All posts by James

Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Halloween is almost here! This can be a dangerous time of year for our furry friends. Read on as a Norwalk, CA vet offers tips on keeping your furry friend safe.

Secure The Candy

Candy is a big part of many autumn celebrations. Those sweet treats can be very dangerous for your furry pal, however. Many contain things like nuts, chocolate, raisins, and xylitol, which are all toxic to pets. Your dog or cat could also choke on a hard candy or a candy wrapper. Keep the candy dish in an area your pet can’t get to, and offer them a more suitable treat, like some shredded deli meat.

Keep Pets Indoors

Increased traffic is a big concern around Halloween. If you have a dog, keep him on a tight leash when you are walking him. Pranksters, unfortunately, can also threaten pets at this time of year. We always recommend keeping cats inside, but that goes double for Halloween. Don’t leave Fido in the yard long, especially after dark.

Decorations

Decorations can be quite dangerous to our furry buddies. You don’t want Fido knocking a jack-o-lantern over, or Fluffy eating fake spider webs! Keep anything that your pet may try to eat or play with out of paws’ reach!

Give Fido Time Off Door Duty

Many of our canine pals love to let us know when there is someone at the door. A steady stream of trick-or-treaters can be a bit much for Fido, however. He could also get frightened or agitated by the costumes. Keep your furry friend safe and sound in a quiet back room with food, toys, treats, and bedding when the doorbell starts to ring.

Costumes

We know, pets can be really cute in costumes. However, many cats feel very constricted and frightened in clothing. Fluffy is much more comfortable in her own fur coat! As for Fido, if you do decide to dress him, make sure not to put him in anything tight, hot, itchy, or constricting. Items with small parts, like buttons, are also dangerous, as dogs sometimes try to eat their outfits. Once your pet is dressed, keep a close eye on him. If he seems hot or uncomfortable, take his costume off.

Please reach out to us, your Norwalk, CA vet clinic, with any questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care. We are here to help!

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!

Doggy Obesity

Is your pup getting a bit round? Fido may be adorable if he’s a little pudgy, but if he becomes obese, he’ll be at risk for some very serious health problems. Those extra pounds can really take a toll on your pet’s health! Read on as a Norwalk, CA vet discusses doggy obesity.

Risk Factors

As one may expect, diet and exercise both play large roles in Fido’s weight. However, some dogs are more likely to become obese than others. Dogs that are over five are at increased risk of obesity, simply because they aren’t as active or playful as younger pooches. Pups that spend the majority of their time indoors are also more likely to get chubby. Our canine pals sometimes gain weight after being fixed. Certain health conditions, such as hypothyroidism, can also cause obesity.

Health Issues

As noted above, obesity can cause a variety of health issues in dogs, including heart disease, liver and kidney issues, skin problems, reproductive issues, and diabetes. That additional weight will also put extra strain on Fido’s bones and joints, which can exacerbate or contribute to painful medical issues like arthritis and hip dysplasia. Dogs that are overweight or obese also have higher risks of developing complications after surgery or anesthesia. They even have shorter lifespans!

Keeping Fido Fit

Making sure that Fido is getting the right type and amount of exercise is very important. Your pet’s exact activity needs will depend on his age, weight, breed, and health, so ask your vet for recommendations. For instance, small dogs may only need a walk around the block, while an active, medium-sized dog may need an hour of exercise daily. However, Fido’s workouts can be fun for both of you. Playing games like Fetch, or having your pooch chase a laser pointer, can help keep your furry buddy fit.

Diet

Man’s Best Friend is very, very enthusiastic about food. Fido is also an expert at convincing us that he’s starving, even if he just ate. We know, doggy theatrics can be pretty convincing. That’s one reason why it’s so important to follow your vet’s nutritional recommendations. If you know that your pet has eaten exactly what he should have, you’ll be less likely to fall for those sad puppy dog eyes.

Please contact us, your Norwalk, CA pet hospital, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re here for you!

