How Heavy Should My Cat Be: A Quick Breed Guide

We love spoiling our sweet fur babies with toys, treats, and plenty of cuddles. It’s a fact of life for a pet parent. We can’t deny our kiddos of extra soothing scratches or slipping them a few delicious morsels of their favorite treats!

However, some of us may also be guilty of overtreating our cats, sometimes just for them being the cuties they are. It can be easy for our felines to start looking extra fluffy if we are going overboard in the snacks department. It’s just a little treat here and there throughout the day, but in addition to their regular meals, those treats can add up and lead to an overweight cat.

Many of our cats live in a state of domestic bliss. They nap throughout the day, lounge by the window watching the busy outdoors, and rest in our laps, purring happily. This sedentary lifestyle and the large intake of treats can equal kitty weight gain.

When it comes to our personal meal plans, it can be easy to change from cheeseburgers to salads. We can also put a little less on our plates or have one less cookie for dessert. But when it comes to our cats, we need to make sure they are receiving adequate nutrition from the right sources.

Different Breeds, Different Sizes

Just like humans, cats come in different sizes and colors. A diet and exercise regime for one person may not work for another, especially if they have different builds.

Let’s look at how to keep our cats at a healthy weight, depending on their breed:

Maine Coons

Maine Coons are beautiful cats and have the distinction of being one of the largest domesticated cat breeds. They are popular in the United States for their dog-like temperament and affectionate personality.

Maine Coons can weigh up to 25 pounds for males and up to 20 pounds for females. That means that a healthy weight for a Maine Coon may be out of the range of a cat from a different breed — it’s all situation-specific.

Siamese 

Siamese cats are known for their striking blue eyes and are beloved for their curious nature. They are also one of the oldest cat breeds to exist, originating in Asia!

Siamese cats tend to be on the smaller side, ranging from six to ten pounds. They may put on extra pounds if they don’t get enough playtime, which can lead to health problems in the long run.

Domestic Shorthair

Also affectionately known as a “house cat,” domestic shorthairs are the catch-all for our felines who come from a melting pot of breeds. Domestic cats should weigh around eight to ten pounds. These cats can put on excess weight due to insufficient activity or the need for a new diet. In some cases, they may be underweight.

Persian

These stunning and sweet kitties are adored for their fluffy coats and round faces. While their noteworthy coats may make them seem bigger than they really are, Persians should weigh around seven to 12 pounds.

Ragdoll 

This larger cat breed is famous for their sweet disposition and affectionate personality. Ragdolls tend to be patient when carried around, going into “ragdoll” mode.

This breed of cat is large, but coming in smaller than the Maine Coon. A healthy weight for a Ragdoll is right at twenty pounds for male cats.

How Can I Tell If My Cat Is Too Heavy?

As cats get older, their metabolism changes; they may experience weight gain a little bit easier than when they were active kittens. This can be expected as our senior cats are less active during the day. Many adult cats need help with weight management, as they may gain weight with age.

If you believe your furry friend is gaining past the average cat weight, there are a few checks you can do to see if your cat is too heavy. These checks can be easily done at home, with a follow-up with your veterinarian for the next steps if you believe your cat needs a plan to help with weight loss and reach a healthy cat weight.

The first check is to feel for your cat’s ribs. Your cat shouldn’t be bony — this is a sign of an underweight cat — but you should be easily able to feel your cat’s ribs and count them. If your cat’s body condition score is off-balance, you would have a harder time feeling for their ribs.

The second check is to view your cat from above. Just below their rib cage, there should be a visible waist indented. Heavier cats will have a bloated belly, and this waistline will not be visible from above.

The third check is to check out your cat from the side as they are standing. You should see a slight tuck in the same spot as where their waist is from above. If your cat’s belly is hanging, this could indicate your cat is carrying too much weight on their frame.

How Can Obesity Affect My Cat?

Now that we can see the weight differences across different breeds of cats, we can see the thresholds that would have to be crossed for your cat to be considered obese. Knowing whether your cat is considered a large breed can help determine what their top weight should be. Your veterinarian is a great resource in helping to assess your cat’s healthy weight range.

A healthy weight for your cat is important for their lifespan, health, and quality of life. If your cat is overweight or obese, each of these factors can be negatively impacted. Cats who are overweight or obese can experience joint issues as the cartilage in the joints wears down faster with extra weight.

Cat’s heart health is affected by carrying extra weight, just as in humans, as the heart has to work more to get blood through the body. Feline diabetes can also form, affecting how your cat’s body responds to sugar in the blood. Of course, these health issues can shorten your cat’s lifespan, damage their quality of life, or become fatal if left untreated.

If your cat is overweight or obese, there’s no need to stress! This is a relatively common issue amongst house cats that is often easy to fix. Helping your cat to lose weight is one of the first steps in preventing or combating obesity-related health issues.

How Can My Cat Lose Weight?

First and foremost, your cat’s veterinarian should be involved in any decisions and planning regarding your cat’s diet and exercise plan. With any weight loss program for cats and even humans, it takes routine and discipline to follow a diet and physical exercise plan. Patience is key too. The weight didn’t add up overnight, and reducing it will not happen that quickly either.

If a cat loses too much weight too quickly, it can strain their body, especially if they take insulin to maintain their diabetes. Too much insulin in a cat’s system can be harmful, so constant monitoring of your cat’s weight is vital to ensure that they receive the right insulin dosage.

Never put your cat on a starvation diet or quickly reduce the amount or type of cat food they receive. Gradual change is best to ensure that your cat’s health isn’t negatively affected when necessary dietary changes.

Nutrition

Follow your veterinarian’s advice about how many calories your cat needs to achieve their ideal weight. For example, your DVM may recommend switching from dry food to wet food to lose that layer of fat. Wet food generally has more protein and can be more filling, whereas dry food can be carbohydrate-heavy, which makes weight gain much easier.

It is also a habit to put dry food into a bowl and allow your cat to graze all day. Food intake can be tricky to measure, especially in multi-cat households. Feeding canned food is easier to track as the amount is listed right on the can.

The hard part is monitoring how much and what type of treat you give to your cat. Instead of giving a good treat when your cat does something good, reward them with their favorite toy or a long scratch session.

Increase Activity

Just like humans, cats need to keep active. KONG has all the right toys needed to keep your kitty pouncing and engaged. Just like dietary changes, gradually increase your cat’s activity level to improve their body weight.

You don’t want your cat to go from zero minutes of play to an hour over one day. Think if you went to the gym for an hour and did a hard workout, you would feel out of shape and sore the next day. Our cats may feel very similar; remember that slow and steady will win the race.

Keep Active with KONG!

As mentioned, helping your cat be more physically active is a way to help them keep off the extra weight and stay trim. KONG is your one-stop-shop for all things cat toy-related. We have a variety of cat products and information that engages your cat’s natural instincts so they can keep their bodies (and minds) active.

As your cat becomes accustomed to being more active, they’ll love feeling more energetic and spending quality time with you.

