Is fish-based dog food safe for food allergies?
- Dr. Vo Hoang Ha
- (Work at
- Dis.9 , Ho Chi Minh city)
In Vietnam, some people think dogs only like beef, pork or chicken. How about fish? Lately, there are some fish-based dog food in Vietnam and they are mostly for hypoallergenic dogs. Let’s learn more details about fish-based dog food and if it is good for dogs with food allergy.
About fish and allergies
The most common allergens are beef, dairy, wheat, egg, chicken, lamb, soy, pork, rabbit, and fish. So fish is the least meat cause food allergy on dogs.
Advantages and disadvantages of fish-based dog food
Advantages of fish-based dog food
- highly contain of rich nutrition:
Fish meals are very protein rich. In fact, when taking a look at the biological value of fish, which measures the amount of available amino acids in a food, we see that fish meal is very high on the scale, coming in at a value of around 92 out of 100.
As you likely know, amino acids are of utmost necessity in keeping a dog healthy, active, and long lived. Dogs that do not get enough of the essential amino acids in their diets can have a range of health problems, including impaired immune systems and problems with their skin and coats.
Fish and meat comparison:
Both fish and meat, such as beef, pork, and chicken can provide healthy nutrition, while poultry and fish are the best sources of protein and iron. Both have their place in a healthy diet. However, cutting down on red meat and increasing the fish consumption may vastly improve your dog’s health.
Both have protein: Protein, made of amino acids which are the essential building blocks for tissue, skin and muscle are necessary for dog life. Out of 20 amino acids, 10 of those can only be obtained through dietary sources and these amino acids make up the complex molecules of protein.
Fats: Here is where fish and other meats begin to highly differ. Red meat has a far higher fat amount than fish and the fat in red meat is mostly saturated fat. Saturated fat is the most harmful to those dogs watching their cholesterol levels or who may already be experiencing high cholesterol levels. Saturated fats raise lipoprotein levels which are considered “bad,” cholesterol.
Speaking of fat, fish contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids which is an unsaturated fat that benefits the heart rather than increasing the risk of heart disease. Which is why people give fish oil to dogs and cats. These nutrients are key to your dog’s overall health and especially the health of their skin. Even if you do feed your dog a fish-based diet, you may want to supplement with additional omega-3s in the form of fish oil, to really see the health benefits of these fatty acids.
- Fish-based diets are often the first recommendation for itchy dogs, as they are at the same time a novel protein diet and contain high levels of natural fish oil, making them similar to a 'skin care diet'. This means they are likely to help with any type of skin allergy.
Disadvantages of fish-based dog food
Despite these nutritional benefits, some dog experts and dog owners believe that the disadvantages of fish-based foods are serious enough to question their value.
To begin with, although many dogs enjoy the taste of fish flavored meals and although these meals are high in available protein, a dog cannot get all of their nutritional needs through fish alone.
Dog foods labeled “fish formula” or “fish recipe” will contain other meats and proteins besides fish, which is a good thing, unless your dog has a specific allergy you’re trying to avoid. In that case, choose fish-based food which also contains other meats except the one your dog is allergic to. The other protein sources help to make the food more nutritionally balanced.
A more serious charge against fish based meals is the possibility that the fish have high levels of heavy metals in their systems, which your dog then ingests. This is common in long lived fish like tuna, Mahi-Mahi, swordfish, and other top end predator fish. Short lived fish like jack mackerel, herring, or catfish do not accumulate these heavy metals to the same degree and are safer choices. Much of the fish meal used in dog foods tends to be from the shorter lived fish resources.
The recommendation here is: pick the shorter lived fish resources to feed your dog to decrease the chance of your dog consuming heavy metals, both fresh fish or fish-based food (jack mackerel, herring, or catfish) and try to avoid the long lived fish as tuna, Mahi-Mahi etc.
Some fish meals that end up in commercial dog foods are preserved with a chemical known as ethoxyquin. The amount of ethoxyquin used is likely of no harm to your pet in any way, but the negative connotations of synthetic preservatives turn some consumers away.
Of course, any fish that lives in the ocean will be exposed to some small amount of pollutants or heavy metals. Talk to your vet about your dog food choice if you’re concerned about any possible issues.
Fish-based dog food available in Vietnam
Lately there are more fish-based dog food in Vietnam, mostly from Korean brands.
ANF Salmon - MADE WITH ORGANIC
Ganador Premium Salmon & Rice
NATURAL CORE Multi Protein Chicken & Salmon
Nutri Source Seafood Select
Origi-7 AirDryed soft salmon
Points to note when changing dog food
When transitioning to a new pet food, do so slowly over a period of about 7–10 days, mixing an increasing amount of new food with old food each day:
- Start with 75% old food mixed with 25% new food for approximately three days.
- Then mix 50% old with 50% new for approximately three days.
- Then 75% new, 25% old for approximately three days.
- Then 100% new.
There are more and more dog owners changing their dog food to fish-based dog food due to the dog food allergy nowadays. As long as it’s nutrition balanced, you should give it a try if your dog is suffering from the allergic itch.
If you do happen to come across octopus at some point-as in Asia, especially Vietnam,octopus is a very popular food, you may be wondering if it would be okay to let your cat have a bite. As we will see, cooked octopus is okay as an occasional treat for cats. ## **Can Cats Eat Octopus?** Yes, cats can eat octopus! It should be fed to cats in relatively small amounts, sourced fresh, and always cooked before serving. Careful preparation of octopus should be paramount as there are some risks with serving poor quality or raw octopus to your cat. Learn more about whether you should add this treat to a cat’s diet. ![Can Cats Eat Octopus?](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/1DVlrwyNotU2iKn8myjImx/a2a5f0c2d184ffa0b7695bd99f993a8b/pexels-pragyan-bezbaruah-2010702-1024x683.jpg) ## **Risks of Cats Eating Octopus** ### **Raw Octopus** Raw octopus has a high risk of containing a nasty bacteria called vibrio bacterium. In humans, this bacteria can cause an acute form of food poisoning, simply called vibrio. In addition to various vibrio bacteria, raw octopus can carry other harmful pathogens, such as salmonella and E. coli. As a general rule, you should be cooking all seafood thoroughly for your cat to ensure safety. ### **Heavy Metals** Many of us have heard of the risk of mercury in seafood populations. But many heavy metals exist in the ocean food chain that pose the risk of building up inside the bodies of our food sources, including octopuses. Heavy metals are naturally occurring minerals from the earth’s core, but human pollution can influence levels. Octopus pose the risk of high levels of heavy metals due to their diet. Octopuses are carnivores and feed mainly on smaller seafood, especially shellfish and mollusks. These creatures have higher levels of heavy metals due to their positioning on the ocean floor where metals accumulate. They are also filter feeders, so they gather many minerals from the seawater. Ocean predators, including octopuses, consume so much prey with heavy metals that their bodies cannot excrete the minerals as fast as they consume them. While there may be a range of these metals found in an octopus, ranging from minimal to high, the highest risk is cadmium, which is found densely in octopus heads. Because cats are particularly susceptible to heavy metal toxicity, it’s better to keep the quantity of cooked octopus you feed