Keeping Thanksgiving Pet-Safe and Fur-Friendly

November 21st, 2014

english Bulldog puppy in chef's hat“Pass the turkey!”

“More stuffing, please.”

“Nomnomnom… Zzzzzzzz”

These are the familiar sounds of Thanksgiving, a day abuzz with the usual banquet of overwhelming good eats and treats, followed by that post-feast nap on the couch. While we feel very thankful for the food we share and the time we spend with loved ones, for pet parents, the safety and whereabouts of pets during the hectic holiday is a big concern –or at least it should be.

Like other holidays, Thanksgiving brings with it potentially pet toxic foods, dangerous decorations, and overzealous guests with leftovers for Fido and Patches. And, even in the best of cases, it’s easy to overfeed your dog or cat, which can result in digestive upset and even more serious issues like pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas resulting from overindulgence. Read the rest of this entry »

Caring for the Pregnant Dog

November 17th, 2014

iStock_000038976440_MediumBreeding pets isn’t for everyone, or even most. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and passion for the breed. If you are someone who has decided to breed their dog, however, you know how overwhelming it can be to take care of your pregnant pet.

Luckily for you, Billings Animal Family Hospital has enormous expertise and experience in the area. We are always happy to help our clients with their canine reproductive care needs.

Prenatal Care for Your Dog

Dogs are pregnant for approximately 63 days and, just as in their human counterparts, experience changes in metabolism during their pregnancy. It is important to make the appropriate adjustments to her care during this time in order to help her have a healthy, strong litter. Be sure to do the following for your pregnant dog: Read the rest of this entry »

Shake It Off: Deciphering the Trembling Dog

November 9th, 2014

iStock_000007345679_MediumChances are that if your dog is shaking, he or she is not enjoying Taylor Swift’s latest album. Dogs may shake, shiver, and tremble for many reasons. Some of them are no big deal, and others can be more serious. Learn about the more common reasons you might see a quivering canine.

Physiological Issues

Shaking can be a normal physiologic response to certain situations. Dogs may shake if they are:

  • Cold
  • Excited
  • Nervous
  • Stressed/anxious
  • If you can pinpoint one of these stimuli as a cause for your pet’s trembling it is probably nothing to be too worried about. The shaking should subside when the cause is removed and not be frequently recurring. Read the rest of this entry »

    Pawsitively Pawesome Halloween Pet Safety Tips

    October 27th, 2014

    iStock_000036243016_MediumTime flies faster than a witch’s broomstick and we are truly frightened that Halloween is right around the corner. While you enjoy a pensive mood lamenting where the year has gone, might we suggest taking one more quiet moment to ponder Halloween safety for your pet? The best way to approach Halloween – and all it’s ensuing madness – is to prepare for the worst (and hope for the best), and the following list of Halloween pet safety tips will help you and your pet stay as safe as possible so the real fun can be had. Read the rest of this entry »

    Buying a Bird: What You Need to Know

    October 23rd, 2014

    Eclectus parrot and Bassett HoundAny bird owner will tell you that owning one of these magnificent feathered creatures is a rewarding and worthwhile experience. Birds don’t make the perfect pet for everyone, though, and it is important to understand what you are getting into before committing to bird ownership. Consider the special needs an avian pet needs before bringing one into your home.

    Birds Are Noisy

    Owning a bird as a pet may mean a change in the volume of your household. Birds certainly can (and do) make lots of wonderful noises including beautiful songs and soothing chirps. Many birds, however, also have calls and squawks that are less than pleasant for some.

    Vocalizations are an important part of social communication for many species. Be sure to research how noisy a particular species may be before considering ownership. Read the rest of this entry »

    We Love Our Vet Techs!

    October 13th, 2014

    Consoling injured dogThe week of October 12–18 is a special one, as we acknowledge and celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of our outstanding veterinary technicians. National Veterinary Technician Week is an opportunity to spotlight all the meaningful ways Vet Techs serve the health and welfare of animals. From greeting you and taking your pet’s vital signs, to handling your pet with a gentle hand and a pure heart, and then following up with you after your pet’s treatment, our Vet Techs are here for you and your pet.

    Perhaps you aren’t aware of what a Vet Tech is and what they do? Well, to begin with, they are amazing! Beyond that, their care, expertise, attention to detail, and love for your pets speak volumes. Please read on to learn how you and your pet might be affected by their special training and care in the future. Read the rest of this entry »

    Pound Puppies: Give a Dog a Home

    October 3rd, 2014

    iStock_000006303968_MediumOctober is the American Humane Society’s Adopt-a-Dog Month, and we at Billings Animal Family Hospital are in support of the amazing people who choose pet adoption over buying from a pet store or breeder. By adopting an animal, you save lives, educate the public through your compassionate action, and provide a lifelong home for a precious fur friend.

    Every year, hundreds of thousands of animals are euthanized. This sad fact is entirely avoidable when people choose the responsible decision of spaying or neutering their pets and opting to adopt.  Pet adoption also discourages unethical breeders and puppy mills from making profit off of abusive practices AND makes the community a safer, healthier, and more compassionate place for all.

    But, adopting a dog is more than just a momentary action. When you adopt, you make a commitment to provide shelter, food, veterinary care, training, and – most importantly – love for a lifetime. So, if you have decided to take home a precious pound pup, what are some important factors to consider before you pick your new best friend? Read the rest of this entry »

    Fall Hunting and Dog Safety

    September 28th, 2014

    iStock_000017794754_MediumThe weather in the Billings area starts to feel very autumnal in October and it’s typical to see a variety of weather patterns ranging from Indian summer days to rain and then, invariably, snow in November. Even during our relatively short fall season, Big Sky Country has a great deal to offer an outdoor enthusiast with hunting at the forefront of many people’s activities.

    If you are one of the millions of people preparing your dog for a hunt we’d like to remind you of certain safety considerations. Being unprepared to deal with the weather, other hunters or accidents can put you and your dog at risk. While we at Billings Animal Family Hospital are there for you and your pet at every turn, we do recommend that you prepare as much as possible to enjoy the fall hunting season with your dog. Read the rest of this entry »

    New Pet Wellness Plans at Billings Animal Family Hospital

    September 22nd, 2014

    playing catWe know there is a great deal of information, stress, and confusion regarding the cost of pet medical care. Certainly you love your pet and want to be able to cover any costs associated with medical care or an emergency. But significant amount of people may worry that they may not be able to afford medical bills for a sick or injured cat or dog.

    At Billings Animal Family Hospital, we know it can be financially difficult to commit to your pet’s long-term care, so we’ve decided to make it a little easier for you. Read the rest of this entry »

    Welcome Dr. Sarah Bruggeman!

    September 16th, 2014

    sarahThe staff at Billings Animal Family Hospital could not be more pleased to introduce you to Dr. Sarah Bruggeman, DVM.

    That’s right, Doctor Sarah Bruggeman!

    For many of you, Dr. Sarah’s face is a familiar one, as she has been a part of the BAFH family off and on since 2001. This amazing woman (and Billings native) began with us 13 years ago as a receptionist and kennel attendant, and has been with us ever since (when time would allow) as she completed her education and, eventually, her degree in veterinary medicine. Read the rest of this entry »