Wednesday, 29 July 2015

When Does Your Dog Need a Bath?


While most dogs are less than enthusiastic about bath time, bathing can play an important part in your pet's overall well being and happiness. In addition to improving coat and skin health, brushing and scrubbing can help to keep your pet free of dirt and parasites. Regular bathing can also give you the chance to check your pet for unusual lumps, bumps or cuts that you may not have noticed otherwise.

There are no hard and fast rules about how often to give your pet a bath, but most recommend two or three times a month as a baseline. However, ultimately bathing frequency will depend on a variety of factors, including environment, coat type, activity levels and any existing skin issues. If you have an indoor pet, you may not need to bathe them as frequently to keep them smelling fresh. However, regular grooming can help to minimize unwanted shedding, and can reduce the number of allergens in your home. Outdoor dogs with high activity levels, or pets that spend a lot of time running through thick underbrush may need to be cleaned more frequently, especially since they are much more prone to picking up parasites.

Coat type can also be an important factor. Dogs with more oily coats may benefit from more frequent baths, but too much shampooing can wreak havoc on the coats of pets with fine or dry hair. While Basset Hounds, with their dense, oily fur, may need a bath nearly weekly, short-haired breeds and dogs with water-repellent coats needn't be bathed as frequently. In fact, shampooing too frequently can strip the water-repelling oils from the coats of certain types of dogs, including Golden and Labrador Retrievers, Malamutes, Great Pyrenees, and Samoyeds and other working breeds. Whatever your pet's coat type, remember that washing too frequently can leave him or her prone to frizzy, dried out hair, which can lead to dandruff, matting, or irritation. Dogs with especially sensitive skin may benefit from specially medicated shampoos, which should be available in most well-stocked pet stores.

You should also keep in mind that shampoos intended for human use are not appropriate for pets: even baby shampoos or brands that are pH balanced. Dogs have skin that is much thinner, lacks sweat glands and has a different pH profile. You should avoid any shampoos that are heavily perfumed, since they can easily cause an allergic reaction. Finally, always make sure to rinse your pet's fur thoroughly, especially if your dog has long or thick fur, since shampoo residue can cause irritation. If you're not sure about your particular pet, your veterinarian should be able to give you recommendations. Click here for more information on a veterinary clinic in San Jose.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Top 5 Rodent Pets


Inquisitive, active, and often surprisingly intelligent, many types of rodents make excellent companions. These five pint-sized pets are among the most popular in the U.S.

1. Hamsters

With their big eyes, stubby tails and stocky bodies, hamsters are one of the most common types of rodent pets. Hamsters are highly active, and love running though tunnels, playing with chew toys, and hitting the exercise wheel.

2. Rats

While they get a lot of bad press, rats are among the most intelligent rodent pets. Not only can they learn tricks, many of them are extremely affectionate, and will even come to their owner when called by name.

3. Degus

Also known as brush-tailed rats, adorable degus are intelligent and personable. Unlike many other rodents, which are primarily nocturnal, degus are active during the day, and highly vocal. While less common than their cousins, these pets do have the advantage of living longer than domestic rats (6-8 years vs. 2-3).

4. Chinchillas

Cute, cuddly and curious, chinchillas are relatively long-lived, with an average lifespan of 8-10 years. They are a bit more skittish than other rodents, but can be affectionate when handled gently from an early age. These pets keep clean by rolling energetically in finely ground pumice, much like their wild Chilean relatives.

A Rare and Beautiful Breed

This gorgeous, rare Carolina dog is North America’s oldest canine species and shares genes with the Australian Dingo and New Guinea Singing Dog. The social hierarchy rules of this breed make it a better fit for veteran dog owners.

