3 Signs that Your Pet May Have Allergies

By | Pet Care | No Comments

dog, dogs, allergies, petsDid you know that pets can have allergies, too? While they may not show it with a runny, stuffed nose, allergies can be just as uncomfortable to animals as humans. Here are some signs that your pet may have allergies and need professional veterinary care.

  1. Itchy, Red Eyes
    If your pet’s eyes are red and he or she is constantly attempting to itch them, allergies may be the cause. Runny eyes are also another sign of allergies in pets.
  2. Diarrhea and Vomiting
    It might not just be a flu bug! If your pet has certain allergies to food, the end result may be diarrhea and vomiting.
  3. Swollen Paws
    If your pet has swollen paws or he or she is constantly chewing them, these may be signs of allergies. Just like humans, pets can become itchy and irritated, too.

Luckily, many allergies can be identified in pets and taken care of over time. Contact Pet Vet Animal Hospitals to learn more about your pet’s potential allergies and treatment options. Our veterinarians can help your pet live a more comfortable life, without itching or irritation.

How to Tackle Your Dog’s Fear of Nail Trimming

By | Dogs | No Comments

close up of dog nail trimmingNail trimming can be a difficult task for dog owners, especially if their pet has already experienced some type of trauma in the past. That being said, it’s always a good idea to speak to your veterinarian about the issue before it becomes worse. Here are ways you and your vet can work to address your dog’s fear of nail trimming.

Use the Right Trimmer
Finding the right nail trimmer for your dog is essential, and your vet will know exactly which tools to use on his or her nails. Many nail trimmers these days also come with “guards” that protect against clipping the nail too short, which can cause pain.

Desensitize Your Dog
Desensitization is something that your vet may recommend if your dog does not like his paws touched. This involves gently petting your dog, including his paws, to calm him down and get used to your hands in these areas.

Use Treats for Positive Reinforcement
Just because your dog may have had a bad experience with nail trimming in the past doesn’t mean that the future has to be the same. Your vet may encourage the use of tasty treats to help your dog associate trimming with a more positive experience.

Only your vet can determine which of these tips are best for your dog and assess your specific situation. Contact Pet Vet Animal Hospitals today to learn more about nail trimming and the stress-reducing options available to you. Our staff of trained professionals can provide insight into what may work for your dog.

How to Remove a Tick from Your Pet

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cat-71494_1280Ticks are an unfortunate risk of owning a pet, and these insects can pose a threat to animals of all types. Furthermore, they may carry disease, which heightens the need to protect household pets from them. In the event that you spot a tick on one of your furry friends, here is a step-by-step guide to removing it from its body.

Contact Pet Vet Animal Hospitals

Our trained staff can help you assess the situation before you perform at-home care on your pet. In some cases, you may want to address the removal process with a veterinary professional in-person.

Gather your materials.

Ideally, the Humane Society of the United States recommends having a pair of gloves on hand, as well as an antiseptic. This is in addition to a pair of tweezers or commercial tick remover.

Tweezers: Grasp the tick as close to your pet’s skin as possible.

Try to avoid pinching your pet’s skin in the process. Pull outward in a straight, steady motion, removing the entire tick.

Commercial tick remover: Gently press the remover against your pet’s skin near the tick.

Slide the notch of the remover under the tick, and continue sliding it until the tick is caught in the small end of the notch. Afterward, the tick should be housed in the bowl end of the remover.

Clean the tools and area.

An antiseptic can be used to clean your pet’s skin and the tool you used to remove the tick.

Ticks can be difficult to handle, but you can prevent them from becoming a problem in your household by using tick and flea protection on your pets. To learn more about these products, contact Pet Vet Animal Hospitals. Our professional staff can give you the information you need to keep ticks and fleas away from your animals.

How to Manage Your Cat’s Problem with Hairballs

By | Cats | No Comments

quality-surveyHair balls develop over time as cats instinctively groom themselves and swallow hair. Instead of passing through the intestinal tract, the hair comes out in a ball through the cat’s mouth. Hairballs are an unfortunate part of cat ownership, but there are a few things you can do to manage the issue for you and your kitty.

  1. Look for Hairball-Controlling Food
    Some cat food manufacturers market their products as efficient when it comes to controlling hairballs. They typically contain an ample amount of fiber, which keeps the cat’s gastrointestinal tract moving (thus, pushing out the hair).
  2. Limit Grain-Based Food
    Some experts believe that because cats did not evolve to eat grains, these types of food can alter the animal’s intestinal tract. In turn, this could potentially disrupt its ability to digest hair properly. A grain-free diet may be worth trying if you want to get your kitty’s digestive system back on track.
  3. Speak to Your Veterinarian
    If you have a specific concern about your cat’s hairball problem, such as an increase in vomiting, speak to your veterinarian as soon as possible. He or she can address concerns and check for underlying health issues.

Of course, any decision you make to control your cat’s hairball problem should be discussed beforehand with a veterinary professional. He or she can give you the best possible advice for your pet’s specific situation.

Pet Vet Animal Hospitals has four locations in the Greater Houston area to serve you, your cat and any other pets you may have. See how its compassionate staff can help you maintain the well-being of your furry friends by visiting www.PetVetHospitals.com.

3 Human Foods You Didn’t Know Your Dog Could Eat

By | Dogs | No Comments

dog-237187_1280There’s plenty of information out there on the Web talks about what dogs shouldn’t eat, and your vet likely knows plenty of them. However, there are some human foods that may be safe for dogs to eat (on a limited basis, of course). Here are three human foods you might not have thought your pet could consume.

  1. Peanut Butter. Be mindful that natural peanut butter is safe – not the commercial varieties that contain ingredients such as xylinol. Peanut butter contains healthy fats, such as vitamin B and niacin. Maybe this is why it’s included in so many snacks manufactured for pups!
  2. Cheese. In small doses, cheese can be a great treat for your dog, as long as he or she isn’t lactose intolerant. Of course, cheese can be fatty, so make sure you monitor how much cheese your pup has on a regular basis.
  3. Pumpkin. When the holiday season rolls around, don’t keep the pumpkin away from your pup! Pumpkin is full of beta-carotene and fiber, which can be beneficial for dogs. In short, it may be able to help your dog keep his or her digestive tract moving and assist with any existing issues.

It’s important to remember that your pet’s digestive system doesn’t work like yours – some foods may be downright hazardous for your dog. If you have any questions, contact Pet Vet Animal Hospitals. Our professional staff can answer any questions about your pet and address dietary concerns you may have.

Your Pet’s New Year Resolutions

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As you ponder your goals for the New Year, don’t forget to include ways to enhance the bond between you and your beloved pet. We’re sure, if your dog or cat could talk, he or she would gladly share some wonderful ideas for you to spend time together. However, since we know dogs and cats can’t talk (at least like humans), consider these three suggestions for your pet’s New Year resolutions:

new-years-day-1090770_1280Take more walks. If you don’t know the benefits of walking your dog, believe us when we tell you there are many for their health, their behavior, and their happiness. (Read more here.) For cats, carve out more time for exercise, like playing with their favorite toy, to get the same benefits that dogs experience with a walk.   

Get more love (in their way). Whether or not you realize it yet, your dog or cat has certain ways they like to be loved, as well as other they loathe. Watch your pets for cues on how to best give them the affection they desire, and keep them from being stressed due to unwanted attention. Should he or she approach for petting, take the time to do it. After all, it’s moments like these our pets live for.

Be healthier. You want your pet to be around as long as possible, so give their bodies the proper nourishment they need to do that. If you’re unsure how your pet’s current food stacks up, talk to the team at Pet Vet Animal Hospitals for feedback and recommendations.

As loving pet owners, these are three great resolutions to help our dogs and cats be happier and healthier. Let’s help them come true – not only for them but for own benefit, too.

Happy New Year! We look forward to seeing you and your furry friends in 2016.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving – A New Pet!

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child-1007806_1280Imagine an adorable puppy or kitten tucked under the tree on Christmas morning and the faces that light up upon finding that precious gift. Makes you smile, right?

Now, imagine that same adorable puppy or kitten whimpering or meowing at 3:00 a.m. night after night as he or she tries to adjust to her new life… Do you have the patience for this?

There’s no doubt about it; a new puppy or kitten can bring so much joy and love to a home. However, it’s important that your decision to adopt or purchase a new pet be well thought and takes into consideration the following questions:

  1. Can you deal with the interrupted nights and adjustments to your routine?
  2. Do you have the room for a new pet in your home and life?
  3. Is someone home at a reasonable hour every day to ensure the new pet gets food, exercise, and love?
  4. Can you persist in what may be lengthy or difficult potty and obedience training?
  5. Do you have the time and resources necessary to ensure your pet’s health?

If you answered “yes” to these critical questions, let Pet Vet Animal Hospitals be the first to congratulate you on the new addition to your family! Please be sure to get your new puppy or kitten, or even grown dog or cat, in for their first visit with us. There are several critical things we need to do to form the basis for their longest, healthiest life possible. Learn what you can expect on our website, and then grab a gift certificate to ensure your new pet gets there ASAP.

(Gift certificates make a great last minute gift or stocking stuffer for a new pet or even an existing patient!)

We look forward to seeing your new furry friend (and you)!

When Vomiting is a Problem for Your Dog

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dog-200942_1280Your dog is going to vomit. That one thing is for certain. However, it’s important that you, as a pet owner, keep a watchful eye on man’s best friend to know when vomiting is a problem for your dog. To help you differentiate, use these questions as your guide:

How many times has your dog vomited? If your dog vomits once, maybe twice, and then bounces right back, there’s usually no need to worry. However, if vomiting persists, a serious issue may be behind this illness and additional concerns, like dehydration, can develop.

What does the vomit look like? It’s possible you may find the culprit of your dog’s sickness, such as an unusual food or maybe a chewed toy, through examination of the vomit. On the other hand, you may find blood or a substance that looks like coffee grounds, and that’s your cue to call your vet immediately.

Are there other symptoms? Symptoms in addition to vomiting may indicate a more serious issue. Be on the lookout for exhaustion, diarrhea that persists, pain, and anything else out of the ordinary, and take note of it for your vet appointment.

To help your dog after the first vomiting episode, withhold food and water for four hours. If your dog hasn’t vomited again within that timeframe, introduce small amounts of water or ice chips, and then wait another couple of hours before giving him or her something bland to eat, like rice or scrambled egg. It’s important to ease back into regular feeding to ensure any further vomiting that occurs isn’t at the hand of their diet.

As always, if you’re unsure if your dog’s or other pet’s condition warrants a trip to the vet, err on the side of caution and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Holiday Hazards for Your Pet

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The holidays are upon us, and it’s time to get festive. While you pull out your decorations and make plans to celebrate, please keep your dog’s or cat’s safety and health front of mind, and beware of these holiday hazards for your pet:

Plants. Certain plants are synonymous with Christmas, like mistletoe, holly, and poinsettias. Though you may believe the latter to be poisonous, know that poinsettias only pose a minimal threat. On the other hand, definitely steer clear of mistletoe and holly because they can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and much more serious issues.

pets-962215_1280Foods and drinks. Forgo the urge to share your holiday meal with your pet, as human foods and drinks can wreak havoc on their bodies. Common holiday culprits include chocolate, bones found in turkey and ham, and alcohol, among others. Depending on what’s ingested, problems like vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death can occur, so stick to their regular diet and err on the side of caution.

Christmas tree. As soon as the Christmas tree is up, our four-legged friends are curious. Dogs love to sniff and chew, and cats love to climb. Help shield them from danger by securing the tree (to keep it from falling) and by using safe, shatter-proof ornaments in areas within their reach. For real trees, avoid fertilizer, and don’t allow pets to drink standing water in order to minimize risk of vomiting and diarrhea.

Lighting. Many pets love to chew on electrical cords, especially those that are new to the home, but this practice is a bad idea year round for many reasons. However, no one expects you to go without lighting on your tree or around your house, so keep an eye on your dogs and cats and unplug the lights when you’re not home.

In closing, know that if you’re introducing something new to your pet’s living space and it doesn’t fall on this list, it’s not necessarily okay. Contact our team at Pet Vet Animal Hospitals for the lowdown on the item in question, and help your pet to have a merry and safe holiday season.

Three Tips to Help Prevent Pet Cancer

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The last thing any of us want for our pets is for them to be sick, especially with cancer or another disease. Though keeping them from getting ill isn’t entirely possible, there are some steps we can take as responsible dog and cat owners to help prevent pet cancer and other diseases. Take note of these three tips:

  1. labrador-380800_1920Feed them good. Be mindful of what’s in your pet’s food, as many contain unnecessary fillers and empty calories. Do your homework and talk with your Pet Vet Animal Hospitals’ veterinarian to understand what nutrients your dog or cat needs in his or her diet.
  2. Watch their weight. Obesity breeds disease, so follow feeding recommendations as provided on your canned or bagged food, with your treats, or from your veterinarian. Also, skip the table scraps and instead exercise your dog with a walk or your cat with a toy.
  3. Try to be chemical free. It’s pretty impossible for your pet to live chemical free. However, try to use safe cleaners, prohibit cigarette smoke, know if plants are poisonous, and keep your pet away from chemicals when you can.

The key is to maintain your pet’s body in the most healthy state possible, so that they are not only kept from what hurts them but have the strength they need to fight whatever comes their way. Be sure to also make annual appointments with your Pet Vet Animal Hospital location, as our vets can check your pet’s health and offer additional tips to help prevent pet cancer for your particular breed.