The Elephant in the Room: Holiday Pet Safety May Hinge on the Decor

pet safetyLooking at old holiday photographs, it’s interesting to see the decorative choices that were made. Bright silver-looking artificial trees, aerosol-spray artificial snow, and mounds of tinsel all contribute to some warm and fuzzy memories, but luckily, these were mostly fads from a different era.

Current holiday decorations might be more tasteful and refined, but like all flashy, glittery, and attractive seasonal additions to the home, they still pose risks to holiday pet safety.

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Creating the Best Pet-Friendly Thanksgiving Ever

In previous Thanksgiving blogs, we have focused on the importance of avoiding pet toxins and other holiday emergencies. We also paws-ed to give thanks to our fur-bearing buddies by listing all the wonderful ways we’re grateful for them.

This season, along with some pet safety reminders, we want to help you create a pet-friendly Thanksgiving that will be tail-wagging fun for all. If you’re ready to give your pet the best Thanksgiving yet, check out our tips!

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Honoring Our Courageous Canine Veterans

canine veteransFor centuries dogs have been our allies and companions. Since their domestication, they’ve used their innate skills and traits to work for us, guard us, and provide companionship. Because dogs have adapted to living among us so successfully, it’s no surprise to know that dogs have also been instrumental in times of war.

From battles between empires to major world wars, military or war dogs have been a definite part of our ancient through recent history. From Attila the Hun’s conquests to current missions in Afghanistan, dogs have played a significant role in saving lives and aiding in critical tasks.

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Thinking Ahead About Pet Winter Safety and Cold Weather Gear

winter pet safetyWinter in October? Well, we understand that most of us may not be ready for the idea of cold, snow, and shoveling, but the time will soon be upon us. Along with some of the checklists you might have for winterizing your car or home, adding your pet to the list will also help ensure all their winter needs are met.

With less outdoor play time and all the extra gear you might need to keep them warm, Cleveland winters can take their toll on our furry friends. The West Park Animal Hospital team has some pet winter safety tips so when the time arrives, you and your best pal will be prepared.

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The Confounding Logic of a Hoarding Dog

hoarding dogHave you ever lifted up your couch only to find a giant collection of bones, treats, or toys that dates back many, many months? What about shining a light on the dark corner in the back of your closet to reveal a veritable mini-mountain of kibble? You’re not alone. In fact, many people have a hoarding dog, but they either haven’t discovered it yet or they simply don’t know what to do. It may seem like we’re making up this wack-a-doo dog behavior, but this real canine conduct has possibly sound logic behind it.

Why Does My Dog Hoard?

Dogs have various behaviors that root all the way back to their wild ancestors. Before they became our natural best friends, dogs didn’t know where their next meal was coming from. To be sure, many dogs either starved or ate questionable meals every few days or so. As a result, when wild dogs got a big pay day, they either buried or hid it to nibble on over the course of several days. Among other animals that continue this behavior today, foxes are also well known to hoard.

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Keep Pets Safe This Halloween by Planning Ahead

keep pets safe for halloweenHalloween is just around the corner, along with all of the festivities, costumes, Jack-o-lanterns, and bags of sugary treats. This nostalgic holiday is enjoyable for young and old, but can sometimes be quite frightening to our pets. Loud noises, strangers at the door, and even costumes can cause stress in pets who are not used to the commotion or who suffer from anxiety.

Many items included in your children’s assortment of goodies contain pet toxins that can result in poisoning. And items like glow sticks and lit candles can also pose a concern. So, is it possible to keep pets safe this Halloween?

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All of the Coolest Dog Toys for Your Best Friend (and Why They Are so Important)

There’s probably not a dog out there who isn’t interested in some kind of toy, be that a ball, a Frisbee, or a peanut butter-filled Kong treat (Xylitol-free, of course!). Dogs and their toys go hand and hand. But did you know that interaction with your best pal can increase his or her interest in exercise and bonding with you?

Check out all of the ways that dogs benefit from playing with their owners, along with some of our best dog toys for these awesome times together.

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My back, my neck, my… Whiskers? All About Whisker Fatigue in Cats

whisker fatigueSome days you have to wonder if certain syndromes and ailments are manufactured by the media and pharmaceutical companies. From the start, products such as mouthwash can be marketed in a way to make us think that a little morning breath is an actual medical problem.

These misconceptions branch beyond the human world and into the animal realm as well. One of the newer players in the wonderful world of veterinary pseudo-problems is whisker fatigue in cats. Read on to learn whether your veterinarians as West Park Animals Hospital think this one is a real problem or really far-fetched.

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Top 5 Reasons Maine Coon Cats are Awesome

maine coon catsFriendly, furry, and intelligent are general attributes of many cat breeds, but Maine Coon cats are especially friendly, furry, and intelligent. In fact, they’re quite adaptable and seem to get along with everyone (kids, dogs, and other cats included). They also have one of the longest and most beautiful coats out there and even enjoy playing fetch and walking on a leash! For these reasons and more, Maine Coon cats are among the top three cats registered by the Cat Fanciers Association.

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Why Your Pet is Scared of the Vacuum Cleaner and What You Can Do About It

Few modern housekeeping tools are as highly valued as the vacuum cleaner, especially for pet owners dealing with fur on the carpet, floors, and furniture. However, when a pet runs in fear, barks, hides, or quivers when the trusty vacuum is pulled out, it can be upsetting, to say the least. Having a pet who’s scared of the vacuum is a perplexing problem, but fortunately, there are strategies that can help owners keep their pets calm.

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