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Keeping the Holidays Festive for all Members of the Family

The holidays should be the brightest, most joyous days of the year for all of the members of your family.  What if the needs of your furry family members or youngsters are different than the others? What if something that makes one merry makes another ill or puts him or her at risk?  This is very much the case for pets and children that might be around your home during the holiday season. Since everyone deserves the right to be safe and secure in your home, forethought and planning are essential.  Consider the following child and pet proofing tips for the holiday season as a safety check for an enjoyable, carefree celebration as this year draws to a close.

Child and Pet Proofing Tips for the Holiday Season

Protect from Poisonous Plants

Ironically, some of the plants most associated with holiday cheer and goodwill actually have hidden toxic properties. Watch out for these festive, yet foreboding, plants:

Holly stems or wreaths

While beautiful, the sharp spines of holly stems can cause serious damage to a pet’s mouth. The chemicals within the leaves are toxic, causing vomiting and diarrhea. Keep any sprigs of holly high above a pet or child’s reach.


Though lilies appear primarily at Easter time, many homes bring them back during the Christmas season because of their beauty and religious significance. However, ingesting the stems or leaves of a lily can lead to kidney damage or in extreme cases, kidney failure. This can be devastating to a pet or young child, and can even lead to death. Seek medical care immediately if anyone in the household ingests part of a lily plant.


Mistletoe symbolizes the need to get up close and exchange a holiday kiss. On the other hand, no pet or child should get too close to mistletoe. If ingested, this plant can also cause vomiting, lethargy, and fatigue, but the real danger is dehydration. If your pet or child gets into mistleto and won’t drink an ample amount of water, seek medical help.


Poinsettias are distinctive with their deep hues of white and red. Despite their beauty, the thick sap of poinsettias is toxic. Reactions would include lack of appetite, vomiting or even depression. If ingested, restrict food and water for a couple of hours to watch for symptoms. If they persist more than a couple of hours, consult your veterinarian. 

Deck the Halls With Caution

Holidays would not be complete without the alluring lights and decorations of the season. Despite their charm, they are filled with hidden dangers for pets and young children.  Be wary of the following common decorative items, and keep them away from those that are vulnerable. In fact, consider foregoing some altogether if they cannot be well monitored:

Electric wires

Bundles of electric wire usually appear throughout the home during the holiday season. This can peak the curiosity of many animals and children. Exploration through chewing or handling inappropriately can lead to burns, electric shocks, or even fires. Unplug electric cords when not in use, and use cord protectors as well as pet-deterrent sprays, which are found at local pet stores. 

Glass decorations or ornaments

Glass decorations are beautiful and classic by nature. Their glistening effects as they catch the light can draw the attention of your furry family members and the little hands and mouths of small children. Of course, glass decorations can be easily broken. Shards of glass are very dangerous to the skin, eyes and digestive systems of those that are most vulnerable.  Keep glass decorations high above reach, or consider putting them away or replacing them with wooden or plastic decorations when entertaining around pets or children.  

Holiday trees

Be sure that any tree that is used to commemorate the season is anchored firmly.  Animals and children are naturally curious, and many will reach for the highest branches or even attempt to climb a tree. A toppled tree could cause cuts and bruises from broken decorations, or even worse if one is caught underneath its weight. Try to secure trees and large decorations with soft cords or chains against a firm wall.


Be sure that stockings are placed out of reach from curious pets and children, especially when they are filled with treats of chocolate, perfumed lotions, glassware, and other dangerous items.


Strands of tinsel are attractive when woven around a tree, but can  wreak havoc on sensitive digestive systems. Consider eliminating tinsel altogether, including sharp ribbons and other long strands that could cause serious damage if swallowed.

Contact us with Questions about Child and Pet Proofing Tips for the Holiday Season

With special forethought and attention to detail, your holidays can truly be rewarding and hazard free. Be sure to monitor the status of all of your decorations throughout the season.  Pets and young children deserve special protection at this time of year. 

Remember to contact us at Longview Animal Hospital for information, guidance, and medical attention for your pets during the holidays. Our expert, compassionate team can put your mind at ease during this hectic, festive season.

