8 Health Conditions that Cause Weight Loss in Cats

DSC_0053Obesity in cats in a serious issue and can signify an underlying health issue but underweight cats are at risk too. If your cat has suddenly lost weight it could be a sign that something is seriously wrong.   Today we’ll look at some health issues that may cause your furry feline to slim down.

Gastrointestinal Issues. If your cat is losing weight but is also have bouts of diarrhea, vomiting and displays a loss in appetite, he might be suffering from an illness of the gastrointestinal tract. Inflammatory bowel disease, allergies and other infections can cause gastrointestinal upset and should be addressed to avoid further exacerbation of the issue.

Hperthyroidism. If your senior cat is displaying a healthy appetite but still losing weight, he may be suffering from hyperthyroidism. If you notice that his muscles are wasting away and any signs of vomiting and diarrhea, he should be checked out. Cats with hyperthyroidism are also at risk of developing heart problems.

Nausea. Cats are finicky anyway but if they are feeling nauseous or experiencing tummy trouble, they will steer clear of eating. A little nausea here and there is normal for everyone but nausea could signal that your cat has an illness such as pancreatitis. Don’t dismiss changes in diet or weight. Your cat may be in serious need of help.

Worms. Intestinal parasites are serious business. They rob your cat of the nutrition he takes in while eating. Pale mucous membranes, coughing up worms, bloated tummy, diarrhea, and bloody diarrhea are just some symptoms that may be associated with intestinal parasites. Round worms, tape worms, whip worms and hook worms are all examples of intestinal parasites. These symptoms should not be ignored.

Cancer. The word we all hate. Cancer. If your cat has lost weight, he may have cancer. Along with DSC_0030weight loss, he may show signs of decreased appetite, loss of energy and even tumors. All lumps and bumps should be taken serious, even if no other symptoms are present. Prompt treatment of cancer is imperative for the best prognosis.

Kidney Disease. Metabolic diseases such as Kidney disease causes rapid weight loss. Again, your cat may be eating and drinking as usual but still dramatically losing weight.

Dental Disease. Is your cat drooling or pawing at his mouth and head? If so, he could be suffering from a toothache or other more serious dental issues. If he’s in pain from a toothache or suffering from dental disease he would definitely shed some weight too.

As you can see, weight loss is not always a good thing especially if it’s sudden and dramatic. Weight loss is often a symptom of a more serious underlying issue that must be addressed as soon as possible. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the health of our pets. Rapid weight loss can lead your cat depleted of nutrients and energy which may have an impact on his prognosis. At the first sign of weight loss, consult your veterinary clinic.

Alternative Pet Healthcare Treatments

Pet Sitter Emergency Plan“How do I love thee, let me count the ways….” We know “Love Your Pet Day” was last month but most of us don’t need a designated day to show our love and gratitude to our pets. In fact, as pet parents we are always looking for ways to make our pets lives better, and when they get sick, that’s even more cause to pamper and carefully treat our pets. Sometimes we get to a point where our pet is ailing and we just don’t know what to do next. We’ve tried shots, pills, more shots and more pills and nothing. However, when it gets to that point we suggest that you do not give up! There are many other alternative treatments that exist to treat our pets on a more holistic level. We’re not talking black magic either.

Laser Therapy, Aromatherapy, Acupuncture, Hydrosols, Herbs. The list goes on and on but today we’ll just discuss a few of those. Keep reading!

Breathe in. Ahhhh. Breathe out. Aromatherapy is an amazing treatment that provides physical, psychological and physiological benefits. Aromatherapy oils can be used to detox your pet and even be used as an antiseptic!  It’s also a non-invasive way to treat anxiety and stress. It even minimizes pain associated with arthritis, injury or illness. As humans, we understand the power of scent. Why not let your pet reap these amazing benefits? The oils can be rubbed onto your pet’s skin after being diluted or the oils can be inhaled via the use of a diffuser. It doesn’t end there!   Essential oils can also keep pets at bay without the worry or side effects of awful chemicals. Simply rub the scented oil on your pet’s skin and voila! Bye, Bye pests.   Calming and non-intrusive. What’s not to like?

Hot and Cold Laser Therapies are also growing in popularity as an alternative to conventional pet medicinal practices. Again, just like aromatherapy, Laser therapy is noninvasive. Laser therapy uses light beams to help promote cell regeneration and blood circulation. Cold Laser therapy is used to treat the surface of the skin as opposed to Hot Laser therapy which goes deeper and can reach the tissue below the surface. Arthritis, tendon injuries and even wounds can be healed by laser therapy. Who can no to an improved quality life to their furry loved ones?

One final non invasive treatment we’d like to mention is acupuncture. This amazing therapy stimulates the body and the result is amazing relaxed muscles. It also reduces inflammation and works as an amazing pain reliever. Blood and oxygen flow is increased and toxins are released from your pet’s body. What a cleansing therapy! There are NO side effects! While the main use of acupuncture in pets is to relieve pain and treat neurological issues, there are many other health issues that can benefit your pet via the use of acupuncture! It’s true. Musculoskeletal disorders, Urinary disorders, Respiratory disorders and even Systemic Inflammatory Conditions can be relieved from the use of acupuncture.

So, if your pets are suffering from health ailments, searching for a reputable holistic veterinary practice may do wonders for your dog. These amazing benefits are a safe, non-invasive and calming alternative to conventional medicine. Whether used alone or in conjunction with conventional medicinal practices, you’re sure to see a difference in your pet’s overall well-being.

Why Does My Dog Eat Poop?

Coprophagia, more commonly known as poop-eating, is an unpleasant topic to talk about and even think about but it’s more common than you might think. Thecopper exact cause of “poop-eating” is not really known however there are a few theories about this topic that you might want to explore should your dog pick up the habit of eating poop.

Illness. Many illnesses may cause or dog to eat poop or increase his desire to do so. Many diseases increase your dog’s appetite which may increase the desire to engage in this behavior of poop eating. It should also be noted that some illnesses will change the smell and consistency of your dog’s poop which might cause your dog to eat his poop.

Stress. Your dog may be using poop-eating as a mechanism of dealing with stress. It sounds bizarre to us as humans but it may be a way to self-soothe for your dog. Also, if your dog associates poop with punishment, he may eat the “evidence” to avoid the consequences you are imposing on him for pooping in inappropriate places.

Nature. Eating poop is considered part of nature. In fact, Mother dogs ingest the poop of their puppies. They lick their puppies to keep their little environment clean. That’s actually a time when many dogs develop this habit of poop eating – when they are puppies.

Hunger. A dog that eats poop might be hungry. If a dog is hungry or eating a diet that is not nutrient dense, he will eat whatever he can to try and get the nutrients he needs and to simply feel satiated or full. On the other hand, a dog that is being a fed a high-quality diet but still exhibiting signs of hunger may be suffering from an undiagnosed illness.

Is poop-eating dangerous?

Poop eating is not just gross. The act of eating feces can be dangerous to you and your dog. If a dog eats his own poop, it’s not dangerous to him but he can transmit bacteria and parasites to you via his mouth and saliva. Exercise caution around your dog if he eats his own poop. Wash your hands and any area of your body that you allow him to lick. Be sure other members of your family do the same. If your dog eats the poop of other dogs, he is at risk of contracting disease from the other dog’s poop.

If your dog is a poop- eater, you might want to keep your yard free of poop by cleaning up after him directly after he poops. Additionally, walking him on the leash is also a good idea especially if you don’t have a fenced yard. Consult your vet and other behavior experts, as always, when any problem behaviors or symptoms of health issues occur. Poop eating is a bad habit but many dogs do grown out of it.

How Your Northville Pet Sitter Can Help You Enjoy Summer

Who doesn’t love the summer? It brings with it so many opportunities for weekend-getaways, trips, social events, barbecues and days on the beach. summer pet sitting in northville

Don’t let your summer fun be hindered by constantly trying to find someone to take care of your pets for you. It can become a bit exhausting always bothering friends and family to come by to feed the cat and let the dog out. Not only does it become a burden on them, your pets can start to get a bit lonely because they aren’t getting as much attention as they’re used to. 

By establishing a relationship with a professional pet sitter you have freedom knowing that you can make plans to have fun this summer without the worry of “who is going to take care of the four-legged family members?” Your pet sitter will be right there to take care of your pets for you (of course most pet sitters don’t work “on call” so you’ll need to give 24-48 hours minimum notice to be fair to your sitter). 

