Safe Strategies: What to Know About Running with Your Dog

Running with your dog is good pet exerciseRunning has exploded in popularity in recent decades, and there’s no doubt that this type of regular aerobic exercise brings with it a myriad of health benefits, a sense of accomplishment, and is even fun for some. Your dog may seem like a natural fit as a running partner. After all, they have plenty of energy to burn and love spending time with you.

But running with your dog requires training and an eye on safety. Does your dog have what it takes?

Before You Begin

Before you start running with your dog, you’ll need to make sure they are healthy enough for high-impact exercise. Dogs who are too young or old (puppies under 18 months should not go running, as their bones and joints are not fully developed) are not good candidates for a jog. Flat-nosed breeds, such as bulldogs and pugs, have shortened airways, which could make running difficult or dangerous for them. Stick to a daily walk in this case. Continue…

It’s Not a Stretch to Practice Pet Yoga at Home

While it’s incredibly satisfying to practice yoga in a studio among other yogis, it’s equally lovely to settle into some deep stretches in the comfort of your own home. Indeed, diving into your own blend of asanas – at your own pace – can yield great results (without having to get yourself home afterwards).

Likewise, there are terrific opportunities out there to practice yoga with animals (whether they’re yours or not!). If you’re looking for a laid back and simple experience, try pet yoga at home with some of The Pet Experts’ favorite poses. Continue…

Is Pet Yoga a Real Thing and Should You Try It?

pet yogaThere have been some questionable pet trends in recent years, but like many hot new ideas, they often fade to the background fairly quickly. When The Pet Experts first heard about practicing yoga with (or in certain cases on top of) various animals, we held out to see whether the concept would stick around. At this point, we’re fairly certain this pet trend won’t be going anywhere soon. Instead, pet yoga offers meaningful opportunities for animals and pet owners alike.

Continue…

Managing Canine Diabetes

iStock_000049715082_Large.jpgDiabetes is no longer just a human problem, over the past thirty years, the incidence of diabetes in dogs have increased three-fold. Finding out your dog has diabetes can be frightening for any pet owner and will likely leave you with many questions and possibly leave you feeling powerless and overwhelmed.

The Pet Experts are here to help you and your pet navigate the path toward your dog’s wellness. With proper veterinary help and home care by a dedicated pet parent there is no reason why your dog can’t live a normal life with canine diabetes. Continue…

Easy As (Apple) Pie: Pet Activities Tuned For Fall

 

Elmhurst_iStock_000018316617_LargeThe moment when summer gives way to fall is a special on, especially for those with highly tuned senses and an ability to acutely enjoy life’s simple pleasures. We’re talking about your pet, of course! That crisp autumn air carries various intriguing scents and regardless of your pet’s mastery of seasonal changes, he or she likely knows something fun – and possibly delicious – is on the horizon.

With so many choices for fall fun in our area, it can be a challenge to know which ones your pet will truly revel in. We’ve narrowed down the list to a few of the best pet activities to enjoy together this fall that are sure to set the tone for the following years. Continue…

Walking the Dog…

Elmhurst_iStock_000016552839_LargeFor some pet owners, simply attaching a leash to their pet’s collar is all that’s needed for a successful walk with their dog… but not all of us are that lucky.

Unfortunately, dogs don’t come leash trained (unless you’re the lucky adopter of an adult or senior pet). While it’s true that some pets don’t need to be bribed, begged, or otherwise convinced that a walk in the park is, well, a walk in the park; others are in need of considerable training, as they tend to pull on their leash, chase wildlife, or jump up on passersby. Whatever the case, there is irrefutable evidence that pets and their owners subscribe to the healthiest of habits by getting outside for walks together.

January has marked the celebration of two wonderful month-long occassions: National Train Your Dog Month and National Walk Your Dog Month. This double-whammy of national support shows just how important it is for your pet to have a healthy lifestyle.

Walking – and walking in tandem with your pet – is probably the easiest, most convenient, and pleasurable of all the exercise routines out there. Working  and walking together, we are positive both of your fitness goals will be satisfied. Continue…

Linking Nutrition to Pet Obesity: A Guide For Success

kitten eatingMoving into the new year, pet owners can do a variety of things to keep the future full of adoring looks, happy wags, cozy cuddles, and sweet smooches. But possibly the single-most important aspect of taking care of your pet’s health involves what they eat.

