Debunking Common Myths About Pet Care

Navigating the world of pet care can be tricky, especially when so many common misconceptions are out there. To help start the new year off right, we’re going to separate fact from fiction and debunk some common myths surrounding pet care.

Let’s set the record straight on responsible and compassionate pet ownership and ensure our pets receive the best care possible!

Myth 1: Annual Check-Ups Are Not Important

One of the biggest misconceptions is that yearly veterinary check-ups are unnecessary. However, regular visits to the veterinarian are crucial for maintaining your pet’s health. Annual wellness exams are a great time to talk with the doctor about any concerns you might have regarding your pet’s health or overall well-being. These check-ups allow for early detection of potential issues, ensuring timely treatment and preventing more serious conditions from developing.

Myth 2: My Pet Does Not Need Flea / Tick / Heartworm Prevention in the Winter

Contrary to popular belief, fleas, ticks, and other pests are still a threat to your pet’s health in the winter months. These pests can survive in various environments, including indoors, and if they come into contact with your pet, they can still transmit diseases if your pet is unprotected. Fleas’ can live for up to three years, so as long as they find somewhere to stay warm, they can survive the winter and continue to cause problems for your pet. It is essential to continue preventative measures year-round to keep your furry companion protected from pests.

Myth 3: My Pet Will Let Me Know If They Are in Pain

Animals have a natural instinct to hide their pain. This behavior used to be advantageous for survival in the wild, but now this behavior makes it difficult for owners to detect when something is wrong. This makes it hard for pet owners to know when to seek treatment for their pets. Regularly monitoring your pet’s behavior and asking for veterinary advice when any change in behavior or pain is detected is a key way of ensuring their well-being. If you have any questions or concerns about your pet, do not hesitate to give us a call or to book an appointment with us here at !

Myth 4: I Can’t Do Much to Keep My Pet’s Mouth Clean at Home

Oral hygiene is often overlooked, but it plays a vital role in your pet’s overall health. Just because we don’t brush our pet’s teeth twice a day doesn’t mean there aren’t several ways you can contribute to maintaining your pet’s dental hygiene at home! Regular brushing, providing dental treats or toys, and incorporating dental care products recommended by your veterinarian can all help promote good oral health for your pet.

By debunking these myths, we can ensure that our pets receive the care they need and deserve. The road to being a responsible pet owner is often cluttered with confusing information. By clearing up these misconceptions, we hope to make your journey a bit smoother. Remember, taking care of our pets is a learning process, and we encourage you to contact us at our phone number with any questions or concerns you might have after reading this blog post!

Bonding Through Pet-Friendly Activities

This month is Pet Wellness Month, a perfect opportunity to assess and improve your furry friend’s physical and mental fitness. To kick the month off, we’re sharing some creative ways to exercise with your pet, ensuring they are happy and healthy!


Change up your walk routine by taking your pet for a hike! Hiking can be a great way to get your pet physically and mentally active. Exploring new environments and new scents, plus observing wildlife is a great way to engage your pet’s senses. Exploring new trails can also help build your pet’s confidence. As your pet learns how to traverse difficult paths and solve challenges along the way, they will trust themselves and you more and more.

Maximize the enjoyment you get from this experience by taking safety precautions and preparing in advance for the hike. Check the trail’s regulations, bring enough water, pack essential supplies like poop bags and first aid, and ensure your pet is protected against ticks, fleas, and any other potential hazards you may encounter on the trail.

Dance Routine

Dancing with your pet is not only great for bonding but also for building your pet’s mental and physical agility! Take some time to teach your pet new tricks, such as spinning and jumping, and combine them into a routine set to music.

Creating a routine is a fun and unique way to work on training your pet while getting some exercise. The training sessions become moments of shared learning and communication that work to strengthen your relationship with your pet. Plus, it makes for a great party trick!

Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek is not just a childhood game—it can also be a delightful and mentally stimulating activity for your pet. While they may not comprehend the rules of the classic game, you can easily modify the rules to keep your pet entertained and engaged.

