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Things Cats Haven’t Figured Out Yet

January 22nd is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day! Our feline pals are known for being very curious. Fluffy does tend to stick her nose into, well, everything. That inquisitive nature sometimes pays off, but it also can cause kitties some confusion. Here, a Roanoke, VA vet lists some things cats haven’t quite sorted out yet.

Manners

Fluffy isn’t very big on petiquette. She’s not shy about walking on tables and counters—even when she knows she isn’t supposed to—and she sometimes deliberately knocks things onto the floor. Then there are the paw-slap wakeup calls, the angry meows, and the occasional love bite. Fortunately, kitties more than make up for these things with their purrs, cuddles, and love!

Sunlight

Do you sometimes find your feline overlord sprawled out in a sunbeam? Is Fluffy maybe trying to charge her catteries? Kitties don’t run on solar power, but they apparently haven’t realized that yet!

Car Rides

This is one area where Fido and Fluffy have completely opposing views. Fido thinks of car rides as great adventures, which often include trips to parks, beaches, and other doggy favorites. Fluffy, on the other hand, thinks she’s been kidnapped by an evil robot and is hurtling towards certain doom.

Dogs

Car rides aren’t the only thing Fido and Fluffy differ on. In fact, nothing about Man’s Best Friend makes much sense to kitties. Dogs purr when they’re angry and wag their tails when they’re excited. Even worse: take orders from humans! As far as our feline friends are concerned, that’s completely backwards!

Pop-Tops

This one is probably a blessing in disguise. If Fluffy were able to open her own food cans, you’d probably have to lock the cupboard!

Reading

Cats can be quite jealous, and they don’t always like it when their humans are paying attention to something other than them. This may be one reason Fluffy often interferes with your reading, whether by pawing or headbutting your book, or sometimes, sleeping on it. Then again, maybe she’s just trying to learn by osmosis!

Mind Control

Fluffy may be small, but she’s got some pretty big goals. It’s probably safe to say that if your furball could telepathically control you, she probably would.

As your Roanoke, VA animal clinic, we’re more than happy to answer any questions you (or your cat) have about your pet’s health or care. Call us anytime!

Pawesome Ways To Keep Your Dog Healthy This Year

Happy New Year! The start of a new year is a great time for revisiting personal goals and priorities. It’s also a great chance to take a look at your dog’s veterinary care routine. Keeping that cute tail going is a great resolution! A Roanoke, VA vet lists some ways to keep Fido happy and healthy in 2022 below.

Good Food

Most dogs aren’t very picky eaters. Fido is known for eating pretty much anything and everything! However, proper nutrition is very important. Ask your vet for specific recommendations, including portion sizes, feeding schedules, and, of course, treats.

Proper Exercise

Fido needs regular activity to stay healthy. This is also very important for behavioral reasons. If your pooch doesn’t have a way to burn off his excess energy, he’ll probably channel those doggy zoomies into things like digging or chewing.

Petproofing

Make sure your place is safe for your canine pal. Exactly what this entails depends somewhat on your pup’s age and mischief levels. With puppies, you’ll want to keep anything you don’t want little Fido chewing on or playing with out of paws’ reach. For older dogs, this may mean putting gates before staircases and adding carpet runners for better traction. Ask your vet for advice.

Climate Control

Extreme weather can be pretty hard on Man’s Best Friend. When it’s warm out, adjust Fido’s schedule a little bit. Walk and play with him in the mornings, when it isn’t as hot, and make sure he always has access to cool, shady areas. In winter, keep him warm and cozy.

Veterinary Care

We know, Fido would probably rather visit his favorite park than come see us. However, it’s important for him to have proper veterinary care. Regular exams and panels can reveal many medical issues before symptoms appear. That can make a huge difference! Follow your vet’s recommended appointment schedule.

Parasite Control

Fleas, ticks, and worms can not only make Fido uncomfortable, they also carry other dangerous diseases. Stay on top of your furry buddy’s parasite control regimen!

