Cute Fish Tanks for Your Better Looking House

Many people are looking for many different ways to decorate their house so that they house will look better and nicer. If you are also looking for the same thing, then you can simply try the cute fish tank for your house. You can simply put the fish tank anywhere in the house that you want, but if you are buying the biOrb fish tanks, then the best place to put the fish tank should be the living room. That is because this kind of fish tank is considerably nice and cute to be placed in your living room. As an addition, this kind of fish tank can surely be the nice attraction in your living room.

For your consideration, this kind of cute looking fish tank cannot be considered as something cheap. That is because the cheapest price for this kind of fish tank is about 100 dollars. For some people, spending 100 dollars for the fish tank with the maximum capacity of 15 liter is something useless. However, if you are looking for the best one for your house, then you might need to get this kind of tank for your house. That is because this kind of fish tank is not only used for storing your fish, but also for your home decoration.

If you are asking about the overall design of the fish tank, you can pick some different designs for the fish tank. Even though most of them have the similar concept, but you can surely pick something different in design. As an addition to that, you can also pick the brick shaped fish tank if you are getting bored with the monotonous round shape of the fish tank. So, if you really want to have something nice to make your house looks better and nicer, this fish tank is great.

A Good Pet Spa To Spoil Your Pet in Plymouth MI

For pet owners, their pet is not a mere pet. In fact, they count the pet as part of family. That is why, they always want to give the best of anything for them. Do you feel the same? Pet spa is a good way to show your affection toward your pet, either dog or cat. If you think this is a good idea, you can now search for good pet spa in Plymouth MI that offers excellent services for your pets. Nevertheless, where to go? Before deciding any places, as starter, it is way better if you look for some recommendations from other pet owners, they may share you good place to consider.

Else, you can as well pick Paw Print Inn for Plymouth pet spa. Anyway, what your pet will experience there? In two words, excellent services. But obviously, if you want, you can compared beforehand, the thing that you get from there, to another pet spa that you may find in Plymouth MI. A top notch pet spa, they provide these following services like cat boarding, dog boarding, grooming, dog day care, and obedience training. Another is about the facility that your dogs or cats may find.

Not all dog and cat can easily deal with a new environment, thus as pet owners you have responsibility to find the best pet spa that offers top notch facility and comfortable environment for the pets as the ideas of giving them special treatment like pet spa is to decrease their stress and enhance their good mood, guess what? Randomly picking kind of spa without giving some thoughts and do some investigative jobs to know further about the preference pet spa, it affects your pets. Relying only the services from a pet spa that gives you guarantee for their excellent services, you know that you’ll regret nothing.

Have a Horse? Find Out the Best Veterinary Care for It!

Do you love animal? Why do you love animal? Well, animal is liked human. They need friends and we can be their friend. If you love animals, I believe that you will try hard to take care of them too. There are many people who love animals and they have them as the pets. Of course, not all of the animals can be a pet that we can take care. The common animals that can be the pets are like cats, dogs, roosters, pigs, goat, cows, and still many mores.

Do you have one of the mentioned animals to be taken care? If yes, how do you try to take care of them? Do you find the difficulty to take care of them? Remember, taking care a certain kind of animal will be different with the other animal. We need to make sure that we really know how to treat it well so that the animal can grow well and they will be healthy.

But some people also have the different kind of animals to be treated also. Have you ever heard people who take care horses? We know that horses can be used as the transportation also. In the past, horses are used for the transportation reason and nowadays many people are still love to ride using horses. If you take care of horses, you need to treat it well. Do you know how to treat it properly? If you feel so confused, you do not need to be worried. You only need to contact equine veterinary care for giving the best treatment for your beloved horses. They are very talented and they already know how they should treat your horses. Some of the treatments that horses can be got are like Equine Massage Therapy, Equine Dentist monthly, Equine Acupuncture monthly and still many mores.

