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Altona Veterinary Clinic
97 Pier Street
Altona, Vic, 3018

info@altonavet.com.au
www.altonavet.com.au
Phone: 03 9398 3333
Contents of this newsletter

01  A new way to trim your dog's nails?

02  Top tips for nail trimming at home

03  I'm so confused, what should I feed my pet?

04  Grain-free diets - are they better?

05  Is your pet is overweight?

01 A new way to trim your dog's nails?

We've found a video to catch your attention this month... but we don't necessarily recommend trying this at home!

Check out this ingenious way to trim a bulldog's nails. If you happen to be feeling confident enough to try trimming your pet's nails at home (in a more conventional way!) you should read on for our a top nail trimming tips (below.) 

The good news is, we are always here to help keep your pet's nails neat and tidy. Call us anytime to arrange a pedicure for your pet. 

02 Top tips for nail trimming at home
nail-trimming

Six steps for nail trimming at home:

1. Be prepared - get all of your equipment ready first, including some of your pet's favourite treats!

2. It is easier to have your pet in a sitting or lying down position. Cat's might feel safer wrapped in a towel. 

3. Hold your pet's paw and apply gentle pressure to the base of the nail to help move the nail away from the pad (this is particularly helpful in cats.)

4. Trim the tip of the nail at the point where it curves around. It's always best to take less rather than too much. Avoid trimming the quick (nail bed) - this can be seen in a white nail (pink tissue) but not so easily in a black nail. Ask us to demonstrate where to trim your pet's nail's. If you do happen to cut too far and there is a bit of blood, don't worry, just use a cake of soap to 'plug' the nail and stop the bleeding!

5. Reward your pet after each nail is trimmed - food treats are great and create a positive experience for your pet.

6. Don't forget to trim the dew claws on the inside of each fore-leg (and in some pets, the hind-leg). These nails are easy to miss but are often the longest nails as they are not worn down as your pet walks.

Ask us for more information or for a demonstration. And never feel bad asking us to trim your pet's nails - we are always here to help!

03 I'm so confused, what should I feed my pet?
dog-food-bowl

It can be very overwhelming when trying to choose the best diet for your pet. There are so many options out there and each seem to claim to provide specific health benefits for your pet. 

What is the most suitable diet for your pet? That's easy! A diet recommended by us. When it comes to nutrition, we are able to give you educated information and recommend the most suitable diet for your pet, at every stage of their life. If your pet is young, old, overweight, underweight, arthritic or suffering from diseases such as kidney or urinary tract disease, we will be able to recommend the correct diet for your pet. 

You may have also noticed that many pet food manufacturers promote their food as being 'superior' for containing 'all natural ingredients'. All of the foods we recommend contain natural ingredients and these are precisely balanced for optimum nutrition. This means your pet won’t receive too little or too much of certain nutrients. This is a claim only particular brands can make.

If you are feeling overwhelmed and don't know where to start with your pet's diet, you should always ask us for information. We will help you make the best choice when it comes to your pet’s nutrition.

04 Grain-free diets - are they better?
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Many people assume that grain-free diets are 'more natural' and carbohydrate-free. They also have the conception that grain-free diets are less likely to cause allergies. But none of this is true!

There has been no scientific evidence to prove that grain-free diets are better for our pets, but the growing number of these products on the market is giving the misperception that grain is bad for pets.

Some of the misconceptions about grain-free diets include:

1. Grains may be used as fillers in pet foods: The term 'filler' indicates there is no nutritional value. Various grain products provide protein, which may be easier for the pet to digest than some proteins from meat. Most dogs and cats (greater than 90%) can easily utilise and digest nutrients from grains normally found in pet foods.

2. Grains cause food allergies: Food allergies in pets are uncommon and grain allergies are even more uncommon. They are more likely to be caused by an animal protein (eg, chicken, beef, or dairy.)

3. Grains cause gluten intolerance: Coeliac disease is an inherited autoimmune disease seen in humans that has been associated with sensitivity to gluten proteins in wheat and grains, such as barley and rye. Gluten intolerance is extremely rare in dogs and nonexistent in cats. 

4. Grain-free pet foods are carbohydrate free: Grain-free pet foods often contain carbohydrates from other sources such as sweet potatoes, which have a higher carbohydrate level than corn. Grains are carbohydrates, which are an important energy source, and one of the six basic nutrients required for a healthy life (i.e. water, protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals.)

Remember, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that grain-free diets offer more health benefits than a diet with grains, but if you need more information or want to discuss which diet is most suitable for your pet, you should ask us today.

05 Is your pet is overweight?
lenno

The best way to tell if you pet is overweight is to take a good look at them!

Here's how ...

+ Peer down on your pet from above.
+ An overweight pet will have lost definition of their waist
+ Instead of an hourglass figure they might look a bit rotund and may even resemble a coffee table!
+ You will also have a bit of trouble feeling their ribs when you run your hands over their sides
+ A very obese pet will have neck fat, a round tummy as well as fat deposits over the hips

You might think carrying a few extra kilos isn't a big deal, but unfortunately overweight pets are at an increased risk of arthritis, heart disease, respiratory disorders and diabetes. What is alarming is that most people aren’t even aware that their pet is a bit portly.

If you are worried about your pet's weight, we recommend that you drop-in for a weight check with us. We will assess and discuss with you your pet’s body condition and, if necessary, start a weight loss plan.

What to do if your pet is a bit portly ...

Getting your pet to lose weight is easier than you think! Exercise will help but it is absolutely crucial to feed your pet the correct diet and the right amount. Did you know that we have diets available that will actually increase your pet’s metabolic rate to help your pet lose weight? Just ask Lenno! He is able to maintain his svelte like figure on this diet and keeping him this way has never been easier.

We are always happy to help you out in this department and are the best people to ask for more information.

And finally, check out this dog's attempt at exercise on YouTube. Did you know that his yawn is actually a sign of anxiety (and he's not tired)? Maybe he's anxious about the thought of exercise?!