them to a minimum. ![Octopus Heavy Metals](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/7zjv6uYKkE3bDXFL19FYg2/d8d0e9b36f926964aa0b5066aee91220/milada-vigerova-IemvlNXubwk-unsplash-683x1024.jpg) ### **Gastrointestinal upset** Anytime you introduce a new food to your cat there is always a potential of causing gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting or diarrhea. If your cat shows signs of GI upset and becomes lethargic it is best to seek veterinary care. It should also be noted that the problem of seafood poisoning is often much more serious than illness caused by other foods. It can cause gastrointestinal difficulties as well as neurological problems such as numbness and loss of coordination in severe cases. ## **What to do if cats eat octopus** The symptoms you would mostly see when cat eat raw octopus is upset tummy (as cooked octopus will be fine) This is because seafood can be harboring marine toxins and contain the bacteria called vibrio bacterium, and if not properly procured and prepared, we (or our cats) will ingest these toxins or that bacteria which causes food poisoning. ### **Watch for symptoms. If symptoms appear, take the patient to the hospital immediately** If your cat accidentally ate octopus, try to remove the rest in his/her mouth. If any of the stomach upset symptoms happen, such as diarrhea or throwing up, please take the cat to the vet clinic right away! ### **Hospital Treatment** Depending on how serious your cat's situation is, the vet will keep her/him for a few days or just a few hours for IV. Intervention with antiemetic drugs, absorption of intestinal toxins, protection of intestinal mucosa for cats. Or can help the cats vomit in case the cats have just eaten octopus. ![Watch for symptoms. If symptoms appear, take the patient to the hospital immediately](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/3Uah2TWhPQBbsaKChqaRau/3f62abadfb518721738adc02b5ccb586/kishore-ragav-ganesh-kumar-IbNfhNFkpA4-unsplash-1024x683.jpg) ## **Why Should Cats Not Eat octopus?** However, raw octopus contaminated with a bacteria known as Vibrio, has been identified as a source of human illness. Vibrio usually only affects people with compromised immune systems. Most commonly associated with eating raw oysters, the bacteria normally causes gastrointestinal symptoms, but in serious cases has resulted in the loss of limbs and even death. While cats are not known to be affected by Vibrio, it’s best to be safe and only give your cat cooked octopus. Additionally, octopus heads can contain high levels of the metal cadmium. Cats are particularly sensitive to some types of heavy metal poisoning, so it’s best to limit the amount of octopus you give to your cat. ![Why Should Cats Not Eat octopus?](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/GLjeluQko683zfZbjmhTc/7a27c7fb3af0635b996922148e46c582/pexels-rachel-claire-4857729-669x1024.jpg) According to a study, scientists discovered an unusually high quantity of lead per gram of muscle in octopuses. This is significantly over the World Health Organization’s recommended limit of 0.2 micrograms per gram. Just as humans must exercise prudence when eating seafood, you must use caution while allowing your cat to consume it. This includes seafood such as octopuses. Perhaps most importantly, octopus are a known source of food allergy in humans and might also be for cats. Food allergies are the third most common type of feline allergy, surpassed by only flea bite allergies and sensitivity to inhaled substances. In cats, food allergies usually manifest themselves as skin reactions. Symptoms of food allergies in cats can include: - Sneezing, snoring, coughing, and wheezing - Itchy skin, scratching, and chewing - Ear infections - Runny eyes - Vomiting - Diarrhea - Swollen paws, facial swelling If you do decide to give your cat octopus, make sure you stay alert for any of the above symptoms. It’s unlikely your cat would get sick from eating raw octopus, but why take chances with their health? Instead, just stick with providing them with the occasional cooked octopus as a treat. However, Kittens should not eat octopus. Kittens' stomachs are considerably more fragile, so we recommend against feeding them octopus, keeping in mind all the potential dangers. Kittens are susceptible to diseases due to their underdeveloped digestive and immune systems. Bacteria and parasites found in live octopus are more likely to make kittens sick than adult cats. ![Why Should Cats Not Eat octopus?](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/1iRkSL726YbcEwmirL6Ere/8241280cd066323c351e6a561f855e5a/pexels-burak-kebapci-65536-1024x683.jpg) ## **How to prevent cats from accidentally swallowing octopus** The only way is keeping the octopus away from the cat or if you can not always have an eye on him/her, just simply keep the cat in a room until your mealtime is over cause cats are sneaky creatures. ## **Summary** As we will see, cooked octopus is okay as an occasional treat for cats. Yes, cats can eat octopus! It should be fed to cats in relatively small amounts, sourced fresh, and always cooked before serving. Risks of Cats Eating Octopus: raw octopus, heavy metal, upset stomach. But it is best not to feed the kittens' octopus. What to do if cats eat octopus: watch for symptoms, take cats to vet clinic as soon as he/she vomits or diarrhea. Why cats should not eat octopus: raw octopus has vibrio that causes gastrointestinal symptoms, sometimes can lead to death, octopus contains high metal and can cause skin allergy. How to prevent cats from accidentally eating octopus: keep octopus away or lock them in a room until you finish the octopus.
Bad dog breath is very common, and dog owners simply get used to it. The term "doggy breath" is normally used in a condescending way to refer to people who have stinky breath. You would think that this is because a dog always has bad breath, but this really couldn’t be farther from the truth – it could also be a sign of a health problem. Let’s take a moment to take a closer look at the possible causes of bad breath and what you can do to treat and prevent it. ![Possible causes and diseases of bad breath in dogs](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/1nYDsq8KxaVl8KhWBbAi3p/54e0cbaaf33d9a97bb9ebfd3f5eeb2df/Why-Do-Dogs-Suck-on-Blankets-1024x683.png) ## **Possible causes and diseases of bad breath in dogs** Dog owners tend to dismiss bad dog breath as just "dog breath," but there is usually a very good reason behind the odor. ### 1) Oral Hygiene and Periodontal Disease The most common causes of bad breath in dogs are bad oral hygiene and periodontal disease. Just like in humans, the build-up of plaque and tartar can lead to the development of the bacteria that cause bad breath. If your dog is not a chewer and you do not regularly brush his teeth or have his teeth cleaned, then the most likely cause of his bad breath is plaque build-up. Poor oral hygiene can lead to periodontal disease over time. Too much plaque and tartar build-up can push the gums away from the teeth, exposing new areas for bacteria to develop. This not only inflames the dog’s gums, but it can lead to cavities, infection, tissue destruction, tooth loss, and even pus formation. Needless to say, it also leads to very, very bad breath. ### 2) Unpleasant Dietary Habits Dogs can be gross. Sometimes their habits translate directly into bad breath. If your dog regularly gets into the garbage, or has access to decomposing animal remains, then his bad breath could be the result of unsupervised snacking. Dogs also seem to universally love cat poop, and a household with cats can offer too much temptation for your dog to resist. Not only is this smelly, it is also unhygienic. As if cat poop wasn’t bad enough, some dogs eat their own poop or the poop of other dogs, a condition called coprophagia, that causes bad breath in dogs and occasionally mild nausea in their horrified owners. Coprophagia is a dog’s habit of eating feces, either their own or those of other animals. For obvious reasons, this causes their breath to smell like poop. While coprophagia may harm dogs by causing an infection transmitted via the bacteria and viruses in their fecal matter, it won’t necessarily kill the animal. ### 3) Diabetes