CountrySide Veterinary Services and Wellness updates the blog frequently with pet health information and clinic news. Please check back often for CountrySide Veterinary announcements and helpful pet information!

Keeping Your Feline Friend in Good Shape

Just like us humans, our feline companions need plenty of exercise to stay healthy and keep in good shape. Although this isn't a problem with some cats as they are quite active, other cats may not be so much. If the latter is the case with your feline friend, there are a number of ways to get your kitty motivated to play and run around.

1. Be Sure to Consult Your Vet First

Before introducing a new exercise program for your cat, be sure to talk with your veterinarian first, especially if your cat has health issues. Check with your vet on which activities are safe for your cat.

2. Get Your Cat Moving

If your cat is bored, one great way to keep them interested and active is simply to schedule time in your day to interact with them. Whether you choose toys, balls, or a feather stick, your cat may become perky and will start swatting and pouncing in no time! Here are some other great ways to help get your feline friend moving:

  • Set out paper bags, tissue paper and cardboard boxes in your living room, family room, or wherever the cat enjoys playing, to spark their interest.
  • Play a game of chase with your feline, using a flashlight pointer. Don't shine the pointer in their eyes!
  • Encourage instinctive feline behaviors like climbing and scratching by purchasing a cat tree, condo or scratching post.
  • Train your cat to learn a few tricks (and reward him or her with a low-calorie treat to encourage further learning!)
  • Buy your kitty a food puzzle. These are designed with treats inside, which your cat must work for to reach.
  • Consider purchasing another cat to keep your cat company and encourage your cat to interact and play more.

How to Prevent Parasites From Hosting On Your Pet

With warmer weather now here, one cause for concern are parasites hosting on your cat or dog. Fleas and ticks are external parasites which host in your pet's fur and burrow themselves further in, causing irritation, discomfort and even serious disease if they are not removed as soon as possible. The good news is that prevention of parasites is relatively easy, so talk with your vet about what preventative products can be used or what actions can be taken to keep your pet safe from these small, harmful creatures.

Here are some helpful tips for parasite prevention.

For Fleas

Fleas can inflict allergic reactions, itching and inflammation on your pet's skin, and therby cause your pet to excessively scratch or bite their skin. Fleas can be prevented by administering a medication in tablet or liquid form into your pet's mouth, or between the shoulder blades or at the base of the neck. We will discuss with you the best options, however keep in mind that some flea control products work against adult fleas, while some products are designed to target fleas when they are yet larvae. Talk with your vet about which products will work best for your pet.

Unfortunately, once fleas have begun hosting on the animal, the infestation will be difficult to rid of. Fleas will need to be completely removed from the environment wherever the pet lives. Your vet may recommend that you vacuum all rugs, remove all pet bedding and launder other items, in addition to frequently treating your pet.

For Ticks

Ticks can transmit illnesses such as Lyme disease, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. If you suspect your pet has ticks, treat him or her as soon as possible, to prevent disease.

The good news is that if your dog or cat has ticks, you will find that treatment is safe, effective and relatively easy. Talk with your vet about administering tick control products, which like preventative flea medications, can be given to your pet as a fluid to the back of the neck or between the shoulder blades.

In addition, to prevent ticks, try to keep your pet out of heavily wooded areas or away from tall grass. If your pet does enter one of these areas, check them at least once a day. Should you find a tick hosting on your pet dog or cat, use a gentle, firm grip to remove the tick using a tweezers. Avoid using a lighter fluid or matches, as this may irritate your pet's skin and cause injury.

Finally, do not use flea or tick medications intended for dogs on cats, as some medications normally adminstered to dogs can be toxic for their feline counterparts. Follow all label instructions, and if you have questions, please consult your veterinarian first.

What You Need to Know About Feeding Your Puppy

Selecting A Food

When your puppy is ready for adoption, he should be weaned from his mother and ready to eat solid food. As your puppy's new owner, you are responsible for making good food choices for your pet. Young puppies need food that provides a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Be sure also that your young canine gets plenty of water.

Considering The Breed & Size

How you feed your puppy depends largely on the breed and eventual size of your dog. You need to consult with your vet about these details, however, in general, be sure to keep in mind that:

Smaller breeds mature much faster than larger breeds. Smaller breeds such as Chihuahuas, Bichon Frises, Dachshunds, Pugs, and Yorkshire Terriers, just to name a few, have much faster metabolisms than puppies of larger breeds. Purchase a dog food that is made for smaller breeds, with smaller pieces and more energy-dense properties. In addition, please note that toy breeds will need to eat more often.

Larger breeds need food to promote appropriate, slower growth. Buy dog food that is designed for larger breed puppies, as this is less energy-dense and promotes appropriate, slower-paced growth according to the breed type. Do not overfeed larger breed puppies, as this may lead to joint problems.

Check with your vet before purchasing the first food for your puppy, or if you are changing foods. Always check with your vet about which food they recommend, or if you have questions about how to feed a certain dog breed.

Adhering to a Feeding Schedule

Make your daily feeding schedules consistent. Because of their rapid growth rate, you will need to feed young puppies under 12 weeks of age more frequently, at about three or four times a day. Again, check with your vet on the frequency of feedings, as you do not want to overfeed your pet. At around three months, you can begin feeding your puppy a little less. Consult your vet with any questions regarding your puppy's feeding times, food amounts, and overall growth and we will give you the best recommendations.

Keeping Track of Bodyweight

Continue to watch your puppy's bodyweight. Should you notice signs of being overweight or underweight, adjust your puppy's food amount accordingly. Check with your vet frequently and schedule appointments to have them check your puppy's weight and measurements to monitor bodyweight and growth. Ask your vet for how to check for appropriate bodyweight at home as well.

Asking a Vet for Advice

Be sure to consult with your vet when you first buy or adopt your puppy, as they are experts in the field, (and often dog lovers too!) Here at Countryside, we treat all puppies with care, and will give you the best recommendations for which puppy food to choose, the best feeding times, the frequency of feeding times, and the appropriate portion size for the age and breed of your new beloved companion.

Testimonials

  • Temperance

    My wife and I have been taking our dog to Countryside Vets for about three years now. We had an unfortunate encounter with our previous veterinarian but switching to Countryside Vets years ago has been the best decision! She has always been treated well at Countryside and Dr. Popp has always been more than friendly! Thank you!
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