Hide and Seek taps into your pet’s instincts, especially their sense of smell and curiosity. Hide your pet’s favorite treats or toys around the house or yard and encourage your pet to find them using their keen senses of smell or sight.

If there’s nice weather, you and your pet can enjoy some fresh air by taking the game outside and hiding toys and treats around the yard. If it’s too rainy or cold, hide toys and treats throughout various rooms in the house. This game is a great way to keep your pets occupied on days when walks or outdoor playtime may not be possible.

Pet Yoga

Practicing yoga with your pet can be a wonderful bonding experience. While pets may not perform yoga poses in the same way humans do, simply having them around will increase your joy and decrease your stress level.

While practicing poses such as Downward Dog, Cat-Cow Stretch, and Child’s Pose, your pet may be inclined to stretch with you or curl up in your lap. Make sure to enjoy the quality time spent with your furry friend to maximize the mutual benefits of relaxation.

Getting exercise with your pet doesn’t have to be boring and is one of the best ways to keep them healthy. Utilizing new or creative activities will enable you to keep your pet physically fit while also providing mental stimulation. As Pet Wellness Month begins, make sure to grab your furry friend and start exploring these exciting ways to stay active together! Don’t forget to book their next appointment at our hospital as annual checkups are another key way to keep them feeling their best!

Get Ready for National Pet Insurance Month: A Brief Guide to Protecting Your Furry Friend

With September just around the corner, we wanted to take a quick look at why pet insurance matters and how it can make a difference in your pet’s health. National Pet Insurance Month takes place in September to raise awareness for the benefits of Pet Insurance. Join us as we explore the significance of National Pet Insurance Month and how you can prepare to provide your beloved furry friend with the best possible care.

How does Pet Insurance Work?

  1. Choose a plan: Select a coverage level and type that suits your budget and your pet’s needs. Different providers and plans offer a plethora of different deductibles, limits, and reimbursement rates.
  2. Visit the vet: When your pet needs routine care or medical attention, visit us for treatment.
  3. Meet your deductible: Pet insurance often has a deductible that you must pay out of pocket before the insurance will cover expenses.
  4. Pay the Premium: Pet insurance is just like human insurance. It has a monthly or annual premium that varies depending on your pet’s breed, age, and level of coverage.

Why is Pet Insurance Important?

  1. Financial Security: Veterinary emergencies can be expensive. Pet insurance can alleviate the financial burden, allowing you to focus on your pet’s well-being without worrying about the cost.
  2. Preventive Care: Some pet insurance plans also cover routine check-ups, vaccinations, and preventive treatments. This encourages pet owners to stay proactive in maintaining their pet’s health, catching potential issues early on.
  3. Peace of Mind: Pet insurance lets you make medical decisions based on what’s best for your pet’s health rather than being swayed by financial concerns. This peace of mind can make a huge difference during stressful times.

Who Does Our Practice Recommend?

  1. Prudent Pet: Most Customizable
  2. Pets Best: Most Affordable
  3. Embrace: Best Overall

You may also choose to visit to compare options and find a policy that works best for you!

As we move into September, let’s embrace the spirit of National Pet Insurance Month. By learning about pet insurance and its advantages, you’re demonstrating your commitment to providing the best care possible for your pet. With a little preparation and research, you’ll be ready to provide responsible pet ownership and ensure your pet’s health and happiness are well-protected. So, let’s get ready to celebrate National Pet Insurance Month!

Back to School Blues: Helping your Pet Adjust to Increased Alone Time

As the kids start heading back to school in the next few months, your pet may find themselves alone a lot more often than they were used to over the summer. Make sure your pet is prepared for this transition with these tips and tricks to help your pet readjust to increased alone time!

