Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know?
-Cancer accounts for nearly 50% of all disease-related pet deaths each year
-One in four dogs die of cancer.
-Approximately 1 in 4 dogs develops a tumor of some kind during his lifetime.
-Just like in humans, cancer can occur in any part of your dog’s body.

Are you aware that November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month? Run your hands over your pet and feel for any unusual lumps or bumps. If you feel something new or unusual, let's take a look at it. Dogs and cats can get benign lumps such as lipomas and sebaceous cysts, but they can also get much more serious tumors, like mast cell tumors, melanomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and many others. Many of these can be diagnosed with a simple in-office procedure involving a needle aspirate and then a microscopic exam of the cells obtained. A fine needle aspirate is generally less painful than a vaccination, so don't hesitate to get that lump checked out. The importance of annual check-ups regardless of the age of your pet is critical in the prevention of cancer. 

Here are the top 10 early warning signs of pet cancer listed out by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

1. Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
2. Sores that do not heal
3. Weight loss
4. Loss of appetite
5. Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
6. Offensive odor
7. Difficulty eating or swallowing
8. Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
9. Persistent lameness or stiffness
10. Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating

Better to be safe than sorry, and much better to catch something sooner rather than later!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Enjoy Thanksgiving with Your Pet

The holiday season is in full swing and the next stop is Thanksgiving. There are so many things to be thankful for: family, friends, food, and of course our pets! With all the commotion of Thanksgiving sure to be upon us in the next few weeks it is important remember our furry friends and how we can provide a safe, fun and memorable holiday for everyone. Below is a list of “Turkey Tips” to make sure your Thanksgiving goes as pleasant as possible.

Stuff the Turkey, NOT your Pet: Most of us are guilty (at one time or another) of feeding our pets at the table. This is a bad idea on a few levels. Not only does it send the wrong message to your pet, it could be harmful to their digestive system. Extra precautions must be taken on turkey day. Rich fatty foods such as turkey, gravy, etc. can cause pancreatitis. This is caused by an inflammation of the digestive gland and can be very serious. If your pet is used to getting a few table scraps that is OK, as long as it is in moderation. Also remember with it being a holiday, many animals clinics will be closed. This is an easy way to avoid disaster this holiday.
Discarding the Turkey Strings that Tied the Legs: Believe it or not, this is a major cause for pet emergencies on Thanksgiving. This includes aluminum foil, turkey pop ups, skewers, string, oven bags, whole lead seasonings plastic wrap, and wax paper. Most of these cooking materials are probably drizzling with turkey juice and a major target for your pet. One trick is to put them in a sheet of unused foil as you prepare your dishes then wrap them up and place in the garbage that has a tight fitting lid. The foil will minimize the smell.
Make No Bones About It: Bird Bones (geese, turkey, duck and other birds) can present a huge health risk for your pet. They are hollow and break/splinter very easily. Also, because they are so easily breakable, dogs usually won’t chew them thoroughly. The results are sharp pieces that can choke the dog or block or tear the intestines.
Secure the Garbage Can: If you haven’t noticed already, pets can be scavengers and will wolf down anything that resembles edible eye candy, especially if it smells good. Dogs are especially infamous for “dumpster diving” and very sneaky about their approach. Keep one eye on your pet after the food has been cleaned up and thrown away.
Minimize Stress With the Same Routine: Even though you are frantically planning for the holidays it is important not to change your pet’s food or exercise schedule. These daily activities become a routine for your pet and neglecting this might cause him/her to become insecure. Add this to the crowds and commotion of Thanksgiving, and you could be unintentionally increasing your pets stress level.
If you will be traveling with your pet, preparation is the key. Getting your pet ready for travel is essential to a comfortable trip. Whether by car or air, your pet will need to be restrained in a carrier, booster seat, harness or crate. Get all your supplies together including your pet’s food and toys. Familiar things will make it easier for your pet when they are removed from their familiar surrounds.
Be truly thankful this Turkey Day by keeping your pets safe and healthy. Happy Thanksgiving!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Boarding Reminder

Are you heading out for the holidays and can’t bring your pet along? Let them vacation with us! We offer boarding services for your pets while you're away. We would like to remind you to book well in advance, as we fill up quickly during the holiday season. Our highly qualified kennel attendants lavish attention on your dog when you can't be there! We provide tender loving care (such as brushing and walking), and supervised playtime to keep your dog healthy and happy. Call us at 763-441-4000 to schedule your pets boarding appointment.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November is National Senior Pet Month

November is Senior Pet Month. Do you have an older cat or dog sharing your home? If so, you know the joys of pets who might have less spunk but more soul. Here are five reasons to love a senior pet.

1. Distinguished look
You know how as we age, we are said to look distinguished? The same is true for our pets. I think senior cats project an air of peaceful dignity. And who can resist the precious gray muzzle of an older dog?
2. Laid-back lifestyle
For kittens and puppies, most any time is play time. Older pets, however, don’t need to release all that youthful energy. They are quieter and often content to just watch what’s going on in the living room or outside the window. Cuddling next to you takes precedence over most anything else.
3. Fewer demands
Older pets still need love and attention, but they don’t require babysitting like a frisky puppy or curious kitten. Some older pets have special medical needs, but after all they’ve given us through the years, it’s an honor to take care of them in return.
4. Wisdom of the ages
When I look into the eyes of a senior dog, I see a world of experience and wisdom. Older pets know what to expect, and are generally reliable and even. They require little training since they already know the rules.
5. They might be just like you!
As we get older, our needs and routines change. We might prefer quiet evenings at home rather than going out on the weekends. We still like to exercise, walk, or even run—but sometimes we go at a different pace. We might even nap in our chair occasionally. If you have a senior dog, you might find that he’s just like you!