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Decipher the role of SALT in your pooch’s diet

Something as simple as salt can become a matter of great concern for your beloved pet. Salt is nothing but sodium and chloride, but there are innumerable myths surrounding salt in dog’s diet. So, grab your cup of coffee and embark on this enlightening journey.

Dr. Sunita Patel

Why salt is important?
“Sodium chloride is required to main tain blood pressure, blood volume, transmission of nerve impulses and maintain the acid base balance in the body. Sodium aids in the transfer of nutrients to cells and removal of waste products. While, chloride is required for production of hydrochloric acid for digestion of protein in stomach,” said Dr Sunita Patel. Dr Gautam Anand told, “The excretion of sodium and chloride is a rather slow process in dogs, they need very limited amount of salt in the daily diet.”
Humans lose a great amount of salt by sweating. For those of you who didn’t know, dogs sweat from their paws and nose. Dr Prabhjot said, “Since dogs don’t sweat as much as we humans do, their salt intake should also be limited.”
Problems related to high salt and low salt diet
We all know that excess of everything is bad, but there can also be a problem if the required intake amount is not met.
Problems related to high salt intake: “While, high sodium or hypernatremia causes Untitled-14increased thirst, confusion, disorientation, seizures and coma. It can also result in vomiting, diarrhoea and water loss through urine,” told Dr Sunita Patel.  “Excessive intake of either of these two minerals is filtered through kidneys and released into urine. Seizures, blindness, dehydration, loss of appetite and sometimes death are some of the signs of sodium chloride toxicity in dogs. Always ensure your dog has access to clean drinking water,” told Dr Makarand Chavan.
Problems related to low salt intake: A low sodium diet may also cause a lot of problems. “Low sodium or hyponatremia causes lethargy, weakness, seizures and coma,” explained Dr Sunita Patel. “Difficulties in maintaining water balance, fatigue, dry and flaky skin, hair loss and exhaustion are some of the effects of a low sodium diet,” said Dr Gautam.
Dr Makarand Chavan told, “Prolonged diarrohea or severe vomiting could be major reasons of such deficiency and it is advisable to consult a veterinarian before the condition gets serious.”
Home-cooked food
What about home-cooked food? Is it balanced? “Home-cooked food is difficult to balance the protein, carbohydrate and fats required by body and needs supplementation with vitamins and minerals,” told
Dr Sunita Patel. “Their intake should be a balance of animal protein and fat, carbohydrates. Home meals must contain a balance  of cooked meat without bones (70 percent) with carbohydrates like rice or wheat  with certain vegetables like carrots, beans, pumpkin, bottle gourd (30 percent) – all cooked together,” she added.
“Home-cooked food can provide good nutrition, if rightly formulated by qualified veterinary nutritionist,” told Dr Manvir. There are a lot of dogs who are given home cooked food. In such cases it becomes the pet parent’s responsibility to see that the dog is getting appropriate nutrition. It is important you consult the vet for a proper diet chart and preparation of the same.
“The market is full of health supplements. If your pet eats only home-cooked food, then it is advisable that you give these supplements that would cater to their daily requirement of minerals and vitamins,”
added Dr Prabhjot.
Dog food
“Most of the responsible pet parents offer commercial pet food to their pets. They should ensure what they are feeding to their pets should meet the requirements of the pet. It can be ensured by seeing the label of nutrient composition at packet and consulting your veterinary nutritionist/veterinarian,” told Dr Manvir Singh.

On Dog Food
“Pet food has come into the market after a lot of research. It is a totally balanced meal,” said Dr Sunita Patel.

Foods that are a strict ‘NO – NO’
Cheese, bacon, ham, chips and sausages are some foods that have an excess amount of sodium. Thus you must always refrain from giving these to your pet. In case your pooch has some kidney, liver or heart disease there are chances that your vet may recommend a low sodium diet. This is done to decrease blood pressure and avoid accumulation of excess body fluids.
PS – Don’t fall prey to those soulful eyes, table scarps should go in the dustbin and not into your pet’s tummy. Be careful of what you make your pet eat. It’s your responsibility.

