2024 Pet Appreciation Week

From June 2nd to June 8th, 2024, it’s time to celebrate our beloved pets and show them some extra love and appreciation throughout Pet Appreciation Week! Our pets bring so much joy, companionship, and unconditional love into our lives, and this week is all about honoring that bond. Join us as we explore seven ways to celebrate Pet Appreciation Week each day and make it memorable for you and your pet!

Day 1: A Summer Treat

Start Pet Appreciation Week by making your pet a frozen summer treat! You can easily make a DIY frozen treat using pet-friendly ingredients like bananas, pumpkin, or yogurt. This frozen treat will also help to keep your pet occupied while they enjoy breaking apart the treat! Remember to choose ingredients that are safe and healthy for your pet’s diet, and if you have any questions, be sure to give us a call here at our phone number!

Day 2: Nutrition and Exercise Tips

After all those treats, make sure your pet is getting plenty of exercise! Try taking them on a walk or visiting a park. Ensure your pets are getting the right balance of nutrients and that they stay active with fun activities like walks, fetch, or puzzle toys. A nutritious diet ensures that your pet gets the essential vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy. It supports their immune system, promotes a healthy coat and skin, and can help manage weight. Regular exercise not only helps to keep your pet’s weight in check but also promotes cardiovascular health and helps to alleviate anxiety and behavioral issues. Exercise is also a fantastic way to keep your pet’s mind sharp and engaged. So, as part of Pet Appreciation Week, let’s commit to ensuring our pets get a balanced diet and plenty of exercise.

When choosing food for your pet, remember to consider their age, size, breed, and health condition. Opt for high-quality pet food that lists a source of animal protein as the first ingredient.

Portion sizes are important for maintaining a healthy weight in your pet. Overfeeding can lead to obesity, which can cause various health problems. The right portion size depends on your pet’s size, breed, age, and activity level. We are happy to help you understand your pet’s portion size; if you have any questions, give us a call at our phone number. By prioritizing their health and well-being, you are setting them up for a long and happy life by your side.

Day 3: Book a Vet Visit

To appreciate your pet even more, make sure they are healthy! It is crucial to understand the significance of regular veterinary check-ups for your pet’s health and preventive care. Pet Appreciation Week is a perfect time to schedule that vet appointment you’ve been thinking about. Preparing for a vet visit can include ensuring your pet’s vaccinations are up to date and being ready to discuss any concerns or changes in behavior you’ve noticed. Early detection and treatment of potential health issues in pets are paramount, so don’t underestimate this step in appreciating and caring for your pet.

Day 4: Teach a New Trick

For day four, try teaching your pet a new trick! Training and mental stimulation are important activities for pets. Teaching your pet a new trick, such as “sit,” “stay,” or even more complex tricks, such as “paw,” is a wonderful way to engage their mind and strengthen your bond.

When teaching your pet a new trick, start by choosing a quiet, distraction-free environment. Use treats, toys, or praise as a form of positive reinforcement, rewarding your pet each time they successfully perform the trick. Remember, patience is key in these training sessions. Start simple, and as you notice your pet gaining confidence, increase the difficulty of the tricks. This learning process is not just about teaching a new skill; it’s an opportunity to build a deeper connection with your pet. Above all, it is supposed to be fun! If you or your pet become frustrated, take a break and consider starting again tomorrow!

Day 5: Give Them a Spa Day

For the fifth day of Pet Appreciation Week, consider giving your pet a relaxing spa day, whether at home or visiting the groomer. This can include grooming activities such as �gently brushing their coat, trimming their nails, and cleaning their ears. To make the experience more calming for your pet, play soft music and provide gentle massages to keep your pet calm and relaxed. Remember, regular grooming is a great way to pamper your pet while also being crucial for their overall health and hygiene!

Day 6: Make a Donation or Volunteer

On the sixth day of Pet Appreciation Week, let’s appreciate not just our pets but also pets in need. Consider giving back by donating to your local animal shelter or rescue organization. Your contribution can make a significant difference in the lives of homeless pets by helping to provide the shelters with the resources they need. Alternatively, if you have some extra time, consider volunteering. Opportunities can range from walking shelter dogs to fostering pets in need. The support of our community is vital in providing care and finding forever homes for these animals. Let’s come together and show our appreciation for all pets!

Day 7: Spend Quality Time Together

The final day of Pet Appreciation Week is all about spending quality time together. Bonding with your pet can be as simple as going for a walk, playing games, or cuddling on the couch. This is a perfect time to disconnect from distractions and truly focus on your pet. Not only is this beneficial for your pet, but it also provides emotional benefits for you as well. Spending quality time with pets can boost your mood, reduce stress, and enhance your overall well-being. So, let’s end this Pet Appreciation Week by genuinely appreciating the joy and unconditional love that our pets bring to our lives.

As Pet Appreciation Week ends, we hope these seven ways to celebrate have inspired you to shower your pet with love and appreciation. From tasty treats to vet visits to quality time together, there are so many ways to show your pet how much they mean to you.

