All posts by James

Fido’s Furry Feet

Does your dog know cute paw tricks, like Shake or Gimme Five? These charming tricks will never stop being adorable. Of course, Fido’s paws are crucial to his health and well-being. A local Roanoke, VA vet offers some ‘pawesome’ tips on caring for your furry buddy’s feet in this article. 

Claw

Keeping your dog’s claws clipped is very important! Overgrown claws can easily snag and tear on things. Plus, they’re uncomfortable for Fido to walk on. Your pup may carry his weight differently as a result, which will strain his bones and joints. Many people are (understandably) uneasy about cutting their pets’ nails themselves. You may want to get a clipper with sensors. These will indicate where to cut, so you won’t have to worry about hurting your pet. Your vet can also show you proper techniques. Of course, you can always just call us to schedule a quick nail trim. 

Massage

Dogs use their paws as shock absorbers. Fido’s feet take all the impact from those jumps and happy dances! Treat your canine buddy to a gentle paw massage on occasion. 

Hacks

Does Fido hate giving you his feet? Teach your pooch that he’ll get a yummy snack for letting you handle them. This can have a miraculous effect on your cute pet’s opinion on pawdicures! 

Toe Fur

Those toe fur tufts are cute, but it’s best to clip them. They can gather gunk, like mud and gum, and form mats, which can be quite uncomfortable. 

Inspection

Get into the habit of checking Fido’s feet regularly. This is easy to work into cuddle time! You’ll want to look for things like swelling, cuts, and abrasions. If you spot anything unusual, or notice your four-legged friend licking or biting his paws, contact your vet. 

Surfaces

Your furry pal’s feet are very sensitive. Fido can get painful blisters by running around on hot tar or asphalt. Ice, salt, sand, and chemical de-icing agents can also cause burns and abrasions. Keep your pooch on soft ground as much as possible, especially when it’s hot or cold out.

Paw Pads

Dogs’ paw pads can get dry, cracked, and irritated, just like human skin. Use paw balm or wax to protect and moisturize your canine companion’s paws. Vaseline will also work. 

Please call us, your Roanoke, VA pet clinic, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help.

Adopting a Shelter Dog

October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. If you’re ready to bring a new pet into your life, please consider going through a shelter. This is a great way to find Fido! Read on as a local Roanoke, VA vet offers some advice on adopting a shelter dog.

Benefits

There are some truly great reasons to get your canine companion from a shelter. First and foremost, you’ll be saving a life, and giving Fido another chance at happiness. That’s a beautiful thing, and an experience many people find very rewarding. You’ll also be able to choose your pet from a variety of adorable pooches. Another thing to feel great about? You’ll be promoting good animal welfare and helping the shelter provide care for other homeless pets. Last but not least, you may also find that going through a shelter is easy on the wallet, at least in comparison to going through a pet store or breeder.

Finding Fido

Choosing a pet is a huge decision. After all, you’re making a commitment to caring for Fido for the rest of his life. While sometimes you only need to glance at a pup to know you’ve found your new pet, at other times, it can be tough choosing the right dog. Spend some time with your canine pal, and make sure it’s a good fit.

Preparation

Before you bring Fido home, you’ll need to do some shopping. Your list should include bedding, toys, treats, dishes, grooming supplies, waste baggies, leashes, a collar, and a pet first-aid kit. You’ll also want to go through your house, and make sure that everything is safe for your pooch. Remove or secure anything that could be dangerous. This includes things like toxic plants, chemicals, medication, and anything small or sharp. If you have a yard, make sure that the fencing is secure.

Tail Wags

It’s always heartwarming to see how happy and excited dogs get when they realize they’ve been adopted. However, it can take time for them to really realize that they are safe, and that things will be okay. Give Fido time to settle in. Talk to him, play with him, and offer toys and treats, but don’t force attention on him. You’ll be getting tail wags and affectionate smooches in no time!

Do you have questions about adopting a shelter pup? Contact us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, today!

Fluffy’s Life Goals

Many of our feline friendshave it pretty easy in life. Fluffy gets to spend the majority of her time basically lounging around, meowing orders at her humans, eating, and looking cute. Talk about a charmed life! However, if your cat had a specific ‘purrpose’ to strive for, what do you think she would strive for? A local Roanoke, VA vet goes over some of Fluffy’s life goals in this article.

Become A Master Napper

Did you know that senior cats can spend as much as 20 hours a day sleeping? That’s pretty impressive! Of course, Fluffy will spend a good chunk of her life practicing. She’ll also work on mastering specific positions, such as the Pretzel and the Backsprawl.

Control The Humans

Many of our feline overlords really do have their owners wrapped around their little paws. Does your kitty have you trained to feed or pet her whenever she cries? Does your house look like a luxury palace for a cat? If not, Fluffy may still be working on this one!

