All posts by James

Holiday Gifts for Cats

The holiday season is officially here! As you start picking out gifts for friends and family members, don’t forget about your cat. Fluffy definitely deserves a few presents! In this article, a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet lists some great holiday gifts for kitties.

Classic Toys

You really can’t go wrong with classic cat toys, such as catnip mice and wand toys. Of course, kitties all have their own purrsonal favorites when it comes to playthings. Some furballs prefer squeaky toys, while others love batting balls around. Offer Fluffy a variety to choose from.

Modern Playthings

There are some really cute modern toys you can get Fluffy, such as robotic mice, automated laser pointers, remote-controlled snakes, and mechanical ‘swimming’ fish. You can even download apps and games for your kitty to play on your phone or tablet!

Kitty Fountain

Did you know that many cats prefer to drink running water? Offer Fluffy a kitty drinking fountain!

Plants

Catnip is always a good gift option. Get your feline pal a small pot of it. Cat grass (or wheat grass) is another popular choice. Offer your furry friend a small container of it to munch on. Or, if you want to score some extra purrs, put potting soil and wheatgrass seeds in a shallow storage tote or an old litterbox. Let it grow in a sunny spot for a few weeks. Soon, your furball will have her very own edible lawn to lounge around on!

Beds

It probably isn’t much of a surprise to find beds on this list. Cats certainly are tired! This is a purrfect gift, even for kitties that already have comfy beds. In Fluffy’s book, you simply can’t have too many napping spots!

Catnip Bubbles

This one may be just as entertaining for you as it is for your cat! After all, there are few things cuter than kitties playing with bubbles.

Kitty Furniture

Cats love having things that were made just for them. Cat towers, pet tents, and kitty shelves are all great gifts!

Window Seat

Birdwatching ranks pretty high on the list of Fluffy’s favorite pastimes. Get your furry buddy a comfy window seat, so she can nap, sunbathe, and spy on local wildlife. You can find store-bought ones, or you can make your own.

Please contact us, your Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet clinic, for all your kitty’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

Kitten Care Tips

Are you adopting a kitten? Has your feline buddy just given birth to a litter of adorable furballs? Baby cats are one of the cutest things on the planet. They’re also among the most mischievous. Read on as a local Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet offers tips on caring for little Fluffy.

Kittyproofing

Our feline friends are very curious, and love to investigate anything and everything in their domains. Keep your tiny furball safe on her explorations by doing some kitten-proofing. Remove or secure things like toxic plants; plastic bags and wrappers; chemicals; medication; wires, ropes, and threads; and anything small or sharp. Make sure your doors, vents, and screens close securely. We also recommend keeping large appliances, like toilets, closed when not in use. Get into the habit of checking under chairs, cushions, and blankets before sitting down. Baby cats don’t make very large lumps!

Veterinary Care

Your little buddy will need to come to visit us a few times in that first year. Little Fluffy will need her initial vaccinations, as well as a thorough exam and parasite control. Microchipping and spay/neuter surgery are also on the agenda. At home, watch for any signs of illness, such as fever, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, or respiratory issues. Kittens can get very sick very fast, so call your vet immediately if you notice anything wrong.

Products

Avoid clay and clumping litters for now. These are fine for adult felines, but kittens aren’t quite that coordinated yet, and can accidentally swallow litter. This can be extremely dangerous, and even deadly. You’ll also want to offer little Fluffy a good, kitten-formula pet food, and provide her with lots of toys and comfy beds. A scratching post is another must.

Socialization

To get that little motor going, spend lots of time with your baby furball, and make sure she feels loved and safe. Kittens love to be snuggled and petted! It’s also important to play with little Fluffy regularly. Use toys that you control, like wand toys and laser pointers. This will not only make things more challenging for your pet, it will also help teach her better manners. If your furry pal tries to practice her pouncing and scratching skills on you, tell her ‘No’ firmly, and then blow in her face.

Please call us, your Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet clinic, for your kitten’s veterinary care needs. We are always happy to help!

