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Make the Most of this Summer with Our Summer Safety Tips

Summer is the best season to be a dog! The sunshine and great weather lead to endless possibilities of fun outdoor activities. From doggie paddling on a beach summer vacation to leaping through the woods, summer is dog-gone fun!

As a dog owner, you probably have some summer activities prepared. If not, you might still have a few summertime ideas in mind for your next adventure. Help your dog start her summer off on the right paw and keep her safe with some of our summer safety tips.

1. Be mindful of the temperature: keep your dog hydrated and limit her time in the midday sun.

When the temperature rises, you want your dog to have fun in the sun. Most importantly, you don’t want your dog to feel the heat.

To keep your dog cool this summer:

  • Always have cool, clean water available for her to drink. This includes in the backyard or if you plan on going on a hike or road trip, always bring a water dish and fresh water.
  • Don’t leave your dog in the car during the heat of the day, even with the windows rolled down.
  • Know the signs of heat stroke and be prepared to bring her in if you think she’s experiencing heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
  • Test the temperature of the sidewalk or road before you walk your dog. Place your hand down. If it’s too hot for you to hold your hand on for less than 10 seconds, don’t let your dog walk on it. She might burn her paw pads.
  • Avoid the risk of heat stroke or paw pad burns by walking your dog in the morning and evening.
  • Use zinc-free sunblock on your dog’s nose before spending time outside. If your dog has fine fur, you may want to rub some into her back, too.

2. Take some precautions before letting your dog doggie paddle this summer.

Not all dogs know how to swim and others aren’t physically cut out to be the next Michael Phelps. If you have a Pug, Boston Terrier, Frenchie, or Bulldog, you will want to suit your pup up with a life vest.

Take your time and teach your dog to swim. Go slowly and enter the water with her. Never throw your dog into a pool, from a boat or dock. This is traumatizing to your pup and can lead to a fear of water.

And if you’re considering taking your pup fishing, don’t leave fishing hooks or lures lying around, and use caution when you cast.

3. Keep her vaccinations up-to-date before heading to the dog park.

The dog park is a blast, especially during summer. There are so many tails wagging that it’s one of the best places to spend your summer mornings or evenings. Dog parks help your dog learn important social skills, but the dog park also comes with some risks.

Dog waste can spread illness. Dogs that are out of date on their vaccines can be vulnerable to getting ill or spread bacteria, getting other pups sick. Leptospirosis spreads at the dog park through urine or secondary contact with infected urine. Don’t let your dog drink standing water at the dog park or elsewhere. Give yourself peace of mind, and ask us about the vaccine that can prevent your pup from getting leptospirosis.

It’s important to remember that while you may be an amazing dog owner, others may not be as vigilant. We often hear about dogs that bring fleas and ticks home from the dog park. This puts pups at risk of tapeworms and Lyme disease. Avoid the risk of your dog collecting hitchhikers while enjoying the summer festivities. Make sure she’s protected from fleas and ticks with preventative medicine.

"The dog lives for the day, the hour, even the moment," according to Robert Falcon Scott. Help your dog make the most of each moment while keeping her safe.

This year, make memories and make the most of summer while keeping your canine companion out of trouble. If your dog is due for a checkup, don’t hesitate to call us to make an appointment. We can help you and your family make the most of summer with a healthy and happy dog.

 

Image credit: Pixabay

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Prevention and Treatment of Heartworm Disease in Dogs and Cats

Heartworm can have devastating consequences for your pet, including death. It is especially tragic when dogs and cats succumb to heartworm disease when it’s entirely preventable. Now that warm weather is finally here, your dog or cat has a much greater likelihood of acquiring heartworm just by being outside since the most common route of transmission is a bite from an infected mosquito. However, pets can pick up the heartworm parasite any time of year. This is the reason we recommend year-round heartworm protection at Foley Boulevard Animal Hospital.


Heartworm Prevention and Testing


Although it's more common for dogs to get heartworm disease because they make an ideal host and typically spend more time outdoors, it’s important to understand that cats get heartworm as well. Unfortunately, for our feline friends no effective heartworm treatment exists for cats who test positive.

Puppies should start preventive medication for heartworm by eight weeks old. While it isn’t necessary to test puppies that young before starting on a product, puppies over six months old do require testing. Puppies and dogs need only one simple blood test to determine the presence of heartworm. Similarly, cats should be started on a heartworm preventive once they are eight weeks old.

Common Signs of Heartworm Infestation

When dogs acquire heartworm, the parasite usually lives in the heart and the right ventricle. This produces the following types of symptoms:

·      Coughing

·      Fatigue

·      Lethargy

·      Loss of appetite

·      Vomiting

·      Weight loss

It’s also possible that your pet won’t show any indication of heartworm even when he has them. Sadly, the first indication of heartworm in some pets can be sudden collapse and death. All pets should have year-round heartworm protection, even those who never go outside. It’s too easy for mosquitoes to get into your home and infect them.

