Best Friends Pet Care : The Dog Dish
Best Friends Pet Care : The Dog Dish

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2013

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Best Friends Pet Care : The Dog Dish

Tag Archives: pet health

Introducing Ask the Vet

Here at Best Friends Pet Care, we are excited to announce that we have been expanding into the veterinary care realm! Our guests have grown to know us as the leader in providing the best pet boarding, grooming, training and doggy day camp, nationwide. But on top of our 41 pet care centers, we are now operating nine veterinary hospitals and growing fast. This means we are now able to provide veterinary and pet care expertise! A total pet care experience for both you and your pet!

So what better way to share our new found knowledge and provide you with current information on care for your best friend? How about answering your questions and providing you with information that is important to you and your pet? In the next few weeks, we will be starting an “Ask the Vet” segment on our Dog Dish blog. We are super excited that Dr. Jennifer Garcia will be our first contributor.

Dr. Garcia joined the team at Sugar Land Veterinary Specialists (a member of the Best Friends Veterinary Group) in 2011. She brings a vast array of experience over the past 10 years of her career, including private specialty practice, consulting, and medical writing. Dr. Garcia has always had a love for animals which is why after graduating from UC Davis with a Bachelors of Science in Zoology she continued her studies at Colorado State University, where she achieved her degree in Veterinary Medicine. She has also been a Diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine since 2001. When she is not hard at work, Dr. Garcia enjoys spending time with her husband and son, and working as a medical writer and editor. Despite the heat and mosquitos, she enjoys spending time outdoors, particularly in the Texas Hill Country whenever possible.

In the coming weeks we will be kicking off our Ask the Vet segment and we’d like to hear topics that you are interested in discussing. Please leave us comments with topics or questions that you’d like to learn about!

Tags: Ask the Vet, Best friends news, Cats, Dogs, Health, Pet advice, Pet health, Pet info, Pets, Vet

Turn Back the Clocks, but Don’t Cut Back on Exercise

When we turn back the clocks, it can be tempting to turn down the outdoor time with our pets. Shorter days and cooler weather make being outdoors less appealing. But, cutting back on outdoor exercise time can be a problem for our pets – especially for high-energy dogs in need of lots of active play.

In fact, insufficient exercise is a leading cause of problem behaviors – from chewing on the furniture, to howling, to having “accidents” in the house. To avoid these problems, Best Friends trainers recommend keeping your pet active all season long.

Go for a walk. Put on a warm jacket and brave the cold. A daily walk or run will allow your pet to release excess energy – and it’s also good for you. (If your daily excursion is after dark, be sure to wear reflective clothing.) If you have children, the daily walk to and from the school bus is a great opportunity for your dog to get some exercise.

Get out and play. Your children will also enjoy rolling around in the autumn leave — or winter snow — with a high-energy friend.

Join a meet-up group. Dog owner meet-up groups are popping up all over the country, and many schedule indoor sessions during the winter months. It’s a great opportunity for your dog to enjoy some active canine play, while you socialize with other dog lovers. Go to MeetUp.com and put in your zip code to find sessions near you.

Send your dog to camp. A great outlet for high-energy dogs is a program like day camp. Dogs exercise and socialize with other dogs in a safe, supervised environment. In addition to giving them exercise, these programs actually improve social skills while diminishing negative behaviors at home. To see if your local Best Friends offers a day camp program, go to the Locations page on our website.

Tags: Activity, Doggy daycamp, Exercise, Pet advice, Pet health, Pet info, Tips, Winter

Keep Pets Cool during the Dog Days of Summer

The dog days of summer are here and we humans aren’t the only ones suffering.  For our canine best friends, long hot summer days in a house without air conditioning or a backyard without shade can be misery.

All pets – even those that spend a lot of time outdoors — are potential victims of summer heat.  Because dogs and cats don’t sweat, they don’t have an efficient way to cool themselves down.  That’s why heat exhaustion is one of the most common ailments to affecting pets during the summer months.

It’s important that we take steps to keep our pets cool during summer’s hottest days.  Best Friends experts offer the following tips:

  • Be sure your dog or cat has shade and plenty of cool water.
  • Exercise your pet during the coolest times of day – early in the morning or after the sun goes down.
  • If your pet enjoys water, provide a sprinkler or wading pool on hot days.
  • If your cat or dog has a white or light-colored coat or has exposed skin, be careful of sunburn.  Check with your veterinarian about using a sunscreen on your pet.
  • NEVER leave any pet in a car in the heat.   On an 80-degree day, the temperature inside a car can rapidly increase to 120 degrees – even with the windows open.

If you see signs of heat stress in your pet — excess panting, reddening of the area around the mouth and nose, and an increased heart rate – get him out of the heat immediately.  Cool him down with cool, not icy cold, water.  If symptoms persist, see your veterinarian.

On very hot days, it’s best to keep pets indoors – in the air conditioning or near a fan.  If that’s not possible, consider bringing your dog to doggy day camp, where he can spend the day in the air conditioning, playing with other canines under the watchful eye of trained counselors.  You’ll appreciate not having to take him for exercise in the summer heat when you get home!

Tags: Dog safety, Doggy daycamp, Dogs, Pet advice, Pet health, Pet info
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