Why It’s so Hard to Cut Kitty’s Calories

By Dr. Karen Becker DVM


Estimates are that around 60% of cats in the U.S. are not only overweight, but obese. Owners of obese cats are often advised by their veterinarians to do the obvious — restrict the amount of calories kitty eats. However, this is apparently easier said than done, based on the low rate of compliance.
To try to answer the question of why it’s so difficult for cat parents to comply with recommendations to restrict how much their pets eat, scientists at Nestlé Purina Research set out to determine how much of an effect calorie restriction has on the feeding patterns of cats.
Specifically, “the objective of the present work was to better elucidate the impact of calorie cut-off on individual cat feeding behaviours, as well as on interactions between cats during food anticipation.”1
6% Reduction in Calories Has Dramatic Effect on How Cats Eat
For the study, the researchers assigned 80 domestic cats to two groups (40 per group) that were balanced for sex, age, weight, and body condition score. Cats being cats, several who “couldn’t adjust to their social group” were sent on their way, leaving 38 cats in the test group and 31 in the control group.
All the cats were fed the same commercially available diet on the same schedule. Canned food was the morning offering, kibble was served in the afternoon and overnight, along with very occasional treats. The test group of 38 cats was mildly calorie restricted (6%), which was accomplished by cutting off access to additional food when their allotted calorie intake was reached. All cats were monitored for 9 months, at which point the calorie restriction was ended.
The cats were free fed and typically consumed about 30% of their calories in the morning serving of wet food and 70% in dry food over the remainder of the day. However, the cats in the calorie restricted group quickly changed to rapidly consuming 70% of their calories in the first meal, leaving only 30% of their calories for the rest of the day. The cats in the control group, who continued to be free fed, didn’t change their eating behavior.
“While the control cats’ feeding behaviour remained unchanged throughout the trial, the study cats ate fewer but larger meals, came back faster to the food bowl after each meal, and ate their meals faster on the caloric restriction regimen compared to ad libitum feeding,” explained lead study author Séverine Ligout, PhD, in an interview with International Cat Care.
“However, one month after returning to ad libitum feeding, the study cats’ eating behaviours had returned to their baseline levels, showing that cats were able to readjust their feeding behaviours back to normal.”2
Calorie Restriction Also Increases Conflicts Between Cats
The researchers also observed an increase in conflicts between the calorie-restricted cats just before the first meal of the day. According to the researchers, it is likely linked to higher hunger and food motivation, since the cats have fewer calories to consume and they consume them faster, which leads to a longer period without food between the evening meal and breakfast the next morning.
The higher food motivation undoubtedly creates tension when several cats approach the food bowls for breakfast, leading to an increased likelihood of negative interactions. This behavior has been termed “irritability aggression” in other scientific studies and can be loosely compared to the hunger-driven irritability in humans known as “hangry” (a combination of hungry and angry).
“[The] conflicts consisted of avoidance of each other, one cat displacing another from a location by staring or approaching, lifting a paw in a threatening manner (i.e., as if to swat the other cat with its paw), and some cats actually made contact with another when swatting with their paws,” said Ligout.
“Thus, it looked like cats, just like us, are no strangers to the “hangry” (hungry + angry) feeling of hunger-driven irritability! Although no physical harm occurred during the study period, these interactions have the potential to impact negatively on the cats’ mental wellbeing and therefore welfare during the caloric restriction period, at least at actual feeding times.
These cats were housed in an enriched manner that allowed them to distance themselves from one another using space and physical structures, allowing them to avoid further conflict. In addition, their welfare was continually monitored throughout the study by veterinary professionals.”

Pet Parents Tend to Cave-in to Their ‘Hangry’ Cats
The researchers concluded that restricting the calories cats consume can change their feeding behavior significantly. Specifically, they eat larger meals faster, consuming their daily calorie allotment more quickly, which is outside the normal feline behavior of eating multiple small meals throughout the day.
So, while calorie restriction is a common strategy that humans employ when addressing feline obesity, from the cats’ perspective, it not only results in less food to eat, but also removes their sense of control over certain aspects of food availability and how much to eat.
Given that kitties like to feel in control of their living environment, it makes sense that they get “hangry” when their human attempts to restrict their food intake. According to the researchers, this leads to begging behavior, which then leads to lack of owner compliance.
Carnivores Fed Like Herbivores Results in Metabolic Confusion
Ideally, not allowing cats to free feed and become overweight is always the best advice when it comes to intentionally creating long-lived, disease-free cats. Cats, like other carnivores who remain well-muscled and lean throughout their lives, maintain innate metabolic flexibility when they’re at their ideal body weight and have periods of digestive rest in between meals.
Unlike carnivores, vegan animals (such as cows, goats and horses) need to nibble almost constantly to maintain their metabolic and physiologic wellbeing. The problem is when people feed their cats like goats, creating unhealthy and delicate metabolic butterflies that are prone to all sorts of health problems, especially when dieting.
As cats spend their days nibbling more and more, they can lose their ability to be sensitive to insulin and a variety of other metabolic hormones and end up with an overburdened liver and gallbladder and a sluggish and overworked digestive tract.
Many cats who nibble 24/7 lose their ability to effectively metabolize fatty acids at a normal rate, making them more metabolically fragile and prone to fatty liver disease (hepatic lipidosis) if they skip meals. This is the exact opposite of how nature wired cats to be — resilient, athletic, stealthy hunters who stalk their prey and take long naps in between meals.
As guardians, we often unknowingly fail cats in all sorts of ways. We feed them far too much and far too often and we feed them ultraprocessed, high carb foods, which only fuels the problem. By the time we realize we’ve created hangry addicts, it can be really difficult to switch gears. If you find yourself in this position, working with an integrative feline veterinarian or health coach who can help you map out a strategic, safe and effective plan is the best approach.
Pro Tip: Encourage Hunting Behaviors at Mealtime
The researchers recommend strategies such as puzzle feeders and/or dividing food into multiple smaller meals to help mitigate “hangry” behaviors. This advice makes sense, as wild and feral cats are always on the move in search of their next meal.
Many domesticated cats, on the other hand, are free fed at the same location every day. The more you feed, the less interested your kitty is in “hunting” — which is good exercise — around the house. If the only time you see her in motion is when she’s walking to or from the buffet, she’s getting zero exercise.
My mom adopted two older, obese cats just over a year ago. We weaned them off kibble and onto raw food in a series of small steps and very slowly, so as not to create stress. They were free fed kibble their whole lives (hence the obesity), so first we transitioned them to scheduled feedings: 6 small meals a day. Then after a few weeks we reduced them to 4 meals and then 3 meals a day.
Next we transitioned them from dry to canned food (this took about a month), then weaned them from canned food to cooked commercial food (we used Smalls), then onto raw food. The entire process took over 3 months.
Lastly, we separated their daily food allotments into several small portions at dusk and dawn and placed them in different locations around the house for them to find (we feed them in separate parts of the house while they are “hunting” to make sure they don’t eat each other’s food). I recommend making use of indoor hunting feeders, which encourage natural feline behaviorsand provide mental stimulation as well.
Also consider putting food bowls or the hunting feeders at the bottom and top of as many flights of stairs as you have to encourage muscle-building exercise throughout the day.
A recent study suggesting cats may be healthiest being fed just once a day had many feline fanciers up in arms. If people suddenly cut meals for the majority of indoor, under-exercised, overfed cats all sorts of bad things can happen.
This study demonstrates the behavioral component of “dieting” cats and the correct assumption that the entire process of changing a cat’s food, food volume or feeding schedule is stressful and must be done very slowly (and patiently).

Pet Parents Tend to Cave-in to Their ‘Hangry’ Cats
The researchers concluded that restricting the calories cats consume can change their feeding behavior significantly. Specifically, they eat larger meals faster, consuming their daily calorie allotment more quickly, which is outside the normal feline behavior of eating multiple small meals throughout the day.
So, while calorie restriction is a common strategy that humans employ when addressing feline obesity, from the cats’ perspective, it not only results in less food to eat, but also removes their sense of control over certain aspects of food availability and how much to eat.
Given that kitties like to feel in control of their living environment, it makes sense that they get “hangry” when their human attempts to restrict their food intake. According to the researchers, this leads to begging behavior, which then leads to lack of owner compliance.
Carnivores Fed Like Herbivores Results in Metabolic Confusion
Ideally, not allowing cats to free feed and become overweight is always the best advice when it comes to intentionally creating long-lived, disease-free cats. Cats, like other carnivores who remain well-muscled and lean throughout their lives, maintain innate metabolic flexibility when they’re at their ideal body weight and have periods of digestive rest in between meals.
Unlike carnivores, vegan animals (such as cows, goats and horses) need to nibble almost constantly to maintain their metabolic and physiologic wellbeing. The problem is when people feed their cats like goats, creating unhealthy and delicate metabolic butterflies that are prone to all sorts of health problems, especially when dieting.
As cats spend their days nibbling more and more, they can lose their ability to be sensitive to insulin and a variety of other metabolic hormones and end up with an overburdened liver and gallbladder and a sluggish and overworked digestive tract.
Many cats who nibble 24/7 lose their ability to effectively metabolize fatty acids at a normal rate, making them more metabolically fragile and prone to fatty liver disease (hepatic lipidosis) if they skip meals. This is the exact opposite of how nature wired cats to be — resilient, athletic, stealthy hunters who stalk their prey and take long naps in between meals.
As guardians, we often unknowingly fail cats in all sorts of ways. We feed them far too much and far too often and we feed them ultraprocessed, high carb foods, which only fuels the problem. By the time we realize we’ve created hangry addicts, it can be really difficult to switch gears. If you find yourself in this position, working with an integrative feline veterinarian or health coach who can help you map out a strategic, safe and effective plan is the best approach.
Pro Tip: Encourage Hunting Behaviors at Mealtime
The researchers recommend strategies such as puzzle feeders and/or dividing food into multiple smaller meals to help mitigate “hangry” behaviors. This advice makes sense, as wild and feral cats are always on the move in search of their next meal.
Many domesticated cats, on the other hand, are free fed at the same location every day. The more you feed, the less interested your kitty is in “hunting” — which is good exercise — around the house. If the only time you see her in motion is when she’s walking to or from the buffet, she’s getting zero exercise.
My mom adopted two older, obese cats just over a year ago. We weaned them off kibble and onto raw food in a series of small steps and very slowly, so as not to create stress. They were free fed kibble their whole lives (hence the obesity), so first we transitioned them to scheduled feedings: 6 small meals a day. Then after a few weeks we reduced them to 4 meals and then 3 meals a day.
Next we transitioned them from dry to canned food (this took about a month), then weaned them from canned food to cooked commercial food (we used Smalls), then onto raw food. The entire process took over 3 months.
Lastly, we separated their daily food allotments into several small portions at dusk and dawn and placed them in different locations around the house for them to find (we feed them in separate parts of the house while they are “hunting” to make sure they don’t eat each other’s food). I recommend making use of indoor hunting feeders, which encourage natural feline behaviorsand provide mental stimulation as well.
Also consider putting food bowls or the hunting feeders at the bottom and top of as many flights of stairs as you have to encourage muscle-building exercise throughout the day.
A recent study suggesting cats may be healthiest being fed just once a day had many feline fanciers up in arms. If people suddenly cut meals for the majority of indoor, under-exercised, overfed cats all sorts of bad things can happen.
This study demonstrates the behavioral component of “dieting” cats and the correct assumption that the entire process of changing a cat’s food, food volume or feeding schedule is stressful and must be done very slowly (and patiently).

Why Is My Dog Scared of Everything?

Reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Katie Grzyb, DVM
By: Victoria Schade


If your dog is scared of literally EVERYTHING, then you understand that life with a fearful dog can be limiting.
Instead of greeting the world with a confident walk and a wagging tail, a fearful dog might shy away from anything new, or worse yet, react preemptively to avoid a new situation altogether.
It’s not easy for a pet parent to admit that their dog is scared of everything because trying to work through those fears can be overwhelming.
Fearfulness does have a place in the wild; it increases an animal’s chance of survival by keeping them away from danger. But when your dog is acting strange and scared in everyday life, it’s stressful for both ends of the leash and can even have long-term health implications.
Let’s take a look at why certain dogs are scared of everything, how to recognize fearful behaviors, which situations trigger fear, and how you can help your dog deal with their fear.
What Makes a Dog Scared of Everything?
Dogs that seem scared of everything can be products of nature and nurture. A dog’s genetic makeup, early experiences, environment and daily life can all have an impact on their temperament.
Lack of Socialization
A common reason for fear in dogs is a lack of positive exposure to new people, animals and environments during the critical fear period of the puppy socialization process.
This important developmental stage in a puppy’s life occurs between 8 and 16 weeks of age, when pups need to have a variety of pleasant interactions with the world around them.
Puppies that don’t have positive exposure to the world around them might be more likely to be wary of anything new or unusual. This can lead them to be scared of things we wouldn’t associate with fear, like people wearing large hats or having a stroller/skateboard/skater go past you.
Genetic Predispositions
However, some nervous dogs might also have a genetic predisposition to fearfulness or shyness. Puppies born to anxious mothers are more likely to be fearful as well.
Traumatic Experiences
For some dogs, all it takes is a single traumatic experience to create lifelong fear responses. For example, a dog that’s caught off guard by firecrackers during a walk might then generalize that fear response to any loud noise—like a car door slamming—and might also develop a fear of walking anywhere near where it happened.
Pain
It’s important to note that some behaviors that look like fear might be related to pain. Dogs that seem “hand shy” and nervous about being touched might actually be dealing with an undiagnosed medical issue.
Your veterinarian can help you determine whether your dog is experiencing pain or suffering from fear-based issues.

Recognizing Fear in Dogs
The first step to helping a dog that’s scared of everything is understanding their body language.
Some fear displays are hard to miss—like a trembling, hunched-over dog that has their ears back and tail tucked. But learning to recognize subtler fear reactions will allow you to intervene before your dog’s fear escalates.
Some of the telltale signs of fear in dogs include:
• Trembling or shivering
• Hunched body with head down
• Ears back
• Tail tucked
• Hair standing up on the neck and back
• Growling
• Showing teeth
A dog that’s afraid might also show these more subtle signs:
• Freezing in place
• Moving in slow-motion
• Repeatedly licking their lips
• Yawning frequently
• Trying to move away from the stressor
• Panting heavily or suddenly stops panting
Keep in mind that some behaviors that look like aggression, like leash reactivity and barking, can also be signs of an underlying fear of something.
Common Things That Dogs Are Scared Of and How You Can Help
Many dog fears are universal—it’s rare that a dog actually enjoys a trip to the vet—however, a dog that’s scared of everything might have a difficult time coping with common, everyday noises or encounters.
Loud Noises
It’s almost impossible to avoid having a startle reflex when you hear an unexpected loud noise, but dogs that are scared of everything will react more dramatically to noises.
For example, a typical dog might jump at the sound of a dropped pan, but a fearful dog might run, hide and then refuse to come out.
How to help:
If your dog only reacts to certain types of noises, like sirens or fireworks or thunder, you can use behavioral modification to help your dog learn to tolerate the sound. Use a recording of the sound to gradually desensitize him to the noise by playing it at a low volume and pairing it with treats.
Increase the sound over a series of training sessions, watching your dog’s body language to make sure that he isn’t becoming uncomfortable with the noise. If your dog is trying to cope with ongoing scary sounds like construction noise, use a white noise machine to muffle the sounds.
Children
Kids can be fast, loud and unpredictable, and because of that, they can be challenging for even the most even-tempered dogs.
But dogs with generalized fear reactions will find children even more distressing, particularly because a child doesn’t understand canine body language and will have a hard time recognizing when a fearful dog is trying to get away.
How to help:
If you don’t typically have children in your home, it’s easiest to manage your dog’s behavior by keeping him in a safe, quiet space when small guests visit.
If you discover that your new dog is fearful around your own children, make sure that he has an area where he can spend time away from them. Then you will need to find a positive-reinforcement dog trainer to help you assess the situation and create a training plan that keeps everyone safe.
Other Dogs
Unfortunately, not every dog wants to be friends with his own kind, particularly timid dogs. If a dog hasn’t had the opportunity to meet dog friends and develop canine language skills, he might wind up feeling overwhelmed when faced with other pups.
How to help:
Helping fearful dogs learn to feel more confident around other dogs requires a slow approach and a good understanding of canine body language. You will need to slowly work through dog introductions in order to keep your dog feeling comfortable.
For dogs that are mildly uncomfortable around other dogs, you should find a mellow, dog-savvy dog and try walking them together, at the same pace but with distance between them. When both dogs seem relaxed, gradually begin to bring them closer together, making sure that they remain calm and happy as they get closer.
Keep early introductions short and end sessions before the nervous dog gets overwhelmed. And remember that making friends with one dog doesn’t mean the behavior will generalize to all dogs.
Strangers
Some dogs are uncomfortable around people that look different from their family (for example, large men with beards or people wearing hats and bulky jackets), but dogs that are afraid of anyone outside their family can make going into public or having guests over traumatic.
How to help:
Using desensitization and counter-conditioning can help a stranger-shy dog start to overcome his fears.
To begin, figure out your dog’s “buffer zone”—the area at which he can remain calm when faced with a stranger. Then have the stranger come into view at the edge of that buffer zone and feed your dog a bunch of extra-special treats that he doesn’t normally get.
Continue giving treats while the person is in view for a few seconds, then have the stranger disappear.
Gradually bridge the gap between your dog and the person over a series of training sessions. Always watch your dog’s body language to make sure they remain calm and confident throughout the training process.
Going Outside
Sometimes the world outside your front door is a scary place. Dogs that move to a different environment, like from the suburbs to the city, might find the noise and crowds in their new neighborhood overwhelming.
Similarly, a traumatic experience outside, like having a fight with another dog, can be enough to create an overwhelming fear of going outside.
How to help:
Dogs that are afraid to leave their home can benefit from a training process called “shaping.” Shaping makes it easier for dogs to face their fears by breaking behaviors down into manageable steps and rewarding the dog for making progress toward the finished product.
Pet parents can begin the process by standing near the door with a handful of treats. When your dog makes any movement towards the door, mark the behavior with a clicker or verbal marker like, “good!” then toss a treat to your dog. Continue to build on and reward each step towards the door until your dog is able to cross the threshold.
Be Patient With Your Dog
Keep in mind that a fearful dog should always set the pace for training. Trying to push a nervous dog beyond his comfort zone could derail the training process, so be patient and encourage your fearful pup as he learns to be a more confident dog.
Talk with your veterinarian about pairing training and desensitization efforts with natural, holistic calming supplements or pheromone collars. Sometimes, medication is very helpful to calm some dogs in certain situations if natural options have not worked. Also, working with a veterinary behaviorist may be the best option if all other routes have failed.
By: Victoria Schade

Environmental toxins in the home — how to help your cat breathe easier

By  Nancy Scanlan, DVM, CVA as seen in Animal Wellness

Our homes contain a range of environmental toxins that can affect your cat’s respiratory system. Here are the most common culprits, and what you can do to help your kitty breathe easier.

Does your cat sneeze a lot? Have you noticed irritated or runny eyes? Perhaps some coughing? Or worse, has she developed chronic bronchitis or asthma? These symptoms may have several causes, one of which could be a sensitivity to environmental toxins in the home. Such sensitivities can appear in cats of any age. This article looks at the most common culprits when it comes
to these toxins, and what you can do to help alleviate your cat’s suffering.

MANMADE CHEMICALS ABOUND

The number of environmental toxins present in our homes has increased steadily since the 1970s. From fire retardants to air fresheners, these chemicals were all originally created to makes our lives easier, safer, or more pleasant. But for some individuals, including our feline companions, they can make life more difficult. Exposure to the chemicals used in fabrics and materials for curtains, rugs, furniture and other household items has resulted in a variety of health problems in both humans and animals. The greater the number, variety, and concentration of manmade chemicals in a household, the greater the chances that your cat (or human family) will suffer from the health effects they can produce.


Food Sensitivities

Although food sensitivities caused by additives in commercial pet foods don’t typically cause respiratory symptoms, they can still contribute to the total chemical burden on your cat’s body. These sensitivities generally cause itchy skin or GI upsets such as vomiting or diarrhea. Switching to a healthier diet is just one more way to help her feel better overall.


HOW TO FIND THE CAUSE OF YOUR CAT’S DISCOMFORT

If your cat develops any of the respiratory symptoms mentioned above, the first step is to take her to the veterinarian for a checkup. Once other health problems, such as an infectious disease, are ruled out, it’s time to start looking at toxins in your home environment, such as the following:

  • Is anyone smoking or vaping indoors? The effects of second-hand smoke can be as bad for cats as they are for people. This is especially true of vaping, which was initially promoted as a “healthier” alternative to inhaling tobacco smoke. The solution is to stop smoking or vaping inside the house. This single step can make a big different in a cat’s respiratory health.
  • Toxins in the air can also come from the evaporation or “outgassing” of chemicals. Outgassing occurs when chemicals are gradually lost from materials in the home, especially those made from plastics. The result is a weakened product as well as chemicals in the air that you may be unaware of. For example, even if paint looks and feels dry, it can continue to cure or dry further, releasing low levels of toxins. Similarly, commercial floor and furniture waxes contain many compounds that can evaporate and cause sensitivities in your cat.
  • High levels of dust mites in the home are associated with an increased number and duration of asthma attacks in humans, and difficulties in breathing. Dust mites can affect cats as well.

HEPA FILTERS AND OTHER SOLUTIONS

What can you do to minimize the impact of environmental toxins in your home, and improve your cat’s health? A HEPA filter can be very helpful, especially one with a charcoal pre-filter. The charcoal absorbs certain gases that the main filter can’t. Many people notice that they, as well as their animal companions, breathe more freely and have less eye irritation after buying a HEPA filter. As a bonus, a HEPA can also help reduce the negative effects of dust mites.

In addition to purchasing a HEPA filter, start using more natural products such as household cleaners to help everyone — feline and human — breathe better. It’s true that a natural product may require a little more effort to use than chemical household cleaners. For example, when using a beeswax product rather than a chemical furniture polish, you might need to apply more pressure to get a good shine. You might need two products instead of one to clean carpets or drapes, especially if you are just starting to use more natural products. But your cat’s improved well-being (and your own) is worth it!

If your cat suffers from asthma, do not abandon conventional treatment methods. Cats can suffer uncomfortably or even die from a severe asthma attack. As you introduce more natural products into your house, however, you may notice that her attacks are less severe, and don’t happen as often. In fact, with the guidance of your veterinarian, you might even be able to decrease your cat’s medication.

Because our cats are a lot smaller than we are, and often spend more time in the house than we do, they are more likely to develop health problems in response to the many environmental toxins and chemicals found in our homes. If your cat is exhibiting any persistent respiratory symptoms – sneezing, watery eyes, nasal discharge or coughing — have her checked by the vet, and then look for ways to lower her exposure to household toxins by considering a HEPA filter and adopting a more natural lifestyle.

How to Choose and Understand the Difference Between “Full Spectrum” CBD Oil, “Broad Spectrum” CBD Oil and CBD “Isolate” for Pets

By HempMy Pet as seen in Animal Wellness magazine

With a variety of CBD products on the market, it’s important to know the differences in order to choose the right CBD oil for your pet!

Understanding the difference in CBD products is just as important as choosing the right CBD product for your pet. Since these differences can also directly affect price and product benefits, it’s crucial to consider the true meaning of “Full Spectrum”, “Broad Spectrum” and CDB “Isolate” when it comes to a CBD oil for pets:

1. CBD Isolate

CBD isolate is 99% pure CBD. It comes in a powder, and is the most popular form for a few reasons, including its inexpensive cost and its lack of smell or taste (if produced correctly). It can also easily be mixed and formulated into a product. However, it’s the least efficacious form of CBD, which means it has the less medicinal benefits when compared to a broad spectrum or full spectrum oil. CBD isolate is void of all the other supporting compounds found in the hemp plant, such as Terpenes, which give the plant its overall medicinal benefits. These other compounds include, minor cannabinoids, such as, CBG or CBC and terpenes. CBD isolate is created by “crashing out” (turning the CBD into a crystal form) the pure CBD from the rest of the hemp compounds.

 2. “Broad Spectrum” CBD Oil

Broad Spectrum CBD oil is the next best option to CBD isolate as it does include some of the other supporting cannabinoids, while still excluding THC and the terpenes. Broad spectrum oil is also known as a “distillate”, which is the CBD oil that’s left after it goes through a distillation process. It’s very similar to how an oil company refines oil into gasoline. Broad spectrum oil is still a commodity of the hemp industry as it can be mass produced using just about any quality of hemp material. One concern with this form is the process of removing the THC from the CBD oil. THC is most often removed using chromatography, and this process employs extremely dangerous chemicals to separate out the cannabinoids. These chemicals can then be refined out of the CBD oil, but because it’s time consuming and sometimes costly, residual solvents may still remain. Understandably, then, it‘s so important to know the source of your CBD oil and be able to track it throughout cultivation, extraction and formulation.

3. “Full Spectrum” CBD Oil

Full spectrum CBD oil is an extract that contains the highest number of compounds found in the original hemp plant, including THC. Full spectrum CBD oil produces the commonly used phrase “Entourage Effect”, which refers to the synergistic relationship of all the compounds in the hemp plant, including cannabinoids and terpenes. Through this synergy, the compounds work together to bring on more therapeutic benefits. Full spectrum CBD oil has the highest medicinal value and is the least processed CBD oil of the three options. A quality full spectrum CBD oil first starts with hemp genetics. Not all hemp is created equal. In fact, there are many levels of quality when it comes to hemp genetics, and better genetics create CBD oil with better efficacy. In addition to genetics, it’s crucial to properly harvest, dry, and cure the hemp, since heat and natural environmental exposure can harm the plant’s compounds if these steps aren’t done right. Finally, the extraction method, whether it’s through carbon dioxide (CO2), alcohol or hydrocarbon, needs to be completed with care and knowledge of the process (including temperature). Interestingly enough, even though a full spectrum CBD oil has less post processing, it is actually more expensive to produce.

When you’re shopping for a CBD product for your pet, you likely want one that’s safe and comes with the most benefits. Understanding the differences between Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum and CBD Isolate will help you make the best decision for your furry best friend.

