You may notice your cat or dog acting a bit down this time of year. Your pet may be experiencing the back-to-school blues. As the kids board the bus, your pet’s schedule, and entire reality, changes. They receive less attention, less excitement, and they just miss their humans!

Why Do Dogs and Cats Struggle to Cope with the Kids Going Back to School?

Our pets miss us when we’re gone. The latest studies show that dogs feel sad when their humans are gone and happy when they return. And while cats are a bit harder to read, they miss us, too!

For dogs, they see their people as part of their ‘pack’ and the root of separation anxiety is very similar to what they feel as puppies when their moms leave them. That’s why separation anxiety is paired with puppy-like behavior that, in the wild, would help bring their moms back.

Some signs of dog separation anxiety can include:

  • Whining and crying
  • Abandoning their potty etiquette
  • Scratching at the door and trying to escape
  • Barking and distressed howling
  • Destruction
  • Pacing

Dogs are also creatures of routine and love when they know what to expect. The sudden change of back to school interrupts their “normal” and can increase a dog’s sense of instability.

Our cats, despite their independent dispositions, can also suffer from separation anxiety. Some cats are more prone to separation anxiety. These include rescue kitties, orphan cats, only-child cats, and cats that share a special bond with your son or daughter.

Some indicators of kitty separation anxiety include:

  • Yowling and excessive meowing
  • Having accidents outside the litter box (this can present itself as going on their human’s belongings)
  • Nervous and excessive grooming
  • Lack of appetite or rapid eating

How Can You Help Your Pet Beat the Back to School Blues?

1. Let Your Pet Release Her Nervous Energy

For Dogs

Before the kids leave for school, let them play fetch or go for a run. This can help your dog get rid of those nervous jitters. This is also a ton of fun and can help ease the boredom of the day.

Use a special occasion toy that she only sees during this time to give her something extra special to look forward to. Try the Air Kong Squeaker Ball or Busy Buddy Bouncy Bone.

For Cats

Cats should receive at least 30 to 45 minutes of active play, daily. Help your kitty sleep soundly with a play session before school. Try the Kong Grappler Teaser toy for a high-intensity play session.

2. Treat Your Pet to a Little Going Away Gift

While your dog or cat may never be thrilled about alone time, you can get their minds off your departure and recondition them by providing your pet with a high-value treat.

Like the name implies, the “Busy Buddy” toys will keep your busy buddy-busy. The Magic Mushroom provides pups with long-lasting fun.

The Egg-cersizer is perfect for your feline friend that needs something to break up the boredom of the day and provide a treat when the kids depart for school.

3. Downplay Your Kids’ Departure

When getting the kids ready, try to downplay their departure. While you shouldn’t ignore your cat or dog, you don’t need to make a big to-do about going. This can increase anxiety in dogs and bring more attention to the change in routine.

Just go about getting ready and leaving. Acknowledge your pet but stay calm while putting out their treats saying “good-bye.”

4. Find a Dog Walker or Pet Sitter to Break Up the Day

If your kids’ return to school means your pets will be left alone in an empty house, you may want to find a person who will pop in to give them a bit of loving.

Many dogs love visitors. And almost all dogs love walks. A dog walker will give you the reassurance that your pup isn’t just moping at home waiting for your return and give your pup a bit of exercise and attention.

For Cats

Use your judgment when it comes to kitties. Some run for the hills and hide deep in the Christmas ornaments while others would appreciate a pet sitter who will stop by for a few pets and attention.

5. Try Adaptil or a Zendog Compression Shirt to Give Your Pup Peace of Mind

If your pet experiences anxiety, you can provide her with a bit of comfort with the help of Adaptil, a pheromone that ignites comfort areas in your dog’s brain.

Another option to help your nervous Nancy is ZenDog Compression Shirt. This hugs your pup in the right spots to calm nerves and ease anxiety.

As for cats, Feliway works wonders to give your cat some comfort.

Don’t Let the Back to School Blues Bother Your Best Friend

As your children learn and grow, keep your pets comfortable, confident, and calm with some of these techniques. 