Introduce interactive toys and enrichment activities

To help keep your pet busy while they’re alone, you can provide them with interactive toys, puzzles, as well as enrichment activities. Interactive toys can help your pet tire out their body and mind. Puzzle toys and feeders are great ways to keep your pet busy and engaged while you are away. Treat dispensers are also great ways to keep your pet busy. You can invest in a robotic treat dispenser that can be activated remotely or simply find a treat dispenser toy that requires your pet to work to get the treat out.

Enrichment activities are also great for tiring out your pets and keeping them busy. Doing things like daily walks, playtime, obedience training, or even enrolling them in doggy daycare can help provide your pet with socialization and activities throughout the day.

Make your own toys and treats

No need to blow the budget on buying toys and treats; you can make your own with things you have at home!

Please make sure that you supervise your pet while they’re playing with toys to ensure that they do not accidentally consume something inedible unintentionally.

Tennis Ball Treat Dispenser

Cut a small slit in a tennis ball and fill it with small treats or pieces of kibble. Your dog will have a blast while working hard to get the treats out of the slit.

Towel Treat Knot

Lay out a towel and spread treats throughout it. Roll up the towel and tie it in a knot in the middle. Your pet will be busy trying to get the treats out while untying the knot!

Sock Knot Toy

Similar to the towel toy, take a long sock and tie a knot in the middle. You can also add extra knots along the length of the sock for added interest. This toy is great for tugging and chewing.

Frozen Food Fun*

Fill a Kong toy with a mixture of wet dog food, peanut butter, or mashed banana. Freeze it overnight, and then give it to your dog for a refreshing and engaging treat that will keep them busy!

If you don’t have a Kong, you can freeze some pet-friendly foods in blocks of ice to create an interactive treat and toy combo!

*Make sure to avoid any foods that are dangerous to pets! Ask us if you are unsure about any ingredients.

Ease into alone time proactively

Work with your pet to gradually get them used to spending time by themselves before they find themselves alone for long periods. Begin with short periods and gradually extend them, allowing your dog to adjust to being alone without feeling anxious or stressed.

When introducing alone time, make sure you leave them with plenty of toys and distractions to help keep them occupied and out of trouble! Before you leave, consider turning on the television or radio to alleviate the unsettling effect of silence on pets. This additional background noise helps promote a sense of calmness and distracts them from external sounds that might otherwise bother them.

As the school year approaches and our routines shift, it’s important to consider our furry companions’ well-being when readjusting to alone time. By employing the strategies in this blog, you can help your pet adapt to their increased alone time. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment with give us a call at .

Pet Safety Tips for a Paw-some 4th of July!

On the 4th of July, many of us look forward to celebrating with family, friends, and fireworks. However, it’s crucial not to overlook the potential dangers this holiday can pose to our beloved furry friends. As the holiday approaches, is here to walk you through the day and teach you how to keep your pets safe and calm during the festivities.

Before the party

Just as you prepare for holiday festivities, don’t forget to prioritize your pet’s safety leading up to the 4th of July. Give yourself peace of mind by ensuring your furry friend is microchipped and wearing an up-to-date collar tag. If your pet somehow escapes or gets lost, a microchip and upto-date collar tag will help ensure you are reunited. If your pet still needs to be microchipped, schedule an appointment with us today!

Creating a secure and pet-friendly environment is key to preventing accidental escapes. Set up a designated safe space for your pet and remind your party guests to watch for your pets, always ensuring doors are securely closed behind them.

Fun in the Sun

While you may think applying sunscreen or bug repellent to your pet would be beneficial, avoid applying any products unless they are explicitly labeled for use on animals. Misusing insect repellent or allowing your pet to ingest sunscreen can lead to serious neurological and intestinal problems, including symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and in severe cases, even death.

Instead of sunscreen, keep your pet safe from the sun by making sure they have lots of access to shade and water when spending time outside.

If your plans include a day by the pool or near any body of water, it’s crucial to keep a close eye on your furry companion. Consider investing in a pet life jacket—an invaluable tool that could save your pet’s life in case of an accident!

