Skin Conditions in Dogs & Cats

Nothing is worse than when our fur kids aren’t feeling well and we aren’t quite sure what’s wrong with them. When they experience illness, there are certain physical symptoms that may alert us to what’s wrong. However, there are some ailments and side effects that are more discreet, which we might miss upon first glance. Or, there are times when cats and dogs try to hide symptoms from their owners.

Even though our fur children may be able to communicate with us, they still can’t tell us exactly where it hurts. Animals can face some of the same illnesses, conditions, and allergies that humans do, but are limited in their ability to communicate their feelings. This is why it’s important that fur parents take extra precautions when it comes to the care of their beloved fur kid.

Although some side effects may be temporary and go away on their own, other conditions may be permanent or lead to more serious health issues if not given the proper attention and care.
It’s important to keep an eye out for changes in outward appearance and/or behavior in pets to ensure they are kept safe. Let’s take a look at a few of the most common skin conditions in dogs and cats.

Skin Conditions in Cats

Cats can be elusive animals and have been known to hide their symptoms quite well, especially when they’re not feeling well. Skin conditions are a different story since they can’t be hidden as easily. Even if your cat isn’t the cuddly type, make sure you hold him every once in a while to at least check their skin for any abnormalities. Below are a few cat skin conditions to make note of:

Open Sores

Maybe your fur kid likes to be extra frisky playing outdoors, running after squirrels, or climbing up trees. It may be common to see scratches or other minor injuries on his paws or face after being outside. However, open sores or lesions are still something you’ll want to keep an eye on to make sure they heal on their own.

Open sores can easily become infected when they fail to scab over – leaving them more susceptible to bacteria and disease. In fact, persistent sores may be the symptom of something larger. If you’ve noticed sores on your furry friend that haven’t gone away in a few days, make an appointment with your veterinarian to check for allergies or infectious disease.

Hair Loss

Hair loss or alopecia in fur parents can be caused by a variety of things. One of the most typical factors being stress or anxiety. Similarly, hair loss in your fur baby can be indicative of stress, allergies, or other types of illness or infection in the body.

Of course, you’ll notice your cat shedding (how can you ignore the never-ending hair clumps hidden all over your house), but if the hair is falling out in bigger clumps or more than usual, it’s something to be wary of. Your pet may not seem to be in pain, but this side effect could be related to a much larger diagnosis, such as pancreatic tumors or adrenal disease.

Allergies

It may be strange to think about cats having allergies when usually they are the ones to cause allergies in others, but it occurs more frequently than you might think. There are three major types of allergies they can suffer from, including food allergies, environmental allergies, and flea allergies.

A cat with food allergies will most likely experience obvious reactions, such as vomiting or diarrhea, after eating the offending food. Food allergies for felines often occur when they have a hypersensitive reaction to protein. Do you suspect allergies in your fur child? Mention the symptoms on your next visit to your veterinarian. Seemingly unrelated actions could all stem from one common allergy.

Dull Coat

A change in appearance of your cat’s coat can indicate the presence of a more serious skin condition. The appearance maybe greasy, flaky, or dull. In some instances, you may notice your cat has discontinued grooming, which leaves the fur looking mangy, dry, or matted.

A cat’s diet could be the culprit for this skin condition. For example, a lack of omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids could dull your cat’s fur. Fish sources are a common source of omega-3s and help moderate inflammation. Plants provide omega-6 fatty acids for pets and are important to maintain the skin’s cell membrane. Lack of either of these in the diet can result in a negative change in your pet’s outward appearance.

Ear Mites

They sound as invasive as they are (yuck!) The tiny parasites feed off the oil and wax inside your pet’s ear. If that’s not bad enough, this causes inflammation, which can develop into a more serious ear or skin infection.

Symptoms that indicate your fur child might have ear mites include excessive shaking or head shaking and/or a dark substance coming from the ears accompanied by an unpleasant odor. Check out your cat’s ears from time to time and make sure to schedule routine visits to the veterinarian for nose-to-tail checkups.

Feline Acne

Believe it or not, cats can get pimples too. While they may not experience the somewhat embarrassing outbreaks their fur parents have, feline acne is a common skin condition that spreads around your fur baby’s chin. However, much like humans, feline acne is caused by stress, an adverse reaction to medication, or poor grooming. Most cats are self-groomers, so you don’t normally have to worry about it. But if you see your fur kid isn’t taking care of his fur as diligently as before, acne may sprout up unexpectedly.

