Healthy Pets

Your pet needs great tasting, nutritious food, plenty of exercise, regular check-ups at the vet and a healthy dose of TLC from you. Unfortunately, sometimes pets develop health issues beyond your control—issues that can lead to serious, and even life-threatening conditions. 

 

If you notice a change in your pet’s behavior or eating habits—it’s always a good idea to take a trip to the vet instead of attempting to diagnose or treat it on your own. Your vet will be able to provide the best treatment plan, diet and lifestyle changes it may need.  

 

Check with your vet to see if one of Dave’s specially crafted recipes will help to improve your pet’s health issue. In the meantime, we invite you to refer to our Pet Health Solution Center to learn more about Dave’s Pet Food, and which recipes might be right for your pet.  From weight issues to allergies, diabetes to digestion issues—Dave’s Pet food may be able to ease digestion, lower carbohydrate consumption and comply with the dietary needs the vet recommends. 

 

Read more about common health issues

and treatment options for your pets:

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Dogs

OVERWEIGHT


Overweight and Obesity in Cats Obesity and overweight are two of the most common conditions that affect domestic cats. In fact, around 60% or 56.6 million cats in the US are considered obese or overweight, says the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP). It’s a growing problem, and more vets have to cater to cats that carry extra pounds. Figures show that the cases of feline obesity increased from 30.9% in 2016 to 33.5% in 2017. Apart from leaving your pet more vulnerable to certain diseases, the excess fat hampers your cat’s movements and compromises his or her quality of life. How Obesity and Overweight Affects Your Cat If your cat is obese or overweight, he or she is more prone to certain health conditions. The excess pounds open the doors to: Osteoarthritis – This condition is characterized by erosion of the cartilage, a smooth tissue that covers the joints. When the cartilage wears off, the ends of the bones rub against each other, causing pain and inflammation. Hip Dysplasia – This disease is usually inherited, but it can develop among obese cats, too. In hip dysplasia, the head of the thigh bone doesn’t fit properly into the socket of the hip bone. This causes the cat to lose the function of his or her hips. Diabetes Mellitus – This is a condition where the cat doesn’t produce or respond to insulinproperly. As a result, the tissues don’t absorb glucose from the blood. Obese cats are three times likelier to develop type 2 diabetes than cats with a normal weight. Cardiovascular diseases – Excess weight causes the cat’s heart and vascular system to work harder. These organs are at risk for overwork and several diseases. An obese cat is also likelier to have a compromised immune system, breathing issues, and difficult births. What Caused the Excess Pounds? As with people, feline obesity and overweight stem from a positive energy balance, where cats consume more calories than they burn. One of the factors that fuel this is free feeding, where the owner leaves a bowl of food available for the entire day. The problem is, cats are hunters, not grazers. Their instinct is to hunt food, eat a small amount, and then engage in a long fasting period. They aren’t like cows that graze all day and need a constant supply of food in their digestive tracts. Consequently, free feeding cats take in more calories than they need. Giving cats table scraps and unhealthy treats also lead to excessive weight gain. Certain characteristics also play a part in the development of obesity. Genetics – The International Cat Care says moggy cats are more likely to gain excess weight than their purebred counterparts. Neutering – It’s easier for neutered cats to gain weight compared to intact cats. Neutering decreases a cat’s metabolic rate by 20%, which means their bodies burn fewer calories within a certain period. Additionally, intact cats tend to roam, while neutering decreases the desire to move about, reducing physical activity. Age – Cats between two and ten years old don’t require much energy and are more prone to gain weight, according to the International Cat Care. Those younger or older than this group are less likely to be overweight. Assessing Obesity in Your Cat Checking the ribs is a common way of evaluating a cat’s weight. This