Pages Menu

Entering Your Animal Into a Pet Show

Most recent articles

Winter Weather Potty Pointers For New Puppy Owners

Posted by on Jan 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Training a new puppy to go potty outside can be daunting during a harsh winter. Convincing your puppy to brave the cold every time they need to relieve themselves other than go potty in the warmth of the indoors often requires extra effort and planning. If you are trying to potty train your new puppy in an area with excessive rainfall, ice or slush, read on for winter weather potty pointers that could help make the process smoother. Keep your pup warm Small puppies are often vulnerable to cold weather, as their short legs and low stature put them into closer contact with the snow. As an incentive get your puppy to go potty outside, you need to use some protective clothing to help them feel more comfortable in the cold. Blanket-style vets with attachment straps that you can quickly wrap onto your pup’s body can be used before the pet gets used to the idea of dressing up, after which you can gradually switch to warmer sweaters or coats/rain jackets that slip over his head. Such clothing can help make your puppy warm and relaxed enough to step outside for a potty break. Clear the snow For most puppies, the idea of having to slog through thick snow and ice can be a deterrent to leaving the house for a potty break. Clearing a potty space next to the home can make stepping outside more pleasant for your pup and also reduce contact with the snow that could lead to injury or excessive heat loss. Additionally, clearing snow around the potty area can make it easier for your puppy to pick up smells from prior eliminations, which could help him recognize this area as his personal potty. Alternatively, use a building overhang, archway or any other area shielded from the falling snow as your puppy’s potty area. Create an indoor potty area If you are being faced with extreme winter conditions such as blizzards or flooding that make it impossible to take your puppy outside for potty breaks, using an indoor potty pad, litter box or indoor grass area could be a viable alternative. An indoor potty area could help you avoid falls in heavy snow and protect your pet from the dangerous cold and wet conditions outside. To get your pup used to their indoor potty area, you need to keep then in a small playpen or gated area to restrict their movement until they learn only to relieve themselves in the potty area. Take the puppy to the potty area regularly, especially after potty-triggering events such as napping and...

read more

3 Key Considerations When Choosing A Kitty Daycare Facility

Posted by on Dec 31, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Pets are more than just a cuddly ball of fun. They are a part of your family. The last thing you want to think about is what you are going to do with your beloved pet when you go on vacation. Unfortunately, you might not be able to take your kitty with you every time you go. If that happens to be the case, you might want to look into kitty daycare centers. They provide your beloved pet with someone to love and care for them in your absence, while giving you the peace of mind you need to know that they are taken care of. To make sure you get the right facility for your kitty, here are three things to consider. Smell When you walk into the facility, you want to take notice of any weird smells. If there is a pungent odor that smells like no one is changing the litterboxes, you might want to head elsewhere. If they don’t care enough to take care of the animal’s waste, they probably aren’t going to take care of your kitty the way you like. The facility should smell clean and fresh. Cage Position Look at the cages. Are they all facing each other? If so, that could end up stressing your beloved pet out. It is better to have the cages lined up next to each other than it is to make the cats have to stare at other cats in close proximity to them. Cats like their privacy, so the more you can give them, the better. Staff Interaction Staff members should be open and willing to interact with your kitty. It shouldn’t be where your kitty is stuck inside of their cage the whole time they are there. You want someone who is willing to pick your cat up, hold them and pet them, just like you would do if you were there. There is no need to stress your kitty out more than you need to when you can take steps to avoid the problem to begin with. By looking at the things above, you can make sure you choose a daycare center that is going to take care of your kitty while you are away. If you ever have any questions or concerns, make sure to discuss them with the facility before locking yourself into anything. It is important that both you and your kitty are comfortable in your decision. To find out more, contact an animal care facility like Animal Care Center of Forest Park or others in your...

