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Tick Prevention for Cats

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In the height of summer, you are likely already familiar with tick prevention for your dog, as many anti-parasitic medications are administered to dogs through the summer months. 

. . . But what about tick prevention for cats? This blog post will address common questions about tick prevention in cats.

How do cats pick up ticks?

Ticks are found in woodland areas or areas with high grasses. In order to mature, ticks must feed on blood. Ticks are attracted to the warmth and movement of your cat passing through the grasses and foliage in these woodland areas, and reach out to climb onto your cat as they pass by. The ticks travel towards your cat’s skin, burying their heads into the skin under the arms or legs, around the face, behind the ears, or near the paws. Ticks can be active in temperatures as low as 4 degrees Celsius, and are common in the spring and summer.

Tick Prevention in Cats

Keeping cats indoors or supervised outdoors in your backyard, provided that the grass is regularly cut and maintained to limit the presence of ticks, is key to tick prevention. Examining the cat down to the skin while grooming or cuddling with your cat will help you to spot and remove ticks before they are attached for a long period of time.

The Canadian Vtick on a green twistereterinary Medical Association has released a video describing the best method to remove a tick: taking a pair of tweezers, grasping the tick as close to the skin as possible and pulling out straight until the tick releases.

Products such as the Tick Twister are also effective for tick removal, but this tool is used with a twisting motion as illustrated in the diagram to the left.

Available Medications for Tick Prevention in Canada

In Canada, only Bravecto is licensed for use in cats as a tick preventative, as prescribed by a veterinarian.

Bravecto is a topical solution that is applied directly to the cat’s skin, and is indicated for control of Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick) and Ixodes scapularis (black-legged tick), which are both present in Ontario.

This chart available through the Ontario Animal Health Network outlines available anti-parasitics for cats and dogs in Canada and their uses.

Are there over-the-counter tick products for cats?

While many pet stores stock products from Hartz and Zodiac including flea and tick collars and topical solutions, these products are not recommended. The anti-parasitic agent in these products, a group of chemicals known as pyrethrins or permethrins, are extremely toxic to cats, producing neurological signs like dullness, tremors and possible death. Products that are safe for dogs are often not safe for cats, and most toxicities occur when owners accidentally apply products intended for dogs to cats. If you accidentally apply one of these products to your cat, immediately wash it from your cat’s skin and fur and contact your veterinarian to take further measures to eliminate the drug from your cat’s system.

Are there any diseases transmitted by ticks to cats?

tick on green leaveWhile the incidence for disease transmission from ticks to cats is low in Ontario, ticks pose a risk for generalized infection and anemia. Thankfully, cats are highly resistant to Lyme disease, which is caused by bacteria carried by the black-legged tick. Other diseases such as cytauxzoonosis are extremely rare in Canada, but with the changing climate, ticks that were not previously seen in Canada have slowly been moving farther north. 

If ticks are a concern for your cat, please call one of our locations to order tick prevention!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Essential Oils and Pets

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Essential oils are trending; not only can you find many different varieties of essential oils in malls and online, they are often present in cool mist humidifiers in many homes and businesses. Many of these essential oils are touted to have benefits for humans such as relaxation, pain relief, as well as promoting skin and respiratory health. Other common uses for essential oils include insect repellents and odour control.

But what about our pets? In recent news, much debate has surrounded the use of essential oils for pets. This blog post will address concerns surrounding the use of essential oils in our homes and around our pets. The information from this blog is taken from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommendations for the use of essential oils around pets.

Is it safe to use essential oils around my pets?

As most essential oils are available in 100% pure, concentrated solutions, these solutions can be dangerous to your pets. While pets can be exposed to essential oils by walking through the mist produced by diffusers, most commonly intoxication occurs when these concentrated solutions are applied directly to the pet’s skin, fur or collar. From these locations, pets can accidentally ingest portions of these essential oils, which can be toxic due to their high concentration levels. Pets can also accidentally knock over active diffusers and become exposed to essential oils in this manner.

What can happen to my pets if they are exposed to essential oils?

 

While levels of toxicity vary depending on both the concentration of the essential oil product and the pet that has come into contact with the product, signs that your pet may have been exposed to high levels of essential oils include the following: depression, unsteadiness on feet and in severe cases, lowered body temperature. Pets may also experience vomiting and diarrhea. One of our previous blog posts directly addresses concerns about one of the more toxic essential oils: tea tree oil. The blog post about tea tree oil can be accessed at: https://beattiepethospitalhamilton.com/2017/02/06/teatreeoil/.

