All posts by James

Fun Ways to Keep Fido Cool

The Dog Days of Summer are just about here. While many of our canine pals love summer, the heat can be hard on them. Overheating is a huge danger at this time of year! When temperatures rise, the most important thing for you to do is to simply make sure that your dog always has shade and water. However, there are some other things you can do to help Fido beat the heat. Read on as a Norwalk, CA vet lists some cute ways to help your four-legged friend stay cool.

Cooling Vest

Did you know that you can get cooling vests for your pooch? There are different types to consider. Some contain a cooling gel, and should be kept in the freezer. Others you just soak with water before putting them on your furry pal. Do some research before buying, and make sure to get the right size.

Bandana

Another thing you can do is wet a bandana, and hang it around Fido’s neck. Your pet will both stay cool and look adorable!

Summer Cut

Some dogs fare better with haircuts in summer. Of course, this isn’t an across-the-board recommendation, as some pups really should never be clipped. Ask your vet for advice.

Pool

Many pooches love to cool off by splashing around. Get a kiddie pool for your furry buddy to play in. Or, let Fido play in the spray from a hose or sprinkler. This can also make for some super cute photos!

Cold Treats

A yummy treat is bound to get your pet’s cute tail going! Get Fido some doggy ice cream. You can find it in many stores. You can also make your own. For a base, you can use plain yogurt, natural peanut butter, ripe bananas, pureed pumpkin, sodium-free broth, bacon grease, organic baby food, and/or gravy. You can also add things like shredded meat, cheese, bacon bits, peas, carrots, or bits of kibble. Just stick with ingredients that are safe for dogs.

Comfy Bed

Try pointing a fan at or over your four-legged buddy’s bed. You can also freeze towels in large freezer bags, and put those on your pet’s bed at night. Or, add a cooling pack beneath a thin towel.

Please feel free to contact us if there’s ever anything we can do for you. As your Norwalk, CA animal clinic, we’re here to help!

Take Your Cat to Work Day

Did you know that there’s a super cute kitty holiday coming up? June 22nd is Take Your Cat To Work Day! Is bringing your cat in to your job really a good idea? Well, this would very much depend on where you work. Fluffy may be a welcome addition to a bookstore or yoga studio. A factory or restaurant? Not so much. A Downey, CA vet discusses some pros and cons below.

Benefits

Taking your cat to work is a pretty tempting prospect for many of us. Who wouldn’t like being able to enjoy kitty cuddles throughout the day? Fluffy may also charm some of your customers, and might be a great advocate to have with you if it’s time to ask for a raise. (It is hard to resist that furry face, after all.) Your pet may also help keep everyone calm and happy.

Downsides

On the other hand, there are also some fairly compelling reasons to leave Fluffy at home. First and foremost, most of our feline patients would be more than happy to skip the car ride. There’s also the issue of a litterbox. Where do you put Fluffy’s powder room? If those weren’t reasons enough, you may also have to worry about your frisky pet smacking things off people’s desks, attacking your co-worker’s shoelaces, eating office plants, and, of course, stealing chairs.

What If Fluffy Was In Charge?

Take Your Cat to Work Day just happens to fall right before Cat World Domination Day, which is June 24th. What if you could combine the two, and put Fluffy in charge? Well, we suspect that there would be a few drastic policy changes implemented immediately. You might be required to keep toys, treats, and catnip at your station. Fluffy may also demand several nap and cuddle breaks daily.

Alternative: Taking Your Work To Your Cat

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, many more people have been working from home. This could be a purrfect option for Fluffy! After all, your furball already has quite a few duties of her own to keep up with. These include things like looking cute, judging you, leaving fur on your belongings, soaking up excess sunlight, and pouncing on moths and dust bunnies. That’s a pretty hefty duty list!

Please reach out to us, your local Downey, CA vet clinic, anytime. We are here to help!

5 Great Reasons to Adopt a Shelter Cat

June is Adopt A Shelter Cat Month! We’re always happy to help spread the word about shelter cats. There are just far too many cute, lovable furballs in shelters, hoping that someone will love them enough to adopt them. If you’re ready to bring a new kitty into your household, please consider getting Fluffy from a shelter. You’ll read about some great benefits of adopting a shelter cat in this article from a Norwalk, CA vet.

Save A Life

Sadly, shelters just can’t keep up with the amount of cute, lovable felines coming through their doors. Fluffy may only have a short time to find herself a loving home. Saving one cat’s life won’t change the world, but it will change that kitty’s world. This is a small act of kindness that may have a huge impact on your life!

Save Money

Another great reason to get your kitty from a shelter? It’s often much cheaper than adopting from a pet store or breeder! You may also be able to save on Fluffy’s veterinary care costs, as shelters pets are usually already fixed.

