All posts by James

Raising a Friendly Kitten

Have you recently adopted a kitten? Congratulations! Little Fluffy will waste no time in gaining control of your household. Our feline overlords certainly have a way of melting our hearts … and getting us to completely spoil them. While there’s nothing wrong with pampering your adorable pet, you still need to teach your little ball of fur some manners. Read on as a Downey, CA vet offers some helpful tips on raising a polite kitty.

Playtime Petiquette

Kittens, as we all know, are basically tiny little predators in adorable packages. Your furball will be very focused on sorting out how all of those teeth and claws are supposed to work. She may try to practice on you. This is adorable now, while your pet is tiny, but it’s best to nip that habit in the bud. It won’t be cute or charming in a full-grown cat! Don’t tempt Fluffy to pounce on your toes or fingers. When you play with her, use playthings that you can control, like wand toys.

Just Say No

While no one is sure how much human language cats understand, it’s probably safe to say that Fluffy can learn a few simple phrases, such as ‘Get down from there’ and ‘What are you doing in there?’ If your kitty scratches you, tell her to ‘Play nice’ or ‘Put your claws away.’ Say this in a disapproving tone, and then immediately walk away and ignore her for a while. Just be sure to use the same phrase each time.

Socialization

Part of little Fluffy’s socialization entails introducing her to new people, so she develops an open mind. Have some people come over to pet and play with your kitten, and give her treats and cuddles.

Cuddles and Love

Providing your pint-sized pet with comfy beds, good food, a clean litterbox, and proper veterinary care will help keep her happy and healthy. It’s also important to spend a lot of time with your kitten, and make sure she feels loved and safe. Talk to her, pet her, handle her claws, and brush her gently, so she gets used to being handled. Also, let little Fluffy doze off in your arms or on your lap. There are few things more precious than purring kittens!

As your Downey, CA vet clinic, we look forward to serving all of your kitten’s veterinary care needs. Contact us today!

Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

October is Adopt A Shelter Dog Month. This is one cause that we are always happy to support! While we love seeing any animal go to a good home, shelter dogs really need help. Read on as a Norwalk, CA vet discusses adopting shelter dogs.

Benefits

There are many reasons to consider adopting a shelter dog. First and foremost, you’ll be giving that one special pooch a new lease on life. That’s a truly beautiful and rewarding act of kindness, and a great way to find your four-legged friend. You’ll also be promoting good animal welfare, as this is a more responsible choice than going through a breeder or pet store. Plus, you’ll be able to choose from a wide variety of adorable furry faces. No matter what kind of dog you want, you’ll likely find the perfect match in a shelter!

Preparations

Before you bring your pooch home, you’ll need to pick up some doggy supplies. Your shopping list should include food, treats, toys, bedding, a crate, dishes, grooming supplies, waste baggies, a leash, and a harness or collar. If you don’t know what size or breed you’re getting, then hold off until you’ve chosen Fido, as you’ll need that information to pick the right products. You’ll also want to do some petproofing. Remove or secure anything that could be dangerous, such as toxic plants; plastic bags; wires and cords; household, garden, and automotive chemicals; and anything small or sharp. If you have a yard, make sure that your fencing is secure. We also recommend getting a self-latching gate.

Tail Wags And Happy Dances

The day you bring Fido home will be life-changing for both of you. Just keep in mind that your new pet may need time to adjust. He may also need some more training. Don’t be surprised if your canine pal sleeps a lot, especially at first. Being in a shelter is very scary and stressful for dogs, so your pup may need time to just relax and recoup. A trip to the vet’s is definitely in order. Otherwise, just focus on getting to know your furry buddy, and offering him top-notch care. With love, patience, and great TLC, you’ll have that cute tail going in no time!

Please call us, your Norwalk, CA vet clinic, with any questions or concerns about your dog’s health or care. We’re here to help!

