Children and Pet Loss: Helping Them Cope

children and pet lossThe death of a beloved pet is one of the most difficult paths we walk as humans, and can rock us to the very core. For children the experience can be especially intense, and consideration must be taken to help them understand death and learn how to cope with grief.

Children and pet loss certainly isn’t the most lighthearted subject, but it’s one that many families will face eventually. Your friends at Billings Animal Family Hospital hope that our insights on children and pet loss can help you and your loved ones through this turbulent time.

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The Next Best Thing: Taking Care Of Your Pet After You Die

pet after you diePets have shorter lifespans than humans, and when we adopt a furry family member, we do so with the realization that we will one day be saying goodbye. But what if we are the ones who end up dying first?

As an animal lover, you make sure your pets have the best in food, shelter, veterinary care, and love. Although it’s not the happiest of topics, making plans for the care of a pet after you die is another critical aspect of responsible pet ownership.

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Caring for Exotic Senior Pets

exotic senior petsIt’s fairly commonplace for dogs and cats to live long enough to earn their senior stripes. But what about exotic senior pets?

With advancements in wellness care, good husbandry, and better-than-ever treatment options, it is no surprise that all species are living longer lives than ever before. Caring for an older exotic pet is a little different than caring for a young one, though.

Do you know your stuff when it comes to caring for exotic senior pets? Billings Animal Family Hospital is here to get you up to speed.

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Boating With Your Pet: Keeping Your Fur Friend Safe Around Water

water safetySpending time on the water is one of America’s favorite pastimes during the warm summer months. Boating is a particularly great way to combine a love of outdoor recreation with a love for swimming and floating on a tranquil lake. For pet owners, this often entails bringing a water-loving dog along for some fun in the sun.

Boating with your pet, however, should also include necessary preparations and awareness of safety precautions. Like you would with a child, a pet requires some additional attention and planning to ensure a most incredible day on the water.

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All About Stem Cell Therapy for Pets

pet escapeStem cell” is a term that gets thrown around a lot in the media, yet few people really understand what stem cells are and how they are being utilized on a day-to-day basis. Stem cell therapy for pets is certainly on the forefront of modern veterinary medicine, and is just one more way your team at Billings Animal Family Hospital is working to bring the best care to your furry family.

A Stem Cell Primer

So, what on earth are stem cells? While they often get a fancy rap in the media, stem cells are really the most basic cells in our bodies. They are the immature cells that develop into more specialized tissues as they grow.

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Memorial Day Weekend Awaits! But is Your Pet Safe?

pet safeMemorial Day weekend is just around the corner, and for those champions of the backyard BBQ, nothing can be as exciting as firing up the grill. From ribs and steaks to chilling on the deck with a cold beverage, cookouts are indeed America’s holiday pastime.

However, for those of us with pets, Memorial Day weekend can also smell like trouble. The grill may not seem like a matter of concern, but many burned paws and food toxin emergencies have resulted from the unsupervised curiosity of our furry friends. To keep your pet safe this summer, take a moment to learn about some precautions you can take to ensure a great time for all.

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Pot and Pets: What You Need to Know

pot and petsThe state of marijuana legalization in the United States is in flux, and Montana is no exception. Medical cannabis was legalized in Montana in 2004, and a 2016 ballot initiative further loosened the regulations.

While proponents of medical marijuana are obviously pleased with the growing acceptance of the drug, it has had a less than positive impact on many pets. The Pet Poison Hotline reports a 330% increase in marijuana toxicity cases in pets over the past several years, correlating with the rise in legalization across the country.

Educating yourself about pot and pets, including the dangers and how you can prevent an accidental poisoning, is the first step toward making sure your furry loved ones stay safe. Continue…

Do Pets Mourn the Loss of Another Household Pet?

Losing a beloved pet is devastating for people, and this loss can be just as upsetting to other animals in the household. Pet grief is somewhat of a mystery, and the subject of grief among animals has been the focus of many researchers for decades.

From the heartbreaking image of a dog lying down in front of his owner’s casket to the mourning rituals of elephants, grief in animals (as well as other complex emotions) has been well documented. However, while the emotional life of animals is obviously rich, there are few studies that examine how pets mourn the loss of other pets within the home.

Because many owners report behavioral changes in surviving pets, let’s take a closer look at pet grief and what owners can do to support their four-legged friends.

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Gone but Not Forgotten: Understanding Pet Grief

The loss of a loved one is arguably one of the most difficult parts of the human experience, and for many pets it can be just as earth-shattering. Unlike humans, who have words to express our complex emotions, pets aren’t able to share with us how they are feeling or reacting, and it can be difficult to know how to help a grieving pet.

It’s unfortunate that we can’t sit down and “talk it out” with our pets during times of sadness and turmoil, but with patience, tenderness, and understanding, it’s possible to work through pet grief, and to help your pet enjoy life once more.

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Why is My Cat Licking the Carpet?

Quirky, eccentric, obsessive, adorable… Call it what you will, but our feline friends can be a little strange sometimes. We could probably write a novel on why cats do the things that they do, but for now, we are going to concentrate on one idiosyncratic behavior shared amongst the kitty population.

Join us as Billings Animal Family Hospital attempts to explain why your cat licking the carpet can indicate a range of issues.

Grooming Behavior in Cats

Grooming is an essential part of being a cat. Kittens learn to groom themselves shortly after birth, and cats continue to groom themselves and each other for the rest of their lives. Grooming serves some very important functions, including:

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