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The Gift of Health for Your Pet

As you’re shopping for the holiday season, you may ask yourself, “What’s the best gift I can give my pet?” While pet sweaters are cute and can make for adorable holiday cards, we believe the best present a pet parent can gift their pet is a healthy, happy life. When you invest in your pet’s wellbeing, you’re giving the most heartfelt gift a pet could ask for (if they knew how to speak). As a pet parent, you are your pet’s advocate for a better life. You’re like Santa but better--you have the opportunity to make your pet merrier every day of the year.

So, think outside of the gift box this year, and provide your pet with more than can fit under the tree.

1. Provide Your Pet with Plenty of Playtime

Pets need exercise--both physical and mental exercise. If your pet passed puppyhood or kittenhood, don’t give up on play sessions and training sessions. For the holidays, consider purchasing some new toys that encourage physical and mental stimulation. Consider a puzzle bowl for your dog or a puzzle feeder for your cat.

Just for cats: Increase the merriment and reignite the kitten within: catnip is where it’s at. Consider a window cat perch, so your cat can watch the birds and other critters. This will surely bring some extra meowiment to winter.

Just for dogs: Take your dog on a special hike or walk. Choose a place you’ve never explored. The new sights and smells are a priceless gift without a large price tag.

2. A Well-Balanced Diet: An Unbeatable Way to Show Your Love

Proper nutrition is a gift that goes a long way. Your pet’s food forms the foundation for their health. Why else does your pet’s diet matter? One of the leading health issues for pets is obesity. A healthy diet can combat obesity and related health issues.

What does your pet need to stay healthy? Choose a food that exceeds the AAFCO guidelines. Look for meat as the top ingredient and be sure the ingredient list is short and simple. Like people, pets often need a diet designed for their needs. We can make finding the best food for your pet as easy as a quick discussion during your pet’s exam.

3. Don’t Skip Regular Checkups & Preventative Medical Care

When you bring your pet in for a regular checkup, you’re giving her the gift that goes beyond the surface. A wellness exam allows us to screen for health issues, provide your pet with vaccines to protect her health after you leave, and help spot potential health issues. Early detection of diseases can save your pet’s life and save you the added cost of more complex treatments. Early diagnosis and prevention are the equivalents of better prognosis and simplified treatment.

Preventing fleas, ticks, intestinal worms, and heartworms is more than just preventing discomfort. Medications that prevent these pests also block the diseases that come along with them like Lyme disease.

Don’t forget the smile. One of the most commonly overlooked preventative health measures for pets is dental checkups. Skipping dental care can lead to pain and periodontal disease for your pet. And while periodontal disease may not seem serious, it has been linked to many other serious health issues for pets.

4. Protect Your Pet & Ensure Her Safe Return

With New Year’s Eve right around the corner, it’s a great time to check your pet’s microchip contact information and ID tag. If your family welcomed a new pet into your home recently, be sure your pet is chipped and has an ID tag with your phone number and any medical concerns. Many pet parents have their pets microchipped but forget to update the information when they move or change numbers. Others never even register their pets’ chips. Don’t let your pet get left out in the cold this year. Give yourself and your pet the gift of peace of mind, safety, and security.

5. Don’t Forget the Love, Affection, & Attention

The holidays can be stressful--especially this year. Don’t forget to take a little extra time to snuggle, pet, and love on your pet. Petting your cat or dog doesn’t cost a cent and the extra cuddles remind your pet of how amazing they are! Not only will your pet benefit from positive endorphins, but this gift comes with the added bonus of reducing your stress and improving your mood--now, isn’t that better than anything that can be bought on Black Friday?

Happy Holidays!

Unwrap a lifetime of good health for your pet. When you gift your pets with a lifetime of feeling great, your pets will repay the kindness in happy memories, fun, and longer lives. Don’t skip the gifts that matter most. Before Santa arrives, make an appointment for your pet’s wellness exam.

