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How to Prepare Your Pet for Travel

ID-10076706 If 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-100219633 Have 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.



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Rabbit Habbitats


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:

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

Lizards for Beginners

leopard gecko

Lizards make great pets because they don’t cause allergic reactions in people who are generally allergic to dogs and cats. For first time lizard owners knowing what type of lizard to choose and how to choose the lizard makes all the difference.

Captive bred lizards make the best pets because they are generally healthy, less skittish and easier to handle than wild lizards. Wild lizards tend to carry parasites and be less healthy because of the stress associated with capture, transport and captive conditions. These components make wild lizards more susceptible to illnesses.

Buying captive bred lizards helps to maintain the wild populations. Before buying a lizard research the type of lizard you are going to buy. You’ll want to know how big the lizard will grow, how long it will live and if the lizard carries salmonella. Some lizards can grow to be 5-6 feet long and live a very long time. If the lizard does carry salmonella you’ll want to know what the risks are associated with salmonella and how to reduce the harm it can cause you.

While the initial purchase of the lizard can be relatively inexpensive, the equipment can cost many times more than the actual lizard. Once you have decided on the breed of lizard you want make sure you buy the right equipment and have it all set up and ready for the lizard to come home. This can reduce the stress on the lizard.

The best breed of lizard for a first time owner are: Leopard Geckos, Crested Geckos, Fat Tailed Geckos, Bearded Dragons, Blue Tongued Skins, and Green Anoles. The last thing you’ll want to know before buying the lizard is the health and conditions it has been living in. Overcrowding can cause illness and weakness in smaller lizard breeds.

Here are a list of pointers to help you find a healthy lizard:

1) Look all over the body to make sure the lizard isn’t emaciated or too skinny. Their hips and tails will tell you if they’re too skinny. Lizards should be well fleshed. Snakes should have round bodies, their backbone shouldn’t be visible. Turtles should have ample flesh between their neck and front legs.

2) Look at the skin for wrinkles or dullness, these can indicate dehydration. Skin should be supple and wrinkle free and not be bitten or scratched. Their bellies should be smooth and not burnt. Turtles should have hard shells with no defects. Turtles with soft shells or defected shells may be seriously ill.

3) Check for cleanliness, there should be no fecal matter on its belly or back.

4) Check vent for dried feces or urates. If these are caked on the vent could be a sign of illness or parasites.

5) Check eyes, they should be clean and free of discharge or mucous. Swollen eyes indicate serious illness, especially in turtles.

6) Watch for runny noses or mucous around nostrils. In some species a salty discharge is normal.

7) Check mouth for pale pink or grayish color and possible yellow, white or green patches. These al indicate signs of illness or mouth rot. Also be wary of stringy or ropy looking saliva. Mouths should be a healthy pink and smooth.

8) Check head for swelling and symmetry. The presence of the asymmetry or swelling can indicate illness or infection.

9) Check for mites, pay close attention to the head, belly and neck for tiny moving specks that can be black, dark brown, reddish brown, or orange in color.

10) Ask to handle the lizard. Check for strength. Docile and limp means animal is probably ill. Handle a variety to get used to the muscle tone. Weakness or shakiness are signs of illness as are twitches or tremors.

11) Assess reptiles behavior for alertness, brightness and responsiveness. Healthy reptiles resist capture and initially fight being held. Tame reptiles are easier to hold, but should still be responsive and bright.

12) Look for signs of respiratory disease which includes discharge from the eyes and nose or open mouth breathing. Listen for clicking or wheezing.

Allergy Friendly Pets

Allergy Friendly cats

Allergy Friendly Cats


While there is no such thing as an allergy free pet there are animals that are considered to be hypoallergenic or allergy friendly. These animals usually shed less or produce less dander because of the nature of their fur, or the fact that they don’t have any.

One way to reduce allergies to pets with hair is to remove all carpet and replace it with tile or hard wood floors. Carpets cling to pet hair and trap dander which cause allergic reactions because larger pets usually have access to all rooms in the house.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America allergies are cause by super sensitive immune systems that are more averse to harmless proteins in pet hair, urine and saliva. These proteins are what we know as allergens.