assessment involves three steps: Rib Check – Run both your hands, with your palms facing down, across your cat’s ribcage. You should be able to feel the ribs. Profile Check – Look at your cat from the side. The abdomen should be prominent, and you should see a tummy tuck. Overhead Check – Take a look at your cat from above. The waistline should be defined. If you feel a thick layer of fat covering the ribs, and it’s hard to see the waistline, then bring your cat to the vet. He or she will confirm if your cat is overweight or obese and prescribe a weight loss program to get rid of the excess pounds. Treatment for Feline Obesity There are a number of ways you can help trim your cat’s weight. Establish a Consistent Eating Schedule As mentioned earlier, free feeding isn’t a good option for overweight or obese cats. Instead, feed your cat small food portions two to four times a day. Hold mealtimes on the same hour every day. Also, avoid giving your cat too many treats. Many pet parents use snacks to keep noisy cats quiet. This is counterproductive. Don’t use treats as a method to keep a cat quiet because it reinforces his or her begging behavior. What’s more, treats are well-flavored, so cats often find them irresistible. If you think your cat really deserves a treat, give him or her little pieces of cooked chicken or fish. Don’t give them treats made from grains. If you live in a multiple-cat household, feed the obese cats and cats with normal weight separately. Put the obese cats in one room and the rest in another, then remove the uneaten food until the next feeding. Feed Them the Right Type of Food The Cornell Feline Health Center says canned food is a viable option for cats with obesity. Canned food typically contains more proteins and fewer carbohydrates than dry kibble. Italso has a high water content, which increases your cat’s water intake. Dave’s Pet Food has a selection of canned food that’s ideal for cats with obesity. Our 95% Premium Meat Canned Cat Food, for instance, promotes weight loss because it: Contains no grains, corn, cereals, gluten, or wheat Contains 95% meat, so it’s similar to the Atkins Diet for humans Is packed with essential vitamins and minerals Give your cat one to two weeks to adjust to the new diet. During the first fewdays, mix a quarter of the new food with three quarters of the old one. Gradually increase the portion of the new food until your cat has fully adjusted to the new diet. If your cat refuses to eat the prescribed diet, contact your vet right away. Control Food Portions Ask your vet about the right amount of food to lose weight healthily. Too little food can put your cat at risk for hepatic lipidosis. This occurs when the cat’s body compensates for undernourishment by moving fat from its fat reserves to its liver, which will convert the adipose tissues to lipoproteins for energy. Cats, however, can’t convert large amounts of fat, so the liver can’t use all the fat that’s delivered to it. As a result, fat accumulates in the organ and inhibits its functions. Additionally, use a scale to monitor your cat’s weight loss. If the cat isn’t losing as much weight as anticipated, or if he or she is shedding off pounds too quickly, contact your vet immediately. Get Your Cat Moving Indoor cats don’t get as much exercise as their outdoor counterparts. So, install things that encourage your cats to move, like towers and multi-level cat trees. Use a laser, feather toys, ping pong balls, or anything that your cat would chase. Play with him or her for around ten minutes, twice a day. Move your cat’s food bowl away from his or her favorite areas. This forces your cat to move to get to the food bowl. Give your cat a harness and take a nice walk around the neighborhood together. You can also put him or her in an enclosed porch or patio, where your cat can roam freely. Excess weight compromises your cat’s quality of life. Shedding off the extra pounds will make everyday activities more comfortable and enjoyable for your cat. A healthy weight will give him or her many, happy years. If your cat needs to lose weight, inquire about our premium cat food today. Our 95% Premium Meat canned cat food helps promote weight loss. It is grain free and contains no corn, cereals, gluten or wheat. As the name suggests, it is 95% meat – similar to the Atkins Diet for humans! To promote a complete and balanced diet, it’s made with the essential vitamins and minerals that your pretty kitty requires.