The other big benefit to hiring a professional pet sitter? Our entire lives are devoted to taking care of and loving our client’s pets. Here at Menlys Pet Care our staff are full time pet sitters and our one and only focus throughout the day is to shower your fur-kids with attention and make sure they’re happy and well cared for.

Though friends and neighbors are well meaning, they don’t put much effort into the attention and affection part of pet sitting because that’s not their goal. Their goals are to make sure they eat, have water and go potty…that’s about it. Friends and neighbors are less likely to fluff Fido’s pillow before he lays down at night or have the patience to play 15 minutes straight of “catch the laser pointer” with the kitty. 

Your pets crave attention, exercise and playtime throughout the day because that’s what they’re used to when mommy and daddy are home. With professional pet sitting not only are your pets getting their basic needs taken care of, you have peace of mind knowing that their emotional needs as well as their physical needs are being met. 

If you are in the Northville/Novi area and need a pet sitter for this summer, contact Menlys Pet Care today and we can get you on your way to a worry-free summer! 

Heat Stroke In Dogs – The Symptoms And Prevention

One of the greatest joys of having a dog is getting to share in adventures with them. Whether it’s going to the park, a festival, a cook out or any other of the numerous activities our dogs get to partake in with us during the summer, we love having our faithful companions right at our side.  However, we need to be careful when we take our dogs out during the summer that we are keeping them cool and hydrated to prevent heat stroke.  Heat stroke occurs in dogs when their internal temperature rises to 106 degrees fahrenheit or higher. The signs of heat stroke include:heat stroke in dogs

  • Panting
  • Dehydration 
  • Excessive drooling
  • Reddened gums 
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Irregular heart beats
  • Shock
  • Staggering, wobbling, drunken movements
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness 
  • Production of only small amounts of urine, or none at all 
  • Sudden kidney failure

If you notice any of these signs the first step is to try and cool your dog down so their body temperature returns to a normal 103 degrees. Always be sure to avoid cold water when trying to cool your dog down as this may cause the blood vessels near the surface of your dog’s body to constrict and decrease heat dissipation.  Try one of these suggestions to cool your dog down: 

  • Spraying down with cool water
  • Immersing dog’s entire body in cool water
  • Wrapping your dog in cool, wet towels
  • Convection cooling with fans
  • Allow your dog plenty of access to cool drinking water (but do not force them to drink)

Once you have cooled your dog down you still need to take them to their veterinarian ASAP to get examined to be sure there was no lasting damage has taken place within organs or the brain and that your dog’s body has stabilized and reached normal temperature.  If you see little to  no change in your dogs symptoms after trying these cool down methods, you should seek emergency vet care immediately.  Prevention Tips:  First and foremost, never leave your dog unattended in a hot car. Ever. The temperature in a parked, closed car can become dangerously hot within minutes, even with the windows cracked.  Avoid leaving your dog outside, in a garage or a sunny room as these places can become hot and stuffy quickly.  If your dog is old, has long fur or has a flat snout (such as Bulldogs, Pugs or French Bulldogs) avoid taking your dog out during the hottest times of the day. Take your daily walk in the early morning or late evening hours when the sun and heat are less intense.  Be sure your dog has water accessible them at all times, no matter where you are. 

Petco To Stop Selling Treats Made In China By Year’s End

After almost 7 years of reports of illnesses to the Food and Drug Administration of pets getting ill from treats, one major pet supply company is taking a stand. petco stops selling chinese-made treats

On Tuesday (May 20th 2014) Petco announced that by the end of this year, they will stop selling dog and cat treats made in China. The change is a result of ongoing fears that the imported treats are making pets sick.

The FDA says that it has received more than 4,800 complains of pet illnesses and over 1,00 reports of dog deaths after eating Chinese-made chicken, duck or sweet potato jerky treats. Though the FDA did find antiviral drug amantadine in some samples of treats sold a year or more ago, they don’t believe this is the cause of the illnesses. They are still investigating further.

Nearly three years ago, Petco already started cutting down the number of Chinese-made treats in their stores but expects to completely get rid of them in all of it’s 1,300 stores by year’s end. They will be replacing Chinese-made treats with treats made in the U.S, New Zealand, Australia and South America.