If your dog’s bad breath has a sweet or fruity smell to it, you need to make an appointment with your veterinarian. Sweet, fruity breath is a symptom of diabetes, a serious but treatable condition. Talk with your veterinarian about the other symptoms of diabetes to look out for, like more frequent drinking and urination, and set up an appointment to get your dog examined and a blood test to check if your dog has diabetes. ### 4) Kidney Disease A dog that eats poop might have a breath that smells like poop, but if your dog’s breath smells like urine, it is most likely not because she has been drinking pee. A urine odor on your dog’s breath is a warning sign of kidney disease and warrants a visit to your veterinarian. Kidney disease is serious and could be a symptom of a larger medical problem. ### 5) Liver Disease If your dog’s breath is truly foul and she is also vomiting, exhibiting a lack of appetite, and has a yellow tinge to her gums, she may have a liver problem. Like kidney disease, liver problems can be a sign of a serious condition, and it is vital that you get your dog into the veterinarian or emergency clinic as soon as possible. ### 6) Oral Tumor Oral tumors or advanced dental diseases that cause a large amount of bacteria in the mouth can make the dog’s breath smell like garbage or sewers. It gives off an extremely foul odor. In extreme cases of negligence, these oral tumors may bleed and give off an unpleasant metallic odor due to blood iron content. Dogs usually develop oral tumors, lesions, and masses, as a result of poor oral hygiene. Over a period of time, neglect of periodontal health causes the gums to deteriorate and finally rot. This causes the teeth to fall out, the gums to bleed, and the tooth sockets to develop tumors. The rotting flesh and bacteria in the mouth cause the stinky breath in dogs. Gastrointestinal diseases such as gastroenteritis also cause bad breath in dogs. ## **How to treat bad breath in dogs** **Curing bad dog breath depends on the cause, but luckily there are quite a few treatment options out there.** If plaque, tartar, and periodontal disease are behind your dog’s bad breath, then the best thing you can do is to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to see if your dog is a candidate for a dental cleaning. Veterinarians will advise you to check your dog's teeth and remove tartar every 6 months. Your veterinarian will run a blood test to make sure your dog can handle anesthesia, and this appointment is also a great time to rule out any other potential causes for your dog’s bad breath. Owners can periodically test their dog's blood every 6 months to detect serious diseases early. During the cleaning, your veterinarian may have to remove loose or damaged teeth, depending on the scope of the periodontal disease. **When it comes to unsupervised snacking, securing the trash and limiting your dog’s access to unpleasant outdoor finds, like roadkill, will resolve this issue. Or if you have other pets in the household, make sure that your dog can’t be around the other animals’ feces.** Placing the litter box outside of his reach is a simple solution that eliminates cat feces consumption, unless the cats are also pooping outside, and cleaning up directly after your dog can help prevent coprophagia. Diabetes, oral, kidney, and liver disease are all conditions that require treatment by a veterinarian. You must take utmost care and follow the doctor’s instructions carefully. Once the underlying issue is resolved, your dog’s bad breath should go away, too. In such a scenario, your dog’s breath is a telltale sign of how their health is improving. ![How to treat bad breath in dogs](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/2tNbImAY9HmsFAmVtZo90J/3ed4ee36992db76f0c0207292a112bb2/james-lacy-5w3oIN-0Lzs-unsplash-1024x684.jpg) ## **Can dog food cause bad breath?** Vet-approved dog food can also cause bad breath in dogs. Meat, bones, and other food items tend to get stuck in their teeth, causing their mouths to stink. Sometimes, it could just be that the food is not being digested properly and is giving off a bad smell. It’s a good idea to speak to your vet about what food to feed the dog. Undigested food could be sending stomach acids and gasses into the mouth and causing a stench. Raw feeding, freeze-dried or even human-grade dog foods can be good alternative options. May consider eating raw meat in Vietnam because of the risks of digestive parasites? Due to Vietnam’s hot and humid weather, there are more parasites compared to other cold/cool weathers (such as Europe). Therefore, Vietnamese vets recommend pet owners not to feed their pets with raw meat. But if the pets are dewormed often (once every 2-3 months), it would not be a big deal. Therefore, we should recommend that owners should deworm periodically once every 3 months for cats over 6 months old, cats under 6 months old is once a month. ![Can dog food cause bad breath?](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/1KU2PyLgTQfeGHJXixHXHj/25265c62ac139a7e7146268480e8d9a4/kobi-kadosh-q6_CCxCnFbc-unsplash-1024x683.jpg) ## **Preventing bad breath in dogs! How to brush your teeth** The simplest way to prevent bad dog breath is to brush your dog’s teeth on a regular basis. **_Can recommend to owners “The habit of brushing teeth should be practiced from puppies.”_** Tooth brushing reduces plaque and promotes better oral hygiene, much like it does in humans, and with a little training, most dogs learn to enjoy having their teeth brushed. Please choose a dog toothpaste that is formulated for dogs. Never brush your dog’s teeth with toothpaste meant for people, as it may contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs, like xylitol. Providing your dog with plenty of chew toys and dental treats helps them take care of their teeth naturally. Chewing prevents plaque and tartar build-up and relieves boredom, keeping your dog healthy and happy. Just make sure you pick dog chew toys appropriate for your dog’s size and age. Puppies often have a habit of biting toys into small pieces and swallowing. That is true. Lately, owners prefer to buy dental treats over toys. It’s tasty and more interesting for dogs. And they can eat them, no problem. So should owners be advised to be careful about making chewy toys from plastic and cotton for small dogs? As veterinarians, we see quite a few cases of soft foreign bodies in puppies. **_Small breeds may require more dental care than large breeds, as they are more prone to periodontal disease._** Smaller breeds tend to have teeth that are closer together, which promotes plaque and tartar build-up, so make sure you provide them with plenty of chew toys from a young age and brush their teeth regularly. ![Preventing bad breath in dogs! How to brush your teeth](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/5VPCF99OI6MOFb4fTwOR1K/367821abf1d542dd32a1c87d6e11dbdf/nomao-saeki-DX4XRS7w6Cw-unsplash-1024x683.jpg) ## **Summary** The term "doggy breath" is normally used in a condescending way to refer to people who have stinky breath. You would think that this is because a dog always has bad breath, but this really couldn’t be farther from the truth – it could also be a sign of a health problem. Dog owners tend to dismiss bad dog breath as just "dog breath," but there is usually a very good reason behind the odor: Oral hygiene and periodontal disease, unpleasant dietary habits, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, or oral tumors. If plaque, tartar, and periodontal disease are behind your dog’s bad breath, then the best thing you can do is to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to see if your dog is a candidate for a dental cleaning. When it comes to unsupervised snacking, securing the trash and limiting your dog’s access to unpleasant outdoor finds, like roadkill, will resolve this issue. Meat, bones, and other food items tend to get stuck in their teeth, causing their mouths to stink. Sometimes, it could just be that the food is not being digested properly and is giving off a bad smell. The simplest way to prevent bad dog breath is to brush your dog’s teeth on a regular basis. Providing your dog with plenty of chew toys and dental treats helps them take care of their teeth naturally.