read more

Preparing To Board Your Timid Dog For The First Time

Posted by on Dec 8, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Many dog owners experience at least a small amount of stress when they have to board their dogs. When you have a dog that is timid, shy, or fearful, the stress and anxiety are intensified for both you and them. The further ahead you begin preparing for the boarding experience, the better off you both will be. Let’s take a look at some things you can do to prepare. Start Preparing Your Dog One of the best things you can do is to start getting your dog used to being around different people, noises, and environments. Being timid, your dog many not like to get out and go places with you, so start slowly. Have a family member that doesn’t usually care for the dog take on tasks like feeding and walking. If you don’t have someone in the home, see if you can recruit a neighbor or friend to help out once in awhile. The person must be aware that your dog is shy or frightened. When getting to know a timid dog, it’s best to let the dog come to the person in their own time. If possible, have the person sit on the floor. They should not make eye contact with the dog. Let the dog approach them. Your helper can place a treat or the dog’s meal on the floor next to them. When talking to your dog, the person should ask things of them versus making demands. Let the dog become familiar and comfortable with them before they give commands. Whenever possible, take your dog places with you. Some places to consider would be A friend or relatives’ house Local pet store A new park for a walk A drive in the car to a restaurant or bank drive-thru The goal is to introduce new places and sounds while still having you there to comfort your pet. Visit Boarding Facilities Don’t make your reservation with a boarding facility without first visiting. When you do visit, be sure to explain your situation and talk about your dog’s behaviors. Ask the staff how they handle timid dogs and be sure you are comfortable with the answers. You know your dog better than anyone and will make the right choice. Bring your dog with you so you can observe how the staff interacts with him or her. This will also give your dog a chance to see the facility at least once before staying there. If you supply them with written instructions on how you do things, will the boarding facility follow your dog’s routine as much as possible? It will help significantly if the boarding facility can keep your dog’s schedule as similar as possible to your home program. Make sure it will be all right for you to bring familiar things to leave with your dog, such as food, toys, and a bed or blanket. You may want to consider leaving an article of your clothing with your dog, so they have your scent nearby. Anxiety Aids There are over the counter products you can purchase that help dogs who suffer from anxiety. Two popular items are: DAP Collars – Mother dogs release a comforting pheromone when nursing their pups. These calming collars have a dog appeasing pheromone that is similar to that of a...

read more

Critical Cat Vaccinations And Booster Shots

Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Bringing home a new kitten can be exciting for your entire family. Making sure it’s just as pleasant an experience in the long term means taking care of some preventative healthcare needs first. Vaccinating your new kitten or cat will help ensure that they live long and healthy lives, and knowing what vaccines need regular updates will help you keep them that way. Core Vaccines In all, veterinarians recognize 4 core vaccines, which are important for your cat’s prolonged health. These are rabies, distemper, herpes virus and calcivirus, all of which should be fully administered by 16 weeks, and all of which involve 2 separate doses. Many animal shelters and breeders will take care of the first round of shots prior to allowing an animal to be adopted, so make sure to ask before taking your cat in for further inoculations. With the exception of your cat’s rabies vaccine, these same core vaccines only remain viable for up to one year, at which time a booster will need to be administered to maintain the efficacy of the vaccine. Following the first booster shot, all of the core vaccines should be renewed every three years. This will ensure the greatest level of immunity and avoid complications associated with renewing a lapsed vaccine, including tracking down documentation and the heightened risk of contracting the virus. Non-Core Vaccines Two other commonly administered vaccinations are considered non-core and aren’t typically administered prior to adoption. These are feline leukemia and Bordetella, also known as kennel cough, both of which can be started as early as 8 weeks of age. These vaccines are also administered in 2 separate doses initially, though the lower frequency of infection occurring is part of the reason for their classification as non-core. Once fully administered, both feline leukemia and Bordetella vaccines should be updated annually to ensure that your cat remains protected. If you’re not sure whether or not your cat needs to be vaccinated against these diseases, start by considering how much contact they’ll have with other animals, especially other cats. Unlike the core vaccines, these strains are limited in their communicability to other cats, so if your cat won’t ever be in direct contact with other felines, you may not need non-core vaccines. Even if your cat never goes to the veterinarian for any other reason, vaccines are an essential part of their basic health needs. Keeping up with their immunizations will ensure that your cat is around for years to come. If you have any other concerns or questions about vaccinating your cat, speak with your veterinarian to make sure you’re fully informed about both the risks and the benefits associated with these...

