Four Signs that Your Pet May Have the Flu

Flu season is among us, and in some areas, it’s even becoming an epidemic. Though you may feel a bit relieved after receiving your flu shot this year, it’s important to note that we two-legged folks aren’t the only ones susceptible to the respiratory illness—our furry friends are as well. Not to worry, catching these signs early can save your pooch or feline from feeling under the weather for an extended period of time.

Look out for these four signs in your pet’s behavior that could indicate influenza:

#1. Coughing

Like in humans, when pets get the flu, they develop a cough. This cough can cause your pet’s throat to become sore. Be sure to keep plenty of fresh, clean water available for your pet if their dry cough is giving them trouble.

#2. Sneezing

Unfortunately for our furry ones, tissues aren’t exactly a pet’s best friend. When your pet sneezes, their germs from their illness spread to surrounding areas. If you notice your pet sneezing, be sure to separate them from other animals in the home, as the flu is highly contagious.

#3. Lack of Appetite

Is your pet not taking advantage of meal time like they usually do? That’s not a good sign. While your pet’s palate may change over time, neglecting to eat could mean that they are not feeling their best.

#4. Restlessness

When you are sick, it’s safe to say that you don’t feel like doing much of anything. The same goes for our pets. If you notice your spunky pooch or kitty is a little more lethargic than usual, monitor their behavior. If it extends over a long period of time, contact your vet.

Knowing your furry friend isn’t feeling their best is a tough burden to carry. If you notice any of the above signs in your pet’s behavior, be sure to consult your veterinarian as soon as you can, as the flu can turn into pneumonia if ignored. Your pet will likely be treated with antibiotics to prevent the illness from becoming any worse. When there is illness like the flu in humans or pets – close contact should be avoided and practicing good sanitary habits, like washing your hands with soap and warm water, is always a good idea. A healthy, nutritional diet and hydration are also essential in fighting off the flu.

There are also many natural remedies you can use to stop the illness in it’s tracks. For more information, click here.

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Five Signs that Indicate Your Pet is Under Stress

You’re not the only one who occasionally feels “under pressure;” our furry friends can too. Though they can’t tell us with words if they’re feeling distressed, their actions can. Sometimes, signs of stress may be an indication that your pet isn’t feeling well, and may need to go to the vet for further evaluation. As their owners, we need to make sure we are cautious of these five signs that indicate our pet is stressed:

#1. Unusual Aggressive Behavior

If your normally playful pet begins to scratch or growl out of character around people or other animals, this is a clear sign that something is wrong. Be sure to keep your pet’s vaccinations up-to-date, so when you consult your vet about your pet, they can quickly rule out any underlying medical issues.

#2. Decrease in Appetite

Is your pet’s favorite time of day feeding time? We’re familiar with that feeling. If you notice that your pet’s appetite dramatically decreases, or if they are having trouble keeping their food down, this is also a sign of stress and anxiety in our pets. When pets begin rejecting their meals, it’s important to contact your veterinarian immediately.

#3. Fatigue

If you notice that your animal is sleeping often during the day, keep an eye on their activity levels. Try to make time to encourage them to play inside and out to raise their energy. If you notice that their out of the ordinary sluggish behavior persists, they could be stressed or have a cold.

#4. Upset Tummy

This can be difficult to notice if your pet is mainly outdoors; however, if your housetrained pet has trouble getting to the litter box, or if they have trouble getting to the doggie door before they relieve themselves, anxiety could certainly be an indication. If these symptoms last longer than 24 hours, it could be a gastrointestinal issue that needs medical attention.

#5. Where’d you go?

If your clingy pet suddenly becomes MIA for long periods of time, this is also a sign that they are not feeling their best. Be sure to give them quiet time, and try not to pull them out of their hiding place; only remove them from their area if it could become dangerous for your pet to stay there.

Make sure that the environment that your pet is in is relaxed and not hectic. Try to avoid making loud noises, and be sure that your pet has a “safe,” comfortable area that they can escape to if they begin to feel overwhelmed. PetMD also identifies other tips for helping out an anxious pet in this article. Stress in our pets can be caused by a multitude of things. From health issues to environmental changes, if you notice that your pet’s behavior is out of the ordinary, be sure to contact your veterinarian for further consultation. Do you have any tips on how to relieve your stressed pet? Let us know in the comments below!

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Top Two Reasons Why its Important to Vaccinate Your Pet

Our least favorite part of the year? Heading to the doctor for the good ol’ annual check-up. Though it may be our least favorite part, it is also one of the most important. The same goes for our lovable fur companions. Like humans, our pets see no fun in getting vaccinated—but it’s vital to their health. The Precise team has conjured up our top two reasons why it’s essential to keep pet’s shots and records up-to-date:


#1 – Warding Off Diseases

Many diseases are airborne, making even mostly-indoor pets susceptible to contagion. Whether it be at the grooming salon, dog park, kennel, even at home, the risk of infection is widespread. Potential diseases that could affect your pet differ based on your geographical location, your pet’s lifestyle, and breed. Be sure to do research on the different diseases out there, and talk with your veterinarian about the best medical precautions to take for your pet.

#2 – Protecting yourself, and your pet

Did you know that 90% of human rabies cases derive from a dog bite or scratch? Start from the source, and make sure your dog or cat receives a rabies vaccine. In most states, it is actually illegal to own a mammal that has not received their rabies shot. Puppies and kittens can receive their first shot as early as 12 weeks in age. But it’s not a “one and done” type deal; one year later they must receive another, and one more every three years for the rest of your pet’s life.

Quick and maybe not-so-painless, you won’t regret keeping your pet’s health a top priority. Though the cost of a vet visit isn’t the cheapest, there are also a variety of pet health insurance options that could save you money in the long-run. Once your furry friend makes their way home from a trip to the vet, be sure to have a relaxing evening with little to no roughhousing. Why else do you think it’s important to vaccinate your pet? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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Ask Our Vet: Calories for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Q: Our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel just turned one and he weighs 17 pounds. He is a big fan of your Precise dog food. Since this breed picks up weight easily, I’m wondering how many calories we should feed him per day?

A: Based on the calculations for resting metabolic rate, 240 to 250 calories per day is about right. I would use this as a guideline but also feed according to his body condition. Adult dogs should have a noticeable “waist” and you should be able to distinguish individual ribs when you feel them, but not see them. So, adjust the food quantity to give you those results.

Our on-staff veterinarian Dr. Lisa Drapela is on-hand to answer questions about your dog or cat’s health. Whether you’re wondering about the best Precise formula or just have a general health question, visit the Ask Our Vet section here on the website to connect directly with Dr. Drapela. We’ll feature some of her answers here on the blog.

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Ask Our Vet: Adult food for puppies?

Q: I am getting an 11-week-old Newfie puppy at the end of the month from a breeder. I was told to switch to adult food at six months, due to the high calorie and protein content of puppy food and Newfies’ slow metabolisms. Is this sound advice?

A: I do not like large and giant breed puppies to be fed adult foods if there is another alternative. The main reason I do not recommend this is because of the calcium to phosphorus ratio when factored for caloric content that the puppy needs to consume.

Please take a look at our Precise Holistic Complete Large and Giant Breed Puppy formula. You will see that the protein is actually lower than our adult food while the calcium to phosphorus ratio is maintained. If you are looking for a good puppy food, I think this one is best for your Newfie.

Our on-staff veterinarian Dr. Lisa Drapela is on-hand to answer questions about your dog or cat’s health. Whether you’re wondering about the best Precise formula or just have a general health question, visit the Ask the Vet section here on the website to connect directly with Dr. Drapela. We’ll feature some of her answers here on the blog.

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