Making Your Yard Dog-Safe

Do you have a yard for your pup to play in? Fido should live indoors with his humans, but he does enjoy getting outside to enjoy some sunlight and fresh air. However, our canine buddies do have a knack for getting into trouble, so you’ll need to make sure that your property is safe for your dog. A Downey, CA vet offers some advice on how to do that in this article.

Fencing

Sturdy fencing is an absolute must. Fido has definitely been known to jump over fences so he can go on doggy adventures. The height you’ll need will depend on how big your pup is, of course. A Chihuahua probably isn’t going to jump a four-foot fence, but a boxer might. If you know or suspect that your furry buddy may try to dig out under the fence, bury chicken wire along it and weight it down with rocks.

Pools

If you have a pool, you’ll need to take some precautions. First and foremost, make sure Fido knows where the stairs are, so he can get out if he falls in. It’s also a good idea to fence the pool off when it’s not being used. This goes double for people with senior dogs, small dogs, pups with vision and/or mobility problems, and, of course, dogs that can’t swim.

Plants

Check your yard carefully, and remove any toxic and/or dangerous plants by the root. Sago palms are a big concern here. Foxtail grasses are also a big hazard. You can find a full list of safe and unsafe plants at the ASPCA website here.

Doggy Basics

Fido should always have shade, shelter, and water outdoors, even if he’s only going to be outside for a little while. If your property is out in the open and doesn’t have many trees, put a tarp up to provide shade.

Pupgrade

Want to get some extra tail wags? Give your pooch a doghouse to hang out in. Or, Fido may enjoy having a sandbox for burying toys and treats, or a kiddie pool to splash around in. You can also incorporate some fun outdoor toys, such as flirt poles and tug toys. Pet fountains are also a big hit with our canine pals.

Please reach out to us, your local Downey, CA vet clinic, for your dog’s veterinary care needs. We are always here to help!

6 Ways To Tell If Your Cat Is Healthy

September is Happy, Healthy Cat Month! While Fluffy should be happy and healthy all year, this is a great time to pay her a little extra attention. Actually, it’s not always easy to tell if a cat isn’t feeling well. Our feline friends can be tough to read! In this article, a Downey, CA vet lists some signs that your kitty is in good health.

Clean Bill Of Health

First things first: the best way to find out for sure if your feline pal is healthy is to keep up with her veterinary appointments. Regular exams will help your vet keep a close eye on your cute pet’s health. This also makes it more likely that any developing issues will be caught—and therefore treated—early on, which can be extremely beneficial.

Appearance

Fluffy should have clear, bright eyes, and her fur should be soft, clean, and flea-free. Ideally, she should be neither overweight nor underweight. You also shouldn’t see any discharge from her eyes, nose, or mouth.

Purrsonality

Kitties are known for being frisky and playful. If Fluffy just can’t resist chasing that little red dot or batting at that wand toy, she’s probably feeling pretty good. Your furball may also have a bit of a ‘cattitude,’ and may meow at you to demand that you pet her or pick her up, or sometimes just to argue.

Good Appetite

Healthy animals have healthy appetites. While Fluffy can be pretty finicky, she will let you know if she simply doesn’t like what you offered her. Your furry pal’s water intake should also be fairly consistent. Follow your vet’s recommendations.

No Litterbox Woes

While changing the litterbox isn’t the best part of having a cat, it can be useful as well as necessary. Pay attention to your pet’s litterbox contents. It’s a good sign if you don’t see anything unusual. You can also try a litter that will change color if something is wrong. Ask your vet for more information.

Curiosity

Our feline buddies are very inquisitive little furballs, and love to investigate, well, everything and anything. If Fluffy is constantly checking out boxes or paper bags, and sniffing at items you’ve brought home, she’s likely doing well.

Please reach out to us, your local Downey, CA vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!

