Safe Fruits and Veggies for Your Pet

Safe Fruits and Veggies for Your Pet

It can be hard to resist giving the sad-eyed pup at your heels or the purring kitty rubbing against your leg a tasty human treat. Luckily, not all human foods need to be banned from our pets’ diets. Fruits and veggies can have many benefits for your pets’ health. The key is to know what fruits and veggies are safe for your pet and which can be dangerous. Always ask your veterinarian before adding new items to your dog’s diet. Keep in mind that every dog is different and one may thrive on apples, for example, while another one may have trouble digesting them. It’s always important to add new food items gradually.

Safe fruits and veggies for your pets

  • Green Beans are great for your dogs! They are high in fiber and full of important vitamins and minerals. They’re an excellent low-calorie alternative to high calorie treats. Just make sure you chop them up to avoid choking hazards. They should also be plain- no salt, no spices or oils.
  • Sweet potatoes contain beta carotene, and vitamins B-6 and C. Only feed them peeled, washed, and boiled sweet potatoes. 
  • Blueberries have a lot of heart disease and cancer fighting qualities that make them a tasty snack. They are even better frozen!
  • Pumpkin can help regulate a pet’s irregular bowel movements and help with overall cardiovascular health.
  • As the saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. So, keep your pet’s immune system in check with the occasional apple. The fiber and vitamins A and C are great for them. Just make sure to core the apples and omit the seeds as they contain cyanide, and to give size-appropriate portions. Because they contain sugar, you should ask your veterinarian

Other safe fruits and veggies for your pet include carrots, brussels sprouts, celery, zucchini, green bell peppers, cucumber, peaches, and strawberries. Keep the brussels sprouts to a minimum as they can cause gas, and make sure you remove the peach pit to keep your dogs safe from choking hazards and cyanide. Cut up carrots and celery to make sure your smaller pups can eat them without choking.

Fruits and Veggies Your Pets Can’t Eat:

Although most fruits and veggies can be beneficial to your pets’ health, it is important to know what their likes and dislikes are and what foods are extremely harmful. Cats dislike fruits (they have no receptors for sweet on their tongue), while dogs don’t have strong preferences. And some of the common fruits and vegetables we bring into our homes can be extremely dangerous. The following foods are an extreme NO!

  • Avocado  
  • Onions
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Garlic
  • Of course…..Chocolate

Even though fruits and veggies are vet approved, they should only make up 10% of your pet’s diet. A well-balanced diet should consist of a lean protein diet with a small portion of grains and veggies mixed in. Always add new foods to your dog’s diet gradually and with your veterinarian’s blessing, especially if you have a puppy, an older pet, or a sickly pet. It is important to give your pets the food they deserve! So next time, resist slipping your dog a french fry or pizza crust and pull out the frozen berries and brilliant greens!

Why cats pee outside the litter box

Why Cats Pee Outside the Litter Box

Cats. People have been trying to figure them out for years. Sometimes they are cuddly and loving, other times they seem cold and grumpy… one minute they are rubbing up against your leg, begging for head scratches, and the next they are pushing books off shelves. The biggest mystery among most cat owners is why a cat can be content using the litter box one day but then the next day they take it upon themselves to make the clean basket of laundry their “throne”. The answer isn’t as complicated as people like to think, it just takes someone channeling their inner Sherlock Holmes to solve the mystery.

Reasons Why Cats Pee Outside the Litter Box

  • Cats like it tidy

Cats are very particular and so if their litter box is not kept just right they often will choose to go elsewhere. No one wants to climb around in their own waste, so why would a cat? Litter boxes should be scooped out daily, sometimes even twice a day. It is also important to not be stingy with the cat litter. Cats want their boxes to be fluffy, so they can dig around and bury their mess because just like you, they don’t want to smell it or see it either.

  • Cats like their privacy

It is important to place the litter box in a private, quiet, undisturbed area. When you are doing your business, you don’t want someone barging in on you or causing a big ruckus. They want to feel safe and secure at their most vulnerable. With that said, cats don’t necessarily like covered litter boxes, because it makes them feel trapped. It also can trap in the smell, which if you ever have gone in a porta potty, you know it’s typically quite unpleasant.

