Posts Tagged ‘diet’

From anxiety issues to urinary tract infections, veterinarians are using natural nutritional supplements — sometimes called “nutraceuticals” — to help support healthy body function in pets and, in some cases, reduce reliance on drugs (pharmaceuticals).


At Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, our line-up of nutritional supplements supports dog and cat health in these areas: liver, gastrointestinal tract, joints, urinary tract, skin, and emotional health.

Our favorite nutritional supplements for pets include Cranberry PlusDasuquin, Denamarin (not shown), Free Form Snip Tips, Solliquin, and Vetri Mega Probiotic.

Nutritional supplements often are used alongside traditional medications and other supportive treatment. Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian, recommends supplements for his patients: to promote good health, reduce symptoms, and lessen the chance of recurrence of certain medical problems.

Always consult your pet’s veterinarian before starting your pet on a nutritional supplement. Unless directed otherwise, stick to supplements specially formulated for pets (skip the human products).

Nutritional supplements can enhance your pet’s health, but often are not sufficient to treat or cure a particular disease or disorder. Be sure to partner with your pet’s veterinarian to determine if a nutritional supplement can help your dog or cat.

Contact Us to schedule an appointment at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic to discuss your pet’s health today.

This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or suggest a treatment for any disease or disorder. This article is not a substitute for veterinary care or a client-doctor-patient relationship, nor does it constitute such a relationship. Your pet’s veterinarian is the best source of information regarding your pet’s health.

Always check with your pet’s doctor before adding any supplement to your pet’s diet. Examination, tests and a treatment plan may be necessary before beginning nutritional supplements. Not all supplements are appropriate for all pets. Ask your veterinarian. 

Neither Dr. Miele nor Little Creek Veterinary Clinic or its staff is responsible for outcomes based on information available on this site.

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   In our previous post, we reviewed Ten Warning Signs of Cancer in Dogs and Cats, as reported by the Morris Animal Foundation (MAF). MAF is a leader in funding research that improves animals’ lives. Cancer is a chief health concern.

   Eleven million dogs and cats are diagnosed with cancer each year. The number is staggering — but there are things pet owners can do to help prevent cancer in their pets.

   Today, we share Morris Animal Foundation’s list of 12 things you can do to reduce your pet’s risk of developing cancer.

CLICK HERE to download the list for easy reading.


CLICK HERE to download the list for easy reading.


   To learn more about the Morris Animal Foundation, the good work they do, and how you can be a part of the movement toward better animal health, visit their website:


Disclaimer: Information on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure your pet. Information provided on this site does not take the place of a valid client-patient-doctor relationship, nor does it constitute such a relationship. Your pet’s veterinarian is the best source of information regarding your pet’s health. Your pet may require an examination and testing by a licensed veterinarian in order to provide proper diagnosis and treatment. Neither Dr. Miele nor Little Creek Veterinary Clinic or its staff is responsible for outcomes based on information available on this site. Every pet’s condition is unique and requires the direct care and oversight of its own veterinarian.

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New Year’s Resolution to Lose Weight Applies to Our Pets As Well

Brea, Calif. (Jan. 1, 2015) The number one New Year’s resolution in America is to lose weight and data shows that pet owners should extend that resolution to their dogs and cats. New data released by Veterinary Pet Insurance Co., (VPI), the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, reveals that pet obesity is on the rise for the fourth straight year. In 2013, VPI policyholders filed for more than $52 million in claims for conditions and diseases that can be related to pet obesity, a 7.3 percent growth from 2012.

