The Wet Nose Press Pet Blog


October 14, 2016
by Lynn Merton

Nutritional Needs of Your Kitten

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While many people will tell you that the needs of your kitten are the same as an adult cat, you should be aware that the little one’s diet has to be given far more attention. The key to understanding a kitten’s dietary requirements is to keep in mind that a kitten grows at a tremendous rate during the first few weeks. This is the period when your kitten will be very active- a ball of energy. As such, the need to maintain the energy levels of a kitten, together with providing ample nutrition to aid in its growth, become very important. By keeping this in mind, you will have a fair idea as to how, when and what to feed the little one.

Understand your kitten’s hunger-cycle

A simple rule of thumb is that kittens need to be fed almost 3 to 4 times a day. As mentioned earlier, your kitten’s highly energetic activities would mean a greater need for food. Add to this rapid growth that is happening in the first few weeks. Pay close attention to your kitten’s need for food. Make a note of when and how many times your kitten asks to be fed, and how much it eats each time. Gradually you will see a pattern in this. Follow this cycle for a few months till the growth has slowed down, after which you can try something different.

Kittens need food that are high on energy

Besides the number of times you feed your kitten, you should also focus on what you feed your kitten. Find out foods that are suitable for kittens and are excellent sources of energy as well. This includes healthy fat, vitamins and most importantly, protein. You can consult with a vet or any other expert about foods that are rich sources of these nutrients. The safest option would be to buy kitten food, as they would already have been made using all the nutrients essential for a kitten’s growth.

Home-made food or commercial food?

Making up the perfectly balanced kitten food at home can be difficult. The kitten’s precise age, weight, health and other such conditions have to be paid close attention to. Sources of protein may not give adequate amount of calcium; while sources of calcium will not give your kitten any vitamins. If you have the time and means, you can consult a vet or dietician specialized in animal diets to provide wholesome meals for your kitten. Alternately, you can simply rely on commercially made foods as they already contain all the required nutrients.

Do not forget to make clean water available for your kitten. It is important that cats, especially in their infancy, should remain hydrated all the time.


October 13, 2016
by Lynn Merton

Dog Dementia: Watch Out for These Signs

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Dementia is a severe condition and humans aren’t the only ones to be affected by it. Even dogs can end up suffering from dementia as they grow older. Dementia in dogs is referred to as canine dementia or clinically, “Canine Cognitive Dysfunction”. Dementia basically involves brain deterioration and the loss of cognitive functions. Like humans, it is the older dogs that are normally affected by dementia. But, there are cases where even dogs as young as 6 have been diagnosed with dementia. So, it isn’t purely an age-related condition.

In fact, in younger dogs, there could be an underlying condition that’s causing dementia. So, it’s best to take him/her to the vet. The cause of canine dementia remains unknown. However, medical experts suspect that it has something primarily to do with the affected dog’s genes.
So, whether you have an elderly dog or a young one, these are the signs of dementia you need to be looking out for.

Confusion and disorientation
If you start noticing that your dog is suddenly confused or disoriented, it could be that dementia has begun to set in. This is especially true if your dog happens to be quite old. What should really alert you to this is if your dog isn’t normally “clueless”.

Loss of interest in activities
As a younger version of himself/herself, your dog might have shown plenty of enthusiasm towards playing or indulging in outdoor activities. However, if she begins to show a loss of interest in such activities as age catches up, it could be an early sign of dementia.
But, as mentioned earlier, do not always consider age as a primary factor. Even if your younger dog shows this symptom, consult a vet immediately.

Disregard for rules
If your dog has been trained well and begins to disregard his/her training all of a sudden, you could be looking at dementia. Of course, there is a small chance that he/she might be just acting out. However, well trained dogs don’t do that too often. Also, if your dog is old, it is, most likely, dementia.

Dogs affected by dementia lose the ability to recognize their surroundings and even lose memory of objectives. You can find them roaming around aimlessly. In fact, they‘ll even stare at walls or other objects without any purpose.

Dogs that once used to known every nook and corner of the house will begin to lose track of entrances and exits. This is another strong symptom of dementia. They also lose memory of where they used to relieve themselves or take a nap etc. If you start seeing these symptoms in your dog repeatedly, it would be a good idea to visit your vet and seek out treatment for dementia.


October 13, 2016
by Lynn Merton

Do Pets Get Depressed?

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When it comes to pets, owners tend to become extra concerned with even the slightest change or odd behavior. It’s understandable. We all love our pets like our own family.

Speaking of odd concerns, one of the most common ones that veterinarians come across involves the topic of depression. They keep getting complaint from owners stating that their dog/cat seems depressed. More often than not, it just happens to be that the animal in question just happens to be lazy or lethargic.

However, all this brings us to the primary question – can animals experience depression?

The simple answer to that question would be “Yes! Animals do get depression”. Pet depressions is the same as human depression and not as rare as one might think.

How is it caused?

There are a wide range of reasons that lead to pet depression. It could be something as simple as a routine change or something more complex like the death of a human or even another pet. Animals do experience sorrow and sometimes, this can escalate into depression.

Dogs, specially, have been known to show signs of depression often. This is because dogs are, by nature, pack animals and isolation often triggers depression in them. Similarly, there are also other animals/pets that experience depression when left alone.

Another reason for animal depression has a lot to do with biology. Like humans, even animals have hormones and chemicals carrying out various bodily functions. An imbalance in these hormones/chemicals can trigger depression.

