All posts by James

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!

7 Ways To Help Rescue Dogs

May 20th is Rescue Dog Day. This is definitely a cause that we’re happy to support! Here, a Roanoke, VA vet lists some things you can do to help rescue dogs.

Adopt

If you really want to make a difference, the best thing you can do is give a lucky canine a great home.  Adoption is of course a huge commitment, so don’t proceed unless you are truly committed to caring for Fido for his entire life. That said, if all lights are green, go for it! Giving a rescue dog a second chance at happiness can be a beautiful and life-changing experience.

Foster

If adoption is too big of a commitment right now, consider fostering. You can still help a dog learn to trust humans, and help him get ready for his forever home. You also won’t have the long-term commitment that you would with an adoption.

Volunteer

Another great way that you can help rescue dogs is by volunteering at a local shelter or rescue. Even spending a few hours a week walking or playing with pups will make a difference. You may also be able to help by taking photos.

Craft

We’re still a ways off from National Craft For Your Local Shelter Day, which is in July, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still make things for rescued dogs. Turn an old T-shirt into a rope toy, or make a sweater into a bed. You’ll find lots more great ideas online!

Donate

Animal rescues and charities can always use a bit of help. Many of them rely on donations to keep their doors open. Providing food, shelter, and veterinary care for their furry wards can be quite expensive!  Of course, while financial donations are great, they aren’t the only option. You can also help by donating food, bedding, toys, or other supplies.

Events

Do you want to go all-out? Host an event, such as a yard sale or bake sale, and donate part of all of the proceeds to a rescue group.

Spread The Word

Sharing information about shelter dogs is also important. Spread the word on social media about rescue dogs and the people and charities that help them. You never know: you may change a pup’s life with a few quick posts!

Please reach out to us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, anytime. We’re happy to help!

Adopting a Stray Cat

Have you made friends with a stray kitty? Perhaps Fluffy just showed up on your doorstep one day. Or, maybe you’ve spotted her in your yard on occasion. Chances are, it didn’t take long for your new feline friend to melt your heart. Why not give her a forever home? A Roanoke, VA vet offers tips on adopting a stray cat below.

Considerations

Not all strays will make good pets. Others need a lot of time to go from homeless furball to purring lap cat. It’s worth noting that there is a big difference between stray and feral cats. Strays have been around people before. In fact, many of them are former pets themselves! Feral cats, on the other hand, are completely wild. (An interesting note on this: there’s no physical difference between stray, domestic, and feral cats. However, only domestic kitties hold their tails up. This may be Fluffy’s way of announcing that she has humans.)

Convincing Fluffy

Cats all have their own purrsonalities. Some strays are quite friendly, and will nonchalantly stroll into your home and sprawl out on your couch. Others will be quite scared, and may spend a lot of time hiding, especially at first. A trip to the vet’s is definitely in order, but aside from that, just give Fluffy time to settle in.

Settling In

You may want to keep Fluffy in a quiet back room at first. A spare bedroom or utility room is perfect. Make sure your pet has comfy bedding, food, water, toys, treats, and, of course, a litterbox. You’ll want to spend time with her, but don’t force attention on her. Also, let her come to you. This is very important for building trust! Sit on the floor, cross-legged, hold a treat out, and call her to you. We strongly recommend keeping your cat indoors, however. Play with your kitty daily to burn off excess energy.

Building Trust

It may take some time for your new furball to truly learn to trust you, and realize how comfy the life of a pampered pet is. Offer Fluffy lots of great care and TLC. Many former strays become so comfortable and happy with their humans that they lose all desire to go outdoors. You’ll have that little motor going before you know it!

Please reach out to us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, anytime. We’re happy to help!

Tips for Reducing Hairballs

April 26th is Hairball Awareness Day! We know, hairballs aren’t exactly something to celebrate. It would be much more fun to talk about Cat World Domination Day or Hug Your Cat Day. While hairballs are more or less ‘purr’ for the course with kitties, they are definitely no fun for either you or Fluffy. However, sometimes they are more than an unsightly nuisance. They can occasionally cause dangerous intestinal blockages. Fortunately, there are some ways you can reduce the amount of hairballs your pet gets. Here, a Roanoke, VA vet lists a few things that can help reduce the amount of hairballs your cat gets.

Brush Fluffy

As you may know, hairballs form when kitties swallow their own hair during grooming sessions. If you brush your feline friend regularly, you can grab that fur with a brush before Fluffy swallows it. Less fur on your cat means less fur in your cat. This is especially important during shedding season.

Keep Kitty In

We recommend keeping cats indoors for several reasons. Our feline pals are just better off as indoor pets, as they will be protected from dangers like cars, weather, traffic, and other kitties. Keeping Fluffy inside will also help with hairballs, if in a roundabout way. Indoor cats often shed less than kitties that go outdoors, because they aren’t as exposed to the seasonal weather changes that trigger shedding cycles.

Offer Good Food

Make sure Fluffy is eating nutritious, high-quality kitty food! A proper diet will help keep your furry pal’s coat soft and shiny, which will reduce the amount of fur she sheds. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Parasite Control

Fleas can make pets miserably itchy. Cats with fleas often continuously lick or groom themselves. This inevitably results in them swallowing more fur, which in turn leads to more hairballs. Keep up with your kitty’s parasite control!

Hairball Prevention

As the name suggests, hairball prevention products can help reduce the amount of hairballs your furry buddy gets. These are particularly helpful for longhaired kitties. Ask your vet for more information.

Bonus: Catnip

Catnip won’t actually do anything as far as preventing hairballs. However, if your feline overlord is feeling content, she may at least decide against leaving one where you’ll step on it!

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

How To Brush Fluffy’s Teeth Without Ending Up In The ER

Did you know that many cats get dental issues, just like people? Dental problems can be very painful for kitties. One of the best things you can do to keep Fluffy’s teeth healthy is to brush them. We know, that sounds a bit dangerous. However, you can teach a cat to accept the toothbrush without ending up covered in scratches. A Roanoke, VA vet offers some pointers on this below.

Start Early

If your pet is a kitten, you definitely have the upper paw. It’s much easier to teach Fluffy that having her teeth cleaned is just part of being pampered if you start when she’s still little.

Don’t Rush Things

Fluffy will need to get used to having her teeth handled. She may not be particularly enthusiastic about it at first. Start slow! At first, just gently rub her teeth and gums.

Purr Activation

Alternate petting your furball with strokes of the toothbrush. Also, incorporate treats, praise, and lots of ear scritches. This will help Fluffy think of getting her teeth brushed as a good thing.

Tire The Kitty Out

Before brushing Fluffy’s choppers, give her a good dinner. Then, tire her out with a fun play session. Cats are naturally a bit calmer after they’ve burned off their kitty zoomies. 

Products

Speaking of toothbrushes, you may find it easier to wrap your finger in gauze. Or, use a finger toothbrush. Also, choose a yummy flavored toothpaste.

Timing

You won’t have much luck brushing Fluffy’s teeth when she’s feeling frisky or grumpy. Choose a time when she’s feeling relaxed and affectionate.

Make It Routine

Cats are very much creatures of habit. Make kitty dental care time part of Fluffy’s daily schedule.

Rotate

You don’t need to do Fluffy’s whole mouth every day. Just do one section at a time, and keep rotating.

Know When To Say When

Your cat will decide when she’s had enough. It’s best not to press the issue. Just let her go, and try again another day. Trying to hold Fluffy down and forcefully brush her teeth is a good way to get scratched!

Last Resorts

No luck? Ask your vet about other options. Dental-formula kibble and treats, oral rinses, and dental flakes are all helpful.

Please contact us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, for your kitty’s dental care needs. We’re here to help!

5 Purrfect Reasons to Cuddle Your Cat

Did you know that March 23rd is Cuddly Kitten Day? If there is one thing kitties excel at—aside from napping, it may very well be snuggling their humans. As it turns out, cuddling your pet is good for both of you! Read on as a Roanoke, VA vet offers tips on cuddling cats.

Make Fluffy Feel Loved

Cats have tried very hard to make us think of them as cold, aloof killers, but we aren’t entirely convinced. Many of these little furballs are very emotional, and can get quite anxious if they feel isolated or ignored. By cuddling your cat, you’re also helping reassure Fluffy that she is loved and safe, which will only strengthen the bond between you.

Respect

Our feline overlords all have their own opinions on how and when they want to be petted, and for how long. Let Fluffy decide when cuddle time stops and starts. This will help your kitty feel safer, and can also help her learn to trust you more. This is particularly important if you have just recently adopted your cat, or is she is naturally timid and/or wary.

Health Benefits

There are actually some very tangible benefits to cuddling cats. Studies show that hugging a kitty can lower blood pressure, and help people cope with loneliness, depression, anxiety, and stress. There are also some specific benefits for children. As it turns out, kids that grow up with pets are less likely to have allergies than those without animal companions.

