All posts by James

Doghouse Repair Month

July is officially Doghouse Repair Month! Does your pup have a little home of his own in the yard? If so, this is a great reminder to do some cleaning and maintenance to it. A Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet offers tips on doghouse repairs below.

Cleaning

Give your canine pal’s outdoor home a good scrubbing. Use unscented soap or detergent and hot water. If you happen to have a pressure washer, uses that as well!

Repairs

Thoroughly inspect Fido’s doghouse. You’ll want to look for nails, screws, and long splinters that may be sticking out. These can cause serious injuries! Also, check for spots your furry best buddy may have chewed up.

Setup

Choosing the right spot for Fido’s doghouse is very important. It should be in a place that is sheltered from the worst of the wind, but still gets sunlight. The doghouse should be raised up off the ground to keep snow and rain out, with the door facing away from prevailing winds.

Insulation

We strongly recommend that dogs live indoors. Our canine friends are much happier—not to mention healthier and safer—with their families. That said, a doghouse that doesn’t offer protection from the elements isn’t very helpful. Saskatchewan isn’t exactly known for balmy winters! Making sure Fido’s doghouse is well-insulated is very important. If you want, you can add another layer of insulation to your pet’s home. Avoid using pressure-treated wood, though, as it’s toxic to dogs.

Bedding

It really isn’t a good idea to put bedding in Fido’s house: it will attract insects and rodents. Use carpeting or mats instead.

Door

In winter, you may want to hang thick strips of plastic or carpet over your furry friend’s door. This will help keep wind and rain out. You can remove them in summer if you like, so Fido can enjoy a cool breeze.

Fido’s Yard

Why not make Fido’s outdoor time more fun for him? If your pooch likes to dig, make him a sandbox to bury toys and treats in. Your four-legged pal may also enjoy a deck to sun himself on in summer, or even a pool to splash around in. You’ll also want to make sure your pup has toys and water outside.

Is your dog due for veterinary care? Please contact us, your Saskatoon, Saskatchewan pet hospital, for all your pup’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

Choosing the Right Spot for Your Birdcage

Have you recently adopted a pet bird? Our feathered friends make wonderful little pets. They’re cute, lovable, and lots of fun. In order for your feathered buddy to be healthy and happy, she’ll need to be comfortable in her cage. A great cage is of course very important here, but choosing the right spot is also crucial. Here, a local East College Park, Saskatchewan vet offers some helpful tips on picking the best spot for Polly’s cage.

Air Quality

Birds have extremely sensitive lungs. Polly can get sick from breathing fumes that are harmless to us. Some of the things that are dangerous to birds include cigarette smoke, aerosols, perfumes, the odors from household chemicals or automotive products, potpourri, scented candles, and air fresheners. Cooking fumes are also hazardous. Many types of modern cookware emit vapors that are safe for us, but toxic to birds. Keep your birdcage in a room with clean air!

Heat

Heat and airflow are also things to consider. Don’t put your cute pet in direct sunlight, or in a drafty area. You also don’t want to pick a spot next to a heater, fireplace, or air duct.

Noise

Birds can get very jittery when there is a lot of noise or commotion. Polly probably won’t be happy too close to a TV or stereo. If anyone in your household has a noisy hobby, such as music or woodworking, keep your feathered friend well away from their craft/practice area.

Isolation

Our winged pals are very sociable, and do best when they can see, hear, and interact with their human buddies. Don’t put Polly by herself in a quiet back bedroom: she may get sad, lonely, and depressed all by herself. Your pet may be happiest in a spot where she feels like part of the family.

Safety

On the other hand, you don’t want your bird to feel too exposed, either. Polly may be a bit uneasy in the center of a large open space. Many of our feathered pals prefer to be in corners, where they are only exposed on one side. If you have a cat, you probably don’t want to put Fluffy’s cat tower next to the birdcage.

Please do not hesitate to contact us, your local East College Park, Saskatchewan pet hospital, for all of your bird’s veterinary care needs. We are happy to help!

Teaching Your Cat Good Scratching Petiquette

Does your cat have a habit of using your sofa as a nail-care station? While Fluffy may look very pleased with herself when she’s doing her nails, her human buddies aren’t usually particularly impressed by her manicure habits. We are here to help! Read on as a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet offers tips on teaching your furball better petiquette.