Keeping your cat’s toy box full is easy when you are a member of the KONG Club. Your cat receives a new box every month full of toys and treats to keep them busy and active. You also receive health and wellness information centered around a building block of wellness. You’ll feel well-informed and ready to spend some one-on-one time with your favorite furry pal and their new toys.

Join the KONG Club today to keep you informed and your cat active at play.

Sources: 

Ideal Dog and Cat Weight Ranges | Association for Pet Obesity Prevention

Obesity | Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

Feline Diabetes | Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

Can Dogs Eat Salmon Skin?

Salmon skin rolls may be one of your favorite sushi rolls, and we have to admit it is one of ours too! We know that salmon itself is a healthy protein for humans, and we also see salmon being featured as the main ingredient in different dog foods these days.

What about salmon skin, though? Is it safe for dogs to consume? Let’s take a look at some foods our dogs can tolerate and whether or not that includes salmon skin.

What Foods Can My Dog Tolerate?

We may also be guilty of giving our favorite furry pals a little morsel of what we are eating from time to time, but we always want to be careful of what we give our dogs. Their tummies and bodies cannot handle the same ingredients that we regularly consume. Being a pet parent means knowing what foods your dog can tolerate, so when the strength to say no to those pleading eyes fades, you are tempted to not give in.

Proteins like chicken, lean beef, turkey, and fish are all great sources of nutrition for our dogs. We understand the feeling of wanting to share, but it’s definitely best to steer clear of sharing food that has been seasoned or covered in a sauce.

Your dog may enjoy fruits like apples and blueberries, but since fruit is high in natural sugar, this should be a special occasion treat, like when enticing your dog to take a bath. Vegetables like plain pumpkin and carrots are yummy and can be a special add-on to your dog’s normal kibble, but make sure to ask your vet first.

As always, your best bet for nutritional guidance is to refer to your pet’s veterinarian. Your veterinarian will also be able to let you know what foods dogs can absolutely not have. This is equally important, as we don’t want to cause any digestive upsets in our pups. No matter how sad those puppy whimpers are, sometimes we have to just say no.

What About Mercury in Fish?

Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Mercury intake can be a concern when consuming fish, as all seafood and fish usually contain trace amounts of mercury. Thankfully, the use of mercury in health and farming practices has been reduced. The amounts of mercury found in humans and animals have come down in recent years as well.

However, mercury bioaccumulation in animals is a concern. This occurs when a larger fish consumes a smaller fish, and then that fish is consumed by an even bigger fish. Mercury is not easily broken down by the body, so as fish after fish is gobbled up, so is the mercury.

Large, predatory fish like Swordfish and King Mackerel can contain the highest amounts of mercury in the fish world, so limited consumption is recommended for these certain species who are at the top of the fish food chain.

Even though the use of mercury in health and farming practices has been reduced, mercury poisoning can still occur in animals, albeit rare, especially if their diet only consists of fish, and they eat lots of it.

Mercury saturation in a dog’s body can negatively affect the brain, digestive system, and renal system. Signs of mercury poisoning include a lack of coordination, abdominal discomfort and/or swelling, and the inability to urinate. These changes are irreversible and treatment may not be effective.

It’s not all murky waters — Fish is still a healthy protein, containing high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, which can aid in the reduction of inflammation, promote joint health, and keep your dog’s skin healthy and coat glossy. Omega-3s also keep the mind alert and sharp.

What About Dog Food Containing Fish?

In recent years, dog food has featured salmon as the ultimate protein instead of chicken, lamb, or beef. This is fantastic for changing things up for your pup when they are just tired of the same chicken-flavored kibble day after day. You would certainly grow tired of eating the same daily meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Your pup may feel the same and probably enjoys the change.

Some of our dogs ] have sensitive skin and tummies. Salmon dog food can be just the ticket if your dog doesn’t tolerate other types of protein. If your dog has dry or itchy skin, the nutrients in salmon can have your dog’s coat glowing with a healthy sheen.

If your dog does eat salmon dog food, you may be tempted to confiscate their food bowl after reading about mercury and what can happen to your dog if they ingest too much. However, we have some good news on the salmon dog food front.

A study found that only a small portion of dog foods sampled for mercury detected low levels of the metal. Out of 24 types tested, only three were shown to have any detectable levels. According to one of the researchers, the levels detected were unlikely to cause any negative effects on the dog diners.

Rest assured, your pup can continue to crunch on their favorite salmon kibble. Even if your dog doesn’t eat an all-fish diet, you can add salmon oil to their food for the added nutritional benefits. We also know that our pups love the scent of Eau du salmon on their kibble and will happily crunch away.

Of course, you can take any concerns to your veterinarian, who can give you the best info going forward about what your dog consumes.

Can Dogs Eat Salmon Skin?

We know that salmon itself is a healthy protein. We also know that chicken is a healthy protein, but veterinarians sometimes advise against feeding our dogs chicken skin because it is too rich and fatty. If fried or heavily seasoned, chicken can cause canine digestive problems, like vomiting and diarrhea.

So what does that mean about salmon skin?

If salmon is on the menu for your dinner (invite us, please!), you’ll want to set aside a small, unseasoned piece for your pal as a special treat. Your pooch will be glad to know they can safely eat the salmon skin as long as the fish is fully cooked and not fried or heavily seasoned. Wild-caught salmon is also the best to serve, as these lucky fish were able to swim unencumbered.

Just like the salmon itself, salmon skin is full of nutrients. The skin is rich, so make sure it is a small piece. Plus, it’s critical to remove any fish bones ahead of time. Despite the myth of dogs loving to chew on bones, salmon bones can get lodged in a dog’s throat or intestinal tract.

The most important thing is to ensure that the salmon is thoroughly cooked. Raw salmon can contain some yucky things like worms and bacteria that can make your pup not feel so well. If your dog consumes raw salmon that contains a parasitic flatworm infected with a bacteria called Neorickettsia, this is called salmon poisoning.

Symptoms typically develop within one week of ingesting raw salmon and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, muscle tremors, seizures, difficulty breathing, among others, and can be fatal if not treated. Cases of salmon poisoning are usually treated with antibiotics. If you suspect your dog has consumed raw salmon, make an appointment with your veterinarian immediately so they can run the necessary tests and prescribe treatment if required.

If your dog is the outdoorsy type and likes to swim in the river or pond, make sure that they don’t consume raw fish. If you do catch any fish, make sure that any pieces you may cut off while cleaning the fish stay far away from those sneaky snoots.

Ultimately, a small piece of salmon would make a fantastic treat for your pup’s birthday pawty, and they’ll love having a piece to themselves.

KONG CLUB – A Fintastic Idea

Here’s the top catch of the day: we promise that you’ll love being a part of the KONG Club if you are a pet parent. We offer monthly subscription boxes that will keep you and your buddy waiting by the mailbox.