 Diane recommends :

 HempMy Pet™ Information 

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With over 30 years of experience in cannabis cultivation and dietary supplement manufacturing, HempMy Pet grows all our own hemp right here in the US.

HempMy Pet makes cultivar-specific full-spectrum hemp oil productsfor pets. It is the ONLY CBD label for pets that has been Clinically Studied and proven effective at treating pain in dogs by independent Veterinarians.

 HempMy Pet is Vertically Integrated. This means we grow our own hemp and handle the entire process from seed to sale right here on our Colorado farm.

HempMy Pet is Organic. Both the ingredients and the farm itself is fully organic and in the process of being officially certified. (Our founders started the very first certified organic hemp farm here in Colorado and are doing it again.)

 HempMy Pet is Cultivar-Specific. We use one type of hemp (cultivar-specific) grown specifically for its medicinal properties. If it works for you and your pet today you can be assured the next time you buy it is the same product.

 HempMy Pet is Full-Spectrum. This means we have the full complement of CBD compounds plus so much more, including beneficial terpenes and yes, even trace amounts of THC for what is known as the ‘entourage effect’ for maximum effectiveness.

 HempMy Pet uses Human Grade Manufacturing. All production and manufacturing meets human-grade standards and while we do not market to humans, we do have plenty of customers who also use it, give it to their kids, etc.

 HempMy Pet is Veterinarian Recommended and has been used in authentic clinical studies for its effectiveness on pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, etc.

HempMy Pet takes their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) seriously and fundamentally embodies a generous, give-back mentality with regular support for rescues, shelters, canine cancer research, and more

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Use the links below to order or investigate Hemp My Pet website and enjoy 20% off your purchase!

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Washing your dog is a necessary activity, especially in the warmer months. Here’s how you can make this task an easy process, for you and your dog.

By Animal Wellness magazine

Summer is upon us, and that probably means you and your pup are spending more time outside. Most dogs would much rather skip bath time, but after spending hours running around outdoors, washing your dog is a great way to keep him free of dirt, bugs, and parasites. Washing your dog doesn’t have to be difficult, so here are a few simple steps to make bath time a breeze.

1. Brush out the coat

Get the coat ready with an all over brush. This helps get rid of loose hair, tangles, and debris. Plus, it starts the bath time process with quality time between you and your dog.

2. Use a towel in the bottom of the bath

Tubs can be slippery, especially when using soapy products! Putting a towel down gives your pup’s paws something to grip on, making sure he remains stable throughout the bath.

3. Check the water temperature

Always test the water temperature with your hand prior to setting your dog in the bath. Warm, body temperature water is best – not too hot or too cold. Ease your dog into the bath, wetting the body slowly from the legs up and leaving the head for last.

4. Get soapy!

Use a shampoo that is designed for dogs. WashBar® Original Soap for Dogs or the ManukaBar for sensitive skin are a perfect option. Made with 100% natural ingredients like manuka oil and neem oil, WashBar® soaps are free of harsh chemicals, synthetic fragrances and colors, sulfates and parabens! Use them like you would a regular shampoo by lathering it up, then slowly rubbing it into your dog’s fur for a nice deep clean.

5. Rinse thoroughly

Be sure to rinse your dog and make sure there is no more product on the fur, just to avoid any potential skin irritation. When rinsing his head, tip it up and use a bowl or handheld hose to avoid getting water or soap in his eyes.

6. Towel-dry at the end

Your dog knows how to dry off, but you can help too! After a good shake, towel-dry the rest of the water off as best you can – the finishing touch after an enjoyable bath time.

Washing your dog doesn’t have to be intimidating. With these tips, bathing your dog will be far less stressful than you thought it might be. And not only will you have a dog that smells and looks fresh – but you’ll also have spent some quality time together.

 

Why Do Some Dogs Bark More Than Others?

As seen in PetMD

Why do some dogs bark more than others? Maybe your neighbor’s dog barks nonstop when he’s gone, or maybe your dog barks at every breeze, shadow or whisper. And then there are dogs that hardly ever make a peep.

You might love your dog unconditionally, but a dog that barks at everything and anything can get a bit exhausting. No one enjoys being jarred out of sleep to the cacophonous sound of dog barking in the middle of the night—especially when there seems to be no reason for it.

So, what causes one dog to bark more than the others? Here are three factors that could contribute to a noisy household.

Genetics and Breed-Specific Characteristics

Genetics and breeding for specific traits can play a big role in a dog’s proclivity for barking.

According to Dr. Stefanie Schwartz, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist based in Orange County, California, the frequency of a dog’s bark can vary from breed to breed, and it all depends on how their ancestors were bred.

“Barking was emphasized in some breeds more than others,” says Dr. Schwartz. She explains that this trait was likely “selected by our ancestors to help guard human settlements.”

Not all breeds known for barking will necessary be noisy, however. For instance, terriers tend to be more vocal. But not all terriers will bark excessively, says Dr. Schwartz. Huskies and Nordic breeds are also known to howl more than others, while most Basenjis don’t bark at all, says Dr. Schwartz.

Environmental Factors

Dogs get used to their environments, and they will react to sounds that are unexpected (like a knock at the door) and those that they don’t hear often. 

If a dog was raised in a bustling city where they’re used to hearing constant noise, they’ll probably be less apt to bark in a noisy urban environment. But a dog who was raised in a quiet, rural area may bark at any sound.

“A city dog wouldn’t react to a siren (cops, ambulance) because it becomes part of the background noise, compared to a country dog [who lives] where things are quieter and less chaotic,” says Dr. Schwartz.

Unintentional Rewarding of Dog Barking

“Some dogs learn to bark for attention regardless of breed,” says Dr. Schwartz. “Barking is a response to not getting their needs met.” She also says that, “Barking can be a learned behavior where the dog signals to the owner, ‘I need something.’”

“It goes back to that basic of rewarding behavior,” says Dr. Katie Malehorn, DVM a staff veterinarian at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, D.C. She explains that dogs will keep doing something if they are getting rewarded for it.

Many owners may pay more attention to the dog when he’s barking—accidentally rewarding him for the behavior, says Khara Schuetzner, a certified professional dog trainer and owner of The Doggie Spot based in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

Dr. Schwartz gave the example of one woman who gave her dog a treat every time he barked—giving him attention and fulfilling his need for food—and inadvertently training him to bark.

What You Can Do to Stop Dogs From Barking So Much

To help lessen your dog’s barking, figure out the root cause of the behavior.

Dr. Schwartz explains that you need to find out what the triggers are for dog barking. Once you figure out the triggering behavior, the best approach is to work with a dog trainer and veterinarian (or a veterinary behaviorist) to find the best ways to help your dog find alternative, more productive behaviors.

Dr. Malehorn says that you will need to be patient. Many dog owners won’t seek help or try to work on excessive barking until it becomes a serious issue. At this point, it is going to take time, consistency and a good training plan to break the habit.

By: Teresa K. Traverse

How to Slow Down a Cat Who Is Eating Too Fast

As seen in PetMD

Just about every cat owner has experienced excited meowing, the rubbing against your legs and the pleading stare—let’s face it, cats have a way of getting what they want! Unfortunately, sometimes when they get that worked up for a meal or treat, moments later, we’ll hear the familiar sound that sends us running for the paper towels. And then there’s the cleanup of the snack that now lies on the floor, looking completely undigested. How do we stop this cycle of cats eating too fast?

A Cat That’s Eating Too Fast Might Regurgitate the Meal

The good news is that there are several ways to slow down a cat that’s eating too fast. But first, what triggers the reflex that leads to regurgitation? Kitty eats too quickly—especially dry cat food—which then absorbs water, swells and sends the memo to the brain that the animal has overeaten.

The brain does the logical thing: Too much food in? Let’s get rid of some, and the regurgitation reflex is triggered. This is slightly different from the mechanism involved in cat vomiting, which can be a more concerning symptom. That being said—if your pet regurgitates frequently or shows any additional sign, such as weight loss, a trip to your veterinarian is warranted.

How to Slow Down Your Cat’s Eating

A good first step is to determine what is being regurgitated. If it is always the same brand of cat treats, for example, perhaps a switch to a different brand is in order. If it is always dry food, kitty may do better on canned, which also boasts a large number of health benefits and may be better in the long run.  However, if no diet changes are in the future, it is possible to reduce or stop the bouts of regurgitation.

Try a Nonconventional “Bowl”

The first, and often simplest option, is to not use a typical cat food bowl, but instead spread the portion out on a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. This will space the food out markedly, leaving plenty of gaps between the kibbles or the chunks of canned food. Kitty must then take a bite—move along–take another bite—move along, markedly slowing the process from the typical GULP where half the bowl is eaten! Most of the time, this can slow the process down enough to resolve the problem.

