5 Ways of Brushing a Cat and Make Him Love It

Do you dream of the day when your cat will lean into the brush? Here’s how to make it happen.

I know some of you have cats who simply won’t tolerate brushing. But I bet there are as many others who may never have tried to brush a cat, or who have cats who are ambivalent about brushing. I tend to forget this task when life gets busy. The way I keep myself motivated is by convincing myself that brushing keeps more cat hair from eventually landing on the floor or the furniture. It can also be a pleasant way to bond with your cat. And it’s got to be healthy for the skin and the circulation, not to mention the fur.

When I approach brushing with a cat, I use a lot of the same tactics I do for claw clipping. Here are some suggestions to try and make brushing a more pleasant (or at least tolerable) experience for your cat.

5 Ways to Brush a Cat and Make Him Love It

Do you dream of the day when your cat will lean into the brush? Here’s how to make it happen.

1. Pick a quiet, non-stimulating time

You don’t want to try and brush your cat if he’s all worked up — riled up from playing, for example. Take advantage of a time when your cat is relaxed and fairly still. If your cat is napping or just waking up from a nap, that’s a good time. If your cat is circling your feet at mealtime, or has just emerged from a wresting match with your other cat or dog, that’s not as good a time.

2. Start small and gentle

Easy does it. Start small and gentle, and have patience. Use the brush at first without a lot of pressure. If you know your cat well, pick a part of the body that is least threatening for that cat. Obviously, you wouldn’t want to start by brushing your cat’s belly — many cats would hate that. Where does your cat love to be touched? This will vary for each cat. Does your cat loved to be scratched behind the ears, for example? You could gently run a brush through that area. Does your cat love to have her chin scratched? Some cats will rub their chin against the brush, obviously enjoying the experience.

3. Simulate brushing with a gentler tool, at first

If your cat goes ballistic at the sight or the feel of a cat brush, perhaps you need to lead up to the experience with a more gentle sensation. For example, you might take a dry washcloth and run it gently across your cat’s body. Or start by simply petting your cat with long, smooth strokes. Gradually, add a washcloth; then, add a gentle brush.

4. Give a treat!

Help the cat associate the brushing experience with a reward and pleasant time with you. Give your cat a treat right after your brushing session. Even if the brushing session only lasted for a moment, have the treat ready and give it immediately, so your cat associates brushing and the reward. Pet your cat and tell her how great she is.

5. Do what you can to make the environment peaceful

Is your cat more secure in a quiet space? If you have other cats in the household, is your cat more relaxed when she’s alone? If so, remove the other stimulation (cats, dogs, children, noise) to see if your cat will tolerate your brushing attempts. I’ve recommended Calming Essence and Rescue Remedy for other situations, and it might work here. I give Calming Essence on the skin, using one drop in front of the ear (not in the ear), and rubbing in the drop. Consult with your vet on the best way to give this to your cat. I find that it does work if it’s not overused.

Keiran is the most enthusiastic cat I’ve ever known when it comes to brushing.

If you’re really fortunate, perhaps you’ll end up with a cat like my Keiran, who comes running with delight when the brush comes out. For Keiran, brushing is as good as playing or eating — perhaps even better. Keiran serves as a good reminder of what a pleasant, bonding experience brushing can be for cats.                

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

310 919 9372

Ask a Vet: Just How Toxic is Antifreeze Poisoning in Dogs?

Dogs who consume ethylene glycol face grave danger, but recent developments have helped reduce canine fatalities from antifreeze.

If you live outside of the tropics and you need to travel more than a few miles, you owe a debt of gratitude to antifreeze. Without the stuff it would be nearly impossible to drive in winter.

Alas, although antifreeze makes modern winter life possible, it has a downside: It’s toxic to most mammals, including dogs.

The bad news

The most commonly used ingredient in antifreeze is called ethylene glycol. It is toxic to dogs and cats. Compounding the problem is the fact that antifreeze tastes sweet. Dogs are therefore attracted to antifreeze products containing ethylene glycol, and are prone to consuming large quantities of such products when they are available. (Cats, fortunately, aren’t drawn to sweet things and are therefore less likely to consume ethylene glycol, which is good since they’re especially sensitive to the toxic effects of it.)

