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Dealing with a sick cat is just like dealing with one of our kids. We can sense when something isn’t right. We don’t rest until our beloved pet is well again.

Cats often face problems with their urinary tract systems. While there can be a host of culprits, one cause to be considered is a urinary tract infection (UTI). Educate yourself about this painful yet treatable condition.

What is a UTI in Cats?

A UTI in cats is very similar to that of humans. It is an infection of the urinary tract system that occurs when bacteria are present in the bladder where they reproduce and grow in numbers.  They can change the pH of the urine which can lead to the formation of crystals, and if not treated soon enough, these crystals can form stones tgat can lead to blockage.  The stones need to be dissolved with diet or removed surgically as soon V as possible.

How are UTIs in Cats Caused?

Stress is the most common reason cats get UTI’s.  However, dirty surroundings, including soiled litter boxes, bedding, or general habitat, either inside or outside the home can also lead to a UTI.  Conditions such as advanced age, obesity or diabetes can also contribute. 

What are the Signs of UTIs in Cats?

When you first suspect that something is amiss with your favorite feline, look for these telltale signs:

  • Straining to urinate: If you notice that your cat is having trouble urinating and is under duress, pay attention. He or she may be experiencing pain and decreased flow due to inflammation.
  • Crying or mewing when urinating: Crying or excessive vocalization when urinating is an obvious sign that something is not right.
  • Increasing frequency: If your cat seems to always be in the litter box, UTI, or diabetes, are the most common causes.  Because the bladder is not emptying normally, there is a constant urge to go.
  • Leaving traces of blood in the urine: Blood is an immediate cause for alarm, as blood in the urine is a red flag for many health conditions.
  • Licking the opening of the urinary tract: A cat that is licking the genital area is trying to self-soothe irritated and burning tissue. 
  • Urinating outside the litter box: Urinating in places outside of the designated area is a cry for help. Pay attention.

How are UTIs in Cats Treated? 

If you see only a couple of signs that are listed above, you may have caught a UTI in its beginning stages which makes it easier to treat.  If your cat is showing any signs of a UTI, do not hesitate to seek medical attention. You can anticipate a veterinarian to take the following steps:

  • Collecting a urine sample: Your vet will need to gather much information from your cat’s urine.  It is always preferable to collect a sample in the office by cystocentesis, which is a quick, non-invasive way to obtain a sample using a needle and a syringe and extracting urine directly from the bladder. This way, the vet eliminates any possible contamination from the lower urinary tract when the cat urinates normally .
  • Running a urinalysis: This procedure will be done with the sample to test for bacteria, abnormal pH levels, glucose, etc. A urine culture will identify the type of bacteria so that a specific antibiotic can be prescribed.

How Can a UTI in Cats be Prevented?

If at all possible, you want to help your cat avoid this terrible experience altogether. Observe these following safety practices:

  • Reducing stress: There are several products, such as pheromones, and medicines we have at Longview Animal Hospital that can help you achieve this.
  • Keeping it clean: Make sure to clean the litter box, bedding and any lounging areas frequently. An overweight or elderly cat may not be able to keep the urethra area clean and may need to be wiped down with a clean cloth.
  • Staying hydrated: Encourage your cat to drink often by keeping a bowl of water both inside and outside, and changing and filling the water frequently.
  • Supplying urinary support pills:Pills made of natural ingredients such as horsetail, cranberry and parsley are widely available. You can also consider adding a probiotic to your cat’s diet.

You are your cat’s best ally. Stay alert, respond to anything out of the ordinary, and be proactive. All of these steps will help your cat avoid the ill-effects of UTI’s.

When you require medical attention for your pet, turn to the compassionate professionals of Longview Animal Hospital. We will partner with you to find just the right treatment for all of your cat’s needs. 

When it comes to a new dog, there are many supplies you need to make sure to get. A key one is a collar so you have somewhere to attach a leash, license, identification tags and rabies vaccination tag. There are so many choices out there for collars and it can be difficult to figure out where to start. 

The reason that there are so many choices is because they may have other functions in addition to identification and decoration. Not every collar out there is a good choice for every dog. Depending on your goals with your dog and his or her personality, you may consider certain types of collars. 

Baseline collars

These are the regularly used collars and the ones you should consider first. 