Nervous and anxious pets sometimes need a little extra support to adjust to changes. If you need additional help or advice from us, we’re happy to chat about solutions that will work for your pet. Make an appointment. We offer a wide range of prescription options that work wonders for anxious pets.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

What is the difference between a bored visitor and a dog with fleas? One is itching to go and the other is just darn itchy!

How about this one: What is a flea’s favorite book? The Itch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy.

If you didn’t find those funny, you may need a checkup to see if your funny bone is working. Or maybe you’re a responsible pet parent that doesn’t find fleas to be a laughing matter. Either way, these pesky little bugs can wreak havoc on your dog or cat. 

Arming yourself with knowledge is one way to protect your little buddy from an infestation, protect your wallet by not wasting money on ineffective flea treatments, and protect yourself from wasting your time.

Lucky for you, we are taking a magnifying glass to the life of the flea… and we’re not just scratching the surface. 

The Flea’s Life Cycle

Stage One: How Many Eggs?

Fleas start out as eggs. Tiny eggs. Fleas lay thousands of tiny eggs. How many? An adult flea can lay between 10 and 60 eggs every day! And these egg-layers can live two to three months. That’s a lot of eggs, right? One flea can lay about 2,000 eggs in her lifetime.

What if a momma flea reaches adulthood in the winter? Unfortunately, the myth that fleas go dormant during the winter is untrue. While fleas do prefer heat, they can live quite comfortably inside our homes. This is because fleas enjoy the same temperatures we do. They thrive in temperatures of 75 to 95-degrees. 

So, where do fleas lay their eggs? On your dog or cat. But many of those eggs end up getting knocked off or shaken off and flying onto your floor, their bedding, or elsewhere.

Stage Two: Larvae Alive!

A few days after eggs are laid, they begin to hatch. Not all eggs will hatch, right? About half of them will develop into larvae. 

Flea larvae are practically microscopic. They are also repelled by light. So, they frequently end up in the cracks and crevices of floorboards and deep in the carpet. This is why fleas can seemingly reemerge after you think you’ve eliminated them.

And to make these babies even more adorable, they survive off adult flea poop, also known as “flea dirt.” Gross. 

Stage Three: From Larvae to Pupae

So, once flea larvae have had their fill of flea dirt, they spin themselves itty bitty cocoons. This phase can last between two weeks and six months. When the conditions are right, they hatch. 

And they don’t emerge as beautiful butterflies. They emerge as adult fleas ready to find their first blood meal. 

Stage Four: The Adult Flea

Adults fleas live off the blood of their hosts. They feast on your pup, cat, or your ankles. And once they’ve had a meal, they’re ready to lay eggs, and the cycle starts all over again. 

Other Flea Facts

  • 5% of fleas are at the adult stage at one time. Others are eggs, larvae or pupae, waiting to mature.
  • 10% of fleas live on your pet. The rest live throughout your home.
  • The life cycle of the flea lasts between two weeks and six months.
  • Fleas can carry tapeworm larvae and infect your pet with these intestinal parasites.

Stop Those Fleas from Infesting Your Home and Biting Your Pet

Ending a flea infestation is a matter of interrupting the flea’s life cycle. Prescription flea medicine does just that.

When your pet ingests oral prescription flea medicine, it makes its way through your pet’s system and winds up in your pet’s outer fat layer. Then, when a flea bites your pet, they ingest the flea poison which renders them sterile. This means any eggs they lay cannot survive.

Make Fleas Flee!

What did the dog on flea prevention say to the vet? 

“Long time, no flea!”

Protect your pet from fleas. Don’t give fleas the chance to infest your home and wreak havoc on your pet’s skin and mental state. 

It’s time to give us a call and make an appointment to scratch that itch your dog or cat can’t shake on their own. Don’t try to fight a flea infestation alone, you’ll quickly get outnumbered and overwhelmed.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

When your pet gets sick, helping them feel better immediately becomes a pet parent’s first priority. Some pet owners jump on the internet and scour PetMD and WebMD Pets for answers, while others rush to the local pet store and read label after label of over-the-counter medicines. These methods often lead to more questions than answers. So, what can you do to ensure proper treatment of your pet’s aches, pains, and preventative health?