Remember to continue nurturing this special bond beyond Pet Appreciation Week and make every day a celebration of the joy and companionship your pet brings into your life.

Ensuring Pet Safety: The Importance of Microchipping Your Pet

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, an estimated 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the United States every year. This staggering statistic serves to remind us of the importance of microchipping our pets. May is National Microchip Your Pet Month, and now is a great time to remember the importance of microchipping our pets and the need to maintain up-to-date registered information. In this month’s blog, we will delve into the story of Macy, a Boxer who went missing during the 2023 Super Bowl festivities in Kansas City. Despite being lost for a few days, Macy’s microchip led to her happy reunion with her family in the end.

Macy’s story

Macy is a 5-year-old rescue boxer who is sweet but anxious. She entered her owners’ lives as a “Covid puppy” at a time when many pet parents faced challenges ensuring proper socialization while adhering to safety guidelines.

In 2023, when the Philadelphia Eagles played the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl, Macy’s parents traveled with her to Kansas City to watch the game with family. After the Chiefs’ victory, in the commotion of fireworks, cheers, and music, Macy escaped into an unfamiliar city. The elation of celebrating and being surrounded by loved ones turned to anguish for Macy’s owners, who were confronted with a nightmare they had never imagined. Despite being a sweet dog, Macy’s inherent anxiety and occasional fearfulness rendered her unwilling to approach strangers, further complicating the search efforts.

One of the first things Macy’s parents did was call her microchip company to alert them that she was lost. This alert initiated a widespread broadcast of Macy’s information to local shelters, veterinary clinics, and individuals registered under the same microchip provider. After searching through the night, Macy’s owners took to social media to continue the search, utilizing websites like Facebook and Nextdoor.

After five days, the microchip company’s alerts helped to connect Macy’s owners with a group of “trappers” – ordinary people, including a Mailman, who volunteer their time to track down missing pets. Within 24 hours of connecting with these trappers, Macy was reunited with her family and returned home.

Macy’s escape imparted a crucial lesson to her owners: the importance of ensuring that your pet’s microchip information remains current. Macy’s owners had moved since she was registered and had recently updated the phone number registered to her chip. If the information had been out of date, and Macy’s chip had been scanned by a shelter or veterinary office, they may have had inaccurate information & wouldn’t have been able to contact her owners. This is a reminder to not only chip your pet for their safety but take the time to check your pet’s registration information every so often and keep it up to date!

What is microchipping?

Microchipping is a permanent form of identification for our pets, which enables owners to reliably find and reunite with their lost pets. A microchip is a tiny electronic chip, about the size of a grain of rice, which is implanted under the skin of a pet. When scanned, this chip reveals unique identification information linking them to their owner’s contact information.

The procedure to microchip your pet is quick and relatively painless. Our team will use a needle to inject the chip beneath your pet’s skin in a location where it will remain for the duration of your furry friend’s life. Unlike other forms of identification for your pet, such as collars and tags, microchips do not require any physical maintenance, nor can they be tampered with.

Microchipping your pet is one of the most effective ways to ensure they are returned home if lost.

How to get your pet microchipped

The first step is to schedule an appointment with us! Please give us a call at our phone number to book your pet’s microchipping appointment, and we will take it from there!

Registering your pet’s microchip

Registering and maintaining up-to-date information for pet microchips is extremely important in ensuring the identification tool’s effectiveness. A microchip is only as useful as the information it contains; therefore, pet owners must register their contact details with the microchip company’s database and take care to update any changes, such as address or phone number. When you get your pet microchipped, you will be provided with all the necessary information to accurately register your pet. If your pet comes from a previous owner, they should provide you with information on updating the registration. If you are not provided with the needed information, come see us at our hospital and we will help find a solution. In the event that a pet becomes lost from its owner, such as in Macy’s story, accurate microchip information greatly increases the chances of a reunion.

As we head into spring and summer, and our pets are spending more time exploring the outdoors, National Microchip Your Pet Month serves as a timely reminder of the importance of microchipping and keeping our pet’s information up to date. Macy’s story illustrates how a simple microchip can be an invaluable tool in reuniting lost pets with their families. Let Macy’s reunion serve as inspiration to prioritize this part of responsible pet ownership, ensuring that our pets are always protected, no matter where life may take them.

Creating a Pet-Safe Garden

As spring approaches, many of us spend our leisure time outdoors tending to our gardens. Frequently, we invite our pets to join us outside. For pet owners with outdoor space, it’s essential to create a safe and enjoyable area for our pets. A pet-friendly garden offers many benefits, including exercise, mental stimulation, and bonding time with your pets. In this month’s blog, the team here at our hospital wanted to share valuable tips to help you make the most of your garden by creating a pet-friendly environment.

Selecting Pet-Safe Plants

It is crucial to choose non-toxic plants when planning your garden, as this can prevent your pets from accidentally ingesting harmful substances that may cause symptoms such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive drooling
  • Loss of appetite
  • Changes in behavior such as lethargy or agitation
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Seizures

Creating a pet-friendly outdoor environment requires thoughtful consideration. While many garden plants offer aesthetic appeal, some can pose serious health risks to curious pets. For instance, azaleas, lilies, tulips, daffodils, and chrysanthemums are commonly found in gardens but can be toxic if ingested by pets.