Flat collar.

The flat collar is the standard one for dogs. These come in many different colors and designs. They are characterized by a plastic snap or buckle closure that allows for a quick release. This type also has a ring where you’re able to attach the leash and identification tags.

This type of collar should be snug, but still comfortable around your dog’s neck. You should be able to get two fingers underneath the collar. This is loose enough that your dog won’t choke, but tight enough so it doesn’t slip off.

Martingale or limited-slip collar. 

This type of collar is designed for dogs with narrow heads. It would be for something like a greyhound or whippet. It can also be used for other breeds that easily slip out of their collars. 

The collar itself has two metal rings on reach end of a strip of material. There is then a separate loop of material that goes through these two rings. The leash attaches to this separate loop. The collar will tighten if the dog tries to back out of it. It will not choke them as long as the collar is adjusted properly. 

Head collar.

This collar has two straps. One of them fits around the dog’s neck and sits just behind the ears. The other forms a loop around your dog’s muzzle. If your dog jumps or pulls while walking, this collar is a great choice. Your dog won’t have as much leverage because it’s around the muzzle instead of neck. 

You need to understand how to work with your dog when using a head collar. There is the potential for injury if not done correctly. It needs to be fitted properly and you should not yank on it to get your dog’s attention. Patience is key with a head collar because your dog will need some time to get used to it. 


You could also consider a harness instead of a traditional collar. If you have a miniature poodle or a dog with a short nose, they are prone to their trachea collapsing. A harness is ideal in these situations to avoid pressure on your dog’s throat. A front-attaching harness is best. Your dog will be able to ignore you easily with one that attaches a leash to the back. 

Behavior modification collars

These collars can be controversial because they rely on discomfort or pain to correct your dog. They won’t teach the dog the proper behavior and just suppress the unwanted behavior. Consider positive training methods first. 

Choke collar. 

This collar is designed to control the dog by tightening around the neck. There are serious problems to consider with this method. You are choking your dog and you cannot control the amount. You can cause severe injuries to the trachea and even end up strangling your dog. 

If you insist on using one, work with a trainer to make sure it fits properly and that you are using it correctly. Make sure to only use it during walks. If you leave a choke collar on your dog, it could get caught on something and you may not be there to help. 

Pinch or prong collar. 

This type of collar had prongs with blunted points that rest all around your dog’s neck. It should sit just behind the ears and needs to be properly fitted. It actually pinches the skin on your dog’s neck.

Shock collars. 

These collars are designed to discourage barking. It is the least humane approach to these collars and could be easily abused or misused. It can also lead to aggressive or fearful behavior because your dog could associate this pain with certain people or experiences. 

How to choose

– Start with a regular collar.

A regular collar or harness is a good place to start. Depending on your type of dog, you may need a limited-slip collar or you could try a harness. 

– Get your dog proper training. 

Problems with your dog pulling can be helped by getting your dog professional training. Don’t resort to choke or shock collars early on. These can cause more damage than good. Working with a professional trainer will help also with fitting different collars. 

There are many different types of collars to choose from and it really comes down to the type of dog you have. Training will be key in getting your dog to behave during walks. When you start there, you will have a better experience and success with your dog. If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to our team at Longview Animal Hospital – we will provide some basic guidance and can also refer you to some of our local trainers.

When it comes to our dogs, we want to be sure we are giving them the best we can. Treats are a valuable tool in training and showing our dogs that we love them. There are many choices out there when it comes to treating our dogs. It is important to know which are the healthiest and the safest in order to protect our pets. 

Bones tend to be a go-to item when considering treats, but they need to be picked out carefully. There are also other options out there that can be beneficial to your dog’s health. It comes down to deciding what is the best for your pet. You may want to try a few of the better options below and then decide. Your pet may react differently to different treats or certain ones may cause problems. Some trial and error may be necessary, but there are a lot of options. 

Natural Raw Bones 


Natural bones are very attractive to dogs. If the cartilage is still attached, they will be even more interested. Our dogs’ ancestors were hunters. This instinct is still in them. They could also be missing nutrients in their diet. Natural bone marrow is full of nutrients your dog may not be getting otherwise. 

Natural bones are also easy on dogs’ digestive system. The products of good quality have no added preservatives. 


