2500 Estes Parkway, Longview, TX
Call Today! 903-758-2082


howl-o-ween pet costume contest

Happy Howl-O-Ween!

Today, we announce our 2018 Howl-O-Ween Costume Contest.  This year, the program will be run entirely through our Facebook Page (, so make sure to follow us there!

Post your photos to our page (*instructions below) starting today  (10/1) and we will add them (within 24 hrs) to our 2018 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, 2018.  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 2018 Contest Album  LINKED HERE  between October 1 and October 30 (5pm CST) – 1 like = 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

Post to our page and Upload Your Photo

In the Text 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, we won’t be able to do this.)

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

View Official Contest Rules Page

service dogsMost people do not think about the difficulty of some routine daily tasks like turning on a light switch.  But some individuals with disabilities need help. That help comes from their service dogs. Service dogs are trained to help individuals with disabilities complete daily tasks. The service dog makes the individual with the disability more independent. A service dog is not a pet. They are there to do a job. A most important job, which is to provide a service to their owner with no distractions. The service dog’s full attention must be on their owner and the owner’s needs. If the service dog is distracted, the dog may miss an important que that could mean life or death to the individual.


Uses of Service Dogs

The service dogs training aid individuals with specific disabilities. The dogs training includes:

  • Guiding an individual who is blind or has hearing loss
  • Pulling a wheelchair or help an individual walk
  • Calming an individual with autism or post traumatic stress disorder
  • Opening or closing doors
  • Turning lights on and off
  • Picking things up
  • Warning someone if the owner is going to have a seizure or blood sugar is low
  • Alerting their owner when it is time to take their medication


Training A Service Dog

A service dog’s training consists of two steps, basic training and service training. Basic training should begin when the dog is under six months old. The basic training will include the sit, stay, down, come commands, along with socialization skills. During this time, the trainer or owner will be working to make sure the dog can perform these basic tasks in various locations without distractions.


Service training occurs between six months to one year. At this point the separation of work and play must occur.  The dog must learn to understand that when his or her service dog vest (gear) is on it is time for work. While the service dog in training is in the gear, the dog begins learning specific tasks related to the owner or individual with the disability. The service dog in training will be learning skills like turning a light on or off. The service dog in training is not expected to complete the task 100% of the time but be consistent.  During training the dog needs time and repetition.


Service training is a gradual process. The training begins with tasks in a location with little to no distraction then moves to ones where the distractions increase. For example, first teaching the service dog to heal at home. Then as the dog masters that task move the training to a street where there are other distractions.  Continually move the training to areas with more distractions. This helps the service dog in training to focus on his work tasks at hand. Once the dog has turned 18 months old and has completed his or her service tasks in public 100% of the time, the dog can then move from a service dog in training to a service dog.


Life of a Service Dog

A service dog’s main focus is to work. So, once the service vest or tags are put on the dog is at work. From early morning until night the dog must help the individual assigned to him or her. While at work, the service dog must focus on performing the trained daily tasks. Whether it is guiding someone that cannot see very well through the house or turning on and off the lights. When the day is over and the service gear is off, the service dog can socialize with other people or dogs, run and play, or do other dog things.


Service Dog Versus Regular Pet

The main difference between a service dog and a regular pet is the service dog is a working dog. While a service dog will have time to run and play, everyone must realize when the dog in the service gear it is at work. Work means complete and total focus on the owner or individual the dog is there to help.  People cannot pet or play with the service dog especially while it is in “uniform”. Everyone involved with the service dogs training must keep a line drawn between work time (in the service gear) and play time (wearing no service gear). Making the distinction of the expectations will help to not confuse the service dog. Another difference is the required amount of training for a service dog.  The training will generally take approximately two years to complete.


A regular pet does not need more training. The basic training and socialization is enough. A regular pet can play or be petted at any time. They can also get and give attention to the owner or the family at any time.


If you would like more information on service dogs, or if it’s time for a health check for your service animal, please contact us at

responsible pet ownership

Preparing for a New Furry Friend – Are you Ready?