Your furbaby will enjoy their new toys and treats; maybe a package of Salmon Bites will end up in the box? You will enjoy the tips, tricks, and recipes that will keep you in the know about pet health centered around a building block of wellness each month.

While salmon and salmon skin are great sources for Omega-3s that keep your pup’s mind sharp, you’ll want to keep that mind engaged with our carefully curated and designed KONG Toys. We love knowing that your dog’s natural instincts will be triggered by our toys. Your dog will feel mentally stimulated and engaged, and boredom will not be afloat in your home!

Although we cannot recommend a sushi date with your furchild, incorporating a little cooked salmon in your dog’s diet may be a healthy and tasty way to help your dog meet all their nutritional needs (with your veterinarian’s approval).

Sign up today and know that your favorite furry buddy will have a fin-tastic time with their monthly rotation of new toys and treats!

Sources:

What Kind of Human Foods Can Dogs Eat? | Nasa Pet Hospital

What to do about mercury in fish | Harvard Health

Mercury Poisoning in Animals | Merck Veterinary Manual

Responses of dogs to dietary omega-3 fatty acids | NCBI

Preliminary study suggests mercury not a risk in dog foods | University of California

Holiday Foods to Avoid Feeding Pets | Family Veterinary Clinic

Salmon Poisoning In Dogs | Merck Vet Manual

5 Best Diabetic Dog Treats of 2022

We love treats, but sometimes treats don’t love us. They may be too high in fat or sugar, which is not great for our bodies. The same goes for our furry best pals; we know they love to enjoy treats as well. Too many treats can cause the calories to add up and cause weight gain, which brings its own set of health issues, especially if the weight gain causes a dog to become obese.

Obesity is a leading contributor to diabetes in dogs, but other health issues may cause diabetes as well. Luckily diabetes may be very treatable given the right management plan and continued monitoring. Many dogs diagnosed with diabetes continue to live a full and bark-filled fun life, and you’ll get to enjoy treating them (carefully!).

How Do I Take of a Diabetic Dog?

When your dog is diagnosed with diabetes, you and your dog’s veterinarian will likely begin a plan for therapy and continued management. Insulin therapy might be the starting point for managing your dog’s diabetes. This process can be trial and error as your veterinarian determines which insulin and dosage are best for your dog.

Continued checkups will continue as your veterinarian dials into the perfect dose for your dog. Your veterinarian may also instruct you on how to use urine strips to monitor your dog’s glucose levels. Other variables to consider regarding insulin dosage tend to be weight, activity level, and diet.

Your veterinarian will instruct you on how to administer insulin to your dog. No worries, you can do this! Most injections are right under the skin, and the needle is so small and sharp that your doggo will hardly feel a thing. Your veterinarian may suggest that you practice on a piece of fruit first, so you can learn to distinguish between the layers of the fruit’s peel and the flesh of the fruit.

If your dog is overweight, your veterinarian will likely suggest a long-term weight loss plan. This will help reduce any further health risks that may come along with being overweight. As your dog loses weight, your veterinarian will continue to monitor your dog’s glucose levels as their insulin dosage will likely need to be changed as your dog’s weight changes.

Regular exercise is important as well. Keep your dog active by going on walks or playing with toys every day. Make sure you consult with your veterinarian about how long your dog should exercise and how often, as we don’t want them to become too active and get sick from over-exercising.

What Should My Diabetic Dog Eat?

Diet should be carefully managed. Often, vets will recommend that your dog eats at a consistent time each day so that insulin injections can be given afterward (in some cases). Generally, we don’t want to give insulin to our dogs before they have eaten, as there may be a chance your dog won’t want to eat. Then, your dog could possibly start to become ill if they are given insulin on an empty stomach.

Ideally, feeding your dog every twelve hours will keep them on a good schedule and their glucose level at a constant level throughout the day, but each case varies. The added plus of a carefully managed diet can be weight loss for your dog if they are overweight. Fat can affect how insulin is absorbed in the body, so any weight loss can help reduce the amount of insulin your dog needs.

A high-fiber, low-fat diet is usually recommended for dogs with diabetes. The fiber should be an insoluble type, which slows digestion and helps your dog feel full. Along with the low fat, which has lesser calories, this feeling of fullness can be an added benefit in helping your dog lose weight if a part of their diabetes treatment plan.

When developing your dog’s diet plan, be sure to avoid foods with added sugars or a large number of carbohydrates — both of these things can cause havoc on your dog’s glucose levels.

What Treats Can My Diabetic Dog Have?

Treats will need to be carefully calculated into your dog’s diet. In many cases, this could amount to roughly 10% of your dog’s daily total nutrients. While we love being able to give our dogs treats when they act so sweet (which is all the time), it’ll take a bit of planning to ensure you stay within the proper dietary parameters.

Just like their food, you’ll want to avoid added sugars and carbohydrates. Proteins are best as they will be low fat. No worries, here are some easy and healthy treats for your dog that will keep them feeling the love from you but also help keep them healthy.

Of course, you’ll want to double-check with your veterinarian if these suggestions will work for your dog and their treatment plan. Who knows, they may have even more diabetic-friendly treat ideas!

Freeze Dried Proteins

Treats that are freeze-dried have had their moisture removed. You can find freeze-dried chicken, beef, and liver treats that your dog will love. They will also enjoy the light, crunchy texture that comes from being freeze-dried.

A special way to give your dog treats while extending the fun is to put them in a treat-dispensing toy, like KONG’s Biscuit Ball, which can hold delicious morsels of food that your dog will go absolutely crazy over. They’ll love chasing the ball around and trying to get the treats loose.

It’s a great tool to combat canine boredom as well as a fantastic way to encourage movement.

Veggie Jerky

Vegetables are healthy snacks, but you aren’t going to see your dog happily crunching on a raw carrot stick. They are ideal for treats, as they are high in fiber and have no added sugars, although there may be a small amount of natural sugar. We just need to make it a little more appealing for your pup.

To make veggies more palatable for your dog, you can turn vegetables into jerky so that your dog has something with a little chew but no harmful ingredients.

Carrots are a great choice for veggie jerky, and the process is so simple. Just blanch some carrots, slice them, and then place them in an oven on low heat until they are dehydrated. They will resemble jerky as they become darker in color.

Scrambled Eggs

Not just for breakfast, your doggy will love a soft and warm scrambled egg as a treat. Hold off on all the spices and seasonings you would add to your eggs, though. These may upset your dog’s tummy, so they just need a plain egg.

Frozen Yogurt Treats

You scream; I’ll scream, our dogs will bark for… frozen yogurt? Yes! This yummy treat will give your dog the satisfaction of creamy ice cream but will fit much better into their diet plan. Low-fat plain yogurt spooned into small dots on a cookie sheet, then placed in the freezer, will give you the perfect yogurt “chips” you can give to your pup on warm days.

You can mix things up by putting fruits on the yogurt as it freezes, like berries or apples. Your pup will happily bark up a storm to get their paws on these “sweetish” slices of heaven.

