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Keeping Your Dog Healthy And Safe This Summer

Posted by on Apr 19, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you have recently adopted a dog and summer is approaching, you may wonder what you can do to keep your dog healthy and safe as the temperature goes up over the summer. There are many steps that you can take in caring for your new dog this summer. Get to know more about what you can do to keep your dog healthy and ensure that you visit the vet when necessary. Do Not Exercise Them In The Heat Of The Day Even when it is hot outside, your dog needs exercise to stay healthy and release all of their pent up energy. However, because temperatures can soar during the summer months, it is important to take special care regarding what time you exercise your dog. Early in the morning or late in the evening would be the ideal time to take your dog to the park or to go for a walk. During the mid to late afternoon, on the other hand, would put you and your dog out and about at the hottest time of the day. If this is the only time of day that you can get out with your dog, keep it short and carry a collapsible water dish and a bottle of water with you to keep your dog properly hydrated. Protect Your Dog From Heartworms, Fleas, and Ticks The summer months are the prime time for your dog to come into contact with pests like fleas, ticks, and heartworms. You need to be prepared for this issue ahead of time. The first step is to take your dog to their veterinarian or the pet hospital to have them tested for heartworms. This is accomplished with a simple blood test. The results are usually available right away, sometimes before you leave the vet. Assuming the heartworm test comes back negative, you can get the monthly heartworm medication from your vet and begin giving it to your dog in mid to late spring. Flea and tick prevention, on the other hand can be accomplished with over-the-counter medications or even all-natural essential oil solutions. These flea and tick remedies should also be given on a monthly basis to be most effective. Now that you know more about a few of the ways to keep your dog healthy and safe this summer, you can better care for the new four-legged member of your family through the hot season this year. For more help, talk wtih someone like All Care Pet Hospital of Harbour Point...

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4 Mistakes People Make When Boarding Their Dog

Posted by on Mar 1, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Boarding your dog is a great way to be sure that your dog is getting the attention and care they need while you are away. During their time in a boarding facility, they will have a comfortable place to sleep, receive the right amount of exercise daily, and even be able to socialize with the other dogs staying there. However, dog owners commonly make these four mistakes when boarding their dogs that you should work to avoid: Not Checking Out the Facility: Before you actually drop your dog off, you want to visit the facility and you want to bring your dog with you. You should let them explore the facility a bit, get to know the people working there, and run around in the activity center, as well. If your dog doesn’t seem to fit in with the environment, then this provides you with the opportunity to visit other facilities in the area.  Booking Late: If you need to drop your dog off during a major holiday, it’s especially important to book their stay way in advance. This is going to guarantee that your dog has a spot at your number one choice for a facility. If you book too late, you may find yourself scrambling to board your dog anywhere and this can add last minute stress to your departure and make you worried about your dog while you are trying to enjoy your vacation. Not Dropping Off and Picking Up at the Right Time: If you are leaving in the morning, you should drop your dog off the previous day. If you arrive to the kennel too early, there might not be anyone available to check your dog in anyway. Also, if you are coming back home at night, it’s probably best to pick up in the morning after your dog has had rest and there will definitely be someone available to check your dog out.  Not Taking Your Dog to the Vet: It’s important that you take your dog to the vet before dropping them off at a dog boarding facility. This is because if your dog is not up to date on their vaccinations, the dog boarding facility can turn you away leaving you out of a place for your dog to stay. Plus, this gives you the opportunity for your dog to receive a checkup and make sure they are healthy enough to actually be away from you.  When you avoid these four common mistakes, you can be sure that boarding your dog at a facility like Daily Wag can be a stress free experience, which is good for both your dog and...

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Keeping Your Cat Comfortable During A Boarding Facility Stay

