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…

Mental Illness in Pets: Not Just a Problem for People

iStock_000000686354_LargeJust about everyone knows someone, or has themselves been touched by conditions such as depression, anxiety, or dementia. These issues are very real for many Americans. But while we focus very heavily on the bodily health of our pets, we sometimes forget that pets can battle these types of problems as well. Learn what you need to know about mental illness in pets

Common Types of Mental Illness in Pets

There are many manifestations of mental illness in pets that we must deal with. A few types are more common than others, however. Some of the more common issues that we deal with include: Continue…

Relationships Matter: Improving Pet Health Through Quality Care

family walks with running dog in parkMany of us embrace the idea of preventive wellness as an integral part of long-term health. Maybe you have decided to implement daily exercise into your family’s routine, or opted for healthier whole foods and organics. It’s likely, too, that you have a trusted family physician with whom you’ve built a rapport and preventive care plan. Continue…

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

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. Continue…

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year: Holiday Pet Safety

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. Continue…

Impress Your Pet: Top Pet Presents This Holiday Season

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. Continue…

Winter Pet Safety

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. Continue…

Keeping Thanksgiving Pet-Safe and Fur-Friendly

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. Continue…

Caring for the Pregnant Dog

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: Continue…

Shake It Off: Deciphering the Trembling Dog

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. Continue…