Cat Hairballs 101

Have you ever seen your cat produce a hairball? It’s certainly unpleasant, but can it do your cat any harm? Below, your veterinarian Aurora, CO tells you everything you need to know about hairballs.

Why Do Hairballs Form?

Tiny barbs on your cat’s tongue pick up loose fur from the coat when your cat grooms herself. Most of this swallowed hair is expelled in the feces after it moves through the digestive tract. Some hair, though, remains in the gut and forms a hairball, which your cat eventually regurgitates.

Are Hairballs Safe for Fluffy?

Yes, the occasional hairball is a part of life for most cats and won’t harm them. However, if your cat is retching and gagging but not producing a hairball, she may have a blocked windpipe. Rush her to the emergency room right away. Also, hairball regurgitation and vomiting are not the same thing—consistent vomiting is an indicator of serious illness!

Can I Make Hairballs Occur Less Often?

Ask your vet about a special diet that may help your cat shed less. Daily grooming with a brush is the best way, though, to help Fluffy produce less hairballs.

To learn more, contact your vets Aurora, CO.

The Basics of Guinea Pig Care

Are you adopting a guinea pig soon? Trying to decide whether or not a guinea pig is the right pet for you and your family? Read on as your veterinarian Chattanooga, TN goes over the basics of guinea pig care.

Diet

Guinea pigs eat a commercial pellet food, widely available at pet supply stores and certain retail outlets, as well as timothy hay. Additionally, they’ll require a daily helping of fresh fruits and vegetables, like spinach, romaine lettuce, carrots, kiwi, and others. Talk to your vet for specifics on guinea pigs’ nutritional needs.

Cage and Accessories

Your pig will need a cage large enough to accommodate a water bottle, food dish, hiding huts, and a play area. Make sure the bottom of the cage is solid rather than wire, as your pig will require a wood-shaving bedding material. This material should be changed out for fresh bedding on a weekly basis.

Handling Tips

Many guinea pigs will enjoy time out of their cage, closely supervised by their owner. Also, guinea pigs are often skittish—be patient, as it may take some time for your pet to warm up to human contact.

For more information, call your animal hospital Chattanooga, TN.

Protecting Your Dog from the Sun

Just like you, your dog won’t fare well if left out in the sun too long. During the hottest months of the year, it’s very important to protect your canine companion from the sun’s harmful rays!  Do just that with these tips from a veterinarian Livonia, MI:

Indoor Time

The easiest way to protect your dog from the sun is to bring him back indoors frequently and make sure he doesn’t stay out in the sun too long. Indoors, he’ll be comfortable in the air conditioning and have a chance to stay properly hydrated with a dish of cool water.

Sunscreen

Did you know that dogs can get sunburnt, just like we can? It’s most likely to happen on exposed areas of skin, like that on the ridge of the nose or edges of the ears. Purchase a canine-formulated sunscreen if your dog is going to be outdoors for long stretches of time.

Shady Spots

When your dog is outdoors, ensure that there are multiple shaded areas for him to relax under. If trees don’t provide adequate shade, make your own shade using a tent or sheet.

To learn more about summer care for dogs, contact your vet Livonia, MI.

Preventative Care for Your Pet

When it comes to your pet, it simply makes sense to avoid health problems before they strike. Not only does that keep your animal companion happy, it’s less expensive! Here, your vet Tampa, FL tells you about the preventative care essentials that your pet needs.

Vaccination

All pets need the core vaccinations against dangerous and/or contagious diseases, such as distemper, parvovirus, rabies, hepatitis, and calicivirus. Other vaccines, like those that protect against Lyme disease and the Bordetella virus, may also be necessary. Talk to your vet to find out what vaccinations your pet might require.

Pest Control

Fleas, ticks, and worms present a real health hazard to your animal companion. It’s far easier to protect your pet with preventative medicine than treat infestations and infections after the fact. Call your vet if your pet isn’t already set up with flea-and-tick and heartworm medications.

Spay and Neuter

Spaying and neutering eliminates various cancer risks, and it even makes common issues like UTIs less likely to occur. Of course, it also improves your pet’s behavior and eliminates the chance of an unplanned litter!

Does your pet need spayed or neutered? Is it time for vaccinations? Call your vet clinic Tampa, FL today!

Helping Fido Shed Those Excess Pounds

Nearly half of all domesticated dogs are overweight. Is your canine friend one of them? To help your dog shed his excess pounds, use these quick tips from veterinarians Marietta, GA.

Exercise

There’s just no substitute for good old-fashioned exercise when it comes to losing weight; this holds true for dogs as well as it does for humans. Play with your dog every day, getting him moving for several minutes at a time. That’s the only way for him to burn the necessary calories!

Portion Size

Ask your veterinarian about the right portion size for your dog. Overfeeding is one of the leading causes of obesity amongst our canine companions! By feeding your pooch the proper amount of kibble, you’re ensuring that he’s getting all the right nutrients without packing on too many empty calories.

New Diet Choice

Sometimes, your dog’s diet just isn’t up to par. Ask your vet to recommend a food choice that suits your dog’s age, breed, and ideal weight. Budget diets contain a lot of “filler” material that your dog just doesn’t need, and it’s likely packing on the pounds!

Want to know more about weight loss in dogs? Contact your vets Marietta, GA.

