Halloween Pet Safety: Tips, Tricks, and Treats

Two dogs wearing white sheets are dressed as ghosts as they sit on a porch decorated for Halloween.

Between Fall Harvest Days at Mount Vernon and Boo at the National Zoo, there’s no shortage of family outings to celebrate the season. In fact, we all get so caught up with the annual revelry that we soon forget our daily routines. 

Normal meal times, opportunities for play and exercise, and important snuggle times are parts of a larger pattern that pets utterly rely on. However, with a hearty nod to Halloween pet safety your pet can enjoy the season for all it’s offerings – and avoid a serious illness or injury.

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Unlocking the Keys to Dog Body Language

dog body language

Every dog owner thinks they know what their dog needs and wants, and most of the time, you’re probably right! Humans and dogs have been evolving together for over 14,000 years, so it’s no surprise that we’ve become pretty skilled at reading each other’s emotions.

However, even if you’re fairly certain that you and your dog have excellent communication, there may still be a thing or two you can learn about these familiar, yet mysterious creatures. Dog body language is more nuanced than many people realize, and understanding it is the key to leading a harmonious life with your dog.

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Keep Cool with These Pet-Friendly Activities

summer pet activities

The winter was long (as usual), but spring has finally arrived! If you’re excited about the warmer weather, you can bet your pet feels the same way. Finding creative pet-friendly activities isn’t always easy, which is why Arlington Animal Hospital has put together some fun ideas to get you and your furry companion out of the house this summer.

Into the Woods

Pets love camping, so why not plan your yearly trip into the woods with your four-legged family member in mind? Campgrounds like Cherry Hill Park and Greenbelt Campground welcome pets and their owners. If camping isn’t your thing, there are endless opportunities to get out and explore the Appalachian Trail or one of the thousands of miles of hiking trails in our state (most allow leashed dogs).

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What To Do If My Pet is in Pain? A Practical Guide

pet pain prevention

Our pets mean the world to us, and we do everything we can to keep them from experiencing pain. But it’s not always easy to know if our pet is in pain due to an age old survival instinct, not to mention the fact that they can’t tell us how they feel.

But with careful observation, a little practice, and our guidance, you can learn to notice signs that your pet is in pain. Together, we can work to not only identify signs of pain, but to prevent and treat conditions that cause it as well.

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The Fab Five: Arlington Veterinary Hospital’s Top 5 Pet Care Blogs of 2018

cat arlington animal hospital

The final days of 2018 are a distant memory, and we can’t help but reflect back at this time of year on all the memories and accomplishments of the past year. At Arlington Animal Hospital, we’re feeling especially grateful for the relationships we’ve formed with Arlington pet owners and their furry family members. Being part of your health care team for your pets is our honor!

One way we contribute to the health of your pet is through our monthly pet care blogs, and it’s only natural to wonder which of the posts you found most helpful and entertaining this past year. So we compiled our top pet care blogs of 2018 and hope that you enjoy a look back!

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Why Does My Cat Do That? Curious Cat Behaviors Explained

Cat behaviors don't always make sense. Why are cats weird?It seems like the internet is simply full of funny cat videos, doesn’t it? Even people that aren’t self-proclaimed cat lovers admit to enjoying feline antics once in awhile, and why wouldn’t they? They’re funny, adorable, amazing, and unpredictable. While it may be fun to sit back and marvel at various cat behaviors, it’s important to be able to recognize the difference between the amusing ones and the potential warning signs.

So Weird!

Expounding on the full extent of funny or odd cat behaviors could take awhile. There are just so many! You might see some familiar ones on the list below, or your cat might be a trendsetter with their very own idiosyncrasies. Either way, cats are clear contenders in the animal antics department. Continue…

Hit the Trails with These Dog Friendly Arlington Walks and Hikes!

 

Dog friendly Arlington hikes can be great pet exerciseThe weather is slowly shifting from hot and humid to slightly less hot and humid, and this has nature lovers excited to spend some quality time outdoors with their canine companions. Virginia is home to an extensive network of hiking trails, and the many dog friendly Arlington area trails are sure to keep you and your pooch busy this summer.

