Archive for the ‘Pet’ Category

New Year Resolutions for Pets

Friday, December 30th, 2022

New Year Resolutions for PetsNew Year Resolutions for Pets: Tips for enhancing animals’ lives and our own. That’s right, pets can have New Year’s Resolutions too!

With the New Year here, it’s time to take stock and make improvements in our lives and our pets’ lives. Here are some New Year Resolutions for Pets ideas and tips to hopefully enhance the health and add some fun to your pets’ lives.

Pets can suffer from overeating and lack of exercise just like humans. But there are more things to consider than diet and exercise when it comes to being a good example for our pets. Here are a few tips to help your pets be happier and healthier in 2022.

8 Tips:

    1. Exercise

      Firstly, regular exercise has the obvious health benefits, but it also is a great time to bond with our pets. A simple daily walk helps a dog learn proper manners. In addition, it provides some good quality time, and does wonders for the human counterpart, too! Keeping pets at the proper body weight reduces the risk of heart and joint problems, diabetes, and a host of other poor health conditions.

    2. Health Check Up

      Secondly, regular visit to your veterinarian is the best way to stay ahead of potential problems. Annual examinations of teeth, heart/lungs, and body condition overall will be less costly than waiting for a problem to develop and your pet suffering needlessly from complications of preventable problems. Having a good “baseline” of information about your pet also gives the veterinarian something to compare against and determine exactly what is wrong when something isn’t quite right with your pet.

    3. Good Nutrition

      Like humans, pets who eat poor quality food just do not have the health reserves that those that a good balanced diet. Poor skin, hair coat, muscle tone, and obesity problems can be a result of a poor diet. Also, pets are not humans — a diet rich in table scraps is not a healthy one, and can lead to problems such as obesity and pancreatitis.

    4. Good Grooming

      No one wants to be around a stinky pet. Regular grooming for example, bathing, toe nail clips, brushing teeth and hair coat, parasite control. As a result, it not only makes the pet more pleasing to be around, it is much healthier for the pet! For skin and coat problems that don’t resolve with regular grooming, please see your veterinarian. Above all, there may be an underlying medical condition affecting the skin, coat, or toenails.

    5. Safety

      Keeping pets safe is something most pet owners take for granted. However, take a moment to assess the toxic chemicals used in your house and yard. Are they necessary? Are all safety precautions followed? Where are household chemicals stored? Can your pet access these items? If toxins such as rodent poisons are used, can your pet access the rodents? Think too about enclosures for pets — is the fencing secure? Can your pet get caught or hooked up on the fence, a tree, etc. and choke or be stuck out in the weather when you are away?

    6. Information

      Being informed is the best way to keep track of our pet’s health and well-being. If possible, keep a medical log of your pet’s vet visits, medications, special needs, etc. to help keep track of your pet’s medical history. Knowing what is normal and not normal for your particular pet will assist your vet figure out what is wrong in the case of illness. For example, the Internet is a wealth of information. However, caution is advised. Especially when seeking out a diagnosis or medical assistance via the web. Just as in real life, there is good information and bad information out there. The only way to get an answer/diagnosis is through a thorough physical examination. In addition, a review of medical history, and possible lab work performed by your veterinarian.

    7. Love and Attention

      This is probably obvious, but too many pets are left outside in all kinds of weather, with very little human contact. Same goes for inside pets. For example, those who are largely ignored for lack of time and busy human schedules. Most importantly, take the time to focus on your pets and create/nourish that human-animal bond!

    8. Maintenance

      This refers to the more “unpleasant” aspects of pet care. For example, the litter box scooping, yard clean up, cage cleaning, and fish tank maintenance. A clean environment for our pets is a healthy one! Poor sanitation can lead to behavior problems (i.e. litter box avoidance) and health problems such as skin infections and the spread of communicable diseases.

In conclusion, visit Kissimmee Valley Feed for the best pet health supplies (and tell us your New Year Resolutions for Pets!)

Article Source: Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM, on About.com

Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Pets

Tuesday, November 8th, 2022

Thanksgiving Safety Tips for PetsKeep in mind these Thanksgiving safety tips for pets during the holidays. Let’s make sure it’s not a dangerous time for your furry friend! Enjoy time with your family and avoid a visit to your veterinarian by following this guide:

 Cut the fat:

Fatty or rich foods like beef fat, poultry skin, and gravy can cause severe gastrointestinal issues in pets, including:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive gas
  • Serious diseases like pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is a severe inflammation of the pancreas, an organ that produces digestive enzymes. On the mild side, pancreatitis can cause vomiting and a decrease in appetite, but can potentially be fatal.

