How to Protect your Pet’s Paws this Winter?

Winter can be harsh on your pet’s naked paws. The cold weather, ice, snow, and cold floor can crack their paws and even peel the soft skin. Ailing paws can be a trouble for the pets.

Taking your pet outdoor or for the hiking during winter can lead to many troubles too. You should ensure to provide enough protection to their fragile paws to keep them safe.

Here are some tips to keep their paws safe

Keep your dog's nails trimmed

Long nails make your dog's toes spread when they walk. This allows more room for snow and ice to build up between the toes. This can be a painful experience. Untrimmed nails can also affect your dog's weight distribution, pushing their overall weight onto the back of their feet. This creates less traction in the feet and they will be more likely to slip on icy surfaces.

Trim the fur between Toepads

By trimming the fur between their toe pads you’ll level the pad fur with the pads themselves. This helps to reduce the amount of snow, salt, and grit accumulation between the toes. Compacted snow salt on your dog's feet makes walking difficult for them and can also affect their ability to stay on their feet.

Lubricate paws before heading outdoors

Cold weather, ice, and salt can cause your dog's pads to dry out and crack. You can prevent this by wiping his paws with Vaseline or cooking spray before you take him out for a walk. Be sure to keep him off slick surfaces inside the house, such as tile, and outside the house, such as ice.

Consider dog booties

Dog booties are a great way to keep your dog's feet safe and in good condition, particularly when the ground is hot, wet, or snowy. Dog booties provide optimum protection from any outside elements and help your dog retain body heat. It’s common for dogs to not take to wearing boots as it can be uncomfortable for them. Try a gradual approach, and let them sink into it for a while. Let them wear booties inside the house for short periods of time and offer them a prize or treats

Check your De-icer

De-icer can produce salt and other ice-melting granules or chemicals that can irritate your dog's paws. It can also cause stomach ailments if ingested. When choosing a De-icer you should consider buying non-toxic options, such as sand, gravel, and non-clumping cat litters. If you do use salt or chemical deicers, choose to buy "pet safe" brands.

Wash your dog's paws after walks

When coming inside the house from the outdoor, consider washing your dog’s feet with a warm water or rinse them. This helps to warm up their cold paws. It will also wash off any salt or deicing chemicals residue formed between their toes.

Apply Vaseline on Dog’s Paws

The snow, ice, and salt can cause your dog's pads to dry out and crack. You should consider wiping their paws with Vaseline or cooking spray before you take them outdoors. Consider keeping them off slick surfaces inside the house, such as tile, and outside the house, such as ice.


If you notice any trouble with their paws, do consider visiting our veterinarian at the earliest.

Holiday Safety Tips for Pets

Winter is here and so is the most awaited Holiday season. It’s that time of the year when everyone is busy planning holidays and finding ways to have fun with the family.

In all these hullabaloos, pets are more prone to get into accidents. As a pet owner, ensuring a safe environment for your pets is essential.

Food

Dogs and cats tend to scavenge when out of sight. They basically forage on the dustbin, empty plates, and crates. To ensure their well-being you must ensure to keep the harmful food or food items away from them. The most essential thing is to keep the people-food away from them.

  • Chocolate is one of the most consumed food items during Holidays, however, it can be very harmful to pets. Chocolate contains caffeine, theobromine, and high-fat contents which are toxic for dogs and cats. Although the toxicity varies based on the type of chocolate, the size of your pet, and the amount they eat, it’s safer to keep chocolate off-limits for pets.
  • Keep sweet and baked goods out of their reach. Baked goods contain fats and sugar which is harmful to pets. Artificial sweetener, chocolate, and xylitol contain have been linked to liver failure and death in dogs.
  • Turkey and turkey skin are harmful to pets. The fat and garlic content leads to pancreatitis.
  • Table scraps such as gravy and meat fat should be kept away from pets. Other items including onions, raisins, and grapes are harmful to pets too. Holiday foods are basically rich in sweetener and flavor. Pets’ digestive system doesn’t allow such food.
  • Yeast dough can cause problems for pets, including painful gas and potentially dangerous bloating.