On human food
“Salty foods upset the electrolyte balance and table scraps are not advised,” explained Dr Sunita Pate

Salt Facts

Importance of salt: It helps in maintaining the balance between intra and extracellular fluids of body. It also helps in transferring nutrients to cells and removal of wastes. Na and Cl play important role in regulating blood pressure.
How much salt is required in dog’s diet? Almost all foods contain NaCl and it is integral part of commercial pet foods also. The minimum daily requirement of sodium (Na) for dogs is rather lower than Chloride (Cl) and not particularly challenging to meet. AAFCO dog nutrient profiles which might be viewed as somewhat representative of Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), list a recommended Na content of 0.2 percent on dry matter basis for both growth and maintenance OR 0.86 gm per 1000 kcal ME (Metabolisable Energy) for growth and 0.17 gm per 1000 Kcal ME for adult maintenance.
Problems related to low/high sodium intake: Problems related to low salt intake are extremely rare because all foods contain sodium chloride (salt). It may occur in case of severe diarrhoea and vomition that may lead to excess loss of Na and Cl from the body. Symptoms may include dehydration, disorientation and stupor. In case of your pet is suffering from certain ailments related to kidneys, liver and heart, you must take advice from a veterinarian who can recommend decreasing sodium intake for the pet. This will help decrease the pet’s high blood pressure or accumulation of excessive body fluid.
If salt or salty food is ingested in large quantity and sufficient drinking water is not available to dog, then salt toxicity may occur. Symptoms of salt toxicity are dehydration, vomition, seizures, blindness, loss of appetite, thriftiness and death if not treated. Generally extra salt (NaCl) is extracted from body through urine.

(With inputs from Dr Sunita Patel, Veterinary Surgeon, All India Animal Welfare Association and President, Pet Practitioners Association of Mumbai; Dr Gautam Anand, Dr Anand’s Pets Clinics, New Delhi;  Dr Prabhjot, Triguna Dog Clinics, New Delhi; Dr Manvir Singh, MVSc(IVRI) and Veterinary Nutritionist, College of Veterinary Sciences, Pantnagar, Uttarakhand and Dr Makarand Chavan, BVSc &AH, MVSc, Dogs and Cats Veterinary Clinic, Mumbai).

Recognise your pooch’s style statement!

Petville Pet Store in Pune is committed to offer the best shopping destination for stylish pet products.

A dog bed, feeding bowl, collar and leash, T-shirt or sweater, raincoats, traveling bags, bandannas… here is the list of ‘must have’ accessories that you can make a style statement with your pet.

Walk in stylefun n frolic
Whether it is a daily walk, a party or a fashion event, make a style statement with a stylish leash and collar combo. Body Belt with a leash is also ideal for an outing.

fun n frolics 1Dress in style
T-shirts and sweaters will not only they keep your furry baby warm, they will look uber cool! The pitter patter in monsoon does not mean to lock away your canine home. Glam him up with a colourful raincoat, secure his feet in comfortable dog shoes. Doggy socks not only look cool but can also protect the paws of your pet during the cold weather.

fun n frolicSleep in style

A warm cosy bed is what one needs at the end of the tiring day. Choose from a variety of mattresses and dog houses. The latter are available with either zip or velcro. What’s more? You can carry his dog house even when you are travelling and they can be easily
washed at home.


Eat in styledog feactures fun n frolic

Vibrant bowls can add colour to the dining area of your pooch. Collapsible feeding bowl easily fits in a pocket, great for travel, parks and walks.

 

2Travel in style
Traveling bags with proper ventilation will help you carry your pet in style. So, go ahead and bon voyage! It doesn’t cost a bomb to buy the above mentioned basic stuff for your pet, with so many pet stores and online shopping portals you can compare the prices and go for the best deal. Bring in some fashion and style in the world of your pet, they deserve it!

(Preeti Agrawal runs Petville Pet Store in Pune committed to offer the best shopping destination for stylish pet products)

Pearly whites: window to your pooch’s health

Probably the number one health problem for dogs, apart from being overweight, is periodontal disease. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, more than 80 percent of dogs show signs of periodontal disease by the age of three. Here’s how to take care of your pooch’s teeth.

