The Billings Animal Family Hospital Guide To Healthy Treats

October 1st, 2015

Portrait of a Parson Jack Russell Terrier transfixed by the prospect of a treatThe word “treat” is not generally synonymous with “healthy”. Most treats for pets, and for people, come in packages and are laden with fat, salt, and sugar. All pets love prepackaged treats, but did you know that most enjoy fruits and vegetables too?

Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, certain properly prepared fruits, veggies, and other pantry staples make wonderful alternative treats for dogs and cats. When deciding which of the many healthy treats to offer your pet, it is absolutely vital to keep in mind that some people food is toxic to pets and therefore strictly off-limits, such as grapes, onions, chocolate, and macadamia nuts to name a few.
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Mental Illness in Pets: Not Just a Problem for People

September 11th, 2015

iStock_000000686354_LargeJust about everyone knows someone, or has themselves been touched by conditions such as depression, anxiety, or dementia. These issues are very real for many Americans. But while we focus very heavily on the bodily health of our pets, we sometimes forget that pets can battle these types of problems as well. Learn what you need to know about mental illness in pets

Common Types of Mental Illness in Pets

There are many manifestations of mental illness in pets that we must deal with. A few types are more common than others, however. Some of the more common issues that we deal with include: Read the rest of this entry »

Foxtail Grasses and How They Harm Your Pet

September 8th, 2015

FoxtailsFoxtails…the word makes you think of a lovely meadow with the sun shining through those golden-tipped grasses. And, while foxtails can seem beautiful from afar, but can actually cause severe infections and abscesses in pets – mostly generally, dogs. That is why it is important to know how to keep your pet away from foxtail grasses and similar species of this problematic plant group.

Identifying Foxtails

Foxtails belong to a family of grasses that contain awns, or barbs, that are designed to burrow into the ground, along with the seed, to encourage propagation. Awns are the dried arrow-shaped stickers that the grasses shed, and are the harmful portion of the foxtail. Read the rest of this entry »

Pets and College Students: Good or Bad?

August 29th, 2015

Billings_iStock_000063996443_LargeFor many college students (and their parents), heading off into the unknown school year can be intimidating. And, many at-home pet owning students look for ways to bring “home” to their academic experience by looking for pet-friendly dorms (ha!) and apartments. Read the rest of this entry »

Top of the Class: Advanced Trick and Agility Training

August 20th, 2015

Police dog trainingIt’s back to school season…for dogs? Yes! Many canines enjoy the challenges that come with learning new tricks and being mentally and physically put to the test. Higher level training classes, as well as agility training, often appeal to breeds that need to be moving, working, and mentally engaged. Read the rest of this entry »

Brilliant! Using Social Media To Find A Lost Pet

August 16th, 2015

Dog French BulldogSocial media has skyrocketed us all into a hyper-aware state of knowing all the details about what’s going on around the world at any given moment. Sure, we can all binge on a long lost pal’s vacation photos ad nauseum, but beyond reunions and event notifications, social media is a powerful tool in the case of a missing pet.

While it’s easy to romanticize humankind’s past methods of communication (who doesn’t long for a love letter written in cursive, penned in India ink, sealed with a wax stamp, and hand delivered?) Read the rest of this entry »

Five Pocket Pet Facts Every Exotics Owner Needs to Know

August 9th, 2015

billings-iStock_000029796018_LargeIf you own a pocket pet like a rabbit, gerbil, hamster, ferret, or mouse, you are already in an elite club. Not everyone has the passion and know-how to keep one of these pint-sized critters. Keep reading to learn a few things that even you might not know about your fabulous pocket pet. Read the rest of this entry »

Relationships Matter: Improving Pet Health Through Quality Care

July 30th, 2015

family walks with running dog in parkMany of us embrace the idea of preventive wellness as an integral part of long-term health. Maybe you have decided to implement daily exercise into your family’s routine, or opted for healthier whole foods and organics. It’s likely, too, that you have a trusted family physician with whom you’ve built a rapport and preventive care plan. Read the rest of this entry »

Lending an Ear: Deaf Pet

July 24th, 2015


Lending an Ear: Deaf Pet

Billings_iStock_000065115897_LargeWhen a pet experiences hearing loss, it can be disconcerting for everyone involved. Animals rely on their hearing for many day to day functions, and a the loss of hearing can be a challenge. But, with a little extra help from their owners, your pet can continue to thrive.

If you have a pet who suffers from hearing loss, read on to learn what you need to know about helping a deaf pet. Read the rest of this entry »

Seeing the Light When Dealing with a Blind Pet

July 14th, 2015

old dog with eye cataractWe depend on our vision for so much that it is hard to imagine a world of darkness. From surfing the internet, to watching a movie, to appreciating a favorite art piece, our vision is a huge part of our lives.

When a pet’s vision is taken, it can be devastating, often more so to us than the animal. How will they function? What will their quality of life be like? Fear not, though. While the thought of having a blind pet might be intimidating, most times these amazing animals can do quite well with a little help. Read the rest of this entry »