December 16, 2014
Whether you’re a breed loyalist or dedicated rescuer, there’s always more to learn about our four-legged best friends. The best pet for your home may not be one that would fit well in your neighbor’s. So how can we know what type of pet would make our ideal companion?
In this month’s podcast, Chief Embracer Laura Bennett and Dr. Patrick Mahaney tackle questions about what to look for in a breeder, doggie DNA tests, and more:
Is there are any truth to the rumor that mixed breeds are actually healthier than purebred pets?
- With the popularity of "designer" hybrid mixes, are there any breed combos people should shy away from?
- What are some red flags that you may be dealing with a commercial breeder/puppy mill?
- When it comes to working with a reputable breeder, what should you look for in terms of their contracts and health testing requirements?
- Are there significant differences in temperament between a purebred and a mixed breed?
- How reliable are pet DNA tests? Would a DNA test help identify breed traits that can affect health, nutrition, behavior/training and exercise decisions?
October 10, 2014
Most folks agree that there’s nothing sweeter than kids with pets, but it’s not always easy to have both. Many of us at Embrace have both four and two legged little ones at home, and we know that the balance can be a bit tricky sometimes. Managing everyone’s’ needs for exercise, care, and attention, while integrating animals and children safely requires some skill. We’ve checked in with Dr. Mahaney to help you keep everyone happy, healthy, and safe.
Dr. Mahaney helps us with the following questions:
What's the best way to build positive experiences for kids to help them reduce their fears surrounding pets?
- Are there any illnesses parents should be worried about kids passing to pets or vice versa?
- What's the best way to get a pup ready for new baby?
- Any good tricks to keep the dogs from swiping the baby's toys besides the obvious solution of storage? A lot of them squeak the same.
- What is your best advice for teaching kids and pets how to be "gentle" with each other, while encouraging interaction?
Click on the link below to hear the audio:
September 17, 2014
It’s National Pet Insurance month and when you want to learn about all things pet insurance, you go to the experts. We’re still waiting for the day when Laura Bennett is asked to do a TEDtalk on pet insurance, but in the meantime, listen in as she and Dr. Patrick Mahaney answer your questions on everything from top claims to alternative therapies.
Laura shares with us:
What is the (estimated) number or percentage of pet owners in the U.S. who have insurance for their pets?
- What are Embrace’s top canine and feline health claims?
- What are the main reasons pet owners give for establishing health insurance for their cats and dogs?
- Why should a pet owner get pet insurance (ability to have pet undergo diagnostics, treatment, etc.)?
- Does the typical pet owner keep their pet on Embrace insurance throughout the pet's life?
- Does Embrace cover any pre-existing conditions?
- Does Embrace cover complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), such as acupuncture, physical therapy, chiropractic, etc.?
And, Dr. Mahaney tells us what veterinarians think about pet insurance and how it has changed over recent years.
August 13, 2014
Today’s podcast issue is well, just that...behavioral issues. We’re looking at behavioral modification from both the medical and training angles.
Some of the common concerns Dr. Patrick Mahaney and I tackle are:
- Separation anxiety:
Separation anxiety is frustrating and there's often no easy fix. What really works? What are the current medication recommendations when training and other behavioral methods don't work. Are there really more anxious pets or are pet anxiety issues just more often diagnosed than they were 10 years ago?
- Litterbox issues:
With inappropriate urination and defecation being the leading causes of cats being surrendered to shelters, any special tips or tricks you can recommend to owners struggling with litterbox problems?
- Canine inappropriate behaviors:
What trends are you finding helpful in the management or correction of inappropriate canine behaviors like excessive barking, chewing, digging, scratching, etc?
- Finding a trainer:
Do you have any "must-have" recommendations for pet parents that are looking for a trainer or behaviorist? What sorts of professionals do you recommend and who should we avoid? (link mentioned: American College of Veterinary Behaviorists)
July 16, 2014
Today’s podcast topic is pet safety, which can cover a multitude of areas. Safety in the home, safety interacting with other people and dogs, safety in different environments.