Get Advantageous Loans Solution Online

Lots of people are looking for better chances of getting fresh money for their need. Indeed, there are so many things you have to prepare when you are looking for the best way to get your loans done. In this case, you can choose to get savings from your monthly salary. But, you have to also understand that sometime you have to prepare more solution in order to get money in the emergency situations. Some people are also getting their consideration in having loans. But, applying for loans to banks is not easy because there will be many procedures you have to fulfil. Besides, you have to wait for a particular long of time so you will get your loans application to be approved. This might be not effective if you are in emergency situation. Therefore, you have to find something that will be really suitable.

Advanced credit loans or the payday loans is one of the most important and recommended personal loans you can apply when you are in the emergency situations. In this case, the loans will be really effective if you have fixed, stable monthly salary. This is because you have to pay for the debts in your next payday. Therefore, you will need to have fix job that will be your source of debts repayments. Some tips for applying loans like in www.wyomingcashadvanceloans.com is that you are recommended to apply loans less than your monthly salary and have investment to make it to be easier to be approved. Besides of that, you can also find easiness in having your loans to be approved by lender is by choosing the one which is reputable as the fast cash lenders.

To apply for this kind of loans, you have to make sure that you can get access to the lenders. You can either come to physical office or get contacted by online websites. Then, you have to fulfil a form that will be examined to be approved. If your application is approved, you will get the money you need to be transferred the next day. You don’t have to be worried about bad credit score you have because as long as you have permanent job you will have them for your need. Besides of that, you will also find that this kind of loans will be quite helpful, but you don’t have to apply them frequently. Remember that advance loans will take higher interest rate than common loans, which makes you have to repay more. So, for short term needs and emergency situations, it is actually a go.

Healthy Snacking for Your Dog

What better way to show you care, than giving your dog a delicious treat like dog man storage locker?  Dog owners love giving treats and with the advent of delectable doggie bakeries, in addition to your dinner plate, the sky is the limit.  With all of these options, how do you choose a nutritious treat?

In general, owners tend to “over-treat” their dogs!  This introduces many extra calories into a dog’s diet and is a leading cause of pudgy pooches.  Although many people don’t see overweight or obese dogs as a problem, health risks of obesity are real.  Obesity contributes to a wide range of health problems, from arthritis to diabetes, and it has been well documented that obese dogs live shorter lives.

The following are tips to help you select great treats that will optimize your dog’s health!

  • Read the label for ingredients.  Most commercially available treats are poorly nutritious and filled with carbohydrates, sugars (e.g. corn syrup, molasses, fructose, etc), artificial colorings or flavorings and do nothing to satisfy hunger.  Although these “empty” ingredients make them desirable to your dog, they will contribute to ever-expanding waistlines.
  • Go Natural!  Choose natural treats that are meat-based and contain no artificial ingredients or sugars.  Fruits, vegetables and even ice cubes are great natural alternatives to commercial treats.  Dogs often love apples, carrots, green beans and other fresh produce.  Ask your veterinarian for advice before starting, as some fruits and veggies can be toxic to dogs (e.g. onions, grapes, raisins, etc).
  • Count calories!  Treats are usually not complete and balanced like dog food and should not be used as the primary source of calories—in fact, treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calories.  Ask your veterinarian how many calories your dog should eat each day.  For example, an average 20 pound adult dog will require approximately 500 calories each day—therefore, no more than 50 calories should be provided as treats.  After you have done this calculation, read the label and determine how many treats your dog can have each day.  Some commercial treats contain over 100 calories each and some table scraps are loaded with calories (steak, pizza, etc)!  It is easy to see how giving just a few treats (in addition to regular meals) can be the cause of excess calorie intake and contribute to obesity.
  • Avoid certain table scraps—especially directly off the table!  Leftover table scraps usually include hunks of fat or sweet morsels you know your dog will love.  These scraps are usually high in calories and low in other nutrients.  In addition, these rich tidbits will often cause digestive problems such as bad breath, gas, loose stools and occasional vomiting.  If your dog develops a taste for these scraps, they may become finicky and even stop eating their own food.  If you want to use human food as a treat, select lean meats and unseasoned vegetables to really show your love.  To avoid creating a disruptive diner, never give your dog treats from the table or around dinner time.
  • Do not give treats around your dog’s meal time.  Like your mother used to say, “if you eat that now, you will spoil your dinner!”  If dogs fill up on treats before their scheduled mealtime, they are likely to skip their meal.  Dog food is the source of proper balanced nutrition they need, so it is important to plan your treating accordingly.  Missing meals can lead to dietary deficiencies and imbalances that can lead to degeneration and disease.
  • Do not give treats for begging.  It is common for pet owners to create a vicious cycle of begging and bad behaviors by the inappropriate use of treats.  Treats should only be given to positively reinforce good behavior or to motivate a pet during training.  “Sad puppy dog eyes” that look hungry when slinking around the dinner table should be ignored.  If you give a treat, this begging behavior will be reinforced and you will forever have a moocher!
  • Using treats as rewards.  A great time to offer treats is during or after activity or play sessions.  This reinforces the positive aspects of exercise and helps your dog look forward to his daily activity.  Exercise boosts the metabolism and this is a great time to give a nutritious protein snack!
  • Choose snacks with health benefits.  There are several treats available that may improve your dog’s health.  These “functional” treats may have very specific recommendations about maximum daily consumption.  Examples of functional treats are those that target or support:
      • dental health by their texture and abrasiveness.
      • gastrointestinal health
      • immune system health by providing additional antioxidants and vitamins.
      • arthritis or other inflammatory conditions.
  • The ideal treat.  The ideal treat is low in total calories, low in fat, high in protein, and has added health benefits.  A winning combination is achieved when this type of treat supplements a high quality natural dog food to provide necessary daily nutrition.

