In The Age of “Google It”
The Internet can be a great resource óbut not a substitute for hands-on veterinary guidance for my cat's health.
Increasingly, we seem to be living in a world where “Google It” becomes the answer to many questions and concerns, both ordinary and profound. Admittedly, there are advantages to finding the definition of an obscure word in far less time than it takes to pull out the tattered, old Merriam-Webster from the bookshelf.
And locating a very good, well-reviewed Thai restaurant in an unfamiliar town has gotten a lot easier, too, thanks to the Internet. However, you are wading into murky (and sometimes dangerous) waters if you make certain health-care and nutrition decisions† for your cat without prior consultation with your trusted veterinarian.
A perfect example is the complicated topic of food allergies. Over the past decade or so, the cat owner can find many new and unsual foods lining the shelves of their local pet store. Rabbit, venison, duck, to name just a few. Admittedly, it becomes a glittering temptation to jump right in and assume that a marketing label is indeed the best answer for your cat’s nutritional needs — especially when you suspect an allergy to the food he is currently eating.
What the Internet and a food label won’t tell you is this: You may actually be doing more harm than good by stabbing in the dark for a solution. Your veterinarian’s guidance is absolutely imperative in unraveling the source of a food allergy, as you’ll learn in the article, “The Food Allergy Labyrinth” on page 3 of this issue.
While we’re on the topic of nutrition, it’s become abundantly clear to most of us that feline obesity is a growing problem that is harder to address than one would think.
Can’t we simply withhold food from our cats? Isn’t a diet for them easier than a diet for us? When we combine the inability to ignore begging and the lack of understanding when it comes to calorie content, the average cat owner is often fighting an uphill battle.
Believe it or not, the one weapon in the arsenal is a simple scale — both to measure out the portions of food you’re feeding, and to regularly monitor the weight of your pet. Learn the golden rules of weight loss on page 14 of this issue.
And ignore that begging! Your cat’s health will ultimately thank you.