Tag Archives: animal hospital Troutville VA

No Pet Store Puppies Day

No Pet Store Puppies Day is July 21st. People are becoming more aware of and opposed to the practice of selling animals that have been bred and kept in poor conditions. One issue that has come to light lately is the puppy mill. These are essentially breeding facilities for dogs, many of which are kept in cruel and inhumane conditions. It’s not uncommon for pet stores to buy puppies from puppy mills. This, sadly, puts profit way ahead of animal welfare. While not all pet stores do this, it’s definitely something for potential pet owners to be aware of. A Troutville, VA vet discusses this issue below.

Doing Your Part

There are some things you can do to help keep puppies out of pet stores. First and foremost? Get your own canine buddy fixed. We know, puppies are adorable, but there’s already far too many sweet dogs out there in need of homes. Spreading the word on social media will help raise awareness. That’s important, too. Finally, if you know of a puppy mill, report it to authorities. You should be able to do so anonymously, which can help ease worries about retaliation.

Exceptions

Not all pet store puppies come from puppy mills. In fact, sometimes pet stores feature puppies from local shelters. This often happens as an event: you may notice the store proclaiming that they’ll have dogs from such-and-such a shelter in-store on a specific date. This type of event is part of the solution, rather than the problem. It can also be a great way to get your new canine pal!

Breeders

There definitely are some wonderful breeders out there. How do you tell the difference? Before purchasing a puppy, do some research, and ask lots of questions. Ask your vet for more information.

Adoptions

Occasionally, you may see news stories about pets being rescued from puppy mills. Many of the dogs are then offered for adoption. If you have the time, space, and budget to give one of these unfortunate pooches a home, then by all means do so. Watching rescued dogs thrive with good care can be a beautiful and rewarding experience. Just set realistic goals. Fido may need training and socialization, and he’ll need time and TLC to blossom. 

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your local Troutville, VA animal clinic, today!

Taking Fido to the Park

March 30th is a pretty special day for Man’s Best Friend: it’s Take A Walk In The Park Day! Fido would be more than happy to help you celebrate. Read on for some tips from a local Roanoke, VA vet on taking your canine friend to the park.

Preventative Care

Fido should be microchipped, fixed, and wearing current ID tags. Also, make sure your pooch is up to date on vaccinations and parasite control. Dog parks can be hotbeds for fleas, ticks, and heartworms, which are carried by mosquitoes.

Paperwork

Have copies of your furry pal’s registration and vaccinations with you. This is just a good thing to keep on hand anyway, in case of an emergency. Put an envelope with photocopies in your glove box, and you’ll always have them on you.

Gear

Always bring water along, for both you and Fido. You may also want to keep a bag for your pup in your car. Keep things that may come in handy, such as treats, pet wipes, a spare leash, waste baggies, and collapsible water bowls. It’s also a good idea to keep a pet first-aid kit on you, just in case. Add some tie-lines and food, and you also have a ready-to-go emergency doggy bag!

Choosing Parks

There are many parks to explore around our local area. Get into the spirit of the day, and try out a new one. Or, venture further away than you usually do. A one-tank trip with Fido and some friends or family members (and their dogs) can make for a wonderful afternoon.

Cleanup

Always pick up after your canine companion. As the saying says, leave nothing behind but pawprints and memories!

Timing

Heat shouldn’t be too much of an issue at this time of year, but it is something to keep in mind. In summer, don’t take Fido to the park in the middle of the day when it’s really hot out. Mornings and evenings are cooler.

Buddies

If you take your canine buddy to an off-leash park, check out the dogs that are already there before letting Fido go. Don’t release your four-legged friend if you see any pooches bullying other dogs or acting aggressive.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns about your dog’s health or care. As your local Roanoke, VA veterinary clinic, we are here to help!

