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Can Cats Eat Rice? Everything You Need to Know

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From apples and bananas to salmon and turkey, there are plenty of human foods cats can eat–but what about rice? While cats can eat rice, the pantry staple doesn’t provide much nutritional benefit for our feline friends, vets say. We’ll explain.

FAQs About Cats and Rice

Q:Is plain rice good for cats?

A:While plain rice is safe for cats, it doesn’t provide any nutritional benefits, says Dr. Rachel Barrack, DVM, CVA, CVCH, and owner of New York City-based veterinary practice Animal Acupuncture. That’s because…

  • Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they benefit from high protein diets.
  • Felines have very limited carbohydrate needs. That’s true for most cats, so plain ricebeing a carbohydratedoesn’t have much of a health payoff for kitties.
  • Cats can have difficulty processing and digesting carbs, like rice. Plus, eating too many carbohydrates can predispose purr babies to conditions like obesity and diabetes.

Q:Can cats eat brown rice? Is brown rice better for cats?

A:Sure, cats can eat brown rice. And while brown rice is technically slightly better for cats (over white rice),neither have much nourishment for them,” Dr. Barrack says.

Brown rice has slightly more nutrients than fortified white rice, but because cats can only have a small taste or two of rice, the nutritional pros and cons of each aren’t going to make huge differences for our feline friends, she adds.

Q:Can cats eat plain white rice?

A:Yes, cats can eat plain white rice. If they handle it well, it won’t hurt them to have a tiny taste now and again. If you decide to serve some grainy goodness to your cat:

  • Keep servings small. Just offer a teaspoon of rice.
  • Dole out rice as an infrequent treat. It’s not an essential part of your pur-ry friend’s diet, so no need to overdo it.

Q:Is white rice toxic to cats?

A:White rice is not toxic to cats. However, “many cats do have difficulty processing and digesting carbohydrates such as white rice,” says Dr. Barrack. Carbs can also make our cool cats prone to weight gain and diseases, like diabetes, she adds.

Q:Why is it bad for cats to eat white rice?

A:While not technically “bad” for them, white rice isn’t particularly helpful for cats because they’re obligate carnivores. This means they benefit from a meat-based diet, and as Dr. Barrack points out, “the majority of felines don’t have much need for carbohydrates.”

Q:How much rice can a cat eat?

A:How much rice a cat can eat depends on their overall daily calorie intake. Here’s how to figure out the appropriate amount of rice:

  • Total treats should be no more than 10 percent of your cat’s daily calorie intake. Let’s say your kitty takes in 200 calories a day. Treats should then make up no more than 20 calories of their daily food allotment. Because a teaspoon of rice has only about 5 calories, that’s 2.5 percent of their overall calories—well within snacking range.
  • Talk to your vet about your kitty’s needs, and try this handy calorie calculator from the Pet Nutrition Alliance.
  • Observe your pet. If your feline is healthy, likes rice and has no ill effects from indulging, it won’t harm adult cats to have some rice in their wet cat food or as a separate little tidbit.
  • Don’t use rice as a meal replacement. Rice isn’t a requisite part of cat diets; and while the periodic bite or two is appropriate, it doesn’t provide the needed sustenance for tip-top feline health.

Q:How often can a cat eat rice?

A:How often a cat can eat rice depends on your cat’s overall health and tolerance for this food. For fit felines with a hankering for rice—as long as they digest it well and have no underlying health issues—a bite of plain boiled or steamed rice once in a while is reasonable.

“Keep in mind that cat treats should not account for a significant amount of their daily calorie intake,” says Dr. Barrack. Rice should only be an infrequent refreshment, since indulging in too many carbohydrates can cause long-term health issues, as well as diarrhea, bloating and gas.

    Benefits of Feeding Cats Rice

    If little green eyes is watching you munch on some rice, feel free to treat your cat to a small bite. Cooked rice is definitely on the list of safe snacks for cats to nibble on now and again. Although rice doesn’t exactly provide much nutritional benefit, there are some benefits to treating your cat to a small amount of rice. They include:

    • Cooked plain rice is nontoxic. As long as it agrees with their digestive system, rice is a perfectly safe human food for cats to nibble on intermittently, says Dr. Barrack.
    • Rice is useful for cat treats. In small amounts, it’s a reasonable choice, notes Dr. Barrack.
    • It can play a small role in a nutritionally balanced cat diet. As a filler ingredient, rice is included in a number of commercially available cat foods.
    • Rice is an acceptable way to hide medicines.
    • Kitty digestion might be aided. Some veterinarians recommend boiled or plain rice as an aid for gastrointestinal issues. And brown rice, which has a good amount of fiber, might also be used to help with constipation (just be sure to check with your veterinarian before using rice for any cat GI situations).
    • Brown rice has some good nutrients. While cats won’t get near the nutritional punch us humans do, brown rice has some healthy qualities. Since it’s a whole grain, it still has the bran and germ, meaning it contains a slew of nutritional goodness that, even if minimal for our kitty friends, certainly won’t hurt them. Those nutrients include:

      • Fiber
      • Protein
      • Vitamin B1
      • Vitamin B3
      • Vitamin B6
      • Iron
      • Magnesium
      • Antioxidants
    • Enriched white rice also has helpful vitamins and minerals, including iron and folic acid.

    Downsides of Feeding Cats Rice

    Although rice isn’t toxic and does have benefits, there are some downsides of feeding cats rice. They include:

    • Nutritional advantages may be lost on cats. Since kitties can only have the itsiest amounts, the health merits of rice as treats are fairly limited.
    • Cats could fill up. It’s a filler food after all, so chomping on too much rice may actually stop cats from eating enough of the beneficial meaty diet they really rely on.
    • Digestive tracts may act up. Because cats are obligate carnivores—meaning they should dine mostly on meat–they aren’t well-suited to process grains. Some felines will have no problems whatsoever, but don’t be surprised if their systems get gloomy after a rice snack. “Many cats have difficulty processing and digesting carbohydrates,” says Dr. Barrack.
    • Cats have no real need for carbohydrates. Kitties benefit most from high protein diets, asserts Dr. Barrack. Although some commercial cat foods do include grains like rice as fillers, these are added in only small specially calibrated amounts.
    • Health issues might crop up. Carbs can raise blood sugar, and Dr. Barrack notes that too many such foods can make cats more susceptible to problems, like obesity and diabetes.

            How to Feed Rice to Cats

            If your kitty likes digging into rice and they tolerate it well, treating them to small bites every once in a while is fine. Let them enjoy a sample as a treat, or try it as a way to hide their meds.

            Here are some tips for serving rice to cats:

            • Give them plain brown or white rice. They can eat either type of rice, however, Dr. Barrack cautions that there are other, smaller grains, like barley, cornmeal and couscous, that confer more health benefit and are typically easier for cats to process. “Of course, cat treats such as fish, meat or even veggies would be much better options,” Dr. Barrack says.
            • Snacks should account for only a small portion of your cat’s daily intake. No more than 10 percent of their calories should come from indulgences like rice.
            • Present cooked rice only. Never give your cat uncooked rice. Raw rice is hard for them to digest and may also contain lectin, a plant protein that acts like a natural pesticide. If eaten in large amounts, it could cause intestinal issues, like diarrhea and vomiting.
            • Leave it up to your cat. Let finicky felines decide if they want to try a new food like  rice or not. Start with a few grains of plain cooked white or brown rice and let your kitty smell them. If they walk off in a huff, that might be your answer. But if they’re willing to sample some, seem to enjoy the taste and don’t get tummy troubles, it should be fine to dish rice out every once in a while.
            • Steer clear of rice with additives, seasonings or sauces of any kind. These added ingredients could have ill effects on kitty’s digestive system. So, if you’re a feline with a sensitive stomach, no salt or soy sauce for you!
            • Mix in cat-safe cooked veggies such as carrots, zucchini or peas. This might prompt more interest from your little gourmand, along with upping the nutritional ante. Just be sure to check with your vet first to make sure these adds are OK for your buddy.
            • Choose a tiny amount of brown rice over small quantities of white. Nutritionally, it’s a tad better: It’s higher in fiber and has antioxidants.
            • Keep servings minimal and occasional. Rice should never be dished out in place of cats’ regular pet food because it doesn’t contain the necessary nutrients for optimal kitty health.
            If you want to try out rice with your cat, check with your veterinarian first. The vet can determine the right portion for your pet and weigh in on any health issues that might preclude them having rice. Even infrequent feline snacks need to be taken into consideration when looking at your kitty’s overall diet.