If you suspect that your dog or cat has heartworm based on these symptoms, please schedule an appointment at Foley Boulevard Animal Hospital right away. We will complete testing and discuss treatment options if results come back positive.

It’s Easier to Prevent Heartworm Than Treat It

We’re happy to let you know that we carry many heartworm prevention products in our clinic. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you would like a recommendation on the most effective product for your pet. You can schedule an appointment by calling our clinic at 763-755-3595.


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A New Year Equals New Opportunities to Be a Great Pet Owner!

A New Year Equals New Opportunities to Be a Great Pet Owner!
January 2019

Now that the calendar has officially flipped over to 2019, you may be focusing on meeting some new resolutions for the upcoming year. Perhaps one of those is to be an even greater pet owner than you already are. This is an excellent resolution, and Foley Boulevard Animal Hospital wishes to offer some tips below to help you achieve it!

Wellness Visits and Preventive Care Exams

Just as growing children and adults at various stages need regular preventive care, the same is true of our pets. Puppies and kittens will likely have several visits during their first year of life to ensure they are off to a great start and to receive both required and optional vaccinations. These appointments are also a good opportunity to discuss behavioral concerns and get started on a proactive parasite prevention plan.

Adult dogs and cats should come in for a preventive care exam at least once a year. Pets reach middle age when they are around seven years old and the senior years by age 10 (this varies by breed).  We recommend bi-annual preventive care exams starting at age seven. This gives us the chance to detect common age-related diseases as early as possible and to intervene to give your pet a more comfortable and healthy life.

Prevent Parasites All Year Long

Some pet owners assume that they can stop parasite prevention treatment during the winter months because their pets don’t go outside as much. The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends that people continue to use products to kill fleas, ticks, heartworm, and other highly devastating parasites all year long. We understand it can be a challenge to determine which products are most appropriate for your pet and will work with you and your pet to determine the appropriate products based on age, health and lifestyle.

Professional and At-Home Dental Care

Imagine the terrible condition your teeth would be in if you didn’t brush them daily, or even more so, for your entire life. Unfortunately, some dogs and cats do go a lifetime with no routine oral healthcare. It’s important to establish a tooth brushing routine with your pet as soon as he or she comes to live in your home. You might be surprised at how quickly your pet will come to accept it if you’re consistent, gentle, and offer plenty of praise (TREATS!) for cooperation. Just be certain to use the right size of toothbrush and proper toothpaste for your pet’s species.

Pets also benefit from an annual dental appointment that includes professional cleaning of their teeth. This is typically done under anesthesia to allow for deeper cleaning below the gumline and to ensure the pet’s cooperation with the process.

Relax and Enjoy Your Pet

Although having a pet comes with much responsibility, it is a relationship that brings great joy. In 2019, resolve to spend as much one-on-one time as possible with your pet to help deepen your bond. The rewards are priceless!

To schedule an appointment with Foley Boulevard Animal Hospital, please call 763-755-3595.

Image credit: Pixabay

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Safe and Thankful

The hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving is a part of the tradition for many families. But in the commotion, it's important to keep safety in mind for our four-legged family members. Our Foley Boulevard Animal Hospital veterinary staff offers these Thanksgiving safety tips to help you all have a safe and special holiday!


Even if your house will be full of guests or your entire family is traveling, double check that all pets are wearing a collar and identification tags with current contact information. The same goes for microchipped pets. Make sure all pets are up-to-date on vaccinations and parasite prevention before traveling also.

If your pet is staying behind for the holiday, use a reputable pet sitter or boarding facility. Pets should never be left at home alone, even with food and water, for any extended length of time.

Stay in the same exercise and meal routine with your pets during the holiday. Going on your daily walk with your pet will also help you counteract that large Thanksgiving feast!

With guests in the house, pets may have sensory overload and need a little distraction from the distraction. Keep pet-safe toys and treats on hand and reward your pet for good behavior.

Remind guests and hosts alike that your pet should not eat table scraps. Not only are a lot of human foods high in sodium and sugar that can cause gastrointestinal issues in pets, many of our common Thanksgiving foods are highly toxic to pets, especially those containing onion, garlic, grapes or raisins and chocolate.

If your pet seems to be eyeing the counter for any accidentally dropped food while you are cooking, have a reliable guest or family member keep her occupied in a different room.

Before everyone settles into their post-meal naps, take all trash outside away from pets. Bones, scraps and packaging from food may seem like a tempting chew toy, but they can cause serious harm to your pets, especially if ingested.

If you have any questions about having a safe Thanksgiving holiday with everyone in your family, contact us at 763-755-3595. Happy Thanksgiving!

Copyright © 2018 by Uhlig LLC. All rights reserved
Image Credit: Chepko/ istock / Getty Images Plus

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