Pet Boarding

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dogs people connection adoptionAs much as we would like it, sometimes it’s just not feasible to take our pets with us. They may not travel well, they may not be welcome at the destination, etc. So, finding suitable pet boarding is something that every pet owner should do in order to be prepared for those times when pets cannot go on the trip.

When it comes to cats, it is usually best not to take them with you on a trip unless you’re forced to because you’re moving, or some other necessary reason. In fact, it’s also better not to board a cat; if you can leave your cat at home and have someone come to visit every day, that is best. Cats often do not react well to being removed from their comfortable, familiar environment for a lengthy period of time.

Dogs are better travelers. Many people take dogs on trips, even long ones. However, when it’s simply not possible, a good boarding system is a must. Your dog should receive the best care—exercise and playtime, regular potty breaks, a comfortable, clean space, food, water, etc. The same can be said for cat boarding. If you must board your cat, you want to make sure he or she is getting the very best attention.

Veterinary clinics often offer more than medical services. Sometimes, they also offer pet grooming, daycare, and boarding. So, if you have a vet whom you trust, start there. Ask about potential boarding services. If your vet does not offer them, then the next best thing to do would be to ask your vet’s opinion on other options. She or he probably knows of good boarding in your area.

It’s also great to ask other pet owners whom you know and trust. Online searches and reviews are an essential part of searching for businesses, now. Ultimately, you’re looking for a place that will not only board your pet, but that is trustworthy and will give more than basic care for your animal. It’s hard to leave a pet behind, sometimes. You want it to get the same care you give and it can be worrisome, wondering if they’re okay.

When you need vet care, call us at Pet Vet Hospitals. We can provide and recommend the best.

Choosing Your Vet

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Vet using technologyVets are important parts of pet owner’s lives. When they’re great, they save pets’ lives, and keep the family together. So, it makes sense that pet parents search hard and choose wisely when they seek out a vet. If you’re in the market for a vet, don’t put the search off; get a good vet before you need one.

Start by asking around.

People whom you trust are the best sources of information, as are those who own pets. “Old-school” talking is still one of the best ways to get what you need. So, ask friends about the vets to whom they go. Ask questions such as:

Are they kind?

Are they thorough?

Are they more concerned with pet health than with money?

You can learn a lot by going directly to people like you.

Google still works well.

Most businesses, including veterinarians, now run on positive online reviews. So, Google, Google, Google, or use whatever search engine you prefer. Read reviews carefully and watch for clearly-padded positive reviews, negative reviews that don’t really seem to be fair, etc.

Take your time without taking too long.

You want to be thorough so that you find the right person. However, you don’t want to take too much time; the longer you wait, the longer your pet will go without good care.

Try a test visit.

If it’s not too expensive for you, you might narrow down your list of potential vets to just a very few, and then pay them a visit. Start by calling and asking some fundamental questions. Then, if you’re still not sure, make an appointment. Some vets will offer a first-time reduced fee for new patients, so it is worth asking if that’s the case.

At Pet Vet Hospitals, we are proud of our service records. Call us and ask us anything about our services. We’re happy to prove ourselves to be your best option for veterinary services.

The Big C: Watching for Signs of Cancer in Your Pet

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labrador-380800_1920Cancer is a terrible, all-too-common thing. People all over the world fight it every day, and so do our pets. Give your pet a fighting chance; know and watch for the signs of cancer in your pet. The earlier you catch it, the better the chances that you and your pet will continue to live happily together.

Check for Lumps

Some dogs are just “lumpy.” Many times, the lumps are just cysts that will go away on their own, or that need to be perforated and heal. However, it’s important to keep an eye on them, even if your pet has a history of them. Check them often and watch for changes in consistency, color, and size. Have your vet evaluate them, tell you what to expect and how to check them, and see your vet anytime you suspect changes have occurred. When it comes to concerns about cancer, you cannot be too careful.

Wounds that Won’t Heal

A wound that won’t heal could be a sign of infection. Or, it could be a cancerous area. Always have persistent wounds checked ASAP. Generally, it’s good to have a vet check any wound on your pet to make sure that it heals properly.