Keep in mind that dogs can tend to be lactose intolerant, so check for non-dairy variations or even frozen yogurt made just for our pups.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin is another good option for our diabetic buddies. You can give a spoonful or two on its own, with a tiny sprinkle of cinnamon on top; so yummy! Or you can do two treats in 1 and mix them into the previously mentioned frozen yogurt treats.

While you enjoy a pumpkin spice latte for your treat, your pup can enjoy some pumpkin for their treat. We just love twinning with our dogs!

KONG Club: Helping Keep Your Dog Active & Healthy

Diabetes can be a scary diagnosis for your dog. With the continued partnership with your veterinarian and a successful plan put in place, your dog can have an active life. Being a member of the KONG Club keeps being active easy.

Every month you and your dog will love receiving a specially curated box that has been centered around a building block of wellness. Instead of just your dog waiting at the window for the mail truck to come by, you’ll be waiting right along with them. Will it be a race to see who gets to the box first?

You’ll enjoy the tips, advice, and recipes that keep your pet parent toolbox full. Your dog will especially love the toys that come in the box, refreshing their toy box month after month. Our toys will keep your dogs active as their natural instincts as they sniff, chew, and chase.

Additionally, being a member of the KONG Club gives you access to our team of vets from AskVet for all of your diabetes-related questions. They’re a great resource to have in your back pocket whenever you need a quick word.

Join the club today so you can have one membership that gives you and your dog so much! Keep your dog active and yourself well informed with the KONG Club.

Sources:

Diabetes in Pets | American Veterinary Medical Association

Managing canine diabetes | Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

Diabetic Dog Diet | Veterinary Partner

What To Look For in Diabetic Dog Food

Woman feeding her cute dog a pet snack at home

The moment that your trusted vet informs you that your dog is diabetic is often one of concern, as well as some possibly overwhelming feelings. Are you ready to handle this? Is diabetes difficult to manage in dogs? Is your dog currently in any pain?

It is always hard to hear that your dog’s health is anything other than perfect. However, this is when it is crucial to remember that diabetes in dogs is absolutely treatable. With some slight lifestyle changes for both you and your dog, they will be feeling more like their normal selves in no time.

There are multiple steps involved in proper regulation for dogs with diabetes. First, discuss your pet’s condition with a qualified vet. A common recommendation is that a steady routine consisting of two daily insulin shots as well as some dietary changes is best. This will not necessarily be the case for every dog.

These variations in dog care requirements makes access to a veterinary professional so important.

What Is Canine Diabetes?

Diabetes in dogs is a bit different than typical diabetes in humans. Where diabetes in people is broken up into either type 1 or type 2, dogs typically experience a type of diabetes mellitus that has more similarities to type 1. This kind is referred to as “insulin deficiency diabetes.”

Interestingly, this kind of canine diabetes shares so many notable similarities to diabetes in people. Some scientists are using the naturally occurring disease in dogs to help both people and our canine friends alike.

On the other hand, dogs may also experience a type of diabetes that is less common than type 1 in humans. This is referred to as “insulin resistance diabetes.” It is possible that those with this type of diabetes may have another underlying cause of their diabetes. Both types can go into diabetic remission, but it is generally more common for insulin deficiency diabetes.

In essence, diabetes is characterized by an improper creation or reaction to insulin within your dog’s body. Insulin is important as it is used to regulate blood sugar, also referred to as glucose levels. Both humans and dogs get glucose through our food. The insulin then works to transfer it from the blood into the cells, allowing it to become energy. 

What Is Hyperglycemia?

Without proper levels of insulin, glucose cannot complete the transferral process where it moves from the bloodstream to the cells. Instead, it remains in the bloodstream and builds up. Eventually, this may lead to hyperglycemia (an overabundance of glucose in the blood).

Hyperglycemia can lead to a variety of long-term effects that can be dangerous to your dog if left unchecked. Meanwhile, hyperglycemia also manifests as fairly noticeable short-term symptoms that typically serve as the first clues for pet owners that perhaps their dog is in need of a check-up.

What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs?

So far, you have a working knowledge of what exactly diabetes mellitus is and how it affects a dog’s inner workings. Now, it’s time to discuss what signs and symptoms to look out for. Once you recognize these symptoms, make sure to ask a licensed veterinary professional for their qualified opinion.

Elevated Hunger

Since diabetes results in energy not getting to cells, dogs will often feel incredibly hungry regardless of how much they have eaten.

Essentially, the food is not serving its necessary purpose of fueling the body, so your dog will always feel the need to eat more. If you notice your dog has a significantly higher than usual appetite, this could potentially be one of the first signs of diabetes in your dog.

That being said, many dogs will eat whenever given food and seemingly love nothing more than to whine until mealtime comes around. If you have a dog who is already a voracious eater, then this last sign might not be as helpful or noteworthy for you. Luckily, there are some other, more noticeable symptoms to keep an eye out for.

Increased Thirst

This symptom is also seen in many humans with diabetes, but it is entirely possible that you will notice a substantial increase in your dog’s thirst.

In turn, you may also see an increase in how often they have to urinate, as well as how much. These signs are common in diabetes mellitus because the extra sugar in the blood has to be removed from the body somehow. 

Extra Potty Breaks

Rather than being used for energy, how it should be, instead the excess of glucose is dealt with by the kidneys. It is then converted into urine, which can also lead to dehydration and above-average thirst.

If you notice your dog drinking and peeing significantly more than usual without any real cause, it is likely a good idea to take them into the vet’s office.

Weight Changes

Since they are burning through this energy without actually processing it, diabetic dogs can also lose weight even though they are eating more. It is also possible that some dogs could display a decreased appetite at certain stages of their illness. Cloudy eyes can also indicate diabetes in dogs, as can recurring infections.

Some of these symptoms are more noticeable than others. By keeping a close eye on your dog, their habits, and how they are possibly deviating from their normal behaviors, you should be able to see if they are displaying typical signs of diabetes.

Which Food Is Safe for Diabetic Dogs To Eat?

There are perhaps two most important considerations when it comes to determining the best new food for your diabetic dog.

The first of these is the amount of carbohydrates within the food. Second, other than the carb content, the ideal food for your diabetic dog will also be high in fiber.

Look for a Food That Is Low in Carbs

The intake of carbohydrates should be kept to a minimum for diabetics of any species (dogs, cats, humans, etc.) because they can cause blood sugar to spike. Carbs are converted to glucose within the body, so eating too many of them can lead to increased blood sugar levels, which is exactly what should be avoided for diabetic dogs.

Ingredients high in carbs or glucose should be avoided. It is always the best practice to avoid foods that contain corn syrup, sugar, or honey. These will always lead to spikes in blood sugar, so they can be harmful.

Their Food Should Be High in Fiber

While carb content is necessary for finding the proper food for your diabetic dog, it is not the only factor. Actually, clinical studies have found that foods high in insoluble fiber may provide even more benefits than especially low carb counts. 