            Have more questions about your pet’s behavior? Get expert advice through Chewy’s Connect With a Vet service, available daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET.

            The post Can Cats Eat Rice? Everything You Need to Know appeared first on BeChewy.

            The New Wellness Habit You & Your Pup Should Pick Up, Based on Their Zodiac Sign

            We could all use a few more wellness habits. I could. You could. Your pet could, too. How you and your pet feel—physically, mentally and emotionally—impacts everything else in life. And the truth is, a walk once or twice a day just isn’t enough. You both deserve more self-care and intentional R&R.

            So, it’s time to start making time for it. And to find healthy habits that create joy and strengthen the bond you and your dog share, we’re turning to the stars. Behold, the new wellness habits you and your pup should pick up, based on your dog’s zodiac signs. And don’t say you’ll start tomorrow. Today is a perfect day.

            Jump to your dog’s zodiac sign:

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            Aries: Get Massages

            Aries Zodiac Wellness Dog

            Aries pups are born between March 21 and April 19.

            Independent and determined little creatures, they thrive on being the boss of the house. But even the most courageous leaders need a little R&R sometimes. So, give your furry child a massage, and book one for yourself.

            Massages are beneficial for humans and dogs of all ages. They help boost circulation, relax muscle spasms and tension, help correct muscle imbalances, and, of course, promote relaxation.

            How to massage your pet

            1. Find a relaxing environment for you and your pup.
            2. Place your hand flat over your pup’s skin.
            3. Using light pressure, massage the muscles in your pup’s paws for two to three minutes.
            4. Move your hand upwards and massage your pup’s legs, tail and ears.

            If your dog’s love language isn’t touch (it’s normal!)—especially the massage-style of touch—consider chilling out with some calm-inducing supplements, like Vibeful’s Calming Melatonin Soft Chews. (Be sure to consult a veterinarian before trying any pet calming aids to ensure stress and anxiety aren’t symptoms of other underlying medical conditions.)

            Taurus: Take a Nap

            Taurus Zodiac Wellness Dog

            Tauruses are born between April 20 and May 20.

            Taurus pups like cozy time, and they’re snuggly and dependable. And what’s cozier and more snuggly than taking naps together?

            Naps can quickly help recharge your and your pup’s inner batteries. Dogs tend to sleep for half the day, which means plenty of opportunities to join them for a snooze sesh. While you may be tempted to sleep half the day away with them, keep your naps short. Studies show that 10 to 20 minutes is the optimal amount of nap time for humans to avoid drowsiness and, instead, feel alert and productive after you wake.

            Level-up nap time with some special throw blankets and cozy dog beds. Our favorites are below:

            Gemini: Go on a Shopping Spree

            Gemini Zodiac Wellness Dog

            Gemini pups are born between May 21 and June 20.

            Geminis love to be on the move, are super curious and always want to play. So, do a little in-store shopping for some new toys—for pup and yourself.

            There’s a scientific reason that so many people believe that shopping boosts their mood. Purchasing new things triggers the release of happy hormones (dopamine and endorphins!) in the brain.

            As for Gemini pets? They’re the social butterflies of the zodiac signs, so getting them out on a leisurely walk through a pet-friendly store and mingling with other people and pets will boost their mood.

            Make sure shopping is only a special occasion treat, though. You don’t need your pup becoming a shopaholic.

            Cancer: Schedule a Wellness Checkup

            Cancer Zodiac Wellness Dog

            Cancers are born between June 22 and July 22.

            Cancer pups are emotional and sensitive and love to be loved (and love others!). Help nurture your water-sign pup by scheduling a wellness check-up for them and yourself.

            Typically including a complete physical examination and a discussion about daily habits and nutrition, an annual wellness check is an important to-do for both pet parents and their pets because it helps prevent illnesses and flags health problems early on.

            In-between wellness visits and have questions about your pet? Get real-time expert advice through Chewy’s Connect With a Vet telehealth service. They’re available daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET.

            Leo: Have a Pet Playdate

            Leo Zodiac Wellness Dog

            Leo pups are born between July 23 and August 22.

            Leos enjoy being the center of attention. They rule the roost and are full of love and energy. Scheduling some playdates with your Leo pet’s pals is a great way for you both to socialize (and help your high-energy fur kid burn off all that extra energy).

            Here’s how to host a successful playdate:

            • Find the right match: If your pup loves to wrestle, choose to have a playdate with a pup who’s ready to rumble. Generally, playdates with pups who are similar in age and size—as well as energy level—usually go over the best.
            • Keep it neutral: Playdates are safest when hosted on neutral territory, especially when introducing pups for the first time. Find a fenced-in park where dogs can run off-leash. Community tennis courts during the off-season are great options, too. Just don’t forget poop bags!
            • Be conscious, not controlling: Pups have to interact with their environment and each other in their own time. Don’t force anything that doesn’t naturally occur. And if the dogs don’t seem to really jive? Call it quits. Watch body language, avoid distractions, and stay attuned to how both dogs are feeling throughout the playdate.

            Virgo: Start a Supplement Routine

            Virgo Zodiac Wellness Dog

            Virgo dogs are born between August 23 and September 22.

            Virgo dogs love a good routine. For many, they probably eat the same food every day at the same time and could benefit from some added nutrients. That’s where supplements come in.

            Most commercially manufactured dog foods satisfy your furry child’s daily nutritional needs. But if you’re hoping to target or alleviate a specific condition—think joint health, digestive issues, skin inflammation—supplements might help. You can even find a supplement to help improve your pet’s coat, like Vibeful’s Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil.

            The same goes for pet parents: Taken by about one-third of adults in the U.S., supplements can help fill any nutritional gaps in your diet. For example, fish oil, which is one of the most commonly consumed dietary supplements, can help support your heart health and reduce inflammation, among other benefits. (You can read more about the benefits of dietary supplements for adults on the National Institutes of Health website.)

            Looking for recommendations for your pup? We’ve got ‘em! Here are the best dog supplements, according to vets.

            To ensure supplementation is indeed a healthy habit for your dog, opt for veterinarian-recommended options that also have a quality seal (aka stamp of approval) from the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC).  And absolutely check with your veterinarian before adding vitamins or supplements to your dog’s daily routine.

            Libra: Do Doggy Yoga

            Libra Zodiac Wellness Dog

            Libra dogs are born between September 23 and October 22.

            Libra dogs born between September 23 and October 22 prefer being with their pet parents more often than not. They’re also usually calm, social and always game to Zen out. That’s why doggy yoga (also commonly referred to as “doga”) is a great healthy habit for Libra dogs.

            According to Florida-based doga instructor Suzi Teitelman, doggy yoga can be a “loving, peaceful and joyous” experience for both you and your pup. “A lot of people take this time to just be with their pet, which brings them happiness,” she explains. “It doubles the calm because you’re sharing this experience together.”

            Ease into doga by breathing together. Start with the Sukhasana pose, or the “easy seated pose.” Here’s how to do it:

            1. Sit on the floor (or your yoga mat), cross-legged. Sit up straight, relax your arms, place your hands on your knees, and gaze ahead.
            2. Let your dog come to you. Have them sit or lay next to you.
            3. While slowly petting your dog, breathe in and out in a thoughtful, controlled manner, with long inhales and exhales.
            4. If your pup allows you, place one hand on your heart and the other on your dog’s heart. Continue to breathe slowly. This is called Heart to Hound Mundra. It encourages an energy transfer between you and your dog.

            Wrap up your doga session and crown your dog an official dogi by rewarding him with his own yoga mat plush squeaky toy or a meditating stuffed animal.

            Scorpio: Try a New (Pet-Friendly) Restaurant

            Scorpio Zodiac Wellness Dog

            Scorpio dogs are born between October 23 and November 22.

            Scorpio pups like to live on the edge and love to explore new things. Exploring a dog-friendly restaurant is a great way for Scorpio dogs—and their parents—to get out of the house, get some fresh air, socialize with other pups and fellow pet parents, and enjoy a tasty treat. Consider this the most delicious way to boost your mental health.

