Category Archives: Pet Care

(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.

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.

 

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.

Know the Signs: Heartworms

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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.

Summer Pet Safety Tips

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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

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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.

Be Ready with Your Pets This Hurricane Season

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man saves his dog from a floodWith the arrival of Tropical Storm Cindy comes a reminder of the dangers that a yearly hurricane season brings. Though this season began on June 1st, it is never too soon to begin planning for this time each year, particularly if you live near the coast.

Things can occur suddenly. As you prepare yourself, your home, and other details, consider your pets. They should be a part of your plans to evacuate, or stay inside and wait out the storm. Make sure you have all travel necessities ready. If your pet needs a crate or carrier, keep it where you have easy access in a hurry. Purchase some extra pet food and other items. You can even plan for how you will pack your car so that you can do it fast.

Make sure that all vaccinations are up-to-date, as well as any other health-related details. If you have to board your pet, or you have to stay in a hotel, you will probably need evidence of your pet’s vaccines. Plus, terrible storms can cause all sorts of unexpected circumstances, like sudden separation. If you lose your pet, you want to be able to find him or her again easily. So, make sure that your pets are microchipped. Keep ID tags on your pet, or within easy reach, too.

At Pet Vet Hospitals, we cannot stress the importance of taking these precautions enough. Because of this, we are offering a discount of $5 off our microchipping procedure. All you need to do is make an appointment and mention this blog when you do so.  Pet Vet Hospitals also offers certificates as evidence of your pet’s vaccinations; these should be kept on hand with other vital information in case you need them.

Stay safe this hurricane season.