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…

Hooked! Tips To Keep Your Dog Safe While Fishing

Fly Fishing with DogOur state is well-known for many reasons, and among our tremendous natural resources and stunning beauty, Montana’s waterways are especially legendary. Not coincidentally, the combination of an avid angler with a well-trained hound is not a rare sight around these parts. However, while there are those that simply wouldn’t dream of leaving their dog at home, there are others that do not appreciate a canine’s presence while fishing.

While we’re not experts on the sometimes-complicated dynamics between anglers, we do know a thing or two about the ways to keep your dog safe while fishing. Ready to make a splash? Let’s dive right in… Continue…

The Scary Sounds of Summer: Noise Aversion in Pets

PuppyBam, pop-pop-pop, kaboom! From Fourth of July festivities to the ground-shaking thunder claps of a storm, these are the sounds of summer. Noise aversion in pets is a common condition, and these seasonal sounds may unfortunately create a lot of stress and result in adverse effects on health and wellbeing.

Few, if any, animals appreciate loud noises. This is in part due to their sensitivity to noise and ability to hear high frequencies. However, for some pets, simple aversion can turn into full blown phobias. Continue…

Fear Free and Proud:  All About Our Fear Free Certification

Beagle at the veterinarianWhile most owners know how important it is to bring their pet in for their wellness examinations, actually mustering up the gumption to do so can be another story altogether. Besides finding the time and wrestling an often unwilling participant into a pet carrier or the vehicle, it can be hard to watch your sweet companion become anxious or even terrified while at our hospital.

That is why Billings Animal Family Hospital has dedicated itself to making your visits to see us as pleasant as possible and have committed ourselves to achieving our Fear Free Certification. Continue…

A Springtime Reminder: Avoiding Encounters with Venomous Snakes

Billings_iStock_000002429053_LargeThe coming of spring and warmer weather often means spending more time in Mother Nature. And, not only are pet owners and their pets ready to get out for some fun and sun, there is also more risk of encountering sun-loving venomous snakes.

Because we live in an area rife with snakes and the potential for an encounter, we want to review the importance of snake awareness and bite prevention, both for pet owners and their four-legged friends. Continue…

Here Comes The Sun: Pet Summer Safety Reminders

dog relaxing on grassThere’s nothing like summertime in Montana! After a grueling winter, people and their pets are all ready to stretch our legs and take in the sun. Before you hit the rivers, lakes, trails, or backyard with your pet this summer, take a moment to bone up on pet summer safety tips from your friends at Billings Animal Hospital.

Pet Summer Safety Begins At Home

Summer wouldn’t be the same without plenty of time spent grilling, playing, and just hanging out in the backyard. It’s important to be aware that many potential pet toxins are lurking right under our noses, in and around our homes and yards. Continue…

Hooray: It’s National Kids and Pets Day!

boy and catIs there anything sweeter than the special relationship between a child and a pet? Kids and pets go together like peanut butter and jelly, milk and cookies, cheese and crackers, and…well, you get the picture! So perfectly complementary and utterly irresistible is this adorable combo it’s easy to presume that everything is – and always will be – naturally easy going and mutually beneficial.

In honor of National Kids and Pets Day, your friends at Billings Animal Family Hospital want to make sure that relationships between the species are safely supported. That way, you and your whole family can have the most possible fun! Continue…

Celebrating Earth Day With Pets: A Spotlight On Public Health

Billings_iStock_000045052444_LargeWhat comes to mind when you think of Earth Day? Images of children holding hands and running barefoot through green grass? A crystal blue ocean filled with leaping dolphins and whales? Or perhaps a bustling recycling plant overflowing with plastic bottles ready to be turned into sweaters and park benches?

Public health probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when Earth Day is mentioned, but for pet owners, perhaps it should be.

While recycling and planting trees are wonderful and meaningful Earth Day (or everyday) activities, we invite you to consider the ways in which you as a pet owner can increase the safety, health, and beauty of your community. Continue…

Ewww, Dog Germs! What You Need to Know About Kissing Your Dog

Billings_iStock_000076357617_LargeSome pet owners are a little more liberal with doggy kisses than others. Some of us channel a little more Lucy than others, avoiding contact with our pet’s tongue at all costs, while others believe that dogs have very clean mouths and don’t mind the extra affection.

So which is it?

Read on to learn more than you ever wanted to know about kissing your dog. Continue…

Petscaping: Creating a Pet Friendly Backyard

Arlington_iStock_000071200371_LargeA basic backyard for your pet should include fencing, access to water, shade, and his or her own patch on which to answer nature’s call. While there’s nothing wrong with this approach, going the extra mile to design a truly pet friendly backyard has far-reaching benefits. Not only will your pet be happy and safe, you can rest assured he or she isn’t misbehaving. Let the design challenge begin!

Safety First

Depending on the size of your backyard, you may want all or part of it fenced in. Dog runs can be a great addition to a larger property that isn’t fully enclosed (as long as your pet doesn’t feel isolated). Always make sure your pet is safe within the perimeter and cannot easily escape (over or under the fence). The following considerations are also important: Continue…