 

Decorating

Another essential aspect of holidays is the decorations. The decorations for the Christmas tree, fireplace, lightings and decorative are common forms of decorations which are basically made of plastic, crystal, glass, and other industrial parts.

  • Christmas trees can easily tip over if pets climb on them or try to catch the decorations. Consider tying your tree to the ceiling or a fixed pole to provide extra protection.
  • Water additives for Christmas trees can be hazardous to the pets. Do not add aspirin, sugar, and chemicals to the water for your tree if you have pets in the house.
  • Decorative and Ornaments can prove hazardous to pets. Broken ornaments can cause injuries, and ingestion of the same can cause intestinal blockage or internal damage. Consuming them sometimes require surgery.
  • Electric lights can cause burns or electric shock when a curious pet chews the cords.
  • Flowers and festive plants such as Amaryllis, mistletoe, balsam, pine, cedar, and holly are among the common plants used in Holiday decoration that can prove to be dangerous and even poisonous to pets
  • Decorate candles are attractive to pets. Never leave a pet alone in an area with a lit candle; it could result in a fire.

As the holiday season is here, you should consider taking extra precaution if your own a pet. The pets who roam outside the house have higher chances of countering accidents or mishaps during the holidays.

How to keep Pets warm this winter?

Winter is here, and so is the time for you to get in the bed as soon as you reach home. Winter can be harsher for pets as they indulge in outdoor activities. Animals have a lesser appetite for cold weather.

5 common myths about dogs in winter

  • Furry and thickly coated pets such as Pomeranian, Samoyed, Chow Chow, Bearded Collie, Great Pyrenees, Newfoundland, and Bichon Frise can stay outside as they can keep themselves warm. Their thick coat and fur provide enough protection from the cold. This is completely wrong. Thickly coated pets need protection too
  • Dogs don’t need boots because their paws can’t freeze. Pets with furry feet tend to collect ice and snow between the toes can also largely benefit for feet protection.
  • Small pets can’t play winter sports. It’s actually a misnomer. Small pets can equally indulge in sports.
  • It’s ok to leave your pet inside the car because it’s winter. This can actually be dangerous. The car’s interior can get cold than the weather outside.
  • Dogs don’t need to exercise in the winter. This isn’t true. Dogs need regular exercise to burn the excess fat from overeating during winter.

Tips for keeping pets warm

  • Keep them indoors –You should bring them inside when the weather gets colder. If temperature drops, you should bring them inside for extra warmth. Keeping them outside can prove to be fatal. If you’re not able to bring them into your home you could keep them in a car-free shed or garage.
  • Provide protected outdoor shelter –Keep their kennel out of rain and snow. Dog’s shelter lacks enough protection. Make sure you build it in an area with no rain, snow, or wind. If possible, provide insulation.
  • Give them extra warmth –Put an extra blanket or tarpaulin over their kennel to help keep them warm.
  • Outdoor exercise –Exercising keeps them warm during winter. Even during winter, pets would need natural light and exercise to keep themselves fitter.
  • Extra bedding –Provide extra bedding for enough warmth and coziness. Give them plenty of bedding hay to snuggle into. You should change the bedding regularly.
  • A heating pad –using a heating pad can be a handy option. Place an animal-safe heat pad under their bedding for extra warmth.
  • Wrap up drinkable water –You should provide them with warm water. Drinking cold water during winter can invite many physical ailments.

Kittens need Socialization too

A newborn or juvenile cat is known as a kitten. Alike most juvenile pets, kittens need constant attention and familiarity with the outside world. Most kittens are prone to loneliness and many ailments related to isolation.

After being born, kittens are totally dependent on the mother cat for survival. After two weeks of birth, kittens start exploring the outside world and starting eating after three to four weeks. The time between 2-8 weeks is considered the best time for introducing kittens to socialization skills. Domestic kittens are highly social animals and usually enjoy human companionship.


Why kittens should be socialized?

  • Socialization teaches a kitten how to be a cat.
  • Proper feline manners and how to communicate with other felines help in bonding with other pets
  • It also helps them to ascertain who their enemies are.

