How Adopting a Dog Can Change Your Life

Adopting a Dog

It’s no secret that we love animals at Grantsburg Animal Hospital. During this Adopt a Dog Month, we’d like to share five reasons that adopting is a great choice for adding a canine companion to your family!

1. It’s less expensive. By adopting a pet, you can bypass the early costs of puppy vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and possibly even damage to your home from housebreaking! Many well-trained dogs are living in shelters just waiting for a home such as yours - and you can take advantage of the investment others have made into the dog, whether through vaccines, behavior training, and previous veterinary care.

2. History. When you adopt a dog, you’ll be able to get valuable insight into her temperament, behaviors, and learn what makes her happy or uncomfortable. This important information helps you get started off on the right paw, right away! Since rescue groups, foster families, and humane societies have so much experience with dog behaviors, you’ll greatly benefit from this background knowledge of your new companion.

3. You can match the right age to your home. Perhaps you are looking to enrich your home with the curiosity of a new puppy. But since not everyone has the energy or resources to train and engage a puppy, (Although there are plenty of puppies in shelters, too!) maybe you’d prefer a dog who is a bit more seasoned, experienced and settling into her “golden years”. By thoughtfully analyzing your environment and amount of activity you have in your home, you can identify what age of dog would be a perfect fit!

4. Your Health. Adding a dog to your home will give you an extra reason to explore outside in our beautiful Wisconsin autumn colors and snowy treks! Having a dog depend on you for her daily walk and exercise helps give you the extra motivation to avoid watching that extra show on TV and spend your time with her instead!

5. You’ll save at least one life. Not only do you potentially save the life of the dog you adopt, a spot is opened up for another pet in need into the shelter or foster family that she came from. Adoption fees that you pay also help keep the shelter running and magnify their impact into your local community.

We’d love to meet your newly adopted pet when he or she joins your family! With over 30 years in the Grantsburg and Wild River communities, our modern facilities and caring staff will ensure that your new family member is cared for with the very best in veterinary care.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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4 Tips to Help Keep Your Cat Happy and Healthy

Keep Your Cat Happy and Healthy

Do you happily share your home with a feline friend? As an owner of a cat, it’s important to remember that cat’s aren’t just small dogs, and that there are several steps you can take to help keep them fit physically AND mentally. Try these 4 tips to help your cat live longer happily with you!

1. Make food a challenge. By utilizing a tool such as an indoor hunting feeder, not only will you tap into your cat’s innate desire to be a “hunter”, you’ll help stimulate his mind and prevent boredom. By stimulating his predatory needs, he’ll also act out less.

2. Be mindful of litter box location. Even if you want to keep your cat’s litter box out of sight and mind, be aware of the surroundings of it. Are there any loud noises? Is it hard to get to? Do you have one on each level of your house? If you’ve noticed any changes in bathroom routines for your cat, and medical issues have been ruled out, consider what may be impacting his behavior in regard to the litter box environment. Our Grantsburg Animal Hospital veterinarians are happy to give you tips on litter and location.

3. Enrich the environment with fun toys. No one really wants to sleep every day away! By having toys available, enhanced with the benefit of a tasty treat, not only will your cat be getting a side benefit of exercise, but also help fight boredom and obesity! We have some fun and feline tested items in our online store!

4. Bring your cat to come see us. Frequent visits to see us help to ensure your feline companion is at a healthy weight and detect any signs of disease that can impact his overall health. By catching disease early, interventions can be made when they impact your wallet less . Even if your cat is suspicious of visits, or resistant to getting into the cat carrier, we offer helpful ideas for easing this stress.

We strive to provide the very best in quality of medical care possible. If you ever have questions, or suspect changes in your cat’s behavior that are concerning, please do not hesitate to call us at 1-800-924-0588.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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Fall into a Flea and Tick Free Autumn

Flea and Tick

There are a number of ways that most pet owners work on to ensure their pet always enjoys optimal health. Vaccinations, of course, are an essential choice; researching the right diet is also beneficial; worming is a must; and then there’s the constant need for regular flea and tick prevention, especially in our Grantsburg/Wild River area.

Thanks to a variety of innovations regarding spot-on treatments, tick and flea prevention is simpler now than it has ever been before - much to the relief of pet owners the world over. However, there is some confusion amongst even the most dedicated of pet owners as to when these treatments should be used and - most particularly - whether they are still necessary during the cooler seasons.

What happens to fleas and ticks during fall?

There is no doubt that fleas and ticks are more active during the warmer months of the year, and particularly in summer. The warm weather helps to encourage breeding, and many pet owners will ensure their pet is fully protected during this time.

