Tag Archives: dog health

Barbeque Hazards for Dogs

With summer here, we’re quickly moving into prime grilling season. Barbeques are one of our favorite summer activities, and we suspect that many of our canine patients share our opinions. However, Fido can get into quite a bit of mischief at barbeques, so you’ll want to take some steps to keep him safe. A Roanoke, VA vet discusses barbeque safety for dogs in this article.

Food

Many of our favorite foods are toxic to our canine buddies. Never let Fido have anything that contains garlic, onions, scallions, or chives; chocolate; alcohol; caffeine; grapes, currants, or raisins; mushrooms; or nuts. Meat on the bone is also a no-no, are raw meat, fish, and dough and anything containing xylitol.

Fire

Fires and pets are not a good combination. Keep your furry pal safely away from the grill. You don’t want Fido wrapping his leash around it, or snapping up a sizzling-hot burger that fell to the ground.

Chemicals

Lighter fluid, torch oil, citronella, bug spray, and other chemicals are all unsafe for pets. Keep these things well out of paws’ reach!

Open Gates

Keep an eye on your doors and gates, especially as people are coming and going. You don’t want Fido slipping out!

Heat

Summer can be tough on our canine pals. Make sure Fido has shade and water at all times. If you see him panting, bring him to a cool indoor spot and give him some water.

Parasites

Summer is a prime time for fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and other bugs. Make sure your furry friend is current on his vaccines and parasite control products.

Trash

Dogs are very opportunistic, and will seize any chance they can to score extra food. Fido definitely is not above going through the trash in hopes of snagging himself some leftovers! This can be dangerous, as the garbage may contain things like bones, skewers, tin foil, toothpicks, and other hazards. Clear the tables and put away leftovers as soon as everyone has finished eating. Use garbage cans with tight lids.

Being Underfoot

Man’s Best Friend likes to stick pretty close to his human pals. Unfortunately, this sometimes leads to Fido getting stepped on, or getting his tail caught in doors. Keep a close eye on your pup!

Please do not hesitate to contact us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, if ever we can be of assistance. We’re here to help!

Choosing the Right Dog Bed

Does your canine pal have his own bed? While Fido may be perfectly happy to snooze on the couch or on your bed, it is good for him to have a spot of his own to curl up in. There are actually quite a few things to consider when picking out a bed for your pup. A Roanoke, VA vet lists discusses buying doggy beds in this article.

Senior Dogs

Many old dogs suffer from arthritis and/or hip dysplasia. If Fido is a senior, getting him a comfy bed is one of the best things you can do for him. We recommend orthopedic beds for older dogs, because of the extra support they offer. Your pooch may also enjoy a heated bed, or a thermal blanket.

Large Dogs

Orthopedic beds are also a good option for large breeds. Another thing you can do is use a child’s mattress. Add a mattress topper if you want to make your pup’s bed extra comfy.

Dogs That Stomp Their Beds Down

Does Fido sometimes turns in circles before lying down? This may be a throwback to the time when dogs were wild, as they often made themselves little nests or dens by stamping down grass or brush. A beanbag may be a good option for your canine buddy.

Pooches That Sprawl Out

Does your furry pal like to stretch out when he sleeps? If Fido is a ‘sprawler,’ a regular doggy bed may be the best choice for him. These beds, which often look like oversized pillows, sometimes do get worn down quickly, so you may want to get two, or add a soft pad beneath it.

Pups That Like Pillows

Does your four-legged buddy like to use something as a pillow? A bolstered bed, which has raised sides, is a great option for Fido!

Small Breeds

Is your pooch a pint-sized pet? Little dogs also often like beds with high sides, as they feel safe and secure in enclosed spaces.

Tips

Shape and size aren’t the only things to consider when purchasing dog beds. You’ll also want to look at the material. Ideally, you want something washable, or at least something with a washable cover. We also recommend opting for beds with nontoxic stuffing.

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

Allergies in Dogs

Spring is a peak time for allergens, both for people and pets. Just like people, dogs can have allergic reactions to many different substances. Allergies can make your cute pet quite uncomfortable! A local Roanoke, VA vet discusses doggy allergies in this article.

Common Allergens

Man’s Best Friend can be allergic to many of the same things people can. As mentioned above, mold, mildew, plants, and pollen are common ones. Some dogs also react to ingredients in their food or treats. Your canine pal may also be allergic to strong fumes, like cigarette smoke or perfume, or specific types of fiber. Dogs can also be allergic to ingredients in their pet shampoo.

Symptoms

The signs of allergies vary from pup to pup, depending on what the allergen is. Sneezing, snoring, burping, and flatulence can all be indicative of allergies. Allergies can also cause red, runny eyes and stubborn ear infections, and can be the cause of many skin problems. Vomiting and diarrhea are more possible symptoms. Though fortunately this is rare, allergies can cause Fido to have more serious reactions, such as fainting, seizures, or swelling. In extreme cases, they can cause comas or even death.

Treatment

There are some treatment options available for allergies. These may range from medication to specific diets to home care regimens. Before treatment options can be discussed, your vet will need to run some tests to find out exactly what is disagreeing with your pooch. If food allergies are suspected, this may mean a dietary change. Fido may need to be put on a very basic, bland diet for a while. Items will be reintroduced slowly, to see what causes him to react. Ask your vet for more information.

Home Care Tips

There are a few simple things you can do to help keep your canine buddy comfortable. Vacuum and dust regularly, and change your air filters out frequently. Keeping an eye on pollen counts can also be helpful. Limit your pet’s outdoor time when they are high. You may also want to get some doggy wipes, and wipe down Fido’s paws and belly when you bring him back in. This will remove pollen from his fur. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Do you know or suspect that your pet has allergies? Call us, your local Roanoke, VA pet hospital, anytime. We are dedicated to keeping your beloved pet healthy!