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How to Teach your Pet to Love the Vet

Tips and tricks to help make vet visits easier for you and your fur baby

Do you dread having to take your dog or cat to the vet? Is just getting them in the car or down the driveway enough to make them shake and whine? For many owners, vet visits can be a big problem. Unfortunately, you can’t just stop taking your animal to the veterinarian. Making sure they go to all of their required check-ups and vaccinations is important to keeping them happy and healthy. What you can do, though (through some smart training and treats), is teach your pet these visits can be super fun and pleasant.

 

First things first…

Before starting this training journey make sure the problem isn’t the vet itself. Does your veterinarian and vet staff safely handle your pet? Do they give your pet lots of positive attention and love? A good veterinarian should know how to properly handle more anxious pets and have ways of alleviating the stress. If you the vet doesn’t seem to be doing any above when you visit, it may be time to switch vets.

 

Food is fun!

If your dog is relatively healthy and only needs to see their veterinarian for occasional visits and annuals, use food to your advantage! Food is one of the best motivators of dogs and cats alike. To increase motivation, try giving your cat or dog a smaller breakfast the day of an appointment. That way, they will be hungrier and more likely to accept food rewards for positive behaviors once they are there.

 

Plan social visits

Start teaching your dog how fun the vet is before they even need to see them. You can help your pet become acquainted with the office by taking short visits where they get to say hi to the staff and get lots of yummy treats. Take a few of these visits a year and you might end up seeing tails wagging before you even get into the lobby.

 

Schedule accordingly

If your pet isn’t swayed by food then then try scheduling the appointment at the most opportune time. Ask your vet when the office is the quietest and schedule the appointment for that time. Not only will your pet have fewer stressors to deal with, but the staff will have more time to work with your nervous animal.

 

Being consistent with these methods will help your pet become more familiar and comfortable going to the vet. However, there are a handful of pets who are too naturally nervous to learn this. In these situations, it may be in both of your interests to find a good vet that does house calls. The familiar home environment will make it easier for your vet to complete any exams or necessary tests.

Christmas Gift Ideas for your Cat

Don’t forget about your furry, feline friend when picking out gifts this season!

Us cat lovers know that cats appreciate a new toy, treat, or gift just as much as their canine counterparts do. If you’re anything like my cats, you’ll also know that any small toys, like mice or springs, go missing within a week of purchase, so you might as well buy some more! Let’s be real, though, we’ll use any excuse to spoil our favorite kitties. Here’s a list of some of cool, fun, and practical gifts to give them!

 

4CLAWS Wall Mounted Scratching Post  

This is a sleek and modern alternative to the typical scratching post. It could also be used as a training tool for the cats that prefer to use the wall as their designated stretching/scratching areas.

 

The Natural Pet Company Cat Toys Collection

If you are into a more natural lifestyle for you and your pet, this box set gives you an awesome variety to choose from. The box set includes a number of different natural cat toys to entertain your pet, while giving you peace of mind about their health!

 

Aspen Pet Self Warming Beds

Everyone knows that cats are obsessed with finding the warmest and cosiest places to nap. This bed will be heaven for any nap-crazy cat. The bed has the same heat creating technology that space blankets use, where the heat that the body creates is reflected back from the material. It’s like a heating pad without the dangers of electricity and cords.

 

Catit Flower Fountain

For those picky water drinkers out there that seem to only want to drink from the faucet, this might be a fun solution to this common problem. Unlike water bowls, the flower fountain pushes only freshly filtered water out of the spouts. There’s also 3 different water flow settings to perfectly match your kitty’s needs.

 

PetLuv Soothing “Happy Cat” Premium Soft Sided Cat Carrier & Travel Crate

This is another gift that makes you and your cat happy! So goodbye to traditional plastic cat carriers! This carrier is safe and comforting to your cat. It has 3 privacy settings to cater to your cats needs: fully opened, mesh paneling surrounding to allow your cat to check out their environment, and fully closed to offer a stimuli-free environment. It also has seat belt loops so you can safely transport your cat to wherever you need to go! Then when you’re both home, the carrier completely collapses for easy storage.

 

Make sure to check some of these cool products out! Your cats will be purring all day knowing you thought about them this holiday season.

 

Already bought your gifts? What did you get for your favorite cat? Leave a comment below 🙂

How to Tell if your Senior Dog has Cataracts

Telltale signs and symptoms that your dog may be developing cataracts

As much as we don’t like to think about it, our dogs will become seniors one day. Although senior dogs can be just as lovable and playful as younger dogs, old age does bring along some new health issues.

A common health issue in senior dogs is the development of cataracts, which almost always causes vision impairment. Cataracts are caused by change in the makeup or arrangement of proteins in the eyes. If left untreated by a veterinary professional, cataracts can lead to more serious ocular health issues, including blindness. How can you tell if your dog is developing cataracts, and what can you do about it? Let us shed some light on this.

Causes

The vast majority of cataract cases are due to genetics. There are a handful of other causes besides genetics. These include nutritional deficiencies, low blood calcium levels, exposure to toxins, diabetes mellitus, radiation, electric shock and blunt/penetrating trauma.

Prevention

Unfortunately, because cataract development is so strongly linked to genetics, there’s no way to directly prevent it. For the few other non-genetic causes, things like making sure your dog is getting the proper nutrition on a daily basis is all you can do to prevent cataracts. In the case of cataracts caused by diabetes mellitus, their development can be easily prevented by early detection and treatment of diabetes.

Signs and Symptoms

The most common sign of cataracts is noticing cloudy, white- or blue-ish pupils. They may also look like cloudy spots in your dog’s pupil, rather than a film covering the whole area. Because cataracts almost always affect your dog’s vision, keep an eye out for any behavioral changes indicating that they are struggling to see. Some of these behaviors include, a high-stepped walk, unsure footing, tripping over or bumping into objects, walking into walls, misjudging distances and not recognizing people.

