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Archive for December 2013

How to Prepare Your Pet for Travel

ID-10076706If you are planning on taking a trip and bringing your pet with you either on a plane or in the car there are a number of things you can do to prepare your pet for travel. For your pet’s safety and health take your pet to the vet for a check up before you travel. Once the vet has okayed your pet for travel secure a collar to their neck with an identification tag. If your pet requires medication make sure you have enough to last through out your trip. Although, first you must consider if your destination is pet friendly, does your hotel or vacation plans include time with your pet? You must also consider your pet’s behavior, does your pet have a tendency to misbehave, or doesn’t play well with others, in these cases it might be more trouble than it’s worth to bring your pet along.

If after you’ve answered these questions and you still want to bring your pet along here is some advice for type of travel you are planning for yourself and your pet.

Air Travel
Most airlines have a plan in place for handling pets as cargo, make sure you have all the information from the airline so you can prepare yourself and your pet for air travel. Ask questions about how the pets are secured during flight for your own peace of mind. Make sure you have a bag for you pet with all their documentation that says your pet is okay for travel. Also investing in a pet carrier that is airline approved. If possible exercise your pet before putting him/her into the crate, that way they won’t mind the duration they spend in the carrier or crate. Also make sure there is nothing inside the crate or carrier that can harm your pet. And never sedate your pet before a flight. This can cause more harm than good as medications react differently under different types of pressure. Also try not to fly with your pet during cold winters and hot summers.

 

Car Travel
You can help your pet become more familiar with car travel by introducing them to small trips in the car and gradually increasing their trips by larger and larger increments. Never feed your dog before a ride in the car as they are likely to become motion sick. Try to secure your dog in the car with a harness, that way your pet isn’t running around the car and distracting you from driving. And this will also help if you familiarize your pet with the harness ahead of time. If possible teach your dog to relieve himself on command. Give your dog or cat some interactive toys during their car ride to keep them entertained.

Once you have reached your destination, whether by air or by car make sure to walk your pet and enter the hotel with them. Encourage them to explore their new surroundings and reward them for their good behavior and patience. Should you be unable to bring your pet on vacation, look into boarding your pet at a kennel or a boarding hotel.

 

Kennels and Boarding
There are different types of boarding situations for your pet; In -Home Boarding, Kennels, and Pet Hotels. To choose a boarding hotel or kennel getting a recommendation is always a good idea.If your friend or family member was happy with a kennel, chances are you’ll be happy too. A good kennel will take your dog or cat in and make them feel like they belong. Your pet should be treated better than you could hope for with a substitute family. Your pet should be allowed to roam and have access to large areas to feel that they belong. Individual attention and exercise are key features to a happy pet in your absence. Remember, you want your pet to feel happy in your absence, not anxious.

To reduce any anxious feelings be positive and keep your body language positive no matter what you decide to do with your pet. Your attitude and feelings can greatly affect your pets mood. Just remember that you will likely miss your pet more than they will miss you. So go ahead with your travel plans and have a great time no matter what you decide to do.

Can Cats and Dogs Develop Diabetes?

ID-100219633Have you ever wondered if cats and dogs can get diabetes. Unfortunately they can, and some breed of dogs are more prone to diabetes than others, for instance German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Miniature Schnauzers, Keeshondens, and Poodles. Cats become prone to diabetes when they become overweight. 1 in every 500 dogs will become diabetic.

There is no need to worry though, as the medicine to treat diabetes has been developing for humans, this research has also benefitted our furry friends. You just need to know what your looking for. There are symptoms to watch for if you suspect that your pet might have diabetes.

1) Polydipsia
Polydipsia is where your pet drinks more water than they regularly do. This is the earliest sign of diabetes in animals.

2) Polyuria
Polyuria is where your pet feels the need to urinate more frequently than normal. This may result in accidents around the house. This is the next warning sign, especially in animals who have never experienced urination accidents or problems in the house before.

