Getting Your New Kitten Used To Her New Home

Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 in Blog, Pets & Animals | Comments Off on Getting Your New Kitten Used To Her New Home

Bringing a new kitten into your home can give joy and laughter to your entire family. A cuddly, curious kitten can be very exciting, but you need to handle her right so she gets used to the new environment. Read on to learn the special care your new furry friend may need in during the first days at home so as to quickly adapt to her new surroundings, Bringing the kitten home safely Kittens are often panicky when they are first separated from their mom and littermates, so you need to take the time to make them feel comfortable by being gentle and carrying them in a well-ventilated container that makes them feel secure. For instance, use a carrier that has been lined with soft, clean towels to give the kitten a warm, cozy resting place and help absorb any accidents the kitten might have if they are excessively fussy on the way home. It also helps to ensure that a new kitten gets tested for diseases before bringing them home, for their safety and the safety of other pets you may have in the house. Ensure that your new kitten gets tested for diseases such feline leukemia and vaccinated against parasites before joining the rest of your feline family.  Introducing the kitten to the your home Once you get the new kitten home, place her carrier in a quiet space and let her stay in there until she’s ready to come out. Even when she ventures out, be sure to leave the carrier open, as it provides a familiar hiding spot where she can retreat to whenever she feels threatened. Before introducing the new kitten to your family, it is important that you give her time to adapt to the new environment. You can do this by keeping her in an isolated room or space for a few days to give her time to relax and get confident in her new home. Offering hiding spots such as empty cardboard boxes can give the kitten a safe place to retreat to when sleeping or feeling anxious. You should also remember to provide food, water and a litter box that you will clean daily to help her adapt to a regular routine of feeding and using the litter box in a safe space. Once the kitten gets comfortable in her new room, you can then let them venture into other rooms, but be sure to leave her familiar items such as food and litter box in the same spot so she has little trouble finding them. For additional information about taking care of your cat, contact an veterinarian or animal hospital in your...

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How To Care For A Bearded Dragon

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Blog, Pets & Animals | Comments Off on How To Care For A Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragons are fairly easy to care for and make great companions, which is why they are great to keep as pets. If you’ve already adopted your bearded dragon, be sure you make an appointment with your local veterinarian (that accepts reptiles) to have your dragon looked over and tested for parasites. See below for other helpful tips to care for your new bearded dragon. Get The Right Enclosure Your bearded dragon needs a pretty good size enclosure, as these reptiles can get pretty long and like to climb. A glass enclosure with a screen for a lid (think fish tank) is fine, but it needs to be at least a 10 gallon tank. An enclosure with wooden sides and a glass front is also fine, but you need to be sure the interior is easy to clean and disinfect. Check with your local pet store to find the right type of enclosure for your bearded dragon if you aren’t sure. Furnish The Interior The interior of your dragon’s enclosure should have items that are suitable for a reptile. The bedding should be something like reptile carpet, paper towels or newspaper. Add branches so your dragon can climb and add other objects so your dragon can hide. You can use items laying around your house, such as cardboard boxes or an empty paper towel roll. Be sure whatever you use, it hasn’t been treated with pesticides, as these can be harmful to your pet. Provide Heat Your dragon likes warmer temperatures, so be sure to add a heat lamp to help control the temperature in your dragon’s enclosure. In the evenings, when temperatures can be a little cooler, use a heating pad beneath the enclosure to warm your dragon. Be sure to have a smoke detector nearby, just in case.  Give The Proper Food Bearded dragons should not eat any large food items, as it can cause them to choke or cause an obstruction. Provide young dragons with smaller insects such as crickets and older dragons with insects as well as greens. You can find crickets and other insects at your local pet store. Greens such as dandelion greens, collards and turnip greens can be fed to your dragon, while other greens such as kale and cabbage should be used to feed them sparingly. You can also give green beans, green peppers, squash and pumpkin to your dragon. Be sure to shred these veggies to ensure your dragon will not choke. Give your dragon a small bowl of water and change it daily. Bathe Your Dragon Give your dragon a bath each week to help keep your dragon hydrated and to help your dragon shed. The water should be warm and only about an inch deep. Your dragon may end up using the tub as it’s own personal bathroom, so be sure to disinfect the tub when your dragon is finished bathing.  These reptiles are easy to care for; just be sure to keep them fed, warm and bathed, and they can live long, happy lives. For more information on lizards for sale, click...