Treatment

As always, for any changes in health, take your dog to the veterinarian to get a proper diagnosis. From there, the both of you can discuss the best treatment options for you and your dog, which range from topical medications to surgery. Cataract treatment, when done promptly and correctly, has a very high success rate and the vast majority of dogs (90-95%) will have their vision fully restored. If their owner is knowledgeable and aware, senior dogs can truly call these years their golden years.

How did you first notice your dog developing cataracts? How were they treated? Leave a comment and let us know!

Top Cold Weather Tips for your Dog

Help keep them warm from their nose to their tail!

As much as we don’t want to admit it, cold weather in Michigan is here to stay. Days are short, nights are long, and those daily dog walks turn into a battle with the wind and snow. Don’t let the your own brain freeze let you forget to keep your 4-legged walking partner protected from the cold, though! Despite their fur, dogs experience cold and can suffer the consequences of not being properly protected from it. We’ve compiled a list of cold weather tips from pet experts to help you and your dog get through these long winter months! [Read more…]

How to Tell if your Dog is in Pain

Keep your eye out for these subtle signals from your dog

 

Knowing whether or not a human is in pain is usually pretty easy to figure out. Humans cry, complain, and use a common language that other humans can understand. Dogs, however, can’t use these same mechanisms to tell us they are in pain. They don’t cry, they don’t complain (at least like humans do), and they don’t speak English. Dogs have entirely different communication systems and mechanisms for expressing distress.

As dog owners and lovers, it’s up to us to be able to look for and decipher these messages from our canine companions. We’ve compiled some of the most common signs and signals that your dog may be in pain, to help you take better care of your pup!

 

Excessive vocalizations

Humans who are in distress will often let others know by crying or complaining. Dogs will also express pain through increased vocalizations but it’s not easy to pick up unless it’s accompanied with movement, like standing up or sitting down. Vocalizations to look out for include whining, whimpering, yelping, growling, and even howling.

 

Changes in appetite and drinking habits

It’s pretty common knowledge that when your pet has a sudden change in their food and water intake, it’s likely that there is a medical issue. From a pain standpoint, drastic changes in appetite are simply due to the fact that it hurts for your pet to move. It’s always a good idea to get in contact with your vet as soon as you notice eating/drinking changes.

 

Excessive grooming

Licking their paws is a normal behavior for dogs. It’s hygienic and calming. However, if your dog it constantly licking their paws it can indicate your dog is in distress. Dogs will over-groom their paws in an attempt to sooth themselves and distract from the pain. If your pup cuts themselves , they will often care for the wound by licking it. Dogs will lick themselves in a similar way for internal pain. If they’re stomach is hurting, they will sometimes start to groom their stomachs.

 

Altered breathing

Another indication of pain in your dog is increased breathing and heart rate. A dog in distress may breathe much faster and shallower, as if they had just gotten back from running around the backyard. If your pup has just been laying around, but is breathing as if he just exercised, it is very likely that they are in pain. Call your vet as soon as possible when you notice this.

 

Other signs of pain in your dog include:

  • Inability to rest
  • Changes in sleeping habits
  • Changes in eyes
  • Aggressive behaviors
  • Changes in body posture
  • Withdrawing or hiding
  • Seeking affection or comfort

 

Help our community of pet-lovers and share your experiences! What signs did your pet give when they were in pain?

Kong Toys: Why We Love Them!

Chewing is natural; Kong makes it fun for your dog and stress-free for you!

Puppies and senior dogs alike should have Kong toys to play with. Seasoned dog owners are probably already aware of the numerous benefits these toys provide. If you’re new dog owner, or haven’t yet been introduced to the magic of Kong, this blog is for you! But before we dive head first into the toy benefits, let’s first learn about chewing benefits! [Read more…]

Halloween Pet Safety

Here’s a few tips to keep your pets safe this Halloween!

 

Halloween is meant to be a fun and silly holiday to eat candy and dress up. Unfortunately, it can end up being a scary trick, rather than a tasty treat, for our four-legged family members. But do not fear! We’ve gathered some helpful Halloween tips and advice to protect dogs and cats alike. With some precautionary prep-work and knowing what to look out for, this year’s Halloween can be stress and scare free.


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Can Dogs Get Colds?

Can Dogs Get Colds?

Does your dog have the sniffles? Watery eyes? Is he sneezing and coughing? Can dogs catch colds? Yes, they can, and the symptoms can range from mild to severe depending on the type of cold virus he’s caught (just as human colds can vary in severity). How do you know when your dog has a cold or something worse? How do you treat his symptoms? Not to worry — we’ll give you everything you need to know about dogs and colds so you can be sure you’re taking good care of your precious pup.

[Read more…]

Why Do Puppies Get Hiccups and How to Get Rid of Them

Why Do Puppies Get Hiccups and How to Get Rid of Them

Has your dog or pup ever had hiccups? If it continues for more than a minute or two, here are some tips on how to cure dog and puppy hiccups. Every mammal that has a diaphragm can experience hiccups. While some animals like birds and reptiles don’t have diaphragms, they can still do some kind of involuntary action similar to hiccupping, such as when amphibians perform a gulping action.

[Read more…]

How to Introduce Grooming to Your Puppy

How to Introduce Grooming to Your Puppy

Grooming a puppy isn’t something you can dive right into. Instead, you’ll need to slowly introduce your pup to things like taking a bath and being brushed or styling with clippers and scissors. Some puppies might enjoy this kind of attention right from the start, but others need more time to get used to being handled this way. You can begin puppy grooming right away by taking small steps and focusing on creating a positive association with grooming activities.

[Read more…]