For Pet Parents

What Skin Problems Affect Old Dogs?

As dogs age, many develop uncomfortable skin conditions. These conditions can be worrying to owners and make dogs vulnerable to other diseases without proper treatment. Luckily, many of these skin problems are very common and can be treated at a vet clinic. Watching for signs of old dog skin problems is an important part of senior dog care.

Fleas, Mites, and Insects

Dogs need regular daily walks. When you’re traversing your favorite trails or visiting your favorite hiking spots, this can leave your pets vulnerable to a whole host of pests. This includes common insects such as fleas, mites, ticks, and even mosquitos, but more serious bites might also occur when traveling on new terrain. Scratching, itchy bites can cause a dog’s skin to become irritated and make it vulnerable to disease.

If your dog is licking, scratching, and biting its fur more than usual, this is a good indicator that it might be troubled by insects. Other symptoms include red patches of skin or thinning fur in spots on the dog’s body or red or brown flecks in the dog’s coat. The best way to avoid the issues caused by insects is to discuss flea and tick treatment with your veterinary staff at your dog’s annual checkup.


Many dogs today struggle with allergies, which often affect their skin. Even if your dog never had allergies as a pup, dogs can develop allergies at any stage of life. An old dog might be struggling with allergies if it is experiencing irritated skin along with swelling or hives. Dogs with food allergies often also experience vomiting and diarrhea. Luckily, an animal hospital can administer a blood test to determine if a dog has allergies and recommend the proper treatment.


Canine dermatitis is a type of inflammation of the skin, usually as a result of exposure to environmental allergies. Since allergies often worsen as a dog ages, it is not unusual for an old dog to develop this skin condition. Signs of dermatitis include excessive itching, scratching, and rubbing on carpets or furniture. It also includes changes in a dog’s coat, especially if flakiness or oiliness is present. Particularly itchy spots that a dog scratches too much can develop into painful open sores that must be treated at a veterinary hospital.


Noticing problems with an aging dog’s coat or skin can alarm pet owners, but many old dog skin problems can be treated effectively. However, since the symptoms of different skin conditions can overlap, it is best to let a veterinarian diagnose the problem and recommend an appropriate treatment plan. For more information, don’t hesitate to reach out to Sykesville Veterinary Clinic today.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cat Checkups

Unlike people, pets often cannot tell owners when they need medical attention. Owners can look for signs that the pet is sick or injured, but some medical issues are not symptomatic. Additionally, pets require regular checkups and vaccinations. The care required for pets varies widely depending on the age of the pet. Puppies and kittens and senior dogs and cats, require different levels of care than healthy adult pets. Most people are not aware, for example, that puppies should be fed three times a day until they are six months old. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about pet checkups:

How Often Should You Take Your Cat to the Vet for Well Checks?

While every cat should see a vet at least once a year, many vets recommend a well check every six months. The number of visits also depends on the age of the cat. Kittens and senior cats require more frequent visits than adult cats. A veterinary clinic can provide a schedule of visits based on the age and health of your cat.

What Should You Expect During a Cat Well Check?

After the question “how often should you take your cat to the vet,” the question asked most often is probably “what should I expect during a well check.” Aside from vaccinations, a vet clinic will often conduct a blood test, a stool test, and, possibly, a urine test. The blood test is intended to determine whether the cat has feline leukemia, feline immunodeficiency virus, as well as other diseases. The stool test is intended to determine whether the cat has parasites. A urine test may be conducted if the vet suspects diabetes or other problems with the cat’s kidneys.

How Often Should You Take Your Cat to the Vet for Vaccinations?

The recommended cat vaccination schedule can be very complicated. A veterinary hospital can best schedule the vaccinations depending on the age of the cat. Briefly, however, you should expect to vaccinate your kitten as often as every three to four weeks until they reach sixteen weeks of age. After reaching sixteen weeks, booster vaccinations are recommended about every one to three years, depending on the vaccination. The core vaccinations recommended include rabies, feline distemper, feline herpesvirus, and calicivirus.