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Taking Care Of Your Cat’s Dental Health: What You Should Know

Posted by on Jan 14, 2016 in Blog, Pets & Animals | Comments Off on Taking Care Of Your Cat’s Dental Health: What You Should Know

When you adopt or buy your first cat, your first thoughts are most likely about whether or not you and your cat will get along, as well as about typical cat behaviors like scratching up the furniture. Within the realm of feline health care, on the other hand, you may not know what to expect. Many first-time and even veteran cat owners do not realize just how important their cat’s dental health is or how to take proper care of their teeth. Get to know some of the important facts about taking care of your cat’s dental health so that you can get them to the cat dentist if and when they need it. Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth Is Important Just like you need to brush your teeth every day to prevent infection and other oral health problems, your cat needs regular and frequent tooth brushing as well. Ideally, you would want to brush your cat’s teeth every day. However, if you and your cat are still in the early stages of your relationship, you may need to work up to that level of trust. Many cats do not like being restrained and do not like people messing with their mouths. Start of small by getting your cat comfortable with you holding their head or jaw in your hands. Scratching their chin is a good way to begin this process, as cats tend to like that. Next, try to expose their teeth by gently pushing back the skin around their mouths. Once they are comfortable with that, you can try to introduce the toothbrush and begin brushing their teeth. Some cats are going to still be adverse to this process and you may need to brush their teeth less frequently and use dental toys, treats, or foods to supplement the tooth brushing process. Have Their Teeth Cleaned And Examined Regularly On your cat’s yearly trip to the veterinarian for a routine checkup, have your vet also do a thorough exam of your cat’s mouth and teeth. This routine exam will help to look for signs of plaque or tartar buildup as well as signs of periodontal disease (gum disease) or tooth decay. If your cat’s teeth seem to have problems, you will want to schedule a teeth cleaning appointment with a cat dentist or with your veterinarian. A professional teeth cleaning for a cat often involves being put under anesthesia to make it easier for your cat’s care provider to remove buildup from the teeth, remove any infected teeth or gum tissue, and thoroughly clean their mouth. Now that you know more about taking care of your cat’s dental health, you can be sure that you are doing everything you can to make sure your cat is as healthy and happy as possible in your home....

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Telling Your Child About The Death Of A Pet: An Age-Based Guide

Posted by on Dec 15, 2015 in Blog, Pets & Animals | Comments Off on Telling Your Child About The Death Of A Pet: An Age-Based Guide

Children of varying ages have different ideas about death. While the concept of death is difficult for many toddlers and young children to comprehend, older children tend to understand quite well. As you can imagine, the more a child understands, the more they will react and grieve over the news. Children who don’t understand can also become very confused when too much information is given. For these reasons, you need to tell your child that their pet has died in a way that’s appropriate for their age. Following are a few age-based tips that will help you tell your child about the loss of their pet.   Ages Two and Three It is very difficult for children in this age group to understand death. In most cases, they think their pet is merely asleep and will wake up later. As their parent, you need to help your child understand as best you can, but you don’t want to give them too much information. Tell them that their pet has died and will not return. Toddlers tend to bounce back from such news rather quickly. You can expect bouts of sadness along with stretches of time where they seem to have forgotten about it.  Ages Four, Five and Six Children in this age group understand death a little bit more. However, they often view it as a change in existence rather than the end of it. For example, if you bury the pet, they may imagine that the pet is still able to eat and play underground. Young children may also begin to fear death at this age. Therefore, it’s very important that you explain why the pet died and reassure them that they are not going to die. Ages Seven, Eight and Nine Children in this age range are very curious about death, so you should expect to answer a lot of questions after you break the news. Always reply to such questions with honest answers. Don’t answer vaguely, as it could make their grieving worse. For example, if you tell your child that their pet was put to sleep, they may begin to fear sleep. It’s important in this age range to explain the mechanics of death, but don’t give them more information than they ask for. Children ages 10 and over usually understand and deal with death much like adults do. However, the emotions they experience after the death of their pet are often new to them, so they may not know how to deal with them very well. With older kids, it’s a good idea to reassure them and let them grieve in the way that seems to work best for them. For further assistance, contact local professionals, such as those from Spring Hill Veterinary...

