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Peanut Honey Oat Treat For Your Dog

For a homemade, no-bake treat for your dog, try this recipe! The yummy combination of peanut butter, wholesome oats, honey, and dried fruit makes a really special snack for your dog. Since these treats don’t require any time in the oven, this is also a great recipe for kids to help with!

Before you start make sure the peanut butter you use is Xylitol free. Xylitol is poisonous to dogs so be sure to use  peanut butter that does not contain it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oats
  • ¾ cup peanut butter
  • 1 ¼ tablespoons honey
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

Directions:

Be sure to wash your hands before you get started. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl with your hands. Spoon the mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate the treats until they’re set. We hope your dog enjoys these yummy homemade treat! 

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National Love Your Pet Day

Today is National Love Your Pet Day! While we know you love your pet everyday, we thought of some fun ways to make the day extra special. Check out the following suggestions to show your pet some extra love:

1) Throw a party! Parties aren’t just for humans. Invite your pet’s pals and their owners over for some good ole fashion socializing. Make sure all choking hazards and dangerous foods are up and out of the way.

2) Surprise your pet with a present. Who doesn’t love surprises? Especially when one isn’t expected? Pick out a new toy your pet will love to surprise them with. They will be so happy and so will you. Why not a fun toy like these for your cat and these for your dog?

3) Pamper your pet. Treat your pet to a spa day! Take your pet to get groomed (as long as they enjoy it). A day dedicated to yourself not only makes you look good, but also makes you feel good on the inside. Your pet will appreciate it!

4) Give them some special treats. What pet doesn’t like treats? Your dog would love a treat like these and these are great for your cat!

5) Go on an adventure. Take them to a pet park, pet playgroup, or for a ride in the car.

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Heartworm Disease

Heartworm disease is a disease that is very concerning and can possibly be fatal in pets. It can affect both cats and dogs. The disease itself involves foot long worms (heartworms) that live in the heart, lungs, and associated blood vessels of infected pets, that may cause heart failure and damage to other organs in your pet’s body.

The disease is primarily carried by wild species that live in suburban areas such as coyotes. However, the mosquito plays a huge role in the heartworm life cycle. Mature female heartworms living inside of an infected pet or wild animal, produce tiny babies called microfilaria that live in the bloodstream. When a mosquito bites an infected animal or pet, it picks up these microfilaria which mature and become infective. When the infected mosquito then bites another animal, the infected microfilaria are deposited onto the animal’s skin and enter the animal through the mosquito’s bite wound. This cycle results in heartworm being difficult to control.

Heartworm Disease in Dogs

Dogs are common hosts for heartworms. Heartworms can live inside a dog long enough to mature and create their own offspring. This easily allows several hundred worms inside a dog’s body. If the disease is left untreated, the numbers of heart worms may increase inside a dog’s body creating damage to the heart, lungs, and arteries.

Symptoms of heartworm disease include a mild cough, fatigue, lessened appetite, and weight loss. As the disease evolves in a dog, a dog may experience heart failure.

Heartworm Disease in Cats

Heartworm disease in cats varies greatly from dogs. Cats are not typical hosts for heartworms, but the presence of heartworms may still exist causing great damage if left untreated. Most worms in cats do not survive as the cat matures. However, a few may remain causing a condition known as heartworm associate respiratory disease (HARD).

Symptoms of Heartworm Disease in cats includes coughing, attacks mimicking asthma attacks, vomiting, decreased appetite, or weight loss. Heartworms in cats can possibly migrate to other parts of the body such as the eyes or brain. The symptoms of heartworm disease in cats are much harder to detect than dogs. This means testing is crucial to not allow a cat to go untreated if affected by heartworms.

Testing and Treatment

The sooner the disease is detected and treated, the better the outcome. Heartworm testing administered annually by your veterinarian will determine whether your pet is infected or not. In addition, heartworm preventative medications are a must.

All dogs should be tested annually for heartworms during routine check-ups for preventative care. Dogs under 7 months old should start a heart worm preventative, but should be tested for heartworms after 6 months to ensure heartworms are not present. Dogs over 7 months old and not previously tested or on a preventative medication must be tested prior to starting heart worm prevention.