Taking Your Cat to the Vet

August 22nd is Take Your Cat To The Vet Day! We know, given the choice, Fluffy would much rather celebrate Hug Your Cat Day or Give Your Kitty Catnip Day. However, regardless of your furball’s opinion on the matter, your pet will be much healthier with regular veterinary care. A Norwalk, CA vet discusses taking your kitty to the vet in this article.

Your Cat’s Veterinary Care Needs

Your cat’s exact veterinary care needs will depend on her age, weight, breed, and health. That said, we strongly recommend that all kitties be microchipped, spayed or neutered, and kept current with their exams, vaccinations, and parasite control products. Kittens will need to come in a few times during that first year. Then, when your feline companion is fully grown, she may only need to visit us once or twice a year. When Fluffy reaches her senior years, your vet may recommend more frequent appointments, especially if she develops health problems. No matter how old your furry buddy is, feel free to ask for tips on your furball’s diet and care needs.

Emergency Visits

Just like any other pet, cats are susceptible to illness and injury. Keep an eye out for signs that something isn’t right. Some common ones include hiding, poor grooming, vomiting, diarrhea, sudden weight gain or loss, and fever. There are also behavioral clues to watch for, such as grumpiness, unusual vocalizations, and uncharacteristic behavior. Call your vet right away if you notice any of these warning signs. Cats often try to hide signs of illness, so Fluffy could be quite ill by the time you notice anything is wrong!

The Dreaded Car Ride

Most cats aren’t exactly fond of car rides. In fact, Fluffy may bolt for her favorite hiding place as soon as she sees her carrier. Put soft bedding and a few toys into the carrier to make it comfy for Fluffy. Keeping a window cracked, so that there is always fresh air circulating, will help keep your kitty more comfortable. Also, avoid sharp turns, bumpy roads, and sudden stops and starts. If your furry pal gets extremely frightened in the car, ask your vet for tips on using cat-calming products, like treats or sprays.

Please reach out to us, your Norwalk, CA vet clinic, for all of your kitty’s veterinary care needs. We are dedicated to providing great care!

Signs of Sickness in Cats

Cats are certainly mysterious little furballs. We may never entirely figure out Fluffy’s box obsession, or learn why she is so sleepy. Kitties are also quite secretive when they don’t feel well. In fact, they often try to hide signs of illness. This is because, in the wild, predators pay very close attention to animals that are weak or sick. It’s important to pay close attention to your cat, and watch for signs of illness. Otherwise you may not notice she is sick until she’s quite ill. Here, a Downey, CA vet lists some signs of sickness in cats.

Hiding

Cats love to explore nooks and crannies. It really isn’t unusual for Fluffy to take a nap under the bed. However, if your kitty doesn’t want to leave her hiding spot, she could be sick.

Poor Grooming

Fluffy is usually very dedicated to her beauty regime, and will spend hours each day carefully grooming herself. If your kitty isn’t feeling well, she may not be up to her usual regimen. It won’t take long for her fur to show the neglect.

Tummy Trouble

The occasional hairball is, unfortunately, more or less par for the course with cats. However, frequent or violent vomiting is a sign that something is wrong. Diarrhea and constipation are also red flags.

Uncharacteristic Behavior

Kitties all have their own purrsonalities. Some are friendly and calm, while others are more reserved. Sudden changes in the way your cat acts or meows can be a sign that she is sick. For example, a kitty that is usually aloof, but suddenly starts demanding attention, may be ill.

Litterbox Issues

Litterbox trouble is another sign of illness in cats. If you see your furball straining, call your vet immediately: this is a serious red flag!

Respiratory Issues

Coughing, wheezing, and gasping can all be indications of sickness in kitties. The occasional sneeze may not be anything to worry about, but constant sneezing is sign that something is wrong.

Change In Appetite

Fluffy can be a bit of a picky eater, but even if she doesn’t like what you put in her bowl, she should meow to demand something else. A furball that is not interested in food may be ill.

