Protecting Your Family From Zoonotic Diseases

A great many things are unknowingly shared between pets and their people. Unfortunately, some of them can be quite detrimental to our health. 

Zoonotic diseases are those that can be transferred from animals to humans, and vice versa. With more pets being adopted right now and with people staying at home more than ever before, it is essential to understand the risks and the many ways we can prevent sharing illnesses with our best buddies.

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The Many Ways to Support Senior Pet Wellness

The benefits of pet ownership impact our lives so much that we never want the time to end. Unfortunately, the universal truth is that pet owners are more likely to live longer than the pets they adopted, nurtured, trained, and cared for. 

Since our best friends cannot live forever, it makes sense to care for them as long as possible – and in the most meaningful ways. Senior pet wellness is a little different than caring for a younger pet, but it is no less gratifying. In fact, it may even be more so!

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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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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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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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When Dogs Eat Poop, Should We Look the Other Way?

Brown dog looking at camera

Dogs eat poop. Not every dog does it, but it’s safe to say that most dogs have dabbled in the act of feces-sampling. Coprophagia is a common canine behavior. Indeed, it can be a daily occurrence for some pups. Knowing that it’s “normal” may help dog owners cope with this, but it can definitely get in the way of some valuable snuggles. Plus, this behavior can actually be linked to serious health conditions.

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Borrelia Burgdorferi and Lyme Disease Prevention

Ongoing research into tick-borne Lyme disease started back in the early 1990’s. Since then, scientists have documented a rise in the spread of Borrelia Burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes the disease.

While it used to be endemic in the northeast and Great Lakes region, Lyme disease is now a threat to pets and people in all 50 states. Indeed, areas that were previously considered uncommon for Lyme disease are now experiencing a literal “up-tick.”

Fortunately, with Lyme disease prevention tactics, we can collectively stand up to these bloodsuckers.

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