Creating the Purrfect Catio

Do you keep your kitty indoors? If so, that’s great! Cats are more independent than many pets: Fluffy is a skilled hunter, after all. However, our feline pals aren’t quite as ferocious as they want us to think. They face some serious dangers outside, and are both safer and healthier living indoors. That doesn’t mean your cat can’t enjoy a taste of nature, though. If you really want to pamper your furry pal, consider turning a screened porch, spare room, or even a sunny corner into a catio. A Downey, CA vet offers tips on creating a catio in this article.

Plants

Plants can really transform a space, and can give any room a fresh, cozy look. Set out some pet-safe plants for Fluffy to nibble on and hide behind. Spider plants, Boston ferns, African violets, Areca palms, Money tree plants, Rubber tree plants, and Ponytail palms are all good options, but there are many more. (Tip: the ASPCA has a great directory of both safe and unsafe plants here.) Another thing you may want to try is planting a bed of wheat grass in an old litterbox or storage tote. Once it’s grown out, your furry little buddy will have her own little lawn to look adorable on.

Toys

Toys are very important for your furry friend’s health and well-being. Make sure that your furball’s catio contains lots of fun playthings. Classic kitty toys, like plastic balls and catnip mice, will always be popular, but you can also offer your playful pet sometime modern, like an automated laser pointer, robotic mouse, or mechanical ‘swimming’ fish.

Purrniture

Be sure to add some kitty furniture to the catio. Fluffy certainly isn’t shy about napping on our couches, chairs, sofas, beds, or, well, pretty much anything else we own. However, your feline buddy will also enjoy—and benefit from—having some things that were made specifically for her, such as kitty tents, catwalks, pet tipis, and, of course, a good scratching post. Your cute pet will also appreciate a cat tower, and some comfy beds.

View

Kitties really enjoy watching birds and squirrels. Put a birdfeeder up in your feline friend’s line of sight. Fluffy may spend hours just daydreaming, birdwatching, and pretending to be a vicious hunter.

Please contact us, your Downey, CA vet clinic, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

7 Ways To Pamper Your Pup On Spoil Your Dog Day

Did you know that August 10th is Spoil Your Dog Day? Of course, we think our canine friends deserve to be spoiled every day. Man’s Best Friend is not only super cute, he’s also very smart, protective, loving, and loyal. This is a great time to show Fido some extra TLC, and get his cute tail going! Here, a Downey, CA vet lists some great ways to get that furry tail going.

Toys

Toys are a great way to brighten up Fido’s day! Pick up a new plaything for your furry best bud, and then spend some time playing with him.

Treats

As you’ve probably noticed, our canine pals are very, very fond of food. Fido would be more than happy with one of his regular snacks. However, this is a special occasion so offer your cute pet something extra yummy, like cooked meat, fish, or chicken, or even a steak!

Doghouse

If you have a fenced-in yard, consider adding a doghouse for your pooch. Although Fido will be both happier and healthier living indoors, he really enjoys having a little pad of his own to hang out in when he’s outside.

Bed

Fido really appreciates some of life’s smaller comforts, such as a good doggy bed. Get your four-legged friend a comfy bed to curl up and look adorable in.

Puppy Play Date

You’re the apple of your dog’s eye, and the center of his world. However, Fido still enjoys spending time with his canine buddies. In fact, socializing with other pups is really good for your pooch! Host a puppy play date, or take your furry pal to a local park.

Yard Pupgrade

A doghouse is great, but there are other ways to make your yard more fun for your pooch. Add a sandbox or kiddie pool for Fido. Tether toys are another great option. You can also add a pet fountain.

Love

The best way to spoil your dog is really just to make him feel loved. Spend some quality time with your canine companion. There’s really no better way to wind down a long day than by hanging out with your faithful pet!

Does your furry friend need an exam, vaccinations, or parasite control? Please contact for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. As your Downey, CA vet clinic, we are here to help!

Benefits of Playing With Your Cat Every Day

Do you play with your cat regularly? If so, that’s great! Playing is actually great for kitties, and can help keep your feline companion both happy and healthy. In this article from a Norwalk, CA vet, you’ll read about some great reasons to play with your cat daily.

