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Your January 2018 Newsletter from Largo Veterinary Hospital
January Holidays
National Train Your Dog Month
Walk Your Dog Month
January 14th: National Dress Up Your Pet Day
January 22nd: National Answer Your Cat's Questions Day
January 24th: Change a Pet's Life Day
January 29th: Seeing Eye Guide Dog Birthday
 
 
Did you know walking your dog...
  • Provides an outlet for their energy and can help eliminate destructive behavior.
  • Makes a more submissive dog who is much more likely to focus on you and your training.
  • Fulfills his natural roaming and exploring instincts. In nature dogs walk as a pack and roam for miles every day searching for food and water. Dogs are working, thinking animals that need a purpose beyond just sitting or sleeping all day long.
  • Dogs who are not walked can become more fearful and shy, or might lack the necessary social skills to interact with people and other dogs.
  • Can bond multiple dogs from the same home and help them bond as a pack with you.
  • Walking with your dog (and not on your phone) provides attention and interaction that your dog craves, just be his companion.
 
Travel Safely with Your Pet in 2018
 
Driving around town with your dog (or cat) can be a fun experience for both of you but it can also be a stressful and dangerous one too. Some dogs live for the times when we ask if they want to go for a ride. However, not all pets like the car. Here are some things to keep in mind as you prepare to get on the road:
  • Secure your pet safely in the car: Yes, this means no lap riders. There are many simple and inexpensive ways of keeping you and your pets safe in the car. Regardless of how well you drive and the fact that many pets love riding in the car, they're still not safe from other irresponsible drivers….and neither are you! Generally cats are at less risk because usually, they're crated and if they aren't...they should be. If you allow them to ride in your lap they can be crushed between you and the steering wheel or being ejected from the vehicle into oncoming traffic.
  • Sweet floppy faces sticking out of the window are not safe: In this situation your pet is at risk of eye and head injury from road debris.
  • Get a good safety harness: Even metal separators are not enough to keep your pet safe. All that really does is prevent them from jumping into the front seat and hitting the dashboard in a sudden stop or accident but they still will suffer great injury if your vehicle rolls or is impacted.
  • Don’t let yourself get distracted by your pet: Many accidents occur when the driver turns around to deal with pets or children while the vehicle is in motion. Always remember that when you turn your head, you're often likely to turn your wheel in the opposite direction.
  • Be aware of the temperature outside: If the weather is hot, make sure to offer your pet some water every 30 minutes. A newly adopted pet will be stressed and nervous and at risk of dehydration more than a calm pet, especially if the weather is warm. Include a squeaky toy or something with catnip if you have a cat travelling with you, as these things might be a refreshing and distracting sight to a nervous animal.
  • Bring a treat: To lessen car sickness or nervousness, make sure to bring a treat your pet really loves and only use it ONLY for car rides. This way they have a chance to make a positive association with car travel. While cats have a rougher time of it because generally they don’t go in the car except to visit the vet or groomer (unless they’re the rare cat that loves car travel), a special toy with catnip might help them to enjoy time in the car a little better. 
Here's a link to all the current information on pet travel.
 
3 Resolutions for You & Your Pet in 2018
Stick to these three resolutions for a healthier and happier year for you and your pet in 2018:
 
Exercise more.  Dr. Daniels suggests taking your dogs for more frequent and longer walks, visiting the dog park to get some more active play and socialization, or signing up for agility course training. Get your cat moving with new toys and games that will encourage her to run and jump. 
 
Eat healthier. Most of us are cleaning up or diet a bit in 2018 and our pets could use a few less treats as well. Dr. Daniels would like to remind you that to a medium sized dog, eating one large dog bone is the equivalent to you eating an entire hamburger. Helping your dog maintain a healthy weight will add years to their lives. There are a number of steps you can take to improve your pet's diet, such as eliminating table scraps and fattening, high-calorie treats; keeping food treats to a minimum and focusing on healthier food and treats; 
Don't give into their sad begging eyes!
 