Posted by on Jan 27, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you plan on going away for an extended period of time, and you have a cat at home, you may consider bringing it to a boarding facility, such as Animal Care Center of Forest Park, so it is cared for in your absence. Knowing your pet is comfortable while in this type of establishment will give you peace of mind while you are not able to watch over it yourself. Here are a few tips you can use to help your cat remain comfortable while in the care of a pet boarding facility. Get Your Pet Used To People If your cat doesn’t normally come into contact with other people, you may want to incorporate some social visits into your schedule ahead of your trip. Invite friends to your home so there is an influx of people around your pet. Make sure they pay attention to your cat during their visits. If your cat usually runs off to hide when company is present, try closing off rooms by shutting doors before guests arrive. This way your pet will need to be closer to the people during the visits. This will help your cat get used to having others nearby as they will in a boarding facility. Allow Your Pet To Be Pampered In pet boarding facilities, there is usually a groomer available on the premises. Sign your pet up for some pampering while you are away. It is a good idea to bring your cat to a groomer a few times before you leave them at a boarding facility so they are used to the process. See if the particular boarding facility you plan on using allows for individual appointments from pets not currently staying at the facility. Having the same groomer take care of your pet before you leave will help make them more comfortable with the procedures they will have when you are not at home.  Bring Along Comforts From Home Make sure your cat has some of their favorite belongings with then when they are dropped off for a stay at the boarding facility. A warm blanket, favorite toy, or desired treats will make the transition in staying a bit easier. Comfort items should be put in the cage area along with your cat so they are readily accessible. The treats can be given by the caretakers throughout the day so the pet will warm up to having people come near. Request Some Alone Time If your pet is the type to get skittish around other animals, ask that the facility put your cat in an area where it will not need to fraternize with other felines. They may be more comfortable in a smaller caged area without having the pressure of other cats around in this type of...

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Keeping Your Cat Happy During Boarding

Posted by on Dec 29, 2015 in Uncategorized |

As a cat owner, you have probably spent years working on your relationship with your pet. Cats are notoriously picky and often require special handling. When you are forced to board them, you need to be especially careful to prepare them for the experience. If you do, you will pick up a happy, non-traumatized cat when you return home.  Pre-boarding Visit Your pet is your baby so don’t feel silly about taking serious pre-boarding steps. Before you leave your cat, you should take them to visit the boarding facility. If it offers day care arrangements, you should drop your cat off for a few hours just to see how things go. That way you can check out facilities and the staff and see how your pet reacts to the surroundings. If things go well, you can feel good about leaving them for a longer period.  Things from Home Bring your pet’s favorite food to the boarding facility. They will be better off with their usual diet and will feel more comfortable. Also, changing their diet when they are stressed can make them ill and their stay miserable.  Just like a child, your pet will do better at a boarding facility if they have a favorite toy or another prized object with them. Taking a little blanket or jingle ball can make all the difference to how well they adapt during their stay. Checking In When you leave your pet, you should do it quickly so that you do not prolong your cat’s upset mood. Once you are gone, you should feel free to call in and ask about how your pet is doing. You may want to choose a facility that has a camera feed you can access online so you can see what is going on in the building. You are perfectly within your rights to keep close tabs on your baby, so feel free to check in when you feel the need.  If you must leave your pet behind for a period of time, you can do a few things to make the experience easier for you and your cat. Let your cat visit the facility for at least a few hours before boarding them. Take food and familiar items along so your cat will feel more comfortable and not experience digestive problems. Finally, feel free to call and check on your cat when you feel the need. When you pick up your cat, you will find a happy and healthy feline.  For more detailed information, visit an animal boarding location like Academy Of Canine Behavior or others near...

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5 Things Bird Owners Need To Know About Cloacal Papillomatosis

Posted by on Dec 3, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Cloacal papillomatosis is a serious disease that can affect pet parrots. It tends to affect greenwing macaws, conures, and hawk-headed parrots, but other types of parrots can also be affected. Here are five things that you need to know about parrots and cloacal papillomatosis. What causes cloacal papillomatosis? Cloacal papillomatosis is caused by a herpesvirus. This virus is highly infectious, and it can easily spread from bird to bird. Birds can contract the virus through close contact with infected birds or through activities like preening. What are the signs of cloacal papillomatosis? If your bird develops cloacal papillomatosis, you will notice wart-like lesions around their cloaca. These lesions are pink and bumpy, and at first, you may think that your bird is suffering from a cloacal prolapse. These lesions are very uncomfortable for your bird, and you may notice them crying out or becoming stressed while relieving themselves. When you clean their case, you may notice that their droppings contain blood or have an abnormal odor. How serious is it? Aside from the obvious discomfort that this causes your pet, cloacal papillomatosis can lead to serious health problems. As the lesions get worse, they can block your pet’s cloaca. This blockage can make your parrot infertile or it can lead to infections. The blockage can become severe enough to block the bile doctor the pancreatic duct, causing further problems. To keep your pet safe, get treatment for them right away. How is it treated? Cloacal papillomatosis is generally treated with surgery. Many different surgical procedures are possible, including electrosurgery and cryosurgery. Electrosurgery involves using an electric current to cut away the warts, while cryosurgery involves killing the works by freezing them. Unfortunately, surgical removal of the warts is not a permanent solution. Relapses can occur over time, and your pet may need to undergo surgery more than once. There is a vaccine available that may help prevent recurrences after surgery, but there is no guarantee that the warts will not come back. Can your bird make you sick? While cloacal papillomatosis is caused by herpesviruses, they’re not the same ones that infect people. The virus responsible is known as psittacid herpesvirus, and it only affects parrots. You don’t need to worry about getting this virus from your parrot, but it can spread to your other parrots. Make sure to quarantine your sick bird and wash your hands thoroughly after caring for them to avoid spreading the virus to your healthy birds. If you think your parrot has cloacal papillomatosis, take them to a vet like Oakton Animal...

