Giving Your Kitten a Bath

It’s a good idea to get your kitten used to bath time early on in life—this way, he’ll grow up with bathing as a natural part of life. Here, your Mt. Pleasant, SC veterinarian gives you a step-by-step guide for bathing your young feline friend.

Gather Supplies

First, gather everything you’ll need. This includes a feline-formulated shampoo (available at pet supply stores and certain retail outlets), a large soft towel, and a few pet treats. Set yourself up at the tub or the kitchen sink, and consider putting down a rubber mat to help your kitty maintain his footing.

Rinse and Lather

Wet your kitten’s coat, taking care to avoid getting water in the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears. Now, dab a small amount of the shampoo into your cat’s coat and begin massaging it through the fur. Work from the neck downward.

Rinse, Dry, and Reward

Once your kitten has been thoroughly shampooed, rinse the coat out with fresh water. Now, dry them with the towel. Slip your kitty a few treats after bath time; this will help him learn that bathing is a positive experience.

Call your vet clinic Mt. Pleasant, SC for more great bathing tips.

Keeping Your Pocket Pet’s Dental Health in Check

Do you own a pocket pet like a gerbil, hamster, guinea pig, rat, or mouse? Their dental health is very important! Here, your Castle Hills, TX veterinarian tells you about three ways to make sure your furry friend’s oral health stays in tip-top shape.

Proper Diet

A great diet is essential for your pet’s overall well-being, dental health included. Your pet should be eating a high-quality commercial diet, and many rodent pets’ diets can and should be supplemented with fresh veggies, fruits, grains, and other foods. Ask your vet for specifics on your pet’s nutritional needs.

Good Chew Toys

Chew toys keep the teeth and gums strong, give your pet an outlet for their natural chewing instincts, and prevent them from chewing on the wire mesh of their cage or on other surfaces that aren’t healthy. Make sure your pet has plenty of good chew toys.

Veterinary Visits

Of course, having your pocket pet see your veterinarian on a regular basis is the best way to make sure their dental health—and overall wellness—stays in peak condition. If your pet needs an exam or if you have further questions on their healthcare, call your veterinarians Castle Hills, TX today.

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.