How to Know if Your Dog is Pregnant

If you think your dog might be pregnant, you might have some mixed emotions on the matter. After all, puppies can cost between $2,000 and $6,600 in their first year. However, you might also be prepared to re-home the puppies and just want to know one way or another if you should be expecting them. Dogs show that they are pregnant in a variety of ways, although not all of these signs are a sure thing. The best way to know is to take your dog to a vet clinic and have them tested. Still, if you have your suspicions and are looking for ways to tell, here are some early dog pregnancy symptoms that you can look for:

1. Changes in Affection

This can go either way depending on the dog and it’s a matter of noticing what is odd for your specific pet. She might suddenly become much more affectionate and want to be closer to you more often. She also might withdraw from you and decide she wants to be alone more often. Just keep an eye out for any unusual switches in her behavior that could be a sign of changes in her body and her hormones.

2. Physical Changes

Physical changes can occur somewhat early on. You might notice your dog’s belly becoming more bloated and their nipples becoming enlarged or even discolored. As far as early dog pregnancy symptoms go, these might happen a little later on and might be one of the last things you notice. This is because hormonal and behavioral changes are more likely to be triggered for your dog’s body starts to change on the outside.

3. Fluctuation in Appetite

Another clue is that your dog’s eating habits are changing in one way or another. Maybe they aren’t finishing their food like they usually do, or maybe they are begging you for food more often when they wouldn’t normally be hungry. Vomiting could occur as well if your dog’s stomach is upset from the pregnancy.

4. Fatigue

Like in people, one of many early dog pregnancy symptoms is fatigue. Growing living beings can be a very taxing thing. If you notice that your dog is sleepier than usual or tires more quickly on walks, they could be pregnant.

Many early dog pregnancy symptoms can be similar to symptoms of other causes as well. They are often subtle enough that they aren’t enough to deny or confirm your dog’s pregnancy on their own. Taking your dog to a veterinary clinic is always the easiest and surest way to know if they are pregnant.

Things You Should Know Before You Get a Dog

Dogs make wonderful companions for so many reasons. They are fun, loyal, sweet, and relatively easy to train if you take the time. However, they can be a lot of work and sometimes people don’t realize what they’re getting into until they’ve already adopted their dog. This is why so many end up in shelters, because the owners weren’t prepared for the trials of being dog parents.

There are some crucial points that every potential dog owner should know before they make the commitment. Going in with this knowledge will better prepare you to be the dog mom or dad that your future pet needs you to be.

1. Regular Vet Care Matters

Taking your dog to the vet clinic every year is an important part of caring for them. This means getting them examined for any potential illnesses or problems, keeping their vaccines up to date, and even staying on top of dental care. Dogs can develop gum diseases just like humans can and gum pain or tooth loss can make eating difficult for them.

You shouldn’t get a dog if you’re not prepared to handle veterinary bills. Not only are regular check-ups and vaccinations important, but as dogs get older they often develop more health issues. Old dog skin problems can cost a ton of money in vet bills and medications. Cancer treatments can cost even more. Even getting your animal put down when there is nothing to be done for them costs money.

2. Exercise is a Must

The idea of a snuggly lap dog is always nice, but even the laziest of dogs need exercise. Not only does it help them unleash excess energy so they can behave better, but it’s wonderful for their health. It keeps them from gaining too much weight, keeps their muscles fit, and is good for their heart and lungs. Sedentary lifestyles are no more healthy for dogs than they are for humans and your dog will need between 30 minutes and two hours of exercise each day depending on their age, weight, and breed.

3. They Don’t Stay Young

Puppies are great and a lot of fun, but they don’t stay puppies. Often times people will allow dogs to perform certain behaviors that are cute when they’re a puppy, but that turn out to be annoying once the dog gets bigger. Things like jumping, nibbling on hands, and stealing bites of food might seem harmless when the dog is small, but it’s best not to encourage them. That way when they grow into their full size, they haven’t been trained to behave in a way that is suddenly irritating.

Also, adult dogs eventually grow into senior dogs. Senior dogs come with old dog skin problems, back problems, eye problems, and more. Their bodies age and wither just as human bodies do. You have to be prepared to face those old dog skin problems and other issues just as you faced every other stage of their life.

4. Dogs Should Be Socialized

People sometimes expect their dogs to just be friendly to other dogs and people. However, if those things are unfamiliar to them it can be frightening and make them uncomfortable. Dogs who are uncomfortable may lash out. It’s their nature as animals. This is why it’s important to socialize them from a young age. That way they won’t be getting into tiffs when you take them to the veterinary clinic or growling at your neighbors.

