How to Exercise Your Indoor Cat

Like any cat, your indoor feline needs her exercise. We know this can be easier said than done! Here, your Myakka, FL vet offers a few suggestions on getting Fluffy moving.

Toys

There’s just no substitute for good old-fashioned cat toys. When your cat plays, they’re exercising themselves while having a lot of fun at the same time! Most cats enjoy toys that mimic prey animals, like fake mice or birds. Of course, a simple string dangling in front of their face is irresistible to most cats as well!

Laser Light

Laser lights are great for exercising your cat. It’s likely that your feline friend will enjoy chasing that pesky light that she just can’t manage to catch—just make sure not to shine the light directly in your cat’s eyes, as retinal damage could result over time.

Catnip

If your cat is reluctant to play, try sprinkling toys with catnip. This herb entices many cats to become quite active; your cat may run around in circles or dart excitedly around the house! Unbeknownst to her, she’s getting a great workout.

Talk to your vets Myakka, FL professional for more advice on getting your indoor cat the exercise she needs.

Building an Emergency Kit for Your Pet

Emergencies are frightening, especially because you won’t be warned ahead of time that one is happening! The best thing to do is be prepared. Here, your Greensboro, NC vet tells you what to include in a pet emergency kit.

First-Aid Supplies

The bulk of your emergency kit will consist of first-aid supplies like bandages, adhesive tape, gauze, a pet-safe disinfectant, tweezers, nail clippers, a styptic powder or pen to staunch bleeding, scissors, a pet thermometer, and a few pairs of latex gloves for your hands. Ask your veterinary professional about other first-aid essentials that may benefit your pet during an emergency.

Medical Records

Don’t forget to include medical records—these can be literal lifesavers in an emergency situation. In a water-proof plastic bag, place proof of ownership, proof of vaccinations, and records of any recent medical work your pet has had done.

Pet Medications

If your pet takes specific medications for a condition, be sure to pack a supply in the kit. This way, you know where it is at all times. Check the expiration dates on the medicine periodically, and replace if necessary.

Does your pet need veterinary attention? Set up an appointment with your veterinary clinic Greensboro, NC today.

Three Common Pet Toxins Already in Your Home

That’s right—you probably already have at least one of these pet toxins in your home. No need to panic, though. Your North Phoenix, AZ veterinarian is here to tell you about a few simple precautions that will keep your furry friend safe.

Toxic Foods

Almost every kitchen contains a few foods that aren’t good for pets. The list includes onions, garlic, chives, shallots, avocado, grapes, raisins, chocolate, candy, gum, alcohol, caffeinated items, macadamia nuts, salty items, fatty foods, and much more. Never leave harmful food out on the counter where a pet may be able to reach it.

Human Medications

Aspirin, cough syrup, prescription drugs, over-the-counter pills, antidepressants—these are but a few of the human medications that can poison a pet if they swallow too much. Never allow your pet access to the medicine cabinet, and be careful to store your own medications separately from those of your pet.

Poisonous Houseplants

Various houseplants and flowers can impact a pet negatively, including lilies, tulips, daffodils, the sago palm, certain aloe plants, dieffenbachia, elephant ear, and poinsettias. Take care to remove any offending plants from your home.

Talk to your North Phoenix, AZ veterinary professional for more pet safety advice.

Three Benefits of Pet Identification Microchips

While ID tags work well for pet identification, microchips provide an even greater advantage. Many pet owners use the two in conjunction! Here, your Lafayette, LA vet tells you about just three of the benefits of microchips:

Secure, Constant Identification

Microchips can’t be removed by your pet, the way they may slip off, chew apart, or rip away a collar with an ID tag. This way, your pet is constantly identified no matter what, even if an escape occurs unexpectedly! This peace of mind is well worth it.

Easy to Have Updated

If you get a new telephone number or have a change of home address, you’ll need to purchase an updated ID tag. This isn’t the case with a microchip—simply call the microchip manufacturer, and they’ll update your pet’s information without ever switching out the chip.

Painless and Inexpensive

The microchipping procedure is quick and painless; all your pet will feel is a momentary pinch, just like a regular shot. In addition, it’s not expensive to have your pet microchipped. It usually costs somewhere between $30 and $80, depending on your veterinarian.

Want more information about pet microchips and their advantages? Call your Lafayette, LA vet’s office today.

Kneading Behavior in Cats

Kneading involves an alternated pressing motion of the two front paws into a soft object, such as a blanket, pillow, or you! Have you ever seen your cat do this and wondered what’s behind the behavior? Here, your Mt. Pleasant, SC vet tells you about a few possibilities.

Territory Marking

Your cat’s paw pads contain scent glands. When the paws are pressed into an object, your cat is marking that area as her own. When she kneads her bedding or your leg, she’s marking out her territory!

Nursing Instinct

Kittens tend to knead the mother’s belly during the nursing period; this maneuver is believed to stimulate milk production in the mother cat. Some experts believe that for adult cats, the motion of kneading reminds them of the feelings of contentment and warmth associated with the nursing period.

Napping Preparation

It’s likely that the wild ancestors of our domesticated cats kneaded grass or dirt in the outback in order to soften it up for napping. Many believe that modern cats perform kneading as a sort of “remnant” trait passed down from generations of old.

