How Much is Too Much? Cats and Salt

Cat Eating

As cat owners, we want our feline companions to live long and healthy lives. In order to do this, we need to consider certain things like how much salt is too much for our cat’s diet.

Cats require less sodium than humans, which makes it important for pet owners to regularly check the sodium content in the food they give their cats.

Here’s what you need to know:

Do Cats Need Salt in Their Diet?

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The Very Best Pets for Vegans

Dog looking at veggies.

Responsible pet ownership involves significant consideration of and respect for animal welfare. Of the most critical aspects of their care, optimal nutrition is key to their growth, development, and longevity. A vegan pet owner may have personal objections to feeding meat to their pet, but this approach can have grave consequences in obligate carnivores. Vegans don’t have to miss out on the emotionally rich and satisfying world of animal companionship, however. There are many pets for vegans, and we’re happy to help with the selection process. 

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Decisions, Decisions: Choosing the Best Pet Food

"pets eating food"

When it comes to pet ownership, perhaps one of the most overwhelming decisions you will need to make is what to feed your pet. Canned or dry? Puppy food or adult? Large breed? Small kibble? Grain free? Organic? Chicken or lamb?

Choosing the best pet food for your dog or cat doesn’t have to be difficult, though. Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital has the information that you need to nourish your pet from the inside out. 

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Good Eats: Pet Nutrition and Fad Diets for Pets

Pet nutrition does not always follow fad diets for pets.

Americans are known for obsessing over our diets, and this obsession is easily translated into the world of our pets and what they eat. Not only are there hundreds of different brands of pet food to choose from, but almost everywhere you turn, someone is touting the latest dietary trend as the best way to feed your pet.

As stressful as it can be to figure out how to provide your pet with the nutrients they need to live long, healthy lives, the team at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital can walk you through what every pet owner should know when it comes to proper pet nutrition.

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Sugar Blues: All About Diabetes in Pets

Pet diabetes can result from pet obesity.

Type II diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, has become a deadly epidemic in the United States, affecting tens of millions of humans. Unfortunately, our pets aren’t immune to the disease either. Studies show that diabetes now affects 1 in 50 dogs and cats, and it shows no sign of slowing down.

Because diabetes in pets is so common (and so dangerous), owner education and diligence are vital in order to prevent and combat this disease.

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Retractable Leashes: Neither Dog, Nor Man’s Best Friend

By Karen Fazio, CDBC
 Director of Behavior and Training

Retractable leashes are a serious threat to pet health and pet safety.

One day, as I was about to leave my house for a walk with my dog, I saw (Insert dog’s name) spot a squirrel in our yard. Not surprisingly, before I could utter the word “NO!” he took off after it. Worse still? As he was bolting down the front steps, I realized  – a bit too late – that I had forgotten to lock the retractable leash he had on. I stood, transfixed at the top of my brick stairs, as the zip line ran out… The last thing I remember was toppling down the stairs and landing flat on my face, leaving me with a small scar just above my right lip that serves to remind me of the dangers associated with retractable leashes.

I will admit that retractable leashes can be fun. They provide pets with a sense of off-leash freedom that allows them to explore areas that they might not otherwise be able to. Many people wonder if retractable leashes are good for puppies. However, in my experience, the risk of serious injury, or even death, far outweigh any pleasure you or your dog might enjoy.

Retractable Leashes Present a High Risk for Pet Injury

Retractable leashes are commonly made out of thin nylon cord, which can cause serious injury to both pets and their owners. When these leashes get wrapped around a finger, arm, or leg they have the potential to cause severe burns and deep gashes, which may send the victim to the emergency room. When wrapped around the body or limbs of a pet, the risk for broken bones or even dismemberment is tremendous.  

Serious neck and spine injuries also are a consideration for pet safety, especially if your pet bolts when the mechanism isn’t locked and it reaches the end of the line, suddenly jerking your pet backward at his neck. In these cases, trauma to the neck and spine is a certainty; and in some cases, the injuries are grave enough to cause death.

Taking the Lead

Despite how comfortable retractable leashes may feel in our grasp, they can be difficult to hold on to when attached to a struggling or pulling dog. This is because the handles are designed to be held primarily by the fingers, which tend to be quite weak.

Novice Pet Owners

Another reason retractable leashes aren’t always safe for pets is when they are held by novice pet owners who adopted a new dog during the pandemic. Many of these animals (and their owners) have not had the opportunity to socialize with other animals and might get too excited upon seeing a potential friend out on a walk. Inexperienced pet owners will have a hard time controlling a dog with just a flimsy retractable leash, which could lead to a dangerous situation for both dog and owner.

If you would like to learn more about the dangers of retractable leashes, and what options may be right for your individual pet, please schedule an appointment. The team at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital is committed to keeping your pet safe, happy, and healthy, both at home and on the trail.

Reasons Your Pet is Not Eating and When to Worry

Cat staring at food not eating.

For many, pets are like children and when something is not right, it can be quite worrisome. Change is not always a cause for panic, though. If your pet is not eating, there can be many reasons. Some are benign and others quite serious. Thankfully for you, Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital has a few tips to help you decide whether to worry when your pet is not eating. 

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Dangerous Cat Toys and Treats to Avoid

Tabby cat playing with fish toy.

Entertaining your cat can be just as fun for you as it is for them, especially when you find toys and treats they love. Most cat lovers enjoy pampering their feline friends with an assortment of toys and treats that inspire mental enrichment, exercise, and of course, yummy tastes. There are some dangerous toys and treats that every pet owner should know about and avoid, however.

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Homemade Pets Treats They’ll Beg For

homemade pet treats

Offering your dog or cat a delicious treat is one of the highlights of pet ownership. While it’s important not to over-indulge our pets (extra weight can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, joint pain, and more), treats are important for training and overall enjoyment of life.

Commercial pet treats can leave much to be desired, unfortunately. Many are loaded with fillers, food colorings, preservatives, and probably too many calories. Creating your own homemade pet treats is an easy (and cheap!) way to show your pets how much you care.

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The Wonderful World of DIY Pet Treats

dog eating treat

If you’re like most of us, you’ve probably found yourself with a little (or a lot of) extra time on your hands lately. Staring at the same four walls can get a little old, and there are only so many projects to finish or Netflix series to binge. Spending a little extra quality time with Fido or Fluffy may be just the thing to ease the tension and boredom of another long afternoon. 

While we highly recommend walks, fetch, and games of feather chase (meow!), whipping up a batch of DIY pet treats is also high on the list. We’ve found some scrumptious, and healthy, ideas your pet is sure to go bananas for – and that won’t add a ton of extra calories to their diet!

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