This Summer, Don’t Overlook the Importance of Pet Hydration

There’s a big emphasis on your pet’s nutrition, but of all the nutrients necessary to their survival water is number one. 

Water helps pets maintain a healthy temperature, especially when they pant or sweat through their paws. Water is also essential for digestion, blood flow, waste removal, and sustaining healthy body tissue. In fact, water accounts for approximately 70% of a pet’s weight. With 70-90% of their body’s tissue consisting of water, adequate pet hydration is a big priority.

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Forever, For Always: Grieving the Loss of a Pet

There is nothing so heartbreaking as the loss of a loved one. This loss permeates our entire being and takes time for us to fully process all of the emotions it brings. The same is true when we lose a beloved pet – there is something missing that will never again be regained, only to be accepted. 

You may be grieving the loss of a pet and wonder how you can move through this painful time. Grief is both poignant and it changes us, but we do come out stronger and with greater understanding of our capacity to love and heal. The team at The Pets Place Animal Hospital is here for you, to give you some comforting tips on coping with the loss of a pet.

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Feline Nutrition in a Nutshell

Having a cat in your home is a bit like hosting a miniature lion. The domestic feline has a lot in common with its wild ancestors, but its lifestyle tends to be a little more on the tame side. 

When it comes to feeding our kitty companions, there is a lot to consider. Cats have some special nutritional needs that we need to know about to be successful caretakers. Luckily for you, The Pet’s Place Animal Hospital knows all about feline nutrition and is happy to help you understand.

Kitty Considerations

Cats are not the same as dogs and it really starts to show when you compare their diets. As obligate carnivores, cats have certain nutritional needs that can only be met by eating meat. Some basic differences include:

  • They need vitamin A in their diets and are unable to convert beta carotene like their dog friends.
  • The feline species requires very high levels of thiamine in their diet.
  • Cats need several amino acids such as taurine that are found only in meat in their diet. 
  • Cats need far more protein than do dogs.
  • Prolonged decreases in calorie intake can result in serious health consequences for cats. 

Balancing a cat’s diet can be tricky. It can be tempting to hop on the bandwagon of different diet trends, but they aren’t always a good choice.

A commercially prepared diet is best to ensure that your cat is receiving all the nutrients they need in the right amounts and ratios. If you really want to make your own diet, working with a board certified veterinary nutritionist is the way to go. 

A Word About Obesity and Feline Nutrition

If your little lion is on the overweight side, you’re not alone. Most cats in the United States (about 60%) are at least somewhat overweight

Being overweight increases your pet’s risk of many health conditions including osteoarthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular issues, urinary problems, and even cancer. Talking with your veterinarian about the appropriate number of calories is a great place to start when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight.  

Keeping your kitty svelte isn’t always easy, but it is important. Be sure to:

  • Know your cat’s allowed daily calorie intake (please ask us for help determining this, but most cats need between 180 and 250 calories per day)
  • Remember that treats have calories as well and count them in your daily totals
  • Choose low calorie treats like a small about of tuna in water
  • Measure your cat’s food so that you know how many calories you are feeding
  • Consider substituting in some canned food, which tends to be less calorie dense due to its water content, for the kibble
  • Encourage activity at meal time with indoor hunting feeders or interactive food bowls
  • Avoid the urge to allow your cat free access to food, instead refresh the bowl frequently or encourage the use of a more interactive feeder
  • Offer playtime instead of food when your cat begs

If you decide that a diet is in order for your cat, it is important to remember that slow and steady weight loss is key for kitties. A crash diet can result in a serious condition called hepatic lipidosis.

As you probably already know, cats aren’t always fans of change. A sudden alteration in diet or routine is not likely to be met with enthusiasm. Rather, make changes gradually, offering a small amount of a new food or a new routine each day.

Feline nutrition may not always be intuitive, but it is an important part of keeping your cat healthy and happy. You are what you eat, and that goes for cats as well as us. 

Messy Pants: Is It Time for Dog Diapers? 

If you have kids, you are well aware of the trials and tribulations of the diaper phase of their development. But diapers serve an important purpose during this time, as you well know. 

You may be surprised to know that dogs can sometimes need diapers and for a variety of health and behavioral conditions, too. While the thought of a doggie diaper may be upsetting, through the use of these garments, many pets will experience a better quality of life (and so will you).

The team at Pets Place Animal Hospital is here to shed light on the hows and whys of dog diapers, and whether or not your pet can benefit from them.

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The Facts About Feline Kidney Disease 

Cats may be pretty good about keeping their problems hidden, but despite their best efforts it isn’t always possible. And sometimes, it can actually make things worse!

One example of this commonly encountered at The Pets Place Animal Hospital is renal dysfunction. Many cats suffer from decreased kidney function but are able to keep things under wraps until it has progressed to the point that they can no longer compensate.

Feline kidney disease is one example of why being a vigilant pet owner is so very important. 

The Kidney’s Role

Most people have some idea about what our kidneys do. While they are primarily responsible for producing urine, they really are vital in so many more body functions. A normal kidney:

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The Pet’s Place Animal Hospital Reveals the Top Pet Care Blogs of 2019 

Now that the holidays are over we can collectively take a few quiet moments to reflect on the previous year. We all have our regrets and victories that keep us going through the next calendar year. If anything, the mistakes endured and the successes enjoyed can help us set goals for the months ahead. 

The year 2020 will be a great year for pets, we know that for sure. With more owner involvement than ever before, along with veterinary advancements, we can safely say that this new year will bring greater health to the animals we know and love. To that end, our pet care blogs will continue to center on the growing needs of pets and their people, and we are happy to be an important resource for you.

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Holiday Fun With Pets

The holidays are synonymous with festive celebrations, parties, gift giving, and fun with loved ones. And since over 70% of us consider our pets to be family, it’s only natural that we want to include them in the fun, too. 

If you need ideas for how to have holiday fun with pets, keep reading! Our team at The Pet’s Place Animal Hospital is sharing some safe and wonderful ways to celebrate the season together. 

Holiday Fun with Pets

There are many ways to get out and about with your pets, even in the wintertime here in sunny California. Check out these holiday and winter outing ideas:

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What Are Hairballs, Exactly, and Are They Really Normal?

If you’ve never seen or heard a cat hacking up a hairball, you might be pretty shocked the first time you experience it. Without a doubt, the sight of a cat all scrunched up, leaning over, and trying to bring something up can be quite alarming.

While cat hairballs are really common, they aren’t always 100% normal. It’s up to a discerning cat owner to know the difference between ordinary hairballs and worrisome ones.

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Forgetting Something? Halloween Pet Safety Made Easy

A white dog dressed in costume as a devil-witch sits on a porch decorated with Jack-o-lanterns

Whether it’s the search for the best Game of Thrones costume, or the pursuit of the spookiest Halloween cookie recipe, we can definitely get a little distracted from our normal routines this time of year. Coast to coast, we immerse ourselves in as many as seasonal offerings as possible. 

The Halloween festivities are all in good fun, of course, but our pets don’t know that. Even the most even-tempered pet can get pretty freaked out by all the noise and confusing decorations. A mindful approach to Halloween pet safety is not only critical for your pet’s well being, it’s important for yours too!

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Understanding Differences Between Luxating Patella and Hip Dysplasia

For pets (and people), pain comes with the territory of getting older. But that doesn’t mean we have to accept it! If we can figure out a way to minimize or eliminate pain, the pets we know and love can get back to doing the activities they enjoy.

There are lots of ways to support an aging dog’s mobility, and understanding common issues like luxating patellas and hip dysplasia is one of them.

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