To protect your furry friends, opt for plants that not only add beauty to your garden but also ensure your pets’ safety. Marigolds, snapdragons, and sunflowers are some flowers that will add bursts of color to your garden while keeping your pets safe because these flowers are non-toxic for pets. Magnolia bushes are another great choice because they offer beautiful blooms and are safe for pets, giving you peace of mind while your pet enjoys your garden. Creeping thyme is also a safe plant for pets. Planting Creeping Thyme and Pet Grass will allow your pet to explore some ground cover without worry.

Before selecting plants for your garden, take some time to research if they are safe for pets. Additionally, consulting with gardening experts or veterinary professionals can provide helpful guidance in creating a garden that you and your pets can enjoy safely. If you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to call us at our phone number. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have!

Creating Designated Pet Areas

Creating dedicated spaces in your garden for your pets to play, explore, and relax enriches their outdoor experience and significantly enhances their safety. Introducing elements like well-defined paths for your pets to follow, tunnels for them to investigate, and sandpits to dig in, will stimulate their natural instincts and provide an outlet for their energy.

In addition, consider constructing fences or natural barriers like hedges, flower beds, or decorative rocks. These can help to delineate pet-friendly zones and restrict your pets’ access to certain areas of the garden where they might encounter potential hazards, such as toxic plants, garden tools, or chemicals.

You can equip your designated pet-friendly areas with amenities like shady spots for rest, structures to protect from weather and the elements, and water stations for hydration.

It’s also worth considering the individual needs and habits of your pets. For instance, if your pet likes to burrow, a dedicated area with safe digging spots might be a great addition. If your pet is an active explorer, create a sensory path with various textures and scents. Remember, tailoring these zones to your pet’s specific needs and preferences can enrich their enjoyment and interaction with the outdoor space.

Choosing Pet-Safe Garden Accessories

Choosing appropriate garden accessories is another essential aspect of creating a pet-friendly garden. Simply planting pet-safe plants may not be enough. Look for pet-friendly fertilizers that don’t contain harmful chemicals, and either finely shredded or leaf mulch, which will not harm your pet if ingested.

If you decide to furnish your garden, invest in strong, chew-resistant, and weather-resistant pieces that won’t break apart. Think about adding a toy basket to your garden, including some weather-resistant, waterproof toys for your pets to play with while spending time outside. Always ensure that any garden accessories you select are non-toxic and safe for pets to interact with, or kept securely out of reach of your pet.

Minimizing Hazards

In your garden, make sure to regularly assess and minimize any potential hazards to your pet. Securely store any sharp tools and chemicals out of your pet’s reach. If you do use any chemicals in your garden, limit your pet’s access to all areas where chemicals were sprayed.

Also, be mindful of stagnant water. Ponds, pools, and water features can pose multiple risks to pets. Any open water can be a drowning hazard. Therefore, it’s vital that you closely monitor your pets when they are near water. Consider covering or fencing off pools or ponds to keep your pets away from them. Standing water can also attract unwanted insects like mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks. It is essential to keep your pets up to date on their preventative medications.

Preventing Fleas, Ticks, and Heartworms

Protecting your pets against pests such as fleas, ticks, and heartworms should be a priority year-round, but it becomes especially important when spending a lot of time outdoors. Regularly administering preventative treatments is the best way to protect your pet. You can also help prevent pests by keeping your garden tidy and free from stagnant water or tall grass where these pests thrive.

If you notice any unusual behavior or symptoms in your pet, such as excessive scratching, unexplained weight loss, or lethargy, it could be a sign of a flea or tick infestation or heartworm disease, and you should contact us as soon as possible for treatment.

Maintaining a Clean and Healthy Environment

Maintaining a clean and healthy environment is crucial for your pets’ overall well-being. Regular grooming, efficient waste disposal, and effective pest control measures are essential in preventing infestations of fleas and ticks in your pet. Look for eco-friendly options when maintaining your garden to avoid using chemicals harmful to your pets. Consider using natural compost instead of chemical fertilizers, and planting pest-repelling plants like citronella, lemongrass, and marigold. Regularly cleaning your pet’s outdoor toys and shelters will prevent the build-up of bacteria and pests. By maintaining cleanliness and hygiene, you provide a safer and healthier outdoor environment for your pets.

In short, creating a pet-friendly garden requires selecting non-toxic plants, minimizing potential hazards, and incorporating pet-friendly features. Always prioritize the safety of your pets when designing your outdoor spaces. Each pet is unique and may require different considerations, so take the time to understand their needs and preferences. We hope this blog post has provided valuable guidance for all pet owners looking to create a safe, enjoyable, and pet-friendly garden environment. Happy gardening!

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!

Hiking

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 www.pawlicy.com 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

Parasites

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.

Allergies

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.

Infections

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

Parasites

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.

Allergies

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.

Infections

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.

Heartworms

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.

Fleas

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.

Ticks

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!