To Bundle, or Not to Bundle? Keeping Pets Warm and Comfortable this Winter

Keeping pets warm during the winter is part of winter pet safety

The Farmer’s Almanac predicts a mild winter this year, but let’s face it, here in Chicagoland, the winter is never really “mild.” Regardless of the howling winds, subzero temperatures, and mounds of snow, Fido still needs his daily walk and potty breaks.

While we certainly know how to bundle ourselves up to stay warm, what about our pets? When it comes to keeping pets warm this winter, The Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital have a few ideas!

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The Brilliance of Pet Yoga: Practice at Home With These 15 Poses

Pet yoga at home is a great way to get in some pet exerciseMany devoted yogis and yoginis practice anywhere they can unroll their mats – the beach, the space next to the hotel bed, in an unoccupied office, and, of course, at home. For a seasoned practitioner, it’s easy enough to simply follow a flow that feels right, but there are also many helpful videos online.

Animals have been a constant theme in yoga since its creation. In fact, a large percentage of poses (asanas) have been inspired by their anatomy or actions. While you can now attend public classes that include cats, dogs, goats, horses, and more, there are at least 15 pet yoga poses you can embrace at home. Continue…

The Do’s and Don’ts of Running with Your Dog

Running with your dog is a great way to get pet exercise in!Leading an active lifestyle is an important part of staying healthy, and including the family dog is a fun way for both of you to stay fit. Providing your pet with regular exercise not only keeps their bodies strong, it also provides an outlet for stress and anxiety, reduces negative behaviors, and can deepen and strengthen the bond you share.

Running with your dog is a great option when it comes to getting exercise together, but there are safety concerns pet owners need to be aware of. Before you lace up your running shoes, check out these safety tips straight from The Pet Experts!

Running with Your Dog Safely

Just like with any other activity, planning and preparation are integral to a safe and enjoyable experience, and running with your dog is no different. The following ideas offer you ways to make sure you and your pup reap all the benefits of your run, and none of the dangers. Continue…

Exercise Fatigue in Pets: Can It Happen?

Exercise fatigue in pets can affect your pet obesity and pet exercise routinesImages of cute, chubby pets seem to be everywhere we turn these days. While it’s hard to deny the appeal of a soft, squishy dog or cat lounging contentedly with you on the sofa, having an overweight pet can lead to health problems, high veterinary bills, and a shortened lifespan.

Making sure your pet gets plenty of exercise on a regular basis is an important component in keeping them healthy, but exercise fatigue in pets can be dangerous. Making sure your sweet furball gets the right amount of exercise without overdoing it is the key to achieving balanced health for your pet.

Too Tired?

The benefits of daily exercise for pets cannot be understated. Exercising and playing with your pet keeps their joints limber, maintains muscle mass, and promotes good cardiovascular health, not to mention reinforcing the bond you share. While it can be tempting to “tire them out” with hours of fetch or feather chase, some pets simply don’t know when to quit. Continue…

The Unfortunate Prevalence Of Feline Diabetes

Fat tabby cat is lying at the wood groundThere are some modern phenomenons that never fail to amuse us, but despite the prevalence of fat cats on Facebook, overweight or obese cats should not be among them. Definitely not a meaningful contributor to a cat’s cute factor, extra weight increases the odds of developing feline diabetes at an alarming rate – and the odds of a decreased lifespan. Find out if your cat may be at risk of feline diabetes, and what the future looks like after a diagnosis of diabetes.

Feline Diabetes is Preventable

Diabetes mellitus, or sugar diabetes, is a chronic disease resulting from obesity, but can also develop from pancreatitis, hormonal diseases, and even via certain medications. While it is incurable, it’s important to remember that it can be prevented by a balanced diet and exercise from kittenhood through the senior years. Continue…

Weight No More: Get The Skinny On Pet Weight Management

iStock_000065156107_MediumAccording to the Association For Pet Obesity Prevention, an estimated 52.7% of dogs and 57.9% of cats in the U.S. are classified as clinically overweight. Excess weight can lead to similar health concerns for both pets and people; osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer.

The Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital are here to help. Together we will explore the ins and outs of pet weight management and what you can do to help your pet live a happy, healthy, and long life. Continue…

The Gift Of Prevention: Pet Obesity and the Holidays

iStock_000071872941_Large.jpgThe weeks between Halloween and New Year’s Day are notorious for comfort food, rich treats, and small, delicious indulgences that add calories up pretty darn fast. While personal self-control is on sabbatical until January, it’s easy to apply the same rule-breaking to a pet, especially one with pleading eyes, a wagging tail, and repeated chop-licking. One tiny tidbit can’t do any harm, right? Just a small morsel of holiday goodness to share with your pet? We’re sorry to break the spell, but allowing or offering special holiday nibbles can cause or exacerbate pet obesity. Continue…

Preventing Pet Obesity: Nutrition & Exercise

Dog and cat eating food from a bowlJanuary is often a time of self-reflection and lifestyle assessment. Where have I neglected my health and wellness, you may ask? What can I do better?

And, while you are on the theme of health and lifestyle, have you considered checking in with your pet’s health, weight, and exercise schedule, as well? Has Mittens been putting on some winter bulk? Have those daily dog walks fallen to the wayside?

If you have struggled with keeping your pet at his or her optimum weight, or are starting to notice signs of obesity, here are important points of focus to get your pet’s weight under control. Continue…

Keeping Older Pets Active

Running purebred dogOur pets are living longer than ever, and it’s no accident. Pets today have better nutrition, preventative care, and treatment options than they ever have before.

As our beloved pets age, though, they often require extra care. They need to visit the veterinarian more frequently and may need additional help through medications, laser therapy, physical therapy, or pet massage to feel well or truly thrive. They may also need special accommodations to stay active.

Why Keeping Older Pets Active Matters

Keeping your senior citizen moving is important, but do you know why? Maintaining an active lifestyle for senior pets has many benefits, including: 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.