If you want to treat your pet, it’s best to stick to a pet treat or a couple of small bites of lean poultry or unsalted/unbuttered vegetables.

Bones are bad:

Although bones from our holiday birds look good to pets, they are dangerous and can cause intestinal upset and may even splinter once digested.

Watch the packaging:

Make sure you dispose of any turkey or other food packaging quickly and appropriately.

All strings, plastic holders and bags that have a meat smell to them can be very attractive to a pet. Once ingested, these items can cause damage or blockage of the intestines.

Chocolate is particularly toxic:

Consider all the cookie and desserts offered during the holidays, many of which contain chocolate.

Chocolate is dangerous for dogs in particular because it contains theobromine, a caffeine-like ingredient that can be toxic to your pet. Dogs are not able to metabolize theobromine as quickly as humans. Complications include:

  • Digestive issues
  • Dehydration
  • Excitability
  • Slow heart rate

Later stages of theobromine poisoning include epileptic-like seizures and death. Keep your pet away from dark, semi-sweet and baker’s chocolate because they contain higher levels of theobromine.

We hope these Thanksgiving safety tips for pets were helpful! Check out Kissimmee Valley Feed’s Dog and Cat selection to treat them!

Source: Banfield

Fall Pet Allergies

Monday, October 24th, 2022

Fall Pet Allergies: A Fluffy dogs sits outside next to a bush.Fall Pet Allergies: As the heat and humidity of the summer begins to wane, many of us look forward to the cooler, fall weather and, at least in the northeast, the beauty of the changing foliage. For many of us including our pets, this change of season is the start of fall allergies.

Cats and dogs have seasonal allergies (atopy or allergic dermatitis) to mold and pollen just like we do.  The main difference is the way in which they show it.  Allergies are a hypersensitivity or immune system overreaction against common, otherwise harmless substances in our environment.  These allergens get in through the skin because of abnormalities in the skin’s protective barrier and/or abnormalities to the matrix between skin cells. Similar to the way water seeps into a brick wall with crumbling mortar.

Common Causes and Symptoms:

Tree, grass, and plant pollens or mold commonly cause seasonal allergies.  In pets that have year-round environmental allergies, indoor allergens are likely to be the cause because they are exposed to them continuously.  In fact, 75% of dogs with year-round allergies are allergic to house dust mites, an indoor allergen.  Food allergies can also be the cause of year-round allergies, but that is a topic for another time.

Most dogs and cats typically begin showing seasonal allergies in the first one to three years of life.  The symptoms may initially be mild but may get worse over time.  Any dog can become allergic. Certain breeds are overrepresented (because there is a hereditary component).  They include the Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, West Highland White Terrier, Bulldog, Boxer, Pug, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, and the Chinese Shar-Pei.

The most common symptoms include licking, scratching, chewing, and rubbing at the feet, face, hind end, armpits and abdomen.  In cats, they may present as a raised, crusty skin lesion called milliary dermatitis. Allergies can also present as recurrent skin and ear infections which can cause hairlessness, redness, thickening and pigmentation of the skin.  Bacteria causes these infections. As well as yeast which live naturally on the skin. When present, they can make the itching associated with atopy more intense.

The diagnosis of seasonal allergies is most frequently based on clinical signs and age of the patient.  A positive response to low-dose steroids can also aid in the diagnosis.  The specific allergens that your pet is allergic to can only be determined by a blood test or intradermal skin testing.

Treatment of environmental allergies is centered on controlling the itch or decreasing the immune system’s overresponse to normal allergens found in the environment.  Discuss treatments with your vet. They may include:

Avoiding allergens: 

This is usually not entirely possible.  Brushing the hair coat can help remove allergens from the fur and skin, reducing exposure. Wearing a t-shirt and/or foot protection may also limit exposure and absorption through the skin.  For dust mite allergies, washing beds frequently or using dust mite covers may help to limit exposure.  Avoiding stuffed toys can also help.  Using an air conditioner in the summer or a HEPA filter can reduce allergens.  Keeping pets indoors when mowing the lawn and stirring up allergens may help.  Frequent bathing with a hypoallergenic shampoo and using a conditioning rinse or spray to moisturize the skin is beneficial for many pets.

