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a dog and a cat in Halloween costumes with message Halloween Safety Pet tips

Halloween Safety!!!!!

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Halloween is such a fun time of year. Kids and adults a like dressing up as whatever they want. Going out and having fun.

But what about your furry friends. They enjoy dressing up too. Though this time of year can be dangerous for your furry friend as well.

Stash the Treats
The candy bowl is for trick-or-treaters, not Scruffy or Fluffy. Several popular Halloween treats are toxic to pets. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for cats and dogs, and sugar-free candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can cause serious problems in pets. If you believe that your pet has ingested any Halloween candy of any kind. Contact your veterinary clinic ASAP. Its a better safe than sorry situation.

Watch the Decorations and Keep Wires Out of Reach
While a carved jack-o-lantern certainly is festive, pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire. Curious kittens are especially at risk of getting burned or singed by candle flame. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins are relatively nontoxic, but can produce stomach discomfort. While decorative corn can cause blockage if eaten whole. Dogs and cats are unable to digest corn on the cob and most Halloween decorations have decorative corn.

Be Careful with Costumes
For some pets, wearing a costume may cause undue stress. If you do dress up your pet for Halloween, make sure the costume does not limit his or her movement, sight or ability to breathe, bark or meow. Check the costume carefully for small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that could present a choking hazard. Ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury. Be sure to have your pet try on the costume before the big night. If he or she seems distressed or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting your pet wear his or her “birthday suit” or don a festive bandana instead.

Keep Pets Calm and Easily Identifiable
Halloween brings a flurry of activity with visitors arriving at the door, and too many strangers can often be scary and stressful for pets. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. While opening the door for guests, be sure that your dog or cat doesn’t dart outside. And always make sure your pet it wearing proper identification—if for any reason he or she does escape, a collar with ID tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver for a lost pet.

 

If you ever have any questions about safety for your pet. Never hesitate. Call your vet clinic. They are always happy to help you and keep your pets safe.

a picture of a cat with a stethoscope

Tips for Keeping Your Cat Healthy

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Cats are very strange creatures. They have been domesticated for about 10,000 years and yet we still have a hard time understanding them.

Cats do a very god job at hiding things like how they’re feeling or if they have any pain. Some times it’s too late when you find out.

Here’s some tips to help you keep your feline friend happy and healthy.

All breeds of cats have fur, even some times the furless ones. Your cat enjoys keep their fur prim and perfect at all times.

A cat with matted or disheveled fur can be the first sign of issues.

Brushing:

Unless you have a hairless breed (bathing would be more common with hairless cats), brush your feline friend daily to remove excess fur and cut down on hairballs. A healthy coat will look shiny and smooth, with no bare patches. Start at a young age or start slowly if you’ve adopted an older cat. If you notice any lumps or sore spots as you brush your cat, talk to your vet.

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Shaving:

Even after all of the work you’ve done trying to get your cat used to being brushed and they still hate being brushed. Which this results in your beautiful long haired cat to have mats and tangles. What can your do? You can take them to the groomer or if they really don’t like be groomed or clipped. Contact your vet about a sedation groom. The girls at Beattie always do the best lion cuts. Your cat will look adorable.

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Fleas:

Fleas are some times very hard to see and they don’t just show up in the house on a whim. Fleas enjoy the outdoors and can only come inside when they find a warm host to live on. They will some times just on us to get their next destination. So that’s some times how your cat get fleas even if they don’t go outside.

You may never notice fleas on your cat until it’s too late. Early signs of fleas on your cat would be your cat biting or scratching at themselves a lot. Best thing to do is to check regularly for flea dirt, which is a nice way of saying flea poop. It looks like speck of pepper, but it’s actually dried blood. The way you can tell if it’s flea dirt or just plan dirt is by taking a flea comb and white paper then place them under water together. If the paper turns red it’s flea dirt. If it stays white or turns muddy it’s dirt.

If you notice either of these things, give your vet a call and make an appointment for an exam.

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Teeth and Gums:

The last thing on a pet owner’s mind is their pet’s teeth, usually. Mostly because it the past 10 years it’s become more apparent that you need to take care of your pet’s mouth. The mouth is an amazing part of your body system and your cat’s (and dog’s) and it’s very much taken for granted.

Your pet’s teeth (and your own) is contacted to every part of their body. Each tooth has it’s own blood supply and contacts to the rest of the body. If there is an infection in your pet’s mouth (build of tartar and calculus) it can spread to the rest of the body very quickly. This can result to infections in other parts of the body. The only way to fix this infection is to have your pet come in and have a dental cleaning done. Possibly after having a course of antibiotics.