            Before heading over to a dog-friendly restaurant near you, check the menu for dog-friendly treats. If they don’t have any, be sure to bring some along with you so Fido can take part in the dining experience, too. Another piece of advice? Go at a time when the restaurant isn’t too crowded or too rowdy. Scorpio dogs are easily frightened and overwhelmed by chaos.

            Unsure what kind of treats to bring? Skip the training treats and give your pup treats that mimic restaurant food, like…

            Sagittarius: Explore the Great Outdoors

            Sagittarius Zodiac Wellness Dog

            Sagittarius dogs are born between November 22 and December 21.

            Sagittarius pups are notorious travelers and brave adventurers. That’s why hiking or going on nature walks can be a great healthy habit to add to a Sagittarius dog’s routine. Plus, this is a fun way to get some exercise for yourself.

            Use online resources, like BringFido and AllTrails, to find dog-friendly trails near you. Consider the temperature, length, elevation gain, access to shade, access to water and the surface and difficulty of the trails. And to make hiking or nature walking an even more enjoyable (and safe!) habit for you and your pup, consider picking up the best dog hiking gear, according to pet parents, like you.

            Oh, and don’t forget to make and bring trail mix bars for you and your dog to enjoy!

            Capricorn: Learn a New Skill

            Capricorn Zodiac Wellness Dog

            Capricorns are born between December 22 and January 19.

            Capricorn pups never back down from a challenge. They shine their brightest when tackling new puzzles or learning new commands. So, make things new and novel by working together to develop some new skills, like agility. Not only will this give you and your dog some bonding time, but seeking out new, novel things is scientifically proven to recharge your internal battery and reignite passion, focus and joy.

            Choose a couple days a week to spend 10 to 30 minutes agility training your pup. It serves as “awesome exercise for cardio, balance and paw-eye coordination,” says Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM, CVJ, a veterinarian at Sheep Draw Veterinary Hospital in Greeley, Colorado. And because it requires a lot of intentional focus, it’s perfect for high-energy Capricorn pups.

            Use these agility training tips to get started.

            Aquarius: Take a Spa Day

            Aquarius Zodiac Wellness Dog

            Aquarius dogs are born between January 20 and February 18.

            Aquarius pups live by their own rules and, at times, can get into some trouble (but let’s be real, what dogs don’t?). They thrive when trying new things and need constant stimulation. So, help your zany dog unwind with a pet and parent spa day.

            A spa day can be a great way to get your Aquarius pup to slow down and engage in some much-needed, relaxing self-care. This is a bonus for pet parents, too, as we could all use a digital detox.

            Here are some ideas for your mommy-and-me spa days:

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            Pisces: Snuggle on the Couch

            Pisces Zodiac Wellness Dog

            Pisces dogs are born between February 19 and March 20.

            Pisces dogs are big fans of peace and quiet. Highly sensitive and intuitive, they love to cuddle with their humans—and even cozy up under some blankets. So, make couch snuggle sessions a regular (or daily!) wellness habit.

            Studies show that cuddling yields numerous benefits for both you and your pet. It releases brain chemicals that alleviate stress and anxiety, and in turn, boost feelings of happiness.

            So, grab some blankets, hunker down on the couch, and put a movie or our Zen Dog Spotify playlist on. Or, if you’re strapped for time, simply wake up five minutes early each day to get in some intentional cuddling (and bonding) time with your favorite pooch.

            When all else fails, remember that all dogs—no matter their zodiac sign—love one thing the most: you! (Well, maybe two things: you and food.) As long as you regularly show them that they’re an important part of your life and family, they’ll shower you with companionship and affection unconditionally. So, stop reading this article and go give your pup a hug. After all, science shows that alone can help improve happiness and health.

            The post The New Wellness Habit You & Your Pup Should Pick Up, Based on Their Zodiac Sign appeared first on BeChewy.

            How to Find the Best Dog Trainer for Your Unique Pup

            Whether you’ve brought home a new dog or are hoping to teach your old dog new tricks, the right trainer can get you started on the right foot. But dog trainers are like therapists: They’re not all created equal, and the person who worked wonders for one dog might not connect with yours. So how do you find a dog trainer who’s perfect for your pup? We’ve got you covered.

            What to Look For

            Look for these attributes to find the right dog trainer for you:

            • A Professional Certification: Dog training is an unregulated profession, which means literally any person can start a business as a dog trainer, even if they’ve never met a dog before. To ensure you’re working with a real pro, make sure your trainer has been certified by a respected professional organization (more on those below).
            • A Positive Reinforcement Approach: Positive reinforcement is a training methodology that’s backed by research, as well as supported by most professional dog training organizations. Using this approach means rewarding your pup’s good behavior with treats, toys and/or praise, and never punishing them when they don’t do what you want. No matter what a dog is learning, from basic training to more difficult skills, studies have proven that positive reinforcement is as effective as (and in some ways better than) other training methods—and a good dog trainer will be well-versed in it.
            • Experience With Your Training Goals: From basic manners to complex tasks like assisting people with disabilities, dogs can learn to do a wide range of things—and not every trainer will have experience in all of them. Ask yourself what you hope to get out of dog training, and then search for a trainer who specializes in it.

            Group Classes Vs. Private Sessions

            • Dog training classes are a relatively inexpensive option for manners and obedience. They also provide safe socialization opportunities. Puppy classes run by a certified trainer are great for new puppies who are learning about the world—and because the demand for puppy training is especially high, there’s likely to be at least one good puppy class in your area.

              But there are lots of other types of training classes, too. The American Kennel Club (AKC) offers a Canine Good Citizen (CGC) course that trains pups and their parents on everything from meeting strangers to basic obedience training and walking on leash. And if you’re interested in obedience competitions, local obedience clubs run obedience classes, too.

            • Individual sessions (aka private lessons) can be a good fit for dogs who are nervous around strangers, or if you have very specific training needs—for example, if you want your pup to learn a dog sport like agility or dock diving. If your puppy hasn’t had enough vaccinations to be in a group class, individual sessions with a professional dog trainer are good place to start, too.

            How Much Does a Dog Trainer Cost?

            • Dog training classes cost between $30 and $80 per training session.
            • Private sessions cost an average of $140 per session.

            Find a Dog Trainer Near You

            To ensure you’re working with a real pro, make sure your trainer has been certified by one of these groups:

            Each of those organizations require certificants to adhere to educational and ethical standards. These certifications indicate your trainer has learned about dog behavior and training, and uses appropriate training methods. Each has an online directory that you can search according to your location to find a certified dog trainer near you.

            With the help of a professional dog trainer and plenty of patience, you and your pup will be on your way to reaching your goals for skills and behavior. Good luck, and remember to have fun!
            Expert input provided by Irith Bloom, owner of The Sophisticated Dog training company in Los Angeles, California, whose dog training credentials include CPDT-KSA, CBCC-KA, CDBC, KPA CTP, VSPDT and CBATI.

            The post How to Find the Best Dog Trainer for Your Unique Pup appeared first on BeChewy.

            How to Get a Cat to Drink More Water (Because They Probably Need It)

            Just like us, cats need water for their bodies to be healthy. And just like us, our cats sometimes don’t drink as much as they need. So, how do you get a cat to drink water? We asked the experts—Dr. Dana Varble, DVC, CAE, chief veterinary officer with the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC), a nationwide veterinarians’ organization; and Dr. Sehaj Grewal, DVM, owner of The Melrose Vet in Los Angeles, CA—about how much H2O your pet needs, and tips and tricks for inspiring them to make hydration a priority.

            How to Get a Cat to Drink Water: Step by Step

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            1 Clean Their Water Bowl Regularly

            Fresh water is key. Water dishes are prone to developing mineral deposits and yucky slime. (Even if the water looks fine, it might not be fresh—and your cat will know the difference!) Dishes with standing water should be cleaned daily with sudsy hot water. Water fountains tend to stay cleaner for longer, but should still be cleaned once weekly. (More on those in the next tip.)

            Pro Tip: Some plastic water containers can also hold onto odors and bacteria, making them less desirable compared to ceramic, glass or stainless steel.
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            2 Try a Drinking Fountain

            Cats love moving water because it tastes fresher—and because they’re naturally drawn to moving water sources, just like their ancestors. A bowl with a fountain or stream feature constantly rotates the water, making it a more desirable option compared to standing water.

