5 Ways to Have a Happy and Healthy Cat
September is National Cat Health Month! Your cat is a member of your family and ensuring they are healthy and happy is simple and will go a long way. All cats are different and as cat owners, the ultimate goal is the wellbeing and happiness of our cats. For Healthy Cat Month, we are sharing 5 ways to have a happy and healthy cat. Whether it is a new kitten you just added to your family, or a few cats, these tips will ensure your cats are healthy and happy.
1. Visit Your Veterinarian
When was the last time your cat went to his or her veterinarian? Staying up-to-date with appointments and check-ups is important and offers the chance to ask questions on concerns or issues that your cat may have.
This month is Happy Healthy Cat Month. We believe that regular checkups and wellness exams are critical to your pet’s well-being. These wellness exams give us a chance to evaluate the overall health of your pet while also giving us a baseline for their own unique bodies.
Regular wellness exams also make your pet more familiar with our veterinary hospital, which makes future visits easier on them and you
2. Encourage Exercise and Play
Exercise for any pet is critical to their well-being and development. Exercise as play is a great way to stimulate your cat into exercise. Try a variety of toys, like a laser pointer, mouse or want. If you have more than one cat, encourage playtime together.
3. Look for Unusual Behavior
If your cat starts acting out or their behavior is unusual, there is a chance that something could be wrong. For example, cats aren’t often vocal when something is bothering them. Consider making an appointment with your veterinarian and notating any concerns. A veterinarian can go through and answer any concerns and conduct a check on your cat.
4. Water and Hydration
Cats need proper hydration, just as much as dogs. Certain medical conditions can be prompted by a lack of hydration. According to Hills Pet, “In order to stay hydrated, your cat needs around-the-clock access to fresh drinking water. Keep her bowl clean and fill it regularly, especially if it’s placed near her food dish, as she may drop a few food crumbs into her drinking bowl.”
5. Cat-Friendly Living Space
Having a cat-friendly home/living space will help your cat feel more comfortable at home. Cats should be able to lounge, play and explore. Cat furniture such as cat trees, scratching post, and cat shelves can also prevent your cat from damaging your personal furniture.
For Healthy Cat Month, ensure your furry friend is happy and healthy. A regular checkup and wellness exam are critical to your pet’s well-being. If you have any questions regarding your pet and stress, feel free to give us a call. Schedule your appointment by calling us at 559-434-4000
How to Brush Your Pet’s Teeth
It is important to keep your pet’s oral health in excellent shape, to prevent bad breath and disease. Dental home care does not replace the need for professional cleaning once a year, but it will slow the progression of dental disease that occurs as your pet ages.
How do you brush your pet’s teeth?
1. Introduce and Start Slow:
Start with offering the toothbrush specifically developed for use in pets. Do not ever use human toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth. Human toothpaste creates suds, and dogs can’t rinse their mouth and spit. Fluorides and other ingredients can be toxic to animals if ingested.
2. Let your pet lick the toothpaste off the brush and enjoy the flavor.
This will help you determine how well your pet likes the toothpaste. It will also help your pet to get used to the taste, making it more likely to accept brushing.
3. Once your pet has gotten accustomed to chewing the toothbrush, try brushing ONE tooth at a time.
The best tooth to start with is the large canine tooth. The canines are easy to get to without having to handle the lips or tilt the head. When you start brushing the back cheek pouch, your pet will chew on the brush, that is okay. This way they are also getting the bottom teeth cleaned.
4. Positive reinforcement training.
It’s okay to give a treat before or after a brushing session.
5. Make it fun:
If it is not fun for you and your pet, neither one of you will be motivated to continue with the routine. This should be a time of love and attention from you for your pet.
Download our brochure for more information on dentistry and your pet. Schedule a dental cleaning with us. If your pet has brown/yellow teeth, bad breath, or is having difficulty eating, these could all be signs of dental disease. Please call us at 559-434-4000 today to learn more and schedule your pet’s dental cleaning.