Adopting a Senior Pet

November is Adopt A Senior Pet Month! If you are ready to bring another animal into your home, please consider giving a sweet dog or cat a great retirement. These lovable furballs sometimes make the best pets! Here, a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet discusses adopting senior pets.

The Joys Of Senior Pets

Older pets actually have some wonderful qualities that really make them wonderful animal companions. For one thing, they are super cute. Dogs and cats also often develop a very sweet, amiable demeanor in their golden years. They are extremely affectionate, and really just want to be cuddled and petted. Senior pets also don’t need as much entertainment or activity as puppies and kittens, as they spend more time napping than playing. Plus, they are much less prone to destructive behaviors like digging, scratching, and chewing. Prior training is another big plus.

Benefits of Senior Pets

As mentioned above, senior pets really have some truly wonderful qualities. There are also some benefits to their humans. Older pets offer a shorter commitment than younger ones. This is perfect for people who aren’t sure if they’re ready to sign on for a decade or more of pet parenting. And, because they are generally quite docile and gentle, senior pets are an excellent option for anyone who isn’t able to keep up with a frisky, playful pet that needs a lot of exercise.

Getting Ready

Before bringing your new furry pal home, you’ll need to do some shopping. A comfy bed is definitely a must. We recommend orthopedic beds for older pets, as they offer more support, and are therefore much comfier for stiff and sore seniors. If you have a dog, you may want to get Fido elevated dishes, which are more comfortable to eat from than bowls on the floor. Fluffy will need a litterbox with low walls. Pet ramps or stairs are also a good idea.

Getting Settled

It may take Fido or Fluffy time to get used to your new home. Keep a nightlight on after dark, so your pet can find their way around more easily. You’ll also want to schedule a veterinary appointment within the first week or so. While you’re there, get some professional advice on your furry friend’s diet and care needs.

Please contact us, your Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet clinic, for your senior pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

Setting Up a Bunny Cage

Bunnies are very fun and lovable little pets. Floppy has very different care needs than dogs and cats, however. One thing that is very important is making sure that your pet is comfortable in her cage. A Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet discusses setting up a bunny cage in this article.

Choosing The Cage

Make sure your rabbit’s cage is roomy and comfortable. Floppy should be able to sit up, hop around, play, and sprawl out without tripping over her belongings or touching the cage top or walls. Pick a cage with a solid bottom: wire floors won’t hold substrate, and can cause serious leg and paw injuries.

Placement

Picking the right location is also very important. Don’t keep Floppy outdoors: your cute pet will be healthier, happier, and safer living with her humans. Bunnies often feel isolated when they are by themselves too much. We recommend a family room or living room. Don’t put your rabbit’s cage in direct sunlight, or too close to heaters or air ducts.

Substrate

When choosing substrate, avoid anything made from pine or cedar: they are toxic to small animals. Aspen is a good choice. Paper products are also fine.

Accessories

Floppy will need some furniture to complete her home. Get your pet a comfy hide box, so she has somewhere to retreat to if she is frightened or wants privacy. You’ll also need to add some dishes and a water bottle.

Litterbox

Did you know that rabbits can be litterbox trained? Teaching Floppy to use the potty will take time and patience, but it will be well worth it in the end. If you decide to litterbox-train your rabbit, you may want to get a few different boxes at first. You can remove the extras when your furry pal is trained. Bunnies like to eat in their bathrooms, so add a hayrack and position it over the litterbox.

Toys

Rabbits are very curious and playful. They also need to chew quite a bit to keep their teeth healthy. Put these two things together, and you have a pet that needs lots of chew toys! Many wood, wicker, paper, and cardboard items can be upcycled into bunny playthings. Just avoid anything with sharp edges, small parts, or decorative coatings, like paint.

Please reach out to us, your Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet clinic, for your rabbit’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

Autumn Cat Care

Autumn is officially upon us! This is a beautiful time of year, with the changing foliage and those crisp, cool breezes. However, just like any other season, autumn does have its own specific dangers for our four-legged friends. Read on as a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet discusses autumn cat care.