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Alleviating Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

Posted by on Nov 8, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If your dog has difficulty with separation anxiety, you will want to deal with the problem aggressively so they are not upset if you need to leave them alone for any length of time. Dogs that become very attached to their owners may find it disturbing to be left alone. This can lead to depression or destructive behavior as they wait for their owner to return. Here are a some tips to use to help your dog adjust to time apart from you. Change The Timing Of Affection If you regularly say goodbye to your dog by petting it and showing it affection, only to walk out the door afterwards, your pet will feel upset that you give attention and then abruptly take it away. This can confuse a dog. Give affection when you plan on staying at home for a while. When you leave the home, do not make a big deal of the situation by giving a long goodbye. The same advice goes for when you arrive back home. If you act as if coming and going is a part of your everyday routine instead of an event, your dog will start to associate affection with times you will be around rather than when you are not at home. Exercise Your Dog Before You Leave Take your dog on a long walk an hour or two before you plan on leaving for a while. You can incorporate some playtime into the walk by stopping at a dog park or field so your dog will be able to run around for a bit as well. This exercise, followed by a nutritious meal, will tire out your dog so it will be relaxed and perhaps allow it to nap. Since your dog will have a subdued demeanor, it will be less apt to become upset if you walk out the door. Increase Time Away Slowly When you first start the process of trying to reduce separation anxiety in your dog, leave your dog alone for only five or ten minutes. When you walk out the door, do so calmly and do not go back inside even if you hear your dog barking or whimpering. When your return, you can give your dog a quick verbal hello and do something in another area of the home. Continue with several five or ten minute getaways. Gradually increase the time by a few minutes each time you leave your dog. Give The Dog Time Alone Away From Home To help your dog adjust to your time away from it, bring it to a few activities outside of the home where you will be able to leave it in the care of other people. Bring your dog to a friend’s home and see how it adjusts to you being gone while your friend is the one giving the attention. Take your dog to a groomer and leave it in the room with the employee. Bring your dog to an obedience class. Consider visiting a dog boarding facility like All Creatures Inn to give your dog some pampering and exercise with other dogs. These small steps can help your dog become more adjusted to time when you are not in their...

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3 Ways To Determine Whether A Used Fabric Dog Toy Is Still Safe For Your Puppy

Posted by on Sep 25, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Since puppies are typically so energetic, you’re going to need a wide variety of toys to keep one entertained. But since fabric toys in particular are prone to disintegrating into small choke hazards when they’re worn down, you need to be careful about employing used ones for your puppy. To determine whether a used fabric dog toy is still safe for your puppy, use one or more of these three methods. Pull On Any Loose Threads And See If They Easily Come Off Individual loose threads on a fabric dog toy are an early sign of decay. However, if only a few threads have broken off from the toy’s main body instead of many, your puppy should still be able to play with and chew on the toy without danger. It all comes down to whether the threads are still connected to the toy enough to not budge when you pull on them. If any of them easily come off, you can be sure that your puppy will get all sorts of fabric in its throat if it tries to chew the toy. Soak The Toy In Water And See If It Starts Coming Apart The better the condition of a fabric dog toy, the better it should hold up when it’s soaked in water. It should both remain in one piece when you take it out of the water and dry quickly when you smother it with a towel. If one end of the fabric dog toy completely unravels when you dunk it in water, don’t be sad that you ruined it. If your puppy had put one end of the toy in its mouth for a long period of time, its saliva would’ve had the same effect on the fabric as ordinary water. The only difference would be the puppy’s risk of swallowing a bunch of loose threads. See How The Puppy Bites And Chews On The Toy When a puppy’s teeth are just coming in, the animal will be tempted to chew and thoroughly tear apart almost any toy that’s available. In this case, even a relatively sturdy fabric toy that only has a few loose threads on it is in danger of completely coming apart. While you play with your puppy for a few minutes, use only the fabric toy in question. The harder the puppy tears at loose threads, the more wary you should be of leaving the animal alone with the toy. Since puppies are smaller than normal dogs, they’re more likely to choke on small objects. While this shouldn’t be taken as motivation to take all your dog toys away from a growing puppy, you need to be circumspect. Learn more about puppy care...