Three T's of Kitten Socialization

The most trainers focus on three T’s of socialization for cats. These are; Touching, Talking, and Timing.

Touching

Touching is the most essential part of any grooming or nurturing process. Mothers tend to care their newborn with their touch to provide the warmth and protection. Touching a kitten helps them realize that they shouldn’t fear humans. It offers them a chance to get close to their pet owners.

  • Touching kittens help them remember your scent which helps to them to associate the memories spent with you and bring closeness.
  • Petting is one of the first sensations newborns feel when they come in contact with mother cats. Petting gives them a wonderful safe experience.
  • Comforting touch helps to reduce blood pressure, and improve heart rate and brainwave.
  • While handling the kitten, be sure to touch its ears, tail, paws, and mouth so the experience is comforting and pleasing. Keep it as a routine.

Talking

Pets can very well interpret most basic words and gestures.

  • Talking to the kitten teaches them to listen and pay attention to your voice. It brings familiarity between you and your pet.
  • The often you speak to your cat, the better they will understand and react to you. This enhances and improves your relationship.

Timing

Timing is the third most important chapter on kitten grooming. Training them during the 2 weeks to 8 weeks of their life helps them grasp the skills better. Kittens won't know what's right and what's wrong unless you tell them at the right time.

Catching them during the act or mischief can help them disciplined. Timing also helps to offer rewards to kittens to follow the routine and become more dedicated.


Learn more about pet training and grooming.

National Pet Obesity Awareness Month

In the year 2016, obesity in pets accounted for more than 1.3 million of nationwide pet insurance claim. It was a sharp 23% rise from the previous years.

October 10 is celebrated as Pet obesity awareness day to bring the issue of rising obesity and diseases in pet into light.

With unhealthy diet and carelessness from pet owners, dogs and cats face large consequences from Obesity related conditions. Your pet’s meal requirements vastly differs from your dietary requirement.

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention’s (APOP) 2016 clinical survey recently reported that nearly 54% of dogs and 59% of cats are clinically overweight or obese.

Obesity may cause severe diseases and condition in pets. Inflammation, diabetes, heart conditions, metabolic and endocrine disorders, are few of the common medical conditions. The strain to bone, joins and internal organs far exceed the consequences.


10 Obesity related conditions

Obesity causes various medical conditions in Dogs. Some of the common conditions are;

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD). It refers to the progressive and permanent long-term deterioration of the cartilage surrounding the joints. It is more common in older dogs and cats. The bulging weight of the body can affect the joints in legs of pets, which can lead to Osteoarthritis.

Cystitis

Cystitis stands for inflammation of the bladder. It is also used as a general term for any disease that causes inflammation. The most common cause of cystitis in pets is an infection caused by bacteria. Other causes of Cystitis include bladder stones, tumors or polyps in the bladder, and abnormal anatomy (especially in female dogs).

Hypothyroidism

In pets, if their thyroid stops producing the needed amount of hormones, the metabolism slows causing many of the body's normal processes are disrupted. In dogs, thyroid disease is almost always hypothyroidism, whereas, overactive-thyroid hypothyroidism occurs mostly in cats.

Hepatitis

Hepatitis is the case of liver inflammation. It can occur suddenly or can also be a long-standing process of liver decline (chronic). As liver is the first organ to come in contact with toxins and harmful products absorbed from food, it can get infected too quickly among pets.

Cruciate ligament injuries

The cruciate ligament is a major part of dog’s knee. Cruciate ligament is a common form of injury seen in dogs. Also called ACL or CCL tear, a ruptured cruciate is often a painful and immobilizing injury. It is more common among Overweight or obese dogs, as they are more prone to this type of injury mainly because of weaker joints or bones.

Diabetes

Diabetes insipidus is sometimes called "drinking diabetes" because it is a rare diabetes which often leads to failure in regulating body’s water content.

Diabetes mellitus or Diabetes in general is a common disease in middle-aged and older dogs. It’s a complex disorder of carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism in dogs. It can be the result of a relative or absolute insulin deficiency or of peripheral cell insensitivity to insulin which is characterized by high blood glucose concentrations such that the renal threshold is exceeded.

