Why Not? Planning the Best Pet Birthday Party Ever

A pet birthday part is fun for pets and people

With a 24-hour news cycle filling our collective hearts and minds, we could all benefit from something fun, right? An event that all but guarantees smiles, giggles, and probably a belly rub or two. We’re talking about planning a pet birthday party, of course! It might sound frivolous to some, but The Pet Experts can assure you, there are few things as wonderful and memorable as a gathering to celebrate one’s best furry friend.

The Exact Day?

Many pet owners don’t know when their pet was born. That’s Okay! You can celebrate the day you adopted them, or any other date that holds meaning for you. Once you set the date, you’ll have to hone in on several tiers of pet party planning elements.

X Marks the Spot

Choosing the location of your pet birthday party is a huge puzzle piece. Once you kind of have an idea of the general numbers of humans and pets in attendance you can decide between:

  • Your house (do you have enough inside/outside space to accommodate your guest list?)
  • Favorite park (you may need permission from the city)
  • Doggie daycare facility (like our’s at Elmhurst Animal Care Center)
  • Family or friend’s house or property

Protection from the elements is important. Animal guests must be able to go outside to the bathroom, as well.

Who’s Coming?

Are you going to include your friends and family, or just people you know that share your affinity for animals? There’s something to be said for inclusivity, but some pets may need to sit this one out if their behavior and socialization isn’t up to par.

Kids can also add a great deal of fun to your event, but their unpredictability can set some pet’s nerves on edge. No matter who is coming to your pet birthday party, close supervision is key.

Other Considerations

To get the most of your pet birthday party, plan a coordinated activity or two. If the weather is nice and your gathering is outside, any of the following can work:

  • Fetch
  • Hide and seek
  • Water games
  • Photo booth
  • Frisbee

Your Own Pet Birthday Party

You’ll probably want to serve your guests food, and pets are famous for indulging in homemade treats like these:

  • Doggy or Kitty birthday cake (little or no sugar, and nutritious)
  • Homemade biscuits
  • Freezer pup-sicles or frozen tuna cubes for cats
  • Yogurt treats
  • Fresh, bite-sized apples, carrots (steamed), blueberries, roasted sweet potato and more

Please let the Pet Experts know if you have any questions or concerns about your pet birthday. Better yet, share a picture on our Facebook from your pet’s special day. Enjoy!

Veterinary Technician Appreciation: A Spotlight on Our Talented Professionals

Veterinary technicians keep veterinary practices near me running smoothly.

When you come to The Pet Experts, you’ve probably talked to one of our veterinary technicians about your pet’s health. Whether it’s for a preventive care exam, a dental cleaning, or if your pet is sick, you know it is a great comfort to have a caring, experienced, and knowledgeable veterinary technician helping to care for your pet.

But what, exactly, do these team members do? Far from simply fetching a vaccine or counting out pills, veterinary technician duties and talents range far and wide. And, with October 14 – 20th, 2018 designated National Veterinary Technician Appreciation Week, there’s no better time to shine a spotlight on these caring and skilled professionals.

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Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

Pet insurance can defray the cost of veterinary care.If your pet were critically injured tomorrow, and needed to be hospitalized, could you afford the bill?

We all strive to take the very best care of our pets. They’re members of our family, after all! Luckily, we now have access to advanced veterinary care for our pets. From cancer treatment, to life saving critical care, to treatment for hyperthyroidism, we are fortunate to have many choices when it comes to treating major illness and injury. However, that advanced care does not come without cost. According to Canine Journal, the annual cost of pet care is now topping $1800 per pet. So it’s no wonder that veterinary care is becoming a significant financial strain on many families.

That’s where pet insurance comes in. Just as human health insurance is meant to bridge the gap between cost and needed health care, pet insurance can ease the financial burden of unexpected illness or injury in our pets. But is it worth it? Continue…

Fido to the Rescue: What Does it Take to Become a Service Dog?

A service dog can mean a better life for those that need them.Dog lovers everywhere know how wonderful it can be to share life with a canine companion; the bond we share with dogs is truly unique, and their ability to detect and respond to our feelings and concerns is nothing short of incredible.

For the thousands of men, women, and children living with a physical or mental disability, the bond with a dog can actually be life changing. Service dogs offer their handlers the chance to live independently, move freely, and can even save lives.

What is a Service Dog?

