Cats are amazing animals that are capable of living in extreme climates, but that doesn’t mean constant exposure to the elements is good for their health. Domestic cats that are allowed to roam outside or those that live exclusively outdoors (e.g., feral or stray cats) have more to contend with than just the weather. As a result, many owners choose the indoor-only lifestyle for their pet.
But what about cats that dart out at night or the ones who hang around the neighborhood that don’t seem to belong to anyone? Aside from protecting pets from potential illness and injury, winter cat care can be a real struggle. Fortunately, the team at West Park Animal Hospital is here to help!
We love the autumn season. Cooler weather, beautiful fall foliage, apples, pumpkins and Halloween. What’s not to love? This year, why not include your pet in many of the festive fall activities you yourself love to do. It’s a matter of getting creative and thinking outside the box, and at West Park Animal Hospital, we’re here to help you do just that!
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.
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
Whether 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
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.
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
Do 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.
If 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.
It 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!
Now that spring is on the horizon, many of us will feel the urge to get back outside. One of the more popular activities for a pet owner is walking your dog and visiting all those beautiful, verdant parks and trails that are getting ready to burst into bloom.
Walking your dog on a leash is an excellent source of exercise and social opportunities, but it’s not something that comes naturally; it requires training, practice, and awareness. To have a truly great time with your best friend, make sure to keep these five essential dog walking musts in mind.