Your Cat and Hairballs

If you own a cat, the occasional hairball is probably a part of life. These regurgitations by your cat are certainly unpleasant… how much do you really know about them? Here, your vets Savannah, GA goes over the basics of hairballs.

What Causes Hairballs?

When your feline friend grooms herself, tiny barbs on her tongue pick up hair, which your cat swallows. Most of the swallowed hair passes through the digestive tract and is expelled through the feces; that which isn’t, though, clumps together into a hairball. Eventually, that hair gets regurgitated!

Are Hairballs Safe for My Cat?

Yes—the occasional hairball is a natural part of life and shouldn’t cause your feline friend any harm. Frequent hairball production, though, could mean a health issue; you’ll want to have your cat examined if your cat is producing a lot of hairballs. If your cat is gagging and retching without producing a hairball, take them to the emergency room.

Can I Minimize Hairball Production?

Grooming Fluffy yourself will prevent her from swallowing excessive amounts of hair. Additionally, specialized diets or dietary supplements can help cats who are particularly prone to high hairball production.

Call your veterinarians Savannah, GA to learn more.

Hot Weather Care Tips for Cats and Dogs

When the weather heats up, our dogs and cats are at risk. It’s up to you to make sure your pet stays healthy and happy this summer! Use these tips from vets Fort Collins, CO to do just that:

Indoor Time

Don’t leave your pet outside for long stretches of time. That’s only inviting deadly heatstroke and dehydration! Instead, make sure your pet is allowed to relax indoors for most of the day, and provide a dish of cool, fresh water for him to drink from at all times.

Pest Control

Warm weather means more likelihood of infestations and infections from pests like fleas, ticks, and worms. By keeping your pet on proper preventatives—a heartworm medication and a flea-and-tick preventative will do the trick for most pets—you’re preventing the problem entirely! Talk to your vet if your pet needs these medications.

Grooming

Did you know that grooming your pet in the summer can help keep them cool? That’s because you’re removing loose and dead fur that’s clogging up the coat, getting rid of an unnecessary layer of hair that only makes your pet hotter.

For more summertime pet care tips, call your veterinarians Fort Collins, CO.

Myths About Pet Adoption

Are you considering bringing a new pet into your household in the near future? Unfortunately, pet adoption and rescue facilities sometimes get a bad rap. Don’t believe everything you hear! Learn the truth below from an vet Oshawa, ON.

Rescue Pets Are Poorly Behaved

This isn’t true. Most pets in shelters are perfectly well-behaved, and are just looking for loving homes to take them in. Issues like abandonment and unrestricted breeding are much more common reasons why pets end up in rescue facilities, rather than poor behavior!

Rescue Pets Are Old

Nothing could be further from the truth. Pets of all ages—puppies and kittens, middle-aged companions, and senior pets—can be found in your local rescue facilities! Regardless of what aged pet you’re on the lookout for, a shelter is sure to have some winning options.

Shelters Only Have Dogs and Cats

Think shelters only house dogs and cats? Think again. Many shelters run adoption programs for exotic animals, reptiles, birds, pocket pets like guinea pigs or hamsters, ferrets, and more! If you’re looking for a unique pet, consider saving a life by visiting a shelter.

Does your new companion need a veterinary checkup? Call your veterinarian Oshawa, ON.

Pest Prevention for Cats and Dogs

Dogs and cats alike are susceptible to the infestations and infections caused by outdoor pests. The trick to keeping your beloved companion healthy and safe is preventative medications! Here, your veterinarian Ashburn, VA tells you more.

Worms

Worms like heartworm, roundworms, flatworms, hookworms, whipworms, and more can cause serious health trouble for your four-legged companion. Fortunately for you, a quality heartworm preventative should ward off almost all dangerous worm varieties! Call your vet if your dog isn’t already on a heartworm medication.

Fleas

Fleas can cause serious infestations if left unchecked, and they can even start to infest your family’s bedding, furniture, and clothing. You’ll want to avoid the problem before it starts with a quality flea preventative; talk to your veterinary professional if your pet is in need.

Ticks

West Nile virus, Ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease… these are only a few of the dangerous diseases that ticks can carry and transmit to your pet. Make sure your pet takes a tick preventative, or a flea-and-tick combo medication, to prevent the danger.

Does your pet need preventative medicine or a veterinary checkup? We’re always here for you and your companion. Set up an appointment with your veterinary clinic Ashburn, VA today!

Dangerous Plants and Flowers for Cats

There are plenty of harmful plants and flowers out there for our feline friends. It’s important to know what to look out for! Here, your Rochester, NY veterinary professional tells you about three of the most common offenders.

Lilies

Did you know that many varieties of lilies are toxic for cats? Day lilies, Easter lilies, and tiger lilies are just a few examples. Symptoms like drooling, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea could result if your cat eats lilies—keep your feline friend away!

The Sago Palm

The sago palm is highly toxic for pets, your cat included. Bleeding disorders, liver failure, vomiting, diarrhea, and more could be caused by ingestion! The sago palm may be found outdoors or indoors; if your cat ingests any part of the plant, take them to the vet’s office right away.

Rhododendron/Azalea

The rhododendron plant, also called azalea, can cause symptoms like irritation in the mouth, vomiting, and diarrhea after only a few leaves are ingested. Without treatment, blood-pressure drops and even coma could occur! Don’t keep these common houseplants in your cat’s living area.

Want more advice on keeping your cat safe from toxic plants? Call your animal hospital Rochester, NY to make an appointment.