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Doggy Exercise

posted by Westward Animal Hospital    |   January 25, 2017 11:06

Exercise is very important for your dog.  It helps keep them from getting too bored or anxious and of course is healthy too. If you take them for daily walks, try a different path so they can smell new things, or go to a different area of the city, or even out of the city.  This will be good for both their physical and mental health.  If you can't get out for a walk play some fetch with them in the yard or (carefully) in the house. You could also get them to run up and down the stairs a few times too.  Build an obstacle course for them to interact with or get involved in one of the dog sports like agility, flyball, rally-o or barnyard search.  To exercise their brain you can hide a few treats in various places, try a puzzle box or teach them some new tricks/commands. Just remember that anything you do should be suitable for your dog's size, ability and breed.  

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Bad Behavior? Scratching is normal

posted by Westward Animal Hospital    |   January 19, 2017 12:00

When a cat scratches things, it is a natural behavior for them.  They do it for fun, to remove the outer layer of their claws, and also to mark their territory, however, it isn't so fun for us owners when they are wrecking the furniture.  Figure out how your cat likes to scratch, whether they stand on their hind legs and stretch, or if they lay down and scratch horizontally.  This will help you determine what type of scratching post/material they will prefer.  You can get a variety of different styles and material types such as carpet, rope and corrugated cardboard to see which one your cat likes.  If they are still going after furniture you can try putting two sided tape, sand paper or aluminum foil where they are trying to scratch, also if you catch them doing it, make sure to direct them back to where you want them to scratch.  Keeping their claws trimmed will also help keep their scratching from causing so much damage and they might not scratch as much since their nails are not uncomfortable.  There are also nail caps called soft paws that are little caps you glue onto your cats nails to keep them from doing damage when they scratch.  They come in many different colors so you can have some fun with them too.

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Brrrrrr - The Dangers of Winter

posted by Westward Animal Hospital    |   January 12, 2017 10:51

Wow it sure is cold out there! During winter there are some things we have to remember when it comes to our furry friends. Cats who regularly go outside probably won't want to when it's really cold out but if they do make sure they don't stay out too long or that they have somewhere warm like a heated shed/garage/pet house that they can escape to. For our dogs if you venture out for a walk make sure to keep their feet warm with boots (even though they may not like it) and if they are a short haired breed they may need a jacket/sweater to keep warm too. One of the things that is often overlooked in them is their ears, and unfortunately there isn't a great way to keep them warm so try not to stay out too long. Also watch out for salted sidewalks, even if you use pet safe salt, others may not so try to avoid letting your dog walk on salted areas, or if you need to, rinse their feet off when you get home. Salt can actually cause chemical burns on their feet! If you see that their pads are salt burned bring them to a veterinarian. One other very important thing to be aware of is antifreeze. Antifreeze smells and tastes sweet so if they get the chance, a dog or cat may try some. This is very dangererous as it is poison and can affect the brain, liver, and kidneys and even cause death! So just remember to be safe out there and stay warm!

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