Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Health Watch: Preventing Urinary Tract Infections in Cats

Just like humans, cats can develop urinary tract problems that prevent the bladder from emptying or even block the urethra (the tube that connects the bladder to the outside of the body). Veterinarians often refer to this problem as Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), which can have several symptoms such as bloody urine, loss of bladder control or an inability to urinate, as well as several root causes such as cancer, urinary blockages, bladder stones or infection. Any of these problems can be life threatening if not treated, and you should always consult with a vet as soon as possible.

Male cats, especially those over 4 year old, are more prone to FLUTD, as their urethra is generally narrower. Kittens are rarely diagnosed with FLUTD. If you notice your cat excessively licking the urinary opening, avoiding the litter box or straining/prolonged swatting in the litter box, you should consult your veterinarian immediately.

Depending on the severity of the condition, treatment of FLUTD may require surgery. However often a simple change in food and water intake can go a long way in both healing and prevention of future infections. Many vets recommend that an increase in water intake helps keep the urinary tract healthy. Not only does canned food provide more moisture for feline digestive systems, but it also more closely matches a cat’s natural carnivorous diet. Often too much dry food can lead to water depletion and potential urinary tract infections. For cats susceptible to urinary tract infections, we recommend Evanger’s Holistic Pheasant Dinners.  If you don't want to do a completely canned food diet, Evanger's Grain Free Game Meats are a GREAT moist addition to any dry food diet - these are just pure meat cans that will add moisture and nutrition to your cat's diet Nothing But Natural Freeze Dried Beef Tripe treats. For a comprehensive list of recommended products, check out our Problems and Solutions guide on our website.
Evanger's Grain Free Pure Game Meats

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Breed Buzz: Australian Shepherd

Originally bred for livestock herding, the Austrian Shepherd (or “Aussie”) is an extremely energetic and lively dog, with an intelligence to match. Loyal and protective, the Aussie is wonderful with children and extremely obedient with high intelligence and desire to please its owner. Given the Aussie’s playful and working nature, this is not a dog that will do well indoors or even with a small backyard. The Aussie needs significant mental and physical exercise to prevent behavior problems and destructive tendencies.

The Aussie has a beautiful medium, wavy coat that is water resistant. Coat colors can include blue and red merle (patches of color in an otherwise solid coat), the gene for which can also result in bright blue or marbled-colored eyes. However, if two merle dogs are mated there is a chance that any offspring will develop blindness and/or deafness, so pet parents should take extra care to inquire into the genealogy of puppies.

Active and playful dog with a luxurious coat, this breed requires top quality nutrition. Diets should be rich in protein for energy, and high quality, vitamins and minerals to support a healthy, shiny coat. Try Evanger’s Whitefish and Sweet Potato Dry Food mixed with high quality protein supplements such as Evanger’s Grain Free Rabbit for a nutritious high-quality meal any Aussie will love!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Pet Dental Health

February is Pet Dental Health Month!

Let’s go out on a limb and say that no one likes bad breath, decaying teeth or excessive drooling – all are signs of poor oral hygiene in humans AND in pets. As pet owners, we owe it to our four-legged friends to ensure they are healthy and happy, which means regular dental screenings and preventative care. Start by checking your pet’s gums and teeth once a week, looking for signs of inflammation and tartar build up. Gums should be pink (not red, white or swollen). Excessive tartar buildup can lead to a receding gum line, and eventually tooth loss. Bad breath and excessive drooling are also signs of oral disease that should be brought to the attention of a veterinarian.

Some veterinarians recommend daily teeth brushing or a combination of dental hygiene chews (e.g., rawhide, hard rubber or nylon chew toys) and brushing every other day. To brush your pet’s teeth, start by getting a special pet tooth brush or by wrapping your finger in gauze; at a 45 degree angle, clean in a small circular motion and focus on the side of the teeth that touches the inner cheek (as this is where the majority of tartar buildup occurs). Additionally, regular visits to a Veterinary Dentist for ultrasonic teeth cleaning can go a long way to improve your pet’s overall dental health.

Finally, perhaps the best preventative care is a proper diet – high quality pet food is essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. While there is a general belief that soft food is more likely to lead to periodontal disease, research is lacking to support this view. What veterinarians do agree on is that a diet without harmful additives is the best preventative care you can give to your pet. Evanger’s Super Premium Chicken Dinner with Kale and Spinach is a wonderful complement to your pet’s dental health, providing high quality nutrients through fresh USA sourced protein, produce, and chelated vitamins and minerals for maximum health benefits. So remember – checking those gums, brushing those teeth, and feeding nutritious food will all help maintain your pet’s pearly white smile!

Evanger's Super Premium Dinners

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Best Bait for Show Dogs

The 138th annual Westminster Dog Show is right around the corner (Feb 10th-11th), with the largest expected entry since 1990. The Westminster Kennel Club will also host the brand-new Masters Agility Championships on February 8th, building up to the main event.

Have you ever noticed how these show dogs are continually rewarded with small treats or “bait” throughout the show? Ever wonder what tasty morsels or goodness could encourage such obedient behavior? 

Well, we at Evanger’s are proud to work with handlers of some pretty amazing show dogs and wanted to share a little secret! Evanger’s Liver Snacks is a favorite of handlers and show dogs alike, with a pungent, attention-grabbing aroma that makes for a wonderful training reward.  

How do handlers use Liver Snacks?  Try pouring them out on a paper towel and blot the snacks with a napkin to remove the moisture.  Break into tiny morsels, or whatever size is most appropriate for your breed. Interesting fact: Handlers look for treats that dogs will not chew, but rather swallow.  Though dried, the Liver Snacks stay soft enough so the dogs don't spend time chewing them and can swallow the small morsels.  Liver smells and tastes great to dogs so this is a very motivational tool for bait in the ring.  As with all treats, we recommend you give in moderation – our liver snacks are very rich, and a tiny morsel goes a long way!

Have fun watching the show!