Pet Tips

Pet Tips

Eight Notes on Caring for Your Pet

Please note that the following is for informational purposes only, and should not replace veterinary care.

  • Give your pet a massage! It feels great, you can check for lumps, bumps, and problem skin, and a regular rubdown allows you to know if your pet is gaining or losing weight.
  • The following houseplants are poisonous to cats: Azalea, Common or Cherry Laurel, Dumb Cane, Elephants Ear, Mistletoe, Oleander, Philodendron, True Ivy, Winter or False Jerusalem.
  • Feline urinary health: All Nutram cat formulas are preventative diets for urinary tract health. However, these are not the same as dissolution diets that should be fed if the crystals are already present. Once a cat has been treated for crystals, any Nutram diet is a good choice for maintaining urinary health. A special urinary care formula is now available from Nutram. Feeding your pet plenty of water is also a good way to prevent urinary crystals.
  • Supplements: Generally, one cannot over-supplement a dog. However, there is some concern about dogs with diabetes and excessive intake of glucosamine. Nutram diets all contain glucosamine. Most foods contain about 50mg per cup of glucosamine, and 50mg per cup of chondroitin. The recommended dosage for dogs is up to 1000mg when used with equal amounts of chondroitin for a 50-100lb dog. Multiply the number of cups fed per day by 50 to get the amount of dietary glucosamine, and adjust the supplements accordingly.
  • Pet odor can be a result of many different things. A change in diet may have an impact on breath and fecal odor, but skin odor has several different causes. Over-production of oils can accumulate and begin to smell rancid, which can be treated with a good shampoo, and by avoiding a high fat diet. It may also be caused by a bacterial or fungal infection of the skin, which can be picked up from swimming in a pond, a problem that must be diagnosed and treated by the vet.
  • Pig ears are a prime source for Salmonella infection, as the processing and microbiological testing on these products are poorly regulated. The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association does not recommend them for these reasons, as well as because they can cause digestive issues and obesity. Ice cubes and carrots make great treats for dogs, and they are healthy.
  • Allergies in dogs can manifest as either dermatological (skin and coat) or gastrointestinal (vomiting and diarrhea), and don’t always develop on first exposure. Sometimes stress can trigger behaviors like garbage eating, and it puts the immune system on high alert, possibly worsening the symptoms.
  • Raw diets: A pre-made raw food can work well for some pets if purchased from a reputable company. It is not recommended to make it at home, as it is very easy to miss some essential nutrients and cause a diet imbalance without knowing it.

This information was obtained from e-mail contact with nutritionist Melanie Sippel of Nutram Pet Products.


Visit for useful information on pet allergies. If you have a question about possible allergies and pet diets, Nutram’s on-staff nutritionist may be able to help… for free! Contact us for more information.

How to Choose the Right Pet Food

By: Petcurean Pet Products –

Consider your dog’s activity level and weight

Although many foods on the market today are all life stage, you may need to choose a food that is designed to meet specific requirements. As an example, an overweight dog may need a food with fewer calories, particularly if lessening the existing food is not an option. In this case, you may feed the same volume, but your dog will be getting less calories.

Select a protein source

Lamb. Chicken, Fish, which one do you choose???? Although lamb has gained popularity as a hypoallergenic diet, dogs acquire allergies based on exposure. In choosing a food that is suitable for allergies, choose a protein source that the dog has not eaten before. If you are not sure, go with something obscure, such as salmon. Any protein source for the non allergic dog is suitable, provided it is a meat-based protein source, such as chicken. Below we discuss the quality of proteins based on their biological value.

Read the ingredients

Goverment certified ingredients are essential for a healthy food. Some economy brands of dog food are made from inexpensive ingredients that are not easily digested. They do not provide the best nutrition. While they may technically meet the legal specifications for percentages of protein, fat, carbohydrates, etc., these foods have lower energy values and lower-grade proteins. Because of this, many health-building nutrients may pass right through your dog’s system without being absorbed. It also means that you have to feed larger amounts of that lower quality food to provide your pet with the same nutrition as a smaller amount of premium food. When you compare the cost of these foods on a per-serving basis, and realize how quickly you go through a bag, economy foods may actually cost more in the long run.

When you are looking for a healthy food for your dog, reviewing the list of ingredients on the back of the bag is a good place to start. By law, pet food labels must list their ingredients by weight. Look for a species specific meat or meal as the first ingredient, ie turkey, duck, chicken meal, salmon meal. Species specific meats or meals all have a high biological value, which means they have a high percentage of protein in the form of digestible, usable amino acids.

Extras to look for

Always choose a food that has a balanced Omega 3/6 ratio. Look under the guaranteed analysis for this information, or on the packaging. Some examples of great Omega 3 sources are Salmon Oil, Flax Oil, and Canola Oil.

There are many ways to preserve a food naturally. Look for a natural preservative such as Vitamin E.