You should brush your pet’s teeth daily. Do not use human grade tooth brushes and tooth paste. You can get tooth brushes and paste from your vet or from your local pet store. You can also use dental foods and dental treats to help with the build up as well.

When you’re at your veterinary next, ask them to take a good look at your cat’s teeth. They might see something you might not.

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Eyes:

Eyes are the window to your animal’s soul. You can tell so much from just looking at your cat’s eyes. You always want to make sure that they are full of colour and bright. It’s normal to have “sleep”, “crusties” or discharge from the eyes, but nothing excessive. It also depends on the breed of cat. A Persian Cat might have more discharge than a Domestic Shorthair because of the slightly pressed in face.

If your pet’s eyes seem sunken or the colour is dull. Best to bring your pet in. There could be more wrong with them than just eye issues.

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Ears:

Check your cat’s ears regularly. Most of the time there might some discharge, just like us. But if there’s a bad smell and you see a lot of wax or black discharge. Your cat may have an infection or might have ear mites. Take your cat to the vet to get the proper medication.

Another concern for a cat owner would be why dose my cat’s one ear look like a chunk of it has been removed. Most of the time your cat was apart of a trap and release program. This is when an outdoor cat gets captured, spayed/neutered and then released back into the wild. The left ear is tipped so if they’re captured again it won’t have to under-go surgery again. Though another reason an ear looks like a piece has been removed is because of frostbite or cat fights. It all depends on the life your cat has before you brought them home.

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Nose:

You cat’s nose should be warm and dry rather than cold and wet with no discharge. The concept of your pet’s nose being cold and wet is actually a myth.

Monitor your cat’s discharge from their nose. An increase of discharge would be the best time to take your cat in for a check up.

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Claws and Feet:

A cat’s claws and their paws are a huge part of their lively hoods. Claws are a cat’s defense mechanism and are used for hunting. They also use their claws for scratching which is used for marking their territory. Cat’s have scent glands all over their body and marking territory is a big part of their life. Having their scent all over their home helps calm them.

Now for the controversial part of owning a cat. Declawing. Through out Europe, UK and Australia it is banned. Why is it banned? A lot of people believe it cruel. Most veterinary professionals agree with that statement, but it could also be life or death to that cat if they don’t declaw their cat. It’s very hard to be on either side of this debate. It could ruin a perfectly happy and turn them very aggressive. Might make an aggressive cat nice, though usually it just makes the cat use their teeth more and become more aggressive. It’s a double edged sword.

Make your own decision on the subject. Do your research. Ask smart questions. Like what does the procedure entail? It is an amputation. A removal of the nails. That part of a cat’s paw would equal out to removing the part of the finger at the last knuckle that contains your nail for a human. The recovery process is very painful and may have long term health issues like phantom pain and can cause numerous behaviour problems.

Instead of declawing, try redirecting your cat’s scratching to something else like a scratching post. Use positive reinforcement to teach them how to use the scratching post and put it in a place that is spot that your cat would enjoy. If your cat enjoys scratching your couch, try spraying the couch with bitter apple or place double sided sticky tape, plastic or aluminum foil on the furniture to deter them from scratching. Your furniture might look funny for a while, but the end result is better in the long run.

Another alternative to declawing is Soft Paws. They’re cute little caps that your place on your cat’s nails and stops your cat from scratching at things in the house. Very easy to apply. Trim your cat’s nails, apply some glue into caps and then place the caps on the nails. Let the glue set. They last about a mouth to two months. How ever long it takes for your cat’s nails to grow. There are different sizes so make sure you double check before picking up a pair for your cat.

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Healthy Mind and Spirit:

Cat’s enjoy our company, as much as they don’t show it. Try and spend as much time as you can with your cat every day. They may not show it, but they do enjoy it.

Cats get bored, especially if they live indoors. The best thing to do for your cat is to keep them indoors. Cats that spend time outside have shorter life spans. Have a bunch of toys for your cat so you can rotate them and that can make things more exciting for your cat. Though some cats just enjoy one toy and one toy only. It doesn’t hurt to enrich your cat’s life with something different now and then. You can leave the new toys out while you’re not around. Just never leave a toy with a lot of string or ribbon it will cause issues if your cat swallows them.

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dog chewed book

Helping Your Pet Overcome Back-To-School Blues

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It’s almost back to school time!!!!!

Most of us are very happy that our kids of all ages are finally going back to school, but what about our pets. They had the ability to spend the entire summer, a solid 2 to 4 months with their kids. Some pets may have some trouble with the change.

