Note from our Vet - Dr. McLaughlin - September 2014

Posted by Tomlyn on Sep 25th 2014

This month’s Q&A is with Dr. Brian McLaughlin, one of Tomlyn’s veterinarians who specializes in the know-how of our products and how they’re beneficial to your furry friends. This Q&A focuses on puppy and kitten health and how Tomlyn’s products, Nutri-Cal® Puppy, Nutri-Cal® Kitten, Puppy Drops and Milk Replacer for Puppies and Kittens can help provide your pet with needed nutrients in the early stages of their lives.

Q: How long have you worked with Tomlyn? Tell us more about your role at Tomlyn.

A: I’ve been with Tomlyn for a little over two years now. My role as a veterinarian is to provide technical support to our representatives in the field and product managers in the office. On a daily basis, I work mostly with our representatives and clients in the Western and Central regions of the U.S., thoroughly answering questions submitted by our customers or providing support to our representatives.

Q: How important is it for pet owners to include vitamins/high-calorie supplements in
their pet’s daily routines?

A: First and foremost, it’s important to feed your pets a complete, balanced diet for growth and/or maintenance. The goal is to feed your pet food that is rated at least either four or five stars by the Association of American Fed Control Officials (AAFCO) during growth and adulthood. Supplementing with vitamins and high-calorie nutrients is important, specifically if there are signs of deficiency. Puppies and kittens have lots of energy and also use that energy quickly. If you notice your pet going into lull moments frequently, it is likely there is a drop in blood sugar, and they may need high-calorie supplements after consulting with your veterinarian.

Q: Thinking about puppy and kitten health, why is a product like High Calorie Nutritional Gel for Puppies/Kittens (Nutri_Cal) beneficial? What does it offer for pet growth and development?

A: These products provide a quality source of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and calories.  Your pet may need more energy or help with growth and development, and the vitamins in these products will help your pet develop properly. Across the board, it depends on the specific situation of the puppy or kitten or the weaning time period. For example, small-breed puppies tend to get low blood sugar and may need additional supplements to get through their first few months until they can become dependent on their own. This would be a great time for Milk Replacer for Puppies. At any age group, depending on what your using it for, Tomlyn has the product to supplement your pet during low-nutrient times.

Q: Why do you suggest the use of a product like Puppy Drops? Aren’t there enough vitamins in the food I feed my pet?

A: Our Puppy Drops offer several important vitamins, including iron to help support red blood cells, immune systems and development. The majority of foods made for pets contain adequate amounts of vitamins for optimum development. However, the use of Puppy Drops is necessary for situations where perhaps your pet is not eating enough, like after weaning or if overcoming an injury. If your puppy is sick, this could be another time where pet owners could use this product to assist in providing important vitamins and minerals.

Q: What are the main differences in Nutri-Cal Puppies and Puppy Drops? Do they complement on another or should pet owners only use one or the other?

A: The main difference is delivery of both products – one is a gel formulation and the drops are liquid based. It’s important to know that each product has subtle differences that both provide vitamins and minerals to support growth and development. One of the primary differences is that Puppy Drops contain more iron. Because there is some crossover with the ingredients, I would suggest only to use one at a time and not combine. Your veterinarian also will be able to let you know which product is best to use for your puppy.

Q: What are the key things pet owners should consider when it comes to puppy and kitten health?

A: First, provide adequate nutrition through a balanced, growth diet. It’s also important to focus on their behavioral health, providing exposure to other kittens, puppies, adult cats and/or dogs and people to help socialize them. Next, make sure you’re getting your pet on a schedule for proper feeding, vaccines, deworming, parasites, etc. If you’re noticing lull in energy, consider using supplements that provide your pet with quality nutrients and consult your veterinarian.

Q: Tell us more about the Milk Replacer. Is it to supplement nursing puppies and kittens or to be used in the absence of a nursing mother?

A: The Milk Replacer is a nutritionally complete milk replacer to be fed as a nutritional supplement when the supply of mother’s milk is inadequate or as a sole ration in the absence of the mother’s milk.  Tomlyn’s Milk Replacer contains colostrum, optimized levels of protein and fat, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) from cod liver oil, and arginine. The product is also formulated with probiotics, which establish a normal bacterial population in the digestive tract.  When indicated, Milk Replacer may be used to supplement the mother’s ration in late gestation or early lactation to meet increased nutritional requirements.

Q: What are the drawbacks of not using a supplement for my pet, if any?

A: The uses of supplements for a pet are based on situational need. A lot of foods on the market provide adequate nutrients. But, if your puppy or kitten is in need of more nutritional support (again, correlating to weaning, energy reduction, illness, etc.), that’s when a product like Nutri-Cal Puppies or Nutri-Cal Kittens and Puppy Drops could be used.

If a puppy is hypoglycemic or has low blood sugar a supplement may be needed to assist with these conditions.

Q: Finally, tell us the most important thing to remember about owning a new puppy or kitten?

A: When getting a new puppy or kitten, preventive health care is certainly important. Establishing your pet with a veterinarian and having a set schedule or health care plan to make sure your puppy and kitten is covered from diseases they may be exposed to over the first year and after is vital for their health. Nutrition for developmental growth and correcting behavioral issues are also important to consider when your puppy or kitten is still young.

Have other questions about puppy and kitten health or the products mentioned above? Contact us! We’re always available to offer insight into our products. Just send us a message at