Love

Your canine friend’s mental and emotional health also play large roles in his overall health. Keep that tail going! Spend lots of time with Fido, and pamper him with love, attention, and playtime.

As your Roanoke, VA animal clinic, we want to wish you a wonderful new year. Please con us anytime!

Shopping For A Senior Dog

November is Adopt A Senior Dog Month! If you are considering giving an older dog a wonderful forever home, you definitely have our support! Of course, you’ll need to make a trip to the pet store before bringing Fido home. Keep your canine pal’s age in mind as you go shopping. Pups in their golden years have different needs than puppies do. A Roanoke, VA vet offers some tips on this below.

Beds

One of the best things you can do for your canine buddy is get him a good bed. We generally recommend orthopedic beds for older dogs. They offer great support and help keep Fido warm on chilly nights. Incontinence isn’t uncommon with older dogs, so you may want to get one with a waterproof, washable slipcover.

Food

Good nutrition is a key part of your pet’s care regimen. Your furry pal will need a good, high-quality dog food that is formulated for senior pooches. You’ll want to get some specific tips from your vet on what to feed Fido. If he has any medical issues, he may need to eat or avoid certain types of food. Supplements may also be beneficial.

Toys

Fido may be in his golden years, but he’ll still want to let his inner puppy out sometimes. Playing is fun and beneficial for dogs, both mentally and physically. Just look for things that will be soft on your pup’s mouth. Puzzle toys can be a good option, because they provide more of a mental challenge than a physical one.

Grooming Supplies

Good grooming will help keep your furry friend looking and feeling great. The exact supplies you’ll need will depend on what kind of dog you have, and what type of fur coat he’s wearing. Dental care is also important. Many senior dogs have gum disease or other issues. You may have a hard time getting your pooch to accept a toothbrush, so look for dental-formula treats and chews. Fido will also need some paw care products, such as balm and clippers or a nail grinder.

Senior-Friendly Items

Depending on your dog’s age and overall health, you may also need to get him some pet ramps or stairs. These are very helpful for dogs with arthritis or hip dysplasia.

Please reach out if ever we can be of assistance. As your Roanoke, VA animal clinic, we’re here to help!

Pampering A Senior Cat

It’s Happy, Healthy Cat Month! Kitties are very adorable pets, who somehow manage to become even cuter and more lovable as they age. And, just like people, they benefit from some extra TLC as they grow older. Proper veterinary care is of course a must, but there are also some things you can do at home. Here, a Roanoke, VA vet discusses keeping Fluffy happy, healthy, and safe in her golden years.

Proper Nutrition

Good food is important for cats of all ages. As Fluffy gets older, her nutritional needs will change a bit. She won’t be as active, and/or may benefit from foods and supplements that contain things like fish oil or glucosamine. Ask your vet for specific advice, including tips on serving sizes.

Playtime

Older cats may not be as spry or frisky as kittens, but it’s still good for them to let their inner lions out. Take time to play with Fluffy regularly. Jumping and pouncing are great kitty workouts, while timing those ‘attacks’ offers your furball beneficial mental stimulation.

Beds. Lots And Lots Of Beds

Kitties get progressively sleepier in their golden years. By the time your furry pal is a senior, she’ll be a master napper, capable of snoozing up to 20 hours a day. Set out lots of beds and comfy napping spots for her.

Senior-Friendly Facilities

Make sure that your feline friend’s litterbox and food dishes are in spots that are easy for her to get to. You may want to get her a litterbox made for older cats. These have lower sides, which are a little easier for your kitty to get in and out of.

Beauty Sessions

Fluffy will get stiff and sore as she ages, and she may have a hard time twisting and turning. This will make it hard for her to reach her whole body when grooming herself. Brushing your pet gently will get that dead fur and dander out of her coat, which will keep her more comfortable.

Cuddles

Kitties may get dismayed and confused by the changes they go through with age. Fluffy may become quite cuddly, and she may want more attention and snuggles than she used to. Indulge those cute requests for pets and lap space. Your furry pal’s purrs will never stop making you smile!