Find The Purrfect Pet

Shelters have cats of all breeds, ages, sizes, colors, and personality. Whether you’re looking for an adorable kitten, a calm adult feline, or a sweet senior furball, you’ve got a pretty good chance of finding Fluffy in a shelter. That said, it’s important to keep an open mind. That funny-looking cat that no one wanted may very well turn out to be the most loving pet you’ve ever had!

Promote Good Animal Welfare

Another reason to go through shelters is that it helps promote good animal welfare. The space Fluffy leaves open will quickly be filled by another adorable feline searching for her forever home. Plus, the fees you spend on your kitty’s adoption will help the shelter care for other homeless pets.

Cats Are Awesome

Many people think that cats are the perfect pets, and it isn’t hard to see why. Fluffy is cute, cuddly, clean, and (somewhat) quiet. She’s also quite easy to care for. Plus, our feline pals are highly entertaining. Finally, kitties just have a special way of making houses into homes, and filling our hearts with love.

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

Pool Safety for Fido

Summer is coming up quick! Many of our canine patients enjoy swimming. There’s nothing wrong with that: swimming is not only a fun way for Fido to cool off, it’s also a great workout. However, pools can be very dangerous for Man’s Best Friend. Here, a local Norwalk, CA vet lists offers some tips for keeping your furry pal safe poolside.

Swim Lessons

Although some dogs take to the water very naturally, not all pups are born swimmers. If Fido can’t swim, it’s worth your while to teach him. Support your furry friend’s weight as he is learning, and encourage him with compliments and praise. Never, ever try to teach a dog by throwing them into the water. Some pups will just sink like stones. Even if Fido does sort out the doggy paddle, he may be so frightened by the experience that he absolutely hates water after.

Exit

One thing that is very important is making sure your dog knows where the pool stairs are. This is extremely important! Dogs can panic very quickly if they fall into a pool and don’t know how to get out. Spend some time on this training, and test Fido’s memory by going to the opposite side of the pool from the stairs and calling him to you.

Water

Speaking of water, your canine companion will get very thirsty running and playing with his friends. Don’t let Fido drink pool water! Chlorine and other chemicals really aren’t something you want your pet ingesting. Make sure that your dog always has fresh water available.

Paw Care

Fido’s feet get very delicate when they are wet. Your four-legged buddy can easily get blisters from running around on concrete, sand, or gravel after going swimming. Try to keep your dog on soft ground, and use paw balm to protect his paws.

Pool Covers

Pool covers are another hazard. Dogs sometimes think that they are solid surfaces, and try to walk on them. This can be very dangerous! 

Fencing

We strongly recommend blocking the pool off when it isn’t in use, just as you would if you had a toddler around. This goes double for people with very small dogs, puppies, senior dogs, pooches with mobility issues, and dogs with vision impairment.

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

Mayday for Mutts!

May 3rd is a special doggy holiday: it’s Mayday for Mutts! The word ‘Mutts’ is often used to describe dogs that are a mixture of breeds. Quite a few of our canine patients fall under this umbrella. While mutts can vary widely in shape, size, color, and personality, they have one thing in common: they can all make good pets! A Downey, CA vet discusses mutts in this article.

Mayday History

Mayday for Mutts was started by Karen Derrico, the author of Unforgettable Mutts: Pure of Heart, Not of Breed. As you can probably guess, she had a soft spot for mixed pooches, and wanted to help the ones that need good homes. Our canine companions could certainly use the signal boost. By some estimates, as many as 75 percent of shelter dogs are mutts! If you’re ready to bring a new pup into your life, please consider giving one of these lovable pooches a forever home. You may even get a ‘Pure Mutt’ certificate if you go through a participating shelter!

Fido’s DNA

With some mutts, you can tell—or at least make an educated guess—as to what their parentage is. Others? Not so much. Some pups have an adorable, if somewhat odd-looking, combination of mismatched features, as though they pulled random doggy traits out of a paper bag. If you really want to know about your furry friend’s bloodline, consider ordering a doggy DNA kit online. Of course, curiosity isn’t the only reason to get Fido tested. This can also offer valuable insight into genetic health issues he may develop later.

Supporting Mutts

If you aren’t ready to adopt right now, you can still help homeless mutts. One thing you can do is donate money or supplies to a local shelter. Even sharing posts on social media about Mayday For Mutts can help!

Celebrating Your Mutt

Is your canine companion a mutt? Fido may not care about his ancestry, but you can still get that cute tail wagging. Buy your pooch a new toy, or offer him a yummy treat. One good option here is Muttloaf. Combine minced beef, parmesan cheese, baby carrots, an egg, and some breadcrumbs, and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. You’ll find other variations online. Just stick to safe, suitable foods!

Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your local Downey, CA vet clinic!