Food

As the weather gets colder, your feline buddy may burn extra calories just staying warm. Your vet may recommend increasing Fluffy’s serving sizes a bit.

Outdoor Hazards

Autumn can be a particularly hazardous time for outdoor cats. For one thing, many wild animals are seeking out spots to hibernate in. This can make them more aggressive than usual. Also, people often treat their lawns and gardens in fall. Chemicals like pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides are very dangerous for cats. Poisonous plants and weather fluctuations also pose hazards to your feline pal. Antifreeze is another concern: it’s extremely toxic to kitties, but unfortunately, has a taste that many of them like. Keep your pet safe and sound indoors.

Seasonal Decorations

Autumn decorations have a special, whimsical charm. However, many of them can be dangerous. Anything with wires and cords can make a tempting—and hazardous—plaything to a frisky cat. Keep decorations out of paws’ reach.

Grooming

Fall is a peak shedding time. Brush Fluffy regularly to help get that dead fur out of her coat.

Warm Cozy Spots

Cats somehow manage to sleep even more than usual in cold, dreary weather. Offer your feline friend lots of warm, comfy napping spots. If you want to spoil Fluffy, consider getting her a thermal bed, or even a heated one.

Candles/Heaters

Seasonal scented candles may make your home look and smell wonderfully cozy, but they definitely are not pet-safe. Keep candles and potpourri jars in high, secure places that your furball can’t get to. If you have a fireplace, keep a grate in front of it, so your kitty can’t get too close.

Arthritis

It isn’t uncommon for older kitties to develop arthritis. This can make them very stiff and sore as the weather changes. If Fluffy seems stiff, limps, and/or has trouble jumping, ask your vet for advice on keeping her comfortable.

Parasites

Fleas, ticks, and other insects will be looking for warm spots to escape the weather. Keep up with Fluffy’s parasite control products!

Please call us, your Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!

Puppyproofing Tips

Have you recently adopted a puppy? Or has your canine buddy just had a litter of adorable furballs? Puppies are, without a doubt, one of the cutest things on the planet. They do have quite a knack for getting into trouble, though, so you’ll need to take some precautions to keep your furry little friend safe. A Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet discusses puppyproofing in this article.

Small Objects

Anything small or sharp should be stored in a place your four-legged pal can’t get to. This includes jewelry, craft kit pieces, fishing tackle, coins, beads, nails and screws, and pens and pen caps.

Clothing

Puppies will eat or chew, well, pretty much anything. Small items of clothing, like socks, scarves, underwear, and tank tops, can pose serious choking risks. Be sure to keep laundry well out of paws’ reach.

Personal Items

As little Fido begins teething, he’ll want to chew, well, pretty much anything and everything. Books, shoes, purses, and other items should all be kept in a safe place.

Wires/Cords

Wires and cords can be very dangerous to a curious baby dog. Little Fido could get tangled up, or choke himself. Cords that can’t be hidden or removed can be treated with taste deterrents.

Toxins

Many of the things you may find in a typical household are unsafe for Man’s Best Friend. Plants are one concern. Make sure your houseplants are all pet-safe. You can find a list of both safe and unsafe options online at the ASPCA website here. You’ll also need to store things like medicine, household cleaners, automotive products, pesticides, and lawn/garden products in a safe spot.

Sharp Items

Anything sharp is a definite no-no. Decorative blades, forks and knives, scissors, and anything else with a sharp edge should be kept well out of your furry pal’s reach.

Puppy Pen

You may want to get a puppy pen. Put soft blankets down inside it, and offer little Fido some fun toys to play with. This may be quite a bit safer—and easier—than petproofing the entire home, especially if you have a litter of puppies on your hands.

Tips

It’s important to keep little Fido focused on appropriate playthings. Make sure the little guy has lots of safe, suitable toys.

Please do not hesitate to contact us, your Saskatoon, Saskatchewan pet clinic, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!