If you keep this advice in mind and view your pet as a living being who is going to go through different stages of life in a short time, you will be an amazing dog owner.

How Often Should You Take Your Dog to the Vet?

Regular wellness checks at a vet clinic is important to the long-term health of your dog, no matter the age, breed, or size. From birth, dogs should be under the regular care of a qualified and well-respected veterinary clinic or animal hospital. That care should last throughout your dog’s life. But how frequently should your dog visit the vet clinic or veterinary hospital? It’s different for different breeds, and during different stages of your dog’s life.

Wellness checks are the same as regular physical exams for humans: they are opportunities for your veterinarian to check your dog’s health when he or she is well, when unexpected health issues are not the impetus for the visit, and after a period of time has passed since the dog’s last wellness check. During an annual checkup, a vet will observe your dog’s movement, teeth, and respiratory systems. The vet will also ask about the dog’s habits, apparent health, eating, and other things. They will give you an opportunity to approach any concerns about your dog’s health, keep pet vaccinations up to date, and prepare you and your dog for any tests or follow-ups, routine or otherwise. How frequently your dog needs to be seen at a vet clinic for wellness checks will be explained by your veterinarian based on the dog’s activity, breeding, age, and history. Read on for a broad idea of how frequently your dog needs to visit a vet clinic based on his or her age.


Expect your vet to want to see your puppy once per month for the first five months of his or her life. Vaccinations are vital at this age, the dog is in a crucial stage of development, and any health or diet issues will begin to emerge during these first five months. Tests completed on your dog at this stage help to guide the veterinarian toward potential health problems that are common for puppies. Many health issues that can impact adult dogs are predictable with the tests completed while the dog is a puppy as well.


At five or six months, your dog is obviously still a puppy. But many breeds don’t require such frequent visits to the vet clinic after five months, and can start to be seen with the same frequency as adult dogs. Some young dogs should visit the vet twice a year, but in general, your vet will wish to check your adult dog once per year, and those checkups will become more routine: prevention for fleas, ticks, and heartworms; new and updated vaccinations, and general appraisals of your dog’s health can be expected during the annual or twice-yearly vet clinic visits for your adult dog.


Dogs are considered senior at different ages, depending on their size and breed, with larger breeds ready for senior dog care at six years and smaller dogs at eight. How often senior dogs need to be seen for wellness checks will depend more on the health of the dog than its age, size, or breed, but it’s common for older dogs to have to visit vet clinics more frequently than adult dogs, perhaps twice per year or more. Your vet clinic’s input in your dog’s health and diet will be vital at this stage as you work together to anticipate and treat the health issues that can impact older dogs. Although senior dogs, like humans, are more likely to develop health issues, with regular wellness checks and close coordination with a vet, there’s every reason to expect your senior dog to live as happily as he or she did as an adult.

This has been a broad outline of how often your dog should visit the vet clinic at different stages of his or her life. Your very best and most accurate resource for your dog’s wellness care will be your veterinarian. Keeping current with vaccinations, tracking your dog’s diet and eating habits, and remaining vigilant about health and medications are all critical to the long-term health of your dog. But none is more important than regular visits to the vet clinic.

Spaying Your Dog Prevents Perineal Hernia

The close and strong bonds between humans and dogs started a long time ago and have since been acknowledged as one of the strongest ever. First of all, dogs are good pets. There are myriad of illustrations that prove this statement. Even though sometimes they may try to play smart and steal food off your plate, they are better than that. Here are some of the points explaining the reasons why dogs are good pets.

1. Dogs will always love you

There is enough evidence that suggests that man did not domesticate wolves, but rather the wolves first came to man. They hung around our ancestor’s campsite, and from there, the evolution of the modern dog began.

2. They have an infectious positive attitude

Have you ever realized that dogs get over excited over the simplest things? Talk of the discarded food wrappers sticks a trip to the nearby shop and so much more. These four-legged friends appreciate the simplest things in life. In turn, they make one start appreciating life. You can’t be sad with your four-legged friend around you.

3. They make one active

Other reasons why dogs are good pets is because they make one active. Even when you don’t feel like going out for a walk, the necessity of walking the dog just gets you on your feet, making your body healthier.

