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5 Pet Hazards People on Keto Diets Need to Know


With the new year comes new resolutions. For many people that might mean cutting back on carbs and sugar or even just eating better generally. If you’re contemplating the ketogenic or “keto” diet to accomplish your goals, or are already on it, there are some things you should be aware of to best ensure that you don’t endanger the health and safety of your pets while you’re improving your own.

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Topics: Dog Safety, Dog Food, Foods that aren't good for dogs, Cat Safety, Cat food, Foods that aren't good for cats, Xylitol

Is Feeding a Grain-Free Food Hurting Your Dog's Heart?


Grain-free diets for dogs have become all the buzz in recent years with lots of dog food companies, bloggers, and pet lovers extolling them as the cure for all that ails dogs. Now, I’m not going to get into all of my thoughts on this trend. (The board-certified veterinary nutritionists at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine have already done that in these articles on their petfoodology blog.) What I will say though is that it tends to be (emotional) marketing that's driving the grain-free pet food craze, rather than science and an actual medical need for excluding grains from the diets of dogs — even those with food allergies. But again, that discussion is outside the scope of this particular article. 

The purpose of this article is to ensure that, if you have chosen to feed your dog a grain-free diet, and especially if it's a food that contains peas, chickpeas, lentils, or potatoes in place of the grains, you are aware of the newly recognized possible link between the feeding of a grain-free diet and the development of Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), a very serious form of heart disease in dogs. DCM is characterized by a distention and thinning out of the muscular walls of the heart, causing it to be a less effective pump to move blood throughout the body. As you might imagine, that’s not a good thing! Dogs with DCM are at great risk of progressing to heart failure. You can learn more about the condition in this article from the good folks in the cardiology department at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. 

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Topics: Dog Safety, Heart Failure, Heart Murmurs, Heart Problems, Food Allergies, Dog Food, Foods that aren't good for dogs, Foods that are good for dogs

How Many Treats You Can Give Your Dog During Training


Training your dog is an amazing way to build your bond together, keep them mentally and physically exercised, and show off to your friends that your dog actually listens to you.

Typically, you have two things on-hand when training: a clicker and treats. However, only one of those things has the potential to contribute to obesity and nutrient imbalances if overused. You might have guessed it’s not the clicker.        

Too many dog treats = obesity

Treats are an essential part of positive reinforcement, rewards-based training, but you also need to be mindful to balance your dog’s treats with their overall daily calories. Give them too many treats and you won’t just spoil their appetite for actual meals, but you could also make your dog overweight and unhealthy. Read on to learn how many treats are too many for your dog and how to best balance treats with your dog’s normal food.

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Topics: pet safety tips, Diet, Pet Diet, Calories, Obesity, Pet food, Dog Food

How to Help Your New Puppy Sleep Through the Night


While your new puppy’s sleep schedule might not (yet) be in sync with yours, there are still plenty of things you can do to help both of you get as much sleep as possible. For the first several nights and weeks, you should make peace with the fact that you’re just not going to get a full night’s sleep. But the time and dedication you put in now will help you reach that point sooner (before sleep deprivation makes you start speaking in tongues to shadow people). Check out the tips below so you and your puppy can get back to that deep REM sleep as soon as possible.

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Topics: Dog, Dog Safety, Dog Food, Food, Puppy, new puppy, puppy tips, Dog Health

Why Your New Puppy Isn’t Eating and What You Can Do About It


Your  puppy is settling into their new home and you’ve picked out the best food you could find (and afford). Or maybe you’ve kept the food they were fed by their breeder or at the shelter. But for some reason your puppy has no interest in their meals.
 

This can be — and very well may be — a concerning sign in a puppy. And it’s a big concern in a very young or small puppy, as they have less ability to sustain themselves without enough calories.

Read on to see why your puppy might not be eating and what to do about it.

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Topics: Dog, Dog Safety, Dog Food, Food, Puppy, new puppy, puppy tips, Dog Health

Fast Food for Pets!—For When You Run Out of Dog or Cat Food


Ever run out of pet food and not know what to do?

While this seems like an obvious thing NOT to do, we've all had a close encounter of some kind, right?

I often see dogs and cats, who come in for a visit, for this very reason—because they're not feeling too well!

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Topics: Dog Health, Dog DIet, Cat Health, Cat Diet, Cat food, Dog Food

Changing Your Pet's Food— It Should Be Done Gradually!


Out with the old (food)... in with the new!

There are several reasons to change your pet’s food – dietary recommendations, changing nutritional needs, product discontinuations, price changes, etc. But sometimes your furry little gobbler doesn’t appreciate the change of menu, or their intestines don’t! So here’s a great way to help ensure that the new food is accepted and that it doesn’t wind up “on your carpets.”

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Topics: Dog Health, Cat Health, Cat food, Dog Food, Pet food, Pet Diet, Diarrhea

Think Twice About Letting Your Dog or Cat Free-Feed


Grazing...Good or Bad?

Many dog and cat owners find it convenient to keep their pet’s food bowl filled and accessible so their little friend can eat whenever they want. Unfortunately, while this may be convenient (in the short term), it's actually a bad practice that deprives people of important opportunities to mentally stimulate their pets, monitor their health and comfort, and can even lead to the development of some significant, costly, and quite inconvenient medical or behavioral conditions. So while "free feeding" may seem like a good way to feed pets in today's hectic lifestyles, doing so can actually cost you more time (and money) than the preferable alternative of meal feeding. Read on to see why.

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Topics: Dog Health, Cat Health, Dog Food, Cat food, Obesity, Diabetes

Your Dog A Food Gobbler? How to Safely Slow Down Your Dog's Eating.


Interactive Feeders May Just Be The Trick

Just like for us, eating food slowly and chewing it before swallowing it is better for our dog's health. Feeding your dog from an interactive feeder or toy, rather than a standard bowl, may be perfect for them.

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Topics: Dog, Dog Food, GDV, Food Bloat, Signs of Bloat, Feeding Bowls, Dog toys, Dog Training

Storing Your Dog Kibble – Safely


How do you store your dog’s kibble? Do you keep it in its original bag? Or empty it into another container?

You’ve probably only thought about this question before in terms of the freshness of the dog food, if at all. Right? Well, while that’s indeed an important consideration, did you know there are legitimate safety aspects that should also influence your decision?

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Topics: pet safety tips, pet safety, GDV, Dog Behavior, Gastric Dilatation, Blog, Pet Suffocation, Dog Tips, Dog Food, Food Bloat, Storing Kibble

Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.