Spring into pet health

It’s time to open the doors and let your four- legged family members run free. Before you turn them loose in the backyard or dog park, keep these seasonally relevant tips in mind:

  • Easter treats and decorations are colorful, delicious and sometimes dangerous for pets. Favorite Easter candies like chocolate can harm both dogs and cats.
  • Spring is also the beginning of pest season. Make sure your pet is on year-round preventative medications for heartworms, fleas and ticks.
  • If you’ve gone all winter without bathing your animals, now is the time. It may also be time for a trim of your pet’s coat and nails. On average, dogs should be bathed 10-12 times a year. For cats, maybe only once or twice per year.
  • Make sure the plants in your yard are compatible with your pets. Some common plants that can make your pets sick include: bulb plants (lilies, daffodils), tomato plants (stems and leaves), azaleas, castor beans, foxglove, oleander, mushrooms, rhubarb and philodendron.

Round & round

Are they having fun, a little dumb or is there a deeper meaning to why pooches chase their tails? In most cases, it’s just a way for your dog 
to pass the time and burn off a little energy. If tail-chasing is something that’s happening on a regular basis, your dog may be sending you a message. It could be an indicator of flea allergy dermatitis or problems with the glands near their tail. Call your veterinarian if you can’t seem to pull your dog away from its tail.

Falling felines

Depending on the height and circumstances, cats will typically land on their paws 90 percent of the time. Cats have a highly-tuned sense of balance and a very flexible backbone which allows them to use their innate “righting re ex” to twist around when they fall. When a cat jumps from a high place, it uses a combination of sight and its vestibular apparatus in the inner ear to determine up from down and distance.

Dog Time

How does your dog always seem 
to know when it’s time to go for
 a walk, even before you grab the leash? All animals have circadian rhythms — physical, mental and behavioral changes that occur in a 24-hour cycle. Research from the University of Kentucky suggests 
the more dogs experience regular events (walks, when you return home from work) they can predict, or anticipate the happenings, almost like a human’s episodic memory.