Giving treats should be fun and help build a strong bond between you and your dog.  When healthy treats are given correctly, you will have a happy dog receiving excellent nutrition—which is the basis of excellent health.

Pet Insurance–is it really worth it

YES!

Every day, people are taken aback at the cost of veterinary care for their pets. It is heart-breaking that some pets are unable to receive veterinary care due to their owner’s financial limitations. In 2007, the U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook reported that the average annual veterinary expenditure was $356 for dogs and $190 for cats. While new and advanced veterinary treatments are more likely to return a sick or injured pet to its family, there may be significant costs incurred. This is especially true if specialized testing or ongoing medical care is required.

Many people purchase pet insurance in the event of injury or accidents involving their pets. While this seems logical and responsible, the chances you will need pet insurance for a catastrophic accident is not as likely as needing it for a basic ear infection. According to recent CNBC reporting, Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), the oldest and largest provider of US pet insurance, analyzed their 2007 claims and noted that the following top 10 dog and cat diseases accounted for 25% of all medical claims:

Rank Dog Diseases Cat Diseases
1 Ear Infection Urinary Tract Infections
2 Skin Allergy Gastritis and Vomiting
3 Pyoderma and Hot Spots Chronic renal (kidney) failure
4 Gastritis and Vomiting Enteritis and Diarrhea
5 Enteritis and Diarrhea Diabetes
6 Urinary Tract Infections Diabetes
7 Benign Skin Tumors Colitis and Constipation
8 Eye Inflammation Ear Infection
9 Osteoarthritis Respiratory Infections
10 Hypothyroidism Hyperthyroidism

 

Examination of this list reveals that gastrointestinal upset and allergy symptoms are the two most common maladies bringing pets to the veterinarian. Nearly 30% of the top 10 conditions are related to or exacerbated by diet, diet changes or dietary indiscretions. This highlights the importance of feeding a consistent amount of high quality natural pet food to help avoid gastrointestinal upset and conditions such as pet obesity and dog arthritis. VPI reports that gastrointestinal claims are common each year, however, the marked increase in 2007 indicate that pet owners had heightened awareness this past year which was probably due to the pet food recall.

Drawing from personal experience, I am asked countless times each week, “Would pet insurance cover this?” or “Is it too late to get pet insurance for this problem?” Very similar to insurance for people, once a problem exists in your pet, it may be considered a “pre-existing” medical condition and insurance coverage may be unavailable for that problem. It is best to pre-plan, before your pet gets sick, by selecting a pet insurance policy that best meets your pet’s health needs and lifestyle.