A pet at home brings you unconditional love, attention and joy. A trained therapy pet is an animal that learns how to give comfort, love and affection to others. The job of a therapy pet is to provide support to individuals who need it.  The tasks range from just petting, nuzzling or staying by the individual’s side to provide support.

Now, think about how a therapy pet can change the atmosphere of the workplace. The benefits are not just for the employees but the company too. When employees are happy, it shows in their work.

Therapy Pets

Therapy Pets Reduce Stress

If work is serious all the time, employees can become stressed and unhappy. Stress and the mood of an employee can affect their work negatively. But, therapy pets can change the workplace environment by providing smiles and laughter to the people around them. Just think about it, if an employee is having a difficult day and a therapy dog comes up to them wagging its tail and nudging for someone to pet it, you can bet there will be a smile in response to this at the very least. By lightening the mood in the workplace and keeping everyone in good spirits, employees will enjoy their time at work.

Therapy Pets Provide Love and Comfort

When a therapy pet shows a person attention, it has the capacity to change the way that person is feeling (about themself and about others around them. It is proven that animals have a calming and soothing effect on people, lowering heart rate and blood pressure as well as just making people feel good.

A therapy pet can often sense when a person is in need of comfort. When that time comes, it will pay more attention to that person and stay near them. Again, receiving the necessary attention and affection can change that person’s outlook for that moment or even for the entire day. 

Therapy Pets Can Increase Morale and Work Productivity

The joy and happiness a therapy pet brings is priceless. The smiles and laughter are great rewards for your employees. However, that is not the only benefit from a therapy pet. When employees are happy, the morale in the company increases. The increase in morale translates into those employees becoming more productive. More productive employees results in higher profitability for the company (through better employee retention, less training of new people, and general increased attention to work) .

The Downside to Therapy Pets at Work

There are a few reasons that could deter you from allowing therapy pets at work. The first includes the additional costs associated with pets. You will need to make sure the animal has a place to play as well as a place to rest and take a break from working. It requires walking and exercising your pet as well as proper veterinary care, checkups, diet, etc.

Another potential issue that could arise from therapy pets at work may be employees who may have allergies, or fears when dogs or cats are around. Before you decide on adopting a therapy pet, you may want to check with employees to make sure none of them have an allergy or other special considerations, and maybe allow them to be involved in the selection process. If a cat or a dog won’t work, perhaps a hamster or other smaller animal could be an alternative.

Therapy Pet Alternatives

With technology today, some businesses are looking at robotic alternatives to the traditional therapy pet. A technologically-advanced pet would eliminate many of the negatives of a live animal. For example, you would no longer need a spot for them to do their business or even eat. Because it is mechanical, you do not have the worry about triggering allergies – but you may have the need for repairs or troubleshooting if technical issues occur.

Event though artificial intelligence is growing by leaps and bounds, the reaction of people to a live animal is truly priceless. The reaction for a robotic animal is programmed and not spontaneous. A robotic animal will not have genuine emotions towards the employees that are around, and the ‘relationship’ is different.

No matter what you decide on, a live therapy pet or an electronic alternative, the point is that you are looking to change and improve the working environment for the benefit of both the company and its employees. Both will allow your employees to grow and become happier in their position at work, creating a more positive environment which increases the morale and productivity.

For more information about therapy pets, contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital. We can help you with information to be sure your animal is right for you and your place of business.

The immune system helps fight off diseases and infections. If your immune system is continually working, it will start to become weak and you need to give it a little help to make it strong again. The same is true for your pet’s immune system. 

Your Pet's Immunity

There are different approaches that you can take to strengthen your pet’s immunity. One approach is to use natural methods. Another method is to take supplements. Some supplements come from natural herbs and oils while other supplements come from synthetic ingredients. You can use a combination of these methods to help strengthen your pet’s immune system.

The Natural Approach 

A natural approach uses non-chemical methods to achieve an end result. Other approaches may include the use of things like herbs, oils or other supplements to improve the immune system, but those should be used only with consultation from your veterinarian professional.