Add an Obstacle

For cats that still eat too fast, however, or for those that do better with more traditional cat bowls, adding nonedible “obstacles” to the bowl can be helpful. This should be something too large for kitty to eat, and maneuverable enough that they can push it around while trying to get at the food below it.

Common items include ping pong and golf balls. If we are adding a second layer to the 9- by 13-inch baking pan strategy, larger balls such as tennis balls can be used. They will not work well for feeders that hold a large amount of food and replenish themselves automatically.

Use Automatic Cat Feeders

There are several types of automatic cat feeders that offer a feeding strategy that might be helpful. Some of these, like the PetSafe Eatwell 5-meal automatic pet feeder, can be set to open on a schedule and feed small meals frequently—which often helps prevent the regurgitation.

However, for many reasons—including weight control and appetite monitoring—the automatic feeders that don’t have portion control are generally not recommended or appropriate for feeding most cats.

Some automatic cat feeders have an ice pack below the bowl, to keep canned food fresh all day long—perfect not only for the “gulpers” in the house but also those kitties who just like being served fresh food multiple times per day (and who doesn’t?).

Try Cat Treat Toys and Slow Feeders

You can try slow cat feeder bowls that are shaped like mazes, making the cat work around the grooves and curves to get the food. You place the food in these slow feeders so that your kitty needs to solve a puzzle to get it, like with the Trixie activity strategy game tunnel feeder cat toy or the Northmate Catch interactive feeder.

Cat treat toys are also appropriate for curbing the gulping behavior. These need to be pushed or batted around into just the right position to release some of the food contained within–like with the Pet Zone IQ treat ball toy or the PetSafe Funkitty Egg-Cersizer cat toy.

These cat interactive toy options have the additional benefit of exercise and mental stimulation on top of providing nutrition—which more accurately simulates how it would be if the cat had to “work” to get its meals as it would in the wild.

Each of these techniques are most effective if kitty is being fed an appropriately portion-restricted amount of food and being fed once or twice per day. So, if you have stepped on yet another pile of regurgitation and swear it will be the last one, never fear. There are a number of options you can choose from, and certainly, one (or more!) will work for both you and your cat! I’m sure your kitty would rather have that favorite meal or snack in her tummy rather than on the floor, as well.

IS YOUR DOG WHEEZING? HERE ARE 5 HOME REMEDIES TO GO FOR

As seen in Homeoanimal

Dog wheezing is a health issue that you should never brush aside.

While this condition can be triggered by your canine family member simply being exposed to everyday allergens and will disappear just after a few minutes, dog wheezing can also result in potentially life-threatening situations in some cases.

Apart from walking you through the possible factors that could set off wheezing in dogs, this blog post will also give you a rundown of the proper home remedies for dog wheezing you should use when this problem strikes.

Let’s start the discussion by touching on the likely reasons why your dog is wheezing…

WHY IS MY DOG WHEEZING?

Wheezing in dogs occurs when something partially impedes the flow of air in or out of your canine family member’s airway. The source of this blockage could either be in the bronchi—the main tubes of the lungs—or the windpipe.

The high-pitched “wheezing” sound is basically created when the air moving from the lungs to the windpipe brushes against the said blockage during exhalation.

However, it is crucial to take note that there are several possible reasons why this wheezing sound is created, which can be anywhere from mild irritation to an underlying health issue.

Now we’ve got that out of the bag, let’s touch on the causes of dog wheezing that you need to keep in mind…

WHAT CAUSES WHEEZING IN DOGS?

There are eight (8) common causes of dog wheezing, namely genetics, foreign bodies, cardiovascular ailments, allergies, bronchitis, infections and inflammations, as well as kennel cough and collapsed windpipe. We’ll go through each one of these in detail below:

GENETICS

Interestingly, genetics play a key role in dog wheezing. Should either of both of your canine family member’s parents—the biological ones, in this case—be predisposed or have actually suffered from wheezing in dogs due to some underlying condition, then it’s also likely that he will be susceptible to this health issue as well.

FOREIGN BODIES

If your precious pet is anything like most dogs, chances are he loves to chew on anything that he finds fascinating like toys, sticks, various foodstuffs, plastic lids, and even chunks of wood. It is not uncommon that some of these things may splinter or break into pieces, which can get lodged inside his airway, leading to coughing and wheezing.

CARDIOVASCULAR AILMENTS

Canine cardiovascular illnesses such as mitral valve disease, congestive heart failure, as well as cardiomyopathy, can cause the accumulation of fluid inside the lungs. This fluid can eventually spread out in and around a dog’s airway, which results in wheezing.

Just to emphasize, while this factor is mostly observed among senior dogs, it can also occasionally be noted in younger pooches that are suffering from a heart condition.

ALLERGIES

Akin to human beings, your canine family member can also be prone to allergy attacks. These can be triggered by dust, mold, certain types of food, pollen, industrial chemicals, as well as cigarette smoke and vapors from vapes, resulting in dog wheezing.

As these allergens make their way inside your dog’s respiratory system, they tend to set off an immune response that causes his airway to constrict, which can make breathing a bit difficult. Moreover, insect bites and stings can also lead to similar consequences.

BRONCHITIS

Bronchitis is a respiratory illness that is characterized by the irritation of the main tubes of the lungs called “bronchi.” As this disease progresses, the lining of the bronchi gets inflamed and eventually swells, hindering the air to freely flow from the windpipe to the lungs and vice versa.

The more pronounced this swelling becomes, the harder it is for the air to move to and fro the lungs and windpipe, causing the high-pitched wheezing sound.

INFECTIONS AND INFLAMMATIONS

When your dog is suffering from an infection and or inflammation affecting the respiratory system, the most prominent immune responses that his body sets off are nasal discharge, bouts of coughing and sneezing, as well as a constricted airway.

This can also be accompanied by the buildup of phlegm in your canine family member’s sinuses and throat, which can hamper the flow of air in his windpipe and lungs, causing dog wheezing sooner or later.

KENNEL COUGH

Characterized by persistent bouts of dry coughing, kennel cough is a type of respiratory infection that irritates the lining of a dog’s airway making it difficult for him to breathe. This illness also causes parts of the throat and windpipe to swell, which can lead to dog wheezing.

COLLAPSED WINDPIPE

A collapsed windpipe, also referred to as tracheal collapse, involves the unexpected falling in of cartilage that hold the trachea together. Depending on the severity of the collapse, a dog may experience bouts of coughing that have a distinctive honking sound as well as intermittent wheezing spells.

Next, let’s find out if dog wheezing can be deemed as an emergency situation or not…

IS DOG WHEEZING AN EMERGENCY?

More often than not, dog wheezing is not to be deemed as an emergency situation. This condition can be simply your dog’s body’s response to everyday allergens like dust and pollen, as well as contact with blades of grass and twigs that could give him quite a ticklish sensation.

But the thing is this doesn’t mean that wheezing in dogs should be just shrugged off altogether. Here are the crucial indicators that you need to keep an eye on to determine if this condition is potentially life-threatening for your pet already:

  • He is visibly having a difficult time inhaling and exhaling
  • His breathing is really shallow yet at a very fast pace
  • His heart rate is significantly (and abnormally) high
  • His gums and tongue have a noticeable bluish or purplish tinge
  • He breathes with his mouth open with intermittent gagging and coughing
  • He will exhibit signs of severe anxiety like aimless movement and prolonged whining

Make sure you immediately seek medical attention or provide emergency care for your canine family member as soon as you notice these signs. Paying no heed to the same could lead to extremely serious or even fatal consequences for your animal companion.

Now we’ve got that covered, let’s check out the dog wheezing natural remedies that you need to include in your home pet care kit to deal with this health issue the right way…

DOG WHEEZING HOME REMEDIES

Unlike what a lot of people mistakenly believe, over-the-counter bronchodilators and antibiotics are not just your only options when it comes to properly supporting your canine family member during wheezing in dogs.

The next time your beloved pet goes through this condition, make sure you give him these all-natural dog wheezing home remedies. What’s really interesting is that the following natural remedies can also be used as a preventive measure for this health issue:

BREW UP SOME ELECAMPANE TEA.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), elecampane—also known as elf wort, elfdock, and horse-heal—contains ample amounts of the organic compound alantolactone, which has been seen to help relax constricted airways in cases of respiratory inflammation.

Moreover, follow up studies on elecampane reveal that alantolactone has a noticeable therapeutic effect to airways that were suppressed or impeded by cigarette smoke exposure.

To use elecampane as a home remedy for dog wheezing, steep a teaspoon of this dried root herb in a cup of hot water for at least ten (10) minutes. Let the mixture cool down completely. You can either give this elecampane tea to your dog straight, one teaspoon at a time twice a day, or add in a couple of teaspoons of the same to his water.

INFUSE YOUR DOG’S WATER WITH A BIT OF ECHINACEA.

Another study published in the NCBI reveals that echinacea is abundant in a starch-like chemical called arabinogalactan, which showed noticeable therapeutic effects when used to deal with upper respiratory tract infections and inflammations.