Even if your dog is currently on heartworm preventative medication it is crucial they are tested yearly for the disease in the event they have been infected. Missing a dose, or skipping a dose of heart worm preventative medication can leave your dog susceptible to the disease.

In the event your dog is diagnosed with heartworm disease it’s important your dog’s disease is stabilized and treated by their veterinarian.

It’s vital to understand that the medication used to treat heart worm in dogs cannot be used in cats. There is no approved heartworm treatment for cats, therefore early detection in crucial. Having your cat tested yearly for heart worm will make a great difference as well as preventative heartworm medication.

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Cat Health Month

February is cat health month and serves as a great reminder to check in with your cat’s veterinarian to ensure your kitty is up to date with their shots or any other treatments they may require. In addition, your cat’s overall health should be reviewed as many cats suffer from ailments or diseases unbeknown to their owners. One common disease in cats is Diabetes. Many cat owners may not know their cat is suffering from the disease until it is diagnosed by the veterinarian.

Diabetes is a disease that occurs in cats due to the inability to produce enough insulin to balance glucose levels. Just like humans, cats need sugar in the form of glucose for energy.  It’s important to treat Diabetes in cats as it can lead to weight loss, dehydration, problems with motor function, and possibly even death. Increased thirst and increased urination are two main symptoms that your cat may exhibit if affected by the disease. Sugar builds up in the bloodstream ultimately causing these types of symptoms. If you notice any of these symptoms, a visit with your veterinarian is necessary for a diagnosis. During their visit with the veterinarian, your cat’s glucose concentrations will be tested in both their blood and urine to determine if they’re suffering from Diabetes. Upon diagnosis of Diabetes, the veterinarian will provide a treatment plan that may include a change in diet, use of medications, or insulin injections. In addition, monitoring your cat’s glucose levels at home may be recommended.

The disease can affect any cat of any weight, but it’s most commonly seen in cats who are overweight. This makes it important to keep your cat healthy with a proper diet and exercise. Along with your cat’s treatment plan, a diet of protein and decreased carbohydrate content is ideal for cats suffering from Diabetes. Surprisingly, many dry cat foods are made with starch which makes them high in carbohydrates. Therefore, your veterinarian may suggest switching to a specially formulated food or an all canned food diet. No matter the treatment plan provided for your cat, it’s important to keep an eye on her weight and monitor her symptoms. It’s crucial to maintain routine visits with the veterinarian to evaluate her progress and report any changes or concerns. With the help of their humans managing and maintaining their individual needs, cats can live long prosperous lives with Diabetes.

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Dental Chews & Dental Health

While almost everyone agrees that brushing your pet’s teeth is the ideal way to handle dental care, the reality is that some pets will not tolerate having their mouths handled. By “not tolerate” I mean that they might want to growl, nip, or just thrash around a lot to protest the cleaning. While you may just want to abandon the task altogether, it is actually very vital to maintain proper dental care for your pet. The failure to do so can lead to many health complications and illnesses down the road, as well as an expensive dental procedure which may involve several extractions. 

One solution to help ensure dental health and hygiene is to switch your pet’s regular diet to a food that helps with tarter control. Just like humans, dogs collect bacteria and plaque in their mouths, and it turns into tarter after 36 hours. If tarter builds up and isn’t dealt with, it can lead to painfully inflamed gums, infection, and periodontal diseases. There are many different dog foods available that facilitate healthier teeth, and some non-prescription options can be found at your local pet store. Not to mention, dry kibble food is way more effective at controlling tarter buildup than wet food that can stick to and accumulate in between teeth. Always check with your veterinarian about which one of these diets would be most appropriate for your pet!

Another option is to incorporate dental chews into your pet’s routine. Make sure that you buy a dental chew that your dog will take at least 30 minutes to chew, otherwise it won’t achieve the optimal benefit of the chew. In fact,there are many things that your dog can chew that will help its dental hygiene, but dental chews have additives to fight tartar as well as freshen breath – which let’s face it, usually dog breath doesn’t smell too pleasant!