The first natural approach is to ensure that your pet has plenty of exercise. Keeping your pet active will reduce the amount of fat stored in your pet’s body. Excess fat can cause inflammation which in turn reduces the immune system. When your pet burns additional fat through exercise, there is a correlating reduction of inflammation.

The recommendation for your pet is daily exercise. Using play as your pet’s daily exercise routine can keep your pet’s interest and will make it feel less like a chore. Changing the types of exercises and games that you play together can keep both you and your pet interested.

Dietary Choices/Probiotics

While humans can choose what they eat each day, your pet relies on you completely for its food. The decisions you make about your pet’s food can affect your pet’s health. Try choosing foods with minimal preservatives and a high amount of antioxidants. Our hospital can help you choose a great food if desired.

If you want to naturally strengthen your dog’s immune system through its diet, you need to feed your pet a meat-based diet. Wet foods help digestion and reduce the amount of inflammation. When the inflammation is low, the immune system is working properly. You can check with our offices to find a solution for a good mix of foods to assure proper nutrition and minimize intestinal inflammation.

Addition of Probiotics

Adding probiotics is another way to support immune system health. Longview Animal Hospital has several options to choose from and can help you decide what to give your pet for maximum benefit. The purpose of the probiotic for your pet is the building up of the walls in the intestine which helps to fend off bacteria and other diseases. Probiotics also keeps good bacteria in the digestive system, healthy which keeps bad bacteria in check.

You should always check with us when adding supplements to your pet’s diet as you need to make sure to give the correct amount. Adding too much of a supplement to your pet’s diet can cause problems, while adding too little might not provide a benefit.

Pet Hygiene

One easy way for you to reduce the causes for a weak immune system is to monitor your environment and maintain some healthy practices. The risks for infection decrease when you consistently clean your pet’s toys. The germs from toys and other ‘chew’ items can be transmitted through your pet’s body triggering the immune system to go to work. When you keep your pet’s toys and environment clean the immune system does not have to work as hard.

Not only should you keep the toys clean but also consider washing your pet. (Some pets need bathing more than others, so this is an individual choice.) Set a regular bath or grooming schedule for your pet. Keeping your pet clean gets rid of all the allergens and dirt and helps to keep germs to a minimum. Reducing the things that can cause the immune system to work harder will help keep your pet healthier.

These are just a few easy ways you can help to improve your pet’s immune system. As always, you can Contact our Team at Longview Animal Hospital for any guidance and questions.

Cats and humans have very distinct personality types. Some personalities get along better with others. So when you are looking for a cat, you will want to make sure its personality is compatible with your own and other cats you may have in your house. If the personalities do not match, you may put unwanted stress on the animals in your home causing unwanted behaviors like not using a litter box, scratching furniture, biting, hissing or even becoming less social.

Agreeable Personalities

An agreeable personality is one that goes with the flow and gets along with everyone. This type likes to be around others and is very friendly. This personality is the social butterfly and is always communicating. 

A cat with an agreeable personality will want to be around people and seek attention and affection. The cat with the agreeable personality is willing to give affection as well. In fact an agreeable cat will tend to give more affection than most. It will want to play and interact with its owner.

An agreeable cat is great for those that are also outgoing and love companionship. This type of cat is also good for those that tend to be quiet and shy because it may help to break them out of their shell. The agreeable cat is best for a home with multiple cats because they will adapt to the situation and get along with the others.

Dominant Personalities

A dominant personality is one that takes charge. They like being the boss. This personality is demanding and controlling. Everything is about them. These personalities require a lot of attention because when they want something, they expect it right away.

A cat with a dominant personality will need to be in a single cat home. You will need to make sure to pay attention to the cat when it wants something so it will not become spiteful. If the cat does not get what it wants, it can start to cause damage to furniture or exhibit other negative behaviors.

A dominant cat and a dominant human will not work because both of them want control. Stress and tension will develop because both will fight to be the ‘king of the castle’. 

Extroverted Personalities

The extroverted personality is outgoing and likes a challenge. You need to keep them busy because they get bored easily. They are full of energy and need to keep going to work it off. When they become bored, they may get destructive. Providing them with toys and other stimulation helps to keep them out of trouble.

