Bloat in Dogs: Always an Emergency

Bloat is the second leading cause of death in dogs, yet few pet owners truly understand what the condition is, and how to recognize it. Bloat can affect dogs of any age and breeds and is one of the most serious pet emergencies you may encounter. 

Understanding the signs of bloat in dogs, and what your emergency options are, may just save the life of your sweet pet!

Continue…

Helping the Medicine Go Down: Pill Pockets and Other Tricks

Dog catching treat

Most pets will have to take medicine at some point in their lives – some of them multiple times per day – and it’s the rare dog or cat who willingly swallows pills on command. Some pets are so good at getting around their daily dose, in fact, that pet owners will find the medication spat out after hiding it in the most delectable pill pockets or bits of people food.

Continue…

When It Comes to Summer Paw Care, How Hot Is Too Hot?

There are few things that keep members of our active community from exercising. Instead of allowing ourselves to get into seasonal slumps, goal-oriented individuals commit to gratifying challenges. Pets are typically along for the ride, but sometimes the outdoor conditions are just too extreme.

While pet owners must be aware of the dangers related to overheating, it’s equally important to adopt a routine for summer paw care. That way, you and your pet can keep on truckin’ together throughout the entire season.

Continue…

Science Says: Relaxing With Your Pet Is Great for Your Health (and Theirs!)

Relaxing with your pet is great for pet health!

When people closely interact with their pets, they experience a spike in the powerful “love hormone”, oxytocin. Oxytocin is well-known to nursing human mothers and people that tightly embrace loved ones, but it may be surprising that animals experience the positive effects, too.

As a result, when relaxing with your pet, say, during a great weekend couch snuggle, the boons to your health are quite amazing. What’s more is that your pet experiences the good vibes, too. Win-win!

Continue…

Why Does My Dog do That? Weird Dog Behaviors Explained

Weird dogs make the best dogs.

It’s no secret that we absolutely adore dogs here at Elmhurst Animal Care Center, and getting to know the unique personalities and habits of our canine patients is part of what we love about our job. It seems like we learn more about weird dog behaviors every day! In fact, there are so many that we couldn’t help but share more about this topic with our loyal readers!

Continue…

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!

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…

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 a Good Thing You’re Cute: Dog Training for the Ornery Pup

Dog training is super importantIf you’ve seen a well-behaved, calm, intuitive dog, it probably took a process to get that way – one that likely included a lot of patience, commitment, and hard work. Sure, all dogs are sweet and have the potential to be great housemates, but without an investment in dog training, your home life might become a bit strained from time to time. The Pet Experts not only recommend signing up for a class, we offer one that fits the bill!

Payback, Baby

Dog training is fun! When both you and your pet find it enjoyable, the dividends are huge. But before we get into details, it’s important to approach the process lightly. Keep your sessions short and effective and consistently reinforce new skills. Whether you’re training a younger dog or an older one, enjoy the process, and make sure it’s rewarding. Continue…

Does Your Dog Eat Cat Poop? Ways to Stop This Gross Dog Behavior

Dog behavior can range from adorable and sweet to unruly and revolting within seconds. Dogs can surely be well-mannered, but they can’t easily shake all of their inherited instincts. Eating cat poop is one example of a dog behavior that many owners wish they could banish. The Pet Experts discuss whether it’s realistic to curb “litter box mouth” or if dogs will simply be dogs.

Continue…