All posts by James

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!

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day

Did you know that there’s a special kitty holiday coming up? January 22nd is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day! Kitties are very inquisitive by nature, so it’s no wonder that there’s now a day dedicated to their nosy streak. A Norwalk, CA vet lists some things we suspect our feline patients would be curious about in this article.

Where Are My Toys?

Making sure your furball has lots of fun toys to pounce on is very important for both her physical and mental health. However, Fluffy does have a habit of immediately pushing said toys under the couch. You may find a small mountain of catnip mice under the sofa when you move it!

Why Can’t I Sit There?

Cats live by their own rules. We’re pretty sure that they left the concept of boundaries out of the guidebook. You may find Fluffy sitting on your computer, or relaxing on the table. If you move your precocious pet, you may very well get an adorable meow of protest!

Where Do You Go?

Cats have a reputation for being independent, but they do get extremely attached to their owners. Fluffy can feel lonely, sad, or anxious when left by herself. Make your kitty’s alone time easier for her by leaving out lots of toys for her to play with. A good window seat will help as well. Our feline friends can spend hours just watching birds and squirrels! You may also want to leave a light on, and keep a radio or TV playing.

Why Do You Make Me Go In The Car?

Taking Fluffy to the vet regularly is very important. However, she may be less than thrilled about her appointments, particularly the car ride part. To make the trip a little easier on your kitty, put soft bedding in her carrier, and put some toys in it. Keep a window cracked for air flow, and play something soft on the radio.

Why Did My Calculations Fail?

Some kitties are lithe and graceful, capable of performing amazing gymnastics. Others? Not so much. If your furball is a bit clutzy, she may not really understand why she keeps missing her jumps or falling off the couch.

That covers Fluffy’s questions, but what about yours? Please contact us with any questions about your cat’s health or care. As your Norwalk, CA, vet clinic, we’re happy to help!

Fido’s Cutest Resolutions

Happy New Year! Are you setting new goals for yourself for 2019? If so, that’s great! After all, growing and changing are both a big part of life! Your canine pal may also have a few resolutions in mind for the new year. A Norwalk, CA vet lists some of the most adorable ones below.

Score All The Treats

If there’s one thing that can get your canine buddy’s tail going quickly, it’s the thought of a yummy treat! There’s nothing wrong with giving your pooch a special snack, as long as you don’t go overboard.

Sniff More Grass

Dogs are very smart, but they don’t process information the way we do. Fido actually learns a lot about the world through his sense of smell. In fact, sniffing the neighbor’s yard is sort of like reading a newspaper for your pooch. Indulge your furry pal’s sense of adventure this year. Take your pup to a doggy park or explore a new trail with him.

Be Affectionate

There are many things to love about dogs, but one of the best things about them is the fact that they are so affectionate. Fido may start wagging his tail if you just look at him, and may jump for joy at the mere prospect of a walk or play session. And, at the end of the day, your canine friend will be perfectly happy to just hang out with you and perhaps score some belly rubs or ear scritches. Pay lots of attention to Fido this year!

Be A Good Boy!

Dogs get very attached to their owners, and can be remarkably loyal. However, that friendship needs to be nurtured. Get into the habit of rewarding your cute pet when he’s being good. Toys, treats, belly rubs, and praise are all great options for this!

Get My Bed Back From The Cat

Fido and Fluffy have had a lot of ups and downs over the years. However, it isn’t always the dog that is the bully. Sometime it’s the cat bossing the pooch around! We’re pretty sure that some of our canine buddies are sleeping on the floor right now, while their feline roommates are nonchalantly sprawled out in their beds.

Happy New Year! As your Norwalk, CA vet clinic, we look forward to offering your pet great veterinary care in 2019 and beyond. Please feel free to call us anytime!

4 Things You Learn When You Adopt a Shelter Dog

October is Adopt A Shelter Dog Month! Are you ready to bring a new pooch into your life? If so, there’s a good chance you’ll find the perfect pup in a shelter, just waiting for you to take him home. Here, a Norwalk, CA vet discusses adopting shelter dogs.

Shelter Dogs Need Help

There are far too many dogs in shelters, hoping that someone will love them enough to give them a second chance. Dogs often end up in shelters simply through misfortune. Many shelter dogs are former pets that were lost, abandoned, or surrendered. Sadly, many of these sweet pups are running out of time. If you aren’t ready to adopt, you can still help by donating, volunteering, or even just spreading awareness.

Adopting From A Shelter Feels Great

Giving one lucky pooch a new lease on life is a wonderful act of kindness. You’ll not only be helping Fido, you’ll also be promoting good animal welfare. The space your canine buddy leaves vacant will soon be occupied by another cute dog that needs a home. Plus, Fido’s adoption fees will help the shelter take care of other homeless pets. That’s truly something you can feel wonderful about!

Love Can Be Unexpected

It’s always wonderful to see people falling for less adoptable animals. Pooches that are deaf, blind, or otherwise specially-abled sometimes make the best pets! Senior dogs are also very sweet and lovable. It isn’t uncommon for people to go to a shelter thinking they want a specific type of dog, only to walk out with something completely different. All of our canine companions are special, and there’s just no way to predict when Fido will tug at someone’s heartstrings. Keep an open mind as you look at all those furry faces.

Dogs Are Awesome

Many people report that the dogs they’ve adopted from shelters are extremely loyal and affectionate. This isn’t surprising: Fido is definitely intelligent enough to know when someone has helped him. Our canine pals have an amazing ability to offer unconditional love and companionship. You’ll be repaid for your kindness with tail wags, happy dances, and, most importantly, lifelong friendship. These are some of life’s most precious gifts, as far as we are concerned!

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

Common Cat Care Mistakes

There are many things to love about our feline friends. Fluffy is cute, clean, hilarious, and absolutely full of charming quirks. She’s also an easy keeper. However, kitties aren’t quite as independent as they like us to think. They really do need proper care to thrive. Read on as a Norwalk, CA vet lists some common cat care mistakes.

Lack Of Stimulation

You may have noticed that our feline pals are rather drowsy little furballs. However, Fluffy can’t spend all of her time sleeping. She’ll need something to occupy herself with when she’s awake: otherwise, she’ll soon get bored and restless. Offer your kitty lots of catnip mice and plastic balls to push under the couch. Your pet may also enjoy some more modern toys, like catnip bubbles, automatic laser pointers, or remote-controlled snakes. It’s also important for you to take time to play with your cat regularly. Last but not least, give Fluffy some pet-safe plants to nibble on, as well as a comfy window seat with a good view.

Letting Kitty Roam

Many cats enjoy fun outdoor activities, like rolling around in driveways and leaving paw art on people’s cars. However, Fluffy will be much better off staying inside, where she is protected from cars, weather, predators, and other hazards. Keep your feline buddy safe and sound indoors!

Not Enough Veterinary Care

We know, given the option, Fluffy would rather take yet another nap than come visit us. (We don’t take this personally: we know that going to a strange place can be overwhelming for kitties.) However, despite what your furball thinks of her appointments, it’s important to keep up with her veterinary care needs. We recommend that all cats be microchipped, spayed or neutered, and kept current on their vaccines and parasite control products. At home, watch for signs of illness, such as hiding, vomiting, or poor grooming. Call your vet immediately if you notice anything amiss. Cats often don’t let on that they aren’t feeling well, so Fluffy could be very sick before you notice that something is wrong.

Dirty Litterboxes

Make sure to keep Fluffy’s litterbox clean. No one likes a dirty bathroom! We recommend scooping the box out daily, and changing the litter every week.

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