Depending on your dog, there could be digestive issues. Even though the bones are natural, vomiting or diarrhea could occur. Natural, raw bones are also prone to contamination. 

Best choices

Only give your dog raw bones. Cooked bones are dangerous. They can break and splinter when your dog chews on them. These shards can cause cuts to the mouth and tongue, choking, broken teeth, vomiting, diarrhea or an intestinal blockage. The cooking process strips them of many nutrients as well. Never give pork bones, rib bones or bones smaller than your dog’s mouth. 

The best place to get raw bones for your dog is directly from a butcher. Raw bones from cows and bison are generally safe for dogs. You can store them in the freezer and thaw them out one at a time for your dog. Pick bones that are about the size of the dog’s head. Doing this will reduce the chance of them breaking off and swallowing a dangerous piece. 

Raw bones should be discarded at the end of the day as they are prone to food-borne bacteria.

Synthetic Bones


Since these are synthetic, you will not need to worry about any natural bacteria. They are  also designed specifically to help support healthy teeth and gums and will not stain your carpets or furniture.

Synthetic bones come in a variety of flavors and sizes, so you will be able to experiment to see what your dog may like best. They are calorie-free, so you will not need to worry about weight gain. 


There are some drawbacks to synthetic bones. They do not provide the nutrients and same flavoring that natural bones do. To make up for these weaknesses, they may include artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. 

It is very important to supervise dogs when they are chewing on any type of bone. This awareness is especially crucial when dogs are chewing on a synthetic bone. Pieces can break off and dogs could swallow them. They could get stuck in the throat, stomach or intestine and cause serious damage and problems. 

Best choices

Greenie dental chews are a good choice and approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. They are easy to digest and also support dental health. 

You could also consider a non-edible chew toy. These will help satisfy your dog’s desire to chew. 

Alternatives to bones


There are a variety of fruits that are safe to feed dogs. Apples are a great source of fiber, vitamin C and calcium. Make sure to remove the seeds and core. Blueberries are another good choice. They offer vitamin C and healthy antioxidants. 


Certain vegetables can also be good treats for dogs. Carrots are a good source of vitamin A and fiber. Cooked or cut-up raw carrots are both good options. Cooked sweet potato’s high in dietary fiber and helps with digestion. Pumpkin puree is good for food transitions because it helps with both diarrhea and constipation.

Bully sticks 

Bully sticks look like dried pieces of meat. They are high-protein beef muscle made from steer or bull penis. They are a natural source of protein and do not break down too quickly. They are a good choice because they are easy to digest, will not splinter and they will help clean your dog’s teeth. 

Pig ears

Pig ears can be a controversial choice and may cause more harm than good. The coating used can cause your dog to have an upset stomach and it can stain your carpet. There are better options. 

There are many great choices out there when looking for treats for our dogs. Make sure to supervise and monitor for different reactions. Contact us at Longview Animal Hospital with any questions about your pet’s needs. 

Did you know that your pet’s teeth should be brushed just like yours? Unfortunately they can’t do that for themselves, but you can be involved in your pet’s dental health in a way that isn’t time consuming and is painless if you go about it the right way. Here are some tips to consider when you’re about to brush their teeth. 

1. Pick a right time. 

You actually don’t have to brush your pet’s teeth every single day of the week. It is ideal, but not completely necessary. A good routine to work yourselves into would be brushing two or three times a week. Don’t randomly decide to brush, you should designate a time of day such as the end of the day. Begin a routine with your pet so that they begin to recognize when it is time to brush their teeth. 

2. Get the correct brushing tools. 

Human dental care isn’t the same as pet dental care. First and foremost, don’t use any human toothpaste with your dog or cat. The ingredients in human toothpaste may irritate their mouths or stomach if ingested. There are many toothpastes on the market that are made with pets in mind with flavors that they will find appealing. 

Also, don’t use a human tooth brush with them either. The bristles may be too tough and abrasive for their teeth and gum lines. Instead, opt for a pet friendly toothbrush with softer bristles and specialized angles to fit into your pet’s mouth. There are even pet toothbrushes that come with longer handles so that you can reach farther places in the mouth of a big dog. For small dogs, there are finger brushes that are small enough to fit on your finger and are small enough to cover all the teeth in a pet under 30 pounds. 

