In This Issue You Will Find:
What is in your pet's food?
Cold Weather Reminder
Food Pantry Update
There is little doubt that cats are extremely fascinating creatures. Their physiology, personality and behavior never cease to be amazing, challenging and oh so interesting.
Studies are now finding that some behaviors and health problems are largely related to stress in a cat's environment. For example, idiopathic sterile cystitis (bladder inflammation without infection) has a relationship with stress. This likely accounts for the increase in lower urinary tract symptoms seen in cats around the holidays and other times of stress in the house.
To try to address this, the Indoor Pet Initiative from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine has developed an approach called Multimodal Environmental Modification (MEMO). The goal is to improve the overall mental health of cats in order to improve their behavioral and physical health.
Your cat will love you for it.
Cold Weather Concerns
We have just entered the coldest portion of the year. Please remember that your four legged furry friends need some special care in the cold weather to stay healthy.
Water: Year round it is important that your pets have free access to liquid water. In the winter, the air is very dry and insensible fluid losses are high. Frozen water (snow and ice) is not a good source of water. It takes too much energy to melt enough to maintain hydration. Provide a slight excess of warm water for your pet at least twice daily.
Shelter: All animals need some sort of shelter available to get out of the elements. Even those animals that prefer to sleep out in the snow bank need shelter. The shelter needs to be just big enough for the animal to turn around in. If the shelter is too big, their body heat cannot warm the area adequately. Provide a good insulation in the shelter. The insulation needs to be difficult to remove (blankets get dragged out very easily), clean, dry and easy to replace. Straw is a very good insulator that an animal can curl up in and stay warm. During the coldest times, it may be best to bring animals inside.
Food: In the coldest weather, many animals burn up twice as many calories just to maintain a normal body temperature. It is important to make sure that outdoor animals have adequate food so they can stay warm.
Many animals have very short or thin hair coats. Breeds like Chihuahuas, Boxers, Boston Terriers, Greyhounds and German Shorthair Pointers should have some sort of coat on when out in the cold weather for extended times. I know I sure would not want to be outside in just a T-shirt and shorts when it is -20º F.
Remember to keep your pet safe and warm.
What is in your pet's food?
A recent study showed that only 21 of 52 pet foods sampled had correctly labeled the origin of its meat ingredients. The information released on the study did not name the pet foods tested. The testing was done by PCR looking for markers for several proteins. The tests included horse meat, which was not found in any of the diets.
So what does this mean for the pet food buying public. For most pets it probably does not mean much. The change in protein source likely does not make a huge nutrition change.
However, for some pets, the protein source could make a big difference. For example, a pet with allergies to chicken eating a diet with chicken included in a diet that is only supposed to contain lamb, could have significant problems. Depending on the pet, problems could include vomiting, diarrhea and a sudden increase in itchiness or other allergy symptoms.
The big take-home is to just be aware that ingredients are substituted or included in some pet foods and that these are not included on the label. If your pet has a problem starting after a new bag of its normal food is opened, it is possible that the food is the culprit.
In 2014, we collected 612 pounds of food and goods and $209 for the Food Shelf.
Thank you for your generosity.
Our program of offering nail trims for donations to the Food Shelf will continue.