Tips for Teaching Your Puppy to Stop Nipping

Bringing home a new puppy is exciting, but it is also hard work, as you teach your puppy the right way to behave in your home. One common problem new puppy families face is nipping. It’s natural for puppies to nip, since that is how they explore the world, but that behavior quickly becomes problematic if your pup doesn’t learn to stop before he or she becomes a bigger dog. Make sure veterinarian is part of your puppy’s life from the start, as your vet can offer advice about what behaviors are common, or normal, and can make referrals for behavioral training services if necessary. You can work on breaking your puppy’s nipping habit at home with this advice.

Copy Natural Dog Behavior

When puppies play with each other and with other older dogs, they learn bite inhibition through the reactions of the other dogs they are nipping at. If one dog mouths another too forcefully during play, the other dog will yelp, forcing the first dog to change his or her behavior, otherwise the game is over. You can mirror that behavior at home. When your puppy nips too hard, go limp and let out a loud yelping sound. Don’t play with your puppy for 10 to 15 seconds, and then resume the game. If he or she bites too hard again, repeat the process. This teaches your dog that gentle play is fine but he or she will lose your attention for aggressive nipping.

Redirect Attention

You may wish to teach your puppy that his or her teeth never belong on human skin, even during play. In this case, redirect your pup’s attention any time he or she tries to nip at you. Avoid your dog’s mouth and provide a chew toy anytime he or she wants to bite you. The toy gives your dog something to chew instead of your hand. If your pup nips at your ankles, keep a toy in your pocket to redirect biting when you walk.

Talk to your veterinarian at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group anytime you have questions about your new puppy’s health. We also offer dog spay and neuter services, dental care, and more. Schedule an appointment for your puppy today by dialing (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas or by dialing (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney.

Feline Dental Care 101

Your cat can’t reach for a toothbrush after eating, so he or she relies on you for dental care. Your veterinarian can help with cat teeth cleaning services, but there are also some things you can do at home to keep your cat’s mouth healthy. Keep these tips in mind to reduce the risk of dental disease in your cat.

Start Early

Most cats will allow you to clean their teeth either with a toothbrush or your finger with some practice, but the earlier you start this habit, the easier it will be for your cat to adjust. Start off slowly, and reward your cat for every successful brushing, even if it is only partially successful. Try using a small feline toothbrush, or start with using your finger to rub the teeth and gums and working your way up to the toothbrush. Keep in mind that human toothpaste can be toxic to animals, so ask your veterinarian to recommend a product designed for cats.

Get Regular Checkups

Visit the veterinary hospital regularly for routine dental checkups for your cat. During a dental exam, the vet will look for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. He or she can also perform feline teeth cleaning services on follow up visits. Regular exams let your vet catch any dental problems in early stages, when they are easier to treat. Your vet can also make dental health recommendations during these visits, such as advice for cleaning your cat’s teeth at home and choosing foods that support good oral health.

React Quickly to Symptoms

Cats are adept at hiding pain, but if your pet has an oral health problem, there are some signs you can recognize at home. Consider calling the veterinarian for an appointment if your cat changes his or her eating habits, begins drooling excessively, or suddenly has bad breath. You may also notice visible signs of a dental problem, such as irritated gums or severely stained teeth.

At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, we offer dental care for a variety of animals, including preventative services and oral surgery. Make an appointment for dental services at our veterinary clinic in McKinney by dialing (972) 529-5033 or by dialing our veterinary clinic in Dallas at (972) 239-1309.

A Look at the Benefits of Adopting an Older Cat

When many people decide to adopt a cat, their minds immediately go to kittens. However, there are many advantages to adopting an older cat that can outweigh the concerns about possible higher veterinarian bills. We ourselves have done this and it worked out perfectly. Watch this video to find out more.

Older cats are less demanding or more self-sufficient than kittens, which make them great for people who have busy schedules. Their personalities are established, so it is easier to integrate them into your household. As long as you are consistent with bringing your cat to the veterinarian regularly and acting quickly to take him or her to the veterinary clinic if you notice any symptoms of a medical problem, your older cat can still live a healthy life in your home.