Pets That Are Illegal in California


One of the best parts about having a pet is choosing which one you want. There are the classic cat and dog options, cute and furry rodents, a colorful assortment of fish and birds, cool reptiles and amphibians, and exotic creatures from around the world. However, for you Californians, these animals are illegal to own as pets, making your job of choosing just a little bit easier:

  • African clawed frog
  • African lion
  • African pygmy mouse
  • African striped grass mouse (zebra mouse)
  • Alligator
  • Arctic fox (blue fox)
  • Cacomistle (cacomixl),a relative of the raccoon
  • Caimin, a relative of the crocodile
  • Chimpanzee
  • Chipmunk
  • Coatimundi(coati or Brazilian aardvark), also a relative of the raccoon
  • Degu (trumpet-tailed rat)
  • Dormouse
  • Egyptian spiny mouse
  • Fennec  fox
  • Ferret
  • Flying squirrel
  • Gambian giant pouched rat
  • Garfish
  • Gerbil
  • Hedgehog
  • Jird, a type of gerbil
  • Monkparakeet  (Quaker parrot)
  • Monkey
  • Prairie dog
  • Raccoon
  • Ring-tailed cat (miner’s cat), a subspecies of the cacomistle
  • Serval, an African wildcat
  • Short-tailed opossum
  • Skunk
  • Snapping turtle
  • Squirrel
  • Sugar glider, a possum that can glide through the air like a flying squirrel
  • White-eye (zosterops), a yellow bird with a white ring around the eye
  • Wolf-dog hybrid

Too cute: Disney's Doc McStuffins Opens a Pet Vet!

If you have dog-loving wee ones at home, prepare for some super-cute TV programming: Disney's beloved Doc more

Most Popular Rabbit Breeds


Adorable and full of personality, rabbits make great pets. While many people keep them outdoors in specialized hutches, plenty of species are easily house trained, and make excellent indoor companions.

Mini Rex

The Mini Rex is a smaller version of the larger Rex rabbit. Highly intelligent, personable and sporting a thick velvety coat of short, plush fur, this rabbit has gained quite a lot of popularity over recent years. Rex rabbits come in a range of colors, including solid black, gray, or agouti, as well as patterned variations.


Tiny and irresistibly fuzzy, Lionhead rabbits weigh only about 4 pounds, and seem to be mostly made of fur. These popular "pocket pets" can be a bit skittish, but have a gentle personality and are always happy to play.

Dutch Rabbit

Dutch rabbits are one of the oldest domesticated rabbits, and are, in fact, native to Holland. While the most common coat coloration is black and white, some rabbits sport brown, blue-gray or tortoiseshell fur. Laid-back and serene, these pets thrive on human interaction.

Netherland Dwarf

This dwarf rabbit is among the smallest breeds, and they come in a wide range of colors. A popular show pet, the Netherland dwarf makes an excellent family companion as well. However, they are high-energy, and should be given plenty of opportunity to run and play.

New Zealand White

The New Zealand White is a large, sweet-tempered rabbit that is easy to care for. Typically happy to be handled, these animals make a good "beginner bunny" for families, and are known for their social and outgoing behavior. Visit this website for more information on a rabbit vet in San Jose.

A Bored Bunny Becomes a Bad Bunny

Your bunny is a smart creature that needs and enjoys mental stimulation just as much as other pets recognized for their intelligence do. Keeping your bunny mentally entertained through engaging activities can prevent bad behaviors such as excessive chewing.

How to Keep Your Rabbit Cool in the Heat

Bunnies need to stay cool in temperatures above 80 degrees, especially young, old, long-haired, and lop-eared rabbits. Here are some simple ways to keep your fluffy friend from getting heat stroke:

  • Keep the blinds closed.

  • Set the AC below 80 and remember to keep it on when you are away from the house.

  • If you don’t have an AC, get a swamp cooler or window AC unit.

  • Create your own cold air by hanging a damp sheet on the pen or cage and place an oscillating fan (so the air doesn’t directly hit your bunny) nearby.

  • Arrange a living space in a cool location, like the basement.