Fido’s Furry Feet

Does your dog know cute paw tricks, like Shake or Gimme Five? These charming tricks will never stop being adorable. Of course, Fido’s paws are crucial to his health and well-being. A local Roanoke, VA vet offers some ‘pawesome’ tips on caring for your furry buddy’s feet in this article. 

Claw

Keeping your dog’s claws clipped is very important! Overgrown claws can easily snag and tear on things. Plus, they’re uncomfortable for Fido to walk on. Your pup may carry his weight differently as a result, which will strain his bones and joints. Many people are (understandably) uneasy about cutting their pets’ nails themselves. You may want to get a clipper with sensors. These will indicate where to cut, so you won’t have to worry about hurting your pet. Your vet can also show you proper techniques. Of course, you can always just call us to schedule a quick nail trim. 

Massage

Dogs use their paws as shock absorbers. Fido’s feet take all the impact from those jumps and happy dances! Treat your canine buddy to a gentle paw massage on occasion. 

Hacks

Does Fido hate giving you his feet? Teach your pooch that he’ll get a yummy snack for letting you handle them. This can have a miraculous effect on your cute pet’s opinion on pawdicures! 

Toe Fur

Those toe fur tufts are cute, but it’s best to clip them. They can gather gunk, like mud and gum, and form mats, which can be quite uncomfortable. 

Inspection

Get into the habit of checking Fido’s feet regularly. This is easy to work into cuddle time! You’ll want to look for things like swelling, cuts, and abrasions. If you spot anything unusual, or notice your four-legged friend licking or biting his paws, contact your vet. 

Surfaces

Your furry pal’s feet are very sensitive. Fido can get painful blisters by running around on hot tar or asphalt. Ice, salt, sand, and chemical de-icing agents can also cause burns and abrasions. Keep your pooch on soft ground as much as possible, especially when it’s hot or cold out.

Paw Pads

Dogs’ paw pads can get dry, cracked, and irritated, just like human skin. Use paw balm or wax to protect and moisturize your canine companion’s paws. Vaseline will also work. 

Please call us, your Roanoke, VA pet clinic, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help.

Taking Your Dog to Work… At Home

June 26th  is Take Your Dog To Work Day. Of course, with more people than ever working from home, many of us are finding that every day is Take Your Dog To Work Day … or perhaps, Take Work To Your Dog Day. Fido can be a great coworker! However, you may need to take a few steps to keep things running smoothly. A Roanoke, VA vet discusses working from home with dogs in this article.

Schedule

Pets tend to thrive when they are on a set schedule. Try to get Fido onto a regular routine while you are working. We also recommend walking and playing with your furry friend before getting started on the day’s work. If possible, try to tire your canine companion out a bit. That way, he’ll sleep through a chunk of your workday. Walking your pup at lunch is also a great way to get outside and enjoy some fresh air and exercise, which will be good for you both.

Doggy Inspiration

Man’s Best Friend can actually be quite an inspiration. After all, Fido already has several jobs, which are all very important! He’s a counselor, philosopher, therapist, cuddle buddy, cheerleader, personal trainer, and, of course, an entertainer. Of course, your pup may also spend a chunk of the day sleeping. While we definitely don’t advise sleeping on the job, it is important to make sure that you are getting enough rest.

Work Station

Dogs are very loyal, and often try to spend as much time with their humans as they can. Fido will probably spend a lot of time at your feet. Put a bed there for him, and perhaps a few toys. If you have a chair on wheels, take care not to roll over your pet!

Breaks

It’s probably safe to say that at some point, Fido will interrupt you, perhaps by bringing you his favorite toy and hoping you’ll play with him. If your schedule allows, indulge these adorable requests! Spending time with your furry buddy is a great stress reliever, and a wonderful way to brighten up your day. Dogs are truly precious, and their tail wags and smooches make any day better. Dole out plenty of ear scritches and belly rubs!

