What Dog Leash Should I Choose?

There sure are a lot of dog leashes out there—which one should you choose for your new canine companion? Your Livonia, MI veterinarian discusses the major leash types below.

Basic Leash

The vast majority of dogs will do just fine with a basic, standard-length leash, which is available at countless pet supply stores and retail outlets. They’re usually made of a nylon material and run anywhere from six to 10 feet long.

Retractable Leash

Retractable leashes can work to give your dog a little bit more space to roam; they feature a spring-loaded handle that lets your dog move away from you, then be stopped if you press a button on the handle. Just be careful not to let your dog surprise you—before you know it, they can be far out ahead of you and out of your control.

Training Leash

Dogs who are being trained sometimes use specialized leashes for that purpose. They may have specialized functions or be extra long. In general, don’t use one of these unless directed to do so by an animal trainer or your veterinarian.

Want a recommendation on a great dog leash? Call your Livonia, MI animal hospital for professional help.

Pocket Pet Dental Care

Do you own a pocket pet? For your guinea pig, hamster, gerbil, rat, or mouse, dental care is of great importance. Use these tips from your Livonia, MI vet to keep your furry friend’s oral health in peak condition.

Quality Diet

Great dental health starts with a great diet. Make sure your pocket pet is eating a high-quality commercial diet; don’t be afraid to ask your veterinarian to recommend a particular type and brand. Many pocket pets’ diets should also be supplemented with fresh fruits and veggies, so make sure you’re doing so.

Chew Toys

Chew toys give your pocket pet something to gnaw on besides the wire mesh of the cage, which could potentially fracture or break teeth. Provide your pet with plenty of pocket-pet-safe chew toys.

Veterinary Visits

Don’t forget about regular veterinary visits—the best way to keep your pet’s dental heath in check is to let the professionals take care of it! When your veterinarian sees your pet regularly, he or she can catch any problems early on, before they’re allowed to develop into more serious health issues. Set up an appointment at your Livonia, MI veterinary clinic today if your animal friend needs an exam.

Vaccination 101

Vaccination is an essential part of your pet’s health. If you’re new to pet ownership, you may not be familiar with the ins and outs of vaccines. Here, your Indianapolis, IN vet goes over the basics.

How Do Vaccines Work?

Vaccines introduce a small strain of a virus, called an antigen, to your pet’s immune system. In response, your pet’s system develops antibodies. This way, your pet’s body is prepared to recognize, lessen the symptoms of, and in some cases fight off the disease entirely should the real thing ever come along later in life.

What Vaccines Does My Pet Need?

Your pet needs the core vaccines, and these may have already been administered when your pet was young. Core vaccines include those that protect against distemper, calicivirus, rabies, parvovirus, and other serious and contagious diseases. Non-core vaccines aren’t essential for every pet, but they may be helpful for some based on exposure risk and other factors. Talk to your veterinarian for more details on the particular vaccines your pet needs.

How Do I Get Started?

Make an appointment at your Indianapolis, IN vet’s office if you have questions about your pet’s vaccinations or if your pet needs booster shots.

Xylitol and Pets: A Deadly Combination

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is used in many candies, gums, and certain baked goods. The substance is fine for human consumption, but it can prove deadly for our animal friends. Learn more here from your North Phoenix, AZ veterinarian.

Symptoms

The symptoms of xylitol poisoning—which usually appear within 30 minutes of ingestion—include weakness, disorientation, vomiting, and diarrhea. Without treatment, a pet may experience seizures, coma, and even death.

Treatment

Rush your pet to your local veterinary emergency room if you see or suspect that they’ve eaten a xylitol product. Your veterinarian may flush the stomach or administer activated charcoal to slow the poison’s absorption. IV fluid therapy, electrolyte replacement, oxygen supplementation, and other supportive treatments may be necessary as your pet recovers.

Preventing Poisoning

Of course, it’s far easier to prevent poisoning in the first place than deal with an episode. Luckily, it’s as simple as restricting your pet’s access to products that contain xylitol—never leave candies, gum, or baked goods out on countertops or tables where pets may be able to reach them. Store them inside closed containers or cabinets instead.

Ask your veterinarians North Phoenix, AZ for more information on xylitol and pets.

Your Home Already Contains These Pet Poisons

That’s right, you’ve already got these potential pet poisons in your home. Not to fear, though—it just takes awareness and precautionary measures to keep your four-legged friend safe. Learn more here from your vet in Marietta, GA.

Toxic Foods

Plenty of human foods can poison a pet! The list includes onions, garlic, chives, grapes, raisins, chocolate, candy, gum, avocado, alcohol, caffeine, salt, and more. It’s important to never leave harmful foods out on the countertops or table where pets could swipe them down.

Human Medication

Did you know that a variety of human medicines—everything from aspirin, cough syrup, and antidepressants to prescription pills and over-the-counter medications—can harm a pet if they ingest too much? Keep your medicine cabinet sealed tight at all times, and store your own medications and those of your pet separately so as not to mix them up.

Cleaning Supplies

Your supply closet contains all sorts of potentially harmful chemicals, from bleach and ammonia to household disinfectants, floor cleaner, and wood polish. Close and lock your supply closet when you’re not using the products inside, and keep your pet elsewhere if you’re using harmful chemicals.

