Tag Archives: Dr. Katy Nelson

DogSplendor Takes the Fridge Challenge

Featured: After the Challenge, DogSplendor Believes in Fresh for All!



This past week I’ve been sharing insights from my participation in the Freshpet Fridge Challenge. The challenge was established to bring attention to the importance of fresh foods in your dog’s diet. And while my dogs didn’t go without fresh food for the length of this challenge, I did, and let me just say, it really drove home the importance of fresh for all!

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Dr. Katy Answers More of Your Questions about your pups and kitties


With so many great questions about pups and kitties from Monday’s Mini-Challenge, Dr. Katy has answered three more below.

If your question was chosen by Dr. Katy, please send us a private message on Facebook to receive your Freshpet goodie!


Freshpet parent Tiffany asks… Dr. Nelson, I have a neutered male cat and understand that urinary tract infections are common. I feed him only Freshpet.  Do you have any recommendations as to how I can prevent a future infection?


Actually, urinary tract infections are not as common in male cats as they are in female cats. If your cat has appeared to have a UTI in the past, what you are more than likely seeing are occasional flare-ups of Feline Idiopathic Cystitis, or Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD).


At times of flare-ups, treatment should be instituted by a veterinarian to control symptoms and prevent them from progressing. A variety of therapeutics have been found to be effective, so work with your veterinarian to determine the therapy that is right for your kitty.


But as you pointed out, an important part of treatment of FLUTD is prevention of further episodes.  Diet plays a huge role in this.  Cats typically do not drink a sufficient amount of water to keep their urine diluted.  Therefore, a fresh, moist food is considered ideal as these foods are higher in water content than any kibble alternatives and tend to lead to more diluted urine.


Freshpet parent Aejin asks… What can I do to improve the condition of dog’s teeth?


Just like in people, there is no substitute for brushing your dog’s teeth for prevention of periodontal disease. Studies have shown that a minimum of three times a week is needed to prevent tartar build-up, but daily brushing is required to reverse gingivitis. There are numerous products out there to make the process easier for you and your pet:  finger brushes, regular soft-bristled brushes, flavored toothpastes (do NOT use human toothpaste with fluoride), etc. Chew toys vary in effectiveness, and with severe dental disease are not advised, as teeth can be weakened and could potentially break.  Bones and other hard toys are discouraged in these situations, as well.


Regular, anesthetized prophylactic cleanings done in your veterinarian’s office are the very best way to get a thorough cleaning of the teeth, and are the only way to clean below the gum line, where the most dangerous bacteria tend to gather. Talk with your veterinarian to learn more about this process, and to have a dental exam done on your pet.


Freshpet parent Rob asks… My cat can only eat food without wheat in it. I feed him Freshpet, but he’s having trouble with hairballs. Is there a supplement I can give him to help with this issue? Something natural, perhaps?


Without having additional information, I can advise only up to a point. Hairballs are often blamed for a variety of actual diseases, and the reason so many hairball remedies are considered “ineffective” is because frequently they’re being used to treat something that is a symptom, rather than addressing the real problem.


In my opinion, it’s a lot easier (and cheaper) to start by giving your kitty a lion cut. Should the hairballs continue or begin to worsen, perhaps resulting in an upset stomach, it is likely time to talk with your veterinarian about instituting a work up to find what is troubling your kitty.


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.

Lille Punkin’ Takes on the Fridge Challenge

Featured: With Fridge Broken, Lille Punkin’s Challenge Was All Too Real



The following is part of a series of content in partnership with Freshpet! Opinions are my own. Awhile back, we told you about our dead fridge and how we were going to be taking a week with no cold food.  Well, that week turned into a week and a half. I was not happy.

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Three Days Into Dr. Katy’s Challenge, Things Are Getting Tougher


Today was a VERY LONG DAY. I had to work at the animal hospital until late today, so I sent my husband and kiddos out to eat for dinner tonight. Ordinarily, I would have cooked something earlier in the day and put it in the refrigerator for them to have for dinner, but that option was off the table, so to speak. Not exactly the money that we wanted to spend eating out, but not much of a choice.

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Dr. Katy On Day Two of Life Without the Fridge


Today was a better day in the Freshpet Fridge Challenge!  By spending a little time in the grocery store today, I was able to buy some fresh fruits and vegetables that don’t require refrigeration, and I got some great fresh meats and veggies for dinner. While going to the grocery store can be great, having to do this everyday without a fridge would be less than ideal!