Most pet insurance is property and casualty insurance; however, from a pet owner’s perspective it works much like medical insurance for humans. It helps take the sting out of costly veterinary care by reimbursing pet owners for certain treatments administered by qualified veterinarians. Most basic policies cover medications, x-rays, laboratory and diagnostic tests, surgery, hospitalization, and euthanasia. There are also policies that cover basic preventive care including annual checkups, vaccinations, and fecal examinations. Policies can be tailored to include visits to specialists, homeopathic veterinarians, and even acupuncturists. Although not as popular as pet medical insurance, pet life insurance and pet liability insurance are also available.

The pet insurance industry has grown and improved tremendously in the last few years. There are now several reputable companies with competitive expanded coverage plans to best suit you and your pet’s needs. Annual premiums range from $50 up to several hundred dollars depending on the type of policy and coverage provided. Take the time to research the options available and find out exactly what conditions would or would not be covered for your age and breed of pet. You might even ask your employer to see if pet insurance is offered as an employment benefit as a recent CNBC report revealed that pet insurance is now the third most requested sponsored benefit in the US.

Pet health is important to us and pet insurance allows us to better manage expected and unexpected health care expenses. Can you afford to not be prepared?

Dry skin (dandruff) in your pet: common causes and natural remedies

Common causes of pet dandruff
Dandruff or scaly skin may simply be caused by dry, poorly hydrated skin.  This is common as most pets eat dry kibble which is very low in moisture and don’t drink enough water every day—leading to constant mild dehydration.  The skin is very sensitive to dehydration and will readily become dry and flaky in appearance.  When pets develop medical problems (such as allergies, infections and diabetes), the skin is often the first to indicate a change in general health by becoming roughened and dry.  If your pet develops dry skin or a poor haircoat, consider the following possibilities and talk to your veterinarian:

  • Dry skin or lusterless coats may indicate a deficiency or an improper balance of essential fatty acids in the diet.  Pet foods are notoriously low in certain beneficial fatty acids.  Fatty acids are relatively fragile and prone to break-down by overcooking or improper storage of dry food.  Pets on fat-restricted (weight loss) diets may be at increased risk for deficiency.
  • Dry or irritated skin may be an adverse reaction to foods containing artificial dyes, additives and preservatives.  True food allergy to specific ingredients can also cause dry flaky skin.
  • Flea allergy, ringworm, mites, mange, yeast and bacterial skin infections (yes, even in indoor pets!) will often cause itchiness, skin redness and possibly hair loss along with dry scaly skin.
  • Seborrhea is a skin condition that causes a greasy, oily or dry coat with very scaly skin.
  • Hormonal or endocrine problems (such as hyper- or hypothyroidism, cushings syndrome and diabetes), immune problems (such as lupus) and skin cancer (such as cutaneous lymphoma) are much more serious causes of skin flakiness and most often associated with other complaints of illness.

There are many causes of skin flakiness and various tests may need to be performed for an accurate diagnosis.  Most often a skin scrape with microscopic examination at your veterinarian’s office is the first step.  Occasionally hair or dandruff culture, allergy testing, skin biopsy and/or blood tests will need to be performed.

Natural Remedies for dandruff
If your pet is suffering from simply dry dehydrated skin, bathing and dietary recommendations can often resolve the problem quite readily.

