Water: An Essential Part of Dog Nutrition All Year Long

 

At Pet Wants, we’re incredibly passionate about dog nutrition. We believe that fresh and balanced food is the key to ensuring that dogs are able to live healthy & happy lives. While the food we offer is specifically designed to provide dogs with the optimal balance of nutrients they need, there is another important element in this equation. That element is water. During the hotter months of the year, the need to keep a dog’s water bowl full is easy to remember. But what often gets overlooked is that dogs need to get enough water all year long.

As humans, we often think we’re hungry when our bodies actually just want us to drink more water. That’s why one of the most effective dieting tips anyone can follow is to prioritize drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Since many people have at least a few misconceptions about dogs and their water as well, we want to clear those up by diving into exactly why dogs need plenty of water on a consistent basis, as well as what owners can do to supply the right amount:

Why Water is So Important for Dogs

When water goes into a dog’s body, it’s used to move nutrients in and out of cells. So even if a dog is getting the right nutrients, not getting enough water means they may not be able to properly absorb them. In addition to absorbing nutrients, water is used during the digestion of food. It’s also vital for regulating body temperature. Given that dogs may be exposed to the heater running a lot during cold Cincinnati winters, it’s still possible for them to have an elevated temperature even when the weather outside is quite cold. To top things off, water plays a central role in joint lubrication, as well as cushioning internal tissues and ensuring optimal urination & bowel movements.

Recognizing Dehydration and Providing Dogs with Plenty of Water

In extreme cases, dehydration can cause a dog’s organs to shut down. However, dehydration  can still be a serious issue even without things going that far. In most cases, as long as a dog has access to enough water, they will keep themselves hydrated. That being said, there are a few conditions like diabetes that can cause dehydration, which is why it’s important to know how to recognize this condition.

If you think your dog may be dehydrated, you can check by picking up a fold of their skin around the shoulder blades. If the skin doesn’t quickly return to its position upon release, you should have your dog checked by a vet for dehydration. And to help prevent this condition, make sure your dog has daily access to at least one ounce of clean water for every pound of body weight.

Do Cats Get High on Catnip?

 

If you have a cat, it may absolutely love catnip. And if you have multiple cats, you may have noticed that at least one of them is not really fond of catnip. Since cats can have such different reactions to catnip, plenty of owners have questions about this substance. To help provide insight, as well as clarify whether certain beliefs about catnip are fact or fiction, we’ve put together a catnip guide with everything you need to know:

Catnip 101

While catnip can be stuffed into all kinds of toys, it’s not something that’s manufactured by humans. Instead, catnip is actually a herb. Specifically, it’s a perennial known by the scientific name of Nepeta cataria. Catnip belongs to the mint family, and plants can grow as tall as three feet in height.

The reason that some cats are so fond of this herb is it contains a compound known as nepetalactone. When cats smell this compound, they may experience a type of high. And if they eat catnip, they may get sleepy and want to take a nap. However, the reason that not all cats are interested in this herb is a gene determines whether or not they have those types of reactions. For around 50% of all cats, this herb won’t trigger any type of reaction. Also, some cats do react in a somewhat aggressive manner to this herb.

Although cats with the catnip gene may get very excited by it, that doesn’t mean there’s any cause for concern. Catnip is not a drug. That means it’s not addictive and there’s no concern of an overdose. The worst possible scenario is a cat eats too much and ends up vomiting or having diarrhea.

Buying, Storing, Growing and Using Catnip

As a natural substance, catnip can provide a safe and enjoyable experience for many pets. If you purchase loose catnip instead of just a toy that contains it, be sure to store the catnip in a container with a secure lid. Otherwise, there’s a chance that you may walk into your home and discover your cat having a messy catnip feast!

Since catnip is just a herb, it’s something that cat owners can grow on their own. An added benefit of this plant is it will keep away mice, rats and mosquitos. The one thing to keep in mind is unless you want to attract all the strays in your neighborhood, it’s best to stick with planting a small patch.

For cats who enjoy catnip, this herb is a great way to provide them with an enjoyable treat. Another use of catnip is to rub it on a scratching post that a cat has been neglecting. This will remind your cat to resume scratching in that specific area. At Pet Wants Cincy, we offer Organic Catnip for your felines!

Understanding Pet Food Labels

Happy Havanese puppy dog is lying beside a red bowl of dog food

One of the most stressful things about shopping for groceries is reading the labels. You’re definitely not alone if you feel like trying to look at or compare food labels sends you down a blackhole. Just as soon as you start to feel like you’re getting a handle on calorie counts and daily percentages, you notice an ingredient with a strange name that sets off your internal red flags.  Read More