ASK-THE-VET: AN OVERWEIGHT CAT

DonnaNewPicCroppedQuestion: I have two cats. One is about 10 lbs; the other is waaaaaaaay over that. Probably close to 20. One is 9, the other 10. The younger is the heavier. They have been on [brand name] weight control for their entire lives. I switched the heavier one to a different brand of diet food a year ago, and she still gains weight.

Neither are very active anymore, although I do try to entertain them and get them off the bed. The only treat they get is two pieces of another diet food (treats are too fattening in my opinion), and they only get that once in the morning, and once in the evening. They won’t eat any people food at all (I’m glad of that), and they turn their nose up at tuna even.

Canned cat food doesn’t appeal to them either. Any suggestions as to what else I can try? The older one has shown signs of slight weight loss over the last year, but the 9 year old just keeps packing on the weight.

They are both strictly indoor cats and have never been around other animals. Any ideas for me? I would appreciate any advise! Thanks so much!!! (mom to 10 yr old Sissy, and 9 yr old StinkerBelle).

Answer: Thanks for writing in. It can be very challenging to get cats on the weight loss path! The biggest problem is feeding the right amount of calories. Most cats should eat only around 150-170 calories per day. Most dry cat foods have 400 or more calories per cup so they are quite high in calories…meaning they are very easy to overfeed.

The first step would be to figure out how many calories are in your food and then calculate the amount they can have to meet about 150 calories per day. Many cats won’t feel satisfied on this small amount of food which is why adding canned food is often helpful during a weight loss program. It generally has fewer calories so cats can eat more of it and feel more satisfied.

Here are some additional weight loss tips: Weight Loss Tips. There is also a good article here Transitioning Dry Food Addicts to Canned Food on how to introduce and transition even the most finicky dry food eaters to canned food.

Hope this information helps.
Good luck.
Dr. Donna Spector

Answers provided to pet owners by Dr. Donna Spector should be considered information and not specific advice. Answers are to be used for general information purposes only and not as a substitute for in-person evaluation or specific professional advice from your veterinarian. Communications on this site are very limited and should never be used in possible cases of emergency.

Halo, Purely for Pets will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any information or content contained in a blog or article post. If you have consulted your veterinarian and if you are still concerned about your pet’s condition or if your pet has chronic, complicated or undiagnosed problems, Dr. Spector can offer consultations for you and your veterinarian via www.SpectorDVM.com.

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HORSE AND CAT ARE BEST FRIENDS

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When Morris the cat came to live on a horse farm in northern New South Wales, Australia, his new owner, Jennifer Boyle, hoped he’d be happy there.

Boyle never expected that the little black cat would become best friends with one of the horses!

According to the Daily Telegraph, Soon after Morris came to live in his new digs, Champy, one of the horses, approached the cat and started to groom him.

Much to Boyle’s surprise, Morris didn’t mind. In fact, he jumped up on the horse’s back and started to groom him in return.

A friendship was born.

Click here to read the complete story.

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THE HALO PET FOUNDATION SPONSORS 2015 HUMAN ANIMAL INTERACTION CONFERENCE

eventlogo1The Halo Pet Foundation is excited to sponsor the Human Animal Interaction 2015 conference: Growing Together: Kids, Animals and Sowing the Seeds of Resiliency.

This exciting event is hosted by The Sam and Myra Ross Institute at Green Chimneys in partnership with the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work Institute for Human-Animal Connection. The conference will take place at Green Chimneys in Brewster, NY on April 24 and 25.

Over two days, speakers will explore how human and animal interaction can help children who have experienced trauma.

There will be sessions for mental health professionals, traditional and nontraditional educators, child and animal welfare workers, as well as those who are simply interested in how animals can ethically be used to help children.

Philip Tedeschi, of The University of Denver, noted that The Sam and Myra Ross Institute and the Institute for Human-Animal Connection have similar missions, “we really see our work being directed at child welfare and animal welfare in humane education.”

Philip has collaborated with Michael Kaufmann, the director of the Sam and Myra Ross Green Chimneys Institute, for more than two decades. Both will be among the experts leading sessions during the conference.

