Tag Archives: dog care tips

6 Things to Consider When Choosing a Dog

Have you decided to adopt a dog? This is definitely a great time to bring a pup into your home. Many people are staying home a lot this year. That makes this the perfect time for training and bonding with a new pet. Of course, picking the right pup isn’t always easy. There are a lot of adorable pups out there in need of a home. A Downey, CA vet offers a few tips on this below.

Size

Size is important for many reasons. Larger dogs are wonderful, but they cost more to feed, and need bigger toys and beds. This is definitely something to keep in mind if you are renting or planning on renting. Many landlords will only take smaller dogs. This can be a bit tricky to sort out if you’re getting a puppy. You can usually get an idea of how big Fido will get by his breed and the size of his paws, but you won’t know for sure until he’s grown.

Activity

Another thing you want to consider is how active your canine buddy is. If you love to go running, hiking, and camping, a small dog or couch potato may not be the best match for you. On the other hand, if you are more of an indoor type, you may do best with a calm, low-energy pooch, such as a Pug or Boxer.

Other Pets

Some dogs just don’t do well with other pets, especially cats. If you have other pets, make sure to choose a pup that will get along with his roommate. If you have a dog, introduce Fido and Spot before finalizing the adoption, and see how they do.

Breed Characteristics

Breed isn’t the only thing that will shape Fido’s personality. However, it definitely plays a role. Do some research before deciding.

Longevity

Needless to say, there’s no way to be sure how long Fido will live. However, small dogs tend to live longer than large pooches. If you don’t want a decades-long commitment, a senior dog may be a good fit for you.

Special Needs

Don’t overlook the dogs that aren’t as adoptable, such as senior pups or special needs dogs. These often make the most loving pets!

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

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

Caring For Your Dog’s Paws

Dogs fill our lives with love and joy, and really make our houses into homes. That joyful happy dance Fido does when you come home is always adorable! Of course, your pooch can’t really jump for joy if his paws hurt. In fact, Fido’s feet are crucial to his health and well-being! Read on as a local Norwalk, CA vet offers tips on caring for your dog’s paws.

Claws

Overgrown nails can be quite uncomfortable for your pet. Be sure to keep Fido’s claws clipped! If you are nervous about doing it yourself, ask your vet to demonstrate proper techniques. You can also just call us to schedule a pawdicure.

Heat

Don’t forget that your canine companion is running around barefoot. In summer, your furry pal can burn his paws on hot sand, cement, or tar. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if it’s too hot for you to walk barefoot on, it’s too hot for Fido. Paw palm can also help protect and moisturize your dog’s sensitive paw pads.

Swimming

Dogs’ paws are extra delicate when they are wet. Be very careful with Fido after he’s been wading or swimming! Keep your pup on soft ground as much as you can.

Toe Fur

Some dogs have cute little tufts of fur growing between their toes. It’s best to trim these, as otherwise Fido could get gum or other gunk entangled matted in his foot fur. Needless to say, this is pretty uncomfortable!

Chemicals

Chemicals, such as fertilizers, are also harmful to dogs’ paws. Try to avoid walking your furry friend through recently-treated areas. You may also want to get into the habit of wiping Fido’s paws down before you bring him back inside. This will also help remove pollen and dust.

Walking

Keep an eye on the ground when walking Fido. Steer him around hazards like broken glass or sharp rocks. If you take your furry buddy to the beach, you’ll also need to be careful of broken sea shells.

Tip

Does your canine pal hate having his paws handled? Offer him a yummy snack every time he does a paw trick like Shake or Gimme Five. Fido may suddenly become much more enthusiastic about having his feet touched!

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

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!