While dental chews are very useful, they should be used in conjunction with traditional tooth brushing in order to keep your pets’ teeth nice, white, and healthy. Your veterinarian may have recommendations as to which dental chew might be best for your pet, as well as a dental plan in general. You may have to try a couple different varieties to find one that your pet enjoys and that also agrees with their system – so be patient! Your pets’ dental hygiene is just as important as yours, so treat it as such. Also, always read the directions on the packaging, because some are not intended for daily use, and they might work differently than you assume. With a healthy balance of several teeth cleaning methods, you will hopefully avoid a costly trip to the doggy dentist!

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National Pet Dental Health Month

We all know how important it is to keep up on our own dental hygiene. Routine visits to the dentist and daily oral care help to keep us healthy and pain free. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a shock that the same is true for dogs and cats.

Pet dental health is so important that the month of February is National Pet Dental Health Month! Every February is dedicated to pet dental health by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation in order to spread awareness and prevent avoidable health issues. Your pet’s dental health is a crucial aspect to their overall health as dental health issues can cause or be caused by other health problems.

Bad breath is the first sign of dental issues in cats and dogs and is unfortunately all too commonly disregarded as normal stinky pet breath by owners. The smell develops when plaque, a sticky mixture of saliva, food, and bacteria, and tartar (mineralized plaque) accumulates on the teeth. The bacteria and rotting food in plaque and tartar produce foul odors and also irritate nearby gum tissue resulting in gingivitis. Other signs of periodontal disease include oral pain, a reluctance to eat, weight loss, irritability, sneezing/nasal discharge, and facial abscesses.

Your pets teeth and gums should be evaluated at least once a year by their Veterinarian in order to check for signs of health issues and to keep your pet’s mouth healthy. Your pet’s Veterinarian may recommend professional dental cleanings in order to remove plaque and tartar buildup as well as to contain periodontal disease if detected.

In addition to yearly dental checkups with their Veterinarian, an at home routine for dental upkeep should be established. This can be challenging for any pet owner, so the sooner a maintenance plan is established, the better. Brushing your pet’s teeth daily is ideal but may not be realistic as many pets despise this. In the event your pet will not allow you to brush their teeth, dental chews are another great option to help remove plaque and tartar.

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Valentine’s Day Safety Tips

Valentine’s Day is almost here! It’s a great holiday to celebrate with your sweetheart, but avoid potential hazards for your four-legged loved ones.

  • Roses are beautiful, but if you puppy or kitten chews on one, they can potentially get hurt. Thorns can injure their mouths, and if they actually eat some of the flowers, obstruction is a possibility. Remember to keep vases away from curious paws as well to avoid broken glass.

 

  • Lilies aren’t as big of a Valentine’s Day flower as roses but they are toxic to pets, especially cats. If your cat decides to chew on a lovely lily, call your veterinarian immediately. Kidney problems can develop from minimal exposure.

 

  • Chocolate can be toxic to pets depending on the type of chocolate and the dose ingested.

 

  • A double dose of trouble can occur if your pet eats chocolate covered raisins. Both chocolate and raisins can be toxic, so your pet is getting two potential problems at once. Contact your veterinarian if your pet manages to sneak some of this toxic treat.

 

  • Another double whammy comes in the form of chocolate covered espresso or coffee beans. Caffeine overdosing can lead to serious heart arrhythmias.

 

  • Macadamia nuts can be toxic on their own – causing neurologic signs in dogs. Adding the chocolate covering, especially if it is dark chocolate, just increases the risk of ill effects. Check with your veterinarian if your pooch makes a treat raid.

 

  • If your goal is to be careful about the calories that you consume on Valentine’s Day, you may receive food gifts that contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol. This sugar substitute can cause a dramatic drop in blood sugar in your dog and possibly lead to liver failure. Even one stick of gum with xylitol can cause problems for your dog – so call your veterinarian right away if you think he got into any food containing xylitol.

Enjoy your holiday but make sure to stick to pet safe treats or hide your treats safely away from prying paws!

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Valentine’s Day Treat Recipes

Are you looking for a way to show your pet you love them this Valentine’s Day? Consider the following homemade treats:

 

Doggy Frozen Pops
Ingredients:
-2 Cups low fat, all natural Greek yogurt (no sugar & no additives)
-1 banana
-1/3 Cup organic peanut butter
-1 Tablespoon honey

Directions:
-Combine all ingredients until incorporated and smooth.
-Pour mixture into heart shaped or other Valentine themed silicone molds and freeze for 1 hour.
-Remove and serve.