Should I stop using my diffuser?

Not necessarily, but essential oils should only be diffused with caution. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommends that diffusers be operated in rooms that pets do not access. If you have a pet with breathing issues or sensitivities, it is recommended to avoid using diffusers due to potential irritation from the aerosolized essential oils. In general, always consult a veterinarian before using essential oil products near your pets.

 

 

 

 

vet and dog

The Importance of Yearly Wellness Exams

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a picture of a cat with a stethoscopeAt a recent visit to the Beattie Pet Hospital Ancaster location, you may have noticed the following posters in each of our exam rooms:

Canine Preventative Guidelines

Feline Preventative Guidelines

These posters provide an accessible list of what you should expect from a wellness exam with our veterinary team. As an AAHA-accredited facility, we pride ourselves in offering the best standard of veterinary care. In order to provide this standard of excellent care, we highly recommend, at minimum, yearly exams with one of our veterinarians. Not only do these annual visits allow our veterinarians to monitor your pet’s health and well-being, but these visits are a mandatory component of maintaining a Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR).

In this post, we will address common questions about the importance of the yearly wellness exam with one of our veterinarians, and how you can help our veterinary team best understand and address your concerns for your furry family member. The information from this article is based on the College of Veterinarians of Ontario (CVO) professional practice standard guidelines in regards to the Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR). 

What is the Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR)?

The Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR) is formed between a veterinarian, the patient (your pet), and the client (you).  As the client, your responsibility in maintaining the VCPR begins with bringing your pet in to the hospital for a physical exam with a veterinarian. Speaking to the veterinary team about any concerns that you may have in regards to your pet’s care will best allow the veterinary team to treat your pet and address your concerns. It is your responsibility as a pet parent to follow the veterinarian’s recommendations in regards to treatment, or seek additional information or clarification if needed. The veterinarian is responsible for examining your pet, keeping a medical record of their care, addressing your concerns in accessible language, and providing treatment options with risks and benefits clearly outlined. It requires that a veterinarian performs a physical exam on your pet in-person, at least annually.

Why is the Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship Relationship (VCPR) required?

An up-to-date VCPR is required prior to a veterinarian recommending or prescribing any forms of medication or treatment, as required by law in Ontario, as per the Veterinarians Act. Not only does an up-to-date VCPR ensure that your veterinarian has the most relevant information in terms of your pet’s physical condition, it allows your veterinarian to provide an accurate treatment plan to best address Fluffy’s needs. If your pet is unwell, without an examination your veterinarian is unable to form a clear diagnostic picture and is unable to provide the best level of care for your pet.

How do I maintain a Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR)?

While telephone calls and emails allow the veterinary team to monitor your pet’s well-being at a distance, the VCPR is maintained through annual physical exams in-person with your veterinarian. Some pets who suffer from diseases such as cardiac heart failure may require more frequent visits which allow the veterinarian to make their best judgment in terms of your pet’s care, which is determined through physical examination, including listening to your pet’s heart and lungs. 

My pet is healthy . . . Do I still need to maintain a Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR)?

The answer is yes! The reasoning behind the legal requirement to maintain the VCPR through annual physical exams with a veterinarian is to provide the best level of care for each and every pet. The key to maintaining good health is prevention. Examining your pet yearly allows the veterinarian to document any changes in your pet’s health and form the best plan to maintain good health for the future. With an up-to-date VCPR, your veterinarian can recommend a diet to address possible dental concerns, monitor your pet’s body condition to maintain a healthy weight, and address any possible behavioural issues. Your veterinarian can prescribe heartworm and parasite testing and prevention, administer vaccines against deadly diseases, and prescribe nutritional supplements. All of us at Beattie Pet Hospital Ancaster want to help your pets thrive, and the annual wellness exam is the framework that helps us to do so!

If your pet requires an annual wellness exam, please call us at 289-639-5540 and our client communications specialists will be happy to help you. We look forward to seeing you and your pets, and paving a future of good health and well-being through annual wellness exams!

Heat Strokes In Dogs – How To Be Prepared For The Hot Days

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The Dog Days Of Summer are here! We all know what that brings, humid weather, high temperatures and smog advisories. During these hot summer days dogs have a higher possibility to be exposed to heat strokes. In this blog, we will teach what a heat stroke is, how you can prevent it and how you can treat it if it happens to your pet.

