Hairballs 101

Have you ever seen your cat cough up a hairball? It’s not exactly a pleasant sight. The question is, are hairballs harmful in any way, and can you help your cat experience fewer of them? Learn more here from an Ellicott City, MD vet.

How Do Hairballs Form?

Your cat swallows a lot of hair while grooming. Most of it moves through the digestive system and gets expelled in fecal matter, but some remains in the gut. That hair clumps together in a hairball, which eventually gets regurgitated.

Are Hairballs Harmful?

The occasional hairball is a normal part of life for your cat and shouldn’t cause harm. However, if a cat is coughing up hairballs frequently, something might be wrong. Also, rush your cat to the emergency room if they’re retching and gagging but not actually emitting a hairball—your pet might be choking.

How Can I Help My Cat Cough Up Fewer Hairballs?

Feed your cat a high-quality diet to keep shedding to a minimum, and brush her daily to get rid of loose fur. These steps reduce the amount of hair your cat swallows.

Call your animal hospital Ellicott City, MD to make an appointment for your pet.

Safety Tips for Car Travel With Your Pet

It’s not uncommon for pets to go for rides in the car. Longer trips, whether you’re going on vacation or visiting family or friends, can prove especially tricky. Below, your Marietta, GA veterinarian offers a few quick tips to make car travel as safe and smooth as possible.

Use the Carrier

It’s always best to keep your pet secured safely in their carrier, then buckle the carrier in to the backseat. That way, your pet will remain safe even if you have to brake suddenly or swerve. It also stops a pet from wandering around the car freely, which can prove dangerous while driving.

Beating Carsickness

Many pets experience carsickness. It’s recommended that you don’t feed your pet for several hours before the car ride starts, and it may help to crack a window or play music at a low volume during the ride. For pets with severe carsickness, your vet can prescribe anti-emetic medications to help soothe the stomach.

Pit Stops

On longer drives, make sure to take frequent pit stops to allow your pet to use the bathroom and stretch their legs. Your animal companion will thank you!

To learn more, contact your veterinary clinic Marietta, GA today.

Senior Cat Care 101

Is your cat getting along in years? Our senior feline companions need love and attention now more than ever. Here are a few tips from a vet Roanoke, VA to keep your aging cat in good shape for years to come.

Proper Diet

Your older cat’s nutritional needs are quite different from what they were in her younger years. It’s important to feed your cat a specially formulated senior diet to provide the proper nutrition. Ask your vet for a recommendation, and ask about the proper portion size for your companion’s needs.

Grooming Help

Although cats are quite good in the grooming department, they can use a little assistance by the time they’re seniors. That’s especially true of older pets who are beginning to suffer from the painful twinges of arthritis; they may not be able to twist and turn the way they once did to reach certain areas. Brush your cat daily to keep the coat and skin healthy.

Veterinary Check-ups

All cats need their veterinary check-ups, but your senior feline has a special need for regular examinations. This way, any health concerns can be caught and treated early on.

Call your vet clinic Roanoke, VA for more great tips!

How to Tell If Your Pet is Overweight

Many house pets are obese—did you know that nearly half of all dogs and cats are over their recommended weight limits? You may wonder if you own companion is carrying around too many excess pounds. Learn how to tell in this article from a vet Aurora, CO.

Physical Appearance

It sounds obvious, but physical appearance is, of course, one of the first indicators of obesity in pets. Straddle your pet and look at them from above—do their sides bulge out behind the rib cage, rather than curving in gently? Does the stomach area sag down when you look at Fido or Fluffy from the side?

Subtle Signs

Is your pet struggling to get up on furniture the way they once did? They might be too heavy to try. Are they chewing or licking incessantly at joints? Obese pets often develop arthritis, thanks to the excess weight pressing on their joints; many pets lick or chew at the painful area attempting to find relief.

Veterinary Checkup

Tell once and for all if your pet is obese by visiting your veterinary clinic Aurora, CO. Then, you and your vet can work together to return your pet to a healthy weight!

Quick Dental Care Tips for Your Dog

Don’t let your dog fall victim to dental health issues—they’re some of the most common problems that veterinarians diagnose in dogs! To keep your pooch’s pearly whites healthy, use these quick tips from a veterinarian Chattanooga, TN:

Fresh Water and Quality Diet

Provide your dog with a large dish of cool, fresh water to drink from at all times; this keeps him hydrated and helps flush the mouth out to remove leftover food particles, bacteria, and other grime. A healthy diet is also important, as the proper nutrients will keep your dog’s teeth and gums strong for years to come.

Brushing at Home

Brush your dog’s teeth at home using a pet toothbrush and a toothpaste formulated specifically for dogs. Focus on the outer tooth surfaces, where plaque tends to accumulate. It’s a great way to keep tartar at bay and stave off dangerous gum disease!

Veterinary Cleanings

Don’t forget about professional dental cleanings at the vet’s office. This procedure gets at the nooks and crannies of your dog’s mouth that brushing can’t—if your dog is due for a professional cleaning, schedule an appointment right away.

To learn more about canine dental health, call your vet Chattanooga, TN.