As your Roanoke, VA animal shelter, we’re dedicated to offering great care. Call us anytime!

Adopting a Specially Abled Pet

May 3rd is Adopt A Specially-Abled Pet Day! If you’re ready to bring a new pet into your home, please don’t overlook that cute blind dog or the kitty with one eye. These imperfect pets are just as loving and affectionate as any other dog or cat. A local Roanoke, VA vet discusses adopting one of these lovable pets below.

Get Your Home Ready

In many cases, setting your home up properly may be half the battle. If you’re adopting a blind dog or cat, pick up anything that your pet could trip over or hurt themselves on. You’d want to use baby gates near stairs, and put things like thorny plants and fragile vases in high, secure spots. If your new kitty is blind, setting out carpet runners and putting up scent markers, such as air fresheners, may help her navigate her new home.

Consult Your Vet

One reason that specially-abled pets often get overlooked is that people just assume that they need a lot of extra care. You may also assume that your new furry friend will need more veterinary appointments than other pets. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. As far as home care, you may just need to do some things differently. And while your pet certainly will need proper veterinary care, this doesn’t necessarily mean they need to come in more than other pets. If your new canine pal is missing an eye, there just may not be a need for extra medical care once he’s healed. That said, every pet is different, so you’ll need to consult both your pet’s current caretaker and your vet.

Do Some Research

Just learning a few tips and tricks can make a huge difference. For instance, you may be able to train a deaf dog to come when you wave a flashlight or laser pointer. Check different online groups and forums, and ask your vet for advice.

Pat Yourself On The Back

If you’re bringing home that unlucky, unwanted pet, you definitely have our support. Giving one of these cute dogs or cats a home is an extremely kind and selfless thing to do. You’ll be repaid with love, cuddles, and purrs or tail wags. What more could you want?

Contact us, your local Roanoke, VA animal clinic, for more information on caring for a specially-abled pet. We are always here to help!

New Year’s Goals for Cats

Happy New Year! Are you setting resolutions for 2021? If so, your feline pal will be right there with you, closely supervising you as you strive to meet them. In fact, Fluffy may have a few goals of her own! A Roanoke, VA vet lists some key ones in this article. 

Work On The Pounce

Our furry pals are cute and innocent looking, but they’re also actually quite fierce predators. Fluffy really is driven to practice her hunting skills. Give your kitty lots of fun toys to practice on, and play with her every day.

Nap More

Did you know that kitties can sleep as much as 20 hours a day. However, it will take Fluffy lots of practice to reach that level of snoozing expertise. Make sure your drowsy pet has lots of comfy beds to snooze in!

Meditate

Have you ever found your furball just quietly relaxing somewhere, looking completely at peace? Fluffy may very well be meditating. What is your pet focusing on? Naps, treats, and boxes are all good guesses, but we’ll probably never know.

Kitty Fitness

Cats are very graceful and athletic. (At least, some of them are. Some kitties are complete clutzes. However, that’s beside the point.) Fluffy may try to stretch more, jump higher, run faster, or attempt a tricky sleeping position. Give your fuzzy friend some pet furniture to play on.

Sunbathe

Our feline friends just can’t resist finding warm, cozy napping spots. In fact, if there’s a single sunbeam on the floor, Fluffy may very well decide to snooze in it. 

Fur Distribution

Fluffy has very pretty fur, and she’s very generous about sharing it with us. Your furry little diva may try to spread her hair out more evenly this year. (Tip: try using a damp sponge, dish gloves, or a squeegee to remove fur from furniture or upholstery.)

Be Adorable

We suspect Fluffy won’t have much trouble making this goal. Snap some photos of your feline friend being her super cute self in 2021!

Snuggle

Kitties are really very cuddly little furballs. Even ones that aren’t lapcats often like to hang out with their humans. Pay lots of attention to Fluffy, and keep that little motor going!

As your local Roanoke, VA veterinary clinic, we look forward to helping you keep your kitty happy, healthy, and purring in 2021 and beyond. Call us anytime!