Just like us, animals like to have a routine. With a sudden change in your pet’s daily routine they may experience depression or separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety is when your pet is separated from you or another person in the family that they are close to. They become anxious and some times destructive.

Signs your pet might be suffering from separation anxiety include destructive or anxious behaviors like:

Howling And Barking:

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Yowling And Meowing:

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Pacing:

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Chewing (Themselves, Yourself And Objects Around The House):

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House Soiling:

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Attempting To Escape From The House Or Yard:

There are ways to avoid this. Before getting right back into the old school routine. Try it out a couple weeks before school starts. Take a day trip. Have the kids play with your pet before they go to “school” and when they come back.  This will help with the anxiety because your pet will realize that all of you will come back and there’s nothing to worry about.

Try and set aside some family time with your pet on weekends and evenings. This can also help with the anxiety because they will know that they have that special time to spend with everyone in the family.

Some people choose to leave a radio or TV on for pets, or toys out for them to play with. If you leave toys out for them during the day, make sure they’re safe, things with strings or ribbon or any other choking hazard should stay away until owners can play with them.

Below Is Some Other Tips And Tricks For Separation Anxiety:

  • Consider preparing Kongs stuffed with peanut butter or some other favorite treat. Working to get the treat out will provide your dog a distraction from his stress and hours of enjoyment and mental stimulation while you’re gone.
  • Check out some doggie day cares in your area. A day or two of supervised play and exercise may be beneficial to your lonely dog.
  • Take your pooch for long morning walks to get him plenty of exercise and tire him out.
  • Spend quality time with your dog when you are at home; include him in family activities to assure him he’s still an important part of the family.

If nothing works and your pet continues to have anxiety after a couple weeks of the new routine. Schedule an appointment with your vet. Your dog’s anxiety might have an underlying medical cause or your vet might have some additional ideas to help relieve your dog’s stress.

first aid images

Making A Pet First Aid Kit

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Safety is always first. Much like humans, we should always have a first aid kit for our pets. Hopefully it will never have to be used. A fully stock pet first aid kit could mean the difference between life and death.

Pet first aid kits can be purchased from any pet store, but it’s very easy to build your own.

This blog contains the list that you would need in your pet’s first aid kit if you decide to build your own.

Disposable Gloves:

To prevent the spread of germs between yourself and your pet. Always wear disposable gloves. This will keep both you and your pet safe by providing a protective barrier to prevent the spread of germs.

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Pet First Aid Book:

Having a book that has the basics of pet first aid. It’s important review this before an emergency, so you’re familiar with what should be done in the even of an emergency.

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Vaccination Records:

Always keep a copy of your pet’s update vaccine records and any important health records. For example, the type of medications your pet is currently on or what medical alerts (heart disease, seizures, breathing issues, etc) your pet may have.

During an emergency you may not be able to go to your regular veterinarian and having access to this information will help the veterinary staff immensely. Also having your current veterinary clinic’s

Just like with contact information, it can be easy to forget the details of your pet’s immunization records in times of stress. This is why it’s important to keep an up-to-date copy accessible in your first aid kit.

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Muzzle:

Everyone believes that their pet will never bite them and they may not.

No matter how friendly and sweet your pet is, if your pet is in distress their personalities may change and may cause them to lash out.

This is why it’s a good idea to muzzle them before you begin providing first aid. If you don’t have a muzzle, medical gauze provides a good substitute.

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Bandages/Gauze/Vet Wrap:

Keeping a selection of bandages, gauze, and vet wrap in your kit will allow you to control bleeding and cover wounds until they can be examined by a vet.

Just make sure that you try and avoid placing adhesives directly on your pet’s fur, as they can be difficult and uncomfortable to remove.

Try not to put the bandaging on too tight as well. Cause if you do, it may cut circulation off to the body part if it’s applied too.

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Scissors:

There are lots of different kinds of scissors. The best type to have for cutting bandage material (vet wrap, gauze or cling) would be Bandage Scissors.

You can tell what type they are by the two blunted ends and the bottom has a piece to help you get under the bandage once it needs to be taken off.

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Dish Soap:

Believe it or not, dish soap if very effective at removing toxins from your pet’s skin and fur.

Just make sure that you rinse all soap off later as prolonged exposure can cause dryness and irritation.

Dawn Soap is the best!

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Hydrogen Peroxide:

Hydrogen peroxide actually serves two purposes in pet first aid kits. The first, more obvious use is for cleaning wounds, but the second, less obvious use is to induce vomiting in your pet if they have ingested a poison.

