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Help Your Pets Beat the Heat

The weather is warming up and the days are sunny and beautiful. It’s the perfect time to get outside for picnics and events with family and friends outdoors. Like most pet owners, your pets are sure to be included in the fun festivities. Your pets love time and attention with family and being outdoors is an added bonus. However, it’s important to remember that pets don’t handle heat well and heat stroke is a life threatening condition that easily sneaks up quickly.

We want you to enjoy the warmer weather with your pets outdoors in a safe manner. Before you head out the door, consider these tips to have a safe outing:

Water- Water, water, water! This cannot be stressed enough. Always bring enough water for you and your pets. Don’t forget a bowl for your pet to drink out of and offer water breaks multiple times throughout your outing.

Consider keeping a small kiddie pool filled with water for your pet to cool off in. If your pet doesn’t know how to swim, make sure you supervise them.

Exercise when it’s coolest- If you take your dog on daily walks it’s best to plan these walks at the time of day when it’s coolest. This may mean getting up earlier than usual but it’s worth it to ensure your dog’s safety.

Protection from the sun- Trees and patios offer great shade and it’s important to make sure your pet takes a break in this shade often. If you’re attending an event and you’re not certain if shade is provided, consider bringing your own umbrella to give your pet breaks in the shade.

Pets can become overheated and some dog breeds easily overheat. Hot weather makes overheating possible very quickly. Never leave your pet outside unattended without shade and don’t leave your pet outside for long periods of time even if there is shade. It’s best to bring your pets inside where it’s cool and safe for them.

Know the signs of heatstroke– Disorientation, excessive water consumption, and heavy panting are signs of heatstroke. If you suspect your pet may be suffering from heatstroke act quickly and don’t hesitate. Move your pet to a cool air conditioned place immediately. Apply cool towels to their chest, neck, or head. As the towels become warm, replace them with cool towels. Do not immerse your pet in an ice cold water bath as this causes your pet’s blood vessels in the skin to constrict making it difficult for the body to dissipate the heat.

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Breed Spotlight: French Bulldog

If you own or have ever met a french bulldog (also commonly referred to as a Frenchie), you know how cuddly and loving these fur babies can be. In addition to being super cute and lovable, they are protective of their families making them wonderful family dogs. Here are some facts you may not know:

Frenchies are affectionate. They are friendly dogs that were bred to be companions. They get along well with other dogs making them wonderful family dogs.

Can’t swim. Due to the Frenchie’s short stature, the breed cannot swim. This is important to know if you are thinking of owning a Frenchie and you have a pool. Great caution should be taken to ensure the dog will not fall into the water.

Talkative. While the breed may bark a little here and there, Frenchies are known for their unique talking skills. By talking skills we mean yawns, gurgles, and yips. It’s almost like Frenchies have their own secret language.

Heat stroke. Heat stroke easily hits Frenchies as they are a brachycephalic breed. Their squished face and short nasal passages make it difficult to breathe. Heat stroke can hurt the dog within minutes and can be fatal. This makes it crucial to ensure Frenchies do not become overheated.

Easily trained. Frenchies are well behaved and easily trained. Training a Frenchie can be a breeze (as long as treats as rewards are involved).

Varying colors. Frenchies come in an array of different colors. Some colors include brindle, fawn, white, black, and tan.

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The Importance of Flea Prevention

It’s important to keep your pet on a flea and tick preventative to keep them safe. Even if your pet doesn’t currently have fleas,they are easy to catch and can be incredibly difficult to get under control. If your pet catches fleas, the fleas easily spread to other pets in your household. A flea infestation will cause a nuisance for you and your family members. Most importantly, fleas serve as hosts for tapeworms which both pets and humans can be infected with. It’s best not to risk a flea infestation when it’s so simple to protect our pets by using a flea preventative.

As the weather warms up, it’s not uncommon to notice your pet becoming itchy. The warmer of an area you live in, the higher the likelihood of fleas agitating your pets. As humans, we don’t like to be itchy and surely our pets don’t like to be either! This is why preventative, routine flea prevention is important. This is especially important if you live in an area that remains warm all year long.

You can either treat your pet for fleas spot on (also known as topically) or treat fleas orally. No matter the method you choose, it’s extremely important to understand that flea preventatives intended for dogs can be harmful and potentially lethal to cats. Therefore, preventatives intended for dogs only and cats only should be used in their respective manner.

Products like Frontline and Advantage are commonly used spot on treatments. They work by killing existing fleas, in addition to regulating flea growth. They are applied to your pet’s skin once a month. It’s a great option for pets who downright refuse to swallow pills.

Some pet owners feel spot on treatments can be messy, which makes oral medication a great alternative. NexGard is a great example of an oral flea preventative. Oral flea medication can provide fast relief and treatment of fleas. In addition, there is no worry if you’ve successfully placed the entire treatment on your pet, like there is with spot on treatments.