Other common forms of obesity related conditions include intervertebral disc disease, chronic renal disease, Congestive heart failure and lipomas.

How does Hydrotherapy works on Pets?

What is Hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy, also known as hydropathy, is the water therapy implemented to relive any joint pain, injury or for the treatment. A part of alternative medicine, it has multiple uses and benefits.

It originally began as a treatment for humans in ancient times, and later expanded to include animals too. The first instance of the therapy saw benefits among racehorses as well as racing Greyhounds.


How does it works on Dogs?

Hydrotherapy was recognized as a therapeutic option the pets, both dogs and cats, to improve their medical conditions and to aid their emotional states.

The therapy extensively uses the properties of water — buoyancy, viscosity, resistance, and hydrostatic pressure — to improve your pets joint movement. Water produces buoyancy when submerged, hence it easily supports the weight of the body by reducing gravity. It also helps to reduce stress on the joints and creates a safer environment for the quick recovery. It also helps for quick recovery after the surgery. The hydrotherapy gets your dog exercise its muscle and bones in a safer environment which can be a relaxing experience.

Some of the available forms of hydrotherapy for dogs include whirlpools, underwater treadmills, and dog pools

What are its benefits?

  • Hydrotherapy helps in relieving pain and for strengthen or re-training muscles. The dog is effectively weightless when swimming which helps to minimize pain and enforce strengthening of muscles or bones.
  • It encourages a full range of joint motion, thus improving muscle tone without imposing unnecessary stress on damaged tissues.
  • It also helps your dog lose unnecessary body weight by encouraging regular exercise.
  • It helps dogs to recover from the injury or surgery.
  • It can be beneficial for dogs who suffer from arthritis due to old age. The water buoyancy helps to reduce joint swelling, stress on muscles and bones etc.
  • The older dogs tend to experience sadness and fear, especially when their ailing health cause pain. The support of water and relief from pain promotes a sense of safety and well-being in them.

Learn more about pet therapy services to prevent major injury or illness.

Happy Cat makes a Happy Life

They’re fuzzy, they’re very adorable, and although they invade your privacy all the time, they are your best friends.

A happy cat makes a happy life! Treating cats can be challenging than treating your canine, as cats tend to live in their own space and care less or none about the worldly affairs. It doesn’t mean that cats do not need a human companion.

DID YOU KNOW? Cat is the most popular pet in the United States. More people own cats than dogs.

Happy Cat Month was initiated by CATalyst Council in 2016. CATalyst Council created the annual event to help spread the word about the health, welfare, and value of companion cats. Often, cats are viewed as self-reliant, aloof, and less in need of medical care than dogs. The aim of this event is to counteract these stereotypes and ensure cats are well cared for, enriched, and receive the preventive care they require.

Here are 5 tips to keep your cat happy

Respect their space

Unlike dogs, cats do not indulge in socializing with their human counterparts. They mostly seek a solitary and safe environment. Avoiding crowd is common among cats, hence, you shouldn’t unnecessarily indulge in these activities. Offering them a safe and lonely place in the house will keep them happy and satisfied.

Provide entertainment

Your cat needs entertainment too, either that accounts for taking them out or playing with toys. Make sure your cat has enough toys to play with. It’s essential that you make time to spend with your cat. It helps to bond with your pet and promote a happy lifestyle.

Feed them right

An obese or overweight cat is more prone to diseases. Feeding them complete and balanced diet is important to keep their weight in check. Diet plays a great role in preserving your pet’s life, either that be a cat or a dog. Indulging them in regular exercise will also help to curb fats and burn calories.

A non-vegetarian diet is a must for a cat. Most pet owners tend to force a vegan or vegetarian diet to their cats, which is entirely wrong.

Keep their teeth in check

Regular oral care will help keep your cat’s mouth healthy and help prevent dental disease, a common malady in cats. As they tend to nibble on bones and hard surfaces, providing regular dental care can prevent many future possibilities of dental issues.

