Posts Tagged ‘pet care’

Involving Kids in Pet Care

Friday, March 28th, 2014

they all like milkFor many parents, watching the bond that our children share with our family pets is priceless. But for many parents, pet ownership creates an unparalleled learning opportunity, too. Involving kids in pet care can teach children of all ages the lessons of responsibility, compassion, health care, and decision-making.

Whether you’re a parent that is just starting to test the waters of involving your kids in pet care, or the parent of an older child looking to increase his or her pet care responsibilities, the following tasks are worthy of your consideration as you plan for your child’s responsibilities in caring for your family pet.

Daily Pet Care

While not every task is appropriate for every age, there are daily activities that all children can be a part of, even if it’s just talking to them about (more…)

Holiday Plant Primer

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

 

Around the holidays, our homes are filled with all sorts of objects that aren’t there the rest of the year.  Many times this includes festive plants of all kinds.  These plants often end up in the mouths of curious pets, especially puppies and kittens.  Some may not cause any problems at all, but many cause side effects ranging from mild to severe.  Here is the low-down on a few of the more common holiday house guests:

Poinsettia

While the poinsettia plant is perhaps the most infamous holiday plant, its reputation is not entirely deserved.  Its extreme toxicity is largely an urban legend.  The plant is mildly toxic and irritating to the mucous membranes.  While it is unlikely to cause severe illness, it is probably best to keep this plant out of reach.

Mistletoe

The level of toxicity of mistletoe largely depends on the variety, but the berries of both the American and European variety cause stomach irritation at small doses. At larger doses, it can trigger much more serious problems (including low blood pressure, seizures, and disorientation).

Holly

Eating holly can result in severe stomach upset in dogs and cats.  Signs that your pet has eaten holly include smacking of lips, drooling, head shaking, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.

Lilies

Lilies are very popular around the holidays, but they are deadly for cats.  Ingestion causes severe stomach upset, heart arrhythmias, kidney failure, and death.

Christmas tree

Don’t discount the tree!  The oils and sap can be irritating to the mouth and stomach, which can lead to drooling and vomiting.

Grooming at Naperville Animal Hospital – Bow Wow Wow!!!

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

How to know who to trust with your pet’s grooming

Choosing somewhere to have your pet groomed can be difficult.  A plethora of grooming salons have popped up in recent years, and sometimes it can be almost impossible to tell which ones are good and not-so-good until you find out first hand.  Of course, we will tell you that our groomers are the best in the area, but we would rather you come to that conclusion on your own!  Here are some factors to consider when choosing a groomer for your pet:

  • Does the groomer personalize services?

For instance, certain pets may require special shampoos for itchy skin, have trouble with their ears, or need their coat trimmed a certain way.  Our groomers are willing to groom to your pet’s needs, not a one-size-fits-all template.

  • Does the groomer require proof of vaccination?

Requiring vaccinations protects your pet.  Be wary of any establishment that does not ask for this information.  We require all vaccines to be documented and current at the time of your appointment.

  • Does the groomer know you and your pet?

Many groomers turn and burn through many pets a day and don’t have time to get to know each client.  After a grooming session or two, your pet should be greeted by name!

  • Does your pet get treated like the prince/princess s/he is?

Likewise, when a groomer has many pets to groom in a day s/he is unable to take the time to pamper your pet.  Our groomers take pride in treating each individual pet to a spa day, taking time to allow even nervous pets to relax and enjoy themselves!

  • What kinds of hours do they keep?

Do you have to work around the groomer’s schedule or do they work with yours?  We are happy to work around your day care or boarding schedules.

  • Can they accommodate special requests?  Do they have a working knowledge of your needs?

If you have a show or performance pet, it may need to be groomed in a certain manner.  Does your groomer have an in-depth knowledge of your needs?  Thinking of changing up Fluffy’s look and going with a pink coat?  Can your groomer accomplish that?  Be sure to ask!

  • What happens if the pet needs medical attention?

Injuries and accidents can happen, particularly if you choose a groomer where care and experience are lacking.  In the unlikely event of a problem, Naperville Animal Hospital has veterinarians on staff that can immediately attend to your pet.  It is also convenient to have a veterinarian around so that any minor medical issues can be addressed during your pet’s grooming appointment.

NapervilleAnimal Hospital is proud to have an experienced, caring grooming staff to attend to your pets.  We hope that you trust us with your grooming needs.  Because a picture is worth a thousand words, here are just a few to help you see what a great job we do!

Naperville AH - Before Cat Grooming

Before Grooming

Naperville AH - After Cat Grooming

After Grooming – Meow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Naperville AH Grooming - Before

Before Grooming

Naperville AH - After Grooming

After Grooming – Bow Wow Wow!

Catnip and Your Cat

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

It is an enjoyable (and often hilarious) experience to give your kitty some catnip and watch what happens.  But what is catnip?  Is it safe?  And what is it about it that makes some cats downright batty?

Catnip is an herb (Nepeta cataria) that originated in the Mediterranean but is now found throughout the U.S. and Canada.  The ingredient in catnip that exerts its power over our feline friends is called nepetalactone.  This chemical mimics natural kitty pheromones and can trigger a wide range of behaviors including sniffing, licking, head-shaking, head rubbing, and body rubbing.  The effects last about 5-15 minutes.

All cats respond differently to catnip, with about 30% not seeming to care at all.  While some cats may exhibit extreme behaviors, catnip is non-toxic and there is no reason to worry about your cat being exposed.

