Dogs, dogs and more dogs. Read about anything and everything dog here at ThoughtsFurPaws. You can find dog information, get answers to dog-related questions, see some really funny and really cute dog pictures, take in some really entertaining dog stories, and read about dogs in the local and national media spotlight – all in one place! ThoughtsFurPaws has everything dog covered!

Archive for the ‘Dogs’ 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.

 

Give a Pet a Forever Home for the Holidays at PetSmart Charities® National Adoption Weekend, November 15-17

Posted on October 31st, 2013

The holidays remind us of the things we’re thankful for, and for those with adopted pets, their furry friends top that list. Thousands of deserving pets are waiting for you at the PetSmart Charities National Adoption Weekend, Nov. 15-17 at your neighborhood PetSmart® store.PSC logo

Thousands of local animal welfare groups will have adorable and adoptable pets at all 1,300 PetSmart stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. They can help you find your perfect match, whether it’s a dog, cat, puppy, kitten, mixed-breed or purebred.

Nonprofit PetSmart Charities depends on donations to offer special events like this one. A donation of just $25 helps save a pet’s life through adoption. You can donate online, by email at gifts@petsmartcharities.org or via phone at 1-800-745-9460.

“We’re so thankful for the joy that an adopted pet brings to our lives, but we know that not everyone is able to adopt,” said Jan Wilkins, executive director of PetSmart Charities, Inc. “You can celebrate saving a pet’s life with a donation that will help fund adoption events like this, which play a huge role in PetSmart Charities finding homes for more than 400,000 pets every year.”

PetSmart Charities will also reward all participating local adoption partners; each will receive $35 in adoption-reward grants for every pet adopted during the event. PetSmart, Inc., Purina® Pro Plan® and Tidy Cats® (MAXX Scoop® in Canada) are proud sponsors of National Adoption Weekend.

Lucky puppies go home fur-ever...

Lucky puppies go home fur-ever…

“We are proud to partner with PetSmart Charities to find lifelong, loving homes for thousands of pets this National Adoption Weekend,” said David Lenhardt, chief executive officer, PetSmart. “At PetSmart, we believe pets make us better people, and events such as this are the first step in creating that meaningful connection.”

How to Adopt

Visit the PetSmart Charities’ adoption center inside any PetSmart store in the United States, Canada or Puerto Rico from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15 and Saturday, Nov. 16; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 17.

To find the PetSmart store nearest you, visit http://pets.petsmart.com/adoptions/ or call 1-877-473-8762.

Join the Conversation

Follow PetSmart Charities and PetSmart on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PetSmartCharities and www.facebook.com/PetSmart. Or, talk with us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/PetSmartChariTs and https://twitter.com/PetSmart and by following the hashtag #adoptlove.

About PetSmart Charities®

PetSmart Charities, Inc. is a nonprofit animal welfare organization that saves the lives of homeless pets. More than 400,000 dogs and cats find homes each year through our adoption program in all PetSmart® stores and our sponsored adoption events. PetSmart Charities grants more money to directly help pets in need than any other animal welfare group in North America, with a focus on funding spay/neuter services that help communities solve pet overpopulation. PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization, separate from PetSmart, Inc.

 

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.

The Best Vitamins and Supplements for Your Dog

Posted on October 17th, 2013

Many pet owners who are serious the overall well-being of their four-legged friends give their dogs vitamins and supplements. According to WebMD, about one third of U.S. dogs and cats receive this particular kind of treat.

Multivitamins can help regulate body processes. They can also protect the body from environmental toxins and assist in the breaking down of nutrients such as carbohydrates, fats and proteins so the body can put them to optimal use. In addition, they enable muscle and bone growth, and help your dog maintain a healthy coat. Thus, multivitamins are quickly becoming a very popular element on the pet supplies list.

Glucosamine sulfate
Glucosamine sulfate is becoming a fixture in the animal wellness world because arthritis in dogs is one of the most common ailments that veterinarians see, according to PetMD. Although these supplements support the arthritic joints and help prevent damage, it’s important to note that they do not reverse wear and tear that has already begun.

Glucosamine is a naturally occurring compound composed of a sugar and an amino acid. It assists in the production of joint lubrication and plays a role in the shock absorption necessary to maintain healthy cartilage and joint function. The compound is also involved in the formation of nails, skin, eyes and other body parts. In the production of proteins that are related to cellular growth and structure, glucosamine sulfate is a byproduct.

Chondroitin sulfate supplements
Chondroitin sulfate aids in the prevention of stress injuries to joints as well as in the repair of damaged connective tissue. It may actually work to repair damaged cartilage and protect healthy cartilage from premature breakdown. The body’s production of chondroitin lessens with age, so supplementation is especially beneficial to older canines afflicted with arthritis.

Antioxidants
Vitamins C and E are recommended to reduce inflammation in aging dogs. However, veterinary nutritionists are sometimes cautious about recommending those because they have not been tested for long-term safety. Due to the lack of testing, it might be a good idea to refrain from using these with younger dogs.

Dangers
Always check with your vet to see if it’s time to give your dog vitamins or supplements, because symptoms that look like one thing may be indicative of something else. For example, a dog with a weak rear end is a common sign of arthritis, but is also an indicator of a neurological problem, according to WebMD. These two ailments require very different treatments, so don’t go playing doctor just yet.

There is also risk of giving your dog more than it needs. A steady overdose of calcium can cause skeletal problems in large-breed puppies. If your dog ingests too much vitamin A, blood vessels could be harmed and dehydration as well as joint pain can ensue. An excess of vitamin D can cause the dog to stop eating as much, as well as do damage to the bones while causing muscles to atrophy.