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Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Cat

Some foods which are edible for humans, and even dogs, can pose hazards for cats because of their different metabolism. Some may cause only mild digestive upsets, whereas, others can cause severe illness, and even death. The following common food items should not be fed (intentionally or unintentionally) to cats. This list is, of course, incomplete because we can not possibly list everything your cat should not eat. Continue reading “Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Cat”

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Nutritional Needs of Senior Cats

As cats grow older, their nutritional needs usually change. Proper nutrition can add years to a cat’s life and slow down the progression of many diseases. Monitoring your older cat’s appetite, food consumption, eating habits, weight, and body condition will be helpful when you and your veterinarian determine your cat’s specific nutritional requirements and diet. Continue reading “Nutritional Needs of Senior Cats”

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Nutritional Needs of Senior Dogs

Dogs are living to a much older age than they did 30 years ago. There are many factors contributing to this including better vaccines and veterinary care, but one of the most important factors is better nutrition. The older dog is undergoing many physiologic changes, and because of these changes, it is recommended that you feed them differently than when they were a puppy. What is the definition of an older dog?’ Generally consider a dog to be ‘older’ if he is in the last third of his normal life expectancy. For example, a large breed dog such as a Great Dane that normally lives to be 9 years old, would be considered older or a “senior dog” when he reached age 6. A Poodle that normally lives to 15 years, would be older at 10 years of age. There are many exceptions to this rule of course and if a dog is active and in good shape, he should continue to be fed and exercised as a younger dog would. There are many 11-year-old dogs that can continue to be fed and exercised like three-year-olds. Continue reading “Nutritional Needs of Senior Dogs”

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Dog Food Labels

Reading your pet food label is one of the best ways to determine the quality of the food you are feeding. The ingredients and the guaranteed analysis (amounts of protein, fat, fiber, and other nutrients) are included on the food label. In addition to providing information about the amount and quality of protein and fat, the label will also provide the ingredients and general feeding guidelines.

A few other things to consider are the price. Calculate out the price per pound or the price per day. Almost always, dry food is more economical, and the larger the bag the lower the price per pound. Many times, a 40-pound bag is less than half as much per pound than an equivalent 5-pound bag. Remember that with lower quality foods you feed more and it may not always be cheaper. Check the ingredients, they will tell the real story. Most pets do not need specialty foods, just quality food. By understanding this article and looking at a few pet food labels you will be able to find the best food for your dog. Continue reading “Dog Food Labels”

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Cat Food Labels

Reading your pet food label is one of the best ways to determine the quality of the food you are feeding. The ingredients and the guaranteed analysis (amounts of protein, fat, fiber, and other nutrients) are included on the food label. In addition to providing information about the amount and quality of protein and fat, the label will also provide the ingredients and general feeding guidelines.

A few other things to consider are the price. Calculate out the price per pound or the price per day. Almost always, dry food is more economical, and the larger the bag the lower the price per pound. Many times, a 40-pound bag is less than half as much per pound than an equivalent 5-pound bag. Remember that with lower quality foods you feed more and it may not always be cheaper. Check the ingredients, they will tell the real story. Most pets do not need specialty foods, just quality food. By understanding this article and looking at a few pet food labels you will be able to find the best food for your cat. Continue reading “Cat Food Labels”

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How Vaccines Work

Years ago, scientists learned that by injecting a virus or virus particles into an individual, an immune response could be stimulated. This immune response would protect the individual, for a period of time, against whichever virus was used in the injection. This knowledge is the basis for our vaccines today. The principles and steps of vaccination are discussed below. (To make the discussion easier, we will use a viral disease as an example; the same would be true of bacterial diseases.) Continue reading “How Vaccines Work”

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Dry, Semi-Moist, or Canned Pet Food: What is Best?

As with many things, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Your pet is an individual, and when making a decision about what type of diet to feed, you need to consider, among other things, your pet’s age, size, breed, and any existing medical problems. And of course, you also need to consider the nutrient content of the diet you feed. We always recommend feeding a premium-quality diet that meets AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control) guidelines for the lifestage of the dog. We prefer a diet with meat as the first or second ingredient listed, and without any artificial preservatives or colors.

Generally, we do not recommend the semi-moist types of food, because they tend to be quite high in salt and sugar. Cats and dogs do not need this much salt and sugar in their diet. In addition, sticky, sugary foods can contribute to dental disease. Continue reading “Dry, Semi-Moist, or Canned Pet Food: What is Best?”