  • Bathing—Choose only detergent-free shampoo, like Halo Herbal Shampoo, which contains natural botanical oils and extracts that nourish the skin and coat instead of stripping the skin of its essential oils.  Some pets (notably cats!) are not thrilled with bathing and spray-on conditioners can work wonders for dry skin.
  • Diet—A natural high-quality pet food is recommended to avoid adverse reactions that may be associated with foods containing meat meals, preservatives and other artificial poor quality ingredients.  Canned food should be included as part of a healthy pet diet.  Pets are similar to people in that they rarely drink enough water and live in a state of mild dehydration.  Canned food provides vital water supplementation and is excellent for organ (including skin!) hydration.
  • Supplements—Fatty acid supplements are crucial in all pets with skin conditions.  Fatty acids help eliminate inflammation within irritated skin and help improve skin moisture and suppleness, regardless of the underlying problem.  Many people are familiar with the omega 3 fatty acids, commonly referred to as fish oils.  There are other beneficial anti-inflammatory fatty acids, therefore, I prefer a broader fatty acid supplement such as Halo Dream Coat.  Its combination of six cold-pressed virgin oils (including fish oil) achieves an ideal ratio of anti-inflammatory fatty acids and is a perfect complement to a natural diet.

Depending on your pet’s specific diagnosis, your veterinarian may recommend additional therapies but these natural remedies for dry skin will complement most treatment plans.

Breast Cancer in Pets – Teaching Pet Owners to Think Pink!

Did you know that dogs and cats get breast cancer too? In fact, breast cancer is the most common tumor in female dogs and the third most common tumor in female cats. Now is the perfect time to learn how to check yourself and your pet!

How do I check my pet for breast cancer?

In addition to a routine veterinary visit once or twice yearly, I recommend a monthly “whole body check”—from the tip of the nose to the tail and out to the ends of the toes! In addition to looking at your pet’s eyes, ears, mouth, skin, and hair…make sure you get a good feel as well! Run your hands along their head, neck, back, sides, down the legs and under the belly to check for any lumps, masses, swellings or sore spots. While people have only two breasts and there is no trick to finding them, dogs and cats have many breasts (also called mammary glands), and they are found in two straight lines extending from the left and right armpit, down the chest and into the groin area.

Feel for breast lumps while your pet is standing and then allow them to roll over on their back so you can look at the area also. First, while they are standing, move your hands under their belly all the way up into their armpits. Then slowly move your hands back to their groin area (where their legs attach to their body). Some overweight dogs and cats will have quite a “pooch” in this area and you may need to massage the skin and fatty tissue to detect any lumps or swellings.

What if I find a lump?

If you feel a lump, contact your veterinarian immediately. Breast tumors have an 80-90% chance of being malignant in cats and 50% chance of being malignant in dogs. Don’t wait to see if the lump grows or changes from month to month….get it looked at right away. It is always best to detect and deal with breast cancer early for the best outcome.

What can I do to minimize my pet’s risk of developing breast cancer?

Spay your pet! The single most important thing you can do to is to spay your dog or cat prior to their first heat cycle. Spaying has been well-documented to reduce the risk of breast cancer to miniscule numbers. For example, cats spayed prior to 6 months of age had a 91% reduction in the risk of developing malignant breast cancer when compared to unspayed female cats. These numbers are even more impressive for dogs spayed before their first heat. If you have adopted or rescued a pet (and we hope you do!) and are unsure if they are spayed, your veterinarian can help you determine that. Many pets spayed later in life do not develop breast cancer…but you should be on the look-out with that monthly exam and notify your veterinarian if you find anything amiss.

Go Natural! Choose a natural pet food that avoids the use of preservatives, artificial colors or other synthetic chemicals. Although there is no proven link to canine or feline breast cancer specifically, many synthetic chemicals have been linked to serious human reproductive and other health problems. See my article at: http://www.halopets.com/pet-education/pet-articles/pets_chemical_exposure.html

Stay lean and fit! Fat doesn’t increase the risk of breast cancer per se, but extra pounds can certainly hide a lump. Keeping your pet at a healthy weight will help you detect not only breast lumps, but any unusual swelling or abnormality on your pet’s body. Wellness exams and early detection are key to successful outcomes with most cancers or other medical conditions.

Food allergy in pets

Food allergy is a common concern for pet owners, however, true food allergy is not very common in dogs and cats, and is a condition that is frequently over-diagnosed by veterinarians.

