Archive for October, 2011

Trick-or-Treat

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Is your pet joining in 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

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Who 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

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Pets 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…

Friday, 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?