Please contact us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

Creating a Catio

Do you have a screened porch or patio? If so, you’ve got a perfect spot for a catio! Our feline friends are definitely much safer staying indoors, where they are protected from hazards like weather, predators, traffic, and chemicals. However, they do enjoy getting some fresh air and watching butterflies, birds, and squirrels. Why not give Fluffy the best of both worlds? Read on as a Roanoke, VA vet offers some great tips on making your furry buddy a catio.

Plants

Many of our feline pals love to nibble on plants. Just be sure to choose pet-safe options. If you like potted trees, you can get an Areca palm, a Ponytail palm, a rubber tree, or a money tree. Ferns are also safe, and look great. If you have a brown thumb, you may want to get something hardy, like a spider plant or cast iron plant. African violets and hibiscus are good for pops of color. You can also add some herbs, like thyme, rosemary, and basil. (Bonus: you’ll also have fresh ingredients for cooking.) Catnip is also a must, of course. Check the ASPCA website here for a full list of toxic and non-toxic plants.

Furniture

No catio is complete without some kitty furniture. A cat tower is a great option here! Your cute pet will gain a napping spot, a jungle gym, and a nail-care station, as well as a place to sunbathe and spy on local wildlife. You can also get Fluffy some soft beds, scratching posts, or even a kitty fountain. For extra purrs, plant some cat grass in a shallow storage tote or an old litterbox. Once it’s grown in, your feline buddy will have her own little ‘lawn’ to look smug on. Don’t forget to add a few pieces for yourself! You may find that your kitty’s catio is a great spot for reading, chatting on the phone, or drinking coffee.

Toys

Don’t forget to add a few toys for Fluffy! You may want to opt for plastic or rubber playthings, though. Catnip mice and other fuzzy/fluffy toys will soon get dusty and rained on. You can also try a mechanical ‘swimming’ fish, or a remote-controlled mouse. This is also a good spot to keep a laser pointer on hand.

Is your furry friend due for an exam, vaccinations, or parasite control? Contact us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, today!

Keeping Your Pet Safe This Halloween

In just a few short weeks, Halloween and trick-or-treat night will be upon us. It’s a fun time for the whole family, including your pet. However, there are several hazards to be aware of so that you can keep your furry friend safe! Your Roanoke, VA veterinarian tells you more below.

Chocolate

Remember that chocolate of all types—very common around Halloween and trick-or-treat night, in particular—is toxic for animals. It contains theobromine and caffeine, chemicals that can harm our pets in very small amounts. Don’t let Halloween turn into a real nightmare thanks to symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and worse. Restrict your pet’s access to any and all chocolates!

Candy

Many candies, gums, and even certain baked goods are sweetened with a sugar substitute called xylitol. It’s okay for humans, but it’s very toxic for our animal friends. Make sure your pet stays away from your kids’ trick-or-treat bags, as well as your own bowl of candy to hand out to trick-or-treaters, so that they can’t ingest anything harmful.

Decorations

Common autumn decorations like pumpkins, gourds, and fall corn aren’t necessarily toxic for pets. They can harm your pet nonetheless, though—a pet who eats too much of any foreign substance can get sick, and these items present a choking hazard. Keep a close eye on your pet to make sure they don’t try to chow down on your seasonal decorations.

Costumes

It’s definitely adorable to dress your pet up in their very own Halloween costume. Just make sure your pet is okay with it. Many pets don’t take kindly to wearing clothing, and may become very stressed out if forced to wear a costume. You’ll also want to check Fido or Fluffy’s costume thoroughly to make sure it doesn’t contain small buttons, zippers, or other bits of plastic or metal that could be chewed off, swallowed, or choked on.

Anxiety and Escape

With the constant ringing of the doorbell by hopeful trick-or-treaters, some pets can get very anxious and overly excited. Since the front door will probably be opening frequently, it’s tempting for some pets to dart out into the night! You don’t want to have to search for your lost pet on trick-or-treat night—secure them in another room if necessary, and make sure your pet is properly identified with a microchip, ID tags, or both.

Contact your Roanoke, VA veterinary clinic for more tips.

