All posts by James

6 Great Reasons To Be Thankful For Pets

With Thanksgiving around the corner, many people are taking time to reflect on the things that they are most grateful for. For us, pets are definitely something to be appreciative of! Read on as a Brandon, FL vet lists some great reasons to be thankful for our animal companions.

Unconditional Love

Pets’ unconditional love is truly precious, and is something for us all to cherish. Your animal companion will never judge you or betray you. Fluffy and Fido also won’t care about where you work, how much you make, or who your friends are. In fact, pets often outlast jobs, cars, relationships, and even marriages. That’s really something to be grateful for, especially in this day and age!

Entertainment

If we can say one thing about our animal companions, it’s that they’re highly entertaining. Fido is absolutely hilarious when he’s chasing after a ball or squeaky toy. Fluffy is also pretty funny, especially when she’s feeling mischievous.

Health Benefits

Did you know that pets are actually good for us? Fluffy’s soothing purrs can help comfort people who are dealing with issues such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD. Dogs are also great for their humans. Studies have shown that people with pups tend to be fitter, healthier, and happier than those without canine buddies.

They Keep Us Smiling

As the saying says, laughter is the best medicine. Our animal friends definitely provide us with a lot of it! Fluffy and Fido are always making us smile with their adorable quirks and silly antics. Pets can even somehow make us chuckle when they’re sound asleep!

Comfort

Your furry pal will always be happy to see you when you get home. Those happy dances and cute meows can really be soothing in troubled times. Many of our animal companions also have a special way of knowing when someone needs some extra comfort. A house really isn’t a home without a pet!

Simple Pleasures

Fido and Fluffy don’t really ask for much, aside from food, comfy bedding, treats, and ear scritches. They can also remind us about the importance of focusing on the simple things in life, such as naps, sunbeam, and spending time with your loved ones.

Happy Thanksgiving! Do you have questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care? Reach out to us, your Brandon, FL vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!

Helping A Senior Dog Settle In

November is Adopt A Senior Pet Month! If you’re planning on adopting an older dog, you definitely have our support. Dogs in their golden years are typically super sweet and cuddly, and want nothing more than for someone to love them and care for them. Of course, going to a new home is a big deal for Fido, so you’ll want to make sure to get him started out on the right paw in this new chapter of his life. In this article, a Brandon, FL vet offers tips on helping a senior dog settle in.

Routine

Dogs do best when they are kept on a steady schedule for meals, walks, and playtime. Get Fido started on his new routine right away.

Don’t Expect Perfection

Our canine buddies are awesome, but that doesn’t mean they’re perfect. Your pet may have a few habits you don’t care for, like begging or getting on the couch. Don’t punish your pooch for his transgressions: just focus on teaching him better petiquette. It’s worth noting that incontinence isn’t uncommon in older dogs. This can be quite embarrassing for Fido! Again, don’t reprimand your furry friend. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Bedding

One of the best things you can do for Fido is to get him a good bed. Older dogs are often very stiff and sore, and have a hard time getting comfortable in thin beds. Orthopedic beds are great options for senior pooches!

Visit The Vet

A trip to the vet is definitely in order. Although a senior dog will most likely already be fixed, you’ll want to get your canine pal a thorough exam, including a dental checkup. It’s also important to make sure Fido is microchipped and current on his vaccinations and parasite control. Don’t be afraid to ask for specific care instructions. That’s what we’re here for!

Doggy Comforts

Make your home senior-friendly by providing small doggy comforts. Pet ramps or stairs will help your furry pal get around more easily. Raised dishes will be more comfortable for your pooch to eat from. You may also want to make a few customized adjustments. For instance, if Fido has vision issues, set out floor runners to help him find his way around.

Please contact us with any questions about caring for senior dogs. As your local Brandon, FL vet clinic, we’re happy to help!

