NY Times Best Seller chats with Dr. Kat

Listen in on our chat! Gwen Cooper, author of My Life in a Cat House, is like someone you have always known. She is warm and friendly and we find out some of the “behind the scenes” scoop on her entertaining stories. This a favorite episode. Check it for FREE by clicking here.

You can find all of Gwen’s books by clicking here.

An oldie that has proven itself true!

by Kathryn Primm DVM on 04/28/14

You can find sensational and frightening headlines everywhere. Self proclaimed consumer advocates dedicate lots of time on a myriad of causes ranging from how you should not live near power lines to what chemicals are creeping into your food when you microwave it. The scariest stories catch the most attention and they are the ones that go ‘viral’. If you watch social media, you can kill fleas with baking soda mixtures and cure cancers with a colon cleanse. We all know that if it were that easy, our world would be a very different place. These people prey on our hopes and desires to find a ‘”quick fix”. 
How do you know which ones have merit? I cannot tell you whether or not you should be afraid of many things, but I can tell you if I think your pet needs to be on a grain free diet. Your veterinarian can help you with this issue.  I will not use my psychic powers or my crystal ball to tell you though, because there is no shortcut.  I will employ my other “magic powers” in the form of diagnostic equipment and medical training.  If a breeder or a self proclaimed nutrition expert tells you that your pet requires a grain free diet, you need to ask to see the results of the food trial and diagnostic testing.  You also need to know the name of the veterinary professional that made the diagnosis for future reference because if your pet is truly allergic to grains, it will be a lifelong challenge. I am not sure why it is such a hot topic and I know how convincing these headlines are, but I am telling you that you can spend A LOT of money and time searching for special diets that your pet will eat and you may be burning your money and your time. Spend your money on premium pet food.  I am certainly a believer in ‘you are what you eat’ so high quality diets are vital to good health, but it is much harder to have a nutritionally complete diet when certain ingredients have to be avoided. Spend your time reading labels and talking with your veterinarian. Being grain free is difficult and expensive.  Just make sure that this is the place that you really need to pour your time and money.  I searched the web and my medical charts to find out how many pets are truly grain allergic and I found several internet sites (not posted by veterinarians) that all say “many”. I do not know exactly the number they mean, but “many” is not accurate. They cite no medical sources. In my experience during 16 years of clinical small animal practice and 2 month medical externship specifically with a veterinary allergist, it is a rare diagnosis and a very common misconception based on anecdotal evidence. 
The greatest “consumer advocate” is your vet.  He or she KNOWS your pet and knows you. With a few publicized exceptions, veterinarians are like other animal lovers…good people with big hearts. We will always try to help you wade through all the free advice out there and choose what is right for you and your pet. 


Fun Cat Facts! Did you know them all?


Quiz yourself. Did you know all of these? We talk with Modi Ramos, cat writer extraordinaire and explore these little known quirks and eccentricities about our feline friends. How many muscles does it take to move your cat’s ear? What is a Hemingway cat?  You will be amused and surprised by what Modi shares with us! Do you know any feline facts that we did not cover?  Share them with us! – See more at: https://www.petliferadio.com/ninelivesep36.html#sthash.tHj3SjyY.dpuf https://www.petliferadio.com/ninelivesep36.html

The “C Word”

The word cancer really scares us all, especially when it is your dog. How will you know how he feels? What if she is in pain? There are so many questions, but Dr. Sue Ettinger, cancer vet, helps us know the facts in this episode.

Don’t get scared. Get smart!

Listen free by clicking the link below.

On most podcast players and Spotify.


Are you bugging your dog?

Your dog might bug you occasionally, but guess what…you irritate him too! The most common cause of annoying your dog is when you expect him to be something he is not (or won’t let him be who he is).

1.Lack of discipline and structure

Normal dogs naturally live in a group. They understand rank and hierarchy. They love structure and order, but people can be random and inexplicable. We have to take steps to afford our dogs with routines and boundaries they can count on. They adore knowing where they stand in the pecking order (which is best to be below the humans in the household for everyone’s safety) and they want to be able to know what to expect. Having a predictable schedule with consistent bonding and playtime makes dogs feel in control and getting regular exercise helps balance their brain chemistry.

2.Placing value on things

Dogs understand the value of resource, but resources are things like food, water, and shelter. They will never understand why we would upset that they destroyed our possessions. Don’t enforce your value system on your dog, but instead try to understand the way he sees life. Shoes, pillows and house plants are just “stuff” to him. Don’t punish him if he doesn’t value items like you do. If an item is important to you, make it inaccessible to him, but don’t expect him to know not to damage it.

3.Imposing her friendships

We all have friends and they often have dogs. We imagine our dog wants to be friends with our friends’ dogs as well, but it may not work out. Dogs understand the value of coordination and teamwork, but they see you and your family as their pack. The family pack may not include your friend’s dog. If your dog doesn’t play well with a dog that you wish he would, give him space and keep everyone safe. Allow gradual acclimation and understand that some dogs are never going to get along. If the dogs must interact, keep them on leashes and carefully observed. Always reward your dog for ignoring or pleasant to the other dog and distract him from defensive or aggressive behavior. Stay safe in the event of a scuffle and never put your hands or body parts between fighting dogs.

Dogs are dogs and they have a different way of seeing the world than humans. Humans are supposed to be the brains of the operation, so make it your business to learn as much as you can about how your dog thinks. Think about life in a wolf pack. Our dogs are not wolves, but they share some similarities in their social structure. The more you know about your dog’s instincts and behaviors, the better friend you can be to him.

Do you love dogs? Join “the pack” on Facebook by clicking here and becoming my “fur-iend”.