Go Outdoor

Your cat loves outdoors. Most cats tend to spend time out of the house than in the inside. Provide a catio. It is an outdoor enclosure that will confine your cat to a given space and provide protection from the threats faced by cats that spend time outdoors unsupervised. A catio can provide hours of entertainment for your cat. Or, you can also choose to take them outdoors and play with them.

Owing a pet is a serious business. You not only have to care for them but protect them and provide a nurturing environment.

 

How to Notice Sign of Pain in Dogs

Dogs, unlike us humans, can’t express their pain. Often pets suffer in silence, because they can’t speak. It can be difficult to ascertain if they're in pain. However, there are a number of signs, some more obvious than others, which can indicate pain in dogs.

Here are 5 major signs of noticing pain in dogs

Aggressive Behavior

Dogs tend to show aggressive behavior which can seem unnatural. A pet owner must notice this behavior to assess if the dog is I any pain. Anti-social behavior such as not greeting, avoiding human contact etc can be sign of pain in dogs.

Eating and sleeping disorder

Dogs that are in pain often sleep more than the usual. It can be their natural remedy for healing the pain, or most of the times they are immobile due to weakness. A loss of appetite and dehydration are other signs of ailment or pain in dogs. Difficulty eating or chewing may suggest dental pain.

Excessive grooming

Dogs in pain tend to groom themselves more than often. Licking or scratching certain parts of their body may suggest pain or wound, example rashes, skin disease or internal injury. They tend to themselves to soothe themselves.

Shaking or Trembling

As a pet owner, you shouldn’t just assume that trembling or shaking is your dog feeling cold. It can be a sign of pain — or a symptom of illness such as; poisoning, pancreatitis, or kidney disease.

Excessive vocalization

Dogs in pain tend to be more vocal. A hurt dog may express this vocally in a number of ways: whining, whimpering, yelping, growling, snarling, and even howling.


There are number of ways to prevent pain or illness in dogs. The first thing you can do is make an appointment with your vet. The internal injury may need immediate medical attention.

Heart Disease in Dogs - Symptoms, Prevention, Diagnosis & Cure

Only a few pet owners realize that animals, alike humans, can suffer from heart disease. Since there have been less research and studies in animal health, many of the reasons and cure for animal heart disease are still unknown.

Statistics show that 10% of all dogs in the US have heart disease. Sometimes it can be mild but most of the time it is deadly. It's more common in small breed dogs of over 5 years of age. 13% of heart disease patients are suffering from heartworm disease.


Heart Disease and Heart Condition in Dogs

Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, is a common form of illness in canine. Though heart disease can include many different types of conditions, most or every form of heart disease can ultimately lead to heart failure.

Heartworm is one of the common heart diseases among most dogs. Known as Dirofilaria Immitis, the heartworm or dog heartworm is a parasitic roundworm that looks like a small thread-like creature. It spreads from the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no simple way to tell if the mosquito is infected, hence, every dog must be prevented from heartworm.

Heartworm disease causes 13% of heart disease even though it is entirely preventable.

There are mainly two main types of heart conditions in dogs.

Chronic Valvular Disease is caused by a leaking heart valve which reduces the quantity of blood supplied or pumped throughout the body.

Myocardial Disease is a condition leading to weakness or thickening of the heart muscle. A dog’s heart is less efficient to pump out blood.


What Causes Heart Disease in Dogs?

Heart disease in dogs can be caused by numerous physiological reasons. Nutrition, age, fitness, and breed type, all play an important role. The onset of heartworm can also lead to heart disease which can be cured by medication.

Some of the common factors of heart disease in dogs are;

Fitness: An overweight or obese dog is more likely to develop congestive heart failure (CHF) and other forms of heart disease.

Age: An aging dog is more likely to encounter heart conditions compared to a younger dog. Nutrition and fitness play an important role in aging dogs.

Breed: Chronic valvular disease is more common in small dog breeds such as miniature poodles, cocker spaniels, Pomeranians, and schnauzers. It makes up 70-75% of heart disease in dogs. The myocardial disease remains common in large and giant breeds like Great Danes and Irish wolfhounds. Also known as dilated cardiomyopathy, it makes up 8% of heart disease and primarily affects large breed dogs of all ages

What are the Symptoms of Heart Disease in Dogs?