DIABETES


Around 0.2-1% of cats develop diabetes, says the Cornell University Feline Health Center. It’s a condition where the bloodstream has an abnormally high glucose (sugar) level because the cat’s body doesn’t respond properly to or produce enough insulin. Under normal circumstances, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone which regulates the blood’s glucose level and controls the delivery of glucose to the entire body. Insulin attaches itself to the cells and signals the right time to take in glucose. The cells then absorb the glucose in the blood and use it as an energy source. Cats with diabetes fail to perform this process because their cells don’t use glucose properly. As a result, it accumulates in their bloodstream. Like diabetes in people, feline diabetes has two types: Type I –Blood sugar levels are high because the cat’s insulin production decreases. Type II– Blood sugar levels are high because the cat’s body doesn’t respond properly to insulin. This type is more prevalent than Type I diabetes. Feline diabetes has a number of causes, including a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and a high-carbohydrate diet (usually comprises dry kibble). Cats whose pancreases have amyloids (abnormal proteins) are also more likely to develop the disease than those who do not. The Cornell Feline Health Center adds that the Burmese breed has a higher risk, while the Veterinary Centers of America (VCA) says diabetes is more frequent among male and middle to senior-aged cats. The Symptoms of Diabetes Among Cats Regardless of the type of diabetes, symptoms are similar among all cats. If you suspect that your cat has diabetes, look out for: Weight Loss –The cat’s cells can’t absorb glucose from the blood, so they don’t have enough energy to fuel their functions. To compensate, the body uses other energy sources. It breaks down the cat’s stored fats and proteins to fuel the cells. As a result, the cat loses weight significantly, even if his or her appetite increases. Frequent Thirst – High glucose levels means the urinary system filters and expels a considerable amount of glucose in the urine. To dilute it, the system uses excessive amounts of water. As a result, cats feel thirst often and are likely to be dehydrated. Frequent Urination – Because a cat with diabetes needs to expel more glucose, the urinary system produces more urine. You see larger clumps in the litter box. The urine is more diluted, too, so it smells less foul. A Plantigrade Stance – Cats with diabetes are prone to nerve damage in the hind limbs, which leads to a “plantigrade” or flat-footed stance. Rather than walking on his or her paws, a cat walks on his or her hocks. Frequent Hunger – Cats with diabetes can’t use the glucose in their diets efficiently, so they compensate by wanting to eat more. How Diabetes Affects Your Cat Diabetes can cause serious complications if left untreated. Cats with diabetes are more likely to experience weight loss and dehydration. They also have a higher chance of developing the following: Cataracts – The lens in a cat’s eyes become cloudy or totally opaque. This isn’t common in cats with diabetes, and progression to blindness is rare. But once the eyes sustain extensive damage, surgical repair would be necessary. Diabetic Neuropathy – About 10% of cats develop diabetic neuropathy, a condition where one or more peripheral nerves become dysfunctional and cause numbness or weakness in the area. This condition commonly affects the femoral nerve, which is in a cat’s legs. Diabetic Nephropathy – Also known as renal disease, this is a serious yet rare complication of diabetes. High glucose concentrations damage the glomeruli, which are the filtering structures in the kidneys. As a result, the kidney can no longer remove waste from the blood thoroughly. Diagnosing Diabetes in Your Cat If you spot the signs of diabetes in your cat, bring him or her to the vet immediately. Your vet will check if the symptoms truly stem from diabetes. This is