The accumulation of tartar and plaque and the resulting gingivitis can lead to more serious disease. TartarUntitled-5 accumulates, and eventually the healthy pink gum starts to look red, and swell. At this point, without medical intervention, gingivitis or inflammation of the gum takes over. This process leads to bad breath. And worse, it often leads to damage to the jawbones, and loss of teeth. Pet parents can lightly brush their dog’s teeth at least twice a week to remove plaque deposits. A child’s nylon toothbrush dipped in a toothpaste made for dogs should be used. Do not use toothpaste made for humans, which can cause nausea in dogs if swallowed. An alternative to brushing is using a dental chew. Studies by Waltham have shown that certain specifically designed dental health chews (Dentastix) result in a significant reduction of plaque and calculus accumulation, gingivitis and malodour. Dry dog food like Pedigree also helps prevent dental plaque accumulation.

Spot check – Teeth and gums
Puppies enjoy chewing on everyday household objects. Discourage your dog from doing that and provide him with a specially designed toy. Although puppies will generally not have problems with their teeth or gums, plaque can quickly build up at the base of the teeth and cause gum disease in dogs as young as 12 months. To reduce the risk of this happening, regularly check your pet’s teeth. Special dog biscuits or chews are very beneficial and help clean the plaque off your dog’s teeth. You can also introduce tooth brushing at this age.
Lift your dog’s lips away from his gums, and press a finger firmly over an upper tooth. When taken away, the white colour of the finger imprint on the gum should return to pink. Open the dog’s mouth to inspect all his teeth. Beware of tartar build-up, which is yellow to dark brown in colour, and can lead to periodontal disease. This should be removed by a veterinarian. Regular veterinary dental cleaning along with specially designed pet toothbrushes and toothpaste and chew snacks, designed to eliminate plaque, can help reduce build-up.

What you can do to help your dog?
First of all, have your dog visit your vet to have his teeth properly cleaned. The procedures used are similar to what we go through when we visit the dentist to have our teeth cleaned. The difference is that dogs who have their teeth cleaned are either sedated with a tranquiliser or, more commonly, put under general anesthesia. In between visits to the vet, brush your pet’s teeth regularly. How do you do this? It’s easy. First, go to your vet’s shop and buy a toothbrush designed for using on dogs, along with toothpaste made for dogs.

How to brush your dog’s teeth?
Start by putting a small amount of the toothpaste on your finger, and gently rubbing it on your dog’s front teeth and gums. After a few times, switch from a finger to a dog’s or a child’s toothbrush, one with soft, rounded bristles. Start by brushing the front teeth only, with a downward motion on the top teeth and upward on the lower teeth—the same way we’re supposed to brush our own teeth. After your dog gets used to this new activity, start doing teeth farther back in the mouth, brushing the premolars, then molars with the same motion you used on the front teeth. Consult your vet for suitable brush and paste.

Rejuvenating your pooch’s liver

Liver disease is a serious medical condition in dogs and it is very important to identify the primary cause at early stages, because liver failure will be exhibited only after 70 percent to 80 percent of cells are damaged. Here’s more on the liver diseases in pooches.

Liver – an introduction

Liver is one of the most important and complex organs that carries several vital functions like it stores dog healthnutrients, detoxifies blood, etc and has a tremendous capacity to regenerate. Liver can easily perform its functions even though after 70-80 percent of liver mass is affected by the disease/infection.

Anatomy and physiology of liver

Dog liver is normally deep red to reddish brown in colour with a firm consistency and is divided into several lobes. The chief functional cells of liver are called the heptocytes. The portal vein carries blood, nutrients and drugs and hepatic artery carries oxygen rich blood to the liver, hepatic veins drain blood form the liver and bile duct takes bile from liver cells to the gall bladder.

Liver performs many vital functions of which the most important are:

  • Metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fat.
  • Detoxification of waste.
  • Vitamin production and storage.
  • Manufacturing digestive enzymes.
  • Storage of nutrients.
  • Production of blood clotting factors.