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service dog is not a pet. A service dog is defined as one that has been “individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.” Some of the ways in which a dog can be of service to a human handler include: Continue…

Ready, Freddy? Disaster Preparedness and Your Pet

Disaster preparedness for your pet should be part of your family's disaster plan.Anyone who enjoys the great outdoors knows to bring along certain supplies “just in case.” Indeed, it’s always better to have something and not need it, instead of the other way around. So it goes with disaster preparedness. When thinking about evacuation plans, medical needs, and more, it’s good to have a general understanding of how to protect and provide for your pet should an emergency situation arise.

Better Safe than Sorry

One of the best defenses against separation is to microchip your pet. This is important for general pet care, of course, but in the event of a natural disaster or emergency, it provides the best chance at a happy reunion. While microchipping isn’t a replacement for a collar and ID tags, microchips definitely add an extra layer of protection. Continue…

Welcome Home! Separation Anxiety in Pets

Separation anxiety in pets can intensify when the kids go back to school. Welcome home! You step inside your house after a few hours out expecting a warm welcome from your pet. Instead, you find that your dog has chewed your rug, or your cat has eliminated on your bed! Are your pets angry at you for leaving? Likely not.

It’s possible that feelings of anxiety and fear at being left alone are at the root of your pet’s behavior. Separation anxiety is a one of the top contributing factors for behavior problems in pets.

The Pet Experts have some tips on how to recognize and resolve separation anxiety in pets.   Continue…

Join the Bandwagon: Why Microchipping Your Pet Is a Great Choice

Nobody blinks when they pay monthly car insurance premiums or invest in good health plans. Instead, we all recognize the value of protecting what’s important to us. When it comes to safeguarding your pet’s health and longevity, there are also health insurance plans, disease prevention methods, and dental care practices that demand time, attention, and money. However, microchipping your pet is the best insurance against ever becoming permanently separated, and aids in a swift return of a lost or missing pet.

Tiny, Easy, Effective

It sounds like something you’d see on the Syfy channel, and microchipping your pet is sort of a glimpse into the future.

About the size of a grain or rice, microchips are an excellent back-up to a pet’s collar and ID tags (which can be removed). While they don’t transmit location, microchips employ RFID, or radio frequency identification. When placed under a microchip scanner, a number comes up on the screen. Only when the number on the scanner is plugged into a national database can the pet owner’s information can be revealed. Continue…

All the Feels: The Unlimited Joy of Fostering a Pet

Fostering a pet helps with shelter pet adoptionDo you remember the day you brought your pet home? Along with all the excitement and laughter that comes with getting a new pet, there’s nothing quite like the feeling that comes with knowing you’re helping an animal in need.

Fostering a pet brings that same sense of reward and happiness. Beyond adoption (although that’s certainly amazing), shelters and rescues are in desperate need of volunteers for everything from cleaning kennels to taking care of their fosters. If you’re looking to step up your volunteer efforts, fostering a pet may be just the thing for you.

Fostering a Pet

As one can imagine, animal shelters are often at capacity and don’t have the resources to take in every animal in need. Fostering is a way to help those pets while minimizing the stress of staying in a crowded shelter. Continue…

Safe Strategies: What to Know About Running with Your Dog

Running with your dog is good pet exerciseRunning has exploded in popularity in recent decades, and there’s no doubt that this type of regular aerobic exercise brings with it a myriad of health benefits, a sense of accomplishment, and is even fun for some. Your dog may seem like a natural fit as a running partner. After all, they have plenty of energy to burn and love spending time with you.

But running with your dog requires training and an eye on safety. Does your dog have what it takes?

Before You Begin

Before you start running with your dog, you’ll need to make sure they are healthy enough for high-impact exercise. Dogs who are too young or old (puppies under 18 months should not go running, as their bones and joints are not fully developed) are not good candidates for a jog. Flat-nosed breeds, such as bulldogs and pugs, have shortened airways, which could make running difficult or dangerous for them. Stick to a daily walk in this case. Continue…

It’s Not a Stretch to Practice Pet Yoga at Home

While it’s incredibly satisfying to practice yoga in a studio among other yogis, it’s equally lovely to settle into some deep stretches in the comfort of your own home. Indeed, diving into your own blend of asanas – at your own pace – can yield great results (without having to get yourself home afterwards).

Likewise, there are terrific opportunities out there to practice yoga with animals (whether they’re yours or not!). If you’re looking for a laid back and simple experience, try pet yoga at home with some of The Pet Experts’ favorite poses. Continue…