Happy Healthy Cat Month

September is Happy Healthy Cat Month! Of course, we think kitties deserve to be happy and healthy all year long. That said, this is a great time to talk about Fluffy’s care needs. Here, a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet offers tips on keeping cats healthy and purring.

Food

Good food is crucial to your furball’s health. Give your kitty the best cat food you can afford, but don’t overindulge her with fatty treats. If Fluffy becomes obese, she’ll be at risk for some very serious health problems!

Veterinary Care

Make sure your feline pal goes to the vet regularly. Fluffy should be microchipped, spayed or neutered, and kept current on her vaccinations, exams, and parasite control products. If you notice any signs of sickness in your kitty between appointments, schedule an emergency visit right away.

Kittyproofing

Kitties are basically furry, adorable, little bundles of mischief. They also have a knack for being very interested in playing with things that could be dangerous. Remove or secure anything that isn’t safe for your furball. This includes small or sharp items, toxic plants, medicine, chemicals, wires and cords, and plastic bags and wrappers.

Entertainment

We know, cats are very sleepy, but they still need ways to entertain themselves when they are awake. Offer your feline buddy lots of toys, and make sure she has at least one comfy window seat with a good view. It’s also important to play with your furry friend regularly. This will keep your kitty active, offer her beneficial mental stimulation, and help her feel loved and pampered.

Purrniture

Get Fluffy some things that were made to suit her needs. A cat tower is a great option, as it will offer your cute pet a napping spot, vantage point, and scratching post. Your furball will also appreciate having lots of beds, and perhaps a kitty tunnel or pet tent.

The Indoor Life

We strongly recommend keeping Fluffy indoors. Kitties are much safer as inside pets, where they aren’t threatened by cars, predators, or other hazards.

Facilities

Keep Fluffy’s litterbox clean! We recommend scooping daily and changing the litter weekly.

Love

Make sure your furry buddy feels loved. Talk to Fluffy, even if she doesn’t talk back, and offer her lots of ear scritches and attention. Kitty purrs are truly precious!

Please contact us, your local Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet clinic, for your kitty’s veterinary care needs. We’re here for you!

Signs of Arthritis in Dogs

Is your canine buddy aged six or older? If so, Fido may be approaching his golden years, or already in them. Dogs are just as cute as seniors as they are when they are puppies. However, as your pet ages, his needs will change. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for potential health problems. Arthritis is a common one. A Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet lists some signs of this painful condition below.

Limping

Limping is probably the most common warning sign of arthritis. At first, Fido may only limp for a moment, usually when he firsts gets up. Over time, though, the limp will become more pronounced.

Lack of Interest In Play

While it’s normal for dogs to slow down as they age, Fido should still show some interest in his doggy toys. If your furry pal’s favorite playthings are gathering dust, he may be developing arthritis.

Trouble Getting Up/Down

One of the telltale signs of arthritis is difficulty getting up or laying down. Fido may also have trouble climbing stairs, jumping on and off beds, or getting in and out of the car.

Reduced Mobility

Arthritis is a bone/joint issue, and can really make dogs stiff and sore. As a result, your canine companion may move stiffly, and may not be as bouncy or flexible as he once was. Fido may also walk slower than he once did. You may notice changes in his gait or posture as well.

Licking/Chewing

Dogs often lick or chew at sore spots. If you notice Fido worrying at a certain spot, especially a limb or an area at the base of his tail, he may be developing arthritis.

Grumpiness

Just like people, our four-legged friends can get a bit cranky when they are sick or in pain. Uncharacteristic grouchiness can also be a sign of arthritis.

Tips

While arthritis cannot be cured, there are now many options for managing pets’ pain, and improving both their mobility and quality of life. If you notice any of these symptoms in your canine pal, call your vet right away. Once a diagnosis has been made, you’ll be able to discuss treatment options. Your vet will also be able to offer you professional advice on your dog’s changing diet, exercise, and care needs.

Do you know or suspect that your dog has arthritis? Call us, your Saskatoon, Saskatchewan pet clinic, today!

