Posted by: H.R.
Pets Best Insurance Editorial Manager
Do you practice preventive care for your cats? Like any good cat owner, you probably do the basics: flea prevention, vaccines, and cat insurance. But what about the food you feed them? Do you believe that all cat food is the same? Are you intimidated by pet food ingredient lists?
While most cat owners research medications and cat insurance options in depth– many don’t spend nearly as much time looking into pet food.
Veterinarian of over 30 years, Greg Martinez DVM is part owner of the Gilroy Veterinary Hospital in Santa Clara Valley. Dr. Martinez wishes his clients would pay a little more attention to what they feed their pets.
“30% of my medical cases are related to common allergenic commercial ingredients in pet food,” wrote Dr. Martinez in an email.
Allergic reactions from pet food can appear as a variety of cat health symptoms. These include diarrhea, ear infections, and dry, itchy skin.
Hyperallergenic ingredients in cat foods that cause the most cat health care issues include wheat, soy, corn, beef and even fish. These are general ingredients you should seek to eliminate from your cat’s diet. Taking that step will be more beneficial than ruling out “by-products.” The term “by-product” simply refers to different parts of an animal, when in fact this is what cats are supposed to eat.
Cats are carnivores, meaning they need to eat animal-based protein. Pet food companies often rate their protein levels from plant-based proteins like grains, corn, and rice. These ingredients are often used to keep prices low, but they also keep the quality of nutrition low.
Starting at home, paying more attention to the ingredients you feed your cat can help him overcome or prevent issues that often result in stressful vet visits.
Your pet’s safety should be one of your top priorities. Did you know that there could be pet health dangers lurking in your home?
Another reason pet insurance is a good idea: according to the Pet Poison Helpline, there are several household toxins that you should be aware of to protect your pet.
Keep pet health a priority by keeping household toxins out of the reach of your pets. Here is a list of some common household items that are potentially poisonous to pets.
1. Human medications: Ingestion of human medications can be avoided by ensuring that the medication is kept out of the reach of pets. Human medications should never be given to pets.
2. Other pets’ medications: Pets should never be given medications prescribed for other pets. Dog flea and tick preventatives should never be used on cats as they can be fatal.
3. Household cleaners: Use caution when using chemicals and cleaners around your pets. Make sure pets are not near you when using these products. Keep toilet lids closed, especially if you use an automatic toilet bowl cleaner.
4. Rat & mouse poison: Avoid using rodenticides near pets. The toxins that are fatal to rodents can be fatal to your pets as well. Use live traps as a kinder and safer alternative.
5. Household plants: Avoid having household plants that are toxic to pets. Cats enjoy chewing on plants and can be easily poisoned by toxic plants.
Ingestion of any of these toxins is considered a medical emergency. If you think your pet may have ingested a toxic substance, call the Pet Poison Helpline poison control center at 800-213-6680 and contact your veterinarian immediately.
Apparently, the country is catching on to what cat lovers have known for years.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, “there are more cats with homes than dogs in the United States,” (as quoted in the DailyCollegian.com article, “PCP: The Cat’s Meow”).
The reasons for this are clear in the October article:
• Cat health care and feeding is more affordable on average than dogs, who are usually larger.
• Cats are easier to live with in apartment settings, as they are litter trained and get ample indoor exercise.
• Cats are independent and need less training.
Those considering cat adoption have many avenues to explore to find “the one” (or the pair…cats do great in pairs).
Pet Adoption CentersThis option includes local animal control, a.k.a. “the pound,” which is usually run by the city. At this type of cat and dog shelter, animals usually have a short time to be claimed or adopted before facing euthanasia. Adopting from the pound means a life is truly saved.
Another type of cat shelter is a humane society, which is often a “no kill” or a “no time limit” facility. “No time limit” shelters often house cats that have been waiting for homes for weeks, months, or even years. Sometimes the cats are fostered. Adopting from a humane society often means obtaining much more information on the cats’ personalities, habits and temperament for other animals.