Arabinogalactan has also been seen to help alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by health issues like otitis media and pharyngotonsillitis that are often set off by infections and inflammations in the upper respiratory tract.

To use echinacea as a home remedy for dog wheezing, steep a teaspoon of dried echinacea flowers in a cup of hot water for at least ten (10) minutes. Stir it gently with a spoon to make sure that all of the bits are really soaked.

Once the mixture has cooled down completely, you can give your dog two (2) teaspoons of echinacea tea straight twice per day. Alternatively, you can also add the same amount of echinacea tea to his water.

KEEP RESPIRATORY INFLAMMATIONS AT BAY WITH LICORICE ROOT.

The NCBI highlights another study where licorice root has been seen to inhibit the accumulation of 11-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, which staves off the onset of allergic responses, particularly in the respiratory system.

To use licorice root as a home remedy for dog wheezing, steep a teaspoon of it in a cup of hot water for at least fifteen (15) minutes. Let the mixture linger for a few minutes after it has cooled down completely.

You can give your dog two (2) teaspoons of licorice root tea straight twice per day. Alternatively, you can also add the same amount of the same to his water.

Since licorice root is naturally slightly bitter, you can add a bit of honey to this concoction to make the whole thing sweeter and easier for your pet to consume.

MULLEIN LEAVES CAN HOLD BACK RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS.

Another study published in the NCBI stresses that extracts derived from mullein leaves show the ability to “inhibit the growth of bacteria involved in respiratory infections,” which can trigger dog wheezing.

To use mullein leaves as a home remedy for dog wheezing, steep a teaspoon of this herb—you can go for either the fresh or dried variety—in a cup of hot water for at least ten (10) minutes. Let the mixture cool down completely.

You can either give this mullein tea to your dog straight, one teaspoon at a time twice a day, or add in a couple of teaspoons of the same to his water.

QUERCETIN CAN HELP STABILIZE YOUR DOG’S RESPIRATORY RATE.

According to MDPI, foods rich in quercetin such as dark cherries, unpeeled apples, and blueberries have been seen to help promote stabilized respiratory rates when consumed on a regular basis.

Additional studies note that animals previously often exposed to cigarette smoke have a higher chance of normalizing their respiratory rates as compared to those that did not.

To use quercetin as a home remedy for dog wheezing, integrate foods rich in this antioxidant into your canine family member’s regular diet.

In the next part of our discussion, I’d like to share a natural and high-quality product you can go for if your dog is going through a bout of wheezing…

A HIGH-QUALITY NATURAL PRODUCT YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT

HomeoAnimal’s BRONCHIAL CLEAR is designed to support respiratory capacity and promote better lung health.

Besides being made with natural homeopathic ingredients, my team and I at HomeoAnimal have also ensured that each of the components that make up BRONCHIAL CLEAR are also first-rate to only give your pet the best like you would have also wanted.

To use BRONCHIAL CLEAR to support your canine family member during dog wheezing, you only need to give him a single spray of this product in his mouth once a day. You can also mix it with his water as an alternative application.

Moreover, make sure you stop administering BRONCHIAL CLEAR once the symptoms have disappeared. It is also important to take note that this product is not to be used as a preventive measure.

CONCLUSION

This brings our walkthrough on the home remedies you can use for dog wheezing to a close.

I hope that you learned a lot from our discussion, especially the part where I emphasized that wheezing in dogs should not be left to chance. Rather it should be given immediate and proper care and attention like having BRONCHIAL CLEAR in your dog home care checklist.

In case you’re looking to learn more about keeping your canine family member happy and healthy using natural means, make sure you sign up for our FREE HEALTH ADVISOR GUIDANCE right now to get the lowdown on the products and treatment options that best fit your animal’s health needs.

Naturally with you and your pet, every step of the way!

Why Your Cat is Throwing Up and What To Do

As seen in PetMD

In cats, it can be difficult to tell the difference between retching/vomiting, regurgitation, and coughing. These are all very different and come with different possible causes, so it is important to try and differentiate between them.

Vomiting is the active motion of ejecting contents from a cat’s stomach and small intestines out through their mouth. This is different than regurgitation, which is a passive motion where no force is needed to eject contents through the cat’s mouth. You might also mistake these for coughing if you didn’t witness anything coming out.

The best thing to do is to take a video, if possible, to show your veterinarian. They can help you determine whether it really is vomiting, and if so, why your cat is throwing up. Here’s some helpful information on cat vomiting causes and possible treatments.

Why Is My Cat Throwing Up?

Your veterinarian will ask a variety of questions to determine why your cat is vomiting. These include:

  • Have you switched your cat’s diet recently?
  • Have you started any prescribed or over-the-counter medications?
  • What diet, including all treats, is your cat on?
  • Do you have other cats in the house, and if so, are they also vomiting?
  • Is your cat indoor and/or outdoor?
  • How often is your cat vomiting, and what does the vomit look like?
  • Is your cat still eating?
  • Is your cat having other symptoms, such as diarrhea and/or weight loss?
  • How long has your cat been vomiting?

There are several possible causes of cat vomiting, and these questions will help guide your veterinarian in the right direction. Possible reasons why cats throw up can be broken into two categories—gastrointestinal causes and non-gastrointestinal causes.

Gastrointestinal Causes of Cat Vomiting

Non-Gastrointestinal Causes of Cat Vomiting

What Does Your Cat’s Vomit Look Like?

Knowing what your cat’s vomit looks like is very important, as different diseases can cause the vomit to have a more distinct appearance. Here are some examples of vomit color/consistency and possible causes for each.

Bile/Yellow

Cats will vomit bile when they have an empty stomach. This can happen if you are only feeding your cat in the morning and they go 24 hours without food, or it can happen when cats are anorexic. Food stimulates the gall bladder to contract, but when the gall bladder does not contract, the bile can back up into the small intestines and stomach.

Blood

Blood can be seen with ulcerations, or if your cat vomits several times in a row, this can cause an irritation of the stomach lining and esophagus because of the increased acid. Blood can also be present if there is a clotting abnormality, which can be seen with certain diseases and some toxins (rat poisoning, for example).

White Foam

White foam in cat vomit is oftentimes seen because the lining of the stomach and/or small intestines is inflamed from many possible causes.

Water/Clear Liquid

If your cat is vomiting clear liquid, it can be the fluid contents of the stomach, or your cat might have drunk too much water. There are many possible diseases that can cause cats to drink too much water, including diabetes mellitus and kidney disease.

Worms

The most common type of worm seen in cat vomit is roundworms. If your cat vomits a worm, it is important to bring this to your veterinarian so they can treat the issue appropriately.

Food

Cats who eat too much or too fast can vomit food, and it typically it appears in a tubular shape.  They can also vomit food if they become nauseous shortly after eating, if there is a foreign body obstructing the food from moving into the small intestines, or if they have a food allergy.

Hairballs

Cats can occasionally vomit hairballs, especially cats who overgroom or cats with long hair.

Brown Liquid

This is usually indicative of digested blood further down the intestinal tract and can be seen with ulcerations, foreign bodies, or even hairballs in the intestines.

Green Vomit

If your cat is throwing up green vomit, this usually indicates that the food or substance was brought up from the small intestines. The mixture of the vomitus with bile can turn the color green.

Mucus

Mucus is typically seen if your cat is regurgitating and not vomiting. If you see mucus, it is very important to determine if your cat is actually vomiting or if they are regurgitating.

Cat Vomiting With Other Symptoms

Oftentimes when cats do vomit, they have other symptoms, too. Describing all of your cat’s symptoms to your veterinarian will be important in determining the right diagnostics or treatments.

Your cat is vomiting and not eating. 

It is very common for cats to not want to eat if they are nauseous. You can see this with a variety of conditions, including foreign bodies, kidney and liver disease, severe diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, etc.

Your cat is vomiting and constipated.

If your cat hasn’t defecated in a couple of days and is straining to go, they are likely constipated. This can cause a backup of contents in the small intestines and stomach, causing cats to vomit.

Your cat is vomiting and having diarrhea.

This combination of symptoms tells us that there is not only inflammation within the stomach but also within the small and/or large intestines.

Your cat is vomiting and sneezing.

If your cat has acute vomiting and sneezing, they could have contracted a virus (such as coronavirus). It is not uncommon for cats who become sick (vomiting) to also develop an upper respiratory tract infection. This is because a large portion of cats contract certain viruses, such as herpesvirus, as kittens, and can be acting normal until they are immunocompromised.

Your cat is vomiting and drinking a lot.

Cats can vomit after they drink a large amount of water. They can also have disease that cause them to drink a lot and have vomiting, such as kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, and cancer.

Your cat is vomiting and pooping on the floor.

Cats may defecate on the floor if they have constipation or have an increased urgency to go, which can be seen with intestinal inflammation and diarrhea.

Should I Call the Vet if My Cat Throws Up?