World Domination

We know, it’s a bit of a jump to go from training you to feed her on demand to complete domination. Could your innocent little pet be plotting to take over the universe? We’re not sure, but given that Fluffy did convince the ancient Egyptians to consider her a deity, it’s a definite possibility.

Become A Ferocious Hunter

Cats are always super cute when they are being playful. However, all that pouncing, scratching, and jumping your kitty does isn’t for nothing. Fluffy is a ferocious predator by nature, and she will never stop thinking of herself as a lion or tiger. (Your pet may only be hunting dust bunnies, but that’s besides the point.) Perfecting that pounce would definitely make Fluffy’s bucket list.

Get Rid Of The Dog

Some of our feline patients are actually quite close to their canine roommates. Others? Not so much. Given the option, we suspect Fluffy wouldn’t hesitate to lock Fido out of the house … for good!

Master Teleportation

Have you ever thought your kitty was in one spot, only to find her unexpectedly somewhere else? We can’t confirm, but we do suspect that Fluffy has been secretly working on teleportation.

Please reach out to us, your local Roanoke, VA vet clinic, for all of your furry friend’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!

Signs of Pain in Dogs

September is Animal Pain Awareness Month. This is one area where it can at times be difficult to read our canine friends. After all, Fido can’t tell you if something hurts! That’s why it’s important to know how to recognize signs of pain in your furry best friend. A local Roanoke, VA vet lists a few common ones in this article.

Limping

When limping is caused by an injury, you may see obvious signs, such as a wound or swelling. However, limping can also be a sign of developing issues, such as arthritis. In the latter case, your pet may at first just limp when he gets up. However, over time, the limp will get worse.

Stiffness

If your canine pal is hurting, he may not be as mobile or flexible as he once was. He might have trouble getting up or down, climbing stairs, or getting in or out of the car.

Reduced Interest In Play

Dogs are very playful when they are puppies, but they do naturally slow down with age. However, if your cute pet has suddenly lost interest in his favorite toys, there could be something wrong.

No Appetite

If we know one thing about our canine buddies, it’s that they have very healthy appetites. If Fido just isn’t interested in his dinner, there may be something going on with him.

Vocalizing

Unusual vocalizations are another red flag. If Fido is whining or whimpering, when he usually just barks, he might not be feeling well.

Lethargy/Listlessness

Being sick can really do a number on your energy levels. This is true for both people and pets. If Fido is suddenly spending most of his time sleeping, he could be sick. You may also notice a drop in activity levels. For instance, your furry friend may lag behind on his walks, instead of lunging for that squirrel.

Licking

Dogs often lick or bite at sore spots. If your four-legged buddy seems to be worrying at a specific area, he may be reacting to pain.

Behavioral Changes

Withdrawal can also be an indication of pain. Fido may also shy away from being touched, especially in areas that are hurting him. He may also act grouchy.

Please reach out if ever we can be of assistance. As your local Roanoke, VA vet clinic, we are dedicated to helping you keep your pet happy and healthy!

4 Ways to Make Vet Visits Easier on Fluffy

August 22nd is Take Your Cat To The Vet Day! We know, most kitties would rather stay home and take yet another nap. Cats can get very nervous at their doctors’. We understand this! We know that strange smells and sounds, combined with the scents and presence of other pets, can be a lot for a little furball. We do all we can to make Fluffy’s appointments easy on her, but there are also things you can do. Read on as a local Roanoke, VA vet offers some advice on making veterinary appointments easy on your feline buddy.

Make The Car Ride Comfy

Although our canine patients usually enjoy car rides, cats are generally much less enthusiastic about them. In fact, for many of our feline pals, the ride itself is more distressing than the appointment. When you have Fluffy in the car, avoid bumpy routes, and try not to start or stop too suddenly. It will also help to crack a window, so your furball always gets some fresh air. Playing the radio softly can also keep your kitty cool. If your furry friend gets extremely nervous, ask your vet about using cat-calming products, like treats and collars. These can really help soothe uneasy pets.

Choose Fear Free

We’re happy to declare our commitment to being Fear Free. That means we take every possible precaution to make appointments easier on our feline friends. This entails doing things like minimizing waiting time, using gentle handling techniques, and making our waiting room as comfy as possible for kitties. These small steps can really add up!

Cozy Carrier

Does your feline friend run for her favorite hiding spot as soon as she sees her carrier? Make it less threatening to her by leaving it out between appointments. Adding comfy bedding and perhaps some fun toys to it will also help. You can also give Fluffy treats, catnip, and attention near the carrier.

Don’t Skip Appointments

Don’t wait until your cat is ill or scratching with fleas to bring her in. Keep up with your furry pal’s preventative and wellness care. This will help keep Fluffy safe from many parasites and diseases. Regular exams also increase the chances of issues being diagnosed early on. Early treatment is always beneficial!

