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pet hair loss

Pets are an important part of the family, so when you see something going wrong, you may become concerned. One of these things may involve fur loss in either your cat or your dog. This type of problem is called alopecia and is characterized by an abnormal thinning or a complete loss of hair. There are a variety of reasons that pet hair loss may occur, so it is important to identify the specific cause in order to help your pet. Sudden changes in fur could be caused by underlying conditions that need to be treated.

Causes of pet hair loss in cats and dogs

Skin infections and parasites

Maybe you’ve noticed that your pet is scratching a lot or biting vigorously and causing hair loss. This leads to the hair being broken off or chewed. This could be due to parasitic fleas, mites or lice. The chewed skin causes an ideal location for skin infections with ringworm, yeast or bacteria. These infections themselves can also cause additional itching and more hair loss.

You may be able to identify which pest is causing the problem by looking at the location of it on your pet. Mites attack ears, eyes, elbows and mouth. Lice usually attack the back and back legs. Fleas favor the back over the hips.

Poor nutrition

Poor nutrition can cause a multitude of problems. Take a look at your pet’s diet to assess if this is what is causing your pet’s hair loss. Proper nutrition will contain nutrients that support healthy skin and hair. If there isn’t a balanced supply of these nutrients, the hair becomes dull, loosens and falls out. This type of hair loss affects the pet’s entire body, but may be the most obvious in easily worn areas and the back and hips.

Allergies

When allergies affect a human, eyes tend to water and our noses run. With pets, allergies are communicated through the skin and ears. Their skin will be itchy, so they will scratch or chew their hair. It’s important to figure out what your pet is allergic to. It could food such as grains, certain meats, milk or yeast. It could also be inhaled allergens such as smoke, perfumes or pollens. Lastly, it could be skin contact with irritating materials such as chemicals in your yard or your home. For more about pet allergies, read our article here.

Problems with organ function or blood flow

Diseases and drugs affecting the intestines, liver, kidneys and other organs can directly influence hair loss. If your pet has issues with blood not properly circulating, this can also cause hair loss. It’s important to get your pet in to see a professional so they can be treated.

Problems with hormone levels

There are many hormones that influence hair growth. Some of these include estrogen, testosterone, growth hormone, melatonin, cortisol and thyroxin. If these hormone levels are off, it can cause hair to either be too thin or too thick.

Medications

Certain medications can cause hair loss as well. If your pet is being treated with high doses or long-term medications, it can cause hair follicles to shrink and the hair to fall out. Some flea medications actually cause hair loss at the area of application and vaccines may cause this at the injection site as well. You will be able to see a difference with this type of hair loss because it will be lost at the follicle rather than being bit off by your pet.

Anxiety

If your pet has separation anxiety, they may lick patches of hair off their legs. These areas then can become infected. This is hard to cure since the pet will continue to lick the area whenever they are left alone.

What to do if your pet is experiencing hair loss

Note your pet’s behavior and hair loss

When you notice your pet experiencing significant hair loss, you should take note of any changes in your home or yard, behavior of your pet, signs of illness and location of the hair loss. These details are important to figuring out what is causing the problem. By noticing and evaluating your pet, you will better be able to help them.

Take your pet to the vet

A trip to the vet is the ideal way to help your pet with hair loss. Since it could be caused by many different factors, you need a professional opinion to help determine the cause. Tests may help lead to a concrete diagnosis and course of treatment.

Treat the problem

Once you determine the cause of your pet’s hair loss, you can work with your veterinarian for the best course of treatment and help your pet recover.

Hair loss in pets is a problem that needs to be addressed. Contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital so we can determine the cause of the problem together and get your pet the help they need.

life stages of a dog

They are fuzzy, they are adorable and then they grow up. No, not kids…we are talking about puppies! Buying a puppy is just the first step of a lifetime of commitment, care and joy with a dog. What can you expect to deal with through the lifetime of your dog? Keep reading to find out.