Food allergies account for only 10% of all pet allergies.  Flea allergy and environmental allergies (called atopy) are a much more common cause of itchiness and skin problems in pets.  Pets are often misdiagnosed with food allergy when what they really have is food intolerance.  This is an important distinction to make.  Food allergy is a TRUE allergy and a pet shows characteristic symptoms such as severe itching, hives, skin breakouts, etc.  Food intolerance often causes vomiting and diarrhea and does NOT create a typical allergic response.  However, whenever a pet experiences vomiting or diarrhea from a food, owners and veterinarians alike are quick to blame “food allergy”.

Common food allergies:  Real food allergies can strike at any age and can develop to any protein or carbohydrate in a pets food.  The most common food allergens in dogs are beef, dairy products, chicken, wheat, chicken eggs, corn and soy.  The most common food allergens in cats are fish, beef and dairy.  You will note that these foods are the most common ingredients in standard pet foods.  Therefore, these are the foods that pets are exposed to most frequently in their everyday meals.  However, in order for a pet to develop a true allergy, they must not only have this chronic exposure, they must also have the genetic profile to develop an allergy.

For example, most pets eat combinations of the above ingredients EVERY MEAL, EVERY DAY, yet very few pets develop true food allergies.  Again, I stress, this is not a very common condition.  Adverse food reactions, however, are very common and it is hard to predict which pet will react badly to what component of a food. We know pets may react to artificial dyes, preservatives and additives in food (not to mention the gross rendered stuff)….so these are best avoided by the use of natural pet foods.

Symptoms of food allergies:  Common symptoms of food allergy include itching of the face, feet, sides of the body, legs and anal area. These pets will often have yeast ear infections and skin infections that respond to antibiotics, but recur as soon as the treatment is finished. Some pets with food allergy will also have increased bowel movements and soft stool. Again, food allergies should not be confused with food intolerances which generally cause more severe vomiting and diarrhea.

Diagnosis of food allergies:  If you suspect your pet may have food allergies, contact your veterinarian. The only way to truly diagnose a food allergy is to perform a food trial with your pet.  Other forms of allergy testing, such as blood and skin tests, are not reliable for diagnosing food allergy.  Although you will get results from these tests, they don’t accurately correlate with food allergies present in either the dog or cat and are NOT recommended by board-certified dermatologists at this time.

For accurate diagnosis, a food trial should be performed using unique (novel) protein and carbohydrate foods to avoid possible allergens to which your pet has previously been exposed in order to “cleanse” their system of potential allergens.  The “gold standard” of food trials is the home-cooked diet.  The advantage of a home-cooked diet is that it is free of preservatives and other additives which can also cause allergy or intolerance in pets.  Common recipes recommended include protein sources such as venison, rabbit, ostrich, buffalo, or pinto beans.  Some veterinarians recommend the use of commercial hypoallergenic diets or hydrolyzed diets in which the protein source is broken down into smaller proteins so they are less allergenic.  It is important to keep in mind that these smaller proteins may still be allergenic for some pets and may result in food trial failure.  While many pets respond favorably to these options, some pets will not have the response they will on a home-cooked diet.

The diet trial must be conducted for 8 to 12 weeks before it can be considered successful or unsuccessful.  During this time, your pet must ONLY eat the prescribed food—no table food, scraps, treats, vitamins or chewable medications (even heartworm pills) can be given during a diet trial. If a positive response is seen after this trial, your veterinarian will advise you on how to proceed.

Treatment of food allergies:  Treatment of food allergies is simple…once the offending ingredients are identified, they must be avoided. As a note of caution, some pets may develop new food allergies in 1 to 3 years, so if a flare-up of itchiness occurs, a new food trial may be warranted.  If you were feeding a home-cooked diet during the food trial and wish to continue, make sure you work with your veterinarian and a nutritionist to balance it specifically for your pets needs.  Otherwise, work with your veterinarian to select a natural diet that will work best for your pet.

Supplements for the Older Pet

What are pet supplements?

