Common Cat Litter Problems

By | Cats | No Comments

Cute cat in plastic litter box on floorYou probably love your furball friend more than many things in your life. What you may not love is her litter box. It’s that unfortunate truth of pet ownership: with the love comes some gross responsibilities. There are probably days when purposefully avoid cleaning the litter box, or you put it off until late in the day because you dread it so much. It doesn’t help if your cat starts having trouble using it. If this happens, don’t worry too much immediately; there are some common litter box problems that a lot of cat owners experience, as well as common solutions for them.

Urine In, Everything Else Out

Have you noticed your cat pooping outside the box? There are many potential reasons for this, and so most cat owners see this at some time. You may be baffled, particularly if your cat is still urinating in the box. A few possible reasons for this are:

  • It’s too dirty. Your cat may be trying to tell you that you need to clean the litter box.
  • It’s in a bad location. Your cat feels vulnerable while pooping. If the litter box is in a bad place for her, she may not use it.
  • She’s having trouble pooping. If she’s struggling, or hurting, she may associate that pain with pooping in the box, so she’ll go outside, instead.

So, start by cleaning the litter box. If necessary, move it to a location where she may feel more secure. Listen for crying when she uses it. If that happens, she may need some minor dietary changes to soften her stool and make it easier on her.

Excessive Digging

Is your cat playing in the litterbox? I could be harmless, but for the mess. It could also be a problem with the litter’s texture. Sometimes, cats dig obsessively because they don’t like the way the litter feels and can’t settle on a place to bury their feces. Try a different type of litter to help them and talk to your vet about the issue.

If you keep trying basic solutions, but nothing seems to help, talk to your vet. Come to Pet Vet Hospitals and we will make sure that a health issue isn’t causing your cat’s litter problems.

Taking Your Dog to the Beach

By | Dogs | No Comments

Relaxed dog on tropical beachBeach days can be great, and they’re even better with your canine friends there. In order for it to be a successful, fun day, you protect yourself from dangers at the beach. You remain aware, vigilant, and take precautions. What about your pet?

Anything that can hurt you can hurt your dog. Sudden waves, items on the beach, jellyfish, and other people and dogs are all risks. That doesn’t mean you have double to worry about. All you need is a little extra caution and awareness.

Keep a Watchful Eye

Bring extra water for your dog so that he doesn’t get dehydrated. That means more than just an extra bottle; bring some extra bottles for you and some extras for him. When it comes to the sun, make sure you both have plenty of shade. Everything will be exciting, so you may have to encourage him somehow to get out of the direct sun and heat every now and then. Bring some treats to entice him into relaxing.

That sun can heat the sand to a scorching temperature that hurts your feet. The same goes for your dog. Bring a blanket so your dog can get some relief for those burning paws when he’s not getting wet.

If your dog goes into the water, stay nearby. Don’t let your dog swim alone. Watch for waves, items in the water, jellyfish, and signs that your dog is in distress.

Know the signs for heat exhaustion. Those may include:

  • Excessive panting
  • Drooling
  • Stumbling and coordination problems
  • Vomiting
  • Collapsing

Finally, know when to call it a day. Fun is great, but there is such a thing as too much. When you have been out a while, it’s a good idea to go find a cool place and get some rest. This is true for you and your dog.

Before you have your day at the beach, come see us at Pet Vet Hospitals and make sure your dog is healthy and ready.

As the Texas Heat Rises, Take Special Care of Your Pets

By | Pet Care | No Comments

Dog in a pool in shelterDespite people doing their best to spread the word about how dangerous hot cars are, there are always terrible stories in the news of people who left their pets in the car with tragic results. They probably didn’t intend their pets any harm; they thought, “I won’t be gone long, and I’ll leave the windows cracked.” Unfortunately, with temperatures like those in Texas, that doesn’t matter, ultimately. That’s why these reminders are so important; in this Texas heat, take care of your pets.

Extra Ventilation

Wherever your pets reside, make sure there is plenty of air. For example, if your pet is indoors, he’s probably in air conditioning. But, if your dog is outside, he may need some help. Turn on that patio fan, or place one outside. Check the outdoor temperatures; if they get too high, bring your dog into the house, or somewhere cooler.

Plenty of Cool Water

When things get hotter, everyone needs more water, including your pet. Add an extra bowl. If your pet is outside, do the same, and more often. You will need to refill more often, too. You can also help by putting ice in the water. It will keep it cool a little longer, and replenish the water as it melts.

