nutritional supplements

Benefits of Coconut Oil for Cats

coconut-oil-cats

Coconut oil has been big in human nutrition for quite some time. Widely marketed as a superfood, the unique combination of fatty acids in coconut oil may have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and boost the immune system. I’ve been getting a lot of questions about whether these benefits apply to cats as well. Continue Reading

Review: Tomlyn® Cat Supplements

Tomlyn-pet-supplements-review

When it comes to supplements, it can be difficult to determine what’s good and what’s not. That’s why I’m delighted to introduce you to Tomlyn® today. This company creates supplements based on their belief that if you maintain a strong, clear focus on doing what is medically right for pets and combine it with on-staff veterinary oversight, the formulas created will be comparable to those sold in veterinary clinics.Continue Reading

New Zealand’s Best: Help Your Cat Feel Young Again

new-zealands-best

This post is sponsored by New Zealand’s Best*

You may be surprised to know that 61% of cats over the age of 6 suffer from arthritis. As cats age, this number is even higher: 90% of cats over the age of 12 have some form of arthritis. Since cats spend a lot of their time jumping and climbing, their joints, especially weight-baring joints like the shoulders, hips, elbows, knees and ankles, are repeatedly absorbing a lot of impact, and this can lead to joint damage – particularly in larger cats or overweight cats. Continue Reading

Keep Your Cat’s Urinary Tract Healthy

urinary-tract-health

This guest post by Courtney Taylor is sponsored by In Clover

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the top reasons why cats visit the vet. They are painful for your cat, and often lead to messy cleanup and expensive vet bills for you.

UTIs are most prevalent in male cats and may be caused by excess weight, lack of exercise and poor diet. However, the most common causes are dehydration and a high urinary pH. Crystals and struvite stones may form, which are extremely painful to pass. The urinary tract will be inflamed and uncomfortable, and may even become restricted or blocked. Urinary blockage in male cats is a potentially life threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary attention.Continue Reading

The Benefits of Omega-3 Supplementation for Cats

omega-3-for-cats

Guest post by Jodi Ziskin

Cats, like humans, require both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for optimal health. Both are considered essential fatty acids, meaning they cannot be manufactured in the body and therefore need to be obtained through diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce swelling, relax blood vessels and airways, improve circulation and reduce blood clotting. Omega-6 fatty acids help increase swelling, constrict blood vessels and airways, reduce circulation and increase blood clotting. This is important when the body is injured or develops an infection.Continue Reading

Giveaway: cat supplements from Pet Naturals of Vermont

I’m a big believer in supplements for both cats and humans. You should see my kitchen counter: between my supplements (I didn’t earn the name “supplement queen” from my friends for no reason!) and Allegra and Ruby’s supplements, there’s not much space left for anything else. And I’m only half kidding.

I rarely accept supplements or food for review unless it’s something I’ve already thoroughly researched and/or tried. I won’t use Allegra and Ruby as product testers for products whose claims I can’t verify. Full disclosure: I have not used Pet Naturals of Vermont’s products, but based on what I’ve read about the company, and the ingredients listed for their products, these look like good products to me. I was particularly impressed to find out that Dr. Roger Kendall, Pet Naturals® vice president of research and development, and Dale Metz, Pet Naturals® CEO, are founding members of the National Animal Supplements Council. The NASC seal guarantees that pet supplements meet guidelines for quality, integrity and truth in labeling.Continue Reading

Does your cat need supplements?

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How many times have you seen the words “complete and balanced” on a pet food label? Would this lead you to believe that the food baring this claim is all your cat will ever need to be in perfect health? If so, you may be wrong.

The claim of “complete and balanced” simply means that the pet food company making that claim for any particular food is stating that when a sample of that particular product was subjected to a chemical analysis, that sample was found to contain the currently “known to be essential” nutrients at the currently recommended levels according to the currently accepted provisions laid down by AAFCO. (Source: Dr. Billinghurst’s BARF Diet).

Sounds like a mouthful? What it means in plain English is that commercial pet food contains every nutrient that our pets require. It does not necessarily mean that it also contains all the nutrients our pets need to be in perfect, healthy balance.

I think the concept that a cat can thrive on the same food, day after day, no matter how high a quality, simply doesn’t make sense. Continue Reading

The Lowdown on Nutritional Supplements

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This article was provided by Nancy Kay, DVM.  Dr. Kay is a Diplomate of the  American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.  She is the recipient of the American Animal Hospital Association 2009 Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award and author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life.   The article was written for pets, but it applies just as much to supplements for humans.

The nutritional supplement industry has become big business as people are looking for more natural ways to care for the health of their pets.  For example, a person might be inclined to try glucosamine or chondroitin sulfate for their dog’s arthritis pain rather than a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (the equivalent of doggie Advil).

The number of nutritional supplement manufacturers has grown exponentially.  Unfortunately, the quality of products hitting the market is somewhat hit or miss.  There is no FDA approval process for nutritional supplements, and incidents of contamination with heavy metals, pesticides, or other unsavory ingredients have been reported.  Additionally manufacturers are not required to comply with specific formulations for their products- the strength or concentration of the active ingredient may be inadequate, too much of a good thing, or just right.

Knowing this, how in the world can the average consumer purchase a product that is safe and effective?  Certainly query your vet for his or her recommendations.  We veterinarians are taught to use the ACCLAIM system (described below) to assess nutritional supplements.   You too can use this system to make educated choices about these products for yourself and your four-legged loved ones.

A = A name you recognize.  Choose an established company that provides educational materials for veterinarians and other consumers.  Is it a company that is well established?

C = Clinical experience.  Companies that support clinical research and have their products used in clinical trials that are published in peer-reviewed journals to which veterinarians have access are more likely to have a quality product.

C = Contents.  All ingredients should be clearly indicated on the product label.

L = Label claims.  Label claims that sound too good to be true likely are.  Choose products with realistic label claims.

A = Administration recommendations.  Dosing instructions should be accurate and easy to follow.  It should be easy to calculate the amount of active ingredient administered per dose per day.

I = Identification of lot.  A lot identification number indicates that a surveillance system exists to ensure product quality.

M = Manufacturer information.  Basic company information should be clearly stated on the label including a website (that is up and running) or some other means of contacting customer support.

For more information about Dr. Kay, please visit her website at http://www.speakingforspot.com or Spot’s Blog at http://speakingforspot.wordpress.com/