What Does That Mean? Deciphering Your Dog’s Body Language

April 23rd, 2015

Dog looks out at TreesIf you’re trying teach your pet a new trick, routine, or behavior, you’ll first need to understand the way your pet communicates.


Learning a new language can be tricky at first, but when trying to decipher what your dog is saying with those pinned-back ears or expressive eyebrows, there are a few common denominators among the species. Although your pet is definitely unique in his or her attempts to make you comprehend certain, shall we say… motivations (did somebody say squirrel?), pet body language is somewhat similar across the board. Read the rest of this entry »

Preventative Reptile Care: A Pound of Cure

April 16th, 2015

Turtle catches the frisbeeJust because you own a lizard, turtle, snake, or tortoise doesn’t mean that you don’t want to provide good pet care. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in many instances of life, and caring for your small, scaly friend is no different.

Preventative reptile care is an important part of responsible pet ownership, and there are a few things reptile owners (or owners-to-be) need to know about caring for their pets. Read the rest of this entry »

Parvo and the Importance of Prevention

April 11th, 2015

White golden retriever puppyOne of the most frightening words a pet owner can hear is parvo. Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious disease that attacks the white blood cells and causes serious damage to the intestinal tract and sometimes the heart. Parvovirus most commonly affects puppies or dogs under one year of age, since in most cases, they have not been fully vaccinated and have weaker immune systems. In fact, 85% of dogs diagnosed with parvo are between 6-20 weeks old. However, unvaccinated adult dogs are also at risk. Read the rest of this entry »

Establishing a Baseline for Your Pet: The Ultimate Pet Health Monitoring Tool

April 3rd, 2015

Billings_000036607386_LargeAs pet parents, most of us are constantly looking for ways to improve our pets’ lives and help them live longer. While there are all sorts of ways we are accomplishing this, perhaps the most effective means to the end is actually not revolutionary at all.

Being an active participant in your pet’s care and pet health monitoring are actually the most effective way of extending your pet’s quantity and quality of life. By seeking routine wellness care, we can establish a baseline for our pet’s health and do better for him or her! Read the rest of this entry »

A Recipe for Success: How Puppy Training Helps Pets Thrive

March 22nd, 2015

Running beagle puppy at the walkWhen you bring home a new puppy, you want to do everything exactly right. There is nothing quite like looking into those sweet, trusting eyes knowing that they are depending on you to do what is best.

While selecting the right food, picking the perfect collar, and finding just the right doggy bed may be important, a good puppy training program may be the most important thing you do for your new dog. Keep reading to learn how a formal puppy training program can help your pet thrive. Read the rest of this entry »

Traveling With Dogs: A Smooth Ride

March 19th, 2015

Jack Russell Terrier Dog Enjoying a Car Ride.Spring is on the horizon! It may not feel like it outside yet, but the calendar promises that greener days are on their way. Think spring cleaning! Open windows! Picking up the yard after the snow melts! (oh wait…) Think of hitting the open road with your tongue flapping in the wind! Well, maybe not you, but someone in your family…

For many of us, warmer weather leads to thoughts of road trips and camping, pouring over maps, and (for our four-legged friends) finding new trees to pee on! While it’s purr-fectly acceptable to find a good kennel or dog sitter and head off into the wild blue, the thought of family vacation without your dear dog may be unacceptable. Here are a few ideas to make traveling with your pooch safer and more fun… Read the rest of this entry »

Pets and Rattlesnakes: Avoiding an Unfortunate Meeting

March 11th, 2015

Mojave Rattlesnake - Crotalus scutulatusSpring is just around the corner, and with the rise in temperatures and the sunny days ahead, rattlesnake and other venomous snake sightings are set to become more common. A few years ago, we blogged about the types of venomous snakes in the area and what happens – physiologically speaking – if your dog is bitten. However, an encounter between pets and rattlesnakes (or other venomous reptile) can be prevented with some simple precautions and a focus on avoiding these scenarios in which most bites occur. Read the rest of this entry »

Crate Training Cats: It Can Be Done!

February 27th, 2015

kittens jump out of a plastic box for transport on a white backgIt’s likely that you’ve never really considered the benefits of crate training your cat… After all, crates are for dogs, right? And we all know that training cats to do anything requires advanced coursework at Hogwarts.

Joking aside, though; there are tremendous benefits to crate training cats, and the task itself is not nearly as difficult as you might think. With a little cunning and some basic trickery (not to mention a few healthy treats), you will have your cat thinking that his or her crate is the cat’s meow, in no time. Read the rest of this entry »

Dr. Google: Why Depending on the Internet to Diagnose a Sick Pet is Dangerous

February 20th, 2015

Billings_iStock_000016221968_LargeImagine this scenario: It’s midnight and your pet just vomited up who-knows-what and appears restless. What is the first thing you’ll likely to do? Honestly?

If you said search Google for sick pet symptoms, you would be one pet owner among many. And, while online pet health information can be informative, the problems of relying on online information to diagnose your pet are many and may put your pet’s health at risk. Read the rest of this entry »

Pet Acupuncture: The Benefits of a Healing Touch

February 15th, 2015

acupuncture needlesOver the past few decades, Western medicine has come to acknowledge the efficacy of many Eastern healing modalities, including acupuncture and medicinal herbalism. Veterinary medicine is no exception to the rule, and we are now more familiar with the science of some of these ancient practices.

Pet acupuncture or veterinary acupuncture is growing in popularity for its non-invasive approach to pain management and the successful treatment of many common pet illnesses, and is a treatment modality we are proud to offer at Billings Animal Family Hospital. Here is a look at why… Read the rest of this entry »