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

Food for Life: Why a Pet’s Life Stage is an Important Factor in Nutrition

Most of us would agree that good nutrition is the cornerstone of lifelong health, and the quality and quantity of the food we choose can make a significant impact on overall wellbeing and vitality. This is very true for our pets, whether we’re talking about an energetic puppy or kitten or a senior pet who has health issues that can be helped with a specific diet.

Your pet’s life stage is one of the most important factors in so many aspects of wellness, and choosing the right food based on this information is critical. Let’s take a closer look at why finding the proper diet is so important.

Life Stage-Centric Nutrition

Walk down any aisle with pet food and you’ll quickly notice whether an item is for an adult, a puppy/kitten, or a senior pet. There are even products for in-between stages and specifications based on activity level, breed, and so forth. Continue reading

The Short Way Home: Microchipping Your Pet

microchipping your petDo you have an escapee pet? You know the type – always hanging around the front door, waiting for the opportunity to push past our legs and run for freedom?

Unfortunately, the statistics regarding pet loss are staggering. One in three pets will be lost in their lifetime. Over 10 million are lost in the U.S. each year. Without any identification, 90% of pets will never find their way home.

We don’t want any owners to experience this heartbreaking situation, which is why the team at West Park Animal Hospital wants to discuss the importance of microchipping your pet.

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Can Pets Get Lice?

pets get liceIf you’ve ever had a scare with head lice, it’s likely you never want to experience it again. Head lice, which is a specific species called Pediculus humanus capitis, only affects humans. In other words, while lice may spread from one human family member to another, it’s impossible that your pet was the cause of the problem.

Unfortunately, however, pets get lice – just a different kind. Keep reading to learn more about this itchy, annoying, and sometimes harmful parasite.

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Why do Dogs Scoot Their Butts? Anal Glands.

anal glandsThere are so many odd canine behaviors. From crotch sniffing to humping inanimate objects, their weirdness can definitely be off-putting. Among them, butt-scooting always raises an eyebrow or two. What is this behavior all about? Why do they do this to our fine rugs? The answer isn’t pretty, but the reason is almost always related to their anal glands.

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The Year-Long Itch: Parasite Prevention That’s Year Round

parasite preventionSpring and summer are marvelous for many reasons. Not on the list of seasonal splendors? Parasites, of course. Yes, bugs are a natural consequence of warmer weather, but with a proactive approach to parasite prevention, they don’t have to bother your pet – or spread dangerous diseases!

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Dog Tricks 101: Fun, Useful, and Simple Ways to Engage Your Pooch

dog tricksThere’s no denying the benefits of dog training. Properly trained and socialized dogs are happier and safer overall, and are easier and more fun to be around than an untrained pooch. Dog tricks can complement and improve a dog’s command of obedience an, and in many cases can be useful and fun for humans too!

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Urban Bugs: Parasite Prevention in the City

parasite prevention in the cityIt makes sense to assume city-dwelling pets are generally healthier than rural ones. They don’t typically find themselves spending long hours in bordering farms or fields, wandering far from home. Urban pets also usually have quicker, easier access to veterinary care.

Sure, city-dwelling pets have a lot going for them. However, that doesn’t mean we can ignore the risks from parasites. If you’ve ever wondered about parasite prevention in the city and whether it’s a major part of overall health and longevity, we can assure you it is!

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