3. Ease into it. 

When you establish your routine of brushing, make it a comforting experience for your pet rather than a frightening one. Sit at their level instead of standing and stooping down to their level. They will recognize that this is not an aggressive stance, rather, a familiar one. They will be more open to being vulnerable with you. 

Then, start opening your pet’s mouth with your fingers and begin to rub gently on their teeth and gum line. Again, ease into it by using your fingers at first and then work your way up to a toothbrush. Your pet will have to be comfortable with a foreign object that isn’t food or a toy entering their mouth, and that may take some getting used to. 

After that, try doing the same thing with the pet toothpaste on your finger. Let your pet taste it, and then see if they respond positively or negatively to the flavor. If they respond positively, start rubbing it along their teeth and gum line so that they will become used to the sensation. If they respond negatively, try again later with a different flavor. 

4. Brush gently while focusing on problem areas.

Once you’ve found a flavor that your pet likes and your pet is comfortable with you cleaning their mouth, it’s time to start brushing their teeth. Place a small amount on the toothbrush like you would for yourself. Lift their upper lips and begin to brush at their gum line gently. Don’t aggressively scrub, rather, gently massage the area and let the bristles and toothpaste do the work for you. 

Continue this for their entire set of teeth. If light bleeding occurs, that’s nothing to worry about. Heavy bleeding or bleeding that does not get any better over time is a cause for concern. Schedule a visit with your vet to see if gum disease is a problem that your pet is dealing with.  

Why brush? 

Much like humans, plaque from leftover food consumption can easily build up over time along the gum line. This plaque can put your pet at risk for painful tooth decay, severe gum disease and bad breath. More severe consequences could lead to life threatening bacterial infections that eat away at your pet’s mouth. 

If you’ve never had your pet’s teeth cleaned before or your pet just isn’t cooperating with your efforts, feel free to contact us at Longview Animal Hospital. We do offer professional pet teeth cleaning services. While there we could also assist you in specialized tips and tricks to have your pet cooperate with you at home. 

When you bring in a new pet to your home, it is a big adjustment for everyone. Not only do the humans in your family need to adjust, so too do any other pets you have. How they take to each other depends a lot on their personalities, but there are some things that you can do to make the transition easier. Some pets end up being best friends, while others may just be tolerant of each other. 

What you really need to worry about is making sure that they are able to live together. Even if they don’t become best friends, they need to be able to live harmoniously. You need to have realistic expectations and take care when you introduce them to each other.

Tips for introducing a new pet 

Let new pet explore alone.

The first thing you should do when bringing a new pet into your house is to let it get a feel for its new home. Confine your other pets in a different room and let the new one explore the rest of the house. This will allow the new pet to get familiar with its new surroundings before having to confront or deal with any other animals. 

Make the introductions indoors in a controlled environment. 

When you introduce your new pet to your existing pets, do it inside. This will allow you to control the situation and not have to deal with outside forces beyond your control. If you are introducing dogs to each other, have them each on a leash. This way you can help to prevent or immediately stop aggressive behavior. If you’re introducing a dog and a cat, make sure to maintain control of the dog. You don’t want the dog to chase or corner the cat. This could cause problems. Even if the dog is just playing, it will still stress out and scare the cat. 

Give your pets time to adjust to each other. 

You can’t expect your new and existing pets to get along right away. It could take some time for them to get comfortable around each other. Don’t force them together and let them adjust at their own pace. Some are more timid and unsure around other animals. If you try to push them together, you may cause more issues. They could view it as a negative experience and make the entire process take longer. 

The animals may just want to sniff each other through a gate at first. Let them get comfortable. They will gain confidence and decide when to face each other. 

Use plenty of positive reinforcement for all pets.

You want your pets to associate each other with good things. Make sure to praise and reward them when they do something good with the other. Even if it’s just a wag of the tail, anything positive is deserving of praise. This will help them further warm up to each other. 

Don’t hold a cat when introducing a dog.  

If you are introducing a new dog to your cat, you don’t want to hold the cat in your arms. This could further upset the cat if you’re trying to hold it back. If it becomes frightened or nervous, you’ll probably end up getting scratched. Instead, confine the dog to a kennel or behind a gate and let the cat approach when it’s ready. 