Dog Skin Conditions

Everyone’s had to deal with a scratching dog at one point or another, but many chalk it up to fleas or “just being a dog”. Although that may very well be the case, there are several other types of skin conditions your furry friend may be suffering from, which can cause this incessant itching.

Allergic Dermatitis

“Allergic dermatitis” is just a fancy word for skin allergies. Your dog may have an allergic reaction to grooming or bathing products, a change in food or treats, or environmental factors like insects or pollen.

If your fur kid is constantly scratching and is starting to show signs of redness or rashes, he may need to be treated for allergies.

Impetigo

This bacterial infection is visible on the surface of the skin and has the appearance of pimple-looking bumps, which are filled with pus. The condition is most often found in puppies and show up where there is little to no fur.

Although not immediately serious, impetigo can prove uncomfortable for your pet and should be treated right away. In most cases, the bumps can be treated with a topical solution before the bacteria spreads or becomes a bigger problem.

Ringworm

Ringworm is one of the more prevalent skin conditions dogs can get. Contrary to it’s name, the condition itself is not an actual worm, but a fungus. It is noticeable by its ring shapes that show up on the head, paws, ears, or legs.

In addition to hair loss, your dog may experience inflammation or scaly patches where the fungus lives. You will want to seek treatment for ringworm right away, as it can easily spread not only to dogs or other fur friends, but also to humans.

Your veterinarian can prescribe an anti-fungal treatment to take care of it, but you’ll want to limit your fur kid’s interaction with others until your pup has healed.

Hot Spots

The clinical term for hot spots is “acute moist dermatitis”, which refer to sections of the skin that are red and inflamed. Most often, they’re found on your fur child’s head or chest and feels hot to the touch.

Hot spots can result from allergies, infections, or excessive chewing or licking of the skin. It’s important to keep the section as clean as possible, but if this condition continues, your best bet is to pay your vet a quick visit.

Other Signs and Symptoms of Skin Conditions in Pets

There are several other symptoms (other than those listed above) that may alert you that your fur kid is suffering from a skin condition or other health issue.

Does your fur kid drag his back legs on the carpet? Does your cat or dog constantly lick raw patches onto his paws? Does your fur child sneeze, scratch, or itch a lot? Although the behavior may seem harmless, if it happens regularly, it’s worth having checked out. It’s also a good idea to keep a look out for:

● Dandruff
● Flaking
● Scaling
● Hair loss
● Inflammation
● Strong odor
● Increased oiliness

There may need to be an adjustment to your fur kid’s diet, shampoo, or other products you use daily. Allergies may develop over time or may change with the seasons. Knowing your fur baby’s habits is what will help most to control issues and prevent conditions and diseases from developing further.

How to Remedy Skin Conditions in Pets

The best thing to do if you notice a skin abnormality, rash, or unusual bumps is to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. A doctor can properly analyze the symptoms associated you’re your fur kid’s physical condition and eliminate any chance of the skin condition being an indicator of a larger problem. They’ll already have a history of your pet’s health and can help put your mind at ease.

If you cannot get to the veterinary clinic right away or you want to try an at-home remedy for more short-term skin conditions such as a mild allergic reaction to certain plants or products, then consider the following:

• Vitamin E for dry skin. When your pup experiences dry, flaky skin, you can pamper your pet with a massage. Apply vitamin E directly into the skin or add it to part of your fur kid’s bath. It will help soothe the skin and make it healthier.

• Applying certain foods as a topical solution can help with your pet’s skin conditions as well. Chamomile tea, for example, can be used as a natural disinfectant for minor skin irritations on your fur baby. Chill the tea first and spray onto your pet’s skin for a soothing effect.

• Oatmeal also helps ease the skin, especially from a rash or allergies that make your fur child extra itchy. Oatmeal is often used in human bath products for its mellow nature that is gentle on the skin and helps with irritation. Why shouldn’t we use it for our fur kids, too?

What Kind of Pet Care Routine Should You Follow?

Ensure your pet is receiving a balanced diet. Make sure your fur baby receives his daily dose of nutrients every day. Read the labels of all the food and snacks you feed your pet to check for fillers, dyes, or other potentially harmful ingredients. If you have more than one pet in your household, they may be allergic or have adverse experiences to different things. It’s important to keep food and drink separate for each fur kid.