Bananas are a popular fruit with many potential health benefits. Thanks to their fiber and antioxidant contents, they may boost your digestion and heart health. Due to the huge benefits of bananas, I’m sure many cat owners wonder if they can feed bananas to their cats. Because that curious, lovely creature might show their interest in the food. ## **Can cats eat bananas?** Bananas can be a healthy snack for cats. Don’t be surprised if your cat turns her nose up at your offering. Just like people have different tastes, so do cats. Some will like bananas, while some avoid it. ![Can cats eat bananas?](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/3popE1vfP2cMgUzCmgnTZb/e702b06efd182dff7a507e0e5af0a055/anastasia-eremina-VI2rIoZUrks-unsplash-1024x768.jpg) Photo by [Anastasia Eremina](https://unsplash.com/@anastasiaeremina?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) on [Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/s/photos/banana?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) ### Benefits of Bananas for Cat Health Bananas are rich in potassium. This is the nutrient that helps support heart and kidney health. Potassium can be essential for senior cats, as more mature cats have a weaker heart and can suffer from chronic renal failure as they get older. ## **Is it safe to give banana peels to cats?** You should avoid offering a cat a banana peel. They’re not only a choking hazard, but they can also potentially up in et a cat’s digestive tract if ingested. ![Is it safe to give banana peels to cats?](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/2Nd9T6vyXFiMlWNLJ9uyHZ/79ca4b5a08101103e17e41e7de2b25bd/eiliv-sonas-aceron-R6qyvAySjOU-unsplash-819x1024.jpg) Photo by [Eiliv-Sonas Aceron](https://unsplash.com/@shootdelicious?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) on [Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/s/photos/banana?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) ## **How do I feed bananas to my cat?** Your cat shouldn’t eat a whole banana — or even half a banana. Instead, just give her a small slice from your banana. 1. Ditch the Peel: Remove the banana peel, overall, it’s not friendly to a cat’s digestive system if ingested. 2. Cut Banana into Bite-Size Pieces: Cut off a tiny portion and slice it into appropriate bite-size pieces. 3. Observe your Cat’s Reaction: Offer a small piece to your cat and observe if there is an allergic reaction. Mostly, symptoms present themselves moments after eating. If allergic symptoms present themselves, make an appointment with your vet. ### Can I give my cat a banana chilled in the refrigerator? Overall, cats do enjoy a frozen or chilled banana as a homemade summer treat and it's easy to make at home. It should be reminded that cats should not be advised to eat frozen bananas to limit respiratory problems. ( chilled banana is better) For cats who do not like to eat bananas, but the owner still wants to add bananas in the diet, you can puree 2 slices of banana and mix it with soft foods that cats love. ### Can it replace a regular meal like humans do? No, bananas can’t replace a regular meal for cats like humans. Cats are predators which need a high protein consumption plus it is recommended we should only feed cats maximum 2 slides per day. ![Can it replace a regular meal like humans do?](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/4eK6nfKKRXh7FbcjK6O5C1/7bfa84d7995a98449b9da60c2b7ab0b5/mariana-ibanez-gyBtJDAb44M-unsplash-819x1024.jpg) Photo by [Mariana Ibanez](https://unsplash.com/@marianaibanez?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) on [Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/s/photos/banana?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) ## **Notes on feeding bananas to cats** You should avoid offering a cat a banana peel. A maximum of two slices per day for a cat is recommended. If your cat shows signs of gastrointestinal distress such as vomiting or diarrhea, or more severe symptoms, please consult your veterinarian. The carbs in green, unripe bananas are mostly in the form of starch and resistant starch — a type of indigestible fiber we’ll get too shortly. Therefore, please avoid feeding your cat with unripe bananas. ## **Nutritional Facts of Bananas** Bananas contain a fair amount of fiber and several antioxidants. One regular-sized banana (126 grams) also boasts: - Calories: 112 - Fat: 0 grams - Protein: 1 gram - Carbs: 29 grams - Fiber: 3 grams - Vitamin C: 12% of the Daily Value (DV) - Riboflavin: 7% of the DV - Folate: 6% of the DV - Niacin: 5% of the DV - Copper: 11% of the DV - Potassium: 10% of the DV - Magnesium: 8% of the DV One banana provides about 112 calories and consists almost exclusively of water and carbs. They hold little protein and no fat. ## **Summary** Due to the huge benefits of bananas, I’m sure many cat owners wonder if they can feed bananas to their cats. Because that curious lovely creature might show their interest in the food. Bananas can be a healthy snack for cats. You should avoid offering a cat a banana peel. They’re not only a choking hazard, but they can also potentially upset a cat’s digestive tract if ingested. Your cat shouldn’t eat a whole banana — or even half a banana. Instead, just give her a small slice from your banana. A maximum of two slices per day for a cat is recommended. If your cat shows signs of gastrointestinal distress such as vomiting or diarrhea, or more severe symptoms, please consult your veterinarian. Bananas contain a fair amount of fiber and several antioxidants. One banana provides about 112 calories and consists almost exclusively of water and carbs. They hold little protein and no fat.
You can learn a lot about your cat's health from their poop. Whether you’ve just adopted your first kitten or you’ve shared your home with cats for years, watch for a few key signs when you scoop out the litter box. Whether your cat's feces are of the soft and gooey variety, the streaky bloody style, or the unfortunately watery kind, you can be sure you're not alone in your litter box observations. Let’s learn about cat diarrhea, so you can be a good pet parent and take care of your little furry friend better. ## **Types of diarrhea** The BSFS is a scale that classifies stools, ranging from the hardest to the softest. Experts consider types 1 and 2 to be uncharacteristically hard and indicative of constipation, while types 6 and 7 are unusually loose and may indicate diarrhea. So please check your cat’s feces daily and consider calling your vet if you leverage your cat’s feces as type 6 or 7. ![Types of diarrhea](https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/w8mVrLnsyLurxEI-Ps-oqqxxZdV-YemvOoNIj2wh2NeDFk-Q2oYK3RAXCtS_JZ_6-HahwtGg_ec0oTjziOpqP-BS5CcM0blRA7x5ErTqBMs_Mgm-KoFfM_jrbOeOWQ2DAPp5elXW) [Resource](https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-22/the-bristol-stool-chart---full-image/11035710?nw=0) ## **Causes of diarrhea** Diarrhea is not a disease in itself, but a clinical sign that may reflect one or more of many different problems. Most involve some degree of inflammation of one or more areas of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The GI tract is the continuous tube that moves food from the mouth to the anus. Infectious agents, such as bacteria, viruses, cocci, and intestinal worms, or noninfectious irritants, such as chemical toxins or poisonous plants, are some of the more common causes of inflammation. Food intolerance or allergies to specific ingredients of a diet can also be responsible for diarrhea. The cause of cat diarrhea due to poisoning such as chemical toxins or poisonous bacteria plants should also be advised to the owner carefully. Some cats have a hobby of eating leaves, which is the cause of poisoning. Or cats lick water on the floor, in the toilet containing dangerous chemicals that cause vomiting and acute diarrhea. ### **Stress** In response to stress, a psychological reaction occurs (Fight-or-Flight Response). This response activates the release of hormones that gets the body ready to take action. At the same time, your cat’s brain sends a signal to your bowels to increase bowel movement in the large intestine. This leads to a mild case of diarrhea. This is the same to humans and cats. ### **Misuse and eating** The most common mistake is some owners think human’s food is good for cats. There are 10 popular human’s food which can cause the cats' diarrhea: 1. Onions and chives 2. Dairy 3. Chocolate 4. Coffee 5. Grapes and raisins 6. Avocado 7. Raw meat 8. Yeast dough 9. Macadamia nuts 10. Salty foods If your cat has consumed any of these foods and is showing signs such as weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, seizure, restlessness, or a distended stomach, it is recommended that you take them to the vet immediately to prevent these symptoms from worsening. One more thing, before you feed your cat any new foods, please ask your vet or check on the Internet (trustful sources). Some owners have a habit of giving their cats milk. It may be recommended to give cats milk specifically formulated for cats. ### **New Food** Cats have sensitive stomachs. They may become ill or stop eating if their food changes abruptly. This can happen when a new food alters the intestinal environment, which may lead to diarrhea, vomiting and a refusal to eat. ### **Allergies** In some cases, cats with food allergies develop gastrointestinal signs, such as vomiting or diarrhea, in addition to their skin issues. These cats may develop itching around the rectum, which leads to scooting. Cats with food allergies may also have frequent bowel movements, or strain when they are defecating. ![Causes of diarrhea](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/4M2TQgwmMVGVthYpMCnxBZ/c9417d7d3450c4c42862eb371d3aed01/litter-robot-Y4bbGaHkL6k-unsplash-1024x762.jpg) Photo by [Litter Robot](https://unsplash.com/@litterrobot?