All posts by James

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!

5 Reasons To Play With Your Dog Every Day

Does your canine pal sometimes run up to you with his favorite toy? Does Fido jump for joy if he sees you pick up one of his playthings? Playing with your furry best friend can definitely put a smile on your face after a bad day. As it turns out, this is also great for your dog. Here, a Norwalk, CA vet lists some great reasons to play with your dog daily.

Exercise

Dogs need activity to stay healthy, just like people do. Fido’s exact workout regime will depend on his age, weight, breed, and health, so ask your vet for specific advice. Most people won’t need to worry about their dogs overexerting themselves during playtime. However, even if you have a furry bundle of zoom on your hands, it is important to find out what activities are and are not suitable for him.

Bonding

Our canine friends are amazingly loyal and loving, but that special friendship has to be nurtured. When you play with Fido or throw a toy for him, he’ll know you’re doing something for just for him. This will in turn strengthen the bond between you.

Mental Stimulation

Fido is very intelligent, and can get bored and restless with nothing to do. Playing offers your pet beneficial mental stimulation. This is wonderful for his mind, especially as he ages. Try playing some puzzle games with your pooch! (Tip: the old ‘guess which hand it’s in’ trick works great on dogs!)

Curb Bad Behavior

Another great benefit of doggy playtime is that it will burn off your playful pup’s excess energy. After a vigorous round of Fetch, Fido will probably be pretty worn out. This can be very helpful with mischievous or hyperactive dogs! After all, if your canine buddy is tired, he’ll be more interested in taking a nap than in chewing up your new shoes or eating your couch cushions.

Tail Wags

Last but not least, a fun play session will help you keep that cute tail wagging. Dogs are very emotional and social, and they are always happiest when they know that they’re loved. Taking time to throw a ball or toy for Fido is a wonderful way to make him feel cared for!

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

Keeping Fido Fit

Is your dog a furry, four-legged bundle of zoom? Or do you have an adorable couch potato on your hands? Dogs are quite playful and active when they’re young, but they slow down as they age. No matter how old your pooch is, however, he’ll need proper activity to stay healthy. Read on as a local Norwalk, CA vet offers some helpful tips on keeping your canine pal in shape.

Keep Your Dog Active

Doggy workout regimens are not one size fits all. Your furry friend’s age, breed, weight, and health will all play roles in determining the type and amount of exercise he needs. Some dogs—like brachycephalic breeds—should not be encouraged to run or swim, while others need at least an hour of activity each day. That said, most pups need at least a daily walk. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Offer A Balanced Diet

Good nutrition will play a huge role in your dog’s weight and health. Offer your canine friend a high-quality food, one that is suitable for his breed and age. Portion size is important, so keep a close eye on how much you are giving Fido. Even offering your cute pet a few calories extra each day can cause him to gain a pound a year! Of course, we can’t really talk about doggy diets without mentioning treats. Treats are a great way to brighten your pup’s day and/or reward him for being good, but don’t go overboard. Fido has a way of convincing us that he’s really hungry and really needs that doggy treat or piece of bacon. Don’t let your fuzzy friend manipulate you!

Playtime

Walks are great, but they aren’t the only way to keep your furry buddy fit. Take time to play with Fido every day. Toss a ball or Frisbee for him, or just indulge him in a fun game like Tag. This will help keep him fit physically, and will also help prevent doggy boredom. If your pooch has more energy than you do, see if he’s interested in chasing after that little red dot from a laser pointer. That way, your canine friend will do all the running around, while you stay fairly still. You can also get your pooch an automated ball launcher.

Please reach out to us, your local Norwalk, CA vet clinic, anytime. We are always happy to help!

Laser Therapy for Pets

Does your pet suffer from chronic pain, due to arthritis, hip dysplasia, or another health issue? If so, your furry friend may benefit from laser therapy. This is just one of the many new treatment options available for our animal companions. A Norwalk, CA vet discusses laser therapy, and explains how it can help pets, in this article.

What Is Laser Therapy?

Laser therapy–also known as cold laser therapy or Class IV laser therapy—is a non-invasive treatment that is based on the use of light. This process, officially known as photo-biotherapy, has many benefits. Certain light wavelengths can help ease pain in pets, and can also help soothe sensitive nerves. Laser therapy increases cell health and functions and fuels protein synthesis and cell metabolism. It also stimulates the body’s natural painkillers.

How Is It Used?

In the world of veterinary medicine, laser therapy is generally used to help pets with chronic conditions like arthritis and hip dysplasia. However, those aren’t its only uses. Laser therapy can also help pets with a variety of medical issues, such as wounds; muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries; ear infections; hot spots; and degenerative disc disease. It can also be very beneficial as a post-surgical treatment.

What Are The Benefits?

Laser therapy has some truly wonderful and unique benefits. One of the best things about it is the fact that there are no known side effects. That alone is wonderful, as it can really give people peace of mind when they’re choosing a course of treatment for their beloved pets. Laser therapy is also painless and completely non-invasive. There won’t be a surgical site or stitches for you to worry about. Another key benefit of laser therapy is the fact that it doesn’t take long. Sessions usually last between ten minutes and a half hour. There’s no recovery time needed, though you may want to give your pet a few extra ear scritches and perhaps a yummy treat or a new toy.

Tips

Every pet is different, so laser therapy may not be the best course of action for every case. That said, if you think your dog or cat may benefit from the treatments, ask your vet for more information. It never hurts to learn more!

Do you have questions about laser therapy for pets? Call us anytime! As your Norwalk, CA vet clinic, we’re here to help!

Dog Training Tips

February is National Dog Training Education Month! Making sure Fido knows—and obeys—simple commands is very important. This is of course crucial for petiquette, but it’s also important for safety reasons. After all, you don’t want your pet charging off if you drop his leash, or refusing to come when you call him! A Norwalk, CA vet offers some tips in this article.

Basic Commands

There are five simple commands that every dog should know. These are Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. The Leave It command is also useful. You don’t have to teach Fido anything beyond these basics if you don’t want to, but it’s worth noting that many dogs actually enjoy learning. It helps them build confidence, and can keep them occupied.

Class Furriculum

Fido doesn’t have a very long attention span, except perhaps when he’s watching you cook or eat something delicious. Long classes will soon bore your dog, which can be quite counter-productive. Work with your canine pal for about 15-20 minutes at a time.

Rewards

Treats are an excellent training aid, and a great way to keep Fido interested in learning. Choose small snacks, like pieces of kibble or cut-up hot dogs. If you give your pooch a burger every time he obeys, your adorable pupil will soon get really full, and will be more interested in napping than in learning.

Keep It Light

Don’t work with your pup when you’re feeling grumpy or stressed. Dogs are extremely intuitive, and it won’t take Fido long to pick up your mood. This may make him uneasy, and can even cause him to become wary of training.

Be Consistent

Inconsistency is one of the biggest mistakes people make when training their pups. Don’t tell Fido to ‘Sit’ one day and then the next day say ‘Fido, sit down now.’ Dogs don’t understand the nuances of language, so this will sound like two totally different commands to your pet. Needless to say, this can get quite confusing!

Patience

All dogs are different, and each of them will learn at their own pace. One pup may learn several commands in quick succession, while another may take much longer. Be patient, and don’t give up. Your efforts will be well worth it in the end!

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