Take your pet for regular checkups. Just like humans should visit the dentist twice a year or go to the doctor for yearly physicals, regular checkups for your fur baby is just as important. Even if there are no major changes to report, it’s a good idea to be preventative rather than waiting and having to be reactive when thing go wrong. Be proactive for the health of your pet.

Know your fur baby like the back of your hand. Before even getting a pet, research the breed you want and what kind of conditions their breeds might be more susceptible to. For example, a puppy with lots of skin folds may collect debris, dirt, and oils within the skin that can lead to skin conditions. The more you know in advance, the better you can care for your pet in the future. It can help you know what to look out for as your pet grows.

How to Pet-Proof Your Apartment

Getting a fuzzy new roommate is an exciting adventure, but there are a few steps you should take to ensure that your apartment isn’t totally thrashed, making it look worse than a college dorm room. Not only do you want to provide a hazard-free environment, but you also want to ensure that your pet feels right at home. Here are a few easy ways to prep your apartment for your newest roomie.

Paws Off

Puppies and kittens are notoriously curious, leading them to open any cabinets, cupboards, or cubbies they can get their little paws on. Even mature fur kids can be intrigued by their new space, sending them on a hunt through your precious belongings. Not only is it a nuisance to come home to the contents of the bathroom cabinet dispersed all over the floor, but it is also potentially dangerous for your pet.

When your fur child gets into your belongings, they will likely lick, chew, or attempt to play with their newest treasures. Items such as cleaning products, prescriptions, and even certain foods can be extremely harmful to your furry friend. Take preventative measures by putting childproof locks on cabinets that house these dangerous products.

Fragile Finds

In addition to chemical products, the Pinterest-inspired decor you worked so hard on could be potentially harmful. Any fragile items that could be knocked over and shattered should be put away or out of reach. Remember that cats are climbers and can jump up on very high surfaces, so it’s safest to remove dangerous materials altogether.

Any pointy, sharp items should be removed from your fur kid’s environment so that they don’t chew on them and cut themselves. Think of this as an opportunity to de-clutter last season’s mason jars and revamp your apartment with pet-friendly décor.

Cut the Cord

Electrical cords can also come as a shockingly scary surprise to curious, teething pets. Eliminate this risk by unplugging any unused cords, and covering cords that you need plugged in at all times.

Protective cord covers can be found at your local hardware store, or you can try coating your cords with a bad tasting spray that your fur kids will be sure to avoid. In addition to electrical cords, the cords hanging from blinds can be a chocking hazard, especially for climbing kitties. Tie your cords up in a loop to keep them out of reach.

Plant Proof

Many plants are poisonous to dogs and cats, and unfortunately, many pets love chewing and digging through them. Even non-poisonous plants can be harmful, causing vomiting or diarrhea. It’s important to do your homework on what houseplants are pet-safe before bringing your new best friend home.

Check out the ASPCA’s list of toxic and nontoxic plants to see if your windowsill garden is in the clear. After reading through the list, replace your dying lilies with pet-friendly plants, or better yet, a treat like cat-grass. Cat-grass is a healthy mix of grasses including wheat, oat, and rye, which your kitty will love to chew on.

Who Let the Dogs Out?

Another way to ensure your pet’s safety is to provide them with a secure space that will keep them from running away. It may take a little time for your apartment to feel like your pet’s true home, and you want to ensure that there isn’t a way for them to sneak out. Inside, check that your screens, windows, and doors are secure. If your fur kid is a scratcher, you may need to get a plastic or metal grate to cover screens so he cannot push through it.

If your fur child spends just as much time outdoors as they do lounging around inside, it’s important to pet-proof your yard. Make sure that there aren’t any holes in or under the gate, and that the fence is high enough to keep your fur baby in.

If you have a pool, it is important to make sure that this is gated off as well. Another huge factor is eliminating potential poisons. Remove any toxic plants and check that poisonous pesticides aren’t being used in your area. If you do not own your apartment, you should check with your property manager to see if any harmful chemicals are being used.

Dumpster Diving

Although we tend to avoid the trash at all costs, many pets think the trashcan is a treasure trove of new smells and things to explore. To prevent your fur kid from eating harmful items or decorating your kitchen floor with food scraps, make sure all of your trashcans have secure lids. The same rules apply for litter boxes if you have a cat and you are getting a dog.

When it comes to your fur child’s safety, a little preparation goes a long way. Keep your furry friend happy and healthy, while keeping your apartment disaster free by pet-proofing your space before bringing home your new roommate.