Pets are a beloved part of their owner’s and family’s life. Responsible pet ownership is an important part of a pet’s life and well-being. Pets bring joy into our lives, and it is equally as important that pet owners take care of a pet’s needs and keep them safe and healthy. This is a big responsibility and requires thoughtful consideration.

What is Responsible Pet Ownership?

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) defines responsible pet ownership through a series of qualities: committed, invested, compliant and prepared. They also provide a comprehensive set of guidelines for what these responsibilities entail. These qualities point to the types of actions and behaviors pet owners need to have to be attentive to their pet’s wellness and survival.


At the top of the list is commitment. This should come as no surprise because committing to take care of another life is a serious thing. These animals are in your care and they do need your love and attention. Even in the wild, animals depend on one another for survival. The commitment to welcome a pet into your family is a lifetime commitment. Specifically, this means that you are committing to care for this pet for its lifetime. The best part is that pets will thank you for your commitment and shower you with love, affection and maybe some wet kisses. Healthy, well cared for pets will share lots of love with their owners. And studies have shown that pets bring wonderful health benefits to their owners and families. It’s a win-win!

This commitment also includes making sure your pet is properly identified and wears tags or is chipped at all times in case of an emergency or if the pet becomes lost. In addition, committing to responsibility attend to the reproductive health of your pet for its lifetime is also a core tenant of the AVMA’s guidelines. Pet overpopulation is real in American and around the world. Luckily, pet owners always have the easy option of having their pets spayed or neutered to help with this.  


Any pet owner can tell you that having a pet is definitely an investment. Some people do purchase their pets and that can cost a lot of money. But that is not the investment the AMVA is referring to. Just like humans, care for a pet requires money. Food, veterinarian visits, accessories and emergencies are all reasonable and general costs associated with pet ownership. Anyone considering becoming a pet owner should do a little research and understand these expenses and prepare for them.

And yes, there are some pets that are more expensive to care for than others. It would not be surprising to think that a horse may cost more to care for than a dog, but what about birds or fish or hamsters?  Before taking on a pet, make sure to become familiar with the needs of the pet you plan to adopt into your family. There are many online resources filled with helpful information but don’t stop there. Also, consider reaching out to friends or family who have similar types of pets for advice. There are even online groups for specific types of pet owners that can offer additional support and answer specific questions as well.

Responsibility and Compliance

There are specific rules and laws for pets just as there are rules and laws for cutting down trees, driving a car or building houses. Life is filled with rules to learn and to follow. The same is true for pet owners. Once your family has chosen a pet, find out what types of rules and laws exist for your pet. One very important thing to do before you get a pet is to find out if your house or apartment has rules about pets. This is super important! Pet deposits may be required or your complex or neighborhood may not allow pets at all. Find out before adopting a pet.

Specific pet rules and guidelines can vary from city to city and state to state as well. Leash laws for dog owners are an example of a rule that can vary depending on the location. To be a responsible pet owner, always find out what the laws are for your living spaces and in your surrounding areas.  


The best thing for a pet is for their owner to be prepared to welcome them into their lives. Having a pet can change your life. Will a goldfish change your life like a puppy or a baby goat? No. Each pet is unique and has its own set of needs. As a responsible pet owner, it is your job to prepare to meet those needs. Human babies need diapers, food, clothes, a place to sleep and someone to care for them. What does your new pet need?

Prepare to succeed as a pet owner and embrace the responsibility. Many families like to introduce pets into a home to help children with responsibility too. This can work if everyone is informed, clear and aware of what the needs of the pet are and what it means to be truly responsible. Over prepare to welcome your new pet into your home.

Providing a healthy, safe, loving and fun home for your pet is a privilege and a responsibility. And if you need support, you can always talk to your veterinarian.

Contact the Longview Animal Hospital for any questions about adopting a new pet or how to better care for an existing pet: or 903-758-2082.

And enjoy this new client coupon for 50% off your pet’s first exam (for new clients):

Microchipping your PetHave you considered microchipping your pet? Or does your pet already have one?  If so, then make an appointment with your veterinarian to get your chip checked.  Each August the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends an annual check to make sure microchips are still in place and working properly.