We are more than thrilled that someone in the pet food supply industry has stepped up and said “enough is enough” and is taking a stand to protect our pets. Good for you Petco and we hope that in the comping months Petsmart and other retailers will follow suite.

Hiring A Professional Pet Sitter VS Friends/Neighbors/Relatives: An Honest Look At The Difference

Many times people are reluctant to hire a professional pet sitter because they think “Why wouldIn-Home Pet Sitting I pay someone to come in and take care of my pets when I can just have a friend or neighbor door it for free?”

It’s hard to argue with “free” and I can see where people are coming from with their thought process on this however there is so much more that goes in to pet care than just the cost that most pet parents don’t take in to consideration. 

We are going to take an honest look at the difference between hiring a professional pet sitter and asking friends, neighbors or relatives to take care of your pets for you. 

The Pros

The Professional Pet Sitter:

  • A professional pet sitter makes pet sitting their full time job which means it’s highly unlikely that they’re going to forget to come and take care of your pets for you
  • Professional pet sitters have more experience and are better prepared to handle emergency situations 
  • Professional pet sitters carry insurance and bonding to protected themselves and you in the event something unexpected happens 
  • Professional pet sitters can be a great resource to help your with advice regarding the care of your pets. From toys, to food, to behavioral training advice and veterinarian recommendations pet sitters have seen it all and can aide you in making your pet’s life happy and healthy

The Neighbor, Friend or Relative:

  • Often a less expensive option (if not free) 
  • This is already a person that you know and trust 
  • Neighbors are close by and can respond quickly in case of an emergency 

The Cons

The Professional Pet Sitter:

  • More expensive 
  • You have to trust a “stranger” to take care of your pets
  • Your pets have to go through an adjustment period of getting to know a new person, especially when you’re not there

The Neighbor, Friend or Relative:

  • Because it’s not in their daily routine to do so, relatives/friends/neighbors are more likely to forget to take care of your pet 
  • Relatives/friends/neighbors are more likely to rush through visiting your pets to get back to their daily lives. The emphasis is more on making sure your pets get food, water and go potty rather than spending quality time with them
  • Relatives/friends/neighbors have less experience with animals than professional sitters and are less likely to notice health concerns or be able to handle emergencies 
  • It may become a burden or irritating (to both you and the recipient) to constantly ask relatives/friends/neighbors to take care of your pets 

Though it may be a bit scary to take the plunge into allowing a professional pet sitter to come in and take care of your fur babies, the pros outweigh the cons and in the end you and your pets will be glad that you opted to hire a professional that you can rely on time and time again for your pet care needs. 


Bravo! Pet Food Recall

Bravo! is recalling select lots and products of Bravo Pet Food because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monoctyogenes. Bravo! Pet Food Recall

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. 

However, healthy cats and dogs rarely become sick from Listeria. Animals ill with Listeria will display symptoms similar to the ones listed above for humans. People who have concerns about whether their pet has Listeria should contact their veterinarian. 

The recalled product was distributed nationwide to distributors, retail stores, internet retailers and directly to consumers. The product can be identified by the batch ID code (best used by date) printed on the side of the plastic tube or on a label on the box.

The recalled products are as follows:

These products are being recalled because they may have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Product: Raw Food Diet BRAVO! BEEF BLEND for DOGS and CATS (Made in New Zealand) All 2lb., 5lb., and 10lb. tubes 
Product Numbers: 52-102, 52-105, 52-110
Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier

Product: BRAVO! Balance Premium Turkey Formula (Manufactured by: Bravo! Manchester, CT) 3 lb. box with (12) 4oz. burgers
Product Number: 31-401
Best Used By Dates: 1/07/16 and 2/11/16

These products are being recalled out of an abundance of caution because while they did not test positive for pathogens, they were manufactured in the same manufacturing facility or on the same day as products that did test positive.