Schedule a visit to the doctor for a wellness check up. Visiting your doctor regularly for check-up and bloodwork is an important way to stay healthy and catch illnesses and injuries early before they become a bigger problem. The same goes for our pets. Since our pets can't schedule their own checkups, resolve to take your pets in for regularly scheduled wellness exams and work with Dr. Daniels on a plan to keep your pets as healthy as possible.
Cats also need daily exercise so try to set aside 15-20 minutes a day. Cats are nocturnal animals which means they are at their most active at night. Training them to exercise during the day will help you and your cat sleep at night. Cats enjoy exercise like stalking, pouncing, climbing and hiding.
Keep your pets warm this winter.
Many of us Floridians struggle to tolerate each coldfront as it rolls through the area, but what about your pets?  Also, if you plan to travel north with your pets make sure to keep your Florida pet warm. If your pet is too cold he may be shivering, whining, anxious, slowing down, or looking for places to burrow.
 
To help with warmth, make sure you pet has a cozy blanket or bed to curl up in. Tiny, short haired dogs, or older dogs may even appreciate wearing a sweater! If your pet gets cold from going out side you can throw a blanket or towel in the dryer before you go take them out and wrap it around them as soon as you come in. 
 
For outdoor pets make sure they have an insulated shelter to curl up in. The shelter should be slightly elevated off the ground, maybe with a pallet, and the opening to get in should be no bigger than your pet needs to keep out other animals. Also, outdoor pets need more calories to stay warm so put out warm meals throughout the day.
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Noodles is a 2-year-old Poodle-Schnauzer mix who was rescued by his parents from a Sarasota shelter. His favorite things to play with are stuffed toys. Noodles’ most successful moment of mischievousness was the time he stole a piece of steak off of his mom's plate. His parents say that in his most embarrassing moments he just plays the "who me?" game. Don't tell Dr. Daniels but mom and dad indulge him in his favorite treat…bacon! He is so loved and spoiled that he gets to sleep in bed with his human parents!
5 Cat Myths Debunked
Myth: Cats never get along with other cats.
Many cat lovers know that this is totally false — plenty of felines do enjoy the company of other cats. Adopters often take in multiple kittens from the same litter, for example, or rescue a bonded pair of adult shelter cats. If you're thinking of adding a second cat to your clan, consider your current cat's age and personality, and read up on how to make a proper introduction.
 
Myth: Every cat will always freak out at the vet's office.
Regular veterinary visits are critical for helping catch medical conditions in our cats, since felines are particularly good at hiding illness. At Largo Veterinary Hospital we are happy to make special accommodations to help your cat's visit a smooth one.
 
Myth: Cat litterbox issues are a behavioral problem that can't be fixed. Before trying to train (or, worse, punish) away those litterbox problems, start with a visit to Dr. Daniels. Failing to use the litterbox can be caused by stress, anxiety or an underlying medical issue. Once you get a clean bill of health from Dr. Daniels, change things up a little and see if that helps — for example, your cat may prefer a different type of litter or you may need more litterboxes.
 
Myth: Cats scratch, because they are mean.
Your cat may lash out, because something is making him uncomfortable — like if you're holding or petting him in a way he doesn't enjoy, or if a hidden medical condition is causing him pain. If your cat scratches during play, especially if you're playing rough with your own hands, you might be sending mixed messages. Don't play rough with your hands, and if your cat does scratch, freeze in place so the "game" ends. And remember that scratching is natural to cats, so offer appropriate outlets like scratching posts and cat trees.
 
Myth: Cats entertain themselves and never need special playtime.
This is not true at all. In fact, cats can thrive when they're given time every day to play, interact and learn. Set aside a few minutes several times a day to play with your cat — he might enjoy batting at an exciting feather toy or climbing a kitty tower. Some cats can even be taught to walk on a leash!
Read More:

10 Things I wish I knew before adopting a dog.
7 Reasons why you like your dog more than most people.
Why is my dog vomiting?
7 Symptoms that indicate your cat is sick.
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Largo Veterinary Hospital  •  1120 Starkey Road  •  Largo  •  FL  •  33771

http://www.largovet.com

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