You can pair a cat with an extroverted personality with an agreeable type. This pairing will give the extrovert a playmate to keep it busy and the agreeable one will go with the flow. 

Impulsive Personalities

An impulsive personality is one that is unpredictable. They will not react the same way twice to the same situation. The cat with the impulsive personality is having a hard time dealing with environmental stress. The environmental stress can be caused by a number of different factors – things like loud noises, yelling or not keeping to a schedule. 

If you have an impulsive cat, you will not want to bring home another cat. Changing your cat’s environment could cause your cat to act out. An impulsive cat requires consistency in its schedule. The schedule allows the cat to know and understand what to expect.

Neurotic Personalities

The personality of a neurotic cat is more of a loner. It is timid and shy and will likely avoid people and other animals. A neurotic cat will not show affection because of its cautious nature. If you are not looking for the cuddly cat and can handle one that is more independent, you may want to consider one with a neurotic personality.

A neurotic cat will require some special attention to the surroundings in your home. For example, you will want to provide extra hiding spaces for them. The extra hiding spaces will allow them to go to a safe place where no one can find them. 

If you are shy or timid, a cat with the same type of personality will not cause you to have to change your living style. The cat will hide and most likely only come out when you are not around. As the cat becomes more comfortable with its new surroundings, the cat will start to come around more. Do not worry, it will take some time.

A neurotic cat will do best when it is the only cat in the house. If you have multiple cats, getting a cat that is timid and shy will not work well because they will not assert themselves to get food or water.

Which Cat Personality Lives in Your Home?

All cats can display combinations of the above personalities at some time or another, depending on the situation, but usually there is one type that is clearly more apparent or dominant than any others. A cat that is not a good fit in your household will be clear in a fairly short amount of time. Knowing what kind of personality your cat has will help you to understand better and make necessary accommodations within your home, with your family and with other pets in your household.

If you have questions about your cat’s behavior, and ways to eliminate stress for your pet, contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital. We are happy to help.

Caring for a pet that is either going blind or is already blind requires additional care and attention. This can come in many ways – from helping your pet around the house, to feeding practices and the way you use treats. Owners of a visually impaired pet need to take steps to make sure that their pet feels comfortable and is not experiencing pain.

Knowing the Signs of Visual Impairment

If your pet is starting to act differently, you need to look at everything that is going on with them – their eating, playing and normal routines. Look for changes like the following:

  • Your pet’s eyes becoming cloudy or red.
  • Your pet now startles easily.
  • Your pet is getting clumsier.
  • Your pet is having trouble finding toys.
  • Your pet’s energy is declining.
  • You notice that your pet is having pain in the eyes.

These signs are all the things that start happening when your pet is becoming visually impaired or is already blind. If you have a pet that is showing those signs, you need to bring it in for an appointment for confirmation of the blindness.

Tips for Caring for a Blind Pet 

When you are caring for a blind pet, you need to make sure it feels comfortable and safe. Things that you will need to do to help care for your pet can range from creating a safe place to talking to your pet more.

Creating a Safe Place

The first thing you will want to do for your blind pet is to create a safe place. This means that you will want to provide a specific area for your pet to go to when it feels afraid or just needs a place to rest. This area will give your pet comfort and safety.

Talking to Your Pet More Often

The sound of your voice will help to calm your blind pet, so keep the conversation going and speak often. Your voice will also help your pet to know where it is and where you are. You will also want to talk with your pet before you start touching it. Letting your pet know where you are and what you are doing beforehand will keep them from getting startled.

The Importance of a Consistent Routine

When you have a pet that is visually impaired or blind, you want to keep a routine that is as consistent as possible. Routines will reduce the stress that your pet feels. You will want to take them on the same walking routes and visit the same parks. Another thing you will want to do for your blind pet is not move the furniture in your house or apartment. Changing your furniture will only confuse your pet and cause them stress.

Identifying Your Blind Pet

It is important to let others know that your pet is blind. When you take your pet out, make sure you put some type of clothing that says “I’m blind”. You will need to explain to the others that your pet is blind and that your pet can be startled easily. They will need to know that they need to talk to your pet before touching it. Another identifier that you need for your pet is a tag that goes on its collar stating that he or she is blind.