You should call your veterinarian right away if:

  • Your cat vomits more than two to three times in a row.
  • Your cat has other symptoms, such as not eating and diarrhea. If your cat is also having diarrhea, it will be difficult to keep them hydrated without seeing your veterinarian.
  • Your cat does not eat or drink for 12 hours and has vomited several times in a row.
  • Your cat has already been diagnosed with an illnesses (such as diabetes, kidney disease, and hyperthyroidism). This is an emergency, and your cat should be seen immediately, as this could mean that their disease is progressing. Early medical intervention is necessary in these patients, as they can become dehydrated very quickly.
  • Your cat has vomited a worm. You need to deworm your cat and any other animals in the household as soon as possible. It is also important to keep the environment clean and scoop the litter boxes several times a day to ensure that your pets do not get reinfected.

Can I Give My Cat Anything at Home for Vomiting?

Unfortunately, there are not many over-the-counter medications that will help cats not vomit. If your cat does start to vomit, do not give them anything by mouth (including water or food) for several hours.

When Can I Feed My Cat Again After They’ve Thrown Up?

After waiting several hours, you can try to give your cat about 25% of what you would normally feed to see if they can keep it down. Then gradually increase the amount over the next 24 hours. If your cat starts vomiting again, you will need to seek veterinary help.

How Vets Treat Cat Vomiting

It’s important to distinguish between acute vomiting and chronic vomiting. Chronic vomiting is defined as a cat who vomits more than once a week or has been vomiting on and off for more than three months. This is much different than a cat who suddenly starts to throw up (acute).

Treating Acute Vomiting in Cats

The first step in properly treating your cat for vomiting is identifying the underlying cause. First, your veterinarian will do noninvasive diagnostics. This includes:

  • A chemistry and CBC (general blood tests) to screen for diseases such as kidney disease and diabetes.
  • A fecal exam to rule out parasites.
  • Abdominal radiographs to rule out larger tumors or foreign bodies that might be causing an obstruction. 

If these tests are normal, and your cat is acutely vomiting, your veterinarian will likely recommend supportive treatments with anti-nausea medications. 

Cats that vomit from hairballs can be placed on a special high-fiber diet along with a medication to help ease the passage of hairballs.

Treating a Cat That Keeps Throwing Up (Chronic Vomiting in Cats)

If your cat continues to vomit or has a history of chronic vomiting, further testing would be indicated as described below:

  • Gastrointestinal panel: This will test the pancreas enzymes to rule out pancreatitis. It will also look at cobalamin and folate to determine if there is evidence of malabsorption in the small intestines.
  • Abdominal ultrasound: This imaging modality is very sensitive at identifying smaller foreign objects that x-rays cannot. This ultrasound looks at the pancreas and helps measure the wall of the gastrointestinal tract. It will also help rule out any enlarged lymph nodes that can sometimes be seen with cancer.
  • Chest x-rays: These may be recommended if it is not clear whether your cat is vomiting, regurgitating, or coughing. Chest x-rays are also recommended in older cats to rule out evidence of cancer.

In some cases, the diagnostics come back normal or do not provide a definitive diagnosis. This can be seen if the disease is at the cellular level of the small intestines. 

In this instance, the next step would be obtaining biopsies of your cat’s gastrointestinal tract to differentiate between inflammatory bowel disease, food hypersensitivity, and gastrointestinal lymphoma. Your veterinarian may try a new diet prior to obtaining biopsies in the event that this is related to a food allergy.

Can Dogs Get Heat Stroke?

By Jessica Peralta -Dogs Naturally

You’re walking along with your 80-pound, long-haired German Shepherd one warm, sunny afternoon. You’re breaking a bit of a sweat, but you feel fine in your shorts and tank. But then you look over at Thor, and he’s not looking too good. His eyes are glassy, he’s panting a lot and he’s starting to pull back on the leash. “But, it’s not that hot,” you say to yourself. “What’s up with Thor?”

Thor is probably on his way to heat stroke. Heat stroke in dogs can be dangerous.

What Is Heat Stroke In Dogs?

Your dog gets heat stroke when he’s having trouble regulating his body temperature.

Your dog doesn’t sweat the way you do. He only has sweat glands in his nose and in the pads of his feet. And his only real recourse when he’s overheating is to pant, which sometimes isn’t enough.

Add in the fur that covers his body and the fact that his paws are usually in direct contact with the hot sidewalk … and It’s easy to see how he can get much hotter than you can, and much faster.

Heatstroke in dogs is dangerous. It can cause permanent brain or organ damage.

A dog’s normal body temperature is somewhere between 100.5 to 102.5 degrees. A dog will start to experience heat stroke when he temperature is over 105 degrees. At around 106 to 108 degrees, irreversible organ damage can occur. It can even cause death. Try to keep a thermometer handy and check his temperature if you suspect heat stroke.

Pay close attention any time the weather is warm. The longer your dog suffers, the worse the damage will be.

Signs Of Heat Stroke In Dogs

So how can you tell if your dog’s struggling? Here are some signs of heat stroke in dogs:

  • Excessive panting
  • Excessive thirst
  • Glazed eyes
  • Hyperventilation
  • Increased salivation
  • Dry gums that are pale or grayish
  • Bright or dark red tongue or gums
  • Rapid or erratic pulse
  • Weakness, staggering, confusion, inattention
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Collapse

NOTE: Breeds with flat faces like Pugs and Boxers, elderly dogs and puppies are at higher risk. Dogs with existing health conditions may also overheat faster.

You need to take immediate action. Again, heat stroke can cause permanent organ damage. if your dog doesn’t cool down, his breathing can slow or stop. He may have seizures or fall into a coma.

So, what should you do if you think your dog has heat stroke?

Dog Heat Stroke Treatment At Home

If your dog has heat stroke, his condition can progress quickly, so take action as soon as you suspect a problem.

1. Get Him Into The Shade

Since heat is the obvious problem, you want to get him out of direct sunlight and into a cooler spot as soon as possible. Find a shady spot under a tree, preferably in a grassy area, which will be cooler than asphalt or concrete.

2. Apply Cool Water

Get water on his inner thighs and stomach where there are more large blood vessels, and on the pads of his feet. Use running water from the faucet or hose. If you’re out on a walk, ask a neighbor if you can use theirs!

3. Air Him Out

To help cool your dog, make sure the water you’re putting on him can evaporate. Don’t cover him up with a wet towel or blanket. Covering him will create a sauna effect instead of allowing the water to evaporate. Keep him in the open air and out of enclosed areas like a kennel. If you can get him near a fan or air condition, or in a breezy spot if you’re outside, that will help.

4. Keep Him Moving

Encourage your dog to stand or slowly walk around while he’s cooling down. You want his cooled blood to circulate throughout his body.

5. Give Him Small Amounts Of Cool (Not Cold )Water

If he gulps down too much water too fast, it can cause vomiting or bloating. But he needs to stay hydrated. If he doesn’t want water, give him chicken or beef broth.

Never give human sports or performance drinks.

RELATED: Here’s a quick and easy bone broth recipe …

6. Get Him To The Vet

Once your dog has started to cool down, take him to his vet right away. You don’t want to keep trying to cool down your dog for too long or you’ll risk him getting hypothermia.

Even if your dog seems fine, he’ll need a veterinary exam. There may be underlying damage to his organs that you can’t see. The effects of heat stroke can continue for 48 to 72 hours.

The most common cause of death following heat stroke is disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC). This happens when the blood coagulates throughout the body. It can occur hours or days after the heat stroke episode. Again, even if your dog seems much better, a vet exam is the best way to make sure.

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Homeopathic Remedies For Heat Stroke In Dogs

Cooling down your overheated dog and getting him to the vet is critical. Homeopathic remedies can help if you have them handy. Use 6C or 30C potency if you have it … but if you have the remedy in a different potency, use whatever you have. Choose the remedy that best fits his symptoms according to the descriptions below. Dose every 5-15 minutes for up to 3 or 4 doses. If he doesn’t seem better, try one of the other remedies listed.

  1. Belladonna – your dog is red, has dilated pupils, bounding pulses, and is burning up, or even comatose use this remedy – and get him to the vet as fast as you can.
  2. Aconitum napellus – This is a good first choice at first sign of heat stroke. If your dog needs this remedy, he may also seem very fearful or anxious.
  3. Gelsemium – If your dog needs this remedy, he may seem very weak and his muscles may be trembling.
  4. Glonoinum – This remedy can help when your dog overheats from too much sun exposure. You may see vomiting and weakness. His heart may pound. His ears and gums may look red, or even alternating from pale to red. HIs eyes may look red and staring, protruding or dry.

For all these remedies, follow the instructions on How To Give A Homeopathic Remedy at the link below. A dose is usually about 3 pellets but the number really doesn’t matter, so you can give more or less.