Adorable But Sneaky Ways Your Cat Manipulates You

Did you know that June 24th is Cat World Domination Day? Of course, if you were to ask Fluffy, she may very well insist that every day should be Cat World Domination Day. Actually, many of our feline patients already have their humans wrapped around their paws! Read on as a Roanoke, VA vet lists some ninja-level kitty manipulation tactics.

The Meow

One of the most adorable things about cats is the way they vocalize. Fluffy’s chirps, squeaks, and meows are super cute, and have a way of keeping us smiling. As it turns out, our feline pals may have started meowing specifically so they could boss us around. They don’t meow at each other, at least once they’re fully grown. They usually only ‘talk’ when they want to give their humans orders.

Indecision

Although we recommend that cats live indoors, we do understand that our feline friends do enjoy going outside. And then back inside. And then outside again. Actually, Fluffy seems to really enjoy making her humans get up to open a door for her, even if she has no intention of actually going through said door.

Finicky Felines

Does your kitty sometimes cry to demand her dinner right meow, only to turn that cute little nose up at what you put in her bowl? To be fair, Fluffy does have a reason for being finicky. In the wild, cats always eat their prey fresh, and instinctively avoid anything that smells even slightly off. That said, there certainly are some spoiled furballs out there!

Adorable and Comfortable

Cats spend a rather ridiculous amount of sleeping. They also have a special way of looking almost impossibly cute during their naps. You may feel bad about moving your furry little friend when she’s clearly both extremely comfortable and, for some reason, completely exhausted. This is also why many kitties are able to take over the ‘lion’s share’ of their humans’ beds at night!

Computer Skills

Have you ever noticed that the internet seems to have a rather disproportionate amount of cat memes and videos? Are we slowly being brainwashed by these cuddly little furballs? Is this why Fluffy likes to sleep and walk on our computers and keyboards? We have our suspicions …

Please contact us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, for your feline overlord’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

5 Dental Health Tips for Dogs

February is National Pet Dental Health Month. Did you know that dental care is one of the most important aspects of your canine companion’s overall health? It’s up to you to keep your dog’s pearly whites in good shape! Learn how below from a Roanoke, VA veterinarian.

Check the Teeth

One of the best ways to maintain your dog’s oral health is to check on the teeth and gums regularly. Sit down with Fido once a week or so, and gently draw back the lips to reveal the teeth and gums. Look for redness, swelling and/or inflammation, cracked or misaligned teeth, bleeding, excessive brown-colored plaque build-up, and anything else that looks unusual. Let your vet know if you find something concerning.

Chew Toys

Provide your dog with plenty of fun chew toys; not only does this entrain your pooch for hours on end, it promotes great dental health! Chew toys give your dog’s teeth and gums a solid workout, and the action of chewing itself helps to scrape away much of the loose plaque on your dog’s outer tooth surfaces.

Brushing Sessions

There’s no better way to keep your dog’s teeth and gums in peak condition in the comfort of your own home than by brushing the teeth on a regular basis. Pick up a canine-formulated toothpaste and a pet toothbrush at your local pet supply store. Before starting to brush, simply massage your dog’s teeth and gums with your finger to acclimate him to the sensation. Now, introduce the paste so he can get used to the smell and taste. With a little patience, you’ll be able to brush the entire mouth, effectively keeping the teeth clean and the breath fresh.

Quality Diet and Fresh Water

You might not have considered your dog’s diet as a great benefit to dental health, but it is just that. When your pooch receives all of the necessary nutrients through his food, the teeth and gums stay healthy! A steady supply of fresh water is also important; it helps to flush out the mouth, removing food particles and other grime, and ultimately keeps your dog’s entire mouth healthy.

Veterinary Cleanings

Of course, there’s no substitute for professional dental cleanings by your local veterinarian. This procedure is the ultimate way to keep your dog’s teeth and gums in tip-top shape!

Is your dog due for a dental cleaning? Call your Roanoke, VA animal hospital.