Radiator leaks are the most common way that dogs gain access to antifreeze, but they also have been known to chew through unopened bottles of the stuff in order to consume it.

Ethylene glycol is chemically similar to ethanol, also known as the alcohol found in adult beverages. The initial symptoms of ethylene glycol toxicity are similar to those of ethanol toxicity. Dogs act drunk. They become disoriented and ataxic (which is a fancy way to say they stagger around). Vomiting may occur. Other symptoms might include increased thirst and a propensity towards somnolence (passing out).

Alcohol dehydrogenase, the enzyme in the liver that metabolizes ethanol and causes partygoers eventually to sober up, also metabolizes ethylene glycol. It is when this happens that things really head south. The metabolic products of ethylene glycol are the ones that can be fatal. They cause severe physiological derangement, which can trigger seizures, coma, and respiratory arrest. But the most lethal products of antifreeze metabolism cause a type of crystal, called calcium oxalate, to form in the kidneys. These crystals clog the kidneys, leading to kidney failure, which is fatal without lifetime dialysis (or potentially kidney transplant). Dogs exposed to large doses of ethylene glycol that do not receive treatment within five to eight hours generally have grave prognoses.

The good news

If caught early enough, ethylene glycol toxicity is treatable. The key to treatment is to block alcohol dehydrogenase, the liver enzyme that converts ethylene glycol into the really toxic products, from doing its work. There is a specific treatment, called fomepizole (also known as Antizol-Vet) that is highly effective in doing this. Early intervention with fomepizole generally leads to excellent outcomes.

Wait — more bad news

Fomepizole is expensive and hard to come by. Many vets don’t have access to it, or won’t have it in stock when it is needed.

But more good news (sort of)

There is an alternative to fomepizole. Good old-fashioned ethanol also can occupy alcohol dehydrogenase and prevent the conversion of ethylene glycol into the super toxic products. Most vets outside of Utah and Saudi Arabia have ready access to this product.

The treatment process is as follows: Dogs are hospitalized for several days of vodka mainlining. They must be kept staggering drunk the whole time in order to keep the alcohol dehydrogenase enzymes too preoccupied to deal with the ethylene glycol. Once the ethylene glycol has cleared out of the system (the kidneys remove it, and it’s not especially toxic to them unless alcohol dehydrogenase gets to it first), the vodka drip can be discontinued. One can only marvel at the magnitude of the hangovers dogs must experience after such medically induced benders.

The best news of all

Around a decade ago a state legislator in California held a contest entitled, “There Ought to Be a Law.” Although I generally think we’d all be better off with fewer laws and not more of them, one entry to the contest was really good. A school child suggested that antifreeze in California should be made to taste bitter in order to discourage its consumption by pets. The entry won, and eventually became law. Cases of ethylene glycol toxicity plummeted in California.

In many parts of the U.S., dogs don’t enjoy the nearly human status that many Californians give them. However, there is another group of individuals that can rival dogs for their ability to inflict self harm through ridiculously silly behavior. I’m talking about children. Ethylene glycol is toxic to them, too. And, as you may be aware, children like sweet things. Ethylene glycol exposure historically has been not uncommon in children.

This fact, combined with the threat that antifreeze poses to dogs and cats, inspired broader action. Many states followed California’s lead in the bittering department. But most importantly, in December 2012, all US antifreeze manufacturers agreed “voluntarily” (under threat of federal action) to add bittering agents to antifreeze. Antifreeze manufactured since that time is much less attractive to dogs (and cats and kids).

This does not, however, completely eliminate the threat. There is still plenty of old antifreeze out there without bittering agents, and antifreeze produced in other countries can still be attractive to pets (for instance, in southern California many people try to save money by having their cars serviced in Mexico — these cars likely come back across the border filled with the old, dangerous antifreeze). Dogs should not be allowed access to antifreeze under any circumstances. Keep bottles of the stuff locked up. And, since radiator leaks are unpredictable, don’t leave your dog unattended in the garage.