Life Stages of a Dog

Puppyhood

Puppyhood is the stage from birth to 12 months old. During this time, you can expect the most physical and mental growth. Just like a human baby, puppies need to be nurtured during their most formative early years. Any abuse or neglect during this time will definitely shape the dog for the rest of their life.

Weaning

Around three to four weeks of age, puppies will start transitioning from drinking their mother’s milk to eating solid foods. Puppies usually aren’t sold until after the weaning process, so most owners never have to think about it. Only in an emergency situation like their mother being killed or missing would you have to step in and make sure they get the milk they need.

Eating

By the time they are seven or eight weeks old, puppies should be fully switched over to solid foods. They still have special food considerations, though. Find a good brand of puppy food that your puppy likes and is good for them. Regular adult dog chow won’t have the vitamins that they need. Puppies also need to be fed several times a day depending on their age.

  • 2-3 months old = 4x a day
  • 3-6 months old = 3x a day
  • 6-12 months old = 2x a day
  • 1 year and older = 1x a day

This helps them develop healthy eating habits and gives them consistent energy.

House training

If you plan on letting your dog live inside, you will have to bear the dreaded house training stage. Some breeds and temperaments are better with house training than others. In general, be prepared for accidents in the house and some late night potty walks. Have patience with your puppy and remember that this stage won’t last forever. By the time your puppy is four to six months old they should be well capable of being house trained.

Dental care

Get your puppy started with good dental cleaning habits. Gum disease, abscesses and cavities are painful for dogs and costly for their owners. Maintain dental health with regular brushings using a doggy toothbrush or a piece of clean gauze wrapped around your finger. Never use your own toothpaste for dogs (it is poisonous to them), instead use a little baking soda and water. (And don’t forget those dental check-ups at the vets!)

Spaying and neutering

At six months old, your puppy is ready to be spayed or neutered if you so choose. These operations are very routine and prevent your dog from reproducing. It’s best to have these operations done when they are puppies to prevent issues like breast cancer and testicular disease when they get older.

Vaccines

Just like children, puppies will need several rounds of vaccinations during their first year of life. You will need to be prepared to schedule for these shots in order to keep your dog healthy. Also, many dog parks and locations require proof of shots if you want to take your dog out in public.

Adolescence

The teenage years for dogs are considered to be between six and 18 months. They are able to reproduce, unless you have them spayed or neutered, but they are still growing. The adolescence stage can vary depending on the breed of your dog. Basically, whenever they are finished growing they are considered an adult.

Exercise

Adolescent dogs need good exercise to keep them from developing bad habits. When they were smaller, they could get their exercise in smaller places like running around your house or yard. Adolescents have longer legs and need more space to exercise properly. Take your teen dog on a walk or let them run at a local, enclosed dog park. Hiking, biking and running with your dog are also wonderful ways to exercise their body and keep their mind healthy too.

Middle age

Your middle-aged dog is house trained and, with your help, has developed some healthy habits. The biggest issue for middle-aged dogs is weight gain. A healthy diet and plenty of exercise will save your dog from experiencing joint problems and other health concerns. Don’t forget to stay up to date with any vaccinations or medication they need.

Senior

Once a dog is in the last quarter of their life expectancy, they are considered a senior citizen. That age varies a lot based on their breed. For example, a Great Dane will live eight to ten years, but a chihuahua will live 15 to 17 years. A Great Dane is a senior at about eight years old, but the chihuahua won’t be a senior until about 12 years old.

Health concerns

Health issues start piling up as dogs get older. Arthritis, kidney disease and dental problems can develop quickly. It’s important to get your dog checked out regularly, and definitely get them to the vet if you notice any changes in their behavior.

Vision

As dogs age, they develop cataracts and aren’t able to see very well. Be aware that your older dog may be easily surprised by you or anyone who walks up close to them. If you know your dog’s sight is getting worse, you can clear a path or place for them so that they don’t bump into things in your house.

