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Summertime Cat Care

Posted May 21st, 2017 by admin

Summer time is rapidly approaching. In fact, while the calendar may not say the hottest season of the year has arrived, for those of us who live in the South, hotter temperatures have already made their appearance. And, while many people may look forward to warmer weather and fun in the sun, it is important to note that care must be taken for our furry friends to help them make it through those especially hot temperatures of the season.

As you think about those dog days of summer, don’t forget to take the following precautions for your feline friends, too! Here are few tips to keep your cat(s) purr-fectly happy this season.

Hot Weather Tips for Cooler Cats

• It should go without saying, but never leave your cat inside a vehicle at any time! Leaving the window open is NOT enough. Cats overheat especially quick and can develop heat stroke.
• Be sure to always leave ceiling fans or the ac running during the day!
• Fill up water bottles and freeze them. Once frozen, wrap the bottles in towels to provide a cool place for your cat to rest.
• Put ice cubes in their water bowl, and be sure they have a constant supply of water.
• If you have a cat that is frequently outside – especially during the day – consider bringing them indoors. However, don’t relegate them to a sunroom or one that doesn’t stay cool. Rather, consider a room with tile (or at least not carpet) as it will be cooler.
• If you take your cat on walks or runs, be sure to go earlier or later in the day when temps are lower.
• When your cat does go outside, be sure to a cat-safe sunscreen on its nose and ears. Your vet or a pet store employee can help you find one, if you are not sure what to choose.
• Keep in mind that senior cats, very young kittens and those in poor health need more TLC than younger ones. Be sure to schedule any vet appointments or other errands involving your cat for earlier or later in the day when the sun is not as hot.
• Cats like to sit on the ledges of window sills and screen porches. Be sure the screen is attached properly so they won’t fall out.
• For outside cats, consider having a simple water mister set up to help cool them down.
• Play a game of ice hockey with your cat. Throw an ice cube on the floor and bat it around with your cat. They will cool down, yet still get some exercise.
• Be sure your cat is wearing a flea and tick collar. These pests, and others, are worse during the summer so do your part to minimize the risks. Also, take time to check your cat for these pests and remove any that you see.

Summer weather can be enjoyed by everyone if just a little attention is given to planning and playing. Use these tips to ensure your cat is safe and healthy this summer. If you have questions about additional pet care, or perhaps need someone to help with taking care of your pet, give us a call today. We would love to help.

What Do You Need to Know about Pet Vaccinations?

Posted March 20th, 2017 by admin

We all know the importance of being sure our children or senior family members are immunized against disease, but did you know that vaccinations are just as important for your pets? Just as you would take your children to get shots against diseases such as mumps, polio or other life threatening illnesses, you need to be proactive to your approach as a pet parent.

In recent years, there has been much debate about the need for vaccinations – whether for humans or for pets. However, unlike in humans where we can talk about our concerns or have an idea of what we have been exposed to, with pets – especially those that are able to roam the neighborhood, we must be more proactive.

Consequently, it is vital as pet owners to talk to your veterinarian about what shots are absolutely required. It should also be noted that what shots are needed for one animal may not be needed for another – after all, dogs are not necessarily susceptible to the same issues as cats. Here are some of the various vaccinations that may be administered.

Common Core Vaccinations for Cats

  • Anleukopenia (feline distemper)
  • Feline calicivirus
  • Feline herpesvirus type 1 (rhinotracheitis)
  • Rabies

Non-core Feline Vaccinations

  • Feline leukemia virus
  • Bordetella
  • Chlamydophila felis
  • Feline immunodeficiency virus

Common Core Vaccinations for Dogs

  • Canine parvovirus
  • Distemper
  • Canine hepatitis
  • Rabies

Non-Core Canine Vaccinations

  • Bordetella bronchiseptica
  • Borrelia burgdorferi
  • Leptospira bacteria

Having your pet vaccinated is a way you can be proactive in keeping your pet healthy and protecting them from any potential sickness they may be exposed to. If you are unsure about what type of shots are needed for your pet, then be sure to talk to your veterinarian.

Like with having our children immunized, it is essential to be aware of any side effect that can occur. Granted, reactions are usually minimal if any, but that does not mean that they do not occur. When you have your pet vaccinated, there is always a small chance they will react to it by being more lethargic or “clingy” than normal but that will usually go away in a day or so.

But to be sure that your pet does not have an adverse reaction, you may even want to schedule the shots when you will be able to stay around your pet for a few hours, or even consider scheduling the shots when you have the following day off. However, if you notice other side effects, such as those listed below, be sure to talk to your vet immediately.

  • Collapse
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Facial swelling and/or hives
  • Fever
  • Lameness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain, swelling, redness, scabbing or hair loss around the injection site
  • Seizures
  • Sluggishness
  • Vomiting

Every state has its own requirements for what shots different pets need as well as their frequency. For instance, some states require them to be administered annually, while others only ask that they be given every three years. The exception to this rule is the rabies shot – as this vaccination is required annually for any domesticated pets.

We know that your pets are an important part of your family, and that you want to take care of them. Make time to schedule vaccinations and protect them. If you have questions about immunizations for your pet, talk to your veterinarian.

Benefits of Adopting a Special Needs Feline

Posted February 8th, 2017 by admin

For many families having a pet is a foregone conclusion. They envision days of romping outside playing fetch or playing tug a war with a ball of yarn, not having to be concerned about their pet’s balance or health issues. Why? Because not every family is equipped to take in a pet that has special needs. In fact, a PetFinder poll found that special needs pets came in third in the list of top pets hardest to place in a home (numbers one and two are senior pets, and pit-bull type dogs). But that does not negate the many benefits of having a pet who has been traumatized, injured or affected by disease. It is these pets that often make the best furry family members.

Before deciding that a special needs pet is not for you, it is important to first understand that in the pet world, special needs has a much broader meaning. For pets, special needs include both physical and mental disabilities, as well as chronic illness (diabetes, hip dysplasia), emotional distress such as PTSD, as well as amputees, the deaf and the blind. Again, these are merely factors that add to the animal’s uniqueness and do not have to be deterrents to adopting them.

4 Reasons to Adopt a Special Needs Pet

• Expand your world view. Adopting a special needs pet is not about taking them in out of pity because typically, these animals are extremely resilient and have learned to adapt to their circumstances. By adopting a special needs pet, you and your family will learn more about facing and overcoming challenges.
• Learn something new. When you adopt a pet with special needs you will find yourself learning more about their problem and how to make life richer for them. Also, in learning more about your pet’s needs you will be able to help other pet owners with caring for their special pet.
• You will help transform a life. Pets who are deaf can often be taught how to interact with you by using ASL. Other pet owners are able to teach their pets using body language or visual cues. Regardless of how you interact with your pet, you can know that their life is better because of you.
• Connect with others. Many times, special needs pets are able to help and encourage people who have suffered loss. There are countless stories of animals with special needs who have touched the lives of people who have suffered loss, needed an amputation, and many other traumatic experiences. In these cases, the pets often bring inspiration and determination to someone who might otherwise have given up.

Adopting a special needs pet is not for everyone, But, for those families who take in a pet who requires some extra TLC there are many rewards. If you have questions about taking in special needs pets, then talk to one of our team members today. With our vast experience, we will be glad to help you decide if a special needs pets is right for you.