Category Archives: Pet Care

Summer Means Mosquitoes and Mosquitoes Mean Heartworms

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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.

Hurricane Season Increases the Need for Pet Microchipping

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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.

What You Need to Know About Dog Grooming

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Taking your dog to the groomer seems like it should be a simple task. After all, it is just a wash and trim for your pet, right? Unfortunately, recent dog deaths at groomers are worrying pet owners. It can be a little nerve-wracking anytime you leave your dog in someone else’s care, but you shouldn’t have to worry about your dog being injured when he’s getting cleaned up. So, how can you be as sure as possible that the dog grooming service is safe?

Do a Little Research

Grooming the yorkshire terrier isolated on whiteIt is easy to get information on a service these days. Almost every business out there has a website. Even private freelancers have a web presence they share with potential clients. This makes it easier to be sure that you are getting trustworthy service. You can find the positive and negative reviews. Remain aware that it is possible to fake good reviews, and that negative reviews can sometimes be matters of simple misunderstandings, or unreasonable clients; read the reviews and pay attention to signs of both.

When you research, watch for allegations of abuse. You can search local news and find out if any allegations have been made public. Small, local news sources may have that information. With all this information, you can make an informed choice.

Get to Know

It also may help to know what the best instruments and styles are so that you may understand what you see at the groomer’s better. If you see things that concern you, ask about them kindly. If it is your first time at the groomer, ask if you may sit in. It should not be a problem; after all, what would they have to hide? Plus, it is always better to know the people caring for your pet. Take some time to talk to the groomers.

Like any other service for someone or something you love, trust must be earned. Take the time to let your groomer earn your trust, and let us do the same at Pet Vet Hospitals. We want to care for your pet’s health.

Is Your Pet Getting Enough Sleep?

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You know that your cat spends a lot of time sleeping. You have heard the phrase, “let sleeping dogs lie.” Pets need sleep just like us, but in most cases, they need more. Regular sleep is an important part of your pet’s health. So, how can you make sure that your pet is getting enough sleep?

Understanding Your Pet’s Sleep Patterns

cat-and-dog-775116_1920On average, dogs need ten or more hours of sleep. The amount can vary from dog to dog, and things like age can be important factors, too. The important thing to know is that a lot of sleep is important for your dog, and you shouldn’t disrupt that sleep cycle, just like you shouldn’t disrupt your own.

Cats will sleep even longer, even near 20 hours per day. Despite this being true, sleeping for a cat is not the same as for a human. When cats sleep, they’re still somewhat alert, which is why you see them react suddenly to noises you didn’t hear, even when they’re supposedly asleep. Even though your housecat doesn’t hunt like his wild relatives, his genetics still dictate that he needs more sleep.

Help Your Pet Get Enough Sleep

How do you know your pet isn’t sleeping well? It’s not always easy to be sure, but there are a few signs. If your pet is disoriented, or has difficulty performing normal tasks, sleep might be a problem. This would be particularly true if you notice your pet waking often, or snoring loudly, which is a sign of breathing trouble.

The tips to help your pet sleep well are much like what you might do for yourself if you had trouble sleeping. Start by trying these natural sleep remedies if you suspect your pet isn’t sleeping enough:

Exercise Before Bedtime and Before Eating: Physical exhaustion is often a great way to help sleep. Your pet needs exercise to stay healthy, so try scheduling that exercise at the right times. After eating, most pets relax, ready to nap. Try walking your dog, or playing with him, or using toys with your cat just before feeding time. It may help sleep come easier. The same can be said if you get exercise near bedtime, but not too close; you don’t want to rile them up.

Keep to a Schedule: If you change a schedule too much, your dog’s entire day could be disrupted, which could affect sleep. Your pets know your routine, and they rely on it to maintain theirs. Whatever the routine, do your best to stick to it so that they know when it’s time to sleep and have less trouble with it.

Make a More Comfortable Space: there are all sorts of dog and cat beds. How does your pet sleep? Curled up, or stretched out? Consider some new bedding (have a look at this post on dog beds). Ask what vets recommend for pets and their sleeping positions. Your pet should feel safe, too; too much noise in an uncomfortable space will disrupt sleep. Make sure your pet seems content in his or her spot.