Insoluble fibers are those that cannot be dissolved in water, also known as “bulking fibers.” These kinds of fibers are so helpful for dogs with diabetes because they slow the digestion process.

While slowing the digestion process might not immediately sound like a benefit, this means that they also lead to a slower absorption of carbohydrates. As a result, dogs will be much less prone to blood sugar spikes due to carbs. Instead, these carbs will be absorbed into the body steadily, rather than all at once: All because of these insoluble fibers!

Does My Dog Need To Go on a Prescription Diet?

The truth is that whether or not your specific dog would do best on a prescription diet especially created for diabetes will depend on a variety of factors. This is when discussing with a veterinarian is absolutely critical.

In some cases, your dog may do well with another type of food that is low in carbs and high in fiber but may not necessarily be formulated specifically for diabetes. Be sure to speak to a vet to decide the exact right amount of food to feed your dog.

Diabetic Dogs Can Live Happy, Healthy Lives

The initial diagnosis of diabetes mellitus in your dog can feel like a blow to the stomach, but many dog owners are pleasantly surprised by just how quickly this upkeep becomes a part of the routine.

Diabetic dogs can absolutely live happy and healthy lives. All it takes is a little bit of extra preparation on your part, as well as an understanding that crafting the perfect treatment plan may take some time.

In addition, diabetes is often changing in pets, so trips to the vet will become more frequent than they previously were in order to keep everything stable. Diet is a crucial part of your diabetic dog’s regulation, so make sure to do your research to find a food that your dog enjoys and also keeps them healthy.

People often say that it takes a village to raise a child. The same can be said for raising dogs! That’s why with the KONG Club app, you can speak to the AskVet licensed veterinarians at any time of the day or night.

After all, especially toward the beginning of you and your dog’s journey with diabetes, questions do not just pop up during regular business hours. Having this reliable and professional resource at your disposal helps to remind you that you are not in this alone. 

 

Sources:

Move Over Mice, Canines May Be Next in Line To Study Diabetes | University of Florida

What’s the Best Diet for My Dog With Diabetes? | Tufts.edu

Diabetes Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats | American Animal Hospital Association

Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet | Mayo Clinic

How To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth: A Step-By-Step Guide

KONG Core Strength

As a pet parent, you love your dog as a member of the family. You love to play with them, take them on walks, and cuddle with them. As you cuddle with your dog, though, their breath may knock you right out! Brushing your dog’s teeth is a surefire way to prevent bad breath from making cuddle moments unpleasant. This habit is also a key preventative measure for any oral health issues as they grow older. 

Continue reading as we discuss how to maintain your dog’s teeth and when to reach out to a vet for more guidance. 

Oral Health in Dogs

One of the most overlooked parts of canine care is their oral health. Unfortunately, overlooking oral health throughout your dog’s life can cause dental and health issues later down the road. You keep your dog’s coat gleaming, their nails nice and short, and their ears squeaky clean. Keeping their teeth shiny and clean is just another aspect of their grooming regime. 

Just like people, your dog’s teeth can form plaque as a result of saliva, food particles, and bacteria. This plaque and bacteria can cause your dog’s breath to smell rather unpleasant.

If this plaque is not removed regularly by brushing, it can harden into calculus. Once plaque hardens into tartar, it can only be removed by a veterinarian. In these cases, dogs are often put under anesthesia.

These cleanings can be costly, and your dog will certainly not enjoy them. Plaque can also cause the gums to become inflamed. This inflammation, called gingivitis, is reversible with proper dental hygiene.

Periodontal Diseases in Canines

As our dogs grow older, their risk of periodontal diseases increases. In fact, up to 80% of dogs will have some varying degree of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a disease of the gums, which can cause the gums to recede. This receding can cause teeth to become loose and require removal.

Diseased gums also invite dental infections. This can create extra work for your dog’s immune system as they can become an easy pathway for germs to enter your dog’s bloodstream. They could quickly become sick. Your veterinarian can also give you additional information on how proper oral hygiene can help prevent further health issues.

Tooth Pain

Tooth pain is not a fun time for our furry friends. Since they cannot speak and tell us what is wrong, they may show that they are in pain by pawing at their mouth, eating less or using one side of their mouth to chew, and excessive drooling.

When your dog is experiencing dental-related pain, they may also be agitated and display aggressive behaviors like nipping or growling if you stroke their head or mouth area.

They also may not enjoy treats as much as they used to. As a parent of a treat-loving dog, you will certainly know that something is wrong when your pet is not interested in their cookies and snacks.

Being proactive and taking care of your dog’s oral health while they are young not only makes it easier to brush their teeth but also prevents any issues that may come with periodontal disease. Evidence also supports that daily brushing is the best way to combat plaque from accumulating on your dog’s teeth. 

If tooth brushing is something that you are beginning with your older dog, you’ll want to make sure that you consult your veterinarian for an initial dental check-up. They may recommend a professional cleaning as a start to improving their dental health. This will also give you a clean slate to work with as you work to make tooth brushing a more consistent part of your dog’s grooming routine. 

How To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

If you have not been brushing your dog’s teeth since they were a puppy, it may take some practice, but soon your dog will be showing their pearly whites with every bark.

Your dog is not going to naturally open their mouth wide and be ready for a teeth cleaning as you would. They will likely open up for a treat or two, though.

When brushing your dog’s teeth, it’s essential to keep things calm and positive. You do not want your dog to associate getting their teeth brushed with negative feelings, as they will not want you to touch the area around their head and mouth if they find teeth cleaning unpleasant. 

Start on a Positive Note

Tooth brushing is a process that may take your dog a little while to get used to. Anytime you brush your dog’s teeth, make sure that both of you are in a calm and positive environment. In the beginning, pet around your dog’s head and mouth while offering praise and treats. 

Once your dog is used to your hands being around their mouth, you can gently put a gauze-wrapped finger under their cheek and rub along their gum line. Of course, keep rewarding your dog with lots of praise and their favorite treats.

We want this activity to be associated with positive things. When you start rubbing your dog’s teeth with the gauze, you can start with their top teeth and move from the front to back. Then move to their bottom teeth and move from the front to the back. 

Once your dog has gotten used to having their gums and teeth rubbed, you can introduce using toothpaste. 

Picking a Toothpaste Geared To Dogs

There are flavors for dogs that they will find pleasant, like chicken or peanut butter. Using specially designed dog toothpaste is crucial because they are formulated differently than human toothpaste. Dogs do not need fluoride as people do. Plus, some dog-specific toothpastes contain enzymes that help remove bacteria and plaque.

It’s safe to assume that your dog will swallow a good bit of the toothpaste, and ingesting too much fluoride can be dangerous for your dog — another reason for using specially formulated products for your dog. Look for the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOCH) seal of approval when you are looking for oral health products to ensure that they are safe for your dog. 

