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Separation Anxiety

It’s not just our kids that experience back-to-school blues after summer vacation… did you know our pets could be affected, too?

Any big change in routine can cause separation anxiety in pets.  It’s estimated that 20% of the 80 million dogs in the country are actually affected by separation anxiety.  That number actually goes up with senior dogs – up to 29-50% are affected.

Watch for Behavior Changes in Three Key Areas

The first is improper urination or defecation in the house that’s not associated with puppy or kitten training. The second would be excessive barking or howling. The third that we often see is excessive chewing or destructive behavior at home

What can I do to ease my pet’s anxiety?

Set up a Rhythm. Once school starts, try to set up a routine.  If you can leave and return at the same time every day, that will help your pet adjust to the new rhythm they’re experiencing in your home.

Schedule Play Time. Set up designated play and engagement time with your pet each day.  “This is where appropriate treating can come into play.  We want to make sure that we reward the good behaviors we’re seeing and discourage the bad behaviors.  And that’s where a nice treat here or there, along with verbal, praise can go a long way.

Turn up the Music. To keep your pet engaged throughout the day, leave some music on when you leave the house.

Stimulate Your Pet With Puzzle Games. A great way to reduce anxiety during the day is to use puzzle feeders to keep your pet mentally stimulated.  Pour half of your pet’s recommended daily amount of food into the puzzle feeder each morning and then refill again in the evening.  Your pet will spend the day playing and keeping active.

Try a Game of Hide-And-Seek. Another option is to separate the daily amount of dry food into small bowls and hide them around the house, “Measure out the right amount that you want to feed every day and then divide out little portions of that into little quantities hidden around the house, says veterinary Dr. Zara Boland.  This game of hide-and-seek with the food is particularly helpful for cats as it causes prey-stimulating behavior that will keep them busy throughout the day.

Have To Leave Suddenly? If you don’t have time to prep a cognitive game for your pet before you leave the house, try a long lasting treat like the “Busy Bone” from Purina, to keep your dog stimulated.

Get Moving. Exercise can help reduce the anxiety of a new routine.  Take your dog for a walk or play an interactive game with your cat to get your pet moving.

For more helpful information, visit our blog!

Good Dental Health

As pet owners, sometimes we forget that good dental health is just as important for our furry family members as it is for us. Good dental care prevents tooth decay, heart problems caused by mobile bacteria, liver infections, appetite issues, and bone infections, all of which are painful and very expensive to treat. By following an easy dental care regime, you can help your pet maintain good dental hygiene. 

Here are a few tips!

Chew time! Products like knucklebones and artificial bones can give your pets therapeutic chew time as well as get rid of tartar build up. Avoid hard bones from steaks, ham, etc. as they can fracture teeth. Look for products that are VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council) approved. 

Brush away! Pet toothbrushes have come a long way. For better control, use a finger toothbrush that has soft rubber bristles at the tip. While some pets are awesome at slobbering, they aren’t so good at spitting. Be sure to choose pet toothpaste that’s safe for your pet to swallow. 

Visit the vet! As with people, pets require checkups to ensure dental good dental health. By keeping up with your regular checkups, you and your vet can keep tabs on your pet’s dental health. 

For more helpful articles, visit our blog!

 

Healthy Eating Habits for Pets

While your ‘fluffy’ pet may be more to love, obesity can cause long-term health issues for dogs and cats. Negative side effects of pet obesity include breathing difficulties, high blood pressure, liver disease, diabetes, decreased stamina, osteoarthritis, a lower immune system, and an increase the chances of developing cancerous tumors. Follow the tips below to help your pet maintain a healthy weight.

Visit your vet. Ask your vet to help you determine how many calories your pet needs per day. While most pet feed bags have a guide, they aren’t always accurate. There are several factors to take into consideration when counting calories. Is your pet fixed? How old are they? Are they super active? Each pet is different so it’s always a good idea to visit your vet before starting a diet.

Portion control. As with people, portions are important. Your pet may require only a third of what you’ve been feeding them and as we humans know, it adds up fast. Free feeding works for some pets, but if your pet goes through food fast scheduled feedings might be a better option. Use a measuring scoop to portion out your pet’s meals. 

Cuddles, not treats. Lots of us show affection to our pets by doling out tasty treats. But those calories add up, especially if your pet is a good boy or girl which we are sure they are. Give your pet an extra ear scratch or tummy rub to show affection instead of a treat. If you do give treats, choose low-calorie sugar-free options.

