diet

Why Do Dogs and Cats Eat Grass?

Filed Under: Dogs, Cats, Behavioral & Training, Diet & Nutrition, General Care

The age old question for pet owners has been, “Why do dogs, who are largely carnivores, and cats, who are obligate carnivores, eat grass?”  Dogs and cats receive no nutritive value from grass.  So why do they consume greens, typically grasses?  Traditionally veterinarians and behaviorists have theorized that these pets are sick and need to vomit or have some perceived dietary deficiency that perhaps the owner is unaware of.  The answer may be more fundamental:  eating grass may be a necessary inherited predisposition of dogs and cats from their wild ancestors.  

Raw Food Diets for Cats and Dogs

Filed Under: Dogs, Cats, Diet & Nutrition

Most pet owners feed their pets traditionally-prepared commercial food. Due in part to the recent pet food recall, more people are turning to home-prepared diets for their pets. Some individuals are now advocating raw meat diets that may be prepared at home or are commercially available.

General Ferret Husbandry

Filed Under: Pocket Pets, Ferrets, General Care

The scientific name for the ferret is Mustela putorius furo, which literally translates to “stinky thief.” The scientific name is thought to refer to the ferret’s musky odor and mischievous nature. Ferrets are classified in the family Mustelidae. As a member of this family they are closely related to mink, skunks, weasels and otters.

Care of Neonatal Squirrels

Filed Under: Pocket Pets, General Care

Raising baby squirrels can be a rewarding experience. Most baby squirrels do well when you follow some basic rules. Baby animals are not usually able to maintain body temperature and need to warm up to an additional heat source. Hypothermia is the primary cause of death in an immature squirrel. When confronted with a baby squirrel, the first step should be to warm them quickly and gently. A hot water bottle is the safest heat source and can be easily constructed from a couple empty plastic soda bottles. Fill the bottle with hot water and wrap in a towel.

Canine Obesity

Filed Under: Dogs, Diet & Nutrition

Obesity is defined as an increase in body weight beyond optimal skeletal and physical requirement, as the result of an excessive accumulation of fat in the body. Obesity may be due to metabolic or internal (endocrine) abnormalities known as endogenous causes or exogenous obesity due to overeating. Exogenous obesity is the end result from an imbalance between calorie intake and the expenditure of energy used in day to day activities.

Rats for Pets

Filed Under: Pocket Pets, Diet & Nutrition, General Care, Rats

Anyone who has known a pet rat will tell you how friendly, intelligent, compassionate and adorable rats can be. In addition, they are very easy to care for, provided you can dedicate enough time to bonding with your new friend.

Choosing a Diet for the Geriatric Cat

Filed Under: Cats, Diet & Nutrition

Nutrition is an important subject at any age. The geriatric cat tends to present a unique set of problems. Cats are by virtue of their nature are an obligate carnivore; they require meat in their diet. Cats do not typically consume carbohydrates which constitute the energy portion of most diets. Cats must therefore create a carbohydrate source by changing proteins through a process call deamination. The end product of this deamination process is urea. Proteins are typically used as a carbohydrate source over their lifetime and will therefore cause greater stress on their kidneys.

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