August 7, 2009
From days of yore to the present, olive oil has been used for everything from health ailments to beauty to pet care. Add a teaspoon / tablespoon of olive oil to your pet's food (depending upon pet size) to help prevent hairballs and provide a shiny coat.
Interested in the benefits of olive oil? It's beneficial to humans too--The Healing Powers of Olive Oil: A Complete Guide to Nature's Liquid Gold
August 6, 2009
Does your dog suffer in silence from joint and muscular discomfort? So many of our dogs do, because of arthritis, dysplasia, injury or plain old age, and our hearts go out to them.
The versatile SnooZZy OrthoAir Inflatable Dog Bed helps to prevent and relieve pain, providing a comfortable resting surface and support for your dog.
Each OrthoAir bed includes a removable plush slip cover that is machine-washable. These lightweight beds are easily inflated and deflated, perfect for trips with your pet.
August 5, 2009
July 27, 2009
Veterinary technology is advancing and becoming more expensive to the point where the cost of quality veterinary care often exceeds a pet owner's budget. Many pet owners are forced to choose between burdensome debt or medically neglecting their pet.
According to the American Pet Products Association, only 2% of all United States pet owners currently carry pet insurance and up to 6% of pet owners will by 2010. Pet insurance tends to cost between $2,000 and $6,000 over the lifespan of the average pet.
Christine Merle, an Indianapolis-based veterinary consultant quoted in this Chicago Tribune article on pet insurance, suggests pet insurance policies be thought of, in a financial sense only,
as more akin to car insurance than human health insurance. You're hedging your bets against paying out of pocket should catastrophe strike.
"It's like indemnity insurance," Merle said. "For individuals looking at how to reduce the cost of vet care, especially the accident and illness side, and who don't want to have to make a financial decision, it can be useful. Is it for everyone? No."
One affordable and practical type of coverage we have found is a high-deductible plan, such as the Trupanion Veterinarian-Approved Pet Insurance, recommended by PETCO.
This American Animal Hospital Association guide will help you to prepare yourself for potentially expensive urgent pet care.
July 22, 2009
A recent ConsumerLab.com study raises questions about the effectiveness of, or even necessity for, pet supplements.
Miami, FL small animal veterinarian Patty Khuly, VMD, MBA writes the popular blog Dolittler. Explaining a professional method to evaluate pet supplements, she cites Dr. Nancy Kay, a veterinary specialist who practices in Northern California and is the author of the popular book Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life:
"We veterinarians are taught to use the ACCLAIM system (described below) to assess nutritional supplements. You too can use this system to make educated choices about these products for yourself and your four-legged loved ones.
A = A name you recognize. Choose an established company that provides educational materials for veterinarians and other consumers. Is it a company that is well established?
C = Clinical experience. Companies that support clinical research and have their products used in clinical trials that are published in peer-reviewed journals to which veterinarians have access are more likely to have a quality product.
C = Contents. All ingredients should be clearly indicated on the product label.
L = Label claims. Label claims that sound too good to be true likely are. Choose products with realistic label claims.
A = Administration recommendations. Dosing instructions should be accurate and easy to follow. It should be easy to calculate the amount of active ingredient administered per dose per day.
I = Identification of lot. A lot identification number indicates that a surveillance system exists to ensure product quality.
M = Manufacturer information. Basic company information should be clearly stated on the label including a website (that is up and running) or some other means of contacting customer support."
Still have questions? Read Supplementing Your Pet's Diet by Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff.
July 20, 2009
The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association has begun checking toys for safety. As we have learned in recent years, we cannot rely upon corporate America or watchdog agencies to keep our pets safe, but our own best judgment when purchasing pet toys. A few tips via The Examiner:
- Avoid toys with painted decals: the item may not have been tested properly, and we know that paint can contain lead.
- Toys that are inexpensive may be poorly constructed and disintegrate in a pet's mouth, leading to choking.
- Exercise the same caution as you would when shopping for a young child's toy. If you wouldn't allow it in your playroom, it shouldn't be in your pet's toy box, either.
One solution is to make your own toys, as suggested in Make Your Own Cat Toys: Saving The Planet One Cat Toy At A Time.
July 17, 2009
Patty Khuly VMD, MBA is a small animal veterinarian in Miami, FL and writes a daily blog for pet lovers at PetMD that is a favorite here at Super Cool Pets. We wanted to bring yesterday's topic, bloat, to your attention.