Benefits of Playing With Your Cat

Cats are very playful little pets. They’re also extremely entertaining! Fluffy certainly is adorable when she’s jumping on a catnip mouse or running after that elusive red dot. Actually, playing with your pet regularly is one of the best things you can do for her. Here, a Brandon, FL vet lists some great reasons to play with your feline friend.

Exercise

As you may have noticed, cats get pretty lazy as they age. Fluffy can spend up to 20 hours a day snoozing. That makes it really easy for kitties to pack on extra pounds. However, cats can burn a lot of calories in a short time by running and jumping. Daily play sessions are a great way for your pet to get her daily workout in!

Stimulation

Although cats sometime enjoy doing absolutely nothing, they do still need entertainment and enrichment. Playing can help keep Fluffy from getting bored. It’s also great for her mind. Kitties have to really focus to time those pounces just right. That’s sort of like the feline version of doing a crossword puzzle.

Burn Excess Energy

Does Fluffy sometimes race around the house like a furry little rocket? Does she wake you up by pouncing on your toes in the middle of the night? Wear your feisty furball out with a fun game of Chase The Feather Toy or Catch The Red Dot. We all know what happens when cats get tired!

Bonding

Kitty playtime is a great way to bond with your pet. When you take time to hold a laser pointer or wand toy for Fluffy, she’ll know you’re making an effort to entertain her. This will in turn please your feline overlord, by making her feel loved and pampered.

Soothe Tensions

Do you have more than one cat? Dual play sessions can actually help Fluffy and Mittens become friends! Your kitties will learn to associate each other’s presence with something good.

It’s Fun!

Kitties take hunting very seriously, but that doesn’t mean they don’t look silly when they are doing that pre-pounce butt wiggle or attacking a tiny stuffed mouse. It’s almost impossible not to smile at some of Fluffy’s playful antics. This is a great way to relax after a long day!

As your Brandon, FL vet clinic, we are dedicated to offering great care for cats. Please feel free to contact us anytime.

6 Reasons To Adopt A Shelter Dog

October is Adopt A Shelter Dog Month! While we always love seeing dogs get second chances, this is a great time to shed some light on this wonderful cause. Going to a shelter is a wonderful way to find your furry BFF! Read on as a Brandon, FL vet lists some great reasons to adopt a shelter dog.

Give Fido A Second Chance

There are far too many sweet and lovable dogs in shelters, just hoping that someone will take them home and give them love and care. Sadly, time is running out for many of these wonderful pooches. Rescuing is a small but important way to make a difference in the world. You’ll also change the world for that one lucky pup!

Save Some Money

If you get Fido from a breeder or pet store, you may spend hundreds—or even thousands—of dollars. Going to a shelter is often much cheaper. Plus, you may be able to save on veterinary care, since most shelter dogs are already spayed or neutered and are current on their vaccines and parasite control.

Find A Perfect Pooch

Our canine pals come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. It doesn’t matter whether you want a small, cuddly lapdog; a goofy, gentle family pet; or an athletic pup to go hiking with. Shelters have all sorts of adorable pooches! Just remember to keep an open mind, and let your heart guide you.

Help Other Animals

When you adopt from a shelter, you also help other homeless animals. The space Fido leaves vacant will soon house another cute pup. Plus, your canine buddy’s adoption fees will help the shelter provide food, care, and shelter for other pets. That’s truly something you can feel great about!

It’s The Responsible Thing To Do

While there certainly are some great breeders out there, there also some who are more concerned with profits than with good animal welfare. Giving a shelter pet a second chance at happiness is one small way to help stop the cycle of overpopulation and abuse.

Skip The Terrible Twos

Many shelter dogs are fully grown. There are some great benefits to adopting adult dogs. Many are already trained, so you’ll be able to skip the housebreaking stage!

