Baby, it’s cold outside!

December 12th, 2011

Winter is right around the corner, and that means the mercury is plummeting.  That doesn’t mean that you and your pet have to stop enjoying the outdoors, though!  Follow these tips to keep warm and safe this winter:

  • Wipe off your pet’s paws and underside after coming in from outside.  Salt can be irritating to the skin, as is any ice that might become stuck between the paw pads.
  • Don’t shave your pup!  A longer coat acts as insulation and protection.  If you have a shorter haired breed, consider a coat or sweater if you are going to be out for a prolonged period of time.
  • If your pet is very active and spends a lot of time in the cold, he or she might need some extra calories.  Give us a call to discuss if you are not sure.
  • Never leave your pet unattended or off leash in the cold.  Animals can get frostbite, too, and are more prone to getting lost in snowy weather.
  • The ice and snow can be harsh on tender feet.  Booties are available to help protect your dog’s feet from the elements.
  • Steer clear of antifreeze.  This sweet tasting liquid is lethal even in small amounts.
  • Cats are probably best left indoors.  They may freeze while hiding out from a threat such as a neighborhood dog or take refuge on a warm car engine and be seriously injured.

For more tips on caring for your pet, visit the articles section on our website.

Give Thanks!

November 23rd, 2011

Thanksgiving is a time to remember how important our pets are to us and be thankful that they have Doggie Thanksgiving Dinnertouched our lives.  Here are a few suggestions for how you can let your pet know how much you appreciate them:

Share your feast

Some Thanksgiving Day staples are safe for pets to share, in moderation.   Green beans and sweet potatoes are often well-liked as is a small amount of well done skinless, boneless turkey.  Pumpkin puree is another food many dogs and cats appreciate.

Show them some extra attention

Take some time out of the busy holiday to play fetch, go for a walk, or just snuggle.

Special treats

While some pets can’t tolerate people food, they may like treats such as a new toy or a turkey-flavored chew bone.

Don’t forget your pet this Thanksgiving.  Take a few moments to think about how much they impact our lives and recognize them this holiday season.

Check out our pet care articles for more tips on taking great care of your pet.

 

Respect Your Elders – Adopt a Senior Pet!

November 17th, 2011

Did you know that November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month?

Senior PetsOver 50% of pets in shelters will be euthanized, and if you are talking about a pet over the age of 3, the odds are stacked against you.  People often end up taking home bouncy puppies and cuddly kittens, which leaves many great pets without homes.

Many older pets end up in shelters and rescues not because of behavioral or medical problems, but because families just are unable to continue to care for them.  A lot of these pets are well-trained and loving companions. By taking home a mature animal you may be able to skip the not-so-fun parts of adding a new puppy or kitten to the house such as potty-training and chewed up personal items.

Many times, any medical or behavioral problems an older pet might have will have already been identified so that you can make an educated decision about taking on that particular issue.  When it comes time to add another member to your family, strongly consider adopting a senior pet. You will be saving a life and earning a lifetime of love and devotion.

If you are thinking of adopting a senior pet but have concerns, please contact us and we’ll help answer any questions you may have.

Pet Cancer Awareness Month

November 10th, 2011

Cancer is a disease that all too commonly affects our pets.  While no animal is immune from this disease, there are some things that you can to do lessen your pet’s chances of developing cancer.

  • Pet Cancer Awareness MonthProvide good nutrition and weight management for your pet.  Overweight animals and people are at an increased risk of developing cancer.
  • Know your pet’s risk factors.  If you have a purebred pet, be sure you know what types of cancer are most common in the breed and what signs to watch out for.
  • Spay or neuter your pet.  It is never too late, and spaying/neutering has been shown to prevent or reduce the risk of certain types of cancer including breast cancer.
  • Try to keep your pet “clean.”  Do not expose your animal to pesticides, herbicides, asbestos, or cigarette smoke.  For that matter, don’t expose yourself, either!
  • Keep up on wellness visits.  Make sure your pet comes to see us at least once a year to help catch problems early in process.

 

National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week

November 7th, 2011

National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week is this week, and what better time to support your local shelter and rescue organizations?

Dog Behind FenceJust take a look at the numbers, it’s not too hard to appreciate the need!

  • There are about 3500 shelters across the United States.  These shelters take care of 6-8 million homeless pets.
  • Only about 50% of pets in shelters ever get adopted.
  • 63% of Americans have pets.  Only about 20% of those pets have been adopted.
  • 25 million puppies and kittens are born every year.  This number far exceeds the number of homes wanting to adopt.

Animal overpopulation is a huge problem, and your local shelter has committed to trying to help the individual animals and the surrounding community.  It is important that the community return the favor through donation, volunteering, and other efforts to help slow the pet overpopulation epidemic. And please be sure to spay or neuter your pets.

 

Are Your Pet’s Vaccinations Up-to-Date?