If you are planning on a new puppy in your household, please let us know if you have any questions. Our team will be happy to provide additional guidance on what you can expect! Receive 50% off your pet’s first physical exam with our client coupon.

emotional support pet
Pet Therapy Dog Visiting Senior Female Patient In Hospital

It is no secret that pets make us feel better when we are having a tough day. Studies have proved the positive effect that spending time with your pet can have on stress, anxiety and depression. However, there is a wide gap between needing a pet to help you get through day-to-day life and simply enjoying spending time with them. Many people who struggle with emotional disabilities like anxiety can actually be prescribed an emotional support pet as part of their treatment.

What is an emotional support pet?

An emotional support pet can be any animal, not just a dog. Dogs, cats, ferrets, birds, hedgehogs and virtually any other type of animal can be considered an emotional support pet. Legally, your pet must be prescribed to you by a licensed mental health professional to help you with a disabling mental illness. A psychiatrist, psychologist or therapist must give you a prescription to get an emotional support pet because they feel like it is necessary to help your mental condition.

Emotional support pets aren’t trained to do any specific tasks like service dogs are. They help their owner just by being near and being a normal pet. The only training that emotional support pets need to have is to be house-broken and not do anything that would disturb others (like constant barking or any aggression).

Emotional support animals vs. service animals

Service animals are specifically dogs that are trained to perform certain tasks to aid people with disabilities. Emotional support animals do not qualify as service animals since they are not trained to perform any tasks. Service dogs can help deaf or blind people by alerting them to things that they can’t see or hear or bringing certain things to them. Emotional support animals may get close to their owners when they sense anxiety, but that is something that most pets do normally and not something they had to be trained to do.

Psychiatric service dogs

Also considered a service animal, psychiatric service dogs are covered by the American Disabilities Act. They are trained to do certain jobs to help their owner cope with their mental illness. A psychiatric service dog could be trained to remind their owner to take medication or keep them in a safe place if they are in a dissociative episode. Although both an emotional support animal and a psychiatric service dog help owners that have mental or emotional disabilities, the difference is that psychiatric service dogs must be trained to do certain tasks.

Therapy dogs

Therapy dogs are similar to emotional support animals, except that they provide support to many individuals instead of just one. Therapy dogs go to schools, nursing homes and hospitals to provide therapeutic relief to people who struggle in day-to-day life. Elderly people as well as troubled children or anyone who is ill can benefit from a visit from a therapy dog. Though they have one owner, their job is to be friendly to the people they meet and offer emotional support.

Emotional support animal privileges

Service dogs are generally allowed anywhere the public is allowed, including restaurants, hotels and other places that regular pets aren’t allowed. Emotional support animals are not afforded the same privileges and are not allowed anywhere that regular pets can’t be. ESAs are not allowed to go with their owner into shopping malls or restaurants like service dogs are.

The Air Carrier Access Act does allow emotional support animals to be with their owner in the cabin of an aircraft, though they do require documentation. It is a good idea to call the airline ahead of time if you plan to bring your emotional support animal with you. Make sure you have all the paperwork they need to be able to board smoothly.

The Fair Housing Act also includes emotional support animals in its rule that people can’t be discriminated against for their disability. In other words, if you have an emotional support pet, any rules like no pets, species bans or pet size limitations don’t apply to you. You must be allowed to have your pet live with you and you don’t have to pay the pet deposit.

A letter from a psychiatrist or psychologist stating your need for an emotional support animal is commonly known as an ESA letter. Getting a legitimate ESA letter can improve your life and your pets’ life dramatically if you know that you need an emotional support animal. If you have an ESA letter, your pet can live with you regardless of your landlord’s rules and you don’t have to pay a pet deposit. You can also bring your pet with you when you fly and you don’t have to pay any pet fees. It is important to take an ESA letter very seriously. You shouldn’t try to get a letter just for convenience or to avoid paying fees because it makes it harder for people who truly have emotional issues to be taken seriously.

If you have any questions about care for your Emotional Support Pet, please contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital. We will be happy to provide additional guidance.