Please call us, your Brandon, FL vet clinic, for all your dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

Dog Park Safety Tips

One great thing about living in Tampa is our warm weather. While many of our friends up north are bundling up against frigid winters, we’re still able to soak up some sunshine. Our canine pals also benefit from our climate, as they get to run and play outdoors all year long. One great way for Fido to get some fresh air and exercise is by visiting the dog park. Here, a Brandon, FL vet offers some suggestions on taking your pet to a park.

Training

Make sure you can control your dog at all times. Before you take Fido to a park, make sure he knows basic doggy obedience commands, like Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down.

ID

We strongly recommend microchipping Fido. Also, make sure that your records are correct in the chip manufacturer’s database. Your canine companion should also be wearing current ID tags.

Preventative Care

Dog parks are a high-risk location for heartworms, which are spread from pup to pup via mosquitoes. Keep up with Fido’s parasite prevention products. Your furry buddy should also be current on his vaccinations. Keep copies of his paperwork with you, either in your car or on your phone.

Heat

Fido can overheat and/or get dehydrated very quickly by running and playing with his friends on hot days. Always bring water along for your pooch. You may want to get a water bottle with an attached dispenser. Keep an eye on your furry pal, and watch for warning signs. Panting is usually the first one you’ll spot. If you know or suspect that your pet is getting too hot, immediately give him some water and take him to a cool area. Call your vet if signs persist.

Fido’s Buddies

Before letting Fido off leash, take time to watch the pups in the park. Look for pooches that are acting aggressive or unruly and/or bullying other dogs. Also, watch for female dogs that may be in heat. If you see dogs fighting or acting rowdy, take your canine buddy for a walk instead, and try again later.

Timing

If possible, avoid going to the park during peak times. You also don’t want to stay too long, or linger long after dark. Aim for about a half hour to an hour tops.

As your Brandon, FL vet clinic, we’re here to offer great veterinary care. Please call us anytime.

Happy, Healthy Cat Month

September is a big month here in the world of veterinary care medicine. It’s Happy, Healthy Cat Month! Of course, we want our feline friends to be happy and healthy all the time. That’s why we’re so dedicated to offering great veterinary care. Read on as a Brandon, FL vet offers some tips on keeping your furry pal content and purring.

Good Food

Make sure Fluffy is eating a good, high-quality cat food. You don’t want to overfeed your fuzzy friend, however: if your kitty becomes obese, she’ll face some very dangerous health problems. Follow your vet’s advice, including portion sizes and suitable snacks.

Clean Litterbox

Cats like their litterboxes nice and clean, and who can blame them? Scoop Fluffy’s litterbox out daily, and change the litter every week.

Beds

You’ve probably noticed that cats are pretty tired. We’re not sure why Fluffy is so drowsy, but we do know that she will spend about two-thirds of her life snoozing. Make sure that your sleepy pet has lots of comfy beds to look adorable in.

Toys/Playtime

Even the sleepiest kitty can’t spend all of her time snoozing. Your furball will need something to do when she’s awake. Fluffy’s napping obsession also makes it very easy for her to get out of shape. Spend a few minutes a day holding a wand toy or laser pointer for your kitty to chase. This will be good for your cat both physically and mentally. It will also help her feel safe and loved.

Keep Kitty In

We strongly recommend keeping cats inside. Fluffy will be both healthier and safer as an indoor pet!

Stimulation

Did you know that cats can and do get bored? While playing is great, your cute pet can only spend so much time batting at catnip mice. Offer her a comfy window seat with a good view, and leave a radio on for her.

Veterinary Care

It’s probably safe to say that most of our feline patients would opt out of their appointments if they could. We know, Fluffy would rather try out a new napping position than visit us. However, coming to see us is definitely in her best interests! Keep up with your vet’s recommended appointment schedule.

Please reach out to us, your Brandon, FL vet clinic, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are dedicated to offering the best care ever.

7 Reasons Cats Are So Sleepy

Is your cat sleeping right now? There’s a good chance that the answer to that question is yes. And if Fluffy is actually awake, she probably won’t stay that way for long. Why are our feline friends so drowsy? Is being adorable really that exhausting? A Brandon, FL vet lists some reasons why kitties are so tired in this article.

