If your dog’s eyes suddenly seem cloudy or bluish-grey in color, he or she probably has cataracts. If the cataract is small, your dog’s vision won’t be impaired greatly. However, if you think your dog might have a cataract, it is really important to monitor it because depending on the severity, it could result in blindness. As in all physical matters, the first thing you should do is take your dog to the vet for an eye exam
Signs and symptoms of cataracts
You can often tell if your pooch is developing cataracts if his eyes seem cloudy or appear to be bluish-grey in color. However, this cloudy and discoloring of the eye is natural for the lens of a dog that is older. This condition will not put the dog’s vision in as much harm as the cataracts will. But, any cloudiness at all found in your pooch’s eye is a sign for you to see your vet.
What causes cataracts?
Cataracts can be caused by a number of factors including old age, eye trauma, or as a result of another underlying condition such as diabetes. Genetics are the most common factor of a dog developing cataracts. The condition may already be present at birth or can develop when the pup is only one to three years old.
How to care for cataracts
Cataracts can not be prevented, but there are steps you can take to make sure that your dog will continue to be able to see, especially when the cataract is caused by a medical condition such as diabetes. Try examining your pet’s eyes on a regular basis. As mentioned above, make sure to take your dog to the vet once his eyes appear cloudy or bluish-grey or if you think he is having trouble seeing.
If you have a medical history of your dog, that would be helpful since cataracts are usually inherited. Aside from that, know any other condition that your pet has that may have contributed to the cataracts, such as eye trauma or diabetes.
When a cataract is left untreated, it could slip from the surrounding connective tissue that holds it in place. In turn, it would be loose and able to float around in the dog’s eye where it may settle and block the eye’s natural fluid drainage. This can result to glaucoma which can lead to permanent blindness. Cataracts may also start to dissolve after some time which may cause deep and painful inflammation in the affected eye.
If your dog is found to have cataracts, your vet will offer advice and a course of action for treating them, either surgically or with medication. I hope that your dog never has cataracts. But, don’t be worried if he or she does; there is medication available and your dog can still live a long and healthy life.
Does your cat come to you when you call his or her name? While this seems like the easiest of tasks, not all cats naturally do so. Some run to the door when you arrive home and call them, while some cats just yawn. Or maybe your cat comes come to you when he or she hears his breakfast meal being prepared as you open up the canned food? Whatever the case, you can train your cat to come to you.
Cats react naturally to sounds and treats!
When you are training your cat to do anything, always have some healthy treats ready. We want your cat to learn how to come to you, but not gain weight in the process!
Cats react to sounds and higher pitched voices. So, when you call out to your cat make sure you use a higher tone of voice. Cats are more attracted to a happy higher tone. If you do the opposite, they think they are being punished.
Next, cats generally respond better to a shorter name, so if your cat is named Socrates, you might want to use “Socky” or “Sock’ when calling him. And if you do change the name to “Sock” this will become your cat’s training name.
If your cat doesn’t react to a name, try a sound
Some cats react better to sounds than names. You could use a bell or clap your hands to start the training. Whatever you decide to use, only use it for this training exercise.
Try to train your cat in steps
Start out a few feet away from your kitty. Call your cat’s name or clap your hands and place the treat (or favorite toy) on the floor a couple feet in front of you. The smell of the treat or the sight of the toy should attract your cat to it. If your kitty responds by approaching, give her plenty of praise and, when your cat has eaten the treat or played with the toy, pet her and in a higher pitched voice, say good jog.
If your kitty doesn’t respond, try it again. Remember only to put a little healthy treat out so your cat doesn’t get fat in the process. Try it a few times and then it’s time to give your kitty a break.
Increase the distance
Next increase the distance you are away from your cat when calling him or her. Soon your cat will come to you from another part of the house. If your cat has easily graduated to this phase, try calling your cat without a treat and only praise. Most cats will be happy enough to get a nice rub down or some affection.
If your cat is now running to you when you call his or her name, you succeeded. And, you can use this similar type of training technique to get your cat to do other things. I trained my cat, Sammy, to open the door to my bedroom, but using a high pitched voice and shaking his dry food so he knows there is a reward on the other end. Start with the ‘call’ and keep on going!
Redbox Will Donate All Proceeds from the “Shelter Me” Documentary to the Ellen DeGeneres’ Pet Foundation!
Redbox is taking the pet world by storm! Not only are they offering the wonderful Shelter Me on DVD today, but they are also donating all the proceeds to the Ellen DeGeneres’ Pet Foundation from April 23rd thru April 29th. How great is that!