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

310 919 9372


Here Are Some Natural Remedies for Excessive Gas in Dogs

One of the most common ailments that dogs experience is the discomfort caused by flatulence or gas, and associated digestive disorders.
We’ve met this challenge head on for years and thought a few suggestions might be helpful in case your dog ever has a bit of a gas attack

So…What causes gas in dogs? 

The reason can range from food to illness. So, if your dog is experiencing chronic flatulence, you should consult with your veterinarian about any possible underlying causes.

Once you confirm that your dog is healthy, the quality and quantity of food eaten probably plays a role in the onset of gas.

This is true because some diets/treats contain ingredients that interfere with digestion, and could a major cause of canine flatulence or gas.

If that’s the cause, a natural remedy may just provide the relief your dog needs.

Canine flatulence may be caused by diet or even illness 

Ingredients that may be the culprit causing gas

Generally we look to food inappropriate to a dog’s physical makeup and digestion such as:

  1. Legumes
  2. Carbohydrates
  3. Yeast
  4. Peas
  5. Fatty foods
  6. Soybeans
  7. Dairy
  8. Spices
  9. Beans
  10. Fruit
  11. Fiber

Additional causes of canine gas include:

  1. Change in diet
  2. Gastrointestinal illness
  3. Food that’s hard to digest
  4. ‘Wolfing’ down food quickly
  5. Competing for food
  6. Intestinal illness.
  7. Inflammatory bowel disease
  8. Too much bacteria in small intestine

For some dogs a raw diet has been found to help even for those dogs that suffer from existing digestive problems.

If you buy commercially prepared dog food be sure to read the labels. Look for potentially harmful foods such as those mentioned above.

In the event that your dog has occasional gas from over eating or snacking…

Here are few natural remedies to try:

  1. Probiotics which are the good bacteria flora for the digestive system.  Non-dairy, non yeast is best.
  2. Nux Vomica -a homeopathic remedy. Give away from food.
  3. Peppermint – smash or tear up a couple of leaves into your dog’s food or pour  in a tea into the food.
  4. Ginger – available in capsule form.
  5. Digestive Enzymes –  Digestive Enzymes help break down food and make it easy to be absorbed. We are big fans of the power of enzymes, primarily   EnymesPro+ .  I can attest to the incredible results possible when you find the right digestive enzymes in controlling canine flatulence and diarrhea caused by an inability to completely absorb food.
  6. Charcoal – This is a remedy used by dogs and humans. I first learned about charcoal from my mother, a Registered Nurse and my father who was a medic in WW ll.  Charcoal literally grabs the cause of gas and moves it out of the body. No eating at the same time that charcoal is given.
  7. Massage – massage the middle area of Fido’s abdomen as he lies on his back.

Try one natural remedy at a time so you can determine which produced the best results and relief for your dog. Be sure to ask your veterinarian which natural remedy may be best for your dog .

That’s all for today…our flatulence free pack is ready for some outdoor fun…            MR Bruno

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

310 919 9372

Human Food for Dogs to Maximize Your Dog’s Health

Seeking out super nutritious, super delicious and super affordable treats for your dog is as easy as 1-2-3!  Here are 3 human food for dogs health.