            Two Chewy cat parent favorites are the Drinkwell 360 Stainless Steel Pet Fountain and Catit Flower Plastic Cat Fountain. It can take a couple days for your cat to get used to a drinking fountain, but they’ll likely end up loving it. Leave a bowl of standing water out for them while they adjust to the new fountain.

            Pro Tip: Large, wide, and shallow bowls are preferred by kitties. This allows them to lap up water without their whiskers rubbing against the bowl, which can feel uncomfortable.
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            3 Make Sure You Have Enough Water Bowls

            If you have multiple cats, you should have multiple drinking bowls—at least one for each cat. Some cats can be territorial, and will prevent other cats in the home from drinking out of “their” bowl.
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            4 Consider the Location

            Keep your cat’s water bowl in an ideal space. Cats will object if their dishes are placed next to the litter box or in places where they don’t feel safe. Aim for a non-cramped space that’s quiet and out of the way of household traffic.

            Pro Tip: If you have multiple floors or your house is large, try placing water dishes in different locations throughout your home to make drinking more convenient for your kitty.
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            5 Try Wet Food

            Incorporating wet food or snacks into your cat’s diet can help them get more fluids. Some dry foods also have higher water content than others. You can compare water content by looking for the moisture percentage in the list of nutritional information on the package. Most dry foods have a moisture content between 5-15%; canned foods typically have a moisture between 70-85%.

            As always, speak with your veterinarian about the ideal diet for your cat, as certain wet foods can worsen medical issues such as dental disease.

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            6 Consult Your Vet

            Cats may stop consuming as much water as they usually do if they aren’t feeling well physically or emotionally. If you notice a sudden decline in their drinking habits, consult your veterinarian right away.

            No matter how dehydrated you think your cat is, never force them to drink water. Even if you get a little in their mouth, it likely won’t be enough water to help them feel better, and it can create an aversion to drinking water. In dire cases, your vet can administer fluids intravenously (IV).

            How Much Water Does My Cat Need?

            As a general rule, cats need about 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight every day. So, if your cat weighs about 10 pounds then they should drink about 10 ounces of water, or about 1.25 cups per day. Smaller cats require less, and larger cats require more.

            Additional factors may increase this daily requirement, including:

            • High temperatures
            • Dry climates
            • Physical activity
            • Medical conditions, especially kidney or urinary bladder disease, diabetes, diarrhea and constipation
            • Certain medications

            Proper water intake supports stomach, intestine and kidney and urinary tract health. Poor hydration, on the other hand, can contribute to kidney disease, bladder stones and urinary problems, among other concerns. So, if you suspect your cat’s not getting enough fluids, it’s important to take action.

            How to Track Your Cat’s Water Intake

            It may be impossible to tell exactly how much water your cat is drinking. (If only there were a measured hydro flask for felines!) The good news is that most pet parents don’t need to know the exact amount—it’s more important that you monitor their general drinking habits so you can notice changes that may indicate health issues. There are a couple different methods you can try:

            • Keep track of how often your cat goes to their water dish—and note whether their frequency increases or decreases. If your cat’s going to their dish more often, it stands to reason that they’re drinking more!
            • Monitor the water level in your cat’s bowl. You can eyeball the level before your daily refills, or measure the amount of water left in the bowl before you clean it each day. Just keep in mind that water will evaporate and/or even splash out during the day, which will affect that measurement.
            • Use a smart water dish. These devices connect to your cell phone and can help quantify water consumption. For example, the Instachew Puresmart Water Fountain delivers push notifications to your phone about the water level. It also cleans the water with a UV light.

            Why Isn’t My Cat Drinking Water?

            In the same way cats are very picky about their litter boxes (and rightfully so!), they tend to get finicky when it comes to their water situation. Common reasons why your cat isn’t drinking water include:

            • Dirty or old water bowl
            • Your cat prefers running water over still water
            • Their water bowl is in an undesirable location
            • Uncomfortable bowl shape
            • Not enough bowls
              Inconvenient to get to their water
            • Illness

            If you’ve worked through the steps above and your cat still won’t drink, contact your vet.

            Is My Cat Dehydrated?

            Be on the lookout for these signs of dehydration:

            • Reduced energy levels
            • Weakness
            • Constipation
            • Hard, dry poop
            • Reduced urination
            • Dry or sticky gums
            • Sunken eyes
            • Decreased appetite
            • Loss of elasticity in the skin

            If you suspect your cat is dehydrated, contact your vet. They can run tests such as bloodwork and urinalysis to determine if that is the case, and if so, can administer fluids via IV or offer tailored solutions to ensure your cat is drinking enough water.

            Getting your cat to drink water is sometimes as simple as swapping out the water dish, switching up the location of the bowl, or increasing how often you clean their current dish. If the above doesn’t seem to do the trick, or you suspect an issue with your cat’s health, consult your veterinarian so you can get to the bottom of the issue.
            Expert input provided by Dr. Dana Varble, DVC, CAE, chief veterinary officer with the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC), a nationwide veterinarians’ organization; and Dr. Sehaj Grewal, DVM, owner of The Melrose Vet in Los Angeles, CA.

            The post How to Get a Cat to Drink More Water (Because They Probably Need It) appeared first on BeChewy.

            6 Sweater Trends for Dogs and Cats We’re Loving for Fall and Winter

            For pet parents, fall is about more than slipping into a chunky, oversized cable knit sweater, lighting a crisp apple and cranberry-scented pet-safe candle, and warming your hands on piping-hot Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Fall is also the season of dressing your pet up in equally as cozy—and stylish—sweaters. And this season’s pet sweater trends are all so adorable, you’ll have a hard time choosing just one new sweater to add to your pet’s fall wardrobe. 

            From faux cardigans and fabulous fair isle prints to playful hoodies, Chewy’s own pet apparel designer San Tran fills us in on this year’s sweater trends for dogs and cats. Spoiler alert: They’re equal parts comfy and stylish—as they should be.  

            Faux Cardigans

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            Photo: Chewy Studios

            It’s a fall wardrobe staple: the cardigan button-up. But don’t worry, pet parents; the pet version of these classic sweaters are faux cardigans, meaning you won’t have to fasten every button. They’re simply there to look pretty, like the pearl buttons seen on Frisco’s Faux Cardigan Sweater 

            “The faux cardigan sweater is cute, warm and funny—and reminds us of our grandparents’ sweater cardigan sitting on the porch,” Tran says. 

            Punchy Patches

            Image

            Photo: Chewy Studios

            For sweaters with flair and personality, look no further than patch-adorned sweaters, like Frisco’s collegiate-style Teal Button Down Sweater featuring travel-themed patches and Chilly Dog’s Wool Sweater with it’s “Squirrel Patrol” patch.

            “Patches bring that adventurous feeling to anything you place it on, so why not on our favorite clothing for winter, a sweater?” Tran asks.

            The Turtleneck

            Image

            Photo: Chewy Studios

            Turtlenecks aren’t just a relic of the ‘90s. (Remember this iconic Joey Tribbiani look from “Friends”?) Because believe it or not, turtlenecks are back and more fashionable than ever—for pets and their parents. And Tran’s favorite turtleneck for pets is Frisco’s Colorblock Turtleneck Sweater with Sleeves. It features a pullover design for quick dressing, a higher cut at the belly so pets can comfortably go potty, and much-needed pops of color for those particularly gray days.

            “Whether your pooch has long model legs or cute little ones, sleeved turtlenecks bring sophistication. Don’t believe us? Try it for yourself,” Tran says.

            Colorful, Warmer Cable Knits

            Image

            Photo: Chewy Studios

            “It’s one of our customer’s all-time favorites: cable knits,” Tran says. And this season, Chewy designers are elevating the classic cable knit design by blending colorful knits with turtlenecks for extra comfort. “So, your pooch can stay traditionally fashionable and be ready to snuggle up by the fire,” Tran says.   

            One of our favorite cable knit turtleneck sweaters is Frisco’s mustard-yellow Cable Knit Sweater, which is partly made with recycled plastic bottles. How cool is that? 

            Fabulous Fair Isle

            Image

            Photo: Chewy Studios

            Fair Isle sweaters, which feature a style of knitting characterized by bands of multicolored geometric patterns, are also a favorite among pet parents (to buy for themselves and their pets), Tran says—and for a reason. The classic statement sweater never goes out of style; and this season, you’ll have more fair isle pet sweaters to choose from in trendier colors and designs. 