RELATED: What you need to know about homeopathy for dogs …

How To Prevent Heat Stroke In Dogs

When it comes to heat stroke, . Heatstroke is completely avoidable if you take some precautions

Whether you’re heading out for a hike or your dog’s playing in the backyard, remember these tips:

  • Always be aware of the temperature and the potential for heat stroke.
  • Find spots that offer some shade and a place for your dog to get a break out of direct sunlight.
  • Make sure your dog always has access to cool, clean water and a way to cool himself down. Carry plenty of drinking water and a portable bowl so you can give him a drink if he’s panting.
  • If your dog likes to paddle or swim, on really hot days it’s a great idea to take him for a walk in the woods near a creek or lake.
  • If your dog has a tendency to feel the heat. consider buying a cooling vest or bandana.
  • Don’t ever leave your dog in a parked car on warm days – even with the air conditioning running. AC can fail and make the car hotter by blowing heated air instead of cold.
  • Don’t shave your long haired or double-coated dog in summer. It may seem like he’d be cooler, but it actually makes overheating more likely. Find out why …

Heat stroke is very dangerous for your dog … so be prepared, and don’t let it happen!

8 Surprising Ways to Say “I Love You” in Cat Language

As seen in PetMD

Reviewed and updated for accuracy on June 15, 2018, by Katie Grzyb, DVM.

Most cat lovers don’t need to be told that a steady supply of cuddles and cat treats will keep their feline friends happy. But what are some methods to show your cat signs of affection that go a little deeper? By learning more about innate cat behavior, you can enhance the bond you share. Here are eight fun ways to show your cat love—in cat language.

1. Gaze Softly Into Your Cat’s Eyes

Did you know that you can show your cat affection simply by looking at her? It just takes some finesse. “When you look at your cat, always use a soft gaze and never a hard stare,” says Pam Johnson-Bennett, CCBC, and best-selling author of “CatWise.” “In the animal world, a direct stare is viewed as a threat.”

“If you really want to amp up the affection factor,” Johnson-Bennett adds, “offer a slow eye blink as well.” In cat language, blinking slowly signals that you’re relaxed and mean no harm. If your cat feels the love, too, she might blink back. “This is commonly referred to as a cat kiss,” Johnson-Bennett says.

2. Respect Petting Preferences

Has your cat ever come to you for cuddles, only to wriggle out of your arms seconds later? If so, you may need to modify your petting style. “The cat’s body is very sensitive, and when you stroke certain areas, you want to get a positive reaction and not a defensive one,” Johnson-Bennett says. For instance, some cats enjoy a good chin-scratching, but others prefer long strokes from head to toe. “Observe how your cat reacts when you stroke various areas of the body so you’ll know what creates a calm, enjoyable reaction,” says Johnson-Bennett.

And while many cat lovers could probably pet kitties for hours on end, it’s important to know when to stop. “You always want to end the session on a positive note,” Johnson-Bennett says, “so watch for signals that kitty is getting tired of the physical contact.” Learning how your cat communicates with their body can help you figure out when your cat is ready for their petting session to end.

3. Enrich Your Cat’s Environment

Cats spend a lot of time at home, so it’s essential that their environment be a safe and stimulating one. “All the hugging, petting, toys, sweet talk and other forms of affection won’t matter if the cat doesn’t feel safe or is stressed,” says Johnson-Bennett. Make sure your cat feels secure and has convenient access to resources like food, water and a cat litter box. “It doesn’t take much to tweak the environment to be more cat-friendly,” Johnson-Bennett says. “It just takes looking at things from the cat’s point of view.”

There are many more ways to enrich your cat’s environment beyond the basics. Mikel Delgado, a certified applied animal behaviorist and co-founder of Feline Minds, recommends items like cat scratchers, window perches and cat trees, which help cats feel safer and let them watch over their territory. She also can’t overstate the value of a heated bed. “All cats enjoy being warmer than humans like,” she says. “And it’s especially great for older cats who may have some creaky joints.”

4. Nurture Your Cat’s Inner Predator

Cats are natural predators, but those chewed-up mouse toys behind the couch don’t make very challenging prey. “I think one of the best ways to show love for your cat is to engage them with interactive playtime every day,” says Delgado. “Interactive play means you move a toy—such as a feather wand or Cat Dancer toys—like prey, so your cat can let loose as the predator they are built to be.” Not only does this activity nurture innate cat behavior, but it provides a stress-reducing workout, too. “It’s a great way to bond,” Delgado says, “especially when your cat isn’t the cuddly type.”

5. Use Food Puzzle Toys

You probably wouldn’t want to have to solve a puzzle cube before every meal. However, giving your cat a food puzzle is a great way to appeal to her inner hunter and give her a mental workout. “I’m a big fan of foraging toys or puzzles that require your cat to manipulate a ball or other object to get food out,” says Delgado. Start your cat out with a simpler cat food dispensing toy that allows her to see the cat food or cat treats inside, like the Catit treat ball toy or the Petsafe Funkitty Egg-cersizer cat toy. Then introduce more difficult puzzle toys over time, like the Trixie activity fun board cat toy or the KONG Active cat treat ball toy. Crafty cat lovers may enjoy making DIY food puzzles at home.

6. Create a Treasure Hunt

Hunting and foraging are natural cat behaviors, but it’s understandable if your cat isn’t doing much of either in your living room. You can change that by creating a food treasure hunt for cats. “Place food and treats on cat trees, shelves, in puzzle toys and boxes and other spots for the cat to search for,” says Marilyn Krieger, a certified cat behavior consultant known as The Cat Coach and author of “Naughty No More.” The hunt should start easy, with food placed where your cat can see it. You can increase the difficulty by putting food in harder to reach places like cat trees, but don’t make it too hard, says Krieger. “The game should be challenging, not frustrating.”

7. Reward Good Behavior

The same techniques that help deal with unwanted cat behavior can also strengthen bonds with humans, explains Krieger. Clicker training, a positive reinforcement training method, uses a consistent sound, such as a click from a clicker, to communicate to the cat when she is doing a desired behavior. Cat clicker training is fun for cats and also makes their home environment more comfortable. “It’s effective for socializing cats and helping them feel more secure around their people,” says Krieger.

8. Show Your Cat Signs of Affection Every Day

Even if your feline is fairly low-maintenance, show your cat love daily. As Krieger says, “It is mandatory that cat lovers schedule that special petting, cuddling, stroking time with their cats—that is, for cats who like to be stroked and cuddled.” And for those cats who don’t, you’ve hopefully discovered a few new ways to enjoy that quality time.

By Jackie Lam

Do Ticks Jump?

As Seen in PetMD

How do ticks end up on your pet? Some common misconceptions are that ticks jump, fly, or fall from the trees. In fact, these are all false.

Ticks have pear-shaped bodies and four pairs of legs. Their body design, combined with their feeding needs for each part of their life cycle, determine how they get to their host to feed.

However, none of these modes of mobility include jumping. And since they don’t have wings, either, they can’t fly.

Here’s a breakdown of how ticks get around and how they find and attach to their hosts.

Questing: A Tick’s True Mode of Travel

Ticks are unique in that they are opportunistic creatures. They wait for their host to come to them. This is a process known as “questing.”

The very patient tick uses its rear pairs of legs to hold on to a leaf or blade of grass as it grabs on to the next host animal that brushes past it.

How Ticks Detect Nearby Hosts

The questing period is not completely passive and random. Ticks have perfected this mode of survival by using their senses to detect movement and carbon dioxide exhaled by animals.

This gives them a better chance of connecting with a host animal so that they can feed and survive. Many species of ticks need to feed on a bloodmeal in the periods between each life stage in order to grow.

How Ticks Choose a Host

Certain varieties of ticks have preferred hosts. For example, the deer tick (also known as the black-legged tick), prefers to feed on white-tailed deer. But if a dog presents itself as a convenient host, the tick may feed on the dog.

The American dog tick prefers the dog as a host, but it can feed on a human if need be. These examples simplify the selection process for hosts, which can be quite intricate and can even differ with each type of tick (soft or hard) and each stage in their life cycle.

But overall, despite the fact that they might have preferred hosts, ticks are opportunistic creatures. They will get their bloodmeal whenever they can. It’s all about what animal happens to brush by them so they can attach and feed.

How Ticks Attach

In many tick species, larvae quest at ground level, while adults climb higher in hopes of grabbing on to a larger animal as it passes by. Some ticks will attach quickly, while others crawl around on the host, looking for thinner skin to attach to.

These differences in tick location and attachment make it especially important to check your pet’s ears and the bottom of their paws to remove potential ticks that may have attached. Ticks will find the most hidden spots on your pet.

Tick Prevention

The best way to not have to worry about tick removal and the diseases that ticks transmit is to protect your pet from them in the first place.

Some flea and tick products can be applied topically, while others are worn as collars or taken orally. Discuss with your vet which flea and tick control options would be the safest and most effective for your pet.

RESOURCES

www.cdc.gov and www.petsandparasites.org