Cat or dog acupuncture, the practice of inserting small needles into specific points on your pet's body to produce a healing response. It's commonly used for muscle or skeletal problems. It is safe and, anecdotally, it may help relieve pain by increasing blood circulation, relieving muscle spasms and releasing natural pain-controlling hormones. If you want to try it, seek out a vet with the right credentials, such as Certified Veterinary Acupuncturists, or go to the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture website.
From stepping on ice to suffering from dry, cracked paws, walking in a winter wonderland can be a less-than-joyful romp for your pets. Here are some winter pet care tips to keep them safe this season.
When snow falls, towel off their paws after going outside and trim the hair around their feet (including the hair between their toes!) to prevent debris and ice from clinging.
You may be wondering if it's a good idea to buy organic food for your dog or cat. Actually 100% organic pet food can be tricky to find with limited options for dog food and cat food. It's a challenge to make one food that meets all of your pet's essential nutrient needs in one serving using only organic ingredients. However, there is no research in cats or dogs to say if organic pet food is healthier than conventional. (Even human studies show conflicting evidence on whether or not organic food delivers more nutrients.)
A dog chewing on a bone is iconic; however, the cons of giving bones to your pet outweigh the benefits. Bones can cause some pretty nasty health problems. Chicken and turkey bones become brittle when cooked and are likely to break into sharp pieces and cut your dog’s lips, tongue—or even the esophagus, stomach or intestine, which can cause a potentially life-threatening illness. (Poor pup!)
Many pet owners assume their dog’s weird eating stems from a nutrient deficiency, but there’s little evidence to support that idea. Here’s why:
Venison, kangaroo, alligator, duck, rabbit, bison and even eel—these are all trendy exotic meats you may be seeing in pet foods. At the same time, it seems more common proteins like chicken, tuna and beef have earned a bad rep. Pet owners often buy foods containing exotic meats because they believe their pet suffers from a food allergy or they think that these more unusual meats may be “easier to digest.”
Pet foods can vary a lot in calories. There are minimal government restrictions on pet foods labeled as light, lite or low-calorie. Foods labeled “reduced calorie,” “healthy weight” or “obese prone” are unregulated with respect to calories. As a result, pet foods marketed for weight loss can range from 200 to 500 calories per cup (300 calories or less per cup is optimal for weight loss). Adding to the confusion, feeding guidelines on pet food labels vary and usually overestimate how much an overweight animal needs. No wonder helping pets lose weight is challenging!
The average dog owner spends $65 on dog treats each year, yet the healthiest and least expensive treats for your pet could already be in your fridge! Many vegetables and fruits can provide a perfect chewy crunch. Especially in light of the recent rawhide recalls, asparagus spears and celery stalks are great chew-toy alternatives for dogs. Yes, really! You might need to give it a few tries if your dog is new to produce. Any crunchy or chewy vegetable can also spark a cat’s interest.
The good thing about the recalls is that it means some companies are proactively checking their food rather than waiting for animals to get sick. The risk of harmful bacteria depends on the kind of pet food. For canned food, the high-heat processing kills bacteria that might be present in the meat, so it’s not an issue. During the drying, coating and packaging of some dry kibble, it is possible that the kibble may pick up bacteria, but the risk is low.