Category Archives: Pet Wellness

The Parasite Problem: Protecting Pets from Fleas, Ticks, and Mosquitoes

Ctenocephalides felisDid you know that there are over 2,200 species of fleas? Or that it just takes one species, Ctenocephalides felix (the cat flea), to cause untold misery to cats, dogs, rabbits and humans, as well as other mammals? What about the fact that ticks, especially deer ticks and Rocky Mountain spotted ticks, carry a hosts of diseases in both animals and humans? And then there are mosquitoes… the tiny pest that often “flies under the radar” when it comes to public understanding that they too can carry diseases that are potentially deadly to Fido and Fluffy…

With spring weather ramping up, protecting your pet from parasites and the misery they can cause becomes a paramount concern. And while we hope that your pet is on a year-round preventative, we know that not all pets are. So, if you are new to pet ownership, or just need a subtle reminder as to the importance of parasite prevention for pets, then you’ll want to read on. Continue reading

Planning For Pet Emergencies and Disasters: Pet Safety Precautions

Chatoak_iStock_000009845116_LargeWe are lucky to live in such close proximity to the ocean, the foothills, and the amazing culture that southern California invariably provides. However, our Granada Hills paradise, which is less than an hour from downtown Los Angeles, is not without potential for disasters – natural and man-made.

Earthquakes, landslides, wildfires, and floods are viable threats we endure each year, but there are other types of possible public emergencies that require extra pet safety precautions. Let’s keep Fluffy and Fido safe, no matter what, with the following pet safety precautions. Continue reading

Pet Ownership 101: Dog Park Manners

Chatoak_iStock_000016571386_MediumFor most of us, the dog park is a magical place. Our pups can go get their ya-yas out, make friends, and enjoy some much needed off-leash freedom (as can we…). But it should be important that everyone is able to enjoy these public spaces, and it only takes a few unthoughtful pet owners to ruin the fun.

While every dog park has its own rules, you should familiarize yourself with these basic dog park manners to help make you and your pooch the most popular on the playground. Continue reading

Our Aging Animals: What You Need to Know About Senior Pets

German wire-haired pointerLike it or not, your pet is getting older every minute. Which, when it comes to the lifetime you’ve shared, doesn’t really matter. By now you know that older pets have a lot to offer and can be true and loyal companions.

But, in order to enjoy every single moment you have with your pet, it is important to be aware of the changing needs of your senior pets.

Changes in Activity in Aging Pets

Sneior pets, typically those older than seven, often begin to show a decrease in exercise tolerance and may experience decreased mobility. Many also have some degree of discomfort due to the onset of arthritis. Recognizing these changes can help to keep pets active and improve their quality of life. Be sure to do the following for your older pet:

  • Provide them with frequent exercise appropriate to their ability
  • Use ramps and stairs to help your pet as necessary
  • Supply a soft, supportive bed and off the floor
  • Keep food and water easily accessible
  • Consider therapeutic laser treatments to help with pain and inflammation
  • Ask if your pet might benefit from a pain management plan

Just as with older people, it is important that senior pets stay active. This encourages good muscle tone, a healthy weight, and a happier animal overall. Keeping an aging pet comfortable is a vital part of caring for your old friend.

Differences in Nutritional Needs for Senior Pets

Pets often have changing nutritional needs as they get older. Senior pets may need:

  • A special diet specific to a disease or health problem
  • Decreased calorie intake
  • Increased fiber intake to maintain digestive health

Obesity is a serious problem in pets of all ages, however most of the overweight pets we see are seniors. Older animals often are not as active as their younger counterparts. They may also have a slower metabolism. These factors, along with the failure to make an adjustment of calorie intake, results in our older pets carrying a few extra pounds.

Being overweight predisposes pets to a variety of health problems including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Extra weight can also make it harder for pets with arthritis and other musculoskeletal problems to get around.

Importance of Wellness Care for Older Pets

With one “people year” being roughly equal to seven years in your pet’s life, frequent wellness examinations are a vital part of caring for any pet. During your wellness visits we will examine your pet thoroughly in order to catch problems early in their course.

Wellness visits are a great time to discuss nutritional needs, pain management strategies, and to bring to light any change you might have noticed in your older pet. We will be sure to examine any lumps or bumps and discuss any testing that we feel may be beneficial to your pet.

Preventative care is also very important. We rotate recommended vaccinations for pets so that they are spread out. We will take the opportunity at your pet’s wellness visits to discuss appropriate parasite prevention as well as dental care recommendations. Preventing most problems is much more effective than trying to treat them once they are present, making wellness care an important part of caring for any pet.

As your pet ages there will certainly be differences in how you must care for him or her. Taking a little time to understand your pet’s changing needs, though, is important to ensure a good quality of life.

Senior pets are often our best and most loyal friends, and their needs are well worth your effort.


Getting to Know Our Pet Wellness Report

Handshake between dog and veterinarian handMore and more pet owners are playing an active role in their pet’s care, and we are thankful for that. We enjoy having owners who are dedicated to their animal’s health and are always seeking out ways to involve them in their pet’s veterinary experience. That is why we are so excited to be offering the Zoetis Pet Wellness Report to our clients.

What is the Zoetis Pet Wellness Report?

The Pet Wellness Report is a concise written document that is created for your individual pet based on a comprehensive pet health questionnaire and your pet’s laboratory results. This report is designed to help you better understand your pet’s health so that you can work as a team with us in order to create the best possible care experience. Continue reading