because high glucose concentration can stem from conditions other than insulin issues. To confirm the disease, vets check the glucose level of the cats. Some vets also measure the concentration of fructosamine, a molecule that increases in cats with diabetes. How You Can Treat Your Cat The good news is that feline diabetes is a manageable condition. Proper management helps relieve a cat’s symptoms and makes everyday routines more comfortable. The goal of treating diabetes is to restore healthy blood glucose levels, mitigate weight loss, reduce excessive thirst and urination, and normalize the cat’s appetite. Here’s what you can do: 1. Change Your Cat’s Diet Cats with diabetes benefit from a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. These meals decrease the amount of glucose absorbed in the intestinal tract and, consequently, reduce the need for insulin production. Wet food is also more beneficial because it provides low quantities of carbohydrates. Dave’s Pet Food offers options that are ideal for cats that need to control their blood sugar levels. Our 95% Premium Meat canned cat food: Has meat as the main ingredient Doesn’t contain grain, corn, cereal, or wheat Is gluten-free Comes in a variety of flavors It’s also critical to restoring your cat’s weight without over or underfeeding them. If your cat is underweight, you’ll need to feed him or her multiple meals a day or allow access to food at all times. If your cat is overweight, the feeding schedule should facilitate healthy weight loss. Your vet will prescribe the right feeding time and amount of food for your cat. 2. Oral Medication Some vets prescribe oral medication that decreases the blood sugar level. These are called hypoglycemic agents. They’re easy to administer and are prescribed to cats who can’t use insulin. Administer the medication according to the dosage and schedule prescribed by the vet. Don’t change them without your vet’s advice. 3. Insulin Injections Insulin therapy is the most common treatment for cats with diabetes. Vets determine the type and amount of insulin that produce the desired effect on your cat’s glucose levels. It could take several visits before you get the results. Vets usually teach pet parents how to inject insulin on their cats. Don’t worry, the needles are minuscule. They won’t cause your cat any pain. Just follow the vet’s instructions carefully, especially regarding the preparation and time. Monitor your cat’s treatment so you can be sure that your cat is doing well. Record the following: Your cat’s weight (weekly) Time of insulin injection Amount of insulin injected Feeding time and amount of food eaten Amount of water consumed There’s no cure for feline diabetes, but you can manage it well enough so that your cat won’t have to deal with its adverse effects. Even with the disease, cats can live a long and happy life. In fact, some cats lose the need for insulin treatments over time. Your cat would just need close monitoring, proper medication, and a healthy lifestyle. If your cat has diabetes, try our premium cat food today.




FINICKY EATERS


Having trouble finding a food that satisfies the tummy of your picky kitty? This is a common problem among cat owners as cats have a very sensitive sense of smell and may be turned off by many varieties of food. Foods with a high protein content are best – cats are carnivores, so they want to eat meat! It’s important to find a food that your cat likes but that also offers them the balanced diet they need to thrive. Our 95% Premium Meat canned cat food is very popular among even the most finicky of felines. It is made up of premium meats and contains no grain, corn, cereals, gluten or wheat that many cats turn their noses to. What’s best, we offer a variety of flavors so there’s something for everyone! Our Naturally Healthy canned cat food formula is made with real proteins: turkey, chicken or beef. It is all natural, containing no grain, wheat or gluten – only the best ingredients that your cat will love!




