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Vacationing with dogs: surf and turf

When the sun begins to filter through the office windows, it is almost unavoidable for the mind to begin gracefully...

When the sun begins to filter through the office windows, it is almost unavoidable for the mind to begin gracefully floating into thoughts of a vacation. For those of us who have a four pawed family member, we must plan the journey to even accomodate his/her needs.

However, before focusing on the details, let’s step back for a moment, to revisit something that can’t be emphasized enough. Abandoning an animal is a crime, and now there is an obligation by law to rescue those who have been. Traveling with your dog is simple, requiring only a few safeguards and preparations.

First it is important to make a distinction in regards to the final goal, which implies a different deliberation. Case and point, beach or mountains, but actually the ladder is a place suitable for both summer and winter, so the doggy travel tips will also vary according to climate, cold or warm, winter or summer.

If your vacation is in winter and you find yourself facing the snow-capped mountains, it is at first necessary to specify how some dogs suffer from the cold more than others. Those larger size, thanks to their body mass, are able to endure it better, whereas if your furry friend is relatively small and maybe has short hair, he may require special attention.

In any case, with the lowering of the dogs’ temperature they burn more calories and therefore need a nutrient rich diet, which satisfies the raising of their caloric and energy requirements. The change of season, however, may cause some problems, especially with skin and the intestines. Therefore foods aimed at ensuring the well-being in these areas of the body, can be a good alternative.

In addition to food, there are some precautions to be taken, often dictated by common sense. Do not leave dogs out in the open, instead make sure that they have a safe and dry place to sleep. Ensure that their bed or kennel is, or is not in the direction of a direct air current, and know that they certainly won’t mind a blanket or an old T-shirt to curl up with. In case of extreme cold, some eco-friendly materials can be used to insulate the doghouse, protecting it from frost.

Brush him frequently to stimulate the circulation and the renewal of the undercoat, make sure it doesn’t dry out and pay attention especially to his legs, which are particularly sensitive. Do not leave dogs in the car to suffer the cold, and when walking them, if there is a lot of snow, keep them close to you, so that they don’t lose sight of your tracks, particularly the young and curious ones.

Let's change seasons. Summer and heat are often associated with the beach, so most advice is intended for this sort of vacation and high temperatures.

Just like during winter, it’s not a good idea to leave a dog in a car. Even we notice how the temperature inside a vehicle can become quite high; being locked inside it, would be like being trapped in an oven and can become very dangerous.

In this case, nutrition has no special requirements with respect to all other days in the year. While on vacation, bring along food that they normally eat at home. The important thing however is to always have on hand a bowl — plastic folding ones are easily found — and water, so that they can drink when they feel the need to soothe the effects of the heat. The only important advice is to feed them both a wet and dry diet, which will enable them to absorb a greater amount of water and food containing phytotherapeutics, to protect them and deter unwelcome pests.

Also make sure that they get a chance to rest in the shade. Dogs can get sunburned too, so the short-haired ones, especially those with a white coat and pink skin, can easily be exposed to dermatitis. As in our case, there are special sunblock creams for dogs as well.

Sand and sea may cause skin irritations. This does not mean you have to tie dogs up to your umbrella and immobilize them, but it is however a good idea to wash/rinse them once back home and take special care of their paw pads.

Never forget the necessary vaccinations, those recommended, in addition to the mandatory ones. Use an anti-parasite medication suitable for your dog so that he is protected from insects, whose bites can lead to inflammatory reactions and diseases such as leishmaniasis.

Before you depart on your vacation, also do a bit of research on the beaches which allow dogs, where their lodging is appreciated.

Also within the preparations: inform yourself about the laws and regulations in effect in the place you will be visiting, and the means of transportation you choose, such as an airplane. Carefully prepare their luggage and remember their documents, from medical records to the possible need of a passport.

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Urinary Tract Infections in cats, also known as “UTIs” are caused by colonized bacteria in the urinary tract. The UTI can affect the cat’s urinary system, bladder, and urethra. This type of infection can be particularly painful for your cat and symptoms can sometimes be associated with other health concerns such as kidney failure. It is very important to recognize the symptoms early as some cases of this condition can be fatal. 


How To Tell if Your Cat May Have a UTI


If you think that your cat may have a urinary tract infection it is important to find out in order to have it treated as soon as possible. We have included a list of symptoms for you to watch out for. If you recognize these symptoms you should seek veterinary assistance. While UTIs affect both male and female cats, some cats may be at higher risk than others such as cats that are older, overweight, or have diabetes. 


UTI Symptoms and Warning Signs for Cats:

  • Fever
  • Urinating is done in short bursts rather than a continuous stream
  • Spending more time than usual in the litter box
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Crying or whining while urinating
  • Your cat is urinating before it can get to the litter box
  • Urine with any trace of blood
  • Excessive licking of the genital area
  • Unusual discomfort around the rear area when touched or pet
  • The cat is lethargic 
  • Urine smell is stronger than normal 


Why Is My Cat Having Frequent Urinary Tract Infections?