read more

Beyond Hairballs: 5 Possible Reasons Your Cat Is Vomiting

Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you have a cat, you’ve probably dealt with cat vomit at least once. While cat owners know that cats have a tendency to vomit for apparently no reason, frequent vomiting should never be overlooked. If your cat is throwing up and you know that hairballs aren’t the culprit, this guide will explain some of the most common reasons for a cat to throw up. Changed Cat Food Brands Cats are picky eaters, but they can also have sensitive stomachs. Cat food labels often suggest that you gradually introduce cats to new varieties of food, and you should heed their advice. Simply changing your cat to a different formula or brand can result in an upset stomach. If you want to switch your cat’s food, try the 25% rule: mix 75% of your cat’s old food with 25% of the new food for three days, then 50% of each for three days, 25% of the old and 75% of the new for three more days, and finally only the new food on the tenth day. Grass Cats eat grass to aid their digestion, but it’s not quite the same as taking a fiber supplement as a human. Cats sometimes purposefully eat grass if their stomach is upset in order to encourage vomiting. Since grass is mostly insoluble fiber, which can’t be digested, eating large quantities of it sometimes results in vomiting. Obstruction One of the more potentially dangerous reasons for a cat to frequently throw up is if they’re suffering from a gastrointestinal obstruction. These obstructions can block your cat’s digestive tract, making it impossible for them to pass food and other matter through their intestines and out as fecal matter. Unfortunately, this problem can potentially kill a cat in a brief period of time. If your cat is also hesitant to eat, or strains or produces nothing when they use the litter box, get them to the vet right away. Seizures Vomiting can be one of the side effects that your cat experiences before having a seizure. Unfortunately, if your cat throws up and then hides, you may not even see the seizure happening. Other symptoms that lead up to seizures can include yowling incessantly, pacing, or walking in circles. If your cat is showing these symptoms, whether or not you witness convulsions, it would be wise to take them to a vet. Serious Disease Frequent vomiting can indicate a lot of other problems, too. Cancer, liver disease, or infections can all potentially trigger vomiting in cats. While it’s impossible to determine if your cat has one of these problems just from them throwing up, you may be able to have your cat diagnosed early on if you get to a vet during this phase of illness. Frequent vomiting in cats is generally a sign that something is wrong, but the severity differs. If you think that your cat might just be munching too much grass or you’ve shifted to a new food too quickly, call your vet for advice. If your cat is exhibiting other symptoms, like excessive yowling or difficulty using the litter box, don’t hesitate: get to the veterinarian immediately. To learn more, contact a company like Coble Animal...

read more

Three Treatments That Can Be Used To Boost Acupuncture’s Affect On Pets

Posted by on Sep 22, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Whether you’re considering acupuncture for your pet, or they’re already receiving acupuncture, did you know that there are secondary therapies that can make acupuncture even more powerful? While offerings vary depending on the acupuncturist you visit, these add-on therapies can be coupled with acupuncture to provide stronger or faster results. Understanding Acupuncture Before you consider these therapies, it’s important to understand the basics of how acupuncture works. Acupuncturists believe that acupuncture stimulates the qi, or energy, to move where they want it to go. This keeps energy from becoming stagnant, encourages healing, or provides an energy boost to the recipient. Electroacupuncture Electroacupuncture uses a gentle electric pulse to amplify the movement of energy. While electricity and qi aren’t the same thing, the electric pulse can stimulate qi to move more efficiently than a needle alone can. While it sounds scary, the pulse is very gentle, and is never turned up to a level where it will hurt your pet. It can actually induce a slight numbing sensation in the area it’s used on, which may be beneficial if your pet needs pain relief. Moxibustion If electroacupuncture sounds too extreme to you, moxibustion may be what you’re looking for. To perform moxibustion, an acupuncturist lights a stick of mugwort, blows out the flame, and lets it smoke like incense. They then hold the mugwort over the needles in your pet. No direct contact is made, so the needles don’t become hot, but the smoke of the mugwort gently warms the skin. This treatment feels warm and comforting, especially if your pet has pain problems. Moxibustion accomplishes the same effect as electroacupuncture, but is gentler and soothing. Auriculotherapy Auriculotherapy is a specialized form of acupuncture that targets the ears, rather than the entire body. The general idea is that the ears are like a map of the entire body, and specific issues can be targeted by placing a needle in the correct place on the ears. Auriculotherapy is often a good idea if your pet is experiencing pain or has an injury in the area that needs treatment. Rather than trying to place a needle in a part of the body that already hurts, the acupuncturist can place the needle in the matching part of the ear. While this may sound a bit odd, acupuncturists believe that there are meridians running through the body that send qi to various parts of your body, kind of like veins carry blood. These meridians include the ears, so by placing a needle in a meridian in the ear, that acupuncture signal is carried throughout the meridian, even down to your pet’s toes. If the merdian they target coincides with a problem area, like a wound on the leg, the wound will receive the benefit even though it’s not getting a needle directly. Acupuncture can help your pets all on its own without any add-ons, but these three therapies can help to boost acupuncture’s effect. Ask your pet acupuncturist like Clayton Veterinary Associates if they offer these therapies, and whether they’re appropriate for your pet’s...

