coconut for dog

Is it true coconut can be good for dogs?

From oil to coconut meat to coconut flour, coconut in many forms can be beneficial to add to your pet’s diet. Coconut oil can reduce inflammation, improve skin troubles, and fur. Coconut flour is a great substitute for wheat, a known allergen to some dogs.

Other potential nutritional benefits of coconut

Although widely anecdotal, scientific studies show coconut in all its forms has promise to help with a multitude of issues dogs may suffer from. As with humans, the study of affectiveness and benefit of coconut is still being researched. However we do know a few definative truths.

Coconut is proven to be:

  • Antibacterial
  • Natural probiotic
  • Rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCT)
  • Rich In Lauric Acid

In 2013 a study of Older Beagles showed an improvement of cognitive brain function after adding the supplement of MCT to their diet

Coconut has the potential to help with the following issues.

  • Joint pain
  • Inflammation and circulation
  • Improves digestion
  • Brain function in older pets
  • Freshens breath
  • Beneficial as a tooth cleaner
  • Diabetes

Why Coconut Flour?

There are several reasons why coconut flour is a good choice for your dog or cat especially if your pet has a wheat allergy. Coconut flour is gluten-free, it is considerably lower in calories than other flours. coconut is higher in fiber and protein than wheat flour. For pups that are a little chonky yet motivated by food, treats made with coconut flour could be a beneficial healthy option.

“Coconut meat is high in lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid. In less scientific terms, this basically means that the body is able to absorb the molecules whole, using them as a direct source of energy. Lauric acid is particularly good at fighting off viruses, such as influenza. It also helps treat yeast infections, ringworm, and Giardia. It also holds some major anti-inflammatory properties — it has greatly reduced swelling in rats during laboratory studies.”

American Kennel Club
dog treats, organic dog treats, healthy dog treats

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil can be added directly to your pet topically. It can help with dry itchy patches and it can help maintain a shiny healthy coat. It is a great moisturizer for dry cracked paw pads as well. There is no reason to be concerned it your pet licks it off as it is not harmful.

In Sri Lanka Coconut oil is commonly used to treat mange and repel ticks

It can also be added to pet food as a supplement. Often times dog like the taste so it should be pretty easy to convince even a picky dog.

When adding to food a good rule of thumb is 1 tsp per 10lbs of weight

Cookbook for dogs

Can coconut flour be good in dog treats?

YES! Using coconut flour in whole or in part can be a great lower-calorie high protein treat your dog can enjoy.

However, “Flour” sounds a little misleading. Coconut flour is the meaty flesh of the coconut that has been dried and ground finely into a fine flour. It is an exciting ingredient to work with because it is very absorbent. When substituting coconut flour for a traditional flour like wheat, it is common to only add 1/2 the amount of flour. It does retain a coconut smell and flavor.

Dogs seem to have more of a sweet tooth than cats.

At home, we tried these. The dog enjoyed them and didn’t seem to notice the coconut, however, the cat is a little pickier.

dog treats, organic dog treats, healthy dog treats

As with most things, moderation is the key. But, Coconut is considered safe and overall it is good for dogs. It can be a great addition to a pet’s diet. Even dogs like a varied snack. Whether you want to start with some coconut oil in their food, on their fur, or as an ingredient in a tasty treat, please start with a small amount to rule out any unexpected allergies or tummy upsets. Always check with your veterinarian before trying new dietary changes.

dental tooth cat

We need to address the cat with bad stinky breath

Oh my, please don’t sit near my face until we have a chat. Pizza cat you have a stinky breath thing, going on what is UP little Dude?

pal of the week Pizza

Normally this is not an issue with my guy. However, over the months he has been enjoying wet food more and more, and fewer crunchies. He is showing no other signs of illness. Although dental issues can be a concern, firstly, a breath “mint” or dental stick or treat is a quick, economical, and hopefully easy solution.

Reasons for Halitosis (bad breath) in cats

It happens to us all from time to time. Cats are primarily carnivores and let’s face it eating meat is not kind to your breath all the time. Tuna is stinky. Food stuck between teeth can smell too and cats don’t generally floss.

Maybe you need some more veggies in your diet guy!

One of the most common reasons behind a cat’s stinky breath is a dental issue. Plaque build-up, gingivitis, or a tooth infection. can be hard for us pet parerts to diagnose, but it is something to keep in mind if you notice any of the following.

  • Drooling
  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting more often with no hairballs involved
  • Swollen and bleeding gums
  • BAD BREATH

Fortunately, I believe the culprit in Pizzas’s case in the new Fancy Feast with gravy. He loves it so much he only eats his dry food when he is REALLY hungry ( or I am not home to open the can of wet food). I have always free fed dry food and supplemented it with wet. In his older age, he is getting pickier.