Cat & Kitten Rescue
Similar to a humane society, rescues are largely run by volunteers and the adoptable cats are usually kept in foster homes. The advantage of a rescue is that there are many organizations devoted to specific breeds; great for those who love a certain breed but don’t want to, or cannot afford, adopting from a breeder. Shelters and rescues often rotate available cats at local pet stores for the public to meet.
Respectable breeders concentrate on advancing the health and lineage of particular breed. These cats come with official papers, their entire history is known, are often raised underfoot and come with health guarantees.
Adopters should be careful to avoid “back yard breeders.” These individuals breed with limited experience, no papers or guarantees, and sell the pets for profit.
After adopting a cat, it’s also a good idea to look into pet insurance, as accidents and illnesses come in many forms. For more information about cat insurance, talk with your veterinarian or visit www.petsbest.com.
Although I never knew much about pets or pet health in general, I’ve been a die-hard pet lover since the day I came home from school in the 2nd grade and met a gorgeous, 50 pound yellow Lab mix that my mother had adopted from the shelter.
I didn’t know a dog would start living with us that day, and I don’t think my mom did, either. She only visited dog rescue shelters out of curiosity, and when she saw the petite Lab with the brown nose, she asked to meet him. When his gate was opened, he sat in front of my mother and lifted his paw to shake. “I’ll take him,” she said.
I was only 8-years-old at the time, I have one distinct, life-changing memory from childhood thanks to that dog. One day, I realized that he was there to meet me every day when I came home from school, and that he just loved laying next to me no matter what room of the house I was in. It was then that our relationship changed from housemates to best friends, and also when my biased belief that Labradors are one of the best dog breeds began. It was around then that I also began to get a deeper understanding of pet health, and behavior.
A recent study at the University of Zurich found that children become less selfish around age 7 or 8. For me, the catalyst to this lesson was a lovable Lab, appropriately named Buddy by my father. Buddy was always with me growing up, and that included a cameo in my high school senior pictures.
The summer after graduation, before I moved away for college, I learned another life lesson thanks to Buddy. One day out of the blue, he died peacefully in our back yard. Even though he was no longer with me, his immeasurable love gave me so much. Buddy taught me love, tolerance and friendship. He was the best buddy a kid could ask for.
Posted By: H.R.
Pets Best Insurance Editorial Manager
It can happen to the best pet parents: the beloved family dog becomes lost. Visitors can come over and inadvertently leave a door open one second too long. A dog can be frightened by a loud noise while in the yard and dash out of site in a moment. A fun trip to the dog park can end in terror when the dog runs out the opened pet safety gates. Even those prepared pet parents who have purchased pet insurance for potential accidents or illnesses may not be prepared for their dog bolting.
In the event that a dog is lost, quick action is necessary. The first places to call with a description of the dog and the location where it was last seen include:
• City shelter or “pound”
• Humane society
• Local veterinarians (in case the dog is injured and brought in by a good Samaritan)
After these calls are made, posters with photos should be printed and taken to the above listed locations. Notices should also be placed online, at sites like petfinder.com and craigslist.org.
Craigslist, a free online classified ads site, is a hotbed of lost and found pet ads as well as “pets available for adoption” ads.
When Laurie and Michael Gordon of Ohio lost their dog Hunter, they did all the right things to try to locate him. Someone noticed their efforts and alerted the Gordons that a similar looking dog was posted for sale on Craigslist. The people who had found Hunter made no attempt to find his owners.
According to the Akron Beacon-Journal, “the ad on Craigslist stated that the dog’s owners were looking for a ‘new home for our 18-month-old Jack Russell Terrier . . . he is good with kids and other dogs. He is housebroken as well. He loves to cuddle and loves attention. We have a baby due in just a couple of weeks and we want to ensure he gets all the attention he deserves.'”
When the Gordons responded to the ad, they were told that the dog had already been sold and there was no last name or phone number for the new owner.
The dog also had no license and wore no identification tags, so it was impossible for the Gordons to prove that Hunter was theirs. Fortunately, the mass media attention caught the eye of someone who recognized Hunter, and the Gordons got their dog back.
Ensuring your pet is equipped with ID tags and acting fast to find your lost pet can help ensure a safe arrival home.