read more

Skin Diseases That Irritate Your Cat

Posted by on Aug 25, 2015 in Uncategorized |

One reason to help your cat with their daily grooming is to check out their skin and fur for signs of irritation. A number of bacterial, parasitic and allergic issues can plague your cat’s skin. But the fur can hide skin conditions until they become severe. Spotting them early and starting treatment early will prevent your cat from suffering with the following irritating skin problems. Abscesses If your cat is an outdoor cat, or you have other cats indoors, your cat is at risk of a bite or skin puncture from a feline disagreement. Any wounds could become infected and result in an abscess, where fluid collects under the skin. You’ll notice a red, swollen area where the abscess starts and you’ll see your cat licking the area frequently. The fur over the area may fall out as the abscess grows. Your pet hospital will drain the abscess and give your cat antibiotics to combat the infection until the wound heals. Contact Dermatitis This is your cat’s allergic reaction to certain materials around the house. Plastic and rubber food dishes and household cleaning chemicals can cause this. Contact Dermatitis results in small itchy red bumps appear on your cat’s skin. Use ceramic, glass or metal food dishes and keep your cat out of areas where you’ve just cleaned. The condition goes away once the cat is no longer exposed to the materials. Ear Mites These tiny insects get into the ears of your cat, causing irritation. Your cat will shake their head and scratch at their ears. You’ll also notice dark brown or black specks in your cat’s ears where the mites have set up home. Your vet will give you ear drops with which to clean out the ears using a piece of cotton. Some cats are prone to frequent ear mites and may need to be treated often. Flea Allergy Dermatitis A small number of cats will have an allergic reaction to flea bites. This causes tiny red bumps, usually along the base of the tail, back of the legs and inside your cat’s thighs. A sensitive cat can react to the bite of just one flea and have this rash for days. Your veterinarian will need to treat your cat for fleas and may give your cat an antihistamine to reduce the itchy rash. Psychogenic Alopecia Some cats react to stress by over-grooming. This nervous behavior results in a strip of thinning fur down their back or on their stomach. Your vet may recommend a feline pheromone diffuser to place throughout the house. This help cats calm down. If the problem continues, anti-anxiety medication is available for your cat. Ringworm This fungal infection creates a bare, round spot on your cat’s skin with a bright red ring around the area. This infection is contagious to people and other animals in the household. Your vet will use an anti-fungal medication to treat your cat and they may want to examine your other pets for any signs of the disease. If you notice any signs of a skin irritation in your cat, visit a pet hospital, like Negola’s Ark, for a professional inspection and to start any necessary treatment for your...

