APRIL 27th is National Hairball Awareness Day, Maties!
It’s no secret that cats are notorious for developing hairballs. Cats have tiny barbs on their tongues that catch hair while grooming, which they then swallow. In a healthy intestinal tract, hair will pass right through and out in the stool. If hair does not pass out of the stomach, it will accumulate in the stomach into a hairball, which the cat will try to vomit up.
Watch for overgrooming by your cats, this can be due to stress or anxiety and often leads to further issues down the road. Most cats naturally pass hairballs and with little struggle if they are healthy and not overgrooming, etc.; but it is wise to watch your cats and if the hairballs are accompanied by lethargy, inappetence, excessive vomiting with no hairball production, constipation, or diarrhea; your pet should be examined by a veterinarian.
Some helpful tips to help keep your feline healthy and hairball free, or at least moderate and mindful:
- hairball diet formulas with their food
- oral hairball medication (i.e. laxatone) (we recommend medication as the last resort and if they have EXCESSIVE issues with hairballs). ALWAYS CONTACT YOUR VET FIRST.
- regular brushing
- reducing stress/anxiety/boredom with cat toys and playtime
Please note that while dogs do not typically get “hairballs” as commonly, they do ingest hair from grooming and around the house and often try to get it up much in the same way as cats but often not as successfully.
Some helpful ways to help our canines ease into this and get rid of them are:
- Grooming, cleaning, and clipping your dog to remove excess hair will prevent hairballs from any of a variety of causes.
- Laxatives and digestive aids, including pumpkin, to help break down or pass hairballs when they occur are available and can be administered to dogs that are prone to accumulating hairballs.
- Ensuring your dog is well hydrated so their digestive system will naturally pass hair accumulations. A dehydrated dog is more prone to digestive blockages and other harmful issues.
- Providing your dog with omega 3 fatty acids or fish oil as a supplement will help lubricate the digestive system and help ingested hair to pass naturally through the system.
We love our pets and your pets and love helping give info on keeping them healthy. ALWAYS CONSULT a VET before trying any new diet or regimen involving medications.
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Many purrs and barks,