Choosing the Right Dog Bed

Does your canine pal have his own bed? While Fido may be perfectly happy to snooze on the couch or on your bed, it is good for him to have a spot of his own to curl up in. There are actually quite a few things to consider when picking out a bed for your pup. A Roanoke, VA vet lists discusses buying doggy beds in this article.

Senior Dogs

Many old dogs suffer from arthritis and/or hip dysplasia. If Fido is a senior, getting him a comfy bed is one of the best things you can do for him. We recommend orthopedic beds for older dogs, because of the extra support they offer. Your pooch may also enjoy a heated bed, or a thermal blanket.

Large Dogs

Orthopedic beds are also a good option for large breeds. Another thing you can do is use a child’s mattress. Add a mattress topper if you want to make your pup’s bed extra comfy.

Dogs That Stomp Their Beds Down

Does Fido sometimes turns in circles before lying down? This may be a throwback to the time when dogs were wild, as they often made themselves little nests or dens by stamping down grass or brush. A beanbag may be a good option for your canine buddy.

Pooches That Sprawl Out

Does your furry pal like to stretch out when he sleeps? If Fido is a ‘sprawler,’ a regular doggy bed may be the best choice for him. These beds, which often look like oversized pillows, sometimes do get worn down quickly, so you may want to get two, or add a soft pad beneath it.

Pups That Like Pillows

Does your four-legged buddy like to use something as a pillow? A bolstered bed, which has raised sides, is a great option for Fido!

Small Breeds

Is your pooch a pint-sized pet? Little dogs also often like beds with high sides, as they feel safe and secure in enclosed spaces.

Tips

Shape and size aren’t the only things to consider when purchasing dog beds. You’ll also want to look at the material. Ideally, you want something washable, or at least something with a washable cover. We also recommend opting for beds with nontoxic stuffing.

Please reach out to us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!

Coat Care Tips for Your Dog

Our canine companions aren’t quite as good at grooming themselves as our feline friends are. It’s up to you to make sure your dog’s coat of fur stays in tip-top shape! To keep your dog’s coat healthy and pristine, use these tips from a Roanoke, VA veterinarian.

High-Quality Diet

One of the easiest but most effective ways to keep your dog’s coat in top form is by feeding them a high-quality, well-balanced diet. Your dog’s skin and fur will remain healthy and moisturized when he receives the proper nutrients through food, and shedding will be kept to a minimum. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation on a diet choice that suits your dog’s age, weight, and breed.

Brushing

At home, brushing your dog on a daily basis is one of the best ways to ensure that the coat stays healthy; it’s particularly important for dogs with longer hair. Brushing does many things: for one, it removes loose and dead fur from the coat, and it helps to pick up grime from the skin. Plus, brushing spreads natural skin oils through your dog’s fur, effectively moisturizing it and cutting down on shedding in the long run. Choose a brush and bristle type that will work best on your dog’s coat; ask your vet if you need help.

Bathing

The occasional bath is also effective for maintaining your dog’s coat quality. Plus, it helps your dog smell their absolute best! Always use a canine-formulated shampoo, as human shampoo isn’t made for use on your dog’s sensitive skin. Additionally, be sure not to bathe Fido too frequently. Bathing too often can actually backfire, drying out the skin and fur and resulting in an increase in shedding.
If you would like to know how often your beloved pet could use a bath, contact your vet’s office to learn more.

Pest Prevention Tips

Pests like fleas and ticks can wreak havoc on your dog’s coat of fur, even resulting in hair loss, bald patches, and painful scabs under the hair. Keep your dog on high-quality pest preventatives to avoid the issue entirely. Most dogs will do well with a flea-and-tick medication and a heartworm preventative to keep all pesky critters at bay. If your dog isn’t already set up with these medications, contact your vet’s office.

Would you like even more great tips for keeping your dog’s coat healthy? Call your Roanoke, VA animal hospital!