Before using peroxide to induce vomiting, always consult with your vet or vet poison control employee.

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Tweezers:

Tweezers are important to have if you need to remove something that has become embedded in your pet’s skin.

The fine tip of the tweezers makes it easy to remove even the smallest embedded object.

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Medical Tape:

Medical tape is specifically designed to stick to skin but can be removed easily. If you do need to adhere something, such as a bandage, directly to your pet’s skin or fur, do so with medical tape.

This makes removal much easier and comfortable for your pet.

Kirurgiline rebitav plastikteip, 25mm, Teip_1

Rectal Thermometer And Lubricant:

Rectal thermometers are the best way to get an accurate reading of your pet’s temperature.

To make inserting the thermometer easier and more comfortable for your pet, keep a small quantity of water-based lubricant handy.

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Antiseptic Wipes:

Antiseptic wipes can be used to clean the wound before you bandage it up, reducing the chance for infection.

These wipes can also be used to sanitize equipment before and after using it, as well as your own hands.

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Treats:

Treats are great to use if you need to calm or distract your pet while providing first aid. While your pet is focusing on their treats, you can quickly finish the task at hand, such as banding a cut or removing an embedded item.

You may want to give something high value, something they don’t get too often to use as a distraction. Bananas and Cheese work very well.

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Royal Canin

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camping with dog at the lake

Pet Friendly Parks To Visit This Summer

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We love having our pets with us. No matter where we go, they are a part of the family. Though some places aren’t very pet friendly. So every year you want to find a new place to make your memories with your family, including your pets. But some times it’s not very easy and you have to leave them behind. Though there are always options. Have you tried going to some of Ontario’s Parks?

While all of the parks in Ontario are pet friendly, some do offer more than others for travelers and their canine companions. There are 12 Ontario Parks that offer both pet friendly exercise areas and pet friendly beaches. While 17 have one or the other.

Listed below are a few of the pet friendly parks in Ontario. For a complete list of all parks with pet exercise areas and/or beaches PLUS a dog owner’s list of do’s and don’ts, visit Dogs and Pets in Ontario Parks post.

Bon Echo

Just 1.5 hours north Napanee, Ontario off of Mazinaw Lake is where you’ll find the 1.4km off leash exercise trail and pet friendly beach. The closest park campground is Fairway and both spots are located on lower Mazinaw Lake.

This beautiful lake includes Mazinaw Rock which is 100 metres high and features 260 Aboriginal pictographs.

There are also some fun things for you to do besides the pet friendly areas. There is great hiking trails that you and your family can enjoy. Their length varies in size from 1km to 17km. Boats tours on Mazinaw Lake and then take you over to Mazinaw Rock.

Of course there will be camping for everyone (RV, car camping, backcountry camping and roofed accommodations)

If you have any questions about Bon Echo Park. Just follow the link below.

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Wasaga Beach Provincial Park

Probably one of the most popular beaches in Ontario is Wasaga Beach. Just off of Lake Huron, Wasaga is the longest freshwater beach in the world. Exactly 14km of beautiful fresh water. Just on beach #3 your furry friends can enjoy the beautiful water and sandy shore. The dog beach is very popular and you might want to get there nice and early because it fills up fast. There are picnic tables and shady areas nearby, as well as public washrooms.

Be sure to double check that it is open before heading there. Mostly because the Piping Plovers, a bird endangered enjoy nesting along the Wasaga Beach shores. There is a natural area of 6.8 hectares that protects wildlife habitat and other nesting shorebirds.

Wasaga Beach is the first provincial park in Canada to be awarded the “Blue Flag” designation for its banks management efforts under the international environmental standards. For more information, visit www.BlueFlag.ca

The Wasaga Beach visitor center was officially opened in 2012 to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and highlight the natural and cultural riches of the Wasaga Beach area. The visitor center is the gateway to the Nancy Island Historic Site which features a theater, a museum and a replica of a Great Lakes lighthouse.

Wasaga Nordic Centre and Trail (summer) – Starting points for hiking trails over 50 km, including the Pine Trail (to do with a trail guide) and sections of the Ganaraska Trail. Wasaga Nordic Centre and Trail (in winter) – Opened in winter for cross-country skiing, ski skating and snowshoeing. Snacks, selected merchandise rental service and lessons are offered.

Take a look at the link below to find out more about Wasaga Beach.

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Mikisew Provincial Park

Just north of Huntsville, just off of Highway 11. There’s a little park call Mikisew. A quiet little space were you can take your family camping and greats spots to go swimming. There are three sandy beaches to choose from. Even a pet designated beach, which include an exercise area and obstacle course. This place is the best kept secret for pet travelers as it’s not as busy as the other pet friendly parks.