Whatever the age of your new cat, the Chastain Veterinary Medical Group is here to help with preventative and emergency vet care in north Dallas and McKinney. Learn more about our services by calling Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (972) 239-1309 or by calling Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in the McKinney/Frisco area at (972) 529-5033.

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How to Teach Your Dog to Stop Pulling on the Leash

How to Teach Your Dog to Stop Pulling on the Leash

Walks are fun times for dogs and owners alike, but if your pooch is the kind that is constantly tugging on the leash, it can be more like doing battle. If your dog’s behavior on walks is troublesome and he or she isn’t responding to any of your training efforts, consult with your veterinarian for advice.

Watch this video for some tips on teaching your dog to stop pulling on the leash when he or she walks. Start by choosing the right leash for the kind of pulling your dog does. Your veterinarian can help you make a smart choice for your pet. The video reviews multiple approaches you can take to teaching your dog better walk behavior.

From training issues to dog neutering and cat teeth cleaning, Chastain Veterinary Medical Group has all of your pet’s medical needs covered. To schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians, please phone Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (972) 239-1309 or phone Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in the McKinney/Frisco area at (972) 529-5033.

Introducing Your New Cat to Your Dog

Dogs and cats are stereotyped as being the worst of enemies, but in reality, they can be the best of friends. If you already have a dog and are bringing home a cat, a careful introduction can lead to the blossoming of a close bond. In addition to taking your new cat to the animal hospital for a check-up and making arrangements for vaccinations and spay and neuter services as needed, have a plan for helping your cat and dog get to know each other. This advice will help.

Give Your Cat a Safe Space

It will be too overwhelming to your new cat to meet the whole family at once, so create a quiet room that your cat can stay in as he or she adjusts to the smells and sounds in the house. Equip the room with the litter box, food, and water, plus toys and a blanket or bedding to keep your cat cozy. You can go in and out to spend time with the cat, but keep your dog out until your new cat feels more at home.

Introduce the Smells

When your cat has started feeling more comfortable, start feeding your pets on either side of the closed door. Keep your cat’s food near the door on the inside of the room while you place your dog’s food outside. This will let them get used to each other’s scents while doing something they enjoy, like eating. When they are calm during meals, make the scent association stronger by swapping blankets or towels between the animals.

Use Crates and Leashes

When it is time for your kitty to come out of the room, let your pets check each other out while you use restraints. Put the cat in the crate and keep your dog on his or her leash, then, have them spend time in the same area as you make introductions. Next, transition to the cat being loose while the dog is on the leash. Once they are used to each other in this way and your dog doesn’t lunge at the cat, they can both be free to explore together.

At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, our pet hospitals in Dallas and McKinney offer comprehensive vet care services, including dog and cat dental cleanings and emergency services. To schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians, please phone Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (972) 239-1309 or phone Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in the McKinney/Frisco area at (972) 529-5033.

Veterinary Spotlight on Cytopoint

Itchy pups are commonplace in the animal hospital, and sometimes, finding the right treatment can be frustrating. Because itching has so many different possible causes, your veterinarian is often left using trial and error to find the right itch treatments for your pet. Further, some pet owners aren’t happy with the prospect of giving their dogs medication to deal with itching. Fortunately, a new alternative is available: CYTOPOINT. CYTOPOINT is safe, effective, and fast-working, so your dog feels more comfortable immediately and you get a break from listening to the constant itching and biting.

What is CYTOPOINT?

CYTOPOINT is an injectable immunotherapy treatment that mimics the natural immune response in dogs to disrupt the cycle of inflammation and itching that is associated with atopic dermatitis in dogs. Unlike drug treatment, CYTOPOINT is highly targeted so that its impact on broader immune functions is limited, and it is eliminated from the body through normal product degradation pathways. That means that liver and kidneys are not involved in metabolizing CYTOPOINT, as they are with drug treatments for itchiness.

How quickly does CYTOPOINT work?

CYTOPOINT begins working within 24 hours of receiving a single injection at the animal hospital in 80% of dogs. The relief lasts for four to eight weeks. During this period of itch relief, damaged skin has time to heal, which can help to make itching less intense in the future. After the CYTOPOINT injection wears off, dogs can get a repeated dose. CYTOPOINT testing has shown it to be safe and effective for long-term use.

