Information about pet dogs and cats is here on ThoughtsFurPaws. This is a general category that will have very random articles and posts as well as very specific articles and posts. Pet information can range from health issues to charitable donations to raising a pet. Find pet information on cats and dogs and get educated! Read about what you need to know about cats and dogs.

Archive for the ‘Pet Information’ Category

Balanced Nutrition is Key to a Healthy Pet Diet

Posted on November 27th, 2013

Have you heard the phrase “a little will do a little good; a lot will do a lot of good?Hills Image 1 Post 5

Has this phrase ever been true for you? What about your pet?

It’s scary to think about what would happen if we didn’t get enough of a basic need for life such as water, or if we got too much of a basic need for life such as sodium. That’s why I’m going to talk with you about why “balance” is the ideal approach to a nutritious diet.

The best approach to just about everything in life is “balance” – work/life balance, and a balanced diet. Nutrients are essential to health for us and for our pets. We can control our diet choices, but our pets rely on us to choose for them.

So, what is precisely balanced nutrition and why is it so important?

Let’s look at key nutrients that your pet’s body needs to maintain good health and energy. Those nutrients are protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Sounds, reasonable, right? But, what if any one of these nutrients is too high or too low (a little will do a little good; a lot will do a lot of good)?

Protein is a vital nutrient that helps support lean muscle tissue for adult pets. For growing puppies and kittens, protein nourishes growing muscle tissue. If a pet’s diet is too low in protein this could lead to poor growth. If a pet’s diet is too high in protein, this could increase the workload of the liver and kidneys to get rid of excess nitrogen. That’s because your pet’s body will only absorb a certain amount of protein – everything in excess must be processed by the liver and kidneys. You can see how over time this extra work could affect these organs.

Fats are very beneficial in your pet’s diet. Fats – in the appropriate levels – are excellent for healthy skin. Fats nourish the skin and make it soft. What’s more- fats help with a luxurious coat and contribute to shiny fur! We know what happens with too much fat: weight gain. But what if there isn’t enough fat? Potential for a dull, dry and flaky coat.Hills Image 2 Post 5

Vitamins and minerals are also essential in your pet’s diet. Vitamins support the immune system; minerals help puppies and kittens grow strong muscles and healthy teeth. If the vitamins levels are deficient, your pet could experience fatigue or weakness. If the vitamin levels are too high, this could lead to organ stress. If the minerals are too high, your pet could be at risk for bladder stones.

Fiber, we all love fiber! It’s great for healthy digestion, but if your pet’s diet is too low your pet could experience loose stools. Not good! How about too much fiber? Your pet could experience gas! Equally NOT GOOD!

So the moral to the story is “balance.” Each of these nutrients is critical to survival. For optimal health, choose a food for your pet that provides proven, perfectly balanced nutrition.

Balance is the reason that we choose to feed Franklin and Ramsey Hills® Ideal Balance™ Dog Food. It is chockfull of vital vitamins and equally crucial nutrients in perfectly proportioned amounts. Plus, the boys gobble it up like it’s going out of style.

If you want to know if you are feeding your cat or dog a healthy, properly balanced diet, check out the following pages:

-          Check here to see if your dog’s food contains properly balanced nutrition and see how to make a change if it doesn’t. You can also check this handy comparison tool for dog food.

-          Check here to see if your cat’s food contains properly balanced nutrition and see how to make a change if it doesn’t. You can also check this handy comparison tool for cat food.

 Important Takeaway Points:

-          Balanced nutrition is key to good health

-          Nutrient excess can lead to certain health conditions

-          Nutrient deficiency can also lead to certain health conditions

-          Good nutrition isn’t just about ingredients – it’s about the right balance of nutrients

-          As ingredient quality increases, so does a pet’s ability to absorb and use the nutrients for optimum health

 

 

All opinions in this article are those of the author. Author has been compensated for completion of this article. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

10 Warning Signs of Cancer in Pets — and What to Do: PET CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

Posted on November 13th, 2013

1-in-5-catsCancer in pets is not a laughing matter. In my life I have lost several dogs and cats to the horrible disease.

Did you know that 12 million dogs and cats are diagnosed with cancer every year, according to PetCareRX?