Please feel free to contact us, your local Downey, CA pet hospital, for all of your cat’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!

Beach Safety for Dogs

Do you plan to take your dog to the beach this summer? Many of our canine pals love to swim and play in the water. Just be sure to put your pet’s safety first. Here, a Norwalk, CA vet offers some advice on keeping Fido safe at the shore.

Swimming Lessons

Some dogs are natural swimmers, who take to water like furry ducks. Others? Not so much. If your pup can’t swim, take time to teach him. Support him gently while he’s learning. It’s also important to realize that some dogs—such as small dogs, brachycephalic dogs, senior pooches, and large breeds—are not well-suited for vigorous swimming. Ask your vet for advice.

Training

Before taking your furry friend to the beach, make sure he understands basic doggy obedience commands, such as Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. This is very important, as proper training can keep Fido from swimming out too far, approaching dangerous areas, or running up to strangers.

Paw Care

The beach can be pretty rough on your canine companion’s furry feet. Fido can get painful burns and blisters from running around on hot sand or rocks, especially right after going swimming. Dogs can also cut their paws on sharp rocks, shells, or broken glass. Use paw wax to protect your four-legged pal’s paws.

Water

Dogs can overheat very quickly when running and playing at the beach. Bring plenty of water for your pup. You may want to get a collapsible dish, or a doggy water bottle with an attached dispenser. Also, watch for warning signs that your canine buddy is getting hot or thirsty. Some early ones are panting, drooling, and a warm back. If you see these red flags, immediately give Fido some fresh water and get him to a cool area. Contact your vet if symptoms persist.

Beach Safety

Choose a spot that is safe for dogs. Never take your pooch anywhere with steep drop-offs, heavy wakes, high surf, or riptides. Also, never leave Fido unattended near the water, even for a few minutes.

Fur

Before you go home, rinse Fido off to get the sand and salt out of his fur. If you really want to score some tail wags, give him some doggy ice cream when you get home.

Please do not hesitate to contact us, your Norwalk, CA veterinary clinic, anytime. We are here to help!

Keeping Your Dog Safe on the Fourth

The Fourth of July is just around the corner. This can be a dangerous holiday for Fido, so you’ll want to take steps to keep him safe and healthy, and keep that tail going. Here, a Downey, CA vet discusses keeping your four-legged friend safe on America’s birthday.

Food

Fido will definitely appreciate a special treat. Just be sure to only offer foods that are safe for him. Some things to avoid include garlic, onions, and chives; nuts; pitted fruits; avocados; grapes, currants, and raisins; meat on the bone; chocolate; and anything containing xylitol. What can you give your canine buddy? A plain cheeseburger or hot dog; cooked, boneless meat, chicken, or fish; or a cooked sausage or two are all safe. Store-bought treats are fine as well.

Trash

We recommend using trashcans with secure lids. Fido may get some bright ideas about scoring food from the garbage. This can be quite dangerous, as the trash could contain bones, can lids, skewers, toothpicks, plastic wrap, and other hazardous items.

Chemicals

Keep bug spray, fireworks, lighter fluid, and other chemicals out of paws’ reach. These things are definitely not safe for dogs!

Fireworks

Many dogs are frightened of fireworks. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for lost pet reports to spike after the Fourth. Fido may very well panic and run off if he gets scared! Bring your canine pal indoors before the show starts. If he is scared, put him in a crate or an interior room with bedding, toys, and a treat, and put a TV or radio on to mask the noise.

Heat

July is one of the hottest months of the year. Heat can be very dangerous for dogs! Make sure that Fido always has plenty of water, and access to cool, shady areas. We also recommend limiting his outdoor time during the hottest parts of the day. Walk and play with your furry buddy at night, when it’s cooler out. (Tip: to score some extra tail wags, set out a kiddie pool for your pup to splash around in.)

Parasites

Keep up with Fido’s vaccinations and parasite control. It’s much, much easier to keep your pooch safe from things like rabies and heartworms than it is to treat him for them!