Product: Raw Food Diet BRAVO! LAMB BLEND for DOGS AND CATS (Made in New Zealand)
All 2lb., 5lb., and 10lb. tubes 
Product Numbers: 42-102, 42-105, 42-110
Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier

Product: Raw Food Diet BRAVO! LAMB BASIC for DOGS AND CATS (Made in New Zealand)
2lb. tubes 
Product Number: 42-202
Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier

Product: Raw Food Diet BRAVO! Beef & Beef Heart for DOGS AND CATS (Made in New Zealand)
5lb. tubes 
Product number: 53-130
Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier

Product: Raw Food Diet BRAVO! 100% PURE & NATURAL PREMIUM GRASS-FED BUFFALO for dogs and cats (Manufactured by: Bravo! Manchester, CT)
NET WT 2LBS (32 OZ) .91KG (Tubes)
Product Number: 72-222
Best Used By Date: 1/7/16

Product: Bravo! Turkey Balance Formula (Manufactured by: Bravo! Manchester, CT)
NET WT 2 LBS (32 OZ) .91KG, Chub (tube)
Product Number: 31-402
Best Used By Dates: 1/7/16 and 2/11/16 

NET WT 5 LBS (80 OZ) 2.3KG, Chub (tube) 
Product Number: 31-405
Best Used By Dates: 1/7/16 and 2/11/16

Product: Raw Food Diet BRAVO! LAMB BLEND for DOGS AND CATS (Manufactured by: Bravo! Manchester, CT)
5 LBS (80 OZ) 2.3KG, Chub (tube)
Product Number: 42-105
Best Used By Date: 2/11/16

This voluntary recall has been issued because the FDA has reported an independent lab detected the bacteria in a sample during a recent review. The company has received a limited number of reports of dogs experiencing nausea and diarrhea that may be associated with these specific products. The company has received no reports of human illness as a result of these products. 

Bravo! Article:

FDA Article:


Viral Video – Cat Saves Son From Dog Attack

This video has been circulating Facebook, the web and news broadcasts. When I saw it, after my cheering of “Go Kitty!!” subsided, I realized that this video is the perfect opportunity to prove a very important point.

I have to be honest; as a pet sitter it gets a little tiring hearing people say “my cat doesn’t need a pet sitter, I’ll just put some food and water down for a few days and she’ll be fine”. Would you do this to your dog? I don’t think so.

Where did this thinking come from that our cats are self-sustaining and don’t need as much attention, care and love as dogs do and therefore don’t need a pet sitter?

Personally, I think it’s because cats express their love for us in less obvious ways and since we, as humans, are always so busy with all of the other things going on in our lives we tend to notice their subtle signs of affection.

This video, however, proves that our cats are just as valuable to our family as the dog is and therefore deserves the  same treatment and care as the family dog.

3 Downsides To Pet Sitting

DSC_0193Like everything in life, there are good and bad sides to pet sitting. Though there are many benefits to getting a professional pet sitting service for your pet, it would be unfair to not also take a peak at the downsides to pet sitting services as well.

In order to make a well informed decision about the best possible pet care for your fur-babies you need to know all of the facts; not just the ones that make us pet sitters look good.

Here are the top 3 downsides to pet sitting (in comparison to boarding):

Limited Time With Your Pets 

In this regard, boarding wins hands down when it comes to the total amount of time is spent with your pet throughout the day. A pet sitter comes to your home 1-4 times a day (depending on the type of pet you have) and stays for an average of 20-40 minutes at a time.

In a high quality boarding facility, your pet will have access to other pets to play with for an average of 6-8 hours a day.

No Interaction With Other Animals

If your pet is a social butterfly, they may benefit from getting to spend the day making new friends with other vacationers at the boarding facility.

This can give your pet an opportunity to learn new social skills and also burn off a lot of energy playing with other pets.

Since in-home pet sitting is based in your own home and we come to you, your pets are limited to the interactions of its own pack if you have more than one pet. If you have only one pet, depending on his personality, he may get a bit lonely in-between visits with his pet sitter.

Pet Sitting Can Cost More 

Professional pet sitting is a personalized service that requires us to come directly to your home multiple times a day and provide your pet with customized care and one on one attention.

As a result, pet sitting can be more expensive than boarding especially if you opt to use overnight pet sitting services in which the pet sitter actually spends the night in your home with your fur baby.


There are downsides to boarding and there are downsides to pet sitting. The key to picking the right pet care services for your pet is to make your decision based on educating yourself about the pros and cons of each option, knowing what your pet would do best with and evaluating what you, as the pet parent, are most comfortable with for your babies.

To find out more about the benefits of in-home pet sitting click here