Medications:

Many medications are available to reduce the signs and symptoms but they do not get rid of the allergy.  They include antihistamines such as Benadryl® and Claritin®, omega 3 fatty acids high in EPA and DHA, steroids such as prednisone or dexamethasone, immune modulators such as cyclosporine, Janus kinase inhibitors such as Apoquel®, and a new soon to be available Interleukin-31 antibody.

Allergen Specific Immunotherapy: 

This treatment regimen is dependent upon allergy testing.  Once your pet’s allergens are identified, a specific “allergy vaccine” can be made to desensitize the immune system to specific allergens.  This is effective in about 70% of dogs and is most beneficial when started at a young age. Desensitization is injected. Oral therapy under the tongue is another option. It may require six months to two years to see a benefit.

If you think your pet may have fall allergies, speak with your veterinarian, so together, you can make the best treatment choice for you beloved companion.

To treat your pet to healthy food and/or toys, visit Kissimmee Valley Feed! Check out our dog/cat selection here.

Article Source: Nutrena

July 4th Pet Safety Tips

Thursday, June 23rd, 2022

Follow these July 4th Pet Safety Tips for a safe and successful holiday celebration. Did you know that more pets go missing over the Fourth of July weekend than any other time of the year?

 July 4th Pet Safety Tips

Cats

  • Keep your cat indoors.
    Close all windows and curtains and switch on music or the television to drown out the noise.
  • Leave your cat to take refuge in a corner if it wishes. Do not try to tempt it out as this could cause more stress.
  • Microchip your cat. Ensure it can be returned to you.

Dogs

  • Exercise your dog during the day.
  • Never walk your dog during fireworks.
  • Keep your dog indoors, close the curtains and play music to drown out the noise.
  • Let your dog hide if it wants to take refuge under furniture or in a corner.
  • Make sure your dog is wearing a collar and tag and is microchipped. In addition, they are wearing identification tags in case it bolts and becomes lost.
  • Keep dogs leashed if you take them outside the home.
  • Use caution when in or around crowds or people your dog doesn’t know
  • Remember, dogs get very excited during horseplay in and out of the water and have a tendency to bite when excited.
  • Use caution when picnicking and barbecuing. Many small children are bitten while walking around with food in their hands.
  • Protect your dog from other dogs that may be loose, keep them at a distance, many bites occur while animal owners are trying to break up a dog fight.
  • If it is hot, give your pet lots of water – indoors or out
  • Never leave your dog locked in cars – the hot summer sun can raise temperatures to 120 degrees inside your car, even with windows rolled down.
  • Prevent sunburns – keep four-legged friends out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., peak skin damaging hours. Otherwise rub sunblock on unprotected areas such as the skin around lips and tips of noses and ears, especially on fair-colored pets.
  • Provide plenty of shelter. Do not leave animals alone outside on hot days, even in the shade. Shade moves throughout the day. Keep pets under a cool shelter or inside during peak hours when possible.
  • Watch out for heatstroke – symptoms of pet heatstroke include panting, staring, high fever, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, collapse, and disobedience, among others. Call a veterinarian immediately. Apply water-soaked towels to hairless areas of the animal’s body to lower its temperature.
  • If you go hiking, pack supplies for your dog as you would for yourself on long hikes – bring extra food and water for your dog on long walks as well as an emergency first aid kit.
  • Keep your pets on their normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pet severe indigestion and diarrhea.
  • Use caution with open flames and fireworks as pets may be burned or could chase the fireworks and become injured.
  • A simple plug-in diffuser that dispenses a dog appeasing pheromone into the room is available at some veterinary practices.
  • Vets prescribe sedatives.
  • Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them.
  • Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it.

Small animals

  • Small animals – such as rabbits and guinea pigs – living outside should not be forgotten. They can also become very stressed by the loud noise. Bring small animals indoors or into an outhouse or garden shed to give them extra protection
  • Where the hutch must remain outside cover it in an old thick blanket. This will block out a lot of the light and sound.
  • Whether indoors or outdoors ensure your pets have plenty of extra bedding material to hide in and feel more secure.