4. Dogs make you talk to people

Walking your dog is, without a doubt, a sure way to start a conversation with people who love animals. Today, the world is filled with people who are increasingly isolated, and chatting with people courtesy of your dog is a wonderful thing.

5. They make you laugh

Also, one of the reasons why dogs are good pets is because they make you laugh. Think of how they sometimes do a backward roll off a sofa or how they give you a beady eye when swallowing your bacon sandwich without offering them some, these four-legged friends will get you laughing at their antics.

6. There is no wastage of food

If you are full up during dinner or lunch time and you can’t stand the thought of throwing food or the leftover into the dustbin, your furry little friend will always be standby to do what they do best.


Why Dogs Need To Be Neutered

Dogs should be spayed when they are between four to six months old. Dog spaying is done by veterinary in a veterinary clinic and requires minimal hospitalization. Removing your dog’s testicles not only improves his quality of health but also keeps him home most or all of the time. Just search for a good vet clinic in Sykesville, MD, and you will have this procedure done to your dog. In a vet clinic also other services such as pet vaccinations are carried out.

Benefits of Neutering Your Male Dog

There are a couple of reasons why castrating your furry friend is essential. Some benefits include decreased roaming, urine marking, inappropriate mounting, and others. Here are other reasons why you should consider doing this.

Unwanted pregnancies

The problem with a male dog is that it can’t resist a female dog that is in heat. Despite how close you monitor it, it still manages to escape and follow the smell of a female dog from many miles away. Also, you will be in trouble if your male dog procreates and impregnates someone’s prized female dog. Therefore the only viable solution is to take it to a Sykesville veterinary hospital to be spayed.

Perineal Hernia

Though this is a fixable problem, Perenial hernia is an annoying problem in male dogs. This is when belly organs slip or herniate through the weakened muscles in the pelvis. As a result, the dog appears bulged on both sides of his anus. It contains the bladder, fluids, or fat, and they cause constipation. A Sykesville veterinary can fix this.


There are many reasons why dogs are good pets, and there are many more reasons why you need to have them neutered. Besides genetics, testicular tumors, prostate disease, spaying prevents pet overpopulation.

5 Surprising Ways to Help Your Dog Lose Weight

There is a big focus in today’s society around eating healthy and losing weight. However, as you have been paying much attention to your overall health and weight management, you might have forgotten that your dog needs weight management as well. Dog obesity is becoming a more pronounced aspect in the modern world, and pet owners have started to take considerable measures to reverse the current trends. Here are some of the tips that you can use to manage or lower the weight of your dog.

1. Understand the Ideal Weight

Consulting a veterinary during your dog’s annual checkup can be a reliable way for you to know the ideal weight of your pet. The Veterinarian will inform you that the actual weight of your dog is not in numbers but a ratio of various factors. In a dog with a healthy weight, ribs can be felt but not seen. Moreover, you should make sure that your dog has a defined waist.

2. Exercises

At Sykesville veterinary hospital, you will learn that, just like people, your dog also requires exercise so that they can manage their weight. In dogs, exercise is not only beneficial to the physical health of your dog but also its mental health. Small and well-programmed exercises are good and will manage the weight of your dog. However, if you want to lose weight and maintain weight loss for a longer period, power walking or running need to be activated. That’s the only way you will be losing many calories so that you can have a major impact on your health. Twenty minutes of exhausting exercises are enough for your dog to cut weight.

3. Diet Changes

Many pet owners think that the type of food they are giving their pet is the problem. That’s not the case. A professional veterinarian will tell you that the weight of the dog is influenced by the amount of food you give to it and not the type of food. Therefore, you don’t need to change the food. Experts at Sykesville vet clinic recommend that you should know the amount of food that your dog eats. You should account for treats when deciding the measure that your dog will have.

4. Talk to Your Vet

Your veterinarian will play an important role in ensuring that your dog losses weight professionally. Vets at Sykesville veterinary clinic will help in cutting down the weight of your dog without making it uncomfortable to your dog. As you already know, an obese dog is already prone to injuries, which means that it needs to ease into exercises and other weight loss practices. Drastic weight management strategies could discomfort your dog. It should slowly be cultivated into the dog’s routine until it becomes a norm.

5. Monitor Weight

Make sure that you monitoring the weight of your dog, probably daily. This will help you to determine whether the weight loss program is working for your dog. Sykesville veterinary hospital will also be very important in informing you how your pet is responding to training routines in terms of proteins, meat, and bone ratio. If the weight management program is not working, you will need to make some changes and find something that is yielding results.