Prevent food and water conflicts. 

When you have more than one pet, make sure to give them both separate water and food bowls in different locations. This will help prevent fights over food or water. If you have more than one cat, they should also have separate liter boxes. 

Take extra precautions when introducing a dog or cat to caged pets. 

It is possible for caged pets, like rabbits and birds, to live in harmony with dogs and cats, but you do need to be careful. They should be introduced under controlled supervision. Don’t assume that placing a cage high will protect the caged pet. Cats are pretty agile and can usually get to high shelves. 

Supervision is key. 

Until you’re positive that your pets get along, make sure to keep supervising them whenever they’re together. You can put one of them in its own room if you’re not around or otherwise occupied. You don’t want to risk one of them getting injured until you’re sure they can behave together. 

It can take some time for your pets to completely adjust to each other. You need to be patient and maintain a positive attitude during this time of transition. Your attitude will go a long way to getting your home acclimated to a new pet. Contact our Team at Longview Animal Hospital with any questions or to make an appointment. 

In this day and age we take steps to protect ourselves and our loved ones through health insurance and life insurance when unexpected events happen. It is likely that you are familiar with the benefits of having insurance. However, have you ever considered getting insurance for your pet? Here is some general information about pet insurance and how it can help the furry members of your family.

Pet Insurance

What is Pet Insurance?

Similar to human health insurance, pet insurance helps you pay veterinary bills if your pet becomes injured or needs surgery. In some cases, the insurance company has a reimbursement plan for recurrent treatment such as vaccinations, heartworm tests and other wellness procedures.

What Pets are Covered Through Pet Insurance?

Because dogs and cats are the most common pets owned by families and individuals, the majority of pet insurance plans only cover cats and dogs. Nationwide is a company that covers other animals – you can learn more at their website here.

Why Should You Get Pet Insurance?

When you bring home your pet from the pet store, a breeder or an animal shelter, they quickly steal your heart and become a member of your family. One of the main reasons why you should get pet insurance is that it can reimburse or pay for veterinary bills when accidents or injuries occur. Having pet insurance or another backup credit program protects pet owners from having to delay care due to the costs of veterinary expenses.

What Does Pet Insurance Cover?

Depending on which plan you use, your insurance company can cover most of your pet’s veterinary bills. There are basic plans that cover things like deworming, microchipping, heartworm and parasite prevention, wellness exams and vaccinations. There are also more comprehensive plans that cover more extensive needs, chronic conditions, etc. – things such as poisonings, sprains, ear infections, diarrhea, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, allergies, blood tests, ultrasounds, hereditary conditions, surgeries, chemotherapy, vaccinations, spay/neuter and so much more.

What Fees are Associated with Pet Insurance?

Like normal health insurance plans, pet plans have fees like premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. The amount of these fees depends on which company you decide to go with for pet insurance and each of their specific plans. For example, some insurance companies require you to pay deductibles per incident whereas others have you pay deductibles annually.

When Should You Not Use Pet Insurance?

Before you choose which pet health insurance plan you want to go with, you need to know when you should not use your pet’s health insurance. Most health plans do not cover holistic treatments such as acupuncture or pre-existing conditions. They also do not cover behavior training classes and schools. Most plans do not cover continuing care like grooming and dental cleanings. In some cases, you can get a pet insurance plan that does cover holistic treatments and dental cleanings, but that will typically only be provided at an additional cost.

What Factors Affect the Price of Insurance Plans?

The main aspects about your pet that affect the price of your plans is the species, age and breed of your pet. Dogs usually cost more to insure than cats and other animals. It is also important to consider that purebred dogs will cost more to insure because they are notorious for having more health issues. Other factors insurance companies consider is your location, the type of coverage you selected and the reimbursement level.

Here at Longview Animal Hospital, we do everything we can to make it easier on you to pay for the care your pet deserves. If you are not currently in a position to pay for pet insurance, we have alternatives to recommend for you. We offer a care card through CareCredit. CareCredit offers a variety of different financing options for your pet care needs. You can view details at their website and apply online. After you apply, you find out instantly if you are approved and you can access the funds the very same day. Another option we recommend is Scratchpay. Scratchpay offers affordable payment plans for veterinary bills. We understand that pets are members of your family too, so take the time to give your pet protection throughout its life. If you have any further questions about pet insurance or some of the financing options mentioned here, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our team is happy to assist you!