There are four interconnected hiking trails that range from 1km to 3km. Though they are connected so you can make your hiking experience more interesting and try and do all of the trails in one go.

Just off of Eagle Lake, you can enjoy boating and canoeing. You can also enjoy some fishing as there are several species of trout, walleye, bass, perch and pike.

Campsites are available from mid June to the end of September

Restoule Provincial Park

Just southwest of North Bay near the town of Restoule (sounds pretty relaxing) is the Provincial Park of Restoule. Out in the middle of no where. No city lights where you can see the stars for miles. No loud noises so you can hear the sounds of the world around you. A beautiful park containing a pet friendly beach and exercise area.

There are some great hiking trails. The 100 metre Stormy Lake Cliff and the fire tower is one of the favourite hiking destinations. You can also canoe along the base one day and another day you can hike on the top to enjoy the amazing view.

The park rents canoes for day or overnight excursions to paddle-in campsites, and it has a Natural Heritage Education program which young families enjoy. The closest campsites to the pet amenities are in the Bell Point Campground, numbers 151-160. Fall colours in the oak/maple/birch forest are amazing.

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hypoallergenic cat breeds

Cat Breeds for People With Allergies

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Have you ever wanted a cat, but were allergic to animals? It’s hard to like an animal when you’re allergic to everything about them. You can always try a “hypoallergenic” cat. Though they’re not 100% allergenic free, but they’re close. They are prone to shed less, or have less dander, which both are major causes of cat allergies.

By choosing a cat among hypoallergenic cat breeds, you can reduce the amount of wheezing, sneezing and itchy, watery eyes. To reduce your allergic reaction to cats, groom your feline friend regularly and wash her toys once a week. You also should often vacuum your floors and consider installing an air filter in your home.

Here are some different breeds of cats that are considered hypoallergenic.

Balinese

Like the look of long haired cats? Meet the Balinese. Similar to the Siamese, but they have a long silky coat. People some times don’t believe that a Balinese can be hypoallergenic. That perhaps is due to a common misconception that cat hair itself triggers allergies, which is not exactly the case. The proteins that cause allergic reactions are present in a cat’s saliva and skin oils, which are carried through the home by shed fur. But Balinese cats produce much less of the Fel D1 protein that causes allergies in the first place, so their fur carries less of the allergen around. Meaning that you may not be as allergenic to them.

Cornish Rex

Cornish Rexes are not hairless, though some times they may look that way. They have very fine fur. They posses only the “undercoat” which would be the down hair. Normal cats have three layers of fur. The outer layer is called the guard hair; the middle layer is called the awn hair; and then there is the undercoat or down hair. Due to them only having the one layer of fur, they shed less then other breeds. So people with cat allergies suffer far less or not at all.

Moscou catDevon Rex

The Devon Rex is described as the pixie of the cat world due to their rounded pixie like face with their large round eyes. To add pixie reputation, they are very clown like and love to play. Just like the Cornish Rex, the Devon Rex has that soft down coat though they have a lot less.

siberian catSiberian

You might not think that a Siberian would be a hypoallergenic cat with that long long coat, but they are. Though it’s not 100% like with all hypoallergenic animals. Siberians, like Balinese and Russian Blues seem to produce less Fel d 1 protein than regular cats.

hypoallergenic cat breedsSphynx

Sphynxs are usually the first cat you would think of for a hypoallergenic cat and you wouldn’t be wrong. This breed has little to no hair and does not shed. Without fur to trap the allergens from their saliva, they may not cause an allergic reaction. Though the Fel d 1 protein may still be present in their saliva. They are extremely lovable and very social. Very human orientated.

There are many more breeds that are not listed that are considered hypoallergenic. Do your research prior to buying a kitten. Visit breeders and speak to your veterinarian if you have any questions about what you should do.

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Allergies

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Spring is a beautiful time of the year. Everything is back in bloom. Flowers are everywhere. Trees are green. You can finally take your furry friend outside with you to enjoy the wonderful weather. Nothing bad can happen during this wonderful time. Right? But what if your pet has allergies? Just like you and I, our pets can have allergies. It could be a cause of multiple different things or could be just one thing. It can be mild case of allergies or can be severe. How can you tell if your pet has allergies and what can you do to help relieve them from that stress? Here are some tips about allergies and what you can do to help. If you believe that your pet has allergies, please contact your Veterinarian.

What Are The General Symptoms Of Allergies In Dogs?