Out of the Sun

Make sure your pet has plenty of shade. This is particularly true if your pet is outside. However, if your pet is indoors and kept in an area where the hot sun comes in and warms up the room, pull down the shades, turn on the fan, and let your pet go somewhere with more shade.

Finally, never, ever leave your pet in the car, windows down or not. If your pet would have to stay in the stopped car alone, he shouldn’t go with you at all. For help caring for all your pet’s health needs, come to Pet Vet Hospitals.

Summer Means Mosquitoes and Mosquitoes Mean Heartworms

By | Pet Care | No Comments

Labrador dog in the summer glade.It’s that time again–time for vacations, days in the sun, and all that come with them. That means it’s also time for mosquitoes. Though mosquitoes can be found all year long in many places, they come out buzzing in every summer, and each time they do the alerts begin–West Nile Virus warnings, Zika, and heartworms. You’re not the only one who needs protection against these pests, and it can never be said too many times.

The Yearly Discussion

Each and every year, veterinarians everywhere start reminding their human clients about the importance of keeping up with pets’ heartworm prevention and testing. Despite the reminders and warnings, many vets still have a lot of patients who are not getting their treatments; the fact is, it’s an extra expense, and one that many people with indoor pets simply don’t see as a priority that justifies that expense.

Plenty of vets have heard the response, “It’s just too expensive.” True, it isn’t cheap. However, it is important enough that your vet will gladly recommend the cheapest options to help you keep your pet safe and healthy.

They also hear, “My pet isn’t outdoors that much.” Ultimately, that doesn’t matter, either. Because it only takes one bite to cause a problem, that means it only takes one mosquito to get inside through an open door, window, or screen.

These excuses–though they’re not always unjustified–put your pet at risk. Heartworms are not obvious problems. You may not even know if your pet has them. By the time your pet starts showing physical signs, things have progressed very far.

All this is why it is better to get the necessary protection. Come to Pet Vet Hospitals with your questions and concerns about mosquitoes and heartworms. We will help you get the heartworm protection your pet needs.

Facing Pet Care Costs

By | Pet Care | No Comments

Puppy bitingThere is no denying that pet care costs can be daunting. Many people avoid important procedures and medications for their pets because of these costs. It has been said that someone who cannot afford the care shouldn’t own a pet. Should people be denied great pets in their lives because their funds are limited?

There is no easy answer. What is certain is that any pet owner could find himself or herself struggling to afford pet care. There are a number of potential solutions to the problem.

Saving, Even a Little

If you take excellent care of your pets, you could find yourself going long periods without needing to worry about major medical expenses. That gives you time to save. Set up a percentage of money to put into savings each week, or each month. Even a little could go a long way. By the time you’re faced with costs,  you could have what you need, or at least enough to make an initial payment.

Financing, Credit, and Payment Plans

There are plans out there to help you pay for your pet’s medical expenses. Financing can come in many forms, either from a bank or the vet’s office. Your vet may offer payment plans, too. There are also credit accounts available for pet-specific spending. All of these can make it easier for you to pay over time.

Offer Services

Though the idea of volunteering to work to pay for services or goods is less common, now, it’s not impossible. The only way to know if this will work at your vet’s office, is to ask.

Veterinary Schools

If there is a local veterinary school and you’re willing to put your pet in the hands of those still learning, you may be able to get some affordable care there. Future vets need practice, and sometimes the only way they get it is through willing pet owners.

If you’re concerned about paying for your pet’s medical costs, call Pet Vet Hospitals and ask how we can help.

Can You Love a Pet Too Much?

By | Pet Care | No Comments

Loving a pet is a great thing; we welcome them into our lives and make them parts of our families. Of course, this love has its limits. Loving them to the point of spoiling them can be bad for their overall health, and since they’re not human, many would argue that we must place the humans in our lives before our pets. How do you know if you love a pet too much?

A Well-Loved Pet is Healthy and Happy

Our pets let us know when they’re happy. They have all sorts of ways to show excitement. You can usually tell when your pets are healthy, too. They will have plenty of energy, great appetites, they’ll sleep well, and be ready for your loving attention. Your vet is an important part of making sure your pet is healthy, too.

portrait of beautiful young woman 20 years with a fluffy red caHowever, it is possible to take those things we do to show our love too far. Feeding is a common example; we love it when our pets are happy, and they are often most happy when it’s feeding time. They show us excitement and affection when we have food. It’s in their nature to want to eat. Sometimes, we don’t realize that all those treats we give them—though they make our pets happy, and thus make us happy—are leading to overfeeding. Your pet doesn’t really know that; he or she just wants treats and love. But if the extra pounds start to pile on, they can cause a lot of health problems. That is why it’s important to show love through food in moderation.

