Managing Dog Aggression

By | Dogs | No Comments

bulldog lying down pantingThere are specific dog breeds which have reputations for being aggressive. Human influence is a major factor in most cases of dog violence. The truth is, however, that any dog is capable of aggression in the right circumstances. If your dog exhibits aggression, it is essential that you address the issue immediately.

Don’t wait to act.

Dog aggression is taken very, very seriously. If you wait to address the problem, you could find yourself in the worst possible scenario: your dog has attacked someone and has to be put down. In many places, the police can force you to have the dog euthanized. Do not wait for this to happen, and don’t assume that it won’t.

What caused the change?

Some dogs begin aggression early, and others develop it. Sometimes, it seems sudden. You need to have some idea of what may have caused your dog’s responses. If this is a new ordeal, have there been any changes in his life or routine? When, specifically, does he show aggression? This can help you determine what changes need to be made and what sort of training you need to address the problem. In some cases, medical help may be necessary.

Seek help.

An aggressive dog is a dangerous thing, for you and those around you. Even when you know the triggers, it can still be unpredictable. Trying to solve the problem yourself may simply not be feasible, and could put you and your family at risk. Seek help from your vet and a professional trainer.

See your vet.

Your dog’s aggression may not be solved through training alone. You never know when it may be the result of a neurological problem. Plus, some physical ailments can cause aggression. See your vet. Your vet will determine if there are any underlying medical problems causing the personality change, and if medication may help the situation.

We want you and your dog to have a happy life together. If your dog is showing signs of aggression, come see us at Pet Vet Hospitals immediately. We’ll help you figure out what to do.

Keeping a Clean House with Indoor Pets

By | Pet Care | No Comments

dogs, petsHaving pets in the house is not always an easy thing. Many people prefer to have their cats and dogs with them everywhere because home is not home without their pets. There are consequences, however; pets shed and make messes. Controlling the amount of dander, accidents, smells, and more can seem daunting.

Control hair by being prepared.

Pets can shed anywhere, but they often have their favorite spots. Help your pet establish those spots and encourage them to limit the amount of shedding to specific places. That way, you can limit the cleaning to those spots. It helps to place a blanket or bed in that spot which you know your pet will use. So, all you need to do is wash the bedding.

Invest in steam or spot cleaner.

Cleaners now come in many sizes and styles, and some are made for the pet owner. If your pet’s messes are rare and small, a small steam cleaner or carpet washer will suffice. If they happen more often, you might consider a larger steam cleaner. You can find very affordable models that are well-worth the money.

Create a vacuuming schedule.

Vacuuming is essential for a clean house with pets. It is easy to get behind in vacuuming because it is not most people’s favorite chore. Make a vacuuming schedule and stick to it. If you don’t want to vacuuming every week, pick and choose the spots that need it the most. Vacuum those each week, and then the rest every other week.

When you need help with your pet’s health, come see us at Pet Vet Hospitals. We can even offer advice on grooming and methods to help control your pet’s shedding.

 

Why Consider Adopting an Older Pet?

By | Dogs | No Comments

Old labrador retriever.When people consider adopting a pet, they often search for a young one—usually a puppy or kitten. The perceived cuteness is often a factor in these decisions. However, most pet owners want their new addition to be around as long as possible, and the younger they are, the longer they will be with the family.

So, why bother adopting an older pet?

Older pets may not be with your family as long as the young, but their time is precious, and they have their own versions of cuteness. Older pets are well-worth considering as your new companion for many reasons. These are just a few:

They Need You: When they’re in the shelters, puppies and kittens are in need of a home. However, they are far more likely to find that home. Older pets are at risk of dying in those shelters because the volunteers cannot find homes for them. And, this sometimes occurs for no good reason. They have just as much need as others, if not more; they are nearing the end of their lives, and need someone to make those last days happy ones.

