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Pet Dental Health

The month of August is upon us again and traditionally, vet clinics have touted the importance of pet dental health by promoting dental services during this month. I find this amusing since the importance of dental health is not just for the one month per year. I did a little digging.  Guess what I found? The Australian Dental Association (people, not pets this time) also promote the importance of dental health during the month of August. It seems we vets have jumped on the human dentists’ bandwagon… Dental Health Week, which takes place in the first full week of August, is the Australian Dental Association’s major annual oral health promotion event. Its aim is to educate Australians about the importance of maintaining good oral health in every aspect of their lives. The Importance of Oral Health I strongly agree that the importance of a healthy mouth cannot be overstated.  Pets are no different from people here. The beginning of poor dental health is the beginning of decline for so many of our pet cats and dogs. Sadly, many pet owners see bad breath or brown teeth as a ‘natural aging sign’ of their pets and do not treat it as the serious health issue that it is. We have always maintained that the best way to care for your pet’s teeth is to feed them a fresh food diet with raw meaty bones. The high carbohydrate content of processed dry foods actually sticks to the teeth.  This creates the perfect environment for the bacteria that cause tartar to grow and form their protective biofilm. Fresh food with a need for chewing reduces the ability of these bacteria to bind to the teeth and gums. But what to do if your dog does not tolerate raw bones? Or your cat just refuses to eat anything other than kibble. We know that not all pets happily eat the ideal diet. And although we can sit and advise you to just ‘wait it out’ or keep on trying those bones, there are just some pets who cannot and these pets need some other form of help. Our recommendations So, what products […]

Why you shouldn’t feed kibble to a Cat

The fundamental reason you shouldn’t feed kibble to a cat. We’ve all been there haven’t we? Stuck in the aisle of the pet food store trying to choose the best quality food for our furry felines. They sleep there on the couch all day looking for all the world like an angelic fluffy cushion, but at dinner time (or 5am breakfast time) the inner hunter emerges and they demand what they want. And if we don’t have their ideal meal planned that day, they let us know about it. So here we are again, staring at rows upon rows of meals for cats,.  Trying desperately to reconcile the taste demands of our ‘Lord and Master’ with our desire to feed them food that will keep them well. Being influenced by our budget, and that nagging doubt you’ll never find the ‘best food’ anyway. Does it even exist? Well I’m here to tell you that if you are looking on the shelves of the pet food store, then no. You are not going to find the ‘best food’.  Because we all intrinsically know that good quality, fresh and wholesome food is not found in a bag or a can in the long-life storage area of the store. Real food goes off. Fresh food needs to be chilled or frozen. Fresh food is not ‘convenient’. Why do cats need fresh food? Our furry feline friends are highly evolved as master hunters. They are obligate carnivores who are so successful in their hunting prowess that they have discarded all other nutritional adaptive measures that would mean they can eat a varied diet. They are finely tuned to eat a diet consisting of small animals, several times per day. These might be mice, rats, lizards, rabbits, frogs, insects and birds and yes, they do eat the gut contents of small prey. They do not eat vegetables, grains or grass. This evolutionary elitism means that cats are designed to eat raw diets, raw meat, organs, bones, skin and feathers. Unlike dogs who have adapted to living with humans and eating their food, cats have done […]

What Vegetables Can I Feed My Dog?

Eat your greens! I was asked the other day, three times in a row during busy morning consults, how to feed vegetables to a dog. Each time I was a little baffled by the question… Just cook or blitz them for your pooch! But by the third consult, I realise that this is obviously a topic that perplexes many of our clients. And so, here it is. What vegetables should I feed my dog? There are some vegetables that are best served cooked for your dog.  These are all of the starchy vegies, such as potato, pumpkin, sweet potato and carrots. The starches are easier to digest once they have been cooked. And then if that cooked starch has been left to cool, it becomes even more beneficial to those ever-important gut bugs by converting into ‘resistant starch’ which is essentially a prebiotic form of starch, or fibre. There are also some dogs that will have trouble digesting the brassica vegetables and will show this in the form of tummy pain, gas or even loose stools. The brassica family include broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower. All other vegetables are best served raw.  Although they do need to be finely chopped, grated or better yet, blitzed in a food processor to be easily digested. How do I prepare vegetables for my dog? So how do I prepare vegetables for my Bonsai Wolfhound, Ash? You all know that I am a time poor, working parent running a family business. I’d like to say that I have the time to dedicate to preparing each meal for my precious furry family member each night but in all honesty, she’s lucky if I remember to feed her… and the kids… Apparently they need feeding every day too – at least according to the school they do…. So, to make it easy for myself! I prepare a large batch of vegetables for Ash on a weekly or fortnightly basis. I buy the ‘Winter Veg’ snap frozen bag of vegies from the supermarket and blanch these in boiling water until just cooked. Drain and mash with a […]