Protect Your Furniture from Your Cat

If you have a cat, then you know they love nothing more than to sink their claws into something and give it a good scratch. The problem is that too often they turn their attention on something valuable — a piece of furniture, for example. Left unchecked, it won’t take long for that expensive piece to become nothing more than one big shredded mess. So, how can you get your cat to stop scratching your furniture? Since declawing your cat is not an option, we’re going to look at several other ways you can protect your furniture from the sharp menace of your cat’s claws.

Protect Your Furniture from Your Cat

1) Buy a Scratching Post

The most obvious solution is to give your cat something else to scratch. You have to understand that scratching is not just something your cat is doing on a whim. Sharpening those claws is a biological imperative that has developed over millions of years of evolution; you’re not going to be able to break your cat of this habit anytime soon. So, giving your cat another option can sometimes fill this need. Scratching posts come in all shapes and sizes to fit your home and your budget, and many of them even come up with extras, such as catnip, to encourage your cat to focus on the post instead of your favorite couch.

2) Make Your Furniture Less Appealing

The scratching might be a biological imperative, but the decision to do it on your furniture isn’t. Instead, that’s simply a result of two factors: convenience and preference. The furniture is convenient simply because it’s there. It’s preferred, however, because of its soft texture. This texture allows the cat to really sink its claws in the material and give it a good scratch. Many cat owners have reported that they have found that one way to fix this is to change the surface of the furniture. This doesn’t mean literally taking off the upholstery and replacing it with wood or anything, though. You can just cover up the furniture with a material that’s less pleasant for a cat, like plastic or aluminum foil. Your cat will not enjoy scratching these, so they will leave your furniture aloe.

3) Spray with Water

As we know, cats are not usually fond of getting wet. This is why many cat owners have learned the value of keeping a spray bottle handy. Whenever your cat goes somewhere or does something that isn’t allowed, a few squirts and often the cat decides it isn’t worth the hassle. Some cats have even been known to learn from this and give up the action altogether, although that certainly isn’t true for all of them (as cats are famous for their stubbornness!)

4) Use Citrus

Another way you can protect your furniture from your cat is to make your furniture less desirable is to use a citrus spray. Any cat owner will tell you that cats are not fans of citrus-based smells, such as orange or lemon. It’s easy to find sprayable versions of these scents — put them in a spray bottle just like you would water, and then give your furniture a light dousing of this scent. This doesn’t work 100% of the time, but often cats will be repulsed by the smell and go somewhere else.

5) Pheromone Sprays

In addition to water or citrus scents, another sprayable option is pheromones. These sorts of sprays work on a chemical level to actually change a cat’s mood. Often, a cat will scratch due to nerves. Maybe there’s a new animal in the household, or you’ve rearranged your furniture or done something else to upset your feline. Cats do not like change very well, and they will sometimes take out these nerves by scratching. Spraying pheromones can help calm your cat’s nerves and reduce the urge to scratch.

6) Train Your Cat

A final option is to actually train your cat to avoid scratching the furniture. While many think that cats are untrainable, this isn’t true. However, it can be a difficult and time-consuming process, and it involves more than just having a spray bottle and a loud voice. We can’t go into all of the things you need to know about training your cat here, but there are cat-training guides available online if you want to try this option. (Click here for a series of articles on cat training from Hill’s.)

As you can see, your furniture doesn’t have to suffer at the expense of your cat’s urges. There are several things you can do to discourage them from scratching your favorite chair — and if one of these options doesn’t work, there’s always the next option on the list. This might take a little time, but once you find the right solution, your furniture will thank you for it!

Pet Vaccinations

Pet Vaccinations

Today we’re going to take on a hot-button issue: pet vaccinations. Many pet owners who keep their animal exclusively indoors (particularly cats) find it difficult to understand why they still need to get their pets vaccinated and treated for parasites every so often. After all, if you take them for their early-life shots to prevent puppy and kitten illnesses, shouldn’t that take care of them for the rest of their life?