Using the toothpaste on your gauze-covered finger, continue to brush along your dog’s gum line with the toothpaste. Continue this method of cleaning for a few weeks until your dog gets used to the toothpaste.

After this, you can introduce using a toothbrush instead of using your gauze-covered finger. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush; a specially designed dog toothbrush will be your best choice. Continue to praise and reward your dog as you continue this process. 

The ultimate goal is to brush your dog’s teeth daily. If they will tolerate having their teeth brushed every day, it is okay! Any brushing is better than no brushing at all, but trying to fit in at least a few brush sessions a week. You can also consult your veterinarian for any tips and tricks they may have for incorporating brushing into your dog’s routine. 

Oral Health Treats and Toys

In lieu of regular brushing, some dog parents may want to give their dogs treats and toys designed to aid in oral health. Chewing is beneficial for dogs because it helps with plaque removal. Although these treats may aid temporarily in your dog’s breath, your dog will often consume them too quickly to be effective in removing plaque from their teeth. 

If you give your dog toys designed to be chewed for a long time, make sure that they are not too hard. If a toy is too hard, it may damage your dog’s teeth. If you are not able to cause a mark on the toy with your fingernail, the toy is too hard, and it should be avoided. 

Caring For Your Canine’s Canines

Keeping your dog’s oral health in mind is important as a preventative measure. Getting them used to teeth brushing is the best way to accomplish this. It’s important to have access to the best veterinarians when it comes to any questions you may have about brushing your dog’s teeth, as well as any other oral health questions you may have. 

Preventative care is a big deal to us at the KONG Club. That’s why with our KONG Club app, you can contact the vets at AskVet. We want the best for your furriest family member. So, our vets are available 24 hours, seven days a week, for any questions you may have about your dog’s teeth. No appointment is ever needed!

 

Sources:

Tooth brushing inhibits oral bacteria in dogs | NCBI

Dental Home Care Instructions | Animal Health Topics | UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Instructions For Ear Cleaning In Dogs | VCA Animal Hospitals

Veterinary Oral Health Council | VOHC

New Puppy Won’t Eat: 4 Reasons Why

new puppy wont eat 4 reasons why

Your new puppy is a source of joy, laughter, cute moments, and sometimes even anxiety. You are busy trying to keep them from chewing and peeing on everything on site. You’re also making sure they are not trying to eat things that are not good for them (like the smelly trash can they keep making their way towards).

Sometimes though, we may see that our puppy is not interested in the trash can or their food. While this can be a cause for worry, there are several reasons why your puppy may not have an appetite.

Picky Eaters

Just like children, puppies can be picky eaters. This can occur if you have offered your puppy a variety of foods and they have found something they particularly enjoy. They may “strike” until they receive the food they want. You can win this stakeout with a few tips to get your puppy excited for mealtime again.

Here are some key tactics to helping your puppy find their appetite to clean out their bowl:

Meal Enhancement

Like all humans, we would get tired of eating the same thing, prepared the same way, every day. To help your puppy enjoy their food a little more, you can enhance it by changing the way it is prepared. If you are feeding them moist food, you can warm it up a little. You could also mix some dry food into the wet to give the meal a little crunch and variety in texture. 

If you are giving dry food, you could add a little canned food and mix it into the dry kibble. Some warm water, or broth, can also change the texture of the dry kibbles if they are given enough time to soak and soften. 

There are also dog-specific food enhancements, like gravies, that can be poured into food as a flavor enhancement. Try adding at room temperature or warmed up to see which your puppy likes the best. 

When adding anything to your puppy’s food, make sure it is done in gradual amounts to avoid any upset tummies. Your puppy may associate that food with not feeling well and may develop an aversion to that particular preparation. Experiment and see what is appealing to your dog’s tastes.

Bribery

While we won’t say that we condone bribery, when your puppy refuses to eat, you may just have to bribe them with a little human food. You’ll want to work with your vet on this, as there are many foods that are not healthy for dogs.

In general, these options are dog friendly:

Chopped chicken breast – plain with no seasoning

Chicken broth – make sure there is no onion or garlic, and it is low-sodium

Dry scrambled egg – no seasoning

Honey – all-natural, no xylitol 

Green beans – unseasoned

When mixed into their regular food, pups may be bribed into finishing their bowl. Be careful with this, as your pet may become too dependent on these enhancers, especially if they aren’t the best food for a consistently healthy diet. You can wean these enhancers off little by little, so your dog isn’t surprised by not having the same delicious meal they had the day before. 

Any Medications?

If you recently had a visit to the veterinarian’s office, and your puppy is on any medication, this may have affected their appetite.

Consult your veterinarian if you notice your puppy’s appetite has changed after taking any new medication or if they have been switched to a prescription diet. They may consider switching medications or adding an appetite stimulant to help them regain their appetite back. 

If this medication is a temporary one, like an antibiotic, keep monitoring your puppy after they are finished with their medication to see if their appetite returns. 

Environment

Puppies may not want to eat their dinner because their environment is not conducive to eating. If things are not normal for them, they may want to wait until they feel at ease again before eating.

Here are some environmental changes to consider if your puppy does not want to eat:

Temperature – is it too hot or too cold inside or outside? People don’t like big meals when it is hot, and your puppy may be too busy laying in front of the fan or air conditioning vent to eat. They could also be too cold, and their snuggly, warm bed is not a place they want to leave.

Excitement – are you having an event where there are a lot of people at your home? Your puppy may be too excited with all the commotion to eat. There are too many people to see and meet, as they may give belly scratches and say, “Who’s that good dog?”

Change in schedule – If your puppy is used to eating at a certain time, they may not be hungry if their meal is served earlier than usual. Any large change in schedule could throw your puppy off, and they may be more focused on trying to figure out what is going on. 

Teething

Your pup’s little teeth are making an appearance, and you may realize this as shoes and other hard objects make a disappearance. Chewing helps your puppy relieve any pain they are experiencing as their little teeth grow. 

If your puppy is eating dry food, the kibbles may just be too hard on their sore mouth, and they may refuse to eat. You can soften the kibbles by adding warm water or broth. You can also mix in some wet food to provide some soft texture.

Don’t forget to support your pup’s teething pains by offering chew toys. Some chew toys are specially made for teething puppies. Additionally, you can freeze them to provide some cool comfort on those tender gums. 

Illness

When we feel unwell, we usually lose our appetite. The same can be said for dogs and puppies, and if you notice they are not eating, they may not be feeling well.

As you try tricks to try to get your puppy to eat, you may notice that they are symptomatic and are not acting like their usual selves. This is when it is time to worry, as your puppy may be experiencing an illness and need veterinary care. 

Parvo

Parvo is a gastrointestinal illness that is easily spread from dog to dog. A sad fact, parvo is especially lethal in puppies if not treated by a veterinarian. Puppies lose their mother’s immunity as they grow older but haven’t matured enough to fight infections on their own, and parvo can be a major blow to their system. We definitely wish this were not the case, but since it does exist is, it vital to know what to look out for if your puppy refuses to eat.

