Monday, March 26, 2012

Is Your Cat Drinking Enough?










Is Your Cat Drinking Enough?

Did you know that many cats are water avoiders? That’s why
keeping hydrated is so essential for feline health. When cats aren’t getting enough moisture in their diet or drinking enough water, they can become dehydrated. Water helps them digest food and eliminate waste. When cats are dehydrated, they have an increased rate of developing urinary tract infections or forming urinary crystals and they can also become constipated. Senior cats, especially, require proper hydration to help protect their kidney function. A dehydrated cat may appear lethargic with poor skin elasticity. While the current temperature, activity level and type of food all have an effect on a cat’s hydration, a bout of vomiting or diarrhea can cause a cat to become dehydrated quickly.

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Cats maintain proper hydration either through moisture in
their food or through drinking water. Some cats can be very particular about the water they drink, the water bowl and the taste of the water. This can result in the cat not drinking enough. Listed below are suggestions on how you can increase your cat’s water intake.

How to Increase Your Cat’s Water Consumption
· Incorporate high moisture canned or raw food into your cat’s diet
· Use an automatic water fountain as many cats prefer running water
· Keep fresh clean water available and change the water frequently
· Try using different types of water bowls
· Use a variety of water such as bottled or filtered to determine your cat’s preference

Keeping your cat hydrated will help ensure your cat stays happy and healthy. If you suspect your cat may be dehydrated, be sure to seek out the advice of your veterinarian.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bif Has Found His Forever Home!
























From Abandoned and Scared To Cherished & Loved: Sweet Bif has found his forever home!

Pictured above is Bif, a 3 year old Beagle / Basset Hound mix. Bif came into the Orange County Shelter as a stray. He was very underweight from not having enough food to eat when he was living on the streets. His fur was very dry and coarse. His skin was in very bad condition due to having fleas and very dirty fur.

Bif spent a month at The Orange County Animal Care Center. Many dogs got adopted during that time, but no one could see what a special dog Bif was. That is when Ariel Rescue stepped in and adopted Bif. Bif was no longer the overlooked dog. He was given good food to eat. He was also given a "beauty bath".

A brand new dog emerged from all that dry, dirty hair. Bif now had soft, shiny fur and was the picture of health. Bif was a happy, healthy dog ready to play and have fun! Bif was adopted by two loving women and their Chihuahua, Lola. Since Lola and Bif will be together, Bif never has to worry about being scared and alone ever again. He is now the pampered, cherished pup that he deserves to be.

Ask Ariel Your Pet Nutritionist promotes and supports the rescue of unwanted cats and dogs in shelters. Please consider adopting your next pet from an animal shelter. Homeless pets of all breeds can be found on http://www.petfinder.com/

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Preventing Chronic UTIs, Cystitis and Bladder Crystals in Dogs and Cats

Many cats and dogs suffer from chronic urinary tract infections (UTIs) and interstitial cystitis. Interstitial cystitis is a condition in which the bladder wall becomes inflamed and may even hemorrhage. No sooner do you finish a round of antibiotics, your pet starts showing the common “signs” of discomfort which can include frequent urination, straining to urinate, waking up in the middle of the night to urinate, arching the back, urinating outside the litter box and/or blood in the urine. Some pets that are normally housetrained may have accidents or urinate right in front of you because they can’t hold their urine. Some may develop urinary incontinence on a regular basis.

Can holistic care help with interstitial cystitis and chronic urinary tract infections? Absolutely. Holistic care should not be a replacement for conventional veterinary care but rather an extension of it. Holistic care offers you more choices and treatment options to help your pet but it is important to work with your veterinarian to monitor your pet’s progress using laboratory testing. The Pet UTI Prevention Kit has worked successfully for many cat and dog owners.


With interstitial cystitis, there may be an infection or the “start of infection” and sometimes there may be no infection at all. With chronic UTIs and interstitial cystitis, there may be bleeding in the urine which can be caused by a variety of factors such as bladder stones, crystal plugs, kidney disease, stress and/or a congenital defect. Regardless, your pet’s bladder and urinary system may have a great deal of inflammation and quite possibly infection which can become very hard to treat and very uncomfortable for your pet.

Conventional veterinary treatments for interstitial cystitis and chronic urinary tract infections generally involve the use of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. Depending upon the other factors that may be involved, your veterinarian may also recommend that your pet be on a special diet that controls the pH of your pet’s urine. Stones, crystals and infections tend to develop depending upon the urinary pH. For example, if your pet’s urine is highly alkaline (pH is 8 or more), there is a possibility that struvite crystals form or that your pet may have urinary tract infection. Having a high urinary pH does not necessarily mean that your pet has an infection. Urinary pH can vary throughout the day as your pet eats, exercises, etc. A normal urinary neutral pH is between 6.5 and 7.0. Consistently high or low urinary pH could be a problem and it is recommended, if possible, that you learn to check your pet’s urine at home using pH testing paper. This will provide valuable information for your veterinarian.