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

Cat World Domination Day

There’s a special kitty holiday coming up: June 24th is Cat World Domination Day! Are our feline friends plotting to take over the world? What will happen if they do? In this article, a local Norwalk, CA vet discusses Fluffy’s plans below.

The Evidence

As it turns out, Fluffy may have been plotting against us all along. We do know that our feline buddies managed to convince the ancient Egyptians to treat them as deities. Plus, scientists now suspect that kitties may have started meowing just to manipulate us. Adult cats rarely talk to one another, but instead communicate by body language and facial expression. Apparently, it didn’t take these little furballs long to realize that making sounds that remind us of babies’ cries is a great way to get us to feed them and offer them soft beds and ear scritches. Last but not least, cats have managed to take over huge chunks of the internet.

Kitty Takeover Plans

How would Fluffy go about taking over the world? She may cut our communications by sitting on our computers or knocking our phones off tables. Or, our furry pals may just use sleep deprivation to wear us down, by batting our toes and jumping on our chests as we are trying to rest. Then again, kitties may just charm us into giving up control. Those furry faces are hard to resist!

Fluffy’s Final Plans

What would happen if cats actually did take over? Well, given that our feline overlords would probably sleep even more than they do now, probably not much. However, Fluffy may very well have some demands for us. She may expect cat towers in every room; catnip gardens (with stocked fishponds) in every yard; daily play sessions; and never-ending supplies of catnip mice, tuna, and cat milk. We also wouldn’t be terribly surprised if Fido was suddenly banished to the doghouse … literally.

Keeping Kitty Content

Is there any way to stop cats from going through with this plan? Well, we do know that Fluffy is susceptible to bribery. Keep your furry buddy content by offering her great food, lots of toys and beds, plenty of attention, and, of course, proper veterinary care. Our feline pals may become so comfortable they forget about taking over the world!

As your Norwalk, CA pet hospital, we’re dedicated to providing great care. Please contact us anytime!

4 Things You Learn When You Adopt a Kitten

Will a baby feline be joining your household soon? Congratulations! You’re definitely in for some cute moments over the next few months. Little Fluffy has a lot to learn, and watching her figure out the rules of being a cat is bound to be both hilarious and adorable. However, your tiny ball of fur may also have some lessons in store for you. Here, a local Norwalk, CA vet lists some things you learn when you adopt a kitten.

Those Little Claws Are Sharp

Little Fluffy will be very interested in figuring out how all those claws and teeth work, and may very well try to practice on you. Ouch! Nip bad petiquette in the bud by blowing in your kitten’s face when she does this. You can also tell her ‘No’ in a firm tone of voice. Then, walk away and ignore her for a while.

Kittens Can Fit Into Really Small Spaces

Cats grow quite fast, but while your little furball is in her toddler stage, she’ll be able to get into some really small spots. This, coupled with little Fluffy’s natural sense of adventure and desire to investigate every nook and cranny in her new domain, can make an ordinary household very dangerous for her. Close off small spaces, such as the openings behind and beneath furniture and cabinets. We also recommend looking under blankets and checking recliners and sofas before sitting down. Keep large appliances closed when not in use.

Everything Is A Toy

Kittens are super frisky, and will play with, well, pretty much anything. Make your home safe for your frolicsome pet by removing or securing potentially dangerous items, such as toxic plants, small or sharp objects, chemicals, medication, wires and cords, and plastic bags and wrappers. Ask your vet for more information.

Baby Cats Are Impossibly Cute

You wouldn’t think that these tiny balls of fur can take up such huge spaces in our lives, but kittens have a special way of melting our hearts. Your pet will have you wrapped around those tiny little paws in no time with her adorable face, hilarious antics, and happy purrs. Pay lots of attention to little Fluffy! Make sure she feels loved, safe, and maybe just a little bit spoiled.

Please feel free to contact us, your Norwalk, CA vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!