Consider this a yearly tune-up that helps keep your pets safe, healthy and close to home. For pet owners that are just considering microchipping their pets, this could be the perfect time to learn more. Here are a few key answers and lots of information to that can help shine a light on the technology, process, benefits and risks of microchipping pets.

What Is A Microchip?

A microchip is a radio frequency identification technology commonly known as RFID. Microchips can be as small as a grain of rice and are implanted just under the skin of animals. These chips transmit a radio frequency that can be scanned to confirm the identity of the animals.

For any pet owner that has lost a pet or had pets run away, microchips bring comfort and relief. Lost dogs are twice as likely to be reunited with their owners if they are chipped and cats are 20% more likely. Pets are valuable and special parts of any family, and yet there are circumstances where they can get lost or may run away.

When families move homes, many animals may become disoriented and run away or get lost. And, unfortunately, there are rare instances where pets are actually stolen. Microchipping is one more safeguard that pet owners can use to increase the chances of the safe return of their animal should any of these situations occur.

For those who are new to the idea, there may be questions.

How Are Chips Used?

Microchips are used by pet or animal owners to track animals that are within their care. Chipping is available for various species of animals from dogs and cats to horses, cows, alpacas and even elephants.

Once a chip is implanted in an animal, the chip gives off a frequency that can be identified by a microchip reader. Microchips are not designed to be tracking devices.

Microchip readers and the microchip will have to be in close proximity to one another. When a lost pet is found, it is often taken to an animal shelter. These shelters have chip readers that can scan the lost animal’s chip and tell the shelter its true identity.

Procedures for Implanting

Chips are implanted just under the skin in animals. The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) is working to create standard implant sites for specific species of animals throughout the world. They have released a series of helpful guidelines for pet owners and veterinarians.

The recommended site for implanting chips in dogs and cats is below the skin along the upper back, near the shoulder blades. There are actual global standards being negotiated for chip implant sites for animals, which is helpful for families or animal owners who may move or relocate to other countries. It is comforting to know that all over the world veterinarians are thinking about the well-being of your pets and how to keep you together.

Importance of Checking the Chip

Microchips can move after being implanted. This is an important reason to do the annual “chip check” to make sure your pet’s chip is still in place. This movement is sometimes referred to as a “chip migration” and typically happens just after implantation.

Checking the chip regularly is the key to make sure your pet’s chip is still in place and working properly. Make an appointment to have your pet’s chips checked and enjoy the peace of mind knowing that you are doing all you can to keep your pet safe, healthy and close to home.

For more information about microchipping, annual “Check the Chip” events or for other questions, please visit the Longview Animal Hospital online at or call 903-807-0887 for a consultation or to make an appointment.

And please enjoy this infographic from the American Animal Hospital Association (AVMA) that has more helpful information about how microchips bring lost pets and owners back together.


All dental cleanings that take place during the month of September will receive 15% OFF

In addition, this year we have TWO Giveaway contests (details below)


Dental Gift Basket  Giveaway

(Promotion begins on September 5)

Includes a bag of Prescription Diet T/D food (which can we served as the pet’s main diet or given as a treat after meals), a dental chew toy, a bag of dental treats, a pet tooth brush and tooth paste, a bottle of Vetra-dent water additive.

1) Comment on the post (

2) Tag 3 or more friends in your comment

The winner of the Dental Gift Basket will be announced on Monday, September 17.


Official Contest Rules can be viewed here. 


COMPLETED: Dental Cleaning Giveaway

Includes our Presurgical physical exam and bloodwork, and our dental cleaning which includes scaling, polishing and a flouride treatment. Winner will receive a sample of our Prescription Diet T/D food to be used as dental treats (up to a $385 value). Pet must be up to date on vaccinations.
This offer does not include any needed teeth extractions or medications.

To Enter:

1) Like Us on Facebook (at

2) Like the Post for 2018 Dental Cleaning Giveaway (Click Here for Direct Link to the Facebook Post)

3) Share the Post on your personal FB page (public settings)

The winner of the Dental Cleaning Giveaway will be announced on Tuesday, September 4, so enter today!