The signs or symptoms may vary depending on the type of disease and severity in dogs. Eventually, heart disease progresses to congestive heart failure.

  • Fatigue
  • Fainting or collapsing
  • Frequent coughing
  • Difficulty in breathing, including shortness of breath
  • Reduced ability to walk or exercise
  • Reduced appetite and/or noticeable weight gain or loss
  • A distended abdomen
  • Trouble sleeping

What Breeds of dogs are More Prone to Heart Disease?

Some breeds are more prone to heart disease than others. The list includes;

  1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
  2. Dachshunds
  3. Miniature and Toy Poodles
  4. Doberman Pinschers
  5. Boxers
  6. Golden Retrievers
  7. Miniature Schnauzers

How long can Dogs live with Enlarged Heart?

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a disease of the heart muscle that is characterized by an enlarged heart that does not function properly. In general, dogs with an enlarged heart can give for 6-24 months unless they are treated on time.

Can a dog live with heart disease?

If the disease is caught at an early stage, dogs with heart disease can be treated and often will live for many years after the diagnosis. If the disease is at a severe level that a pet's quality of life is no longer satisfactory, then they may not be able to survive a long time.

Stages of Heart Failure in Dogs

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a term that refers to the heart's inability to pump adequate blood to the body. The stages of heart failure in dogs begin from signs of early heart failure onset. The age, nutrition, and fitness will define the early stage. The other stage includes the onset of heart failure. The final stage includes the advancement of heart failure that may lead to the death of the dog.


Prevention from Heart Disease for Dogs

The prevention of heart disease basically includes

  • Whole-body screening
  • Checking nutritional value
  • Regular exercise
  • Checking for any heart-related diseases such as heartworm.

dog arterial circulation

Diagnosis of Heart Disease in Dogs

The diagnosis will help to catch the chances of heart disease at its onset. It's mandatory that you take your dog to the Vet immediately.

The diagnosis of heart disease include;

  • Auscultation or listening to the heart is the first step in diagnosing heart disease includes listening to an abnormality in the heart such as heart murmurs. The location of the murmur and heart rhythm is assessed followed by palpating or feeling the pulse to determine its strength and rhythm.
  • An electrocardiogram (ECG) measures the electrical activity of the heart and allows accurate determination of both heart rate and rhythm.
  • The lungs are checked to look for evidence of changes associated with heart failure.
  • Next, the chest X-rays are taken to evaluate the size and shape of the heart and look for lung changes such as the presence of fluid.
  • Blood and urine tests are performed to ascertain any other disorders in the body. Liver and kidney function is often impaired in patients with heart disease.
  • Ultrasound examination (echocardiogram) uses ultrasound waves to evaluate the heart. The size and thickness of each heart chamber are evaluated, and the effectiveness of the heart's contractions is directly observed.

What are the cures for Heart Disease in Dogs?

Dogs with heart disease are treated in either of the two ways: Conventional therapy or Pimobendan. The method of treatment may depend on the practice of the vet.

A study, however, has shown that Pimobendan cures the heart better than conventional therapy. It is a veterinary medication, a calcium sensitizer and a selective inhibitor of phosphodiesterase 3 with positive inotropic and vasodilator effects. Pimobendan is used in the management of heart failure in dogs

The treatments for heart failures include;

  • Medications to help the heart work and correct irregular heartbeats
  • Medications to slow fluid build-up in the lungs
  • Surgery to correct a torn valve or to insert a pacemaker to correct the heartbeat
  • A commercial or prescription low-salt diet to help decrease fluid build-up in your dog's body
  • Limited activity or exercise to manage weight without putting too much strain on your dog's heart

 In fact, it is estimated that 7.8 million dogs in the United States have heart disease. That means approximately 10% of all dogs in the United States have heart disease.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is a premier pet hospital in Des Moines specializing in diagnosing and treating heart diseases in pets. If your dog or cat seems to show any sign of heart disease and heart failure, you must immediately consult with pet medical service in Des Moines.