If you are the owner of a pet that gets scared during thunderstorms and other loud noises, then you know how difficult it can be. Watching (and listening to) your dog or cat as they try to deal with the noises from outside can be heart-wrenching. If you’ve struggled with how to help your pet cope with loud, stress-inducing events such as storms, the good news is there are things you can do both in the short-term as well as the long.

But first, let’s talk about what not to do.

Do Not Punish Your Pet

When our pets make loud noises, barks, whines, scratches at furniture or acts out their stress in any of a hundred other ways, it’s easy to get frustrated. We might yell at them to be quiet or send them to a crate. This is not an effective solution. The last thing you want to do is add to the fear or anxiety through negative reinforcement.

Rather than getting your pet to calm down, punishment can result in making him or her more anxious, because now there are two things to be scared of — the noise, and your response.

Do Not Baby Your Pet

The opposite reaction is just as bad. When a pet acts out due to fear, many owners’ first instinct is to try and calm him or her down through treats and petting. Many experts say this is the wrong approach, because it trains our pets that if they act out in that manner, they will end up being rewarded. Rather than stopping this behavior, it only acts as a reinforcement.

Instead, here are some things you can do:

Train Your Pet to Feel Safe

Most animals have a “safe” spot where they feel most comfortable. When noises outside begin, at the first sign of distress, train your pet to go to his or her “safe” spot. This could be a bed, a crate or next to you on the sofa.

Note: Sending your pet to a crate is okay in this instance, as long as it is seen as not being a punishment, but instead as a way to make your pet feel safe. Keep the door open for an easy escape, should it be required.

Act Normally

You’ll notice that both of the negative responses above are wrong because they present scenarios where the owner reacts differently from the norm. This strange action (whether it’s angry or loving) can confuse the pet and reinforce the concept that something strange is going on. Instead, act as normally as you can. Don’t change your tone of voice or the way you act towards or around your pet. Teach your pet that everything is normal and as it should be — that will often help to calm them down as they will look to you for cues.

Distract With Games

Rather than showering your pet with treats, give him or her some quality positive time by playing. Playing is a fun activity that all owners should be doing with their pet anyway, and the act of play can not only make the pet happy, but make it completely forget about the perceived apocalypse happening right outside those windows.

Try a Thundershirt

You’ve probably seen these products in the store — Thundershirts. They’re tight shirts that are made to squeeze the pet ever so slightly. They aren’t tight enough to be uncomfortable or dangerous, but they are tight enough to give the feeling of being wrapped in a tight hug. This is a very calming sensation for most animals, and over 75% of owners who have tried the Thundershirt report having positive effects. Think about it — doesn’t it feel good to have a warm, heavy blanket pressing down on your legs? It’s the same thing, but specifically for pets.

Try Natural Herb Remedies

If you are looking to try soothing through natural means, there are a variety of natural herbs and supplements out there that are meant for treating pet anxiety. Natural herbs and supplements include melatonin, which helps pets stay calm and even sleep, L-tryptophan, which can help with calming effects, and Zylkene, which is sources from milk proteins. These supplements are used often and seen as safe, although of course you’ll want to speak with our team at Longview Animal Hospital before starting any kind of treatment whether natural or prescription.

Use Medication

Finally, there are a variety of medicines that are available to help calm your pets, from Fluoxetine to Clomacalm. These should not be taken lightly, however, as all medications can have potential side effects, but when they work right they can significantly improve your life and (more importantly) the life of your fur-ever friend. If you are looking to treat anxiety issues for your cat, take a look at our Happy Cat Kit – it might be just the thing to help you.

If you have questions about any of the suggestions mentioned here, please don’t’ hesitate to contact us at Longview Animal Hospital! Our team is happy to discuss these issues with you and provide guidance on what you can do.

The team at Longview Animal Hospital is working hard to help you care for your pet during these uncertain times. We understand you may find yourself in a situation where your pet needs care and you are unable to leave the house. We are pleased to share that due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the restrictions normally in place for Telemedicine have been temporarily removed.  What that means for you is that we can see your pet virtually without you having to leave your home.  We can share pictures, talk via FaceTime, etc. to get you the care your fur baby needs.  Call us at 903-758-2082 or email us at for details.

