Splish, Splash, Safe: Dog Water Safety 101

Even if your dog is a true beach bum or poolside pup, good dog water safety is a must.Summer may be halfway over, but that doesn’t mean we’re packing up the sunscreen or covering the grill just yet. Spending the day at the lake or pool is still on the agenda for many families, and bringing a water-loving dog along adds another layer of fun.

Even if your dog is a true beach bum or poolside pup, good dog water safety is a must. Keep the following tips in mind for a fun, safe, and successful day on the water with your four-legged family member. Continue reading

Heatstroke in Pets: Prevent, Recognize, and Intervene Immediately

Heatstroke in pets doesn't only happen on extremely hot days. The risks of heatstroke in pets are very real. Symptoms don’t always stem from over-exertion on a hot day. Instead, the prime culprit is usually plain and simple dehydration. Pets sweat a little bit through their noses and paw pads, but in an attempt to regulate internal body temperature, they pant. If access to shade and cool, clean water is restricted, organ dysfunction and even failure can occur on a hot and humid day. Prevention must remain a top priority, but being able to recognize the signs and know how to help are equally important.

The Basics

Heatstroke in pets, or hyperthermia, is characterized by an internal temperature greater than 103 degrees. Overexposure to environmental heat can lead to internal temperatures of 109 degrees, multiple organ failure, and even death. Continue reading

The Pets of Rock and Roll

The pets of rock and roll are true celebrity petsBeing in Cleveland, home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, West Park Animal Hospital decided it would be remiss to not take the time to feature some of our favorite pets of rock and roll. Read on to live vicariously through a few fluffy friends who really know how to jam.

Historical Pets of Rock and Roll

Rockers having a close relationship with their pets is not a new phenomenon. As long as there has been good music, there have been animals to go along with it. Take, for instance:

Paul McCartney and Stella “Martha, My Dear” is supposedly about Paul’s love for fiancee Jane Asher, but we can’t help but wonder if his Old English Sheepdog, named Martha, deserves more of the credit.
Continue reading

Running with Your Dog: Tips for Safety and Fun

Running with your dog is great pet exerciseWhether you’re a serious or casual runner, having an exercise partner can make running more enjoyable and motivate you to get out there, even when you don’t feel like it. Your loyal canine companion can make an excellent running buddy, and regular exercise and companionship lead to a variety of wonderful benefits for both you and your pet.

Your team at West Park Animal Hospital is always on the lookout for ways to encourage safe and fun exercise for all of our sweet patients. We applaud you for your interest in running with your dog, and encourage you to keep the following safety precautions in mind before you hit the pavement or trail together. Continue reading

Healthy and Fun: Summer Treats for Your Dog

summer treats for your dog can be nutritious pet treats, too.Temperatures are starting to heat up, and although it’s not too unbearable yet, we know hot weather is approaching! Now is a great time to gather ideas and recipes for one of the most delightful summer activities: making summer treats for your dog.

If you love to make things for your dog, but you’re short on ideas, never fear! West Park Animal Hospital has gathered some cool treats that are tasty, healthy, and fun for your dog.

Pupsicles

You may already be familiar with this popular idea. Making a pupsicle begins with filling small Dixie cups or an ice tray with your dog’s favorite fillings. Simply add a small bone in the center (the “stick”) and freeze. The finished product looks like a popsicle – one that your dog will love! There are countless variations on this easy-to-prepare treat. Here are some of our favorites:   Continue reading

Under Construction? The Keys to Pet Safety During a Remodel

Pet safety during a remodel should be a considerationWhether you’ve hired a contractor or you’re doing the work yourself, a remodel at home can be a huge undertaking. Even if your project is confined to a small part of the house or it doesn’t have an extended timetable, home construction upends the natural ease and comfort that pets depend on.

Since they can’t see the big picture (or get excited about your home’s new addition), it’s understandable when their reactions center on stress, fear, and anxiety. However, by paying close attention to pet safety during a remodel, you can rest assured you’ll all get through the process unscathed. Continue reading

With These Safety Tips, Bike Riding With Dogs Can be Great!

bike riding with dogs can be a bit tricky, but is good pet exercise.Have you ever seen a cyclist holding a leash? Most of the time, it looks like they have total control of the situation and that both rider and pet are the epitome of good health. Most likely, this didn’t just happen overnight. For bike riding with dogs to be successful and safe, practice and preparation are required.

Physically Fit

Before you put the cart before the horse, it may be a good idea to have your dog examined. Aging or senior dogs may not be a good fit for running alongside your bike, and small dogs are equally intolerant of intense exertion. Similarly, short-muzzled dogs, like pugs and bulldogs, can suffer from illness or injury while running.

Lastly, be sure to microchip your pet before setting out. Continue reading

Life’s the Pits When It Comes to Pets and Pitted Fruit Toxicity

Pets and pitted fruit can be toxic to pets and be a pet safety concernBy now, we all know that fruits and vegetables are part of a healthy diet. The same goes for our pets, who can benefit from the added vitamins and minerals found in small amounts of fresh produce. Allowing pets to have a bite of banana, a scoop of cooked sweet potato, or a few steamed green beans here and there is something pet owners can feel good about, and a treat that many pets enjoy immensely.

One can always have too much of a good thing, of course, and when it comes to pitted fruits, such as peaches, cherries, and nectarines, this is certainly the case. Pets and pitted fruit toxicity is a serious issue that all owners of fruit loving pets should be aware of. Here’s how to give your pet all the benefits of these nutritious fruits while they’re in season, without exposing them to a potential toxin. Continue reading

The Home-Brewer’s Guide: Alcohol Toxicity in Pets and Other Hazards

Brew day is fun, but it’s not something to take lightly at all. Carefully chosen ingredients – measured precisely – are cooked and combined to create a special sort of alchemy. Without a doubt, home brewing requires excellent timing, preparation, and focus.

But in the midst of hop pellets, yeast, and spent grain, pets can find themselves in a lot of trouble. Additionally, alcohol toxicity in pets is a significant risk of home brewing. To prevent emergencies connected to home brewing, we offer the following tips. Continue reading

Cats and Milk:  A Natural Match or Not a Good Idea?

Cats and milk... not so much.The image of a fluffy barn cat lapping from a bucket next to a big Holstein cow is an iconic one for sure. While many of us search our refrigerators for a gallon of milk as a treat for our feline friends, cats and milk actually aren’t a good combination. West Park Animal Hospital wants all our cat loving readers to know more about this common misconception.  

Why Cats and Milk Don’t Mix

Cats are known to gravitate toward rich, fatty flavors. Milk (full fat milk and cream in particular) is no exception.

There are two main reasons owners should limit dairy intake for our pets: Continue reading