What is Heat Stroke?

Dogs and cats are very different that us. Their bodies respond to things very differently than ours does. To the point, they thermoregulate differently that we do. Thermoregulation is how one regulates body temperature. Unlike us, a dog’s thermoregulation system is better for preserving energy, rather than releasing it. This is why dogs are capable of heating up faster than humans. Hyperthermia is term used for increased body temperature above the normal threshold. We are familiar with two types of hyperthermia: a non-fever and fever hyperthermia. The hyperthermia that is followed with fever indicates to some kind of inflammation, while the non-fever one most commonly indicates to heat stroke.

Heat Stroke Symptoms:

  • – Accelerated breathing – panting
  • Increased body temperature – over 40°C
  • Mental status changes
  • Excessive drooling
  • Reddened gums and mucosa
  • Dehydration
  • Fast heart rate
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Vomiting

How to prevent a heat stroke?

There is a list of things that we need to be aware of so we can prevent a heat stroke. We should always take care for the freshness of the dogs’ drinking water. Provide shaded areas if the dog spends time outside. If your dog has health issues, like respiratory problems, heart disease, or it is elderly dog, you should schedule the physical activities for cooler days. Also you should keep it in the shade and have limited exposure to the sun. These precautions also refer to obese dogs. You should NEVER, under any circumstances leave your dog in the car! – This is one of the most common reason for heat strokes and heat related deaths of pets. You should skip the idea for accompanied jogging with your dog on a hot summer day. On a hot summer day you should also avoid using muzzle on your dog. The muzzle prevents proper ventilating, which leads to obstructed thermoregulation. You should also consider avoiding the places with hot concrete, asphalt or send. If you are on the beach, let the dog in the water to cool down. After the swim provide shaded area for your pet.  If your dog is home during the hottest days, even if you are not in the house, always keep the air conditioning on.

What to do in case of a heat stroke:

First step is to relocate your dog from the heat! It is advised to be in moved to an area with lower temperature and air conditioning. It is helpful to pour fresh water, with room temperature, on your dog. Freezing water is not an option. Try offering your dog fresh drinking water, but if it isn’t capable of drinking on its own, don’t force it. Again offering your dog freezing water is not an option. Avoid using vet towels to cover your dog, this will lead to trapping the heat. Instead, you can place wet towels under your dog, this will help to cool it down. It is necessary to take your dog to the vet. Supposedly you’re not a professional, your dog should be examined by certified veterinarian and if there are indications for dehydration it should be treated with some IV fluids. 

We hope you gained useful information from this article. Keep your pets safe!

5 Pet-Safe Ways to Celebrate the Summer Holidays

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As the July long weekend approaches, you’ve no doubt got sunshine and vacation time on your mind. Thankfully, the dog days of summer are here! Now’s the time to kick back, get outdoors, and have some fun with loved ones—including your pet.

Due to warm-weather risks and seasonal threats to pet health, finding pet-friendly ways to celebrate the summer holidays isn’t always easy. To make sure your furry companions don’t miss out on any of the fun, we’re sharing five safe ways to incorporate your beloved pet into your summer celebrations.

1. Host a summer “Bark-B-Q”

Nothing says summer like a backyard BBQ—or any other type of barbecue. Add a few friendly neighbourhood canines, and you’ve got yourself a party! While most dogs will be thrilled by the scents, sounds, and socialization of these fun gatherings, large crowds can also stress them out—so do keep an eye out for panicked behavior.

Bear in mind, those “puppy dog eyes” can be persuasive! Unfortunately, not everyone knows which foods are unsafe for dogs. To cut down on unnecessary risks, gently request that guests not sneak your pet any table scraps without your permission. Minimizing your pet’s exposure to fatty human foods from the grill will also help them maintain a healthy body weight—so opt for healthy options instead.

2. Let sleeping dogs lie—at the beach

Ready to make some waves? Head on over to the local beach to make paw prints in the sand and swim the doggie paddle with your pup. Frolicking in the water is a great way to exercise your pet in the summer because it is fun, healthy, and perfect for staying cool.

There is such a thing as too much fun, though. Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, he or she may tire more quickly than you because dogs don’t understand the concept of conserving energy when overexcited. Stay close to your dog at all times when in the water and be prepared to carry them ashore with the extra weight of drenched fur, if necessary!