Shelter Me is a wonderful film that celebrates shelter pets with positive and uplifting stories that show how people’s lives are improved when they adopt ‘shelter’ pets. It tells the moving stories of how shelter pets are helping war veterans cope with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Filmmakers also go inside a women’s prison, where inmates train shelter dogs to become service animals for people with disabilities. And we see the journey of two stray dogs, from the day they are picked up on the streets and brought to a shelter until the day they become beloved family pets.
As I mentioned above, all proceeds from SHELTER ME rentals between April 23rd through April 29th will benefit Ellen DeGeneres’ Halo Pet Foundation, whose mission is to enhance the well-being of pets and the people who love them. This unprecedented partnership will help to raise funds to help shelter pets and educate people about rescue.
One moving episode shows how shelter pets are helping returning war veterans cope with PTSD.
“We’re honored to support the Halo Pet Foundation and everything they do to promote the well- being of pets and their owners,” said Anne Saunders, president of Redbox. “We hope all pet lovers take the opportunity to watch ‘SHELTER ME’ this week, and in the process, help us contribute to this important cause.”
SHELTER ME is hosted by Katherine Heigl (Grey’s Anatomy, Knocked Up) and sponsored by talk-show host Ellen’s natural pet food company Halo, Purely for Pets©. The film celebrates shelter pets with positive and uplifting stories and shows how people’s lives are improved when they adopt these animals. “I believe that by working together, we can find good homes for the millions of homeless and abandoned pets out there,” says Ellen DeGeneres.
SHELTER ME, which was produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Steven Latham (NOVA: Saved by the Sun, TED: The Future We Will Create), is about second chances, hope, helping others and making a difference – and about how dogs are truly man’s best friend.
About Halo, Purely for Pets
For over 25 years, Halo, Purely for Pets® has created holistic pet products of uncompromising quality. Halo believes nutrition is the single most important factor in the quality of a pet’s life. Halo offers natural pet food, treats, supplements and grooming products - including the award- winning Halo Spot’s Stew, Dream Coat and Liv-a-Littles treats. Ellen DeGeneres – a long time Halo customer – became a part-owner of Halo in 2008. HALO’s natural dog food, natural cat food, treats, supplements and grooming products are available at Pet Supplies Plus, PETCO, Whole Foods Market, your local pet specialty and natural food store, and online at http://www.halopets.com.
About Halo Pet Foundation
The Halo Pet Foundation’s mission is to enhance the well-being of pets and the people who love them. Inspired by our love for animals, we strive to help pets and their families live longer, happier, healthier lives together. Specifically, we seek to educate people on responsible pet ownership, eliminating animal abuse and reducing the overpopulation of uncared for pets. One hundred percent of every donation to the Halo Pet Foundation is granted to animal welfare groups – all operational expenses are covered by Halo, Purely for Pets.
Please make sure to rent this movie today and tell a friend. Not only will you see a great film, but you could just save yet another rescue. SHELTER ME can be found at Redbox here: Click Here To Rent
I had the opportunity to speak with Gayl Pruitt, the author of “The Dog- Gone Good Cookbook” which provides healthy and tasty recipes that we humans and our dogs (and sometimes cats) can enjoy. It is such a great concept because we are always looking for ways to keep ourselves and our pets healthy.
Cook for you and your dog
The Dog-Gone Good Cookbook is a fun, healthy recipe book for humans and their canine kids. It is full of tasty, natural recipes that dog owners and dogs can enjoy together and includes more than one hundred balanced, delicious recipes that are corn, sugar, soy, and gluten free. It is sprinkled with gorgeous, full color images of dogs enjoying the Dog-Gone Good cuisine.
The recipes are human, canine, and kid friendly and are easy—even for the beginner cook. There is a list of foods that dogs should never have and a list of fruits and vegetables that are perfect for you and your pet to experience together. There are also sections for equipment and supplies, staples and ingredients to keep on hand, basic techniques, and natural doggie supplements.
The book includes some great and innovative dishes
Sample recipes include Spaghetti and Meatballs, Fish Burgers with Parsley Dilled Mayonnaise, Braised Turkey Soup, Lamb Shanks with Figs and Blueberries, Chicken Tenders with Coconut and Sesame Seeds, and Pumpkin Frittata, as well as veggie side dishes, yummy sauces, and treats. How great is that. I can’t wait to try them for myself. And, above all, the recipes are Gluten, Soy, Corn and Sugar Free!