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) on [Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/s/photos/cats-litter?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) ## **Should I take my cat to the vet right away if he has diarrhea?** Assess your cat's behavior: - Do they appear to be feeling well or acting more tired than normal? - Do they have a poor appetite or any other symptoms that stray from their norm? - Are they also vomiting? - Do they have a fever? If a case of cat diarrhea is an isolated incident that resolves spontaneously in less than a few hours and doesn't involve other symptoms, it's generally not treated as an emergency. Should digestive enzymes be used If a case of cat diarrhea is an isolated incident ? The answer is yes, with specific guidance from your veterinarian. However, diarrhea over a prolonged period (more than a day), as well as diarrhea accompanied by a significant change in demeanor or other signs, should be treated as an emergency and taken to the vet or vet hospital right away. Bright red blood or darker tarry stools are also considered an emergency. There are some contagious diseases which cause the cat to have serious diarrhea, such as: panleukopenia virus, feline leukemia virus, feline immunodeficiency virus, and coronaviruses. They are the most common viral causes of gastrointestinal tract disease in cats. Vaccinations should only be given when the cat is in good health. Therefore, you should vaccinate your cats in order to prevent them from catching those deadly diseases. If your cats have not gotten vaccinated yet and have diarrhea with other symptoms like vomiting or fever, bring them to a vet clinic for a check. ![Should I take my cat to the vet right away if he has diarrhea?](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/4FPPKW52UPKFVExzMqVPZs/329cd4988d5843ba07b98333e6087be5/GetAzureFile.aspx_-1024x641.jpg) ## **Should I change the cat food if my cats have diarrhea?** To prevent diarrhea, don’t give your cat dairy products like milk or yogurt—many cats can’t digest them properly. If you really want to feed your cat with milk, ask a pet shop or a vet clinic. There is milk with a specific formula for cats. Besides, every time you want to feed your cat a new food, please talk to your vet or pet expert first. It can prevent the chance of diarrhea. So if your cat has diarrhea after a new food introduction, such as dairy products or switching to a new brand of cat food right away, stop the food and talk to your vet. Mostly, the vet will ask you to keep going with the safe option of the previous food, which the cat had no problem eating before. Also, a tip for cat owners: if you switch the brand or type of food you give them, be sure to introduce it over several days by mixing it with smaller and smaller amounts of the old food until they are eating only the new stuff. Owners can mix the new food with the old food from a small amount and gradually increase the amount of food until the cat only eats the new stuff. The best diets are often veterinary supplied diets specifically formulated with a balance of fibers that feed the good bacteria found in your cat’s intestine. In some cases, a bland, home-prepared diet such as boiled rice with boiled skinless chicken may be recommended. ![Why Do Cats Have Diarrhea?](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/7mQGsUuePJ7XQDWWKEyijg/b7d4f30c557e1cf26f2aff509e62f145/philippine-fitamant-KX33JWMtcDI-unsplash-1024x683.jpg) Photo by [Philippine FITAMANT](https://unsplash.com/@philippineft?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) on [Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/s/photos/cats-litter?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) ## **Summary** Whether your cat's feces are of the soft and gooey variety, the streaky bloody style, or the unfortunately watery kind, you can be sure you're not alone in your litter box observations. The BSFS is a scale that classifies stools, ranging from the hardest to the softest. Experts consider types 1 and 2 to be uncharacteristically hard and indicative of constipation, while types 6 and 7 are unusually loose and may indicate diarrhea. So please check your cat’s feces daily and consider calling your vet if you leverage your cat’s feces as type 6 or 7. Diarrhea is not a disease in itself, but a clinical sign that may reflect one or more of many problems. Most involve some degree of inflammation of one or more areas of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. If a case of cat diarrhea is an isolated incident that resolves spontaneously in less than a few hours and doesn't involve other symptoms, it's generally not treated as an emergency.
It might sound funny if someone talked about brushing their cat’s teeth. Especially in Vietnam, pet owners here have just started to acquire a lot of new products and knowledge about pets lately. So do our cats’ teeth need to be brushed and cleaned? Is there a way to replace it? Let’s learn more about this. ## **Do cats need to brush their teeth?** Some science facts: One 2002 study in the Journal of Nutrition found that tooth brushing reduced gingivitis, but not as much as expected — though that could be chalked up to the fact that the subjects in the study were kittens and hadn’t yet developed serious dental issues. Source : [https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/impact-of-homeprepared-diets-and-home-oral-hygiene-on-oral-health-in-cats-and-dogs/5571ED60972E371C4A323155B9E16988](https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/impact-of-homeprepared-diets-and-home-oral-hygiene-on-oral-health-in-cats-and-dogs/5571ED60972E371C4A323155B9E16988) Another 2011 study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that tooth brushing was "very effective" in maintaining oral health, but owners had to brush the cat’s teeth daily to see the desired effect. Source : [https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/132/6/1740S/4768298?login=true](https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/132/6/1740S/4768298?login=true) But some cats’ personalities can be too pesky to even consider brushing their teeth. If your cat is actively trying to bite you, it’s best to back off. However, if all else fails, there are easier ways of keeping your cat’s teeth clean than trying to fit a bristly brush into your cat’s mouth. Jan Bellows, president of the Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry ([https://veterinarydentistry.org](https://veterinarydentistry.org)) - recommends removing "the daily accumulation of plaque" in your cat’s mouth "using a q-tip dipped in tuna water." You can gently rub the gum lines of your cat's upper and lower teeth with the cotton swab. Bellows says this method is as effective as using any official veterinary oral hygiene products. Other dental products can help clean your feline’s teeth. Research has previously found that veterinarian-approved dental chew treats can improve cats’ oral hygiene, though some consumers have reported adverse reactions from cats to certain chew treats. There are also alternatives to tooth-brushing, such as dental treats and water additives, for cats who will not accept tooth-brushing. ## **What happens to cats when their teeth get dirty?** Similar to humans, when cats’ teeth get dirty. The bacteria will build up and can lead to plaque, tartar or some severe gum diseases. ### **Plaque** As a cat eats, some food gets stuck to its teeth and turns into plaque. Though some of that is removed naturally when the cat eats or licks its teeth, the remainder quickly mineralizes and becomes tartar and calculus. ### **Tartar** Tartar can be easily identified by its tan or brown color. As mentioned above, the remaining plaque mineralizes and becomes tartar and calculus. If the tartar is left untreated, it can lead to gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums. ### **Gum disease** The three most common gum diseases in cats are gingivitis, periodontitis, and tooth resorption, and the severity of each of these conditions can vary significantly. Gum disease in cats can cause serious pain and discomfort, which can impact a cat’s quality of life. In many cases, those diseases cause a cat to stop eating or uncontrollably salivate, which leads to a variety of health problems. ![A cat’s tartar](https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/7FFs2IQiSavk4ykymYT7PrPb24s88CtxZU7BYnYZmW_5uC0xpyfLYMbSVPKta7Kd2X-SD2DWwLrTezcHKxsuHB0mqxEzoYvRXi_lRRqp0hJ-0dzy1fzKK9ZghcLAtgE8eCskHpia) A cat’s tartar ## **How do I brush my cat's teeth?