Strange Smells

New smells can indicate a lot of things. For example, your dog’s ears may have an odor if they have an infection. Always have new smells checked by your veterinarian. They may turn out to be nothing terrible, but even if they’re just an infection, you can get whatever it is treated before it gets worse. The same goes for unusual discharge. Any new smells or leaks should be evaluated immediately.

Talk to your vet about the signs of cancer in your pet. Know what to watch for, particularly if your pet is older. Come see us at Pet Vet Hospitals; we’re here to keep your pet healthy.

Your Pet’s Cuts and Scrapes

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bulldog lying down pantingNo matter how much you protect your pets, you cannot stop everything. They will find ways to get into things they shouldn’t, or have accidents. A pet with a cut or scrape is common. This doesn’t necessarily warrant a trip to the vet, however. There are some tips to treating your pet’s cuts and scrapes at home, and know when it’s time to see the vet.

Examine the wound.

Start by being calm and speaking gently and soothingly to your pet. If necessary, ask someone to help you hold her. Inspect the wound carefully. It’s best if you use some gloves for this and it may help to have a cotton ball, or cloth to dab at blood so that you can see better. How deep is the wound? Is there anything inside it? If it is very deep and might need stitches, it’s best to see the vet. If there is something inside it, you might be able to extract it yourself gently with tweezers. If you’re very uncomfortable with that, there’s always the vet to help.

Wash and dry the area.

Clean debris and blood away gently with warm water and an antiseptic solution. Chlorhexidine is a common, easy-to-find solution that works well. Once you’ve rinsed the area clean, pat it dry.

Apply an ointment.

To help a wound heal, apply an antimicrobial ointment, just as you would on yourself. Something with neomycin is usually safe. If you’re unsure of what to use, ask your vet.

Dress it carefully.

Animals are known to chew at wounds. So, it’s important to make sure they’re covered. This can get a little difficult if the wound is in a hard-to-wrap place. If your pet is persistent about the licking and chewing, try a cone to prevent them from doing so. Leave the dressing on for a long while. You should change it at least once a day. Give the wound a chance to air out for a little while between changing bandages if you can.

Is it large and bleeding heavily?

If the wound is sizeable and bleeding significantly, don’t wait. Bandage it quickly—and safely—and head straight for the vet’s office. Whether your pet needs treatment for an injury, or need to know how to treat one at home, we’re here for you at Pet Vet Animal Hospitals.

When Bathing Your Pet

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wellness spa wash sponge dogThe internet is full of videos of pets relaxing in the bath. The truth is, however, that many a pet hates taking a bath. They fight and cry, and make the task a hated one for you, too. However, it is a necessary chore and there are better ways to get it done.

First, it’s important not to bathe too often. Your animal’s coat and skin have natural oils to keep them healthy. If you wash too much, you remove those healthy oils and your pet’s skin may become dry and itchy. Talk to your vet about precisely how often you should give your pet a bath.

When you choose a soap, select something gentle. If you’ve never really had trouble with your pet’s skin and fur—she’s never shown signs of allergies—then selecting a safe, natural wash should be easy. If your pet has a history of itchy skin, you may want to look into soaps formulated for pets with allergies. You can also talk to your vet about what you should use.

When it comes to the bath itself, try these tips:

  • Come bath time, start with a good brushing. This will reduce the amount of fur that comes off in the water.
  • Warm water—not hot or cold—is best.
  • Avoid getting your pet’s ears wet. Wet inner ears can get infected.
  • Stay calm if your pet resists. If you react to your pet’s fighting, it will only make the stress of the situation worse. Speak softly and soothingly, and be gentle. Sometimes holding him gently by the scruff will help still him.
  • Use a towel for dripping moisture, and then let them dry naturally. A hair dryer is often too hot and can cause excessively dry skin.

Hopefully, over time your pet will adjust to the process. If you have any questions about bathing your pet, or any other type of care, contact us at Pet Vet Hospitals.

Healthy Spring in Your Pet’s Step: Spring Health

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Spring brings warmer weather. This means more time outside with your dog enjoying sunny days. Of course, a change in seasons also brings new things that could be concerns for you and your pet. This spring, prepare and leave yourself more time to enjoy the season.