They’re Often Pre-Trained: The reasons for older pets living in shelters and pounds vary. It is entirely possible to find a good, happy pet who is already well-trained. You will not have to bother with puppy pads or litter boxes. Older dogs may already know how to be home alone, sit still, be quiet, not jump up, etc. Ignore the old phrase, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”—it is not true. With patience, you absolutely can train an old dog.

They Have Adorable Love to Give: Older pets have no shortage of devotion and love for you. They are capable of being loving and as adorable as any young pet. For the time that you have your old dog or cat, you could have the best possible animal friend.

If you’re ready for a new pet, don’t discount those older ones. When you have adopted, bring your new family member to us at Pet Vet Hospitals; we’re happy to help your pet have a healthy life.

Does Your Pet Need Prescription Food?

By | Pet Care | No Comments

Dr. Mark Pet Vet Hospitals Houston TexasPets so often beg for food from your plate that it seems as though they’ll eat anything. While there are a few picky eaters, many dogs and cats would gladly eat anything you offered them, even if it’s not good for them. Unfortunately, that is not good for them. In fact, sometimes the things that should be good for them cause bad reactions. That is why prescription pet food exists; for those pets with sensitive digestion.

When your pet cannot stomach anything, it may be time for prescription food.

When pets react badly to over-the-counter food, there may be a number of symptoms. Food allergies or sensitives appear in pets much like they do in people. Your pets may experience:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Chronic Infections
  • Hair Loss
  • Itching
  • And More

Because the symptoms for food sensitivity resemble other issues, it may take some investigating to discover the cause. First, you should consult your vet. He or she may want to see your pet and make certain there is another cause for the problems. Your vet may want to immediately place your pet on a prescription diet. However, you may also be able to determine what is causing the problem through elimination. With your vet’s help, you can create a clean diet with all natural, homemade ingredients—boiled, unsalted chicken, etc.—to see if that corrects the problem. Your vet may also recommend an over-the-counter product to test before switching immediately to the prescription food.

If you do need prescription food, you will have to acquire it at your vet’s office, unless your local pet store carries it. If you get it at the pet store, you will need to show your prescription at checkout. If your pet seems to be showing signs of food intolerance or allergies, bring him to us at Pet Vet Hospitals.

Know the Signs: Heartworms

By | Pet Care | No Comments

Houston Vet with DogHeartworms are some of the great concerns for pet owners, particularly for dogs. They’re quiet killers; you may not know that your dog has them until the infection is widespread and difficult to treat. The best way to deal with heartworms is to get ahead of them; have your dog checked regularly and use medical prevention.

Yet, since the risk is always present, even if it’s low, it helps to know the signs.

Coughing and Difficulty Breathing: Heartworms don’t just attack the heart; they make their way into the lungs. They multiply there and in the veins. Any physical activity may cause coughing, or even fainting.

Weight Loss: Eating can become difficult and appetite may decrease. Thus, your pet may lose weight.

Lethargy: Your dog may seem tired more often. He may move slow and be less interested in the activities that he normally loves. Even small things suddenly become too much.

Because many of the symptoms associated with heartworms can resemble other common problems, diagnosing from home can be difficult. It is essential to see the vet if any of them appear. Other symptoms may include seizures, high blood pressure, nosebleeds, pneumonia, and more.

To diagnose, your vet will have to take blood samples to check for the antigens. Other blood tests may be necessary, as well as x-rays to view any swelling of the heart and lungs. Strange heart rhythms may be a sign, too. Your vet may want to perform multiple tests to be certain and to determine just how far the problem has progressed.

Treatment of heartworms can take a long time. Without it, they can kill. If your pet does not have protection, talk to your vet today. Come see us at Pet Vet Hospitals. Get your dog, or other pet tested, and put them on preventative medication now.

Easy Homemade Cat Treats

By | Cats | No Comments

beautiful small kittenSometimes cat treats are an extra expense. Sometimes, you just want or need something more for your cat. Whatever the reason, you can make wholesome treats that most cats will love at home.

Popsicles

When things get warm, it’s nice for your furry friend to have a cold treat, too. Making frozen goodies for your cat is easy. Just fill a small, freezable cup or ice tray with a mixture her favorite wet food and a little water, and then freeze. You can also try adding a little catnip, or other natural, edible goodies your cat loves.

