All posts by Natasha

Fluffy’s New Year Resolutions

Happy New Year! Are you setting new goals for yourself this year? If so, your kitty will be right there at your feet (or on your sofa) as you strive to make your goals. As it turns out, your furball may also have some resolutions of her own. A Brandon, FL vet lists some of them below.

Catch The Red Dot

Kitties may be adorable and cuddly, but they are actually fierce predators in the wild, and are more or less hardwired to pounce on things. However, that little red dot has been eluding Fluffy for years. Maybe 2019 will finally be the year she catches her mysterious prey!

Relax

We’re pretty sure your feline pal won’t have a hard time achieving this goal. Cats sleep, on average, about 14 hours a day. (We’re not sure why kitties are so tired, but that’s beside the point.) Help your drowsy pet meet this resolution by offering her lots of comfy beds and napping spots.

Gain Complete Control Of Humans

Does your kitty have you trained to pet or feed her on demand? Do you delay getting up when your cat is on your lap, to avoid disturbing her? These are a few signs that your kitty has you wrapped around her paws. Don’t worry, though: even if Fluffy does achieve world domination, she’ll still only request beds, attention, toys, treats, and tuna fish.

Explore!

Kitties are very adventurous, but they are really much safer living indoors. Of course, staying inside won’t curb your cat’s taste for adventure. Fluffy will spend some of 2019 exploring closets, boxes, and various nooks and crannies in your home.

Work On Computer Skills

Cats seem to be drawn to computers, though they usually utilize them as beds. Fluffy also has a habit of walking across her humans’ keyboards. Who knows? Your kitty may be trying to figure out how to order cat furniture!

Supervise The Humans

Our feline friends are very curious, and perhaps a bit nosy. Cats like to pay close attention to their owners. Your cute pet may even follow you around from room to room! Get your furball a cat tower or window seat, so she can get a better view.

As your local Brandon, FL vet clinic, we look forward to offering your cat great care in 2019 and for many years to come. Please contact us anytime.

Holiday Hazards for Pets

The holiday season has officially arrived! It’s always great to enjoy seasonal foods and events with our friends and family members. Your pet is also an important part of your household. Just keep your furry pal’s safety in mind over the next few weeks. The holidays can be quite dangerous for pets! A Brandon, FL vet lists some hazards for pet owners to be aware of in this article.

Food

Food is one of the main concerns at this time of year. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with giving your pet a special treat. However, it’s important to stick to things you know are safe. (Tip: plain, boneless cooked meat, fish, or poultry is a good bet.) Never give your pet anything that contains garlic, onions, scallions, or chives; chocolate; avocado; alcohol; or xylitol. Nuts are also unsafe, as are grapes, currants, and raisins; meat on the bone; pitted fruit; and raw meat, dough, or yeast.

Decorations

Dogs and cats are very playful, and have quite a knack for mischief. Tinsel, ribbons, ornament hooks, and those pretty strands of lights are all dangerous for your playful pet. Fragile ornaments are also unsafe, as are edible ones, such as popcorn strands.

Plants

Poinsettias, holly, ivy, yew, lilies, and many other seasonal plants are toxic to Fido and Fluffy. Pine needles can also be hazardous. Opt for fake plants. If you do get real ones, display them in spots your furry friend can’t get to.

Alcohol

Champagne, wine, eggnog, and other alcoholic beverages are definitely not safe for your four-legged pal. If you want to include Fluffy and Fido in the festivities, offer them some sodium-free broth.

Stress

Just like people, pets can suffer from anxiety and stress. Some pets are very nervous, and can get quite frightened by the presence of guests. Loud noises, such as New Year’s Eve fireworks, are also very scary to some of our four-legged friends. Keep a close eye on your animal companion, especially if you are hosting parties or having guests. If your dog or cat seems uneasy, put them in a quiet back room with food, toys, treats, comfy bedding, and, for kitties, a litterbox. Your fuzzy buddy may be more comfortable napping through the festivities!

Please reach out to us, your local Brandon, FL vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are always here to help!