Crate Training Basics

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

When done properly, crate training is a very valuable tool that can help you and your dog enjoy each other even more.  Here are some helpful tips:

DON’T use your crate as a punishment device.  Even crate trained dogs need exercise, interaction, and training.  

DO put your crate in an area where your family spends a lot of time.  Dogs are pack animals and want to be included in the action.

DON’T leave your pet’s harness or collar on while it is in the crate.

DO praise your dog for going into the crate.  Feed him/her meals inside and provide safe toys.

DO start by asking your dog to stay in the crate for only short periods of time while you are home.

DON’T leave your dog crated for too long.  For puppies under 7 months of age, a good rule of thumb is no more than the number of hours equaling the dog’s age plus one.  (So a 4 month old puppy can be crated up to 5 hours).

If you have any questions, please contact us.

How prepared are you?

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Disasters strike when we least expect them.  We never think it will happen to us, yet every year tornados, fires, hurricanes, and floods strike locations all over the United States.  If something like this were to affect your family, are you ready?  It is National Pet Preparedness Month, and it’s the perfect time to ask yourself the following:

  • Where would you go? Do you have a list of facilities or locations that you could take shelter at?  Where would your pets go?  Try to make a list of pet-friendly hotels, boarding facilities, or homes that would take your pet in case of an emergency.
  • What would you bring? Everyone should have an emergency preparedness kit.  Be sure to include your pets.  Keep a carrier, leash and collar, food, water, and bowls in a designated location.  Don’t forget any medications and a copy of your pet’s medical records.
  • Could your pet find you if you became separated? Keep identification tags and microchip registration information current so that your pet can find its way home should you have to part.

We all hope that we’ll never have to deal with an emergency like this, but it does happen. Being prepared will give you peace of mind, and is the best way to ensure you and your loved ones will make it through as safely as possible.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Lyme Disease: What you need to know

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

dog on lawnIt is no coincidence that April is National Lyme Disease Prevention Month.  Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks, and the nasty little parasites are at their height during the spring months.  Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the organism Borrelia burgdorferi that is transmitted by the bite of an infected tick.  The disease is most common in the northeastern, upper Midwestern, and West Coast states, however the area of concern appears to be spreading in recent years.

Infected animals may not develop any symptoms at all.  Some will develop fever, lameness, swollen joints, depression, and/or loss of appetite.  If the infection persists kidney failure and permanent lameness can ensue.  If Lyme disease is suspected, we may suggest running a blood test to confirm infection.  Luckily most pets with Lyme disease respond well to antibiotic therapy.

In endemic areas (like ours), vaccination of dogs for Lyme disease is recommended.  Disease can also be prevented by using tick preventative products recommended by your veterinarian and by removing ticks promptly before disease transmission can occur.  Avoiding tick infested areas and keeping shrubbery and grass closely trimmed can also lessen the likelihood of exposure.  If your dog is at risk for contracting Lyme disease, so are you!  Use care in areas with a heavy tick population.

Call us if you have any questions, or if your dog is showing symptoms.

Heartworm Disease: How Much Do You Know?

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Dog and CatHeartworm disease is no joke.  It is a very serious problem for pets that, with a little effort, is almost completely preventable.  Here are a few facts regarding heartworm disease so that you can better understand how to protect your pet:

  • Heartworms grow inside the heart, lungs, and associated vessels.
  • Heartworm disease is transmitted by female mosquitoes.
  • Both dogs and cats can become infected.
  • Heartworm disease has been found in ALL 50 states.
  • Pets that are infected may not exhibit any signs until serious problems and even death occur.
  • There is a treatment for heartworm disease in dogs, although the treatment is expensive and can have a high risk of complications.  No treatment is currently available for cats.

Contact us and we can help you to decide what the best preventative plan is for your pet.  By educating yourself you can protect your dog or cat from this scary disease.

Idle Hands: The Importance of Mental Stimulation for your Pet

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Bored BeagleWe’ve all heard the saying:  Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.  This not only applies to humans, but to our pets as well.  It is estimated that most dogs need at least 6 hours of mental activity a day.  Boredom can result in all sorts of behavioral problems, including destructive and obsessive behaviors.

Exercise is a great outlet, however many pets benefit from mental stimulation as well.  Mental exercise is not hard to accomplish- try hiding treats around the house, playing hide-and-go-seek, teaching a new trick, or making a play date with another pet.  For dogs, try doggie daycare to keep them occupied while you’re away. You may just see a change in your pet’s behavior for the better.  And you will have a happy dog or kitty to boot!

If you have any questions or would like to discuss some suggestions for your pet, contact us!

Why Pudgy Pets aren’t so Cute

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Fat dogs are not cuteJust like the rest of America, our nation’s pets have expanding waistlines. According to the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention, about 54% of pets in America are overweight or obese. While being curvy may be cute, it is not healthy. Pets that are overweight are at increased risk for the following:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart and respiratory disease
  • Joint injury including cranial cruciate ligament injury
  • Kidney disease
  • Many forms of cancer
  • Decreased life expectancy (up to 2.5 years!)

If those aren’t reasons enough to take your pet’s weight seriously, then nothing is. If you are not sure if your pet is overweight, be sure to ask us at your pet’s next checkup. We can also give you helpful tips in order to aid in shedding pounds including prescription diets and lab work to rule out underlying medical conditions.