From Love to Obsession

We all have different ways of showing love to our pets and pet owners regularly argue over how pets should live. Some dog owners insist dogs must live indoors, others keep theirs outside in the yard and spend time with them there. Some people feel their cats are happier living inside and outside, while others believe household cats should never wander outdoors. When does keeping your pets close and loving them go from normal, to obsessive?

Because everyone’s relationships with their pets are different, there is no easy answer. Some would say carrying a pet like a child is ridiculous, while others think it’s cute, for example. You may have reasons to pause and reconsider your relationship to your pets if the following apply to you:

  • Does your closeness to your pets get in the way of other relationships in your life?
  • Do you refuse to go places if you cannot take your pet with you?
  • Do you spend more time with your pet, and more time thinking about your pet than most other things in your life?
  • Do you truly believe you cannot survive without your pet?

If these are true, then it may be time to sit down and consider why you feel this way. Perhaps there is something in your life that needs addressing. Never be ashamed to talk to someone about that.

Never stop loving your pet. Just make sure that it’s a healthy love. Bring your loved one to us at Pet Vet Hospitals. We’re happy to help you keep your furry family member healthy for a long life, full of love, with you.

The Purebred Problem

By | Pet Care | No Comments

Master playing with his dogWhen we love the look of a dog, we’re loving the look of the breed. Specific breeds have specific physical traits, as well as other types of characteristics, and to get those traits, we would need to seek out that breed. That’s why purebred dogs exist. However, many people find that the desire for purebred dogs has become a very real problem. There are dogs of all kinds in the world that need good homes; they’re homeless, in shelters, pounds, or are being fostered, and many are never adopted. One of the reasons for this is breeding; many people still want dogs of specific breeds—purebred dogs.

Purebred dogs may look cute, or have other attributes owners want, but they may also have problems. True, any pet may develop a problem, but purebred pets are more at risk due to overbreeding, or inbreeding.

Special Traits, Good and Bad

A purebred dog can have all the traits you want, but it’s not uncommon for those breeds to have physical and behavioral problems, too. All dogs have the same origins, but over time they were bred for specific reasons—hunting, defense, burrowing, appearance, dog shows, and more. Continuously breeding dogs this way can lead to hereditary conditions that cannot always be prevented. This is why, if you insist on having a specific breed, it is essential to purchase that breed from a very reputable breeder.

Now, unless a person has a specific vocation in which a certain breed of dog could be useful—farmer or rancher, hunter, etc.—a lot of purebred dogs are bought because they’re cute, or trendy. It is important to be aware of how dogs fit into your lifestyle, too. Too many are bought, and then surrendered, or worse, because it turned out that, as cute as that dog may have been, it wasn’t the right fit for the owner.

If a dog comes from a truly reputable breeder, you could end up with a great animal. He could have all the right traits you’ve come to expect, including physical and behavioral. You may even be able to compete in dog shows, if that is something you want to do. Then again, some traits don’t show right away; even if you purchase from a good breeder, you may not get a perfect dog, after all.

Bad breeders and “puppy mills” still exist and it’s important to stop them. If you want a specific breed, remember that there are many, many dogs in need of good homes; you don’t necessarily need to go to a breeder to get what you want. Just take your time, search local shelters, and keep an open mind. You may find that some other dog steals your heart, or you may find precisely what you’re looking for.

When you find the right dog, bring him to Pet Vet Hospitals. We’ll help you get the right care throughout his life.

Are Pets Good for Business?: Pets in the Office

By | Pet Care | No Comments

People have their opinions over current, popular trends in any area of life and work. Members of the elder generations sometimes poke fun at younger people for them. However, every generation and period of time has its trends; some stick and become more than trends, and others fade. Among the many trends happening in the workplace today is the attempt at changing the workplace to make it more comfortable, friendly, and seeking work-life balance. Part of that, for some offices, means allowing pets in the office.

Benefits of Pets in the Office

Pet-related businesses are not the only ones allowing pets in the office. Rather, many modern businesses are embracing pets at work, and primarily for the sake of employees. The idea is that pets bring comfort to the workplace, make it more inviting, and that resonates in employee satisfaction and efforts.