Diseases of liver in dogs

Most of the liver diseases are secondary to a problem elsewhere in the body. Major factors that can cause liver disease include:

  • Inflammation- Inflammation can occur due to many reasons like trauma, drugs, viruses, bacteria, bile, and toxins, which usually leads to hepatitis.
  • Infection- Bacteria, viruses, and fungi can cause liver disease. Specific diseases include infectious canine hepatitis, canine herpesvirus, feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), leptospirosis, abscesses, histoplasmosis, coccidiomycosis, and toxoplasmosis.
  • Heartworms- These worms can block blood flow into the liver and cause liver failure.
  • Toxins- Toxins through food and water as well as drugs used for treating illness can affect liver. For example, drugs like Ketaconazole, Acetaminophen, Glucocorticoids, Anthelmintics and Phenobarbital, etc.
  • Anaemia – Haemolytic anaemia can decrease the oxygen available to liver cells and lead to their death, thus causing liver damage.
  • Pancreatitis- The severe inflammatory process that occurs with digestive enzymes can spill over into the liver and cause liver damage.

Common symptoms observed in liver diseases

Symptoms of liver diseases are variable and subtle in the early stages of the problem. Some of these include:

  • Loss of appetite, vomition, nausea and diarrhoea.
  • Ascites-accumulation of fluid in the abdomen.
  • Yellowing of skin and mucous membrane (jaundice).
  • Pain associated with abdomen.
  • Increased water consumption and excessive urination.

Treating liver diseases

Liver disease is a serious medical condition in dogs and it is very important to identify the primary cause at early stages, because liver failure will be exhibited only after 70- 80 percent of cells are damaged. When a dog is presented to the vet, complete history, followed by the physical examination for observable abnormalities such as distended abdomen, dehydration, signs of jaundice, etc are usually carried out. A comprehensive assessment of liver enzymes that include alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (AP) and gamma glutamyltransferase (GGT) is must when suspected or tentatively diagnosed for liver ailment.

Diagnosing liver disease in dogs requires a number of tests that typically are conducted in a specific order over an extended period of time. Using a combination of history, physical examination, blood, urine, faecal tests, coagulation profiles, diagnostic imaging and tissue sampling tests, a veterinarian should be able to assess the nature and extent of a dog’s liver condition, so that an appropriate treatment protocol can be implemented.

The key to effective treatment in liver disease depends upon treating the primary conditions or removing the cause of the disease. Physical activity is usually kept minimal and special diet low in proteins is recommended.

(Dr Ritesh Sood is Product Manager at the Himalaya Drug Company. For further info, e-mail at: marketingahp@himalayahealthcare.com).

The why’s of your pooch’s crazy antics

Sometimes your pooch behaves in a bizarre way that leave you completely baffled.


The-why’s-of-your-pooch’s-crazy-anticsHere’s why …
Why do puppies chew up socks, old shoes, and purses?

Puppies like to explore new tastes besides when they have teething problems, they like to chew on things specially socks to relieve their pain and discomfort which is synonymous with teething. Puppies also chew due to separation anxiety. Chewing also helps them release their tension and anxiety.

Sometimes, pups and dogs chew out of sheer boredom, therefore take them out for a walk in the park. Besides, poor nutrition is also one of the causes leading to chewing. The absence of proper nutrients in your pooch’s daily diet can make her chew on many things in order to fulfill her need for the nutrients lacking in her diet. Feed your doggy with a good quality dog food.

On no condition give your puppy old shoes and socks to chew because your pooch does not know the difference between old and new, therefore whatever shoes and socks she sees, she will think they are meant for chewing. Instead, buy her chew toys.

Why do dogs chase cars?

It is inherent nature of dogs to run after moving objects whether it is a butterfly, cat, dog, rickshaw, car or a motorcycle but you must train your dog only to chase objects which are not harmful. Dogs love to chase moving vehicles therefore whenever you take her for a walk and you see a vehicle pass by her, hold the leash tightly so that your pooch does not run after the speeding vehicle and try to give it a chase.

You must strictly stop her and train her not to chase moving vehicles. Every time she obeys you, show her your appreciation by giving a nice rub on her back and her favourite juicy bone.

Why do dogs bark incessantly?

Dogs usually bark when they see strangers or perceive a threat from somebody.

They have a knack of perceiving a person’s personality and if they are not comfortable with the person, your pooch will bark to chase him away. This type of barking is known as good barking which can save you.

Besides this good barking there is another type of barking known as constant barking when your pet pooch barks incessantly at every visitor coming to your house. Train her not to bark at your friends and neighbours. And if she obeys you, reward her with her favourite food.

Take her around the neighborhood to become familiar with people living around. Once she comes to know them she will not bark at them.