Spring is here, so we expect that many of our friends and clients will be heading out to do some lawn and garden work. If you have pets, you might find this article helpful!

Your home should be a sanctuary. It should be a place that is clean, safe and healthy for you, your family, your pets and any guests that you welcome into your home. Your lawn and garden is an extension of your home and how you maintain it can reflect your values. Most people use chemicals that might make your lawn look pretty in the short term, but those chemicals could harm your health and the environment overall in the long term. In many cases (not all) there are some easy non-toxic alternatives that can be used in place of these when caring for your lawn and garden.

1. Garlic Insecticide

You have a great ingredient for your lawn and garden right in your pantry. Combine a bulb of garlic with some water in a blender. Blend the two ingredients and then have it sit for one day. Strain out the pulp and then combine the concentrated garlic water with another gallon of water. Place the garlic water in a spray bottle and then spray your garden. The garlic aroma will keep insects that aren’t supposed to be there out of the area. Spray about once a week to keep your garden an insect free zone.

2. Lilacs and Shrubs for Soil Stabilization

If you’re looking for soil stabilization in and area that seems to be hit hard when you have rain, look to shrubs like lilacs. They make effective screens for privacy, provide nesting space for birds and help prevent erosion.

3. Aeration

This one requires at rip to your local hardware or lawn care store: You can rent a device (called a Spike Aerator) that will gently dig into your lawn to create small holes so that fresh air and water can easily get to soil. This eliminates the need for buying a chemical that will artificially stimulate growth. This only needs to be done a few times in a year, so it’s often worth the time and rental money. You can also find push model versions or a hand held “lawn spike”.

4. Composting

Consider starting a compost pile to help naturally fertilize the soil in your garden. Therefore nothing that you use in your house goes to waste. One big one is using used up coffee grounds. All you need to do is sprinkle the coffee all over the soil of your garden. You can also use tea leaves if you don’t drink coffee, nut shells, old fruits and vegetables, wood chips and grass trimmings that weren’t treated with chemicals earlier. Be careful about what you choose to use to compost. Things that you should avoid is rotting meat, rotting dairy such as rancid butter, waste from pets, oils, lards and yard trimmings that were already treated with chemicals. If you’re not smart about what you compost, it can backfire and attract pests, insects and overall hinder the health of your garden. For pet safety, make sure you have your compost pile contained so that animals are less likely to get into it.

5. Boiling Water for Weeds and Pest Insects

There are times when you definitely need commercial insect control, but for other instances, you can use hot water (make sure to exercise caution and wear protective clothing to prevent any burns from splashing). Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Gently pour the hot water it over areas where you may have problems with insects. You can use it to take care of ant hills and even use it to kill off weeds. Pull the weeds out first as much as you can and then pour the water into the hole in the ground to kill off the seeds that may be left behind.

Treating your lawn and garden with non-toxic chemicals makes all the difference. Not only is it easier on the air you breathe and the fruits or vegetables you pick from your garden, but it’ll also be better for your pets. Exposing your pets to harsh chemicals can take a toll on their health, especially if you have active pets who like going outside. Pesticides, insecticides and chemical fertilizers are irritants, which means it can cause diarrhea, excessive drooling or vomiting. Furthermore, they could also bring chemical residue into your house after playing in the yard.

If you have any questions on how chemical treatments could affect the health of your pet, be sure to contact Longview Animal Hospital for professional advice and assistance. We are happy to help you.

UPDATE: April 3, 2020

Now Offering Telemedicine

The team at Longview Animal Hospital is working hard to help you care for your pet during these uncertain times. We understand you may find yourself in a situation where your pet needs care and you are unable to leave the house. We are pleased to share that due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the restrictions normally in place for Telemedicine have been temporarily removed.  What that means for you is that we can see your pet virtually without you having to leave your home.  We can share pictures, talk via FaceTime, etc. to get you the care your fur baby needs.  Call us at 903-758-2082 or email us at for details.

UPDATE: March 27, 2020

Important Update Regarding COVID-19

Greetings to our Longview Animal Hospital Family. Our prayer is that your family is staying well and not going stir crazy. We are launching a couple of changes as we work to continue providing service to you and your fur babies as well as caring for our own families.