Have a Not-So-Scary October

2020 has been scary enough, so there’s no need for any extra worries this year. To help keep your pets safe this October, we’re offering you our top tricks to keeping the treat in this sweet month.

1. Chocolate, Raisins, and Xylitol

When it comes to trick-or-treating goodies, keep them out of paw’s reach. You likely know that chocolate is poisonous to pups, but did you know that raisins and xylitol, a sugar substitute, are too? It’s true.

What else should every pup parent know about these not-so-sweet treats? There’s no way to predict how sensitive a dog will be to grapes and raisins. Some become extremely ill by eating just a couple of small berries, while others don’t react to them at all. If your neighbors insist on giving out those tiny boxes of raisins, don’t risk having them raided by your dog: raisin poisoning can cause liver failure.

Xylitol is a sweetener typically found in gum and gummies. It’s highly toxic to dogs and can cause them to become very ill, very fast. If a canine consumes this sugar replacement, it can cause permanent organ damage and even be fatal.

What about chocolate? The darker, the more dangerous, but any amount of chocolate can be too hazardous for dogs to eat.

What should you do if your dog eats any of these substances? Give us a call and immediately.

2. Keep Your Pets Away from the Door

Why shouldn’t your pets crowd the door as trick-or-treaters come to make their demands? Your dog or cat may be scared of the costumes, and the noise and excitement of visitors can make pets nervous.

When pets are anxious, escaping out of the front door looks awfully appealing. This is why many cats and dogs wind up at the shelter on Halloween night, a very spooky place for any pet.

Did you adopt a COVID puppy or kitty? Be sure your pet has a shiny new ID tag and consider microchipping them if you haven’t yet done so. If your pet already has a chip, make sure it’s up-to-date with your information.

3. Jack-O-Lanterns and Candles Can Be a Spooky Problem

Many newly-adopted dogs and cats are still learning about the human world, and some lessons can get them into trouble. Even pets that have been with you for years can find themselves in precarious situations during this season.

Something as simple as burning candles and displaying a jack-o-lantern can be a Halloween hazard for pets. For example, while cooked pumpkin is beneficial for dogs to eat, your pup won’t know your carved pumpkin isn’t dinner and may take a nibble of a raw one, go overboard, and get sick. Fall is also when we frequently hear about candles causing burns to pets and even starting fires.

To keep your pet safe, choose battery-powered candles, and keep your jack-o-lantern away from curious noses.

4. Planning to Dress Your Pet in a Cute Costume?

We love all the silly and adorable pet costumes that are popular these days. While these get-ups are cute, they can also become dangerous for pets.

Doggie or kitty dress-up is a great activity when the outfit fits appropriately and doesn’t have choking hazards, but even so, never leave your pet unattended while they are wearing a costume. When wrestling to get garments off, pets can get tangled in ties or pull off buttons, which can quickly become a choking hazard.

When dressing your senior pet, be sure to be gentle. Stretching your pet’s limbs can be painful for pups and cats with arthritis or joint pain.

5. Keep Your Pet Safe from Fall Decor and More

Decorating for Halloween is one of the most fun activities this time of year. As much as we love the aesthetic, dried corn, winter gourds, themed wreaths, and spooky webs or ribbons can create intestinal blockages if a pet eats them. Try to keep these decorations up high on walls or doors, so nobody nibbles them.

Electric cords connected to outdoor inflatables and other decorations can cause severe burns if a curious pet bites into one, and are a fire hazard if they get chewed. Keep cords taped down or secured far from your pet.

Have a Not-So-Scary Halloween This Year!

Have a safe, happy Howl-o-ween! We hope your pet has a warm and cozy fall season. If you need a little help keeping the creepy crawling parasites we see this time of year from coming indoors with your companion, make an appointment to see us today. It’s always a treat to see you and your pet!

Our Mission:

We provide the quality care our clients expect and their pets deserve, by relying on the expertise and
compassion of each team member.

 
 
 

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Westgate Pet Clinic
4345 France Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55410
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