            Our favorite? Chilly Dog’s Teal Alpaca Fair Isle Dog Sweater. The bright pink and teal and green colors are fresh and eye-catching. Plus, it’s made with organic fair-trade wool sourced from small Andean farms. 

            Playful Hoodies

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            Photo: Chewy Studios

            For those especially frigid walks, a hooded sweater comes in clutch. And this fall, they’re getting the most adorable upgrades. We’re talking antlers, pom poms and more. Some, like Frisco’s Bunny Hooded Sweater, are even two-piece sets! (And oh my god do we pet parents love a good matching set.)

            “Our matching hats feature adorable animal ears, and they’re warm, comfortable and look great. What’s not to love?” Tran says.

            Don’t Forget to Measure Your Pet

            measuring dog neck

            Wait! Before you add that dog or cat sweater to your cart, are you sure you’re ordering the correct size?  

            “In the pet world, sizing isn’t universal yet—meaning not all brands are the same and not all dogs are the same size or build. Our team pays very close attention and works hard to deliver accurate measurements when it comes to fitting. [And] while it is our priority to do our best, we cannot stress enough to please measure your pet to ensure the best fit with your purchase, as every dog is unique,” Tran says.

            Here’s how to measure your pet.

            Want more sweaters? Oh, we have plenty. Pet parents, like you, love these other dog sweaters.

            The post 6 Sweater Trends for Dogs and Cats We’re Loving for Fall and Winter appeared first on BeChewy.

            Thanks to You, Over 1 Million Pets Were Adopted This Year

            Pet lovers, you really stepped up this year. You brought over 1 million pets out of shelters and rescues and into your homes in 2022, giving them the love they need and deserve—and removing them from the risks of homelessness.

            “It was a banner year for life-saving,” says Julie Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society, a nonprofit animal welfare organization with a network of shelters and rescues across the U.S.

            Adoptions dropped in 2020, Castle says (thanks, pandemic), but began to rebound in 2021—and this year, they’ve continued to rise. That’s not the only good news: Adoptions of adult dogs and adult cats, who are traditionally overlooked in favor of puppies and kittens, are also on the rise.

            “When I first started in this field, [finding homes for older pets] was a big hurdle,” Castle says. “Now, people are really welcoming those types of animals into their homes.” That might be because people are waking up to the benefits of older pets, she says, many of whom are already well-behaved and potty trained prior to their adoption.

            “Having a puppy or a kitten can be a lot like having a human baby—and that’s really hard!” she points out. “To me, adopting an older pet just makes sense.”

            Image


            While there’s plenty to celebrate for shelters and rescues, there’s still plenty of work to be done. Adoption numbers still haven’t returned to pre-pandemic levels. (Contrary to popular belief, adoptions actually dropped during the pandemic, due to decreased shelter operations and fewer animals being admitted into shelters, Castle says.) Plus, the recent economic downswing has left some families without the means to care for their pets, which has led to an increase in pet surrenders to shelters and rescues. All of that has led to overcrowding and increased strain on staff.

            So, what can you do to help? The number one thing most rescues need, Castle says, is foster volunteers. When you take a pet into your home, it frees up space at the rescue for another animal, she points out. Plus, fostering can be easy, especially with cats.

            “I always say, if you have a spare bathroom, you can save a life,” Castle says. Cats tend to prefer having their own enclosed area as they acclimate to a new environment, which makes a space like a bathroom perfect for them—and simple for their foster parents, too. “You can host a cat for 2 or 3 weeks, and it’s a very containable, easy thing,” Castle says.

            Not able to foster? There are so many other ways to help. Rescues need volunteers now more than ever, Castle says, and not just for cleaning cages.

            “Virtually every skill set can be used for a rescue group or a shelter—data management, marketing, photography, accounting, customer service,” she says. “Any skill can be used to help a shelter because right now they’re so incredibly short staffed.”

            Another way to support your local rescue? Donate the things they need to stay in business. “A lot of shelter and rescue groups are working from a shoestring budget,” Castle says. “If you have a few spare dollars in your wallet, or even can make a monthly commitment, it goes such a long way.”

            So let’s keep the good news coming—join us in supporting your local shelters and rescues, and we’ll look forward to celebrating even more shelter and rescue wins next year!

            Rescue Support Made Easy

            Donate using Wish List, and Chewy will send the supplies your neighborhood pet organization needs right to their doorstep. Find your local shelter or rescue here.

            The post Thanks to You, Over 1 Million Pets Were Adopted This Year appeared first on BeChewy.

            These Are the Must-Have Pet Gifts Our Editors Are Buying This Holiday Season

            The holidays are the perfect time to spoil your pet rotten with special gifts (not like they aren’t doted on all year long, but still…). There’s plenty of dog gift and cat gift ideas out there. If only someone could help you narrow down the options. Well, your Christmas wish has been answered. BeChewy’s editors are here to make holiday shopping easier for you.

            We’ve scoured Chewy’s Holiday Shop and hand-picked an array of pet gifts for all our furry friends. Whether you’re looking for a seasonal stocking stuffer or something that can provide joy beyond the holidays, you’re sure to find a gift to make this Christmas present the best one yet.  

            All of our editors' pet gifts picks for holiday 2022

            Ready to share good cheer with your fur friend? Learn more about our editors’ individual pet gift picks below.

            Text Here

            Steph, Executive Editor

            Cat mom Steph knows how notoriously difficult cats are to shop for—you never know what may be a hit or miss. She’s leaning on her knowledge of feline faves (see cardboard, scratching and boxes) for her picks. And since she’s found herself traveling more this year—even if it’s just to the office—she’s got a gift on her list to help her stay connected to her fur child, Luna.

            holiday pet gifts - christmas tree cat house

            Frisco Christmas Tree Cardboard Cat House

            Cats love to scratch—they need to scratch—and I always have several kinds of scratching posts and boards around for Luna to sink her claws into. This cat house disguised as a Christmas tree with cardboard scratcher inside makes for a festive addition to our holiday decor. And it just might deter her from digging into our actual Christmas tree.

            $19.98

            See details

            holiday pet gifts - pet camera

            Petcube Bites 2 Lite Treat-Dispensing Pet Camera

            “Luna and I have spent a lot of time together over the last couple years thanks to the pandemic. But lately life has taken me out of the house. I love that this pet cam can help me keep an eye on her (separation anxiety much?); she’ll love that it dispenses treats.

            $124.99

            See details

            holiday pet gifts - cat goody box

            Goody Box Holiday Toys, Treats & Accessories for Cats

            “What I love about this Goody Box is that the thinking is already done for you. (Chewy to the rescue!) This curated box of cat-approved gifts includes cat treats, plush cat toys and a soft blanket that I just know Luna will love to knead. And hey, even if for some reason the gifts end up being a bust, I know I can count on Luna loving the box. “

            $27.99

            See details

            holiday pet gifts - ciara's picks

            Ciara, Senior Editor

            As a busy mom to dog Zeno and cat Manny (as well as two human kiddos), Ciara knows the holiday season is going to be hectic. That’s why she looks for holiday pet goodies that are as functional as they are festive. These picks are guaranteed to bring maximum comfort and joy to the fur fam this year—with a minimum of effort on her part.
            holiday pet gifts - plaid bow tie

            Frisco Red Buffalo Plaid Dog & Cat Bow Tie

            Some pets love to dress up in holiday sweaters. My pets are not those pets. So, this classic plaid bow tie is the next best thing. It attaches to their collar for maximum comfort, making it an easy way to ‘dress them up’ for holiday family photos.

            Sizes XS/S and M/L, $6.99

            See details

            holiday pet gifts - reindeer cat tree

            Frisco Holiday 52.3-in Reindeer Cat Scratching Post & Tunnel

            “OK, so technically, I bought this cat tree last year, but it should totally be on your 2022 shopping list. Fun fact: It sits in my living room year-round. During the holiday season, the reindeer is the star of our holiday decor. Then come the new year, we detach the head, transforming a unique Christmastime decoration into a basic cat tunnel and scratcher. Win-win!”

            $69.99

            See details

            holiday pet treats - greenies gingerbread treats

            GREENIES Gingerbread Flavor Regular Size Dog Dog Treats, 6 oz.