Tips on Road-Tripping With Pets

Are you going to be traveling by car with your animal companion in the near future? It can be a lot of fun to go road-tripping with your pet, but make sure they stay safe! Here are a few quick tips from a veterinarian Frisco, TX.

Car Safety

It’s best to keep your pet secured in their crate while in the car; this is the safest place for your pet in the event of an accident or sudden stop. For pets who easily get carsick, you may want to try cracking a few windows, playing soft music, or taking frequent breaks.

Identification

Identification is of paramount importance when traveling with your pet. Ensure that they are wearing ID tags on the collar, a microchip under the skin, or both at the same time. These measures are your best chance of getting your pet back in the event of an escape!

Check Your Destination

Before leaving home, check your destination to make sure pets are welcome. Not all hotels allow pets! You don’t want to arrive just to find out that your animal friend can’t stay.

For more road-tripping tips, contact your vet clinic Frisco, TX today. We’re always here to help!

Your Cat’s Hairballs

Hairballs are a part of life for most cat owners. Have you ever wondered if they’re safe for your feline companion? Below, your Livonia, MI vet covers the basics of Fluffy’s hairballs.

Why Do Hairballs Occur?

Cats ingest loose hair while grooming themselves; tiny barbs on the tongue pick it up, and your cat swallows it. Most of this swallowed hair passes through the digestive tract and gets expelled naturally in the feces, but some remains in the gut. This hair eventually clumps into a hairball, which is regurgitated by your cat.

Do Hairballs Cause Any Harm?

No, the occasional hairball shouldn’t cause your cat any harm. However, if your cat is gagging and retching but not producing a hairball, she could have a blocked airway—rush your pet to the emergency room. Additionally, vomiting is not the same as producing a hairball. If your cat is vomiting consistently, it’s time to see the vet.

Can I Lessen the Frequency of Hairballs?

Feed your cat a healthy diet; it will aid in digestive function and move hair through the gut properly. Brush your cat yourself to remove loose fur from her coat.

Call your veterinarian Livonia, MI to learn more!

Where to Place the Litter Box

If you’re going to be adopting a cat in the near future, or if you’re moving to a new home or apartment with your feline friend, you’ll have to choose where to put the litter box. Use these tips from a Tampa, FL vet to do so effectively:

Far From Food

Cats don’t prefer to eat their meals next to their bathroom; who can blame them? To be safe, position your cat’s food and water dishes in a separate area from the litter box. This will ensure that your cat doesn’t decide to shun her bathroom or avoid eating and drinking entirely.

Quiet Locale

No cat likes to do their business in a crowded, noisy area. Instead, they want to use their litter box in peace and quiet. Put it in an out-of-the-way location like a quiet bathroom, laundry room, or mud room to make sure that Fluffy isn’t disturbed while using her box.

Easy Access Positioning

Don’t forget to place the litter box in a location that’s easily accessible by your cat at all times, including when you’re not at home.

For more information on your cat’s healthcare needs, contact your veterinarian Tampa, FL. We’re always here to help!

Freshening Your Pet’s Breath

Most likely, your dog or cat’s breath doesn’t smell minty fresh at all times. If you would like to freshen up your pet’s breath, benefitting his or her dental health at the same time, use these tips from your veterinarians Lafayette, LA:

Water Dish

Fresh water works wonders for good dental health, and therefore for fresh breath. Make sure your pet has a large dish of cool water to drink from as they please. This flushes out the mouth regularly, getting rid of plaque and food particles, and keeps your pet hydrated at the same time.

Brushing at Home

Did you know that you can brush your pet’s teeth at home? Pick up a canine- or feline-formulated toothpaste and a pet toothbrush at your local pet supply store to get started. You can also use dental chews or sticks to help keep the teeth and gums clean; ask your vet for recommendations.

Professional Cleanings

Professional dental cleanings at the vet’s office get at the deep nooks and crannies of your pet’s mouth, rooting out plaque and tartar. It’s essential for good oral health and fresh breath!

To set up your pet’s next dental cleaning, contact your animal hospital Lafayette, LA.

Onion Poisoning in Dogs

Did you know that onions are a serious toxin for dogs? They can harm cats as well, but our canine companions are most commonly affected. Learn more below from your vet in Savannah, GA.

Symptoms of Poisoning

Onions—as well as related foods in the allium family like garlic, scallions, shallots, leeks, and chives—contain sulfuric chemicals that prove toxic to dogs.

Symptoms of onion toxicity include weakness, drooling, discolored urine, and diarrhea and vomiting. The sulfur compounds in onions and related foods attack your pet’s red blood cells, which can cause deadly anemia if the issue is left untreated.

Treatment Options

Activated charcoal may be given to slow the absorption of the toxin in your dog’s stomach, or the stomach may be flushed to rid the system of the poison. Fluid therapy and other supportive measures might be needed as your dog recovers.

Preventing Poisoning

It goes without saying that preventing poisoning by onion is your best choice! Restrict your dog’s access at all times; store onions and related foods in cabinets or the refrigerator, rather than leaving them out where pets could get a paw on them.

For more information on pet toxins, call your veterinarian Savannah, GA.