Friday, May 29, 2009

Choosing a veterinarian for your dog.

How does one decide which veterinarian to use for their dog? What if you also have cats, or other pets that may need to see a veterinarian from time to time?

When you call a veterinarian for the first time, ask what the vet specializes in, such as-small animal care, or large animal care. A vet that works with horses or farm animals won't usually see small animals. Veterinarians who see small pets, such as your family dog, won't usually make house calls to help with a problem with your horses.

This does not mean the vet is not qualified-it is more of a preference. Like physicians who specialize in pediatrics, and therefore don't handle obstetrics, veterinarians sometimes specialize.

Also, consider the location of a veterinarians office when finding one to treat your dog or cat. If you have an emergency, you want to be able to get your dog or cat to the vet quickly. Having a vet two towns away will be very inconvenient.

Once you have taken a dog to the veterinarian's office, go with your intuition. If you feel the staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and your pet seems calm, you may be in the right place. When a dog acts very unhappy to be in a place, remember, dogs and cats can hear and smell things you can't. Respect the intuition of your pet instead of your own.

Price, of course, is always a factor. If you feel you can get a better price elsewhere, why not ask the office about their rates, and see if you can get a better price? Especially if you a paying cash, rather than using a credit card, the office may agree. In these times of high unemployment and foreclosures, a discount may very well be in order. And-you won't know until you ask!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Keeping our Pets Pest Free

How do we keep out cats and dogs free of fleas and other pests? What are the best products to use, and how should we go about this?

There are many products available for purchase without having to go to a veterinarian, and many are also available on line. However, first, it probably is best to talk to a veterinarian. You want to do what is best for your furry friend, and there are some things you may need to know. For instance: You can't use the same treatment on a cat that you use for your dog. Also, there are products you might be able to use on a dog if you don't have a cat in your house. If you also have a cat in your house, the products you use for your dogs will have to be different.

Flea collars are something most of us have used over the years. With the introduction of topical products that may keep our pets pest free with just a once a month application, many of us choose this. If your pet is outside in grassy areas you know could be filled with fleas and possibly ticks, be sure your veterinarian takes this into consideration.

Because you use a product on your pets to help eliminate fleas and ticks, don't feel you will never find something on your pet you were not expecting. Ticks in particular we have found are always trying to hitch a ride. Check you pet daily for any offenders. A thorough brushing every day will usually let you see if there is anything to be concerned about.

Be sure to continue bathing your dog on a regular basis with a product suggested by a veterinarian who knows what other products and medications your dog or cat is taking. This can help with your effort to keep your pet pest free, while avoiding unnecessary health concerns.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Does your dog get bored?

What does your dog do all day while home alone?

Do you think about what your dog is doing all day while home alone? Hmmm. You may wonder if the dog is missing you, watching the door, eagerly anticipating your return. Or, does the pooch just sleep until a human shows up?

You no doubt remember to leave plenty of water, and some food for your dog while you are gone, but what else could you do? Be sure your dogs toys are within reach, and not stuck under a piece of furniture. Okay, that was an easy one. What else?

Some people say they phone home and talk to the answering machine so the dog will hear their voice. They claim the dog moves around, barks, and has some activity it might not otherwise have. It's hard to say if a dog appreciates this from their human, because they can't blog!

Owners have gone as far as to leave a television on in the room the dog will mainly be in while the human is at work. Is this safe, or could it be a fire hazard? Other owners think a radio would be a cheaper, and safer idea to keep some noise in the house for the dog.

If you leave edible treats for your dog, you probably know they are the first thing the dog attacks once you leave the house. If you can get your dog in the habit of chewing hard toy bones that are made specifically for dogs who feel the need to chew, the dog may have something to do besides sleep.

However, as canines do like to snooze most of the day away even when their humans are around, don't feel guilty about not having an entertainment committee on hand while you are working to earn doggie treat dollars.

Ever thought about setting up a web cam of sorts to find out for sure what goes on while you are gone? That may be fun. What about snapping a picture of the dog's pile of toys before you leave one morning, and see what is different when you get home? You may be surprised to see your dog did actually have some fun alone.