Three Tips to Make Veterinary Visits Stress-Free for Your Cat
Happy International Cat Day! Did you know your cat should receive a check-up once a year? Having your cat visit us at the vet can be a stressful time for various reasons, such as unfamiliarity, pain or discomfort. Anticipating and preparing to reduce anxiety and make your visits as stress-free as possible will make put your cat at ease.
1. Bring Favorite Toys (Distraction)
Bringing toys treats or other items to distract your cat. It may help your cat reduces stress and find comfort in his or her favorite thing. You can always use treats to reward your cat for good behavior on the way to the vet or at the vet.
2. Bring Someone
A first-time visit to the vet can be stressful for a cat, especially being in an unfamiliar place. If it is your cat’s first veterinary visit, bring someone your cat knows to accompany both you and the cat. Another person that is familiar with your cat can help comfort your furry pet, and also help in case of an emergency.
3. Schedule Your Visit
Schedule your cat’s veterinary visit at a less busy time. We have two entrances at Waterhouse Animal Hospital, one for cats and another for dogs specifically. This helps keep animals separate, and also their own space. Scheduling an appointment at a time with fewer animals and may help your cat ease their stress.
If you have any questions regarding your pet and stress, feel free to give us a call at (559) 434-4000. Make sure your cat’s health is up to date. Regular checkups and wellness exams are critical to your pet’s well-being. Schedule your appointment by calling us at 559-434-4000
Notice: Salmonella Outbreaks Linked to Pig Ear
ICYMI: Beware of a multi-state outbreak of salmonella infections tied to pig ears sold as dog treats. “Handling these treats could make people sick; eating the treats could make dogs sick,” according to the CDC.
Consumers are being urged against buying or feeding their pets any pig-ear dog treats.
Symptoms of salmonella infection in humans include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. It may be harder to identify the infection in a dog, but look for diarrhea, which may be bloody; sluggish or tired behavior; and possible vomiting or fever.
California Animal Hall of Fame
Last month, search and rescue dog, Max and owner Martin Wendels were inducted in this year’s California Animal Hall of Fame. The dedicated healthcare team of Waterhouse Animal Hospital is extremely proud and humble to have the opportunity to care for Max.
Max loves to help people. As a Search and Rescue (SAR) dog, Max has participated in numerous rescues in the Central Valley including the Camp Fire in Northern California where he worked under extreme circumstances for seven days until his foot was lacerated from the debris.
Max is a trained trailing cadaver dog. He and Martin are the only civilian search and rescue team the Fresno Police Department uses. They routinely volunteer their time to assist with numerous missing person cases.
Max and Martin are also part of the Yosemite Park’s dedicated team of SAR handlers and dogs, nicknamed YODOGS. They help with not only incidents but also with the park’s preventative SAR program. IN 2017, during the Thanksgiving holiday, Max successfully tracked a potentially suicidal person to the edge of a viewpoint in the area.
During the winter storm in Yosemite in 2018, Max worked in very cold and snowy conditions to help with the search for a backpacker leading to a successful rescue.
July 4th Pet Safety Tips
Did you know more pets get lost on Independence Day than any other holiday? The loud noise and celebration can all frighten and disturb your pet and even affect your calmest pet. For our beloved pets the sights, sounds and even the smells of fireworks are terrifying. They are out of the ordinary and are so infrequent that our pets don’t have an opportunity to become accustomed to them and therefore relieve their fear.
Here are some tips to keep your pets safe on July 4:
- Keep your dogs indoors during the fireworks. Even a calm dog could become frightened and bolt off into the darkness. The ASPCA notes that July 4 is one of the busiest times for found dogs being brought to the shelter.
- Make certain your dogs and cats are wearing collars with your contact information on them or make sure they are microchipped.
- Make a “safe space” in your home for your pets. If they are accustomed to being in a crate, put them in there. Offer them a special treat or their favorite toy, dim the lights and turn on a television or radio to drown out the outside noises.
