We may love the Fourth of July but it can be a bad holiday with our pets. Keep your pets cool and comforable as the temperatures heat up during the day. Please provide fresh water throughout the day to encourage pets to drink despite the distraction of festivities. And while we are enjoying BBQs, make sure the four legged family members don't overindulge in rich foods and alcohol. As the evening approaches, keep your critters confined in a secure and quiet area so the fireworks don't "freak" them out. Many pets get loose and scared on the Fourth-make sure your pet has ID and a microchip in case they escape on you!
Hiking and camping with your pal?
Want to take your pet hiking and camping with you? Here are a few tips to make it fun and safe for both of you. First make sure your pet is up to date on rabies, distemper/parvo, and leptospirosis vaccines. Be sure that they have adequate flea, tick, and heartworm prevention--carry a copy of vaccine history and any crucial medical information. You may need to have a copy of their license as well if you are on public lands.
Most public lands require you to keep your pets leashed for their safety and the safety of others. Even the best trained dogs may chase after wildlife crossing their path. Don't allow your pet to sniff dead wildlife or scat left along the trail--and pack out their waste to leave no trace.
If camping with your pet, do a trial run in a tent at home before you go. Some pets really can't tolerate the tent enviroment, and sitting up all night with an anxious dog will not be the peaceful night under the stars that you envisioned. Bringing a familiar blanket or toy can help them settle in too.
Remember to check their feet and fur when you return for ticks, scrapes, or other minor irritations. Your pet will enjoy exploring the great outdoors with you--Happy hiking!
Tigger wants to know how to stay healthy-It's Poison Prevention Month!
March is Poison Prevention Month--Do you know how many common household items can harm your pet? Dangerous substances range from human medications to garden fertilizers and pesticides to gum and candy---the list goes on and on. What can you do to protect your pet? First check these links to poison information handouts you can print out-http://capitalvets.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/How-to-poison-proof-your-home.pdf and http://capitalvets.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Human-medications-that-can-poison-your-pet.pdf. Take a look at these and keep them handy for review. If you have a smartphone, you can find a great app from the Pet Poison Hotline that describes common poisons and symptoms, and it includes pictures. If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, please call us immediately. If there are circumstances where you can't get to a phone, here is another tip sheep you may want to have on hand- http://capitalvets.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/What-to-do-if-your-pet-is-poisoned.pdf. Please feel free to give us a call if you have any questions!
How old is my pet really?
We know our pets age faster than we do--but is it really seven years? Check out this http://capitalvets.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/PetsAgeFasterPoster.pdf to see how old your furry family member is!
The eyes have it!
We don't often realize how sensitive our pet's eyes are until they are irritated and full of gunk--Since they can't tell us when something is in their eyes, it often stays there until an infection or some other problem develop. Pets can also develop allergies that lead to irritated eyes as well. If your pet has discharge, irritation, or an odor, please bring them in right away so we can help eliminate their discomfort. We have special tools that enable us to find the source of the irritation and prescription medications which can help relieve symptoms. Give us a call as soon as you realize your pet has a problem so their vision is not affected.
Ears can get gunk too!
So you found that your pet's ears aren't as clean as you thought? We have ways to help take care of that. Regular cleaning can go a long way towards preventing infection for your pets. Because the first part of the ear canal is vertical, it can make cleaning difficult. When cleaning the ears, gently pull the pinna or flap of the ear upwards. This helps to straighten out and open up the ear canal. Fill the canal with cleanser (we have excellent options for this), and use your other hand to gently massage the base of the ear. Do this for about 15 seconds, then let go of the ear and allow your pet to shake its head. This will help distribute the cleanser and loosen up debris. Use a cotton ball to gently clean away any material that comes loose.
Never use q-tips to clean your pet's ears at home--this can cause harm. We can advise you as to how often you should clean your particular pet's ears. Some breeds of cats and dogs are prone to ear infections and may benefit from more frequent cleanings, while others will be fine with a monthly cleaning. If you have any questions, we are more than happy to answer them or demonstrate how to clean your pet's ears at any time.