Get your walk on. If your pet is okay to go on walks, take them for daily strolls. Not only will this help them walk off the excess pounds, it will give them beneficial fresh air and help them socialize.

For more helpful information, visit our blog!

Dog Flu Hits Texas

Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) continues to spread rapidly and closer to home as more cases are being confirmed in Dallas and Houston. 

Canine Influenza (a.k.a. Dog Flu) is a highly contagious respiratory virus that can pass easily from dog to dog through coughing and sneezing, touching noses, or via contact with objects previously contaminated by infected dogs (ie. food bowls, toys, etc). Most common clinical signs include but are not limited to from coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, fever, lethargy and decreased appetite. The canine flu may also lead to pneumonia, and in few cases death. 

The Corner Vet offers the canine flu combination vaccine which includes both strains of the virus (H3N8 and H3N2). The flu vaccine requires one booster vaccine 2-4 weeks following the initial vaccine after which the flue is good for one year. Pets are not considered protected until several days (7 days) following the booster vaccine. Please note that the vaccine does prevent the flu in most dogs, and that vaccinated dogs who do become ill will have minimized symptoms.

Please contact The Corner Vet today to learn more about vaccinating your pet!

4th of July Safety

July 4th Safety

Fireworks, picnics, and other Fourth of July traditions can be great fun for people; but all of the festivities can be frightening and even dangerous for animals. Noisy fireworks and other celebrations can startle animals and cause them to run away; holiday foods can be unhealthy; summer heat and travel can be dangerous; and potentially dangerous debris can end up lying on the ground where pets can eat or play with it.

Whether or not you’re planning your own Independence Day celebration, it’s important to take precautions to keep your pets safe both during and after the July 4th festivities.

Preparing in advance:

  • Make sure your pets – cats and dogs alike – have identification tags with up-to-date information. 
  • If your pets aren’t already microchipped, talk with your veterinarian about microchipping. This simple procedure can greatly improve your chances of getting your pets back if they become lost.
  • If your pets are microchipped, make sure your contact information in the microchip registry is up-to-date.
  • Take a current photo of all of your cats and dogs – just in case.
  • If your pet has historically been anxious on this holiday, or if you have reason to expect potentially harmful reactions, consider behavioral therapy to desensitize your pet and reduce the risk of problems. Some pets may need medication. Consult your veterinarian at The Corner Vet.
  • Make sure the environment is safe and secure. If your neighbors set off fireworks at an unexpected time, is your yard secure enough to keep your pet contained? Evaluate your options, and choose the safest area for your animals; and make improvements if needed to make the area more secure.

Safety during July 4th celebrations:

  • Leave your pets at home when you go to parties, fireworks displays, parades and other gatherings. Loud fireworks, unfamiliar places and crowds can all be very frightening to pets, and there’s great risk of pets becoming spooked and running away.
  • Consider putting your pets in a safe, escape-proof room or crate during parties and fireworks.
  • If you’re hosting guests, ask them to help keep an eye on your pets to make sure they don’t escape. Placing notes on exit doors and gates can help both you and your guests remain vigilant.
  • Keep your pets inside if you or your neighbors are setting off fireworks.
  • Keep sparklers, glow sticks, fireworks, charcoal and kabob skewers away from curious pets.
  • Don’t let pets get near your barbecue grill while it is in use or still hot.
  • Avoid the urge to feed your pets table scraps or other foods intended for people. Be especially careful to keep them away from these common foods that are actually toxic.
  • Remember that too much sun and heat (and humidity!) can be dangerous to pets. Keep them inside when it’s extremely hot/humid; make sure they have access to shady spots and plenty of water when outdoors; don’t leave them outside for extended periods in hot weather; and know the signs that a pet may be overheating.
  • Never leave your pet in your car when it’s warm outside. Vehicle interiors heat up much faster than the air around them, and even a short time in a locked car can be dangerous to pets.
  • If you’re traveling out of town for the holiday, consider leaving your pets at home with a pet sitter or boarding them in a kennel. If you need to bring them with you, be sure you know how to keep them safe.
  • Follow safe food handling and hygiene practices to protect your family and guests.

After the celebrations:

  • Check your yard for fireworks debris before allowing pets outside to play or relax. Even if you didn’t set off fireworks yourself, debris can make its way into your yard, where curious animals may pick it up to play with or eat.
  • If you hosted guests, check both your yard and home for food scraps or other debris that might be dangerous to pets, such as food skewers.

Click here to print out these tips. 

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