After Jack’s recent health scare, we really started to pay attention to the ingredients in his food and treats. We switched to a senior blend with limited ingredients (there are actual peas and carrots in his food!), and limited treats to Greenies only. Thankfully Jack loved his new food, so there were no issues making the switch, but we noticed him starting to puke again. After a little research we added a gentle probiotic to his diet (treat form). Jack is obsessed with them, so adding them to his diet was easy. And you know what? He no longer pukes!
We were guilty of giving him human food, he has stolen broccoli from my plate, we have now stopped so we can get his ibd under control. Sometimes spoiling your pet is actually doing more harm than good. So how do we safely reward our pets without causing any problems down the road?
So whatever your favorite way to spoil your pet is, be sure to set aside a little time this Valentine’s Day to show your pet how much you love them.
Our cat Jack has been dealing with some medical issues and it's reminded me that, as pet owners, we know our pets better than anyone else. Jack is 12 years old and is famous for his love of food, high play drive and ability to High 5 for a treat. Our rambunctious senior kitty does not act his age and is constantly keeping us on our toes.
Lately, however, we’ve been waking up to puke. Puking has never been an issue with Jack. This raised a bright red flag for me, so I made a vet appointment. Jack had no temperature, gave the entire staff a work out trying to keep him on the table, and left with a shot to treat the nausea. 3 days later, he’s puking again. Another trip to the vet resulted in a cracked nail bed and a tuft of fur ripped out during Jack’s vigorous attempts to escape. The vet did manage to take a blood sample despite Jack’s efforts.
Blood work showed a healthy cat. Jack continued to eat and beg for treats, drinking water, playing and generally acting normal. We had changed his food, just in case, and the puking came to a stop. Our vet suggested we give him some time and see if that solved the problem. We were game.
On Friday night we were introduced to THE Puke. This was seriously the most foul smelling, disgusting puke I’ve ever seen. It was open the windows and air out the house bad. So now our vet is on board that there’s something wrong and we’re scheduled for an ultrasound, additional blood work and a urinalysis.
While we wait for answers I pet Jack and wonder if he’s feeling okay. His coat is shiny, he’s eating well, and chasing after his treats when tossed around the house. So while he seems healthy, we know that something is wrong and will find out soon how to make him well again. I no longer feel foolish for rushing him to the vet for puking daily or when the test results came back negative. I know my cat better than anyone, even his vet, and when my gut tells me something is wrong, I trust it.
If you notice a change in your pet, let your vet know. Your pet won’t complain and often the symptoms won’t be obvious. Changes in eating habits and water intake to activity level and behavior changes can often be signs that something’s not right. Please check out this page: http://www.vetstreet.com to learn more about identifying the signs your cat is unwell.
With all those delicious smells coming from the kitchen on Thanksgiving, you can’t really blame your pet when they want to spend all of their time in there with you. Counter surfing, getting into the garbage, and well-meaning friends, can be the difference between a lovely dinner or inducing vomiting in your pet just before dessert.
So how do we avoid this? Make sure your pets are unable to get into the kitchen, either crate or restrict them to a certain room or floor of your home. Garbage should be made inaccessible and/or removed from the home in a timely manner. Talk to your guests and their children in advance to make sure they understand that table scraps are not allowed.
If you have family/friends coming who love animals, but maybe don’t know which foods are dangerous for your pet, take the time to explain to them the true dangers of sharing a goodie with your pet. Here’s a rundown of some of the most dangerous foods that make an appearance on Thanksgiving.
If you think your dog or cat ingested something poisonous, contact your veterinarian, emergency veterinarian, or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for life-saving care, right away. When it comes to any poisoning situation, the sooner you diagnose it, the easier it is to potentially treat, less invasive it is to your pet, and the less expensive it is for you. Now, that’s something to be grateful for.
The past several months we’ve had to say a lot of good byes. Some were pets that have been in our care for years, others were more recent. The good byes were different with each pet; whether they had passed from old age/illness, or simply moved far away, I felt the loss of their presence. After 6 years I still cry on the last day of walks before a client moves or when I hear of a pet passing away. It makes me question whether I’m too attached, but then I receive an email from a new client. They have a puppy and want to build a relationship. Before I can finish grieving, the cycle begins again.
As a pet parent, this is something we go through several times throughout our lives. As Agnes Sligh Turnbull said, “Dog’s lives are too short. Their only fault, really.” This can be applied to all pets. They rarely outlive us, which makes it our responsibility to make the time they have with us the best it can be.
So how do we do that? It means putting away your phone on walks, setting aside some time to play, and exposing your pet to as many different experiences as possible. Be present when spending time with your pet. Remember, they might be just a part of your life. But you’re their whole life.
Being a pet parent means taking on a lot of responsibility. You are in charge of keeping your pet nourished, clean, happy and healthy. The last part can be difficult as so many factors are outside of your control. What if they eat something off the ground while on a walk and become ill? What if they develop a growth or rash? Visits to your veterinarian can be costly when x-rays and blood work come into play. Unless you are independetly wealthy, there may come a time when the price of your pets care is more than you can afford. What then?
A former client of mine was faced with this difficult decision when her dog had to be rushed to BluePearl when he suddenly had trouble walking and was in extreme pain. After emergency surgery and a lengthy hospital stay, the final bill was in the 5 figures. Far more than she could afford. Fortunately they were covered by Trupanion and were only responsible for a fraction of the cost.
Many pets go through life without any major accidents or illnesses, but there's no way to know for sure. If you can't afford the monthly insurance payments, you can always set aside what you can in a separate savings account to help offset any emergency vet visits.
The pros and cons of pet insurance vary from plan to plan. Depending on your pet, the yearly costs may be far more than your actual vet bills. But what is the price of the peace of mind knowing that if the worst should happen, your pet will receive the best of care with minimal impact on your wallet?
My name is Jamie and I am the proud owner of Happy Pets NYC. I started this company in 2009 by doing all of the walks and pet sitting myself. After a year, I hired my first pet care provider. Now, over 10 years later, we employ a full team of dedicated providers who share my passion and love of animals.