(effective Monday, March 30):

MONDAY – Friday   8 am – 5 pm
First Saturday of Month from 8 am to noon

Note: during the week, we will not close for lunch so you may pick up medications or food items at any time during that window we’re open and of course we’ll be providing our usual services while we’re open. We have continued our implementation of social distancing and our expanded sanitation protocols to maintain a super clean environment for our clients.


If you are a regular of our Hills Science Diet or Prescription Diet foods, we are happy to set you up for our new Hills-to-Home program. Shipping is free. They are offering 30% off your first purchase when you set up auto-ship and 5% with each order thereafter. Set up is simple. Just give our team a call and we’ll get you set up. Product arrives within 2-3 business days from the day you order. 


Purchase your medication refills from home and have them shipped to you! Orders over $49 and all auto-ship products ship FREE. To access our online pharmacy, simply visit and choose ONLINE PHARMACY from the drop down menu (under SERVICES).  Purchase your products knowing they are coming to you with manufacturer’s guarantees. If you have any questions or need additional information please reach out to our team at 903-758-2082.

These are just a few of the additional measures we have in place to help our clients stay safe while still caring for your furry loved ones. Remember to support your favorite local businesses, as much as possible during this difficult time. We appreciate each one of you!

UPDATE: March 19, 2020

Longview Animal Hospital is updating our precautionary measures in response to ever changing COVID-19 Corona Virus developments.  In an effort to minimize risk, we are focusing on limited social interaction as recommended by the CDC. Please see the below:

1) Clients Arriving for Appointments – Please CALL, don’t come straight in

Please call us from your vehicle when you arrive. We will check you in and once your exam room is available, a vet technician will come to your vehicle to escort you into the building. If you prefer to remain in your vehicle, please let us know and we’ll bring your pet into the practice for their services and return them to you once completed.

2) Clients filling Prescriptions and Picking Up Pet Food – Curbside Pickup         

If possible, please call ahead with your refill request. We will collect your payment over the phone, if possible. Then, call us when you arrive and we’ll bring your item(s) along with a receipt to your vehicle.

3) Drop Your Pet Off with Us for Services

Simply call for an appointment as a ‘Drop Off’. We’ll have you bring your pet during a certain window of time in the morning for drop off and will contact you when your fur baby is ready to be picked up. We’ll collect payment over the phone, if possible. Please remember to stay in your vehicle at both drop off and pick up and call us to let us know you’ve arrived.

And as a reminder,

  • If you are having any symptoms of illness, please give us a call to reschedule your appointment.
  • We are continuing to implement our expanded sanitation protocols and asking that staff and clients wash their hands frequently (for at least 20 seconds) and maintain 6’ social distancing when possible.
  • We are currently still open normal business hours. If we have a shortage of available staff members and are forced to modify our hours of operation, we will let clients know via our Facebook page, web site and an email blast.

We appreciate everyone’s cooperation, patience, and understanding during these uncertain times. We will continue to do everything within our power to keep our clients and staff safe and continue to serve your furry loved one’s needs.

Practice Manager
Longview Animal Hospital

March 16, 2020

1) We are still open for normal business hours and are committed to the safety of our clients, patients and staff. Longview, and the surrounding area, has not seen levels of infection that warrant closing at this time.  As a precaution, however, we have expanded our stringent sanitation protocols to include even more frequent anti-viral/anti-bacterial sanitizing of all areas of our hospital, especially where clients and patients frequent.

2) We are asking that anyone who is feeling ill (including our staff) to please stay home to get well in order to avoid spreading illness to others.  We also want to offer a wait-in-the-car option for clients who prefer to limit personal interactions.  When you arrive at the hospital, please call and let us know you’ve arrived. We’ll get you checked in and will come get you when we are ready for your appointment.

3) COVID-19 is believed to not be a threat to your pets. We routinely vaccinate dogs against certain canine strains of Corona Virus, based upon risk. However, this strain (COVID-19), according to the World Health Organization, has no reported cases of being transmitted to domestic animals.

We appreciate your continued confidence in our team to care for your furry loved one(s). As new developments emerge during this scare, we will surely keep you updated if anything changes in our availability.