Offering 100% made in the USA dog treats with USA farm-sourced meats, fruits and veggies, Loving Pets’ treats boast the superfood ingredients that help your dog’s energy soar.  Whether it’s a day of high-flying jumps at the dog park or running circles around your backyard, dogs need naturally powerful nutrients found in lean proteins and superfood berries and betas.
Proud to support the healthy lifestyle of you and your pet, Loving Pets’ newest Made in the USA dog treats feature 3 superfood ingredients to offer maximum health benefits and delicious taste.
Just like people, a dog’s health starts from the inside out.  Nutrition also has a direct effect on your pet’s energy level, dental health, heart health, and the health of their skin and coat.  After years of research, Loving Pets created a wide variety of 100% all-natural, USA-sourced ingredient combinations that maximize the benefits of power-packed ingredients such as CranberriesSweet Potatoes and Brown Rice.
Loving Pets encourages you, as a pet owner and pet lover, to read the ingredient labels of dog treats. It is just as important to understand what is not inside your pet’s treats (ie. fillers like wheat, corn, soy and gluten), as what is inside.  You should not have to have a dictionary to know exactly what you’re feeding your dog. Simply put, canines need pure, lean proteins such as turkey, chicken, beef and liver, and Loving Pets has introduced 3 collections of affordable and made in the USA dog treats that incorporate 3 superfood ingredients that take a commitment to health and great taste to the next level: Grill-icious™ Dog Treats, low-fat Barksters® Dog Krisps, and It’s Purely Natural™ Dog Treats.
1. CRANBERRIES – Cranberries contain Vitamin C, Fiber, Manganese and other essential micronutrients that help your dog’s vision, immunity, digestion, dental health and much more.  Selected for several varieties of It’s Purely Natural dog treats, whole cranberries offer polyphenol antioxidants, which can benefit your dog’s cardiovascular system, immune system and even act as a cancer-fighting agent.  In addition to preventing urinary tract infections by combating bacteria from your pet’s digestive tract, cranberries also naturally fight plaque from your dog’s teeth.
2. SWEET POTATO – One of nature’s nearly perfect foods, pure sweet potato provides great general nutrition, and is an excellent source of beta carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin B6.  In pets, sweet potato can help as a natural cancer-fighting agent, can fight the effects of aging, and serves as an anti-inflammatory, aiding in illnesses where inflammation can play a role.  Used in Grill-iciousIt’s Purely Natural and low-fat Barksters dog treats, sweet potatoes are also a great source of dietary fiber, and are packed with essential vitamins and minerals such as copper and manganese for daily health support.
3. BROWN RICE – A great source of dietary fiber and manganese, magnesium and selenium, brown rice and rice bran promotes digestive health and maintains healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels in pets.  Easy to digest and gluten-free, brown rice contains healthy vitamins and minerals, is rich in antioxidants, and promotes weight loss.  Low-fat Barksters promote brown rice as a key ingredient, mixed with lean chicken, liver and beef – offering a delicious, healthy, and 12-calorie treat that dogs adore.

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

310 919 9372



Help! Dog Not Eating!

Pet owners understandably become concerned when they think that their beloved companion is not eating enough. When I’m presented with a case like this, the first thing I do is try to determine if a problem truly exists. Sometimes owners mistake picky eating for not eating. As long as the pet is not too thin and is maintaining his or her weight, then caloric intake is fine. Conversely, if the pet is underweight or has been losing weight, we do have a problem. The challenge is to find out why the dog is not eating enough.

A few questions will usually identify or rule out a problem with the food itself. If the owner purchases 40 pound bags of kibble for a 10 pound dog, the food is either losing its appeal at best, or at worst, starting to turn rancid. Dry food remains fresh for about one month after the bag is opened. It stays fresher in a tightly closed bag or container. Canned food is only good for about 3-5 days after opening if it is kept refrigerated.

Most dogs readily accept new foods, but if the type of food was recently changed, the dog may truly prefer the old variety. Trying the previous food again will determine if this is the case. Environmental factors can play a role too. If it’s too cold or hot, the aroma (or lack thereof) of the food may not be enticing the pet to eat.

Once I’ve ruled out a problem with the food, I’m left with the possibility of a medical problem. Unless the answer is readily apparent on a physical examination (e.g., an oral tumor), I next recommend a complete blood profile, urinalysis, and fecal examination to rule out diseases that affect the taste and smell of foods. Conditions such as kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and liver disorders can reduce the dog’s sense of smell and taste (extrapolated from studies in humans and expected to hold true for dogs as well), but any disease that makes a pet feel nauseous or weak can reduce his desire to eat. Most conditions can be identified through some combination of a good physical examination, lab work, and imaging studies (e.g., X-rays or ultrasound).

Once a medical problem is identified and treatment started, how can you make food more appealing to your dog? Warming it to body temperature (about 100 degrees Fahrenheit) using a microwave or warm water will increase its aroma, but take care not to overdo it and burn the dog’s mouth. Serving the meal right after an enjoyable activity, like a walk, hand feeding, and praising the dog after he takes a bite may also help encourage him to eat.

