Which would you feed your cat? 3 tips for a healthy urinary tract

Supporting a healthy urinary tract system is critical for our feline fur babies. You probably have or know of a cat with Urinary Tract Infection right now. We want to do the right thing but it can be confusing. Some urinary tract foods contain salt. That can’t be good, right? Right! Keeping your cat healthy should not be this difficult. We have made it easy. If you are the sort of person who just wants to cut to the chase, scroll down for the 3 easy tips. If you want to understand what makes a healthy urinary tract, read on!

There are four major goals to a healthy urinary tract system.

  1. Flushing the UT system.
  2. Decreasing the pH.
  3. Eliminating bladder irritation.
  4. Decreasing infection.

Urinary tract health starts with your cat getting enough water and, this is important, flushing their systems. This is why salt is not a good answer, it will make your cat thirsty but they will retain the water and make the problem of a stagnant system worse. A stagnant urinary tract allows dangerous bacteria to incubate and grow, fast. Once their system gets plugged with bad bacteria, 50-75% of these cats will have the same problem over and over again. You can solve this problem with dandelion root, a powerful diuretic. Your cat will drink and flush frequently. And, dandelion is an excellent source of potassium, naturally resupplying the loss of this important mineral. The next thing you want for your cat’s system is a decrease in pH. Cranberry acidifies the urine which helps control bacteria and acts as a barrier to keep bacteria from attaching to the bladder wall. Never use sweetened cranberry as the sugar will exacerbate the bacterial growth. Now that we have addressed acidification and flushing, let’s look at bladder irritation and infection. Bladder irritation can cause a nerve reaction that leads to spastic contractions and pooling of the urine which is an environment for infection and stone formation. Demulcent (soothing) herbs such as marshmallow root contain a high percentage of mucilage which forms a protective film over the mucous membrane of the urinary tract. Another powerful herb, yucca root sends in anti-inflammatory saponins. This soothing film and anti-inflammatory action stops irritation and creates a healthy environment in the urinary tract. The next step is decreasing infection by providing a natural antibiotic action with organic prebiotics. Prebiotics, such as organic inulin from the agave root, selectively feed the beneficial native bacteria and starve out the bacteria that lead to infection.

Flow is a unique product for feline urinary tract health that works with the cat’s physiology to combine dandelion root, cranberry extract, marshmallow root, yucca root and organic prebiotics to naturally support UT health. After formulating Flow, we spent 14-months in palatability tests to get the perfect flavor and consistency that makes even the most discerning feline run to you when you shake the bag.

The 3 easy daily tips to support your cat’s UT health:

  1. Provide fresh water.
  2. Keep a clean litter box.
  3. Give Flow daily.

Who’s my lucky ducky sweetie boy?

By: Rebecca Rose, In Clover founder & product developer

Who feels stupid now for talking baby talk to the dog? Not me! An article published in this week’s Science Journal showed what you probably already realized: Your dog loves when you say nice things in that high-pitched voice. Through MRI scanning, scientists in Hungary proved that dogs process language like us, using both sides of the brain. Like humans, dogs use the left sides of their brains to process words and the right sides to process intonation.

Scientists found that dogs’ reward centers responded to praise, but only true praise that was given with a positive intonation. “It shows that for dogs, a nice praise can very well work as a reward, but it works best if both words and intonation match,” Attila Andics said in a release. “So dogs not only tell apart what we say and how we say it, but they can also combine the two, for a correct interpretation of what those words really meant.”

Read more about the study here.

Question: Should I rotate my pet’s joint supplement?

Some pet parents have indicated they rotate their pets’ joint supplements because the supplements appear to “stop working.” While there may be some benefit to swapping out incomplete or inferior joint support products, In Clover supplements are mindfully developed to be fed for the lifetime of the animal.

There are many joint support products on the market that feature incomplete formulations. A complete joint supplement will include all three of the critical joint building blocks: glucosamine (for joint cushion), chondroitin (for flexibility) and hyaluronic acid (for joint lubrication).

Even if these ingredients are present, attention must be paid to the source and quality. Specifically with glucosamine, look at the ingredient’s source, purity and carrier.

  • Source: Some glucosamine is derived from corn (labeled as “vegetable source”) while others are sourced from shellfish.
  • Purity: The ingredient should list the purity content. In Clover’s glucosamine is 99+% pure, pharmaceutical grade glucosamine.
  • Carrier: All glucosamine requires a carrier to be delivered into the body. The hydrochloride (HCl) carrier will deliver 28% more glucosamine than the sulfate carrier (SO4). So, if two products feature 500 mg of glucosamine but use different carriers, the one with the HCl carrier will deliver the highest percentage of the active ingredient.

At In Clover, we know joint support doesn’t end with the supplying the joint building blocks. An effective supplement will feature a holistic approach, addressing the joint, surrounding structures and related issues.

  • Regulating normal inflammatory response: Inflammation may occur due to exercise, the normal aging process or regular, daily activity. If a product does not regulate this response, you will likely see diminished results.
  • Antioxidants: Free radicals will build up around the joint and impede the effectiveness of the joint building blocks. If this is not addressed, even a supplement with all three building blocks may become less effective in the animal over time.

When formulating Connectin, our company’s founder and biochemist Rebecca Rose took all factors into consideration. That’s why we’ve included all three building blocks — using the highest quality and most effective ingredients — as well as an herbal blend to support comfort, encourage healthy circulation and produce lasting results.

There is another issue worth addressing here: Animals all have physical thresholds, which are highly dependent on current health status and history. Once a dog or cat meets his or her threshold, gains in mobility will slow and should hold steady, which should not be confused with decreased effectiveness. Think about it this way: If an obese person starts on a weight-loss program, he or she will see astonishing results within the first months, losing many pounds in a short period of time. But, eventually, the person will reach a healthy weight and will then start maintaining their fitness level and stop shedding pounds. In this scenario, the weight-loss program is maintaining its effectiveness, keeping the person feeling his or her best. On the other hand, if the person then started gaining back the weight, that would be a failure of the program.