read more

Fixing Your Dog’s Painful Paws

Posted by on Jul 30, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If your dog loves to romp around outside or go on frequent walks, they may suffer from sore paws from time to time. The heat from sidewalks can make their paws sore or even burn. Dogs who play in the yard a lot often get bits of grass, sticky weeds, or even insects burrowed deep in the hair between their nails. Your furry friend may not let you know that they are having problems with their paw in an obvious way of whining, but you can often tell that something is amiss if they bite their paw a lot. Here’s how to relieve your dog’s sore paws. Remove Hitchhikers Hold your dog gently and rub his or her head and the rest of his body, then gradually move your hands to toward the paws. Rub on one paw at a time while looking for sticky hitchhikers that don’t belong there. Remove anything that you find. Keep in mind that you may need to use a pair of tweezers to remove anything that’s stuck in the hair on or around the paws. Wash the Paws Gather a small bucket and your dog’s shampoo. Mix in some water and a little of the soap in the bucket. Use your hands to gently wash your dog’s paws. It is not necessary to place the dog in the bucket. Hold him or her on the side of the bucket and wash one paw at a time. Since dogs typically don’t like this process, offer a treat while they are sitting there and give them lots of praise. Hold your dogs paw under some lukewarm water to rinse off the soap. Dry the paws with a towel. Inspect the Paws Look at the paws again to see if there are any cuts or scrapes. If so, apply a dab of antibiotic ointment and a bandage. Since your dog is likely to try to bite off a regular bandage, wrap it with gauze. It takes longer for the dog to bite it off, so at least you’ll be giving the ointment a little time to work into the cut or scrape. Apply Moisturizer If there are no wounds, apply moisturizer to the entire paw, and massage it in gently. Hold your dog until the moisturizer has soaked in, especially if you have a small dog that loves to jump up on your furniture; you don’t want moisturizer on your couch! Watch your dog closely the next time they spend time playing outdoors and after a walk to see if they are biting their paws and perform these steps again. If your dog still bites at their paws or shows other symptoms of pain or distress, make an appointment with your vet, one like Gulfport Veterinarian, so they can determine the cause of their...

read more

Protect Your Dog from Swallowing Bones at Barbecues This Summer

Posted by on Jul 10, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Summer barbecues can be a lot of fun for people as well as animals. However, barbecues also present a perfect opportunity for dogs to eat things they shouldn’t–things like animal bones. These tips will help you protect your dog from eating something that could do him or her real harm.  Ask Guests Not to Feed Your Dog It’s hard to say no to a dog with sad eyes, especially when that dog is a particularly cute or friendly animal. Explain to your guests that it’s not safe for your dog to eat people food and ask them not to feed your dog during the dinner–especially meat.  Clean Up Quickly after Your Guests Don’t allow your guests to leave food laying around where the dog can get it. Keep a watchful eye for any unattended plates at empty tables or on the back stoop. If you have a spouse helping you at the party, ask him or her to circulate the event and collect plates left lying around.  Keep Your Trash Can Covered After dinner is over, the leftover bones and other food scraps will all go into the garbage. Buy a special pet-proof trash can with a heavy lid, then put up a sign near the trash can that states the lid needs to remain closed at all times. This will help your guests remember to close the trash can and prevent your dog from gaining access to the old food.  Keep Your Dog Somewhere Safe While Food Is Being Served If you know that your dog is likely to try to sneak a few bites here and there during the party, keep your dog somewhere safe while food is being served. Put your dog in a different part of the yard or keep your dog in the house away from your guests.  Know the Symptoms of Gastrointestinal Distress Hopefully you’ll be able to protect your dog from any animal bones during your event. However, it’s still important to watch for signs of gastrointestinal distress after the event is over. If your dog becomes moody, begins vomiting, has bloody stools or seems unable to have a bowel movement, contact your pet’s veterinarian immediately. Keep the Number for an Animal Hospital on Hand If your party happens on a weekend when your pet’s normal veterinarian offices are closed, it’s important to have the number for an animal hospital on hand. If your dog does run into trouble, you can call for help right away. For more tips and information, speak with an animal...