If a dog just won’t eat a particular food, try a different brand or formulation. Older dogs (over 7 years of age) may enjoy a senior diet as these foods are made to be more palatable for dogs that may have a reduced sense of smell. You can also try adding small amounts of other foods to encourage him to eat. Adding a small amount of syrup, honey, or salt-free chicken broth may entice him. Fruits and veggies are also good additives, but avoid grapes, raisins, and onions, which can be toxic.

If none of these recommendations do the trick, talk to your veterinarian. Some dogs need the help of an appetite stimulant or feeding tube as they recover and regain their appetites.

Dr. Jennifer Coates

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

310 919 9372

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Soothe Arthritis in Dogs and Arthritis in Cats

If you have a middle aged to older dog or cat, then likely they have some degree of joint
discomfort- arthritis.

They should be on a high quality, effective essential fatty acid (EFA).

There are a number of studies backing this up.

A study conducted last year in the Netherlands suggests that cats with naturally occurring osteoarthritis show symptom improvement when their diets are supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids.(1)

A Canadian study published last year that indicates that dogs with osteoarthritis, benefit for EFA supplementing.The dogs were fed a veterinary prescription diet containing high levels of omega-3 fatty acids from fish, and showed significant improvement in locomotor disability (problems moving around) and performance of daily activities.(2)

Dietary Sources

Fish, plant, and nut oils are the primary dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are found in cold water fish such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines, tuna, and herring. ALA is found in flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, canola (rapeseed) oil, soybeans, soybean oil, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed oil, purslane, perilla seed oil, walnuts, and walnut oil. The health effects of omega-3 fatty acids come mostly from EPA and DHA. ALA from flax and other vegetarian sources needs to be converted in the body to EPA and DHA. Many people do not make these conversions very effectively, however.

This remains an ongoing debate in the nutrition community; fish and sea vegetable sources of EPA and DHA versus vegetarian sources of ALA. Other sources of omega-3 fatty acids include sea life such as krill and algae.

Available Forms

Both EPA and DHA can be taken in the form of fish oil capsules. Flaxseed, flaxseed oil, fish, and krill oils should be kept refrigerated. Whole flaxseeds must be ground within 24 hours of use, so the ingredients stay active. Flaxseeds are also available in ground
form in a special mylar package so the components in the flaxseeds stay active.

Be sure to buy omega-3 fatty acid supplements made by established companies who certify that their products are free of heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and cadmium.

Source: Omega-3 fatty acids | University of Maryland Medical Center


Dosing for fish oil supplements should be based on the amount of EPA and DHA, not on the total amount of fish oil. Supplements vary in the amounts and ratios of EPA and DHA. A common amount of omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil capsules is 0.18 grams (180 mg) of EPA and 0.12 grams (120 mg) of DHA. Different types of fish contain variable amounts of
omega-3 fatty acids, and different types of nuts or oil contain variable amounts of ALA.

Fish Oil

Dogs- standard dose is 1000mg of fish oil/10lbs daily

Cats- standard dose is 1000mg of fish oil/10lbs daily

Flax Oil

Dogs- 1 teaspoon ( 5ml) per 15lbs daily, 1 tablespoon per 50lbs daily

Cats – 1 teaspoon (5ml) per 10lbs daily

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

310 919 9372

My Pet Has Poorly Controlled Diabetes— What Now?

When you’re caring for a diabetic pet, it is crucial that you know how to prevent and handle diabetic emergencies. But what do you do when your pet’s diabetes is not well controlled? Fortunately, there are some simple strategies you can use to help get things back on track.

Establishing a consistent daily routine is a key to successfully managing your pet’s diabetes. Feeding the same healthful diet at the same time each day, coordinated with insulin injections that are usually given twice daily, helps keep your pet’s blood sugar under control. Routine exercise and regular monitoring are also essential.

Recognizing Poorly Controlled Diabetes

It can be frustrating, though, for owners who establish these appropriate routines to have pets whose diabetes seems to be poorly controlled. Signs of poorly controlled diabetes include:

  • Excessive water drinking
  • Excessive urination or accidents in the house
  • Constant hunger and begging for food
  • Weight loss
  • Cataracts
  • Blood sugar levels consistently greater than 300 mg/dL despite insulin treatment

Diabetic dogs and cats may have additional medical issues that can lead to poorly controlled diabetes, and there are other dietary and insulin factors that can also be problematic.

