What non-food item is your dog or cat trying to eat?

By: Rebecca Rose, In Clover founder and product developer

I heard the sound of a pan sliding on a tile floor, I quickly looked down to my side. Just as I thought, nothing there. My constant companion, a slightly overweight Golden named Floyd, was gone. Let me first explain that Floyd has always been what you might call willowy or delicate. On frequent trips to the open space, he is typically greeted with “what a pretty girl!” and he beams. A few months ago, Floyd hit middle age and his girlish figure disappeared seemingly overnight. A complete vet work up showed a very healthy dog and a recommendation for dieting.

When I heard that telltale sound of the cat food bowl scraping across the floor, I knew that Floyd had fallen to the temptation. I called his name, heard his head go up, tags jingle and then watched him avoid my gaze as he walked up the stairs and past me to the back door… with the handle of the cat food spoon protruding 4 inches out of his mouth. He obediently handed over the (compostable) spoon but not before I had the entire family gather around to see what he has stooped to. No harm, no foul with this episode but, according to Embrace Pet Insurance, gastrointestinal claims rank in the top 5 by number. See the most common items swallowed by dogs and cats.

With portion control of a very good dog food and more exercise, Floyd is watching his waistline return.  His digestive system is kept healthy with OptaGest digestive supplement and a gate around the cat food and accompanying utensils.

What has your dog or cat gotten into lately?

Supplement Needs for Older Dogs and Cats

By: Rebecca Rose, In Clover founder and product developer

Because our senior dogs and cats are unable to make the digestive enzymes necessary to absorb and digest key nutrients, it is important to supplement their diets with a high quality digestive enzyme product. Look for a supplement with key plant based enzymes such as protease, amylase, cellulase and lipase. Make sure that your supplement does not have fillers such as lactose, rice hulls or animal digest that may cause digestive issues. If the supplement has the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) benchmark of quality seal, you can feel good about the quality that has gone into the product.  

Start supplementing your pet’s digestive system today, you will notice the difference in decreased amounts of  stool, change in stool odor, color and consistency.  Your pet will feel more vibrant!

4 Steps to Control Hairballs

By: Rebecca Rose, In Clover founder and product developer

As I am sitting down to write about the number one reason cats vomit- hairballs, I cannot get the image of Antonio Banderas as Puss in Shrek 2 out of my head.  This handsome cat is a mercenary who is going to kill Shrek and, at the most inopportune time, he gets a hairball.  He has to stop everything as the threat of the hairball takes front and center.  If you have heard that familiar sound of your cat trying to bring up a hairball, you know there is no good time.

Most cats will experience occasional hairballs.  A cat’s digestive system is sensitive and digestion is often complicated by the ingestion of large amounts of hair while grooming.   To keep your cat healthy, and minimize the misery of hairballs, here are some preventive options that include care, nutrition and supplementation to strengthen your cat’s digestive and immune system.

  • Frequent brushing.  Most cats enjoy a grooming session with their favorite human or can adapt to the brush when added slowly with lots of gentle strokes.
  • Plenty of fresh water.  Water is important for digestion and should always be available.
  • Healthy food with minimal grains.  Cats are carnivores and respond to a quality diet without fillers.
  • Digestive aid.  Look for a digestive supplement that combines plant based enzymes with FOS, short for fructooligosaccharide.  The enzymes will help to ease the digestive burden and the FOS will act as a soluble fiber to keep the system flowing and select for the growth of the healthy native bacteria in the intestine.

About 1 in 4 causes of impaction (something stuck in the digestive system) is caused by hairballs.  If you employ these preventive measures, but see no improvement in your cat, be sure to consult with your veterinarian.

Cats and dogs can develop digestive discomfort from eating their food too quickly?  Do you have a solution to share that has worked for your pet?