Friday, February 17, 2017

February 20th: Love Your Pet Day!

February 20th is National Love Your Pet Day! While we all show our pets daily how much we love them, sometimes it’s nice to take a day to celebrate them. Moreover, it’s important that pets feel that we love them, as this contributes to a healthy, happy and stress free four-legged friend. If you’re looking for someone to spoil and you aren’t too fond of Valentine’s Day, we have some tips on how you can show your furry friend some extra affection. Keep reading to find out more!

Get Out and About:
Taking your dog to their favorite dog park or a walking route they enjoy is a great way to show them some extra love. While they can benefit from the exercise (as will you), they’ll also get to be outside and enjoy walking a route or spending time in their favorite park which is a significant mood enhancer. Taking a solid chunk of your day to plan around your pet – even if it is just for today while you have the time to do so, shows them how much you love them.

Plan a Playdate:
Because National Love Your Pet Day is in February, we recognize that not everyone can get outside as temperatures remain cool. Additionally, for your cat lovers, we realize (unless you have an outdoor cat), you won’t be taking your feline to the dog park anytime soon. However, this shouldn’t stop you from making the day extra special for your furry friend. If you pet enjoys socializing with your neighbor’s animal or other animals in general, we encourage you to take the time to set up a playdate. There are several meet-up groups online that you can look at so that your pet can get out and socialize!

Reward Them:
If your pet loves playing fetch or rolling in catnip, let them do so for a little longer. There’s nothing better than a happy pet, so feel free to give them an extra treat or break up the treat to make it last longer. If your dog or cat has a favorite toy, consider taking them on a trip to the pet store to look for something new but similar for added play time! Also, if your pet’s bed is looking rugged or beaten up, consider taking today to get a new one that provides comfort and a place for your pet to hang when they aren’t curled up next to you.

Make their Health a Priority:
This may not sound like a way to spoil your pet, but as their caretaker, it should be your top priority to ensure their health is in tip top shape. If your pet hasn’t been in for a checkup recently or you notice something is off, give us a call and schedule an appointment. Trust us, your pet will thank you later!

The reality is, your pet is going to love you regardless, but it’s nice to show them a little extra love every once in a while, not to mention it’s been proven that having a pet makes us happier people with lower blood pressure!  

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Why Your Pet Should Steer Clear of the Valentine's Day Chocolate

It is a well-known fact that dogs should never eat chocolate, as it can be very deadly. It might be less known that cats should also not have a bite of a chocolate bar, but have you ever wondered why such a sweet treat for humans can be so toxic for our furry friends? Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine. Theobromine is a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant and can be very harmful to cats, and deadly to dogs. This compound mainly impacts the heart when chocolate is eaten, but the symptoms your furry friend will likely exhibit do not always present themselves immediately.

When Cats Eat Chocolate:
When a cat ingests chocolate, they may begin to show symptoms such:
-       Vomiting
-       Diarrhea
-       Increased by temperature and reflex responses
-       Muscle rigidity
-       Rapid breathing and increased heart rate
-       Low blood pressure
-       Seizures
As with any pet, these symptoms will depend on how much your chocolate has been consumed. You should be aware that milk and semi-sweet chocolate are the most harmful to animals as the number of toxic compounds found in these chocolates are increased as opposed to darker chocolate.

When Dogs Eat Chocolate:
The same goes for cats applies to dogs. Depending on how much chocolate your pup consumes, he or she will start to show signs of chocolate toxicity that include:
-       Vomiting
-       Diarrhea
-       Abnormal heart rhythms and/or increased heart rate
-       Seizures
-       Increased thirst
-       Elevated blood pressure
-       Tremors or the possibility of collapse
-       Elevated body temperatures

As for what to do if your dog or cat gets a bite of your Valentine’s Day chocolate (or any other chocolate for that matter), be sure to contact us immediately. We will be here to help you and cannot stress enough how important it is to stay calm, as your pet can easily pick up on your behavior. Here’s to a happy and chocolate-free Valentine’s Day for our furry friends!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

National Pet Dental Health Month

February is National Pet Dental Health Month! It is important to be aware of your pet’s dental health, since gums and teeth that are in tip top shape will prevent your pet from suffering from other serious health risks. Should your pet’s dental health go untreated, your furry friend could have severe internal organ issues which can become very problematic. Keep reading below to find out how you can stay on top of your pet’s dental health!

Brushing Your Cat or Dog’s Teeth:

It may sound silly, but it is just as important to brush your own teeth as it is to brush your four-legged friend’s teeth. You might think it is a difficult task, but in fact, it’s not so hard to do once you get the hang of it. Follow these tips to keep your pet’s teeth and gums healthy and clean.

-       Introduce your dog or cat to pet friendly toothpaste by dabbing some of it onto a treat they are familiar with. If your pet doesn’t have a favorite treat, you can always dab a little of the toothpaste onto your finger and have them sniff it before licking it off. You must do this for a few days before the pet becomes familiar.

-       Once your pet is introduced to the toothpaste, dab a small toothbrush or finger toothbrush with the paste and place it into your pet’s mouth for a few seconds so that they can become familiar with the sensation of the brush.

-       When your pet is comfortable with the sensation of the brush, you can start to slowly brush their teeth starting from the gum line and brushing one tooth at a time.

You should have your pet’s teeth checked at least once a year during their checkup, if you haven’t scheduled a checkup for your cat or dog recently and are due for a visit, be sure to make an appointment soon. If your pet is suffering from bad breath, broken or loose teeth, teeth that are discolored or are covered in tartar you will want to make an appointment so that we can be sure your pet is treated for the problem. Furthermore, if you notice your pet’s eating habits have changed or they are having difficulty chewing, this may be a sign of a dental issue.

Lastly, remember that brushing your pet’s teeth won’t happen overnight – it takes time. After all, they have never had their teeth brushed before so this is unfamiliar to them. If you have better luck brushing for short amounts of time, be sure to focus on the upper and outer molars, as these collect more debris than anything else. If you aren’t sure which toothpaste is best for your pet or you need to make an appointment, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you!