Review the following checklists with your veterinarian to ensure you are doing everything possible with your pet’s diet and insulin to achieve good control.

Dietary Factors

Ensure that your pet is being fed an appropriate diet. In general, a canned high-protein/low-carbohydrate diet is recommended for the best blood sugar control in cats. Diabetic dogs can be managed on a wide variety of food types, but your vet may have a specific suggestion for your dog.

Feed the same type and amount of pet food at the same time every day. If your pet is given treats, discuss what kind and how many are appropriate for your pet’s insulin schedule. Keep any treats consistent from day to day.

Discuss all foods your pet is receiving. Other sources of food (e.g., human food, prey, etc.) or treats or meals given in the middle of the day or between insulin injections can cause large blood sugar fluctuations, leading to poor control.

Insulin Factors

There are many important things you can take into account to make sure your pet’s insulin is working as well as possible. It can seem daunting at first, but getting in the habit of handling insulin properly can help make your pet’s diabetes management go smoothly. Here are some tips that can help.

  • The properly prescribed insulin must be used with the correct insulin syringes.
  • Insulin must be stored properly. Refrigeration is often necessary, and freezing and heating can be damaging to insulin.
  • Insulin must be handled properly. Some insulin products require shaking, while others must not be shaken to preserve activity.
  • Insulin must be administered properly. Bring your pet’s insulin to your next veterinary appointment and demonstrate how you mix the insulin, draw up the insulin and inject the insulin into your pet. You should rotate the area on your pet’s body where you inject the insulin every day.
    • Insulin must be administered frequently enough. Most pets will require twice-daily insulin injections for adequate control of diabetes.
    • Insulin injections must be timed properly. Some experts suggest administering insulin up to 30 minutes before meals in order to combat the large fluctuations in blood sugar that happen after a meal.
    • Insulin must be replaced regularly. Insulin can become outdated or contaminated and stop working well enough to control blood sugar. Ask your vet how often you should replace your pet’s insulin.
    • Insulin underdosage — insulin is dosed over a very large range, and sometimes pets are simply not receiving enough for their body weight or the severity of their blood sugar elevation. Your vet may recommend increasing the insulin dosage slowly based on serial blood sugar measurements (called a blood glucose curve) done every week until your pet is controlled or is receiving insulin dosages that support true insulin resistance.
    • Insulin overdosage — when excessive amounts of insulin are given, low blood sugar results, which then causes a rebound high blood sugar state. This can appear as poor blood sugar regulation. If your pet is on high dosages of insulin and still looks poorly controlled, your vet may be suspicious of this issue and recommend decreasing your pet’s dosage. This usually requires your vet to perform several blood sugar curves to diagnose.
    • Consider changing to a different type of insulin. Some dogs and cats metabolize insulin quickly, so it doesn’t last long enough to control blood sugars throughout the entire day. These pets may require longer-acting insulin preparations.

    Sometimes, if these potential issues aren’t addressed or your pet’s condition is refractory, your pet may continue to require high insulin dosages. This condition is called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance occurs when a pet’s body fails to respond to the normal actions of the administered insulin. Dosages of insulin that suggest insulin resistance are greater than one unit of insulin per pound of body weight per injection for a dogand greater than six to eight units of insulin per injection for a cat. If insulin resistance is present, a further investigation for additional medical conditions is warranted.

    Whether you and your pet are managing diabetes well or if you are dealing with some of the issues outlined above, the most important thing is to stay in close contact with your veterinarian. He or she will make sure you have all the information and tools necessary in order to optimally manage your pet’s diabetes. While diabetes can seem like a daunting disease to manage at home, with the proper support, you can do it!



Choosing the Best Veterinarian

A good veterinarian will be an ally for your dog’s well being

Is it Time for a NEW Veterinarian?...here’s some signs

Unreasonable Markups on RX Meds

When your vet prescribes a medication he will generally tell you that he can fill that RX on the spot. That’s a wonderful convenience but some vets may overcharge for the meds. One way to reduce RX costs is to ask if a generic option exists that is equally effective as the name brand. Another method is to check with a  licensed online pet pharmacy in the United States that fills prescriptions 

This is especially important in the case of expensive medications that may require extended use.