You can assure your peace of mind when it comes to your pet’s health, medicine, and best interest with help from a veterinarian. Always consult us or another vet before trying to treat your pet on your own and always get a prescription when ordering medicines from online stores.

Importance of Getting Rx from Veterinarian or Veterinarian Approved Online Store

We take the guesswork out of how to treat your pet. From dosage levels to what’s right for your specific pet, don’t take the risk of trying to treat them without consulting us first.

When you use a vet to diagnose your pet and prescribe medicine, you are receiving qualified and trusted advice tailored to your pet’s needs. From weight to breed, size, and medical history, we use professional and proven knowledge to most effectively assist your pet with her needs.

What’s the Difference Between Veterinary Rx Medicines and OTC Medicines?

Some of the most effective medicines are prescription only. Some illnesses and diseases can only be properly diagnosed and treated by vets. Some medicines are extremely beneficial when used correctly, but without veterinary guidance can cause serious health issues.

Over-the-counter medicines often have lower levels of active ingredients which can make determining dosage levels complicated and, at times, less effective.

The last thing any pet parents wants is to accidentally cause further damage to their pet’s health with an OTC medicine or prolonging their pet’s illness.

Why Are Some Medicines Only Available Through A Vet?

Many manufacturers don’t want to risk any pet’s health, which is why they want you to see us before giving your pet their product. This reassures them that pet owners will properly use their medicine to treat their pets and use their medicine under the right circumstances. Having a conversation with your veterinarian also never hurts and an exam can better diagnose a pet’s needs.

Why Order Your Medicine from Us?

Vets and online veterinary retailers take proper care to keep pet medicines available and shelf-stable. You don’t want your pet’s medicine to get too hot or too cold in shipping. You also don’t want the medicine to breakdown or spoil.

Ordering from a veterinarian also gives you the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers about your pet’s medication and health. Additionally, any medication ordered through our online store or us is guaranteed to be authentic.

Your pet’s needs change over time, which is why it’s essential that you bring your pet in for an annual exam and update your pet’s prescription. Ordering medicine on an expired prescription can put your pet’s health at risk.

We’re Here to Help You Keep Your Pet Healthy

From anxiety to flea prevention to pain management, we can help you create a safe plan for your pet’s veterinary needs. Protect those purrs and tail wags with the right prescription ordered from a trusted source.

If you have any questions about your pet’s health, prescriptions, or if an OTC treatment is the right choice, we will gladly help you. Give us a call to make an appointment. If it’s time to refill your pet’s prescription, save time and use our online shop.

Photo Credit: obewon

Ahoy! Keep Your Dog Afloat with Boating and Water Safety

Did you know that not all dogs instinctively know how to doggie paddle? Some dogs aren’t even capable of keeping their heads above water as they try to swim. As we reach the perfect time of year to enjoy some fun in the sun and some watery adventures, we want to make sure you have what you need to know to keep your dog safe in and around the water (water wings not included).

Boating Safety

Are you bringing your dog aboard for a boating trip? If so, here what you need to know to keep your pup safe and all paws on-deck!

1. A Life Jacket Could Save Your Pup’s Life

Even if your dog is a great swimmer, a life jacket is a must. If your pup were to slip and fall overboard, he may get knocked unconscious and not be able to swim. This one is a better safe than sorry necessity.

2. Plan for a Plunge

Dogs can be erratic. We see dogs that jump from car windows even though they’ve been fine riding with the window down for years. Make sure you know what you plan on doing if your dog decides to jump, or slips, off the deck. Do you have answers to these questions?

  • Who will monitor your dog while others are piloting the boat, skiing, etc?
  • Who will go in and lift the dog back on the boat?
  • Do you have a ladder or a diving platform to make it easier to get large dogs back onboard?
  • Can your dog swim well enough to paddle back to the boat?

3. A Fido Friendly First-Aid Kit

Does your boating first-aid kit have all the dog-friendly items you may need? Along with your standard alcohol swabs and bandages, make sure you also have: 

  • Styptic powder 
  • A fabric or soft muzzle
  • An extra leash and collar
  • A towel or blanket
  • Bottled water
  • A magnifying glass 
  • A flashlight.