  • Freeze water in plastic bottles or use boxy ice packs for your bunny to cuddle with to cool down. Some rabbits prefer the frozen block to be wrapped in a towel or blanket so it’s not as hard, wet, and cold. Just make sure your bunny doesn’t try to eat the cloth.

  • Buy ceramic tiles for a cool area your bunny can lie down on. Another idea is to fill a bag with ice, put it on a dish, and cover it with a terra cotta lid.

  • Dampen your rabbit’s ears with your hands or a towel.

  • Set out ice cubes in a bowl of water for drinking or wading in.

  • Freeze diluted fruit juice or chopped fruits or herbs in water for a cool treat.

  • Groom your rabbit’s coat of excess hair.

  • Sunglasses.

Secrets to Good Feline Health

Monday morning arrives and your normally less-than-sunny co-worker is all smiles in her enthusiasm to share her exciting more

How to Cat Proof Your House


Before you pick the perfect feline for your family, you must prepare your home so it is a safe place for your pawed pet to live in and explore. Follow these steps to cat proof your house.

  • Put the toilet lid down so your cat doesn’t fall in. Young, old, and injured cats are susceptible to drowning.

  • Keep medications and toxic cleaners in a secure place and get rid of poisonous plants. If your cat is allowed outside or in the garage, lock up lawn and garden chemicals, paint, pest poisons, and antifreeze.

  • Install child-proof latches on all the cabinets and drawers in the house.

  • Don’t display fragile objects. If they get knocked over and break, your kitty may step or chew on the shattered pieces.

  • Put the trash away. Keep trash bags and other plastic bags in a safe place because they are suffocation risks.

  • Unplug and bundle electrical cords and keep curtain and blinds cords out of reach.

  • Make sure your screen doors and window screens are sturdy so your cat can’t get out.

  • Check the dryer, dresser drawers, and other dark places for your cat before closing them. Keep them closed so your cat can’t hide inside.

  • Remove tablecloths and table settings to prevent a curious kitty from making a messy, dangerous disaster.

  • Avoid using candles. Your cat can easily catch on fire or knock the candles down.

  • Properly store yarn, floss, fishing line, rubber bands, and other string-like items so your kitty doesn’t eat them.

Your cat will be healthy and happy in such a safe environment with loving people. To learn more about a veterinarian for cats in San Jose, visit this website.

Add Years to Your Dog’s Life

Some simple things that add years to your beloved dog’s life include physical activity, social connections with other dogs, affection, a clean home free of toxic chemicals, proper oral care, and annual more

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

How Much Should I Be Exercising My Dog?

The amount of exercise your dog needs will depend on its breed and size. However, all dogs do need to participate in some type of exercise during the day. If a dog is not walking enough and is constantly stuck inside the home without much space to roam around, it may become obese, which could lead to several other serious health problems that are avoidable.

Getting on an Exercise Plan

Although you do not have to spend six or seven hours straight playing with your dog, get into a routine to ensure that your pup is getting enough exercise. Consider going for a 30-60 minute walk in the morning and then going for an additional 30-60 minute walk at night. While you are at home with your pet, consider trying a few of these other activities between the walks that would also help with exercise:

  • Frisbee
  • Fetch
  • Hide and seek with a treat
  • Tug of war

How Will the Exercise Help?

If your dog is active, it will stay in shape instead of becoming obese. Active dogs tend to be a lot healthier than those that never get to go on walks or run around. You may notice an improvement in your pet’s behavior after you start following an exercise plan. Dogs that participate in physical activities often have an easier time falling asleep instead of staying up at night too. Speak with a veterinarian in Scotts Valley to learn more about the benefits of exercise for your pet.

Cat People vs Dog People

Virtually any discussion among pet owners is bound to reveal clearly that there are cat people and there are more

Make Your Home Safe for Your Pets

Avoid accidents by pet-proofing your home. Never leave out any kind of food that is not safe for pets to consume, such as onions, chocolate and garlic. Use a baby gate to keep pets out of certain rooms when you are more

Friday, 26 June 2015

It’s Flea Season: What to Do to Protect Your Pets

Fleas are pests that can be very bothersome to your pets, and they can even cause problems for your household’s human residents. Fortunately, there are some simple but effective things you can do to help your pets stay flea free.