Although his stinky breath was the primary reason I started looking for answers. Pizza has no issues with his favorite Chicken Temptations Cat Treats, and I saw no visible mouth problems so I easily could rule out swollen or bleeding gums. I quickly also discovered that when my cat eats crunchies it helps to keep their mouth clean, and plaque at bay. With his lack of interest in kibble and added interest in gravy, but an obsessive love of treats, I turned to a brand I have heard about. Feline Greenies

Greenies for Pizza A Wandering Cat

Thankfully they are a hit! It took a day or two to really notice a difference, but now few Greenies, and a few Temptations he is happy and I am happy.

YES, Cats can have bad breath from not brushing too.

Dental hygiene is important for the overall health of your fuzzy feline. Veterinarians recommend you brush your cat’s teeth as often as daily to avoid a cat with stinky breath problems. It can be a challenge if your pet isn’t used to it, but with practice and patience, it can become an easy part of your bonding and routine together.

“Do not worry about brushing the tips or insides of the teeth unless your cat is very cooperative. Most periodontal damage occurs on the outer surfaces of the teeth and around the roots and this is where you should direct your efforts. The cat’s abrasive tongue tends to remove plaque from the inner surfaces of the teeth, reducing the need for brushing these surfaces.”

How to Brush your cats teeth – VCA Hospitals

There are other options like chew toys and treats to help keep their teeth in good shape and healthy. Like this one or a water additive like this one that helps reduce plaque.

Lastly, other reasons for bad breath

As pet parents we spend a lot of time with our cats literally ON us in our faces. So breath is something we obviously notice regularly. Although most likely there is a simple explanation, sometimes it is the first sign of something that needs to be investigated and may require a trip to the vet.

Sweet-smelling breath can be a sign of diabetes, Urine or ammonia smell is indicative of potential kidney disease, and a general bad smell accompanied by jaundice (or whites of eyes turning yellowish) can mean liver problems. Only a veterinarian can diagnose disease, and if any of these sound (or smell) familiar, it is best to get it checked out. A healthy cat is a happy cat or at least a less moody cat. A cat with pleasant breath is nicer to snuggle with, although we all know, even if a cat has got stinky breath, I know where he will be sleeping.

Can a Cat get Down syndrome?

The simple answer is no. Although there are genetic disorders that can mimic the appearance like Cerebellar hypoplasia (causes in utero by either severe malnourishment, a toxoplasmosis infection, or most commonly Feline panleukopenia.) In pets conditions that look like down syndrome or other retardation affects pets physically not developmentally as we think of down syndrome as humans.

What is Down Syndrome?

First of all, what is down syndrome? Simply put it is a genetic abnormality. In humans, it is defined by having extra or partial makeup of chromosome 21. A Cat has fewer chromosomes than we do, to begin with, so technically by definition, they can’t have down syndrome. Cats only have 19 chromosome pairs. However, they can have abnormalities that resemble the affliction.

Abnormalities in cats

However, cats can have genetic abnormalities that make them appear to have retardation or a “delaying or slowing the progress or development”.

Malformed faces

Eyes noticeably far apart

Small or misshaped ears

Small or misshapen head

Unusually flattened noses

Lack of coordination

Poor Muscle tone

Other less noticeable physical issues include lack of hearing, poor eyesight, or heart problems.

All of these issues are a result of genetics and form in utero. It is crucial if your cat is pregnant that her health is monitored for her and the health of her kittens. Many diseases causing these issues are preventable. For instance, Feline panleukopenia in cats is a common disease that can cause genetic abnormalities in kittens. It is both, highly contagious among felines, AND also preventable by vaccination.

Another culprit that can affect the development of kittens is exposure to toxic chemicals. Often a pregnant cat experiencing malnutrition can also cause developmental issues in kittens. Genetic issues are also evident in bad breeding practices.

If you suspect your cat or kitten has a genetic disease, it is best to get them checked out by a veterinarian. It is not always evident at first, however as your kitten matures sometimes issues become more clear your pet has special needs.

What can I do if my cat is special needs?

Most of the time, pets that show signs similar to down syndrome or other genetic issues can learn to adjust. It is amazing how cats and dogs can overcome disabilities. Just because a cat suffers from physical abnormalities doesn’t mean they can’t live a normal fun-filled active life.

Some issues do cause poor muscle tone or a predisposition to seizures, or other balance or coordination problems in cats. However, these are not contagious to other pets and with extra care can be managed.