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Preparing Your Horse for Pediatric Therapeutic Riding Equipment

Posted by on Sep 15, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Equine therapy, or therapeutic horseback riding, has become popular with families of children with physical and developmental disabilities. A recent study shows that a 10-week therapy course can provide significant improvement in children who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. If you have a horse and you are interested in helping with this type of therapy, there are some unique pieces of horseback riding equipment your horse will need to get used to. Here are some of the different types of equipment used in therapeutic horseback riding. Adaptive Saddles Depending on a child’s disabilities, he or she may need to use an adaptive saddle. These saddles are designed to help keep the child sitting in a safe, upright position while riding. They can be a bit more cumbersome than traditional saddles, and your horse will need to learn how to walk while wearing them. You can get your horse slowly adjusted to these saddles by practicing with them for a half hour each day, gradually working up to longer lengths of time. Mounting Ramps Mounting ramps help children who are wheelchair bound or who have difficulty with gross motor skills. These children may not be able to use the traditional method of mounting a horse. The ramp lets them walk or roll up to the horse for effortless mounting. You will, however, need to teach your horse to remain calm while standing next to the ramp so the child using it doesn’t get scared. Therapeutic Riding Bolsters Not every person who uses horseback riding therapy will be able to sit in a saddle. Some children have difficulty with muscle control, making it difficult or impossible to sit up long enough to enjoy horseback riding. Therapeutic riding bolsters help these children enjoy riding a horse but allowing them to lie on the horse’s back with the aid of a large, specially designed pillow. While your horse may need to get used to having children lie down on its back, the bolsters are actually quite comfortable. You may even find that your horse enjoys the bolsters more than traditional saddles. Once your horse is used to the special equipment that goes along with therapeutic horseback riding, found at stores like The Riding Store, you can begin to practice some of the different techniques used to help kids with developmental and physical disabilities. You and your horse may find this line of horseback riding to be particularly...

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Is Your Dog Stressed Out? Why Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder May Be the Problem

Posted by on Aug 21, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you are a new dog owner, you might think that you’ll have a lot of fun all the time. While this is true for many pet owners, there is also the possibility that your dog can suffer anxiety from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after a scary event or injury. Here is what you need to know about PTSD and what you can do to help. Causes of Post Traumatic Stress in Dogs Types of traumatic events for dogs are severe weather or natural disasters. Due to the heightened hearing and other senses of dogs, severe storms can be extremely frightening for animals. Other causes of stress could be some sort of household or car accident in which the animal is injured. Painful injury can create anxiety and stress. Finally, if another animal or a human has attacked your dog, it may exhibit signs of PTSD. Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress in Dogs All animals have to endure stressful situations. The distinguishing symptom of PTSD is a prolonged or undue response to a trauma or stressor. An uncontrolled bark, excessive whining, running in circles, or uncontrollable trembling are signs that your dog is stressing out in a big way. Two animals may experience the same situation and respond differently. If your dog is affected more severely or longer than would seem appropriate for the situation, it may be dealing with PTSD. One way to observe if the dog’s condition is prolonged or severe is if the anxiety is worsening as time passes. After experiencing a traumatic event, it is normal for the dog to have anxiety or hesitancy. However, as time passes this anxiety should fade. If the stress increases over time, it is a sign that the dog is dealing with trauma. How to Help Your Dog with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder If your dog shows signs of PTSD, you should seek professional help. Ask your vet about whether or not a veterinary behavioral therapist is appropriate. This specialist observes your dog’s behavioral patterns and prescribes therapeutic treatment to help curb the anxiety. The therapist may prescribe food, herb, or pheromone treatments as part of the therapeutic plan. Comfort your dog when they are showing signs of anxiety. For example, if they whine, bark, or try to hide when a storm is approaching, pet them and speak gently to them to let them know that you’re there and that all is well. It might not make the PTSD go away, but you’ll at least provide them with a little comfort. It’s impossible to prevent all traumatic events from occurring. But, you can help your pooch if they become fearful and anxious. Seek help from your vet, such as Midtown Veterinary Clinic, if your comforting and love is not enough to keep PTSD at...

