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Common Mistakes Of First-Time Dog Owners


New Years Pet Safety Tips

Celebration fireworks or other loud noises can frighten pets
If you are leaving for the evening, make sure your pets are secured in your home. Provide them with a quiet area that is familiar to them, and make sure they have everything they need, such as food, fresh water, safe chew toys for dogs, and a litter box for cats. It’s also helpful to leave on a TV or radio to provide ambient noise. Even if you plan on a quiet New Year’s at home, remember that neighbors may be celebrating and could disturb your pet. Be sure to take all the same precautions.

Microchip, ID, and update your information
Even if you’re keeping your pets safely confined, each pet should have a microchip and/or an ID tag with your current contact information. Be sure to use a breakaway/safety collar for cats. Dogs and cats can get spooked and try to escape, or a guest may unknowingly open the door to the room in which your pets are confined. ID’s may not prevent your pets from getting lost, but they will ensure a speedy reunion if they do get out.

Party Animals
If you are having a celebration at your home, give your pet a quiet place to get away if your festivities become too overwhelming.


What You Should Know When Getting a Pet as a Gift

Holiday movies, television programs and advertisements seem to make it seem like the best time to give or get a new pet is under the tree on Christmas morning. Cute little puppies and kittens festooned with big floppy ribbons, who can resist? But what we are seeing is a very well orchestrated and edited best case scenario. Not all Christmas pets live up to the hype, and bringing a new animal into the home during such an exciting holiday can be just the opposite of a positive beginning. There are a lot of variables to consider before bringing an animal into your home.


Prepare the Family – Including the Kids


A lot of people feel that the most wonderful way to present a new pet is by surprise, but the last thing you want is a frightened, cowering little animal that is overwhelmed by the kids’ squeals of excitement and clamoring for an opportunity to hold it. Christmas morning is an especially chaotic time, with everyone tearing into gifts, hazardous (to little animals) strings and wrappings all over, and the usual loud toys that can be disturbing to even the most seasoned holiday veteran. Worst case scenario? The new pet bites someone, bringing a pall of gloom to an otherwise loving holiday.


Taking a Healthy Pet to the Vet

We’ve all heard it before – veterinarians urge us to bring our pets in for a checkup once or twice a year, even if they’re in apparently perfect health. This may seem puzzling to some of us. Why should we bring our pets to the veterinarian and pay for a visit if we think our pets are looking and feeling fine?

It’s actually really important to have your pet examined, blood work and all, at least once a year. Why? Think about it: as humans age, checkups become more and more important in order to monitor for conditions that become more common with aging. The same goes for your pet. What’s more, even though your pet may appear healthy, he or she might be sick without you even knowing about it. Pets can’t talk (obviously), so they can’t tell you how they’re feeling. Through instinct, they are also very good a compensating and hiding detectable signs or symptoms of disease from us.


X-Ray for Your Pet

Many people are familiar with radiographs (x-rays) through personal experience or through their pet having them done. It is a very common procedure done in pets to diagnose problems such as broken bones, masses (tumors), obstructions, bladder stones, or hip dysplasia. X-rays were discovered in 1895. Since then, they have become a valuable tool in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Radiographs rely on the different densities of various parts of the body. The tissue images that show up on the radiograph consist of white, black, and shades of gray. The more dense the body part such as bone, the whiter it appears on the x-ray. The less dense the body part such as the lung filled with air, the blacker it appears on the x-ray. Muscle and internal organs show up as various shades of gray depending on the density. A contrast media (dye) can be injected into the patient as with a myelogram, or given to the patient as with a barium series to provide further information. With experience reading it, the veterinarian is able to use the radiograph to help make a diagnosis.


How Often Should Your Pet See a Veterinarian?

Kitten or Puppy: Birth to 1 Year

You’ll need to bring your little one in for vaccines every 3 to 4 weeks until he’s 16 weeks old.

Dogs will get shots for rabies, distemper-parvo, and other diseases. They may also need shots to protect against health woes such as kennel cough, influenza, and Lyme disease.

Cats will get tests for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus. They also get vaccinations that cover several diseases.

At this stage, your pet will also start heartworm and flea- and tick-prevention medications, if they’re recommended for your area.