Fluffy’s Nail Care Station

Choosing the right scratching post is very important! Cats often like to stretch their muscles while they scratch, so pick something tall enough for your feline pal to ‘stand’ for her peticure. Make sure your furry pal’s nail-care station is sturdy. Fluffy may become wary of a wobbly post or cat tower! Sprinkle catnip around the scratching post to make it a little more enticing for your furball.

Stopping Bad Habits

You should never punish your cat for scratching… even if she did just scratch your brand-new couch. Cats have a very deep natural instinct to care for their claws. This makes perfect sense, as in the wild, our furry buddies rely on their claws for self-defense, hunting, and climbing to safety. What you can do is redirect your kitty towards a suitable scratching station. To do this, you want to make her form a bad association with her current spot. When you see your kitty scratching improperly, make a loud noise or squirt her with water. Your feline overlord will not be pleased, and may seek a different area. It’s also important to reward your pet when she does scratch properly. Offer Fluffy praise, treats, and toys for using her scratching post. It also won’t hurt to tell your furball that she’s the best, cutest cat in the world. Kitties are suckers for compliments!

If All Else Fails…

If you aren’t having any luck, consider putting claw caps on your feline buddy. These are painless and temporary, just like fake nails for people. Your furry little diva can even sport fashionable colors, like pink or red! Another option is to simply give Fluffy a peticure, and clip her nails. (Note: we don’t recommend this for cats that go outdoors, as they need their claws for self-defense.) Ask your vet for specific advice.

Please contact us, your local Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet hospital, for all of your cat’s veterinary care needs. We are dedicated to keeping our feline patients healthy and purring!

The Benefits of Having an Exotic Pet

Are you ready to adopt a new pet? Choosing the right animal companion can be both fun and tricky. Every type of pet has their own charms and their own care needs. While dogs and cats are still the most popular pets, exotic pets also have a lot to offer. Read on as an East College Park, Saskatchewan vet lists some great reasons to consider an exotic pet.

No Noise

One great thing about exotic pets is the fact that many of them really don’t make much noise. This can be great for people who have a lot of neighbors close by!

Limited Odors

While some animals that are considered exotic—such as ferrets—may give off some odors, most exotic animals are pretty easy on the nose.

Few Allergic Reactions

Many exotic animals have scales instead of fur. This makes them a great option for people with allergies!

No Training Required

Dogs need quite a bit of education to learn the do’s and don’ts of being a good pet. (Cats usually train their owners, but that’s another topic.) Exotic animals, however, really don’t need to be trained. You won’t have to worry about teaching your iguana to sit, or making sure your snake comes when called!

Attractive Enclosures

Most exotic animals live in tanks or cages. When set up properly, these habitats can make very beautiful display pieces.

They’re Fun To Watch

While exotics aren’t as personable as some of our other animal friends, they do have some personality characteristics, and can be just as charming as other pets. You may be surprised at how fascinating reptiles and other exotics can be to watch. Many people really enjoy relaxing and just watching their pets do their thing.

No Mess

You will need to clean your pet’s habitat regularly. However, you won’t have to worry about your little buddy eating your couch cushions or scratching up your couch!

Tips

While there are some great reasons to consider exotic pets, they aren’t necessarily the right choice for everyone. Do plenty of research before making a final decision. Consider your pet’s expected size, lifespan, environmental needs, and diet. It’s also important to make sure you have a good vet that treats exotics.

Please contact us, your East College Park, Saskatchewan pet hospital, for all of your exotic pet’s care needs. We are here to help!

Caring For a Shih Tzu

Did you know that Shih Tzus are one of the most popular dogs in Saskatchewan? These little guys are super cute, and have wonderful personalities. A local Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet discusses Shih Tzu care in this article.

Basics

Shih Tzus are quite small, and usually don’t get much taller than about 10.5 inches. They weigh between 9-16 pounds, on average, and can live up to 18 years. That’s twice as long as some breeds!

History

Did you know that the name Shih Tzu means ‘little lion’? This may stem from an old myth about the Buddha. According to the legend, the Buddha—accompanied by his little Shih Tzu buddy—was attacked by robbers. Wanting to protect his human friend, the Shih Tzu turned into a lion, and chased the robbers away!

Temperament

You may know that different types of dogs were bred to perform specific jobs, such as hunting and herding. If these little guys had an official duty, it would simply to look adorable! Shih Tzus are very cuddly and affectionate, and love to snuggle up on their owners’ laps.

