Being the Ears for Your Deaf Pet

deaf petWhether you have an animal who was born deaf or one who becomes deaf during the course of his or her life, coping with hearing loss takes effort. Owning a deaf pet can be a challenge, but with the help and support of the team at Animal Family Veterinary Care, it’s a role you can successfully take on.

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5 Whys of Pet Wellness Visits

  • Animals mask illness.

    • Domesticated, well maybe but first and foremost your dog, cat, rabbit, bird etc… is still an animal and the number one rule in the animal kingdom is that the critter that shows weakness gets eaten first. Even if fluffy lives on the couch that fact is hardwired into his/her brain.

    • Wellness visits are our chance to circumvent to the “no talk rule.” They give us the information we need to catch brewing illnesses before they become major problems.

  • Preventative care costs much less than sick care.

    • Don’t like the cost of vaccines? Paying for the cost of treating Parvo, pneumonia or heartworm disease, far outweigh the cost of prevention.

    • Simple economics. Prevention is always less costly than treatment plus your pet doesn’t suffer damage to the organs that many diseases cause.

  • Your pet will live longer.

    • Good preventative care that catches problems early extends lifespan.

    • Good dental care adds even more.

  • Some of the things we prevent can make you sick too.

    • Most of us let our pets sleep with us so it’s a good idea to make sure they are healthy and parasite free.

  • It’s just the right thing to do.

    • Come on! Pets give us so much unconditional love, protection and service. Let’s do what we can to give them a long and healthy life in return.

Ready to Care for Breed-Specific Conditions? The Most Common Pet Health Problems  

You might like the look and temperament of a certain pet breed, only to find out that there are serious pet health problems associated with it. Of course, not every pet will suffer from issues that affect the breed in general, but it is important to acknowledge the health prospects of a prospective pet, both before and during the adoption process. The more information you have in the beginning, the more compatible you and your pet will be in the long  run.

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Worst Case Scenario: Protect Your Friend With a Pet Fire Safety Plan

Statistics alone make a pet fire safety plan an important priority. Pets are responsible for hundreds of house fires each year, but more than 50,000 pets annually are threatened by an inferno at home. It’s urgent that we all spend a little extra time this summer acknowledging fire risks, designing a pet fire safety plan, and understanding the in’s and out’s of evacuating your home.

Disaster Prep

Request a safety pack from the ASPCA. Rescue workers know to look for these on doors and windows and can quickly get to work looking for your pet. There are other pointers on the website for ASPCA Disaster Preparedness.

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Is Pet Anxiety Normal at the Start of the School Year?

pet anxietyIt might seem a bit early, but it’s good to be prepared if your pet will experience any changes to the household dynamic this coming school year. During the summer months, the house may be absolutely brimming with squeals of laughter, blobs of peanut butter and honey, and a never-ending parade of activity. But what happens when the school year starts?

Confusing quiet, discomforting boredom, and pet anxiety are normal at the launch of the academic year, but these anxieties can be prevented – and the team at Animal Kind can help you prepare.

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Tips to Keep a Pet Cool All Summer Long

We begin each summer poised to have fun and maybe even get away for a bit. What’s not to love? However, sky-high temperatures, extreme humidity, and diminishing breezes can drain all of our collective can-do spirits. And we’re not alone. Our pets are right alongside us, enduring the ups and downs of the season. Luckily, there are many ways to keep a pet cool.

Avoid Heat Stroke

Dogs and cats pant and sweat through their paw pads in an attempt to regulate internal body temperature. While helpful, these methods aren’t entirely effective, and body temperature can quickly climb to dangerous degrees. Heatstroke is characterized by a temperature of 104 degrees or higher. With these ideas to keep a pet cool, you can protect against devastating consequences:

  • Provide ample shade.
  • Always have a fresh supply of cool, clean water inside and outside the home. Also be sure to bring water and a collapsible bowl along when out for a walk.
  • Reduce exposure to the heat by enforcing dawn and dusk exercise times.
  • Make ice packs that your pet can lick or lay down on.
  • Encourage your pet to walk on the grass instead of hot asphalt or concrete.
  • Install a shallow wading pool or sprinkler for your pet to test out throughout the day.
  • Airflow is just as important as shade. If your pet prefers an enclosure or pet house, be sure that air can flow over him or her. Likewise, setting up fans on the porch and throughout the house will help.