Vaccinations for your PetsIf you have a new pet, or an old friend, chances are that they need vaccinations to keep them healthy. At Longview Animal Hospital, we care about your pets as much as you do, and want to help you keep them active and happy for as long as possible. We would like to take a moment to go over some standard vaccinations that your pets need, and why they benefit from them. These are referenced in dog and cat vaccinations, however, other animals have vaccination needs as well. Remember, a vaccine strengthens your pet’s immune system against a particular disease, which help prevent the disease, if encountered in real life, from affecting your pet. For example, if you haven’t given your puppy a Parvo vaccine, going to the dog park could expose them to the virus, which is very difficult to treat. If your puppy is vaccinated, the chances that they will become ill are far lower.

Vaccinations for your Pets


Everyone loves dogs! They are friendly and outgoing, and love to play. That means dogs are often outdoors and subject to exposure to a lot of things. Thankfully, there are vaccinations that can help protect them. We’ve broken this up between puppies and adults to make it easier, since puppies have a different vaccine schedule than adult dogs.


Vaccinations for Puppies

If you ask any new parent, it seems the first few months of a child’s life are spent getting vaccines. It’s no different with puppies. It’s a great big world, and there are lots of health hazards in it. Puppy vaccination schedules are designed to strengthen the immune system against the most commonly encountered or dangerous viruses while the puppy is young and has an immune system that is underdeveloped. The hope is that the puppy can live a long life free from disease through vaccination.

The American Animal Hospital Association recommends the following vaccines as core vaccines – vaccines every puppy should have, regardless of geographic region or lifestyle:

  • Canine parvovirus – potentially deadly, the virus is contagious and causes lethargy, fever, vomiting and severe bloody diarrhea.
  • Distemper – causes fever, coughing, neurological abnormalities, and death.
  • Canine Hepatitis – spreads in urine, blood, saliva and nasal discharge, causes fever, congestion, depression, and coagulation (blood) disorders.
  • Rabies – this disease inevitably causes death once symptoms appear and can be spread by bites, or in rare cases, saliva. You may not realize your dog has been bitten if you spend time outdoors and in a high bat population area. Rabies progresses from stiff joints, hydrophobia (fear of water) extreme irritability to seizures and death. Rabies can be transmitted to humans through an infected animal, and may take several weeks to show symptoms, so it’s vital all dogs be vaccinated.


Vaccines that are given in relation to your puppies exposure risk include:

  • Bordetella Bronchiseptica – a contagious disease that has the ability to live in the environment for an extended period and is similar to whooping cough in humans.
  • Leptospira Bacteria – causes leptospirosis, which can affect humans and animals causing fever, chills, muscle aches, thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice and potentially death.
  • Canine Influenza – a contagious virus that typically causes lethargy, lack of appetite, fever, nasal discharge and a dry nonproductive cough but can be more serious in puppies, older dogs or any dog with a compromised immune system.


Vaccinations for Adult Dogs

Once puppies have had their vaccine series, they need boosters once yearly for distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, lepto and rabies. Bordetella for dogs in high risk environments needs to be boostered twice yearly.



We love our cats for their independant and loving natures. Many pet owners think if they keep their cat indoors, no vaccines are needed. However, this couldn’t be further than the truth. Cats can be exposed by people or other animals coming into the house. The following vaccines should be given to your cats to keep them protected.

Vaccinations for Kittens

Kittens need several vaccines in the first months of their lives to stay healthy.

  • Panleukopenia – feline distemper, highly contagious and potentially life threatening.
  • Feline Calicivirus – causes respiratory infections in cats and may sometimes cause ulcers to develop on the gums, hard palate, lips and nose that can make eating uncomfortable.  
  • Feline Herpesvirus Type 1 – various symptoms, eye discharge, fever, miscarriage.
  • Rabies – same as in dogs.

Adult Cats

Adult cats also need booster shots to keep the benefit of the vaccinations. Longview Animal Hospital can help you develop a schedule for your cat.

As you can see, not getting these vaccinations for your pets can cause serious illness not only to them, but to the members of your household. The best and easiest way to protect both your pets and your family members is ensuring that your pets are vaccinated and receive the proper booster shots throughout their lives. Contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital today and let us help you find out what vaccines your animal needs, or if it’s time for a booster. We look forward to seeing you and believe in friendly care, healthy pets, and happy families.