There are many reasons why your cat may be suffering from repeat UTIs, some may be preventable. While there is no way to guarantee your cat will not have another UTI, there may be some things you can do to reduce the likelihood of it happening. In some cases the cause could simply be the age of your cat. While there is nothing that can be done about that, other variables like the cat’s diet can be modified to help. 

Other causes of UTIs in Cats:

  • Poor hygiene near the genitile area 
  • Bladder stones
  • External or Internal Injuries
  • Tumors
  • FIV, also known as feline immunodeficiency virus


What Can I Do To Prevent Or Reduce The Likelihood of a UTI in my Cat?

No cat owner wants to see their beloved pet suffer from a UTI. To keep your cat feeling great and reduce the chances of a UTI occurring, follow these guidelines:

  • Always provide your cat with fresh water
  • Ensure your cat’s litter trays are clean and easily accessible 
  • Keep an extra litter tray available 
  • Maintain a stress-free environment for your cat 

By following these guidelines you can do your part to help keep your cat healthy, happy, and free of urinary tract infections. If you suspect any symptoms, keep an eye on your pet’s behavior, if symptoms persist or worsen, contact your vet. 


Which Remedies or Treatments Can Be Used When Your Cat Has a UTI?

While the severity of the infection plays a key role in what treatments may be used to help your cat when it has a UTI, a minor infection may be treatable at home. 

Due to their acidity, cranberries, just like in humans, may be used to help cure a urinary tract infection. The acidity in the cranberries can be effective at lowering the pH of your cat’s urine, helping to reduce the symptoms, or beat the infection altogether. While you may be tempted to treat your cat’s UTI with cranberry juice, it may be better to use cranberry pills or powder due to the high sugar content of cranberry juice. 

Another treatment option for your cat’s UTI is apple cider vinegar. This also helps reduce the pH in your cat’s urine. Since your cat will most likely not want to eat the apple cider vinegar on its own, you can try adding a half teaspoon to their food each day or mix it with an onion-free broth. 

Before giving your cat cranberries or apple cider vinegar, test their urine for alkaline levels with an at-home kit or specialized cat litter. You can also have the test done professionally by your veterinarian. 

Here are some other products that you can use to help support urinary tract infection in your cat:

If your dog just started throwing up and refusing to eat, it may be nothing to be too concerned about, but just in case, it is good to know the warning signs for pancreatitis in dogs. Pancreatitis is a condition that will need to be treated, sometimes at home but certain circumstances mean it is time to take your pet to the vet. 

The pancreas is a gland within the abdomen that helps digest food and control blood sugar levels. When the pancreas becomes inflamed, this is known as pancreatitis. It is important to be aware of the two types of pancreatitis in dogs, acute and chronic pancreatitis. While acute pancreatitis can be reversed it can come on strong and lead to extreme illness. Chronic pancreatitis occurs when permanent changes have occurred in the pancreatic tissue. 

This means that while a case of pancreatitis can pass on its own after a short period of time, sometimes it can be a lingering issue.  

Symptoms of Pancreatitis in Dogs 

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Fever 
  • Low body temperature
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargic
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Dehydration
  • Irregular heartbeat

While some of these symptoms can pass on their own and do not necessarily mean your dog is suffering from pancreatitis, if you see them lasting for more than a day it may be time to consult your veterinarian.

Although your vet may be able to diagnose your dog based on symptoms, they will most likely need to do some testing to be sure. These tests usually consist of either bloodwork or an ultrasound which will allow the vet to see what is going on within the dog’s digestive system. 

The Potential Causes of Pancreatitis in Dogs

Now that we have a better understanding of the symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs, it is time to look at what causes it. While the cause of pancreatitis is often unknown, here are some factors that it can frequently be associated with: 

  • A high-fat diet - the likeness of this being a contributing factor is even higher in dogs who eat one large serving of fatty food in a single sitting
  • A poor or unbalanced diet
  • Excessive consumption of human food
  • Dog is overweight 
  • Hypothyroidism 
  • Severe blunt trauma near the abdomen
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Some medications and toxins  
  • In some instances it could simply be genetics. Some breeds such as Miniature Schnauzers and small terriers may be more likely to suffer from pancreatitis than others. 

It is important to keep these potential causes in mind and to do what you can to avoid any habits that could contribute to your dog developing pancreatitis. Beyond that, veterinarians agree that a diet rich in fiber along with probiotics can be effective in reducing the symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs. It may even help them recover sooner in the event that they are already dealing with it. 

Here are some additional products from Forza10 that may help your pet deal with this condition:

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