Keeping your pet’s bedding clean is a great proactive step to take. Regularly vacuum it, along with any other areas where your pet spends a lot of time. Be sure to empty the vacuum bag or dirt container afterwards though, because flea eggs can continue to thrive despite being vacuumed up.

It’s also wise to keep your exterior property well groomed, especially if your pet goes outside frequently. Fleas like to stay in areas of high humidity that are out of direct sunlight. With that in mind, you may need to treat lawn structures like benches and tables with solutions that repel fleas.

Keep all shrubs, trees and grassy areas well trimmed. Also, go a step further and make sure you don’t have any items on your property that could attract creatures like rodents. They can carry fleas, and if you have things like open garbage containers that could be inviting for those animals, the flea population in your yard may go up as well.

Your veterinarian will also have several suggestions for ways to prevent your pets from getting infested with fleas. It’s still easy to find flea collars at your local pet or grocery store, but if you’re looking for a more updated option that’s probably more effective, ask your veterinarian about topical treatments. They are usually applied at a pet’s hairline in a specific place such as the base of the neck. Just a few drops that are correctly applied to the coat can keep a pet free of fleas for weeks.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

What to Feed Your Guinea Pig for Optimal Health

Just like you, your guinea pig possesses specific nutritional requirements and should be fed with care. Most importantly, it is important to make sure that your guinea pig is getting the nutrients it needs from a varied balanced diet. Below are some of the most important aspects of a guinea pig’s safe diet.


Hay is an essential part of your guinea pigs digestive health, and they should have access to an unlimited amount. However, not all hay is created equal, and you should carefully select what you feed them. Most importantly, you should be purchasing green hay and not yellow. Yellow is likely straw, which could harm your pig. Timothy is the most beneficial type of hay and can be eaten in unlimited quantities. You may also select from a range of other hays for variety, but you need to purchase them in moderation.

Fresh Veggies

It is also important to feed your guinea pig fresh vegetables on a daily basis. While it is important to provide a variety of vegetables, green leafy veggies like lettuce, spinach and kale are the most beneficial. You can also occasionally feed your pet forages such as broccoli and parsley. Most importantly, you must feed your pig fresh vegetables and not wilted or rotting items.

Pig Pellets

Finally, pig pellets are an important part of your guinea pigs diet. However, you must give them in moderation as they are high in energy, and large quantities could result in an overweight or obese guinea pig. It is important to look for pellets high in vitamin C, as this is an important part of a guinea pig’s diet.

These are the 3 safest types of food for guinea pigs. While you can add variety with other foods, it is important to do so in moderation to prevent health problems. For information on an emergency vet in San Jose, click here.

High Cost of Cat's Weird Meals

Rocks, balls and even rugs have ended up inside dogs, cats and other pets, sometimes with more

When is it Time to Get Your Pet's Nails Trimmed?


Just like human fingernails, dog nails and cat claws grow constantly. Nails wear down naturally through play and walking, so there’s not always a need to trim them. Sometimes though, you’ll need to intervene.

Factors That Can Impact Nail and Claw Length

There are several things that can play a role in how long nails and claws get, including:

  • Physical activity level
  • Breed
  • The pet’s age

Determining the Appropriate Time for a Trim

When a dog’s nails are too long, they’ll make a clicking noise when the canine walks on hard surfaces. Also, nails that are the proper length should not touch the ground when the pet is standing, nor protrude over the toe pads.

Unlike the noise you might hear when a dog with overgrown nails walks on hard floors, there’s not usually a similar audible cue with cats. Instead, watch your cat carefully to see if the claws are repeatedly getting snagged on soft surfaces like carpet, or even your clothes. If your can feel your cat’s claws when it is sitting on your lap, that’s another sign it might be time for a trim.

