Need Cat Boarding?If you are planning your summer vacation, consider boarding your cat with us (for existing clients only).
Unlike dogs, cats are obligate carnivores and use protein for energy even in the face of large amounts of carbohydrates in their diet. Furthermore, cats have only about 10% of the digestive enzymes responsible for breaking down starches dogs do and a much shorter small intestine than is optimal for digesting carbohydrates. It is easy to see why feeding a large amount of carbohydrates is not optimal for cats.
It is also true that in the wild cats tend to obtain most of their moisture from their food. The end result of eating a dry cat food diet is the consumption of less moisture overall, and this may be a contributing factor in lower urinary disease in cats. Another important fact to keep in mind is that cats become habituated to whatever they eat. If they are fed only dry food during the first year of life it may be impossible to get them to eat a canned diet. They often become habituated to the protein source and texture of their food. If you want to have diet flexibility in the future, which may be important for medical reasons, you need to start when the cat is young and continue to vary the diet throughout life.
There is emerging data which suggests that the best diet for cats is a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates. This is difficult to achieve in a dry food, especially if one is trying to prevent obesity. High protein low carbohydrate dry cat foods tend to be very calorically dense and high in plants proteins which are not utilized as well as animal proteins. Ordinary dry foods, contrary to popular belief, do not prevent dental disease. In fact, resorptive lesions, which are one of the most common dental problems in cats, may be promoted by the hard texture of dry diets. Most feline practitioners now believe that canned cat food is preferable to dry, and that poultry is the most complete and therefore most desirable protein source. Beware of the deceptive practice of ingredient splitting where a pet food company may list an animal protein as the first ingredient followed by several different plant protein sources.
It is estimated the up to 70% of domestic cats are overweight with dire long term consequences. It is not possible to control weight with free feeding of dry food, and it is hard for people to grasp how small the daily rations of dry cat food need to be. Regardless of whether you are feeding canned, dry or a combination of the two, feeding needs to be done in meals. Frequent meals can be fed but as few as two is OK. Since canned food tends to satiate better it is the best choice for the last meal of the day. The only way to prevent obesity is meal feeding, and it is easier to prevent on canned diets as dry diets are deceptively calorically dense and we tend to overfeed. The most important point here is that it is ten times easier to prevent obesity in a cat than it is to correct it. Spaying and neutering both decrease metabolic rate and increase appetite (non sex hormonal changes), so after altering reduce caloric intake by roughly 25%.
There are many good quality foods to choose from including Wellness, Evo, Purina One and Pro Plan, Eukanuba, Friskies, Fancy Feast and many more. Pâté versions of canned foods tend to be lower in carbohydrates. Ideally poultry is the first ingredient. A prescription high protein low carbohydrate dry food that we carry is Purina DM. For more information on emerging trends in feline nutrition and a chart to help evaluate specific varieties of major brands, see Dr. Lisa Pierson’s catinfo.org
“Animal Critical Care and Emergency Services (ACCES) sent out a notification today saying that it has seen 7 canine parvovirus (parvo) cases over the last 2 weeks which is an unusually high number of cases for the emergency clinic.
Canine parvo is a highly contagious and potentially lethal viral illness. Major symptoms include:
significant weight loss
foul smelling, bloody diarrhea
Parvo is spread from dog to dog primarily through exposure to contaminated feces. It is also spread through contact with hands, instruments, clothing, food and water dishes, toys and bedding. The virus can remain on a dog’s hair or coat and serve as a means of transmission long after recovery from clinical disease.
The virus is also incredibly resistant – it can live in soil for up to a year.
If you know the source of the virus you should clean the area with household bleach, the only disinfectant known to kill it.
ACCES highlighted the following in the notice sent out today:
1. Currently there appears to be a community-wide parvo outbreak
2. The animals seen at ACCES have tested positive for parvo, at clinic’s Seattle and Renton locations
3. Monitor your pet for vomiting, diarrhea, and/or lethargy
4. The strain has been affecting EVEN VACCINATED ANIMALS
5. See your regular veterinarian to have your pet tested for parvo if you notice any symptoms
6. Minimize your pet’s contact with other animals at this time
7. Contact your vet to see whether it’s advisable for your pet get a booster for parvo
… if your dog hasn’t been vaccinated against parvo, you should have it done immediately. If you aren’t sure, check with your vet. Remember that the incubation period for parvo can last up to 14 days, so even if your dog appears healthy now it could still have the virus. … ”
As always, please remember – never bring a sick dog to class.
Please check with your veterinarian if you suspect your dog may be ill.
We would like to congratulate Michael and Sharon Avery for the #6 select rating by their German Shepherd Dog Clayfield Bon Jovi, a patient here at EVH. Jovi competed at the German Shepherd Dog Club of America’s national show in Loveland, Colorado. In a class of 50 champions, Jovi was judged #6, a very high honor indeed. Dr. Anderson, who attended the show, was amazed at the performance put on by this lovely dog. We are so proud of Jovi!