Are there any side effects?

The side effects associated with CYTOPOINT are minimal. Some animals experienced slight increases in attacks of diarrhea, vomiting, and alopecia, but these incidences resolved without vet treatment. Less than 2% of dogs in trials of CYTOPOINT had any adverse effects.

To find out if CYTOPOINT could be right for your dog, make an appointment at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group in McKinney today. A veterinarian can make a diagnosis and determine the best plan for treating your pet’s excessive itching. To schedule an appointment at our pet hospital today, call (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas or call (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney.

A Look at Effective Pet ID Methods

Having a pet go missing can be devastating, but you can reduce the risk of losing your pet for good by using an effective method of pet identification. At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, we offer pet IDs and can help you select the best method to use for your animal.

Our animal clinic uses several pet identification methods, each of which has a proven track record of success. We can implant RFID microchips during spay and neuter services that can be extremely effective in reuniting you with a lost pet. These microchips, which are smaller than a grain of rice, can be scanned by veterinarians and animal shelter personnel to find contact information for an animal’s family. In some cases, tattooing is an option for pet identifications, although there is some concern that tattoos can be altered.

Let Chastain Veterinary Medical Group help you ensure your pet can always be traced back to his or her home. Appointments are available at our pet hospital in Dallas by calling (972) 239-1309 and at our pet hospital in McKinney by calling (972) 239-1309.

A Closer Look at Our Clinical Lab

At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, we understand the need for urgent answers when your pet is sick. That is why our animal clinic is pleased to offer a complete, in-house lab at each of our locations that can run screening and diagnostic tests. This lets us make fast decisions that are necessary for your animal’s care.

Our in-house lab can run complete blood counts, biochemistry tests for organ function, electrolyte tests, and urinalysis, and results are available within minutes. This ability is essential for emergency veterinary care, so we can make an accurate diagnosis and begin treatment, which may be lifesaving, as soon as possible. Although we use an outside lab for routine tests, which is sometimes less expensive, our in-house lab is a crucial part of providing care for your pet.

You can learn more about the lab services at our animal clinics in McKinney and Dallas by calling Chastain Veterinary Medical Group today. To schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians, please phone Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at (972) 239-1309 or phone Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in the McKinney/Frisco area at (972) 529-5033.

The Importance of Fur De-Matting

When your pet’s fur becomes long, it also becomes prone to tangles and matting. Matts can appear on the outer coat, where they are easy to see, or in the undercoat, where you may not notice them. Regular pet grooming is an important part of preventing matting in your pet.

De-matting your animal as part of a regular pet grooming schedule will keep your pet comfortable and help to prevent health problems. Matted fur can be extremely painful, and the skin underneath matts can form sores and other irritations. Sometimes, debris becomes tangled in matts and further irritates your pet skin. During grooming, de-matting can be done gently to reduce discomfort for your pet. Brushing your pet regularly between pet grooming appointments will reduce the risk of matts.

At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, we are pleased to offer pet grooming in McKinney and Dallas by professional groomers who can remove matts while protecting your pet’s delicate skin. To make an appointment for grooming or to learn about other services we provide at our pet hospitals, call (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas or call (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney.

Could a Ferret Be a Good Pet for You?

Are you looking for a fun pet that is a little outside of the norm? If so, then a ferret could be perfect for you. Ferrets are playful and energetic and require minimal care. If you choose to adopt a ferret, make sure there is an animal hospital near you that can provide care for your new furry friend. Not all veterinarians will treat ferrets.

Watch this video to get some insight into life with a ferret. Ferrets love to play and can be great additions to families with kids, but they shouldn’t be left alone with babies or very young children, as they may nip. Ferrets can catch some human illnesses, such as the flu, and they should be spayed or neutered as you would any other pet.

Chastain Animal Medical Group is pleased to offer exotic animal care in Dallas and in the McKinney/Frisco areas of Texas alongside our services for dogs, cats, and birds. Whether you need pet grooming, dog neutering, or exotic animal checkups, our vets are ready to help. Make an appointment by calling Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at (972) 529-5033 or by calling Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas at (972) 239-1309.

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