Pet supplements are defined as either dietary or therapeutic supplements. Dietary supplements (also called dietary nutrients) are substances added to pet foods to make them nutritionally complete and balanced. Therapeutic supplements (called nutraceuticals) are foods or food nutrients that are taken orally to provide a health benefit, either for prevention or treatment of disease. To have this therapeutic effect, a nutraceutical is usually taken in a larger dose than the daily requirement of that same food when used as a nutrient.

What are the benefits of giving pet supplements to an older dog or cat?

Pet supplements are used to help counter the aging process. Aging pets experience degenerative organ changes that occur over time and lead to a pet that may be unable to meet the challenges of its environment. Degenerative changes commonly affect the musculoskeletal system (muscles, bones and ligaments), gastrointestinal tract (including teeth), skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, nervous system and the specialized organs of sense (especially hearing and sight). It may be possible to slow these degenerative changes by the appropriate use of supplements in an older pet.

Older pets have a reduced ability to digest nutrients due to altered metabolism and their dietary requirements change during the geriatric years. It is important to feed an older pet a high quality natural pet food to maximize the availability of nutrients. The best supplements for an older pet are those that help address age-related organ changes. These supplements, together with a natural pet food, may improve longevity and quality of life in an older animal.

What are some of the most commonly recommended supplements for older pets?

Vitamin B complex (including Vitamin B1, B2, B6 and B12) is often recommended as a pet supplement to help counter fatigue and improve appetite. The risk of toxicity is very low as B vitamins are water-soluble and excess amounts will be excreted in the urine.

Vitamin C is recommended for its antioxidant effects, its potential to reduce inflammation through antihistamine (anti-allergic) effects, and its possible role in enhancing immune function.

Vitamin E is recommended as an antioxidant and for its positive effects in inflammatory skin disorders.

Coenzyme Q-10, Alpha Lipoic Acid, DMG (dimethylglycine) and L-carnitine may all similarly improve overall physical performance or reduce the incidence and severity of age-related illness. Coenzyme Q-10 and carnitine help improve the strength of heart muscle while DMG is often recommended as an immune stimulant or anti-inflammatory for the joints. Alpha Lipoic Acid may be recommended to promote eye health and to help slow degenerative neurological conditions.

Increased fatty acid intake, especially omega fatty acids, and increased zinc intake helps maintain healthy skin and coat and may decrease inflammatory reactions.

Digestive enzymes and probiotics may enhance the availability and absorption of dietary nutrients.

What about other pet supplements for specific disease conditions?

Supplements that may be of use in geriatric pets with specific disease conditions include glandular therapy or whole tissue supplements for degenerative processes; digestive enzymes or probiotics for gastrointestinal disease; cartilage-protecting agents (such as glucosamine) to improve mobility and delay progression of degenerative joint disease (dog arthritis); milk thistle for chronic liver problems; and fatty acids to decrease the inflammation associated with certain kidney diseases and allergic skin conditions. If you are giving pet supplements, inform your veterinarian, so that other required treatments can be effectively integrated.

How is the effectiveness of a pet supplement determined?

Very few pet supplements have been subjected to scientific trials to determine their efficacy. Most of the information about pet supplements comes from anecdotal or testimonial evidence (someone tells you about their personal experience or about another patient who showed some benefit when taking the product). Supplements are also often used in pets because of their effects in humans or laboratory research. Although this information may be helpful, it is incomplete, and may not give a realistic indication of potential benefits to a pet.

With respect to older pets, enhanced appearance (especially of the skin and coat), improvement in mobility, and increased activity levels are all common outcomes observed through the use of pet supplements. There may even be an observable dose-related response, where improvements are noticed when a supplement is given, and declines noticed when it is not. In these situations, the benefits of the pet supplement become obvious to both owner and veterinarian.

Are all pet supplements safe to use?

The best source of information about the safety of pet supplements is your veterinarian. Some veterinarians may not have an advanced knowledge of alternative treatments, in which case a referral to another practitioner with a reputation for knowledge of pet supplements may be recommended.

Quality of pet supplements can vary depending on the source and the manufacturer. Reputable manufacturers will provide detailed information about the product on the label or in a package insert. Veterinarians are often a good source of information about quality issues for individual products.