No matter how much you love your pet’s veterinarian, there’s a good chance that your animal isn’t fond of his or her visits to the pet hospital. Fortunately, if your pet experiences anxiety when it’s time for a vet check-up, there are several things you can do to make appointments more comfortable for him or her, not to mention for yourself and your vet. Try this advice for making your pet’s next animal clinic visit less stressful.
Consider the Carrier
Not all pets have to ride to the vet in a carrier, but if yours will be confined to one for his or her vet appointment, re-introduce it well before the big day. Get the carrier out about a week before your appointment, and leave the door open. Put some treats and toys inside, and let your pet get used to going in and out of it. Make it comfortable with a towel or some bedding, and consider using a calming pheromone spray inside it. Once it’s time to put your pet inside for your vet visit, the carrier won’t seem so scary anymore.
Drop by to Say Hello
Did you know that you can swing by your vet’s office between appointments? Periodically drop in at the animal clinic with your pet in tow to say hello. A lot of people do this. Give your pet a chance to hop up on the scale, and of course, to get a treat or a good ear scratching from the clinic staff. Your pet will get used to the smells and sounds of the office on these low-key visits, so that his or her own check-ups won’t feel so foreign and scary.
Ask Your Vet
For some pets, getting over anxiety about vet visits isn’t a simple process. If your pet won’t adjust to pet clinic appointments, ask your vet about sedative medications that could help. With these meds, your pet will feel relaxed during appointments, so the whole process is faster and more comfortable.
The friendly team at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group always works to make pets and their parents feel welcome and at ease at our animal clinic in Dallas. Make an appointment at one of our AAHA-accredited animal hospitals by calling (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas, or by calling (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney.
Obesity is a serious health crisis not just for humans but for pets as well. For dogs, being obese leads to a long list of health risks that can ultimately lead to pain, digestive problems, and even early death. If you’re concerned about your dog’s weight, talk to your veterinarian. Reduced-calorie foods, exercise plans, and dietary changes can all help your pup get back to a healthy weight. Here is a closer look at some of the potential dangers of obesity in dogs.
Being overweight puts excess pressure on your dog’s joints. Over time, this wear and tear can lead to arthritis. When your dog develops arthritis, it becomes harder for him or her to go up and down stairs, jump up on beds, go for walks, and play. Thanks to the limits that joint pain puts on your dog’s ability to exercise, he or she will be prone to even more weight gain. In addition to joint damage, excess weight can also cause damage to the ligaments and muscles that surround the joints.
Excess weight causes your dog’s blood pressure to increase. The increased pressure means that the heart has to work harder to pump blood. As the heart works harder and harder, it may become damaged. Heart disease and congestive heart failure are both common in dogs who are overweight.
Even a modest weight gain can significantly tax your dog’s system. With every step, his or her muscles, lungs, and heart have to work harder than they were built to do. As a result, your dog will become sluggish and less interested—and able—to do things he or she once loved, such as going for walks or hitting the dog park. Lower levels of stamina lead to a decreased quality of life for your pup, and the excessive strain on his or her system can lead to a shortened lifespan.
Help is available for overweight pups at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group. Talk to our veterinarians in Dallas or McKinney about dietary changes for overweight dogs, as well as safe activities for building up your dog’s exercise tolerance again. Make an appointment at one of our AAHA-accredited animal hospitals by calling (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas, or by calling (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney.
Canine hip dysplasia is a serious genetic condition that affects several breeds of dogs. It has spread among breeds thanks to selective breeding by humans. When hip dysplasia is left untreated, it can cause significant problems for the affected dogs, including constant pain, malformed hips, and mobility problems. Identifying hip dysplasia early can allow veterinarians to treat it, preventing the complications associated with the condition.
At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, we use the renowned PennHIP screening method of determining a dog’s chances of having hip dysplasia. PennHIP dates back to 1983 and has undergone multiple clinical trials that bolstered its efficacy. This multifaceted screening program is the only objective screening tool available for hip dysplasia. It is effective at identifying a risk of hip dysplasia in dogs as young as 16 weeks, which allows veterinarians to create an effective treatment plan before complications begin.
PennHIP is just one of the cutting-edge tools we use at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group to keep our patients healthy for life. Get more information about all of the services at our AAHA-accredited animal hospitals by calling (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas, or by calling (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney.
It’s often not as easy to notice that your pet snake is sick, as compared to seeing signs of illnesses in your pet cats or dogs. If you are worried that your snake might be ill, see your veterinarian as soon as possible to get your pet the treatment he or she needs.
Watch this video to learn about some common illnesses in snakes, such as inclusion body disease. This viral infection is a dangerous condition that can take months to incubate. If you get a new snake, keep it quarantined for several months to ensure that it isn’t infected, or bring infectious diseases into your existing reptile collection.
