Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Health Treat Ideas for Your Pets

By Tracy Frost 

In today’s world our pets have become a huge part of our family and we tend to spoil them by giving them special snacks; but are we giving them the right ones?  Many times those treats are actually harming our pets.  Even those we buy at the store are high in fats and causes our pets to gain unwanted weight which can lead to many physical problems and other health issues. Table scraps can be even worse.  Oily and fatty foods, which are often found on our tables, can lead to severe dog/cat health problems such as diarrhea, vomiting, and pancreatitis. Even worse, there are several people foods that are highly toxic to animals. Onions or any food prepared with them, for instance, can be unsafe for dogs/cats and should never be given to them.  Table foods also contain a higher amount of sodium, which can be harmful to our old pets, or any animal that suffers from some types of kidney, liver, or heart disease. The excess sodium can cause high blood pressure or the accumulation of excessive body fluid. So here are some easy natural and health alternative to try.


Brown rice: is an especially good food for dogs with upset stomachs. 

Red Peppers: are packed with vitamins and dogs love their sweet taste.

Pumpkin: is rich in carotenoids, beta-carotene, alpha carotene, fiber, zinc, iron, vitamin A, and potassium.  It can also help your dog lose weight because it’s low in fat, but filling.

Apple slices:  are a great sweet treat, but also contains calcium, vitamin K, Vitamin C and pectin.

Quinoa: is different type of grain that is great for dogs that have grain sensitivities and, like brown rice, is great at settling the stomach.

Carrots: you can feed these raw, as a crunchy snack to help reduce tartar, or you can cook them and add to your dog’s dinner.

Cauliflower/Broccoli: are great cancer-fighting cruciferous vegetables that dogs love. (Just remember too much can cause your dog to have gas).

Dehydrated Apricots: these are great for those dogs who have a sweet tooth.



Fish: Most cats love fish, and it can provide some much needed nutrients for them.

Eggs: Eggs are great for cats because they're rich in protein.

Meat: animal meat is one of the safest human foods to give a cat.

Broccoli: If you notice your cat chomping on house plants, try feeding it a small portion of steamed broccoli. This could satisfy their desire for greens, and keep them away from potentially toxic house plants. Veggies, like plants and grass, can also help your cat clear up digestive troubles.

Melon: melon could be a good bite to feed cats to stop them from chewing on house plants. Cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon are fine for your cat to ingest in small quantities, as long as seeds are removed. The fruits can help your feline with digestive issues.

Spinach: Once again, if your cat is craving some green stuff, spinach can be a good way to go.  Especially when you are trying to help your pet relieve tummy troubles. Spinach should not be fed to cats with a history of urinary or kidney problems, since the calcium oxalates in the leaf can form crystals in the urinary tract.

Cheese:  Cheese is a good source of protein for felines, but since many cats are lactose intolerant, larger portions can cause digestive issues. Try feeding your feline friend cottage cheese or low-lactose cheeses before attempting anything richer.



Broccoli: Vitamins A and C, plus B vitamins and calcium. Good fiber, low fat.

Kale: Vitamins A, C, and K, plus calcium and beta-carotene. Found in most grocery stores. Clip raw pieces to cage bars or wedge in toys.

Blueberries:  Vitamin C and antioxidants. Not as carbohydrate-rich as some fruits, but feed sparingly.

Sweet Potatoes: Calcium, Vitamins A, B, C, and E – serve small portions; they are high in starches and sugars.

Carrots: Beta-carotene, Vitamins B and C, and folic acid. Slice in sticks so birds can hold like foot toys.

Almonds: Lower in fat than many nuts. Feed only as an occasional treat – in shell for larger birds or in pieces for smaller birds.

Papaya: Beta-carotene and fiber without the fat. Serve dried pieces in moderation due to high carb count.

Red peppers: Vitamin C, beta-carotene, and fiber – plus mostly water, so low in calories.

Peas: Vitamins A and C, calcium, and potassium. Serve in pod for large birds.

Wheat grass:  Antioxidant vitamins and minerals – grow and serve in a pot to encourage natural preening behaviors.


***  Dangers foods for Dogs and Cats: ***



                                                 MACADAMIA NUTS
                                                 GARLIC (feline)




Trick or Treat

By Amy Marcum, LVT

1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup oatmeal
2 cups soy flour (or whole wheat)

Preheat oven to 375
Makes 2 dozen
Prep time: 20 min  Cook Time: 40 min

  Combine pumpkin, water, oil, cinnamon, and
nutmeg in a bowl.  Stir well.

Gradually add oatmeal and flour.  Form a dough.

Roll dough to 1/4 inch thick.
Cut with a cookie cutter.

Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 375 for
 40 minutes.
Treats should be medium brown on the bottom
If bones are not bone hard then add an additional
5 minutes.  Store in an airtight container or you can
freeze them.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


By Erin St. Charles, LVT 

Cats are strict carnivores and in their natural environment get nutrients from their prey animal's tissues.  This results in a high protein, moderate fat and low carb diet.  Vitamins, minerals and water round out the diet of our feline companions.  Commercially made foods that meet AAFCO standards and have had feeding trial studies done are considered complete or balanced diets and contain the proper levels of each nutrient requirement.
      ·         PROTEINS:
Provide the building blocks of tissues through amino acids. Amino acids are manufactured by the cat and also come from meat and by-product meal.
·         FATS:
Supply energy, essential fatty acids and promote absorption of fat- soluble vitamins Provide palatability Contribute to healthy skin and hair coat.
·         CARBS:
       Provide energy.
·         VITAMINS:
Necessary for chemical reactions in the body and needs fat to be absorbed ( can't convert   vitamins from vegetables) Cats make their own Vit C, and require more Vit B than most species  If you are feeding a complete and balanced commercial diet, supplementation is not needed.
·         MINERALS:
Necessary for structural building and chemical reactions. If you are feeding a complete and balanced diet, supplementation is not needed.
·         WATER:
                    Most important nutrient.
Clean and fresh water should be available at all times. You can also feed canned food that has 75% water content. Adding water to dry food can also increase water intake. 

It is best to choose a complete and balanced diet that matches your cat's life stage and activity level.  Recommendations for feeding amounts are typically on the food bag.  Be aware that these amounts may need to be adjusted to each individual cat but it is good place to start.   

·         Raw diets while high in proteins, increases the risk of parasites, pathogenic bacteria and     nutrient deficiencies which can cause severe medical issues.
·         Milk can be difficult for some cats to digest and can lead to diarrhea.
·         Homemade diets can be difficult to balance and can lead to nutritional deficiencies, over supplementation and possibly cause severe medical issues.  It is best to contact a veterinarian or animal nutritionist to be sure a homemade diet is balanced and appropriate.
·         Over feeding leads to obesity. 

Obesity in cats can lead to many health issues such as:
·         Liver disease
·         Heart disease
·         Kidney disease
·         Respiratory problems
·         Constipation
·         Diabetes
·         Arthritis 

  • Measuring food
  • Feed on a set schedule
  • Limited treats and no table scraps
  • Exercise- areas for climbing, laser lights, regular playtime, feeders that dispense food while cat plays with it
  • light formula or prescription weight loss food. 

       **Hill's makes a variety of prescription weight loss foods for cats.

-Metabolic has added antioxidants and is formulated for an efficient metabolism
 -r/d is low in fat and high in fiber for a low calorie food
 -w/d is a low calorie, low fat food with added antioxidants and is good for diabetics
 -m/d is a low carb, high protein food with added antioxidants.

For more information on weight loss go to Hill's Prescription Diets





Thursday, October 9, 2014

Weight Loss and Weight Control Diets

By Tammy Washburn, LVT
Pet obesity is becoming more and more common.  It is estimated that 50% of pets are overweight.  By keeping our pets at a healthy weight they are less likely to have back problems, difficulty with mobility due to arthritis, and stay active.  There are numerous food companies with a wide variety of diets available.  At this clinic we carry Hills Diets, as they are one of the top dog food companies.  Other companies that we recommend include Purina, Iams, and Royal Canin.  Here are a few descriptions of diets to help you choose which one is best for your pet.

Canine Diets

Metabolic Diet – Is specially formulated to help obese dogs lose weight and once that target weight is reached the dog can remain on this diet.  It has been shown to be 88% effective in 2 months.  It provides the dog with antioxidants to support vitality and holistic health.  This product works with the dog’s unique metabolism to help it lose weight.
R/D- Is primarily for weight loss.  It is shown to reduces body fat by 22% in two months.  High levels of L-carnitine burns fat and maintains lean muscle.
W/D- Is a weight control diet.  Once your pet has reached its ideal weight W/D can be fed to maintain a healthy weight.  High levels of fiber makes the dog feel full after eating a smaller portion.
Ideal Balance Slim and Healthy- Natural Ingredients balanced for a healthier weight.  It helps to burn calories and lose weight in 10 weeks and maintain muscle mass.  This food contains natural grains and fibers for dogs 1-6 year of age.
 For more information on these diets and to help you decide which diet is best for your pet visit www.hillspet.com/weight-management/pet-fitness.html. Click on Weight Check Tool.

 How do you know if your pet is overweight?
  This chart will help guide you.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Could Osetoarthritis be eaffecting you pet?

By: Jane Bishop
Does your pet have a hard time getting around? If your answer is yes, then your pet may be suffering from osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by progressive inflammation and deterioration of the soft tissue, cartilage, and bone in one or more joints, which leads to pain and decreased mobility. It will affect one out of