Pet health is an important topic that can never be understated. Is your pet in good health? Read pet health news and updates, and about pet health insurance and more at ThoughtsFurPaws. Armed with more and better pet health information, you can make an educated decision about your own pet’s health. Pet health includes grooming, nutrition, pet food, and a lot more. [Image Courtesy MSNBC.com]
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Archive for the ‘Pet Health Information’ Category

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Treats are Nom-Nom Delish!

Posted on December 6th, 2013

As an Aunt to two wondrous Basset brothers (as we like to call them) and a Mom to three fabulous kittehs, I can’t deny that all of them provide me with the utmost in happiness. Whether the Basset boys are bounding to the door to see me when I come over or the kitties are purring away, covering my comforter in cat hair at bedtime, these animals of mine consistently are providing me with an immediate sense of pure joy. So naturally, I want to do the same for them.

Hills Crunchy Naturals Cat TreatsDon’t get me wrong, I’m pretty sure that I (and my sister) have raised two of the happiest dogs on Earth and some of the most grateful cats you’ll ever meet. But it’s important to me that I make a little extra effort to let them all know that I love them just as much as they love me. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for cool, new ways to “treat” my fur-babies.

My latest discovery is the new, all-natural dog treats from Hill’s® Ideal Balance™. They caught my eye in the store – literally – because you can see the treats right there in the bag! I love that because then I can get an idea of size, consistency, and overall appeal.

Ideal Balance treats are made with all-natural ingredients like real chicken and they’re grain-free! There is no corn, wheat, soy, and no added artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. What’s more, all of Hill’s Ideal Balance treats are manufactured locally, right here at home in the USA. I 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. Hill’s has zero tolerance for Salmonella, so I know I can treat my furballs – oops, fur-babies that is, with confidence.Hills II Oven Baked Naturals

They offer two varieties, “Soft-Baked Naturals” and “Oven-Baked Naturals.” How delicious does that sound? Both varieties have plenty of different flavors to choose from, like Chicken & Apples, Beef & Sweet Potatoes and Turkey & Cranberries.

And to think, I’d been “treating” my boys and girls of fur to some plain old, dry treats. Well, no more! I took the treats home and everyone swooned (puppy-style and kitty-style of course). The treats were easy on their digestive tracts and judging by their reaction, they taste great! I’ve never seen them so excited! And the bag that caught my eye in the treats aisle! It’s pretty cool, too. I just zip it up and toss it back on the shelf when I’m done. The next time I “treat” the girls, those little snacks are just as fresh as they were when I first opened the bag – and the girls are just as excited.

I was looking for a treat that would bring happiness and joy to my dogs and cats, and I can honestly say that these Hill’s Ideal Balance treats do just that! Plus, as their mom, I can feel good about indulging them in such a healthy, high quality snack. I could go on forever about how much we love these treats, but enough about me and my girls – it’s time for you and your pups to try them for yourselves!

I’m hosting a giveaway so YOU can try the awesome Ideal Balance dog treats or cat treats! All you have to do to enter is Tweet this post, then leave me a comment with the Tweet, and telling me why you think your pets would love Hill’s Naturals Pet Treats. I will pick 20 lucky winners, and you can choose cat or dog treats too! (Please let me know which you prefer in your comment entry.) Twenty lucky winners will receive a variety pack of 3 bags of Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ dog treats, or 3 bags of Ideal Balance cat treats (there is only one variety of cat treats, so all 3 bags will be the same…).

Let your pets try these tasty nom-noms for themselves: here’s the variety:

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Crunchy Naturals with Real Tuna cat treats

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Oven-Baked Naturals with Chicken & Apples dog treats

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Oven-Baked Naturals with Turkey & Cranberries dog treats

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Soft-Baked Naturals with Beef & Sweet Potatoes dog treats

IMPORTANT TAKEAWAYS!

-          Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Treats are all natural

-          The dog treats and cat treats are made with real chicken as the #1 ingredient

-          These pet treats are grain-free and have no corn, wheat, soy, added artificial preservatives, colors or flavors

-          These pet treats are made in the USA

-          Hill’s has a zero tolerance policy for Salmonella

-          Ideal Balance pet treats have appealing packaging with a window so you can view them

 

Author has been compensated for completion of this article. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

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.

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.

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Is Purr-fectly Pleasing: Gift Basket GIVEAWAY Announcement!

Posted on October 1st, 2013

Maxwell Endorses Purr-fectly Pleasing & Palatable Ideal Balance™ -ThoughtsFurPaws.com Offers FREE IDEAL BALANCE™ GIFT BASKET GIVEAWAY!

Imagine the sun starting to peek through the bedroom window. You’re fast asleep enjoying dreams of your cat purring and kneading, purring and kneading – no wait! Your cat IS purring and kneading, telling you, “Hey! It’s time for my breakfast!” This is Max EVERY morning…

Didn’t we grow up learning that breakfast is the most important meal of the day???