Dog-allergies

Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin Increased scratching Itchy, runny eyes Itchy back or base of tail (most commonly flea allergy) Itchy ears and ear infections Sneezing Vomiting Diarrhea Snoring caused by an inflamed throat Paw chewing/swollen paws Constant licking

Dogs will allergies may also have either Bacterial or Yeast infections. This could be either due to the allergies or could be another issue all together. This infections can cause hair loss, scabs, crust on the skin or could also become Hot Spots.

Which Dogs Are At Risk For Getting Allergies?

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Golden Retriever
Labrador Retriever
English Setter
Irish Setter
American Pit Bull Terrier
Boston Terrier
Bull Terrier
Cairn Terrier
Fox Terrier (Smooth and Wire)
Schnauzer (All sizes)
Scottish Terrier
West Highland White Terrier
Wheaten Terrier
Beagle
Bichon Frise
Boxer
Bulldog (all types)
Chinese Crested
Chinese Shar Pei
Border Collie
Collie (Rough and Smooth)
Dachshund (All types)
Dalmatian
German Shepherd
Lhasa Apso
Maltese
Poodle (All sizes)
Pekingese
Pug
Shih Tzu
Basset Hound
Jack (& Parson) Russell Terriers
Yorkshire Terrier
Spaniel (All types)
Chihuahua
Doberman Pinscher
Bernese Mountain Dog

There are many more breeds that are not as common, but still have the ability to have allergies at some point in their life. Any breed mixed with these breeds may or may not have allergies as well. Do your research before buying.

What Are The Different Types Of Allergy?

There are several ways of classifying allergies. Some examples of classifications include:

  • Precipitating allergen – Flea Allergy
  • Route the allergen takes into the body – Inhalant Allergy, Skin Contact Allergy or Food Allergy
  • Time it takes for the immune reaction – Immediate-type Hypersensitivity, also called Anaphylaxis or Shock, and Delayed-type Hypersensitivity
  • Type of immune reaction – Types I through IV Hypersensitivity
  • Clinical Signs – Allergic Dermatitis or Allergic Bronchitis
  • Inherited forms – Atopy or Seasonal Allergies

We’ll go over the most common types which are food and inhalant allergies

What Is An Inhalant Allergy And How Is It Treated?

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Inhalant allergies are allergies that are inhalated by your pet. The main types of allergens are tree pollens (cedar, ash, oak etc), grass pollens, weed pollens (ragweed), molds, mildew and dust mites. These types of allergies usually occur seasonally, though they some times can be year round. Treatment depends on the length of the specific allergy season. Anti-inflammatories, shampoo therapy or desensitization therapy (the use of serum against the certain allergen to help reduce the reaction)

What Are Food Allergies And How Is It Treated?

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Food allergies (or food hypersensitivity) can develop at any age and any protein or carbohydrate component of food. The most common types of proteins that your pet could possibly react are dairy products, beef, wheat gluten, chicken, chicken eggs, lamb, and soy.

Food allergies typically do not respond well to corticosteroids or other medical treatments. Treatment requires identifying the components of the diet and eliminating them. The most accurate way of testing for food allergies is with a food elimination diet trial using a hypoallergenic diet. This usually takes about 6 to 12 weeks to run. During this time your pet is not allowed to eat anything but the hypoallergenic diet. If they do it may cause the trial to run longer than needed. If the diet is not fed exclusively, it will not be a valid test and you may have to start over. All table food, treats or flavored vitamins must be discontinued during the testing period. There may be problems with certain types of chewable tablets or medications such as heartworm preventive. Your veterinarian will discuss the specific diet and restrictions recommended for your dog.

If a positive response and improvement of your pet’s clinical signs occurs, your veterinarian will advise you on how to proceed.

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Firework Safety

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Firework season is upon us. Who doesn’t want to spend a weather spring/summer evening outside watching beautiful colours of light dance across the sky? It’s a great time to spend with our loved ones.

But what about our pets? Do they enjoy that time?

As much as we want to bring out furry friend with us every where. Some times its best to leave them at home where they are safe.

The loud noise and strange lights can be upsetting and unsettling to our pets. This may cause stress or harm to yourself, your pet or others. They may not mean it. This is apart of the Fight or Flight response where your pet may react in one or two ways. One is to fight. They may bite or attack while scared. The second is Flight where they will run as far away as they can. This may result in your pet running through open doors or windows, running away from their homes or may dart into traffic.

This may not be the case for all dogs or cats, but it better safe than sorry.

Here are some tips on how to take care of your pet during this firework season.

Keep Pets Inside

This is probably the best spot for your pet if they are afraid of fireworks.