Cookies

Cookies for cats are not quite like the cookies you eat. But, your cat may love a tuna-flavored, soft treat from once in a while. They’re as easy to make as the cookies you make for yourself. Just mix some tuna and egg with flour, water, and parsley or catnip. When you have a dough, dust it with flour and roll it out. Cut out bite-sized pieces and bake them at 350 degrees. You don’t have to use Tuna if your cat doesn’t like it. You can use almost any other meat she prefers.

Crunchy Treats

A good crunch is good for your cat’s teeth. With some flour, tuna (or other favorite meat), egg, catnip, and a little oil, you can bake some extra-crunchy treats your cat will love. Just mix in a processor, work into a dough, and bake at about 350 degrees until brown and crunchy.

The great thing about homemade treats is that you know precisely what your cat is eating. You can use the best of ingredients. Of course, it’s also great if you love baking in general.

We care about your pet’s health. If you want to know more about what sort of treats to feed your furry friend, contact us at Pet Vet Hospitals.

Mosquito Proofing for Outdoor Dogs

By | Dogs | No Comments

dogs, dog, petsMosquitoes are one of the worst parts of summer. Though they live year-round in most places, they appear most in the summer and everyone is searching for the perfect method to be rid of them. As you take precautions to avoid being biting this summer, don’t forget that your pets need some help, too.

Outdoor dogs, for example, are susceptible to mosquitoes all day long. While their topical medications can help prevent flea, tick, and heartworm infestations, nothing is completely foolproof. Plus, those medications don’t always stop the bites.

Protect your dog’s sleeping area.

There are plenty of options for deterring mosquitoes outside full-time. Flames and sprays are generally temporary, and there aren’t many sprays meant for dogs. There are some oil solutions, such as those with citronella, that will work in the longer term. They will still have to be replaced from time-to-time, however. But, they’re worth it if they save your dog from being bitten regularly. Remember to shield them from the rain if your dog’s main sleeping area is out in the open, and make sure your dog is not likely to chew or eat the source.

Try some natural deterrents.

If you’re a gardener, there are several plants known for deterring mosquitoes. Many of them are edible for you, too, and smell pleasant. Plant some citronella, basil, mint, and rosemary. Plant plenty of them so that they may make a difference. The effects may be mild, but some are better than none.

Remember, mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. If your dog’s water bowl is outside, don’t overfill. It’s tempting to do so because the summer heat causes the water to evaporate quickly, which leaves you to refill the water more often. However, fresh water more often is better than stagnant water that breeds mosquitoes.

Add some air circulation.

Strong winds make it harder for the little bugs to fly. If your dog’s home has a plug nearby, try an outdoor fan. It will give your dog a breeze, and help reduce the amount of biting insects for a short time.

For help surviving the summer with your pets, come to us at Pet Vet Hospitals. We can give you tips on protecting your dog.

Summer Pet Safety Tips

By | Pet Care | No Comments

bulldog lying down pantingSummer is in full swing, and like any time of the year, it has its fun elements and risks. As you enjoy your summer with your family and pets, don’t forget to implement some safety precautions to extend the fun. Your pets need your help staying safe.

Never leave a pet in the car.

Social media has made sure we know how terrible it is to leave a pet in a hot car. Even with the windows rolled down, the heat can reach fatal heights. Your pet could suffer heat exhaustion, or suffocate if the windows are rolled up, or merely cracked. Never, ever leave your pet in a hot car. If you cannot take him in with you, leave him at home where it’s cool while you run your errand.

Keep extra water out.

Water evaporates more quickly when the heat is up. Even if your pet is not outdoors, things can get a bit warmer inside, particularly if you’re trying not to overrun your air conditioner. Put some extra water out during the summer. Adding some ice to it, too, is helpful; it not only cools the water, but helps delay evaporation.

Keep pets away from outdoor cooking areas.

