How to Feed Rabbits: Building a Healthy Foundation

Rabbits' hutchAny exotic pet owner knows how important diet can be for the health and happiness of their pet, and rabbits are no exception to this rule. Feeding your pet rabbit a good quality diet is a cornerstone for successful care, but many people are unclear on how to feed rabbits appropriately. Read on to be sure you are feeding your bunny the right way. Continue reading

Chocolate Dangers for Dogs: Tasty Trouble

chocolate truffleWe all know our dogs will eat just about anything. From our brand new shoes to our three-day old socks, even the most well behaved pooch can occasionally find something that is just too hard to resist. As such, it’s no surprise that something as delicious as chocolate can be too much to for our four-legged friends to ignore! And, as Valentine’s day approaches, Americans are poised to bring a steady supply of the stuff home, making increased awareness of the chocolate dangers for dogs a must.

The dangers of chocolate are fairly well known to dog owners. Chocolate contains caffeine and a compound called theobromine, both of which are a danger to dogs and cats. While cats don’t seem particularly fond of chocolate, we do know that some dogs will rip the house apart to find any amount.   Continue reading

Pet Dental Health: Why it Matters

WestPark - Leon_iStock_000031982520_Large (1)It’s easy to underestimate the importance of a pet’s dental hygiene – that is until a problem pops up. Sadly, that doggie breath that you’ve come to know and love is usually the first indication that something is amiss with your pet’s oral health, and could signal a dangerous, not to mention costly, disease.

A vast majority of pets have some form of dental disease, but we can change those statistics with a little elbow grease and dedication. Together, let’s change the fate of your pet’s future and add dental care to the list of health requirements.

Pet Dental Health – The Missing Link

It makes sense that an infection in the mouth can affect other parts of the body, such as the heart, kidneys, and liver. The link between oral health and certain medical conditions like diabetes and cancer undoubtedly gets our attention and we spend considerable time examining the teeth, gums, and mouths of our furry friends.

Dental disease is the most common disease we see and treat. Any of the following symptoms should be treated expeditiously:

  • Foul breath (halitosis)
  • Drooling
  • Broken or worn teeth
  • Bleeding from mouth
  • Loss of appetite or eating difficulty
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Swollen mouth, gums, or jaws
  • Inflamed gums
  • Pain while eating
  • Behavioral changes

Following your pet’s wellness exam, we may recommend a specific cleaning schedule, at-home dental care routine, or special treatment. Digital x-rays give us enormous insight into your pet’s present dental health and help us see exactly what your pet needs.

A Cause For Concern?

Of course, it can be frightening for pets and their owners to undergo anesthesia for a dental cleaning or procedure. True, anesthesia is not without risk and we take that seriously before administering it. Through blood work, we will be able to ascertain how strong your pet is and what level of anesthesia will be necessary.

The benefits related to a dental cleaning or procedure far outweigh the risk of anesthesia and we will work with you and your pet closely to make sure he or she remains safe at all times.

Brushing Routine

Dedicated care at home is another vital piece of your pet’s dental care puzzle. Daily brushing is highly recommended to help prevent plaque and tartar build-up, bad breath, and oral infections.

By investing in your pet’s dental health now, you are actively reducing the risk of decay leading to heart, kidney, and liver disease. We will advise you on the best ways to brush your pet’s teeth and, if you meet resistance, don’t give up! Your pet needs you to follow through and keep trying. Check out these informative links to support brushing your cat’s or dog’s teeth.

Why Pet Dental Care Counts

The field of pet dentistry is growing by leaps and bounds and all that we know now can only benefit pets. The combination of keeping up with regular wellness visits paired with adopting preventative dental care practices at home will extend your pet’s precious life.

Keeping your pet happier and pain-free is what it’s all about and we are here to answer any questions, or schedule your pet’s dental examination.

Helping Your Pet Adjust To Your New Baby

WP_iStock_000019478573_LargeMany pets feel like the only child (or children) of their human parents. So it will come as no surprise that something akin to sibling rivalry can crop up when bringing home a new baby. After all, until that fateful day, it’s likely that your pet’s desires and needs were not only met, but anticipated, and that suddenly your pet’s not quite sure what to think of this squishy, pink interloper.

Truly, the arrival of a newborn can be highly disruptive, if not down right insulting, to the family pet. There are, however, ways you can prepare your pet for the big change and help him or her ease into the “new normal”  with a new baby. Continue reading

Walking the Dog! Celebrating National Walk Your Dog Month

Family and dog on country walk in winterThe middle of winter may seem like strange timing to honor the importance of getting outside to walk your pet, especially here in Ohio. Temperatures in January don’t often inch far above freezing, and pets and their owners struggle to cope with cabin fever. Indeed, who really wants to get all bundled up right now to traipse through ice and snow? Continue reading

The Importance of Pet Nutrition and the Perils of Pet Obesity

iStock_000020587236_LargeNutrition and fitness are areas that many people are fixated on in relation to their personal health and well-being. American pet owners, however, are not very good at translating this priority to their pets. Over half of the nation’s pets are considered overweight, and this is simply not good for our animals.

Understanding why pet nutrition is so important, and what the dangers of having an overweight pet, are can help us to make managing our pets’ weight a bigger priority. Continue reading

The Countdown: West Park Animal Hospital’s Top 10 Blogs of 2014!

iStock_000025162836_Medium copyWe consider our animal hospital to be one of the luckiest organizations in the Cleveland area, as we get to continue serving pets (and their people) since the 1960s.

We like to continue our service through our blog entries and try to incorporate only current, pressing, and pertinent issues for you and your pet. We truly hope you enjoy reading our blog as much as we like writing for you. Below are the top 10 blogs from 2014 and look forward to a similar list next year.

Drumroll, please…

Continue reading

Gifts That Give Back – How You Can Help Animals In Need

fluffy catIf you are like most of us, this time of the year can be a source of stress. There’s so much traffic, limited parking at stores, growing credit card debt, and scheduling conflicts that can muddle our intentions of gratitude and love. However, after you take a much-needed deep breath, notice that the inherent seasonal joy can be magnified if the gifts you give are coming from your heart. Indeed, the true spirit of the holidays will shine when you give back to those in need.

As an animal lover and pet owner, you may have always wondered how you can get involved and give back. Fortunately, it doesn’t matter if you have budget or time constraints; there are ways you can help out just by visiting certain websites. Let the following ideas be your guide this holiday season – and throughout the year –to help animals in need. Continue reading

Cold Weather Barks & Bites: Winter Pet Safety

iStock_000050573812_LargeShopping around for new boots or hats is a necessity for many of us this time of year. We also winterize the car, the garden, and parts of the house, but how do we prepare our pets for negative windchills and sub-zero temperatures?

Amazingly, some animals prepare for the cold weather by growing a thicker coat, but generally pets need their human guardians to assist them in the following ways: Continue reading

Preventing A Pet Emergency This Thanksgiving

iStock_000023729783_MediumAs with all things that truly matter in life, owning a pet takes time, energy, and attention. From time to time, pets need help staying out of harm’s way. This Thanksgiving, you can watch out for your pet by ensuring his or her environment is safe, offering the right kinds of festive food, and managing possible accidents calmly. Thanksgiving will be a complete affair if you are confident that your pet is safe, comfortable, and happy.

The Right Place

Your pet may be very attached to a routine and may react unpredictably around strangers. If you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner and want to provide a quiet place where your pet feels secure, or if you are traveling, consider boarding your pet at West Park. We would be honored to host your pet over the holiday and will treat him or her like family. Continue reading