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.


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.


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:


The Countdown: Billings Animal Family Hospital’s Top 10 Blogs of 2016

Billings_iStock_000075088461_LargeAs we prepare to bid farewell to another amazing year, we would like to take a moment to thank you for choosing Billings Animal Family Hospital. We are honored to have partnered with you and your family in providing the best care possible for your beloved pets. Thank you!

We hope you have found our blog posts informative and helpful and, as always, we appreciate and welcome your feedback. We’re heading into 2017 with the continued goal of providing our pet family readers with the best in educational, relevant, and interesting content. Continue…

‘Tis the Season: Great Gifts for Pet Owners

Boy and a dogWe all know and love someone who collects…something. Not surprisingly, pet owners have a special knack for accumulating items that pay homage to their favorite pet. Over the years, these collections grow until the entire house is full of chicken knick-knacks, Boston terrier throw pillows, Macaw figurines, and photographs of cats getting into trouble.

It might seem that there aren’t any gifts for pet owners anymore, as they’ve all been purchased and displayed already. Well, Billings Animal Family Hospital has the scoop on the most clever, useful, and meaningful gifts for the animal lover in your life. Let the holiday shopping begin!


No Place Like Home: Holiday Pet Safety

Let's help to Santa Clause!First, allow us to wish you and your family a happy holiday season! Your to-do list is probably overflowing, but hopefully, you’re able to sneak in some quality time with your best furry friend. After all, without extra time and attention, your pet could easily find – or fall into – trouble. Don’t worry, with our holiday pet safety tips and tricks, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy all that glitters this season.

Sweets and Meats

The holidays are brimming with indulgences, but remember, these goodies can be harmful to your pet. Never leave the following out for your pet to sample:


Safe, Healthy, and Delicious Holiday Foods for Pets

Begging for the Holiday FeastLet’s face it, food is a big deal, and even more so during the holiday season when there are endless opportunities for feasting with family and friends (or on the couch while watching football).

For many families, a holiday gathering wouldn’t be complete without allowing Fido or Fluffy to sample the holiday edibles. Although we may think we are just giving our pets a treat, we may be actually be endangering their health or even their lives.

It’s understandable to want to share the season’s culinary delights with your pets, but it’s crucial to do so in a safe and healthy manner. Your team at Billings Animal Family Hospital has come up with some delicious and nutritious holiday foods for pets that are sure to please your four-legged friend.


Use It or Lose It: Why Senior Pet Exercise Matters

Part of dog playing with ballThanks to advancements in veterinary medicine and increased owner involvement, our pets are living longer than ever. As a result, senior pet care has become more and more important.

Although some pets may still run, jump, and behave like a young pup or kitten, what happens when an older pet starts to slow down? It may seem more considerate to allow him or her to rest, but a healthy senior must keep moving. Keep reading to learn more about senior pet exercise and how to keep your sweet senior in tip-top shape.


Senior Pet Diet and Nutrition for Greater Well-Being

Feeding the dogAs pets age, their nutritional needs will change. Just as a puppy or kitten requires a special diet for rapid growth, a senior pet diet may also need to factor in certain health and lifestyle changes.

Typically, many senior pets struggle with weight gain due, in part, to their inability to exercise as much as when they were younger. From mobility challenges to decreased energy, senior pet food should support the overall health and wellness of an aging pet.

Define “Senior”

With advancements in veterinary medicine and a focus on preventive care, pets are now living much longer lives. In fact, what constitutes “senior” or “geriatric” is now a bit amorphous, particularly if your four-legged is still quite active and in good health. Continue…

Caring for Senior Pets: Signs of Chronic Illness

Labrador dog resting indoorsJust like us, pets develop health problems as they age. It’s hard to admit (or even recognize), but modern veterinary medicine and regular at-home care can go a long way to improving and extending the lives of senior pets.

The Timeline

Senior pets are generally considered geriatric at 7 years old. As your pet ages, you may notice some behavioral changes. While some of these may be completely harmless, many shifts in patterns or habits can indicate larger health problems. Continue…