5 Tips for Keeping Your Pet’s Coat Silky & Shiny

Is your fur kid’s coat looking a little less like a Pantene commercial and a little more like they just finished a tough mudder? There are a number of dietary, health, and grooming factors that could be hindering the silky shine of your furry friend’s coat. As a fur parent, there are five easy tips you can use to keep your pets looking like they just stepped off the runway.

Get Grooming

Could you imagine going for weeks without brushing your hair? Surprisingly enough, your fur children don’t want to go without regular grooming either. Regardless of your pet’s fur type, brushing every few days is an effective way to give his coat a healthy boost.

By grooming your fur kid a couple times a week, you are helping to evenly distribute the oils throughout the coat, increasing its natural shine. In addition to combing the oils throughout the coat, grooming also helps to eliminate buildup of tangles, dirt, dander, and dead skin cells. Integrating regular grooming into your pet care routine is a simple solution to a dull, tangled coat.

Splish Splash

Another quick way to enhance your fur kid’s coat is by making sure they are properly bathed. However, sometimes less is more when it comes to bath time. When a pet’s coat becomes dull, owners often think that a bath is the solution, but excessive bathing can be part of the problem.

A good rule of thumb is making sure that your fur baby receives a bath at least once a month. Over-washing can strip the fur of natural oils and lead to skin irritation. Keep an eye on your pet’s coat and skin, and use a special shampoo for sensitive skin if you notice dryness. It is also important to thoroughly rinse all shampoo and conditioner from your fur child’s coat, as any residue can cause irritation or make the coat appear dull.

You Are What You Eat

Lack of vitamins and nutrients in your pet’s food is one of the top reasons why your fur kid’s locks aren’t looking very lustrous lately. Similar to our food, the more processed the food, the more nutrients that get lost along the way. Look for pet food that is rich is natural proteins and is free of preservatives as well as allergy inducing corn, soy, and wheat products.

The Missing Link has identified that a primary cause of health problems in pets is a poor diet, lacking balanced omega-6 and omega-3. Try treating your fur kid to an omega rich snack like fish to give them a tasty, healthy boost.

The Perfect Balance

Due to commercial processing, there is a significant gap between the nutrients in most off-the-shelf pet foods compared to what your pet would be consuming in nature. Because sending your pets off to fend for themselves in the wild isn’t the safest solution, you can bring the great outdoors to them by supplementing their food with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Although many pet foods claim to have these ingredients, the processing that they go through leads to an imbalance and lack of natural nutrients. The Missing Link has pinpointed this gap and created a preservative, pasteurization, sterilization, and heat free process to deliver these crucial supplements to your pets, restoring their coat.

The Missing Link provides Ultimate Skin & Coat supplements for dogs, cats, horses, and small animals. By enhancing your pet’s food with omega-3 and omega-6 supplements, you can help restore their coat’s silky shine.

Happy & Healthy

The overall health of your four-legged friend could also be impacting the appearance of their coat. Pay attention to key health indicators such as unusual sluggishness, excessive thirst, irregular diet, vomit, diarrhea, and bad breath. If you notice any of these in your fur kid, it’s safest to consult with a veterinarian to identify the larger problem.

For example, arthritis is a common occurrence in elderly pets, and this may be impacting their ability to groom themselves. If you know that your fur kid is struggling with arthritis, try brushing them daily to compensate for their lack of grooming. Another common problem is parasites. When your pet is exposed to parasites such as worms, these unwanted visitors will eat your pet’s food, leaving them void of proper nutrients.

Similarly, sore gums or unhealthy teeth can hinder your fur child’s ability to eat, impacting their vitamin intake. By keeping a close eye on your pet’s overall health, you may be able to pinpoint the cause of a lackluster coat.

Digestive Health in Cats

Even though it’s common knowledge that cats have nine lives, it’s still important to keep their life count at its peak by keeping a watchful eye on their digestive health. Between long days trying to paw their way into cupboards and nights spent chasing mice throughout the house, cats get into enough trouble on their own.

Most cats will develop some type of digestive health problem at one point in their life. From a mere hairball habit to a more serious chronic complication, there are treatments to help ease all of your cat’s unsettled stomach ailments. As a responsible fur parent, you can help keep your cuddly companion healthy by being aware of symptoms, causes, and treatments associated with cat digestive health.

