Why Pudgy Pets aren’t so Cute

Fat dogs aren't cuteJust like the rest of America, our nation’s pets have expanding waistlines. According to the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention, about 54% of pets in America are overweight or obese. While being curvy may be cute, it is not healthy. Pets that are overweight are at increased risk for the following:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart and respiratory disease
  • Joint injury including cranial cruciate ligament injury
  • Kidney disease
  • Many forms of cancer
  • Decreased life expectancy (up to 2.5 years!)

If those aren’t reasons enough to take your pet’s weight seriously, then nothing is. If you are not sure if your pet is overweight, be sure to ask us at your pet’s next checkup. We can also give you helpful tips in order to aid in shedding pounds including prescription diets and lab work to rule out underlying medical conditions.

(Scoot, scoot, scoot) Scoot Your Booty

Ah, the dreaded butt-drag.  Every pet owner has experienced it.  But what does it mean? Don’t ignore it!  If your dog is carpet surfing, there is a reason.  Here are the most common causes:

  • Anal sacs Booty-ScooterAll dogs and cat have little sacs right inside the rectum that contain a stinky fluid.  Normally this fluid is expressed when your pet has a bowel movement.  Sometimes the glands can become clogged or infected, however, resulting in a very irritating pressure that can be painful. You can help avoid this by bringing your pet in for grooming, which can include anal gland expression.
  • Parasites – Intestinal parasites such as tapeworms can cause irritation around the rectum, resulting in scooting.
  • Allergies – Allergies, in particular food allergies, can cause an itchy behind.  Give us a call if you suspect this may be the case for your pet.
  • Irritation – Anything irritating such as debris stuck in the hair around the rectum or inflammation secondary to diarrhea can result in your pet dragging or licking at its bottom excessively.
  • Fleas – Fleas love to hang out around the back half of the animal, which can sometimes result in scooting.  Fleas can also carry tapeworms, another culprit!

So next time you catch your pet dragging its rear end on your white rug, don’t yell at him or her-  Make an appointment to get it checked out!  Your dog or cat is trying to tell you something!

Curing Canine Cabin Fever

Bored dog looks out the windowDoes this weather have your pup feeling blue?  As Old Man Winter settles in, most pooches get less exercise due to plummeting temperatures and early sunsets.  Here are a few ideas to banish the winter blahs once and for all!

  • Teach an old dog new tricks
    No matter how well trained your dog is, there is something he can learn.  Head to the library and check out one of the many books loaded with ideas for new tricks, or work on some oldies but goodies like roll over or shake.  Your dog will appreciate the quality time.
  • Head back to class
    Many obedience schools have indoor facilities where your pet can brush up on their manners, take part in agility, or become certified as a Canine Good Citizen.  Activities like these not only burn off some steam, but help your dog be the best he can be!
  • Bundle up and brave the great outdoors
    Break out the hats and gloves (and dog booties and coats if appropriate) and enjoy the weather. Most dogs love to romp around in the snow, and you’ll get some exercise, too.
  • Have a snuggle session
    Sometimes nothing beats curling up with a good movie, some popcorn, and your favorite pet (or pets)!
  • Play a game
    Many pets will get hours of enjoyment out of a new interactive toy or playing a round of hide-and-seek with their owner or a special treat.
  • Make it a date
    Does your dog have any canine friends that it might enjoy visiting?  Or maybe he would like to spend the day with us, playing with the other dogs at our doggie daycare?  Dogs that enjoy social activities often love a little time with their puppy pals.

So worry no more… there is plenty for you and your dog to do over the winter months.  And even better, spring is right around the corner!