dog spring time blogBoth dogs and people can suffer from environmental allergies, but despite being associated with many of the same triggers (pollen, molds, dust mites, etc.), there is one key difference.

If you have allergies, you are all too familiar with the sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes that accompany the condition. While some dogs are affected in a similar manner, the most common clinical sign associated with canine allergies is itchiness. Any part of the body may be affected, but the face, feet, and sparsely haired parts of the body are often prime targets. This is because direct contact between the allergen and the skin is what sets off allergic reactions in many dogs, and these are the parts of the body that are most likely to come in contact with allergens.

Since skin to allergen contact plays such an important role in canine allergies, it shouldn’t be too surprising that topical therapy plays a vital role in treating the condition. The simplest form of therapy is bathing. Learn more…

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Six Ways Cats Show Love for Their Owners

by VetDepot on March 25, 2014

cat pet editedCats may be a little more subtle than dogs when it comes to expressing their love, but they certainly have their own ways of showing affection.

Below are six ways cats show love for their human companions:

1.)    Holding eye contact: If your sweet kitty catches your gaze, possibly followed by a soft blink, this is most likely an indication of love and trust.

2.)    Purring: This may be an obvious one, but a steady purr is a sure sign your cat is content in your presence.

3.)    Paw kneading: Purring is often accompanied by paw kneading, and is one way your cat might try to nuzzle up to you.

4.)    Napping on or next to you: Most cats have a large variety of options when it comes to napping locations. Learn more…

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pretty cat sitting editedCognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS) is most often diagnosed in older dogs, but that doesn’t mean cats don’t suffer from the disease. In fact, 28% of cats between 11 and 14 years old exhibit symptoms of CDS. Felines may be better than dogs at masking the signs of cognitive dysfunction, so it’s important for pet parents to pay careful attention to their older cat’s behavior.

Watch for the following symptoms of feline cognitive dysfunction syndrome:

  • Sleeping Habit Changes: If a cat has slept during the day and been active during the night for most of its life, cognitive dysfunction may reverse the cycle. Also, sleep may become more interrupted and fitful.
  • Disorientation: Animals with CDS will often sit and stare at nothing in particular. Learn more…
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Why Dogs and Cats Eat Grass

by VetDepot on March 19, 2014

dog eating grass 2 editedAs a loving and devoted pet owner, you probably take care in choosing nutritionally complete food and healthy pet treats. So, why do some pets feel the need to snack on grass? The answer isn’t the same for every animal.

Even if a pet’s diet is complete, cravings for certain things (like grass) can occur. If your pet is just taking a few nibbles of grass and no gastrointestinal upset is present, there is probably not much cause for concern (as long as your lawn isn’t treated with any harmful chemicals).

In other cases, pets have the behavioral drive to eat things that aren’t typically considered food. For some pets, this might be grass, but it can also be things like paper or plastic. Learn more…

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What to Do If Your Pet Is Lost

by VetDepot on March 18, 2014

lost dog sign blogFor any owner, looking for a lost pet is a terrible experience. It’s difficult to stay calm when emotions are running high, but it’s important to have a plan.

Below are some steps to take for finding a lost pet:

•Maintain Home Base: If your pet just got out, it’s crucial to search the neighborhood right away. However, leave someone at home that your pet is familiar with in case he finds his way back home on his own.

•Make Posters: Create large posters with a recent photo and a clear phone number. If possible, include a reward.

•Make Fliers: Make a bunch of fliers that also include a photo and contact information. Hand them out to your neighbors and ask to hang them in local coffee shops and other establishments. Learn more…

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Why Do Some Cats Not Like Belly Rubs?

by VetDepot on March 14, 2014

cat on back blogFor many dogs, there’s nothing better in life than a good belly rub. It’s no wonder why so many pet parents make the mistake of assuming their cat would enjoy the same experience. It’s fairly common for cats to latch on with their claws out when someone attempts to rub their belly.

So, why do cats roll over on their backs if they don’t want their tummies rubbed? Unlike their canine counterparts, rolling over isn’t a submissive behavior for cats, it’s actually a defensive posture. Wild felines roll over on their backs when they can’t flee, allowing them better use of their claws and teeth against their predators. So, don’t be too surprised when your sweet kitty bites or scratches when you go in for the belly rub, because their reaction is instinctive. Learn more…

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5 Signs of a Flea Infestation

by VetDepot on March 14, 2014

flea blogThe official start of spring is just a few days away! Saying goodbye to the cold winter weather may be a relief, but for pet owners, springtime unfortunately also means the start of flea season.

Fleas may be a year-round threat in some areas, but spring and summer are the seasons to be especially proactive against infestations. Monthly flea prevention, like Frontline Plus or Advantage II, is a great way to ensure pets are protected from parasites.

Pet parents should be on the lookout for the following signs of an infestation:

  1. Restlessness: Pets don’t have to be scratching incessantly to be suffering from flea bites. If you notice your pet is more restless than usual, this could be a sign of fleas.
  2. Scratching, chewing, and licking: This is an obvious one. If you notice your pet is displaying these behaviors, check for fleas. These tiny parasites are most likely to hide out in the armpit and groin areas of an animal. Learn more…
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Declaw blogDeclawing a cat is nothing like a manicure. The procedure typically involves removing the last bone (or at least part of the bone) in each toe of the paw. Like any surgical procedure, declawing is painful and requires time and care to recuperate.

Before resorting to surgery, it’s important for cat owners to remember that scratching is a natural feline behavior. Clawing at surfaces is how cats mark their territory and sharpen their nails. However, when those surfaces are rugs, furniture, and other household items, it’s easy for owners to get frustrated.

Several steps can be taken to prevent destructive scratching. Staying on top of nail trimming will lessen a cat’s need to scratch. If you’re not comfortable trimming your cat’s nails yourself, you can make an appointment with a veterinarian. It’s also essential to provide plenty of appropriate places for your cat to scratch. Place scratching posts in multiple locations around your home so that your feline companion always has an appropriate alternative to your furniture. Learn more…

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Tips for Training Your Cat to Walk on a Leash

by VetDepot on March 6, 2014

cat on a leash blogOutdoor cats face a lot of dangers. From coyotes, to cars, to fights with other cats, there are many threats to cats that spend a lot of time outside. However, being outdoors is not without its perks. A little sunshine and some exercise is certainly beneficial.

So, how do owners expose their feline companions to the great outdoors without putting them at risk? The answer is a harness and a leash. The idea of walking a cat on a leash may seem a little absurd to some, but just think of all the fresh air and exercise your cat could enjoy.

Try these tips for training your cat to walk on a leash:

  • Be prepared: Before venturing outdoors, make sure your cat is wearing a collar with an ID tag or has a microchip. Also be sure that your cat’s vaccinations are up-to-date and they are receiving monthly parasite protection. Learn more…
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Why Some Dogs Love the Taste of Cat Food

by VetDepot on March 5, 2014

dog empty bowl blogIf your home is residence to both a feline and canine companion, you may have noticed your dog trying to sneak a bite or two of cat food. Crunchy kibble of the feline variety may not seem very different than dog food, so what makes it so attractive to dogs?

The reality is that dog and cat food may look similar, but there are some key differences. Since cats are carnivores and dogs are omnivores, kitty food has a much higher protein content and less fiber. There’s no doubt that this difference affects the taste, and dogs seem to be drawn to the protein-rich food.

So, is it dangerous for dogs to chow down on a few bites of cat food? The answer depends on the dog. Some dogs won’t be affected at all, while others will experience diarrhea and vomiting. Learn more…

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