Pet obesity

Pet Obesity

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention conducted a study back in 2014 that revealed 53% of dogs and 58% of cats are obese. If you were to look at these percentages in actual numbers, it translates to 41 million dogs and 49 million cats that are living with extra pounds! Those few extra pounds that your pet has packed on may look cute to you, but it’s not. Pet obesity can lead to serious problems for your animal's health which may result in health complications. This is why you need to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to prevent your pet from becoming obese. As a pet owner, you must take pet health as seriously as you would your own.

Common Conditions

Some of the most common weight related issues in pets can include the following:

  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Kidney Disease
  • Type II Diabetes
  • Respiratory Disease

In addition to these conditions, if your pet is obese then it is possible that this will cause their lifespan to be decreased by around two and a half years. As a loving pet owner, you are going to want to do everything possible to spend as many quality years as possible with your pet.

How To Combat Obesity

The first thing that you can do to help your pet lose weight, or even before it gets that far, is make sure that you are feeding your pet the appropriate amount of quality pet food every day. Most food packaging labels will give you the recommended amount of food for your pet’s weight. Use a measuring cup to get the amount of food accurate at meal times.

If you tend to give your pets treats through the day for good behavior or for any other reason, you should also consider cutting down on the amount you are giving them. While this may be a good way to train your pet, if you are giving them unnecessary calories, it can lead to pet obesity.

Exercise is the other option we strongly advise. It is very important that your pet is being exercised adequately everyday. If you have a dog, you should make sure that they are getting thirty minutes of walking/running or at least some sort of exercise where they need to exert themselves. This could be something as simple as repeatedly throwing their toys in the yard to place fetch. Your pet will love the extra attention (and mental stimulation) from you.

If you have a cat, you already know that for a large portion of the day they will be asleep. As this is the case, you need to make sure that you are fully utilizing the time that they are awake and you can do this by playing with them. Try providing them safe toys that they will chase after or play with.

For both our feline and canine friends, our online store offers healthy food options and toys to keep your pets active.. You can head over there and take a look at our full range of products that could benefit your pet.

If you are unsure about whether your pet is overweight, you can always request an appointment with our veterinary team to get them checked out by a veterinarian. Our veterinarians will be able to help you to develop a plan to help your pet if they are overweight.

Sources used in article:

“Pet Statistics.” ASPCA, www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics.

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Back to School! How do changes in routines affect pets?

Back to School

It’s almost that time again where the kids are heading back to school, leaving the house empty all day. But that’s not completely true if you have a furry little friend at home who is going to be waiting for someone to return. When the back to school seasons comes around, you need to be thinking about how this change in routine is going to affect your pets.

You may notice that when you leave your pet alone, he or she may start to cry, chew things other than their toys or even try to escape the house. It is possible that your pet just needs to be trained a little more. However this behavior may also indicate distress, especially if your pet starts acting this way as you are preparing to leave the house. This may indicate that your pet is suffering from separation anxiety.

Signs Of A Problem

Some of the common symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs will include:

  • Urinating/defecating
  • Barking/howling
  • Chewing of furniture 
  • Digging 
  • Trying to escape the house

They may target points in the houses like doors or windows and jump for them when they are left alone or when they think you are preparing to leave.

It is likely that during the summer stretch as well as for holidays throughout the year that your kids have been home for a large portion of the day with your pet and they have become used to this routine. Once it’s time for your kids to go back to school, this can trigger an emotional reaction in your pet, leading to separation anxiety. You need to keep this in mind when your kids are heading off to school. Separation anxiety in pets can be a serious problems but there are ways to help your pet so that they are not in so much distress.

What Should You Do?

The first thing that you should do if you notice any of these signs is to take your pet to come see us at Grantsburg Animal Hospital or Wild River Veterinary Clinic so that they can receive a check-up and the best possible veterinary care. This is so you can rule out any physical medical conditions, such as a urine infection, and make sure that your dog is healthy. If our veterinarians do not find any physical problem with your dog you should then make sure that it is not the result of boredom in the dog, scent marking or just general destructive chewing.

If there is no physical problem found by our veterinary team and none of the other reasons apply, it may be worth looking into consulting a veterinary behaviorist. A veterinary behaviorist is trained to help people who have problems with separation anxiety in pets. This type of veterinary care will help you by training your dog using methods such as desensitization and counterconditioning the dog into being left alone. These methods are used to make the process of leaving the dog alone less intense and make sure the dog is happy and relaxed when left alone. This way, you can ensure that your pet is not in distress every time you leave them alone in the house.

If you have concerns about separation anxiety in your pet, please do not hesitate to reach out to us via phone, 715-463-2536, or our website.

