation. Fleas are able to gain access into our homes through small openings and can be transported indoors on humans and other pets.

Where do fleas come from?

Adult Flea

Adult Flea

Fleas come from many sources including wild animals and unprotected pets in your neighborhood. It only takes a few moments for a flea-infested animal to infect your yard with fleas-resulting in those fleas hopping on to your unsuspecting pet. It is impossible to avoid all of the possible scenarios that will result in your pet becoming infested with fleas; this means prevention is your best option.

The significance of your pet having fleas is much greater than a few bites here or there. Many pets are allergic to flea saliva causing a full body allergic reaction and intense itching from a single flea bite. Your pet can cause significant damage to himself/herself when they scratch/bite at the fleas. This can lead to a severe bacterial skin infection that will require antibiotics.

Fleas also transmit tapeworms. Tapeworms are passed when your pet consumes a flea. Tapeworms lead to significant weight loss and a decline in overall health of your pet. Tapeworms are also a zoonotic risk (meaning humans can become infected!!).

The answer to this very real risk of constant flea exposure is using a high-quality flea control product every month, year round. It is important to choose a product that has action on not only adult fleas, but also the immature stages. I advise you choose from one of the high-quality flea control products available through your local veterinarian. These products are not only very effective, but are much safer than supermarket brands.

So the answer to the question-yes, your pet needs protection from fleas every month of the year!

Need more information about protecting your pets from fleas? Contact me at New Haven Vet Clinic.

Dental Care For Your Pet Shouldn’t Be Like Pulling Teeth

March 15, 2010

As a responsible pet owner, you know how important quality nutrition and regular veterinary care are to the health of your pet. But did you know that dental health plays an important role in helping to ensure a long and healthy life?

Dogs and cats get plaque on their teeth just like humans do. This is formed by bacteria multiplying on the surface of the teeth. Toxins produced by the bacteria will irritate the gums, causing an infection.

When the plaque hardens it forms tartar. This progresses until the gums pull away from the teeth and leaves pockets that harbor more bacteria and infection. This can cause painful dental abscesses and malodorous breath. If left untreated, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream.

This is where it becomes dangerous! Once the bacteria and infection enters the bloodstream, they can travel to major organs and begin infections in the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, and the nervous system.

To prevent this from happening, check your pet’s gums once a month; a good time to do this is when you give once-a-month heartworm preventative.

Additionally, and most importantly, your pet’s oral health should be assessed at least once a year by your veterinarian; older pets should have their teeth cleaned annually after the age of 5 to 7 years; some individuals may need to begin regular cleanings even sooner.

However, if you notice any bad breath, yellow or brown tooth deposits, red gums, or drooling, you should talk to you veterinarian immediately.

Dental care should not stop after your dog or cat has her teeth professionally cleaned by your veterinarian. Home care is VITAL to prevent gum disease from starting or progressing.

There are several products you can use at home to help keep your pet’s mouth healthy. Specially formulated chews such as Greenies and Hexa-Chews along with a special dental diet will promote healthy chewing and oral cleansing.

Ask our professional veterinary team which products would be best for you and your pet. Leave a comment or email michelle@newhavenvetclinic.com