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Don’t Make These Common Dog Brushing Mistakes

Posted by on Jul 30, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Brushing your dog might seem simple enough, but if your dog isn’t brushed properly, you will leave your dog open to several problems. Ideally, you should take your dog to a groomer periodically. But if you’d like to save money or only have time to groom your dog yourself, you will need to avoid these mistakes.    Not Brushing Short-Haired Dogs Pet owners usually know that they need to brush the hair of long-haired dogs, but they may not take the time to brush a short-haired dog. However, doing so can also have benefits because brushing will make it easier for you to inspect your dog for fleas, ticks, bumps and other concerns. Brushing will also remove dirt, loose fur and other contaminants. Brushing your dog more frequently also helps improve fur growth. Not Training Your Dog If you are concerned about whether your dog will behave itself as you are brushing, make sure that you begin grooming your dog as early as possible. The younger your dog, the more easily accustomed to grooming it will be. Make sure that your dog does not decide when the grooming session is over by misbehaving. If your dog learns that it can misbehave to bring the grooming session to a close, your dog will learn to behave this way in the future. Letting Your Dog Become Matted Continue to brush your dog consistently because you will not want to give your dog an opportunity to forget what it has learned. Also, if your dog’s fur becomes tangled and matted, your dog will experience more pain when you try to brush it. If you have to cut out your dog’s mats, you will compromise its insulation, making your dog colder. Fortunately, you can prevent mats in the first place by brushing your dog’s fur before it walks through the rain or takes a bath since brushing will remove dead fur. You should also brush after bathing your dog to further remove tangles. Not Brushing in the Winter Many pet owners believe that they do not need to brush their dogs in the winter. However, the longer hair does not usually do enough to keep your dog warm, so you might as well continue brushing your dog. Not Brushing Everywhere It is best to go to a local dog groomer (such as one from Hickman Creek Kennel). You will need to do a thorough job brushing every part of your dog’s body, not just the top and sides. Make sure that you are gentle around the belly, eyes, ears and...

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Three Simple Ways To Keep Skunks Out Of Your Yard

Posted by on Jul 6, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Having skunks in your yard can pose a major problem beyond their potent smell. Sure, you don’t want these pesky critters encountering your family pet during a late-night bathroom break, but skunks can also wreak havoc on your lawn and garden. Your best bet upon seeing evidence of skunks in your yard is to call an experienced animal control specialist, but if you’ve got a day or two before the person can visit your home, it’s possible to take matters into your own hands. You don’t want to tangle with skunks on your own — a few simple strategies, however, can discourage these animals from taking up residence on your property. Lights The nocturnal nature of skunks means that they aren’t fond of bright lights. At the very least, leave your exterior lights on for a few nights in an attempt to push the skunks to another part of your neighborhood. If you’re concerned about running up your electricity bill, consider installing motion-activated lights in your backyard that will illuminate your lawn and garden. They’ll remain turned off until an animal triggers them and the sudden brightness can be enough to discourage skunks from sticking around. Food Sources Skunks love your garden because it provides a virtual supermarket of food to eat. Make a point of harvesting your vegetables and fruit daily; you don’t have to remove each piece of food off the plant, but the fewer that remain to tempt the skunks, the less likely they’ll be to hang out in your yard. When something falls off the plant and spoils, don’t just leave it in the garden to decompose. Instead, pick it up and throw it in your garbage to avoid the sweet, rotten scent from enticing the skunks. Another way to prevent the skunks from feasting in your garden is to fence it in. While this approach takes a little work, it doesn’t have to be expensive — some simple garden stakes and a roll of fence wire can pose enough of a deterrent. Smells Just as you aren’t fond of the smell of skunks, these animals also find certain odors distasteful. Check where you’ve seen evidence of skunk behavior and then place certain substances in these areas as a deterrent. A rag soaked in ammonia is ideal if a skunk has been interested in your garbage or compost bin, while a homemade solution of water and hot peppers — or a commercially available hot pepper spray — around your garden can be effective. To find out more, speak with a business like Animal Control Specialists...

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