This disease, also called torsion, gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), can kill a dog in a matter of minutes or become chronic. From Dr Khuly's article The latest word on the dreaded "bloat":
Dogs of predisposed breeds or with relatives who have bloated should be "tacked." (Ed.--referring to the stomach) Steps should be taken to reduce eating speed (lots of bowls are made for such a purpose). Food should not be fed from a height (none of those raised dog bowls). And here are some other risk factors that have not necessarily been proven yet, but that should probably avoid these you can:
* Exercise immediately after feeding
* Rapid eating speed
* Decreased food particle size
* Once daily feeding
At Super Cool Pets we focus on pet products that improve and enhance the lives of pets and the people they love. Dr Khuly recommends the use of bowls that reduce eating speed, such as the Brake-Fast Pet Bowl pictured above, and recommends against using raised feeders. If you are a dog owner, we recommend reading the entire article.
July 15, 2009
Do you buy store brand products or choose a national brand when you shop for your pet?
A new study has found that for some products, shoppers just won't risk buying the store brand.
Shoppers will choose the store brands for food and household goods, but prefer name brands when it comes to their children and pets.
ICOM surveyed the shopping habits of 1,530 Americans over a six-month period. The study found that just 23 percent chose the store brand over national brands for pet care products.
What about you?
July 7, 2009
For the pet who experiences intestinal distress--diarrhea, constipation, flatulence--veterinarians are starting to prescribe probiotics to help support the "good" intestinal bacteria. One such product available is the NaturVet Enzymes and Probiotics Digestive Tract Aid For Dogs and Cats above.
Miami vet, Dr Patricia Khuly, explains in her must-read blog Dolittler:
First up, here's the current working definition of a probiotic according to the World Health Organization:
"[Probiotics are] live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host."
The idea is that adding "good" bacteria will stimulate more "good" bacteria (the ones that are presumed to be associated with health benefits). In this way, the entire balance of the intestinal flora will be shifted toward the beneficial bacteria. Makes sense, right?
Lots of veterinarians think so, too. Many are recommending probiotics for any pet with symptoms of "bacterial imbalance" associated with unhappy symptoms of the aforementioned "irregularity:" diarrhea, constipation, flatulence and sometimes vomiting. Sometimes the probiotics are offered on a short-term basis or short-term symptoms. For others with more chronic or chronically-intermittent symptoms, however, they may serve well as a lifetime stopgap for whatever underlying intestinal malady ails them.
As always, run any supplements and meds you give your pet by your veterinarian.
July 4, 2009
Happy 4th of July! We hope this is a fun weekend for you and your pets. Since this holiday is often more stressful than relaxing for animals, following is the annual Pet-Friendly Fourth Of July Tips via AKC.org:
As we prepare for barbeques and fireworks this Fourth of July, The American Kennel Club, a not-for-profit organization which maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world, offers tips on how to keep your pets safe and calm during this Independence Day.
* It is safer to keep your pets at home during Fourth of July celebrations instead of bringing him to your neighbor's party. Keep your pets in the house, rather than in your yard. He will be a lot happier indoors, and not tempted to leap over a fence to find you.
* Dogs can be startled by the loud noise of fireworks. Once the festivities begin, keep your pet in a safe room where he can feel comfortable. If he is crate trained put him in his crate covered with a blanket to make him feel secure.
* Block outside sights and sounds by lowering the blinds and turning on the television. Play soothing music in the background to counteract the cacophony during the "rockets' red glare.
* If your pet seems overly anxious, spend some time with your pet, speaking soothingly to help them to relax.
* Avoid scraps from the grill. While tempting to our pets, any sudden change to your pets' diet can cause stomach upset. In addition, some certain foods like onions, avocado, grapes and raisins can be toxic.
* Human products can be dangerous to animals. Avoid spraying your pet with insect repellent and only use special sunscreen that is intended for animal use. Keep your pets away from matches and lighter fluid. They can be extremely irritating to the stomach, lungs and central nervous system, if ingested.
* Should your dog get scared, escape and run away, help find him with microchip identification. Collars and tags can fall off so make sure you have permanent ID with a microchip. Keep contact information current with your recovery service provider
We would also advocate the use of calming products to reduce anxiety of the stressed pet.
Photo: Dog Tags Chewy Shoe