URINARY TRACT INFECTION


Urinary tract infection (UTI) is fairly uncommon among cats, but it’s still a dangerous and often painful condition. This occurs when bacteria ascend the urethra and bladder and infect the urinary tract. UTI causes a potentially fatal blockage and other conditions that disrupt the urinary system’s ability to excrete waste. As a result, cats cannot empty their bladders completely, trapping urine and harmful particles inside the body. The bladder stones that develop pave the way for other health issues, like Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). UTI’s Connection to FLUTD UTI can cause FLUTD, a group of diseases affecting the lower urinary tract (bladder and urethra). Young cats rarely develop FLUTD, even if they have UTI. The American Veterinary Medical Association says bladder infections cause FLUTDs less than 5% of the time among younger cats. This is because the acid content and concentration of their urine prevent infection. It’s a different story for old cats, though. Cats over 10 years old are more prone to diseases, such as kidney disorders and diabetes, which alter the urine’s acidity and concentration. As a result, older cats have a higher risk of developing FLUTD if they have UTI. The Likelihood of Developing UTI Older cats are more likely to develop UTI, while young cats rarely get the disease. Female cats also have a higher risk of contracting UTI. Cases among males, however, are more dangerous. Males have narrower urethras than females. When a male cat contracts UTI, the bacteria can raise the urine’s pH levels, which, in turn, can lead to crystal formation in the urine. Crystals can easily block a male’s narrow urethra. The Symptoms of UTI in Cats Immediate veterinary attention is required if your cat develops urinary tract infection (UTI). The problem is that most signs are internal symptoms, and unless you observe changes in your cat’s urine and behavior, you might not detect the condition. To find out if your cat has UTI, watch out for FLUTD symptoms such as: Frequent, visibly painful and strained urination; your cat may even cry out Bloody or discolored urine Stronger urine odor Frequent licking of the urinary opening Urinating outside the litter box Irritable or erratic behavior Bear in mind that these symptoms do not necessarily indicate UTI. Because they’re also symptoms of FLUTD, they can also signal bladder stones, other types of blockages, or cancer. All these symptoms make daily activities difficult for your pet. Painful urination stresses out cats and pushes them to urinate outside the litter. This behavior could also prove to be an issue for your home. In some cases, erratic behaviors could put a strain on the relationship between cats and their pet parent. Once you see that your cat has signs of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), which are also behavioral and urine symptoms that suggest UTI, have your cat checked by a veterinarian immediately. Your vet will diagnose your pet and provide you with the right medical prescription. What Can You Do? Fortunately, UTI is a treatable condition, and your cat’s recovery would speed up if you follow your vet’s prescriptions and lifestyle recommendations. Follow Your Vet’s Prescription Often, vets prescribe an antibiotic commonly used for UTI to relieve uncomfortable symptoms. Your vet might also ask for samples for a culture and sensitivity test, which will identify the specific bacteria that caused the infection. Once the results of the test are in, the vet may prescribe a different antibiotic. Remember to administer your cat’s medicine according to the schedule prescribed by the vet. Do not try to add or change your cat’s dosage without the vet’s advice. Your vet may also suggest altering your pet’s lifestyle and diet to prevent UTI from developing again. Adjust Your Cat’s Diet Providing cat food that boosts urinary health helps your cat recover and reduces the risk of repeated infection. Bear in mind that cat food with high levels of minerals, like magnesium and phosphate, can lead to bladder stone formation. Cats that have bladder stones are more prone to recurrent UTIs. Food that’s low on these minerals can help restore your cat’s urine concentration to healthy levels. Additionally, it helps maintain a healthy urine pH level and reduce inflammation. Dave’s Pet Food may help with urinary tract infections. Our Naturally Healthy™ adult cat food offers a nutritious and balanced diet: It’s made with fresh cranberries and blueberries that may maintain urinary tract health It’s all-natural and doesn’t contain by-products It doesn’t contain wheat, corn, or soy It’s low on magnesium It’s packed with vitamins and chelated minerals Encourage Water Consumption If your cat doesn’t drink enough water, his or her urine concentration increases, which, in turn, increases the risk of infections. Cats are notorious low-water drinkers. You have to be creative to get your pet to drink more. Provide fresh water every day and change it regularly; cats are sensitive to the taste of water. He or she could even be turned off by odors, so wash the water bowl regularly. Place the water bowl next to the food dish to encourage drinking. You could also buy a water fountain because cats are fascinated by moving water. They’re more likely to drink if they can play with water. Giving your cat canned food also increases water intake because it contains more water than dry kibble. Make Lifestyle Changes Minimize the things that stress out your cat. For instance, avoid inviting too many house guests while your cat is recovering. Avoid conflicts if you have more than one pet at home. Provide separate food and water containers to reduce competition. If your cat shows aggression toward another pet, never let fights ensue. Cats don’t resolve an issue through fighting; it only makes it worse. Interrupt aggression and get between your pets. A lack of places for hiding and resting can cause stress, so provide additional perches for your cat to zone out as he or she prefers. Ideally, if you run a multi-cat household, provide multiple litter boxes. You can also set up scratching posts, which are safe outlets for stress. Your cat’s urinary problems will take time to pass, but with the right food, medicine, and lifestyle change, it is possible to mitigate the life-threatening risk of UTI and maintain your cat’s health. Recurrence of UTI Even if your vet says your cat’s UTI is resolved, maintain the best practices in taking care of your pet. Cats that have been previously treated for UTI can contract the condition again. In some cases, UTI can be a lifelong disease. Ask your vet if you should change the food and adjust the feeding time once your cat stops taking medication. Schedule regular checkups to prevent or detect UTI recurrence. More importantly, pay attention to the quality and amount of food and water you give your pet. Drinking enough water keeps your cat’s urine concentration and pH level healthy. All-natural food packed with vitamins and chelated minerals can contribute to your cat’s health. If your pet is experiencing UTI symptoms, have them try our premium cat food today.