Location Cues

A location cue is something that tells your pet where it is in your home. For example, you place a carpet runner at the front door. You will place only that carpet at the front door. This carpet helps your pet get its bearings back if they pet get confused. You will want to place different location cues throughout the house for your pet. One thing you need to make sure of is that each of the cues is different.

Safety-proofing Your Home

Another important thing you need to consider is your pet’s safety in your home. Think through everything and every place within your home. Don’t overlook anything. You might even get down on your hands and knees and crawl around. You will need to look for things that could fall if your blind pet bumps into it, furniture that might have sharp corners, and places where your pet might trip or fall. Think of making your house safe like if you had a toddler – put cushioned protectors on sharp corners and baby gates at any stairs.

Remember, caring for a blind pet requires more attention to the environment around it. The most important thing you need to do is make your furry companion feel comfortable and loved.   If you have questions or concerns about caring for a visually impaired or blind pet, please reach out to us at Longview Animal Hospital. Our team is here to help you!

Happy Howl-O-Ween!

This program will be run entirely through our Facebook Page (, so make sure to follow us there!

Last Year’s Winners

2018 Winners Pictured Above – Rory, Yuki and Lily!


Post your photos to our page (*instructions below) starting today  (10/1) and we will add them (within 24 hrs) to our 2019 Howl-O-Ween Costume “Album”.  Once added, you can share with friends and family to build likes and comments.  Submissions must be made prior to 5pm on October 30th.  Votes will be tallied and winners will be announced on October 31, 2019.  The images with the most likes will be selected as our top three winners.  Note: Contest winners must reside with their pets within our business operating region (throughout East Texas).

Voting will take place on images in the official 2019 Contest Album  LINKED HERE  between October 1 and October 30 (5pm CST) – 1 like/per person = 1 vote.

Winners (top 3 of those with the most likes) will be announced on our Facebook Page before 5pm CST on October 31.


1st Prize: $50 gift card for use at Longview Animal Hospital and a Pawsitively Awesome Pet Gift Basket!

2nd Prize: $30 gift card for use at Longview Animal Hospital and a large bag of Hills Science Diet  pet food.

3rd Prize: $20 gift card for use at Longview Animal Hospital.


Make sure you “Like”/”Follow” the Longview Animal Hospital Facebook Page  at

Message us through Facebook with your photo (this is different from last year).

In your message content, please include:

Happy Howl-O-Ween!  followed by: Pet’s Name, Age & Breed (if known), Costume description and any additional information you would like to share about the photo.

(We will attempt to tag your profile when we upload the image and info to our album so that you can share the link directly with friends. If you are not listed as ‘liking’ the page, or if your privacy settings don’t allow, we won’t be able to do this. You will still be able to share the post from our album.  If we are unable to tag you, we will message you a reply to let you know it is online.)
Remember, the earlier in the month you send us your photo, the more time you will have to share and accumulate likes!  

Thank you!  We look forward to seeing your pictures – good luck to all and Happy Howl-O-Ween!

View Official Contest Rules Page

Having a pet is a great responsibility. You need to make sure your pet is healthy and happy. When your pet is younger, it is full of energy. As your pet gets older you need to change how you care for it. The simplest things can become challenging for your senior pet. The things that you need to consider for your aging pet is food, exercise, health and basic needs.

As your pet gets older, you will start to see signs. These signs may include walking slower, trouble getting up, not eating bones or hard food, urinary problems or trouble getting in and out of a car. You need to look for the signs in your aging pet so you can make the necessary changes to make your pet happier.

Adjusting Diet for Senior Pets

As your pet becomes older, it may have trouble eating the harder foods. One of the problems with a senior pet is its teeth become softer and more brittle. Continuing to feed your pet hard food may cause broken teeth or pain when eating. You can help your pet by changing to a softer food. You may decide to purchase the pre-packaged soft foods or you may want to make the soft food yourself. If you chose to make the food yourself, you need to be conscious of your pet’s nutrition. You must make sure your pet is getting all the nutrients it needs.