Exercise

Our feline friends tend to get rather lazy, especially as they age. While Fluffy is certainly adorable when she’s sleeping, all those naps won’t do much for her waistline. A fun round of Catch The Red Dot will help your kitty burn some calories and keep her bones and muscles strong.

Curbing Late Night Shenanigans

Does your furballs sometimes wake you up by pouncing on her favorite squeaky toy in the middle of the night? If so, regular play sessions are definitely in order. The point is to tire your frolicsome little pet out, so she’ll sleep through the night… and be bright-eyed and bushy tailed in the morning.

Mental Stimulation

Playing also offers cats beneficial mental stimulation. Timing those tricky pounces right takes concentration. This is great for Fluffy’s mind, and can keep her mentally healthy as she ages.

Fun

It can be easy to forget that these cuddly little fluffballs are actually vicious predators in the wild. Fluffy has a deep, instinctive urge to pounce and jump, and she loves to unleash her inner huntress. Of course, kitty playtime may be just as fun for you as it is for your pet. Our feline pals are really cute to watch when they’re feeling frisky!

Bonding

Cats can form some really strong bonds with their humans. However, that friendship has to be nurtured. If you take time to dangle a feather toy or hold a laser pointer for your furry buddy, she will understand that you’re making an effort to entertain her. (Fluffy may show her appreciation in some odd ways, such as staring at you, following you, or biting you, but that’s another topic.)

Channel Kitty Angst

Just like people, cats sometimes feel angry, anxious, or nervous. Playing offers Fluffy a healthy and suitable way for her to vent any frustration she feels. Think of it as the kitty version of hitting a punching bag when you’re in a bad mood!

As your Norwalk, CA vet clinic, we’re dedicated to offering the best veterinary care around. Please contact us anytime!

Caring For Your Dog’s Paws

Dogs fill our lives with love and joy, and really make our houses into homes. That joyful happy dance Fido does when you come home is always adorable! Of course, your pooch can’t really jump for joy if his paws hurt. In fact, Fido’s feet are crucial to his health and well-being! Read on as a local Norwalk, CA vet offers tips on caring for your dog’s paws.

Claws

Overgrown nails can be quite uncomfortable for your pet. Be sure to keep Fido’s claws clipped! If you are nervous about doing it yourself, ask your vet to demonstrate proper techniques. You can also just call us to schedule a pawdicure.

Heat

Don’t forget that your canine companion is running around barefoot. In summer, your furry pal can burn his paws on hot sand, cement, or tar. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if it’s too hot for you to walk barefoot on, it’s too hot for Fido. Paw palm can also help protect and moisturize your dog’s sensitive paw pads.

Swimming

Dogs’ paws are extra delicate when they are wet. Be very careful with Fido after he’s been wading or swimming! Keep your pup on soft ground as much as you can.

Toe Fur

Some dogs have cute little tufts of fur growing between their toes. It’s best to trim these, as otherwise Fido could get gum or other gunk entangled matted in his foot fur. Needless to say, this is pretty uncomfortable!

Chemicals

Chemicals, such as fertilizers, are also harmful to dogs’ paws. Try to avoid walking your furry friend through recently-treated areas. You may also want to get into the habit of wiping Fido’s paws down before you bring him back inside. This will also help remove pollen and dust.

Walking

Keep an eye on the ground when walking Fido. Steer him around hazards like broken glass or sharp rocks. If you take your furry buddy to the beach, you’ll also need to be careful of broken sea shells.

Tip

Does your canine pal hate having his paws handled? Offer him a yummy snack every time he does a paw trick like Shake or Gimme Five. Fido may suddenly become much more enthusiastic about having his feet touched!

Please reach out to us, your Norwalk, CA vet clinic, for all of your pup’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help.