With pet obesity rates rising, doing what you can for your pet now can prevent health problems, or drastically minimize existing ones. Join us in learning more about the connection between nutrition and obesity. Continue…

The Great Indoors: Keeping Your Pet Active When It’s Too Cold To Go Outside

reddogWith the bitter cold and snow this winter, chances are that you and your dog have been spending an inordinate amount of time indoors. And, while sometimes it can be nice to curl up in front of the fire with a good book, you and your dog may be starting to go a little stir crazy.

However, with a little creativity spending time indoors can be fun, too. Here are a few ideas for keeping your pet active and your sanity in tact. Continue…

Fat Cats: the Issue of Cat Obesity

 

 

The pet obesity epidemic is a big concern in this country, and the problem is growing worse.  Weight loss is not easy for anyone, human or otherwise.  When it comes down to it, the solution seems simple:  Eat less, exercise more.  This is easier said than done, however, particularly in the cat.  But there are important reasons for us to strive to reach a healthy weight for our feline companions.

Overweight cats are prone to illness and shortened lives

Overweight cats are prone to some serious medical conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, and certain forms of cancer.  Overweight cats live shorter lives than normal weight cats.  Also, these cats tend to be “lazier”, not moving around as much, which makes it harder to detect early signs of serious illnesses.  Fat cats are no laughing matter.

What can you do to help your cat slim down?

So how do we accomplish safe, successful weight loss for our furry felines?

  • Cut the calories.  This sounds simple enough, but there is more to it than just not eating as much.  Fat cats are prone to developing a serious liver disease called hepatic lipidosis if they do not eat enough.  Kitty diets should only be started under the guidance of your veterinarian.  He or she can help you to calculate your cat’s daily calorie requirements.  Don’t be tempted to use a self-feeder.  Instead, measure out portions daily.  Pet or play with your kitty when it begs–some cats are literally starving for attention!  Feed small meals frequently and freshen the water bowl often.  These little changes can make a big one!
  • Change the food.  For some cats, simply changing the diet can make a drastic difference.  For instance, most canned foods have a lower caloric content than their dry counterparts.  Light or diet foods are also available.  Be sure that you are not cutting calories too drastically by calculating caloric needs with your veterinarian.  Cats can be finicky about new foods, so be sure to gradually introduce the new diet over a 1-2 week period.  You can try to make new foods more palatable by warming them slightly or adding a little oregano or a splash of salmon juice or omega-3 fatty acid supplement.
  • Get that kitty moving! No bones about it–it is harder to increase your cat’s activity level than your dog’s.  It takes some creativity to get your cat burning calories.  Make your cat “hunt” for its food by moving the bowl frequently.  Try putting it at the furthest place from kitty’s sleeping spot to encourage movement.  Use interactive toys such as flashlights, laser pointers, paper bags–anything your cat likes to chase to have a short activity session daily.   You may need to change it up frequently.
  • Keep track of progress.  Rechecks and weigh-ins can help tell you if you are on the right track.  Monthly weigh-ins are ideal.  If you are not making progress in a month’s time, it is time to try another food or technique.

 

Party Animal!

Summer is the season of parties- graduations, barbeques, family reunions.  Your pet is part of the family, and it is only natural to want to include him/her in the celebrations.  You probably know to keep your pet away from open flames, fireworks, chocolate, and bones.  Here are a few lesser known (but just as dangerous!) hazards to keep your party animal away from:

  • Corn cobs- These tasty castaways are very likely to become lodged in the intestine as they make their way through the digestive tract.
  • Fruit pits (like peaches)-  These are also likely to become lodged in the digestive tract.  Believe it or not, cats are as likely to be affected by this type of foreign body as dogs!
  • Skewers- These throwaways once held tasty treats, but now they are more likely to puncture your pet’s esophagus, stomach, or small intestine.
  • Foil, plastic wrap, and string- These may be garbage to you, but they taste like dinner to your pet.  Be sure your garbage is not accessible to Fido and Fluffy.
  • Gravel or dirt- Grease and/or meat drippings can make these normally non-edible items extra tasty.  Eating these in large amounts can cause your pet problems!

Please contact us if you have any questions.