The book is divided into sections according to your needs
The first half of the book is for an occasional meal (for both you and your dog). The last part of the book is for dogs only, bulk food (a complete balanced meal for the healthy dog). And they also have suggestions for introducing fresh human grade food for the dog that needs to eat a commercial diet.
Three sub-chapters also address vegan dog foods, gelatin-rich dog foods, and sauces. Layout of recipes is excellent, all on single pages. They are good, common recipes, such as meat loaf, stir-fry, spaghetti and meat balls, and so on, even desserts.
The book is beautifully illustrated and the recipes are easy to follow. I am not much of a cook and I am excited to try some of the recipes. She will eventually branch out to cats as well and I can’t wait to have Sammy, my cat, try those.
You can order her book at her site : The Dog Gone Cook Book. You and your dogs will be happy you bought it!
About the author
Gayle Pruitt has been a certified nutritionist/chef for fifteen years. She currently works for Convergent Marketing and Dr.OhhiraProbiotics.com. Gayle conducts nutritional research where she focuses on human and canine nutrition with a specialty in digestive issues and disorders.
Guest Blog Post - Terry Goldman
Can Cancer be prevented in pets? Yes, it can. Much of the problem today is that the medical profession is hell bent on treating the clinical signs or symptoms with a disregard for treating the cause. Remember, if you treat the cause there will not be any clinical signs or symptoms.
Here are some common sense things that you can do to keep your pet healthier. By following these recommendations throughout your dog’s lifetime you may be able to limit his exposure to certain toxins which can exacerbate this hormone imbalance thus leading to cancer.
Many holistic vets warn against drinking tap water because of some of the chemicals that may be in it. They will recommend that you filter your water. It is important to change your pet’s water frequently so that it remains fresh and clean at all times.
2. Limit vaccinations
There is a great debate today, in the pet community, concerning whether or not our pets are being over-vaccinated. Do some research and educate yourself on this subject. Many states require that dogs and cats be vaccinated for rabies every three years and some veterinarians continue to tell clients that their pets need annual rabies shots. Many experts, myself included, believe that over-vaccinating our pets stresses their immune system and may contribute to developing cancers.
3. Reduce toxins in your home.
Cigarette smoke and other toxins are not good for your pet. Keep secondhand smoke away from animals. If at all possible, install a filter system in your home, to reduce pollution in your home. Be very careful with cleaning products used in your home. Many of them use chemicals which can be bad for your pet.
4. Be careful not to overfeed your pets.
Obesity can lead to cancer and other health problems. An estimated 40 percent of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese.
5. Choose healthy foods for your pet.
Whether you feed your pet kibble, canned, homemade or raw food, choose foods that contain high quality ingredients and antioxidants. Avoid foods with ethoxyquin and other artificial preservatives, colors or dyes. Look for foods with more natural ingredients. Nutrition is one element of pet health that YOU control. High quality nutrition will maximize your pets health potential enabling them to live a long life.
6. Consider safe flea control.
When choosing flea and tick control for your pet, you should consider whether you are able to get by with natural solutions instead of the products with more chemicals. Topical flea and tick products can do the job but they contain some very strong chemicals. It may take longer for less toxic methods to work but they have the advantage of being much less harmful to your pet in the long run.
7. Be extremely careful of yard chemicals.
If you use pesticides and weed killers you may be putting your pet at risk. The National Cancer Institute reported that they found that dogs whose owners used certain weed-killing products had two times the rate of lymphoma as dogs whose owners did not use them.
8. Exercise regularly.
Regular exercise with your pet is important for good health. It strengthens the immune system, stimulates the heart and cardiovascular system, helps digestion and generally helps the whole body.
9. Limit stress.
There is the natural stress that comes from your pet being excited about your coming home, or excited about wanting dinner, but do your best to limit the things that cause your pet undue stress, such as upheaval in the household, neglect, being left outside in the cold or the absence of a loved one. Keep your pet reassured and keep the anxiety to a minimum. Please remember that outlook and attitude play a huge part in you and your pet’s health. By keeping your pet happy and content you will be contributing greatly in your pet’s good health.
Michael and Terry Goldman run the Healthy Pet Network, which is an Interactive Online Community and Network of pet owners, animal lovers, health care professionals and experts in their related fields, providing education, information and the products and services to promote and enhance “Whole Animal Health”. They will be coming out with a book soon, so keep your eyes out for the release.
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