The pet industry is a multibillion dollar industry, with a lot of pet products that help and keep our pets comfortable and happy. Quite frequently, I am asked for recommendations from my clients pertaining to new products out there for their pets. With that thought in mind, and since you may want to get them something for Valentine’s Day, I have compiled a list of eight products and toys that I think are worthy for consideration to keep your pet happy, safe, and entertained.
Zylkene: This is a product that helps pets cope when facing unusual and unpredictable situations or before occasions such as a change in a normal environment. It is made from the milk protein, casein, that promotes relaxation. I have seen it work on both cats and dogs on several scenarios, like introducing a new pet or bringing in a new baby to the family. It is nonmedicinal, so it is very safe. This product is available at our office.
The Furminator Comb: This is a rugged comb that removes any coat that has shed from the pet’s skin. The normal hair cycle is 4 to 6 weeks, so using this comb weekly will help remove the undercoat which causes the majority of the shedding problem. So in time there is reduced shedding. These are available online.
Oravet Dental Hygiene Chews: A brand new product out there that will be available in March is the Oravet Dental Hygiene Chews. They are dental chews that contain Delmopinol which works to loosen and dislodge plaque to help it break away from the teeth. It then forms a barrier to help protect agains bacteria that leads to the plaque and calculus buildup. This leads to fresher and cleaner breath which makes the pet and owner happy. We will have this at our office when it is available in March.
Pill Pockets: Some pets despise having their owners shove down an antibiotic, so this is a product that aids in getting your pet to take it. It hides the pill in a tasty treat, so your pet is happy. It is a healthier alternative to using human foods and comes in several flavors with less calories, less sodium and less fat. These are also available online.
Nexguard and Bravecto: These are chewable beef flavored tablets that kill fleas and ticks before they lay eggs. They both work very rapidly and have very few sides effects. The difference between the two is that the Nexguard is given monthly and the Bravecto controls the fleas and ticks for 12 weeks. Nexguard is safe to be given to puppies as young as 8 weeks, while the Bravecto is recommended to only be used on dogs 6 months and older. These are available in our office.
Kong Toys: These toys are made of durable rubber in a variety of formulas to provide dogs and appropriate way to fulfill their chewing habits. By chewing on them, they can help keep your dogs jaws strong and teeth white. Some are made to slow down eating and provide a vice when the owner is away. Here is the website, but they are available multiple places online.
Kong Cushion: This was formerly known as the Boobooloon. It is a blown up device that provides better relaxation and comfort for pets during recovery from surgeries, injuries, and rashes. This gives the pet better range of motion than the old type of e-collar. These are also available multiple places online.
Capilex: Nothing is worse than stepping barefoot in a freshly hacked-up hairball from your cat. Most petroleum-based products such as Laxatone just moves the hairball out of the intestine. Capilex is a whey based product that controls the hairball by breaking down the hairball, allowing the previously trapped food in the hairball to be digested, and made nutritionally available to your cat. The hair is then naturally passed in the stool, with fewer hairball. Capilex does not require a diet change or rely on fiber for its effect, so you can feed the diet that is best for your cat. This is available in our office.
The pet industry is constantly evolving, so some of these products and items may come and go. If you have a question or comment, or wish to purchase any of the above items, please don’t hesitate but give us a call.
There is not many things worse than laying in bed and listening to your cat hacking, gagging and retching at night and then getting up and stepping on a disgusting hairball with your bare feet in the morning. Let alone it being on your newly cleaned carpet.
Even though hairballs may be a topic of jokes, they can pose a danger to your cat by potentially blocking the intestines. Sometimes veterinary care may be necessary which can lead to surgical intervention.
The scientific name for a hairball is a trichobezoar. It is the unsavory by-product of a good, clean habit. This damp wad of undigested hair that is moistened by bile and other digestive fluids and tend to be “cigar-shaped” because when we see them, they have been regurgitated through the esophagus which is tube shaped. Some are normal, but as the cat continues to groom itself, the hair fibers are guided down to the stomach by the tongue and form. As they form, this can lead to discomfort, vomiting, anorexia, and diarrhea. The retching can sometimes be confused with asthma, so it is best to have it checked out by your veterinarian.
There are a number of effective ways to avoid and prevent hairballs. Used routinely, they can help hairballs from forming and you won’t need that terrifying trip to the veterinary clinic.
The number one thing is to brush your cat frequently. Not only do they like it, but you remove the loose hair. Brushing is the fastest and easiest way to reduce hair ingestion and it keeps it off your furniture also. One that is really good is called “The Furminator”. They are really durable and are found at all the pet stores.
A lot of owners feed their pets a hairball formulated diet. These formulas contain beet pulp, carbohydrate blends and a fruit or vegetable extract known as FOS that promotes healthy stomach bacteria. This combination of ingredients not only helps to reduce hairballs, but it also enhances your cat’s ability to absorb nutrients, provide bulk to move food through the intestine, promote colon health and reduces waste and litter box odors.
Commercial products like Laxatone or CatLax provide assistance by lubricating action or providing soft bulk or both. These products contain mineral oil and sometimes can deplete the body of vitamin A if taken in large quantities.
Homeopathic remedies such as butter two to three times a week as well as pumpkin or squash have been used with success. The pumpkin and squash also may help with constipation or diarrhea because of the added fiber.
Lastly there are products that are edible emulsifiers that break down the fat in the hairball. Nestle Purina studied hairballs and found that they were composed of a lot of fat in the mix. This product which contains soy lecithin breaks down the existing hairball and allows it to pass more easily through the digestive tract and minimizes the formation of new hairballs. The product that we have in our clinic here is called Capilex and we have had some good results with it.
Hairballs are an unpleasant side effect of your cat’s natural inclination to stay clean and beautiful. Our job as owners is to allow that self-grooming but take responsible steps to make sure it doesn’t result in a dangerous, albeit hairy, health hazard.
As always if you are concerned about your pet’s health, contact our office and we can find the best solution for you and your pet.