read more

3 Signs You Need To Get Emergency Vet Treatment For Your Dog

Posted by on Jun 17, 2015 in Uncategorized |

For most people, a dog is more than just a pet – they’re a part of your family. Because of that, you want to make sure you take care of them. Part of ensuring they are well taken care of means you need to be aware of symptoms that can signal a more serious health condition in your dog. Here are three signs that you need to get emergency vet treatment for your dog. 1. The dog’s gums have a color other than pink. If your dog is healthy, they will have pink gums. They may turn white when you press on them, but they should quickly turn back to a shade of pink. If your dog has pale gums, that can mean there is a loss of blood. Even if you don’t see any blood or wounds on your dog, it can still signal blood loss because they could be bleeding internally. This is a serious medical emergency, so you will need to rush your dog to an emergency vet for treatment immediately. Your dog can also have blue gums. If you notice blue gums when you look in your dog’s mouth, that is a symptom that your dog’s brain isn’t getting enough oxygen – which is another medical emergency for your dog. Some other colors to look for in gums are bright red, which can mean your dog has an infection, and purple or grey, which can mean your dog is in shock.  2. The dog has a swollen stomach. A swollen stomach in a dog is another sign that you may need to seek emergency vet treatment. While some dogs can handle being a little bloated from eating too much, it can quickly turn into a life-threatening condition called gastric dilatation-volvulous (GDV). GDV occurs when your dog’s stomach dilates and expands from the food and gas and cannot be expelled. This then puts increased pressure on the dog’s stomach, which can prevent blood flow from the stomach to the heart, stomach wall rupture, and decreased lung function. All of those things can have fatal consequences for your dog. So, even if you think your dog may just be a little bloated, you should still seek care from emergency veterinarians to rule out any conditions that can have more serious consequences for your pet. 3. Extreme lethargy in your dog. A dog that has become extremely lethargic can be an emergency situation. In most cases, dogs will be lethargic due to an infection. However, if the infection is serious enough, it can be life-threatening. Parvovirus is one infection that causes lethargy that can be fatal if left untreated. Treatment for parvo is aggressive and makes emergency vet treatment necessary if your dog is lethargic, has vomiting and diarrhea, and pain in their abdomen.  Another reason your dog can be lethargic is because of diseases. For example, heart disease, liver disease, and diabetes can cause your dog to not have any energy to play or exercise. Early treatment of these diseases can lessen your pet’s symptoms and help increase their lifespan.  There are various other things that can cause extreme lethargy in your dog. That is why it is vital that you take them to an emergency vet as soon as you notice this symptom – especially if...

read more

Puttin’ On The Fritz: Two Training Exercises That Will Give Your Puppy That Show Dog Spark

Posted by on May 29, 2015 in Uncategorized |

For the casual dog owner, the champions strutting around the conformation ring are like the canine versions of human runway models. These show dogs seem to possess a natural stance and posture, but did you know that you can actually instill this spark into your own dog without ever planning to compete?  Here are two training techniques that dog handlers use to transform their puppies into the statuesque show dogs that they become, and how you can apply the same exercises to your beloved family puppy.  Stacking: Putting Your Best Paws Forward Have you ever noticed how show dogs always appear perfectly posed? This is not a natural phenomenon; your pup, too, can master this awe-inspiring, beautiful stance. A handler begins training a show dog how to stand while the dog is still a puppy. This kind of training is called “stacking,” and you can start stacking as soon as you pick your puppy up from the breeder.  First, learn how your dog’s breed is supposed to be presented in the conformation ring. For most breeds, the proper stance is “square,” with the front legs and back legs even and balanced below the dog’s body. Some dogs, most notably the German Shepherd Dog, deviate from this stance; learn about your breed before training your puppy so that you know how the finished “stack” should look. When you first start teaching your pup to stand, you will physically place your pet into position. Your puppy will undoubtedly be a squirmy, playful mess, so be patient and keep sessions short and fun. Keep control of your puppy’s head; the best way to do this is to hold your puppy’s favorite treat securely in your hand and allowing your dog to nibble on it without successfully grabbing it. Then, maneuver your pup’s front legs into position not by grabbing the paws, but by moving the legs from the elbows. For the back legs, angle the feet into position by grabbing the hocks. Once you achieve the desired stance, make your puppy hold it for a few seconds and then reward the progress by relinquishing the treat. Your puppy will learn to enjoy this time with you while also master the statuesque stack! Good Canine Posture Teaching your puppy to stack properly will turn some heads, but there is one more exercise that you can practice to accomplish that conformation ring pizzazz. You might think that the confidence exhibited by show dogs is that something special that separates the champions from the pets, but show dogs are not born with this allure. Just like people, dogs can have good and bad posture, and your dog must consciously practice good posture for it to become natural.  Every day, place your puppy on a counter top or table, With treats in hand, stack your pet, but place the back paws right on the edge of the table. Naturally, make sure your pet is comfortable with high surfaces before undergoing this training! Once you achieve a proper stack, place your arm beneath your dog’s two back legs, between the lower thighs and hocks, and slightly lift the back legs off of the table. Then, lower the legs slightly off of the table. Do this for just a few seconds at first, as your puppy will likely...

read more
Page 1 of 3123