Don’t forget to ensure dogs are allowed on the beach first! Check out these dog beaches that are dog friendly—before you set off for a beach day.

3. Plan a paw-some weekend getaway

If wanderlust has you pining for a taste of adventure this summer, consider taking Fido along for the ride. Many campsites, cottages, and even hotel chains offer pet-friendly accommodations ideal for the weekend getaway you crave. Whether you’re looking to explore a new city or get up close and personal with nature, it’s now easier than ever to find options both you and your pet will love.

Planning to make a pit stop on the drive there or back? No matter how quick you expect to be, Never Leave Your Pet In The Car. Heat stroke happens fast, so avoid the risk altogether by taking every opportunity to let your pet out to do their business, get some air, and stretch their legs—especially on longer rides.

4. Run with the wolves—hike the trails with your hound

For those who can’t commit to a full weekend away, hiking provides an afternoon escape into nature. Unplug from the world to bond with your pet and soak in the sights for a fully rewarding hiking experience. Or merely stalk the trails looking for the perfect photo op for Instagram, if that’s more your style!

Either way, hiking is not without its pet safety risks, especially when a trail involves cliffs or steep terrain. Even if your dog is usually great off-leash, try to keep their harness and lead attached at all times during a hike. A leash can help to protect pets from separation, falls, and potential encounters with dangerous wildlife.

5. Birds, reptiles, and rodents—oh my! Craft the ultimate staycation for indoor pets

Have a pet best suited for indoor life? No worries—a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) staycation is for you. With just a tiny bit of effort and an even smaller budget, you can create a chilled summer oasis for you and your small animal to enjoy over the long weekend and beyond.

  • Create rabbit-safe toys out of cardboard boxes, empty toilet rolls, and untreated jute twine.
  • Freeze non-toxic fruits and veggies into a summery snack for your guinea pig.
  • Create a box fort for your kitten, flush with cat grass for a nice treat.
  • Sing some tunes with your chirpy bird.

Remember, small animals tend to have more trouble regulating body heat due to their size. As such, they can quickly overheat even when kept indoors. Try to keep their areas well ventilated with an oscillating fan—without overdoing it—to ensure a happy, healthy summer for your little critter.

Whether you’re planning to travel, take day trips, or relax in “Puerto Backyard-a,” with your pets, here’s to making great summer memories that will last a lifetime.

What Does A Heartworm Test Mean?

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It’s that time of year again. The bugs are back and with them all of their fun little diseases that like to carry. 

Every year your dog’s blood is taken to make sure that they don’t have heartworm disease, but what does that really mean? What does the test entail?

It’s pretty simple really and it can be life or death for your pet. Even if your pet is on heartworm prevention, doesn’t 100% mean that he or she is protected. That one day you missed may mean that your pet may or may not contract heartworm disease. 

So what does it entail? Well, we take some blood from your pet. Either from the front leg, back leg or neck

So we take blood from any one of those spots. All depends on how well behaved the pet is. We normally do the Jugular vein(neck vein) as it is the largest vein and the easiest to get too. 

The blood is placed in an Purple top tube that contains EDTA which is anticoagulant. This means that the blood will not clot once placed into that tube and can be used for testing. 

Once ready we use the Idexx 4Dx snap tests. We place the place the blood (3 drops) in another tube with 4 drops of conjugate. The conjugate helps move the blood across the wells in the test. This combination is mixed together a couple of times and then placed into the large well. The blood will across the screen. Once it is across we snap it and wait 8 minutes to get the results. 

Below image shows positive responses. If there is nothing wrong with your pets blood. The only blood dot that will show up will be the control which is the dot on the top left. 

If it only take 8 minutes to run, why are clients told to wait 24 hours before giving the medications?  It gives us time to run the test and if there is a positive sample it’ll give the doctor’s time to get a hold of you to talk about the next steps.

Now this year we are making everyone test for these diseases. The medications are not 100%. We have seen pets that have been on heartworm, flea and tick medications their whole lives and contracted a disease. Also now that the ticks have become a lot more active in past few years. We want to make sure your pets are safe and healthy. A healthy pet is a happy pet 🙂

Give us a call any time to book an appointment or just to talk about the possible diseases that our pets can get from fleas, ticks and mosquitos. 

a puppy with rabbit ear hovering on the floor

Top Four Easter Hazards for Pets

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We all love Easter. Waking up to finding what the Easter Bunny has brought. Usually a basket full of chocolates and fun Easter candies. Maybe a couple stuffies here and there. 

