11 Ways To Exercise With Your Pet

Here is a fun post from huffingtonpost.com:

“Within each of our four-legged friends lies a naturally gifted athlete. Even the tiniest Chihuahua or pudgiest Persian possesses amazing physical abilities. Unfortunately, too many of our pets have been benched, resulting in an epidemic of obesity rivaling that of Americans. In fact, about 53 percent of dogs and 55 percent of cats are considered overweight or obese by their veterinarians. When pets gain weight, they increase their risk of arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and behavioral problems. To help keep your pet — and you — trim, try these tips for squeezing in a little exercise and fun every day.”

Please CLICK on this link to review the 11 photos and ideas.

Have fun!!!

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Easter and Springtime Hazards for Dogs and Cats

Easter and springtime decorations (and edibles) liven the scenery, but also pose a potential hazard to pets. Who knew that plastic Easter grass could be dangerous, even deadly?

Spring is a great time to take an inventory of potential pet hazards. It’s better than the alternative of having to bring your pets in. Here is are a few Quick Tips on what to watch for this spring.

Easter Lily (and related Lily plants)

The Easter Lily is a common finding this time of year. This plant, and related plants in the lily family, are highly toxic to cats if ingested.

The first signs seen are vomiting and lethargy, and if untreated, may progress to kidney (renal) failure and death. Please call our office immediately if you suspect that your cat has eaten any part of a lily plant.

Another spring flower often used in cut flower arrangements, daffodils, are also toxic to cats.

Easter grass

Cats love anything that moves. Easter grass moves easily in the breeze, makes interesting sounds, and, for some cats, it is simply irresistible and must be eaten.

Stringy things like Easter grass or tinsel at Christmas, pose a deadly threat if ingested, creating something called a Linear Foreign Body. The first signs seen, aside from the material being visible from the mouth or anus, are vomiting or straining to defecate and a painful abdomen.

Trying to pull out visible grass or string is not recommended, as this can cause more damage if the piece is long and trapped far inside the body. Call our office if you suspect that your cat has sampled the Easter grass. While Linear Foreign Bodies are more common in cats, dogs may also ingest non-food material, and the same rules apply.

Chocolate

This is typically more of a dog hazard, as many dogs have a sweet tooth, a great nose, and the determination to find chocolate — hidden or not, but cats may consume chocolate too.

The toxic components in chocolate are theobromine and caffeine, and the level of toxicity is based on the type and quantity of chocolate consumed.

Different types of chocolate have different amounts of theobromine and caffiene; dark chocolate contains the highest concentrations and white “chocolate” contains the least. Early clinical signs are vomiting, diarrhea and trembling.

Xylitol

It is important to note that xylitol, an artificial sweetener used in many candies, chewing gums and baked goods, is potentially very toxic to dogs and ferrets so please keep all “human treats” away from your pet.

Happy and Safe Easter, everybody!

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Cats love to hunt – is your cat a hunter?

Oh, no! Are you faced with “presents” from your cat this spring?

It is prime hunting season for cats and, while the squeamish among us may not like it, you cannot escape the fact that cats love to hunt. The truth is they were born to do it.

“Cats are obligate carnivores,” explains Celia Haddon, a cat expert and author of ‘Cats Behaving Badly’. “They are designed to eat other creatures, unlike non-obligate carnivores who can eat both meat and vegetables. Cats have to hunt and the hunting instinct is hardwired into them. Some experiments conducted in the 1970s using real mice as prey, showed that even dosing a cat with various sedative drugs did not stop it chasing a mouse, unless the dose was so high that the cat was almost unable to function.”
Five ideas to protect the birds in your garden, avoid “presents” and upset stomachs:

1. Put a bell on your cat’s collar. The collar must be correctly fitted and should have a quick release mechanism for safety.
2. Keep your cat indoors when birds are most vulnerable — at least an hour before sunset and an hour after sunrise — especially between March and July when baby birds may be out of the nest waiting to be fed. Also, after bad weather to allow birds to come out and feed.
3. Place bird feeders high off the ground but away from surfaces where cats could jump from, such as the top of a fence. The same goes for nesting boxes.
4. Put safe spiny plants or an uncomfortable surface around the bottom of the bird table or feeder.
5. You can use Vaseline on the poles of bird tables and some feeders to keep cats and squirrels at bay.

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