Dinner time

Resist those pleading puppy dog eyes—feeding your pets from the table can be risky! Remember, certain human foods like onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, salt, and yeast dough can all spell trouble for your furry friends. Keep them safe by stashing food out of their reach when you step away from the table.

Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can sniff them out. Alcohol can be toxic, leading to intoxication, weakness, severe depression, coma, or even respiratory failure in extreme cases. Be a vigilant pet parent and prevent any unfortunate mishaps!

Nighttime Festivities

Make sure to keep glowsticks out of reach of your pets. While they may seem harmless, ingesting the luminescent substance inside the glowstick can cause excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation. Intestinal blockages can also occur from pets swallowing large pieces of plastic.

Fireworks and pets don’t mix well. Be mindful of using fireworks around your furry friends, as exposure to lit fireworks can lead to severe burns and trauma, particularly to their delicate faces and paws. Even unused fireworks can pose a danger, as the explosive materials they contain can be toxic if ingested.

If you’re attending a party, it’s probably best to leave your furry friends in the comfort of your own home. Loud and crowded fireworks displays can easily frighten and disorient them. Resist the urge to bring them along and provide a safe space in a quiet, sheltered, and escape-proof room where they can find solace from the noise.

After the Party

After the 4th of July festivities, don’t forget to inspect your yard for any debris. Even if you didn’t personally ignite fireworks, remnants might have landed in your yard from neighbors or nearby firework shows.

If you hosted a gathering, take a moment to survey the party area for any leftover food or trash. Make sure the area is clear before your pet has a chance to explore and potentially ingest something harmful.

As we wrap up our blog on pet safety during the 4th of July, it’s important to remember that our responsibility as pet owners extends beyond this holiday. Ensuring the well-being and security of our furry friends is a year-round commitment. Make sure your pet is up to date on their annual wellness visit and vaccines. If you are unsure about your pet’s status or need to make an appointment, call us today at .

Scratch That Itch: Understanding and Managing Itchy Pets

As pet owners, we know how uncomfortable itchy pets can be. Whether it’s incessant scratching, biting, or licking, watching our furry friends suffer from itchiness can be distressing. But what causes itchy skin in pets, and how can we help them find relief? There are many reasons why your pet may be itchy. Some of the most common reasons are parasites, allergies and infections.

Why Your Pet Might be Itchy


Fleas and ticks can irritate your pet’s skin. Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD) is one of the top causes of skin itch and irritation in pets. Flea bites cause FAD, and it is important to remember that they can cause extreme itchiness on any part of your pet’s body but are most commonly found on the ears, legs, and tails.


Environmental factors are another main cause of itchiness and irritation on your pet’s skin. Dust, mold spores, and pollen are a few of the main triggers for allergies in both pets and humans. Environmental triggers can cause allergic reactions all year but may pick up seasonally (spring allergies).

Your pet’s diet can also contribute to allergic reactions. Pets can have allergies to ingredients common in pet food, such as gluten, chicken, beef, and dairy products. Food allergies can lead to irritation, itchiness, and swelling in your pet.


Excessive scratching or licking can cause skin irritation in pets. This irritation can become infected if exposed to bacteria or fungi. Skin infections can often be indicative of underlying issues, so it is important to make a veterinary appointment.

Signs and Symptoms

Common symptoms of allergies in pets are not dissimilar to humans. Keep an eye out for:

  • Runny eyes or nose
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy, dry, or red skin
  • Flaky, crusty, or moist skin
  • Excessive licking, chewing, biting, or scratching
  • Body odor
  • Repeated issues in the ears

If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, call us! We can run diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your pet’s discomfort and recommend appropriate treatment options.

Treatment Options


The best treatment for parasites and the effects they cause is prevention. Make sure you are giving your pet heartworm, flea, and tick preventatives each month. If your pet has a parasite, make an appointment with us, and we can prescribe the best treatment method.


