No Place Like Home: Holiday Pet Safety

Let's help to Santa Clause!First, allow us to wish you and your family a happy holiday season! Your to-do list is probably overflowing, but hopefully, you’re able to sneak in some quality time with your best furry friend. After all, without extra time and attention, your pet could easily find – or fall into – trouble. Don’t worry, with our holiday pet safety tips and tricks, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy all that glitters this season.

Sweets and Meats

The holidays are brimming with indulgences, but remember, these goodies can be harmful to your pet. Never leave the following out for your pet to sample:

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Safe, Healthy, and Delicious Holiday Foods for Pets

Begging for the Holiday FeastLet’s face it, food is a big deal, and even more so during the holiday season when there are endless opportunities for feasting with family and friends (or on the couch while watching football).

For many families, a holiday gathering wouldn’t be complete without allowing Fido or Fluffy to sample the holiday edibles. Although we may think we are just giving our pets a treat, we may be actually be endangering their health or even their lives.

It’s understandable to want to share the season’s culinary delights with your pets, but it’s crucial to do so in a safe and healthy manner. Your team at Billings Animal Family Hospital has come up with some delicious and nutritious holiday foods for pets that are sure to please your four-legged friend.

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Use It or Lose It: Why Senior Pet Exercise Matters

Part of dog playing with ballThanks to advancements in veterinary medicine and increased owner involvement, our pets are living longer than ever. As a result, senior pet care has become more and more important.

Although some pets may still run, jump, and behave like a young pup or kitten, what happens when an older pet starts to slow down? It may seem more considerate to allow him or her to rest, but a healthy senior must keep moving. Keep reading to learn more about senior pet exercise and how to keep your sweet senior in tip-top shape.

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Senior Pet Diet and Nutrition for Greater Well-Being

Feeding the dogAs pets age, their nutritional needs will change. Just as a puppy or kitten requires a special diet for rapid growth, a senior pet diet may also need to factor in certain health and lifestyle changes.

Typically, many senior pets struggle with weight gain due, in part, to their inability to exercise as much as when they were younger. From mobility challenges to decreased energy, senior pet food should support the overall health and wellness of an aging pet.

Define “Senior”

With advancements in veterinary medicine and a focus on preventive care, pets are now living much longer lives. In fact, what constitutes “senior” or “geriatric” is now a bit amorphous, particularly if your four-legged is still quite active and in good health. Continue…

Caring for Senior Pets: Signs of Chronic Illness

Labrador dog resting indoorsJust like us, pets develop health problems as they age. It’s hard to admit (or even recognize), but modern veterinary medicine and regular at-home care can go a long way to improving and extending the lives of senior pets.

The Timeline

Senior pets are generally considered geriatric at 7 years old. As your pet ages, you may notice some behavioral changes. While some of these may be completely harmless, many shifts in patterns or habits can indicate larger health problems. Continue…

In Full Swing: How to Beat Your Pet’s Back to School Blues

guinea pig in glasses reading a bookOne of the best ways to manage change in your household is to keep to a routine. This time-tested approach works wonders for people, but it’s also a great strategy for your pet at the start of the school year.

The back to school blues are felt profoundly by your four-legged family member, but with a healthy combination of preparation and patience, your pet’s new routine will be a smashing success.

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Happy Feet: Keeping Pet Paws Protected from Outdoor and Heat Dangers

Doggie PawsDespite all of the wear-and-tear they receive, pet paws are actually quite sensitive and subject to risk of injury, burn, and dryness or cracking. From scorching sidewalks to sharp rocks, paws are at increased risk, as we often spend more time outdoors with our furry companions during the summer months.

So how can you better protect those tender paws? Through summertime pet paw care!

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I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream… For Pet Popsicles!

Dog And A Red PopsicleSwimming in the river, running through the sprinklers, splashing in a kiddie pool, lying by the fan, and hiding in the air conditioned house are all perfectly acceptable ways for our pets to keep cool now that summer is in full swing. But why not shake things up for our furry friends by offering them a time-honored, summer tradition: the popsicle?

Pet popsicles are becoming quite “the thing” these days, and with tons of health options available for making your own, there’s no reason not to indulge your pet in one of these tasty treats. Continue…

It’s Backyard BBQ Season! Pet Safety Tips for Your Furriest Guest

Group of friends eating outdoorSometimes, the tastiest way to enjoy a warm July day is to fire up the grill and invite a few guests over. Backyard parties are a great way to celebrate summer with friends, family, and your party-loving canine.

Unfortunately, while you pass around the plate of ribs, your chow hound may be checking out the trash, stray food, and unattended dishes. To get the most out of your hosting experience, beef up on these pet safety tips about potentially hazardous foods. Continue…

Animal Planet: Wildlife Safety 101

Abyssinian cat hunting in parkRaccoons, coyotes, snakes, deer, skunks, rabbits, foxes, and bears are only a few of the hundreds of species of wildlife that have adapted to life near humans. As Montana residents, many of us encounter some or all of these beautiful creatures on a regular basis, whether during a wilderness excursion or right in our own backyards.

It may not be possible to live in perfect harmony with our surrounding ecosystem, but by understanding the principles of wildlife safety we can help to protect our human families, our pets, and of course the creatures themselves. Continue…