Pet Fire Safety

When we welcome pets into our home, we think of many things; toys, vet visits, training and maybe obedience school for our new friends. Something that we rarely think of is pet fire safety and emergency plans for our pets. It may seem like a minor concern, but The American Red Cross estimates that over 1,000 fires are started by pet related accidents, and over 500,000 pets are affected by house fires annually. With statistics like these, it becomes apparent that fire safety with your pets is a genuine concern. Read on for some tips on fire prevention with your pets, and how to keep everyone safe in the event of a fire by creating an emergency plan that includes your pets.


Fire Prevention With Pets


The old saying ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ couldn’t be more true when it comes to pet fire prevention. There are a few simple steps you can take to help limit the chance of a house fire affecting you and your pets. Take a moment to read them, and try to incorporate them into your life. They’ll soon become a positive habit that will help prevent pet-related fires and keep your family safe.


  • *Never leave any flame open and unattended. Candles, incense, or any item that burns are hot enough to start a fire, particularly if kept near blankets, curtains and other fabrics. Double check to ensure all flames are extinguished prior to leaving the room. Consider investing in flameless candles to enjoy the ambiance of candlelight without the risk.  


  • *Buy stove knob covers or remove the knobs before leaving your house. Stoves look like a lot of fun to pets, and even if they’re clean, those sensitive noses can smell the delicious remnants of what you’ve cooked last. Pets are curious, and a nose bump, hop onto the counter or a lick could easily turn a knob to on. Stove burners left on are one of the leading causes of accidental fires, but very few realize it may not be the people in the house leaving them on. This is also a concern for non-electric stoves, as the same curiosity could cause gas to escape into the home if a knob is turned.


  • *Pet-proof your home. Puppies like to chew, and kittens like to play. Any loose or trailing wire could look like a great toy to your new pet, but if the wire is connected to a live charge, it could easily fray and expose both you and your pet to electrical shock, in addition to a possible cause of fire. Taking the time to analyze your pet’s surroundings with fire safety in mind is one of the best steps you can take in pet fire prevention.  


Include your Pet in your Emergency Plan


When you set up an emergency plan for your family, don’t forget the furry members. A spare carrier, some extra food, and an extra bottle of water should be stored aside for them. If possible, keep a copy of their recent vaccinations and other important medical information with the rest of your paperwork.  (See our video and resources for An Emergency Plan for Your Pets)


When you practice your escape plan, include your pet. Pets are likely to hide or be afraid during a fire. Training your pet to go to an area and into a carrier could help save a lot of time and ensure you all evacuate safely. Remember, though, to never endanger yourself or others attempting to evacuate your pet. If you must leave your pet in the home, you can still help first responders and your pet by telling emergency workers the type of pet you have and their last known location in the house.


Help Firefighters Find Your Pets


You can purchase a Pet Alert cling to stick to the windows of your home. These special clings allow you to write the number and types of pets that you own. By helping firefighters know what to look for if they should have to enter your home, you help increase the odds of your pet being rescued.


When you leave the house, attempt to keep your pets in a central location near an entrance to the home. Shut doors and place food and water in the area. By placing your animals near an entrance, you help ensure that they are easily found.  

Pet related fires are tragic, but they are also preventable. Longview Animal Hospital cares about your pet and your family and has a long history of living up to our motto of Friendly Care, Healthy Pets, and Happy Families. We hope that you have enjoyed reading these tips on pet-related fire safety. Please contact us at 903-807-0887 or by email with any questions or concerns about your pet; we’re here to help!  

Ticks and Your Pet's HealthWell, it’s that time of year. The weather is nice and everyone, including our pets, want to be outside to enjoy the summer festivities. Just like we take precautions when going outside, we need to make sure to take care of possible issues for our pets as well. One of the things that your pet can easily encounter during the times they are adventuring outside is a tick.  Learn a little bit about ticks and your pet’s health in the information below.

Ticks can cause serious pet health issues, so it’s important to pay attention to our pets and make sure that they have any ticks taken care of quickly. You don’t want to end up with bigger problems later on. The best method is prevention, but sometimes things can happen.

Tick prevention tips:

– Treat for ticks all year.