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Does Your Dog Need A Flu Shot? What You Need To Know Before Going To The Vet

Posted by on Nov 23, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off on Does Your Dog Need A Flu Shot? What You Need To Know Before Going To The Vet

You probably consider whether or not to get a flu shot for yourself and your family members every year, but what about your dog? Canine influenza affects dogs similarly to the ways other flus affect humans. Your vet may offer your dog a flu vaccine to help prevent against this type of infection. Here are a few things you need to know. The Dog Flu Is Contagious The dog flu is highly contagious. If you take your dog to the dog park or other social activities with other animals, you may want to consider having your dog vaccinated. While the vaccine doesn’t prevent all strains of dog flu, it can offer an added layer of protection for your pooch. It’s important to remember that the dog flu can’t be spread to humans, so you don’t need to have your dog vaccinated to protect yourself. If your dog has a cough or shows other symptoms of being sick, you should keep it away from other dogs to prevent the spread of the disease. Because this is a relatively new disease in dogs, nearly all dogs are susceptible to contracting the infection. Having your dog vaccinated can help prevent the spread of disease to your pet and to others in your neighborhood. The Dog Flu Is Not Typically Dangerous For healthy dogs, the having flu can be a miserable experience, but it is not often deadly. Dogs with previous respiratory issues or dogs with weakened immune systems may have a more difficult time recovering from the dog flu. Pneumonia is a complication that sometimes arises with dog flu, and in rare cases, death can occur. It’s a good idea to talk about your dog’s overall health and whether or not the pet is a good candidate for the flu vaccine. The Dog Flu Is Not Seasonal While humans typically tend to catch the flu in the fall or winter months, the dog flu can strike at any time during the year. It’s important to take precautions to protect your dog year-round. This means keeping pet toys, especially those that go to the dog park with your pet, clean. Be sure to wash your hands before feeding and watering your pets, and keep pet beds and kennels clean as well. Vaccines On The Market There are currently two types of known dog flu strands; the H3N8 and H3N2. There are two vaccines available for H3N8, and one vaccine has been granted conditional approval for preventing H3N2. This new vaccine has not been approved for use in every state, so check with your vet clinic about its availability for your dog. Caring for your pet means trying to keep it as healthy as possible all year round. Understanding the different illnesses that can affect your dog and how to prevent them will make it easier for you to give your furry friend the gifts of good health and happiness. Contact a local vet, like Pet Medical Center – Full Service Veterinary Care, for more...

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Three Ways To Make Sure Your Flea Drop Treatments Are As Effective As Possible

Posted by on Oct 23, 2015 in Blog, Pets & Animals | Comments Off on Three Ways To Make Sure Your Flea Drop Treatments Are As Effective As Possible

One common means of controlling fleas on cats is through flea drop, also known as spot-on treatments, which are applied to the cat’s skin at the base of the neck. While these treatments can be highly effective when used properly, applying them and using them properly is not always as easy as you might assume! Here are a few tips for ensuring your flea drop treatments are as effective as possible at eliminating the fleas on your cats. Have someone help you. The instructions on these treatments will generally tell you to part the hair to ensure you apply the medication to the skin, rather than getting it all over the hair. This is tough to do with only two hands, especially if you have a cat that likes to wiggle all over. Wait until you have a helper around to assist you in applying the treatment. Have the helper hold the cat while you part the hair with one hand, and squeeze on the treatment with the other hand. Keep your cats separated after applying the drops. If you have more than one cat, keep them in separate rooms for a few hours after you apply the drop. Some cats, particularly those that are very close with each other, may groom one another, licking off the flea treatment. Not only will this render the treatment less effective, but it can also cause illness in the cats. Watch to see when the treatment has dried and dispersed. When you no longer see it on the cat’s neck, you can let your cats interact with one another once again. Treat all cats in the household. Just because only one cat is scratching or showing signs of a flea infestation does not mean you can get away without treating the other cats. Even if these other cats are flea-free right now, they are likely to become the new favorite hosts of the fleas once you treat the cat that is currently suffering. Apply flea treatments to all of your cats on the same day for the best results. There are several different types of spot-on flea treatments available, and some may be more effective than others, depending on the environment you live in and how heavily infested your cat is. Talk to your vet, visiting pet healthcare sites like, to determine which treatment is best for you. He or she may also have some additional tips to help you ensure your spot-on flea treatment is a...