Grooming

Shih Tzus should be brushed and combed daily, as their fur tends to mat easily if not properly cared for. Tearstains are not uncommon in these little guys. This is in part because, being so little, they often get dust in their eyes. Use a wet cotton ball or face cloth to clean Fido’s eyes. You may also want to trim the fur near your pet’s eyes. Be very careful, and use only blunt-end scissors. Ear care is also important. Last but not least, be sure to take good care of your pup’s teeth. Shih Tzus can be prone to dental problems. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Health

While Saskatchewan isn’t exactly known for having a sweltering climate, we do have the occasional heat wave. Hot weather can be very dangerous to these little guys! Make sure Fido always has shade and fresh water when temperatures rise.

Training

Just like any other dog, Shih Tzus need proper training to make good pets. These cute pups can be hard to housebreak. Be patient and consistent, and don’t let your pooch develop any bad habits. Crate training is recommended, as it can really help with housebreaking.

Do you have questions about caring for a Shih Tzu? Contact us, your Saskatoon, Saskatchewan pet hospital, today!

Teaching Your Cat Better Scratching Habits

Is your feline buddy using your sofa as a manicure station? Is Fluffy shredding your carpet? Kitties are adorable and lovable pets, but these cute furballs do have a few habits that aren’t very popular with their humans. Read on as an East College Park, Saskatchewan vet offers tips on teaching your kitty better scratching habits.

Provide A Good Nail Care Station

First things first: if you don’t want your furry little diva scratching up your carpet or furniture, you’ll need to provide her with a suitable nail care station. In the wild, trees make perfect scratching posts for cats. (They also make great lookouts and napping spots, but that’s beside the point.) For indoor kitties, you can get a scratching post or wall tower. Pick something that is tall enough to let Fluffy stretch to her full length when she’s doing her nails. Make sure it’s nice and sturdy: your feline pal may become wary of a wobbly tower or post, and avoid it. If you want to save money, look online for great DIY ideas.

Break Bad Habits

If Fluffy is scratching the corner of a wall, chair, or sofa, put clear two-sided tape down in that spot. Your pet will hate the sticky feeling! You can also block your kitty’s access to her chosen spot by putting something there.

Teaching Fluffy Petiquette

Never punish your feline friend for scratching improperly, even if she did just mar your new sofa. Kitties have a strong instinctive urge to take care of their claws, so Fluffy may not understand that she did something wrong. Instead, if you see your furry pal scratching where she shouldn’t, clap your hands, tell her no, or squirt her with water. It’s also important to reward your furball with treats, praise, and compliments for using her cat tower or scratching post.

Last Resorts

No luck? Consider clipping your pet’s claws, which is a painless and temporary solution. (We only recommend this for indoor cats, as cats that go outside need their claws for defense.) You can also ask your vet about using claw caps, which are basically fake nails for kitties. Fluffy can even sport fashionable colors, like red or purple!

Please reach out to us, your local East College Park, Saskatchewan pet hospital, for all of your cat’s veterinary care needs. We are dedicated to providing excellent care!

Caring for a Pregnant Dog

Do you know or suspect that your dog is pregnant? Congratulations! Fifi will need some extra TLC over the next several weeks. Here, a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet discusses caring for a pregnant pooch.

Is Fifi Pregnant?

It’s not always easy to tell if your canine pal is pregnant. Some common signs of doggy pregnancy include swollen nipples and a growing belly. Pregnant pooches often also become extra loving and cuddly. However, it isn’t uncommon for dogs that aren’t pregnant to show symptoms. If you think your dog may be pregnant, have her examined by a vet for an official answer. If Fifi is pregnant, ask your vet to recommend an appointment schedule. Your vet will also be able to give you information on due dates and the number of puppies you can expect. This is very important, because if your furry pal delivers fewer puppies than expected, you’ll know you need to take her to emergency care.

Food

Offer Fifi a premium brand of dog food. Towards the end of her gestation, your vet may recommend increasing her serving sizes and switching over to a puppy food. Consult your vet before giving your canine friend any vitamins or supplements.

Exercise

While you definitely don’t want to overexert Fifi, she will still need some activity. Daily walks are a great way to give your furry pal some exercise without overdoing it. If your pet seems tired, just let her rest. If Fifi jogs or is a working dog, ask your vet for advice on her activity needs.

Medicine

Be extremely careful about medicating a pregnant pup. Some products and medicines are safe for expecting pooches, but others are not. Ask your vet before giving Fifi any medications. (Of course, it’s best to simply keep up with your dog’s vaccinations, exams, and parasite control products, so your pooch is current before becoming pregnant.)