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TRACIE HOTCHNER: COLD WEATHER DANGERS – FOUR DANGER SIGNS OF HYPOTHERMIA

newtraciepicWe have had some bitter cold weather in the Northeast this winter, and of course there are many states where temperatures either side of zero are common throughout the winter months. Those temperatures pose a very real danger to dogs, and people seem to be unaware of how harmful it can be for a dog to be outside more than briefly to “take care of business.”

Just because your dog has a fur coat, don’t take it for granted that it’s all he needs to keep him warm when the temperature drops. And just because he dashes outside full of enthusiasm to play outdoors in the snow, doesn’t mean he is safe to stay out there for an extended amount of time. If your dog has a thin coat like a Weimaraner, Doberman Pinscher, or Coon Hound – and especially if it’s a thin-coated breed intended for a warm climate (for example, the delicate Italian Greyhound) – you must provide him with a coat for protection against the cold when he goes outdoors for any amount of time.

A sweater vest is probably the best protection, since it holds in all the dog’s natural body heat and you can layer it with a coat on top. Choices of dog coats these days run the gamut from light down puffer jackets to polar fleece, neoprene and Polartec – the main function being to hold in the dog’s body heat and keep the core of his body warm.

Also, you must limit him to only short forays outside when it gets really cold, even if he appears to be enjoying himself. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because you have a strong, energetic Labrador he can’t suffer from prolonged exposure to extremely cold temperatures.

When the temperature outside is low, the longer a dog stays outside, the greater risk he runs of developing hypothermia, which is a dangerous drop in the dog’s core body temperature. By the time he shows any of the warning signs, it means his core temperature has already dropped to a seriously low l\level.

WARNING SIGNS OF HYPOTHERMIA
* Intense and prolonged shivering
* Weakness or lethargy (especially if the dog is normally active)
* Disorientation or confusion (not responding to commands, walking in circles)
* Loss of interest in playing or even walking (may lift paws one at a time)

If your dog displays any of the symptoms on the warning list you must bring him indoors to a warm environment immediately. A dog whose core temperature has lowered will shiver violently in a rapid attempt to speed up his metabolism to generate warmth: you need to supply that heat for him. Get him into the warmest room in the house, then crank up the heat and wrap him in warm towels or blankets.

You can do this by first wrapping him in a fleece or quilted blanket, then throwing some towels and blankets in the dryer on high, where they will heat up quickly. Then you can wrap him in those. Stay with the dog until he stops shivering. Once he is rewarmed, encourage him to eat and drink, which will generate more warmth and replenish the energy he expended while shivering. If he does not improve, or gets worse, get him wrapped up as warmly you can and take him to the vet on an emergency basis, calling ahead to let them know you are coming and why.

Water Tips (inside and outside your dog) for Cold Weather
Drinking water: Make sure your pet is drinking enough water, because dogs can get dehydrated in the cold weather. If your dog is a reluctant drinker, put a little chicken broth (Better than Bouillon is a healthy broth concentrate without the MSG often found in bouillon cubes) or sprinkle a little Halo Dinner Party into water to make it into a tempting beverage.

Baths: If you usually give frequent baths to keep your pet dander-free, don’t wash him as much in the winter months. Instead, brush him frequently to increase circulation to the hair follicles and promote hair growth, which is important in the winter. When you do give a bath, use a dog moisturizing shampoo and/or a dog-coat conditioner like Halo’s Cloud Nine herbal shampoo to minimize the drying effects that baths can have in the cold, dry winter months.

Tracie Hotchner is the author of THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is also a renowned pet radio host and producer, having spent 7 years on the Martha Stewart Channel of Sirius/XM with CAT CHAT® and even longer with her award-winning NPR radio show DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) that continues to broadcast in the Hamptons and the Berkshires. Her most recent accomplishment is the pet talk radio network she has created on the Internet called The Radio Pet Lady Network.

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VIDEO REVIEW FROM DOG LOVERS: HALO SPOT’S STEW AND DREAM COAT

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Thank you Dog Lovers of Tarpon Springs, FL for posting this great video review from Cindy a Halo customer.

Dog Lovers is dedicated to providing natural pet foods, treats, and supplements for dogs and cats. They firmly believe that by using natural products along with providing exercise and positive mental stimulation, pets will live longer, happier and much healthier lives.

Thank you Dog Lovers for the video and thank you Cindy for your review! We are glad that you 5 dogs and 6 cats are enjoying Halo.

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