Environmental triggers can often be treated by over-the-counter medications, special shampoos, and other options. If your pet continues to experience allergies, we can diagnose their specific allergy through a simple blood test. Once your pet is diagnosed, we can start them on a customized treatment plan. If your pet suffers from a food allergy, you can try swapping their diet or giving them special, allergy-friendly food.


Once the cause of your pet’s skin infection is determined, we will be able to treat it effectively with medication, topical ointments, or antibiotics. You can also prevent these infections from originating by regularly bathing your pet to remove any bacteria from the skin.

Ultimately, it is important to ensure you are treating the underlying issue. Only treating the surface-level itch will provide temporary comfort to your pet, but that relief will not last forever. Make sure to bring your pet in for an appointment so that we can diagnose the issue and make sure we are treating the root cause of the itch. If you have any questions, give us a call! We’re here for you!

What You Need to Know: Heartworms, Fleas, and Ticks

As the weather warms up and the days get longer, you might spend more time outside with your pets. Increased outdoor time is great for both you and your pet, but it can also increase the risk of heartworms, fleas and ticks in your pet. These pests can not only spread disease and infection to your pets but can also affect humans. Keeping these critters out of your home and off your pet is very important!

This month your veterinary team wants to provide you with information on heartworms, fleas and ticks, as well as what signs and symptoms to watch out for and how to treat and prevent them.


What are Heartworms?

Heartworms are parasites that invade animals’ bodies and live in their hearts, lungs, and other areas. These worms can grow up to a foot long inside your pet’s body. When left untreated, heartworms may cause severe lung disease, heart failure, and damage to various other organs and systems in the body.

How do Pets Get Heartworms?

Mosquitos are common carriers of heartworms, spreading the larvae from infected animals to unprotected pets through their bites. If your pet is not taking preventatives, they are at high risk of getting heartworms, especially as the weather heats up and mosquito populations increase.

Heartworms can impact both dogs and cats, but it manifests as different symptoms in each species.

Signs in Dogs

Dogs suffering from early-stage heartworms will show little or no symptoms. The longer heartworm disease is left untreated, the more likely symptoms will develop. If your pet exhibits any of these signs, please book a veterinary appointment to have your dog checked out:

  • Mild persistent cough
  • Reluctance to exercise
  • Fatigue after moderate activity
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Weight loss
  • Heart failure
  • The appearance of a swollen belly due to excess fluid in the abdomen

Signs in Cats

Heartworms in cats produce symptoms that are either very subtle or very aggressive. Cats with heartworm disease may suffer from the following:

  • Coughing
  • Asthma-like attacks
  • Periodic vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss

In worst-case scenarios, Heartworms can result in sudden death in cats. If you notice any of these signs in your cat, call us and make an appointment so we can get your cat the treatment they need.


What are Fleas?

Fleas are wingless insects that can jump up to 2 feet high. These pests can live for as short as 13 days or as long as one year, and during their lifespan, fleas can produce millions of offspring.

The Cat Flea is the most common type of flea in North America, but don’t let the name fool you; this flea affects dogs and cats alike.

Veterinarians estimate that for every flea you see on your pet, there are another hundred in your home. Giving your pet monthly preventatives is the best way to keep fleas out of your home.

Symptoms of Fleas in Dogs:

  • Droppings in fur (look like small dark grains of sand)
  • Flea eggs (tiny, white grains)
  • Excessive scratching, licking or biting at the skin
  • Hair loss
  • Scabs and hot spots
  • Pale gums
  • Tapeworms

Symptoms of Fleas in Cats:

  • Droppings in fur (look like small dark grains of sand)
  • Flea eggs (tiny, white grains)
  • Itchy, irritated skin
  • Persistent scratching
  • Chewing and licking
  • Hair loss
  • Tapeworms
  • Pale lips and gums

How are Fleas Getting Inside?

Fleas are brought into homes by landing on pets when they go outside. Fleas typically prefer humid climates, but it is still essential to give them preventatives year-round. While fleas need a living host, their eggs will fall off the pet and onto furniture, carpet, rugs, and bedding. From there, the fleas will hatch and find a living host; the new host could be an animal or human.