** ### **Toothbrush** can use a kid's toothbrush, but we recommend you use a toothbrush that is designed for cats: a soft-bristled toothbrush or finger toothbrush. ![Toothbrush](https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/rd7I_b9p5nztFSNRrDsuK_9Zl5oyzYam9ofWYx1q4cBdzefbb46tYBJ8tfd0SI-XXfuM55TMvekJqf3Wy1hkGj2t0ad_SgiNk1cl87W-jDPwITrOdoAAbVKhCm_nL286BB9JF44Q) ![Toys for Dental Care](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/5MeLcTzQZJqG1Bak8bd0Ol/b27deb409b0d04d470881e5424a323e8/Picture1.png) ### Start brushing - Use a circular motion and focus on your cat’s gum line. - Initially, concentrate on the outside surfaces of her teeth and under her lips. Eventually, work your way up to all of your cat’s teeth. Spend about 2-3 minutes brushing her entire mouth, ideally once a day. ### **Toys for Dental Care** There are cat toys that help clean the cats’ teeth. Nowadays, cat owners are more interested in edible dental care products (dental treats). ![dental treats](https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/QuV_Jnh-frv7Q-sFTgju_MvNpJ860BbwrqPt5f1BdMHUGesempGksmFsaZyp73XlvILmlxSi2ZRtCUjcSq5JbElZYYfp2AJ0vncXqdB4jj7rPn7Jm6pBEAv8QIg3nmBe3sMzQ8f4) ![Toys for Dental Care](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/7CEy6PlU2PBX7nwxkW1Qcq/1c95fc2879cb6ba4593e3d60b05c6a77/dental-toy.jpg) ## **Summary** It might sound funny if someone talked about brushing their cat’s teeth. Especially in Vietnam, pet owners here have just started to acquire a lot of new products and knowledge about pets lately. A study in 2011 of the British Journal of Nutrition found that tooth brushing was "very effective" in maintaining oral health, but owners had to brush the cat’s teeth daily to see the desired effect. Similar to humans, when cats’ teeth get dirty. The bacteria will build up and can lead to plaque, tartar or some severe gum diseases. Owners can use a kid's toothbrush, but we recommend you use a toothbrush that is designed for cats: a soft-bristled toothbrush or finger toothbrush. There are cat toys that help clean the cats’ teeth. Nowadays, cat owners are more interested in edible dental care products (dental treats).
Most people also understand that secondhand smoke can be dangerous to children. Sadly, some pet experts realize how harmful smoking can be for their pets. Secondhand smoke poses real risks for the pets in our homes. Let’s examine a few of the biggest pet health threats of smoking. ## **What is "third-hand smoking"?** Third hand smoke is residual nicotine and other chemicals left on indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke. People and pets are exposed to these chemicals by touching contaminated surfaces or breathing in the off-gassing from these surfaces. This residue is thought to react with common indoor pollutants to create a toxic mix including cancer causing compounds, posing a potential health hazard to nonsmokers — especially children and pets. Third hand smoke clings to clothes, furniture, drapes, walls, bedding, carpets, dust, vehicles and other surfaces long after smoking has stopped. The residue from third hand smoke builds up on surfaces over time. To remove the residue, hard surfaces, fabrics and upholstery need to be regularly cleaned or laundered. Third hand smoke can't be eliminated by airing out rooms, opening windows, using fans or air conditioners, or confining smoking to only certain areas of a home. ![What is "third-hand smoking"?](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/yLYshSUUqwAWyeJR8iYTh/a971ff72e4a168fd5bb0cf8316144d7c/stop-4036139_960_720.jpg) ## **The impact of cigarette smells and smoke on cats.** While we don’t have as much scientific research on cats about secondhand smoke, secondhand smoke causes many cancers in animals. Cancers such as malignant lymphoma in cats have been linked to smoke exposure, reports the American Journal of Epidemiology, perhaps more than doubling the risk of contracting this devastating disease. [Source: https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/156/3/268/71617](https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/156/3/268/71617) There is no risk-free level of smoke exposure for cats. The biggest risk of smoking is, of course, cancer. ![The impact of cigarette smells and smoke on cats.](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/7A1p0sPbBHV1jLnrxjX0fL/6760d5661f64e5a90de47968e88ea684/cigarettes-83571_960_720.jpg) ### What are the symptoms of second hand and third hand smoke in cats? Signs of nicotine toxicity can include vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, agitation, rapid breathing, high or low heart rate, abnormal heart rate, tremors, muscle weakness and wobbliness, high or low blood pressure, respiratory depression, and seizures. ## **If your cat has accidentally swallowed a cigarette** The toxic level of nicotine in cats is 11.11 milligrams of nicotine per kg of body weight. One cigarette contains 15 to 25 milligrams of nicotine depending on the brand. If your cat accidentally swallowed a cigarette, the clinical signs of toxicity are dependent upon the amount and type of nicotine ingested relative to your cat’s body weight. The signs of toxicity are dose-dependent and generally begin within one hour of ingestion. Many cats will vomit naturally after ingestion. When large amounts are consumed, the effects can be life-threatening, but even small amounts can induce symptoms. Without treatment, nicotine toxicity can cause paralysis of the breathing muscles and your cat may die from an inability to breathe, sometimes within a few hours. If nicotine ingestion is witnessed, induction of vomiting may prevent the toxic signs of nicotine poisoning. Consult your veterinarian for instructions regarding inducing vomiting at home. Once the signs of nicotine toxicity have developed, home treatment is not effective and immediate treatment by a veterinarian is encouraged. ![If your cat has accidentally swallowed a cigarette](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/6UNdNrRr29bsnjKgt8I2PK/f16f9493ffc1d5697007cb682b9023c5/smoke-2437886_960_720.jpg) ## **If a smoker really wants to live with a cat** If a smoker wants to have a cat, please note the tips below: - Keep cigarettes, cigars, and all nicotine products out of the reach of your cats. - This includes ashtrays, chewed nicotine gum and used nicotine patches. - While there have been no studies to suggest that fumes from electronic cigarettes pose any danger to pets, there is a risk of poisoning if they are ingested. So, while electronic cigarettes are a better alternative to harmful tobacco smoke, be sure to keep them well out of the reach of pets as well. - Remember, even ash and used products still have residual nicotine. The amount of ingestion required for toxicity is a lot higher than with the unused product, but the potential for toxicity is still there. - Not smoking around your pet is the only way to protect them completely. Smoking outdoors will help and having a cigarette in a different room will reduce the amount of smoke that they inhale, but not solve the problem as the particles will still remain on your clothes and any furniture nearby. - Good ventilation to avoid smoky air stagnating is crucial, and regular vacuuming of soft furnishings will also help lessen the amount of potentially dangerous particles in the home. ![If a smoker really wants to live with a cat](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/6ehilI5VSIo6w7ha6Co711/bc5b22eeeb2606bc53bcec9ae09bb081/cigarette-599485_960_720.jpg) ## **Summary** Secondhand smoke poses real risks for the pets in our homes. Third hand smoke is residual nicotine and other chemicals left on indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke. People and pets are exposed to these chemicals by touching contaminated surfaces or breathing in the off-gassing from these surfaces. Cancers such as malignant lymphoma in cats have been linked to smoke exposure, reports the American Journal of Epidemiology, perhaps more than doubling the risk of contracting this devastating disease. If your cat accidentally swallowed a cigarette, the clinical signs of toxicity are dependent upon the amount and type of nicotine ingested relative to your cat’s body weight. Tips for a smoker to live with a cat: Keep cigarettes, cigars, and all nicotine products out of the reach of your cats, not smoking around your pet, good ventilation to avoid smoky air stagnating is crucial and regular vacuuming of soft furnishings will also help.