Other than that, particular illnesses have also known to cause depression in animals.

Symptoms and treatment for pet depression

Not all animals show the same signs of depression. In general, it is best to have a good idea of your pet’s usual behavior. When your pet begins to deviate from his/her normal behavior and continues this for prolonged periods of time, it would be safe to assume that he/she has depression.

Common behavioral signs of depression in animals include anxiety, destructive behavior, aggression, loss of interest, excessive sleeping, loss of appetite, pacing, and moping etc.

As for treatment options, they depend on what triggered the depression in the first place. It is best to consult your veterinarian in this case. Your vet will likely carry out some blood work and other examinations to first determine if it’s truly a case of depression.

Once the vet is sure, he/she will suggest the ideal treatment.

For example, a grief induced depression is normally treated by increasing playtime and other activities. Your pet must get all the mental and physical stimulation he/she needs in order to recover fully.

If the depression is caused due to isolation, he/she will have to socialize more. So, a few play dates with other dogs and even, humans, should do him/her some good.

So, do talk to your vet for more on this topic.


October 11, 2016
by Lynn Merton

Here is How Pets Boost Your Health

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It’s great to have a pet at home. They’re fun to play with and looking at their smiley faces after a tough day at work can make you forget all your worries. However, their benefits don’t just end there. They do so much more for us. For instance, so many dogs serve as seeing-eye dogs for blind people. Some dogs are trained to even detect seizures or offer therapy for various conditions.

At the end of the day, pets are like the best companions we could ask for. Now, science tells us that they have a direct impact on our health

Humans and animals share a certain bond and this bond seems to have a very positive impact on human health. Of course, there’s still a lot more to study and understand. Even so, it has been found through certain studies that having pets boosts the health of the pet owner.

Here are a few examples.

Physical health

It has been observed that animals, as companions, can positively impact the health of your heart by regulating your heart rate and reducing blood pressure. This is especially true in stressful scenarios.

In a study conducted in 2002, researchers observed changes in blood pressure and heart rate among cat and dog owners. They compared the results with those of people who did not own any pets. It was found that pet-owners, when under stress, had lower blood pressure levels and a lower resting heart rate than those who did not own pets. The pet-owners were also likely to have fewer spikes in their blood pressure levels and heart rate during stressful scenarios. In fact, they even recovered faster from a raised heart rate or blood pressure levels.

To create a stressful scenario, the participants were asked to perform a math related task. So, it was also found that pet owners made fewer errors compared to those who did not own pets.

In a similar study, it was found that having a dog was more effective in lowering blood pressure compared to an actual medication for hypertension known as an ACE inhibitor.

There are several other studies that show how even stroking a pet can bring down blood pressure levels.

Pain reduction

It was found that people who suffer from pain caused conditions such as migraines or arthritis were in need of fewer pain medications.
A study conducted by Loyola University found that patients, who had undergone joint replacement surgery, required only half the normal amount of post-operative pain medications after they interacted with therapy dogs.

Another study conducted at a pain clinic in Pittsburgh found that patients suffering from fibromyalgia experienced less stress, fatigue and pain after interacting with dogs for just 15 minutes before their appointment.

For your pet to boost your health, it is first important for your pet to be healthy and happy. Make sure you feed your pet nutritious food and get them regularly checked by a vet.


October 10, 2016
by Lynn Merton

Can Your Smoking Harm Your Pet?

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If you are a smoker, there is possibly no way for you to have not heard about the harm cigarettes and tobacco can cause. However, you still continue to smoke for a wide range of reasons, which, is fine considering that it’s ultimately your choice to do so. But, there are other “people” around you who have no choice and the ones we are taking about aren’t the two legged kind. Yes! We’re talking about your pet. In case, you weren’t aware, pets are vulnerable to cigarette smoke and your habit is probably ruining their health.

You’re probably wondering how your smoking habits can affect your dog or cat etc. Well, it all has to do with second-hand smoke. second-hand smoke refers to the smoke you exhale and release into the air. This is unknowingly inhaled by the people and other animals around you. Apart from second-hand smoke, you also have what is known as third-hand smoke. Third-hand smoke is the residual smoke left on furniture, fur, skin etc. Both, second-hand and third-hand smoke are just as deadly as the smoke you inhale as a smoker.

Research based evidence
There have been several studies conducted to understand the effect of second and third-hand smoke on animals. Most of them have offered the conclusion that pets are harmed as a result of the owner’s smoking habit. For example, A Tufts University study, conducted in 2002, found that second-hand smoke and cancer in cats were linked. The study investigated cats living with owner who smoked. It was found that these cats had double the chance of developing feline cancer compared to cats living in non-smoking homes. Around 3 out of 4 cats die of lymphoma every year.

In 1998, a study, conducted by Colorado University and published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that dogs living with smokers had a higher incidence of sinus cancer and nasal tumors than dogs that lived in smoke-free environments. It was also observed that breeds with longer snouts, such as the German Shepherd or Labrador/Golden Retriever, were more susceptible to these problems. What’s worse is that dogs affected by these conditions die within a year or so.

The good news
But, it’s all not bad. There is some good news for owners and animal lovers. A study conducted in 2008 and published in the Journal of Tobacco Control, found that around 1/3rd of pet-owners who smoked would be motivated to quit if they knew the dangers that second-hand smoke posed to their pets.
So, if you’re an animal lover, do let your smoking and pet-owning friends known about this. If you’re a pet owner, you have one more excellent reason to drop the habit.