The start of a new year brings with it the opportunity to reflect on ways we can improve our lives. Getting more exercise and sleep, eating better, and spending more time with loved ones tops the list for many of us. When it comes to our pets, there are probably tweaks and adjustments that can be made to make their quality of life even better, and that’s where we come in!
Town & Country Animal Hospital’s monthly pet care blog aims to provide you with useful and practical information in all areas of pet care, from parasite prevention to holiday pet safety. We hope you’ve enjoyed our topics so far and that you’ll continue to use it in the future!
With that in mind, we’ve compiled the top 5 most popular blogs from the past year. Enjoy!
As we prepare to gather with friends and family during this special time of year, thoughts inevitably turn to those less fortunate. For animal lovers, the plight of marginalized animals in our community is never far from our minds, and many of us are seeking ways to help animals in need this holiday season.
Providing for less fortunate animals is a passion of ours at Town and Country Animal Hospital, and we want to empower our clients to help out in any way they can. Learn about our pet charity, The River Welker Fund, as well as other opportunities that you can be of service to needy pets in our community and beyond.
Bags of candy, jack o’ lanterns, your scariest costume, and…pet safety? Is pet safety on your to-do list this Halloween? It definitely should be. While the season of witches and ghouls is right around the corner, toxic treats and other risks to pets can soon follow without the right precautions.
Halloween is a great time for kids of all ages. Tricks and treats abound! To take the spooky out of the season, Town and Country Animal Hospital wants to help you create the best time for your fur friend (without all the scares).
Tips on Treats
There’s nothing like chocolate bars and candies to cast a delightful spell over most of us. Unfortunately, these tasty bags of sweet treats will likely intrigue our pets. Items such as chocolate, Xylitol (a sugar substitute found in sugar-free candies), macadamia nuts, raisins, and grapes all prove to be highly toxic for animals.
Zoonotic diseases are those that can be passed between humans and animals. With over half of U.S. homes containing at least one pet, it’s more important than ever to understand how you can protect your family, both two-legged and four, from zoonotic diseases.
We’re fortunate to live in an era when disease prevention for cats has become a normal way of life. Although feline vaccinations have long been considered one of the easiest and most effective ways to extend the lives of our precious kitties, many owners (understandably) have some questions and concerns.
A Vaccine Primer
Vaccines are designed to help the immune system fight off disease-causing organisms it may come into contact with in the future. Vaccines contain antigens, which are similar enough in structure to a disease-causing virus or bacteria to mildly stimulate the immune system without actually causing the disease. If a cat ever comes into contact with the disease in the future, his or her immune system will be prepared to defend against it.
It’s a familiar story for anyone with a pet…something seems off, but what? Is it normal for a dog to vomit more than once? Could it be an upset stomach? Or maybe you’re out in the backyard when your cat shows up a little wobbly with signs she got into a brawl with another animal. She doesn’t seem to be in terrible distress, but should you just wait and see? Google provides you with an array of sometimes terrifying, sometimes normalizing articles, but what do you believe?
The life of any pet owner includes the potential for at least one pet emergency. To help take some of the fear and guesswork out of the situation, our team offers some tips and insights into what constitutes a pet emergency.
When the weather is classically wonderful (that is, June through August), a dangerous situation can feel somewhat inconceivable, as if danger only happens to someone else. Sure, summer is the season for kicking back and catching up on leisurely activities, but it’s also a time for important safety reminders.
Summer risks can present problems for our pets when we’re busy with something else. That’s why your Town & Country veterinarians encourage you to err on the side of caution with our summer pet safety tips.
Unless you’re an entomologist, parasites probably bug you. They’re creepy, crawly, and have the potential to cause all sorts of health problems in your pet. Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are the main offenders, but with year-round parasite prevention you can kick them to the proverbial curb.
No Fleas! Please?
Fleas get inside the home via pets or people. Mostly picked up in woodpiles, leaf litter, shady areas, mulch, or grass thatch, they can be deposited there by squirrels, rabbits, groundhogs, opossums, and others.
While they can wreak havoc in your house, a single flea can lay eggs on your pet, developing into larvae, pupae, and adult fleas before you know it. Because it can take a few months to fully eradicate a flea infestation, it’s best to stop the cycle before it starts by using a monthly parasite preventative year round.
Likewise, fleas can remain dormant inside your home during the colder months, only to awake and take over when the spring comes.
Blood-suckers already have a pretty terrible reputation, but when they spread disease, they become truly awful. Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis are all transmitted from ticks to pets (and other animals). However, when parasite prevention is maintained throughout the year, your pet is protected from threats like the deer tick, brown dog tick, lone star tick, and American dog tick.
Lyme disease has been found in all 50 states. If your pet frequents wooded areas, we recommend having him or her tested for tick-borne disease and vaccinated against Lyme disease. But remember, your pet doesnt have to be in the deep woods to pick up ticks – they can easily be in your own backyard so you should be checking your pet often.
We all know the feelings of frustration and futility when you call your pet inside only to be coolly ignored. This resistance tends to happen around dusk, when the opportunity to experience the emerging darkness is savored and shared by pets and predators alike. It’s easy to have a sense of security in our own backyards, but it’s important to know that your pet can be at risk anywhere.
Your companion’s safety is important to us, which is why we’re offering the following tips on how to protect your pet.
The Wild at Your Doorstep
Coyotes are arguably one of the biggest threats facing pets. You might have seen the recent effort in Decatur to reduce the number of coyotes in neighborhoods. Sure, we’re north of the river corridor, but the risk is still very real to our pets. Fierce, confident, and somewhat laissez-faire about their proximity to humans, coyotes will attack a pet left out at night. Some tips to keep in mind:
Springtime is the time for getting outdoors! And what could be better than hanging out on the deck or going for a walk with your four-legged companion? Of course, this season not only prompts us to come out of winter slumber and become more active, it’s also prime time for parasites.
While these pests are a year-round concern, there’s no doubt that warmer, humid weather brings them out in droves. Keep reading to learn more about these harmful bugs and how to keep your pet protected from parasites and the diseases they carry.