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May Newsletter 2018

Vital Visits Pup and Person Info!

Spring has Sprung!

    • Love Pets? We are now Hiring! Adding Pet Sitters to Plano, TX  Richardson, TX Dallas, TX and Garland, TX.  You can read more about it here. If you know anyone that may be interested send them this link to Apply. Thank you!
  • See some of our pet clients in action on our video page.
 

Collar vs. Harness

To collar or not to collar that is the question! The answer isn’t as simple as yes or no. Harnesses are gaining in popularity with more dogs wearing them every day. So, should you abandon your traditional collar? Let’s go over some pros and cons of each so you can make an informed choice.

Many dogs find a collar more comfortable; they don’t even notice that it’s on. A flat collar is a secure way to keep your pets ID tags and licenses on your dog, and they are easy to slip on and off (a pro and a con). A regular collar comes in oodles of varieties, colors, patterns, styles, and function.

But if your dog is a puller, has respiratory issues, is a toy breed, or has protruding eyes (like Pugs or French Bulldogs) then you need to consider a harness that won’t put stress on their neck and airway. Even a dog that pulls a little bit is at risk for neck injuries from a traditional collar. Ask any vet; they will tell you they see injuries from collars frequently, and some of these injuries can be severe. Also, there are a whole subset of dogs that have figured out if they back up quickly they can get out of a regular collar. So if you have an escape artist for a dog, you may want to use a harness on walks. Dogs that frighten easily can slip their collars too, and that’s just a tragedy waiting to happen.

Some dogs initially don’t like the feel of a harness but most get used to it quickly. Without any doubt, it’s a bit more complicated to get a harness on your pup. And a harness, especially if it’s not fitted correctly, can chafe. The Freedom Harness linked below has a velvet under strap for comfort.

A harness offers better control of your dog so it may be great for training or when you have your dog in a crowded area. If your dog is a leash puller or lunger a harness with a front leash clip will help diminish the pulling. However, if your dog is small or delicate a back leash clip is the way to go. Try one of the many harnesses made for pullers like an Easy Walk Harness or a Freedom No-Pull Harness. If you are you a hiker or have a very active lifestyle, check out Ruffware Harness, they are comfy, cooling, and some even have handles. For an older dog that has issues standing up, it’s easy to grab the back strap on the harness and help them up.

Lastly, if you crate your dog, most vets will recommend that they don’t have any collar or harness on when they are left alone in their crate because they can catch on the crate and trap your dog.

The fact is, many dogs have both a collar and a harness for different situations. Don’t be overwhelmed by the choices, think about your dog’s needs. We’re happy to walk your best friend with a collar or harness!

 

Cat Health – Chronic Kidney Problems

Sadly, kidney failure is one of the top causes of illness and death in cats, especially older felines. Almost 1 out of 3 senior cats will suffer from this disease. But with early diagnosis and proper veterinary care you can boost the quality and length of your pets life.

Kidney disease is either acute or chronic. Acute can be caused by poisons, trauma, shock, infection, or blockages. Often if diagnosed in time acute kidney issues can be reversed. Why Chronic kidney disease happens isn’t always clear; genetics, breed (like Maine Coons or Siamese), dental disease, high blood pressure, or infectious disease can damage the kidneys. Chronic kidney issues can be managed but not cured.

The best move you can make to prevent or get a handle on kidney problems is visiting the vet once or twice a year, feeding your cat wet food, making sure they get a lot of water, and ensuring they don’t put on extra weight. Look for these signs of kidney issues:

Change in potty habits
Not using the litter box
Drinking more water than usual
Weight loss
Decreased appetite
Dry coat
Weakness

If your cat isn’t feeling well or exhibiting these symptoms, it’s time for a vet visit. The sooner your veterinarian gets involved the better the outlook for your cat.

Chronic kidney issues can be managed and the sooner, the better.

 

Dry Paw Pads and What To Do

Just like people feet our dog’s feet are vulnerable and need to be pampered to stay healthy. Not only do fido feet come in contact will all sorts of surfaces and terrain, but just like our feet, they are shock absorbers. Pup paws go through a lot of wear and tear, and if they become split, cracked, or sore, it can cause your pooch a lot of pain.

First, know this, if your best friend has chronically dry, cracked or irritated paws head to the vet, this could be a sign of allergy, nutrient deficiency, or another medical problem. If your pet has occasional foot problems, here are some causes and solutions for you.

Causes of dry pup pads:

Hot pavement or sand – Not only can hot surfaces burn our feet but our dog’s paws too. Because dogs have thick pads some people think they are immune to heat damage, but dog pads are actually quite sensitive. They can be burned in just a few seconds if it’s hot enough. Even if it’s not sizzling hot, the heat can dry your dog’s pads quickly.

Wintery conditions – Cold weather can dry pads out fast. Additionally, sidewalks and roads have salt or other chemicals on them that is very drying to your companions pads

Chemicals – Often lawns are treated with tons of chemicals – fertilizers and insecticides, all of which are bad for your dog’s feet. Sometimes even our floor clears or laundry soap can cause pad problems.

Allergic reactions – Any sort of allergy, food or environmental, can cause paw irritation or itchy feet. Many dogs will lick or chew their feet when they are itchy and this makes the paws even drier.

So what do you do if your pup’s pads are dry?

Prevention! Take precautions not to let them walk on hot surfaces, try changing your floor cleaner, and if you’ve taken a long walk, you might want to think of wiping or hosing down their feet when you’re done.

Coconut Oil is natural and safe to use on your dog. It’s known for its antibacterial and moisturizing properties. So rub some on their dry feet and give them a toy (maybe a frozen Kong) to play with so they don’t lick the oil off!

Shea Butter is very moisturizing for both people and pups. It’s an all natural product that comes from nuts on the African Shea Tree. It’s non-toxic, so if they do lick it off they won’t get sick, but the point is to try and keep it on their feet.

There are a lot of Pet Foot Balms on the market. Look for one with all natural, safe ingredients. Then give your best friend a petty-cure!

 

Great Pet Links!

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

 
 
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