This is most likely their normal environment. Their home/den. Everything is familiar to them.

Being inside helps prevent animals from escaping and the house can help muffle the noise from the fireworks. Just remember to keep the doors and windows closed securely.

Some pets do well left in a separate room (spare bedroom or the basement) with the radio or the television on. This will also help cover up the sound of the fireworks. Make sure you leave lots of toys in the room so he has some entertainment and to make sure he/she doesn’t think they are being isolated as a punishment.

Identification

Make sure that your pet is wearing their identification. Collars with tags are the best thing to have that isn’t permanent. Their tags should contain their name, address, and your phone number. Make sure they are clear. Even better to have their Rabies and city tags with the id tags as well. Both these tags contain your information and they can also help you get your pet home safely.

Permanent identification would be Microchips or tattoos if you had gotten your pet from a breeder, though most breeders do not do tattoos any more as they can become indecipherable and a lot of people now in days don’t know how to read them. Microchips are always recommended as they all of your information and emergency contact information just in case your pet slips their collar or wasn’t wear their collar at the time of getting lost.

If your pet has any type of identification, always make sure it is up to date. This be a matter of your pet making it to you home safely or spending time in the humane society.

Don’t Console Your Anxious Pet

For humans it is normal to comfort and console when went we are afraid, upset or anxious. We try and use a happy cheerful voice to make someone feel better and to let them know everything will be okay.

Sadly this isn’t the case for our furry friends. Consoling them, hugging them and cuddling them while afraid will make things worse. In a dogs mind, you are actually teaching them that it is okay to be scared of whatever is bothering them. I know, it’s backwards, but it is the case.

Try to avoid saying things like “it’s okay” or “don’t be scared” in a soft sympathetic voice. Try instead to ignore the behaviour. I know this hard, but responding to the behaviour will reinforce it as well.

As suggested, the best thing to do is to keep your pet in a comfortable place away from the fireworks

Wear Them Out

Exercise is probably the best way to tire your pet out.

Before trying medications, try to see if you can tire your pet out before the fireworks start. They’d be so tired that they won’t even notice the fireworks going on. They’d just sleep right through them.

Nice long walk or hike. Playing catch for a while. You could even try some mental simulation. Like teach your pet a new trick. Just make sure your pet is well hydrated.

Medications

Last but not least is medications.

Sometimes a pet’s anxiety is too much to handle just on keeping somewhere quiet or by tiring out. Some times your veterinarian may have to prescribe a medication that helps relaxes your pet.

There are defusers that help with anxiety. One is call Adaptil and it is used for dogs. The other is Feliway and it is used for cats. These medications are pheromones that comfort and reassure your pet. They are clinically proven to help reduce stress.

If you have any questions about way to help control your pet’s anxiety, please do not hesitate to call your Veterinarian.

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Springtime Safety Tips

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It’s that time of year. The in between the cold, cold winter and the scotching hot summer. The start of something new. The blooming flowers and the earth coming back to life. It’s time to celebrate and enjoy life. From celebrating Easter and Mother’s Day to enjoying a beautiful spring hike outside or a lazy rainy day inside. Before you start your yearly rituals, let’s go over some potential hazards our furry friends can be exposed too.

****If you believe your pet may have potentially come into contact or ingested a poisonous substance. Contact your Veterinarian immediately. You can also contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.****

Toxic Plants and Shrubs

i-photographed-my-cat-throughout-the-seasons__880Everyone enjoys getting flowers as gift. They’re a beautiful center piece for the kitchen table and lighten up the room. They bring the spring inside. People usually give them as gifts for Easter and Mother’s Day. But did you know that some flowers that are given around this time of year are highly toxic to our furry friends.

Any type of Lily is highly toxic to our feline friends and they are very commonly given as gifts.

There are many plants that grow outside that an adult dog would pay no mind too. But if you have a rambunctious puppy that likes to put his mouth on things, you might want to double check what’s in your yard.

There are about 425 types of plants that are toxic to cats and about 418 types of plants that are toxic to dogs. Check out the ASPCA Poisonous Plants. This site contains the different plants that your pet could come into contact with. Again if you believe your pet has come into contact with anything that you believe is a hazard or poisonous. Contact your Vet immediately .

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Now that it’s spring, you and your pets want to be outside and enjoy the weather. Great time to take your dogs to the dog park. Dog parks are the best thing to dog for you and your dog. Gets you both out and active. Socializing with different dogs and people.

Dog are pack animals and some time enjoy being around other dogs. But what if a dog at the park doesn’t like your dog or if play fighting turns into actual fighting. What can you do? What are the signs of aggressive behaviour?