Thanks to Connectin’s complete formulation, an animal will maximize his or her potential and will continue to work throughout the life of the pet, supporting and maintaining comfort and mobility — with no rotation necessary.

Caring for your pet in cold weather

By: Humane Society of Boulder Valley

The Humane Society of Boulder Valley and the City of Boulder Animal Control wants to remind you that your furry or feathered companions may also be feeling the chill. In addition to being vulnerable to the cold weather, many wintertime household products can be harmful to pets. Here are some tips to help ensure that your pets stay healthy and safe until spring:

Provide adequate shelter
Even if your pets are indoor/outdoor creatures, make sure their outdoor areas are well sheltered from the cold and wind. Dog houses should face South and filled with hay or straw as blankets freeze and do not help keep an animal warm. The shelter entryway should be protected by a self closing door, an offset door or a flexible flap made of windproof material. This will allow the animal to maintain its body heat in frigid temperatures. Keep animals inside during especially cold spells and inclement weather.

Supply plenty of potable water
Animals still need to drink plenty of water. Winter air can be very dry, leaving pets dehydrated, just as they are during the hot summer months. Make sure your pets have plenty of food and water. If your pet’s water bowl is kept outside, make sure the water hasn’t frozen during a cold snap.

Use caution when leaving your pet’s food outside, as wild animals may wander onto your property to graze if their usual food supply is suffering a shortage.

Monitor outdoor activity
When taking pets outside for exercise or play, keep them warm with a sweater or jacket made just for them, and only allow them to play for short periods of time. They can become cold quickly as they lose body heat from the large portions of their body that is exposed to the weather such as their feet and face. If your pet is playing off-leash in a snowy area, keep them in sight at all times. Snow makes it difficult for dogs to scent their way back to you and may become lost or confused.

Keep dangerous chemicals out of reach
While taking steps to prepare your car for the long winter, be on the lookout for any antifreeze or engine coolant spills that might occur. These products contain chemicals that are harmful and potentially fatal to animals. It is important that you remember to store any potentially harmful chemicals in clearly marked sealed containers stored in a location that is inaccessible to your pets.

Be careful of ice-melt products
We rely on ice melts to rid slippery sidewalks, roadways and driveways of the ice and snow during the winter months. But these products may contain ingredients such as calcium chloride and sodium chloride (table salt) that can irritate animal paws or skin. Pets may also accidentally ingest ice melt from their paws or from the ground. Depending on the amount ingested, ice melts can potentially produce a variety of effects such as drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and, in severe cases, cardiac abnormalities, seizures, and even death. If you suspect your pet may have accidentally ingested any harmful ingredients, please seek veterinary treatment immediately.

Check your vehicle
During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars for warmth and protection. But a car’s fan belt can kill or injure an animal when the motor starts. If you are aware that there are outdoor or feral cats in your neighborhood, please bang on the hood of the car and wait a few seconds before turning on the engine.

The In Clover Story

By: Rebecca Rose, In Clover founder and product developer

“In Clover” ~ an old English idiom: Living a carefree life of ease, comfort, or prosperity, having good fortune; in a very good situation. 

In Clover seemed the perfect name for the journey I was about to embark sixteen years ago to create a company around making dogs, cats and horses more comfortable.

After being immersed in researching and discovering why some women could have less-than-healthy lifestyles and stay healthy, I turned my attention and that same question to dogs and cats. Why are some dogs huge athletes with crazy jumps and rolls, yet their hips remain as healthy and flexible as a puppies?

Several years of research resulted in a one-of-a-kind mix of 9 herbs and the 3 joint building blocks that make Connectin joint supplement for dogs and cats. Connectin puts back what the body would make if it was healthy. A University clinical study with dogs and the humans they own showed that Connectin gives back better mobility and weight bearing in as little as 15 days.

In Clover answers the question of how we can make the body work better and has created a line of supplements to address the top health concerns of our furry kids.

Pet health insurance: Can it help me? At what cost? 5 questions to ask.

This is the second of the two-part pet health insurance series.

Written by Lea Jaratz with Embrace Pet Insurance

Vet bills are much more expensive than many people think, having grown twice as fast as that of our pay checks. The increased costs have come about because vets can now help pets in ways they simply could not before and the cost of veterinary drugs is increasing rapidly, with human drugs now being used for pets. Any unexpected illness or accident could put you under financial strain unless you have pet insurance.

Pet insurance pays a portion of your vet bills when your cat or dog is sick or gets in an accident. Typically, you pay the vet bill and the insurance company reimburses you a portion of your costs. Pet insurance policies have the usual deductibles, maximums, and copays and policies and often do not cover all treatments your pet might get, such as routine care or transplants. Premiums are approximately $30-40 per month for middle-of-the-range coverage and you can buy it on the internet or over the phone.

As you might expect with a product like this, you cannot decide on price alone, so arm yourself with good information to help you choose the insurance policy that is best for you and your pet.

What are the most important things when buying pet insurance?

There are a lot of questions you’ll want to ask when shopping around for pet insurance coverage.

  • What are the deductibles, copays, and maximums and how are they calculated?
  • Will my premiums increase based on the pet’s age or with veterinary care inflation. What can I expect them to look like as my pet ages.
  • Are there exclusions based on breed or hereditary conditions.
  • For illnesses or accidents my pet has had previously, will they be covered going forward or not?
  • If my pet gets any new conditions while I have this insurance, will she be covered by the insurance for the remainder of her life?

A current listing of pet insurance companies can be found at Embrace CEO Laura’s blog.