Relaxation

Life can get quite stressful and hectic these days. Sometimes just taking a few minutes to relax and unwind with your furry friend can help you shake off a bad day and just reset. Sometimes it really is the little things in life that matter most! Of course, purring cats also make great sleep aids.

Purrs

There may just be a bit of magic in Fluffy’s purr. Research indicates that kitties vibrate at frequencies between 25 and 150 Hertz. These same frequencies have been shown to be beneficial in healing tissue. Keep your feline buddy’s little motor going by offering her lots of attention. Even giving your furball a quick forehead scratch as you pass by will help keep her happy.

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

Caring for an Aging Cat

Did you know that cats are officially considered seniors by the time they are 11? Our feline friends usually age slowly and gracefully, so you probably won’t’ notice major changes happening very quickly. However, as your furry buddy grows older, you will want to make some changes to her care routine. Read on as a Roanoke, VA vet offers some advice on caring for an aging kitty.

Grooming

Older kitties sometimes have trouble reaching their entire bodies to groom themselves. Brushing Fluffy gently will help keep her fur from getting matted or tangled. This is a good time to check your pet for bumps, bruises, or other signs of trouble.

Playing

Playing is actually great for your kitty! Running and jumping keep her in shape physically, while timing those pounces offers her mental stimulation. Try to play with your feline pal every day. Don’t worry about overdoing it: if Fluffy gets tired, she’ll just walk away and find her next napping spot.

Kitty Luxuries

Fluffy will spend most of her retirement napping and relaxing. Make sure your home has plenty of comfy kitty napping spots. Store-bought beds are fine, but your furball will also enjoy sleeping on an ottoman or chair with soft blankets.

Safety

We recommend that all cats stay indoors. This is especially important for older kitties! Fluffy won’t be as quick or agile as she once was, and may not be able to escape predators. She may also forget how to get home, and will be at higher risk of getting lost.

Confusion

Just like people, cats can get a bit confused and forgetful in their golden years. Fluffy may forget where her water dish is, or get lost on the way to her litterbox. She may meow loudly to vocalize her angst. Just try to soothe her.

Litterboxes

Speaking of litterboxes, you may want to get one with low sides. We also recommend keeping litterboxes on every floor of your home. That way, your cat won’t have to navigate the stairs as much.

Purrs

The most important thing you can do for your feline buddy is just pay attention to her, and make her feel loved. Just be very gentle when picking Fluffy up or putting her down!

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

Creating a Catio

Do you have a screened porch or patio? If so, you’ve got a perfect spot for a catio! Our feline friends are definitely much safer staying indoors, where they are protected from hazards like weather, predators, traffic, and chemicals. However, they do enjoy getting some fresh air and watching butterflies, birds, and squirrels. Why not give Fluffy the best of both worlds? Read on as a Roanoke, VA vet offers some great tips on making your furry buddy a catio.

Plants

Many of our feline pals love to nibble on plants. Just be sure to choose pet-safe options. If you like potted trees, you can get an Areca palm, a Ponytail palm, a rubber tree, or a money tree. Ferns are also safe, and look great. If you have a brown thumb, you may want to get something hardy, like a spider plant or cast iron plant. African violets and hibiscus are good for pops of color. You can also add some herbs, like thyme, rosemary, and basil. (Bonus: you’ll also have fresh ingredients for cooking.) Catnip is also a must, of course. Check the ASPCA website here for a full list of toxic and non-toxic plants.

Furniture

No catio is complete without some kitty furniture. A cat tower is a great option here! Your cute pet will gain a napping spot, a jungle gym, and a nail-care station, as well as a place to sunbathe and spy on local wildlife. You can also get Fluffy some soft beds, scratching posts, or even a kitty fountain. For extra purrs, plant some cat grass in a shallow storage tote or an old litterbox. Once it’s grown in, your feline buddy will have her own little ‘lawn’ to look smug on. Don’t forget to add a few pieces for yourself! You may find that your kitty’s catio is a great spot for reading, chatting on the phone, or drinking coffee.

Toys

Don’t forget to add a few toys for Fluffy! You may want to opt for plastic or rubber playthings, though. Catnip mice and other fuzzy/fluffy toys will soon get dusty and rained on. You can also try a mechanical ‘swimming’ fish, or a remote-controlled mouse. This is also a good spot to keep a laser pointer on hand.

Is your furry friend due for an exam, vaccinations, or parasite control? Contact us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, today!