Pet Health Tips

Information provided in these articles is intended to provide some guidance for you and your pet. Not all animals behave (or respond) in the same manner. Should you have questions or concerns about anything you see here, please consult your veterinarian. While we work with vets on a regular basis, we are not veterinarians. We feel the articles here provide useful but general guidelines and suggestions for working with your pet. Please note, some articles may be disturbing to young children. Please preview articles to make sure they are appropriate for your child.

The holidays are an exciting time for everyone. From Thanksgiving until New Year's Day, we enjoy special treats, beautiful decorations, parties and visits from friends and family. But in all of the excitement, it's important to remember that the holidays can also be stressful and even dangerous for our pets. You might be surprised at some of these potential hazards that our human celebrations can pose for our furry friends:

Summer is exciting. It's easy to get swept up planning for parties, running to the store for S'mores ingredients and arranging plans to view fireworks. But during the seasonal festivities, keep in mind that dogs feel differently than you do. It's common for them to be frightened by changes in routine like loud booms of thunder or fireworks and crowded party atmospheres.

Dogs are meat-eaters by nature. However, they metabolize carbohydrates efficiently and can synthesize some required nutrients from eating plant matter. Dog food should contain a combination of ten essential amino acids, which dogs can only get from what they eat.

As the old adage goes, “You are what you eat.” Selecting the right diet is especially important for cats because of the unique way that they break down food for energy.

Meat eaters
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they must eat a balanced, meat-based diet. They have a special need for certain amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, which are found in high levels in meat. If a cat does not eat a diet containing these special amino acids, like taurine and arginine, serious and often fatal diseases can develop.

Spaying or neutering is one of the greatest gifts you can provide your pet and your family. These routine medical procedures not only help control pet overpopulation, but they may also allow your dog to lead a longer, healthier and happier life.

What is spaying? What is neutering?
Spaying is the surgical removal of a female dog’s ovaries and uterus, while neutering is the removal of a male dog’s testicles. While both operations are conducted routinely with few complications, only licensed veterinarians are allowed to perform them. 

Spaying or neutering is one of the greatest gifts you can provide your pet and your family. These routine medical procedures not only help control pet overpopulation, but they may also prevent medical and behavioral problems from developing, allowing your cat to lead a longer, healthier and happier life.

Virginia and Paul found a stray cat outside their apartment building in Los Angeles. Neither of the two were cat people. In fact they had been talking about adding a dog to the household since both had grown up with dogs and felt comfortable with them. This cat was a whole new universe.

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is very similar to the virus that causes AIDS in humans. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and FIV belong to the same class, the lentiviruses. However, the virus seen in cats is in no way transmissible to humans or dogs. FIV occurs worldwide, but is more prevalent in certain geographic areas.

Here’s some basic information about preventing fleas and heartworms in your cats and dogs. For more specifics about how to treat your pets for these conditions, please talk to your veterinarian.

Your pet can't tell you that his ear is itchy, but he'll let you know by shaking his head or scratching at his ears. Then it's up to you and your veterinarian to figure out the cause and what to do about it.

It may not seem as though your cat is doing much when he is lounging near a sunny window for hours on end, but he's burning energy - and a lot of it - all day. In fact, your lap cat needs more energy-producing nutrients, like protein, than most dogs do in order to stay healthy and active.

Dogs:   One of the most life-threatening mistakes people can make is to leave a dog in a vehicle during hot weather. Dogs can’t perspire, as humans do, to cool themselves off via evaporation, so they have to pant to cool themselves. If the air that they are taking in is too hot (as it is in a parked car in hot weather), then panting has little cooling effect and the dog quickly overheats.

Do you avoid getting up close and personal with your pet’s breath? That bad breath is certainly unpleasant enough, but your pet could have a worse problem.  Tartar buildup on teeth and inflamed gums can actually undermine your pet’s good health. 

Declawing is a topic that arouses strong feelings. Some people believe it's cruel and unnecessary, while others think it has its place.

Your dog may not be able to communicate with you in words, but he can give you signs to indicate whether he is healthy or sick.

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