Why Trimming is Important

A dog with overgrown claws may be prone to infections that can cause pain and other complications. Similarly, a cat may find that the claws turn back on themselves and puncture the paw pads. To learn more about a veterinary clinic in San Jose, visit this website.

DIY Eat: Juice Pulp Dog Treats

If you’ve jumped on the juicing bandwagon, you’re enjoying amazing, fresh, homemade juices, but likely wondering: isn’t there more

Protecting Your Cat With Important Vaccinations

When you bring your new adorable kitten home, he or she instantly becomes a part of your family, and you want your cat to live a long healthy life. Vaccinations are an important part of supporting your cat’s longevity. Overall, veterinarians agree that there is a set of core vaccinations that are important to all cats, and it is important that you complete them when recommended.

Panleukopenia Vaccine

Panleukopenia or feline distemper is highly contagious among cats and kittens as well as raccoons and minks. It can result in vomiting, fever and other symptoms. The disease is most harmful to young kittens and can result in serious life threatening symptoms. You should have your kitten vaccinated within their first year of life.


Rhinotracheitisand Calicivirus are respiratory diseases that are easily spread throughout the feline community. Once infected, your cat will be a lifetime carrier and will demonstrate symptoms intermittently during their life. The disease can eventually become fatal if respiratory issues increase. For example, Calcivirus can result in pneumonia. This vaccination should also be given within the first year of life.

Cat Mood by Tail


Tell the mood of your cat by observing how its tail is moving. For example, its tail will look similar when it is aggressive or submissive, but will be slightly different at a closer look.

Keep Your Chinchilla Health and Happy With Regular Baths

Chinchillas require very specific and unique care that differs from other household pets. In particular, you cannot give your chinchilla a water bath like other pets because their heavy coats are impossible to air dry and can produce fungus and fur erosion. Below is some important information on how to bathe your pet.

Purchasing Dust

In the wild, volcanic rocks are eroded into dust, which chinchillas collect in their fur. The dust then absorbs dirt, oils and other particles, leaving the fur clean. Because the dust found in the wild is unique, it is important that you purchase the appropriate dust from a respected retailer. The dust should be collected naturally and contain no added chemicals that could harm your pet.

Selecting a Container

When looking for a container for your chinchilla’s bath, you can use a non-tipping bowl or deep dish. However, a fish bowl or a specifically designed bathing house may be more adequate. Your chinchilla is likely going to bathe excitedly, and you want to prevent a larger mess than necessary. Therefore, a more enclosed container will keep your home cleaner.

Dogs Can Read That Smile On Your Face

When you and I look at a photograph of a human face, we can easily recognize the emotional state of the person pictured by their more

How Much Exercise Should Your Dog Be Getting?

Adequate exercise is essential for your dog to enjoy good health, but it also has an impact on daily behavioral patterns. If a dog isn’t exercised enough, he or she may dig holes, destroy items or bark excessively to cope with excessive energy and boredom.

Characteristics That Can Determine a Necessary Amount of Exercise

There are many things that can play a role in how much exercise your dog needs to be healthy and happy, such as:

  • Age
  • Breed
  • Overall health

General Rules of Thumb

Usually, it’s not sufficient to take a lap or two around the block and call it a day. Instead, your pet probably needs at least 30-60 minutes of exercise each day. Active breeds, such as Portuguese Water Dogs, Shetland Sheepdogs and Dalmatians, need at least 30 minutes of hard aerobic exercise, preferably on a daily basis.

Abyssinian Guinea Pig on a Lettuce Leaf


A tiny Abyssinian guinea pig is sitting on a lettuce leaf. This breed of guinea pigs has its own recommended care guide, breeds and interesting fur colors.