How Do I Treat My Pet for Fleas?

The best place to start is by giving your pet preventatives monthly! Preventatives can be over- the-counter, prescription, and in oral or topical forms. Topical treatments typically consist of shampoos, sprays, and powders, while oral generally takes one pill a month. You can also use a flea comb to check for fleas, and wash your pets’ bedding and blankets frequently.

Fleas like to reside in dark, moist areas like leaf piles and yard clippings. Make sure to dispose of any organic material that may build up in your yard.

It is also essential to give preventatives to all pets, even if they stay indoors because fleas can attach to other pets and infect your pet within the home.


What are Ticks?

Like spiders and mites, ticks are arachnids. These pests find a living host, bury their heads into the skin of the unlucky person or pet, and feed off of their host’s blood.

While ticks are the most active in the warmer months, protecting your pet from them year-round is still important. Ticks live in tall grasses, so always check for ticks after your pet spends time outside. Giving your indoor pet preventatives is also important because outdoor pets can transfer the ticks they bring inside.

How to Tell if Your Pet Has a Tick

Most ticks are visible to the naked eye but aren’t typically noticeable until they feed on their host’s blood and swell up. If your pet spends a lot of time outside, especially in places where ticks are prevalent, it is important to check for ticks often. Ticks typically don’t cause obvious discomfort but can be dangerous, causing anemia and spreading diseases such as Lyme disease.

You can check for ticks by carefully running your hands over your pet, focusing on the head, feet, and inside and around the ears. It is important to do this after your pet has been outside for a long time, especially if they have been running through tall grass or in an area where ticks are common.

How do I Treat My Pet for Ticks?

While you can remove ticks at home, it should be done carefully. Infection can be transmitted through contact with tick blood to pets and humans.

Make sure to use gloves and tweezers to remove the tick from your pet. Ask someone to help hold your pet still and have treats on hand for after! Grab the tick as close to the body as possible and pull it directly upward. Jerking or twisting the tick may cause the head to separate from the body. Leaving the head in your pet’s skin can lead to an infection. Once the tick is out, drop the tick into alcohol in a jar with a screw-on lid. Flushing the tick or throwing it away will not kill it. Wash your hands with soap and water and disinfect the tweezers with alcohol. Monitor your pet over the next few weeks for any signs of infection, and if you have any concerns, make an appointment with us!

Call us with any additional questions about Heartworm, Flea, and Tick prevention! Regular testing and monthly preventatives are the best way to prevent disease and infection. If your pet needs testing or preventatives, book an appointment with us today!

The Importance of Dental Health for Your Pet

February is National Pet Dental Health Month, and we’re taking the opportunity to answer common questions about dental healthcare for your pets!

Why does my pet need dental care?

Dental care for pets is just as important as it is for humans. Plaque can develop under the gum line and professional cleanings are required to treat it. Plaque, when left untreated, can build up and harden into tartar, which can develop into more severe health issues. By the time most pets reach the age of three, they likely have some form of dental disease. One of the most common issues seen in pets is periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease starts when plaque hardens into tartar and causes an infection in the mouth. This infection can impact the gums, weaken the jawbone, and even cause teeth to fall out. In extreme cases, dental disease can lead to more serious problems in the liver, kidneys, and heart.

What are the symptoms of dental disease in pets?

To prevent and help treat dental disease, monitor your pets for these symptoms:

  • Yellow or brown buildup (tartar) on the teeth
  • Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
  • Bad breath
  • Excessive drooling
  • Changes in eating or chewing habits
  • Pawing at the face
  • Loose teeth
  • Depression

If you notice these symptoms in your pet, make an appointment with us to start treatment. Regular dental cleanings will help prevent dental disease from forming in the first place.

What do pet dental exams and procedures consist of?