Disparaging Integrative or Holistic Care

More than 30 years ago, my mother was  a cancer patient in the United States. Her world trained oncologist disparaged any holistic approaches as voodoo  and said that she would live another year at best.

Fortunately we were capable of taking mom to Europe where she received treatments that extended her life, in my opinion, for several years.

The same is true for your dog. I have personally witnessed the successful treatment of digestive disorders, torn ACLs, cancer and a host of  maladies under the direction of a natural  remedies practitioner.

There are times when conventional medicine is needed such as in advanced cancer, and emergencies. But in many cases the BEST approach is an integrative one taking advantage of the best of both worlds. If your vet is unwilling to work with you..I would look for a new veterinarian

Clinic Boarding in an Unsupervised Environment

Would you let a loved one stay overnight in a hospital where all the doctors and nurses go home at night? Many veterinary clinics are shuttered and empty of human supervision till morning.. Not for my dog… Ask, Ask and Ask again

Limiting Food Options

Sadly, many veterinarians have little or no training in nutrition other than what they learn from manufacturer sponsored classes when they are in veterinary school.

As a result they may develop an affinity for a brand that is less than the best and be rather insistent that you use it for your dog. Some of these brands are sold specifically thru veterinary clinics giving them the imprimatur of quality.

Don’t fall for it. Read the labels and see if   the ingredients are  healthy. Like a broken record I suggest that you compare them to Dr Harvey’s brand as a fair comparison

Over Vaccinating

Annual  vaccinations, combo vaccinating and shots for conditions your dog may never be exposed to are not only a waste of money but may impact your dog’s immune system and longevity. Ask, ask and ask… and do some research before you agree to the let the vet load up a syringe. Make sure your dog’s health and not a profit motive or outdated clinical habits are guiding any recommendation.

Make the Office Visit Pleasant

At least as pleasant as can be. If your dog totally flips out when taken to the vet, it may be due to normal anxiety but Fido may be telling you that he had bad experiences being handled by the vet or the staff on an earlier visit.   You’ll have to judge but It may be time to look for more caring hands to take care of your dog’s health needs

Discouraging a 2nd Opinion

If your dog has been diagnosed with a serious condition requiring invasive treatment such as cancer, it is always wise to get a 2nd opinion from a specialist such as a veterinary oncologist.  This is also true whenever the condition may be life threatening. If your vet discourages a 2nd opinion, time to go vet shopping !

No Questions Please– I am the Vet!

I once had a vet tell me that I needed to trust him implicitly, leave my dog with him for treatment and don’t ask any questions…after all he was a trained vet and I was a …well you get it. I left on the spot.

I may not be a veterinarian but no one has my dog’s interest at heart more than I do…and I am sure the same goes for you… ASK and EXPECT a polite informed and clearly understandable response. Your dog deserves no less…nor do you !

Bottom line..use your judgment, ask questions and remember that you are your dog’s best advocate.

With that, it’s time for treats and playtime for the pack…

MR Bruno

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

310 919 9372

Which Dog Breeds Make the Smartest Dog Breeds?


You may have heard the recent VetStreet.com survey of the five smartest dog breeds. The top five breeds, according to veterinarians, are:

  1. Border Collie
  2. German Shepherd
  3. Poodle
  4. Australian Shepherd
  5. Golden Retriever

Given that my dog is an Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix, according to this survey I may be living with the canine equivalent of a brain surgeon. My dog may in fact be smarter than your honor student.

It’s hard to top Chaser, the dog who knows more than 1,000 words.


And Sasha is smart — don’t get me wrong. But she’s not the caliber of Chaser, the Border Collie who knows the names of more than 1,000 objects. (He even has his own Wikipedia page.) And, she’s certainly not as smart as Lucy, the shrewd Beagle who knows how to get chicken nuggets out of a toaster oven. So why isn’t she as clever, given her “pedigree”?