You can try edible sleep aids, but always speak to a vet beforehand. If you’re concerned about your pet’s sleeping habits, bring him into Pet Vet Hospitals today. We will help with any related health problems.

Teaching Your Children to Take Care of a Pet

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All parents expect it, and some fear it—the day their children start asking for a pet. Ultimately, most parents will agree that the primary concern is whether or not a child will prove capable of handling the responsibility. No matter how many promises a child makes, a parent can never be entirely certain. Of course, some pet-loving parents don’t mind covering the extra responsibility, should a child get a pet and not handle the responsibility well. In any situation, there are things a parent can do to help the child prepare, and to guide them through the process of caring for a pet.


Adorable little girl feeding small kitten with kitten milk from the bottleMake a deal; if your children still want a pet, but you need proof of responsibility, tell them they can have one if they successfully care for something simple for a time. Plants can be good practice, or anything that requires regular, daily care. Then, if that goes well, try something like a goldfish. As long as you make it clear that the rule is they can only have a pet if you’re satisfied with their practice, it shouldn’t be too hard to refuse them a pet if they are clearly not ready.

Pet sitting makes great practice, too. Though a young child may not be able to pet sit for an official service, you can always ask your friends, family, and neighbors whom you trust, and who trust you. Start by joining your children for the first few visits. Then, if they show promise, let them take care of the job on their own.

Helping Out

Of course, if you, as a pet lover, don’t mind that your children may need more help with the chores of caring for a pet, then you can try a different approach. You could make a schedule for all of you. Plan turns for each, including yourself, and share the responsibility. Sometimes, all they need to learn the responsibility is to see you engaged in it, or get your support in the efforts.

We love animals, and want all children to learn that love and care, too. Bring your new pets and your children to us, and we’ll happily care for your animal’s health and offer any advice you may want on learning to care for it at home.

The Pros and Cons of Pets in Hospitals and Nursing Homes

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It is becoming more and more common for nursing homes and medical care facilities to allow pet visitations. Studies have shown that patients benefit from the comfort an animal can provide; showing affection to these animals has been known to help people lower blood pressure, and the endorphins associated with the pleasure of animal companionship can reduce some pain symptoms. In nursing homes, live-in pets are sometimes permitted, though visitations are more common. In addition to health benefits, loneliness and psychological concerns have been known to improve when residents have the comfort of pets. Even with all these potential benefits, however, there are both pros and cons of pets in hospitals and nursing homes.

Health and Wellness

Old man with dogThe primary concern for pets in facilities like these is health protocol. While the practice of allowing animals is increasingly common, health and safety changes are not always made to avoid possible health risks. It’s commonplace for dogs and cats, and some small animals like birds and rabbits to be brought into these care facilities. There are also less common animals, like reptiles. All of these pets can carry diseases that may wreak havoc on people with weak immune systems.

Hospitals are more likely to have strict guidelines to protect against the diseases and infections pets can carry. Nursing homes rules are often not as strict. Most have policies that designate animals must have an appropriate caregiver and all vaccinations, and no recently-ill animals may be admitted. However, being prepared means having hygiene preparation, procedures for injuries and related illnesses, and staff trained to deal with animals. These preparations are often missing.

Why Have the Risk?

The growing interest in having animals in nursing homes and other care facilities is a direct result of the growing belief that animals aid in mental and emotional support. Positive interactions between humans and animals make people feel good at the very least. For an ill person, a lonely person, or someone struggling with some combination of the two, a good relationship with a pet may provide comfort, and may even impact health. While the notion that happiness and hope can help a person get better, or live longer, isn’t scientific, many doctors and scientists agree that the power of the human mind and will may make a significant differences in how well a patient recovers. That is why the risk of having pets in hospitals and nursing homes seems worth it to many.

If you’re thinking of bringing your pet to a nursing home, or a health facility, first, make sure it’s allowed. Look into any health-related regulations. If there aren’t any and you’re concerned, you might consider suggesting some changes politely. And, of course, make sure your pet is in the best health and general condition. Bring him or her to us at Pet Vet Hospitals.