Troubleshooting Pet Weight Loss

Young papillonSometimes weight loss in pets is a good thing; but if you are suddenly noticing ribs on Fluffy or Fido it can be cause for concern. If your pet is losing weight, it is important to ask yourself why it is happening. Weight loss can be a normal physiologic occurrence, but sometimes it is a symptom of a problem.

What Causes Pet Weight Loss

If you understand how and why people lose weight, you can easily understand why pets lose weight. A pet’s body weight is a function of the
calories he or she consumes and the calories that are burned. A decrease in your pet’s intake or an increase in the amount of energy the pet is using on a daily basis will result in the loss of weight. Continue…

Helping Your Senior Pet Get the Most Out of Summer

iStock_000016978232_SmallSummer is finally here and it’s likely that you can’t wait to get outside with your pet.

This may be especially true if you have a senior pet, who has probably felt cooped up indoors for too long and is aching to soak up the sunshine and stretch the old bones a bit. However, spending winter indoors has probably meant limited exercise for your arthritic pet, which can have a negative impact on your senior pet’s summer fun, if you don’t take it a little easy.

While the prospect of enjoying the yard, the lake, and long walks is exciting to you both, it’s important to start slow and not rush into any extreme activity. After all, you wouldn’t want to jump up off the couch and run a marathon at 60, and neither does your pet. Continue…

Pets and People Food

iStock_000013651584_LargeJust about every pet owner is guilty of sharing people food with their pets at some point or another. Sometimes this means sharing the food off of your plate at the end of a meal, or it means giving your four-legged friend a special “treat” just for being the loving and loyal companion that he or she is. And who hasn’t had a pet snag something off the counter?

As a pet owner, you need to be aware of those foods that are both good and bad for your pet to consume. While some people foods are fine, and a few are even beneficial, there are six foods in particular that can be detrimental to your pet’s health. Here’s what to know about pets and people food:

  • Chocolate has two ingredients (caffeine and theobromine) that can lead to toxicosis and pancreatitis. When it comes to this food, all chocolate is bad chocolate, but it is especially important to remember that the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is to your pet.
  • Bread dough poses a double threat to your pet. By ingesting raw bread dough, your pet not only faces the very real danger of having the dough rise in the moist environment of his stomach causing extreme discomfort, but also the yeast in raw bread dough releases alcohol that can cause your pet to become intoxicated.
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    How to Tick Check Your Pet

    iStock_000019296376_SmallThis time of year, it seems like no matter how you try to avoid them, ticks will find their way onto our pets. Those of us that grew up in the Billings area know all about the power of the tick check – for both people and pets. Ticks in this region carry a variety of diseases, including Lyme Disease, so it’s important to tick check your pet daily this time of year.

    Unless your pet is very patient, it is best that you check for ticks when your pet is tired. Consider checking for ticks after a long walk or vigorous playtime. If your pet is excitable, try to enlist the help of a second person.

    Ticks are best found by touch, especially if your pet has long fur or is a dark color. If done right, checking for ticks will feel like a good massage, and be Continue…

    Be Prepared! How to Make a Pet First-Aid Kit

    FirstAidAs a pet parent, you know that anything can, and at some point probably will, happen. Your pet might get in a scrape with another animal, tussle with a blackberry bush, or scrap himself up on rocky hike in the foothills. These are not necessarily emergencies (although they can be), but just minor bumps and scratches that can be tended to with a little first aid.

    By taking the time now to assemble a pet first-aid kit, you can be better able provide whatever care is needed, when it’s needed. Not only will having a pet first-aid kit on hand help you to stabilize your pet in an emergency, but it will also keep you from coming in when emergency care might not be necessary. And while we do encourage you to call with any questions or concerns you might have, you should have these items on hand, just in case: Continue…