All posts by James

Caring for a Toy Breed Dog

Do you have a pint-sized pup? Small dogs are adorable! Many toy breeds were initially bred as companion animals, so they tend to be very affectionate and cuddly. However, Fido does have some specific care needs. A vet discusses small dog care below.

General Health

Obesity is often a problem with toy breeds, simply because it’s so easy to overfeed them. They’re also prone to hypoglycemia, which is a dangerous drop in blood sugar. Ask your vet for more information. It’s also important to keep up with veterinary care. Those regular appointments are a great chance to get specific advice on Fido’s care!

Clothing

Little dogs get cold very quickly. In colder regions, snow is a serious hazard to them, as it can be over their heads so easily. Get Fido a winter jacket, and limit his outdoor time when it’s chilly.

Aging

Small breeds typically have longer lifespans than big dogs. They also age more slowly. Fido may not enter his golden years until age 10 or even older!

Gear

When shopping for your dog, always choose products that were specifically made for small dogs. Your pet could hurt himself on things made for bigger pooches! Also, toy breeds can easily get choked or jerked around when wearing collars. Get Fido a harness instead.

Injuries

Small dogs are very fragile. Fido could get hurt just by jumping out of your arms! Also, make sure not to step on the little guy. Be very careful when carrying your pup, and use a travel carrier if you take him out and about. If you have children, supervise pet playtime carefully. It’s very easy for a youngster to accidentally injure a tiny dog. We also recommend getting pet stairs, so your furry buddy doesn’t fall off the bed.

Outdoor Area

Do you have a yard for your dog to play in? That’s great! Be sure to use fencing that’s the right size. Otherwise, Fido could slip right through. Also, don’t leave your pet outdoors without supervision, especially after dark. Small dogs can make very tempting prey for many wild animals!

Petiquette

We love seeing pets get pampered! However, you shouldn’t coddle Fido too much. Teach your pooch basic commands, like Sit and Stay, and don’t let him nip at people or other dogs.

Do you have questions about toy breed care? Contact us, your vet clinic!

New Gadgets for Your Pet

We’re living in an age of technological marvels. It seems like almost every day there are new products and gadgets released. What about our furry friends? It seems that Fluffy and Fido both have fans in the technical sectors, as some really cool gadgets have been made just for them. A vet lists some of them below.

GPS Trackers

Man’s Best Friend loves exploring, and won’t hesitate to slip away for some doggy shenanigans. Some breeds, like huskies, are notorious for running off. Luckily, you can now get your pup a doggy GPS tracker. Some of these will alert you when your adventurous pet crosses a specific boundary, such as the edge of your yard.

Laser Pointers

Fluffy and Fido are both obsessed with chasing that little red dot. Now there are gadgets that allow you to play with your dog or cat remotely, by controlling a laser pointer with your smartphone. You can also speak to your pet through these gadgets. Some even allow you to dispense treats!

Microchip Feeders

Another way to spoil your furry buddy is with a microchip feeder. This feeder will only open when the pet wearing a specific collar tag comes into range. This is great for people with pets that steal each other’s food!

Interactive Toys

Dogs and cats love to jump and chase after things. There are now toys that move with your four-legged friend, making playtime both more fun and more challenging.

Laptop Scratching Pad

Does your kitty have a habit of walking across your keyboard? Give your pet her own ‘computer’ by getting her a laptop scratching pad.

Interactive Ball Launchers

You may have heard of mechanical ball launchers, which are definitely one of Fido’s favorite modern toys. The interactive ball launcher is a bit different in that it will shoot a mini-tennis ball from one of several holes. Your pup will never know which direction the ball will be launched in, which makes it extra fun for him.

Remote-Controlled Mouse

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Your feline friend may not be able to resist ‘hunting’ a robotic mouse. Of course, Fluffy is a bit old-fashioned, and will never outgrow her love for cardboard boxes or paper grocery bags.

Is your dog or cat due for an exam, vaccines, or parasite control? Please contact us, your vet clinic, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs.

Acetaminophen Poisoning and Your Pet

Acetaminophen is an extremely common pain reliever and can easily be obtained over the counter. It’s probably in your home right now! Acetaminophen can be toxic to our animal companions, so it’s important to be aware of the danger so that you can take quick action in a worst-case scenario.

In this article from your local veterinarian, you’ll find out why acetaminophen poisoning occurs, what it looks like, and how to deal with it and prevent the problem in the first place.

How Does Acetaminophen Poisoning Occur?

Generally, pets are poisoned by acetaminophen in two ways: by gaining access to a medication that contains it and ingesting that medication, or by being unintentionally overdosed when an owner gives their pet acetaminophen in an attempt to help relieve pain.

Dogs are more commonly diagnosed with acetaminophen poisoning than cats, but our feline friends are at risk nonetheless. The smaller the pet, the greater the danger, since the amount of acetaminophen ingested reaches toxic levels faster in a smaller animal.

What Are The Symptoms?

The symptoms of acetaminophen poisoning will usually manifest in a pet a few hours after ingestion. Symptoms include rapid or labored breathing, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, swelling around the face, neck, or limbs, discolored gums, dark urine, jaundice, and—if treatment isn’t started quickly—coma or death.

What Do I Do if My Pet Ingests Acetaminophen?

If you know or even suspect that your pet has ingested a medication containing acetaminophen, take them to the nearest veterinary emergency room as soon as possible. The earlier treatment is started, the better chance your pet has of making a full recovery.

Possible steps that a veterinary team might take to treat a pet suffering from acetaminophen poisoning include induced vomiting, flushing of the stomach, and the administration of activated charcoal to absorb the remaining toxin in the stomach. In severe cases, blood transfusions might be needed. Intravenous fluid therapy may also be necessary to keep your pet hydrated and maintain their electrolyte levels. After recovery, an extended hospital stay might be needed to assess your pet’s progress.

How Can I Prevent Poisoning?

Clearly, preventing acetaminophen poisoning in the first place is your best option. Do this by keeping any and all medications out of your pet’s reach, and never give your pet a painkiller meant for humans.

Does your pet need an appointment? Call us, your local vet clinic, today!

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!