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Memorial Day BBQ Dangers

Memorial Day weekend is upon us and there’s a high chance you’ll host or attend a BBQ. If your dog comes along for the fun it’s important to make sure they are safe from dangerous foods. Look out for these hidden BBQ dangers:

Corn on the cob- Dogs love to chew and corn on the cob may seem like the perfect treat for your dog but it’s very dangerous. Since dogs don’t know to chew the kernels off and not eat the rest, the cob can be dangerous is swallowed as it causes intestinal blockage.

Onions- Whether raw or cooked, onions are off limits for dogs. Due to the substance thiosulfate, onions are incredibly toxic to dogs causing gastrointestinal upset and an elevated heart rate.

Ribs- Meat on a bone can be dangerous for dogs due to the chance of choking. Once the meat is off the bone, your dog doesn’t know to not stop chewing. There’s a chance your dog may chew the bone which can lead to choking or even incredible injury to the digestive track if a piece of swallowed bone splinters.

In general, meat can be toxic to dogs if large amounts are consumed. Ingesting large amounts of fatty meat results in pancreatitis which is very dangerous and potentially life threatening.

Grapes- While the exact substance that causes toxicity isn’t known, dogs shouldn’t eat grapes as even small amounts can be fatally toxic.

Dessert- Any desserts made with chocolate lead to danger due to theobromine. This is toxic to dogs and can be potentially deadly. In addition, sugar free desserts containing xylitol are fatal to dogs.

To be safe, it’s not a bad idea to bring along your dog’s food or some special dog friendly treats so they don’t feel left out!

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Many kitty cat owners are not aware that their cat can suffer from a urinary tract infection. Some cats may never have one in their lifetime, but the cats that do suffer from them show symptoms that their owners may not even realize are indicators.

The Most Common Signs of a Urinary Tract Infection Are:

-Urine accidents inside the house in places like the bathtub or a closet

-Straining to urinate

-Frequent attempts to urinate

-Blood in the urine (this may be pink or red)

-Painful urination

If your cat shows these signs it’s important to take him to the Veterinarian for an evaluation. The Veterinarian will need a to perform a urinalysis. The urinalysis will show whether there are white blood cells present in your cats urine or not. White blood cells in the urine indicate an infection. While the presence of white blood cells suggests an infection, it’s vital that this is confirmed by performing a culture. Culturing the urine and allowing bacteria to grow will allow the Veterinarian to be absolutely certain there is an infection and most importantly what type of bacteria is causing it.

A culture is vital because it allows the Veterinarian to know which antibiotic to treat your cat with due to the type of bacteria found. If no bacteria is present there is no need for an antibiotic. Veterinarians prefer not to prescribe antibiotics unless it’s absolutely needed due to the risk of developing antibiotic-resistant bacteria. A culture can also help determine if something else is going on in your cat’s body besides a urinary tract infection. A cat may exhibit signs of a urinary tract infection, but the type of bacteria found in the culture may indicate issues that are more serious than initially thought.

How to Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections

Most importantly remember the symptoms of a urinary tract infection and look out for them. The sooner your cat receives treatment, the better he will feel. Some cats are susceptible to reoccurring urinary tract infections, so it’s advised to know the signs and follow the directions and treatment plan your cat’s Veterinarian puts into place.

Many Veterinarians suggest giving your cat a daily urinary infection preventative. It’s also extremely beneficial to ensure your cat has access to water to drink throughout the day. Not only will it help your four legged pal to stay hydrated, but drinking plenty of water results in regular urinating. This helps to flush out and reduce the chance of bacteria growing in the urinary tract.

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Is Dental Care Necessary for My Pet?

We all know dental care is important for us, but is it really necessary for our pets? Will it really make a difference if we brush their teeth daily?

The answer is yes! Dental care for pets is just as important as it is for humans. Your pet’s dental health is critical to their overall health. Dental issues can cause health problems in other parts of your pet’s body to occur. This makes it extremely important to implement a dental hygiene routine in addition to having your pet’s teeth and gums evaluated by their veterinarian at a minimum, once a year. Routine veterinarian visits allow veterinarians to evaluate your pet for early signs of health issues and well as maintain your pet’s dental hygiene.

Pets may have symptoms of dental health issues. Signs to look for include:

-Swelling in or around the mouth

-Broken or loose teeth

-Loss of appetite

-Bleeding from the mouth

-Bad breath

If your pet is suffering from any of the mentioned symptoms, schedule a visit with the veterinarian. Your pet’s veterinarian may suggest a variety of treatment plans if your pet is having any type of issue.

One of the best things you can do for your pet’s dental health is preventative care. Brushing your pet’s teeth and providing dental chews can make a world of a difference.

While it can be challenging to do so, brushing your pet’s teeth is very effective in preventing any dental issues. Many pets don’t like to have their owners brush their teeth, but starting this routine early on in your pet’s life will create a healthy habit and be effective in avoiding dental issues for your pet.

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Warm Weather Safety Reminder

The beautiful sunshine and long warm days are a perfect excuse to get outside with your dog. However, Spring quickly turns into Summer and the weather becomes increasingly warm and potentially dangerous. It’s important to remember dogs can easily become exhausted and possibly ill due to the heat. Keep the following tips in mind to ensure you and your dog stay safe in the heat:

Never leave your dog unattended in a car. While this is clearly common sense, every year there are too many reports of dog’s dying due to their owner’s negligence.