Lethargy – your puppy seems to have no energy and does not appear interested in anything.

Vomiting

Abdominal Swelling – your puppy’s belly will be very swollen, and they may bark or yelp when touched.

Appetite Loss/Dehydration – your puppy refuses to eat or drink; this dehydration is exacerbated by vomiting and diarrhea. 

If you do see these symptoms, you will need to seek emergency veterinarian care. This will involve giving fluids, antibiotics to prevent secondary infections and round-the-clock care. With treatment, many puppies do survive parvo and lead normal lives after this scary and sad experience. 

Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is a respiratory disease. It is known by the honking noise that dogs make when they cough. Symptoms for kennel cough, of course, include coughing, but lethargy and a loss of appetite could single this condition as well. 

Parasites

When your puppy has parasites, it can affect them through a change of appetite, lethargy, weight loss, vomiting, and a swollen abdomen, among other symptoms.

Parasites can be picked up from outside walks or given by other dogs. If you suspect your puppy is suffering from parasites, they will need to be dewormed and prescribed medication to prevent this from occurring again. 

Time To Eat

Puppy days are among some of the favorite days of being a pet parent. Seeing your little fluffy friend discover the world around them is so much fun and such a big responsibility. You are caring for an animal for life, one that cannot speak for itself and tell you when things are out of sorts.

Our AskVet Veterinarians are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for your puppy’s needs. Whether it’s reassurance that you may have a picky puppy on your hands or if you need a professional opinion on if your dog is ill and what next steps to take—we are here to provide kind and caring care for you and your puppy.

 

Sources:

Canine Parvovirus: Current Perspective | NCBI

Canine Parvovirus | American Veterinary Medical Association

How Do I Get My Picky Pet to Eat? | Tufts University

Picky pet prescription: What to do when your pet won’t eat her prescribed therapeutic diet | Tufts University

What To Look For in Diabetic Cat Food

KONG bat a bout

Just like humans who have diabetes, cats with diabetes must watch what they eat. This means that this task falls on you—cat parent extraordinaire—to make sure that your feline friend has the adequate nutrition they need to stay healthy and keep their diabetes in check.

Diabetes in Cats

Some people may be surprised that cats can be diagnosed with diabetes. Just like humans, cats have a pancreas that produces insulin. Unfortunately, just like humans, the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin (Type I) or the body does not react to insulin in the right way (Type II).

Only around 1% of cats are diagnosed with diabetes. Most cats who have diabetes are diagnosed with Type II. Your cat is especially at risk for diabetes if it is obese. In fact, they can be up to four times more likely to develop diabetes than cats who are at a healthy weight.

If you notice that your cat is drinking and urinating more often than usual, they could potentially be suffering from diabetes. Weakened legs are also a symptom of diabetes. This symptom is not painful for your cat and will likely resolve itself once successful treatment is administered. 

If you do suspect that your cat is living with diabetes, it is important to make an appointment with your veterinarian so they can isolate the culprit. Your cat may not have diabetes; an increase in thirst and urination could also be caused by kidney disease or a urinary tract infection.

Your veterinarian will run several tests to determine if diabetes is the cause of the symptoms your cat is exhibiting. Undiagnosed diabetes can be harmful to your cat if left untreated. Luckily, diabetes in cats is often very treatable with insulin and diet. 

Insulin Treatment

Your veterinarian will determine the correct amount of insulin your cat should be given, as it is dependent on several factors. Most of the time, your cat should be given insulin twice a day, twelve hours apart, and after your cat eats.

Your veterinarian’s clinic will help teach you how to give your cat these injections. Cats usually respond well to receiving insulin injections. You may be nervous giving your furry friend injections, but with the right guiding hand and community, you’ll soon be confident providing your cat with the insulin they need. 

It is essential that your cat has regular checkups when they are on insulin, as the dosage may need to be adjusted as their diabetes is more easily controlled. Some cats even go into remission when being treated for diabetes.

It’s essential to keep a check on their blood sugars as your cat can become ill if given too much insulin. Regular appointments and tests will help determine if their diabetes is being managed effectively and if their insulin needs to be adjusted.

Diet

Along with insulin, your cat’s diet is an important component of keeping their diabetes in check. As obesity is a common factor in the diagnosis of diabetes, a closely monitored diet can help with your cat shedding some of its weight. Being able to maintain blood sugar becomes easier when your cat is at an ideal weight.

When utilizing a diabetic-friendly diet for your cat while trying to whittle some weight away, calorie counting is essential. Some diabetic-friendly cat food can be heavy on calories, so selecting a food with higher fiber and lower calories helps to create a calorie deficit.

Fiber can help your cat feel full but is lower in calories than other diabetic cat foods. Measuring your cat’s food is important so you can keep track of the nutrition they are ingesting. 

High protein, low carbohydrate diets are also beneficial for diabetic cats. If your cat is underweight or at their ideal weight, this type of diet is ideal with close monitoring. Overweight cats may want to avoid this type of diet at first as it can be high in calories and can make weight loss more difficult. If your cat has kidney issues, low carbohydrate diets may not be a good fit. 

When proposing different diets for your diabetic cat, your vet will need to consider if your cat will actually eat the new brand of food. Some cats are extremely picky. For those cats, your vet should never suddenly change their food type, especially when they are sick.

If their food is abruptly changed and they don’t like it, they could stop eating completely. This could potentially have fatal consequences. If there is a preferred food option, it should be introduced slowly to see if the cat will accept it. 

Treats Treats With Caution

Additionally, as much as you may love to give treats to your kitty, you must calculate this nutrition into your cat’s diet. You can still carve room in the diet plan for treats, as they are a great way to keep things positive with your cat (and they may be a little grumpy with their new diet plan). 

There are also several other considerations when selecting your cat’s diabetic cat food. You want your cat to be as happy as possible. With care, diet adjustments can be a big life change for the better for your feline friend.

Dry or Canned Food?

Diabetic cat foods can come in dry or wet food types. Cats are true carnivores and may enjoy the taste and consistency of canned food more than dry kibble. Of course, we know that our furry pals can have their own opinion on the food they like to eat.

Some cats prefer the consistency and taste of dry food; this is okay as well. Dry food is higher in carbohydrates, so if your cat does prefer dry food, this is an important nutritional marker to keep track of.

Since dry food is less hydrating than canned food, you’ll need to keep a close eye on your cat to ensure they are drinking enough water to avoid becoming too dehydrated. 

While this is a minor note, dry food is generally better at promoting well-maintained teeth. Wet food can lead to a slight increase in plaque and tartar accumulation, but this would not be a reason to select dry over canned food. 

Other considerations such as palatability, fat, carbohydrate, and protein needs are always the most important here when looking for the best food for your pet. No matter what type of food you feed your cat, make sure to clean their teeth regularly

High Protein or High Fiber?