Then there’s the egg hunt! How can this holiday be any more fun?

Our pets like it just as much as we do. All of those goodies lying around. Fun things to chew on.

As we prepare for this fun little holiday we should always keep our pets in mind. Like any other holiday, Easter may pose some potential hazards for our furry family members. Before you start getting ready for Easter, take a look at the dangers that pose a threat to our pets on the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC).

Here are the top 4 Easter Hazards for our Pet as outlined by the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center

    1. Chocolate. This is the number 1 toxicity in dogs and cats. The APCC receives multiple calls a day for chocolate toxicity, those they usually occur around the holidays most the time: Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter. Chocolate can cause gastrointestinal (GI) upset, pancreatitis, stimulation to the nervous system (hyperactivity, tremors and seizures) and elevation in heart rate. Though not all chocolate is created equally. Darker the chocolate, the worse it is for your pet. Sometimes Chocolate may also contain other toxic ingredients like raisins, macadamia nuts, xylitol and alcohol. 
    2. Plastic Easter Grass. Plastic grass may look like regular grass to your pet. Pets can not absorb Plastic Easter Grass and if your pet eats this it may become lodged in their gastrointestinal tract. This can cause a blockage and may only be fixable by surgery. Some signs could include vomiting, diarrhea, decrease in appetite, lethargy and stomach pain. If you see any of these issues bring your pet in right away.
    3. Plants. There are many types of plants that can cause toxicities to your pets, but during this time of year, many animals will get into the newly planted gardens and eat the bulbs and a lot of people are given lilies as gifts for Easter. Lilies can cause serious concerns for our feline family members. Exposure to any parts of the plant can result to kidney injury and gastrointestinal upset. To the point that your cat may have to hospitalized. 
    4. Fertilizers and Herbicides. As the weather gets warmer, many people begin gardening and yardwork on the Easter weekend. This includes the use of fertilizers and herbicides. Make sure that they are they are stored where pets are not able to get at. They don’t have the ability to chew on the packaging or puncture the bottle. Always keep your pets indoors when you apply the products and always follow the label instructions. Wait until the ground has completely dried before letting your pet back outside in the yard.

 

APCC is your best resource for any animal poison-related emergency—24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.

 

brown bunny rabbit is wearing a bunny ear decoration

Bunnies And Easter

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With Easter just around the corner, many people consider buying a pet rabbit, sometimes on a whim or as a gift for small children. While rabbits do make wonderful indoor companions (who can be litter-trained, just like cats), people should take the time to learn the reality of pet rabbit ownership.

I mean how can you say no to a face like that —–>

It’s pretty cute, isn’t it? Wouldn’t you love to give that little bunny to your child on Easter while they’re all dressed up in their Easter clothes? Thing is that bunnies and children actually don’t mix together all that well. Bunnies are actually very fragile creatures and can break easily. Most children are given bunnies as pets on Easter, which is a huge no no in the animal world. Children are not careful. This may not be true for most children, but for the most part it is. Once given the bunny the child will carry the bunny around for most of the day. This will cause stress to the bunny. It’s a new environment and the bunny has most likely been taken from it’s mother recently.  The other cause of stress is that we’re considered a prey animals to the bunny. If it’s a bunny that was sold from someone that hasn’t socialized it to humans, the bunny may think that we may be a threat. 

Now this child had the bunny or the rabbit for most of the day. Depending on the child’s age and size and the size of the bunny/rabbit there might be some other issues that arise. The rabbit may have enough and start to squirm away. The rabbit’s main defense is their powerful hind feet. If the rabbit isn’t being held properly, they may kick hard enough to cause their back to break. And that’s not something anyone wants because it isn’t fixable…

People believe how that bunnies love to be cuddled and that they are very passive animals. This is not the case. They are ground-loving creatures who feel frightened and insecure when they are held and strained. Children love a companion they can hold, carry and cuddle, just like they do to their favourite animal. It is unreasonable to expect a child to be able to take full responsibility for the care of a rabbit, or to make a 10-year commitment to anything! All too often, the child loses interest, and the rabbit ends up neglected or abandoned.

Other issues people have when they buy a bunny for Easter is that they see this cute little bunny and believe it’s going to stay small. Thing is most bunnies don’t stay that size. Most breeds will get rather large and if you don’t have the room for a large rabbit what are you suppose to do with it? Most of the time they will be re-homed, sent to the SPCA or released into the wild. 