Call your Marietta, GA veterinarian’s office for further advice.

Assembling Your Pet’s Emergency Kit

The best way to deal with an emergency situation is to be prepared for it ahead of time. When it comes to your pet, one of the best ways to do that is with an emergency kit. Here, your Myrtle Beach vet tells you what to include.

First-Aid Items

Most of your kit will be comprised of first-aid essentials like gauze, bandages, adhesive tape, tweezers, scissors, a disinfectant solution, a pet thermometer, nail clippers, etc. Also include a few pairs of latex gloves to protect your hands.

Essential Phone Numbers

It’s a good idea to make a list of essential phone numbers and include them in your kit; this way, you always know exactly where they are. Phone numbers to include are those of your vet’s office, any nearby emergency hospitals, and animal shelters in your area.

Medical Records

It’s important to pack your pet’s medical records in your kit—these can be literal lifesavers in an emergency situation. In a water-proof bag, put your pet’s proof of vaccinations, proof of ownership, a recent picture, and records of any recent medical work or chronic conditions.

Want more advice on building your pet’s emergency kit? Contact your veterinarians Myrtle Beach.

What Your Cat’s Tail is Telling You

One of the main ways that cats communicate, aside from vocalizations, is with their tail. Wondering what your cat is saying with her tail movements? Your Greenville, SC vet gives you a crash course below.

The Flagpole

When a cat holds their tail straight up in the air very rigidly, they’re usually feeling confident and poised. Most cats will happily accept a petting session when their tail is in this position; oblige your feline friend with some loving!

The Question Mark

You may sometimes see your cat’s tail bent in a gentle curve, almost like a question mark. Cats often position their tails this way when they’re feeling playful; you may soon see your cat dart around the house or play with her toys.

The Wrap

Have you ever noticed your cat wrap her tail around your leg gently while passing? Some cats even wrap their tails around other cats. This is a sign of love and affection, similar to the way we would put a loving arm on a friend’s shoulder. Feel free to love your cat right back!

Remember: not all cats are the same. Call your Greenville, SC vet to find out more about feline body language.

Safety Tips for Walking Your Dog

Walking your dog shouldn’t be a difficult task. With that being said, it’s important to take note of a few safety considerations before leaving home! Below, your Thousand Oaks, CA veterinarian tells you more.

Use a Leash

Always use a leash during walks, even if your dog is well-trained. Even the most obedient dogs can be startled by loud noises or dart off after a pesky squirrel. Keeping your dog on-leash is the best way to make sure he stays safe at all times.

Teach Recall Commands

Of course, there is the possibility that your dog can tear the leash out of your hands, or slip out of the collar. Perhaps you use a retractable leash, and your dog gets far ahead of you before you have the chance to stop it. In these cases, it’s always good to have your dog know a recall command, like “back!” or “come!” Ask your veterinarian how to get started with training.

Nighttime Tips

Both you and your dog should don reflective clothing when walking at nighttime. This will illuminate you to passing motorists and other walkers, minimizing any risk.

Does your dog need a veterinary exam? Contact your vet clinic Thousand Oaks, CA.

Keep Your Pet Away from These In-Home Toxins

Did you know that just about every home already contains some—if not all—of the following pet poisons? Don’t worry, though; all it takes to keep your pet safe is a few simple precautions. Your Orangevale, CA veterinarian elaborates below.

Human Medication

Many human medicines, from aspirin and antidepressants to prescription pills and cough syrup, aren’t good for pets. Never leave any of your medications out on countertops or tables where pets may be able to swipe them down. Remember: child-proof plastic caps are no match for a pet with strong jaws!

Poisonous Plant Life

There is a long list of potentially poisonous plants and flowers that may be found in your home. They include lilies, tulips, daffodils, ivy, oleander, elephant ear, certain aloe plant varieties, the sago palm, poinsettias, and more. Ask your vet what sorts of toxic plants are common in your area, and remove them from your home or garden immediately.

Toxic Foods

Plenty of human foods—chocolate, candy, grapes and raisins, onions, garlic, avocado, alcohol, and many more—are very bad for pets. Never let your animal companion gain access; store harmful foods safely in the refrigerator.

Call your animal hospital Orangevale, CA for more information.

Three Reasons to Get Your Pet a Microchip

Have you ever heard of microchips for pets? They’re the best way to keep your four-legged friend identified, and they’re becoming more popular every day. Learn about just three of microchips’ many benefits below from a Warminster, PA vet.

Secure Identification

Some pets may be able to chew through, slip off, or rip away a collar containing ID tags. With a microchip, you don’t have this worry; the chip is implanted under your pet’s skin and cannot be removed unless a veterinary professional does so.

Easy to Have Updated

If you move or change your telephone number, you’ll have to get new ID tags. If your pet has a microchip, you don’t even have to leave home to update it! Simply contact the microchip manufacturer, and they’ll update your pet’s information in their database instantly.

Quick, Painless, and Inexpensive

The microchipping procedure only takes a few moments, and your pet won’t feel any pain—the chip itself is inserted with a specialized syringe, and the whole process is very much like a vaccination. In addition, microchips aren’t expensive, usually ranging between $25 and $75.

Does your pet need properly identified? Set up an appointment at your Warminster, PA animal hospital.