Veterinarian Dr. Katy Answers YOUR Fur-Kid Questions!
Thank you Freshpet parents for all of your questions about fur-kid health as part of Monday’s Mini-Challenge!
We received so many great questions that we’re going to post some of the answers now and some later this week. Dr. Katy Nelson, our veterinary partner in the Freshpet Fridge Challenge, has picked three of your questions to address, of which the answers are below.
If your question was picked, please be sure to send us a direct message on Facebook to claim your Freshpet goodie!
Freshpet parent Sandra asks… When should I stop feeding our puppy three times a day? He’s a four-month-old Golden Retriever.
There are no hard and fast rules for when to decrease the number of daily feedings. Typically, for small dogs and puppies, their metabolisms burn through their foods faster, so feeding multiple times a day is advised. With a Golden Retriever being a larger breed, around six months of age would be considered an appropriate time to switch to two daily feedings if three times a day is inconvenient. I never recommend feeding only once a day, though, no matter the age, as this encourages the metabolism to slow down and conserve energy throughout the day. Feeding appropriate portions two to three times a day for a lifetime is a much more desirable way to feed your pets to keep their metabolism up, their energy level steady and their waistline slim and trim.
Freshpet parent Joann asks… We have a 12-year-old diabetic Dachshund that has thrived on Freshpet chicken. We would like to be able to give him a treat now and then for being a good boy, but the dog treats we’ve found make his blood sugar spike because of the carbs. Any ideas?
Freshpet chicken is a great choice for your boy as this is a high quality, lower carbohydrate diet that will keep the energy level consistent and prevent spikes in his glucose levels. You’re correct in that many treats available on the market are high in fat and carbohydrates and would be undesirable for a diabetic pet. If he loves his Freshpet chicken, you could try taking a small portion of his daily serving and slicing it very thin, placing it on a cookie sheet and baking it at 350 degrees until it gets crispy (approximately 8-12 minutes depending upon your oven). This way, you’re sticking with your low-carb food, and within his daily caloric allotment, but you’re still giving him a little variety as well as a yummy, crispy, healthy treat! Or, Freshpet has their Dog Joy Turkey Bacon treats which are also an excellent low-carb option.
Freshpet parent Kaye asks… I have an 11-year-old Pom (male). He was a stray that wandered up to my house about 18 months ago. He has been seen by the vet and is up to date on shots. He takes Comfortis so no fleas. For the past 3 weeks he has been scratching several places. There is no broken skin, just a little redness but that is from the scratching. What do you recommend?
There are a million reasons for itchy pups, such as parasites (fleas, ticks, mites, etc.), allergies, metabolic disorders, etc. One of the most common of these reasons is some sort of allergy. Anything that people can be allergic to, our pets can be allergic to, as well. Most common in pets are environmental (or inhaled) allergies, contact allergies, flea allergies, and food allergies. All of these allergies require a work up with your veterinarian in order to choose the right treatment plan. Treatment modalities include environmental cleansing, anti-histamines, desensitization, and dietary therapy, amongst others.
If your pup has a flea allergy, you may want to speak with your vet about a flea preventative that prevents the bite as well as kills the flea and prevents infestation (for example, Comfortis only prevents the fleas from multiplying after a bite).
IMPORTANT: Please note that in-person veterinary recommendations are always the most appropriate way to deal with questions about your pet. Dr. Katy’s answers are well-informed, however, it can often be difficult to determine the best course of action without her seeing your pet in-person. As such, we recommend that prior to taking action, please visit your personal veterinarian to determine what’s right for you and your pet.