Monday, 15 June 2015

A Dog Will Improve Your Quality of Life

Everyone knows that a dog is man’s best friend, but is a dog the right pet for you and your family? Considering how many millions of animals end up in animal shelters every year, it’s important to research the responsibilities of ownership and what you can expect when you welcome on into your home. Here are some great reasons why you might want to own one of these great pets.

Dogs are loyal and protective. Since they are naturally social animals, their emotional bond to you is a strong and lifelong one. You will always be the most important thing in your dog’s life. This is why these animals provide such great companionship; you are never alone, from a fishing trip to a quiet evening at home.

Dogs encourage people to interact with each other, too. They can enhance your social life by making it easier for others to approach and talk to you. Many clubs and public areas like parks are specifically for people who own pooches to meet and socialize.

Since these animals need to get outside and walk, you will also increase your activity level and get more exercise. Not only can this improve your health and agility, but you will have more fun in your life while doing it because they are comical and love to play when they are outside. Along with that, they help you to relax and reduce stress. They comfort you when you are upset, and encourage leisure enjoyment of life.  Studies have shown that dog owners had lower blood pressure and fewer heart attacks. This is probably a combination of extra exercise and stress reduction. They are known to enhance self-esteem, confidence, and mental acuity. Having a companion around that never judges you, allows you to lead, and keeps you motivated can be a major mental boost.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Protect Your Dogs From Ticks

With tick season upon us, we spoke to Bruce Kornreich, Associate Director for Education and Outreach at the Cornell Feline Health Center, to learn the fine points of tick more

What is Tick-Borne Illness?


Each year, thousands of dogs are infected with a variety of preventable illnesses and parasites because of contact with ticks. Many of these tick-borne illnesses range are relatively minor health issues that can be handled by most vets with a simple treatment regimen. There are some that are more serious, though, as well as a variety of illnesses that are usually no big deal, but that can become more serious if they are complicated by other health issues.

Types of Illnesses

The following are a sampling of the more common types of illness that can be contracted by dogs through tick infestation.

  • Lyme disease
  • Canine Ehrlichiosis
  • Anaplasmosis
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

These tick-borne illnesses are very different from each other, but they have some overlapping symptoms that can help you to recognize when to seek veterinary attention. Most notably, loss of appetite and either swelling or stiffness at the joints are both common symptoms in a variety of tick-related conditions.

Human Transmission

None of these conditions are directly contagious from dogs to humans, but ticks can transfer themselves from the pet to the owner, and some tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease can affect humans who are bitten. The regular use of an effective tick prevention medication can keep your dog safe from infestation, making it that much easier to ensure your own safety while out and about.

Ticks are becoming more prevalent in many areas of the United States, making regular prevention important in all climates. To learn more about tick prevention and canine health, check out this vet website.

Why good nutrition matters

W. Jean Dodds, DVM, founder of Hemopet, the first nonprofit national blood bank program for animals, has built much of her considerable reputation on her work in the more

Thursday, 11 June 2015

How to Prevent Parvo

Parvo is one of the most contagious and deadly diseases that your dog can come into contact with. While the sickness only affects canines, the virus can be transmitted environmentally, as well as by contact with humans and other animals that have been exposed to it. The most common route of exposure is contact with infected canine feces.

The only totally foolproof way to prevent parvo is to get your dog vaccinated, and to keep up with any necessary boosters on time. No other method is as effective at preventing infection. At the same time, though, puppies have to reach a certain age to be eligible for some vaccinations, so it is important to know how to reduce exposure risks until your dog is old enough to be properly vaccinated.

Reducing Risk

Follow these steps to help keep your pup parvo-free until he or she can be vaccinated.

  • Limit unvaccinated canines’ exposure to other dogs, especially if you do not know their vaccination status. This includes dog-heavy environments like pet stores.
  • When visiting the vet, remember to keep your puppy in your arms so that you can remain in control of how much environmental exposure you have. Wrapping the pup in a blanket can help minimize risk.
  • If you regularly come into contact with other dogs, wash and change your clothes before handling an unvaccinated puppy.