If you see something, say something. The Animal Rescue League of Boston has put together what steps you, as a citizen, can take to keep pets safe during the hot summer. Be sure to note the anti-tethering statute.
Wow! It’s getting hot out there! Temperatures are already hitting the 90’s on some days and the humidity has increased as well. As humans, we cope by switching to shorts, tank tops, drinking lots of water and taking breaks indoors or in the shade. We produce quite a bit of sweat and take extra showers. That works for us but what about our pets? Read our summer safety tips to help keep your best friend healthy.
Know the signs (labored breathing, disorientation, thick saliva, sunken eyes, dark urine, restlessness, vomiting, diarrhea, purple tongue or collapse). When it’s hot, make sure you’re not overdoing it—especially with short nosed breeds like Frenchies, Pugs, English Bulldogs. If you think your dog may be experiencing heat stroke get to a veterinarian immediately!
Make sure your pets always has plenty of cool, fresh water. You can drop an ice cube into your pet’s bowl on hot days, or give him one as a treat. If you take Fido out and about, always bring water with you. You may want to get collapsible dishes or a doggy water bottle with a dispenser.
Be careful not to overexert your pooch in the heat. On sweltering days, limit your furry friend’s outdoor time during the middle of the day. Walk him and play with him in the mornings and evenings, when it’s cooler out.
Dogs’ paw pads are very delicate. Your canine companion can get burns or abrasions by running or walking on hot surfaces, like pavement or sand. Try to keep Fido on grass as much as possible and take walks during the cooler hours early in the morning or in the evening.
Does your furry buddy love swimming? Feel free to indulge Fido with a trip to your favorite pet-friendly swimming spot. Just put your pup’s safety first. Supervise your dog closely when he’s swimming, and never leave him unattended near water and make sure Fido knows where, and how to access, the pool exit. If you take your pup out on the open water, be sure to get a life vest for your dog.
It's Pet Cancer Awareness Month, and it’s a great time to spread knowledge about pets and cancer, as well as a time to educate ourselves about the things we can do to prevent or treat cancer in our own pets.
Cancer can be caused by a variety of environmental and genetic factors, and there are many different types of cancer that range in how aggressive and common they can be. Any dog or cat can develop cancer at any point in their life, though some breeds are more genetically predisposed. Overall, 1 in 4 dogs and cats will develop cancer in their lifetime, and it’s the leading cause of death in both dogs and cats.
There are several symptoms of cancer, though these can vary greatly depending on the type and stage of the cancer. These symptoms can also be similar to those of other medical conditions. If you see any of the following signs in your dog or cat, talk to us right away:
Why is dental health so important? Unlike people, most dogs and cats do not brush their teeth daily or go to their dentist twice a year. So what happens when they have an issue in their mouth? Often, at first, the pet is not showing symptoms and the issue will brew until it becomes a bigger deal like a an abscessed tooth. You may also notice reluctance to eat, difficulty chewing, or excess drooling. Also, don't forget, pets are very good at hiding their symptoms.
The American Medical Veterinary Association (AVMA) started this awareness campaign in response to the startling statistic that up to 80% of cats and dogs have at least a mild form of gum disease by age three. This causes bacteria to attack the gum tissue and can lead to tooth loss, infection, and numerous other serious health conditions.
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, starts when food debris and bacteria build up on tooth surfaces and eventually get underneath the gum tissues. If bacteria reach the bloodstream, it can cause problems with your pet’s kidneys, liver, or heart.
We want to keep our pets healthy and comfortable, so we recommend regular veterinary exams to try and catch problems before they become a bigger problem. Untreated dental disease can cause your pet pain when they eat, chew, or play. During dental exams under full sedation we can often find problems that weren’t evident when the pet was awake.
As with all medical care, prevention is the best treatment, not only for your pet’s overall health, but for their dental health as well. Without proper care, a preventable problem can become a major debilitating or life-threatening problem.
ry January, many people create New Year’s 'ruff’-olutions, firm decisions to do or not do something in the coming year. One of those resolutions we should take time to do is to train our pets (yes, cats too!).
Whether it is to create a wanted behavior or correct an unwanted one, the benefits to proper training of your pet are endless. Training sets your new puppy, or established furry family member, up for a life of continued success and happiness. If you have a new puppy, see our blog on what to expect when expecting a new puppy.
Remember, by giving clear, consistent directions and cues, and positive reinforcement you can go a long way in changing your pet’s behavior. We suggest you work with a qualified trainer, however, here are some simple tips to follow:
Pro tip: AVOID any trainer that uses punitive training (e.g. - choke, pinch or shock collars, advising you to inflict fear or harm) as part as their training plan!
Although cats are currently the most commonly kept pet in the US, the conditions they are kept in are perhaps the least natural to them, especially given that the domestic cats' behavior and behavioral needs are very similar to those of their closest wild ancestor; foraging [read:hunting] for food is one of those needs.
For a variety of reasons (e.g. - safety, health, wildlife predation) current veterinary guidelines recommend that owners keep cats indoors. This, along with the concurrent misperception of cats as low-maintenance lead us to keep pet cats in conditions that are suboptimal. One significant influence on cats’ living conditions is how they are routinely fed. Most cats are offered food ad libitum from a bowl and are often required to share feeding areas or dishes with other cats; they expend little to no effort to acquire calories.
Outdoor, "community cats," hunt, catch and eat several small prey every day. Your indoor, domestic cat, shares these same instincts. Enabling our companion animals - engaging them both mentally and physically - to make decisions that result in desired outcomes is one of the most empowering things we can do for them and helps them to be mentally and behaviorally healthy.
Lack of environmental enrichment, has been associated with health issues, such as chronic lower urinary tract signs, and development of problem behaviors, which can cause weakening of the human–animal bond. Environmental enrichment may mitigate the effects of these problems and one approach is to take advantage of cats’ natural instinct to work for their food.
Food puzzles are toys that make your cat do some work to get the food out of them. Maybe they have to stick their paw in and pick pieces of food out, or maybe they roll it around with their nose or paw to make food fall out of the holes. There are many different types of food toys, some of which stay in one place and others that the cat has to move around.
The options for pet food puzzles are nearly limitless. A quick Internet search will yield dozens of websites that sell food puzzles for a wide variety of species, and just as many sites offer ideas on how to make your own.
Here are some examples you can buy:
Or you can DIY:
The holiday season is upon us, and many pet parents plan to include their furry companions in the festivities. As you gear up for the holidays, it is important to try to keep your pet's eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. Also, please be sure to steer pets clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations.
Be Careful with Seasonal Plants and Decorations
Avoid Holiday Food Dangers
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Tue. & Thur. 8am-7pm
Sat. 9am-1pm-3pm* (*9am-1pm Summer Hours). Since Sat. hours vary, always call to see how late we'll be open