Would you like more information on your cat’s behavior patterns? Contact your vet in Mt. Pleasant, SC.

The Basics of Dog Vaccination

Are you new to dog ownership? One of the first things you’ll need to have taken care of is your pooch’s vaccinations. Here, your Greenville, SC veterinary professional goes over the basics.

What Vaccines Does My Dog Need?

Your pooch needs the core vaccines, which are considered necessary for all dogs because of the dangerous and/or contagious nature of the diseases they protect against. These usually include vaccines against parvovirus, calicivirus, distemper, parainfluenza, and rabies.

Non-core vaccines—those that aren’t essential for every dog but may be helpful based on exposure risk and other factors—are given to some dogs as well. The Bordetella vaccine, which protects against kennel cough and would be beneficial to a dog that will be commonly boarded, is one example.

When Should My Dog Receive These Vaccines?

Dogs can receive the core vaccines as early as a few weeks of age. The vaccination routine unusually culminates at about 16 weeks of age. From there, some vaccines may need booster shots yearly on in multiple-year increments.

How Do I Get My Dog Vaccinated?

Does your dog need vaccinated for a lifetime of health and happiness? Set up an appointment today to see your veterinarian Greenville, SC.

The Truth About Milk and Cats

For some reason, cats and milk just seem to go together; you may already be picturing a cat happily lapping up milk from a saucer. You may be surprised to learn that the two don’t mix! Learn more below from a Marietta, GA vet.

Why Can’t Cats Have Milk?

Most adult cats are actually lactose-intolerant. This is the same condition that affects many humans; there is not enough lactase in the gut to digest lactose, the primary enzyme in milk. When a cat drinks too much milk, they will experience an upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting.

Don’t Kittens Drink Milk from the Mother?

Yes, kittens drink their mother’s milk during the nursing period. This is the only time that a cat needs milk in the diet, though—as they age, a cat will produce less lactase, gradually becoming lactose-intolerant.

Can Cats Consume Any Type of Dairy?

Since other forms of dairy, like yogurt and cheese, contain less lactose than milk does, they’re safer to feed to cats. However, they’re not nutritionally necessary in the least. If you must give your cat dairy, keep the portions very small.

Talk to your vet Marietta, GA for more information on your cat’s diet.

The Etiquette of Dog Walking

Walking your pooch is as simple as heading out the door, right? Think again! Use these tips from a Livonia, MI veterinarian to walk your dog with etiquette.

Use a Leash

Always use a leash during walks, even if your dog is exceedingly well-trained. Even the most obedient dogs can dart after a squirrel or be startled by a loud noise. Plus, you don’t want your dog ambling up to just anyone—not everyone is as much of a dog lover as you are!

Use the Sidewalk

Whenever possible, use a sidewalk to be courteous to motorists, and try to choose the widest roads that you can find. This is especially important if you’re walking during dusk or after dark. Walk against traffic so that you can see what’s coming.

Pick Up After Fido

Never leave your dog’s droppings out in public; not only is this rude, it can contribute to poor public health because dog feces can carry parasites and bacteria. Always bring along a few plastic baggies to pick up after your dog during walks.

Would you like further advice on walking your dog properly? Give your vets in Livonia, MI a call today to find out more.

Cat Myths You Shouldn’t Believe

Probably thanks to our feline friends’ mysterious nature, there are many myths surrounding their behavior and care. Below, your Livonia, MI vet sets the record straight on three prevalent misconceptions.

Cats Always Land on Their Feet

Cats are graceful, but they don’t always miraculously land on their feet. Like any animal, cats can slip and fall, sometimes injuring themselves severely. In fact, falls from shorter distances are the most dangerous, because a cat doesn’t have time to right himself before impact.

Cats Love Milk

This is only partially true—your cat might love milk, but it won’t show him the same affection. Most adult cats are actually lactose-intolerant, meaning that drinking too much milk or eating too much dairy will probably result in vomiting, diarrhea, or an upset stomach at the very least.

Cats Are Fine on Their Own for a Few Days

Cats are independent, but that doesn’t mean they can be left alone indefinitely. Cats still need food, water, companionship, and a litter-box cleanout every now and again. If you’re leaving for days at a time, have someone check in on your pet.

Talk to your pet clinic Livonia, MI professional for more advice on cat behavior and healthcare.

Hot-Weather Safety for Pets

When the weather warms up, you must keep your pet’s safety in mind—it’s all too easy for our animal friends to fall victim to dangerous dehydration and heatstroke! Here, your Mattoon, IL veterinarian gives you a few tips.

Hydration

Always make sure your pet has access to a bowl of cool, fresh water, whether they’re spending time indoors or out. This will prevent the danger of dehydration, which can occur quickly if a pet is exposed to high temperatures and withering heat. Check the dish periodically to see if it needs refilled or refreshed.

Shade

If your pet spends time outdoors in the summer, make sure there is at least one shady spot for them to cool off under. If there aren’t adequate shade trees around, make your own shade by hanging a hammock or bed sheet.

Sunscreen

Pets can get sunburnt, too! It’s especially likely to occur on areas of exposed skin, such as that on the nose tip or ear edges. Pick up a canine- or feline-formulated sunscreen at your local pet supply store, and don’t hesitate to ask your vet for a recommendation.

Would you like more hot-weather health tips? Call your Mattoon, IL animal hospital.