Raw feeding for Cats

Raw feeding for Cats At Benton’s Road Veterinary Clinic we are advocates for wholesome nutrition for your pets.  Unfortunately, our feline companions are often limited in commercial nutrition options compared to the range that is available for dogs. Furthermore, home prepared raw feeding for cats can become overwhelming with the preparation and necessary calculations to appropriately balance a nutrition plan. We all know that correct calcium and phosphorous levels are essential, and don’t forget that all important taurine! We are proud to present a new option for clients who wish to feed their cats and kittens a more natural diet, but in a convenient way. Raw Meow is an Australian company based in Perth specialising in producing high quality feline nutrition products. The creators at Raw Meow use only the best quality ingredients and have worked alongside nutrition professionals to ensure their products are appropriately balanced for our feline companions. You can rest assured knowing you are feeding a high quality, balanced product. We will be stocking the following Raw Meow products: Raw Meow Mix – Formulated based on the prey model of feeding, Raw Meow Mix is a meal completer which can be added to muscle meat of your choice to provide a balanced meal. We recommend using human grade muscle meat to make your cats meals. Raw Meow Mix is also available in a formulation appropriate for growing kittens. Raw Meow Freeze Dried Meals – This is a complete meal, just freeze dried! Simple store in the pantry and re-hydrate your portions with water before feeding. Raw Meow Freeze Dried Chicken Breast – Human grade single protein treat option. We think about getting dog treats all the time for our canine companions, why not felines too? Freeze dried chicken breast is a dry product which many cats adore. Especially the reformed biscuit eaters who miss that crunch! Freeze dried chicken breast can also be utilised as a meal topper to help you transition your cat onto raw food. Raw Meow does have a larger range of freeze-dried treats available, if you would like something that we don’t have […]

Natural Diet for Optimal Health

Feeding a Natural Diet for Optimal Health   All species on the planet thrive best when they eat the foods that nature intended them to eat. When the digestive system is receiving items that its evolved to eat that animal, person or bird will be able to achieve optimal health. This is the philosophy behind our dietary recommendations at Bentons Road Vet Clinic.  We encourage all pet owners to embrace food as the natural source of a healthy lifestyle.  We also help clients to incorporate at least some, if not all, natural ingredients in their pet’s diet. But what does a natural diet look like for our pets today? There are a multitude of bags of dry food in the pet stores claiming to be “natural”, “organic”, “grain-free” and “holistic”; but what do these labels mean and how “natural” are they? At Bentons Road Vet Clinic we believe that a dry food or kibble based diet is the furthest from the natural diet of our small carnivores, as you can get. These foods are low in meat proteins.  High in refined grain carbohydrates. Devoid of any moisture.  And biologically removed from the natural meat and fat based diet of our pets. The more processing that a food goes through to get to its finished state, the less healthy it is for that species. We know this. There is a huge amount of advertising for our human health that encourages us to stay away from processed foods and to eat as much fresh, wholefoods as we can to stay healthy. The same is true of our pets’ diets. For cats and dogs, a diet that contains meat, organs and bones, essential fats and oils and some green leafy vegetables and herbs is the closest to their wild type diet. This diet can be nutritionally balanced over time, not every meal needs to be the perfect mix. There are some proportion differences between cats and dogs; puppies, kittens and geriatrics and also some changes that should be made with diseases or illnesses. But the baseline ingredients remain the same. Natural diets can be […]

Dog Behaviour

Dog Behaviour Please don’t steal my bone! Vets are asked every day how to help with dog behaviour issues. Behaviour problems are the biggest health problem facing dogs and their owners. These problems tarnish the relationship with your dog and often indicate that a pet is living a relatively unhappy life. The decision to put a dog to sleep because of a behaviour problem is the hardest one any pet owner has to make. But sometimes there is no option – particularly when a dog has bitten. One of the most common dog myths I see continued is the dominance theory. So many new pet owners proudly declare that they take their dog’s bones and food away while they are eating – just to show them who’s boss. They believe that by demonstrating dominance over their dog that their dog will submit to them and they will all live happily ever after. But it’s not that simple. A dominance relationship is not a hard and fast vertical ladder with “boss” on the top rung and “minions” on the lower. This visual makes it seem logical, that all members of the lower rungs are hell bent on climbing the ladder and that you have to keep knocking them down if you want to stay on top. But true dog and family relationships are just not like that. What are Dominance Relationships Actually Like Dominance relationships are always dynamic and relative to the situation at any given time. One dog may be “dominant” when it comes to a favourite toy and will put up a good fight to anyone who tries to take it away from them.   Another dog may be dominant when it comes to choosing a sleeping position.  And yet another dog may be dominant in an interaction when it comes to food.     The dominance relationship depends on the members present and the situation or the resource being considered at that time. It depends on just how much each dog wants that thing! So, in the case of removing the bone from the dog happily chewing it. You may […]

