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October Newsletter 2017

Vital Visits News, Tips, and Fun!

Vital Visits Pup and Person Info!

It is officially Fall! 

  • Now Hiring Pet Sitters, Dog Walkers and Overnight Pet Sitters For weekly and weekend work! If you know anyone that may be interested send them this link to Apply. Thank you!
  • If you have Fall vacations or weekend trips planned, please schedule them as soon as you can.  It’s not too early to think about Thanksgiving!

6 Important Pet Tips for Halloween

It’s that fun and spooky time of year again: Halloween. Most kids rate this holiday as their very favorite one. Pets…. not so much. Many of them find it just plain scary! Here are a few tips to help your pets through it.

  1. Candy is not for dogs or cats, especially chocolate or candy with xylitol both of which can be deadly. Stick with dog and cat treats.
  2. Keep your pets away from the door. With it opening and closing all evening it’s a good way for a pet to escape. For some pets, the costumes, kids, and noise will make them very anxious.
  3. Don’t leave your pets outside. Sadly there have been many times where “pranksters” have let dogs out, teased them, or even hurt them. The same is true with cats, especially black ones.
  4. Don’t keep lit pumpkins and candles around pets. Pets are inquisitive and could get a nasty burn.
  5. Be sure your pets have a collar and ID tag just in case they get out.
  6. Do not dress your pet up unless they absolutely love this activity. Most don’t.

It’s best to keep your pet in a quiet room with the door closed until all the action is over that way everyone has a safe and fun holiday!


Nail Trimming, Important or Not?

I’ve never met anyone that loves nail trimming. Not me, not my dog, or even my vet tech. But believe it or not, nail trimming is essential to your pet’s health.  

As you know, your pet’s nails grow continuously. If your dog or cat were in the wild, they would naturally wear them down with their movements, digging, and changing environments. Since domesticated animals spend a lot of time snoozing and not foraging for food, they need us to trim their nails.

Long nails not only look unattractive but they can be painful if your pet jumps on you. Over time they can do some damage to your pet too, especially their posture. Long nails force a dog’s weight to be on the rear part of their pads – not evenly distributed as it should be. This is especially important for senior dogs. If their nails touch the floor when they walk it puts pressure on the nail bed and the toe joint which can be painful. These issues can change the joints in their forelegs and over time cause all sorts of joint and tendon issues.

The longer the nail, the more likely they are to split or tear, which is very uncomfortable for your pet. In extreme cases, neglected nails can curve and grow into their footpad. If a pets nails are neglected, it’s best to have a vet treat them. 

This same information applies to cats. If your cat is a kneader, having shorter nails is more comfy for you when they are kneading! Without the sharp pointed claws, they are less likely to shred your furniture too. A cat’s claws can tear and split, and this hurts!

The rule of thumb is if your dog’s nails touch the floor when he’s standing, they are too long, and it’s time to start clipping.

Clipping is easy, and your dog may learn to enjoy a spa day! Be sure to give them a few cookies after their “peticure.”

How to Trim Your Cat’s Nails
How to Trim Your Dog’s Nails


Fun Pet Holidays in October

Adopt a Shelter Dog Month
National Pet Wellness Month

October 1 – National Black Dog Day
October 16 – National Feral Cat Day
October 27 – National Pit Bull Awareness Day
October 30 – National Black Cat Day


Guinea Pigs Make Great Pets!

Your local animal shelter probably has a few Cavia Porcellus (that’s Guinea Pig in Latin) available for adoption. Sadly they often end up in shelters; this is mystifying because they make fun pets. Most shelters tell us that their first owner thought they would be a “carefree animal.” Education is always important; no pet is carefree!

But if you think a Cavy might be a fun addition to your household, you’re right. These little guys are sweet-tempered and affectionate. They are 10 inches long and weigh a couple of pounds. One of the cutest things about Cavies are their coats; they come with long and short fur and in a wide variety of colors. 

Before you decided on adding a Guinea Pig to your family here are a few things to know. 

  • They are very social animals and do well if you get two of them (be sure they are the same sex, or you will have a LOT of Cavy’s).
  • They live between 5 – 10 years.
  • They like a big cage to roam around in (it’s easy to build one and a great project for your family).
  • Although they are quiet animals, they do vocalize, with purrs, cooing, chirping, and squeals.
  • They require daily handling and almost never nip.
  • They make great family pets but not for very young children. They could be injured if dropped.
  • They need hay at all times.
  • Their teeth never stop growing, so they need chew objects to wear them down (available online and at pet stores).
  • They need their cages cleaned regularly.
  • They love grooming.
  • They “popcorn” which is an adorable behavior where they run, bounce, and jump in the air. Popcorning is a sign of a happy Guinea Pig!

If all this sounds manageable and fun, head on down to your local shelter and find a new Cavy friend (or two). 

A variety of Guinea Pig care articles from the Humane Society
A variety of homemade Cavy cages.


Great Pet Links!

Here are some interesting pet articles, pictures, and videos we’ve found on the net this month.

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