            “When you’re short on time, adding a seasonal twist to an everyday routine is a great way to get in the spirit—and one routine Zeno never forgets is her morning Greenies treat. This limited-edition gingerbread flavor is a cute, easy way to spice up our usual schedule (pun intended).”

            $8.49

            See details

            bechewy editors picks holiday pet gifts - kristine's picks

            Kristine, Senior Editor

            This holiday season is a special one for Kristine: It’s her puppy Odesza’s first Christmas! And oh-holy-night is she stoked to dress up (and spoil) her Shepherd-Terrier for the occasion. From Dez’s first stocking (it’s personalized, of course) to all the squeaky gifts, here’s what this good girl’s getting for Christmas.

            holiday pet gifts - pet stocking

            Frisco Paw Holiday Personalized Dog & Cat Stocking

            “Every pet deserves their own stocking (where else will you hide those special gingerbread-flavored treats?), and I’m eyeing Frisco’s personalized holiday stocking, which is available in three prints: plaid red, plaid green and classic satin red. You can even personalize the stocking down to the thread color (there’s six options!).”

            $19.95

            See details

            holiday pet gifts - pet sweater

            Frisco Nordic Fair Isle Dog & Cat Hooded Sweater

            “On Christmas morning, the whole fam will be slipping into a warm, cozy holiday sweater. Desza’s will be Frisco’s pink pom-pom adorned Nordic Fair Isle Sweater, which notably features the cutest pink hood with antlers! Our selfies are going to be extra-cute this year. Now to find an antlers headband to match…”

            Sizes XS-3XL, starting at $13.99

            See details

            holiday pet toys - dog toys

            Frisco Holiday Hipster Helpers Plush Dog Toys

            “Dez can’t sleep without destroying one of her toys—and she’s getting not one but three new plush squeaky dog toys this Christmas. She’s been a good girl, after all. Frisco’s Holiday Hipster Santa & Friends Plush Squeaky Dog Toys comes with a hipster Santa, hipster reindeer and hipster elf.”

            $10.98

            See details

            No matter what gift you pick, your holiday season will be furry and bright so long as your pet is by your side. And there is no greater gift than that!

            The post These Are the Must-Have Pet Gifts Our Editors Are Buying This Holiday Season appeared first on BeChewy.

            Can Cats Eat Watermelon? Everything You Need to Know

            cat yes badge
            The next time you’re cutting up a watermelon, feel free to hand a small piece to your feline friend. Much like dogs, this fabulously succulent, juicy fruit is safe for cats, too. But don’t go too crazy feeding your cat watermelon. We’ll explain.

            FAQs About Cats and Watermelon

            Q:Is watermelon good for cats?

            A:As a daily treat, watermelon is not especially good for cats for the following reasons:

            • Cats don’t need carbohydrates and might not process them well, says Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM, CVJ, based in Silverthorne, Colorado. If they eat too much watermelon, the carbs combined with the sugar can cause gastrointestinal issues such as upset stomach, or diarrhea. 
            • Cats with health problems (like diabetes) could have unfavorable results, “including issues with their blood sugar,” says Dr. Wooten. 

            But wait! All is not lost for your furry feline friend. In some circumstances, watermelon may be just what the doctor ordered, says Dr. Rachel Barrack, DVM, owner of New York City-based veterinary practice Animal Acupuncture. Under direction from your vet, here’s when watermelon just might be considered a healthy treat:

            • To promote urination and clear heat and inflammation.
            • To help maintain hydration: Watermelon has lots of electrolytes and a high water content, so it can aid in hydration on a hot day (it should never replace water however).

            Q:Do cats enjoy watermelon? Do cats have a sweet tooth?

            A:Some cats enjoy watermelon, but no, cats don’t have a sweet tooth. “To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure whether or not they really like it,” says Dr. Wooten. “They don’t enjoy sweet tastes much,” adds Dr. Barrack. The fact is, felines are programmed genetically not to taste sweets (which could be a good thing since that leaves more of the good stuff for you). 

            If you have a cat who loves watermelon, it probably isn’t the taste they’re drawn to but instead the refreshing moisture (and perhaps the mushy quality as well), says Dr. Wooten.

            Q:Can cats eat watermelon seeds?

            A:Cats should not eat watermelon seeds because…

            • Watermelon seeds can be a choking hazard. 
            • Watermelon seeds contain cyanide, which is toxic to cats, says Dr. Barrack, adding that they should always be removed from the flesh before you serve it. A few pale, soft seeds (which may be found in seedless varieties) are typically fine, but pet parents may want to play it safe and remove them whenever offering a watermelon treat.

            Q:What is the best watermelon variety for cats?

            A:Paws down, the best variety for cats is seedless watermelon. The occasional thin, pale seed from this variety shouldn’t cause harm.

            Q:What fruits are toxic to cats?

            A:The following fruits are considered unsafe for cats and could lead to negative reactions:

            • Citrus fruits (such as oranges, tangerines, lemons, grapefruit, limes and the like)
            • Cherries 
            •  Grapes
            •  Raisins
            •  Avocados

            Q:Will watermelon give a cat a stomachache?

            A:Watermelon can certainly give some cats a stomachache. (Sorry, furry ones!) Here’s why:

            • Fruit isn’t a natural part of the feline diet.
            • Because the rind is difficult for them to chew, it can be hard on cats’ digestive systems and may also cause choking.

            Cats with health issues can be prone to tummy discomfort.

            Q:Can watermelon cause diarrhea in cats?

            A:Yes, watermelon can cause diarrhea in cats. Here’s when:

            • If it’s ingested in large quantities. 
            • If it doesn’t agree with them: Since they’re obligate carnivores, some cats may have trouble processing the carbohydrates and sugars in watermelon. 
            • If your pet has health issues, like diabetes, even a small amount of watermelon can make them ill.

              Benefits of Feeding Cats Watermelon

              Watermelon isn’t toxic to cats, and it has plenty of minerals and vitamins. Healthy cats should be fine if they sometimes indulge in small pieces of seedless watermelon without the watermelon rind, says Dr. Wooten. 

              Here are the nutritional benefits of watermelon for cats:

              • It’s high in vitamins and minerals. It’s got vitamins A, B1, B5 and C, as well as potassium and magnesium. 
              • It’s low in calories. It has about 1 calorie per teaspoon, which fits right in with the good ‘ole 10 percent rule: “Only 5 to 10 percent of your pet’s daily caloric intake should consist of cat treats,” says Dr. Barrack. And this is great news for those watermelon-loving felines out there, because if a cat’s diet allows for 200 calories a day, 2 teaspoons of watermelon make up only 1 percent of their daily intake. 
              • It’s hydrating. Watermelon’s high water content means it can aid in hydration in summer months (just never substitute it in place of plain old water). “I think the main health benefit, if you feed watermelon to cats, is that it’s high in moisture,” says Dr. Wooten. 
              • It has less sugar than some other fruits. “Less sugar (10 grams per cup) makes it a more suitable treat than some other fruits,” says Dr. Wooten. For comparison, mangoes have 23 grams of sugar per cup and pears have 14 grams of sugar per cup. 
              • It can be helpful for medical issues. “Watermelon is of benefit to promote urination and clear heat and inflammation in the body,” says Dr. Barrack, whose veterinary practice combines western and eastern medicine, “and from a traditional Chinese veterinary medicine perspective, food is medicine and should always be utilized as such.” Dr. Barrack adds that, “from a western veterinary medicine perspective, watermelon is high in electrolytes and thus excellent for maintaining hydration.”

                Downsides of Feeding Cats Watermelon

                Watermelon isn’t the ideal cat food for your feline friend, so don’t feed it to them regularly, says Dr. Wooten. 