Dog Friendly Arlington Trails

Whether you and your dog are seasoned hikers or you just like to enjoy a leisurely walk in nature, there’s no shortage of options in our neck of the woods. Some of our favorites include:

  • Fort Bennett Park and Palisades Trail – This well-developed trail in a city park offers 11 acres of lovely woods and open space.
  • Windy Run Park – Wooded nature paths and a bubbling stream make for an enjoyable afternoon at this park (just keep your dog out of the stream, as it’s being restored due to erosion).
  • Theodore Roosevelt Island – Enjoy a variety of trails and beautiful scenery in this popular 90-acre island park.
  • Donaldson Run Park – This is a beautiful secluded area with a pond and paved walking paths.
  • Four Mile Run Trail – This trail features over 6 miles of paved walking paths in a natural setting (watch out for bikers and inline skaters).
  • Turkey Run Trail – You won’t actually see any wild turkeys along this moderately difficult trail, but gorgeous wildflowers and a lovely streamside hike are guaranteed.
  • Scott’s Run Nature Preserve Trails – If you like waterfalls, you don’t want to miss this secluded trail.
  • Mason Neck State Park – This family friendly park boasts trails, ponds, a playground, and a fishing area.

Lastly, don’t forget to pick up after your dog!

Heat Safety 101

In comparison to humans, dogs are at a higher risk for dehydration and heat stroke, so pet heat safety is a must when out walking or hiking:

  • Take frequent water breaks in the shade, and bring along bottled water and a collapsible bowl.
  • Walk in shaded or grassy areas whenever possible to avoid injuring your dog’s paw pads (hot pavement or concrete can lead to burns!).
  • On the hottest days, stick to early morning or evening walks when temperatures are lower.
  • Watch your dog closely; stop immediately and move to a shaded area if you notice any signs of heat distress, such as excessive panting/drooling, stumbling, bright red or pale gums, lethargy, or collapse. Call us right away.

What are your favorite dog friendly Arlington trails and parks? Post a picture to our social media page or let us know during your next wellness exam. Happy trails!

New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Owners

resolutions for pet ownersLose weight. Create a budget. Take up a hobby. Spend more time with loved ones. These are some of the many common New Year’s resolutions that top people’s lists. But let’s face it, most of us don’t get too far with resolutions (especially the less exciting ones).

Thankfully, if you’re a proud pet owner, we have some exciting things to focus on when you pen those necessary goals. How about a list of resolutions for pet owners focused on your furry pal?

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A Year in the Making: Our Top 5 Pet Blogs of 2017

pet eye healthWhat a great year it has been! As we reflect upon 2017 and all of the wonderful pet patents and families we have met in our practice, we can’t help but feel thankful. It is always our pleasure to offer exceptional care to your special pet companion, and to help create the best quality of life possible.

Part of how we do this is through our blog. Our goal for the blog is to help encourage better health and wellbeing for pets, and in turn, enhance their day-to-day life through pet owner education. We hope you have enjoyed these informational posts as much as we have enjoyed writing them.

Without further ado, here are Arlington Animal Hospital’s most popular pet blogs of 2017.

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The Enchanting World of Animals: Understanding Children and Pet Safety

In this world of increasingly grey areas, one thing is absolute: children adore animals. There’s nothing simpler or more meaningful than the bond between a pet and his or her young master/mistress/guardian/playmate/partner in crime.

That being said, many dynamic duos need a little help to make sure everyone remains safe. Wondering how to make the world of children and pet safety easier on the whole family? Arlington Animal Hospital is here to help!

The Cart Before the Horse

Welcoming an animal into your home has unlimited benefits. Pets tap into your child’s potential for learning trust, respect, compassion, empathy, and caring.  They can even boost his or her self-esteem. However, your child must be patient, understanding, and accommodating to the myriad needs of a new pet.

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