Your dog loves it when you pet him, rub his belly, and scratch behind his ears. But dogs, like humans, also love it when you give them massages. While it might seem silly, it’s actually extremely beneficial for your dog. It feels good when you get a massage, right? Well, that feeling is the same for dogs as well. A massage can relax your dog and give you another opportunity to connect and bond with your best friend. Let’s see what the benefits of dog massage are and how to massage your dogs with us. ![How to give your dog a massage](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/69CbI3bvoU68oBJGzCzCBC/dc5408e9145cb629115cf977026b99a1/nomao-saeki-DX4XRS7w6Cw-unsplash-1024x683.jpg) Photo by [nomao saeki](https://unsplash.com/@saekinomao?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) on [Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/s/photos/dog-massage?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) ## **The Benefits of Dog Massage** ### **Relaxation of muscle stiffness** The general goal of massage is to relax muscles and free up joints so there’s less (or no) pain, better range of motion, and increased fluidity of movement. Regular massage also helps us to tune in better to changes in the bodies of our pets, making it easier to identify when something is a little off. Since you’re not waiting until your dog is actually limping or is reluctant to do some things, those potential issues get nipped in the bud. ### **Bloodline Promotion** A massage can increase your dog’s circulation, decrease blood pressure, improve lymphatic fluid movement, strengthen his immune system, aid digestion, stimulate the kidneys and liver, and encourage deeper breathing. ### **Secretion of happy hormones** Dogs can easily get stressed or anxious. It could be a loud noise, a thunderstorm, or the glimpse of a cat. Regardless of the reason, a massage will help him release happy hormones, which can ease your dog’s tension and relax him into comfort, so he forgets about his worries. ### **Improve trust** A massage may be a new concept for your dog, but once he realizes how great it feels and that you’re the one making him feel great, your bond and relationship will be that much deeper. Touching your pet will also cause your body to release oxytocin, a hormone that causes sensations of bonding and love. ![The Benefits of Dog Massage](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/5ZXVVKuflYUVW95McwlyJ0/194ae8fbb927c5f2d98f013eacc536de/joao-victor-xavier-25XAEbCCkJY-unsplash-1024x683.jpg) Photo by [João Victor Xavier](https://unsplash.com/@joaovictorxavier?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) on [Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/s/photos/dog-massage?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) ## **How to Massage Your Dog** Follow the 8 steps below to help your dog enjoy a great massage: 1. 1) Make sure that your dog is in a calm, submissive state before you begin the massage. While one of the goals is relaxation for your dog, starting when she’s anxious or fearful may reinforce that mental state instead. Try going for a long walk before you start. 2. 2) Start your massage by petting your dog gently all over. While you begin your massage, talk softly to your dog to keep him calm and relaxed. 3. 3) Massage your dog’s neck by making circular motions. Remember to keep the pressure gentle, so she’s comfy. 4. 4) Continue massaging down toward your dog’s shoulders. Since dogs can’t reach this area of their bodies, give them a little extra time, so they can enjoy it! 5. 5) Move to the chest and front legs. If your dog doesn’t like it when you massage her legs, move on to a different body part. If she does like it, see if she wants her paws massaged too. Be careful with the pads, though. Many dogs have an automatic "kick" reflex to anything touching between the pads of their feet. 6. 6) Massage your dog’s back using circular motions, going up and down on both sides of the spine. 7. 7) Keep gently massaging your pup until you get to his back legs and tail area. Once you finish, he should be totally calm and stress-free. 8. 8) A massage is a great way to get in tune with your dog so you know what’s normal for her. In future massage sessions, you’ll be able to notice any differences in your dog’s reactions, which might alert you to any issues she may be having. ![How to Massage Your Dog](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/4sqUhNxcJUlAFiwBCzRLxo/502f9eec853d3e2bf0c4ba707e6921bd/flouffy-1rsA1J_YkuA-unsplash-683x1024.jpg) Photo by [FLOUFFY](https://unsplash.com/@theflouffy?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) on [Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/s/photos/dog-massage?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) ## **Points to keep in mind when giving a massage to a dog** You don’t want to massage your dog like you would massage another person. That will most likely be too rough for them and cause adverse effects. Instead, you want to use gentle motions and techniques to make sure she’s comfortable. Here are some steps to get you started on giving her a relaxing massage. ## **Summary** - It feels good when you get a massage, right? Well, that feeling is the same for dogs as well. A massage can relax your dog and give you another opportunity to connect and bond with your best friend. - Benefits of dog massage include: relaxation of muscle stiffness, bloodline promotion, secretion of happy hormones, and improved trust. - There are eight simple steps you can follow to massage your dog with us. - You don’t want to massage your dog like you would massage another person. That will most likely be too rough for them and cause adverse effects.
Do you enjoy being outside on a sunny day? The sun brings the urge to sit back, relax, and take it easy. It is great to feel the warmth of the sun and stretch out for a nap. Dogs feel the same as most people about taking time out to enjoy a lazy day in the sun. The sun is one of nature’s sources of feel good energy when it is not too hot. Just the right amount of the sun’s rays and the right length of time will be beneficial to you and your dog. Let’s see what are the benefits of sunbathing towards dogs and cautions with Fetch. ## **Preventing skin diseases from sunbathing** A great reason why dogs sunbathe is the sunlight’s antimicrobial effect. In fact, the sun plays an antibacterial role that helps our dog’s skin stay healthy and clean, killing yeast and bacteria that grows on their skin. The sunlight stops any bacteria from growing and spreading further. In Vietnam, where the bacteria and parasites are more diverse than cold countries, you can witness the dogs here sunbathe very often. ## **Their mind will become calm** When dogs feel tired and want to take a break, they look for a sunny and warm spot to lie down. So, if you wonder why dogs lay in the sun, the answer is simple. It feels relaxing to them, just like it does to us. When they lie in the sun, they feel calm and relaxed. Another reason why dogs like to lay in the sun is that it increases their serotonin levels. Serotonin is the hormone responsible for stabilizing our mood and happiness. No wonder, being in sunlight makes our dogs feel relaxed. And it makes them happier, too. ![Their mind will become calm](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/3LWhGOvUzGqLwNlylTBuDt/0c43ba3fd3c0542f28dbfe4cfec08aee/ralu-gal-G8cB8hY3yvU-unsplash-768x1024.jpg) Photo by [Ralu Gal](https://unsplash.com/@ralu_gal?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) on [Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/s/photos/dog?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) ## **Improved immunity** The sun not only helps in regulating the dog’s body temperature, but it also helps in the production of vitamin D in their body. Vitamin D is regarded as a pro-hormone that helps dogs absorb calcium. Vitamin D is also one of the most important immune system-strengthening nutrients that can reduce the risk of colds and flu; this should be taken on a regular basis. Dogs get it through exposure to direct sunlight. The vitamin D that is produced is stored in their hair and fatty tissues. Additionally, vitamin D helps regulate the calcium and phosphorus balance in their body, which is a must for bone formation. Vitamin D is also beneficial in nerve and muscle control. The majority of the vitamin D used by the body can be obtained through diet, but a significant portion can be gained through exposure to direct sunlight. Unlike in humans, the processing of vitamin D is different for dogs because they have fur. They can’t absorb vitamin D into their bodies. Thus, the vitamin remains underneath the fur. They can only absorb it once they lick their fur and groom themselves. This is also the reason why the majority of vitamin D comes through their diet. ![Improved immunity](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/2IgNs38VJ12jIur7n5ptcc/e853e8c56b8df550aa649f27ac974edc/jamie-street-UtrE5DcgEyg-unsplash.jpg) Photo by [Jamie Street](https://unsplash.com/@jamie452?