A Word on Fur

Perhaps counterintuitively, your pet’s fur actually helps protect him or her from the sun’s harsh rays. However, you should definitely keep a pet cool by grooming regularly. This will reduce the buildup of loose fur without exposing the skin to dangerous UV rays.

We are always here to offer your pet a refreshingly light summer trim. Pet grooming is just one of our specialties, and we’re happy to help.

Keep a Pet Cool

A critical component of summer pet safety is knowing that pets should never be left in a parked vehicle. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, temperatures inside the car can rise to lethal temps. Keep a pet cool by leaving him or her at home while you run your errands.

Know the Signs

Another way to keep your pet cool and safe this summer is to simply recognize the signs of heatstroke and heat exhaustion. Be on the outlook for dark red or dry gums, lethargy, depression, and odd behaviors.

Please give us a call if you suspect your pet needs immediate care or if you have additional questions about ways to keep a pet cool.

 

 

 

 

 

Making Veterinary Less Stressful for Your Dog

 

We have all seen owners and/or trainers who have taught their dog, bird, horse or cat to do amazing things. Birds with huge vocabularies, bike riding dogs and dancing horses. So how hard should it really be to teach our dog to tolerate a visit to the vet?? If you’re willing to invest a little time, you can train your dog to be a happier patient.

 

It’s all about practice, practice, practice.  The first place your new puppy should visit is the veterinary office. The very first visit should just be to say hello and get some treats. Use the second visit to make sure they are healthy…

Get your puppy used to having his/her feet handled at home. Start by holding a paw then move on to grasping a toenail. Even if you never plan on clipping nails at home, get your pup accustomed to the clipper around their feet. Remember to use lots of treats and praise!

 Teach your puppy how to take pills before they actually need to. Have your puppy sit sideways next to you or on your lap if they are small. Place one hand around the top jaw with your thumb and middle finger behind the canines. Use your other thumb and forefinger to gently open the lower jaw. Now just place a small treat or piece of cheese in the mouth on the tongue. Do this a few times and you shouldn’t have any trouble when the time to actually medicate comes along. Today there are even specially made products to hide pills in that most dogs love!

Handle your puppy’s ears, clean the area around their eyes, lift their tail and run your hands along their abdomen. Desensitizing your pup to handling is one of the kindest things you can do for them.

Teach your dog to stand quietly. Much of a veterinary exam is done with the pet standing. If your dog is accustomed to standing calmly beforehand the stress level will go way down. Again, use treats and gentle praise to let your dog know they are doing the correct thing.

Teach your dog to walk on a leash. If your dog is out of control in the waiting area things will only go downhill in the exam room.

Once your pet is protected by vaccines, schedule a puppy class and/or doggie daycare. A well socialized dog is a stable dog.  No kidding…our happiest patients are campers and Puppy Class alumni.

It’s OK to bring something from home. A toy or blanket work fine and pets find the familiar odor of home calming .

If you‘re nervous your dog will be too. Whatever you feel telegraphs directly to your pet. Some people can’t actually be in the room with their dog and that’s OK. Just don’t let your limitations make things more difficult for your pet.

When You Like Someone, But Your Pet Doesn’t…

There is possibly nothing as discouraging as meeting Mr. or Ms. Right only to have your pet loathe your new crush. After all, you adore that little fur snookum and have been waiting to introduce the new love interest to your family-member pet.

Unfortunately, that ideal meeting goes south when your pet runs for cover, shaking, or worse – growls and snaps at your new sweetheart.

For some pet owners, the immediate response is, “Ugh oh, what’s wrong with this person?” However, sometimes your pet’s keen intuition on character isn’t so reliable and has more to do with behavioral challenges than psychic powers.

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Summer Safety Tips for Pet Parents

 

Wow! It’s getting hot out there! Temperatures are already hitting the 80’s on some days and the humidity has increased as well. At our house, we cope by switching to shorts and light t-shirts, drinking lots of water and taking breaks indoors or in the shade. We produce quite a bit of sweat and take extra showers. That works for us but what about our pets?  Read our summer safety tips to help keep your best friend healthy.