    Table scraps and excessive treats are major contributors associated with disproportionate weight gain in pets. Similar to their human counterparts, excessive body fat increases the risk of preventable health problems and shortens the life expectancy of pets. VPI, a Nationwide company, recently sorted through its database of more than 525,000 insured pets to determine the top 10 dog and cat obesity-related conditions. Below are the results:

Most Common Dog Obesity-Related Conditions Most Common Cat Obesity-Related Conditions
1. Arthritis 1. Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease
2. Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease 2. Chronic Kidney Disease
3. Low Thyroid Hormone 3. Diabetes
4. Liver Disease 4. Liver Disease
5. Torn Knee Ligaments 5. Asthma
6. Diabetes 6. Arthritis
7. Diseased Disc in the Spine 7. High Blood Pressure
8. Fatty Growth 8. Heart Failure
9. Chronic Kidney Disease 9. Gall Bladder Disorder
10. Heart Failure 10. Immobility of Spine


Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

“Pet owners need to be aware of the damage excessive weight gain can have on their pet,” said Dr. Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “Pet lovers need to be conscious of the calories in food and treats they are giving their pets. The New Year is a perfect time for pet owners to start managing their pet’s eating habits and establish a regular exercise routine to avoid obesity. Regular wellness visits to your veterinarian are the most effective way to monitor your pet’s weight, along with being aware of signs of weight gain.”

    In 2013, VPI received more than 39,000 canine claims for arthritis, the most common joint disease aggravated by excessive weight. The average claim fee was $300 per pet. For cats, bladder or urinary tract disease was the most common condition that can be aggravated by obesity. VPI received 4,700 medical claims for this ailment – with an average claim amount of $420 per pet.

    In addition to taking pets to the veterinarian for regular wellness visits, below are simple tests you can perform to determine if your pet needs to lose weight: 

  • You should be able to lightly feel your pet’s ribs without pressing.
  • You should see a noticeable “waist” on your pet, between the back of the ribs and the hips, when viewing your pet from above. When looking from the side, your pet’s belly should go up from the bottom of the ribcage to inside the thighs.

About Veterinary Pet Insurance

    With more than 525,000 pets insured nationwide, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency (VPI) is a member of the Nationwide family of companies and is the first and largest pet health insurance company in the United States. Since 1982, VPI has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers.

    VPI Pet Insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. CareGuard® coverage for routine care is available for an additional premium. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Pet owners can find VPI Pet Insurance on Facebook or follow @VPI on Twitter. For more information about VPI Pet Insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit

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This is the final installment of the National Pet Wellness Month series, and I’ve rounded out the Pet Wellness Plan to 10 items.

Here are the Top Ten Ways to Keep Your Pet Healthy:

  1. Twice a year examinations
  2. Protective vaccinations
  3. Pet health insurance
  4. Microchipping
  5. Spay/neuter
  6. Internal parasite control
  7. External parasite control
  8. Dental care
  9. Proper diet
  10. Exercise

We already know that obesity is a big problem among pets. In fact, 54% of pets in America are overweight. In an otherwise healthy pet, the two greatest contributors to obesity are poor diet and a lack of exercise. The good news is, these are two areas you can control

A few words about diet: 
*Feed your pet more than once a day. Three small meals a day are ideal.
*Give your pet more of your attention, not more food.
*Choose a respected brand, like Hill’s Science Diet. Hill’s has an active website, e-mail newsletter, and a Facebook page, all of which can be used to communicate with pet owners.
*Choose an age-based diet. Your pet will transition from puppy (or kitten) food to adult food to senior food over its lifetime. Each diet is formulated for the nutritional needs of the particular lifestage.
*Your vet can direct you to an adult pet diet based on other health concerns, such as activity level, weight regulation, skin or digestive conditions, and more.
*Beware the risks of raw food diets, which may contain harmful pathogens such as Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli, and more. Humans can also be sickened through handling raw foods or by exposure to an infected pet. Read more on the American Veterinary Medical Association’s policy regarding raw food diets. The American College of Veterinary Nutritionists has published their opinion on raw food diets under their FAQs page.
*Keep abreast of pet food/pet treat recalls. It seems like they’re everywhere these days. Type “pet food recalls 2012” into a search engine and look for results from the FDA.

A few words about exercise:
*Aside from staving off numerous health problems, exercise can relieve anxiety due to boredom. Dogs and cats that are bored may act out by destroying objects in their environment or through self-harm, like excessive licking and chewing.
*Pets bond with their owners through exercise and playtime. Even solitary cats like to exercise their predatory skills once in a while!
*Look for the pet exercise app from Petmobi (coming soon – sign up for more info).
*Check out pet exercises from Hill’s Pet Nutrition.


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