Another way by which you can stop your pooch from constant barking is to provide her with plenty of exercise and engage her with activities in which she can play ball and provide her with chew toys to chew on. All these will keep her mentally engrossed and occupied to such an extent that there will be no reason for her to bark constantly.

Why do dogs roll on the ground after their bath?

Dogs roll on the ground after their bath in order to mask their scent. This is an instinctive behaviour that no amount of training is likely to change. Let them enjoy.

Why do dogs chase their tails?

A dog always chases her tail because she wants you to give her more attention.

Why do dogs eat grass?

In order to prevent your doggy from chewing on grass, give her treats like juicy bone of meat, her favourite biscuits, a round robust fish to eat, etc.

Why are dogs always afraid of thunder?

Dogs cannot stand the loud noise of thunder because they feel they cannot escape the danger brought about by the thunder because of its ear shattering noise. Keep her safe indoors during this time.

Why do dogs stick out their head of the car window?

When you take your pooch out for an outing in the car, she always sticks her head out of the window because she loves fresh air, new smells and the wonderful sights. To avoid accidents, hang on to her.

Training

The why’s of your pooch’s crazy antics

Sometimes your pooch behaves in a bizarre way that leave you completely baffled.
Here’s why … Why do puppies chew up socks, old shoes, and purses?

Puppies like to explore new tastes besides when they have teething problems, they like to chew on things specially socks to relieve their pain and discomfort which is synonymous with teething. Puppies also chew due to separation anxiety. Chewing also helps them release their tension and anxiety.

Sometimes, pups and dogs chew out of sheer boredom, therefore take them out for a walk in the park. Besides, poor nutrition is also one of the causes leading to chewing. The absence of proper nutrients in your pooch’s daily diet can make her chew on many things in order to fulfill her need for the nutrients lacking in her diet. Feed your doggy with a good quality dog food.

On no condition give your puppy old shoes and socks to chew because your pooch does not know the difference between old and new, therefore whatever shoes and socks she sees, she will think they are meant for chewing. Instead, buy her chew toys.

Why do dogs chase cars?

It is inherent nature of dogs to run after moving objects whether it is a butterfly, cat, dog, rickshaw, car or a motorcycle but you must train your dog only to chase objects which are not harmful. Dogs love to chase moving vehicles therefore whenever you take her for a walk and you see a vehicle pass by her, hold the leash tightly so that your pooch does not run after the speeding vehicle and try to give it a chase.

You must strictly stop her and train her not to chase moving vehicles. Every time she obeys you, show her your appreciation by giving a nice rub on her back and her favourite juicy bone.

Why do dogs bark incessantly?

Dogs usually bark when they see strangers or perceive a threat from somebody.

They have a knack of perceiving a person’s personality and if they are not comfortable with the person, your pooch will bark to chase him away. This type of barking is known as good barking which can save you.

Besides this good barking there is another type of barking known as constant barking when your pet pooch barks incessantly at every visitor coming to your house. Train her not to bark at your friends and neighbours. And if she obeys you, reward her with her favourite food.

Take her around the neighborhood to become familiar with people living around. Once she comes to know them she will not bark at them.

Another way by which you can stop your pooch from constant barking is to provide her with plenty of exercise and engage her with activities in which she can play ball and provide her with chew toys to chew on. All these will keep her mentally engrossed and occupied to such an extent that there will be no reason for her to bark constantly.

Why do dogs roll on the ground after their bath?

Dogs roll on the ground after their bath in order to mask their scent. This is an instinctive behaviour that no amount of training is likely to change. Let them enjoy.

Why do dogs chase their tails?

A dog always chases her tail because she wants you to give her more attention.

Why do dogs eat grass?

In order to prevent your doggy from chewing on grass, give her treats like juicy bone of meat, her favourite biscuits, a round robust fish to eat, etc.

Why are dogs always afraid of thunder?

Dogs cannot stand the loud noise of thunder because they feel they cannot escape the danger brought about by the thunder because of its ear shattering noise. Keep her safe indoors during this time.

Why do dogs stick out their head of the car window?

When you take your pooch out for an outing in the car, she always sticks her head out of the window because she loves fresh air, new smells and the wonderful sights. To avoid accidents, hang on to her.