Top 5 Pet Wellness Tips

October is Pet Wellness month so now is a great time to share the best tips Veterinarian Jose has for you to keep your pet healthy!

  1. Proper nutrition/exercise - Does this sound familiar? If nutrition and exercise are important to humans they are also important for your pets. Learn more about the food and treats you give your pets to make sure they are as healthy as they can be. Feeding your pet table scraps is one of the worst things you can do for their health. Make sure your pet gets plenty of exercise! Not only is this a health benefit but exercise also helps make your pet happy, which means you will be happier too!

  2. Dental hygiene - Dental disease is a serious issue for pets and is often associated with heart disease and kidney failure. If your pet will allow you to brush their teeth this is a great preventative step. If your pet won’t, make sure to schedule cleanings with the veterinarian or take advantage of non-anesthetic cleanings that are offered around your community. Tip: Ask us about when our next non-anesthetic cleaning will be scheduled.

  3. Vaccinations/parasite prevention - Keeping your pet up to date on all of their vaccinations helps prevent illnesses. Fleas, ticks, and heartworm prevention is important year round, it isn’t only a seasonal issue as some pet owners believe. It is important for all pets, indoor or outdoor, to receive these treatments because any exposure to parasites can cause them harm.

  4. Preventing Ear Infections - An ear infection is typically a sign that there is another issue going on with your pet, especially if they are recurring. They could be caused by allergies, foreign objects in the ear, hormonal or autoimmune diseases. A yeast infection will cause inflammation, and can potentially cause a secondary bacterial infection, which further worsens the inflammation. Keep the ears clean and dry (especially when dogs have floppy ears!) so that yeast isn’t allowed to grow. Drying inside the ears is important after baths and swimming.

  5. Spay/Neuter your pet when they are young - Higher concentrations of estrogen/testosterone can lead to a higher risk of cancers and other diseases as pets age. Pets that have been spayed/neutered younger tend to have longer lifespans which means you get to enjoy your pet longer!

Road Trip: 6 Tips for Traveling with Your Pet

Last year we traveled across country from Salt Lake City, Utah to our new home in Sarasota, FL. This was a 5 day road trip with our very large dog Porter (130-ish pounds). Porter has always loved the car but I was concerned about how he would handle such a long road trip. He spent time in the car before but in much shorter periods. These are the things I did to make our trip more comfortable and to make sure Porter would continue loving the car afterwards!

  1. Make sure to pack plenty of food, water, and treats. Don’t forget the bowls! When food/treats are left in the heat they can spoil easily so pack them in an airtight container. Always take them inside with you instead of leaving them in the car if temperatures are hot.

  2. Try to keep the feeding schedule as consistent and routine as possible. If you normally feed your pets by a certain time, try to do the same on the road. A normal routine helps keep your pet calm even when the surroundings may be different. They may be less inclined to eat like they do at home so don’t be alarmed if they don’t eat much or skip a meal. Don’t use this as a reason to give them more treats than usual as this could upset their stomach.

  3. If your pet has a favorite blanket, toy, or bed, it is good to take them with you. This will make your pet more comfortable in the car and hotels by having something they love and are familiar with.

  4. Does your pet get anxious about car rides or unfamiliar places? Try giving them CBD to help keep them calm or talk to your Vet about options. Take frequent breaks from the car by giving them a walk or letting them run around a dog park if you do this at home.

  5. Download an app that will help you locate dog parks and pet friendly hotels or restaurants. This was the most helpful advice I received. I used the app called BringFido but there are others out there…find the one you like. Hotels charge different pet fees, some are free, do your research to find the best accommodations for you and your pet!

  6. If you think your dog may get dirty we carry wipes. waterless shampoos, or scented sprays in the store. These can help keep them clean (or at least smelling good!). Nothing like a smelly, dirty dog to make a road trip miserable! In fact, throw in a few towels or grab a Soggy Doggy to also help clean up a dirty dog before they get back in the car.

Hope you all have had a great summer! If a road trip is in your near future, enjoy!

Tips for Keeping Your Pets Cool

We have officially hit the hot summer months and this means we need to be careful with our pets in the heat. It is easier for an animal covered in a fur coat to become extremely hot, very fast, just from a short walk outside. Many pet owners don’t understand that extreme heat can be life threatening. I am amazed by how many dogs I see left in cars at this time of year. A few minutes in a hot car can raise the body temperature of your pet to life threatening levels! Some of the tips I will provide seem like common sense but sadly I see these things happen almost every day.