I’m helping to spread the word because it’s Pet Cancer Awareness Month – I’d like to tell/show you some ways that loving pet parents can put a “paws” on cancer… So today, ThoughtsFurPaws.com is sharing a few infomemes created by PetCareRX – and the 10 warning signs of cancer in pets.Warning signs of cancer

If your pet exhibits any of these signs, it’s time to get them to a vet for a checkup. Remember, though — all of these symptoms can be caused by other health issues, too. What’s important is getting your veterinarian involved and getting a professional diagnosis.

How You Can Help Pets with Cancer

For every Facebook page LIKE PetCareRX receives, they are donating 50 cents to the National Canine Cancer Foundation; their goal is to raise $5,000 so go and LIKE them now please! It only takes a second!

pet-cancer-awareness-month

 

On a side note: I would like to dedicate this post to Gibson and Theodore… I love you and will never forget the years of dedication, love and enrichment that you brought to my life…. RIP at the Rainbow Bridge and I’ll see you again someday.

 

Pet Food Ingredients & Sourcing Important Points to Ponder as Pet Parent

Posted on November 2nd, 2013

As a pet parent, I’m always looking out for what’s best for my pet – the right toys, the right amount of playtime, the right bed, the perfect treat, etc. But when it came to finding the right natural pet food, I used to get a little overwhelmed to be honest. Not only are the aisles full of brands – all claiming to be the “best, ” – but I knew I needed to be extra cautious about what our dogs and cats get because of all of those recalls I’d read about. I wanted to feed her a natural pet food made by a company I could trust: a company whose products are manufactured right here in the USA and a company who cares about the safety and quality of their own pets’ food just as much as I do.Hills Ideal Balance Product Layout

I started doing some research to ease my confusion over finding the “right” food and my concern with the recalls and quality of ingredients from some pet food companies. I wanted to feed Franklin and Ramsey the Bassets (and Max, Tater Tot and Sasha, the kittehs) a natural food with high-quality ingredients like real meat, fruits and vegetables. I’d seen a commercial about a new natural pet food from Hill’s Pet Nutrition called Hill’s® Ideal Balance™, so I decided to check it out.

There was a lot of helpful information on the Hill’s website, plus the site was intriguing to say the very least. It let me compare Ideal Balance against other natural pet foods and even recommended the right food for my fur-baby boys and girls. Through my research, I learned that even in natural foods, it is important not to have too much or too little of key nutrients and that Hill’s Ideal Balance delivers natural ingredients in perfect balance for a pet’s overall health. I was also pleased to see that Ideal Balance dry, wet and treats have no corn, wheat or soy and no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. Plus you can choose from these amazing recipes:

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult dog food

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Grain Free Natural Chicken & Potato Recipe Adult dog food

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult cat food

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Grain Free Natural Chicken & Potato Recipe Adult cat food

Because high-quality ingredients and safety were also of the utmost importance and continued to be top-of-mind, I continued to look into Hill’s, and I learned that all of Hill’s dry foods are manufactured locally, right here at home in the USA in their very own facilities.

dog and Ideal BalanceI was happy to find that Hill’s carefully chooses high-quality ingredients, most of which are sourced from the U.S., with all meat and poultry coming from USDA-inspected facilities.

*Ingredients sourced outside of the U.S. are monitored just as strictly as those from the U.S., and Hill’s has zero tolerance for Salmonella. In fact, they conduct more than 60 quality checks on every batch of food, every ingredient can be tracked by batch or ingredient, within 24 hours, and more than 1000 Salmonella tests are conducted every month.

Sasha, Tater Tot and Maxwell have been eating Ideal Balance natural cat food for a few months now, and as a pet parent, I couldn’t be happier with my decision. They all look fantastic and come running at mealtime! I don’t have to worry that what I’m feeding her might be unsafe to boot!

My conclusion? Well, there may not be a “best” pet food for everyone, but with Hill’s® Ideal Balance™, we sure have discovered the best one for our fur-family.

Ideal Balance has received tons of praise and great reviews; and the pet parents who feed it to their fur-babies say that their pets love the taste (even picky eaters). Check out these reviews on Facebook!

Points to Take Away from This Post:

  1. Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ is a choice natural pet food that provides perfectly balanced nutrition, guaranteed.

    Maxxy inhales his Ideal Balance nightly...