What can you do to make summer more comfortable and safer for your pet?

  • Provide lots of fresh water. Make sure it is in a container that can’t be overturned by mistake and that there is enough to last all day. In addition, if you use a zip line or some other type of tether you need to make double sure your pet can’t become entangled and unable to reach either shade or his or her water source.
  • Indoors or out. Is there a place where your pet can stay cool and out of the sun? That may mean keeping your pet indoors in the air conditioning in the summer. However, there is nothing wrong with a dog run or backyard shelter providing there is access to shade, water and hopefully a cooling breeze.
  • Jogging – maybe not. I know that your dog is in good shape. He jogs with you all winter long. However, that doesn’t mean that it is safe to continue jogging with Rover in the summer heat. Remember, dogs can’t cool themselves like we do. Add that to the fact that your loyal companion will keep going no matter how hot he/she gets and you have a recipe for disaster. Unless you run early in the day, long, before the heat sets in, please leave your dog at home.
  • Never leave your pet in the car! Want to know why? Check out this data compiled by the Animal Protection Institute. If your car is closed with no open windows and it is 82 degrees outdoors, in no time at all, the temperature in your car is 109.   At 91 degrees, it’s 115 in the car.   Think cracking the windows help? If it is 84 degrees outside the temperature in the car is still 98 degrees.   At 90 degrees, it is 108 in the car. Got the picture? Even leaving your pet in the car while you run in for a short errand can be deadly.
  • What are the signs of heat stroke? You may see excessive panting, stumbling, weakness, stupor and bright red gums. Body temperatures of 104 degrees or more can occur. As heat stroke progresses, seizures, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, coma and death may follow. “Parked car” or brachycephalic breeds such as Bull Dogs, Pugs, Boxers and others are much more susceptible to heat related problems. Even your bunny, chinchilla or reptiles can suffer from heat related problems. If the weather is warm, think shade and water.
  • If you suspect heat stroke – it’s an emergency! Hose your pet down and bring him/her to the clinic immediately! Don’t try to treat heatstroke on your own. Heatstroke can literally cook internal organs. Pets who have suffered heat stoke may also experience swelling and edema of the trachea making it difficult for them to breathe. Too much cooling can make your pet even sicker. It’s a balance of IV fluids, supportive care and monitoring. Leave it to the professionals.
  • Pet pools – are great for helping your buddy cool down in the summer heat but remember to change the water frequently. If you are lucky enough to have a people sized pool, treat your pets just like your children. Protect them from accidental drowning by never leaving them in the pool area unsupervised.
  • Cool Ideas – Think about getting a pet fountain that provides a continuous stream of fresh, cool water to drink. Fans can help where air conditioning isn’t available. Recently, bandanas and body wraps made specifically for cooling have been developed. After soaking in cool water, these products can provide relief for a limited time. Frozen pop bottles are fun for pets to play with in the pool or on the ground. Even bunnies can benefit from a frozen pop bottle in their cage. Just make sure to wrap it in a cloth before placing it in with your rabbit but don’t let bunny start chewing on the cloth or bottle.
  • Shaving?? – That’s up for debate but if you do, remember your pet will be much more likely to sunburn in the summer sun. Double coated breeds do best when their undercoat is brushed out leaving their guard hair. This allows trapped air to cool your pet.
  • Exotic tips – Cold blooded pets need warm weather care too. Air conditioning can be TOO COLD for many exotics BUT a terrarium placed up against a hot window may become an oven. This applies to birds as well. Too much draft and cold will result in upper respiratory problems. Too much heat can cause heat stroke and death.

Dog Friendly Businesses Near and Far

dog friendly placesWe live in a world of animal lovers – and dog owners never miss a chance to take their favorite pooches with them wherever they go. Fortunately, many business and public places are embracing our canine companions by providing dog friendly spaces for well-behaved Fidos.

If you plan on sipping a cold brew on a dog-welcoming patio, playing fetch at a local dog park, or going for a walk downtown with your four-legged, here are some tips to help you find those great dog friendly spots.

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