Hairball Awareness Day

April 26th is Hairball Awareness Day! We know, hairballs aren’t really something to celebrate. Hug Your Cat Day and Cuddly Kitten Day are much more fun to talk about. However, hairballs are a fairly common issue in our feline pals. Therefore, it is important for people owned by cats to know why hairballs form, and when they are more than a nuisance. A Norwalk, CA vet discusses hairballs below.

Hairball Basics

Our feline friends are very clean, which is one reason they make such great pets. Fluffy will carefully groom herself, keeping that pretty fur soft and shiny. You also don’t have to bathe your cat, though you can if you want to, assuming your vet doesn’t object. On the downside, we have hairballs. Hairballs form when cats swallow too much of their own fur while cleaning themselves. Kitties can’t digest their own fur. We probably don’t have to tell you what happens next. Suffice it to say, it’s not the best part of having a cat.

Preventing Hairballs

There are some things you can do to reduce the amount of hairballs your furry buddy gets. Brushing your kitty every day will help. This will remove dead fur and dander from her coat before she swallows it. (Less dead fur on your cat means less dead fur in your cat.) Keeping your kitty inside can also help. Indoor cats aren’t as exposed to the seasonal changes that trigger shedding cycles as outdoor felines. You may also need to put your pet on a hairball preventative. Another thing that is important is keeping up with Fluffy’s parasite control. Last but not least, a good diet is also crucial. Proper nutrition will help keep your cat’s coat shiny and healthy, and will reduce the amount of hair she sheds.

Complications

Hairballs are often ‘purr for the course’ with our feline companions. However, they aren’t always harmless. If Fluffy can’t throw up her hairball, it could become lodged in her intestines. This can cause painful and potentially life-threatening blockages. Excessive vomiting, reduced appetite, dry heaving, and/or a sudden increase in hairballs are all red flags. Call your vet right away if you notice any of these warning signs, or anything else out of the ordinary.

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

Heartworm Awareness Month

April is Heartworm Awareness Month. As you may know, heartworms are dangerous parasites that infest our canine pals’ hearts and lungs. These nasty parasites can be extremely dangerous. Left untreated, infestations are often fatal. A Norwalk, CA vet discusses heartworms below.

How Heartworms Spread

Heartworms are actually transmitted indirectly, through mosquitos. Since misquotes are unfortunately all over North America, that means gets can get heartworms anywhere, even in their own beds. The worms are microscopic larvae when they are transmitted. It takes them about six months to grow to their adult size once they are in their new host. At that point, they start causing serious problems.

Symptoms

In many cases, coughing is the first sign of heartworm infestations. Other red flags are lethargy, weight loss, reduced appetite, and lack of interest in play. Fido may get tired out quickly, and he may not want to walk very far. Severe infestations can also have more serious signs, such as fainting, seizures, and, unfortunately, even death.

Cats

Although heartworms are more prevalent in canids, such as dogs, foxes, and coyotes, they can and do infest cats as well. The difference is that they don’t thrive in cats’ bodies the way they do in dogs. Most worms in cats will die before they reach their adult size and start multiplying. However, they are still very dangerous for kitties. They can cause permanent damage to cats’ organs, and can even be fatal. Keep up with your cat’s parasite control!

Treatment

There are heartworm treatments available. However, they can be expensive. They can also be rough on Fido. Dogs often need to have their activity limited during treatment, to avoid putting too much strain on their hearts. Fido may even need to be kenneled, which won’t be very much fun for him. Severe cases may require surgery.

Prevention

As the old adage says, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That definitely applies here! All you have to do to protect your furry pal from these disgusting parasites is keep up with their parasite control. It’s worth noting that the medicine that prevents infestations won’t kill live worms. If your furry friend hasn’t been on parasite control, they’ll need to be tested before starting. Ask your vet for more information.

Do you need to get your pet on heartworm prevention? Contact us, your Norwalk, CA vet clinic, today!

Respect Your Cat Day

There’s a special kitty holiday coming up: March 28th is Respect Your Cat Day! Of course, our feline buddies should be treated with respect, kindness, and dignity every day. But do you show a cat respect? Well, if you were to ask Fluffy, she would probably demand a giant kitty funhouse, complete with catwalks, catnip gardens, plenty of beds, and fishponds. However, you don’t have to go to extremes. A Norwalk, CA vet offers tips on how to respect your cat below.

Don’t Force Attention

Kitties can be very cuddly, but snuggles always have to happen on their terms. Never force attention on Fluffy! Let your cat decide when cuddle time stops and starts. (Of course, your furball may ignore you when you are just lounging around and then demand attention when you are busy, but that’s beside the point.)

Keep The Litterbox Clean

Cats are very clean, and they prefer their litterboxes to be kept clean as well. Scoop Fluffy’s box out daily, and change the litter every week or so.