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Healthy Kitty Happy Kitty: 5 Things To Look For When Choosing A Healthy Kitty

Posted by on Oct 5, 2015 in Blog, Pets & Animals | Comments Off on Healthy Kitty Happy Kitty: 5 Things To Look For When Choosing A Healthy Kitty

Your child has requested a kitten. After determining that they were mature enough to care for a pet, you’ve decided to fulfill their request. Since you’ve always been a dog person, you have no idea how to choose a healthy kitten. Before you go out and choose the first kitten you find, here are top to bottom instructions for choosing a healthy kitty. Bright Eyes When choosing a kitten, you should look at the eyes first. A healthy kitten will have bright, clear eyes. There won’t be any discharge around the eyes. The third eyelids that fold into the corner of the eyes should be tucked away so you can’t see them. Clean Ears Take a look inside the kittens’ ears. They should be clean. Discharge or crusty buildup near the inner ear canal could signify an infection. Watch the kitten for a few minutes. Does it shake its head or scratch at its ears? If it does, it could have ear mites that will require extensive treatment to get rid of. Moist Mouth A kitten’s mouth should be pink and moist. The gums should fit snugly around the teeth and not have any inflammation. A healthy kitten should have white teeth. There shouldn’t be any buildup on the teeth at all. Their breath should smell fresh. Pale, inflamed gums and foul breath could signify dental problems that will require treatment. Clear Nose Look at the kitten’s nose. Is it clear and moist? Or, is there a discharge coming from the nose? If the kitten has a discharge coming from its nose, and it’s coughing or sneezing, it may have a serious illness that will require veterinary assistance. Dry Tail End The tail end is the final area you should inspect before choosing a kitten. The tail and rectum should be clean and dry. There should not be any sigh of fecal matter. If the kitten you have chosen has a damp tail, look at the rectum. If that area is moist or you can see fecal matter, you should consider choosing another kitten. It may have an issue with its scent glands – or anal sac. If you’re preparing to add a kitten to your family, you need to choose wisely. Choosing a sick kitten could result in veterinary bills that you weren’t expecting, or worse – having to deal with the passing of the kitten shortly after bringing it home. If you have questions or concerns about a kitten, have a cat clinic do a well-kitten check for...

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5 Things Guinea Pig Owners Need To Know About Mastitis

Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 in Blog, Pets & Animals | Comments Off on 5 Things Guinea Pig Owners Need To Know About Mastitis

Guinea pigs are prone to a variety of reproductive conditions, so if your guinea pig is pregnant or has recently given birth, you need to watch out for a lot of problems, including mastitis. Here are five things you need to know about this painful condition. What is mastitis? Mastitis occurs when your guinea pig’s mammary glands get infected. The mammary glands are the glands that produce milk. If your pig has mastitis, you’ll notice that her nipples are swollen and warm. They may take on a blue color as well. You’ll also notice that your pig has lost interest in food and even looking after her new babies. If you notice these signs, you need to take your pig to an emergency vet, such as Pet Medical Center, immediately. What causes mastitis? When baby guinea pigs suckle, they can injure their mother’s nipples with their teeth. These injuries allow bacteria to enter the body, which leads to an infection of the mammary glands. The bacteria responsible for the infection may be Staphylococcus aureus, pseudomonas spp, or pasteurella spp. Can mastitis be fatal? Mastitis is a very serious infection. If it’s not treated, it can spread throughout your pig’s body. If the infection reaches the bloodstream (sepsis), your pig could die. Without their mother’s care the baby pigs could also die, unless you give them extra care and attention. How do vets treat mastitis? Vets treat mastitis with antibiotics. You will be given either topical or oral antibiotics, depending on the extent of the infection. Make sure to give your guinea pig the entire course of antibiotics; stopping the treatment earlier than recommended contributes to antibiotic resistance. Many antibiotics are toxic to guinea pigs, so make sure to see a vet that specializes in exotic animals and knows which antibiotics are safe. Guinea pigs can’t have any penicillin-based antibiotics such as amoxicillin, bacitracin, or oxytetracycline. The wrong antibiotics could kill your guinea pig. Can this condition be prevented? If your pig is nursing, it’s important to keep the cage very clean, so make sure to clean more frequently until the babies are weaned. Also, choose a soft bedding that won’t scrape your pig’s nipples, like fleece. Beddings that are made of paper or wood shavings may cause further damage to the nipples. If you think your guinea pig has mastitis, take her to an emergency vet right away. With prompt treatment, your furry friend should make a full...