However, fleas and ticks don’t suddenly vanish from the world the moment September rolls around. They may be found in lower numbers, but they’re still there. Fleas and ticks are accomplished at using various outdoor features for shelter; they’ll nestle beneath a wood pile, warm themselves under the cover of leaves, or even make their way into your home to take advantage of your central heating. While their numbers do fall, and breeding becomes less frequent, they’re still in the world - and that means your pet still needs to be protected against them.

How do I protect my pets from fleas and ticks?

There are no new or special measures required to protect your pet from fleas and ticks during fall; the same trustworthy products you rely on during the spring and summer are still more than capable of handling the task. There are a variety of preventatives available here, so after our veterinarians have helped in choosing the best option for your pet, it's easy to keep your pet protected.

If your pet has been treated for fleas and ticks, much of your work is complete - though it’s still worth keeping an eye out for signs of infestation. While these irritating pests won’t be able to do any damage to your pets if your pet has been treated, fleas and ticks can still hitch a ride on your pet’s fur and make their way into your home. If you see any fleas, or even experience bites yourself, then you may want to consider contacting a pest control specialist for further advice.

Is the medication to prevent fleas and ticks safe for my pet?

The FDA came out with an alert on September 20, 2018 that some pets experienced neurological adverse effects while on oral flea/tick preventives. There are still a lot of questions to be answered, but we want you to know that we take the health of your pets very seriously. When we recommend a product, we only do so after knowing the full health history of your furry family member. As your trusted veterinarian, we consider many factors, including overall health, lifestyle, age, previous adverse reactions to medications, etc, before suggesting a product which would assist in keeping your pet parasite-free. 

We are following this alert closely and will keep you informed as we continue  to learn more.

In conclusion

It would be handy if fleas and ticks were to suddenly vanish during fall, but unfortunately, the natural world isn’t quite so convenient. As a result, you should continue to use flea and tick treatments through fall and into winter; it’s the best way of ensuring your beloved pet’s continued health and happiness.

Photo Credit: Chalabala / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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Autumn Safety for Your Pet

Autumn Safety

Strange as it may sound, fall can be one of the most dangerous times of year for domestic pets. While the worries regarding dehydration and overheating fade with the summer sun, there are a number of hazards that your furry friend may potentially encounter during the cooler months of the year.

In an effort to ensure your pet is as safe as possible through the fall months, below, we’ve put together a simple guide to the pet health hazards all owners need to be aware of at this time of year.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms thrive in the fall months but, unfortunately, cats and dogs cannot tell the harmless from the harmful. If you spot any mushrooms growing in your yard, remove them immediately, and remain vigilant when walking your dog in woodland areas.

Rat and mice poison

As detailed in this post, rodents tend to be more noticeable to humans during fall, often attempting to enter properties in an effort to find warmth. For fall safety indoors, many pet owners will place rat and mice poison in areas where these critters are suspected, but this can be highly toxic to your pets. If you have a rodent problem, you could try traps instead; alternatively, if you use poison, ensure your pet is kept away from the area at all times.

Antifreeze

Any guide to managing your car’s maintenance will tell you that this is the time of year to change your car’s coolant or washer fluid to a variety that provides antifreeze benefits. This is a great idea for car maintenance, but the chemicals found in antifreeze are highly toxic to pets. To prevent any mishaps, change antifreeze outside of your own garage or parking space, so there’s no risk of leaks that your pet may then walk on and lick from their paws. When it comes to storing the antifreeze itself, ensure the container is securely fastened and kept at height, far away from any areas your pets are able to access.

What should you do if you suspect your pet has ingested a poison?

Even with the best will in the world, there is a chance that your pet may ingest a poison: your cat may nibble on a rodent that has ingested poison, or your dog discovers a patch of mushrooms and tucks in before you have the chance to stop them. As a result, it’s useful to know the signs of toxin ingestion:

  • Excessive salivation or lip licking
  • Subdued behavior 
  • Panting
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea 

If you notice any of these symptoms, or have reason to believe that your pet has consumed a toxic substance, then contact 1-800-924-0588 as soon as possible for further advice.

In conclusion

Fall is a wonderful season, but it can undoubtedly pose a number of hazards to pets. To address these issues, keep the above tips in mind, and be prepared to take swift action should you suspect your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t have. With these precautions in place, you and your furry friend should be able to enjoy the season - and all the cuddles in front of the fire that it provides!

Photo Credit: stockphotog / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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