Instead of just focusing on the summer months, it’s a good idea to treat for them the whole year, especially in our region since our temperatures remain above freezing for most of the winter months. Although ticks are more common in the summer months, some can also survive indoors during the winter. This is the main reason to give your pet preventatives during the entire year. You never know when one could be lurking somewhere in your house. Check with our team at Longview Animal Hospital on recommendations for the best preventative for your pet.

If you have more than one pet, you need to treat them all at the same time. This will help prevent cross infestation and keep all your pets safe from ticks.

– Do not use old or expired tick preventatives.

It may be tempting to use up old tick products, but just as with other medications, it’s important not to do so because they can lose effectiveness. It’s not worth the risk and there may also be better products that have come out in the market since you bought that treatment, so you should always double check if you have any questions.

– Only use products specific to your type of pet.

It’s important that you only use products that are specific to your kind of pet. This is especially important when talking about cats. There is an ingredient in some preventatives that are specific to dogs that is toxic to cats. It can cause a severe reaction to your feline, so you really need to use preventative that is specific to a cat instead.

– Check for ticks regularly.

It’s especially important that you check for ticks on both yourself and on your pets when you’ve been in areas that may have ticks. Once you’re inside, inspect your pet’s armpits, skin and ears as soon as possible.

– Keep your yard cleaned up.

Ticks like longer grass, so make sure to mow your lawn on a regular basis. They also prefer moist, warm and shady areas that have organic debris. By simply raking your clippings, leaves and brush, ticks will have fewer places to hide as well as breed.

– Visit your veterinarian regularly.

During our normal wellness exams, we will look for any signs of parasite issues with your pet. This is an important appointment to keep to make sure your pet is healthy.

What to do if your pet gets a tick:

– Remove a tick immediately.

You need to remove the tick right away. Hopefully you will be able to find it before it has attached and imbedded too far into the skin. Make sure to put on gloves to protect yourself from infectious agents that a tick could be carrying.

Next, while keeping your pet calm, use a tweezers to grab the tick as close to your pet’s skin as possible, while being careful not to pinch your pet’s skin. Pull the tick out with a straight motion to get all of it out of the skin. If any part of the tick is left in your pet, you may want to contact your veterinarian. After removal, disinfect the bite site with antiseptic spray or wipes.  

NOTE: For some of the smaller ticks, there are specialized tweezers you can use as well to help make extraction as easy and effective as possible.

Dispose of the tick properly by placing it in a container with rubbing alcohol, or sandwich it within a piece of scotch tape. (When using tape, you can also indicate date and location of where your pet may have picked up the tick.) You should save the tick in the container with a lid just in case your pet begins to show any symptoms of disease.

– Treat the surrounding environment at the same time as your pet.

You should make sure that there are no other ticks or eggs in the surrounding environment. If it was found indoors, make sure to wash all bedding and vacuum sofas and carpets. Once you’re finished, make sure that you empty the vacuum containers as well.

– If your pet seems ill, take them to the vet.

Make sure to watch your pet carefully for a few weeks for different symptoms. If they seem lethargic, have swollen lymph nodes, fever or loss of appetite, contact us for an appointment and let us know that your pet had been bitten by a tick and bring along the specimen removed.  If you have any additional questions about ticks and your pet’s health, please feel free to contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital. 

A Guide to Living With Allergies and Your Fur Babies

Having pets is an enjoyable experience – they love you unconditionally, they are incredibly adorable, and they can add a lot of value to your life. However, what happens if you’re allergic to the animals that bring you so much joy?

Many people are allergic to common pets like dogs and cats, and if you’re one of them, it may seem like having a fur baby is out of the question. After all, won’t you be suffering nonstop while they’re in your house?

Although life with allergies and a pet can be challenging, it doesn’t have to mean that you can’t have an animal with you. It just means that you have to be more careful about your situation and plan accordingly.

So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can make life easier when your pets are the ones triggering your allergy symptoms.


Understanding Pet Allergies

Before we get into the various methods you might be inclined to use to cope with your allergies, let’s first understand what’s triggering them. Once you know why you’re reacting, it’s much easier to prevent the next one.