Your Pet’s Nutrition

Everyone knows that nutrition is essential for a healthy life. That’s as true for your pet as it is for you. As it turns out, the kind of nutrients that your pet needs are largely the same as the ones you do! Below, your Roanoke, VA veterinarian elaborates on the basic elements of your pet’s nutritional needs.

Protein

Protein is extremely important for your dog or cat because it’s the basic building block for every bodily tissue. Diets made for puppies and kittens tend to be very high in protein, since young pets need a lot of protein as their muscles and tissues develop. Pregnant mother pets are also sometimes prescribed a high-protein diet, as the extra boost of protein can help them deliver their litters safely.

Carbs

Your pet’s digestive system breaks down carbohydrates from food into glucose, a simple sugar that acts as the fuel for your pet’s body. So, carbohydrates provide energy for just about everything your pet does. That’s why most pet foods contain things like potatoes and rice—these kind of high-carbohydrate foods are great for providing energy and keeping your pet going.

It’s also worth noting that fiber, a type of carbohydrate, is another important nutrient that your pet needs. It slows the absorption level of sugar into your pet’s bloodstream, thereby regulating glucose levels. Fiber also helps your pet to feel full after they’ve eaten, which is why many weight-loss diets contain a lot of fiber.

Fats

It’s easy to think of fat as exclusively a bad thing, but that’s not true. In fact, your pet needs the right amount of healthy fats in their diet, just like you do. Fat provides your pet with energy. Plus, the fat that your pet’s body doesn’t use right away is stored as a reserve and used when your pet needs it. Pets that are more high-activity, such as a working farm dog, will need more fat in the diet than pets who are low-key by comparison.

Vitamins and Minerals

Don’t forget that your pet also needs the right vitamins and minerals, plus fatty acids and amino acids, for good health. Make sure that your pet’s diet contains the right vitamins and minerals for their needs—check with your veterinarian about your pet’s current food to make sure it’s up to par.

Do you have questions about your pet’s nutrition? Contact your Roanoke, VA veterinary clinic.

How To Brush Fluffy’s Teeth Without Ending Up In The ER

Did you know that many cats get dental issues, just like people? Dental problems can be very painful for kitties. One of the best things you can do to keep Fluffy’s teeth healthy is to brush them. We know, that sounds a bit dangerous. However, you can teach a cat to accept the toothbrush without ending up covered in scratches. A Roanoke, VA vet offers some pointers on this below.

Start Early

If your pet is a kitten, you definitely have the upper paw. It’s much easier to teach Fluffy that having her teeth cleaned is just part of being pampered if you start when she’s still little.

Don’t Rush Things

Fluffy will need to get used to having her teeth handled. She may not be particularly enthusiastic about it at first. Start slow! At first, just gently rub her teeth and gums.

Purr Activation

Alternate petting your furball with strokes of the toothbrush. Also, incorporate treats, praise, and lots of ear scritches. This will help Fluffy think of getting her teeth brushed as a good thing.

Tire The Kitty Out

Before brushing Fluffy’s choppers, give her a good dinner. Then, tire her out with a fun play session. Cats are naturally a bit calmer after they’ve burned off their kitty zoomies. 

Products

Speaking of toothbrushes, you may find it easier to wrap your finger in gauze. Or, use a finger toothbrush. Also, choose a yummy flavored toothpaste.

Timing

You won’t have much luck brushing Fluffy’s teeth when she’s feeling frisky or grumpy. Choose a time when she’s feeling relaxed and affectionate.

Make It Routine

Cats are very much creatures of habit. Make kitty dental care time part of Fluffy’s daily schedule.

Rotate

You don’t need to do Fluffy’s whole mouth every day. Just do one section at a time, and keep rotating.

Know When To Say When

Your cat will decide when she’s had enough. It’s best not to press the issue. Just let her go, and try again another day. Trying to hold Fluffy down and forcefully brush her teeth is a good way to get scratched!

Last Resorts

No luck? Ask your vet about other options. Dental-formula kibble and treats, oral rinses, and dental flakes are all helpful.

