Itchy Skin

Nothing is more frustrating than an itchy pet. And there are few things that look more miserable. There are many causes for a scratching animal, but here are some of the more common offenders:

  • Bugs!  Fleas are the most common offenders, but other organisms like mites can also cause your pet to scratch.
  • Irritation: That shampoo you bathed Fido with or the lavender scented detergent that you washed Fluffy’s bed in may smell great to you, but for some pets these things can be very irritating.  You are often best off to use fragrance-free products and gentle shampoos.
  • Allergies: Pets can be allergic to anything that people can, and most of the time their allergies rear their ugly head as itchiness. Food, grass, dust, even cat dander can cause your pet to be itchy.  If you suspect your pet may have an allergy, consult with your veterinarian for the best was to relieve the symptoms.
  • Skin infections: Infections can occur for a variety of reasons, but they most skin infections are irritating! Often medications are needed to get rid of infection and make your pet comfortable.

If your pet is scratching, it might be a good idea to have a vet take a closer look. Feel free to contact us to schedule an appointment.

 

Dog Days of Summer

We want to make sure you keep your pets safe during these hot, hot months. Please watch out for the following summer hazards:

  • Heat stroke: It may be the most obvious hazard, but don’t forget that pets can overheat and even die from high temperatures. Never leave an animal in a car, even for a short period. Make sure your pet always has access to shade and fresh water.
  • The sun: It may sound like a good idea to shave down your golden retriever, but your pet’s coat provides insulation from the heat and limits sun exposure which can result in sunburn.
  • Heartworms: Mosquitoes transmit heartworms, which are just what they sound like- worms that grow in the heart. Not a good thing. Keep your pet on heartworm prevention as recommended by your vet.
  • Fleas: These nasty little buggers are at their peak during the warm months of the year. Preventatives prescribed by your vet are very effective at keeping fleas at bay.
  • Parties: Fido may want to crash the neighborhood block party, but be sure you limit his consumption of extra treats that may make him sick.  Alcohol is also a big danger as well as garbage cans full of tasty treats like leftover bones.

Summer can be a fun time for your pet, but there are many dangers as well.  Keeping yourself informed and aware of potential risks can help to make sure your summer is a breeze.

 

Good Grooming

Keeping up with the grooming basics doesn’t have to be a big event.  Make sure you keep up with the following and your pet will be in tip-top shape.

  • Coat: Depending on your pet’s hair, this may require minimal attention to daily care. Brushing helps to prevent mats and spreads out natural coat oils. It can even minimize hairballs. Most animals require brushing at least once a week, but longer haired critters may need to be brushed daily.
  • Ears: Examine the inside of your pet’s ears frequently to catch symptoms of a problem such as pain, discharge, or redness early on.  Your veterinarian can show you how to gently clean the insides of the ears and recommend a good cleanser.
  • Eyes: Gently cleaning the corners of the eyes with a damp cloth can prevent buildup. Products may be recommended for animals with tear-staining. Also, be sure long hair on the face is not irritating the eyes- if so it may be time for a professional trim.
  • Teeth: Many of our pets have dental problems. The best way to ward these off is by brushing their teeth regularly. Veterinary toothpastes and brushes are available- never use human toothpaste!  Your vet can demonstrate how to take care of your pet’s pearly whites.
  • Nails: Too-long nails can cause un-natural stresses on the foot, break or snag, and even grow into the paw pads. Animals require frequent trimmings to keep their feet healthy. Trim with clippers made for animals and avoid cutting too much and cutting the blood vessel in the nail.

Need to schedule an appointment? Call us at 630-530-1900 or visit our website any time for more information.

 

 

Bringing Home a New Pet

You have finally done it.  After months of research and careful planning, you are driving home with a new family member.  But now that you have taken the plunge, where do you go from here?

First of all, before you bring your new “baby” home, you need to be sure that your home is pet-proofed.  Make sure any potentially toxic items are put where an animal cannot get to them.  Don’t forget, pets have teeth as well, so things like electrical cords can be very dangerous.  Baby gates can make keeping your new addition corralled easier.

Remember that this is probably as stressful a time for your new pet as it is for you.  Do not overwhelm it.  Make sure time to acclimate to new surroundings is allowed before introducing him or her to other pets or the family next door.  Give your new dog or cat some private time as well.

Try to get into a routine so your pet can be comfortable in knowing what to expect.  Meal times, play times, and potty times should fall around the same time.

Lastly, make sure to take your new pet to visit your veterinarian within a few days after bringing it home.  This will allow you to establish a relationship between your pet and vet and give you a chance to ask questions and address concerns.

Congratulations and good luck with your new little bundle of joy!