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Dr. Katy Nelson Kicks Off the Freshpet Fridge Challenge


As you may have heard already, Freshpet has created the Freshpet Fridge Challenge to raise awareness about the importance of fresh foods from the fridge, for both people and pets. As part of the Challenge, several pet bloggers and I will attempt to live without our refrigerators for seven days, documenting our experiences along the way.

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Fresh Tips for Keeping Your Pet Fit With Dr. Katy Nelson

Just like it’s important for our health and wellness to stay in shape, our dogs and cats can benefit from regular exercise, too. Of course it can be hard to find time to exercise in our busy schedules, let alone do so alongside our pets. Not to mention doing the same exercises over and over can get pretty boring.


So to help both you and your pet get in great shape with a fresh routine, here’s a list of my favorite ways to get moving:


Go for a Run – Instead of going to the gym to run on the treadmill, change things up and bring your fur-friend along! Most local tracks do not allow pets; so take the time to explore different options such as paths through the woods or roads with sidewalks. Not only will you get a chance to take in the fresh air, but you also get to spend more time with your favorite companion.


Go For a Hike – Hiking in a hilly area is a great way to change things up as it works different muscles than walking on a flat surface. The best part? You get to enjoy the beautiful outdoors, soak in the sunshine, and take in some fresh air with you favorite friend! Just be sure to bring along plenty of water for both of you to stay hydrated.


Take your pup for a hike on a beautiful day like this! (Photo courtesy of Towle N.)

Take your pup for a hike on a beautiful day like this! (Photo courtesy of Towle N.)


Take a Morning Walk – Instead of waiting until after work to exercise, try taking a walk in the morning with your fur-kid. If you’re not a morning person, allow some of your pet’s natural energy to rub off on you and keep you motivated throughout the rest of the day.


Go For a Bike Ride – We know you’re thinking that your pals cannot pedal, but they don’t need to as long as you can! Get on a bike and go for a slow ride and bring your pooch along. While you do the biking, he or she can run alongside you. We’ve found that one of the easiest ways to do this is by hooking the leash around your wrist so you can still use both hands to control the bike. If you’re an expert roller skater or skateboarder, try this with your pal, too!


Doga – Dog yoga, or “doga,” can help de-stress you and your pup. This practice incorporates massaging, stretching, relaxing, and of course, some good bonding. You can even try “catoga” if your feline is willing. Ask around in your area because there might be group classes offered.


Fetch Races – Does your fur-friend love to play fetch? Well you should too! Instead of standing still while he or she chases the ball, try to make it a race. Not only will your pup enjoy this game even more, the short sprints will help you burn more fat and improve your agility.


Abs with Fur-Friends – Ever thrown a ball back and forth with a friend while doing crunches? Instead of a medicine ball, try a tennis ball. Throw the ball at the top of your crunch for your pup to chase down and return to you. Then repeat. For a more advanced exercise, see how many crunches you can do while your pup is chasing the ball. Cats can get in on the fun as well. Instead of throwing a ball, hold a small flashlight in one or both hands while you perform your sit-ups. Each time you reach the top, shine the lights on the wall in front of you and move your arms back and forth, always keeping your abs flexed. Your kitty will get exercise chasing the lights while you work on your six-pack.


Lift Weights – Tie your playful friend’s favorite toy so that it hangs from your dumbbell. As you move the dumbbell up and down, your pet will jump, working his or her leg muscles while you tone your arms. Try it while doing different exercises like bicep curls and shoulder presses, and for a full body workout, incorporate squats or lunges.


Play Tug-of-War – If your pup is feeling playful, grab a rope and work on your arm definition with a gentle game of tug-of-war. You can either attach the rope to their harness so they can pull with their body and run, or let them grab the rope with their teeth. Be careful not to pull too hard. Remember to always have control over your dog as playing this game may bring out the predator in him.


Swimming – Take your pal for a swim! While you do your daily laps in the pool, let your dog join you. If your pup isn’t the best swimmer, you can purchase floatation devices made especially for dogs from most pet stores to ensure their safety.


I hope you and your pets enjoy trying these exercises and activities! Don’t forget to speak with your doctor and your pet’s vet before starting any new exercise programs.


For more information about Dr. Katy or for additional tips on keeping your fur-kid healthy, be sure to check out her website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter!