Category Archives: Dogs

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.

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.

Mosquito Proofing for Outdoor Dogs

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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.

The Whining Dog

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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.

The DIY Doghouse

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Dog in doghouseSo, you want a doghouse, but the one you want is too expensive, or it’s ugly, or it doesn’t come with the features you want. Fortunately, the DIY lifestyle is gaining traction, and plenty of pet owners have discovered ways to make that perfect doghouse yourself with very little fuss.

The Parts and Labor

Whatever materials you want to use, they can be found. If you want to make a classic house out of wood, that is easily found at your local craft or home improvement store. You can’t cut the wood to the size that suits your needs? You can have that done there, too. Or, you may be able to find the pieces already in the right sizes. If you want something more tent-like, PVC pipe, some waterproof fabric, and some sewing is all you need. If you have the imagination, or some help from the world of DIY instructions, there’s nothing stopping you from making your doghouse.

The Projects

Take a look at this project, here. This plan is a simple one and you don’t have to do the woodcutting yourself, but it still offers your dog plenty of attractive protection. You can exchange some of the materials for something you like better, or something cheaper, if you want. And, of course, you can do it in various colors, too. And, most importantly, it won’t cost you a bundle.

Do you like the idea of a tent structure that you can break down and take with you? There’s a DIY project for that, too. All you need is the right pipe and waterproof fabric, like tarp. The pipes can be glued together, or, if you want something you can break down, you can add some non-slip grip at the ends to prevent it coming apart without some effort.

DIY projects are not for everyone, it’s true. However, many say they’re good for the mind and the hands. Find some help on the internet and build the doghouse of your pet’s dreams. For help with your pet’s health, come to Pet Vet Hospitals.

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.

New Year for Your Dog: Sileo

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Happy New Year puppyThe New Year is coming. Around the world, fireworks will go off, people will shout and celebrate, and stressed-out dogs will shiver and hide. If your dog is afraid of loud noises like those made during New Year’s Eve, ask your Pet Vet veterinarian about Sileo®—a treatment with the ability to help dogs with noise-related anxiety.

Sileo® is an oral gel solution. The gel comes in a 3-mL syringe, and is administered by putting dots of the medication between the dog’s cheek and gum, where it is absorbed. The primary active ingredient is dexmedetomidine hydrochloride. This acts as a sedative that is mild enough to be safe, but strong enough to keep the dog calm.

Sileo® is a practical treatment; you can still interact normally with your dog because it is not pure sedation. Giving your dog the medication is also easy—you can do it at home. It acts quickly, allowing you and your dog to leave anxiety behind and enjoy yourselves, and your celebrations.

Ultimately, it is an easy solution to a difficult problem that is all too common. Noise-related anxiety is a well-known struggle for dogs and owners. Many pet parents and veterinarians work hard to find a way to manage it. Some owners get frustrated because it seems like there is no way to fix it, and a few even give up their animals because of it. This medication is a simple treatment for a complicated problem. It is also the only FDA-approved treatment for canine noise aversion. It has even been proven safe and effective in studies conducted during New Year’s Eve.

So, as the New Year approaches, keep Sileo® in mind if your pet suffers from canine noise aversion and other related anxieties. Everyone can enjoy their New Year’s Eve.

Don’t Mess with Mosquitoes: Protect Your Dog

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You and your dog will soon be ready for summertime fun. We’re all concerned about mosquitoes, particularly in reaction to the recent spread of the Zika virus. However, as you coat yourself with protection against pesky mosquitoes, don’t forget to protect your dog from them as well.

Summer means a high season for fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, and they carry dangers for everyone, including your dog. The grass and foliage can sometimes make dog owners feel wary, even when they take precautions. But, it’s not good for your dog to stay indoors at all times, so here are some ways to help ease your mind.

Get your pet flee protection today.Ask the Vet: Your vet will let you know what prevention is best for your dog. Vets know what brands protect better against mosquitoes, particularly the heartworms they can spread. Sure, you can sometimes find over-the-counter meds that claim to protect against mosquitoes, but that simply may not cover it. Also, do not use human repellents on dogs. There are flea and tick medications that double as heartworm prevention, which is the number one reason we protect dogs against mosquitoes.

Avoid Stagnant Water: Old, still waters attract mosquitoes; they’re a veritable playground. Try to avoid them, and definitely avoid allowing water to stagnate around your home. If you live in a moist climate, take preventative actions; do research on ways to help create a barrier around your home.

Defend Your Home: Mosquitoes are not often found in your home, but they can make their way there. Watch your doorways and windows. Repair tears and hold in screens, and patch up gaps to the outside world. These are also places to put outdoor prevention tools.

Don’t let the possibility of mosquitoes ruin your dog’s outdoor playtime. Just be as safe as you can, and then relax and enjoy all that summer has to offer. Come talk to us at Pet Vet Animal Hospitals for more information on how to protect your dog.

Playtime Safety for Your Dog

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Regular walks and social time outdoors are healthy for your dog. As you prepare to enjoy the weather with your friend, there are some things of which you should be aware before heading outdoors. Whatever your plans, here are some things to remember as you get ready to play.

The Open Road: On the way to play, a dog with its head out the window, or in the bed of a truck, tongue and ears waving in the breeze, and nose sniffing the air seems like a normal, happy picture. However, even if your dog is buckled in, this can be rather dangerous. Sudden stops and starts can throw your dog around, or out of the vehicle. The dog may also hit her or his head on something outside, or suffer heatstroke from the sun. Buckle your canine in, safe and comfy, and completely inside the car.

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Keep Watch: Whether your dog is on the leash, or off it at the dog park, keep a weather eye open for trouble. Dogs are adept at chewing, but they can still choke on things, so be aware of what yours picks up. Plants can also be a poisonous problem if your dog eats the wrong one. Even the best of dogs can find trouble on their own, or with other dogs. Do what you can to watch and avoid a trip to the emergency vet.

Keep a Firm Hold: Your dog’s collar, harness, and leash are essential accessories, especially if you live in the city. Make sure your dog’s accouterments are in good shape and holding. A broken leash or collar at the wrong moment could result in many unpleasant circumstances on which we prefer not to think. Don’t make things too tight, however. You don’t want your dog to be in pain or develop skin irritation. Also, make sure that your pet has an ID, is micro-chipped, and have its rabies vaccine tag on the collar, or at the ready.

Safety is necessary, but it doesn’t have to spoil the fun. Just make safety a habit and enjoy the healthy, outdoor fun with your furry friend. For help keeping your dog healthy, contact us at Pet Vet Animal Hospitals.

Key Signs of Separation Anxiety in Dogs

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dogs, petsSeparation anxiety in dogs is often defined by the distressed behavior that the animals exhibit when they are away from their handler. Typically, signs of separation anxiety in pets starts within 30 minutes of the departure. However, this may vary depending on the animal. Here are some signs that your dog may be suffering from this condition.

Anxiousness Prior to Departure
Does it seem like your pet knows when you’re about to leave? It isn’t your imagination – dogs can pick up on these senses, and they can become anxious in the event that they recognize your looming departure.

Environment Destruction
If you come home to chewed, torn-up belongings, your pet may be suffering from separation anxiety. Household destruction is a key symptom of this condition.

Frequent Urination or Defecation
Your pet may relieve him or herself while you’re away, even if he or she is potty-trained and not accident-prone while you’re home.

In the event that you believe your dog may have separation anxiety, it’s critical to contact a veterinary professional. Pet Vet Animal Hospitals can connect you with an expert to learn more about your pet’s behavior and address it in a safe, healthy manner.