Obese cats may find more luck losing weight when on a high fiber diet, but overall high protein is more beneficial for your diabetic cat. In a study conducted on specialized diets for diabetic cats, their necessary insulin levels were decreased in a majority of cats when they were switched from a high fiber to a high protein diet

On the other hand, there is still evidence to show that cats who are fed a high-fiber diet can have their insulin dosage reduced. However, high protein diets do show that a higher percentage have their insulin reduced when compared to a high fiber diet. Ultimately, it is best to consult your veterinarian as every cat is unique.

Since remission is a possibility for cats with diabetes, feeding your cat a high-protein diet can be beneficial in helping your kitty no longer need insulin. 

Other Considerations

If your cat is obese but enjoys a higher protein diet, there is still a way for them to lose weight—exercise. Not that your kitty has to hit the gym, but incorporating playtime is a great way to assist with weight loss.

Working with your veterinarian, gradually increase playtime with your cat using different toys, like a KONG laser or KONG Bat-A-Bout. You can also place their treats in engaging cat toys – like a Kitty KONG, which require them to play with the toy for the treat to be dispensed. 

If weight loss is a priority for your cat, an option would be to utilize a high fiber diet to help lose the extra weight and then slowly switch to a high protein diet. Working closely with your veterinarian is critical because as your cat loses weight, they may need their insulin adjusted. 

Healthier Today, Happier Tomorrow

When it comes to choosing a diabetic cat food, there are numerous options available. Although a high protein diet has been shown to reduce insulin levels needed in cats, it can be higher in calories. If your cat is obese, it may need a high fiber diet to help them feel more full while consuming fewer calories.

Of course, you should always consult with your veterinarian when choosing a diabetic cat food, as there may be specific nutritional values that your cat may need to meet to help their insulin be more effective. 

When you are unsure about your cat’s symptoms or want to discuss diabetic cat foods, our KONG Club by AskVet veterinarians are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are knowledgeable experts who can help point you in the right direction of obtaining the best care for your furry best pal!

 

Sources:

Feline Diabetes | Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

Caring For Your Diabetic Cat | Tufts University

Don’t Sugar Coat It: The Best Diets for Cats with Diabetes | Tufts University

Use of a high-protein diet in the management of feline diabetes mellitus | NCBI

Comparison of a low carbohydrate-low fiber diet and a moderate carbohydrate-high fiber diet in the management of feline diabetes mellitus | NCBI

Feline Diabetes | Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

How Big Will My Puppy Get?

“Wow! What a beautiful puppy! Oh, he’s going to be a big boy! Just look at the size of those paws!” If you’ve recently brought a puppy home, congratulations! Secondly, if you didn’t get a look at its parents because they weren’t available or you adopted a rescue, then you may be wondering just what to expect in terms of its growth and ultimate size. It’s a reasonable and common question to encounter, and there are a lot of old legends and assumptions out there about how you should be able to tell how big your puppy will grow, based on things like what were just mentioned. Some of them contain a bit of truth, while others… well… they really don’t have much of anything to do with anything.

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5 Healthy Recipes to Stuff in Your Dog’s KONG

5 Healthy Recipes to Stuff in Your Dog’s KONG

Since 1970, KONG toys have been a household name for dog owners, and with good reason! Not only are many of our toys durable for play, but they also double as a physically and mentally stimulating way for pups to eat. The KONG Classic in particular is a fan-favorite, and can be filled with anything from peanut butter to frozen kibble. If you’re wanting to indulge your dog in a special treat that’s still good for them, stuff their KONG with one of these healthy recipes. 

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10 Healthy Human Foods for Dogs

10 Healthy Human Foods for Dogs

Ever been eating at the dinner table only to find your furry friend begging for scraps? While it can be harmful to feed them leftovers for a variety of reasons (seasonings, potential weight gain, etc.), there are several foods that are excellent supplements to your dog’s diet. If you have a pup that needs to lose weight or you just want to keep them in top shape, nutritious treats support their overall well-being and are a great motivator to get them moving. Here are some healthy human foods you can feel good about giving your dog.  

Carrots

We all know dogs love to chew, which is why it’s no surprise that many dogs love these crunchy veggies. If you have a puppy that’s teething, try freezing them. It’ll not only make the carrots last longer, but it will feel good on their sore gums. In addition to supporting their dental health, carrots can improve their vision. 

Salmon

Is your dog’s coat looking a little dull? Salmon is full of fatty acids that help your pup’s coat shine and hydrate their skin. It also keeps their heart healthy and builds immunity. Just be sure that it’s fully-cooked before you feed it to your pup. Or if you want an easier alternative, give them salmon oil. 

Peanut Butter

A treat dogs go nuts for! Peanut butter is a great source of protein. However, make sure you check the label — some brands use xylitol, which is toxic for dogs – do not feed your dog peanut butter containing xylitol. To keep your dog occupied for a while, place peanut butter in a KONG Classic. 

Coconut

Coconut benefits both coats and bodies. It can aid digestion, reduce coughing and inflammation, and balance out thyroids, which is helpful if you’re focusing on weight loss or your dog needs more energy. It can be fed to dogs in several forms, including coconut oil. Warning: Adding to kibble may cause extra excitement at meal time. 

Pumpkin

Packed with nutrients, pumpkin is a filling snack that supports your pup’s overall health. It’s also full of fiber, which regulates your dog’s digestive system if they’re struggling with diarrhea. Stuff pumpkin in their favorite toy or create a delicious feast with this recipe

Green Beans

A vet-recommended food. Why, you ask? One, they can be consumed in any form: canned, cooked, or raw. However, if you do cook green beans, make sure they’re free of seasoning — especially salt, onion, and garlic. Two, they’re full of vitamins and fiber while being low in calories. 

Eggs

Eggs are full of fatty acids and vitamins, making them a fantastic treat. All parts of the egg, including the shell, are beneficial for dogs to eat. Serve them hard boiled or scrambled. When you scramble them, avoid using butter and instead use a healthier alternative like coconut oil. 

Cucumbers

The perfect snack for a chunky pup. If your furry friend needs to shed a few pounds, cucumbers are a nutritious treat that provide energy without extra carbs, fats, or oils. 

Apples

Another crunchy food dogs adore. Apples have Vitamin A and C, as well as fiber. Be careful, though, because the seeds are harmful for your canine friend. Always cut apples up first and check for seeds. 

Sweet Potatoes

The kind of comfort food that will have your dog begging for more. While they are most popular around Thanksgiving, your dog will love them any time of the year. Sweet potatoes can help your dog’s digestive system, plus they’re low in fat. If you really want to spoil your furry friend, make this dog-friendly recipe

If you’ve never fed your dog these foods before, be sure to start in moderation. Dogs have very sensitive systems, so it’s better to err on the side of caution than to deal with the aftermath of an upset stomach. 

To get even more treats — and toys perfect for filling them with — try out KONG Club. We offer monthly dog subscription boxes and a mobile app customized to your and your pet’s needs, all at an incredible value.