Meet Monty from Denmark

Can CDB be helpful to cats?

Like all cats and pets, a high-quality diet, and spending time together, help foster happy healthy cats. If there are balance, sight, or hearing issues, it may be necessary to have a safe place for your furry one to play where she can’t get hurt. Regular veterinary visits are important also. Although your furry one, can live a healthy life, sometimes genetic conditions may require more visits to the veterinarian. Fortunately, like for us humans, there is pet insurance. Many offer comprehensive coverages for both genetic conditions and aging pets.

Looking for pet insurance ? here is 10 best pet insurance companies

Can you read your cats body language What is he trying to tell you ?

Although a cat can not have down syndrome, it can have special needs that require dedicated pet parents. But there is no reason an animal with disabilities can’t live a long happy.

dog kibble

When a dog stops eating her dry dog food!

It could be as simple as a sour stomach, or a newly found distaste for a new bag of kibble to something more serious. Sometimes it is just a dog feeling down or stressed. If your dog continues to drink water, and enjoys treats, and is otherwise acting normal, observe their behavior and let’s look at what else can be done.

What can cause a kibble food strike

Every once in a while the dog at home stops eating her dry dog food. She is a senior and it is always a cause for concern. It is not uncommon that pets decide to turn their nose up on their regular food. But, it is hard to always know why. Dogs have an exceptional sense of smell, it is possible your dog can smell kibble that has soured or gone rancid long before we do.

However, it is important to rule out a pressing issue with your pet’s health. Loss of appetite can be the first clue to a problem.

“Aflatoxin, which is produced by a mold that can grow on corn and other grains used in pet food, the FDA said. Signs of aflatoxin poisoning include sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice, and diarrhea. There is no evidence that pet owners who handle the products are at risk of aflatoxin poisoning, the FDA said”.

Dry Dog Food recalled Dec 2021

If your pet has symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning, contact a veterinarian immediately.

It may be an emotional or behavioral response.

  • Is your dog still drinking water ?
  • Is your pet still interested in treats, just not the food in their food bowl?
  • Has there been a change to routine? or household that would cause stress?
  • How many treats is she getting during the day ?

Have you noticed any of the following more serious issues ?

  • Does your dog appear lethargic? or more quiet than normal
  • Does your dog have diarrhea? or constipation?
  • Is your dog vomiting?
  • Might she be experiencing a dental issue or tooth pain?
  • Muscular or joint pain due to arthritis. Chronic pain tends to affect appetite.

It is very important to call your veterinarian if you suspect a serious issue. Only a veterinarian can properly diagnose a serious issues.

Can CBD help stimulate appetite in pets? YES ! and for Inflammation too

Tricks to entice dog to eat their kibble?

Secondly, once you have ruled out illness, pain, or dog food that has gone sour or rancid, here are a few tricks that may help. First, you may need to introduce the kibble slowly back into the diet. Mix it with some wet or canned food that your dog enjoys.

If your dog stops eating dry dog food you can try to mix dry kibble with hot water or a little warm bone broth. Broth adds more meat flavor, boosts immune systems, and helps maintain a healthy happy gut.

If you have recently introduced a new tasty treat, it may be affecting your pup’s appetite. If it is super delicious it may just be that your pet likes it better than their regular food. Personally, we have experienced this issue. A few months ago the senior Ms. Goldendoodle, was having tummy troubles. After a trip to the Vet, she was put on a simple diet of white rice and skinless chicken breast.

“Chicken and rice are prime ingredients in many dog foods, and these mild foods sit well on upset canine stomachs. All you need are boneless, skinless chicken breasts and rice.”

Five Foods To Feed your dog when they are sick – AKC

It took care of her sensitive stomach and got her back to good health, however, it also gave her a love of high-quality chicken breast and a lot less love for her kibble and wet food. Today we compromise and supplement with Raw Instinct. She enjoys the softer texture and doesn’t complain as much as she was.

Dog food brands we recommend

Sometimes only feeding for a window of time, can help get your dog’s eating habits back on track, if they are just being fussy. Leaving a full bowl of food out at the same time daily for 10-15 minutes can encourage a sense of urgency to eat while the food is available.

How long can a picky dog go without food ?

A working dog has different eating habits and dietary needs than a companion dog that looks at you to remind you to hit the “Are you still watching ?” button because they also are enjoying Paul Hollywood making a meat pie. Often working dogs eat once a day, despite their active lifestyle. An older dog or one less active just doesn’t eat as much as a young pup. As long as a serious issue has been ruled out and Fido is still drinking water and behaving normally, it is perfectly o.k. for your dog to skip a day or two without too much concern.