Most people believe that rabbits are a “low-maintenance” animal. They’re small and you keep them in a cage. This is completely untrue. Rabbits are not low-cost pets. They in fact require just as much work as a dog or a cat. They must be house trained and litter box trained. The house must be bunny-proofed. This means pick up everything that you don’t want chewed buy your new little bun bun. Bunnies chew every thing! Rugs, chairs, doors, walls and especially electrical cords. Bunnies must be spayed or neutered or they will start marking around the house. This means your place will smell like very strong urine and feces. Initial costs, which include adoption fees and money spent on food/water dishes, housing, and more, can add up to over $300. Ongoing costs, excluding vet bills, add up to over $800/year. The total costs end up being higher than what you might spend on cats or small dogs. 

Rabbits must live indoors. They must become a part of the family, just like a dog or a cat. Rabbits kept in hutches outdoors have an average life span of about 1 year. Rabbits that live in doors can live up to 8 to 10 years. Predators abound, not only in rural areas but in urban and suburban locations as well. Outdoor rabbits become bored and depressed from isolation. To consign these sensitive, intelligent, social animals to life in a hutch is to miss all the joy of sharing your life with a rabbit. Unless he’s part of your daily routine, you will not have the opportunity to really get to know his subtle personality.

A lot of people believe that a a well balance diet for a rabbit is just bunny pellets and carrots. In reality, their main source of sustenance should be hay. Hay needs to be available to rabbits at all times. Hay is vital to their dental and digestive health. This are crucial for a rabbit’s well being.  The hay may present a problem to a family member with hay or grass allergies. Furthermore, rabbits need to supplement their hay diet with fresh vegetables daily. Regular purchases of produce like romaine lettuce, dandelion greens, and herbs can add up quickly.

Finally, although rabbits can be affectionate, they’re not as “huggable” as people imagine. They don’t always like being held, and in fact, many times they will try to bolt out of a person’s arms, scratching the person and possibly inflicting serious injury to themselves. Rabbits are prey animals and much prefer staying on the ground. This may be very disappointing to both children and adults.

So while rabbits are adorable, fun pets, they do require a lot of care and patience. Rabbit owners need to have a certain kind of mindset — one that is comfortable with the idea that their moldings and wall corners may get rounded and their remote control buttons may get gnawed off. Rabbits are unique; they are a good fit for some people but not others. Be sure to do your homework first!

Do your research before you buy! Rabbits are wonderful companion animals and work very well in a home that understand their needs.

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Pet Suffocating – How Common Is It And What You Can Do To Prevent It

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Recently it has become more aware to the public eye about Pet Suffocation. Sadly it’s a lot more common than most people think. Many people believe that a dog or a cat can simply remove a chip or snack bag off of their heads using their front paws or rip open the bag with their claws. That some times maybe the case while there is some food left in the bag, but even then it’s iffy. A lot of these bags are made from a strong Mylar-like material (like a balloon) which helps keep snacks fresher. As your pet inhales, a suction seal is created. Once the bag starts to seal around their neck, it’s extremely difficult for the pet to break the seal. ALL pets are vulnerable to Pet Suffocation – No matter what breed/species, size or age they are. 

It’s a scary thing to think that one day you may come home to your pet lying lifeless with a potato chip bag or a snack bag over their head. Just imagine it’s a regular day and you just got home from work, from running errands or being out with friends and your pet doesn’t greet you at the door. They normally do. You walking into the house looking for your furry friend. You call out for them, letting them know that you’re home. You walk into the kitchen, the living room or even your bedroom and see items that normally would on a shelf, table, counter or dresser on the floor. It looks like there had been a struggle. You call out for your pet’s name again and still there’s no answer. You start searching throughout the house, checking under beds, in closets, and every corner in the house. Maybe they’re hiding because they think they’re in trouble for knocking whatever it was over. You continue to call and still no answer. May be they had gotten out of the house. Maybe your spouse, family member or a friend came over to get them and forgot to tell you. Your confusion slowly turns to panic as you call out for your pet once again. No answer. You finally stop in a room that you’ve already been and there you notice your best friend lying motionless against the wall, under a table with a chip bag over their head. Your heart sinks. You run over to them. May they’re just unconscious. You pull off the bag. Shaking them and screaming their name hoping that maybe they just passed out. You frantically call the vet. They walk you through how to check vitals and how to do CPR on your pet or tell you to get in ASAP. By this time it’s too late. They’re gone.