Fun in the sun is great for everyone, but if you’re cooking outside with people, your dog may make it a little difficult. Keep your pet away from the fire and utensils. You can do so by making sure he has plenty to occupy him. If there’s no one to play with him, make sure he has toys. Give him his own treats so that he’ll be a little less tempted to go after your food. If you must, put him away in another part of the yard, or in the house.

Add extra mosquito protection.

Mosquitoes are hard to control. Even when you make sure your pet is up to date on heartworm prevention, the mosquitoes can still bite. Add some extra defense for your pets. Try some pet-friendly mosquito spray, or place some pet-safe mosquito deterrent near your pet’s chosen areas.

Have safe fun this summer. If you need any advice, your help with your pet’s health, come see us at Pet Vet Hospitals.

Summer Heat Stress on Your Pets

By | Pet Care | No Comments

dog-237187_1280Summer is well on its way. Things are heating up, including your pets. We know how to handle the heat for ourselves, but our pets sometimes need our help. We provide for them—food, water, shelter, and comfort—and so they depend on us to keep them from being overcome by dangers like heat. As summer approaches, remember to take some extra precautions.

Have water everywhere—or, at least readily available.

Water evaporates faster when it’s hot. That means that your pet’s water bowl might need to be refilled more often. It’s a good idea to add another water bowl or two for your pet during summer to prevent dehydration, or even a little extra thirst. You can also put ice in the water. This will help keep things cool, and when the ice melts, it will replace evaporating water and keep the bowl full just a little longer. If your pet likes ice, give him or her a piece every now and then. It’s a great way to keep them occupied, cool, and hydrated. If you go out, take cool water with you, or make sure you know where water is available.

Turn on the air.

Let your pets enjoy the benefits of cooling systems you use. In severe heat, bring your pets inside where it’s cool. If your dog is outdoors, try adding an outdoor fan. Keep bedding and other things in comfortable, shaded areas; shade decreases summer temperatures significantly.

Know the signs of dehydration and heat stress.

If you’re not paying attention, dehydration and heat-related illness can seem to hit suddenly. Those signs may include:

  • Panting
  • Dizziness
  • Drooling
  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Lack of Urine
  • And More

Knowing the signs can help you stop heat stress or stroke before it starts. Prepare, prevent, and treat. If you need help, come to us at Pet Vet Hospitals. We’re happy to help you and your pet get through the summer and the rest of the year, as well.

The Whining Dog

By | Dogs | No Comments

dog, dogs, allergies, petsWhile dogs can be wonderful, life-changing pets, they can also have their own quirks and problems. Many issues can be resolved with time, effort, and patience; your dog needs all of these from you in order to get better. Problems may include health or behavioral problems, or a mixture of both. Whining is something that all dogs do at some time; excessive, or constant whining, however, is stressful and could be a sign of a larger problem.

Whining is, like most other canine actions, a type of communication. Unfortunately for us, we don’t really speak a dog’s language, and so we cannot know exactly what he’s trying to say. If your dog is whining incessantly, and you’ve ruled out illness, pain, and other easily-addressed problems, it may be time to consider that the whining stems from more complex problems.

Anxiety

Does your dog pace when he whines? Does his whining increase, or become barking and howling when there’s a storm, a loud noise, or when you leave? Does he urinate and defecate on things? These are classic signs of canine anxiety and easing that anxiety can be a difficult process.

Some dogs merely need some extra training. They can learn that being calm and quiet has rewards, that an owner leaving is nothing to fear, and neither is being alone in general. They need to spend time alone regularly and get used to it, and be rewarded for doing so well.

Others may need more complex help, such as a combination of medication and training. Severe anxiety that manifests as whining could mean neurological problems. If you have tried all you know to try, it may be time to see your vet and ask about medication. Meds may help, but they won’t work alone; you’ll still have to train your dog, the medication may make it easier to do so.

If your dog’s whining is driving you crazy and you’ve done what you know to do, come see us at Pet Vet Hospitals. We may be able to help you figure out the next step.