Animal Adventures and Pet Protagonists: A Young Animal-Lover’s Reading List

“Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’ ‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.”
– E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

iStock_000046924698_MediumMany of us hold a special place in our hearts for the books we loved as children. Whether it resides in nostalgia or life lessons, or simply strong writing, the magic of a wonderful book cannot be mistaken. Now, as quite of few of us have become parents, we find ourselves perusing those old, familiar titles and delighting in modern young adult fiction’s meaningful narratives and artistic illustrations.

As your children embark upon another school year, you may have the chance to thoughtfully engage them in post-library visit discussions or even create an inspired book night, with favorite titles to be read aloud over a shared snack.

There are a myriad of benefits to sharing the love of literature with your children, nieces, nephews, or grandchildren. Reading together offers your family the chance to slow down, disconnect from gadgets, and share quality time together. In addition, many books pose philosophical and value-based questions, encourage problem-solving, deepen the channels of imagination, and increase reading and comprehension skills.

By instilling your love of reading in your children, you offer them the chance to develop their own fond memories of favorite childhood books. Here are some recommended animal stories to get you started. Continue reading

Lost and Found Pets: What to Do With a Found Pet

Part 2/2

iStock_000020863550_LargeAt some point or another it’s likely that you will play the role of the Good Samaritan who comes across a scared cat under a porch or rescues a confused and frightened dog from a street or alley. Once we address the emergency at hand – that is, ensuring the pet is kept safe from immediate danger – we then find ourselves in the position to ask, “Now what?”

Many of us choose to take the anxious found pet into our home, garage, or fenced yard as we ascertain what the next steps are in returning the pet safely home. And, while our big heart for animals often compels us to run up to a stray dog or cat in distress, this is not always the safest approach. So, what do you do if you find a pet on the loose? Continue reading

Lost and Found Pets: What To Do When Your Pet is Missing

Part 1/2

Lost dog poster nailed to a lightpostThose of us who care for a pet find the idea of him or her becoming lost terrifying. Yet, each year, the greater Cleveland area sees thousands of lost pets on the streets and in shelters.  And, while some of these missing pets find their way back to their families; many pets remain unclaimed due to lack of identification tags or a microchip.

Though the prospect of losing your pet is unsettling, the good news is losing a pet is usually preventable. As a responsible pet parent, one of the most important steps you can take in ensuring your pet is returned home, should he or she get out of the yard, is to microchip your pet and maintain up-to-date information on how you can be reached. Continue reading

Dog Park Safety and Etiquette

Border collie puppy and ballWho doesn’t love to see the look of utter delight on the face of a dog catching sight of his or her playmates? And, just like our four-legged friends, most pet owners also love to socialize with others who adore their pets. Our enthusiasm for our dogs seems to make dog parks a popular choice for recreation, and understanding the etiquette and safety essential can help you both have a great dog park experience.

There are many benefits to taking your canine to a dog park.Dog parks provide opportunities for exercise, and few can deny the social benefits – especially for those solo pets who don’t get to interact with other pets at home. Yet, nothing can spoil a perfect play day like a badly behaved pooch. Continue reading

Traveling With Your Pet

iStock_000014720976_LargeSummer is an excellent time of year to take a family vacation, and those road trips can make for an incredibly fun time. Traveling with your pet, however, requires a little extra planning in order to make sure that both your family and pet are safe and have a great time.

So before you head off into the wild blue yonder, consider the following tips for traveling with your pet…

Safety First

To help prevent serious summer emergencies with your pet, make sure that your pet is wearing his or her collar and ID tags, and is microchipped for an extra layer of security. Not only can losing your pet pose a serious emergency situation, but also your pet may get injured while lost. Having your pet’s identity immediately accessible to a vet or good samaritan could go a long way in keeping your pet safe. Continue reading

Just a Bite: Pets and People Food

iStock_000025162836_Medium copyYou know that look – the one that comes just as you are about to eat your favorite sandwich or evening snack. Dogs, especially, are notorious for melting our hearts with those big, puppy eyes, convincing us that they truly need a taste of whatever we’re having.

While most of us have fed our pet human foods in the past, the question remains: Are human foods really safe for pets?

The quick answer is, some are; but some can make a pet ill or even be deadly, too. Before you give your pet that new human food morsel, be certain to double-check whether or not the food you are planning on giving your cat, dog, or other fur-friend is healthy and nontoxic.

In moderation, there are many nutritious food options that can actually enhance your pet’s diet and add a little variety to their standard fare. Most of us would get bored eating the same meal, day-in and day-out. The same is true for your pet. Here’s what to know about pets and people food. Continue reading

Fourth of July Pet Safety

The cat from bengal firesIf you are like most pet parents, the Fourth of July – while fun for us – provides an ample amount of stress for our pets and, by extension, for us. After all, July 4th is one of the most rowdy, noisy, and social of holidays of the year. With all of that celebration going on, it’s understandable why we worry about our furry friends and anticipate some anxiety during the festivities.

While any holiday can present pet safety considerations, the American Humane Society reports a dramatic increase in lost pets on July 5th. But don’t panic! When it comes to Fourth of July pet safety, there are some effective ways of keeping your pet secure and calm during the midst of this festive day. Continue reading

Parasite Preventatives: Protecting Your Pet from Fleas, Ticks, and Heartworm

Playful Stray Puppy in North African DesertProtecting your pet from fleas, ticks, and heartworm is an important part of being a pet owner. Not only can these parasites be a nuisance to your pet (and you), but they also pose a serious threat to your pet’s health.

Your pet’s exposure risk for these parasites is at its highest April–November, but parasite prevention must be a year-round commitment if it is to be truly effective. Do you know what’s at risk when it comes to fleas, ticks, and heartworm? If not, read on to learn more about these parasites, and why parasite preventatives are so critical to protecting your pet’s health. Continue reading

Protecting Your Pet from Heatstroke

iStock_000035346978_SmallFor many of us, summer sends us outdoors for fun in the sun with our friends, family, and pets. Trips to the farmers markets, walks through the neighborhood, grilling in the backyard, and trips out of town are all on the menu this time of year…

Whatever it is that you and your pet love to do in the heat of summer, you should be aware of the risks heat can pose to our four-legged friends. Take the necessary steps to protect your pet against heatstroke, dehydration, and overexertion that may affect your pet’s health in the months ahead, by considering the following… Continue reading

Planning for a Pet Emergency

calling the vetFor many pet owners, nothing is scarier than a pet emergency. Whether a car has hit your cat or dog on a Saturday afternoon, or if he or she starts having seizures at 10 p.m., the unexpected can always throw us for a loop and give us cause to panic.

But even though we never know when an emergency will strike, there are ways to plan ahead for emergency pet care.

At West Park Animal Hospital, we are prepared for your pet’s emergency day and night. We are staffed until 1 a.m., 7 days a week to provide the critical care your pet needs when a crisis strikes, and have the experience and know-how needed to handle your pet’s situation. Continue reading