Regular vaccinations can seem like a cash grab on the part of your local veterinary clinic, especially if you vaccinate and deworm on their recommended timetable. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here are several excellent reasons why vaccinating your pet and getting anti-parasite treatments regularly is still critical to keeping your furry friend in the best of health.

Indoor Cats and Dogs Get Outside

Indoor pets eventually get outside. It’s inevitable even if you are extremely careful. Pet owners with  small breed dog living in a high rise still need to vaccinate their pets. Once outside, there is still a chance your dog or cat could be exposed to other pets infected or infested with disease and parasites, food with parasites, and disease bearing insects. Even mosquitoes and houseflies carry blood borne parasites and both canine and feline diseases. To keep your pet safe and healthy, you need to make sure their pet vaccinations and parasite treatments are up to date.

Lost Pets End Up At Shelters

Unless you have an expensive GPS tracker on your indoor pet at all times (an unlikely scenario), there is little you can do if they get out except wait for them to come back for food. If they get picked up by a kind stranger, they will more than likely be taken to the nearest animal shelter. Hopefully you’ve had your pet microchipped with your contact information (always a good idea), but if you haven’t you may find yourself calling shelters daily to see if anyone found your pet and brought them in.

Your cat or dog may only be at the shelter for a short time before you are contacted, but they are still exposed to potential carriers of disease and parasites while they are there. Not keeping their vaccinations up to date means they could contract either a serious illness or pick up parasites from another animal.

Life Changes For You and Your Pet

Relationships end, people move, and pets go where their owners go. Your adorable kitten who has lived indoors may become an outdoor cat after a move. The same can be said of your dog, as they may be spending more time outdoors if your lifestyle changes or you move to a home with room to run. Keeping their vaccinations and parasite prevention up to date ensures they are prepared for environmental changes no matter where life takes you.

Research Shows Stress Can Cause Latent Disease Flare-Ups

There are diseases that dogs and cats can contract after unexpected contact at any age, though some diseases lie dormant for years and do not present symptoms for a long time. Some diseases can even be contracted while your pet is in utero, and there is no way to know when the disease will manifest.

It is possible that if your pet experiences a trauma or an increase in stress due to moving or rehoming, these dormant diseases can manifest without warning, causing potentially debilitating or life threatening illness. While vaccines can’t eliminate the disease altogether, keeping your pet vaccinated helps prevent your cat or dog from developing symptoms even after experiencing stress or trauma.

Rabies Vaccines Are Required By Law In Some Areas

The likelihood of a rabid animal getting into your home is actually greater than you might think. Bats carrying rabies can gain access to your home through crawl spaces, attics, open windows, and even sliding doors. There are documented cases of raccoons and bats with rabies getting into homes and biting indoor pets.

Due to the increased risk of contracting rabies, many communities, cities and states have laws on the books requiring regular rabies vaccinations for all pets regardless of where they live or how they are kept. Even if you plan on keeping your pet indoors at all times, you may still be required at minimum to keep your pet’s rabies vaccine up to date.

Whether you just got a new indoor pet or you’ve had one for a while, make sure they are up to date on their vaccines. Living indoors does not guarantee protection from parasites and disease, so take your indoor pet to your local veterinary clinic and get their vaccines up to date as soon as possible if you haven’t done so already. If you have any questions about pet vaccinations, contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital today. We are happy to help you.

Pet First Aid Basics

Everyone that cares about their pet hates to see them sick or hurting. But, even worse than your pet being hurt is you not knowing what to do about it. What would you do if your pet fell down the stairs and started limping? What would you do if your pet got into your cleaning supplies and chewed into several bottles? All of these scenarios are very possible but yet many pet owners aren’t prepared with a pet first aid kit and a plan. Keep reading for some valuable tips to help you prepare for the common first aid most pets need.

