Never Forget the Importance of Microchipping

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In the wake of recent hurricanes, homes and lives have been left in disarray. This is true of both humans and animals. Owners were separated from their beloved pets during the chaos and some pets were simply left behind to survive on their own. The stories are saddening. They are also why microchipping exists.

man saves his dog from a floodReuniting Pets and Their Families

Fortunately, there are many trying to make the best of terrible situations. Volunteers have traveled from across the country to the cities hit hardest to aid both humans and animals affected by these natural disasters. Some have gone to help find these animals, rescue them, and provide them with temporary shelters. Vets have gone to offer medical care. And, of course, there are efforts to reunite these pets with their owners. If the latter isn’t possible, these volunteers try to find new homes for the animals.

Of course, a great deal of the problems associated with losing a pet are made much better through microchipping. In fact, some cities and states require that all adoptable pets be microchipped. The tiny microchips that are implanted under a pet’s skin are not only safe for the pet in the long-term, they’re a great safety measure overall. They help ensure that you’ll be reunited with your pet under such circumstances as a natural disaster. They also help prevent your pet from being lost in general, taken, and reduce the chances of something terrible happening, in general. A vet, or person at a shelter can have the chip scanned. You can also perform a search using your pet’s chip ID number. As long as the information is valid, you can be reunited with your pet.

Microchipping has the potential to save you and your pet a great deal of trouble and pain. In addition to your pet’s regular vaccinations and checkups, have your pet microchipped, if he or she is not already. Talk to you vet about how. Make sure to take care of the information, too, in case anything happens. At Pet Vet Hospitals, we hate to see families and their pets torn apart. Take precautions with microchipping.

(Archive) Happy Safe Halloween with Your Pets

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beagle in pumpkinHalloween is fast approaching, and most people are gearing up to get the decorations ready, and plan the parties and trick-or-treating. Among the many amusing things people do on Halloween—and through October in general—is dress up their animals and take them out as part of the fun. As always, when you take your pet anywhere with your or engage in activity, be aware of ways to keep safe.

Candy is for People

Keep the candy away from your pets. It’s pretty common knowledge that one of the most popular types of candy—chocolate—is bad for dogs and cats. Many candies also contain artificial sweeteners that are poisonous, like xylitol. Plus, all that sugar in general isn’t good for your pet’s health.

Watch out for other trick ‘r treaters.

Just because you think your pet is adorable doesn’t mean others will be so appreciative. Halloween is also notorious for tricksters, and even some not-so-fun mayhem. Plus, you never know how your pet will react to all of the excitement. Keep a watchful eye on your pets and those with whom they come into contact to avoid incidents, and make sure they have all of their ID tags on them.

Remember fire safety.

Those lit pumpkins are creative and spooky, but remember that they can be a fire hazard. Never leave your pet alone with lit pumpkins and other lit objects. And, remember to extinguish them before you leave for a long period, or go to bed. Also, remember that pets sometimes get excited and chew on new things, like decoration cords and lights. So, be cautious as you decorate for Halloween and keep those lights out of your pets’ reach.

Don’t force the costume.

Some pets simply don’t like being dressed in costumes, and it’s not fair to force them. You wouldn’t want someone force-dressing you, so don’t put your pets through that. If they’re fighting the costume, let them win.

We’re here for you and your pet on Halloween, and any other time of the year. Enjoy the holiday, and remember to play it safe.

Remember Your Pet’s Yearly Checkup

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Houston Vet with DogAs we enter the fall season, we’re quickly reminded that winter is not far behind. Even as the Halloween items begin to sell, Christmas products are already appearing on the shelves. Thus, even though there is still time before the end of the year and the beginning of the next, it’s a great time to think about your pet’s health and yearly checkup.

In fact, it’s always a great time to think of your pet’s health.

All pets should see the vet at least once a year. This yearly visit allows your vet to assess your pet’s overall health. She’ll conduct a basic exam for any outward signs of physical problems and may recommend, or even insist upon some x-rays to check for interior issues. The latter is particularly true if your pet is older.

In fact, if your pet is aging, more than one visit yearly may be necessary. As your pet grows older, problems can appear more often. There may also be unseen problems that develop slowly, but must be caught quickly; the only way to do so is make certain that your pet sees the vet often enough to find them before they become deadly.

Consider insurance to help pay for these checkups.

Of course, many pet owners avoid regular vet visits due to costs. You can, however, reduce these costs by investing in pet insurance. With many carriers, you can pay less for checkups, and even get a single, yearly one completely covered. You’ll also save on the costs of major procedures and common medication. It is well-worth the monthly fee.

As fall progresses and winter approaches, start thinking of that next vet visit. When you’re ready, bring your pet into Pet Vet Hospitals. Let us make sure your pet’s next year goes just as well, or even better.

It’s Pumpkin Time Again for Pets, Too

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beagle in pumpkinIt’s that time of year when pumpkins abound. Even before fall begins officially, they appear in your local grocery stores, general stores, and nurseries, ready to be used as décor, carved, and consumed. They’re a fun symbol of a great time of year, coming in all shapes, sizes, and latte flavors. Of course, we’re not the only ones who like these plants.

Pumpkin can be good for your pets, too.

While you don’t want to feed your pet a pumpkin spiced latte or other sweet, raw pumpkin has its benefits for pets. Pure, untreated pumpkin can help with your dog’s digestion, and sometimes your cat’s, too. This is becoming somewhat common knowledge because pet owners, including new ones, quickly become all too familiar with the variety of stomach upsets their pets can experience.

If your pet has diarrhea, or difficulty passing a stool, a dash of pumpkin could be the right tool. Many pet owners keep a can of plain, unsweetened pumpkin around for just such an occasion. Pumpkin contains soluble fiber that can aid your pet’s passing of the tough stool, or soak up excess water that is causing diarrhea. Thus, pumpkin can be a great treatment for some simple tummy troubles.

Not all stomach issues call for a trip to the vet. In fact, if your pet has stomach problems, talk to your vet and ask about pumpkin, and he or she may suggest you try it to find out if it helps before bringing your pet into the office. Of course, if there are other problematic signs in addition to the stool problems, you’ll want to bring your pet in for a checkup immediately.

A final benefit is that most pets enjoy the taste of pumpkin. It is likely that you’ll find you have no trouble getting your pet to eat it. However, if you do, it’s easily mixed in with regular food.

If you have more questions about how to use pumpkin in your pet’s diet, contact us at Pet Vet Hospitals, and have a great fall season with your pet.

Play with Your Pets

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Depositphotos_54192935_s-2015Do you play with your pets enough? Do you provide them with enough attention? Sometimes, when life gets busy, we forget just how much our pets need our attention, and that attention means more than regular meal times, cleaning, and major health concerns. Without our love and affection, pets can easily decline in many ways—in behavior, health, etc. Plus, we need them as much as they need us.

Your pet gets lonely.

When is the last time you took your dog on a walk, or brought out the toys for your cat? Not only are these beneficial exercises for their health, but this is bonding time. The longer you spend without giving your pets affection, the more they may withdraw and become lonely, with can affect their relationship with you, with others, and their overall health. It is, after all, neglect. Of course, as long as it hasn’t been too long, almost all pets will be more than happy the moment you show interest in them again, which is one of the most wonderful things about them: they’re always ready to love you.

They need your help to be healthy.

This time they spend with you exercises their mind and body. They are stimulated in a positive way. Without it, many pets become either lazy, or they act out from boredom. You may find they scratch, chew, or urinate and defecate where they are not allowed. This is letting you know they’re bored, lonely, and mentally unhealthy, and it could be a result of neglect.

You need them, too.

Studies have shown that loving your pet can be good for you, too. Petting an adorable animal can lower your heart rate and blood pressure. You feel more calm, and so do they. It’s a special sort of symbiotic relationship.

When it comes to at-home care, play with your pets. When it comes to their physical health, bring them to us at Pet Vet Hospitals. We want to help you care for your pets.

Try a Catio for an Anxious Indoor Cat

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cat-649164_1920Has your cat been showing signs of anxiety? If your cat is bouncing off the walls, scratching and tearing this apart, or marking, there are numerous potential problems that could be causing the behavior. One possible issue–and a common one–is that your cat is anxious and needs more playtime. It’s hard to commit enough playtime, particularly to a young, enthusiastic cat. You can help make sure she has plenty to do, however, even when you’re not home.

Build a Catio

There are plenty of things occurring the natural world that can keep your cat occupied for hours. All they need is access to them. While letting your indoor cat outside may not be the best idea, you can create a cat patio–or catio–so that they can see and experience more.

You can create this space without knocking down walls. Using the space you already have, you can add some chicken fencing and surround the patio so that the cat can experience the smells, sounds, and sights without risking anything. Place some sturdy, decorative cat features like a cat tree, or cat beds integrated into the patio furniture.

You can also build a catio out in the yard. There are fenced-in structures made specifically for a cat who needs some protected outdoor time. You can find these online, and many of them are DIY projects. They come with little houses for curling up, steps for climbing, and more. They can be small for little cats and short times, or large for extended playtime.

The important thing is that your cat has playtime with fun that is potentially never-ending. She has time to work out all that anxious energy. Of course, you want to make sure you’re readily available to check on your cat when she’s on her catio to avoid any accidents.

If your cat is anxious, come see us at Pet Vet Hospitals. We can offer you advice on how to handle it, and help you treat it, if necessary.

Managing Dog Aggression

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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

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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?

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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?

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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.