November 3rd, 2011

Cat VaccineMy pet is healthy.  It never leaves the house.  Didn’t my pet just get its shots?  These are all common excuses for not having your pet’s vaccinations current.  Here are a few better reasons, though, to make sure they are.

Rabies is not a matter to be taken lightly

People can get rabies, and the health department takes the matter very seriously.  Pets that are not vaccinated and are exposed or bite may be required to be quarantined or even euthanized.  Bats, which are one of the more common carriers in the Ohio area, can often be found indoors.

Many diseases we vaccinate for can be deadly

Diseases such as parvovirus, panleukopenia, and feline leukemia can be deadly, even with treatment.  Why chance it?

Vaccination can prevent costly illness

Upper respiratory infections and other diseases commonly vaccinated for can be costly and frustrating to treat.  While vaccination does not always proved complete protection (similar to flu shots for people), it often greatly decreases the length and severity of illness.

Trick-or-Treat

October 27th, 2011

Is your pet joining inDarth Vadar Pug on the trick-or-treating this year?  If you do decide to let Fido tag along, be sure that you are keeping him or her safe.  Halloween can be a stressful time for pets, and mingling in crowds of noisy children dressed in scary costumes can be intimidating for a lot of animals.  If your pet seems overwhelmed by the activity, it may be best to leave him at home.

Costumes for pets are often cute, but they can also cause anxiety.  If your pet tolerates wearing a costume, be sure that it fits comfortably and allows your pet to see and move freely. Also be sure your pet is visible in the dark (incorporating reflective tape or lights in a costume can help) and is wearing identification should it become separated from you.

If you do manage to get your pet dressed up successfully, share a picture with us in our pet gallery or on our Facebook page!

And don’t forget that chocolate and items sweetened with xylitol are dangerous for animals!

Happy haunting to you and your pet!

Healthy Teeth, Healthy Pet

October 20th, 2011

Smiling Pit BullWho knew that dental care could be so important to your pet’s healthy?  Many people forget about their pet’s teeth, however according to a study done by the American Veterinary Dental Society 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of dental disease by the age of three!

Bacteria combine with saliva and food on the teeth and gums, forming plaque.  This eventually becomes a hard substance called tartar which can lead to inflammation and destruction of the tissues that support the teeth.  Untreated this may lead to oral pain as well as the eventual loss of teeth.  Even scarier is that other organs such as the liver, heart, and kidneys can also be affected.

Dr. Bob can advise you on teeth cleaning techniques, chew toys and treats, oral care products for pets, and a proper nutritional diet. Discuss your pet dental care questions and concerns at your next visit or call Plum Street Pet Clinic today.

To get started with your pet’s home dental care regime, The Healthy Pet website offers this excellent article: Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth.

Senior Pets Need Extra Care

October 13th, 2011

Senior DogPets are considered to be senior citizens around the age of seven.  Larger breeds may be considered “senior” even earlier.  But being a senior doesn’t mean that their time is up.  By paying extra attention to the following areas, you can help keep your old friend happy for years to come.

Wellness examinations

With every year in your pet’s life being equal to about seven in yours, it is very important that your senior animal visit the vet at least once a year (ideally twice a year) for a wellness checkup.  These visits are also an ideal time to run routine lab work.  This is the best way to catch problems early and keep your pet healthy longer.

Dental care

Oral care is one of the most overlooked areas of pet care.  A healthy mouth not only can keep your animal comfortable and happy, but can prevent serious dental problems, kidney infections, and heart conditions.

Nutrition

Older pets may require different nutrition than they did when they were younger.  Ask your veterinarian if your pet could benefit from a diet change.

Exercise

Keeping your pet active is a great way to keep weight under control.  Also, pets with arthritis benefit from being kept active.  As your pet ages, you may need to change the intensity of activity depending on its overall physical condition.

Visit our website to learn more about keeping your senior pet happy and healthy for years to come.

Shedding the Pounds…

October 7th, 2011

 

It sounds so easy: Eat less, exercise more. Actually accomplishing this seemingly intuitive task, however, is not that simple. This is also true for our pets. Studies show that American pets have expanding waistlines on par with the human population.

It is sometimes hard to look at our best friends as obese, but when we put things into perspective, it can be shocking. When you think of your 15 pound cat as being equivalent to a 218 pound, 5’4” woman you really begin to realize that all that extra fluff is more than just cute. Animals are prone to developing diabetes, and extra weight puts added strain on joints and organs like the heart.

Being overweight is no laughing matter. So where to start? Just like with an overweight person, you can’t expect your chunky Chow-Chow to go out and run a marathon. Gradually introduce exercise into your pet’s routine- maybe a leisurely stroll around the block or a 10 minute laser pointer session with your cat.

It’s amazing what just a little bit can do. Not only are you potentially adding years to your pet’s life, but you are also spending quality time with them. What more could you want?