Whelping Box

As the time approaches, you’ll want to buy or make Fifi a whelping box for giving birth and nursing. Put it in a spot that is quiet and somewhat private, but not completely isolated. Add some towels and old blankets to make it comfy. Set this out a few weeks before your pup’s due date, so she can get used to it.

Call us, your Saskatoon, Saskatchewan pet hospital, with any questions or concerns about your dog’s care. We’re here to help!

Stem Cell Therapy for Pets

You’ve likely heard of stem cell therapy for people, and the amazing potential it has. However, did you know that stem cell therapy is now available for pets? Here, an East College Park, Saskatchewan vet discusses this modern medical treatment.

What Are Stem Cells?

In a nutshell, stem cells are cells that are ‘blank pages.’ These cells can develop into many different types of cells, such as blood vessels, bones, cardiac tissue, fat, ligaments, liver tissue, muscles, nerves, or tendons. This versatility makes stem cell therapy particularly beneficial. Stem cells can be used to heal damaged tissue, soothe pain, promote new tissue growth, and reduce inflammation, and, in veterinary medicine, to help improve pets’ range of motion. They have also been shown to have high potential for treating several medical conditions, such as leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood disorders.

How Can Stem Cell Therapy Help Pets?

Stem cell therapy may help reduce lameness and joint pain in pets, and is often used to treat dogs with osteoarthritis. The treatments can be utilized to treat bone/joint injuries, certain spinal cord injuries, and damaged tendons or ligaments. In the future, stem cell therapy may also be used to help pets with chronic diseases, autoimmune troubles, liver and kidney problems, and other health issues.

How Does It Work?

The procedure uses stem cells that are taken from bone marrow, umbilical cord blood, or fat. These cells are then cultivated in a lab, and injected into a certain area. Your furry friend’s own stem cells can be used, but it may also be possible to use the cells of another animal.

Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy

One great thing about stem cell therapy is that it’s very safe. The fact that the therapy typically uses your pet’s own stem cells greatly reduces any risk of rejection. Another benefit is that pets only require minimal recovery care. That said, stem cell therapy is not necessarily the best solution for every dog or cat. Every pet is different, and treatment is always offered on a case-by-case basis. If you think your furry buddy may benefit from stem cell therapy, ask your vet for more information. It never hurts to find out more!

Do you have questions about stem cell therapy for pets? Please contact us, your local East College Park, Saskatchewan pet clinic. We are dedicated to providing excellent veterinary care.

Bunnyproofing Tips

Have you recently decided to adopt a pet rabbit? Good for you! Floppy can make a very cute and charming little pet. One thing that is very important is making sure your home is bunnyproofed. Bunnies are basically tiny, adorable little chewing machines! Read on for some great tips on making your home safe for your pet from a local Saskatoon, Saskatchewan vet.

Dangerous Items

Be sure to store anything potentially dangerous out of paws’ reach. This includes toxic plants; medicine; and plastic bags, wrappers, and ties, just to name a few things. Household chemicals, automotive products, lawn and garden products, such as pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizer, are also dangerous to Floppy. You’ll also want to secure any small or sharp objects, like jewelry pieces, beads, button, tacks, screws, nails, and craft kit pieces.

Furniture Legs/Baseboards

Wooden furniture legs often make a tempting target for bunnies. Use protective coverings to protect wooden furniture legs and baseboards.

Small Openings

Floppy can fit into some pretty small spaces. Many bunnies like to go under beds or couches and nibble at that bottom upholstery. Seal off any open spaces behind or beneath furniture and cabinets.

Personal Items

Keep personal items, like purses, remote controls, shoes, and cell phones, in secure spots your fuzzy little pal can’t reach. Closets can be a gold mine for a bunny, so we recommend keeping closet doors closed.

Carpet

Carpeting is another thing many rabbits like to nibble on. You may want to put mats or area rugs down to protect your carpets.

Wires and Cords

Many bunnies also like to chew on wires and cords. This can be very dangerous! Use taste deterrent or protective casings to cover any wires or cords you can’t put up. You definitely don’t want Floppy chewing on a live wire!

Tips

In addition to bunnyproofing, it’s very important for you to make sure your furry buddy has plenty of safe, suitable chew toys to nibble on. Many wood, wicker, and cardboard items can be upcycled into great bunny playthings. Look online for great DIY ideas. Just avoid giving Floppy anything small or sharp. Items with dangling threats are also on the no-no list, as is anything coated in varnish, paint, glitter, or dye.

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