Veterinary Care

Although Fluffy would probably choose naptime over coming to see us, she’ll be much healthier—and therefore more comfortable—with proper veterinary care. Keep up with your furry friend’s appointments, and stay up to date with her parasite control. Also, make an appointment right away if you notice any signs of sickness.

Kitty Comforts

Cats are fairly independent, but they aren’t completely autonomous. Fluffy will get bored and anxious if she is stuck in a dark, quiet house with nothing to do! Keep your furball happy, purring, and comfortable by providing her with small comforts like toys, beds, cat furniture, and window views. This doesn’t have to cost much money. Many kitties are just as happy with a cardboard box or paper grocery bag as they would be with a pet tent or tunnel.

Avoid Punishment

Kitties are notoriously frisky, and they do have a knack for mischief. At some point, your furball will do something that irks you. She may scratch your sofa, knock something off that table she isn’t supposed to be on, or fall asleep on your laptop. Never punish your feline friend for these mishaps. She’s just following her instincts! Instead, focus on rewarding Fluffy for being good.

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

What If Pets Had Thumbs?

There’s a pretty cute pet holiday around the corner. March 3rd is If Pets Had Thumbs Day. Those furry paws are pretty adorable, but if Fluffy and Fido suddenly grew thumbs, that would definitely be a game changer. In this article, a Downey, CA vet lists a few things our animal companions would do if that happened.

Open All The Canned Goods

It’s probably safe to say that one of the first things Fluffy and Fido would do is head for the cupboard and start taste-testing everything. We wouldn’t exactly be shocked if our feline friends also just removed the labels from a bunch of canned goods, just to be jerks.

Head Outdoors!

If a locked door could no longer contain your furry pal, they would probably immediately head out for some adventures. Fluffy would probably stay somewhat close to home. Fido, however, may head straight for the park or beach … after stopping to pick up some of his buddies.

Ransack Everything

Cats and dogs are both very curious. Your four-legged pal may very well go through every drawer, cupboard, box, and closet in your home, just to find out what’s in them. You’d probably come home to a bit of a mess that day!

Go For A Drive

This one is for the dogs: cats would be more likely to throw your car keys into a lake or pond. Fido is, of course, much more enthusiastic about car rides than his feline companions. Your canine buddy may very well try to head for the nearest pet store or drive-through … after grabbing your credit card.

Scratch Those Itches

Pets are adorable when they’re enjoying a good back or ear scratch. Your four-legged friend would immediately grab a back scratcher, fork, or anything else he could find and promptly go for that itchy spot.

Laser Pointer

It’s always cute watching pets chase that little red dot. Fluffy and Fido may also find it entertaining to aim the pointer at you … or perhaps at each other.

Shop

We know, this one would require Fluffy and Fido to read and write, or at least use a mouse. However, if that were to happen, you’d probably come home to find your door blocked with packages.

Please contact us, your Downey, CA vet clinic, if ever we can be of assistance. We’re dedicated to offering excellent care!

Signs That Your Dog Is In Pain

Dogs can be very expressive at times, and often manage to communicate with us quite well. For instance, Fido usually has no trouble getting his point across when he wants to play or is ready for a walk. However, your pet may not find it so easy to tell you when he isn’t feeling well. Read on as a Norwalk, CA vet lists some signs that your canine companion is in pain.

Reduced Appetite

Healthy dogs have healthy appetites. You should be immediately concerned if your pup isn’t interested in dinner.

Withdrawal

Our canine friends are pack animals by nature, and are happiest when surrounded by their friends, either two- or four-legged. If Fido suddenly loses interest in interacting with you and/or other household pets, he may not be feeling well.

Grumpiness

For most of us, being hurt or sick isn’t much of a mood booster. This also holds true for dogs. If your furry friend seems uncharacteristically cranky, he could be sick.

Lack of Interest In Play

Dogs are usually quite playful, which is one reason they’re such fun pets. However, if Fido isn’t feeling well, he may not have much interest in playing.

Licking/Biting

Fido may lick or bite at himself if something is hurting him. For example, pups with arthritis often nibble or lick at the bases of their tails.

Shying

If Fido is hurting, he may flinch away from you if you try to pet him, especially in a sore area. In some cases, dogs may even try to bite. (For this reason, it’s often recommended to muzzle injured dogs before transporting them to emergency clinics.)

Vocalization

Dogs that are in pain may howl, bark, whimper, or whine. Keep an eye—or ear—out for changes in Fido’s usual speaking habits.

Limping

Limping is a definite sign that something is wrong. This can of course be caused by injuries, but it can also be an early sign of arthritis. At first, your canine pal may only limp briefly, usually when he first gets up. As time passes, the limp will become worse.

Restlessness

Restlessness is another red flag to look for. Your pooch may also continuously get up or down, as he will have a hard time getting comfortable.

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