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Cats

OVERWEIGHT


Overweight and Obesity in Cats Obesity and overweight are two of the most common conditions that affect domestic cats. In fact, around 60% or 56.6 million cats in the US are considered obese or overweight, says the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP). It’s a growing problem, and more vets have to cater to cats that carry extra pounds. Figures show that the cases of feline obesity increased from 30.9% in 2016 to 33.5% in 2017. Apart from leaving your pet more vulnerable to certain diseases, the excess fat hampers your cat’s movements and compromises his or her quality of life. How Obesity and Overweight Affects Your Cat If your cat is obese or overweight, he or she is more prone to certain health conditions. The excess pounds open the doors to: Osteoarthritis – This condition is characterized by erosion of the cartilage, a smooth tissue that covers the joints. When the cartilage wears off, the ends of the bones rub against each other, causing pain and inflammation. Hip Dysplasia – This disease is usually inherited, but it can develop among obese cats, too. In hip dysplasia, the head of the thigh bone doesn’t fit properly into the socket of the hip bone. This causes the cat to lose the function of his or her hips. Diabetes Mellitus – This is a condition where the cat doesn’t produce or respond to insulinproperly. As a result, the tissues don’t absorb glucose from the blood. Obese cats are three times likelier to develop type 2 diabetes than cats with a normal weight. Cardiovascular diseases – Excess weight causes the cat’s heart and vascular system to work harder. These organs are at risk for overwork and several diseases. An obese cat is also likelier to have a compromised immune system, breathing issues, and difficult births. What Caused the Excess Pounds? As with people, feline obesity and overweight stem from a positive energy balance, where cats consume more calories than they burn. One of the factors that fuel this is free feeding, where the owner leaves a bowl of food available for the entire day. The problem is, cats are hunters, not grazers. Their instinct is to hunt food, eat a small amount, and then engage in a long fasting period. They aren’t like cows that graze all day and need a constant supply of food in their digestive tracts. Consequently, free feeding cats take in more calories than they need. Giving cats table scraps and unhealthy treats also lead to excessive weight gain. Certain characteristics also play a part in the development of obesity. Genetics – The International Cat Care says moggy cats are more likely to gain excess weight than their purebred counterparts. Neutering – It’s easier for neutered cats to gain weight compared to intact cats. Neutering decreases a cat’s metabolic rate by 20%, which means their bodies burn fewer calories within a certain period. Additionally, intact cats tend to roam, while neutering decreases the desire to move about, reducing physical activity. Age – Cats between two and ten years old don’t require much energy and are more prone to gain weight, according to the International Cat Care. Those younger or older than this group are less likely to be overweight. Assessing Obesity in Your Cat Checking the ribs is a common way of evaluating a cat’s weight. This assessment involves three steps: Rib Check – Run both your hands, with your palms facing down, across your cat’s ribcage. You should be able to feel the ribs. Profile Check – Look at your cat from the side. The abdomen should be prominent, and you should see a tummy tuck. Overhead Check – Take a look at your cat from above. The waistline should be defined. If you feel a thick layer of fat covering the ribs, and it’s hard to see the waistline, then bring your cat to the vet. He or she will confirm if your cat is overweight or obese and prescribe a weight loss program to get rid of the excess pounds. Treatment for Feline Obesity There are a number of ways you can help trim your cat’s weight. Establish a Consistent Eating Schedule As mentioned earlier, free feeding isn’t a good option for overweight or obese cats. Instead, feed your cat small food portions two to four times a day. Hold mealtimes on the same hour every day. Also, avoid giving your cat too many treats. Many pet parents use snacks to keep noisy cats quiet. This is counterproductive. Don’t use treats as a method to keep a cat quiet because it reinforces his or her begging behavior. What’s more, treats are well-flavored, so cats often find them irresistible. If you think your cat really deserves a treat, give him or her little pieces of cooked chicken or fish. Don’t give them treats made from grains. If you live in a multiple-cat household, feed the obese cats and cats with normal weight separately. Put the obese cats in one room and the rest in another, then remove the uneaten food until the next feeding. Feed Them the Right Type of Food The Cornell Feline Health Center says canned food is a viable option for cats with obesity. Canned food typically contains more proteins and fewer carbohydrates than dry kibble. Italso has a high water content, which increases your cat’s water intake. Dave’s Pet Food has a selection of canned food that’s ideal for cats with obesity. Our 95% Premium Meat Canned Cat Food, for instance, promotes weight loss because it: Contains no grains, corn, cereals, gluten, or wheat Contains 95% meat, so it’s similar to the Atkins Diet for humans Is packed with essential vitamins and minerals Give your cat one to two weeks to adjust to the new diet. During the first fewdays, mix a quarter of the new food with three quarters of the old one. Gradually increase the portion of the new food until your cat has fully adjusted to the new diet. If your cat refuses to eat the prescribed diet, contact your vet right away. Control Food Portions Ask your vet about the right amount of food to lose weight healthily. Too little food can put your cat at risk for hepatic lipidosis. This occurs when the cat’s body compensates for undernourishment by moving fat from its fat reserves to its liver, which will convert the adipose tissues to lipoproteins for energy. Cats, however, can’t convert large amounts of fat, so the liver can’t use all the fat that’s delivered to it. As a result, fat accumulates in the organ and inhibits its functions. Additionally, use a scale to monitor your cat’s weight loss. If the cat isn’t losing as much weight as anticipated, or if he or she is shedding off pounds too quickly, contact your vet immediately. Get Your Cat Moving Indoor cats don’t get as much exercise as their outdoor counterparts. So, install things that encourage your cats to move, like towers and multi-level cat trees. Use a laser, feather toys, ping pong balls, or anything that your cat would chase. Play with him or her for around ten minutes, twice a day. Move your cat’s food bowl away from his or her favorite areas. This forces your cat to move to get to the food bowl. Give your cat a harness and take a nice walk around the neighborhood together. You can also put him or her in an enclosed porch or patio, where your cat can roam freely. Excess weight compromises your cat’s quality of life. Shedding off the extra pounds will make everyday activities more comfortable and enjoyable for your cat. A healthy weight will give him or her many, happy years. If your cat needs to lose weight, inquire about our premium cat food today. Our 95% Premium Meat canned cat food helps promote weight loss. It is grain free and contains no corn, cereals, gluten or wheat. As the name suggests, it is 95% meat – similar to the Atkins Diet for humans! To promote a complete and balanced diet, it’s made with the essential vitamins and minerals that your pretty kitty requires.