Holiday Hazards for Cats

With the holidays approaching, many kitties are partaking in seasonal kitty traditions, like helping their humans with wrapping gifts, or bringing down Christmas trees. Fluffy is certainly an adorable part of the family, and is great for snuggling with on those Florida ‘winter’ nights. However, this can be a dangerous time of year for her. Here, a Brandon, FL vet lists some holiday dangers for people owned by cats to be aware of.

Plants

Kitties often like to nibble on green leaves, or peek out from behind them. However, many popular holiday plants are toxic to Fluffy. Lilies, for example, are very poisonous to cats. Holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, and pine needles are also unsafe.

The Tree

It could probably be argued that cats are as dangerous to trees as trees are to cats. Fluffy may very well see your Christmas tree as a cat tower hung with fun toys! However, your furball could get entangled, or cut herself on sharp ornaments or bulbs. If you get a real tree, the water itself is also a concern, as it could contain residue from sap and/or chemicals, such as fertilizer. Opt for an artificial tree, which will be harder for your feline buddy to climb.

Decorations

Many seasonal decorations can be hazardous to kitties! Ribbons, tinsel, and ornament hooks are a few things to be concerned with here. Strands of lights are also dangerous, as are edible decorations, such as popcorn strands. Pick up strands of tinsel and ornament hooks off the floor, and keep other hazardous decorations out of paw’s reach.

Food

Those mouth-watering holiday foods are a big part of holiday traditions. Many people like to offer their furry friends special treats at this time of year. This is fine, but you do need to be careful with what you offer your feline friend. Never give Fluffy anything that contains garlic, onion, scallions, or chives. Nuts, caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, pitted fruits, and sugary foods are also on the no-no list, as are meat on the bone; grapes, currants, and raisins; and raw meat, dough, or yeast.

Flames

Candles and fireplaces offer that special, cozy glow, but they definitely aren’t pet-safe. If you burn candles or use potpourri burners, keep them in high spots Fluffy can’t reach.

Season’s Greetings from all of us here at Animal Medical Center. Please call us, your Brandon, FL vet clinic, anytime!

Thanksgiving Care Tips for Dogs

Thanksgiving is coming up fast! It’s always nice to slow down and relax with our loved ones over a delicious meal. Fido is an important part of the family, and will be right there by your side—or perhaps under your feet—over the autumn holiday. Here, a Brandon, FL vet discusses spending Thanksgiving with Fido.

Grooming

If you are hosting this year’s dinner, make sure your canine buddy puts his best paw forward. Give Fido a good brushing, or take him to the groomer’s before the big day. That way, your visitors will be greeted by a soft, clean pooch!

Food

Fido will definitely be paying attention when those savory dishes come out of the oven. You can share some of that mouth-watering turkey with your pet. Just be sure to give him only plain, cooked meat, without the skin, bones, or fat. Hold the gravy, though: it may contain things like garlic or onions, which aren’t safe for dogs. Sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and cooked peas, spinach, and carrots are also fine. Ask your vet for more information on safe and unsafe foods.

Workout

Before your guests arrive, tire your pup out with a long walk and then a vigorous play session. Dogs are usually much calmer when they’re tired. It isn’t a bad thing if Fido is more interested in napping than in making mischief!

Fur Busting

Dogs are wonderful friends and companions, but they can be sloppy roommates. Before the big day, vacuum and dust thoroughly, and change your air filters. Use a squeegee or a rubber dish glove to remove pet fur from your sofa and chairs.

Petiquette

Man’s Best Friend has had a very long time to perfect the sad-puppy-dog stare that is so effective at getting us to share our food. However, begging is bad petiquette, and can make guests uneasy. You also don’t want to take a chance on someone giving your pooch something that isn’t safe for him. Consider putting Fido in a quiet back room with food, toys, treats, and bedding while you’re eating. If your dog tends to greet people by jumping on them, you may also want to keep him in a separate area as people are coming and going. You don’t want him knocking that bean casserole out of your grandma’s hands!

Happy Thanksgiving! Please contact us, your Brandon, FL vet clinic, anytime.