Category Archives: Exercise Nutrition & Obesity

Xylitol and Pets: Reminders of a Not-so-Sweet Reality

Xylitol and pets don't mix!

With its claims of weight loss and improved health, the low-carb craze has everyone from teenagers to grandparents giving it a go. Because “low-carb” usually equates to “low-sugar,” sugar substitutes such as aspartame, erythritol, stevia, and xylitol seem to be in practically everything these days.

Meeting your health goals while still keeping your pet safe requires education, especially when it comes to xylitol toxicity. Xylitol and pets do not mix, and we want to make sure our readers are aware of the dangers associated with this particular substance.

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Running with Your Dog: Tips for Safety and Fun

Running with your dog is great pet exerciseWhether you’re a serious or casual runner, having an exercise partner can make running more enjoyable and motivate you to get out there, even when you don’t feel like it. Your loyal canine companion can make an excellent running buddy, and regular exercise and companionship lead to a variety of wonderful benefits for both you and your pet.

Your team at West Park Animal Hospital is always on the lookout for ways to encourage safe and fun exercise for all of our sweet patients. We applaud you for your interest in running with your dog, and encourage you to keep the following safety precautions in mind before you hit the pavement or trail together. Continue reading

Healthy and Fun: Summer Treats for Your Dog

summer treats for your dog can be nutritious pet treats, too.Temperatures are starting to heat up, and although it’s not too unbearable yet, we know hot weather is approaching! Now is a great time to gather ideas and recipes for one of the most delightful summer activities: making summer treats for your dog.

If you love to make things for your dog, but you’re short on ideas, never fear! West Park Animal Hospital has gathered some cool treats that are tasty, healthy, and fun for your dog.

Pupsicles

You may already be familiar with this popular idea. Making a pupsicle begins with filling small Dixie cups or an ice tray with your dog’s favorite fillings. Simply add a small bone in the center (the “stick”) and freeze. The finished product looks like a popsicle – one that your dog will love! There are countless variations on this easy-to-prepare treat. Here are some of our favorites:   Continue reading

Cats and Milk:  A Natural Match or Not a Good Idea?

Cats and milk... not so much.The image of a fluffy barn cat lapping from a bucket next to a big Holstein cow is an iconic one for sure. While many of us search our refrigerators for a gallon of milk as a treat for our feline friends, cats and milk actually aren’t a good combination. West Park Animal Hospital wants all our cat loving readers to know more about this common misconception.  

Why Cats and Milk Don’t Mix

Cats are known to gravitate toward rich, fatty flavors. Milk (full fat milk and cream in particular) is no exception.

There are two main reasons owners should limit dairy intake for our pets: Continue reading

Food for Life: Why a Pet’s Life Stage is an Important Factor in Nutrition

Most of us would agree that good nutrition is the cornerstone of lifelong health, and the quality and quantity of the food we choose can make a significant impact on overall wellbeing and vitality. This is very true for our pets, whether we’re talking about an energetic puppy or kitten or a senior pet who has health issues that can be helped with a specific diet.

Your pet’s life stage is one of the most important factors in so many aspects of wellness, and choosing the right food based on this information is critical. Let’s take a closer look at why finding the proper diet is so important.

Life Stage-Centric Nutrition

Walk down any aisle with pet food and you’ll quickly notice whether an item is for an adult, a puppy/kitten, or a senior pet. There are even products for in-between stages and specifications based on activity level, breed, and so forth. Continue reading

Meow-Wow! Learn More About Your Furry BFF with the Latest Pet Research

latest pet researchFor centuries, humans have turned to the scientific method to help untangle life’s mysteries. Considering how deeply entwined our lives are with our dogs, cats, and other domestic animals, it’s no surprise that we would be intensely curious about what makes them tick, and how that relates to our relationships with them.

Here at West Park Animal Hospital, our fascination with pets remains at an all-time high, and we can’t think of a better way to ring in the New Year than with the latest pet research!

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Pet Treats: The Good, the Bad, and the Delicious

Pets and treats seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly. We use treats for training, rewarding, and simply to make our pets happy. American pet owners buy so many treats, in fact, that pet treats made up 16% of U.S. pet food spending in 2014.

As wonderful as they are, treats are not without risks to your pet. Finding the right balance of safety and health is important when evaluating which treats to give your pet, and West Park Animal Hospital is here to help you do just that.

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Brain Freeze! The Best in Frozen Pet Treats

Young or old, we all love a good snack. Fortunately, summer brings countless opportunities for tasty treats, and our pets are only too happy to catch any stray dribbles or crumbs. With our delicious recipes for frozen pet treats, you won’t have to resist those pleading eyes this summer.

Raw and Fresh Frozen Pet Treats

Have you ever offered your pet naked fruits or vegetables? If it’s been a hit in the past, try cutting his or her favorite selections into small, bite-sized pieces. Freeze and dole out when your pet needs a little cooling down or a midday snack.

While you should avoid grapes, raisins, and most citrus fruits, you can opt for these peeled, cored, and de-seeded choices instead: Continue reading

Ode To A Pumpkin: Sure To Please Fall Pet Treats

Westpark_iStock_000018976979_Large (1)Autumn is upon us! A veritable feast for the senses, fall is simply teeming with cute and cozy sweaters (for pets and their people), brisk walks beneath falling leaves, and…treats!

The bounty of fall’s harvest is a special one to share with your one-of-a-kind four-legged friend, and we’re happy to share how tasting a simple pumpkin, prepared in such a way, can truly become one of the season’s richest shared moments. The farmer’s market – or your own backyard – are the best places to choose ingredients for your fall pet treats. Let the harvesting begin! Continue reading

How to Feed Rabbits: Building a Healthy Foundation

Rabbits' hutchAny exotic pet owner knows how important diet can be for the health and happiness of their pet, and rabbits are no exception to this rule. Feeding your pet rabbit a good quality diet is a cornerstone for successful care, but many people are unclear on how to feed rabbits appropriately. Read on to be sure you are feeding your bunny the right way. Continue reading