  1. Keep water on hand when exercising your pet in the heat. Carry a bottle with you or make sure you know where to get some water if you are going to local parks. Keeping a bowl handy (travel collapsible bowls are fantastic) will help facilitate drinking if your pet isn’t very good at drinking from a bottle.

  2. Don’t over exert your pet by running, skating, biking or walking with them during the hottest part of the day (typically 10 am - 4 pm). Try to plan for early or late exercise whenever possible.

  3. Leave your pets at home. Running errands with your pets is entertaining for you and for them, however, your quick 5 minutes into the bank could turn into 20 minutes if you run into the neighbor. Or, you could completely forget your pet is in the car while shopping for that special something you can’t seem to find! It is best to leave them at home in the air conditioning.

  4. Know the signs of Hyperthermia. This condition is an emergency and needs to be treated immediately! If the body temperature exceeds 105-106F it can result in cellular injury, if left untreated it will cause organ failure and death. Some signs are: excessive or heavy panting, excessive drooling, a racing heart rate, dark red gums, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes bloody). Take the pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible!!

  5. Use cooling products to help keep pets cool. Cooling vests or bandanas that you soak in water can help keep them cool on a walk. We carry cooling vests in the store, however, they have been so popular we have had a hard time keeping them in stock. There are also cooling pads you can lay on your floor or out on your lanai.

  6. Know the laws in your area about breaking a window for a pet left in a hot car. We all want to be good samaritans to help a pet in need but knowing the laws can help you decide what steps you can take legally.

I hope this information helps you and your pet to enjoy a safe and happy summer!

Response to FDA Report on Foods Causing DCM in Dogs

This is a direct statement from Zignature. We encourage our customers or their veterinarians to call  (888) – 897-7207.

On June 27, 2019, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) issued its third status report on its investigation into any potential connection between certain diets and Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), a type of heart disease, in dogs.  While DCM impacts less than one percent of U.S. dogs, with .000007% being supposedly related to diet, we recognize that these studies are of critical importance to those families whose beloved dogs have been afflicted by this heart diseases.   

As you review the FDA’s most recent report, it’s important to understand the following:

·      The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that there are 77 million pet dogs in the United States. Most dogs in the U.S. have been eating pet food without apparently developing DCM. 

·      The FDA continues to believe that the potential association between diet and DCM in dogs is a complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors and that the actual cause has still yet to be determined.

·      Among all the cases from all brands that were reported to the FDA, the overwhelming majority of impacted dogs belonged to breeds genetically predisposed to DCM, a disease that was first discovered in the 1980’s well before the grain-free diets were available for pets. 

·      The DCM cases reported to the FDA included dogs who ate both grain and grain-free diets.

·      The FDA states that chicken is the number one protein of affected dogs, as you know, Zignature does not use chicken.  The FDA also stated that no one animal protein was predominant, refuting the earlier claim that this issue is caused by exotic proteins.

·      The FDA issued the June 27th update, even though it has no definitive answers yet, to solicit additional reports from pet owners and veterinarians to help further it’s investigation.

To further efforts to fully understand these cardiac issues we have created a dedicated customer care line.  We encourage our customers or their veterinarians to call  (888) – 897-7207 . This company was founded out of a passion and commitment to pet health and we care deeply about animals. We continue to invest in our own research to ensure we continue to make the safest and highest quality pet food on the market today.


FAQ

 What is Canine DCM?

 DCM is a disease of a dog’s heart muscle and results in an enlarged heart. As the heart and its chambers become dilated, it becomes harder for the heart to pump, and heart valves may leak, which can lead to a buildup of fluids in the chest and abdomen (congestive heart failure). DCM is prevalent in certain breeds, especially larger dogs. 

How do I know if my dog has DCM?

Please contact your veterinarian to determine if diagnostic tools such as echocardiograms are deemed prudent for your dog. If your dog is showing possible signs of DCM or other heart conditions, including decreased energy, cough, difficulty breathing and episodes of collapse, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

Is this an issue only for boutique brands of dog food?

No.  The pet food advocacy website, the truthaboutpetfood.com, has taken a close look at the data that the FDA has released and found that the FDA received a significant number of DCM reports from the largest pet food producers.

Is there a link between exotic proteins and DCM?

Based on the most recent data released by the FDA, and contrary to previous speculation, that does not seem to be the case.  Most of the cases (more than 50%) reported to the FDA were for foods containing chicken, lamb and salmon.

How does Zignature formulate its food?

Our meticulously designed diets have been formulated by a thought-leading team of veterinarians, PhD animal nutritionists and veterinary research scientists to deliver the safest pet products on the market that exceed the industry’s AAFCO guide for balanced and thorough nutrition.

Has Zignature been contacted by the FDA? Are you cooperating with the agency?

