Home | Pet Care (page 5)

Category Archives: Pet Care

Feed Subscription

Preparing Pets for Cold, Wet Winter Weather

Despite the recent mild weather I am already scouring the closets in my house for Barret’s winter wardrobe. With the growing potential for snow on the ground and the little guy’s reluctance to step past the front door these days, i guess it is time to find the dog jackets and coats. Many people think that since dogs have a fur coat, that they don’t need any additional winter gear. This is true for some dog breeds, but others, like Barret, have very thin, short coats and appreciate the extra layer of warmth when braving the great outdoors.

nala-winter-jacket-fashionI know a lot of people that think I dress him up just for fun, and that is only partially true. While it is fun for me to parade him around in stylish duds, it serves a very important purpose. The extra layers can be comforting to a dog that is particularly sensitive to cold weather. Dogs like Barret need the warmth of a coat, like a child venturing out in winter to play, to keep their temp up and their immune system strong.  The extra layers help to conserve body heat, so your dog doesn’t have to work as hard to stay warm when outside, or even when hanging around the house.
Read More »

Breast Cancer in Pets

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, I thought I’d research a topic that many people don’t know a lot about; breast cancer in pets. Most people are aware that pets can get many different types of cancer, as it is the leading cause of death in older pets. lazy cat

Among pets, dogs appear to have the greatest prevalence of breast cancer; it is estimated that 1 in 4 unspayed female dogs will develop a form of breast cancer. Other animals, such as cats, rats and other small mammals can also suffer from breast cancer, known as mammary cancer. About half of dogs who are diagnosed with breast cancer have a malignant form of cancer, but if caught early enough both types of cancer can be treated through removal of the tumor and chemotherapy. Breast cancer can be prevented in most pets simply by having them spayed (and that helps with pet overpopulation too!). Read More »

Recognizing and Treating Bee Stings on Pets

Eastern Yellow JacketInsect stings are probably not the first hazard you consider when you and your pet are enjoying the outdoors. While most stings are not life threatening, there are several factors that can mean the difference between an itchy lump and a trip to the emergency vet. Stings can occur anytime, though they are obviously more common during warmer months when insects are more active. It’s important to know how to recognize reactions and symptoms of stings so you know how to treat them and when to seek veterinary attention.

A Story

When I was a teenager, fall was the time for firewood collection in the wooded lot behind my family’s home. It seemed simple enough, we used a tractor and cart, collecting wood from fallen trees as my father sliced them into fireplace-sized logs to warm us through winter. Collection trips were family affairs: me, my parents, siblings and several of the family dogs who would romp through the underbrush and creek beds in search of wayward squirrels, muskrats and other wildlife to chase. The chill in the air that brought an end to humid summer days lulled the woods into a quiet dormancy, but not everything had quieted for the winter on one particular evening — and an unfortunate disturbance spurred a night to remember. Read More »

The Great Pet Vaccination Debate

Vet VisitIf you’re like me, you get friendly reminder cards from your veterinarian each year asking you to set up an appointment for an exam and any required vaccinations for your pet.  It got me thinking. Children-of-the-human-variety receive their vaccinations and booster shots in their childhood and adolescence, but the immunity to most of those diseases lasts through adulthood.  As our pets become more like children to us, pet parents are starting to question whether or not our pets truly need vaccinated every year or if the vaccinations could be causing more harm than good.

A few years ago, I walked into my vet’s office with my new puppy, my first as an adult. I was bombarded by pamphlets and discussions on all the different diseases that Barrett could be vaccinated against. It was my vet doing most of the talking, and I trusted (and still trust) that they are only trying to do what is best for my pets’ health. He told me about diseases, how they are contracted and, truthfully, almost scared me into signing Barrett up for every vaccine offered. What I didn’t hear from him were the possible side effects of the vaccine, how effective it really was against the diseases it claimed to prevent or if over-vaccinating can have adverse side effects. Doctors and vets operate on a risk/benefit comparison. If the collective benefit of a vaccine is greater than the potential risk, the vaccine is recommended.

How many different diseases should a pet be vaccinated against, and how often should the boosters be administered? Read More »

Cat Trees – A View From Above

New Cat TreeOne of the very first things I learned when I got my first kitten was that they love to climb and perch at the highest level of a room. I would come home to pin pricks in my curtains and kittens perched at the tops of the windows. When they got bigger, I would return to holes in the curtains or draperies on the floor. Read More »

Water Safety Tips for Pet Owners

Summertime is full of opportunities for most of us to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather. But as we all know, that searing summer sun can be intense and in the search for some reprieve we often find ourselves poolside, in local stream, river, lake or on the beach. If you’re like me, you likely have your pet along, too. My pup is a water-lover; if there is a way for her to get wet she will be. While it’s always fun having her along to play or go for a swim, it’s also important to keep any pet’s safety in mind while on, in or near water.  Here are some things to keep in mind as you splash through summer with your favorite four-legged companion. Read More »

Warm Weather Worries – Common Pet Parasites and Pests

FleaParasites can afflict pets any time of the year, however during the spring and summer months, they tend to be more prevalent. Our pets spend a lot more time outside when the weather is warm, and parasites breed more readily. Even if your pets spend all or most of their time indoors, it is possible for parasites to find them whether carried in on our clothes or by crawling through our screen doors. Here are some common parasites to look out for and ways to combat them this summer. Read More »

Dealing with Pet Hair & Shedding

Do you see the hair?Don’t you wish that you could stop your pets from shedding all over the house? Shedding is a natural occurrence in all dogs and cats, except hairless breeds. Some shed their coats more often than others; some breeds shed seasonally and others rain fur all over your house all year. I currently have three dogs, two of which seem to shed enough for at least a dozen dogs! While, it isn’t possible to stop shedding altogether, there are some preventative measures you can take to keep the hair in your house to a minimum.


Read More »

Investing in Pet Insurance

 CockatielRecently, my 14 year old female cockatiel, Charlie was pacing at the bottom of her cage (her usual method of begging to be let out) when she got her leg caught in the grating of the cage. Panicked, I raced forward to help her, but unfortunately my bird’s panic took over and she injured her leg trying to free herself. I knew immediately she had broken it because she could not use it at all and there was blood on her perch, indicating that the bone had gone through the skin. I rushed her to the emergency vet and 4 hours and $360 later, she was ready to go home, dressed in a splint and bird sized e-collar. She’s recovering well, which is great news, however the cost of this endeavor got me to thinking: would pet insurance be worth the investment? Read More »

Bouncing Baby Bunnies – Wild Rabbits in the Spring

We all know that Spring is prime time for many wild animals to bring their babies into the world. We can see new fawns, bear cubs, hatchling birds, and many other new arrivals soon after they make their way into the world. Last year Frank Indiviglio wrote an article on “orphaned” babies in the Spring and what to do (or not do) about them, but one animal that may require a little more info is one of the most common babies found in backyards this time of year…baby rabbits, or “kits”.

People often mistake young rabbits as helpless and abandoned, ususally because their found alone and in the open. Several times each year we have patrons that present us with wild rabbits they come across while mowing the lawn, or that were discovered by the family dog or cat and rescued before becoming a mid-morning snack. While people have the best of intentions, removing the babies from the area where they are found often creates even more of a problem for the little guys. Read More »

Scroll To Top