A Different Type of Exercise

A younger pet can run, jump and play for long periods of time. The energy seems never ending. But with an older pet you need to be aware of the limitations. These limitations may not only be physical but also relate to your pet’s endurance. Your pet may only last for a few minutes before becoming exhausted. Remember not to push your pet to continue to play. If it keeps trying to sit or lie down while playing, have some down time. You might want to structure your pet’s exercise time in small increments but more often. Instead of playing for a half hour or more like when it was younger, do five minutes at a time with a ten minute break in between exercises. 

Another thing is if you and your pet ran together, you need to change that run to a walk. You need to keep an eye on how well your pet is walking. As it ages walking long distances may become an issue and your pet may start limping or just stop walking. If you notice your pet having difficulties walking, reduce the length of the walk and increase the frequency. For example, in the past you would walk around the block twice but now you just walk to the corner and back in the morning and evening. More frequent, shorter walks still allow your pet to get its exercise but also give them a needed break in between.

Health Consciousness

Just like humans, when your pet gets older, they may have health issues like loss of hearing or vision, blood sugar problems and heart conditions. Some of these conditions require medications while others require adjustments to your living arrangements.

If your senior pet is having trouble seeing, it will start bumping into furniture or tripping over things while walking. You can help protect your pet by making sure area rugs or runners are secure, steps have gates, sharp corners have covers and there are no slippery walkways. If hearing is the problem, make sure you are constantly talking to your pet. This gives your pet an idea where you are and help to assure that you do not startle him or her.

Another health concern may include your pet’s hygiene. As your pet becomes older, they may develop bad breath or other odors. To keep your pet healthy, you need to begin brushing its teeth more frequently and adding more baths to keep him or her clean. If you increase the number of baths, you will want to pay attention to your pet’s skin condition as well so you do not dry it out. You want to use a very mild soap or shampoo.

Changes in Basic Needs

A senior pet has different basic need requirements. These basic needs change from the ability to go up and down stairs to needing a ramp. Your pet may require urination pads in the house because he or she can no longer wait as long to go outside. 

Other Articles from our Blog that you may find helpful:

For more information about senior pets and their care, contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital. We are here to help you with the best care possible for your aging pet.

Catnip is something that can be seen as somewhat of a mystery in the world of having a cat. We know that our cats love it, but there are a lot of questions that you may or may not have thought about when it comes to this plant and what your cat thinks of it. 

So what is this plant exactly and why do cats seem to love it so much?  Is it totally safe for your cat to be around? Is this more than just a pleasant plant to keep around your home and does it have any other functions or uses?

Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about this household feline favorite, and what catnip actually is

What is Catnip? 

So what is catnip exactly and where does it come from? You may be surprised to hear that catnip is actually a perennial herb, that is a member of the mint family Labiatae. This plant was originally native to parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe, but now can be found growing all over the world. What may surprise you about this mint plant that your cat loves to eat is that it is actually a weed, making it easier for it to grow in unwelcoming or uninhabitable environments, in terms of landscape and climate. 

Does the plant have other uses?

This wildly durable weed it resistant to droughts, inclement weather, and can actually be used to repel deer and a variety of insects. This is why you will commonly find this specific weed as an ornamental component in gardens, to keep deer and pests away from plants. You can even extract an essential oil from this plant that will attract butterflies. 

Why do cats love it? 

All of the uses of this versatile plant may come as a shock to you, especially since it may be one of your cat’s favorite plants to be around. What’s even more interesting is that your cat doesn’t just love this minty plant because of the taste. It has a profound effect on your cat at the chemical level, which keeps it coming back for more. 

This minty herb contains a naturally occurring chemical called nepetalactone which can be found in the leaves and the stems of the plant. As your cat consumes it, this chemical binds to sensory neurons in your cat’s nasal cavity. As soon as this chemical binds to those sensory neurons, it, in turn, sends signals to your cat’s brain and activates various areas of the brain that affect different parts of their behavior and emotion. It generates a wave of positive emotion that can trigger your cat to roll in it, smell it, lick it, and even eat the plant. 