We want to do all we can to help the scientific community determine if there is any tie between a dog’s diet and dilated cardiomyopathy.  We intend to share any data we collect through our customer care line with the FDA to help further their investigation.

Why are you continuing to use legumes in your diets?

Millions of dogs that suffer from severe allergies from gluten are able to live healthy lives because of grain free solutions like Zignature. As no one has been able to determine if or what the association may be between a dog’s diet and this rare cardiac condition, we believe it’s important that we continue to serve the millions of dogs that thrive on our diets.  

We remain confident that the pet products created by Zignature’s expert formulation team of veterinarians, PhD animal nutritionists and veterinary research scientists deliver the safest and most nutritious dietary standards available today. Our diets have always included taurine through meats and fish in all our products, which is important given that taurine is a meaningful nutrient dogs are sometimes unable to synthesize naturally. While taurine has always been included in our diets, new studies have shown that extra taurine is important for dogs cardiovascular health. Zignature further supplements all of its diets with extra taurine and L-Carnitine, providing some of the highest level of taurine available in the industry.

5 Tips for Maintenance in Between Grooms

With Father’s Day approaching I started thinking about how lucky dad’s are when it comes to grooming. They get haircuts every few weeks, they do a quick finger brush of their hair as they are running out the door, and most of them use one product for shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash, shave cream…lucky them! For the rest of us grooming takes a little more work. This is especially true for dogs. Dogs typically get groomed every 4-6 weeks, depending on their coat and their play time (some get dirtier more often than others!!). There are things you can do at home to help maintain their groom until their next grooming appointment. Here are a few tips:

  1. Use proper tools for your pet’s coat (consider length and type of fur). Use a good quality brush/comb.

  2. Only use shampoo for pets (not people products, these can be irritating to pets).

  3. Brush your pet 3-5 times per week. If you bathe them at home make sure you brush them thoroughly before bathing. This will keep matting to a minimum, and keep more money in your wallet at your pets next groom!

  4. Use this time to bond with your pet. If they don’t like you brushing them they definitely don’t like the groomer to do it! Get them familiar brushing at home so they have a better grooming experience.

  5. You can also use this time to check your pet for any health issues. Look in their ears (we see a lot of ear infections!), inspect their paws, check around their body for anything unusual.

Don’t have tools to do this at home? We have them in our store! Have more questions? We have answers! Our staff is very knowledgable and can help with your pet maintenance questions.

Warm Woofs

20 Reasons Why Your Pet's Grooming Costs More Than Yours

With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, many people turn to giving the gift of a spa retreat to our hard working mom’s, and those relaxing spa days are well deserved! If only the same excitement of the spa came from your pet! Some spa trips can be stressful for dogs (cats too!) and maybe the below list is part of the reason why. A lot happens during a pet groom and some of it isn’t very pleasant for your fur-kids (or for the groomer!)…definitely not quite as relaxing as your day at the spa. Read on for some funny (and not so funny!) reasons why your pet’s grooming costs more than yours. Hopefully you laugh at some of these on your next trip to the spa (pet or human). Happy Mother’s Day!

20 reasons why your pet’s grooming costs more than yours:
1. Your hairdresser doesn't give you a bath
2. Your hairdresser doesn't give you a manicure and pedicure
3. You don't try to bite or scratch your hairdresser
4. You don't wiggle, spin or try to jump out of the hairdresser' s chair
5. Your hairdresser only cuts the top of your head, not your whole body
6. You don't try to hump the hairdresser
7. Your hairdresser doesn't wipe boogies from your eyes
8. Your hairdresser doesn't pluck and clean your ears
9. Your hairdresser doesn't squeeze your anal glands
10. You don't poop or pee while you are getting your hair cut
11. Your hairdresser does not remove fleas or ticks
12. You don't go 6 weeks (or more) without brushing or washing your hair
13. Your hairdresser doesn't brush your teeth
14. You don't try to bite the clippers. scissors, brush, nail clippers, or dryer
15. It doesn't take 3 people to trim your nails
16. Your hairdresser doesn't have to de-matt your hair
17. Your hairdresser would never wash your butt
18. Your hair dresser doesn't give you a "sanitary trim"
19. Your hair dresser likely doesn’t have to deal with your bad odors (bad breath, glands, farts, infected ears)
20. You don't whine, howl, bark, snarl, meow or hiss while having all this done!

Prefer to bathe your pet at home? We carry all natural products in our store from shampoo/conditioner, to teeth cleaning, to brushes and more! You can create a spa in a place already familiar to your pet. Now talk about relaxing! Warm Woofs!