The questions Dr Patrick Mahaney and I tackle are:
- Recently a friend told me that it was OK to leave his dog in the car if it was in the shade with the windows down a crack. Can you give us some facts on internal/external temperatures of a car so show that’s just not going to help
- Can you talk about the Yellow Dog Project? It’s big out in Colorado
- Any suggestions on important first aid type items to keep on hand for your pets? [link mentioned http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/pet_first_aid_kit.html] Can you do the Heimlich Maneuver on your dog?
- Where’s an official place to get alerted about pet food recalls? Often the press releases are put out late Friday afternoon and I might miss an important one (fda site) [link mentioned www.thetruthaboutpetfood.com]
- I have big dogs so don’t crate them in the car. What do you suggest for car safety while traveling? [link mentioned
March 11, 2014
I love talking pet nutrition with Dr Patrick Mahaney. There is always something new to learn. This month, we cover the following questions:
- How can I find a good guide for the number of calories my cats should eat per day. One goes out when there’s no polar vortex outside, the other two stay in. I don’t believe the suggested amounts on the food bags and cans I buy.
- Are there any other options besides prescription diets for pets with renal/kidney issues (c/d, s/d)? I'd really prefer to feed something that is healthier but will also help with struvite/oxolate crystals.
- Can you comment on dry vs wet vs raw food. What are your thoughts on a raw diet for allergies? or raw diets in general
- How long should a puppy be on puppy food?
- Does Patrick feel a puppy should be on probiotics during their vaccination series to reduce/eliminate allergies in the future?
- I've been hearing a lot of questions on the grain free diets come up lately. What is the verdict on these for dogs and cats? As well the by-products ingredients being bad - are they really and what exactly are they?
Click on the link below to hear the audio:
February 18, 2014
This month, we are talking pet dentals. It’s Pet Dental Health Month according to the AVMA so it’s as good a time as any to talk about teeth and pets and why keeping teeth healthy is good for your pet’s overall health.
In our podcast, Dr Patrick and I address the following questions:
What is the current status of dog and cat dental health - good, bad, or plain ugly?
Why is brushing your pet's teeth so important? How can you make it a positive and simple daily task if you're just beginning to brush their teeth?
What are some examples of instances when it might be best to forgo dental care?
January 08, 2014
Just as understanding how you can maximize your pet's health is part of pet parenting, so is maximizing the quality time you spend together. Training isn't just for tricks; training also:
- strengthens the bond between you and your dog or cat
- integrates your pet seamlessly into your family life and the outside world
- improves the effectiveness of your communication with your pet
- lets you give your pet more freedom and fewer restrictions
- and reduces stress and increases happiness of having a pet in the household
Friend of Embrace, Liz Palika, talks about why you should train your dog in her article No Training? Why Not? Rules are important for your dog's social well-being, as well as your own, plus he/she is safer if she's not dashing up the road every time you open your door. And training can be fun - it's not boot camp for either party.
December 16, 2013
It was rather a chilly 8 degrees here this morning in sunny Cleveland so it made me think of my podcast with Dr Mahaney on winter dangers. Here are the questions we discuss:
Carrie: pancreatitis is common during the holidays due to dietary indiscretions; eating holiday decorations; stranger fear if a pet is anxious. Any other holiday dangers to watch out for?
Adrienne: How about the hidden dangers pets may encounter in a snow-covered landscape - whether at home or out hiking on a trail or in the woods. And how can you tell if your pet may be getting too cold when they are outside.
Jessica: what can you do to protect paws of dogs that refuse to wear boots?
November 15, 2013
Continuing on the topic of pet cancer this month, Dr Patrick Mahaney and I talk about the ins and outs of cancer in dogs and cats. Some of the questions we cover are:
- Do you think cancer is becoming more prevalent in pets, or do we just know more? If you feel it may be becoming more prevalent, besides genetics, do you think there are any specific environmental factors that contribute to this?
- What is the prognosis with cancer in cats and dogs? Can you cure cancer or are you just delaying the inevitable?
- What about early detection? What are the signs and what regular diagnostics should we be doing?
- What does he think of new product such as apocaps, which supposedly stimulate apoptosis which targets cancer cells?
- What other new or newer cancer treatments there are?
- Which dogs are more prone to cancer than others? How can cancer be hereditary?
Click on the link below for the podcast.