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Benefits of Grooming Your Dog

Benefits of Grooming Your Dog

Grooming your dog is about more than making him look more attractive. While that’s an obvious benefit, regular grooming offers many health benefits as well. For starters, it reduces the grease level in your dog’s fur. When grease builds up too much, it blocks pores and can cause your dog to develop cysts. Brushing his coat often also helps to improve the proper circulation of blood.

Many dogs shed, leaving loose hair all over the house and their own bodies. Unfortunately, the loose hair can also cause your dog to develop mats. This pulls the skin down and can cause significant skin problems. When mats develop between your dog’s paw pads, it makes it difficult for her to walk comfortably because of the accumulation of grease and dirt.

Although your dog might protest your grooming efforts initially, he will come to accept it if you’re persistent and offer lots of praise. He will also enjoy the extra attention from you. This is just one way that you can deepen the bond you have with your dog.

Tools for Home Grooming

You will naturally complete some grooming tasks more than others. For example, you might brush your dog daily and clip her nails once a month. We encourage you to establish a schedule for grooming to encourage your dog to get used to it and to keep these items in a central location:

  • Coarse metal comb
  • Ear and eye wipes
  • Fine comb
  • Non-slip rubber mat
  • Shampoo made especially for his breed
  • Soft slicker brush

You can bathe smaller breed dogs with shampoo and a damp washcloth, but larger breeds will need to go in the bathtub or you can use a hose outside. This bathing process loosens your dog’s fur and makes it easier to comb. We recommend purchasing a grooming comb based on whether your dog has coarse, curly, straight, or thick fur.

Trimming the nails is the most challenging part of home grooming for many dog owners. In fact, some skip this task altogether and schedule an appointment with our grooming salon instead.

You will need to use a hypo-allergenic wipe to clean your dog’s ears and eyes. This is better than using a Q-tip for the ears because you may push dirt and wax further into his ear canal. Dogs typically don’t require ear drops unless they have a diagnosed infection.

If you don’t have the grooming supplies you need at home, check out the skin and coat category in our online store. You can even set up automated shipments so you never run out.

Professional Grooming is Also Important

Regular professional appointments help to complement the care you give your dog at home. Our groomers will let you know about specific concerns and can also work with you go achieve better cooperation from your dog when it comes to home grooming. Please don’t hesitate to contact us in Grantsburg, Wisconsin at 715-463-2536 or Pine City, Minnesota at 320-629-7474 if you have additional questions.

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Safety Notice: Why It's Important to Get Your Pet's Medications Through a Licensed Veterinarian

Safety Notice

Back in 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an official warning for pet owners to exercise caution when ordering veterinary medication from an online pharmacy. That is because it had received multiple complaints about some online businesses dispensing medication for animals without the necessary qualifications to do so. This resulted in pet owners receiving expired drugs, counterfeit drugs, the wrong dose, medication for the wrong species of pet, and several other complaints. One way that online veterinary companies attracted customers was by claiming they could receive medication for their pet without a prescription.

Federal Law Requires Veterinarians to Examine a Pet Personally Before Writing a Prescription

Although the FDA requires all veterinarians to personally examine an animal before writing a prescription and dispensing medication, some online pharmacies have found a way around this requirement. The people who own these websites often have no training in veterinary medicine at all. Because of this, they ask the pet owner to complete a health history form and claim they will evaluate the animal that way. This might offer a false sense of security for pet owners, but the illegal online pharmacy owners usually don’t even read these forms. That is what causes so many dispensing errors in the first place.

Another typical complaint received by the FDA is that these online pharmacies send non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or heartworm medications without the benefit of a prescription. This is crucial since animals taking an NSAID or receiving heartworm treatment require careful monitoring from an actual veterinarian. Additionally, a veterinarian needs to obtain a blood sample from an animal before starting him on either of these medications.

Keep Your Pet Safe and Get Your Prescriptions from Us

When you bring your sick or injured pet to Grantsburg Animal Hospital or Wild River Veterinary Clinic, a veterinarian will personally examine her and hand you a prescription for medication if she needs it. You can then get the prescription filled by us. Should you need refills or maintenance medication, you can obtain them from our licensed online store MyVetStoreOnline. We offer manufacturer-guaranteed products for pain management, preventive care and several other categories.

In addition to FDA approval, all medications we offer in our online store come with a quality guarantee from the manufacturer. Ordering from an unlicensed online veterinary pharmacy may save money upfront, but the risk to your pet’s health is too great a cost to pay. Feel free to contact us if you have additional questions about how we write prescriptions or dispense medication at either of our hospitals.

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