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Allergies

People aren’t the only ones who experience sneezing, watery eyes, and sinus problems. The bloom and burst of pollen can cause much the same symptoms in dogs and cats. Your pets may exhibit signs like watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, licking, and excessive scratching. Some things can be treated at home. You can try a calming bath with special soap for itchiness. Some allergy symptoms can be treated at home with Benadryl—always be sure to ask a vet.

Growing Things

For outdoor pets, new plant life poses more than a risk for allergies. Some plants are poisonous if ingested. There are also insecticides and herbicides that, though they’re helpful for the lawn and garden, can be harmful for pets. Store these things away from your pets, and be aware of what your pet is doing when he’s outside. Avoid planting toxic things and try to use natural plant treatments.

Opening Doors and Windows

We like to let a fresh breeze cool the house on nice days, or days when it’s hot and we don’t want to overuse the air conditioner. Your cat or dog may enjoy this chance to smell the air, and see what’s happening outdoors. Make sure that you leave screens shut so that they don’t get out, and to prevent problems like mosquitoes from getting in.

Pest Control

The burst of spring brings bugs. It’s time to make sure your pets are up-to-date on all of their preventatives—heartworm, flea, tick, and mosquito. If your dog or cat lives outside most, or all of the time, consult with your veterinarian about the best protective plan for what lives in your area.

We’re ready for spring at Pet Vet Hospitals. Bring your furry family in for a spring health checkup and a plan to enjoy the season, while still remaining safe.

Pet Insurance for 2017

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Vet using technologyNearly every pet owner has been told to look into pet insurance. It’s a recommendation well worth repeating. As the year progresses forward, it is better to invest in pet insurance early and be ready for the unexpected throughout the year. Pets have the ability to make our lives better; trustworthy pet insurance is a way to reciprocate.

Pets are our family members. We wouldn’t let our family members go without the best health care, and the same goes for the family dog or cat. Yet, too many owners still go without pet insurance. Though it is an extra expense, it is not an exorbitant one. A monthly policy for one animal costs far less than the average health policy for a person, and it covers a full range of issues, depending upon which policy you choose.

The most important thing is that, when a medical emergency happens, you want to be financially prepared. Of course, there are some people who can afford the often-high costs of emergency veterinary care. However, many are not fully equipped to pay the full bill, and those bills can be very, very expensive. It is not unheard of for an owner to lose a pet prematurely because he or she couldn’t afford the necessary treatment. Though veterinarians always want to help, there is a limit to what they can do. That’s where pet insurance comes in.

If your pet is faced with a sudden injury or illness, and the bill is thousands of dollars that you simply don’t have, insurance like that offered by Nationwide can help. Like human health insurance, there are varying options for coverage. If your animal is young and unlikely to develop any illnesses, then an emergency-only plan may be appropriate. If your pet is aging and could develop issues associated with a long life, then a more comprehensive plan may be in order.

Be ready to save your pet in 2017. Look into pet insurance now. We recommend it at Pet Vet Hospitals. Call us today to find out what we recommend.

Cat Cinema: Films About Cats

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Depositphotos_18045079_m-2015We love animal films. They’re funny, sad, and remind us of the love we have for our feline friends. Sometimes it seems that dogs get all the love, but there are still many films about cats for you to watch while curled up with your kitty.

The Three Lives of Thomasina

Based on a novel, this film revolves around a single cat and her family in Scotland. As her human family struggles to cope with loss, Thomasina experiences death and reincarnation, both of which affect her and her life with her humans. It’s a strange, but moving story about learning to love and cope with loss.

Puss in Boots

This recent animated film’s story strays pretty far from the original fairy tale, but is fun nonetheless. Puss is essentially the feline version of Zorro, both a fugitive and a good cat, rushing to save the day with a fancy hat, stylish boots, and sword talent. This version of the character is an extension of the Shrek series, making it a fan favorite.

