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

Pet Cancer Prevention

Cat at the vetA diagnosis of cancer in a loved one can be devastating, even if that diagnosis is for our family pet. There are always questions about how a pet developed cancer, doubts on possible environmental exposure, and regret if the diagnosis could have possibly been prevented.

Although it is not uncommon for treatment to yield a positive outcome, pet cancer still claims  millions of lives each year. While numerous breeds are naturally predisposed to cancerous cell development, millions of other pets develop it as a result of environmental hazards, poor diet, and immune weaknesses.

Help protect your pet from this heartbreaking diagnosis by keeping the following prevention tips in mind… Continue reading

Winter Readiness: Preparing Your Pet for the Cold

iStock_000013986300_MediumNow that the warm weather is fading and cold weather is setting in, you will have to start getting your pet ready for winter. Typically this means a little less times outdoors in the wind and snow, and more time inside the house. Keeping your pet warm and dry is definitely important during this time of year, as is your pet’s safety.

Chemical Dangers

If your pet is going to be staying in the garage during those cold, windy days, make sure that you keep your buddy away from any chemical spills or leakage pools. Antifreeze, especially, is very dangerous for your pet to be around, as even the ingestion of a few drops of this toxic substance can be fatal. Continue reading

Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Ahh-ooooooooo!

iStock_000028166570_MediumIt’s autumn! And with autumn comes the familiar décor of wispy cobwebbed trees, candlelit carved pumpkins, and make-shift scarecrows, propped carefully on the porch swing. Halloween is a time we nostalgically enjoy – remembering our childhoods spent on those blustery trick-or-treating adventures – and now, perhaps, shared with our own families.

For those of us who adore a four-legged companion, the family pet is also considered in these holidays, especially as the trend in pet costumes, pet Halloween parades, and pet-friendly establishments encourage us to include our pet in the merriment.

And, really, for many outgoing canines, Halloween is likely a great deal of fun for our pup. From those silly, scary, or sweet costumes, to the chance to greet new friends at the door, Halloween can be an enjoyable opportunity to include our dogs in the good times. Some cats have even been known to tolerate silly costumes, too.

While it is easy to get caught up in the hubbub of the night, there are some things to be mindful of when it comes to Halloween pet safety. By following these simple, spook-less safety tips, you and your pet will have a howling good time. Continue reading

Pet-Safe Halloween Treats (Good for Any Season)

Alcohol, Xylitol, and Chocolate… oh my!

Halloween party dogWhile these items may not appear in all Halloween treats or beverages, they do present a real scare to your pet when it comes to poisoning potential. Halloween week is the busiest time of year for the Pet Poison Control hotline, as the bowls of candy and other confections prove to be too easy a target (and temptation) for our pets, and our pooches in particular.

But, Halloween need not be a treatless time for our fur pals when we plan ahead and provide some nutritious pet treats, keeping unattended candy and snacks out of range. There are, after all, several healthful, safe, and delicious Halloween pet snacks your pet can enjoy anytime of year. Continue reading

Those Adorable, Adoptable Dogs!

iStock_000024726165_MediumOctober is the American Humane Association’s Adopt-a-Dog Month, and your friends and West Park Animal Hospital want to thank all of the wonderful pet parents who have provided homes for pound puppies and other shelter pets over the years.

For those of you longing for a canine companion to bring home, please consider adopting a shelter pet. Aside from the love and happiness your four-legged friend will bring, you will also be providing a home for one of the millions of animals in overcrowded shelters and on the streets. Continue reading

The Great Escape Artist: Tips for Keeping Wandering Pets Safe

Running purebred dogThere are some pets who missed their calling as magicians. One minute you see them playing by the couch, the next minute, poof!, they’re nowhere to be seen. Cats are especially savvy at the art of hiding – where, after hours of searching, they can be found right above the washing machine, curled up next to the laundry detergent, or in the back of a hall closet.

Whether your pet friend is furred, scaled, or feathered, there’s nothing quite as frightening as a missing pet. And, depending on the size of your pet and how secure (or not) your home is, it may be very easy for him or her to slip through a door, fence, or window and roam.

It’s also true that certain times of year, such as storm season or Fourth of July, the noises we have come to expect and associate with celebration or season can present fear, stress, and panic in our pets. The busiest time of year for local animal control occurs on the Fourth of July, after all. So, it’s a good idea to be prepared in advance of such occasions.

But, generally speaking, how can a clever pet parent take some smart preventative steps to ensure all pets remain indoors, safe and sound? Continue reading

Home, Sweet Home: How to Acclimate Your Newly Adopted Cat or Kitten

iStock_000012318409_MediumThere’s something so exciting about those first few weeks with a new kitten or adopted cat! From the moment we make the decision to bring that adorable fur-face into our home, we’ve likely started making our enormous list of to-purchase items: cat toys, beds, food, treats, and the list goes on.  From choosing a name to playing with your adorable new pal, it’s easy to get caught up in how we feel (which is usually followed by a thrilled “Squeeeee!”).

We may get so caught up in our enthusiasm about the new addition to the family, we may forget that while newness for us may be fun, our new kitty may not agree. There are, however, some simple steps you can take to help your new friend adjust to the strange sights, smells, and hiding places of his or her new home. Continue reading

Safe Kids, Safe Pets: Raising Responsible Pet Owners

Blond happy girl with her chihuahua doggy portraitMost children long for an animal buddy growing up. Literature and films know this all too well and have created veritable empires from friendly animal heroes. Animals are amazing and entertaining creatures, and kids truly identify with them.

However, if a child is given the opportunity to live with a pet very important guidelines must be established to ensure everyone remains safe, healthy, and happy. Continue reading

Why Year-Round Heartworm Prevention Matters

iStock_000020494295_MediumFamilies with cats and dogs usually breathe a collective sigh of relief when it comes to autumn’s approach. Pets frolic outdoors for longer stretches and won’t easily overheat, de-hydrate, or become the prey of blood-sucking, disease-carrying parasites, such as mosquitos. In Cleveland, our first frost usually occurs around the first week in October. Mosquitos may die off before then but their effects are long-reaching and can be felt long into the winter months.

Understanding Heartworm

While many of us know that heartworm is a threat to our pets, few of us understand why. Continue reading