Well kittehs need breakfast too! Whether you’re getting ready for work or staying around the house for the day, it’s still breakfast time for your cat. Why not start the morning by serving your cat a nice, tasty dish of wet cat food? Measure her food and place in her dish, stir slightly, and serve! Your cat will rub your ankles and warm your toes!

Since cats are grazers by nature, you’ll want to leave a dish of her dry food for her so she can nibble throughout the day. You know the routine: nibble, bathe, sleep – nibble, bathe, sleep. Ah—the life of a cat…

If you’re at home during the day, you’re no doubt busy with activities, however kitty is constantly asking for attention. (I know Maxwell comes over and walks all over my laptop if I don’t pay enough attention to him while I’m writing… MOL.) Giving your cat treats throughout the day is sure to make her feel special, and you don’t feel guilty when you get busy.

Now, it is dusk, you’re walking through the door from work or winding up your day at home and it’s supper time! Your cat greets you, and often “talking” meow, meow, meow….”hello, it’s great to see you. I’m hungry!”

Sound familiar?Hills Ideal Balance Product Layout

Your kitty is not just saying she’s hungry for food; she’s hungry for your attention. Treat time! Have her treats in a convenient place so you can pat her on the head, hand her a tasty treat and all will be right in the world again.

Now it’s supper time. Mmmm, more of the wet food is a great appetizer! As you’re spooning her food, she’s smelling the aroma and twining through your feet purring anxiously. Refill her dry food dish for the evening nibbles and to help satisfy her hunger throughout the night.

Offering your cat complete and nutritious meals every day eases your mind and satisfies your cat.

Our friends at Hill’s® had you and your cat in mind when they created their line of cat foods. In the Hill’s tradition, making food that is nutritious is a core philosophy; quality (and safety first) is above all else. Hence, you will have peace of mind when feeding any Hill’s food and treats to your cat.

What’s more, feeding Ideal Balance™ brands of wet, dry and treats assures that your cat is getting complementary natural nutrition. Often times when pet food brands are mixed, it can throw off the perfect balance of natural nutrition that Ideal Balance so carefully provides. Plus, all Ideal Balance wet, dry and treats are made with NO corn, wheat or soy and NO artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

Maxwell IBIdeal Balance is the trifecta of natural nutrition for your cat!

Here’s a great meal line up for your cat, or you can choose which Ideal Balance food you think your cat will love most!

Breakfast:

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Roasted Turkey Recipe – Gourmet taste of turkey in a soft, smooth texture is a great way to start the day.

http://www.hillspet.com/products/ib-feline-turkey-canned.html

Daytime Nibbles:

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Grain-Free Natural Chicken and Potato Recipe dry food- Delicious ingredients like chicken (the first ingredient), green peas, apples, cranberries, carrots & broccoli will make your cat happy while providing the nutrition that she needs.

http://www.hillspet.com/products/ib-feline-adult-grain-free-chicken-and-potato-dry.html

Treats:

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Crunchy Naturals with Real Tuna – yummy, natural treats that are healthy too! Go ahead, give your cat these treats – we all love to be treated special!

http://www.hillspet.com/products/ib-feline-crunchy-natural-w-tuna-treats.html

Supper:

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Slow-Cooked Chicken Recipe – Food made with natural ingredients like real chicken and brown rice, carrots and greens in a delicious sauce says “comfort food” and “love”.

http://www.hillspet.com/products/ib-feline-chicken-canned.html

Evening Nibbles:

Set out more of her Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Grain-Free Natural Chicken and Potato Recipe dry food to keep kitty satisfied until the morning light. These are my suggestions but be creative with your meal offerings using all of the foods and treats from Ideal Balance. Here is a link to the entire menu!

http://www.hillspet.com/products/product-search-results.html?brand=Ideal+Balance&species=cat&condition=&x=17&y=4

NOW FOR THE FREE GIFT BASKET GIVEAWAY!!!

Twenty (20) lucky winners will receive a Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Gift Basket that includes the following (I will be choosing 10 dog winners and 10 cat winners):

IDEAL BALANCE DOG-THEMED BASKET:dog and Ideal Balance

  • Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Grain-Free Natural Chicken & Potato Recipe Adult – 3.5 lb bag
  • Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ wet food – 6 cans
  • Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Treats – 2 bags variety
  • Dog bowl
  • Blanket

IDEAL BALANCE CAT-THEMED BASKET:

  • Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Grain-Free natural Chicken & Potato Recipe Adult – 2 lb bag
  • Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ wet food variety pack – 6 cans case
  • Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Crunchy Naturals with Real Tuna
  • Cat bowl
  • Place mat

***TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY, please leave me a comment telling me why you think you should get a FREE GIFT BASKET of Hill’s Ideal Balance products. Please be specific and tell me what kind of pets you have and how many. Entries will be taken until Friday, October 12 at 6 pm EST. Winners will be notified via email so please leave your real email.***

 

* Author has been compensated for completion of this article. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.