Dr. Stanley Coren, author of The Intelligence of Dogs, uses trainability as a marker of intelligence, and he agrees with most of the veterinarians’ top five choices, but he substitutes the Doberman Pinscher for the Australian Shepherd. (Another ding for my dog, Sasha.) Rounding out his top 10 most intelligent breeds are: Shetland SheepdogsLabrador Retrievers,PapillonsRottweilers and Australian Cattle Dogs.

However, Dr. Brian Hare, author of The Genius of Dogs, has a differing theory on what makes some dogs smarter than others. Hare’s philosophy is that intelligence is not tied to breed. Hare says there is no scientific research on breed differences in relation to intelligence, and favors instead the “unique intelligence” of each individual dog. Hare says that some dogs are able to follow social cues and some dogs are better at making inferences, while others excel at understanding gestures or navigating.

I think I know what he means. I know that Sasha is not very adept at understanding gestures. When I ask her, “Where’s your ball?” and point in a certain direction, she looks frustrated and jumps at my hand, instead of looking toward the direction I’m pointing. But she is pretty good at understanding words, and we’ve even resorted to spelling certain trigger words (t-r-e-a-t) instead of saying them.

So where else does Sasha shine? Well, she’s really good at waking me and my husband up every morning promptly at 7 am. We no longer even need to set an alarm clock. And she’s also efficient at telling us when it’s time to go to bed (are you getting the picture that our dog runs the household yet?). She’s very effective at communicating to me when she’s hungry, and she can go and fetch the newspaper (as long as there’s not a squirrel in the vicinity). And, as far as her ultimate ability, Sasha excels at catching things. She can easily catch balls and Frisbees in midair.

And I’m not sure I’d want to have a dog who’s smarter than me, anyway! Hare says in The Genius of Dogs that he would like to see dog parents at the dog park trade information about their dog’s unique talents instead of talking about how smart breeds are.

Cathy Weselby

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

310 919 9372



5 Ways To Prevent Arthritis In Dogs

5 Ways To Prevent Arthritis In Our Pooch Pals


Believe it or not but just like humans, dogs can inherit arthritis, a joint disease that is very painful. Two types of arthritis can be found in dogs, degenerative, which is caused by cartilage destruction due to hip dysplasia and injuries, and inflammatory, which comes from an infection or auto-immune disorder. Check out five ways you can prevent your canine companion from being diagnosed with this debilitating disease!


If you’re finding your pooch pal lounging during the week and then using all their energy at the dog park on the weekends, this may not be good for their muscles. A sedentary lifestyle followed by intense activity leaves them more prone to injury. It’s a good idea to get them to let out all their energy more than a few times a week so can help to build up their muscle strength.  Or you can also have them take it easy on the few days they get to go to the park.


Just like how we see personal trainers at the gym, it may be good to get your pooch pal one too! Certified canine rehabilitation therapists have the knowledge to create a exercise program and treatment plan that can help nip arthritis in the bud before it gets your four-legged friend. Some preventative exercises include chiropractic adjustments, mobility and range of  motion stretches, and hydrotherapy to keep your canine strong and agile.


Research has shown that Omega-3 acids decreases joint inflammation. If your dog is not a big fan of taking vitamins, Omega-3 acids can also be found in fish such as sardines, salmon, and mackerel. But before you head to your local grocery store, you should touch base with your local veterinarian about what types of supplements would be good for your dog or if you should consider feeding them canned fished once or twice a week.


This may sound silly, but a simple leap on the couch or into the car may cause sudden injuries or long term wear and tear on Fido’s muscles and joints. The impact that their leaps can make landing on hard surfaces is even harder on their skeletal frames. Teaching them how to use a ramp at an early age will be useful when they are older and less mobile.


If you’ve notice you dog gaining a few pounds, it’s not a bad idea for them to shed some of that off. Extra weight on their frame can cause unnecessary stress on their joints resulting in a number of arthritic problems. The ASPCA says especially in bigger dogs it’s important to watch what food your dog eats while their bones are still growing. Studies have shown that dogs with a healthier physique live an average of two years longer and are least likely to see issues with arthritis.

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

310 919 9372