3) Polyphagia
Polyphagia is an increase in appetite. If your pet acts hungrier than normal or as if it is starving, but instead of gaining weight your pet loses weight, this could be a warning sign of diabetes.

These three symptoms can be accompanied by, or commonly proceed a sudden weight loss which can be caused by diabetes increasing your pet’s metabolism. As mentioned above overweight cats and dogs have a higher susceptibility to diabetes, therefore if you have an overweight pet keep the top three symptoms in mind, if you notice any of these don’t hesitate to bring your pet into your vet for a physical.

Weakness and fatigue can be symptoms of diabetes as well. The disease can case a wasting away of the back muscles or weakness in the hind legs of cats. Dogs may become generally more lethargic, sleepy and inactive. The thinning, drying and dull appearance of your pet’s hair can be another symptom of diabetes, particularly along the back. If your pet is experiencing this symptom it is best to ask your vet to check your pet out as diabetes is not the only illness that causes hair loss.

Diabetes can also cause cataracts in your pet’s eyes. If these go untreated your animal may go blind. As odd as this next one may sound, but depression can be another symptom of diabetes. Due to the imbalance of proteins in your pet they may become depressed and lay around the house.

The last sign to look for is vomiting. More common in older pets than younger ones and in female pets than males, this symptom is the most severe and is usually the last stage of diabetes that is recognizable. Dachshunds and Miniature Poodles are more predisposed to this symptom of diabetes as well.

The good news is that with advice and help from your veterinary professional you will learn how to control your pet’s diet and give insulin shots to keep your pet healthy and active despite their diabetes. To learn more give us a call or bring your pet in if any of these symptoms describe your pet’s health condition.

 

 

Photo by

gubgib

Rabbit Habbitats

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Rabbits make great pets, they are social, cute and active. Rabbits require as much care as a puppy or a cat, so make sure you’re ready for the commitment that a rabbit needs. For those who are interested in owning a rabbit here’s some information that will help your new rabbit transition into your house relatively stress free.

In order to get your rabbit familiar with his/her new environment the rabbit should be kept in a small cage so that it can get used to the rhythms of the house. From the cage the rabbit can still socialize and get used to you and your family. Once the rabbit is used to the new surroundings you should then transition the rabbit into a bigger cage, or preferably a pen.

A pen allows the rabbit to have some roaming room and exercise space that it needs to keep healthy. A puppy pen is a great option to building your own pen, just make sure that the height of the pen is high enough to stop the rabbit from jumping over it.

Some owners are nervous to let their rabbit roam freely because of a rabbit’s natural chewing habits that wear down their front teeth. A suitable option to a carpet floor is laying a piece of linoleum under the pen making sure the edges are not available to the rabbit. Another idea is to place plastic chair mats under the pen and wrap them in a bed sheet making sure the rabbit can’t chew on the edges.

Inside the pen ensure that the rabbit’s litter box of hay is always placed in the same area, and that there are a number of things for the rabbit to interact with. Some toys for chewing and pushing, and possible a cardboard structure that the rabbit can climb on and chew.

Should you choose to make a rabbit pen on your own be sure not to use chicken wire. Rabbits can easily chew through chicken wire and hurt themselves badly on the chewed pieces of wire. When making slats be sure there are no spaces for the rabbit to stick its head through, this could possibly result in strangulation if the rabbit can fit its head through the spaces.

Here is a website that specializes in rabbit pen designs:

http://animals.pawnation.com/make-rabbit-pen-5858.html

Here are some links to pet product manufacturers and pet stores:

http://www.petco.com/N_87_122/Rabbit-Cages-and-Hutches.aspx

http://www.petco.com/Rabbits-Home.aspx

http://www.petsmart.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=2769317

http://www.wayfair.com/Rabbit-Hutches-C530205.html

http://www.rabbitcagesource.com/on-sale/127455+11.cfm

http://www.petsathome.com/shop/small-pet/rabbit-products/rabbit-hutches-cages-runs/