Best Friends Pet Care : The Dog Dish
Best Friends Pet Care : The Dog Dish

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2016

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Best Friends Pet Care : The Dog Dish

Tag Archives: Weight

What are the recommended daily servings for my pet based on?

Dog with lots of dog foodNot only is the type of food that we feed our furry family members important but, it is also critical to know HOW MUCH we should be feeding. We are often asked, “How much of this food should I be feeding my pet per day?” and the answer is, “It depends.” We aren’t trying to be difficult, we promise. The reality is however, that a lot of different factors go into determining what the right amount of food is for your pet.

Most commercial dog and cat foods offer feeding recommendations on the label that are specific to that diet. This is because the calorie content can be quite different from one diet to the next so, 100 calories may be 1 cup of one food but 2 cups of a different food.

So what are feeding recommendations based on? We know from years of research that, just as in people, dogs and cats have resting metabolic requirements and researchers have developed simple formulas to determine what these daily calorie requirements are. This amount is based predominately on the pet’s weight. From there, other things such as age and activity level are considered.

For example, senior pet foods take into account that these pets are not going to be as active as a 1 or 2-year-old so their energy (calorie) requirements will be less. A puppy, on the other hand, needs more calories in the growing phase of their life so their energy requirements will greater than those of an adult dog.

The label recommendations on the can or bag are meant to be used as guidelines. This means they are a good place to start but your pet may need a little more or a little less based on the factors listed above. The good news is that there are easy to use calculators that you can find online that will help you determine the ideal amount of food you should be feeding based on your individual pet’s needs. For an example of one, click here. You will need to know your pets weight (or ideal weight if you are trying to promote weight loss) and the calories per serving in the diet you are feeding.

This can all seem very daunting but remember, if you have ANY questions about what you are feeding your furry family members or how much you should be feeding, your veterinarian is a great resource. Don’t be afraid to ask to ask for their advice!

Tags: Ask the Vet, Diet, Dogs, Health, Pet advice, Pet Food, Pets, Tips, Weight

Ask The Vet- Canine Hypothyroidism

In response to the question that was posted about thyroid diseases, here is a quick review of hypothyroidism in dogs.

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid glands (the small glands located in the neck) do not produce enough thyroid hormone (thyroxine). This hormone is responsible for maintaining your dog’s normal metabolism so too little thyroxine causes symptoms such as listlessness and weight gain. Other metabolic issues such as skin or haircoat problems, slow heart rate, and a lower than normal body temperature can also be seen in dogs with hypothyroidism.

Your veterinarian may suspect that your dog has hypothyroidism based on their symptoms but a true diagnosis will require measurement of the thyroid (T4) level in the blood. Sometimes, a low T4 level coupled with the symptoms is enough to make the diagnosis. If these results are not clear cut however, other tests such as a TSH level or a free T4 measured using a process called equilibrium dialysis may be required.

The good news is that this disease is easily treatable. You will need to give your dog thyroid hormone in the form of a pill that he will get once or twice a day for the rest of his life. Once your dog is on therapy, your veterinarian may recommend rechecking the thyroid level to be sure that the dose is correct. For dogs with hair loss, it may take 4 to 6 weeks before you start to see regrowth of hair. Increased activity is seen much sooner however at about 1 to 2 weeks after starting treatment.

If the signs listed above describe your pooch, call your veterinarian to schedule an appointment for blood testing.

Tags: Ask the Vet, Dogs, Health, Pet advice, Pet health, Vet, Weight

Want to live longer? Get a pet!

The medical community has long stated that owning a pet will reduce stress in your life. That comes as no surprise to us! Just last week, the American Heart association came out with a report stating that pet owners actually live longer than non pet owners!

In this report the American Heart Association released the findings of a study which reveal that having a pet might lower your risk of heart disease. So what are you waiting for?

Tags: Activity, Cats, Doggy daycamp, Dogs, Exercise, Pet advice, Pet health, Pets, Weight
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