Hocus Pocus

This popular cult film doesn’t exactly focus on its kitty character 100%, but Thackery Binx plays a major part as a 17th century boy turned into an undying cat, Binx. When ancient witches are accidentally raised from the dead in the 20th century, Binx—who was turned into a cat the night that the witches were originally hung in Salem—must help the children who raised the witches defeat them. The movie has become a Halloween favorite for viewers of all ages.

Oliver and Company

Who could forget this Disney classic? An orphaned kitten finds friendship with a big dog, Dodger, other canine friends, and a human pickpocket. Together, they go on an adventure to help their human pay a debt. It’s a fun animated musical that remains a beloved Disney fan favorite.

There are many more films about cats for cat lovers out there. And for cat owners, we have all you need to keep your beloved feline friend healthy and happy. Come see us at Pet Vet Hospitals.

Special Deal for National Pet Dental Health Month

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dental-slideDid you know that February is National Pet Dental Health Month? To encourage your participation this month, Pet Vet Hospitals are offering 20% off of all dental cleanings booked during the month of February. Just book your dental checkup and cleaning in February—even if it’s for a date in March—and get 20% off. This is by appointment only, and spots are filling fast, so don’t wait. Call 281-879-PETS to for the closest location and appointment availability, and book today.

Your pet’s dental health is so important that the AVMA sponsors a month dedicated to educating pet owners on teeth and oral health. So, if your dog or cat has gone far too long between dental checkups, or you’ve noticed that bad breath is harder and harder to kill, don’t wait any longer to see your vet.

Start by getting a checkup. Let your vet assess just where your pet stands in term of dental health. Periodontal disease is a very real, common potential problem. This is disturbing because it is also so preventable; it is easy to care for your pet’s teeth and gums. All you need to do is take some simple steps on a regular basis.

Hopefully you’re vet does not find anything about which you should be concerned and can give you some great tips on where you should go from here. Brushing your pet’s teeth regularly, perhaps even daily, is one such recommended step. It may take time and patience to get your pet to accept this new task. There are also vet-recommended treats you can add to your pet’s regular feeding schedule. These treats help keep your pet’s teeth strong, his breath fresh, and aid in the removal of tartar buildup.

Don’t let this month be the end of your concern over dental health. In order to truly prevent periodontal disease, you have to develop a habit of keeping your pet’s oral hygiene a priority. Keep up the brushing, give those treats, and get regular checkups as often as your vet sees fit.

Doggy Drama: Films About Dogs

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movie director dogPlenty of us love great films about dogs, our furry best friends. They often warm our hearts, and sometimes make us weep with sadness and joy. Here are just a few of the many dog film recommendations, both classic and new.

A Dog’s Purpose

In this tale—coming very soon in 2017—a dog examines his purpose in life as he lives through many of them. Each time, he is adopted, lives his life with his new human, and then passes on to be reborn in the form of a new companion. He finds out that his life is a cycle in more ways than one. This film has the potential to become a dog-lover classic.

Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

Based on a Canadian novel, three pets—two dogs and a cat—travel hundreds of miles in a desperate attempt to reunited with their beloved humans. They encounter all sorts of dangers along the way, but are united in their love for one another and devotion to their owners. It has humor and heart, and continues to be a film loved by many.

Lassie Come Home

Who could forget Lassie? Lassie Come Home is the first of a film series about a lovable, heroic border collie. The series began with books, as so many great ones do, and lives on as the classic tale of the love between a dog and its owner.

Beethoven

This saint bernard won the hearts of families everywhere. Two young children discover a puppy in need of a home. Though their stern father objects, they raise the puppy into a very loyal, and very large, loving mess of a dog. Beethoven’s adventures continued in other films, and the sound of Beethoven’s 5th took on new meaning.

Where the Red Fern Grows

Based on a classic novel, this story has warmed and broken hearts for generations. A young country boy goes through a lot to acquire his two beloved hounds. Together, they hunt, win prizes, and create a bond not soon to be forgotten by anyone watching the film. There are some heartbreaking moments in this story, but it continues to be a dog fan’s favorite.

Curl up with your pup and watch some great films about dogs. When your dog has drama of its own, bring it to us at Pet Vet Hospitals and let us help.