  • Cats like it sandy  

While it’s important to keep the litter box full, what you fill the litter box with is even more important. Cats want to dig around in something soft, that is kind to their paws. Sandy litter works best.   

  • Cats may have a medical problem

If you scoop regularly, give them their privacy, and give them the litter of their choice, but they still continue to go outside their box, there could be a larger underlying issue. Urinary tract infection, kidney disease, or diabetes are just some medical conditions that can cause a cat to lose control of their bladder.  If you cannot get down to the cause of the problem, it is necessary to take your cat to the vet. Also pay attention to frequency of urination- cats are very sensitive animals and one day without urinating can mean devastating issues.

Solving your kitty litter problem doesn’t have to be a brain-wrenching mystery. Just get out your magnifying glass and search for the clues. Our cats may be grumpy and a bit unpredictable at times, but at the end of the day they just want the best of the best and that’s what they deserve.

 

Pet Dental Hygiene Month

Show Me Your Pearly Whites

February is a month full of love with hearts, kisses, and tasty treats. Share the love for your pets smile by celebrating National Pet Dental Health Month this February and all the months to follow!

Pet dental hygiene often goes unnoticed until it’s too late. You either begin to turn a cheek to Fido’s kisses or notice Fluffy’s reluctance to eat even his favorite dishes. Most pet owners don’t understand the importance of a healthy mouth. In fact, dental care is just as vital for pets as it is for humans. Therefore, it is important to be proactive to help prevent larger issues from arising.

Side Effects of Poor Dental Care

Besides the normal plaque and tartar buildup, the most common problems that arise from poor oral hygiene are Periodontal diseases. If you ever experienced swelling of your gums, you know that Gingivitis can become extremely painful and the pain your pet could suffer is no exception. The more serious of the Periodontal diseases, Periodontitis, can lead to serious bone and gum loss. Serious inflammation of the gums and teeth sockets, Pyorrhea, can cause teeth to loosen and create a puss buildup. If these diseases go unnoticed and poor oral hygiene goes untreated, more serious issues could arise. For example, it is thought that some forms of oral cancer could be caused by bad oral health.

Beyond issues to the mouth, poor oral hygiene can lead to more critical health issues. Chronic oral diseases to the mouth can cause inflammation to spread to other parts of the body. Toxins from the mouth can enter the blood stream and, if left untreated, lead to larger problems that affect the kidney, brain, and heart.

Prevention of Poor Dental Hygiene

The first step to prevent our sweet pets smiles from going sour is providing them a well-balanced dry, protein-based diet. Dry food doesn’t get stuck between the teeth and a protein rich diet holds many of the nutrients our cats and dogs need. Many chew toys such as rawhides and Kong toys promote necessary chewing habitats in dogs, while helping break up plaque buildup.

Chew toys and healthy food is great, but ultimately a healthy mouth comes from regular oral care. It may sound silly but brushing your pets teeth is crucial to killing germs that cause bad breath and larger problems like bacterial diseases and infections. Veterinarians recommend proactive pet owners brush their pets teeth every day or every other day, for ultimate prevention. And just like you or I get regular check-ups from the dentist, our cats and dogs deserve the same care. Scheduling your pets for annual oral exams can help catch and stop the progress of oral diseases.

Tips for Pet Dental Care

The act of brushing your cat or dogs teeth can be stressful, traumatic, and even exhausting. The key is to make it a fun and rewarding event. Using a food flavored toothpaste or offering yummy treats throughout the experience may help your pet be more eager to participate. If this doesn’t work it may be worth introducing a dental hygiene chew toy, such as Drs. Foster and Smith Nylabone Dental Chews and their Dental Health Chew Toys infused with catnip. These are not only fun to play with, but they help by scrapping the teeth during every bite.

So this February, take pride in your pets slobbery smile. Buy a tooth brush, some chicken flavored toothpaste, a fun chew toy, and watch the smile on your pets face shine!

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