The Battle of the Bugs: Why Year Round Parasite Prevention Matters

Year round parasite prevention matters to pet health

Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are fighting back. As a pet owner, you are probably aware of how annoying these pests can be to you and your pet. But you may not know that experts are now recommending year round parasite prevention.

Parasite Problems

The trouble with parasites is that they not only annoy you and your pet with painful bites, they can also transmit serious diseases. What used to be a problem from May – September is now a year round threat, thanks to warming climates and more resilient bugs. In the Arlington area, we’re just not seeing the seasonal die off of parasites that we used to. So even one missed dose of your pet’s preventive leaves them vulnerable to a host of issues.

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Pet Costumes Your Pet Might Tolerate – or Even Enjoy!

Pet costumes can be fun but require pet costume safetyIt’s impossible to think about Halloween without considering – at least once or twice – how cute it would be to dress your pet up for the holiday. Indeed, no pet owner can walk by a store display without being transfixed and inspired by the vast array of clever and adorable pet costumes (it’s also perfectly acceptable to opt for something DIY!).

No matter what you choose, it’s important to not sacrifice your pet’s health and safety for a good photo op. That’s why the vets at Arlington Animal Hospital have compiled the following tips and tricks for fun and safe pet costumes! Continue…

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!

How to Recognize and Prevent Heat Stroke in Pets

Heat stroke in pets is a serious threat to pet health You’re at the dog park one warm and humid day with your dog, and he’s running and playing with two other dogs, all having a great time. After about 5 minutes, you notice that your dog is panting rapidly, salivating, and is weak. He doesn’t want to jump into your car for the ride home. You lift him in, and he is very quiet once in the car. Is your dog in trouble? You bet.

Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition that occurs when a pet cannot lower their internal body temperature. A normal dog’s temperature is 101.5 F, and a degree up or down is no problem. But cell damage occurs when the internal body temperature rises over 105 F, and the pet is also at risk for death. A trip to the veterinary emergency clinic is in order, immediately, if his life is to be saved.

Because most of us don’t carry a thermometer around, we thought it would be a good idea to share some tips. Arlington Animal Hospital offers advice on how to recognize heat stroke in pets, how to prevent it, and its treatment. Continue…

Creating a Pet First Aid Kit

Having a pet first aid kit on hand is an easy way to protect your pet's safetyPreparedness is the name of the game when it comes to an emergency situation – or really any situation that requires a quick response. If your pet is injured or ill, knowing what to do and what you need is critical to a better outcome.

We’re pretty sure you have a first aid kit for yourself and your family (and if you don’t, we highly recommend getting one!), but it’s equally important to have a pet first aid kit as well. While a basic first aid kit isn’t the only thing your pet needs during a medical situation, it can help stabilize your pet while getting them quick treatment.

So, what are the essentials of a pet first aid kit? Let’s find out!

The Essential Components of a Pet First Aid Kit

Both online and at your local pet supply store, there are a wide range of first aid kits on the market, but not all are created equal. It’s likely you’ll have to find a base kit and add to it. Here are some of the absolutes that go into a good pet first aid kit: Continue…

A Pet Owner’s Guide to Lyme Disease in Pets

lyme diseaseWith spring (finally) here and summer on the way, our thoughts naturally turn to how we can protect our pets from the dangers associated with warm weather. Making sure they’re hydrated, watching out for heatstroke, and being alert to poisoning risks are all important safety measures, but it’s important to remember that ticks also pose a significant danger to your pets.

Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-borne illnesses that affect pets, and its effects can be devastating. Preventing and detecting Lyme disease in pets is a crucial aspect of summer safety in Virginia.

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Triggers, Symptoms, and Management: What You Can Do About Allergies in Pets

allergies in petsMost people suffer from allergies of some kind, but we aren’t the only ones experiencing adverse reactions to the seasons, environment, or food. Allergies in pets may not always come up on a pet owner’s radar, but they can truly cause pain, discomfort, and stress.

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Should You Spay or Neuter Your Pet? A Look at a Common Pet Surgery

Pet SurgeryPet owners don’t typically need any extra convincing when it comes to controlling the number of unwanted litters. Indeed, by spaying or neutering pets, the benefits to communities and neighborhoods are far-reaching. Equally important, however, are the many ways this common pet surgery affects overall health, behavior, and even longevity.

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The Importance of Pet Dental Health Month

Pet dental health is so vital to overall wellness that it actually gets an entire month dedicated to it. Yes, February marks National Pet Dental Health Month, a fact we couldn’t be happier about!

While many pet owners simply shrug off stinky dog or cat breath as a part of life, we can assure you that it’s actually a red flag that something is amiss in the mouth. If left alone, a variety of problems could develop, threatening your pet’s health.

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