To further encourage more kibble consumption, I bought the furry roommate a treat puzzle. Her poodle instincts lend themselves to this type of toy. Her small kibble fits and her tendency to use her nose to hunt makes eating fun for her. About 1/4-1/2 cup of kibble fit inside. We have supervised playtime. I can monitor how much she eats, and we share some quality time. Win-Win. You can’t rule out boredom as a reason food seems less interesting.

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I have bought several of these treat balls, Pizza the Cat has a habit of launching them from his perch. They are amazingly sturdy for plastic. One note though, I bought this PINK one before I learned about dogs see fewer colors than humans. The cat’s toy is blue because he is male, the dog toy is pink because she is a female, however, next time, I will get a blue or yellow toy for the dog as those colors are easier for her to see. I learn every day!

How dogs see

In conclusion, I know how important our pets are to the family unit. It is important to keep our pets healthy and happy. Although it can be worrisome when your dog suddenly stops eating dry food, it is not always a sign of serious illness. With a little detective work and patience, you can easily get your pup back to a regular eating schedule.

Can my dog see in the dark?

How many times does YOUR dog want out at night to bark. Most of the time it is hard for me to see what the heck is winding her up. What is my dog seeing in the dark that I can’t see? I appreciate her defending our home, but most of the time I can’t always see what she is protecting us from.

Yes, a dog can see much better than humans in the dark. In addition to a keen sense of smell, dogs have excellent night vision. Compared to humans dogs have larger pupils and a reflective membrane called tapetum lucidum that also increases the amount of light that gets in.

How do dogs eyes work

“Like with human eyes, light enters through the cornea and then the pupil, which expands and contracts to control the amount of light entering, he says. Light then passes through the lens and hits the retina, where light is processed.”

PetMD

Dogs have different number of photoreceptors in their eyes, than humans do. The Eye rods allow better vision in low light, Cones work at higher light levels and allow brighter colors. Dogs have more rods and fewer cones than humans. This difference allows dogs to be excellent at seeing at night and better at seeing moving objects than humans. In addition, dogs have something we don’t, a reflective membrane called tapetum lucidum. This membrane is responsible for the glow we see in their night eyes. It acts like a mirror and reflects light through the retina, increasing the amount of light available to a dogs photoreceptors. It is what helps them see at the dark.

Do dogs see better than cats?

Because dogs have more eye rods, and fewer cones, they see better at night than day. They have excellent night vison which has helped them to be good predators. Being able to detect motion at night is more of a priority for survival, being able to see fine details clearly isnt a as important as detecting motion from a distance. With fewer cones, dogs are thought to be red-green color blind. They still have a greater field of vision than cats and can see more colors. However, they can’t see things as well within a 12″ , yet they can see a hand signal from a mile away.

Cats’ eyes are similar in structure with fewer rods and cones, however, cats pupils can retract quickly. This gives them the advantage to see things up close better than dogs. Honestly, that makes sense as cats like to bunny kick and pounce on their prey up close.

It is hard to say for sure who sees better. Over thousands of years, both cats and dogs have adapted to their different needs.

Cat mimic the up close hunting behaviors that dogs do not.

Can a senior dog see in the dark

As dog’s age, their sight is affected too. Already their vision isn’t clear, as they age and eye rods deteriorate, their vision suffers. Sometime around age seven, even their night vision is affected, often dogs get night blindness in their golden years. Eyes simply wear out, certain breeds German Shepherds, Chihuahuas, and Poodles, are more affected with blindness than others. If you notice your pet hesitating , or bumping into things especailly in dim light areas, he may be starting to lose their night vision.

Is your dog getting older?

It is just a part of aging, unfortunately. Eye health is important and should be checked during yearly exams. When vision is failing, fortunately, dogs still have a strong sense of smell and can learn to adapt.

catnip cat

Is Catnip Good for Cats?

Catnip is a recreational herb enjoyed by many cats all over the world. Nepeta cataria as it is also known by is a member of the mint family. This lovely green perennial has a reputation for attracting cats and driving them crazy, in a good way. As turns out, it has an active ingredient called Nepetalactone found in the leaves, stems, and seeds of the plant…

But is it good for cats? YES! Its scents are very stimulating to cats that react to it and encourages play and exercise. Catnip doesn’t harm cats, in fact, my cat Pizza prefers his catnip toys to his other ones. It is nonaddictive and doesn’t cause harm.

