Dog Fight


There is almost nothing as scary as a dog fight. No one wants to have their pet involved in one, and most people will do anything to avoid a confrontation between their dog and another.

In order to successfully avoid a dog fight, it is important to understand why they occur.


The Hypoallergenic Dog: An Urban Legend?


Urban Legend?

Ah, the urban legend.  A story that you heard from a friend of a friend of a friend that is just plausible enough to be believed.  We have all heard them, and we have all fallen for one or two at some point.  No one knows exactly where the myth of the “hypoallergenic” dog got started, but it is a highly perpetuated tale.   Continue…

The Anatomy of Your Pet’s Dental Cleaning


Dental care is an important part of proper care for your dog or cat.  Having your veterinarian do a quick inspection during your pet’s routine wellness exams is good.  Providing home dental care as instructed by your veterinarian is important, but your furry friends need periodic dental cleanings to keep their mouths healthy. In fact, by the ripe old age of three, most pets have some dental disease.

What happens during a professional dental procedure for your pet?

  • Anesthesia.  There are no bones about it; a proper, thorough cleaning cannot take place without general anesthesia.  This allows the veterinarian to thoroughly examine your pet’s mouth, take dental x-rays if indicated, and perform an in-depth cleaning.  Your pet’s history and current physical condition will be taken into account when developing an anesthetic plan, allowing for the safest anesthetic experience possible.
  • Examination.   Once your dog or cat is safely anesthetized, a detailed examination of his or her mouth takes place.  Any problems are documented and a plan is formulated to address them.
  • Ultrasonic and hand scaling.  The dental plaque and tartar that cause periodontal disease is removed from all sides of the tooth and under the gum line.
  • Polishing.  To keep your pet’s whites pearly, the teeth are polished after scaling in order to smooth the tooth’s surface, slowing the deposition of further plaque and tartar.
  • Problem solving.  Your pet may have teeth that need to be extracted or need other procedures in order to address any issues that are identified. Your veterinarian will identify any issues and explain your options.
  • Putting together a game plan.  Your veterinarian will determine a plan for resolving any immediate issues and for better maintaining  your pet’s dental health down the road.

All pets need routine, professional dental cleanings.  Make it a priority this year to provide your special dog or cat with this basic care.  Speak with your veterinarian about when your pet should have a dental cleaning and what you should be doing at home to enhance his or her dental health.

Take advantage of our February 20% discount on dental cleanings in celebration of National Pet Dental Health Month. Phone now to book an appointment while this is on your mind:  (630) 355-5300

Fat Cats: the Issue of Cat Obesity


The pet obesity epidemic is a big concern in this country, and the problem is growing worse.  Weight loss is not easy for anyone, human or otherwise.  When it comes down to it, the solution seems simple:  Eat less, exercise more.  This is easier said than done, however, particularly in the cat.  But there are important reasons for us to strive to reach a healthy weight for our feline companions.

Overweight cats are prone to illness and shortened lives

Overweight cats are prone to some serious medical conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, and certain forms of cancer.  Overweight cats live shorter lives than normal weight cats.  Also, these cats tend to be “lazier”, not moving around as much, which makes it harder to detect early signs of serious illnesses.  Fat cats are no laughing matter.

What can you do to help your cat slim down?

So how do we accomplish safe, successful weight loss for our furry felines?

  • Cut the calories.  This sounds simple enough, but there is more to it than just not eating as much.  Fat cats are prone to developing a serious liver disease called hepatic lipidosis if they do not eat enough.  Kitty diets should only be started under the guidance of your veterinarian.  He or she can help you to calculate your cat’s daily calorie requirements.  Don’t be tempted to use a self-feeder.  Instead, measure out portions daily.  Pet or play with your kitty when it begs–some cats are literally starving for attention!  Feed small meals frequently and freshen the water bowl often.  These little changes can make a big one!
  • Change the food.  For some cats, simply changing the diet can make a drastic difference.  For instance, most canned foods have a lower caloric content than their dry counterparts.  Light or diet foods are also available.  Be sure that you are not cutting calories too drastically by calculating caloric needs with your veterinarian.  Cats can be finicky about new foods, so be sure to gradually introduce the new diet over a 1-2 week period.  You can try to make new foods more palatable by warming them slightly or adding a little oregano or a splash of salmon juice or omega-3 fatty acid supplement.
  • Get that kitty moving! No bones about it–it is harder to increase your cat’s activity level than your dog’s.  It takes some creativity to get your cat burning calories.  Make your cat “hunt” for its food by moving the bowl frequently.  Try putting it at the furthest place from kitty’s sleeping spot to encourage movement.  Use interactive toys such as flashlights, laser pointers, paper bags–anything your cat likes to chase to have a short activity session daily.   You may need to change it up frequently.
  • Keep track of progress.  Rechecks and weigh-ins can help tell you if you are on the right track.  Monthly weigh-ins are ideal.  If you are not making progress in a month’s time, it is time to try another food or technique.