Pets Health

  • Heartworm Pills for Pooches

    “That’s a tricky question,” says Shannon Hudzik, VMD, at Carmel Holistic Veterinary Clinic in California. The good news is you don’t have to worry about heartworm-infected mosquitoes biting your dog until the temperature has remained above 57 degrees for two weeks.

    My vet pushes me to give my dog heartworm pills each spring. Are the drugs really necessary?
  • Soothe Patches' Scratches

    Does your dog scratch himself silly this time of year? Like you, he may be allergic to early-summer pollens and molds. But steroid-based itch treatments can cause diabetes, osteoporosis, and liver disease, warns Shawn Messonnier, DVM, holistic vet and author of The Natural Health Bible for Dogs and Cats (Three Rivers Press, 2001). Here are natural ways to fight the itch.

    by O'Rya Hyde-Keller
  • Keep Kitty Hydrated

    Many cats scowl at the sight of water. “Cats evolved in deserts, so they can conserve water and don’t have high thirst drives like dogs,” explains Christine A. Bellezza, DVM, codirector of Cornell University’s Feline Health Center.

    By Rita Colorito
  • Bust Buster's Stress

    Ease an anxious pup’s mind with this calming recipe from Made Out of Love: Recipes to Prepare for (and Sometimes Share With) Your Animal Companion (The Honest Kitchen, 2009) by Lucy Postins, founder of The Honest Kitchen natural pet food company.

    1 cup organic oats or millet
    1 chamomile tea bag
    1 cup hot filtered water

  • Cat Scratch Fever Relievers

    >> Cover couch bases, end-table legs, and dust shams with aluminum foil, or slap on strips of double-sided tape. Neither make for fetching decor, but crinkly foil noises and tacky adhesive deter scratch-happy cats.

    Does Kitty stratch at your sofa or claw up the chaise lounge? Safeguard your furniture without resorting to the declaw faux pas.
    By Melaina Juntti
  • Doggie Diarrhea

    The most common cause of diarrhea in dogs is eating something they shouldn’t have. To treat what I call “garbage gut,” it’s best to not feed your dog for 24 hours, while making sure he gets plenty of water. Diarrhea is often a detox: Your dog has put junk in, and he’s got to get the junk out.

    What likely caused this, and what can I do to relieve him?
    By Carvel G. Tiekert, DVM
  • Cat Got Your Grass?

    Maybe they need a fiber fix. Maybe they’re just bored. Vets aren’t exactly sure why cats like to chomp on grass and houseplants, but the fact is many felines do. To protect your peace lilies and keep kitty from getting sick from ingesting poisonous plants, grow him a patch of organic cat grass.

    By Melaina Juntti
  • Cushing's in Pets

    Luckily several natural solutions can help this adrenal disorder. Technically called hyperadrenocorticism, Cushing’s disease causes the adrenal glands to overproduce hormones, particularly corticosteroids, which can cause increased thirst and urination, panting, high blood pressure, and even hair loss.

    My 12-year-old Boston terrier was just diagnosed with Cushing's. Can I do anything natural to manage this disease?
    Answered by Shawn Messonnier, DVM
  • Play Ruff

    Unlike many of us, our dogs can’t wait to work out—go for a run, sprint up and down the stairs, or just chase their tails. They know it’s fun, and we know it keeps them healthy, burns calories, and increases muscle tone. But daily exercise plays a role in their emotional well-being (read: sanity) too.

    By Kelli Rosen
  • 5 Easy Ways to Keep Kitty Healthy

    1. Feed your cat about 90 percent meat (including fat), about 10 percent veggies, and very little added carbohydrates. Home-cooked meals are best, but a high-quality natural cat food makes a good runner-up; canned foods usually contain more meat and fewer carbs than dry foods. Serve kitty’s food at room temperature or a little warmer to make it more readily digestible.

    By Nora Simmons