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

Why is Spaying and Neutering So Important?

Did you know that your pet might be able to spayed or neutered at as young as eight weeks of age? It’s a critical procedure for your pet, but do you know why? Learn more about the many benefits of spaying and neutering as your Roanoke, VA veterinarian elaborates below.

It Eliminates Health Risks

First of all, spaying and neutering is a great thing for your pet’s health. It virtually eliminates the risk of genital cancers, and also makes other cancer types like prostate and breast cancer far less likely to occur. Even other reproductive- and urinary-system problems, such as urinary tract infections, aren’t as likely to happen in pets who have had the procedure performed. All in all, it’s one of the best things you’ll ever do for your pet’s health.

It Improves Behavior

Pets who have had the spay or neuter procedure done tend to behave far better than those who haven’t. Without those pesky hormones coursing through their system, a spayed or neutered pet isn’t as likely to exhibit bad behaviors like urine spraying and house soiling, loud vocalization, aggression toward owners or other pets, chewing, scratching, or digging, and more. The procedure certainly won’t make your animal friend a perfectly behaved pet, but it goes a long way toward keeping your companion mild-mannered and under control.

There’s a Lower Risk of Escape

When intact pets reach the age of sexual maturity, they’ll start to feel an insatiable desire to seek a mate. It’s particularly a problem for dogs, who have been known to escape by whatever means necessary—even chewing through entire doors or digging under fencing in your yard. It’s just not worth the risk of dealing with a lost pet! Having your companion spayed or neutered early on in life means that they won’t feel the desire to escape when mating season arrives.

There’s a Broader Benefit

Spaying or neutering your pet has another much bigger benefit: the greater good. Millions of pets go homeless or must be euthanized every year, simply because of overpopulation. Don’t let your pet to contribute to the problem by breeding in an unrestricted way—you’re not only saving yourself a litter of unexpected puppies or kittens, you’re benefiting the homeless pet population.

Does your pet need spayed or neutered? Contact your Roanoke, VA veterinary clinic right away to set up an office visit. We’re always here to help!

Hot Weather Care Tips for Your Dog

The dog days of summer are upon us! Remember: your dog is wearing a fur coat that he can’t take off, so it’s up to you to make sure Fido stays safe and cool as summer rolls on. Here are a few tips for doing just that from a Roanoke, VA veterinarian:

Keep Fido Indoors

The first rule of thumb to follow is a simple one: don’t leave your dog outdoors for long periods of time when it’s hot. Dogs are susceptible to dehydration and heatstroke when they remain in the high temperatures and hot sun for long stretches, and this can cause serious health trouble. Try exercising your pooch outside during the cooler morning or evening hours, and let him come indoors and relax in the air conditioning through the middle part of the day.

Provide Fresh Water

It’s important to provide your dog with fresh water to drink all year round, but it’s especially essential in the deep summer months. Your pooch needs plenty of fresh water to stay hydrated and keep the body temperature regulated. Keep Fido’s bowl filled at all times, and consider adding a few ice cubes on extremely hot days for that extra chill.

Keep Up With Preventatives

Summer is prime-time for pests, so it’s important that you keep up with your dog’s preventative medications this time of year. Worms like heartworm, roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, and even tapeworms present a threat during the summer, and into the autumn months. Plus, fleas and ticks are waiting to latch on to your dog and start causing problems. Ask your veterinarian about a worm preventative and a flea-and-tick control medicine for your dog if he isn’t already set up with these medications.

Watch the Asphalt

When you take your dog for walks outdoors, pay special attention to asphalt surfaces like driveways and parking lots. These surfaces can heat up quickly when the summer sun beats down on them all day, and they retain heat. It’s possible for your dog’s sensitive paw pads to get burned if he lingers on asphalt surfaces for too long!

Car Travel Tips

Never leave your dog in a car parked in the sun on a hot summer’s day. The temperature inside can skyrocket to well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of minutes! It’s best to keep Fido at home.

For more summer safety tips, contact your Roanoke, VA vet clinic.