At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, our veterinarians provide veterinary medical care in Dallas for many different kinds of pets, including snakes. Make an appointment at one of our AAHA-accredited animal hospitals by calling (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas, or by calling (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney.
Coughing is not unusual for a dog, and in most cases, it is not a sign of a serious health problem. However, coughing can in some instances indicate an issue that needs treatment. Your veterinarian should evaluate any persistent cough. If your dog’s cough has just started, here are some of the indicators that you should call the animal clinic.
If your dog’s cough is deep and dry, like hacking cough in humans, he or she may have kennel cough. This condition is extremely contagious, so it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis and to start treatment as soon as possible. A wet cough can be indicative of pneumonia, while a gagging cough may mean that your dog has something in his or her throat.
Are you concerned about your pet’s symptoms? Let the team at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group help. Make an appointment at one of our AAHA-accredited animal hospitals by calling (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas, or by calling (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney.
Having a pet snake can be thrilling for anyone looking for an exotic pet, but it is also a major responsibility. Before you even get your snake, it’s important to make sure you have access to a veterinarian who offers exotic animal care, so you can be sure you can keep your pet healthy. Learning how to handle your snake in a way that is safe for both you and your pet is also important. Keep these strategies in mind as you get used to caring for your snake.
Allow for an Adjustment Period
When you get your snake, chances are that you will want to handle it as soon as possible, but that can be stressful for your pet. Instead, give your snake plenty of time and space to get used to its new home before you attempt to handle him or her. Put the cage in a quiet part of your home, and steer clear aside from changing the water daily and spot cleaning any waste. Follow this plan for about five to seven days as your snake adjusts. You should also avoid feeding him or her during this period.
Let Your Snake Learn Your Scent
Before you handle your snake, let him or her get to know your scent by putting your hand inside the cage. Your snake may hide at first, but then he or she will start to explore. Getting used to your scent will help your snake associate you with a safe presence. Important: Keep in mind that your snake may also associate your scent with feeding, so if you want to handle your snake regularly, consider feeding it in another container, so that he or she doesn’t strike looking for your food when you are near.
Handle Gently and Confidently
When it’s time to pick up your snake, do so slowly but with confidence. Avoid grabbing the head or tail, and instead pick him or her up by the middle of the body. Let your snake wrap around your hand and arm so that he or she feels supported. Handle your snake for short periods of time at first, and then increase your time as you and your snake get used to each other.
Chastain Veterinary Medical Group is pleased to provide exotic animal care in Dallas for snakes, ferrets, lizards, and much more. Make an appointment at one of our AAHA-accredited animal hospitals by calling (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas, or by calling (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney.
Pets love treats, but just like people who have too many snacks, too many treats can take a toll on your pet’s waistline. Your veterinarian can give you personalized advice about how many treats to feed your pet. This video will also help.
When you’re picking treats, it is important to be aware of the caloric content and to manage them accordingly. Many pets will respond to a piece of their regular kibble just as enthusiastically as a special treat, which can be a good way to keep serving sizes under control.
At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, we’re committed to giving your pets the best veterinarian care for all stages of life, from dietary management to spay and neuter services and pet dental cleanings. Make an appointment at one of our AAHA-accredited animal hospitals by calling (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas, or by calling (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney.
When you get a new dog, socializing him or her is the key to a happy, healthy relationship. Without proper socialization, dogs can be skittish, aggressive, or otherwise mal-adjusted, which puts both your pup and your family at risk. Plus, puppies love to explore and make new friends, so socialization keeps him or her happy. Your veterinarian can answer questions specific to your pup—and a trip to the animal clinic can also be part of the socialization process. Here are answers to some of the questions new dog families often have about socialization.
When should I start socializing my dog?
Puppy socialization should start right away. In fact, from birth to four months is a critical time for socialization. During this period, it’s important for puppies to spend time with the people and fellow pets that make up his or her family. You should also introduce your puppy to the places he or she will be spending time frequently, so that they are familiar and comfortable as he or she grows. After this time period, socialization should continue throughout your dog’s life.
Can I socialize my dog before he or she is vaccinated?
Your veterinarian will likely recommend that you avoid dog parks and doggy day cares until your pup has been vaccinated. We certainly say that. However, there are still plenty of ways to socialize your dog in the meantime, through frequent play at home and interaction with visitors to your home.
Does my dog need to go to puppy school for socialization?
School isn’t required for puppies, but it definitely helps. In puppy school, not only do dogs and their human families learn the tools necessary to relate to each other, but dogs also get a chance to play together. Puppy school is a good place for your dog to practice things like bite inhibition, which is best taught through interactions with other pups. Your veterinarian can help you decide if puppy school is right for your pet.
For all of your new dog’s firsts, from spay and neuter services to vaccinations, choose Chastain Veterinary Medical Group. We’re here to keep your pup healthy from their first day at home to their senior years. Make an appointment at one of our AAHA-accredited animal hospitals by calling (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas, or by calling (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney.
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