This is a scary reenactment of people go through every day. At least one pet dies every day in North American due to suffocation and it’s very preventable. The best thing to do, even if you’re the most carefullest person ever learn how to do Pet CPR

Follow these simple steps to help prevent Pet Suffocation.

 

  • Keep all chip/snack/pet food bags safely stored away from your pet.
  • Tear or cut up all chip bags and food bags after use, even if you’re going to put it into the trash.
  • Store chips/snacks/pet food in resealable plastic containers.
  • Serve chips and snacks in glass bowls or containers instead of in bags.
  • Keep all trash can lids tightly fastened, locked, or behind a cabinet.
  • Keep kitchen pantry door closed.
  • Learn CPR for pets.
  • Do not allow your pets to roam freely in the house while you are away.
  • Alert all your friends and family about the suffocation dangers of bags.
  • Educate pet sitters and babysitters about pet suffocation prevention.
  • Be extra vigilant during family and holiday gatherings.
  • Lobby companies to add warning labels on snack/cereal/dog food bags.
  • Share the Prevent Pet Suffocation website on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.
  • Visit, “Like” and Share Prevent Pet Suffocation on Facebook.    
  • Follow Prevent Pet Suffocation on Twitter @4YouBlue2.
  • Follow Prevent Pet Suffocation on Instagram @PreventPetSuffocation.

If you ever have any questions about what to do, please never hesitate to call your veterinarian and ask questions. That’s what we’re here for. 

Happy New Year with dog and cat celebrating

New Year’s Resolutions to Help Your Pet Live Longer

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New Year’s Eve has come and gone. We’ve now entered a new year. For some people, 2017 wasn’t the best year. But that doesn’t mean that 2018 can’t be amazing, fun and full plans to make your life better.

But what about your pets? Have they made any New Year’s Resolutions or have made any for them? Maybe it’s to make them just a bit more healthier. What about making a New Year’s Resolution for yourself and your pet at the same time. 

Here’s some New Year Resolutions that can improve your pet’s life and help them live longer.

Make a date with your Vet:

Making a yearly examination with your veterinarian is the most important step in keeping your pet happy and healthy. They can also give you some ideas about what you can do to make your pet live healthier. No matter what age or species, your pet should go see the vet at least once a year. It is also mandatory to have a doctor-patient relationship to receive any medications from your veterinarian.  Many medical conditions are easier to manage if they are detected early. This is also the best time to ask any questions you may have.

Measure your pet’s food–every time:

Measure your pet’s food helps with weight control. We often over feed our pet. We commonly look at our pet’s food bowl vs the amount of food in the bowl and we will think that the food in the bowl isn’t enough. Then our pet may come over and start to beg. The pet many go to another member of the household and act like they haven’t been feed yet. So more food is added to the full bowl or now empty bowl. 
The best way to control this is by getting a smaller bowl. The size of the bowl should be large enough for your pet to eat comfortably. Have timed feedings. This will help with control your pet’s over eating. If there’s more than one person in the house, have a calendar or a check off sheet to let the other members of the family know that Fluffy has been already fed at that time. Also pick up an 8oz cup. This can help you know how much is given each feeding.  

Try a new activity with your pet:

Try something new! Your pet is never too old to learn. The saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” doesn’t mean anything. If you’re willing to take the time and work with your pet, they can learn anything. Take up a class at your local dog training school. Best class for an older dog to take would be Obedience. It’s a lot of fun and helps build your bond together. Look up how to make your cat more active or maybe treat them how to cat agility. It is a thing. Look it up!

Practice good oral hygiene for your pet:

Your mouth and your pet’s mouth contain a ton of bacteria. Keeping clean keeps us and our pets healthy. Tartar build up and gingivitis cause the bacteria that is in your pet’s mouth to move throughout their body and can cause many more issues than just bad breath. Many veterinarian diets or approved dental treats can be helpful in keeping your pet’s teeth clean.

Be prepared for the unexpected:

Bad things happen at the worst times and usually unexpected. The best thing to do is to have coverage. Just like yourself or your car, having insurance helps you take care of your pet when cost is a factor. Depending on the company or the issue, you could get 90% of cost covered. Ask your vet when you come in for your exam about the different insurance companies.