According to a new video from the American Chemical Society, Nepetalactone is a terpenoid, this class of chemicals is also found in cloves, ginger, and cannabis. This chemical actually an aphid sex pheromone designed to attract pests. Additionally, the pheromone also attracts the aphids’ natural predator so aphids fall into a natures trap, and the catnip can thrive. Now that we know WHY Catnip makes pheromones, how does it affect cats, and is it good for cats? Read on…

Only approximately, 60%-65% of cats react to its effects. There is a part of a cat’s brain “Jacobson’s organ” that makes the cat reacts to the scent. The scent enters the nasal passages and nepetalactone reacts with proteins in the cat’s brain. It triggers parts of the brain and evokes a behavior similar to that of a cat pheromone. It is fascinating to me how CBD isn’t the only natural chemical that reacts to the brain.

How do cats react to catnip?

Although catnip can be used to help with anxiety, like CBD oil, mostly it makes your cat feel frisky, it has even been called a cat aphrodisiac. Science is so interesting sometimes. Sadly, a cat’s reactions are a genetic trait, some cats have the trait and some don’t. Kitten under 6 weeks is not usually affected by catnip but it is usually evident by 6 months of age if your kitten will enjoy the benefits a little catnip from time to time.  

Ways Catnip can be beneficial for cats?

  • Helps relieve stress and anxiety
  • It encourages the use of scratching post
  • Promotes socialization
  • Inexpensive natural product. It is even easy to grow at home.
  • Reduced Boredom for indoor cats

When playing with a catnip-filled toy, often cats get excited and roll around. It’s fun to watch them enjoy themselves. Some cats start to vocalize, others just enjoy rubbing there faces on the toy and purr with joy.

Cats enjoy the stimulation that usually lasts for about 15-30 min followed by a deep relaxation. Often a cat will take a long nap after play. A catnip filled toy can be a great tool to help entice a shy or anxious cat in a new surrounding, to come out and play. Catnip can be hard to resist. Even large cats like tigers and cheetahs enjoy the benefits of catnip.

Pizza’s experience with Catnip

 We have enjoyed Catnip form from time to time. In my experience, Pizza gets really curious. He gets pretty active and playful he likes to bite and kick, which is perfectly normal behavior.

Sometimes cats may even eat catnip or drool with excitement while playing. It is safe to ingest, there are even catnip treats available on the market. When eaten it appears to relax the cat. without the enthusiasm of the scent. Some treats combine catnip with CBD oil. great for stressful times like car rides or company. Occasionally a cat can get a little aggressive “under the influence” of catnip. If you are bringing catnip home for the first time, be aware your feline buddy might get a little wild, fortunately, it will only last for a few minutes. Once olfactory fatigue sets in, then it is nap time.

Fortunately, Catnip is 100% nontoxic, however, overuse leads to laziness and lack of interest. Just kidding, however, It is considered a mild feline hallucinogen, and leaving catnip toys out about once a week is best. Playing with catnip toys too often does lead to a lack of effect. For my indoor-only cat, I like to rotate between catnip scented toys and his favorite treat puzzles.

Kitty Kick Styx

Good Alternatives to Catnip

For that 30% of the cat population that isn’t affected by catnip, there is an alternative. 

Valerian Root – It contains the chemical actinidine. Although it is different and not related to catnip, it is just as effective on cats. Its euphoric effects and relaxation does last longer. It may be more useful if you know your cat will be in a stressful situation, a little playtime with some valerian root beforehand might help. 

Pizza’s experience with Valerian Root

My experience with Valerian Root? Pizza enjoys catnip and will have a good time with his toys. But Valerian Root? He reacts INSANE to Valerian. I found out the hard way. that he is in love with it. Making a special trip to the herb store, I bought some valerian root for tea for myself. Often used as a sleep aid I was looking for a natural alternative to sleeping pills. I was warned that it has a very distinct odor often compared to “dirty socks” but I had heard it was effective and non-habit forming.

I turned my back for one minute and left my purchase on the counter. Being the big curious boy that Pizza is, one minute was all it took, he quickly found my bag of loose tea and tore it to pieces. Stinky Valerian root tea was all over the floor…. Who would have been able to predict cats react to something other than Catnip?  Boy, was he a HAPPY cat! Rolling all over it, whispering sweet nothings into the air, purring loudly. It had the opposite effect on me. I was not as happy, but I got over it. More importantly, I learned that there was more than one benefit of Valerian Root.

Valerian Root Powder

Yes, catnip is good for cats. A non-toxic natural herb that brings a little joy and calmness for your feline friend. The world is a stressful place, especially today. It is important to have a little fun and enjoy yourself and spend time with your cat. .

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