Age

Kittens are both adorable and tired. Actually, there is a reason that baby cats sleep so much. Feline growth hormones are released during kitty sleep cycles. All those naps help little Fluffy grow from a tiny furball into a healthy, happy adult cat! Then, by the time Fluffy is a senior, she’ll be a napping expert, capable of sleeping up to 20 hours a day. That’s pretty impressive!

Preventing Overheating

Overheating can be very dangerous for cats. They only sweat through their paws, and panting isn’t very efficient for them. Kitties probably learned to take it easy, especially after exerting themselves. That said, we suspect our feline pals may be overcompensating a bit. Fluffy probably doesn’t need to recuperate with a nap every time she walks through the kitchen.

Official Kitty Schedule

Cats definitely play by their own rules. They do, however, seem to have some very strict codes for certain things … like naps. Kitties are very diligent about taking their morning, mid-morning, noon, afternoon, and evening naps!

Cuddles

Many kitties love cuddling with their humans in bed. Purring cats make great sleep aids! Fluffy may nap while you’re at work, but she’ll still want to snuggle up with you when you hit the sack. In fact, your pet will adjust her sleep schedule to match yours.

Boredom

Kitties may sleep more when they aren’t getting enough stimulation or entertainment. Make sure Fluffy has lots of toys to play with!

Weather

Have you ever noticed that dreary days make you drowsy? This applies to kitties too! Fluffy sleeps even more than usual in bad weather.

Dozing

Most of the time, when Fluffy is snoozing, she isn’t sound asleep, but is still processing sounds and stimuli. This is why you’ll likely see her ears move if you call her name. In the wild, this helps cats know when there are predators or prey around.

Does your sleepy pet need an exam, vaccinations, or parasite control? Contact us, your Brandon, FL vet clinic, today!

How to Pamper a Puppy

Did you know that Spoil Your Dog Day is coming up August 10th? If you have a puppy, this is a great way to make sure your little buddy knows he is loved. Here, a Brandon, FL vet lists some great ways to spoil your new pet.

Doggy Daycare

Little Fido has a lot to learn. Your pooch will not only need to be housebroken, he’ll also need to learn basic doggy obedience commands, like Sit, StayCome, Heel, and Lay Down. Consider enrolling him in doggy daycare or puppygarten.

Photos

Your pet’s adorable toddler phase will pass quickly. Snap some cute photos of your furry pal on Spoil Your Dog Day. This could be a great start for an annual tradition!

Toys

Toys help keep puppies occupied and entertained, and also keep them out of mischief. Chew toys are also a must for young dogs. Pick up some new playthings for your pet!

Puppy Party

There’s no cuter way to wind down after a long day than by hanging out with friends and family members … and playing with dogs. Invite some people with friendly, polite pups over for a barbeque. Set out treats and toys for your furry guests. This will also be good for little Fido, as it can help with socialization.

Treats

Snacks are a definite must for this special occasion! Little Fido can have regular doggy treats, but you can also give him some plain, cooked meat, fish, or chicken, without the skin, bones, or fat. Doggy ice cream is another good option. You can also make homemade doggy treats. Check online for recipe ideas.

New Digs

Do you have a yard for your canine pal to play in? Why not get the little guy a doghouse? If you haven’t gotten little Fido a crate yet, this is also a good option. When you go shopping, buy things that will fit your pup’s expected adult size. Otherwise, you’ll have to replace it. A kiddie pool is also a great option.

Love

The best way to brighten up your pet’s day is really just to spend time with him. Take little Fido for a long walk, and then indulge him with a fun play session. Don’t skimp on the belly rubs, either!