Symptoms of Cat Stomach Problems

Cats can be rather private creatures at times, especially if they aren’t feeling their best. As a pet parent, you should be aware of their habits and behaviors, so that you can tell when something just isn’t right. There are a number of symptoms that can surface as a result of a digestive health issue, but the most common is diarrhea.

Clean the litter box regularly and check to ensure everything is looking normal. In addition to diarrhea, two other very common symptoms are vomiting or lack of appetite. If your fur baby is avoiding his food or can’t keep their food in his stomach, it may be a sign of gastrointestinal sickness.

Although diarrhea, vomit, and decreased appetite are the most common signs of an upset stomach in cats, digestive issues can manifest themselves in a variety of other ways. Abdominal pain, weight loss, constipation, blood or mucus in the stool, flatulence, and an unkempt coat can all be indicators of a health issue.

Unfortunately, these symptoms are common with many health issues, so it is important to see a veterinarian to diagnose the problem at hand. However, by being an observant cat lady (or gentleman), you can keep an eye out for these symptoms and put a stop to your fur baby’s illness before it escalates.

Causes of Cat Digestive Problems

Intestinal Parasites or Worms

Many stomach problems in cats are caused by parasites. These unwanted visitors are more common in outdoor cats, but all cats can be affected. Intestinal parasites or worms are highly contagious and can be contracted when a cat ingests one of the little buggers.

When an outdoor cat eats grass that was once defecated on by an infected cat, they can ingest the worms. This can also occur when a cat is grooming and licks his paws after stepping in an infected area or eating an infected flea that has made itself home in their coat. *Tasty*

The most common type of intestinal parasite is the tapeworm. These worms are not visible in the stool, and can only be seen on the cat’s rear end. Another common worm is the roundworm, which is easier to identify. Less common intestinal parasites include whipworms, hookworms, coccidian, giardia, and toxoplasmosis. All of these lovely creatures are treated differently, so it’s important to seek veterinary help to identify which worm is causing the digestive problem.

Ingesting Foreign Objects

Cats are notoriously curious and like to put all sorts of stringy, shiny things in their mouths for proper investigation. Cords, hair ties, yarn, floss, and tinsel are among some of their favorites, but the list is never ending with these curious kitties.

It goes without saying that these foreign objects don’t typically sit well in your cat’s stomach. When your cat ingests a foreign object, they will likely vomit to try to remove it from their system; however, sometimes the object is too large or gets stuck somewhere inside their gastrointestinal system. To spot this issue, try to keep a close eye on your fur baby, take notice when things have gone missing, and be on the lookout for symptoms.

Food Allergies

That delicious, fishy-smelling bowl of canned cat food or crunchy kibbles could also be at the root of your cat’s digestive health problem. When your fur baby ingests something he is allergic to, it causes his intestinal system to become inflamed. This inflammation can cause an immediate reaction such as vomiting or diarrhea, but if left untreated, it can lead to a series of more serious diseases.

It’s important to identify the allergy as soon as possible so that the inflammation does not lead to a chronic digestive issue. Cats of all ages can develop food allergies, but they have to first be exposed to the ingredient in order to develop the allergy. Therefore, the ingredient must be lying in the type of food you regularly feed them. Your veterinarian can help you pinpoint what ingredients are causing the allergy, so that you can switch to a more wholesome food source.

Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth (IBO)

Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth (IBO) is another gastrointestinal complication commonly found in our feline friends. IBO often occurs when another intestinal disease is impacting the overall intestinal health. This happens because IBO is the result of an imbalance of the “good” and “bad” bacteria present in the gastrointestinal tract.

There is always an abundance of bacteria living inside the intestines. However, when an illness occurs, the bad bacteria can get out of hand, causing an imbalance and an unhappy kitty. Luckily, IBO is not chronic and can be treated, bringing balance back to your fur kid.

Underlying Issues

Sometimes an underlying disease can cause a digestive problem to surface. For example, constipation in cats is often a side effect of another illness, such as kidney disease. When your cat is not retaining moisture, the stool becomes hard and difficult for your cat to pass.

Similarly, if your cat suffers from arthritis, it may become painful for your cat to squat, leading to a build up in the intestines. Regardless of the initial cause of the disease, if your cat is experiencing constipation for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to take him to the vet to see what is causing this unpleasant symptom.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a chronic disease and occurs when the stomach and/or intestinal tract is constantly inflamed. Inflammatory Bowel Disease occurs when there are too many white blood cells in intestinal walls. This inflammation causes the intestinal walls to thicken and develop scar tissue, making it difficult for cats to absorb crucial vitamins and nutrients from their food.