Feeding Bones To Your Pet

Bones…. Wow! What a contentious topic! There are many who strongly advocate feeding raw bones to dogs (myself included) and then there are others who are dead against it. These opinions are often formed from prior experience and so there are a few things to go over first. The Risks Of Feeding Bones There will always be a small risk of complications with feeding bones. Some bones can get stuck in the mouth. Some bones are not well digested and can cause obstruction or perforation of the intestines. Some dogs do not tolerate raw bones and may vomit or have diarrhoea. Some dogs may even develop severe constipation when fed bones. However, if your dog or cat does not eat raw bones, they will definitely suffer from dental disease. Very few dogs will have good oral health if they do not chew on raw meaty bones. Dental disease is a painful, debilitating condition where the body is in a constant state of inflammation, trying to rid itself of an infection that will never go away. This is a terrible disease to suffer from and is a huge reason that pets suffer a poor quality of life. How To Safely Feed Bones To You Pet So, how can we feed bones safely? How can we ensure good oral health whilst minimising the risk of dangerous complications? By looking to the pet’s evolution and respecting what they would naturally be eating. To clean teeth and gums well, dogs and cats should be chewing through soft bones, cartilage, ligaments and meat. Dogs and cats if in a feral state would naturally predate birds, lizards and small mammals such as rabbits, possums, rats and mice. They would not naturally hunt a cow and eat the entire leg bones! These are far too dense and hard and can break their teeth. So since your cat and dog are domesticated and don’t have ready access to the bones of small prey animals, what type of commercially available bones should you feed? Raw chicken is the most readily available source of bone that is a biologically appropriate […]

Interview with Dr Karen Kan

Dr Karen Kan Interview It’s not everyday you get to do a radio interview and it’s certainly not everyday you do an interview on US radio.  But this is exactly what Dr Kelly Halls has recently done. Dr Karen Kan is a Holistic practitioner in the US and has been looking for a Vet to provide some information to her radio audience.  After a search of google she found Bentons Road Vet Clinic and was interested in our clinics approach.  Dr Kan enquired whether Dr. Kelly  would be interested in sharing her perspective on vaccines for pets in an radio interview.  Obviously Dr Kelly agreed.  Who wouldn’t want to share this vital information with as many pet loving people as possible. So if you’d like to learn how to better care for a faithful companion animal, this broadcast is an absolute must.  

Danger of Raw Feeding Cats – Why You Have To Get It Right.

Danger of Raw Feeding Cats: Why You Have To Get It Right I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking wait a second, Bentons Road Vet promotes raw feeding! Why are they now talking about the danger of raw feeding cats!!! Have they changed their minds??? The short answer is no, but you have to get it right otherwise you can run into trouble. Don’t stress though.  We are always here to help. But first we need to read a story about Pip (our honorary clinic cat). Does anyone remember Pip? The tiny scrap of a kitten delivered to our doorstep almost dead? She was stone cold and almost lifeless and we had almost given up on her. Then she started to move… and the rest is history. Little Pip Squeak found her forever home with Kim and her other cat Bubbles and has been living the good life ever since. Like most pets at our clinic, Pip has been fed a fresh, raw diet for most of her life and is very well and healthy. Recently, Kim started to source her cat food from the supermarket. These packets of vacuum sealed fresh meat were labelled as fresh and lean, fortified with thiamine, taurine and calcium.  Perfect you’d think! Fresh and Lean what could go wrong?  Unfortunately one thing.  And that one thing caused Pip to have a problem. Kim contacted us in a bit of a panic one day with a video of Pip behaving oddly. She was having trouble walking straight and kept falling over. She was very unbalanced. Kim was understandably very distressed as she was watching her little fur baby unable to function properly at all. Kim has always strived to do the very best for Pip. She was at a loss as to what was wrong or what to do. Thankfully the signs Pip was showing alerted me quickly to the most likely problem.  We were able to advise Kim to immediately feed a different type of food for a while. Pip rapidly recovered over the next few days. So what was the trouble? Bentons Road Vet […]

Surgery Day? How we care for your pet

Surgery Due – What to expect on the day Some people feel a level of anxiety when told their pet must stay at the clinic for a day to have a surgical procedure performed. It can be very daunting to leave your beloved fur-baby in the hands of someone else.  We understand the trust that this requires. Here is a description of what your pet will experience during a stay in our hospital.  Hopefully it will help you feel a little less apprehensive about their stay. Getting Your Pet Settled After being greeted and examined by the surgical vet in the morning and waiting for you to sign the admission paperwork, your pet will be taken through to the hospital area where they meet the surgical nurse on that day. This nurse will make your pet comfortable in a hospital cage.  These cages have padded mattresses, blankets and even a teddy to cuddle up to for small and anxious pets. You are welcome to bring in a favourite blanket, toy or one of your own articles of clothing that carries your scent. Please only bring one item as we don’t want to lose important things! Cats are settled into a separate area of the hospital and all pets have their own size appropriate space. All cages are labelled with the patient name, body weight and procedure. The surgery vet and nurse then order the surgery list for the day and prepare the surgery and equipment. What Happens Prior to Surgery Half an hour prior to the procedure, your pet is administered a premed.  This premed contains both a sedative and pre-emptive pain relief. They are then taken out for a toilet walk (not cats) prior to surgery.  Pets are then settled back in their cage while the premed takes effect. Once the premed has taken effect, gentle hands place an IV catheter and fluid therapy is started.  The vet then induces anaesthesia with a dose of medication into this fluid line. Once anaesthetised, your pet has an endotracheal tube positioned into the airway.  This is connected to the gas anaesthesia […]