Our friends at McCann Dogs have tips and tricks about what you can do to keep your furry friend safe while meeting new and old dogs.

Windows and Doors

maxresdefault Now that the weather is better. You probably want to open the doors and windows up and let the fresh air in. Just like you, your pets enjoy the beautiful weather.

Though having the doors and window open can cause hazards on their own. This pertains to cats more than our other furry friends in the house. We all know cats enjoy looking out the window.

Please make sure that your windows and doors are screened and sturdy before opening them, as cats are apt to jump or fall through unscreened windows.

House Cleaning and Home Improvement

dog-boarding-services Once the beautiful flowers start to bloom, everyone gets into the spring cleaning mood. Cleaning or completely redoing a room might bring some hazards to your pets.

Products such as paints, bleach, mineral spirits and solvents can be toxic to your pet. These products may also cause major chemical burns or severe skin and eye irritation. Please read the labels first for your safety and your pets. What may cause harm to them may also cause harm to you.

Make sure everything is up and out of the way during use and when finished. If you’re unable to, keep your pets a safe distance from the room that is having work done. Much easier and then you can focus on the work that needs to be done. This will also prevent harm happening to you. If you’re sure about the product that you’re using.

Take a look at the ASPCA Poisonous Household Products, this site contains what can be hazardous to your pet and what you can do if your pet gets themselves into trouble.

Ticks, Fleas and Heatworm Disease

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We may sound like a broken record, but it’s the time of year and we want to make sure your pets are safe from everything! (Though every day of the year is just as important to us as well) Dogs and cats are affected by most of the same little creepy crawlies.

That both can get bitten by fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. Doesn’t matter if they’re inside only, live in the backyard kind of pet or if they enjoy adventuring outside in the forest. Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes are every where.

As the weather gets warmer, the more of the possibility of contracting an ectoparasite (a bug that lives on the outside of the body) that may cause some serious harm to your pet. From anemia, Lyme disease to Heartworm disease. No pet is safe.

Please speak to your Veterinarian about prevention and if you have any questions that you may have about the diseases that your sweet fur baby may contract due to these parasites.

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Declaw Debate and Other Options

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Onychectomy – or better known as Declaw – has been in the News recently and is gaining ground.

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Here is the New Update on Declawing according to the CVMA:

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So for those who want to know – what else can we do – here are some suggestions:

1 – TRAINING – One of our amazing Doctors has said to me “It seems to be assumed that Cats come fully trained.  With Dogs there is always the expectation that training is required however that expectation is not afforded to our Feline friends.” Cats do not come fully trained, their instinct are still very present – which can mean – I have Claws that need to be used and maintained. Sadly this turns into scratching of the leather couch, potential for damage to walls due to scratching/marking their territory, and then amputation.

2 – Scratching Posts – A good post should be tall enough for your kitty to fully stretch his/her body, usually at least 28 inches tall, and it needs to be very stable.  Stability is key – if it topples over onto Fluffy, they are unlikely to continue using it. Can you make them vs purchasing – ABSOLUTELY!! The reverse side of rugs provides a good, satisfyingly resistant texture for claws which can be attached to wood or even placed in a specific spot on the floor.

Encourage Fluffy to use her post by making it fun!  Feed her and play with her by the post, rub catnip onto it, reward her when she uses it, and even using other toys (ie cat wand) to lead her to it and then play around it. Also keeping it in an area of family use is best in the begining that way s/he does not feel segragated from the family. Soon s/he will learn to love the post and see it as her very own!

3 – Nail Trimming – This can be done at home, a groomer, or even at your Veterinarians! Below is a link to a video on Nail Trimming and Nail maintenance.

4 – Soft Paws – These are fantastic!! Litterally a soft plastic covering for Fluffy’s nails which can be purchased in a multitude of colours including sparkles! Be patient, it can be a little trying for your first few applications (for you and Fluffy) but is an amazing option to prevent scratching and allow our Feline friends to keep their toes.

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A Word About Punishment — Don’t do it! Cats do not understand physical punishment, it does not work, can be likely to make the whole issue worse, and it is wrong to hit your cat. This can make them insecure and can cause them to develop other undesirable behaviour problems. Physical punishment will break the trust that you and Fluffy have built in your relationship. Cats have excellent memories and can hold some serious grudges!

Above all – start these preventions young when possible! Kittens may be more rambunctious, and it may take longer but with persistance and positive reinforcement you can save Fluffy from an unnecessary surgery and the potential for complications later in life cause by the Amputation of her 1st “knuckle” that includes the claw.