All posts by James

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!

Cat Towers 101

Does your kitty have a cat tower? If so, that’s great! Fluffy may not be shy about taking a nap on your bed or sofa, but it’s good for her to have something that fits her specific needs. Read on as a Norwalk, CA vet discusses cat towers.

Benefits of Cat Towers

Cat towers are great for our feline pals for several reasons. You may have noticed that many kitties like heights. Fluffy doesn’t have a great view of her kingdom from floor level, so she often tries to seek out better vantage points. In the wild, this usually means climbing trees. Cat towers are a great substitution! They also give your kitty a napping spot, manicure station, and a jungle gym. They also keep cats active, by encouraging them to jump and climb.

Placing The Cat Tower

Choosing the right spot for your cat tower is quite important. If possible, position it before a window with a good view. This will allow Fluffy to combine three of her favorite activities: sleeping, sunbathing, and birdwatching!

Choosing A Cat Tower

There are some things to keep in mind when choosing cat towers. How many kitties you have is one thing to consider. If you have more than one feline, you’ll want to choose a piece that will fit all of your pets at once. Fluffy’s age is another factor. Kittens usually love fun activity centers with lots of toys. Older cats, however, may prefer something with the lower level close to the ground, so they don’t have to climb as far. Purrsonality is also a factor. If you have a scaredy-cat, choose a tower that offers enclosed spaces for her to hide in. If your furball loves heights, get a really tall one.

Rekindling Kitty’s Interest

Sometimes cats lose interest in their furniture. If Fluffy doesn’t seem very interested in her cat tower anymore, try to make it more appealing to her. First and foremost, give it a good cleaning. Vacuuming is good, but if you have a steam cleaner with an attachment, use that. If the covering is really worn out, you may just want to replace it. Moving the tower to another spot may also help. You can also try sprinkling catnip around it.

Please call us, your Norwalk, CA vet clinic, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are dedicated to offering great care!

Your Pet and Microchips

May is Chip Your Pet Month! If you haven’t had your animal companion chipped yet, we recommend doing this ASAP. Microchipping your pet will only take a few minutes, and is extremely important! If your furry best friend ever goes missing and ends up in a shelter, that microchip could make a world of difference. These tiny devices contain information that can link people to their missing pets. This often results in lost pets being returned to worried humans. A Norwalk, CA vet discusses microchips—and why they are so crucial—in this article.

What Microchips Are

Although most people associate chips with dogs and cats, other pets can be microchipped as well. Microchips aren’t transmitters, and they don’t incorporate GPS technology. (You can get Fluffy or Fido a GPS equipped collar if you like, but this doesn’t negate the need for a microchip.) Currently, each chip contains only a unique ID number. These can be read with special scanners, which animal shelters use when admitting pets. This greatly increases the chances of lost pets coming home. In fact, one dog was recently returned to his humans after being missing for four years!

The Procedure

Microchipping can be worked into any veterinary appointment, though it is often done along with spay/neuter surgery. Your vet will use a hypodermic needle to inject the chip beneath your pet’s skin, generally between the shoulder blades. Complications are extremely rare, and there is no recovery time needed. Ask your vet for more information.

Record Keeping

Getting your pet chipped is really just the first part of the process. You’ll also need to fill out your records in the chip manufacturer’s database. This is very important! The chip won’t work if your contact information is missing or outdated. Remember to update this information if you move or change your phone number.

Checking The Chip

Microchips don’t need to be maintained. However, we do recommend having your vet check the chip during your pet’s appointments. This is just to make sure it hasn’t slipped or malfunctioned. You’ll also want to check your records periodically. One way to do this is by using the AAHA Pet Microchip Lookup Tool, which can be found here.

Do you need to get your pet microchipped? Call us today! As your Norwalk, CA vet clinic, we are happy to serve all of your pet’s veterinary care needs.

Easter Hazards for Pets

Easter is coming up fast: the spring holiday falls on April 21st this year. This can be a dangerous holiday for pets! Here, a local Norwalk, CA vet offers some tips on keeping your beloved pet safe at Easter.