DIABETES


Around 0.2-1% of cats develop diabetes, says the Cornell University Feline Health Center. It’s a condition where the bloodstream has an abnormally high glucose (sugar) level because the cat’s body doesn’t respond properly to or produce enough insulin. Under normal circumstances, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone which regulates the blood’s glucose level and controls the delivery of glucose to the entire body. Insulin attaches itself to the cells and signals the right time to take in glucose. The cells then absorb the glucose in the blood and use it as an energy source. Cats with diabetes fail to perform this process because their cells don’t use glucose properly. As a result, it accumulates in their bloodstream. Like diabetes in people, feline diabetes has two types: Type I –Blood sugar levels are high because the cat’s insulin production decreases. Type II– Blood sugar levels are high because the cat’s body doesn’t respond properly to insulin. This type is more prevalent than Type I diabetes. Feline diabetes has a number of causes, including a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and a high-carbohydrate diet (usually comprises dry kibble). Cats whose pancreases have amyloids (abnormal proteins) are also more likely to develop the disease than those who do not. The Cornell Feline Health Center adds that the Burmese breed has a higher risk, while the Veterinary Centers of America (VCA) says diabetes is more frequent among male and middle to senior-aged cats. The Symptoms of Diabetes Among Cats Regardless of the type of diabetes, symptoms are similar among all cats. If you suspect that your cat has diabetes, look out for: Weight Loss –The cat’s cells can’t absorb glucose from the blood, so they don’t have enough energy to fuel their functions. To compensate, the body uses other energy sources. It breaks down the cat’s stored fats and proteins to fuel the cells. As a result, the cat loses weight significantly, even if his or her appetite increases. Frequent Thirst – High glucose levels means the urinary system filters and expels a considerable amount of glucose in the urine. To dilute it, the system uses excessive amounts of water. As a result, cats feel thirst often and are likely to be dehydrated. Frequent Urination – Because a cat with diabetes needs to expel more glucose, the urinary system produces more urine. You see larger clumps in the litter box. The urine is more diluted, too, so it smells less foul. A Plantigrade Stance – Cats with diabetes are prone to nerve damage in the hind limbs, which leads to a “plantigrade” or flat-footed stance. Rather than walking on his or her paws, a cat walks on his or her hocks. Frequent Hunger – Cats with diabetes can’t use the glucose in their diets efficiently, so they compensate by wanting to eat more. How Diabetes Affects Your Cat Diabetes can cause serious complications if left untreated. Cats with diabetes are more likely to experience weight loss and dehydration. They also have a higher chance of developing the following: Cataracts – The lens in a cat’s eyes become cloudy or totally opaque. This isn’t common in cats with diabetes, and progression to blindness is rare. But once the eyes sustain extensive damage, surgical repair would be necessary. Diabetic Neuropathy – About 10% of cats develop diabetic neuropathy, a condition where one or more peripheral nerves become dysfunctional and cause numbness or weakness in the area. This condition commonly affects the femoral nerve, which is in a cat’s legs. Diabetic Nephropathy – Also known as renal disease, this is a serious yet rare complication of diabetes. High glucose concentrations damage the glomeruli, which are the filtering structures in the kidneys. As a result, the kidney can no longer remove waste from the blood thoroughly. Diagnosing Diabetes in Your Cat If you spot the signs of diabetes in your cat, bring him or her to the vet immediately. Your vet will check if the symptoms truly stem from diabetes. This is because high glucose concentration can stem from conditions other than insulin issues. To confirm the disease, vets check the glucose level of the cats. Some vets also measure the concentration of fructosamine, a molecule that increases in cats with diabetes. How You Can Treat Your Cat The good news is that feline diabetes is a manageable condition. Proper management helps relieve a cat’s symptoms and makes everyday routines more comfortable. The goal of treating diabetes is to restore healthy blood glucose levels, mitigate weight loss, reduce excessive thirst and urination, and normalize the cat’s appetite. Here’s what you can do: 1. Change Your Cat’s Diet Cats with diabetes benefit from a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. These meals decrease the amount of glucose absorbed in the intestinal tract and, consequently, reduce the need for insulin production. Wet food is also more beneficial because it provides low quantities of carbohydrates. Dave’s Pet Food offers options that are ideal for cats that need to control their blood sugar levels. Our 95% Premium Meat canned cat food: Has meat as the main ingredient Doesn’t contain grain, corn, cereal, or wheat Is gluten-free Comes in a variety of flavors It’s also critical to restoring your cat’s weight without over or underfeeding them. If your cat is underweight, you’ll need to feed him or her multiple meals a day or allow access to food at all times. If your cat is overweight, the feeding schedule should facilitate healthy weight loss. Your vet will prescribe the right feeding time and amount of food for your cat. 2. Oral Medication Some vets prescribe oral medication that decreases the blood sugar level. These are called hypoglycemic agents. They’re easy to administer and are prescribed to cats who can’t use insulin. Administer the medication according to the dosage and schedule prescribed by the vet. Don’t change them without your vet’s advice. 3. Insulin Injections Insulin therapy is the most common treatment for cats with diabetes. Vets determine the type and amount of insulin that produce the desired effect on your cat’s glucose levels. It could take several visits before you get the results. Vets usually teach pet parents how to inject insulin on their cats. Don’t worry, the needles are minuscule. They won’t cause your cat any pain. Just follow the vet’s instructions carefully, especially regarding the preparation and time. Monitor your cat’s treatment so you can be sure that your cat is doing well. Record the following: Your cat’s weight (weekly) Time of insulin injection Amount of insulin injected Feeding time and amount of food eaten Amount of water consumed There’s no cure for feline diabetes, but you can manage it well enough so that your cat won’t have to deal with its adverse effects. Even with the disease, cats can live a long and happy life. In fact, some cats lose the need for insulin treatments over time. Your cat would just need close monitoring, proper medication, and a healthy lifestyle. If your cat has diabetes, try our premium cat food today.




FINICKY EATERS


Having trouble finding a food that satisfies the tummy of your picky kitty? This is a common problem among cat owners as cats have a very sensitive sense of smell and may be turned off by many varieties of food. Foods with a high protein content are best – cats are carnivores, so they want to eat meat! It’s important to find a food that your cat likes but that also offers them the balanced diet they need to thrive. Our 95% Premium Meat canned cat food is very popular among even the most finicky of felines. It is made up of premium meats and contains no grain, corn, cereals, gluten or wheat that many cats turn their noses to. What’s best, we offer a variety of flavors so there’s something for everyone! Our Naturally Healthy canned cat food formula is made with real proteins: turkey, chicken or beef. It is all natural, containing no grain, wheat or gluten – only the best ingredients that your cat will love!