You may notice that the reaction your cat has compared to others can vary. Some cats will become excited with these sensations, running around and becoming playful, whereas others become relaxed, wanting to bask and lay down in the presence of the plant. There are a few factors that affect your cat’s reaction to this chemical cascade, and this can vary based on how much the cat has either inhaled or eaten along with the breed of your cat. It isn’t uncommon for cats that overindulge in this experience to become skittish and even a bit aggressive. 

As varied as these responses to this plant may be, research has shown us that a third of cats are totally unaffected by the neurological effects of catnip. 

Is catnip safe to use? 

This all bears the question, is this safe to use in your garden and around your home? Though this plant can have an effect on the behavior and demeanor of your cat, it is in no way harmful. In fact, it can be nice for your cat to have around while helping you keep deer and pests away from your garden. 

Can I buy it or grow my own?

You can buy catnip and almost every home improvement store, and it is totally safe to grow in your garden and around your home.

Can catnip be used for training?

You absolutely can use catnip for help with training your cat. Pet stores will often sell toys that are filled with catnip. You can even buy catnip sprays that you can use to spray treats or your cat’s scratching post. 

If you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital. We are happy to help you.

Just like humans, canines can have problems with their hips. These problems can also become worse over the years. With any hip problems, you may notice that your dog may begin to move slower and have trouble getting up. No matter what hip problems your canine has, you need to understand that your dog is in pain and needs relief. The relief from the hip pain can either come from surgery or other alternative methods. These alternative methods may include supplements and other medications to help control the pain.

What is Hip Replacement Surgery?

When the ball joint and socket of the hip become worn, the bones can start rubbing together and cause pain. The ball joint and socket get replaced with prosthetics parts. The hip replacement surgery provides pain relief and allows your pet to get back to normal activities. A total hip replacement will give your dog the complete range of motion back.

What is Canine Hip Dysplasia?

In the simplest terms, canine hip dysplasia is where the ball of the femur does not fit properly into the socket of the hip. The problem may not just be with the ball and socket but damage can occur to the cartilage and ligaments that support the hip too. 
Read: Hip Dysplasia in Dogs for more information.

How Does a Dog Develop Hip Dysplasia?

Canine hip dysplasia can occur because of genetics. Genetics is all in the breeding. If the breeder does not pay close attention to the health of the dog’s mother and father, those traits can be easily passed down to the offspring. This said some breeds are known for problems with their hips. To ensure your dog’s risk to hip problems is minimal, you need to research the breeder. A reputable breeder will not only have information on the parent’s health but will have all the puppies checked for potential health problems before adoption.

A dog is more susceptible to hip dysplasia because the size and weight. The larger and heavier the dog, the more stress the joints and ligaments need to withstand. That stress can cause the hip joint to not work properly and eventually damage the joint.

Why a Canine Needs a Hip Replacement 

Your dog will need hip replacement surgery when it has lost its mobility. Your dog may still have some mobility but not like when it was younger. As your dog ages, you need to watch for signs like:

  • Trouble getting up.
  • Having a hard time walking.
  • Whimpering in pain.
  • Does not want touched.
  • Stays in one spot.

If you notice any of these signs, consult your vet for treatment options.

When is it Time for Surgery

The decision when it is time to your dog to have hip surgery is dependent on you. You need to consider the well-being of your pet. Surgery can provide your dog with a better quality of life and remove the pain. The hip surgery gives your canine the mobility back and allows them to return to a more normal lifestyle.

You should consider surgery for your pet when:

  • You notice your dog’s pain getting worse.
  • Your dog can no longer get up or walk on its own.
  • Your dog develops a bunny hop while walking.
  • Your dog tries to pull away when someone goes to touch him or her.
  • The dog’s temperament changes for the worse. For example, the dog becomes snappy.
  • Your dog no longer wants to go for walks or play.

Alternatives to Hip Surgery

If canine hip surgery is not an option for you, you do have other alternatives. These alternatives include supplements for joints and hips, pain medication and anti-inflammatory medication. The alternative may not give your dog full mobility back but they will help make him or her more comfortable.

When it comes to the health of your dog, you will want to consult your vet before making any medical decisions. Our team at Longview Animal Hospital can work with you to create a treatment plan for your dog’s hip problems. You can discuss the financial impact that the surgery and alternative treatments will have on you. 