                Here are the downside of watermelon for cats:

                • The vitamin and mineral nutritional benefit is minimal. Sure, cats may get something out of nutrients, like vitamin C or potassium, but because carbs aren’t needed for their wellbeing, cats can’t get a whole lot of bang for their buck in terms of health benefits from fruits.
                • Watermelon isn’t part of a cat’s innate diet. Cats are obligate carnivores (meat eaters), and their bodies just weren’t designed to process carbs well. “Cats and carbs aren’t an ideal match,” says Dr. Wooten. 
                • Watermelon can cause tummy troubles. “Since it’s not part of their regular food requirement, watermelon, especially if they eat too much of it, can run wild with their digestive systems. You might see issues such as stomach upset or diarrhea,” notes Dr. Barrack. If that’s the case with your cat, then yep, even a small amount can lead to dreaded digestive distress. 
                • The sugar content may have adverse outcomes. Watermelon may have less sugar than some other fruits, but less sugar isn’t the same as zero sugar. That means our plumper purr babies could see their obesity worsen. That’s why diabetic cats or those that are obese should never be offered watermelon even as an infrequent bite, says Dr. Barrack.  
                • A health condition can stand in the way. A cat with a health condition (particularly diabetes) should steer clear. These cats can’t handle sugar fluctuations well, “so the sugar in watermelon could have a negative effect on their blood sugar,” says Dr. Wooten. 
                • Watermelon seeds can choke cats. “Plus, they contain cyanide, which is toxic to kitties,” says Dr. Barrack.

                  How to Feed Watermelon to Cats

                  Let’s face it, all cats are different. One may be able to eat small pieces of watermelon now and then and be a-OK, whereas another might get queasy immediately. If you notice any symptoms, stop feeding your critter watermelon. But even if your kitty has no unpleasant repercussions, keep servings small and intermittent. 

                  Here are some tips for serving watermelon to cats: 

                  • Never feed to diabetic cats or overweight felines, says Dr. Wooten. Because of the sugar content, these cats should not be given watermelon, even occasionally, adds Dr. Barrack. 
                  • Serve watermelon as a treat in moderation. If your cat seems to enjoy it, portion out two to three bite-sized pieces, says Dr. Wooten. “You can cut a 1-inch-by-1-inch square, chop it up into little cat-bite sized pieces, and offer it once or twice a week.”
                  • Pick a fresh watermelon and rinse it before cutting. Remove all the seeds and then divvy up the flesh for your cat to taste. 
                  • Listen to your cat. If your cat turns tail and walks away from their watermelon tidbit, don’t force it. They’re telling you this fruit isn’t for them. 
                  • Introduce watermelon by itself. “It’s always best to phase in new foods one at a time,” says Dr. Wooten. “That way you can figure out the cause, if problems arise.” If you notice signs of gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea or even constipation, no more watermelon for them. On the other hand, if your cat loves their watermelon refreshment and has no yucky reactions, it’s fine to feed it once in a while. 
                  • Don’t give your cat seeds or watermelon rind. Both can be choking hazards, and the seeds contain cyanide, which is toxic to feline friends. 
                  • Follow the 10 percent rule. Whenever you give a watermelon snack to your cat, or any other treats, make sure it doesn’t exceed 10 percent of their total daily diet. Talk to your vet about your kitty’s daily calorie needs, and try this handy calculator from the Pet Nutrition Alliance.
                  Consult with your veterinarian before feeding watermelon to your cat. The vet can determine the right portion and weigh in on health issues that might preclude them having human food, like watermelon.

                  Have more questions about your pet’s behavior? Get expert advice through Chewy’s Connect With a Vet service, available daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET.

                  The post Can Cats Eat Watermelon? Everything You Need to Know appeared first on BeChewy.

                  Can Cats Eat Blueberries? Everything You Need to Know

                  cat yes badge
                  Don’t you just love blueberries? A handful of this juicy superfood makes for a tasty healthy snack–and not just for you. Cats can eat blueberries, too.

                  FAQs About Cats and Blueberries

                  Q:How often can cats eat blueberries?

                  A:Keep it as a sometimes treat, says Dr. Bayazit. Treat kitty to blueberries one or two times a week, max.

                  Q:What are the benefits of blueberries for cats?

                  A:Blueberries are a safe, nontoxic snack that boast health benefits when consumed in moderation by your kitty, including: 

                  • They contain fiber, vitamins and minerals, like vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese and potassium. Plus, they contain antioxidants.
                  • They’re a hydrating snack. Blueberries are approximately 85 percent water, which can help keep your pet hydrated. (Never use blueberries in place of water, though.)

                  Q:Do blueberries have any nutritional benefits for cats?

                  A:They do,” says Dr. Deborah Bayazit, DVM, co-owner and medical director of Brilliant Veterinary Care in New York City. Blueberries are a natural source of fiber and have beneficial vitamins, like vitamins C and K, as well as minerals, like potassium and manganese. They’ve also got antioxidants.

                  Q:What fruits are toxic to cats?

                  A:The following fruits are considered unsafe for cats and could lead to negative reactions:

                  • Citrus fruits (such as oranges, tangerines, lemons, grapefruit, limes and the like)
                  • Cherries 
                  • Grapes
                  • Raisins
                  • Avocados

                    Benefits of Feeding Cats Blueberries

                    Cats may be obligate carnivores (meaning, they need meat–not carbs–to survive), but that doesn’t mean they can’t have fruit treats from time to time. And blueberries, in particular, have several health benefits packed in, including… 

                    • Blueberries have vitamins, minerals and fiber. They’re not only a natural source of fiber, which can help with digestion, but they also have vitamin C and potassium, says Dr. Bayazit. Blueberries are also known for being a good source of vitamin K (an essential nutrient for bone health) and manganese (which plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism). 
                    • Blueberries are high in antioxidants. The antioxidants in blueberries may promote good health effects by helping to boost your cat’s immune joint health.  
                    • Blueberries are a safe cat treat. In small quantities, blueberries can make an acceptable, nontoxic pet food for healthy cats. Avoid feeding to cats with any sensitivities to blueberries.
                    • Blueberries are hydrating. Blueberries are approximately 85 percent water per cup, and although you’ll just be doling out one or two berries, they’re still a nice option for helping to keep your pet hydrated. (They should never be substituted for water, though.)

                    Downsides of Feeding Cats Blueberries

                    Though blueberries are not typically harmful for a cat’s health, they could lead to digestive issues.

                    The downsides of feeding cats blueberries include: 

                    • Digestive trouble. Truth be told, too many blueberries would give anybody diarrhea–and that includes our feline friends. If they overindulge on blueberries or if their bodies don’t handle carbohydrates well (they are primarily meat eaters, after all), your fur baby might experience stomach upset and other gastrointestinal yuckies, like diarrhea, says Dr. Bayazit. The carbohydrates might just be too much for some cats. 
                    • They may not pack much nutritional punch. Cats need meat for optimum fitness, and a treat like blueberries might get in the way of them eating a balanced diet. Plus, because they’re meant to get all their energy from proteins and nutrients in meat, if they fill up on blueberries, they might just stalk away when you show up with their regular cat food. And although blueberries clearly have nutritional bonuses, their effect may be slight in cats because of the small amounts they can safely consume.
                    • The sugar content can cause problems. While blueberries don’t contain any chemicals or compounds that are toxic to felines, blueberries do contain sugar. That can be particularly problematic for the following reasons:

                      • Sugar in a cat’s diet can lead to issues in their digestive systems and complications for overweight cats or those prone to obesity. So, don’t feed them blueberries.
                      • Certain medical conditions, like diabetes, are exacerbated by sugar. Cats with diabetes can’t handle sugar fluctuations well. For them, eating up treats such as blueberries can have negative effects on their blood sugar levels. For these cats, blueberries are definitely on the no-fly list.

                    How to Feed Blueberries to Cats

                    So, how do you feed blueberries to cats and how much should you feed them?

