Most pet owners appreciate the importance of diet to their pets’ health and longevity, but when it comes to selecting a good food option for their pets from the myriad choices that exist in the marketplace, the decision can be an overwhelming one. What should pet owners consider when reviewing the nutritional labeling on the various food options they are considering? …more
Pet Allergies     Jennifer Ryan
Allergies are among the top reasons for canine and feline veterinary visits. Heredity can play a role in a pet’s predisposition to developing allergies, with certain breeds being statistically more likely to develop allergies, but all breeds of cats and dogs can develop allergies after two or more exposures to a given allergen. …more

Protecting your cat from toxic plants    Veronica Daehn Harvey
Cats love to nibble on grass. Many cat owners know that. But what some might not know is that not all greenery is safe for felines.  Both plants found outdoors in yards and indoors in pots can be harmful to cats. …more
Feline Herpes Virus: My cat has what?     Mat Kimmes, CVT

Feline herpes virus is a species-specific, non-zoonotic virus that is commonly diagnosed in cats. Although not transmissible to humans, this virus is highly contagious to other cats. It is said that the majority of cats have been exposed to feline herpes virus, but not all will show symptoms. Often, symptoms occur more frequently in purebred (Persian, Himalayan, Siamese, etc.) and rescued cats (farm, stray, humane society, etc.), due to weaker immune systems and stressful situations. …more
Is pet insurance necessary? Jen Reeder

Connecticut resident Chris Guelke’s 6 ½-year-old Lab mix, Watson, has a zest for life. Whether it’s diving off a dock to swim in a lake or running full throttle through the woods, he gives it his all—with disregard for his personal safety. “He’s high energy, he’s large, and he goes 100 percent all the time,” Guelke said.  “The first year that we had him, we were at the vet often so we thought, ‘We’d better look into pet insurance.’” …more
Pet food recall: Bravo issues nationwide recall of pet food for dogs and cats PetsMatter
According to the Pet Nutrition Alliance and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Bravo is recalling select lots and products of Bravo Pet Food because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. …more
Looking for a built-in workout buddy? Jack Sommars

Why pay for an expensive gym membership when, chances are, you’re already living with a built-in workout buddy?It’s your dog.“I’ve never encountered a dog that isn’t willing to go for a walk or run, any time of day or night, regardless of the weather or the time of day,” says Dr. Ernie Ward, a veterinarian, author, and human fitness advocate.   …more
Diabetes in pets     Jennifer Ryan
The obesity epidemic besieging the U.S. populace extends to our pet populations, with an estimated 37 percent increase in overweight or obese dogs and a shocking 90 percent increase in overweight or obese cats in the past 6 to 7 years, according to a USA Today article. …more
Life after dog: Support and resources on pet loss Larry Kay

To have a pet is to sign up for near-inevitable sadness—we almost always outlive our beloved companions. Learning to live with loss is an essential part of life. It’s not easy, but to deny the pain is to deny that we live, that we love, and that we matter to each other. …more
Banfield releases 2014 ‘State of Pet Health Report’ Jennifer Ryan
Banfield Pet Hospital released the State of Pet Health 2014 Report on April 15. Collected from the more than 850 Banfield veterinary hospitals, which are located in 43 states nationwide, the report summarizes medical data collected from more than 2.3 million dogs and 470,000 cats cared for at Banfield hospitals. What the data reveals is a shocking increase in infectious diseases in the nation’s pets. …more
Why you should visit your vet just to say ‘Hi’ Larry Kay
A visit to the veterinarian can be stressful for pets. Unfamiliar smells and sounds, unfamiliar hands poking and prodding you with strange objects, and other animals possibly experiencing pain or fear surrounding you—all tend to make pets feel uncomfortable or fearful. …more

PetsMatter is provided by the American Animal Hospital Association for educational purposes only. The information should not be used as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. PetsMatter is not intended as a recommendation or endorsement of specific tests, products, procedures, or opinions. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian. AAHA is an association of veterinary teams that are committed to excellence in companion animal care. It is the only organization that accredits animal hospitals throughout the United States and Canada. © 2014 American Animal Hospital Association.