Pet dental work is very similar to human dental work. It consists of cleaning, polishing, fillings, extractions and repairing the damage. When you book a dental appointment, your doctor will examine your pet’s mouth, teeth, and jaw. X-rays are often used to help your Veterinarian understand what is happening below the gum line.

Teeth cleanings start with a physical exam to assess your pet’s overall health. Once we ensure it is safe to do so, we will put your pet under anesthesia to guarantee a safe and painless cleaning. Your doctor will scrape the tartar off your pet’s teeth, clean above & under the gum line and in between each tooth. The final step is to wash the gums to delay tartar buildup.

If your pet already suffers from dental disease, extractions and advanced procedures may be required. These procedures are only recommended when they are necessary for the well-being of your pet. Extractions are usually recommended when your Veterinarian identifies a broken or infected tooth. Before any procedure, we will discuss what this procedure means for your pet going forward and give you instructions on how to properly care for them while they are healing.

Why do pets need to undergo anesthesia when getting X-rays and dental procedures?

Dental disease often begins below the gum line, X-rays are often required to see the whole picture. Our pets don’t understand what X-rays are or why they need to stay still while the X-rays are being taken. When an animal is under anesthesia, they are laying still, allowing your vet to get a clear picture of what is happening inside your pet’s mouth.

It is also important for pets to stay still during extractions, procedures and cleanings. Pets don’t understand that these things are being done for their benefit. Instead, they feel the discomfort of an unfamiliar experience. Keeping pets still during dental exams helps reduce the pain for your pets and the doctor working with them. Keeping pets still prevents them from biting down on the equipment or the hand that is working in their teeth. Putting your pet under anesthesia protects both your pet and the doctor working on them while limiting any pain felt.

Anesthesia has become much safer in recent years. Our team will conduct a wellness exam and bloodwork to ensure your pet is well enough to be put under. Most pets can go home the same day as their dental appointment but may be drowsy for several hours afterward.

How can I help take care of my pets’ teeth at home?

While your pets can’t brush their teeth twice a day, there are things you can do at home to help them maintain a healthy mouth. Regularly brushing your pet’s teeth and providing them with teeth cleaning treats can help to prevent dental disease. Make sure to check for size or weight recommendations on hard toys and bones to help prevent damaging your pet’s teeth.

Call us if you have any additional questions about your pet’s dental health! Regular oral exams and dental procedures coupled with at home care is the best way to prevent disease and damage to your pet’s mouth, teeth, and jaw. Book an appointment with us today!

Importance of Wellness Exams

What Are Wellness Exams?

Like human check-ups, wellness exams are annual or bi-annual visits to ensure your pet is healthy. Wellness exams are an excellent opportunity to discuss concerns or questions about your pet’s health with your veterinarian. These exams also give you time to discuss treatment options and preventative with your veterinarian. Annual exams are a vital step in keeping your pet feeling their best!

What Do Vets Check For During Exams?

There are two parts to wellness exams. During the first portion, your veterinarian will ask questions about your pet’s diet, exercise routine and behaviors. We do this to better understand your pet’s lifestyle and any factors that could put their health at risk. We may suggest alternative options if we have any concerns about their daily routines.

During the second portion of the wellness exam, your veterinarian will physically examine your pet. We’ll listen to your pet’s breathing pattern for irregularities and feel different parts of your pet to ensure there are no issues with organs or their skin. We’ll also assess your pet’s posture, skin, eyes, ears, nose, face, mouth, teeth, and even hair! It’s truly a nose-to-tail examination.

The most common tests to see at a wellness exam are fecal tests, heartworm tests, and diagnostic tests. Your Veterinarian may also perform some or all of these common tests. The fecal test checks for internal parasites and other internal conditions that can harm your pet if they go undetected. The heartworm test is a yearly check to ensure that your pet’s chosen prevention plan is working. Common diagnostic tests such as regular blood testing are run during these visits to detect diseases early and to be able to treat those illnesses faster.

Regular Wellness Exams also help with prevention. Vaccines are needed to protect your pet against illnesses and disease, annual oral assessments help to prevent dental disease, and parasite prevention protects your pet from heartworms, fleas, ticks, and other common pests.