Dinner

Easter dinners are a big part of many families’ holiday celebrations. Keep unsafe foods away from your furry buddy. Some of these dangerous foods include garlic, onions, scallions, and chives; pitted fruits; sugary foods; nuts; mushrooms; alcohol; and meat on the bone. Grapes, currants, and raisins are also no-no’s, as are raw dough, meat, and yeast. We also recommend that dog owners use garbage cans with secure lids, just in case Fido gets any bright ideas about looking for leftovers in the trash.

Easter Baskets

The plastic ‘grass’ included in many Easter baskets is another hazard. Fluffy and Fido could accidentally (or, in some cases, purposefully) ingest it. This is a serious choking hazard! The grass can also cause dangerous intestinal blockages. Plastic eggs are another concern, particularly with larger dogs.

Weather

April can be hot, so get your pet ready for warmer temperatures. Make sure Fido and Fluffy always have plenty of fresh water and shade.

Chocolate/Candies

Keep those chocolate bunnies and eggs out of paws’ reach! Chocolate is toxic to pets, and can even be fatal in large doses. Smaller candies are also unsafe, as many of them contain xylitol, which is poisonous to dogs and cats. Candy wrappers and hard candies are concerning as well, as they can choke playful pets.

Guests

If you’re hosting a family gathering, keep a close eye on Fido and Fluffy, especially as people are coming and going. You don’t want your beloved pet slipping out through an open door or gate!

Bouquets

Flowers can add a lovely pop of color to any room, but keep those bouquets in spots your pet can’t reach. Many popular flowers, such as lilies, tulips, and oleanders, are poisonous to both dogs and cats. In fact, kitties can suffer kidney failure from eating just part of a lily!

Eggs

If you host an egg hunt, make sure that all the eggs get picked up. Missed ones will soon spoil … which won’t necessarily make them less appealing to your canine pal.

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

Hug Your Dog Day!

Did you know that April 10th is Hug Your Dog Day? It’s also National Cinnamon Crescent Day! While we may very well partake in some of these delicious pastries, we’ll keep today’s blog topic to hugging dogs, which is a bit more in our wheelhouse. Here, a Norwalk, CA vet offers tips on celebrating this adorable holiday.

Reasons To Hug Dogs

There are certainly many reasons to celebrate our wonderful canine companions. Fido is not only sweet, funny, loving, and protective, he’s also quite intelligent. Plus, dogs are extremely loyal, and stay faithfully by our sides through thick and thin. Our four-legged pals have certainly earned the title of Man’s Best Friend!

To Hug Or Not To Hug

It may surprise you to learn that hugs aren’t always the best way to show your canine buddy affection. While your own pooch probably won’t mind if you hug him, you do need to be careful when hugging other dogs. Why? Well, in doggy language, hugs are actually a sign of dominance. For that reason, we don’t recommend hugging dogs—especially strange ones–that seem wary, frightened, or uneasy.

Making Hugs More Pleasant

It’s always much more enjoyable to hug a soft, clean dog than a dirty, smelly one. If your four-legged friend is ready for a bath, take a little time out of your day to give Fido a doggy beauty session. Later, you’ll be able to enjoy hugging a fresh, clean-smelling pup!

Alternatives For Dogs That Don’t Like Hugs

Even if your canine friend doesn’t enjoy being hugged, you can still get his cute tail wagging. Toys and treats will always brighten up Fido’s day! You can also pamper your pet with a fun play session, or perhaps a trip to the doggy park. If you really want to go all-out, get your furry bff a new bed, or even a doghouse.

Helping Dogs That Need Hugs

Not all dogs are lucky enough to have humans that love them and hug them. In fact, there are thousands—if not millions—of sweet, lonely pups in shelters, hoping someone will give them a second chance. Consider volunteering at or donating to an animal shelter or a dog rescue society. Or, if your household, budget, and schedule allow, consider adopting a new pooch!

Please contact us, your Norwalk, CA vet clinic, anytime. We’re dedicated to offering great care!