Archive for the ‘Pet Care’ Category

1-800-Pet-Meds Thermo Kitty Mat™ is Purrrr-fect for Tired Little Tiger-Kitties

Posted on January 4th, 2014

It’s a heated cat bed – yes, a heated cat bed. And your cats will love, love, love it! The Thermo Kitty Mat™, which we received as a donation from the wonderful folks at 1-800-Pet-Meds, has gone over with flying colors in the Smith house.

In fact, the 12.5” x 25” heated cat bed is so popular, I often find Sasha and Tater waiting in line (as much as cats can wait in line) to lay on it, which is on my bed.

We also have, as many of you know, what we call our garage kitty, Maxwell. Max was abandoned in a parking garage in downtown Cleveland in the middle of winter and had humble beginnings there (he used to jump into the cabs of semi-trucks and cuddle in to get warm until they were done dropping off their loads!).

Old habits are hard to break I guess, right? Even for our four-leggers. Max love, love, loves to spend time in the garage still. (Of course it’s warmer in ours than it was downtown in the open air). So we put the 1-800-Pet-Meds heated cat bed out on his little counter in the garage. I plugged the bed in and the very first time he went out there, instead of snooping around and sniffing the cars and playing hide-and-seek behind the wheels with me, he went right to the bed. So cute.Maxxy Heating Blanket

This heated cat mat is so safe and effective that I bought one for my aunt and uncle. They have a senior female cat, Camille, who they used to use a regular heating pad for. Now they use the Thermo Kitty Mat™ heated cat bed under a blanket for her. It’s her favorite spot in the whole house!

This awesome heated cat bed is safe and energy-efficient (it uses less energy than a night light). It also has a removable cover for washing and is thermostatically controlled to warm directly under your pet. Pretty cool, huh?!  The Heated Cat Pad is designed to remain 12 to 15 degrees above ambient air temperature and warms to your cat’s normal body temperature when in use. It is ideal during the winter for senior and arthritic cats because the warm surface helps to relax muscles and reduce joint inflammation and stiffness. *Please note: the heated cat pad does not get hot.

Maxwell, Sasha, Tater Tot and I all give this heated cat mat an enthusiastic four-paws up (well, I give it two-thumbs-up since I don’t have paws)!

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.

 

Urban Resource Institute & Purina Announce Collaboration In Support of URIPALS— People and Animals Living Safely

Posted on October 21st, 2013

URIPALS Logo

Purina to provide welcome kits to residents with cats in URI’s domestic violence shelters

 

In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Urban Resource Institute and Nestlé Purina announced today that they are teaming up in support of URIPALS—New York City’s first initiative to allow victims of domestic violence to enter shelters with their pets. Beginning today, Purina will donate much-needed welcome kits and educational materials for families entering URI’s largest domestic violence shelter.

PURINA logo

This marks an important collaboration between one of New York City’s largest domestic violence service providers and a leader in the pet care community. By working together, URI and Purina hope to raise awareness about the impact of abuse on the whole family—including pets—and reduce barriers to escape and recovery.

Photo Credit: Nestle Purina

Photo Credit: Nestle Purina

“When victims of domestic violence flee abusive situations, they are often forced to uproot their entire lives, leaving behind key belongings and supplies,” said Nathaniel Fields, President of URI. “Our goal at the Urban Resource Institute is to provide survivors—including pets—with the resources and services they need to rebuild stable, secure lives. We are grateful for Purina’s support of URIPALS, which will provide critical supplies to ensure that families entering shelter with their pets have the resources they need to recover together after escaping abuse.”

“We are proud to support the Urban Resource Institute in its mission to provide comfort to victims of domestic abuse and their pets,” said Michael Kotick, senior brand manager, Purina. “At Purina we believe people and pets are better together, and the strong bond between pet owners and their pets can prove to be beneficial no matter what the circumstances.”

Currently in its six-month pilot phase, URIPALS is accepting families with cats and smaller animals into its shelter, and hopes to expand the program to include dogs this December. As such, Purina’s welcome kits during this phase of the program will be tailored to cats, including items such as food, toys, crates, and other accessories. Purina is also donating a year’s supply of food and litter to families upon leaving the shelter. In addition to these welcome kits, families will receive educational materials designed to guide them in best practices for caring for their pets.

Photo Credit: Nestle Purina

Photo Credit: Nestle Purina

“Years ago, when I realized my daughter, two pets and I would have to leave our abusive situation or we might not make it out alive, everything happened so quickly,” said Muriel Raggi, a survivor of domestic violence. “I didn’t even have time to think, let alone pack the things my pets and I would need. I am confident that through Purina’s program with URI, survivors and their pets can get the support they need to move forward together.”

To learn more about URIPALS and for tips on keeping the entire family safe in domestic violence situations, please visit www.urinyc.org.

About Urban Resource Institute

Urban Resource Institute (URI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides comprehensive, holistic, and supportive human services programs that help individuals and families in the New York metropolitan area overcome obstacles and better their lives. With a rich 32-year legacy of social service research and expertise, deep community relationships, and a flexible, innovative approach to program development and service delivery, URI is uniquely equipped to provide solutions to the challenges affecting New York’s most vulnerable populations. URI’s hands-on programs for victims of domestic violence, the developmentally disabled, and people struggling with addiction and substance abuse are specifically tailored to meet the needs of the individual, while advocacy and community outreach initiatives build wider visibility and support for the issues that have an impact on our clients’ quality of life and New York’s urban communities. In June 2013, URI launched a pilot program called URIPALS—People and Animals Living Safely. It is the first initiative in New York City to allow victims of domestic violence to enter shelter with their pets. For more information, please visit www.urinyc.org.

 

Photo Credit: Nestle Purina

Photo Credit: Nestle Purina

About Nestlé Purina

Nestlé Purina PetCare Company is a global leader in the pet care industry and promotes responsible pet care, humane education, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. The North American headquarters for Nestlé Purina is located at Checkerboard Square in St. Louis, Missouri. Nestlé Purina is part of Swiss-based Nestlé, the world’s leading nutrition, health and wellness company.

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.