Create your first aid kit

Having a complete pet first aid kit is the first step to being prepared for your pet’s injuries and illnesses. Without a good kit, you will be rushing around trying to find things while your pet is suffering. Here are the basics, though you may need more, or less, depending on your particular pet:

  • Medical records
  • Regular vet phone number
  • Emergency vet phone number
  • Animal Poison Control hot line: 888-426-4435
  • Gauze, non-stick bandages, towels and strips of cloth to control bleeding
  • Tape to secure bandages (don’t use band-aids on pets)
  • Milk of magnesia to absorb poison
  • Digital fever thermometer (since regular ones don’t go high enough for pets
  • Eye dropper (or large syringe without needle)
  • Muzzle
  • Leash
  • Stretcher

Administering first aid to your pet

Virtually every pet owner will face a situation at some time where their pet is hurt or sick. How you handle it will determine a lot for the health of your pet and your own safety as well. When the moment comes, keep these things in mind.

  • Any animal in pain is unpredictable. Even if you have had your pet for many years, do not trust them to not bite or scratch because if they are in pain they will do abnormal things.
  • Do not try to hug your pet. Even though that may be your first instinct, it may hurt them and cause them to bite or become more agitated. Keep your face out of biting range at all times.
  • When you are examining your pet, keep it slow and gentle. Stop if you notice that they are in pain or start to get upset when you touch a certain area.
  • Make sure your vet knows you are coming and will have a place ready for you. You don’t want to rush to the vet only to have to wait in the waiting room or in your car with a sick or injured pet.
  • If your pet is not vomiting, it is a good idea to put a muzzle on them to decrease the chance of you and anyone else being bitten.
  • You can wrap cats and small dogs in a towel to restrain them if a muzzle isn’t appropriate.
  • NEVER muzzle your pet if it is vomiting and ALWAYS make sure your pet can breathe.
  • If your pet has a broken bone, try to stabilize the injury by splinting or bandaging before you move them.
  • Keep your injured pet confined while you travel to prevent further injury. Put them in a pet crate or a makeshift stretcher out of a sled or board.

If your pet has been poisoned

Follow the instructions on the bottle of any toxic product (like cleaning supplies) if your pet has gotten the product in their eyes or on their skin. Often, the instructions say to rinse thoroughly with water or wash with soap and water which is what you should do for your pet immediately.

If your pet has consumed something toxic, you need to call the Animal Poison Control Center hot line immediately. If you don’t know what they consumed, but they are having seizures, going unconscious or struggling to breathe, you should still call your vet or the poison hot line since it is likely that they have swallowed something they shouldn’t have.

You should have this information available:

  • Breed, sex, age, weight and species
  • Symptoms
  • What they consumed
  • How much they consumed
  • How long ago they consumed it
  • Have the package to show ingredients

Find any material that your pet vomited or chewed up and seal it in a plastic bag. You need to take it with you when you go to the vet so they can have a better idea of what they ingested.

Contact Us

Remember that first aid is not a substitute for veterinary care. First aid can save your pet’s life or decrease the chances of more injuries but it should always be followed up by a check up by a veterinarian. If you think your pet may have been poisoned or broken a leg, always follow through and get them thoroughly checked even if they seem to be better after some first aid. Contact Longview Animal Hospital with any questions you may have about your pet’s health or injuries.

When Is the Best Time to Spay or Neuter Your Pet

Bringing a new kitten or puppy into your family is an exciting time. Adding a pet to your household also requires some important decision making. Choosing whether or not to have your new pet spayed or neutered is an important decision that can have long-term implications for your pet and your family. Learn more about what it means to have your pet spayed or neutered, why you should consider these procedures, what type of impact this surgery will have on your pet and more.

What is Spaying and Neutering

Spaying and neutering are medical procedures in which an animal’s’ reproductive organs are removed. When a female cat or dog is spayed their uterus and ovaries are removed, while when a male cat or dog is neutered the testes are removed. These procedures are sometimes referred to as having the animal ‘fixed.’ Both procedures are done under general anesthesia and it typically takes several weeks for the pet to make a full recovery.