Please contact us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, for all your cat’s veterinary care needs.

Your Pet’s Nutrition

Everyone knows that nutrition is essential for a healthy life. That’s as true for your pet as it is for you. As it turns out, the kind of nutrients that your pet needs are largely the same as the ones you do! Below, your Roanoke, VA veterinarian elaborates on the basic elements of your pet’s nutritional needs.

Protein

Protein is extremely important for your dog or cat because it’s the basic building block for every bodily tissue. Diets made for puppies and kittens tend to be very high in protein, since young pets need a lot of protein as their muscles and tissues develop. Pregnant mother pets are also sometimes prescribed a high-protein diet, as the extra boost of protein can help them deliver their litters safely.

Carbs

Your pet’s digestive system breaks down carbohydrates from food into glucose, a simple sugar that acts as the fuel for your pet’s body. So, carbohydrates provide energy for just about everything your pet does. That’s why most pet foods contain things like potatoes and rice—these kind of high-carbohydrate foods are great for providing energy and keeping your pet going.

It’s also worth noting that fiber, a type of carbohydrate, is another important nutrient that your pet needs. It slows the absorption level of sugar into your pet’s bloodstream, thereby regulating glucose levels. Fiber also helps your pet to feel full after they’ve eaten, which is why many weight-loss diets contain a lot of fiber.

Fats

It’s easy to think of fat as exclusively a bad thing, but that’s not true. In fact, your pet needs the right amount of healthy fats in their diet, just like you do. Fat provides your pet with energy. Plus, the fat that your pet’s body doesn’t use right away is stored as a reserve and used when your pet needs it. Pets that are more high-activity, such as a working farm dog, will need more fat in the diet than pets who are low-key by comparison.

Vitamins and Minerals

Don’t forget that your pet also needs the right vitamins and minerals, plus fatty acids and amino acids, for good health. Make sure that your pet’s diet contains the right vitamins and minerals for their needs—check with your veterinarian about your pet’s current food to make sure it’s up to par.

Do you have questions about your pet’s nutrition? Contact your Roanoke, VA veterinary clinic.

5 Ways to Keep Your Dog’s Skin Healthy

Your skin is your body’s largest organ. The same is true for your dog! So, it makes sense that keeping your canine companion’s skin in good shape is the right thing to do. Read on for five tips from a Roanoke, VA veterinarian on keeping Fido’s skin healthy.

Feed the Proper Diet

One of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your dog’s skin healthy is to feed them a great diet. What your dog eats has a lot to do with how his skin and fur looks and feels! When Fido is receiving the proper nutrients through food, the skin and hair follicles stay healthy. Poor nutrition, on the other hand, makes for dry skin and a coarse, dull coat of fur. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation on a great food choice for your pooch.

Groom Your Pup

Regular grooming is another simple way to make sure your dog’s skin stays healthy. Brushing your dog ensures that grime and dirt is removed from the coat and doesn’t start to irritate the skin. And the occasional bath is a great way to keep the skin clean and moisturized. Just make sure not to bathe Fido too frequently, because this can backfire and wind up drying out the skin and coat.

Protect Against the Sun

Just like you, too much exposure to the sun isn’t a good thing for your dog’s skin. Dogs can get sunburnt just as easily as you can! It’s not likely to happen on areas of the body that are covered by thick fur, but it can easily occur on areas with thin fur or no fur at all, like the bridge of the nose or edges of the ears. If your dog will be spending time outdoors, try applying a canine-specific sunscreen.

Keep Up With Preventatives

Of course, a flea or tick infestation isn’t good for your dog’s skin, or their health in general. Prevent the problem entirely by keeping your dog up to date on a heartworm preventative and a flea and tick medication. Call your veterinarian if your dog is in need of these medications.

Schedule Veterinary Checkups

Last but not least, having your vet evaluate your dog’s skin and fur health on a regular basis is a fantastic way to give yourself peace of mind. Schedule your pooch’s next office visit with your Roanoke, VA animal hospital. We’re here to help!

Cold Treats for Fluffy

Does your kitty rub against your legs when she wants you to feed her? Does Fluffy pay extra close attention when she notices that you’re eating something she likes? Cats are much more finicky than dogs are, but that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy treats. In fact, your feline pal may also appreciate having some cold snacks when it’s really hot out. A local Roanoke, VA vet suggests a few purrfect ones below.

Cold Dinner

Keep some plain canned tuna in water in the fridge, and offer Fluffy some on sweltering days. You can also do this with unseasoned, canned chicken, turkey, shrimp, crabmeat, or boneless salmon. Your furball may also enjoy a bit of cold deli meat.

Broth

Sodium-free meat, fish, or chicken broth is a great treat for kitties. It contains electrolytes, which is good for helping Fluffy stay hydrated. You can give your furry buddy a chilled bowl as a treat. Or, freeze small amounts of broth in ice cube trays, and give your furball one or two at a time.