    Maxxy inhales his Ideal Balance nightly…

  2. Ideal Balance has no corn, wheat or soy.
  3. Ideal Balance is made with natural ingredients you can see right on the bag.
  4. Hill’s Pet Nutrition conducts more than 60 quality checks on every batch of food (I have been there and witnessed this thorough testing); every ingredient can be tracked by batch or ingredient, within 24 hours, and over 1,000 Salmonella tests are conducted in the facility every month.
  5. All Hill’s dry products are made in Hill’s-owned and –operated facilities – Made in the U.S.A.
  6. Hill’s has a standard that’s pretty strict = ZERO TOLERANCE SALMONELLA!

Check out the Ideal Balance website for great information about finding the right Ideal Balance food for your pet, compare for yourself how Ideal Balance stacks up against the competition, and be sure to take advantage of the “Try Me Free” rebate!

 

Author has been compensated for completion of this article and all opinions therein are those honest opinions and experiences of the ThoughtsFurPaws.com Administrator. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

The Ins and Outs of Pet Insurance

Posted on October 23rd, 2013

Today, veterinarians can offer pets the type of high-quality care that was previously only available to humans. This care, however, comes at a cost. Just one accident or serious illness can easily result in veterinary charges ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars, and the cost of care is rising each year. In fact, the American Pet Products Association estimates that Americans spent $13.67 billion on veterinary care in 2012 and will spend $14.21 billion in 2013. Due to these rapidly rising veterinary costs, many responsible owners are turning to pet health insurance to help protect their pets and their wallets. All insurance plans, however, are not the same. If you are considering buying pet insurance, such as PetPremium Pet Insurance, you need to educate yourself about coverage options, costs and claims before you choose an insurance company or plan.

Coverage

Knowing exactly what is covered by your policy can prevent unpleasant surprises. Some important things to look for when comparing policies include the following:

  •       Each policy’s waiting period and definition of pre-existing problems.
  •       Whether or not hereditary, genetic and congenital conditions, such as hip dysplasia, epilepsy and luxating patellae, are covered.
  •       Coverage terms for chronic ailments.
  •       Specifically excluded procedures.
  •       Included procedures and tests.
  •       Coverage for preventative medicine.
  •       Coverage for dental issues.
  •       Ages and breeds covered.
  •       Whether or not you can choose your own doctor.
  •       Whether or not you need preauthorization for care.
  •       Requirements, such as obtaining annual wellness exams, for maintaining coverage.

Claims

Most pet insurance plans are reimbursement plans. This means that you pay your veterinarian for treating your pet, and the insurance company reimburses you for the amount covered under your plan’s terms.

Costs

Monthly Premiums

The monthly premium is the number most consumers think about when they consider the cost of an insurance plan. Your premium depends on a number of factors including the amount of coverage you require, your location, the age of your pet, whether the animal is a cat or a dog and your pet’s breed. In general, purebred pets are more expensive to insure than mixed breeds, and dogs are more expensive to insure than cats. Also, older pets are more expensive to insure than younger animals.

Deductibles

The deductible is the amount of money you are responsible for paying before your insurance company begins bearing the cost of your pet’s care. Some policies require you to pay your deductible for each incident while others have yearly deductibles. Companies usually charge lower monthly fees for plans with larger deductibles.

Copayments

Some plans require copayments. Your copayment is the amount you pay for each visit to your veterinarian or for each claim. This payment can be a percentage of the cost of the procedure or a set fee.

Limits

Before choosing a policy, you should investigate the limits of the coverage it provides. Some policies have a maximum amount they cover per year, per incident and per illness.

Other Fees and Costs

Some plans require enrollment fees, and others charge additional fees for added benefits like wellness and dental care. Make sure you understand all required fees before deciding on a plan.

Discounts

In addition to considering fees and charges, you should investigate possible discounts. By taking advantage of discounts, you may be able to afford more complete coverage for your pets.

 

Editor Rinske de Vos, Social Media Manager of PetPremium

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™: Pet Nutrition Doesn’t Have to be Complicated… it’s Natural Now!

Posted on October 18th, 2013

Hill’s® Pet Nutrition is big on helping your fur-babies stay healthy, as is evidenced by their numerous formulas made specifically for certain medical conditions, and now, by their nutrient-based Ideal Balance™ recipe, which is chock-full of veggies, meat and all the other good stuff your cat or dog needs to lead a life emphasized by balanced nutrition.

