Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Prepping for Shedding Season

With shedding season just around the corner, a boost in your pet's nutrition could help tremendously in minimizing excessive hair bombs in your house! Nutrition is a key component of a healthy coat and every bit as important as grooming. Try adding (or replacing a small amount of food with) Evanger's Grain-Free Wild Salmon to your pet's diet. This powerful mixer is rich in protein and Omega fatty acids, helping to nourish the skin and strengthen the hair shaft.

It is important to keep up a regular grooming routine. Many moisturizing shampoos designed for sensitive skin are available through your veterinarian or at specialty pet supply stores that can help manage excessive shedding. Specially designed brushes can also help harvest your pet’s loose undercoat before it ends up all over the floor or couch. However, be sure to use your de-shedding tool in your yard or at the park, and collect the hair for proper disposal. 

If at any point you notice your pet shedding more than normal, it could be a sign of a more serious condition. Bald patches and significant hair loss could be related to allergies, bacterial infections, stress or hormonal imbalances, and should be investigated by a veterinarian immediately. However, most often shedding is normal and can be minimized with a premium, high quality diet and consistent grooming.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Diets for Senior Dogs

As your pooch gets older, the combination of a slowing metabolism and decreased energy will typically result in more body fat and the need to switch to a senior diet (a tough reality we all face eventually!). A senior diet generally means reduced calorie intake, but it is important that calories are not replaced with low quality fillers. Unfortunately many “Senior” formulas on the market today contain very low protein content and low quality fillers. This is a mistake – your dog still needs optimal levels of highly digestible proteins in order to maintain muscle mass and fend off disease.

Evanger’s Senior & Weight Management Classic Dinner for Dogs is specially formulated for your aging companion and includes important vitamins and minerals like Vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant to eliminate free radical particles that can cause signs of aging and decrease immune system response.  Another great way to reduce calories without sacrificing nutrition is to replace 1/5 of your dog’s dry food with Evanger’s 100% Grain-Free Sweet Potato, which contains natural fructooligosaccharides (FOS) that promote beneficial levels of bacteria in the large intestine and defend against gastrointestinal disease in older dogs. 

Getting old doesn’t mean the fun is over for your dog – it simply means that a few dietary tweaks are necessary to keep him healthy and happy. In conjunction with regular vet visits, a senior diet can significantly improve your dog’s transition to senior status and keep your furry companion by your side for years to come.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Breed Buzz: Abyssinian Cat

Energetic and intelligent, Abyssinians (“Abys”) are definitely not docile lap cats – Abys loves to climb, play and explore, making them a favorite feline companion all over the world. Originally bred in Great Britain, the history of Abyssinians is currently unknown, but might trace back to ancient Egypt, where Egyptian murals and carvings show large pointed-ear cats closely resembling the Abyssinian.  The Abys’ coat is dense and silky to the touch, with each hair having a lighter color at the root of the hair and several darker colors near the tip – this gives the Abys’ coat a very distinctive look that is coveted among showing trainers.

While Abyssinians have few genetic defects, they can be prone to gingivitis and kidney disorders due to certain genetic mutations. Their acrobatic nature also requires premium nutrition to fuel their play. Try Evanger's Signature Series Slow Cooked Stews – these grain-free meals feature USA sourced meats with cranberries, blueberries, simmered in a savory gravy. Dinnertime is a huge favorite for active Abys, so unless you want them climbing onto your plate, make sure they have something delicious to occupy their attention!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month

Just like babies, it’s amazing how quickly your furry friend can find his way into kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities and laundry rooms, not to mention just about every open bag, bottle or plate left out on a table. A little “pet-proofing” goes a long way in keeping your pets safe from harmful toxins lurking around your home. For example, chocolate is extremely toxic to dogs, along with certain vitamins, cold medications and acetaminophen. Lily flowers are harmful to cats, along with household cleaners, insecticides and glow sticks.     
While symptoms of poisoning vary widely depending on the type of toxin, be on the look out for vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, coughing up blood, pale gums, lethargy, extremely bad breath, decreased urination and jaundice. Any or all could be a sign of a serious condition such as internal bleeding or kidney/liver failure, requiring immediate veterinary attention. Veterinarians caution pet parents to never attempt inducing vomiting at home using hydrogen peroxide (a common solution found online) until consulting a veterinarian.

So take a few minutes this month to go through your home and secure any harmful substances – your pets will thank you for it in the long run even though you may have taken away the day’s entertainment!