Why Spay or Neuter Your Pet

Having your pet spayed or neutered can provide several benefits. Often, the most common benefit is preventing the pet from breeding. Pregnant pets, as well as new kittens and puppies require additional veterinary care, and finding good homes for the litter can sometimes be a challenge. Having your pet spayed or neutered ensures you will not have your hands full with an unplanned litter.

Unfortunately, many unplanned pets end up as strays or in shelters. This can put the animals in harm’s way and place a burden on local shelters and rescue operations. Pet overpopulation is a problem in many areas, and unplanned litters of puppies and kittens contribute to the problem. Taking action and ensuring your pet is spayed or neutered helps keep the local pet population under control.

Health Benefits

Spaying and neutering your pet also reduces certain life-threatening health risks. Spayed females are clearly not at risk for health issues related to the organs that were removed, but spayed females also experience a reduced chance of mammary tumors. Neutered male pets are less likely to experience prostate disease. The health benefits of spaying or neutering your pet extend beyond health concerns related to the reproductive organs.

Behavioral Issues

In some instances, having your pet fixed may help address behavioral issues. Spaying or neutering your cat or dog is not guaranteed to curb certain behaviors, but sometimes this does prove to be an effective solution.

Cats and dogs, particularly males, are more likely to roam and explore surrounding areas. Sometimes, when pets are spayed or neutered they lose interest in roaming and tend to stay close to home. Animals can also be territorial and will mark their areas, including the inside of your home, with urine to indicate their turf to other animals. Spayed and neutered pets are much less likely to be territorial. In other cases, having your dog neutered or spayed can reduce aggressive behavior and prevent unwanted behaviors, such as mounting.

Misconceptions

There are plenty of misconceptions or myths surrounding whether to spay or neuter pets. One such myth is that having your pets spayed or neutered will make the animal lazy and gain weight. This is not true and there is no evidence to support this belief. Regardless of whether or not your pet is spayed or neutered it is important to feed your pet a healthy diet and ensure your furry friend gets plenty of exercise.

When to Spay or Neuter Your Pet

After deciding to spay or neuter your pet, your next decision revolves around timing. Some animals can be spayed or neutered as young as four months, while other breeds stand to benefit from waiting until the animal is about nine months of age or possibly even older.

If an animal is too young when undergoing surgery they may grow up to be shy and timid pets and have trouble socializing with people and other animals. Spaying or neutering young pets can also impact the animal’s growth and development. As an animal grows the reproductive organs release hormones that aid in growth. If these organs are removed prematurely growth and development may be stunted, resulting in issues such as orthopedic problems.

The ideal time to have your kitten or puppy fixed can vary from one breed to another, so it’s important to consult your vet if you wish to have your pet spayed or neutered. For instance, large breed dogs typically require a year or longer to reach maturity, so for large breed dogs it is necessary to wait until the animal is older before they can undergo this surgery.

Do What’s Best for Your Pet

As a responsible pet owner you need to do what is in the best interest of your pet. Having your kitten or puppy spayed or neutered provides a host of health benefits, may possibly reduce or eliminate behavioral issues and also helps prevent pet overpopulation. Feel free to Contact our Team at Longview Animal Hospital if you have questions, concerns or want to schedule a time for your pet to have the procedure.

curbside pickup service

Need to arrange to pick up a prescription or food products for your pet? Just give us a call to place your order by phone, and then call us when you arrive in our parking lot. We will deliver your order directly to your vehicle along with your receipt! We are pleased to add this new curbside pickup service to our clients.

free phone appWe are excited to tell you about our New  Longview Animal Hospital FREE Phone App!  Join our Loyalty Program and earn rewards for your purchases & visits, receive notifications about important pet health and hospital updates, request appointments and refills right from your smartphone!

With the phone app, you can:

  • Receive loyalty rewards for purchases (as outlined below)
  • Upload a pet selfie
  • Request an appointment or a prescription refill
  • View your pet’s health history
  • Call our Offices directly from the phone app

Once you sign up for our FREE Vet2Pet App, you will begin to receive loyalty rewards (you receive 1 loyalty paw print just for signing up)!