Since our cats started eating Hill’s Ideal Balance (Poached Salmon wet food recipe) they seem to show more energy (for sure), and have harder stools and more frequent urination. They have also been more tolerant of each other in the household (behaviorally I mean, i.e., sometimes Sasha doesn’t get along well with the two younger guys {Tate and Max} because she’s 13 and they are 3 and they chase her all over the place all the time). The chase sessions have nearly ceased in recent weeks.

We think this is all due to the fact that proper nutrition = happy kittehs. Balanced natural meals = full bellies & fewer behavioral issues.Hills kitty w IB

But we do wonder, and we often hear this from our furball-owning friends, “Is Natural Enough?”

Is Natural Enough?

In the desire to feed our pets natural foods, we first look at the ingredients. While ingredients are important, it’s what is IN the ingredients that matters. Really, ingredients are vehicles for nutrients.

Here’s what I mean. Ingredients are chicken, vegetables, fruits, etc. Nutrients are what your pet’s body absorbs from those ingredients. And as ingredient quality increases, so does a pet’s ability to absorb and use the nutrients from those ingredients. No single ingredient makes a food better or worse. Too much of one nutrient (like protein) or too little of another (like phosphorus) can be harmful to a pet’s health. A pet food is a sum of its parts.

IB badge logoSo, the goal is to make a pet food with quality ingredients that deliver nutrients like protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals balanced in the right proportions to provide optimal nutrition for your pet.

The interesting thing about this whole topic is the idea that feeding your pet what they would eat in the wild is better for them. Dogs and cats need protein in their diet to meet their requirements for essential amino acids. The amino acid requirement for cats is higher than for dogs. However, once those requirements are met, additional protein beyond what the pet can use for energy is excreted.

A dog’s or cat’s energy requirements can also be equally met by carbohydrates. Using carbohydrates rather than protein to meet energy requirements has the benefit of controlling the level of minerals or other nutrients to avoid excessive levels that are not optimal for a pet’s health.

Therefore, a diet with a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals from a variety of sources is ideal.

Comparing the food of dogs and cats in the wild to that fed to our pets misses the main point that optimum food in the wild is that which allows maximum reproduction as fast as possible.

So… the question is: Are there any natural dog or cat foods out there that have the ingredients you want PLUS the nutrients in the right balance?

Well, there may be others, but the new Hill’s® Ideal Balance® line of pet foods, as I mentioned before, is one that has surely caught my attention. In these foods, what you will find are natural ingredients that you want to feed your pet with 100% balanced nutrition. What makes me feel good about recommending this food is that Ideal Balance is a true natural pet food crafted by pet nutritionists who know how to perfectly balance natural ingredients for better health for your dog and cat.

See for yourself in this video featuring Hill’s Pet Nutritionist Kathy Gross, who chooses to feed Hill’s Ideal Balance to her own pets: dog video or cat video. Check out the Ideal Balance website for great information about finding the right Ideal Balance food for your pet, compare for yourself how Ideal Balance stacks up against the competition, and be sure to take advantage of the Try Me Free rebate!

Be sure to check out the following Ideal Balance formulas; click on them for more information.

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult dog food

 

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Grain-Free Natural Chicken & Potato Recipe Adult dog food

 

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult cat food

 

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Grain Free Natural Chicken & Potato Recipe Adult cat food

 

The key takeaways here?

-          Balanced nutrition is the key to good pet health.

-          Nutrient excess can lead to certain pet health conditions

-          Nutrient deficiency can lead to certain pet health conditions.

-          Good nutrition isn’t just about ingredients – it’s about the right balance of nutrients.

-          “Creating a natural pet food is one thing. Creating a perfectly balanced one to Hill’s high standards is quite another.” – Kathy Gross, Hill’s Pet Nutritionist

-          Natural ingredients do not guarantee optimum nutrition, precisely balanced nutrients does.

-          Hill’s Ideal Balance is 100% balanced nutrition for your pets guaranteed or your money back.

 

*Author has been compensated for completion of this article. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article. All opinions in this article are honest and belong solely to J.L. Smith, the Administrator and Author.