Can holistic care help with interstitial cystitis and chronic urinary tract infections? Absolutely. Holistic care should not be a replacement for conventional veterinary care but rather an extension of it. Holistic care offers you more choices and treatment options to help your pet but it is important to work with your veterinarian to monitor your pet’s progress using laboratory testing.

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Do You Know What Is In Your Pet's Food?






























Do You Know What Is In Your Pet's Food?

Pet nutrition can be a frustrating process with so many labels, ingredients and brands to research. How do you know which pet food is best and if it is the right food for your cat or dog?

READ THE LABEL!
When it comes to pet nutrition, Rule #1 is to READ THE LABEL! Many people use a pet food because a friend or neighbor said it was good, or their breeder used it previously, or even because the veterinarian recommended it. With no disrespect intended to whoever might have recommended it, YOU are the one responsible for your pet’s well-being and YOU alone should read the label and understand what you are giving your pet. Many pet owners lament years later after giving their pet the wrong food that they wish they had “known this before.” The label is required by law for your pet’s protection, so please take the time to read it.

WHAT IS BEST FOR ONE, MAY NOT BE GOOD FOR ANOTHER
The “best” food can vary from one pet to another, just as what food is good for one person may not be good for another. One dog may feel just fine on a certain brand of pet food, while another one scratches and itches, tearing his fur out. One cat may like a certain brand of cat food, while the other one refuses to eat it. While it is more convenient to feed all pets the same food, this is often not a viable strategy.

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Personalized telephone consultations are available to give your pet a custom-tailored dietary plan. If you are using a prescription diet, we can help you develop a natural alternative. Click here to learn more

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR
Your pet's food should provide the most benefits possible: promotes good health, doesn't cause digestive problems, is convenient, affordable and that your pet likes the taste. Unfortunately, not all of these pet nutrition variables may come to play and you will have to make some compromises.

When it comes to optimizing pet nutrition, one fact prevails: you get what you pay for. If standard grade meat/poultry is $3.00+ a pound and a 20lb bag of dog food costs $30 — do the math-how much meat vs. corn fillers do you actually think is in the food? So, if you want to keep your pet healthy and use a nutritious food, chances are you are going to have to pay more for it. The tradeoff though is that you will pay for a lot fewer visits to the veterinarian because your pet’s well-being benefits from using a higher quality food.

WHAT'S IN A GOOD PET FOOD?
A good pet food should contain meat, poultry or fish clearly identifiable in the first ingredients. It should contain familiar ingredients such as spinach, carrots, fish oil, etc. There should be a healthy balance between protein, fiber, fats (especially Omega 3 fatty acids such as flax seed and fish oil) and a limited amount of carbohydrates. Even if a pet food says it is “organic” or holistic, it may be filled with soy and flour, which contribute to allergies and urinary tract infections.

AVOID THESE INGREDIENTS
Cereal grains such as corn, corn gluten meal, ground corn, wheat gluten, wheat flour or any other flour-while some pets do just fine on high quality brands that contain grains, many pets do not digest them properly and develop allergies, IBD, UTIs and chronic health problems.

Brewer’s Rice — A processed rice product that represents the milled fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from the whole grain rice. This is a lower cost rice product that lacks the nutrients found in its counterpart whole brown rice.

Ethoxyquin — chemical preservative found in some pet foods used to extend the shelf life and ultimately the overall profitability of the food. Ethoxyquin has been banned from most human foods due to its cancer-causing properties. Try to find foods that are preserved with Vitamin C or E (mixed tocopherols).

Meat and Poultry by-products — Byproducts are much less expensive and digestible than the muscle meat found in higher quality brands. Ingredients vary from batch to batch but can include heads, feet, bone, etc.–not the steak and chicken breast you are seeing in the commercials.

Potato Product — a cheap byproduct of food processing of potatoes for human use. The potato “product” does not have the same nutritional benefit of a fresh whole potato. As a general rule, any food labeled as a “product” in the description, e.g. “egg product” or “byproduct” isn’t going to have the same level of pet nutrition for your cat or dog as the whole food itself.

Peanut Hulls, Beet Pulp, Soybean Hulls — used as an inexpensive filler with little or no nutritional value. Provides fiber and is often used in “reduced calorie” pet foods so that the dog or cat feels satiated. It is better to use green beans, canned pumpkin or other natural sources of fiber to help your pet lose weight.

There are many high quality pet foods offering superior pet nutrition available today. Some pets may require a special, “prescription” diet and there are pet nutritionists and holistic veterinarians available who can help you determine the best food for your pet. With just a little extra effort in reading labels and becoming educated about your pet’s food and the benefits of pet nutrition, you can greatly help your pet to live a longer and healthier life.

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