Although cats will continue eating their food, they are not absorbing the calories and nutrients, causing your fur baby to start slowly withering away. Since your cat will seemingly continue with his or her regular diet, it’s important to keep an eye on his appearance and habits to identify this disease.

Treatments for Cat Stomach Problems

When your fur baby is feeling down in the dumps, it’s essential that you are aware of the symptoms so that you can stop the digestive disease in it’s tracks. Luckily, there are a variety of homeopathic and veterinary treatments that can cure your kitty or help ease the complications.

Treatment for Intestinal Parasites in Cats

Intestinal parasites are not only hard on your cat’s digestive system, but they are also hard to spot. Worms are often not visible to the naked eye, and a veterinarian will need to perform testing to uncover what type of parasite is causing the problem. Once the vet has discovered which pest is the culprit, they will recommend a de-worming medication.

Although a trip to the vet is necessary to find out which type of worm is present, there are a number of homeopathic supplements you can integrate into your fur kid’s diet to help speed up the recovery process. Pumpkin seeds, Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth, garlic, parsley water, papaya, grapefruit seed extract, and turmeric have all been found to help eliminate worms or alleviate the symptoms.

When practicing homeopathic remedies, it is crucial to do ample research before feeding these items to your pet. An unsafe amount or combination of the wrong ingredients can have adverse effects, unintentionally harming your cat.

In addition to integrating homeopathic supplements to your cat’s diet, keeping a clean home and yard can be key in avoiding and eliminating worms. Since worms can be contracted through poop, rodents, and fleas, keeping a clean home and yard can help minimize the presence of these unwanted visitors. Keep the litter box clean so that your cat doesn’t re-infect himself during recovery.

Treatment for Ingestion of Foreign Objects

If your cat gets extremely excited when the holiday tinsel comes out, it may be best to avoid putting these hazardous materials within your cat’s line of fire. The best way to keep your cat from ingesting foreign objects is to avoid giving him the opportunity. Keep the yarn in the arts and crafts box and keep your hair ties in the bathroom drawer.

Sometimes, a hairball too big for your cat to cough-up is the cause of the stomach problem. Avoid this problem by brushing your cat regularly with a fine-toothed comb to capture shedding fur. If your cat does happen to snack on some string, the vet will have to perform x-rays to identify the object and then remove it, most likely through surgery. Some homeopathic vets recommend nux vomica to help your cat expel the foreign object. However, always be careful when diagnosing this issue yourself.

Treatment for Feline Food Allergies

When food allergies are at the root of your cat’s unsettled stomach, try switching to a hypoallergenic diet. There are a number of hypoallergenic foods available, and your vet can recommend the best one for your feline friend. In some cases, your vet may even recommend a food not available in stores.

If you want to formulate a diet for your cat at home, you can try a raw diet, but ensure they are getting the vital ingredients they need. Every cat’s diet should include a meat protein, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. One way to achieve this is to enhance your cat’s food with an Omega 3 & 6 and fatty acid rich supplement such as Missing Link’s Feline Formula. If you choose to create a diet on your own, ensure that you research the diet prior to avoid any further irritation to your cat’s stomach.

Treatment for IBO in Cats

If your feline friend is experiencing Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth (IBO), your veterinarian will most likely prescribe an antibiotic to eliminate the overgrowth of the bad bacteria causing the imbalance. Since antibiotics don’t discriminate between the good and bad bacteria, it is important to couple antibiotics with probiotics. Probiotics such as Lactobacillus acidophilus are the good bacteria that keep the bad guys in check. There are a number of probiotics and probiotic formulas available that you can use to enhance your cat’s diet.

Treatment for IBD in Cats

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is probably the most difficult complication to treat. This disease will require multiple trips to the vet, and you should not attempt to cure it on your own. The vet will provide your cat with steroids and immunosuppressants, and you can switch your cat to a hypoallergenic diet or raw diet to help mitigate the problem. Although it is not proven to work as well as steroids, raw diets have shown signs of alleviating inflammation, which can keep your cat more comfortable while they combat the symptoms of IBD.

Promoting Cat Digestive Health

It may go without saying that the best way treat digestive issues is to attempt to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Although sometimes you cannot control what diseases your cat will develop, there are steps you can take to help.