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) on [Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/s/photos/dog?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) ## **What to be careful about** There is always such a thing as too much of a good thing – which also applies to your pup’s sunbathing. Too much sun exposure can lead to sunburning and even skin cancer in dogs. Short-haired or hairless breeds are at the most risk for this and should wear dog-safe sunscreen when outside for prolonged periods of time. This is especially important because human sunscreen has zinc oxide in it – which is toxic to pets. In Vietnam, there aren't any companies that produce or import dog sun cream yet. So you can only buy them on international platforms such as Amazon and Lazada or Shopee. Please don’t apply humans’ sun cream on dogs. ![Sun cream for dog](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/219k2eB3Nz9BeeNrXo6Rd5/e67aa64b40ca6d54aa76c70e6269a687/suncream.png) According to experts, your dog must get 20-30 minutes of sunlight twice daily to reap the many benefits of sunlight. For larger breeds, they need 40 minutes twice daily. The time of exposure is also crucial. The kind and amount of sunlight that our dogs enjoy can affect their circadian rhythm. Different hours of the day can produce various UV and UVB light levels, which are essential in their circadian rhythm. Thus, it’s recommended to let them out for 30 minutes early in the morning, another 15 minutes during midday, and the last 30 minutes in the late afternoon or early evening. ## **What if you are too busy to take your dog out for sunbathing?** Animals have strong instincts and their bodies always tell them to go out and get enough sunshine for the vitamin D synthetic. Therefore, you don’t have to make them sunbath. As long as you have a garden, a balcony, a rooftop or just a window. Let your dogs be free, and you will see that they will go and sunbathe every morning by themselves. ![What if you are too busy to take your dog out for sunbathing?](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/6dYE7jPmGnF08FlHEuRGgI/6b708289ff721d61375efb35c0ade0d7/urban-sanden-LSkz2HbtqJg-unsplash.jpg) Photo by [Urban Sanden](https://unsplash.com/@urre?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) on [Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/s/photos/dog-window?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) ## **Summary** Just the right amount of the sun’s rays and the right length of time will be beneficial to you and your dog. A great reason why dogs sunbathe is the sunlight’s antimicrobial effect. When they lie in the sun, they feel calm and relaxed. Another reason why dogs like to lay in the sun is that it increases their serotonin levels. The sun not only helps in regulating the dog’s body temperature, but it also helps in the production of vitamin D in their body. Vitamin D is also one of the most important immune system-strengthening nutrients that can reduce the risk of colds and flu; this should be taken on a regular basis. Too much sun exposure can lead to sunburning and even skin cancer in dogs. It’s recommended to let them out for 30 minutes early in the morning, another 15 minutes during midday, and the last 30 minutes in the late afternoon or early evening.
Some dog owners find that witnessing their dogs' sneezing is so cute. Most of the time, it’s just an irritating reaction, but sometimes it contains dangerous underlying diseases. Please have a check with your vet if your guts tell you that your dog is sneezing more than normal or in an abnormal way. Let’s learn the causes of sneezing in dogs and how to prevent it with Fetch. ## **Causes of Sneezing in Dogs** Your dog could be sneezing for lots of different reasons, but one of the most common reasons a dog sneezes is to get rid of something that is irritating their nose, like dust, aerosols, or pollen (just like humans do). Sneezing could also be a sign that your dog has something stuck up their nose, like a blade of grass, dirt, or a leaf. Other things that could be causing your dog to sneeze include allergies to airborne allergens or certain foods, nasal infections, and nasal mites. Excessive sneezing can also be a sign of something serious, like a tumor, but this is more rare. Sometimes dogs sneeze as a sign of excitement or playfulness. This "play sneeze" is another way your dog expresses themselves, just like wagging their tail or barking. ![Causes of Sneezing in Dogs](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/4Sn5EmV7aKKeOvKNa4HudJ/2f6a474922b619f9cac6042f88bb616b/berkay-gumustekin-ngqyo2AYYnE-unsplash-1024x683.jpg) Photo by [Berkay Gumustekin](https://unsplash.com/@berkaygumustekin?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) on [Unsplash](https://unsplash.com/s/photos/dog-sneezing?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText) ## **Dog Diseases that Cause Sneezing** While a persistent hacking cough is the most recognizable symptom of kennel cough, sneezing is also a possible symptom of kennel cough. If you see blood when your dog sneezes, always get in touch with a vet. Sneezing blood can be a symptom of different things, including injury, nasal mites, and tumors. Dogs can also have nasal mites that can cause sneezing and sometimes nasal discharge. They are transmitted from nose-to-nose contact with dogs. Fortunately, they are not very common and can be easily treated once they are found. Viral, bacterial, and fungal infections can cause sneezing as well. ![Dog Diseases that Cause Sneezing](https://images.ctfassets.net/8y7rrpqgnjw7/2JmZrQt3jS6CS9LmI9qrzs/a980c89810d5aa54b3a5a93742538902/pexels-adrianna-calvo-57627-1024x683.jpg) ## **How to Treat Sneezing in Dogs** Please never give your dog human medication or resort to home remedies if your dog is sneezing with/without a runny nose. While we have the option to self medicate when we’re feeling unwell, it’s not the same for dogs. Many human medications are highly toxic to dogs and could have tragic consequences if your dog ingests them. Even if the medication isn’t toxic, there is still a real risk of accidentally giving your dog too much. Your vet will be able to advise you on any possible treatment for your dog’s symptoms, so get in touch with them before giving your dog anything. ## **How to Prevent Sneezing in Dogs** Sneezing is a normal reflex, so it’s impossible to prevent it completely. But things like vacuuming regularly and avoiding spraying aerosols like deodorant or hairspray in the same room as your dog can help minimize the chance of irritation. It’s also a good idea to regularly check your dog when they’ve been in long grass to make sure nothing has got stuck, like a grass seed or fox tail. Finally, regular check-ups at your vet will help pick up on any issues as quickly as possible. ## **Dog breeds that sneeze** Brachycephalic, or flat-faced, dogs are more prone to sneezing due to the anatomical compression of their nasal passages. The most common brachycephalic breeds with breathing or sneezing tendencies are Pugs, Boston Terriers, and English Bulldogs. ## **Summary** - Most of the time, sneezing in dogs is just an irritating reaction, but sometimes it contains dangerous underlying diseases. - Your dog could be sneezing for lots of different reasons, but one of the most common reasons a dog sneezes is to get rid of something that is irritating their nose, like dust, aerosols, or pollen (just like humans do). - While a persistent hacking cough is the most recognizable symptom of kennel cough, sneezing is also a possible symptom of kennel cough. Nasal mites, viral, bacterial, and fungal infections can cause sneezing as well. - Sneezing is a normal reflex, so it’s impossible to prevent it completely. - The most common brachycephalic breeds with breathing or sneezing tendencies are Pugs, Boston Terriers, and English Bulldogs.