Happy Birthday to the T-Shirt!

Fun fact: the t-shirt was invented 100 years ago! Over the last century, this has become such an essential part of our wardrobes!

To celebrate, we’re putting all of our clothing on sale – it’s 25% off until Saturday, so come deck out your dog or cat in some cute new duds!Image

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H2O Yes!

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Summer is all about fun in the sun. A big part of seasonal safety is proper hydration, but that’s actually important year-round. Maintaining good hydration is essential to the health of your pets, but if you feed them a diet primarily made of dry kibble, you may be depriving them of this vitally important part of their well-being.

Dogs should consume about 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight; for cats, it’s about 5 to 10 ounces daily—and that amount increases during the hot summer months. It’s challenging to get most pets to consume that quantity of water by drinking alone, so dogs and cats that are fed a primarily dry diet are likely in a state of constant mild dehydration. They won’t show any symptoms early on, but this continual lack of adequate water in their systems can have some serious long-term effects on their health, including decreased metabolism, organ failure, urinary tract and bladder complications, and digestive problems.

Ideally, dogs and cats should get a good portion of their water intake from the food they eat. Dry kibble is, on average, 12 percent moisture. By comparison, canned and raw diets are at least 70 percent moisture. When fed a dry diet, your pet’s body has to compensate for the low level of moisture in the kibble it’s trying to break down, which basically zaps water out of their digestive system. By incorporating moisture-rich foods into their diets, you’re helping to provide them with the water their bodies need to function properly. Not only that, but their bodies assimilate to their food better, and they utilize the nutrients much more efficiently with a wet food.

Simply pouring water or broth over kibble is technically better than nothing, but it’s not quite the same as feeding a food with the moisture included in it naturally or purposefully, such as quality canned or raw diets. It can also cause the kibble to spoil faster, but more importantly, it doesn’t equate to the same moisture level in foods that have it already included.

Focusing on proper hydration is important in dogs, but it’s almost essential in cats. Unlike dogs, cats lack a natural thirst mechanism, so while they may drink some water, keeping them properly hydrated can be a big challenge. Because of this, cats thrive when they are able to get their appropriate water intake from the food they eat.

Keeping your cats and dogs on high-moisture diets can help avoid costly issues with urinary tract infections, diabetes, weight issues and more. While some people might see canned diets and even raw diets as special treats, it should be considered as a preferred choice for daily feeding, especially in cats and older dogs, to maintain proper hydration and ultimate health.

On top of feeding a high-moisture diet, here are some other tips to keep your pet well-hydrated year round:

1. Provide fresh, clean water for your pet at all times.

2. Get a water fountain—many pets drink much more water if it’s flowing from a drinking fountain.

3. Feed ice cubes as treats—you can even use broths (without onions—they’re toxic to pets) or pre-made mixes available at many pet stores to make tasty ice cubes.

4. Fill stuffable toys like Kongs with ingredients such as chopped-up whole meat, broths and canned foods to sneak water into their toys, too. Plug the small end with a dab of peanut butter and freeze the whole toy for long-lasting, healthy fun.

5. Put out multiple water bowls along the paths pets usually take throughout your home. Cats in particular will drink out of convenience rather than out of necessity.

 

Pancreatitis in Pets

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As most things around here are, the Fourth of July was full of adventure and pet health. Lizzi, unfortunately was feeling under the weather all day. She was lethargic, wouldn’t eat, dehydrated, had a very bloated tummy, and just felt down. We hoped it was nothing major, but when she felt bad this morning, I knew it was time for the vet.

After lots of blood work, x rays, and other tests, it looks like Lizzi likely has pancreatitis – an inflammation and swelling of the pancreas.

The exact cause is unknown, but in dogs, obese middle age to older animals have a higher incidence, as do females. Even though exact causes are not known, there are identifiable risk factors. Here are some potential risk factors:

  • Hyperlipidemia (high fat content in blood)
  • High fat meal (trigger for hyperlipidemia)
  • Obesity
  • Concurrent disease – i.e. Cushing’s, Diabetes Mellitus
  • Contaminated food or water
  • Certain drugs and toxins – i.e. some types of diuretics, antibiotics, and organophosphate insecticide
  • Bacterial or viral infection

What are the signs of pancreatitis?
The signs can vary from mild gastrointestinal upset to collapse and death. Most animals present with common gastrointestinal signs of upset, such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Not eating
  • Painful abdomen, hunched appearance (more common in dogs
  • Fever or below-normal body temperature
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Dehydration, evaluated by noting sunken eyes, dry mouth, and increased skin turgor (skin tents when pinched)

If you suspect something is going on with your pet, get them checked out. Lizzi will be in the hospital on IVs and antibiotics all weekend to get her back in shape. We hope you never have to experience, but if you do, hopefully these warning signs will help you out!

 

Source: http://vetmedicine.about.com/

4th of July Pet Safety Tips!

It’s time to revisit what is probably one of our most important blogs of the year!

Image“To us, July 4th is corn on the cob, barbecues and pyrotechnics set to the booming tones of the 1812 Overture. To your dog, man, it is Armageddon. The sounds. The vibrations. The yelling. The sulfurous smell of gunpowder. No wonder it’s the most common night for pets to run away.” – Dr. V., Pawcurious

Dr. V. is spot on with her assessment of the upcoming holiday.  Fourth of July tends to be one of the most terrifying holidays for many dogs, but here are a few tips to make this Independence Day a little less stressful for your pooch.
  • If your dog will be spending a lot of time outside with you, make sure he has access to plenty of fresh water, and apply sunscreen to delicate areas like his nose and ears throughout the day (and underbelly too, if you’ll be on the water).
  • In case your dog does get spooked by a loud noise, make sure he is wearing proper identification – microchips are a bonus in the event his collar comes off.
  • Heading to the lake or river?  Don’t forget the doggy lifejacket!
  • To avoid an upset stomach (or worse), make sure you keep alcoholic beverages and any people snacks or scraps (especially bones, onions, avocado, grapes and raisins) out of your dog’s reach.
  • Avoid the urge to take your dog to any major firework display.  Many pets are easily frightened by the loud noises and bright lights.  Plus, dogs don’t appreciate the finer things in life like sparkly fireworks set to classical music.
  • To keep your dog or cat safe and stress-free at home, keep them in a secure, escape-proof room, and turn on a radio or television to normal volume to help mask some of the sounds. If he is crate trained, put him in his crate covered with a blanket to make him feel secure. As a preventive measure, make sure all doors (including doggy doors), windows, and gates are closed and locked securely.
  • For the extra anxious and sound-sensitive dogs, stop by L&R before the 4th to pick up a bottle of Rescue Remedy or a Thundershirt – the best solution for pet anxiety!

Happy birthday to our Rocco boy too!

Our sweet bossman Rocco turned 8 today! Six years ago, we went to the Humane Society to pick up a stray cat from being neutered, and came home with this precious boy as well!Bear

It’s Take Your Dog To Work Day!

How many of you are fortunate enough to work in a place where you can take your dog to work? We’re delighted that we can do that, and today, Chicken is in the store to celebrate her birthday along with National Take Your Dog To Work Day!

Does your dog go to work with you? Post a picture on our Facebook page!

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Happy Birthday Chicken!

Our sweet, stinky little Chickadee turns TWO today! This is her first birthday that she’s celebrating with us, and we couldn’t be more delighted she’s in our life! Happy Birthday Chicken!

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