The first step is feeding your cat a nutrient-rich diet. Ensure your cat is getting ample vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, Omega 3 & 6, and probiotics. There are a number of supplements available that can restore balance to your fur baby’s diet. When your cat is eating nutrient rich meals, they are less likely to develop digestive complications.

Often the standard, name-brand cat foods are over-processed and do not have high-quality ingredients. Take a careful look at the food you are feeding your cat and enhance their food with nourishing supplements.

Another way you can prevent diseases is to keep both your cat and their environment clean. By keeping your cat’s coat neat and tidy, you will eliminate the risk of hairballs. Similarly, by keeping their physical environment clean, you decrease the risk of parasites and the risk of them eating something questionable that may get lodged in their system. Although curious cats are bound to get themselves into trouble once in awhile, by keeping a watchful eye on their digestive heath, you can stop problems dead in their tracks!

What Kinds of Nutrients Are Found in Kelp?

Kelp is an edible seaweed that is gaining popularity due to its uniquely rich nutrient content. Vitamins and minerals found in this underwater plant provide an extensive list of health benefits when consumed on a regular basis.

Below are some of the major nutrients found in kelp as well as their various beneficial qualities that contribute to the wellbeing of fur babies and fur parents alike.

Iodine

Iodine is a trace element that is vital for the healthy growth and development of all fur kiddos. It plays a significant role in supporting the normal function of the thyroid gland, which contributes to optimal hormone production as well as healthy metabolism. These benefits can help maintain healthy weights and adequate energy levels.

Iodine provides many other health benefits as well, including relieving nervous tension and decreasing inflammation. Kelp contains exceptionally high levels of iodine and is an excellent supplement for improving thyroid and metabolic function.

Manganese

Manganese is a dietary mineral found in kelp with a variety of anti-inflammatory properties. Many fur babies do not consume enough of this nutrient, which can be a cause for concern. An adequate amount of manganese will contribute to proper bone formation and function as well as collagen production and healthy skin. It also aids in controlling blood-sugar levels, which helps to prevent diabetes.

Magnesium

Magnesium is an important mineral needed for proper cell function. A pet with a magnesium deficiency could be at risk for various health concerns. This nutrient is required for energy production, bone function, muscle movement, heart health, and kidney function.

Calcium

Calcium is an essential nutrient for maintaining healthy bones and teeth as well as building strong muscles. A calcium deficiency may lead to weakened bones that are unable to support the weight of an animal, which can cause joint problems, fractures, or other complications. Calcium is essential to your fur baby’s health, as it allows for proper movement and function of the body and improves their ability to exercise.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is beneficial to a pet’s liver, kidney, lungs, and skin. Vitamin A keeps these organs working smoothly and helps to ward off disease. Dry skin, hair loss, or other irritations can be signs of vitamin A deficiency. Animals that eat kelp will often show improvements in skin and hair health over time.

B Vitamins

B Vitamins provide energy for both humans and animals. This is important for achieving proper exercise, maintaining a healthy metabolism, and improving overall fitness. B complex vitamins also help to support proper function of the skin, hair, eyes, muscles, brain, and nervous system.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that can help with symptoms of sickness and stress. While some animals can produce vitamin C in their bodies, it can be depleted when they are sick or stressed. Levels can also diminish when animals have exercised to their limit. Consumption of kelp can boost vitamin C levels back to their normal levels.

Chlorophyll

Chlorophyll is used by plants to convert sunlight into energy and can increase red blood cell count and oxygen levels when consumed by fur kids. Kelp is dense in chlorophyll, which makes it a great supplemental source for of these nutrients.

Potassium

Potassium is necessary for the proper function of muscles and nerves, as well as maintaining optimum fluid levels throughout the body. Potassium deficiencies result when an individual or animal loses the nutrient through vomiting, excessive pooping, or other illness. Eating kelp is a great way to get these nutrient levels back to normal.

Niacin

Niacin is crucial for a healthy body. It can be used to aid with circulation problems, increase energy, and lower cholesterol. It also helps to break down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, and supports healthy skin.

Fiber

Fiber is vital to maintaining healthy digestive function, colon health, and regularity. These functions are necessary for maintaining a healthy weight and distributing vitamins and minerals throughout the body.

The remarkably high-volume of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients found in kelp contribute to its distinct superfood-like qualities. Supplementing your fur baby’s diet with kelp is an easy way to provide them with several essential nutrients at once. This will contribute to higher energy levels, proper organ function, weight management, strong bones, and increased overall health.