Cinnamon Bites
Ingredients:
-2 Cups whole wheat flour
-1 Tsp. baking powder
-1/4 Tsp. salt
-1/2 Cup water
-1/4 Cup canola oil
-1 egg
-2 Tblspn. honey
-1 Tsp. cinnamon

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients except for honey and cinnamon until dough forms.
-On a floured surface roll dough out into a rectangle that measures 8×14”. Drizzle the honey, and sprinkle the cinnamon.
-From the long edge of the dough, roll the dough into a cylinder. Using a knife, cut slices 1/2” thick and place slices on a nonstick cookie sheet.
-Bake for 15 minutes and allow to cool. Serve immediately or store in a covered container.

 

If baking isn’t your cup of tea, check out all these yummy treats you can buy for your pet instead!

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5 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Your Pet

Valentine’s Day is just a few short weeks away. Whether you already made plans or are currently planning how to celebrate with your sweetie, don’t forget your pets. You may not be able to take Sparky out to a nice dinner or give him a box of chocolates, but there are plenty of other ways to celebrate the day of love with your pet. Consider the following ideas to make Valentine’s Day special for your pet:

Buy a Gift– Since candies and flowers are not safe to give to your pet, a great alternative is a new special toy. If your pet has plenty of toys, or your pet is a small pet like a fish or iguana, consider buying a new special plant or decor piece for their aquarium. What should you get for the pet that has everything? Consider donating to your favorite pet rescue or shelter in your pet’s name.

Take a Special Trip– Your pet loves you unconditionally and will absolutely enjoy extra special time with you. Why not take your pal to a dog park or on a nice walk that includes a change of scenery? It will be a great way to bond and exercise, as well as a special treat unlike their normal daily outing. Check to see if your community is hosting any Valentine’s Day themed events for pets. Many communities host costume contests and meetups for holidays.

Have a Spa Day– Make an appointment with your local groomer to pamper your pet! If your pet is not one to like trips to the groomer, consider pampering them at home. Simply brushing their coat and giving them extra cuddles will feel like the royal treatment to your pet.

Enjoy an Evening at Home– Why not plan a special movie night with your furry pal? Throw on some comfy clothes, grab comfy pillows and blankets, and park it on the couch with your pet. If you prefer not to watch a movie, read a book to your pet. Any extra love you give your pet will be greatly appreciated and they will not complain.

Treats– Give your pet a special treat they don’t normally receive every day. Order some special treats on-line, make some pet safe homemade treats, or pick some up from your local pet bakery.

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Guinea Pig Facts

Guinea pigs are a type of rodent, but don’t let that scare you away from making one part of your family. They are sweet social critters who love attention from people and don’t have a reputation for biting. Before committing to guinea pig ownership, it’s important to learn about their needs and likes:

  • A guinea pig is also known as a “Cavy”. A female guinea pig is called a “sow” while a male is called a”boar”.

 

  • Guinea pigs make great pets for children as they do not require many supplies, bond well with their owners and teach children the responsibility of pet ownership. Setting up a home for a guinea pig is fairly quick and easy with their basic necessities being a cage, food, and a tunnel to hide in.

 

  • They are inside pets who cannot handle warm weather. Warm weather can be life threatening to them as they easily develop heatstroke.

 

  • Guinea pigs have a lifespan of 7 to 9 years. This makes them great companions to bond with. It’s important to evaluate their lifespan if considering a guinea pig for a pet as they are a great deal of responsibility and commitment.

 

  • Guinea pigs purr similar to cats. They make this quiet vibrating noise when they are happy and while they are being pet. In fact, guinea pigs make many noises that may surprise their owners such as squealing, teeth chattering, and rumbling.

 

  • Guinea pigs are sociable with their human owners. They are very friendly animals and recognize and respond to their owners similar to how dogs and cats do. It’s not uncommon for them to squeal with excitement or climb up the side of their cage when their owners greet them.

 

  • They love eating vegetables so it’s important to include leafy greens and ensure they receive adequate vitamin C in their diet.
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