Rainy Weather Tips

It's raining in California! While we have umbrellas and jackets to protect us from the weather, consider the following tips and activities to help your pet stay happy and safe:

  • For timid dogs who won't go outside when it's raining, use positive reinforcement to reassure them that there's nothing to be afraid of. Walk them in a sheltered area or use an umbrella so they can do their business in comfort. 
     
  • Help outdoor cats stay warm and dry. If they don't have access to a garage or shed, consider making them a DIY shelter. It's easy and affordable. Just cut a hole out of a large styrofoam box or Rubbermaid storage bin. Line the interior with loose insulation material that can dry quickly and hold in warmth.
     
  • Keep indoor cats and dogs from going stir crazy by hiding treats and toys around the house. Introduce new games into their daily schedule like playing fetch down the hallway or chase the string over the couch.

We've got more rainy weather tips in our latest newsletter right here!

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Future topics in January will cover:

  • weekly, monthly, and annual tasks to help your pet live a long and healthy life
  • reasons behind perplexing dog behaviors like eating food away from their bowls
  • easy tips to combat pet obesity 
  • signs that your cat is in pain and what you can do about it
  • ways to socialize your puppy

Happy 2017! We're looking forward to an amazing year with all of you!

Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

The spookiest holiday of the year is just around the corner. While you're buying candy and finishing costumes, don't forget your pets. Halloween should be for trick or treating, not emergency trips to the veterinary clinic!

Here are three tips to keep your pets safe this coming week:

Keep chocolate and candy out of reach.

Most people know how dangerous chocolate can be for animals, but candies can also contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol. Both are poisonous (even lethal) when ingested by pets. Vomiting, lethargy, seizures, panting, and a racing heart rate are all symptoms of chocolate or xylitol poisoning. If your pet gets into the candy bowl, call your vet right away.

Keep pets away from the door.

Unfamiliar sounds and activity can overwhelm even the calmest of pets. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, make sure you know where your cat or dog is at all times. It's so easy for a small animal to slip right through, especially when you're distracted. Before the doorbell starts ringing, confine pets in a secure room or keep them on a leash. Update contact information on collars and microchips if you haven't already.

Be careful of decorations and fire hazards.

You don't want to have to pull out the fire extinguisher on Halloween. Keep jack-o-lanterns away from animals. Better yet, look into using flameless candles. Other Halloween decorations can cause problems too. A curious animal will chew and play with streamers, decorative corn, glow sticks, or fake cobwebs—all of which can lead to GI upset, choking, or foreign body obstruction. Yikes!

 

How to Brush Your Pet's Teeth

We know how important it is to regularly brush our teeth so imagine what your pet's mouth would look like if we didn't do the same for them. Plaque hardens into calculus which in turn will lead to periodontal disease.

Of course, it's great if you can brush your pet's teeth every day, but even once or twice a week will make a difference. Remember to go slow, especially if you have a skittish animal or if your pet has never had his or her teeth brushed before.

You can start by simply stroking his cheeks and muzzle to get him used to having his mouth handled. Give plenty of praise and treats to make the experience as rewarding as possible. When your pet stops pulling away, you can progress to gently rubbing his gums with your finger or a finger brush. You'll eventually be able to move on to using a toothbrush. Depending on your pet, it can take as long as two months to get him comfortable enough to allow you to brush his teeth.

Check out our video on how to brush your pet's teeth, featuring Robbie and Chris.

If your pet hasn't had a wellness exam in a while or if you notice any teeth discoloration or bad breath, it's a good idea to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors before you start brushing his teeth. If there are any underlying dental issues, you'll want to address those first.

Remember, never use human toothpaste as they can be toxic to pets. Human toothbrushes aren't the best to use either because the bristles can be too hard. The shape also isn't well-designed for an animal's mouth. At Good Sam, we sell a variety of items to help you with your pet's dental hygiene from toothbrushes and flavored toothpastes to dental diets and oral rinses.

Stop by the clinic or give us a call with your questions. We're always happy to talk to you about your pet's oral health! In honor of National Dental Hygiene Month, we're also running a dental special through to the end of October. Make an appointment this month to save 15% on all our dental services.

Pets Not Peeing Where They Should?

How to get to the bottom of this behavior.

How to get to the bottom of this behavior.

Did you know that our weekly newsletter is packed full of pet health tips?

Check out our previous issue on inappropriate urination where we go over the difference between territorial anxiety, litter box aversion, and submissive urination. If your cat or dog has been peeing in places where they shouldn't, we'll help you figure out why it's happening so you can correct the behavior ASAP. Inappropriate urination can also often be a sign of illness so be sure to rule out any medical issues first! Call us for an appointment, and we'll help you get to the bottom of why your pet is not peeing where they should.

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