Kitty Snow-Cone

Pour some tuna juice or wet cat food over shaved ice. You can also mix it together in a blender. Think of this as the kitty version of a milkshake!

Ice Cube

Some cats enjoy licking ice cubes. Go ahead and put one on a plate for your kitty. Don’t be surprised if she chooses to bat at it instead. Fluffy’s adorable ‘toe beans’ help her regulate her temperature. Therefore, playing ice cube hockey will both entertain your pet and help her stay cool.

Catsicles

Get a few cans of wet food with a high moisture content, and add water or sodium-free broth to thin it out even more. Then, freeze some in small portions. You can use bottlecaps to portion them out. Offer your furry pal a few pieces when it gets hot.

Feline Ice Cream

While real ice cream isn’t good for kitties, you can make your feline buddy her own. You can use frozen yogurt or cat milk, which you can find in many pet stores, as a base. Add things like tuna; cooked meat, fish, or poultry; bits of kibble; catnip; and/or organic baby food. Just be sure to stick to ingredients that are safe for your feline friend.

Please contact us, your local Roanoke, VA vet clinic, anytime. We’re dedicated to offering great veterinary care.

Taking Your Dog to Work… At Home

June 26th  is Take Your Dog To Work Day. Of course, with more people than ever working from home, many of us are finding that every day is Take Your Dog To Work Day … or perhaps, Take Work To Your Dog Day. Fido can be a great coworker! However, you may need to take a few steps to keep things running smoothly. A Roanoke, VA vet discusses working from home with dogs in this article.

Schedule

Pets tend to thrive when they are on a set schedule. Try to get Fido onto a regular routine while you are working. We also recommend walking and playing with your furry friend before getting started on the day’s work. If possible, try to tire your canine companion out a bit. That way, he’ll sleep through a chunk of your workday. Walking your pup at lunch is also a great way to get outside and enjoy some fresh air and exercise, which will be good for you both.

Doggy Inspiration

Man’s Best Friend can actually be quite an inspiration. After all, Fido already has several jobs, which are all very important! He’s a counselor, philosopher, therapist, cuddle buddy, cheerleader, personal trainer, and, of course, an entertainer. Of course, your pup may also spend a chunk of the day sleeping. While we definitely don’t advise sleeping on the job, it is important to make sure that you are getting enough rest.

Work Station

Dogs are very loyal, and often try to spend as much time with their humans as they can. Fido will probably spend a lot of time at your feet. Put a bed there for him, and perhaps a few toys. If you have a chair on wheels, take care not to roll over your pet!

Breaks

It’s probably safe to say that at some point, Fido will interrupt you, perhaps by bringing you his favorite toy and hoping you’ll play with him. If your schedule allows, indulge these adorable requests! Spending time with your furry buddy is a great stress reliever, and a wonderful way to brighten up your day. Dogs are truly precious, and their tail wags and smooches make any day better. Dole out plenty of ear scritches and belly rubs!

Please contact us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

Adopt a Cat Month

June is Adopt A Cat Month! Of course, we think any time is a good time to adopt a cat. However, this is the purrfect time to add a new kitty to your household. Here, a local Roanoke, VA vet discusses adopting a cat.

Why Adopt A Cat Now?

June tends to be kitten season. At this time of year, the sudden surge of kittens being turned in leaves shelters overloaded and scrambling to care for their furry wards. This year, the coronavirus has made things even more dire. However, it’s also made us really appreciate how good cats are for us. Fluffy has been a huge source of comfort over the past few months. She’s also provided us with quite a bit of comedic relief. Plus, she’s a great lap warmer!

Finding Your Feline

There is certainly no shortage of kitties who are in desperate need of loving homes. However, picking the right pet can be hard. In some cases, you may immediately fall in love with a cute furball. At other times, you may have to think carefully to decide. You may be able to browse adoptable pets online, which might make the choice a bit easier. Listen to your heart, and keep an open mind. Don’t overlook the less adoptable pets, like the one-eared kitty with the funny meow, or the senior cat that just wants ear scritches. Sometimes the cats no one wanted are the best pets!

Things To Consider

Adopting a cat is a wonderful thing to do, and something that will change both your life and Fluffy’s. However, it is a huge decision, so be sure to think things through first. Make sure you are ready to commit to caring for your feline pal for the rest of her life. Adoption is forever!

Helping Animals

When you adopt a cat, you’re also helping other homeless kitties. For one thing, you’re opening up space at the shelter. You’re also helping them financially, as Fluffy’s adoption fees will help the shelter care for other pets.

Purrs

The best thing about adopting a cat is knowing that you’ve made a friend for life. Something pretty magical happens when a kitty looks at you with that adoring look and starts her engine!

Please contact us, your local Roanoke, VA vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!