Trick or Treat or Trip to the Vet

This Halloween, keep a close eye on your beloved canine companion. As the house starts to fill with candy and chocolate, dogs sometimes can’t resist temptation. They might go head-first into that big bowl of goodies, then end up at the vet. While candy of any kind isn’t good for your dog, chocolate is toxic. Chocolate can cause a variety of symptoms, ranging from vomiting to seizures, or even death. Chocolate toxicity depends on a few factors, including the size of your dog, the type of chocolate, and the amount of cocoa in the chocolate. In general, the worst outcomes are seen in dogs eating a lot of dark chocolate. If your dog has eaten chocolate, then knowing the type and amount can help

Flying High? Drugs for Pets on Planes

If you are planning on flying with your furry friend, then you may be wondering about giving your pet a sedative to help relieve the stress of the journey. Although taking the edge off with a little medication might seem like a good idea, sedatives can be unpredictable, and the risks could outweigh the benefits. Sedatives Can Be Unpredictable While a particular sedative may calm one dog, the same medication at the same dose in another dog could actually cause increased agitation. It’s impossible to know how an individual pet will react to a particular medication, so performing a trial before travel is important. Even with a previously used sedative, a pet’s response to a medication may be al

A World of Rewards

Positive reinforcement has been proven again and again as the most effective dog training method. A classic example of this is giving a food reward for a particular behavior. When your dog sits, he receives a cookie. Treats are a great training tool, but don’t forget about all of the other possible forms of positive reinforcement that can be used to train your dog. If you think about what your dog wants, then you can figure out other ways to reward him for good behavior. Activities such as going outside, receiving praise, or even putting on the leash to go for a walk can all be rewards. While tricks are fun, these rewards can be used to shape your furry friend into a respectable canine citiz

Heartworm Disease in Las Vegas Valley

Newcomers to this area may be pleasantly surprised to learn that heartworm preventive medications such as Heartgard, Sentinel, or Trifexis are unnecessary for dogs living in the Las Vegas Valley. No Mosquitoes Means No Spread Mosquitoes spread heartworm from dog to dog, but mosquitoes are unable to live in Vegas’s desert climate. Although the map below shows 6-25 heartworm cases per veterinary clinic in southern Nevada during 2016, these infected animals came from other places. No documented cases exist of a dog catching heartworm while living in the Las Vegas area. Prepare For Travel If you are planning on travelling to California or any other areas where your dog could catch heartworm, the

7 Tips For Feeding Your Pet

1 - Measure Those Meals In general, feed twice a day using an exact measuring cup. Be honest with your servings and use level scoops of dry food, or an exact portion of the can. “Filling the bowl” is not a good option, because different bowls are different sizes. 2 - Do Not Free Feed “Free feeding” is the term used when food is always available for your pet. Most pets do not have the self-control needed for free feeding, and so will eat more than necessary and become fat. Puppies and kittens may be fine with free feeding, but when they are done growing, they are more likely to become overweight. 3 - Feed The Food That Best Matches Your Pet Feed a commercial food designed for your pet. For ex

Drinking More Water May Be the First Sign of a Serious Disease

If your dog or cat has been drinking more water lately, then it might be time for a visit to the vet. Pets drink more water for a wide variety of reasons, some of which can be signs of serious disease. Drinking more water after exercise or on a hot day is normal. Just like people, animals drink water to stay hydrated and to keep cool. Animals will also drink more water after eating food. Sometimes animals will drink lots of water as a type of obsessive behavior, particularly if they are anxious or bored. Dog breeds known for their intelligence and high intensity, such as Border Collies and German Shepherds, are more likely to become obsessed with drinking water. Behavioral medications may be

The Injection Every Pet Should Get

Although there aren’t any vaccines that last a lifetime, there is one injection that does. With a quick injection, a microchip can be placed under your pet’s skin, usually between the shoulder blades. A microchip is about the same size as a grain of rice. A Microchip Is An Investment In Your Pet’s Life Each microchip has a unique code that will always be associated with you and your information. If your pet ever gets lost, a veterinary clinic or animal shelter can scan this microchip, which will provide your contact information. When a microchip is present, there is a much greater chance of being reunited with your furry friend. Even if your pet is older, a microchip can still be placed. Ane

Should You Declaw Your Cat?

While declawing your cat may seem like a normal, routine procedure, the reality is more complicated. Many people consider declawing to be inhumane, and it is actually illegal in 22 countries and several U.S. cities, where the surgery has been banned as a form of cruelty to animals. To understand why declawing is controversial, please take into consideration the following facts and alternatives, especially before moving forward and declawing your feline friend. Why Declawing Isn’t Declawing “Declawing” is actually a misnomer because more than the claws are removed. During surgery, the last bone of each toe is amputated. Imagine that you are a cat. You essentially walk around on your fingertip

The Surprising Truth About Cats and Milk

Think twice before giving a saucer of milk to your cat or that cute stray down the street. While television, movies, and your grandmother swear by giving milk to cats, the reality is that cats can’t digest cow’s milk, especially after weaning. Unlike human beings, cats do not produce lactase, the enzyme necessary to digest lactose, the type of sugar in cow’s milk. Since this sugar is not digested, water is drawn into the intestine. Also, intestinal bacteria ferment the sugar, which creates gas. The result is a gassy cat with diarrhea and cramps. Not very nice for your furry friend! If you are looking for a simple treat for your cat, avoid milk. Cats are carnivores, so meat is a better choice

It’s Grain-Free And Expensive But is it worth it?

Digestive and skin problems can be caused by food, but when I ask dog owners about food choice, I often get the same answer: “But it can’t be the food. It’s grain-free...and expensive!” Unfortunately, that money may not be well spent. Sensitivity to grains in dogs is extremely uncommon. Instead, dogs frequently have issues with meat proteins such as beef, chicken, or fish. So if your dog has a chicken allergy, the most expensive, most organic, grain-free, chicken-based dog food on the market could still cause digestive problems, skin problems, or both. Dogs Are Not Wolves Dog food marketers (and the guy at the pet store) often say that grains are unnatural for dogs to eat, and that they shou

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