Simple Ways to Spoil Your Cat

International Cat Day is August 8th, which is just around the corner. Kitties deserve to be pampered every day, but why not do something extra for Fluffy on her special day? Here, a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet offers some suggestions on how to spoil your cat.

Kitty Luxuries

It really doesn’t take much to make your home into a luxury kitty castle. Offer Fluffy lots of comfy napping spots to snooze in. Cat furniture, such as cat towers and pet tents, is also great. Your feline pal will also need a suitable nail-care station and, of course, lots of toys.

Good Food

Proper nutrition will go a long way towards keeping your cute pet healthy. Offer your feline pal nourishing, high-quality food. Don’t overindulge Fluffy, however. Cats have a way of training their humans to feed them on demand. This is one reason so many kitties are overweight! Ask your vet for nutritional advice.

Playtime

One of the best things about cats is that they really are very fun and entertaining. It’s hard not to smile when watching a playful feline chase that mysterious red dot, or rolling around in glee with a new catnip toy. Take time to play with Fluffy every day. It will be great for both of you!

Clean Facilities

Keep your kitty’s purrsonal powder room clean by scooping it daily and changing the litter every week. No one likes a dirty bathroom!

Veterinary Care

Healthcare is just as important for pets as it is for people. Be sure to keep up with Fluffy’s veterinary care needs. Follow your vet’s recommended appointment schedule.

Entertainment

Cats do fine staying home while their humans go off to work to earn money for catnip and kitty litter, but they can get bored and unhappy with nothing to do. A simple way to keep your furball entertained is simply to make sure that she has at least one comfy spot with a good view. Fluffy may also appreciate having a radio on. If you won’t be home before dark, keep a light on as well.

Attention

Kitties are happiest when they feel loved, safe, and a little spoiled. Pay attention to Fluffy! Even just giving her a quick ear scratch as you pass her can help keep her motor going.

Is your kitty due for veterinary care? Call us, your Saskatoon, Saskatchewan pet clinic, today!

Guinea Pig Appreciation Day

Did you know that July 16th is Guinea Pig Appreciation Day? These little balls of fur make adorable pets, and definitely deserve to be appreciated. Read on as a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet offers some tips on how to pamper your pint-sized pal on his special day.

Toys

Guinea pigs are super playful, and love toys. Offer your miniature furball some new playthings. You don’t have to spend a fortune on your pet’s things. Many household items—particularly wood, wicker, and cardboard items—can make wonderful toys. Look online for specific ideas. Just be sure to avoid items with small parts, sharp edges, or dangling threads, as well as anything painted or dyed.

Treats

Like any other pet, Guinea pigs love treats. You can give the little guy fresh veggies, such as celery and cucumber. Small amounts of fruit, such as apple, banana, melon, grapes, and kiwis are fine too. Don’t overboard with fruits, though: they are very high in sugar, and can be quite acidic. Guinea pigs can enjoy certain herbs, including basil, caraway, chamomile, and lavender. Rose hips are an excellent treat, and are rich in Vitamin C, which is essential to cavies. Certain branches, such as pear, hazelnut, and currant, are also safe, as long as they have been properly cleaned. Just be sure to always research new foods before offering them to your tiny furball. Ask your vet for specific nutritional advice, including safe and unsafe foods, suitable treats, serving sizes, and feeding frequency of specific foods.

Playtime

Guinea pigs spend lots of time in their cages, and often love having free time. Take your little buddy out for a fun play session. Fill a bag with hay, and put a few treats beneath the hay. Then, let your furball root and dig. Another option is to set out several tunnels for your pet, and let him run and explore.

Cuddle Time

Spend some quality time with your cavy: pet him, play with him, and let him snuggle up with you if he wants. Many Guinea pigs love snoozing on their owners’ laps! If your furry friend is shy, offer him lots of food and toys to make him more comfortable. Your tiny friend may also enjoy a massage!

Please reach out to us, your local Saskatoon, Saskatchewan pet hospital, with any questions about Guinea pig care. We are always here to help!