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Posted by on Jan 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

How To Protect Your Cat Against Hairballs

Hairballs are gross — especially if you wake up to find one that’s been left on your floor — but they’re a typical part of your cat’s grooming process. As your cat cleans himself he swallows hair which collects in his stomach. This hair is usually expelled in clumps back through your cat’s mouth or mixed in with your cat’s feces. While most cats get hairballs, they can cause many serious health issues for your cat, but you can help him out by maintaining a healthy diet, making sure he is well hydrated and brushing him regularly.

Hairballs typically come out by themselves and only require cleanup on your part, but if they don’t come out properly, your cat can have a variety of internal issues.

  • If there is too much hair inside your cat’s stomach, it may not be able to fit through his digestive tract. If this happens, your cat’s intestines can become blocked, and he will need surgery.
  • If cats eat hair other than their own, such as human hair, it may not bunch up with the rest of his hair and can come out separately in a long strand.

Proper Diet

Your cat’s diet is important not just to keep him healthy, but to make sure that he can pass hairballs properly. Every cat’s needs are different, so before buying whatever cat food looks best, consult with your vet about what type of food your cat should be eating based on his breed, weight, age and similar factors.

If your cat has a hairball problem, your vet can help you find hairball control foods that are high in fiber; again, don’t try this yourself. Drastically changing your cat’s diet on a whim can cause digestion problems.

Regular Brushing

Brushing helps lessen the amount of hair your cat swallows when he cleans himself, and it usually feels pretty good too. The tricky part is if your cat doesn’t like brushing, but you might be able to slowly train him to accept it. Start by using a grooming glove, then work your way up to normal brushes in very short sessions so your cat can acclimate.

Hydration

Make sure your cat always has a source of fresh, clean water. There are a few reasons this is important: your cat can get a drink whenever he needs and stay properly hydrated, and you can also monitor his drinking habits to check on his health; sudden increases or decreases in water consumption usually mean something is wrong. Water also helps hairballs pass easier so they won’t get stuck in your cat’s throat or intestines.

If you have trouble getting your cat to drink, move his food bowl away from his water bowl; many cats don’t like it when their food is too close to their water. You can also try purchasing a pet fountain, as the running water is often more appealing to cats and can interest them in drinking more. To learn more, contact a company like Animal Clinic of Buena with any questions you have.

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Posted by on Jan 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Caring For Your First Pet Lizard: 4 Necessary Supplies And Accessories

Purchasing a pet lizard is, on one hand, not unlike getting a more traditional pet, such as a cat or dog. Many pet supply stores will have several different types of lizards for sale in a variety of sizes and colors. Some stores even specialize in reptiles and reptile supplies. But lizards have much different needs than other pets, and many first-time lizard owners are unfamiliar with the supplies and accessories best suited to lizards. Take a look below at four examples of supplies that will keep your lizard happy.

Habitats and Decor

A lizard will be miserable if left in a makeshift cardboard or plastic container picked up from around the house. For that reason, a terrarium should be at the top of your list when considering what supplies and accessories to purchase. Most terrariums are made of glass (for easy cleaning), are two to three feet in length, and feature a top ventilation screen that is easily removable. Most terrariums will set you back no more than $100, and additional decor such as plant replicas, plastic refuge pieces, and bags of substrate material, are very affordable.

Heating

Because lizards are cold-blooded, they require constant sources of heat. The best way to ensure that your pet lizard is warm enough at all times is to install a special heat lamp or basking bulb inside the terrarium. Some heat lamps are even designed as rocks on which the lizard can lie for hours at a time. Most lamps and bulbs can be had for around $20.

Waste Removal

Just as with any other kind of pet, removing your lizard’s waste is an unpleasant but necessary task. It can seem especially difficult if your lizard prefers to bury itself in the various substrates of the terrarium environment. Luckily, specialized waste removal tools exist that help to sift through heavier substrate material and remove odors. Pick one up at your local pet supply store for around $5. 

Food and Water

Many lizards will eat various kinds of vegetables, but prefer more substantial food such as live crickets. Crickets can be picked up by the hundreds on the cheap in sealed plastic bags at your local reptile supply store. Basic water pumps that attach to the side of any terrarium are also preferable to a small bowl of water, as the water stays fresh for a longer period of time, and does not evaporate as quickly. 

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