                    Here are some tips for serving blueberries to cats:

                    • Start with one or two small blueberries. “If you dish them out sparingly, it’s fine to give blueberry treats, now and again,” says Dr. Bayazit. Begin by giving your cat one berry and see if they seem to enjoy it. All cats are different: Some may not be interested in a bite of blueberry, others may try blueberries simply because they’re curious and can’t resist something new, and the rest may genuinely enjoy the fruit. If your cat likes them and has no bad reactions, bravo! Adding a second blueberry into the mix would be acceptable, so long as they’re not served daily.
                    • Limit overall treat servings. Snacks should not take up more than 10 percent of your cat’s daily calorie intake. Let’s say your cat generally takes in 200 calories a day; well, two blueberries are about 2 calories, so that’s completely in line with your cat’s daily treat allotment at only 1 percent of their total diet. In general, two to three blueberries are an appropriate amount, but the number of berries your cat eats in a day should also depend on things like their weight, other treats they are fed and their overall health. If they eat too many blueberries, you might see diarrhea or other digestive trouble.
                    • Stick with raw, fresh blueberries. Remove the raw blueberries from the stem, then wash them thoroughly to help get rid of pesticides and dirt. Next…

                      • Before offering, cut each blueberry into bite-sized portions (about half a berry)—that way you avoid choking hazards. After you slice one open, let your cat have a whiff to see if they’re interested.
                      • If cutting in half doesn’t work (cats are picky, after all), try mashing the blueberry. That might make it more palatable.
                    • Stay away from processed or cooked blueberries. Unless the blueberries are included in foods specifically made for cats, stay away from blueberries that are processed, cooked (like in a pie or muffin) or otherwise prepared—like those in jellies and jams. These may have a high sugar content and pose more of a pet health concern than fresh berries. Also, look out for any packaged blueberries that might have been sweetened beforehand. Chocolate-covered blueberries should also never be given to cats, as chocolate is dangerous for felines.
                    • Avoid frozen berries. Feeding frozen blueberries to your cat is risky as they could not only damage their teeth but they could also be a choking hazard if swallowed whole.
                    • Watch for side effects. It’s best to introduce new treats in moderation so you can monitor any changes or problems. As pet parents are well aware, phasing in a new food can cause gastrointestinal issues in your kitty. Keep an eye on your buddy after their tastings and watch out for any negative repercussions. If your cat does fine, fantastic! Blueberries work as an occasional treat.
                    Pet parents should consult their vet before feeding their cat blueberries. The vet can help you figure out the right amount for your feline and give you guidance on any pet health issues that might put blueberries on the list of unadvisable cat treats.

                    Have more questions about your pet’s behavior? Get expert advice through Chewy’s Connect With a Vet service, available daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET.

                    The post Can Cats Eat Blueberries? Everything You Need to Know appeared first on BeChewy.

                    Our Ten Favorite Luxe Holiday Ready-to-Eat Treats For Dogs

                    T is the season for all things divine and decadent and by that we mean good eats! We’ve rounded-up some of our favorite luxury treats for dogs so while you are tucking into your nibbles and noshes, your pup can also indulge in the spoils of the winter holidays.

                    What do we mean by “luxury”? We’re thinking organic or human-grade ingredients, often handmade or crafted in small batches and with no bell or whistle spared in presentation. Whether a little something to slip into a stocking, an after dinner treat for a very good boy or girl or a perfect gift for another pet parent, these luxury treats for dogs might just become a new tradition. After all, what’s a celebratory occasion without a sweet or savory treat?

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                    Claudia’s Canine Bakery Carousel of Canine Party Bones Baked Dog Treats

                    Vanilla treats that feature each bone dipped halfway in pastel-colored yogurt icing.

                    • Made in the USA with wholesome ingredients.
                    • Entices your pup with incredible taste and aroma.
                    • About 22 – 25 individual treats.
                    • Sweet little stocking stuffer or after holiday dinner treat.
                    • Festive gift, too! (Love the box.)

                    $10.99


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                    Annie’s Pooch Pops Peanut Butter Cannolis Dog Treats

                    Buone feste! Italian pet parent or not, what pup wouldn’t love a crunchy cannoli stuffed with a creamy peanut butter filling?

                    • Handmade in a human-grade bakery.
                    • Formulated with natural, quality  ingredients.
                    • 12 individual treats.
                    • Contains vitamin E, which helps naturally preserve these treats.
                    • Made in the USA.

                    $13.20


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                    Bubba Rose Biscuit Co. Christmas Mini Cupcake Box Dog Treats

                    It’s a cupcake for YOUR cupcake made from human-grade ingredients right here in the USA. (And they don’t scrimp in the frosting!)

                    • Artisan-made, small-batch snacks free from preservatives with a shelf-life of one year (No way these are not eaten way sooner!)
                    • Crafted with simple, wholesome ingredients like honey and molasses.
                    • Wheat, corn, soy and gluten-free.

                    $15.99


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                    Himalayan Pet Supply Best Friend’s Advent Calendar Dog Treats

                    Peanut butter, bacon and chicken. Oh my! Peek inside each window to find a tasty treat for your pup.

                    • Twenty-four days of all-natural treats to celebrate the advent season.
                    • No gluten, no lactose – only vinegar as a preservative.
                    • Includes cheese, bacon, chicken, and peanut butter flavors.
                    • May even help improve dental health.

                    $18.99


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                    SPOTS NYC Happy Holidays Personalized Picture Peanut Butter Flavored Crunchy Dog Treats

                    Of course your pup’s sweet face should be front and center on a holiday cookie!

                    • Made in small batches in a Brooklyn, NY bakery.
                    • Features one artisanal treat personalized with your pet’s photo and two more biscuits to call out the season.
                    • Features a savory peanut butter flavor.

                    $19.00


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                    Bonne et Filou Luxury French Macarons Strawberry, Lavender & Mint Variety Pack Dog Treats

                    A little taste of France for the soigné pup in your life. We chose the variety pack, but these macarons are available in single flavors, too. 

                    • Made by hand in the USA with  natural ingredients such as oat flour, honey, coconut oil, and real lavender, strawberry, and mint.
                    • Decadent yogurt filling. 
                    • No corn, wheat, or any artificial ingredients or preservatives. Shelf-stable for up to one year.

                    $62.99


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                    Good ‘n’ Fun Holiday Mint & Chicken Mini Bones Triple Flavor Dog Treats

                    Sorry, no candy canes for the fur kids, but they can suck-up that minty-holiday-ness with these with these chewy treats in festive colors.

                    • Made with beef hide and premium chicken
                    • Provide the perfect chewy texture for longer snacking.
                    • With mint flavoring, these treats even smell and taste like the holidays! 

                    $12.99


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                    Earth Animal No-Hide Natural Rawhide Alternative The Feast Recipe Dog Treats

                    We chose this for small dogs, but there are versions of this for medium and large dogs, too.

                    • Made in the USA using nine nutritious and highly digestible ingredients, including turkey, pumpkin and cranberries. Yes, it’s the whole holiday menu in one treat!
                    • Mind-blowingly tasty and designed to last longer than regular treats.

                    $10.50


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                    Lord Jameson Hanukkah Gelt Vegan Dog Treats

                    Organic wild blueberries mixed into chewy drool-worthy morsels of dates, peanut butter and coconut.

                    • Inspired by the beloved holiday treat, this pup-friendly version is filled USDA Certified Organic blue carrots and blueberries to honor Hanukkah’s colors.
                    • Made in small batches in the USA.
                    • Certified gluten-free oats for those pups with gluten intolerance. 

                    $12.99


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                    Icelandic+ Grain-Free Cod & Lobster Combo Bites Dog Treats

                    So, it’s not a cookie, but what is more holiday luxe than a treat made from real lobster?

                    • Made from just two ingredients that come from only the pure icy waters of Iceland and are fresh caught daily and processed immediately.
                    • Not only are they delicious for your dog, they are high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids for healthy skin and coat.
                    • Sustainably sourced.

                    $9.99


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                    Goody Box Holiday Dog Toys, Treats, & Accessories

                    Plus one more!

                    When you really want to put on the dog (sorry!), we love this boxed bundle of holiday treats and toys.

                    • Limited-edition and exclusive to Chewy.
                    • Winter-themed toys, the coolest, tastiest treats around, and a snazzy holiday-inspired bandana with reindeer and candy cane graphics.
                    • We hear this is a favorite for sending as an under-the tree sort of gift.

                    $27.99

                    Q:

                    How many treats can I give my dog?

                    A:It is hard to resist those pleading eyes. We get it.  but for most dogs of average size and weight and without underlying health issues, treats treats should only constitute a small percentage of your pet’s daily food. Feeding too many treats can lead to nutrient deficiencies. When in doubt consult your vet for advice.

                    Q:

                    What holiday foods are NOT okay for my dog to eat?

                    A:Each delicious treat listed here is perfectly safe for your dog to eat in moderation. That said, some human foods that you might be making and dishing up during the holidays are not safe for dogs to consume. Here is a good overview of what should be off the menu!

                    The post Our Ten Favorite Luxe Holiday Ready-to-Eat Treats For Dogs appeared first on BeChewy.