Give Your Pet A Health Check In 5 Easy Steps

Special Needs big Overweight Feline

Your Overweight Cat

While many of us think about improving aspects of our health and wellbeing as we kick-start the year, this is also a great time to check the health of your furry friends at home.  Here is a 5-step checklist that will help monitor your cat or dog’s health:

1. Weight: Let’s face it, during the holiday season many of us ‘treat’ our pets with scraps of left-over meat and other food… it happens.Here’s how to see if Rascal or Mittens has had a bit too much turkey under the table:
1. You should be able to feel the hip bones and shoulder blades when you apply moderate pressure to the areas.
2. When applying gentle and light pressure to the ribs, there should be no fat covering them.
3. The bit of loose skin hanging below the lower jaw is called the dewlap. When your cat or dog is overweight, the dewlap thickens and hangs heavier than usual.
4. Overweight cats usually have a hanging belly, instead of it being tucked in and covered with free, moveable skin. Dogs tend to expand around the waist area, making them look round and chubby. In addition to having a fuller waistline, being sluggish and out of breath are other signs that your dog or cat needs to go on a diet and get regular exercise more often.

Cat paw2. Skin and Coat: Pay attention to the skin underneath the coat by brushing it back. Look for any bruises, flaking, rashes or reddening of the skin. By pinching the skin around the neck area, you can determine if your pet is suffering from mild dehydration — if the skin stays tented it’s normally an indication that your cat or dog needs more fluid.

Itchy skin caused by fleas, mites or an allergy, may cause your pet to scratch or bite themselves. Finding the cause of what irritates their skin will save them from feeling traumatised. Conditions like ringworm and demodex (an infestation of tiny, cigar-shaped, eight-legged mites) are more serious because they make the fur fall out.

Look for ‘flea dirt’ by combing the coat vigorously. Flea droppings show up as black specks on the skin and can be told apart from sand by placing the debris and dirt you’ve brushed out on a wet paper towel. If flea droppings are present, they will dissolve on the paper, leaving behind a red pigment — your pet’s blood, which has been swallowed by the flea.

Cat eye
3. Eyes: Your pet’s eyes should be clear and wide open with no discharge or swelling around the lids. The pupils should both be the same size.

Hold a small ball in front of your pet, moving it from side-to-side. Your pet should follow the movement. If not, it may indicate that they are not seeing properly, due to ageing or damage caused by scaring (after a fight or rummaging in the hedges) or an eye infection.

Cat Teeth4. Oral health: As a general rule, your cat or dog’s teeth should be clean, white and smooth, and their gums should be salmon-pink and moist, with no signs of swelling. The black blemishes on some dogs’ gums are perfectly normal.

Pale or dry gums may be a sign of shock. Bright red and swollen gums could indicate carbon-monoxide poisoning — however this is rare. And yellowish gums can signal liver dysfunction.

Yellow or brown tartar build-up on the teeth can cause gum disease and even gingivitis (red, swollen and bleeding gums), which usually is caused by a bacterial infection.


Clean Cat Ears5. Ears: Gently remove earwax from the inside of the ears with a warm washcloth. There should be no discharge or swelling on the inside of the ear. Touching the base of the ear should not be painful. If you suspect that your pet might have an ear infection, visit your vet as soon as possible since long-term ear infections can cause narrowing of the ear canals and it can also damage the eardrums.

It’s worth doing these health checks on a regular basis, even if your pet appears to be healthy. If you suspect that Rascal or Mittens may be suffering from an underlying condition — especially when you see signs of infection — book an appointment with your vet sooner rather than later. After all, we call them our ‘best friends’ so we have all the reason to treat them as such.

 Cat Exercise


How to Have a Healthy Outdoor Cat

Kitten with weights cat exercise


Natural flea and tick remedies that avoid exposure to toxic chemicals

Monday, September 17, 2018 by:

(Natural News) When it comes to pet care, fleas and ticks are some of the most annoying problems that you may have to deal with. These parasites spell bad news for your pets – particularly dogs and cats – because they cause diseases, itching, and skin damage and infections.

There are different pet care products that can get rid of fleas and ticks, but they are linked to negative side effects. This is one reason why concerned pet owners prefer to use homeopathic flea and tick remedies instead. Thankfully, there are safe home remedies that you can use to keep these pests off of your four-legged pals.

Homeopathic remedies are natural treatments that are safer to use because, unlike store-bought medications, they don’t contain harsh chemicals or other toxic ingredients.

If your pet has fleas or ticks, try some of the remedies listed below.

  • Black walnut hulls – Black walnut trees produce a natural acidic insecticide called juglone that seeps from the tree’s leaves and roots then permeate the nut hulls. The acid from the juglone inside the hulls helps repel fleas. Black walnut hulls are available in capsule or liquid form.
  • Brewer’s yeast – Brewer’s yeast, a popular natural supplement, can be combined with garlic to make an effective flea home remedy. Brewer’s yeast is sold in both powder and tablet form. The correct dose depends on the form of yeast that you use. For the powdered form, the recommended amount is half a teaspoon per pound of body weight. For tablets, follow the dose directions on the product label.
  • Cedar oil – Cedar oil is a natural repellent for nasty ticks. To get rid of ticks, apply cedar oil on tick-infested areas on your dog. Do not spray the oil into your pet’s face and eyes. Take a soft cloth, spray some of the oil on it, then carefully wipe the cloth around your dog’s face.
  • Citrus – To prepare a natural tick repellent oil from citrus fruits, take some organic lemon or orange peels then boil them. Let the mixture cool, then apply it directly to any affected areas on your dog.
  • Garlic – Fleas hate the taste of garlic, and one way of protecting your dog from fleas is feeding him some garlic. This makes his blood inedible to the parasites. Garlic is available in pill form, but using garlic cloves or powder is more effective. Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM, and author of “The New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats,” explained that the recommended amount for dogs (per pound, per day) is as follows: 10 to 15 pounds = half a clove of garlic, 20 to 40 pounds = one clove, 45 to 70 pounds = two cloves, 75 to 90 pounds = two and a half cloves, and 100 pounds and over = three cloves. Take note that you can’t feed garlic to a dog with a pre-existing anemic condition. (Related: Natural remedies for keeping creepy crawlies off people, pets and livestock.)
  • Sulfur – Dietary sulfur is a crucial nutrient. Sulfur, a component of various amino acids, is also a natural flea repellent. Once ingested, sulfur creates a scent on the skin of dogs that keeps fleas away. Sulfur can be given in either liquid or tablet form. Mix dietary sulfur into dog food or administer it orally.

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Even products labeled “natural” are not always safe. Check the label carefully for dosage directions and always monitor your dog after using a homeopathic medication. Consult a veterinarian before using any of the remedies above to ensure that it is safe for your pet and that it won’t cause any negative side effects. Ask if the remedy you plan on using could affect your pet’s allergies or other pre-existing conditions.

Try some of these natural remedies to keep harmful parasites like fleas and ticks off of your furry best friends.

Read more articles about natural flea and tick home remedies for your pets at

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