Please call us, your Brandon, FL pet clinic, for all your puppy’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

Tips for Making a Purrfect Catio

Cats are very curious and playful, and often love to explore. These little furballs are very small, though, and can easily find themselves in danger outdoors. That’s why we always recommend keeping kitties inside. However, you can still let your cute pet enjoy the stimulation and entertainment of the Great Outdoors, by bringing the outdoors in to her. Here, a Brandon, FL vet offers some tips on making a great catio.

Picking A Place

A screened in porch or patio is a great spot for Fluffy’s room, but they aren’t the only options. A spare bedroom will do nicely. A sunny corner will also work. Or, if you have a yard, you can also build your furball her own enclosure.

Plants

Kitties are very curious, and love to sniff at and nibble on plants. Fluffy is also rather fond of hiding behind green leaves and pretending to be a vicious predator. Set out some pet-safe plants for your kitty. This will also make your place look nice! Some good options are Rubber tree plants, Boston ferns, Ponytail palms, Areca palms, Money trees, Spider plants, and African violets. You can also plant herbs in small pots. Catnip is, of course, the obvious choice, but you can also plant rosemary, thyme, parsley, and sage. Check the ASPCA site here for more good options.

Furniture

A catio can make a great coffee spot or reading nook, so you definitely want to put a few pieces of furniture out for yourself. However, your feline friend will also appreciate having a few things of her own. Cat towers are a wonderful option, as they offer kitties napping spots, jungle gyms, and manicure stations, and also give them a good vantage point. Fluffy may also enjoy having pet tents or tipis to explore. Comfy beds are another must. If you don’t have a lot of wiggle room in your budget, go the DIY route. You’ll find some amazing ideas online!

Entertainment

Our feline buddies certainly do love to lounge around. However, Fluffy does still need entertainment options for when she is awake. Set out lots of toys for your kitty. If possible, consider putting a bird feeder up in your yard, so your furry little voyeur can relax and watch neighborhood wildlife.

Does your cat need an exam, vaccinations, or spay/neuter surgery? Contact us, your Brandon, FL vet clinic, today!

Keeping Your Dog Hydrated

July is Pet Hydration Month! While it’s always important to make sure your canine pal has fresh, clean water, this is absolutely crucial in summer, when temperatures soar. Read on as a local Brandon, FL vet offers tips on preventing doggy dehydration.

Water, Water, Water

First and foremost, make sure your furry friend always has plenty of water. If you have a large dog, more than one dog, and/or a big house, set out more than one watering station. You may want to consider getting an automated waterer, or a pet fountain.

Outdoor Stations

If you have a yard for Fido to chase squirrels around in, you’ll need to put water bowls outdoors as well. Clean these bowls daily, as otherwise bugs, dirt, and germs will quickly build up. If you want to make your canine buddy’s bowl look a bit nicer, get a pretty plant urn and put it in that.

Ice

On sweltering days, go ahead and drop a few ice cubes into Fido’s bowl. While you shouldn’t feed your furry buddy too much ice, you can give him one or two cubes to chew on, if he likes.

Snacks

Keep hydration in mind when choosing Fido’s treats. Your four-legged friend may enjoy a bowl of sodium-free beef or chicken broth. You can also make custom treats by pouring water or broth over dog biscuits, kibble, shredded meat, and/or safe fruits and veggies. Use waxed paper cups, an ice cube tray, or freezer-safe pet treat molds. Pop them in the freezer overnight, and hand out for tail wags on hot days.

Doggy On The Go

Whenever you take Fido off your property, always bring water along for him. You can get collapsible plastic bowls, which are very lightweight and easy to carry. A doggy water bottle with an attached dispenser is another good option.

Food

Although kibble does have its advantages, one good thing about canned food is that it does have a higher moisture content. If you feed Fido dry food, ask your vet for tips about adding a little water to it.

Tips

Fido will become dehydrated much more quickly in hot weather. Limit your furry pal’s outdoor time in hot weather, especially around midday, when it’s hottest.

As your local Brandon, FL vet, we are dedicated to offering great veterinary care. Please reach out if ever we can be of assistance!