4. Sun Safety

Dogs with thin or light-colored coats can get sunburned on their backs. Be sure to liberally massage (and reapply) a zinc-free dog-friendly sunblock into their fur, down their skin and remember all dogs’ noses are prone to sunburn. Apply a dog-friendly sunblock there, too - and remember to reapply as needed.

5. Water, Water Everywhere and Some in a Bowl to Drink

The heat this time of year can be dangerous for dogs. Bring as much water as you think you may need plus some extra. Keep your dog’s bowl full and out of the sun.

Dog Swimming Safety

Slow and Steady

Puppies and adult dogs can all use swim lessons when taking a dip is new to them. If you just adopted your dog, don’t rush the swimming process if it’s new to them. Before you plan a full day at the lake, take them to a nearby body of water with a gentle incline and let them slowly wade in. Ideally, you will be beside them.

Never force your dog into the water if he’s not up for it.

And it’s important to remember some dogs just aren’t built to swim. Frenchies, Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, and other short-snouted, top-heavy dogs may not be able to keep themselves afloat. They can also struggle to breathe. It’s important to keep a life preserver on these dogs.

Don’t Drink the Water

It can be tough, but try to prevent your dog from drinking too much lake water. If you’re headed to the beach, the same goes for saltwater (although most dogs find the salt off-putting).  Keeping clean, fresh, cool water available will help with this.

Rinse Your Pup Afterwards and Dry Those Ears

After your dog is done with his doggie dip, rinse him with fresh water. Gently dry out your dog’s ears to help prevent infection.

Always keep an eye on your pup when swimming or boating and never leave fish hooks or bait where your dog can reach them. Provide a shady spot where your dog can relax whether you’re lakeside, beachside, or on the boat.

We hope you have a blast with your furry best friend as you enjoy some fun in the sun!

Photo credit: Lisa5201

Did you know that Monday, July 15 is Pet Fire Safety Day? This event, which occurs on the same date each year, hopes to increase awareness among pet owners that their furry housemates can start a fire causing severe property damage, injuries, or even death. All it takes is something as simple as knocking over a burning candle, bumping the on button on the stove, or getting into an ashtray that contains a cigarette not fully extinguished. The problem is significant enough to cause the deaths of approximately 40,000 house pets every year.

Fire Prevention When You Share Your Home with Pets

Prevention is always the goal when it comes to pets and fires. While you might feel silly getting down on your hands and knees, this helps you see your home from your pet’s perspective. From your vantage point, you should be able to spot dangers such as the height of your stove relative to your dog’s size or whether loose wires exist anywhere in your home. When using hot items such as a clothes or curling iron, allow it to cool off and then put it away immediately. Additionally, supervise your pet around fireplaces and burning candles at all times.

If your home doesn’t have a working smoke alarm for every floor, now is a great time to invest in them. The alarm will alert you to the presence of smoke or fire immediately regardless of the time or your pet’s current whereabouts. While you hope that a fire never breaks out in your home, obtaining a window cling that states how many pets live inside and their species tells firefighters to look for your pets when fighting the blaze.

When you’re gone and your pet is home alone, consider placing dogs in kennels or cats in one room of the home with access to food, water, and a litter box. If you would rather not do that, place your pet towards the front of your home until you return. This makes it easier for firefighters to find him or her if a fire does break out. It’s also a good idea to do one last visual check to make sure your pet isn’t in close proximity to any potential fire hazards.

Make a Fire Escape Plan That Includes Your Pet

Fire is just one of several potential disasters that could cause the need to flee your home immediately. We recommend preparing a pet first-aid kit in advance and storing it with several servings of fresh food and water, toys, extra medication, and a leash and harness if you ever need to leave your home quickly. Having a disaster plan ready to follow should a fire occur will help increase the chances of everyone making it out safely, including your beloved pet.

Feel free to contact Battletown Animal Hospital if you would like additional fire safety tips or you would like to schedule an appointment for preventive care.

Photo credit: Pixabay