Horses

  • Play the radio for them three days BEFORE firework night. Leave the radio on to distract them on the night itself.
  • If you have stable lights, leave them on and they’ll make the firework flashes less extreme.
  • Don’t even think of riding out – yes, people do!
  • If you leave them out, check fences and gates first. Then keep out of the way and just watch from a distance.
  • Try putting cotton wool balls in your horse’s ears but again practice in advance. It’s no good waiting until the bangs start to decide to give it a try.
  • If you do stable your horse, arrange for him/her to be brought in before the end of the school day when bangs are likely to start. You don’t want to be leading when they get a fright.
  • Make sure they have plenty of hay to keep them occupied.
  • If you can keep calm during the bangs and flashes then hang around the stables or go regularly to check them. If you’re likely to be scared/angry, etc yourself, be in the immediate area by all means but keep away from the horses or you’ll only make them worse.
  • DON’T go in the stable with a horse once the fireworks start. I don’t care how calm they seem to be – it just takes an instant for them to change from your cuddly horse to a wild animal that has reverted to survival mode.
  • Never light fireworks near barns or fields, as it is an extreme fire hazard. Fireworks frighten horses. They’ll sometimes run through fences and become lost or injured. They can also injure people when they are startled by the lights and noise.

We hope these July 4th Pet Safety Tips are helpful! Please visit Kissimmee Valley Feed for all your pet needs.

Spring Garden Hazards

Wednesday, March 30th, 2022

Spring Garden HazardsSpring Garden Hazards: As spring arrives and the first buds appear, gardening can be a relaxing and healthy way to pass the time.  But it can also pose some potential risks to our cat and dog friends. With care and some knowledge, these risks can be avoided.  Here is a list of potential spring garden hazards.

Fertilizers and Pesticides:

Fertilizers containing blood meal, bone meal, feather meal or iron can be tasty for dogs and particularly dangerous. Ingestion of large amounts of meal containing products can form concretions in the stomach resulting in obstruction and severe pancreatitis.  Likewise, those containing iron can lead to iron poisoning causing vomiting, bloody diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, shock, tremors, and potential cardiac and liver effects.  Consider using natural fertilizers available many garden supply stores or local farms.  Ingestion of pesticides or insecticides containing organophosphates can be life threatening even in small amounts.

Mulch:

Cocoa mulch is made from the discarded shells and hulls of the cocoa bean.  Its chocolate like smell can be particularly attractive to dogs. Similarly, like chocolate, this mulch contains theobromine and caffeine.  The amount of toxin present can vary from product to product.  Symptoms of toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures and in extreme cases, death.  Keep pets safe by closely supervising them or using safer alternatives to cocoa mulch.  They include rubber mulch, cedar mulch, leaves, pine needles or untreated wood chips.  While these are safer alternatives, please remember these can still be ingested and cause an obstruction.

Compost:

Gardeners love compost for its nutrient value and many have their own pile.  Compost can be toxic to pets and wildlife and should always be fenced off.  As organic matter decomposes in the compost pile, molds can grow.  Consequently, these molds can produce tremorgenic mycotoxins.  As a result, when ingested symptoms can occur within 30 minutes and include agitation, panting, drooling, vomiting, tremors, and seizures.  However, with supportive care the prognosis is good.

Snail and Slug Bates:

These are available in pellets, granules, powder or liquid.  Most contain metaldehyde which is very dangerous to dogs and cats.  As a result, symptoms can occur within 1-2 hours of ingestion and include salivation, restlessness, vomiting, tremors, seizures and increase body temperature.  Without veterinary care the symptoms can last for days and be fatal, for instance.  Gopher, mole and other vermin bates contain strychnine and are highly toxic.

Flowers and Plants: 

Many plants can be toxic to pets.  Some can have only mild symptoms of gastrointestinal upset to severe liver or kidney failure and death.  For example, the following is an incomplete list of common plants.

  • Severe toxicity:  Sego palm, Azalea/Rhododendron, Caster bean, Cyclamen, Oleander and Yew.
  • Moderate Toxicity:  Aloe Vera, Amaryllis, Begonia, Chrysanthemum, Daffodil, Hosta, Morning glory and Poinsettia.
  • Mild toxicity:  Baby’s breath, Carnation, Gladiola and Tomato plant.

Citronella candles:

Ingestion of citronella candles, used to deter mosquitos, can cause gastrointestinal inflammation including vomiting and diarrhea.

Above all, if you think your pet has ingested a toxic substance, contact your veterinarian for advice and treatment.  Additionally, you can contact the ASPCA Hotline at 1-888-426-4435 or the Pet Poison Hotline at 1-800-213-6680.  Both charge a fee for their service.  Several pet poison apps are available, as well.

In conclusion, contact or visit Kissimmee Valley Feed for natural lawn and garden products.

Article provided by Nutrena.

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