Fluffy’s Golden Years

As your cat ages, you’ll see some gradual changes in her appearance and behavior. Fluffy will slowly become less interested in knocking everything off your coffee table, and will instead spend even more time napping. Read on as a Norwalk, CA vet discusses senior cat care.

Bedding

As mentioned above, older cats are, well, rather sleepy. Fluffy may nap up to 20 hours a day! Make sure she has lots of comfy spots to choose from. Put beds on the floor, so she won’t have to jump or climb to reach them.

Food

Obesity is not uncommon in senior cats. Offer Fluffy a good, high-quality senior-formula food, but don’t go overboard with treats.

Grooming

Your kitty may have a hard time reaching her whole body to groom herself. Help her out by gently brushing her.

Playtime

Fluffy won’t be as frisky as she once was, but she’ll still have her moments. Take time to play with your feline pal regularly. It will benefit her both mentally and physically.

Kitty Stairs

Older cats sometimes have trouble jumping up to their favorite napping spots. Set out pet stairs for Fluffy, or just arrange footstools for her to use as stairs. You can also pick her up and give her a lift. Just be very gentle when handling your furry friend.

Veterinary Care

Your vet may recommend that Fluffy come in more often as she grows older. At home, keep a close eye out for signs of illness, such as hiding; poor grooming; vomiting; diarrhea; and/or changes in appetite, behavior or vocalization. Call your vet immediately if you notice anything unusual.

Safety

We recommend that all cats live indoors, as they are simply safer inside. Going outside is especially dangerous for older kitties. Fluffy isn’t as fast as she once was, and will be more vulnerable to threats posed by cars, predators, and other issues.

Comforts

It’s not uncommon for older cats to experience a decline in their vision. Keep a nightlight on for Fluffy, to help her find her way around.

Love

The best thing you can do for your feline buddy is to simply make sure that she feels loved. Talk to your furball, pet her, and offer her lots of cuddles and attention.

Please reach out to us, your local Norwalk, CA vet clinic, for all your senior cat’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!

Summer Care For Fido

Summer is just around the corner! This can be a fun time of year for our canine companions. However, the heat can be dangerous for Fido, so you’ll need to take some precautions to keep your furry buddy cool and comfortable. Read on as a Norwalk, CA vet offers tips on caring for your dog in summer.

Coat

Brushing your dog regularly will help keep him cooler? All that dead fur and dust can make Fido’s hot and itchy, and will actually decrease the insulating properties of your pet’s fur. Some pooches may also be more comfortable with a summer trim. Just check with your vet first: this isn’t the right approach for dogs with double coats, as that thick fur actually keeps them cool.

Snacks

A cold treat will definitely get your dog’s tail wagging. Buy Fido some doggy ice cream, which is sold in many pet stores. You can also make your own. Look online for recipes.

Water

Make sure that your dog always has plenty of fresh water. If you have a yard for him to play in, keep water bowls outside as well. You may want to get Fido a pet fountain. Also, whenever you take your canine buddy on a hike or to a park, bring plenty of water along. You can get portable dishes that fold up for easy transport, or a doggy water bottle with an attached dispenser.

Paws

Dogs’ paws are very sensitive, just like human feet. Fido can get painful blisters and abrasions by walking or running on hot surfaces. Keep your pet on soft ground as much as you can. This goes double after your dog has been swimming, as water will make his skin extra delicate. You can also use paw balm or wax to protect his feet.

Schedule

Try not to walk or play with Fido in the middle of the day. That’s when it’s hottest! Schedule walks and playtime for mornings and evenings instead. Also, take care not to overexert your pooch.

Safety

Always put your dog’s safety first. Never leave Fido in the car. Temperatures can reach deadly levels in just a few minutes. Your furry friend will be much more comfortable staying home, in rooms cooled by fans or air conditioners.

Is your canine pal due for an exam, vaccinations, or parasite control? Call us, your Norwalk, CA vet clinic, today!