- If you’re having a party at your home to watch the fireworks, make sure your pets are in a room in which they cannot make a break for a door and run off into the night. They should not greet guests at the door nor should they be wandering the house unfettered as they could become frightened and run out before you can grab them.
- Keep sparklers, glow sticks, fireworks, charcoal and kabob skewers away from curious pets.
- Even after the fireworks displays have ended, your pet may still be stressed and anxious. Keep a careful eye on him or her and don’t let them out without a leash and without their collar and tags with your contact information. Their high anxiety level may have them acting differently than you’d imagined they would and you don’t want your beloved pet to run off into the dark of the night.
Taking Care of Your Pets Paws
Summers in the Central Valley are HOT! As we become accustomed to triple digit temperatures, we should be reminded of the damage heat can do to our pets paws, especially if they go on a walk or run with you.
With the hot temperatures, be sure you’re keeping your pets paws in mind when walking/running with them outside. A simple way to check if the pavement is too hot for your dog, place the back of your hand on the surface for seven seconds. If it’s too hot to hold down, it’s too hot to walk a dog. That goes for any surface your pet will be standing or walking on.
Do take your dog for walks on pavement when the weather is cooler. A lot of human-made surfaces can burn your pooch’s paws, including concrete, metal, pavement, sidewalks and asphalt.
Dog showing these symptoms may have burned paws:
- Limping or avoiding walking
- Licking or chewing feet
- Pads are visibly damaged
- Blisters or redness
- Paw pads are darker in color than usual
Fathers Day: #PetDads
We all love to shower our pets with love. Thank you to everyone show shared their photos with us! Happy Fathers Day to all the pet dads!
Cat Allergies Signs to Look For
As allergy season arrives it’s important to know that seasonal allergies can also affect your cat. An allergy occurs when a cat’s immune system overacts to foreign substances or particles called allergens. This overactive immune system response will result in common allergy symptoms in cats. The most common signs of allergies in cats include:
1. Skin itchiness which causes scratching, rubbing or head shaking
2. Sneezing, coughing or wheezing
3. Vomiting, diarrhea, gas and/or bloating
There are three common types of allergies that affect cats. These include allergies to fleas, food, and airborne allergens. Some cats with allergies can be affected by more than one allergy simultaneously.
If your cat exhibits any of these allergy symptoms, please come in and see us to discuss treatment options to give your cat relief from allergies.
Caring for Senior Pets
As time moves forward, we forget that our pet is growing older. With appropriate veterinary care and nutrition, your dog or cat’s senior years can be a healthy and happy time. As our pets age they face age-related changes. Although we cannot stop all of these changes, we can prevent or successfully treat many of them.
Watch for Behavioral Changes: A pet’s behavior can give us a big indication into their health and what they are trying to convey to us. You know your pet better than anyone, so it’s up to you to report any changes you see to our veterinary staff.
Schedule Regular Vet Visits: Schedule regular visits to the vet to ensure your pet is healthy and happy throughout their “golden years.”
Ensure Movement: Out pets need exercise to keep them healthy and moving. Exercise keeps pets joints healthy, their weight down and adds mental stimulation. Keep in mind with senior pets, dogs might not jump, run or simply keep up the way they used to.
Is your Home Senior Pet Friendly? Your dog may not be able to get around as easily as before, but you can make changes to their surroundings that can help them.
– Get an orthopedic bed for your dog that is comfortable and will help them.
– Through various seasons, temperatures in our home vary. Be sure to keep them warm with a jacket or sweater in the winter months and nice and cool during the summertime.
– Hydration is key for ourselves and out pets. Make it easy to access water.
By sharing life and love with you, your pet has given you a priceless gift. Now that your pet has earned senior status, you have an opportunity to give something in return: the special love and care that can make the “golden years” happy and healthy. We encourage you to make an appointment soon to discuss how we can make these years the best of your life together.