A Broken Heart: Exploring the Link Between Grain-Free Diets and Cardiac Disease in Dogs

Cardiac disease in dogs has been linked to dog food nutrition

As pet owners and animal lovers, we want the best for our furry family members. That means feeding them a high-quality, nutritious diet. With major advances in our understanding of pet nutrition and a broader availability of commercial pet food, this task has has never been easier. Human diet trends, such as paleo, organic, vegetarian, and grain-free, have also infiltrated the pet world, leading to more and more choices, along with more and more confusion.

Unfortunately, some devastating side effects have resulted from these incredible improvements in pet nutrition, specifically the recent incidents of cardiac disease in dogs.

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National Pet Diabetes Month is Coming Up!

Pet diabetes can be an outcome of pet obesity

Nationwide, it is estimated that 1 in 300 adult dogs and 1 in 230 adult cats have diabetes. These may seem like staggering statistics, but as the numbers of affected pets rise, more people are becoming aware and educated about the prevalence of the disease. With National Pet Diabetes Month, we hope to help pet owners learn about the ways to prevent and treat this common health condition.

Diabetic Details

Glucose, the body’s main source of energy for cells, is controlled by the hormone insulin. There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 involves a lack of insulin production. Type 2 pet diabetes is the inability to correctly respond to insulin.

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What Every Pet Owner Should Know About Pets and People Food

Pets and people food can be a threat to pet nutrition

There’s no question that a high-quality, nutritionally balanced, life-stage appropriate pet food is the ideal diet for any pet. Although our companions don’t need quite the same range of foods and nutrients that we do, adding some variety to their diet can be fun and easy (and healthy!).

While pets and people food are generally a recipe for disaster, there are some foods that are just fine for animals to eat. The trick is knowing which ones are safe and which ones to avoid. Let the team at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital offer some guidance!

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Cats and Milk: A Case of Lactose Intolerance

Cats and milk don't lend themselves to a healthy cat.

Would you feed a stray dog a full saucer of cow’s milk? Probably not. But a stray cat begging at the back door of a farm house will invariably be fed from a cow’s udder. This disparity between these two popular domestic mammals may cause some head-scratching, but despite the fact that cats cannot effectively digest cow’s milk, they continue to be offered bowls of it. Cats and milk have gone together for ages, but the product of their alliance is anything but pretty.

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Good Manners, Good Fun: Dog Park Etiquette 101

Dog park etiquette can make playing with your dog funRocklin, California is certainly a great place to live if you’re a dog. Our summers are beautiful, our winters are mild, and the opportunities for outdoor fun are endless. In fact, dog parks are often on the agenda for pets and owners alike, but are you and your dog observing proper dog park etiquette?

Ready to Go?

To owners, the dog park can seem like a magical place. Pets can burn off excess energy and make friends, all while remaining leash-free. However, before heading out to one of the many dog parks in Rocklin or Roseville, it’s important to make sure your dog is prepared to hang out in such a setting. Continue…

How to Enrich Your Cat’s Environment

Cats are naturally curious – we all know that! And it is true that indoor cats are safer and live longer lives than their outdoor counterparts. After all, they don’t have to contend with predators, cars, or other cat-induced injuries. However, how do we make sure that our feline friend doesn’t pine away at the door, wishing for freedom?

Enter: environmental enrichment for cats. This buzzword has become the term most associated with how to help your cat find stimulation and entertainment indoors. And, there are a plethora of ideas! We’ve decided to share some of our favorites.

Basic Instincts

Cats have certain innate and natural instincts that they need to pursue if they are going to be truly healthy and happy. These include hunting, surveying territory from a perch, scratching, and climbing. When in the wild (or outdoors), cats have many opportunities to exercise these behaviors. Indoors, it’s our job to mimic the conditions that cats need so they can practice these natural instincts in the safety of their home. Continue…

Essential Tips for Camping and Hiking with Your Dog

If you’re planning a great escape with your best fur friend, you’re in luck! Summer in our area brings ample opportunities to hike and camp. However, when it comes to your pet, you can never be too careful. Camping or hiking with your dog means taking extra precautions to protect their health and safety. Let’s take a moment to review some of the finer points of enjoying the great outdoors with your canine companion. Continue…

Therapeutic Diets for Pets: Why Nutrition Can Benefit Pets With Medical Conditions

Therapeutic Diets for pets can help with an array of pet health conditionsPet food has come a long way from the table scraps people used to feed their pets. It wasn’t until the 20th century that the idea came along that, yes, pets also need the right nutrition. From organic options to grain-free foods, specialty diets now flood the market. In fact, the pet food aisle can be downright confusing and overwhelming for some people.

Pets with medical conditions are no exception, with many products available that aim to alleviate conditions or at least slow their progression. Indeed, specialty diets are invaluable components of treatment programs and can support a pet’s overall well-being.   Continue…

Help! I Have an Overweight Pet!

An overweight pet is not funny, nor is it good for pet healthHave the winter blahs left your pet with a few extra pounds around the middle? Have you noticed that you both are sitting on the couch a wee bit too much? As we welcome the return of the longest (and sunniest) days of the year, it’s easier than ever to get motivated to shed those few extra pounds.

Not sure if you have an overweight pet? Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital is here with some tips for how to tell if your pet is at the correct weight, and if not, provide some help for your overweight pet.

Why Is Pet Weight Important?

According to the latest veterinary surveys, over 50% of our pets in the U.S. are now either overweight or obese. That means that 80 million pets! Just like in people, pets who are overweight are at greater risk for developing debilitating disease, such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and many forms of cancer.

In addition, because pets age so much faster than we do, you can expect to see these diseases pop up even earlier in their lives. In fact, studies show that pets who are leaner live a full 2 years longer then their heavier counterparts. Continue…

Do I Need to Change Pet Food According to Age?

You should select a pet food according to age for proper pet nutrition and pet healthA walk through the food aisle at your local pet supply store is likely to have your head swimming. There are diets for puppies, large breed seniors, small breed puppies, and more. There is cat food, senior cat food, food for cats with sensitive stomachs, and food for cats who live indoors. There are even pet foods geared towards certain breeds.

Likely, you have found a diet that works well for your pet and have stuck with it. But do you need to change your pet food according to age? The answer isn’t always clear cut. Lucky for you (and your animals) our expert veterinarians at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital are happy to help you select the right food for your pet.

Importance of Pet Nutrition

This well-known phrase – you are what you eat is actually quite accurate. A balanced diet is the foundation of good health in our pets.

A solid nutritional foundation is important in order to support: Continue…