Thursday, January 26, 2017

Winter Weight Gain

Winter Weight Gain on Pets

Do you know if your pet has gained weight? 
Sometimes it is easy to tell and other times it is not. 
We all can probably say that we are guilty for adding on a few pounds over the course of a winter, 
but what about our dogs and cats? 
It is much harder in Indiana to get our dogs out depending on the weather 
and perhaps even harder to keep our cats exercising.
 We also maybe decide to give them a few more treats. 
You know what I mean. 
Those little extras because it is the Holiday Season and they would love some extra food during the cold long nights here in Indiana.
However, those extra pounds could be doing more harm than good. For each extra pound on your pet, it is like adding 10 pounds to yourself. So what can you really do about it?

1. Take a look at the back of the bag that you feed. 
As animal lovers, many of us feed our pets with love. So that may mean that you are not measuring out the correct amount of food. You also want to be feeding the for the weight that your pet should be, not necessarily the weight that they are if they are overweight. You can always drop in the clinic to see how much your pet weighs and we can keep a record of it here. It is safest to lose a few pounds a month, nothing drastic.  You can add carrots or green beans to the their food as well.

2. Treats?
Can your pet have treats? Of course they can. Just remember that treats could potentially add many calories to your pet's diet. If you would like to feed a lot of treats, then consider cutting back your dog or cat food so that you can still love them with treats and not add on the pounds. What kinds of treats are safe? This is a good question and we are happy to talk with you about the treats that you feed your pets. Here is a starting point for you to take a look at. Healthy Pet Snacks

3. You do not have to go for a long walk. 
We all know that here in Indiana the weather can change quickly in the course of a day. If the weather is safe enough for you to go outside, a short walk can be better than no walk if it means getting in a little bit of exercise for your animals. It is not only good for your pet's body, but also is good for mental stimulation. Know that winter will be coming to an end here soon and we will all be out and about so much more.

4. Know what healthy looks like for the breed that your pet is. 
It is known that pets can live longer lives if they maintain healthier weights. Check out this website by Purina that gives a guideline to what is standard for many pet breeds. How does your pet hold up next to the breed standards? Remember that these are also guidelines and mixed breeds may be harder to know what is most ideal for your pet. We are happy to discuss this with you when your pet comes in for a weigh in.

5. Remember that your pet relies on us and you to be healthy. 
If you are unsure about what might be healthy for your pets for diet or exercise, please contact us so that we can help. You are not in this alone when it comes to weight changes (be them up or down). We are happy to discuss the best ways to manage your pet's health. You can reach us by phone at 317-846-8710 or if you know that you would like to set up an appointment, you can conveniently do so from our website. Click HERE to make an appointment.





Thursday, January 19, 2017

Meet Kayla!!



Kayla joined the Hazel Dell family in May of 2016. She may be one of the first voices that you hear when you call and you can find her most often in the lobby loving on your furry companions. She is interested in expanding her knowledge and expertise in the Veterinary field. She grew up in Indianapolis with her wonderful parents and younger sister. She now lives with her fiancé and a water loving, mud digging, wet-kiss giving chocolate Lab named Dakota, who is the love of their lives. She is a long time animal lover and knew at a young age that she wanted to make a career of working in the veterinary field. We are delighted to have her on staff and we know you will too!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year Resolutions for 2017

Do you have New Year Resolutions for yourself this year? How about for your pets? Is it one of those things where you write down a bunch of things you really wish you were doing and then bury the list under a stack of paper s?  Perhaps this year, for your pets, it could be different.
No need to set unrealistic goals. Let us all be reasonable and enjoy the time spent with our animals. So here we go! Check out our list of easy goals that you can easily do to help your pets live a happier and perhaps healthier lifestyle.

1.       Check Labels! See how much your pet actually needs to eat.
Many of our pets are overweight by a little or by a lot. Did you know that you should feed your pet the amount of food for their ideal body weight? (It is possible that you are feeding for the weight that they actually are, not what they should be) To do this, take a look at this chart. Or the next time your pet comes in for a nail trim or exam, ask what might be ideal for your pet.  Also remember not to cut calories too quickly. It is ideal to lose about 1-3 lbs a month and you can always add in green beans or carrots to add bulk to the diet.  Studies show that dogs and cats that are trimmer live longer lives too!

 https://thejoggingdog.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/how-to-extend-your-dog-or-cats-life/


2.       Go outside with your pets!
It is wonderful for mental stimulation as well as exercise to get outside for not only us, but our pets as well. It doesn’t have to be long in the winter, perhaps just down the street to start. You would be surprised at how much it can lift your spirits while the days are shorter.  As the days get warmer, you can choose to increase your time outside as well.




3.       Give your pets Heartworm Preventatives EVERY month! Also remember Fleas and Ticks!
We have seen an increase in heartworm positive dogs over the last 2-3 years.  If you do not know about heartworms, check out this link or give us a call. It is much better for your pet (and not to mention cheaper) to prevent them from happening instead of treating after your pets gets them. Remember that they are transmitted by mosquitos and it takes 6 months for them to grow to full adult. Your pet could have been bitten in July of this past year and it show up now.  As the seasons change, keep a closer eye on those nasty fleas and ticks that could transmit diseases and cause your pet to become ill.



4.       Have fun!  
It does not take much to have fun with your pets. For a cat, it could be a simple as a laser pointer, fun toys, or sitting on your lap getting a good pet. For dogs, it could be chasing a favorite ball, teaching new tricks, going for a walk or run, or going for a car ride to the dog park or beach or for a hike.





See, that list wasn’t as bad as you may have thought. Simple, realistic, and good for you and your pet! We will be excited to see you in the new year and we hope that you can tell us that you have had at least had some FUN while you were working on your New Year Resolutions. Here is to a great 2017!