Why Should I Get Wellness Exams for My Pet?

Your pet cannot tell you when something is wrong, but an annual wellness exam can reveal issues and illnesses. Many pets are very good at hiding disease or injury from their owners. This can make it difficult to detect when your pet is in pain and make their ailment much more difficult to treat once it is detected. If a veterinarian identifies a disease or condition in your pet early, the discomfort your pet may experience dramatically decreases.

For senior pets, we recommend increasing wellness exams to twice a year. Older pets are at higher risk of developing diseases or suffering from injuries. Likewise, puppies and kittens usually need several wellness visits before they turn one year of age to ensure they’re properly vaccinated, spayed or neutered, microchipped and more. Your veterinarian will be able to provide a more detailed timeline for Puppy and Kitten appointments.

Is it time for your pet’s annual routine exam? Book an appointment for your furry friend today!

Keep Your Pet in the Holiday Spirit and Out of the Hospital

The holiday season is full of presents, joy, and family, but also an increased risk of danger for pets. Make sure to keep an eye on your pet when lighting candles, decorating your house, and enjoying holiday food and treats!

Candles and String Lights

Make sure to keep candles away from your pets. The flame may scare or confuse your pet, which could lead to them trying to investigate what it is. Your pet may end up knocking over the candle and catching himself or the surrounding area on fire. Keep your candles in a safe place out of your pet’s reach, and keep a screen across your fireplace!

String lights are a very popular decoration during the holiday season. While beautiful, these lights can pose a risk to your pets. Make sure to keep cords out of reach of your pets or get a protective covering to prevent your pet from chewing on the wires and bulbs.

If your pet manages to get a hold of the lights, check for signs of electric shock in animals. Pets who have suffered electric shock will often appear dazed and confused. They may exhibit burns in the mouth, difficulty breathing, seizures, and in extreme cases, death. If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet or notice a chewed cable, contact us or an emergency veterinary clinic immediately!

Trees and Ornaments

If you put up a tree during the holiday season, make sure to take extra precautions to keep your fur babies safe! Invest in a weighted tree stand to keep the tree from tipping over if a curious cat decides to climb it or an energized dog bumps into it. Keep tinsel and breakable ornaments up high and out of reach of pets. Everyone loves presents! Be sure to monitor any placed under the tree to ensure your pets don’t get too excited and try to open them early!

Ornaments are another very common decoration to see throughout the holiday season. These can be very harmful to pets, who may mistake them for toys. If your pet breaks a glass or metal ornament, it can lead to cuts on his or her body, and if your pet ingests the broken ornament, it can lead to cuts in his or her throat or internal damage. Plastic and plush ornaments can also pose a threat to your pet, as they can cause internal blockages. Your pet could also suffer from lethargy, a loss of appetite, or stomach pain if he ingests holiday decorations.

Food and Treats

There are many reasons for celebrations this time of year, and those celebrations often come with delicious food and tasty treats. In all of the holiday cheer, don’t forget that some food can be dangerous for pets to consume! Make sure to keep bones away from pets, as when ingested, bones can cause internal damage such as cuts to the throat or stomach, blockages in the intestinal tract, and may cause your pet to choke.

There are many common holiday scents and flavors that are toxic to pets. Make sure to keep your pets away from anything that contains peppermint, pine, and wintergreen.

You should also avoid giving your pet:

  • Raisins
  • Grapes
  • Onions
  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Fatty foods

These foods are toxic to pets and may cause an upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, and even pancreatitis. We always recommend sticking to food and treats made for your pet, but if you do want to give them a special treat, make sure to check if it is safe for animals before giving it to them!

Following these safety tips can help keep your pet happy and healthy and out of the hospital this holiday season! If you have any questions about this blog or encounter one of these situations, give us a call or send us a message, and we’ll be happy to help!

From our family to yours, we wish you happy holidays and a safe New Year!