The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year: Holiday Pet Safety

December 18th, 2014

iStock_000031226378_LargeWhile sipping on some eggnog, listening to Bing Crosby, and reflecting on the memories from holidays past, take a moment to assess your pet’s environment. Is it safe? Free of potential choking hazards and poisonous ingredients? Is it primed for your pet to enjoy the season, as well?

Even for a resolute Scrooge, the holidays can be a distracting time as we become truly flurried, not unlike the Montana weather. Presents to buy, trees to decorate, cookies to bake…In the shadow of so many inviting and comforting things to do, your pet could be at risk. To help with this, we brainstormed the pet safety tips you can use to eliminate holiday dangers dangling provocatively at your pet’s eye level. Read the rest of this entry »

Impress Your Pet: Top Pet Presents This Holiday Season

December 15th, 2014

iStock_000051511110_LargeAlthough your pet may not understand the importance of gift-giving this time of the year, he or she certainly deserves to be treated to a little special something this holiday season. Sniffing around for just the right present can be time-consuming, though; so we’ve decided to do some of the legwork for you and compile a list of spot-on pet presents for the holiday season.

Health Matters

Some pet owners want to give the ongoing gift of health to their pets and a great way to do that is with dental care. Some pets don’t mind coming to see us for a dental cleaning experience, which can lengthen life and increase overall wellness. Also, acupuncture, although beneficial year-round, can make a great holiday present for pets unfamiliar to it’s healing and supportive qualities. Read the rest of this entry »

Winter Pet Safety

December 8th, 2014

iStock_000031619262_LargeAs we dig out our own cold weather clothes and switch out the tires on our cars, it’s also time to think about what we can do to ease our pets through the winter. A few simple winter pet safety precautions can help keep the icy months a winter wonderland for our four-legged friend, and not a nightmare before (or after) Christmas.

The best thing we can do to keep our critters healthy and safe is to keep them warm and dry, and inside with us (preferably under quilts, and with lots of tummy rubs). When we do take them outside we can bundle them up in coats and sweaters and put booties on Dexter, we can dig a spot out of the snow for Checkers to go potty, and we can limit the time Penny is outdoors as the temperature drops.

All the winter pet precautions are no good if Peanut decides to run off though, so here are some important reasons to keep your furry friends close by to prevent a cold weather disaster. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »