No Chocolate for You! Halloween Pet Safety Tips From the Pros

Halloween marks the beginning of the holiday season, and kids and adults alike look forward to this fun time of year. After all, what could be better than costumes, pumpkins, and of course – candy? 

For our pets, this beloved fall holiday can be fraught with danger. Here at Volunteer Veterinary Hospital, we see cases of pet poisonings, missing pets, and other emergency situations every year around this time. Preventing dangerous situations for your pet means being aware of the many ways they can get into trouble, and we are here to help! Check out our Halloween pet safety tips for a healthier, safer, and less scary holiday for your furry loved ones.

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Help! How To Get Your Newly Adopted Pet to Behave

In your experience, are great dogs born, or made? In our experience, the latter is true – especially if your best furry friend has been adopted from a shelter or rescue group. If this is the case, we couldn’t be more supportive. Shelter pets are wonderful, loving animals and in most cases with a little TLC, can become lifelong cherished companions. 

But a rehomed pet will likely have at least one behavioral “uniqueness” that may need to be addressed with behavior modification, training, or both. 

Come along as Volunteer Veterinary Hospital explores how to get your newly adopted pet started off on the right foot. 

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A Spoonful of Sugar? Tricks for Giving Your Pet Medications

Pug being fed a treat

When it comes to taking care of your pet, it is definitely a team effort. Of course, you get the best possible care from the staff at Volunteer Veterinary Hospital, but many times treatments extend beyond the walls of our location. 

When you are instructed to monitor or treat your pet, it is often imperative to your pet’s well-being that you follow our directions. This can be easier said than done, though, especially for pets who hate taking their pills. 

Not to worry! When it comes to giving your pet medications, we have all the tricks.

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The Heat is On: Summer Paw Safety

Four-footed friends need special attention in summer. With warmer weather and longer summer days, chances are good that you’re spending more time with your best dog pal outdoors.

Whether you’re vacationing together, playing frisbee in the yard, or swimming in the lake or river, your dog’s increased exposure to the outdoors requires more vigilance on your part. 

The condition of your dog’s feet is key to health and well being. When it comes to those four feet, let Volunteer Veterinary Hospital share some tips and tricks that will ensure a happy and healthy summer for your pet.

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Running With Your Dog

When it comes to enjoying the outdoors, getting in a great workout, and bonding with your furry friend, running with your dog can’t be beat. Besides the many health benefits of regular exercise for pets, running provides an outlet for excess energy, reduces boredom and negative behaviors, and strengthens the bond you share.

In case you haven’t noticed, your pet’s safety is one of our top priorities at Volunteer Veterinary Hospital. We want to share some simple do’s and don’ts when it comes to running with your dog.

But First…

  • Come see us. Before beginning any exercise program, schedule a wellness exam with your veterinarian. We’ll make sure your best pal is healthy enough for running and is up-to-date on important vaccines and parasite protection.
  • Brush up on obedience. A good grasp of basic obedience commands is essential for your dog’s safety. Dogs who run with their owners should be able to heel, not pull at the leash, and respond to basic commands, such as “come” or “drop it.”
  • Get in gear. A sturdy, 4-6 foot leash, a harness with a back clip, and a few plastic baggies for doggie waste are all you need before hitting the trail with your pet. Stay away from retractable leashes, as these can be extremely dangerous and offer little control.

Tips for Running With Your Dog

Consider these tips to ensure running with your dog is a successful experience:

  • Start slowly – You wouldn’t go from a couch potato to running 10 miles overnight, so don’t expect your dog to do the same. Work up to longer distances slowly with your pet. Additionally, don’t skip the warm-up period anytime you run with your dog  – a few minutes of brisk walking or slow jogging is sufficient to get the blood moving and muscles warmed up.
  • Be observant – Always pay close attention to your dog’s body language and watch for signs of overexertion or heat exhaustion, such as excessive panting, drooling, stumbling, or slowing down/stopping. Never force your dog to run if they don’t want to.
  • Watch the heat – Dogs aren’t able to regulate body temperature as efficiently as humans, meaning that heat stroke or heat exhaustion can come on quickly. Running during the early morning or evening hours is best during warmer months.
  • Paw protection – A dog’s paw pads are tough, but they’re no match for hot pavement or asphalt, rocks, sticks, or glass. Whenever possible, choose a softer running surface, such as a trail or grass, and be on the lookout for any debris that could injure your dog’s paws.

We applaud you for giving your dog the joy and health benefits of running! Please let us know if you need more information or would like to schedule an appointment for your pup.

It’s Always a Good Time to Focus on Cat Wellness

Everyone knows cats can take care of themselves. Sure, they might benefit from owner intervention occasionally but, generally speaking, they don’t need any support, right?

No way!

Unfortunately, cats are wrongly perceived as highly self-reliant, but they absolutely require and deserve special care and attention every single day. While there’s a lot cat owners can do on a daily basis at home, feline health depends on disease prevention, early detection, and effective treatment.

Together, a proactive approach to cat wellness can transform how these incredible pets are cared for.

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The Mangy Mutt and Other Dog Skin Conditions You Should Know

Perhaps one of the most common reasons that dogs visit us at Volunteer Veterinary Hospital is skin trouble. From fleas to allergies to bacterial infections and everything in between, dogs and dermatological issues go together whether we like it or not. Some dog skin conditions are more common than others, though. It is important for pet owners to have a read on the types of issues that occur and why it’s important that we see your pet when skin trouble erupts.

The Common Culprits

There are entire textbooks devoted to doggy dermatology – not surprising as there are so many skin conditions that can and do occur. Some dog skin conditions are more common than others, though. A few of the more common problems we diagnose include:

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Adopting a Shelter Pet: A Primer

So you’ve decided to adopt a shelter pet. Congratulations! Rescues and shelters have wonderful animals who are just waiting to be adopted into their forever homes. But adopting a new dog or cat is not all fun and games; it takes some real planning to make sure this new family member, along with everyone else in the household, has a smooth transition.

Volunteer Veterinary Hospital works with newly adopted pets and their people frequently, and we are happy to share our tips and ideas on adopting a shelter pet.

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What Stands in the Way of Overall Pet Dental Health? Periodontal Disease

The concept of “self-care” has picked up a lot of speed lately, and for good reason. We collectively strive for good physical and mental health, quality time in nature, and fulfilling moments with family and friends. All of this is to help guarantee quality – and quantity – of life.

What if there was something easy enough to do a few times every week that basically assured your pet’s health and wellness? Aside from providing excellent nutrition and varied exercise opportunities, pet dental health improves and safeguards their day to day wellbeing. Without regular attention to their teeth and gums, periodontal disease can really throw a wrench into your pet’s long term health.

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Ring in the New Year with Volunteer Veterinary Hospital’s Top 5 Pet Care Blogs of 2018

We’re so fortunate to have spent the past year caring for so many incredible pets! As your trusted source for veterinary care in the Knoxville area, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality care and compassionate service.

Part of our commitment to you includes our educational pet care blogs, and we’re thrilled that so many of you are reading and enjoying these monthly offerings!

Because growing and improving are so important to us, we want to take a moment to highlight our most popular pet care blogs of 2018.

ENJOY!

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