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Pros And Cons Of Pet Boarding Facilities

Posted by on Aug 12, 2015 in Blog, Pets & Animals | Comments Off on Pros And Cons Of Pet Boarding Facilities

Pet boarding facilities are a popular option for keeping your pet safe while you’re out of town. If you are considering pet boarding as an option, this list of pros and cons should help you make your decision. Pro: Animal Knowledge Each pet care facility has a mix of veterinarians and trained staff with animal knowledge. They will be attuned to your pet’s needs, and should your animal get sick while you’re away, the staff can provide medical treatment. Pro: Implements Safety A pet boarding company will also use certain safety measures to prevent your pet from escaping. For instance, fiberglass walls can provide a good barrier and easy options for keeping an eye on pets at all times. A good pet facility should also have gates in place to keep pets inside. Pro: Guaranteed Attention With a pet sitter, you may not be able to guarantee that your pet will get adequate walks, grooming, and attention. Most boarding facilities, however, will guarantee you a certain level of service, such as two walks per day and one bath per week. You can visit a pet boarding facility to see the staff in action and make sure that they are paying adequate attention to all of the animals. Potential Con: Other Animals Your pet will be staying with other animals, which presents a few risks. If your pet is not comfortable around other animals, you may want to take the pet into the boarding house ahead of time to check the pet’s anxiety levels. Be sure to ask the facility how they deal with behavioral issues to keep pets safe, and what they would do if your pet is extremely homesick. Since exposure to illness is another possibility, talk with the staff’s vet beforehand to see what vaccines they recommend. You may also want to know how they segregate sick animals, and how they separate high-risk and exotic animals to keep your pet safe. Potential Con: Interrupting Your Pet’s Schedule Before you check your pet into a boarding facility, you’ll want to check what their daily routines are like. Changes in schedule can stress your pet out, so you may want to look for a boarding facility that can match your home routine. Overall, pet boarding facilities can be a great option for accommodations, as long as you communicate with the facility and get your pet’s needs met. Do your research and ask for a vet’s recommendation before choosing a boarding service. ...

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Recognizing Problems With Your Dog’s Teeth And Fostering Good Oral Habits

Posted by on Jul 21, 2015 in Blog, Pets & Animals | Comments Off on Recognizing Problems With Your Dog’s Teeth And Fostering Good Oral Habits

Your dog can’t tell you when it is experiencing a dental issue, which makes it important to regularly check out your pet’s mouth, teeth, and gums. Some pets may cooperate, while others may become anxious or aggressive, particularly if they are experiencing dental pain. Talk with your veterinarian or pet dentist about the best way to ease dogs into the habits that will keep their teeth healthy. Read on to learn more about common problems and how to foster good habits. Your dog’s teeth. It can be tough to know when the condition of your pet’s teeth–though their breath can often give some indication of a problem. Periodontal disease is common among dogs, just as it is for people, and the signs are quite similar. For instance, discoloration of teeth, swollen gums, and bad breath can be a sign of advanced tartar, plaque, and subsequent periodontal disease. Signs of tooth pain. Dogs will often suffer in silence, and you may not realize that they are experiencing dental pain or discomfort. Some signs of an issue may include behavioral changes, such as in appetite, or being reluctant to let you pet their head. Some other signs of a painful condition include: Attempts to bury their head in blankets, bedding, etc. Blood on the dog’s chew toy. Difficulty picking up their food. Whining or crying when they yawn or eat. Signs of dental infection An infection may be due to an abscess in your dog’s mouth, and you might be able to see a bump or swollen, inflamed area on your pet’s gum. An abscess may result in difficulty eating, and some dogs may tilt their head to the side more than usual. Also, watch your dog’s face for swelling, which could also be a symptom of an infection. Preventative options. Don’t ever use a regular toothbrush on your dog’s teeth; there are special toothbrushes for dogs that are a different size and shape. Don’t use regular toothpaste either, as fluoride can be toxic and dangerous for your pet. Typically, it is easy to find toothpaste for your dog in most pet retail venues, often in flavors such as poultry or peanut butter. Professional dental care. Veterinarians will typically clean your pet’s teeth for you during visits, though they may suggest that dogs have surgical cleanings, involving anesthesia and extended stays. Some groomers may also offer to clean your pet’s teeth for you. Invest in a pet toothbrush and toothpaste and start trying to foster cooperation with your dog when you brush his teeth. Don’t let your pet suffer with a dental problem. Have the vet periodically check your pet’s teeth during visits and begin brushing your dog’s teeth. This will take patience and diligence, but will reduce anxiety that may be associated with providing good oral hygiene....

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