The most allergy friendly pets are ones that are in cages or aquariums because their access to the house is limited and the animals tend to be hairless. Goldfish make the best allergy friendly pets because their environment is aquatic and isn’t in constant contact with the allergy sufferer. Lizards are another pet that are allergy friendly because they don’t have hair and tend to be low maintenance.

If you insist on a pet with hair there are hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, mice, chinchillas, and rats which are contained in their own cage and produce next to no allergic reactions. Out of these animals the hamster is the most common house pet. However, should you insist on a larger pet with hair here are a few suggestions.


Standard Poodles and Bischon Frise are considered hypoallergenic because their small curly hair makes it harder for dander to escape. ALso their frequent grooming means they shed less dander in the home.

Portugese Water Dogs are robust and require regular maintenance which again results in less hair and dander in the house.

Kerry Blue Terriors and American Labradoodle shed less than other breeds of dog. The American Labradoodle is different from the Australian Labradoodle because in Australia they breed the dog in order to reduce the quarrantine period of imported dogs.

In order to decrease dander in your home make sure that you keep your dog’s skin hydrated, much like you would with your own scalp to decrease the chances of producing dandruff.


Sphynx Cats are hairless cats that don’t shed which means no dander in carpets or hair on your furniture or clothes.

Devon Rex Cats have a rippling brown skin covered in down fur which is shed less frequently than other breeds and makes it less irritating and more allergy friendly.

However, with cats you have to remember that they are in close contact with their owners and that means you will still be exposed to the proteins that produce allergic reactions because cats groom themselves often by nature. It is the cats’ saliva that is most irritating because of the proteins it contains.

If you have a loved one in the house who suffers from allergies it can be hard to choose a pet, but always talk with your doctor and veterinarian before choosing a pet. Being well informed goes a long way for you and your family.


Hamster Health

hamster Hamsters are great pets because they are small, cute and easily cared for. But how much do we know about keeping hamsters healthy? Like rabbits and other small creatures that are low on the food chain their illness can go unnoticed to keep them safe from their predators. Meaning your little pet may be sick for a while and you not notice until it is quite serious and most likely too late to do anything about it.

To keep you hamster healthy you need to provide it with a clean cage and a variety of food that boosts their health. In the wild hamsters eat seeds, roots, fruits and bugs. Each of these foods have the required nutrition in them that ensures good health for your fury friend.

Your hamster needs proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and water. There are a variety of commercial brands of hamster food, but many of them contain sugars which are not good for your pet. Experts suggest that you feed your hamster a mixture of canary seeds with their commercial food and give them hard boiled eggs as a treat, dog biscuit or cat treat, monkey chow and yeast. Each of these foods have the required nutrients that make hamsters healthy. The hard boiled egg should be removed from the cage within 24 hours to stop your friend from eating a rotten egg.

Some of the foods listed above help hamsters to grind down their teeth, which they would do naturally in the wild by eating certain roots and vegetables. Fruit and vegetables are great treats but make sure that you don’t feed to much lettuce to your hamster or that will give him diarrhea. Did you know you can even feed hamsters meat? Little bits of beef or mutton is okay, but never pork because it is too fatty for the little guys.

Never worry that you are over feeding your hamster. They instinctually know what their bodies need and how much to eat. Being a natural food hoarder means that if you keep their bowl full they won’t feel the need to eat more than they should. With these tips you should have a healthy happy hamster.

Pet Vaccination Schedules

cat and dog When you prepare to travel to distant countries you make sure that your vaccinations are in order before you board the plane. Pets are no different, your fury friend needs different types of vaccinations that fit their lifestyle. Pets as young as six weeks old can receive many of the vaccinations.

You need to examine the lifestyle your pet has, whether your friend is at home with you more, or spends time at the kennel more. With these criteria you can decide on a vaccination schedule that fits your pets needs. Talk to your vet about what schedule best suits your pet.

Vaccinations are broken into two categories, core vaccinations and non-core vaccinations. Core vaccinations for dogs include: Rabies 1-3 year, Distemper, Parvovirus and Adenovirus. These are considered core because these diseases damage the dog’s internal systems and are spread through contact with infected animals.

Non-core vaccinations for dogs include: Parainfluenza, Bordetella Bronchiseptica, Lyme Disease, Leptospirosis and Canine Influenza. These are not considered important because these are spread by close contact with an infected dog, but do not have the system damaging effects of the previous diseases.

Core vaccinations for cats include: Rabies, Feline Distemper, Feline Herpesvirus and Calicivirus. These diseases are spread by close contact with an infected cat and cause internal damage.

Non-core vaccinations for cats include: Feline Leukemia Virus and Bordetella. Cats should be tested for Feline Leukemia Virus before given the vaccination. Again, these illnesses are caused by continual close contact with an infected cat.

Some of these vaccinations have to be given twice a year. Nothing is sadder than a sick pet, make sure you track your pets vaccinations year to year so that you don’t miss any.

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Keep Your Pet Safe This Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner and that means one thing…candy. People love candy, especially kids. However, your furry little kid can not have candy. It is simply not good for them and can be quite toxic, especially chocolate. Pets are curious and will often times eat whatever is within immediate reach for them. Since most people will either be giving out candy or receiving it, it is important to think about your pets when it comes to where you have your candy stash hidden. Be sure to store candy in sealed containers, inside of closed pantries or cupboards, or somewhere up high that is out of Fido’s reach.

Dog Dressed HalloweenIt’s always safest to leave your pets at home. However, if you plan to take your pet trick-or-treating with the rest of the family, remember to keep him safe, as well. Bring along water and a bowl to keep your pet hydrated. Walking makes you thirsty, and the same is true for your pet.

Pet costumes are adorable and quite fun. However, costumes should not be too tight around your pet’s head, neck, chest, or legs. Also, your pet’s costume should not block or inhibit their vision or hamper their ability to breathe. Remember that costumes can be quite warm, so if you see your pet excessively panting, it’s a good idea to remove the costume, make sure your pet gets rehydrated, and can take a break before continuing on.

Another good idea is to have your pet on a leash to protect him from cars and other hazards. You never know when the excitement of the night may cause him to want to run. Seeing lots of people and hearing all of the noises of the night just may be sensory overload for even the best behaved animals.

Lastly, on a night that is filled with tricks as well as treats, it’s best to bring your pet inside to keep him safe from devilish pranksters who may not have the best of intentions toward animals.

From all of us at Celebration Veterinary Hospital, we wish you, your family, and your pets a safe and Happy Halloween!

Pet Adoption

dog Owning a pet is so rewarding, the love and affection a pet can give makes a world of difference in your life. If you have been thinking about getting a new pet one option to consider is adoption from your local pet shelter or SPCA. When you adopt these animals you not only gain a friend, but you give the animal another shot at happiness too.

A little puppy or kitten are great because you can watch them grow, animal shelters not only have older animals, but they have babies as well. Baby animals require a lot of patients and care as they go through the process of growing pains. An older animal may already be trained and easier to take care of if you have a busy schedule.

Most shelters will provide vaccinations, spaying or neutering as well as deworming for a newly adopted pet.

There are even fostering programs available for you to temporarily take in an animal if you aren’t ready for the responsibility of full-time ownership. This process also helps the shelters when they become overcrowded. And the option of adopting the pet you’re taking care of there is no problem there either.

Following are a list of shelters for you to consider.

Exotic Pets

ID-10044700 Animals are great companions. They come in all shapes, sizes and varieties. For an owner, the care for an exotic pet is the most difficult because you must know how to properly care for the animal.

Not every vet is capable of treating an exotic species. What many people may not know is that even domestic animals such as rabbits are be considered exotic.

These animals’ needs can be pretty intense, whether they are dietary or just functional. Before you buy an exotic animal you should do some research on the type of pet that you are interested in purchasing.

This research will allow you to understand what owning the pet will mean for you. Some great places to find advice on exotic and wild animals is from the Florida Animal Control,

Some pets even require a state licence. To check if the animal you are interested in purchasing requires a licence click here,

Remember that the pet you choose for a companion can be a great purchase, but if you aren’t prepared to care for the animal, neither of you will enjoy the experience.



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