The most important thing for your dog is to eliminate or minimize any pain and get him or her moving again. Contact us with any questions about Hip Dysplasia and ways we can help your pet.

Not all human food is bad for your pet. Actually, some human food is good for them and helps them get fit. Some of the commercial dog food is high in fillers. These fillers can cause your pet to gain weight and have other medical issues like blood sugar and heart problems. Offsetting the commercial pet food with some leaner more nutritional food can help your pet’s health.

There are several foods in each of the food groups that are good for your dog. You have several options that you can choose to add to your dog’s diet. Before you begin substituting human food for the commercial dog food, you need to make sure the food is on the safe list for your pet.

Food from the Ocean

When it comes to protein, fish is a great source for your dog. Fish provides amino acids and the good fats. The most beneficial fish for your dog is salmon and sardines. Salmon is full of vitamins and proteins, while sardines offer your pet extra calcium. 

As you start feeding your dog fish you cook at home, there are some things that you need to know. First, you never want to feed your dog raw or undercooked fish. Next, when you feed your pet fish, other than sardines, make sure you remove all the bones. Another point, you should start feeding your dog small portions of fish so you can monitor his or her tolerance. Some dogs may have allergies to fish and any time you introduce him or her to a new variety you will want to take it slow.

Fish does have many benefits for your dog, but do not overdo it. Limit the number of times per week you feed your pet fish. Veterinarians do not recommend fish more than two times per week for your dog.

Dairy is not a Problem

Some dairy is high in fat, but if you go for the lower fat varieties your pet can see the benefits. Your dog can eat milk, cheese, yogurt and eggs. Dairy products are a good source of protein and calcium for your pet. Just be aware of the precautions you need to take when feeding your pet dairy. 

When it comes to feeding your dog cheese, some are very high in fat. The high fat cheeses can cause your pet to gain weight. So, if you want to use cheese as a treat for your pet, make sure you go for the low fat cheeses like mozzarella or cottage cheese. You will want to make sure the cheeses are plain and do not have any added flavors like garlic.

Yogurt is another great human food that benefits your dog. Plain yogurt provides your pet with the probiotics it needs to digest his or her food easier and also strengthens the digestive system. 

Nuts and Grains are a Go

Another human food source for your furry friend is grains. Grains like bread and rice are good for your pet but in moderation. Grains and bread help curve your pet’s appetite and make them feel full. If you are feeding your pet bread make sure you read the label. Some bread can contain high amounts of sugar or other preservatives so you will want to limit the intake by your pet. Too much may cause your dog to have a weight problem. 

If your dog does not have an allergy to nuts, you can add cashews, peanuts and peanut butter to its diet. But be sure to check with your vet before feeding any type of nut to your pet because some varieties are dangerous. The nuts will give your pet protein, magnesium, calcium and antioxidants that are all good for your dog.

Adding Lean Meats

In addition to feeding your dog fish, you can add lean meats like chicken, turkey and pork. The lean meats are lower in fat but still have the protein and other nutrients your pet needs. When feeding your dog meat, you need to make sure that it is without seasonings and sauce. You must also make sure that all meat is properly cooked all the way.

Veggies are a Plus

Not all vegetables are good for your dog. The veggies that your dog can eat include:

  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Green Beans
  • Peas

These vegetables are good for your pet because they are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Some veggies help your dog’s eyes and heart while others help keep your pet slim and trim.

Fruits are the Sweet Treat

Not only are vegetables good for your dog, but so are some fruits. With the natural sweetness, fruits can make a great treat for your pet. Some of the fruits that your dog can eat include:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Pears
  • Blueberries
  • Mangos
  • Oranges
  • Peaches

These fruits offer your friend a refreshing change from regular dog treats. The fruits are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. 

Before you begin feeding your pet human food, consult your veterinarian for both nutritional and dietary needs. As you start feeding your dog human food, begin slowly to make sure he or she can handle and does not have any reaction to the new foods. Remember to also keep everything in moderation. Please let us know if you have any questions about what human foods your dog can eat.

For information about foods that are not good for pets, read:

Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs

Items in your Household that are Poisionous