It is becoming common knowledge that pets can help relieve stress. Few places are more stressful for the everyday working person than their jobs. Having a pet nearby to love during a break could make that person feel better.

These pets also have a way of bringing people together. Employees are brought together by the mutual love of those animals and the ability to share that. Clients also often enjoy coming into business where they’re welcomed by friendly animals. It’s different from the normal shopping or business experiences, and a welcome change.

Potential Problems

Of course, having pets in the office can have some negative aspects. While you can have pet policies to help maintain cleanliness, even trained pets may have accidents. Those accidents can be a smelly distraction. Pets may cause distractions in other ways, too. they make noise, beg for attention and food, and many need some exercise during the day. Those things take away from work time.

Ultimately, whether or not pets are good for business by being in the office probably depends upon the type of office and work. Evidently, many business owners feel the pros greatly outweigh the cons. That does not mean that all other businesses will, or should do the same.

If you do plan on having pets in the office, make sure they’re in the best health. Bring them to us at Pet Vet Hospitals.

The Best Running Buddy: Dogs for Runners

By | Dogs | No Comments

Woman and dog running on beach at sunsetDogs make great companions for a lot of activities. All dogs need walks, and most love to run if they have a reason, but not all dogs are suitable for regular, long runs. If you love running and you want to mix that love with the companionship of a dog, you need the right breed. There are plenty of great dogs for runners out there, ready and waiting to run alongside you.

Greyhounds

You probably already know that greyhounds are runners; they are members of a breed found often on the dog racing track. Their ability to do so well in that situation means they’re highly capable of being trained. Outside the track, they are also capable of loyalty and gentleness. Together, you could run a lot of miles.

Weimaraners

Weimaraners are generally lean, muscular dogs. They make for very energetic dogs, and need regular exercise to stay happy and healthy. They are also intelligent dogs and easily trained with the usual amount of patience and persistence. They can make excellent running partners.

Labradors

Of course, Labradors of any type are well-loved by many as energetic, playful, highly intelligent, loyal dogs. They are easily trained for any number of activities and would love nothing better than a good, long run by your side on a regular basis.

German Shepherds

Large, strong, and proud, German Shepherds are renown for their loyalty and protectiveness. They are also energetic dogs and need regular exercise to stay strong and content. They would love to run with their owners and protect them all along the way.

Huskies

Siberian huskies have served humans for centuries. In the coldest places, they run, hunt, and even pull sleds. That strength and stamina comes naturally, and means that these dogs need regular exercise to remain naturally healthy. They would make excellent running partners, and could go on as long as you, and even longer.

Running is great for your health. Let your dog share in that. Adopt your running buddy today and bring him into our office at Pet Vet Hospitals.

Hurricane Season Increases the Need for Pet Microchipping

By | Pet Care | No Comments

Identifying cat with microchip devicePet microchipping saves the lives of furry family members. This is why some cities in the U.S. are making pet microchipping mandatory. When there is less risk of losing a pet, there are fewer homeless and shelter pets. In Houston and other coastal areas, there may be no stronger reminder of all this than hurricane season. In recent years, people have lost loved ones, homes, important community locations, and even their beloved pets. Microchipping can help prevent the latter.

It’s Quick, Easy, and Affordable

The microchip that is inserted beneath the skin of your pet’s neck is very, very small—about the size of a small pin, or grain of rice. It is placed there via injection and your pet does not need to be asleep; it feels like little more than a normal needle injection. Once it’s inserted, the microchip remains there permanently so that, in the event your pet is found by someone, it can be scanned, and the information associated with it read. Then, your pet can be returned to you, safe and sound.

All this is simple, fast, painless for your pet, and affordable. In some cases, your pet may already have a microchip upon adoption; some shelters have this done and add the cost to the adoption fee. There are even some that offer it free as part of the adoption incentive.

This procedure is so important, too, that many veterinary offices will offer specials and encourage their clients to have this quick, life-saving procedure performed. At Pet Vet Hospitals, we strongly urge microchipping. We want you to have every opportunity to get it done. That is why, with hurricane season closing in, we are offering a $10 discount on all pet microchipping, starting on June 1st. Bring your furry family member in and let’s keep him or her safe together. Call us today to schedule your appointment, or come see us.

And, never forget that we at Pet Vet Hospitals are always here for the general health of your beloved pet.