Shade is key. If you’re going to be outside with your dog, it’s best to limit the amount of time he is in direct sunlight. Keeping him in shaded areas and giving him rest breaks will help avoid over exhausting your dog.

Keep your dog hydrated. He should have access to water at all times. If you take him outdoors for an adventure make sure you bring water and a bowl with you.

Keep an eye out for signs of heat exhaustion. If you notice your dog panting heavily, excessively drooling, vomiting, or showing signs of lethargy, take caution! Take immediate action to cool your dog down. Place them inside with the air conditioning on and a fan pointed towards them. A cool bath may help also, but adding ice may worsen things. Call your dog’s vet. It’s always better to air on the side of caution. The vet may suggest you come in, if so take this advice seriously.

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Many dogs have ear infections that go undetected. A dog’s ear canal is vertical which allows moisture as well as debris to easily become backed up in the ear canal. Extra hair, moisture, wax, allergies, ear mites, or yeast can cause a dog to have an ear infection. Ear infections can become very painful to dogs, just like they can become to humans.

How Do You Know if Your Dog is Suffering From an Ear Infection?

If you notice your dog have any of these symptoms it’s possible they may be suffering from an ear infection:

-Odor coming from their ear

-Hair loss near their ear

-Loss of balance

-Scabs on outside or inside of the ear

-Hearing loss

-Walking in circles

-Swelling

-Head shaking

-Scratching or rubbing at their ear

What Should You Do if Your Dog is Demonstrating Any of Those Symptoms?

The first step is to take him see his veterinarian. They will examine your dog’s ear canal and ear drum. Sometimes a sample of your dog’s ear discharge may be taken to determine whether bacteria, yeast, or parasites are present.

If your dog’s veterinarian diagnoses your dog with an ear infection they will clean your dog’s ear thoroughly. While this may temporarily cause your dog some discomfort, it is vital to clearing the infection up. In addition, your dog’s veterinarian will prescribe your dog a topical or oral medicine. It’s crucial to ensure your dog receives the treatment suggested by their veterinarian to clear up any infection.

How Can You Prevent Your Dog From Having Ear Infections in the Future?

Many times the cause for an ear infection is due to the ear canal becoming moist after swimming, bathing, or grooming. The moisture remaining in your dog’s ear fuels the growth of bacteria. Ensuring your dog is dried off properly can make quite a difference. However, some dogs easily get ear infections due to allergies. Determining whether your dog is getting ear infections due to moisture or allergies will help greatly in lessening the chances of your dog obtaining an ear infection.

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Catnip Cat Treats

If your cat is like most cats, she probably goes crazy for catnip. If you feel like doing something extra special for her, consider making her some homemade cat treats! Not only are homemade treats sure to please her, but they are also very healthy for her. The following recipe has all sorts of goodies she’s sure to love including catnip!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablspn. Catnip
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1 Tblspn. Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Non-Fat Powdered Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Organic Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 Beaten Egg
  • 1/2 Cup Cooked and Chopped Chicken

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and grease cookie sheet.
  • Combine all ingredients until dough forms. Shape dough into dime sized balls. Place and flatten dime sized balls on cookie sheet.
  • Bake treats for 10 minutes and then flip treats and bake an additional 10 minutes.
  • Allow treats to cool and watch your kitty cat enjoy!
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Are My Dog’s Watery Eyes Normal?

It’s normal for your dog’s eyes to water a bit occasionally, but if you notice constant amounts of drainage it may be a sign of a condition. Epiphora is a condition that creates an overflow of tears  in dogs due to the shape of their eyes. In addition to the shape of the eyes, turning in of the eyelashes as well as the eyelid can cause Epiphora. This overproduction of tears is commonly seen in Pugs, Shar Peis, Shih Tzus, Pekingese, and Bulldog breeds.

Symptoms:

  • Inflammation
  • Squinting
  • Discharge
  • Ulcers
  • Saggy skin around eye
  • Redness and/or irritation

If your dog has any of the symptoms listed above, they may suffer from Epiphora. It’s not uncommon for these symptoms to cause staining on your dog’s face. The condition may be due to one or a combination of the following factors:

Causes:

  • Sinusitis
  • Nasolacrimal blockage
  • Foreign bodies
  • Inflammation due to infectious and/or immune-mediated reasons
  • Cornea scratches/ulcers
  • Glaucoma

In order to diagnose your pet with Epiphora their veterinarian will perform a physical exam. Factors such as background history of symptoms and possible events that might have precipitated your pet’s condition will be considered. Radiographs may be required to look for lesions in the sinus or nose area. A culture of any material in your dog’s eyes will be taken for analysis.

If your dog’s veterinarian determines your dog is in fact suffering from Epiphora, the first step will be to determine and treat the cause of the eye irritation. Treatment will vary depending on the cause of your dog’s irritation. Medications will vary on the cause of irritation as well. Commonly prescribed medications for Epiphora include topical antibiotic ointments and pain relieving ointments.

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