Our Client Care Team keeps your account up to date with your new earned paw prints every time we process a payment.

For every $100 spent on products and/or services, you receive a loyalty paw print stamp.

You can also receive loyalty paw prints for these activities:

  • Positive Google or Yelp Review: 3 Paw Prints
  • Refer a New Client: 3 Paw Prints

Ways to redeem your Loyalty Paw Prints

3 Paw Prints: Complementary Nail Trim or One Night of Boarding

7 Paw Prints: $50 Credit toward a Dental Cleaning

16 Paw Prints: $100 Credit toward any product or service

Click the links below to download our FREE App or Search LAH Vet in the App Store and in Google Play.

iPhoneApp LAH Vet Android App LAH Vet
 

Using the Free Phone App

If you should have any questions or need any assistance in using the phone app, please let us know or ask us at your next visit.  We will be happy to help you!

Fun Ways to Show Your Pet How Much You Care

When it comes to our pets, they are a part of the family and it’s important to show them that. They provide us with irreplaceable and unconditional love. They never judge us or put us down and have the power to change our lives for the better. Pets crave attention and love too and there are different things that we can do to show them how much we really care.

Fun ways to show your pet how much you care

– Offer puzzles

It’s not healthy for us to just shower our pets with love through food. This can lead to making them overweight with too many calories. There are better ways to treat them and also keep their brains sharp in the process. Try a puzzle treat dispenser. This will keep your pet busy and also offer them a reward at the end.

– Keep their coat combed

Make sure to regularly comb your pet, especially during shedding season. Not only will this keep your home and clothes cleaner, it will also offer many other benefits. Your pet will be more comfortable, give you more time to bond and reduce your own stress levels. The act of combing or brushing is great for both you and your pet. The same can be said about petting your dog regularly. Some dogs love to snuggle, so make sure to make some time for this every day to show them how much you care.

– Help them get exercise

Pets can easily get bored and it’s very important to help them release energy through play and exercise. If you have a dog, add in some extra time during your regular walk or take a new route for them to enjoy a different environment. Play fetch and get them running around. For cats, you could take out a laser pointer or a flashlight for some fun time getting them to chase the light. This could work with dogs too.

– Get them a special present

Depending on the pet, this special present could vary. For a dog it may be a new toy, treats or a day at the park with you. For cats, it may be a cat tree or an indoor water fountain. Whatever your pet is into, make sure to treat them with it every once in a while.

– Talk to them

Many people have a tendency to do this anyway, but with our busy lives, it is important that you interact with your pet. Simply talking to them shows that you want to interact and that you’re engaged. Even if they don’t know what you’re saying, they do understand that you’re paying attention to them. It could even be therapeutic for you to voice things that have been swirling around in your head all day.

– Teach them something new

While we focus on teaching things when our pets are babies, they are still capable of learning as they get older. Make sure to reinforce old tricks as well. Your pet will love the extra attention you’re giving them and it also helps keep their mind sharper. It may take some work, but they can learn something new.

– Upgrade their bed

Pet beds tend to wear out, so make sure to monitor the condition and replace them when necessary. There are many choices out there and even specialty beds that can help with different pet ailments as well. You can even get your pet a memory foam bed to offer more orthopedic support. With the holiday season coming up, many stores will have deals as well, so keep an eye out during this time of year!

– Make time for them

The biggest thing that we can do to show our pets how much they mean to us is by simply making time for them. It can be difficult with how busy our lives get, but remember, pets need attention too. They want to feel loved and cared for. It’s so easy to put off things, so if you find yourself doing that too often with your pet, schedule some time. Put it on your calendar to spend some time with your pet. This will act as a great reminder and help you remember to take a breath as well.

– Keep regular vet appointments

It’s important for your pet to be healthy. Make sure you’re taking them for their regular vet appointments and keeping on top of any health problems.

Do something special to remind  your pets how much you love them. Not only will they feel better, but so will you! Contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital about any pet care concerns!