URINARY TRACT INFECTION


Urinary tract infection (UTI) is fairly uncommon among cats, but it’s still a dangerous and often painful condition. This occurs when bacteria ascend the urethra and bladder and infect the urinary tract. UTI causes a potentially fatal blockage and other conditions that disrupt the urinary system’s ability to excrete waste. As a result, cats cannot empty their bladders completely, trapping urine and harmful particles inside the body. The bladder stones that develop pave the way for other health issues, like Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). UTI’s Connection to FLUTD UTI can cause FLUTD, a group of diseases affecting the lower urinary tract (bladder and urethra). Young cats rarely develop FLUTD, even if they have UTI. The American Veterinary Medical Association says bladder infections cause FLUTDs less than 5% of the time among younger cats. This is because the acid content and concentration of their urine prevent infection. It’s a different story for old cats, though. Cats over 10 years old are more prone to diseases, such as kidney disorders and diabetes, which alter the urine’s acidity and concentration. As a result, older cats have a higher risk of developing FLUTD if they have UTI. The Likelihood of Developing UTI Older cats are more likely to develop UTI, while young cats rarely get the disease. Female cats also have a higher risk of contracting UTI. Cases among males, however, are more dangerous. Males have narrower urethras than females. When a male cat contracts UTI, the bacteria can raise the urine’s pH levels, which, in turn, can lead to crystal formation in the urine. Crystals can easily block a male’s narrow urethra. The Symptoms of UTI in Cats Immediate veterinary attention is required if your cat develops urinary tract infection (UTI). The problem is that most signs are internal symptoms, and unless you observe changes in your cat’s urine and behavior, you might not detect the condition. To find out if your cat has UTI, watch out for FLUTD symptoms such as: Frequent, visibly painful and strained urination; your cat may even cry out Bloody or discolored urine Stronger urine odor Frequent licking of the urinary opening Urinating outside the litter box Irritable or erratic behavior Bear in mind that these symptoms do not necessarily indicate UTI. Because they’re also symptoms of FLUTD, they can also signal bladder stones, other types of blockages, or cancer. All these symptoms make daily activities difficult for your pet. Painful urination stresses out cats and pushes them to urinate outside the litter. This behavior could also prove to be an issue for your home. In some cases, erratic behaviors could put a strain on the relationship between cats and their pet parent. Once you see that your cat has signs of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), which are also behavioral and urine symptoms that suggest UTI, have your cat checked by a veterinarian immediately. Your vet will diagnose your pet and provide you with the right medical prescription. What Can You Do? Fortunately, UTI is a treatable condition, and your cat’s recovery would speed up if you follow your vet’s prescriptions and lifestyle recommendations. Follow Your Vet’s Prescription Often, vets prescribe an antibiotic commonly used for UTI to relieve uncomfortable symptoms. Your vet might also ask for samples for a culture and sensitivity test, which will identify the specific bacteria that caused the infection. Once the results of the test are in, the vet may prescribe a different antibiotic. Remember to administer your cat’s medicine according to the schedule prescribed by the vet. Do not try to add or change your cat’s dosage without the vet’s advice. Your vet may also suggest altering your pet’s lifestyle and diet to prevent UTI from developing again. Adjust Your Cat’s Diet Providing cat food that boosts urinary health helps your cat recover and reduces the risk of repeated infection. Bear in mind that cat food with high levels of minerals, like magnesium and phosphate, can lead to bladder stone formation. Cats that have bladder stones are more prone to recurrent UTIs. Food that’s low on these minerals can help restore your cat’s urine concentration to healthy levels. Additionally, it helps maintain a healthy urine pH level and reduce inflammation. Dave’s Pet Food may help with urinary tract infections. Our Naturally Healthy™ adult cat food offers a nutritious and balanced diet: It’s made with fresh cranberries and blueberries that may maintain urinary tract health It’s all-natural and doesn’t contain by-products It doesn’t contain wheat, corn, or soy It’s low on magnesium It’s packed with vitamins and chelated minerals Encourage Water Consumption If your cat doesn’t drink enough water, his or her urine concentration increases, which, in turn, increases the risk of infections. Cats are notorious low-water drinkers. You have to be creative to get your pet to drink more. Provide fresh water every day and change it regularly; cats are sensitive to the taste of water. He or she could even be turned off by odors, so wash the water bowl regularly. Place the water bowl next to the food dish to encourage drinking. You could also buy a water fountain because cats are fascinated by moving water. They’re more likely to drink if they can play with water. Giving your cat canned food also increases water intake because it contains more water than dry kibble. Make Lifestyle Changes Minimize the things that stress out your cat. For instance, avoid inviting too many house guests while your cat is recovering. Avoid conflicts if you have more than one pet at home. Provide separate food and water containers to reduce competition. If your cat shows aggression toward another pet, never let fights ensue. Cats don’t resolve an issue through fighting; it only makes it worse. Interrupt aggression and get between your pets. A lack of places for hiding and resting can cause stress, so provide additional perches for your cat to zone out as he or she prefers. Ideally, if you run a multi-cat household, provide multiple litter boxes. You can also set up scratching posts, which are safe outlets for stress. Your cat’s urinary problems will take time to pass, but with the right food, medicine, and lifestyle change, it is possible to mitigate the life-threatening risk of UTI and maintain your cat’s health. Recurrence of UTI Even if your vet says your cat’s UTI is resolved, maintain the best practices in taking care of your pet. Cats that have been previously treated for UTI can contract the condition again. In some cases, UTI can be a lifelong disease. Ask your vet if you should change the food and adjust the feeding time once your cat stops taking medication. Schedule regular checkups to prevent or detect UTI recurrence. More importantly, pay attention to the quality and amount of food and water you give your pet. Drinking enough water keeps your cat’s urine concentration and pH level healthy. All-natural food packed with vitamins and chelated minerals can contribute to your cat’s health. If your pet is experiencing UTI symptoms, have them try our premium cat food today.





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