Dander is a Trigger, Fur Isn’t – most people assume that the more fur there is, the easier it will be to have a reaction. However, it’s usually skin flakes that will cause problems, meaning that you could have a bald pet and still get allergies. Other triggers can include saliva, urine, and yes, fur in some cases.

Some Breeds are Less Trigger-Happy – just because you’re allergic to cats doesn’t mean that all cats will cause you to start sneezing. Some breeds are naturally hypoallergenic, or they don’t shed as much skin, allowing you to live in relative peace. Simply put, finding a different breed may help resolve the issue as much as anything else.

Get Tested to Be Sure – you can visit an allergist to find out what specific pets will cause the most severe reactions. Having this information can help determine what steps you can take to minimize the effects.


Living With Pets and Allergies

For most pet owners, the benefits of having pets largely outweigh the inconvenience of suffering through allergies. However, because no one wants to be coughing, sneezing and stuffed up all the time, let’s go over some simple ways that you can live relatively allergy-free, even while your pet is shedding dander all over the place.

Keep Your Home Clean – Always

The first and best method to avoid coming into contact with dander is to remove as much of it from your home as possible. Whether it’s vacuuming every couple of days or wiping down surfaces whenever you get a chance, the less dander there is in the air, the fewer attacks you will experience.

Yes, most people hate cleaning almost as much as they hate getting an allergic reaction, but once you’ve gotten into the habit of it, you won’t even think about it as a chore.

Remove Allergen-Trapping Materials

Carpets and area rugs are breeding grounds for allergens. Dander, fur, and other particles can get trapped in the fibers easily, making it harder to remove them from the house. If you’re committed to your pet, you may consider replacing your carpets with something easier to clean, like hardwood or laminate.

Overall, anything fuzzy will attract allergen particles, so try to avoid keeping furniture or decor that may become a hotbed of dander flakes.

Maintain an Allergy-Free Room

Being exposed to allergens on a consistent basis can be a little overwhelming at times. However, you can give yourself some respite by having a room or section of the house in which your pet cannot go. This way, you can be sure to avoid any triggers whenever you’re in there, thus allowing you to get a break from the constant bombardment. Just be aware that you will track allergens on your clothes, so don’t think that you can avoid cleaning that space.

Bathe Your Pet Often

When we have dander and flakes on our scalps, what do we do to manage it? We wash and condition our hair. The same is true for your pets. The more frequently you clean them, the fewer allergens that will slough off into your home.

When washing your pet, you can look for specialized shampoos that may help reduce dander (a la Head and Shoulders). You should also make sure to clean as thoroughly as possible so that you can get some relief for at least a couple of days.

Use Air Purifiers and Filters

Despite your best efforts, allergens are going to continue to float in the air. However, you can eliminate the majority of them with an air purifier. These machines can be a godsend for allergy sufferers as they remove particles like dust, pet dander, and pollen from the air all day long. Put purifiers in rooms where allergens are likely to collect (i.e., those with carpets) and you should notice a significant decrease in attacks. Just make sure you’re changing or cleaning the filters regularly.


Contact Longview Animal Hospital

If you’re ready to live the allergy-free life without getting rid of your pet, we can help you find the solution that works best for you. We’re committed to both our patients and their owners having happy, healthy, exciting lives. Contact us today  – we are happy to provide assistance.

Five Tips to Keep Your Pup Cool

Five Tips to Keep Your Pet Cool

Wet Towel or Blanket – Wet a towel or blanket in cool water and leave outside for your pet to lie down on as a way to escape from the heat.

Wading Pool – Fill a wading pool with cool water and allow your pup time to swim and cool off when it’s hot. Provide supervision during swim time, play water games and have some summer fun!

Provide Shade – Make sure that there are areas for your pet to get out of direct sunlight. Use a tarp or umbrella or an open sided tent to provide your pet with relief from the sun.

Early or Late Walks – Schedule your walks or outdoor exercise/play time for early in the morning or late in the day to avoid the hottest parts of the day. You and your pet will be much more comfortable!

Ice Cubes – Add a tray of ice cubes to your dog’s water or freeze some chicken broth in a tupperware container and give to your dog outside on a hot day.