The success of the entire weight management program depends on the animal hospital that you will choose. There are more than 26,000 animal clinics in the United States. However, Sykesville veterinary clinic Sykesville MD stands as the best veterinary clinic that will help the obesity in your dog.

Pregnancy & Your Dog: Why Veterinary Clinics are Important

Americans are the largest pet owners around the world. There is a perception that most of them have a soft spot for most pets, which makes them adopt stray cats and dogs and keep them in their homes. Besides the fact that most pets have to visit an animal hospital regularly, most Americans believe dogs and other docile animals make good pets.

One aspect that some dog owners have to do is care for a pregnant dog. Most pet owners know that they would have to take their dog to the veterinary clinic, but they don’t know what else to do. If you notice early dog pregnancy symptoms, use this guide to get some important tips on how to take care of your pregnant dog.

1. Determining Pregnancy

If you have stayed with a dog for a longer period, you will notice early signs your dog is pregnant. Changes in normal animal behavior are expected. In most cases, most dogs will change their routines and will tend to spend much of their time sleeping. Others might have mood swings, which is something that you are probably not used to seeing in your dog.

However, given that you are not a veterinarian by profession, you might not have full information as to whether your dog is pregnant or not. You need to visit a veterinary clinic where the vet will confirm pregnancy through palpation or urine testing. Using a vet to confirm pregnancy is very important as it will help you to prepare for the number of puppies you are expecting.

2. Feeding and Nutrition

Most animal hospitals have guided a considerable number of pet owners on how to take care of their pregnant pets. This means that they know everything to do with the feeding program and nutrition that your dog needs. Veterinary advice comes in handy because your pup needs special treatment and attention.

Pet owners make the mistake of thinking that they can provide animal care during pregnancy without the support of a professional only for them to make considerable mistakes. A regular visit to a veterinary clinic will offer insight on what foods your pet needs so that it can be able to sustain the increasing nutritional demands inside the body.

3. Exercises

Just like humans need exercise, pregnant dogs should also have an exercise routine. However, most of the exercises performed by your dog should not be strenuous so that any form of injuries can be avoided.

It is important to keep in mind to avoid any form of exercise that could be detrimental not only to the dog but also to the puppies. Depending on the health, breed, and age, your dog should exercise between 30 minutes and two hours, but this should gradually decrease in the final trimester.

4. Medications

Most canine medications are considered safe to use during pregnancy. There have never been major reported instances where canine medications cause serious problems to the pups. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore a veterinary hospital and give your dog any canine medicine that comes your way. It is important to consider advice from your veterinary clinic because you might get to learn something new about canine medication during pregnancy.

5. Vaccinations

Pet vaccinations are not recommended during pregnancy. They have been known to have significant impacts on the health of the pups and the mother as well. It would be important to vaccinate your dog when you are preparing her for pregnancy. Vaccinating your dog before pregnancy helps her to have enough antibodies that are later passed on to the puppies.

6. Preparing for birth

In the final stages of pregnancy, specifically three weeks before birth, it would be good to separate her from other dogs. She might not like it, but this is very important as it prevents any chances of miscarriages and will help her to look for a safe place to give birth.

Remember to keep consulting a veterinary clinic for any assistance that may be deemed necessary. Contact Sykesville Veterinary Clinic with any questions or concerns that you may have about helping your dog through a pregnancy.

Dog Safety: What is Toxic to Dogs?

Dogs are loyal and amazing animals which is one of the many reasons why dogs are man’s best friend. Dogs are therapeutic and can help in stress reduction. This is why they often visit places such as nursing homes, hospices, and hospitals. They also provide you with company and companionship; you can never be lonely as long as you have a dog. One thing you should, however, keep in mind is that having a dog is not cheap as research has established that the ideal expenditure on a puppy during the first year should be around $2,000 and $6,000. As a dog owner, it is important to know about the potential for your pet being poisoned by things around your house.

Pet poisoning is very common with over 100,000 cases being reported annually. The following are some common items that might poison your dog:

  1. Insecticides: Products that are meant to get rid of ticks and flees are very poisonous if ingested by your dog. When you notice such an occurrence you should take your dog to the nearest veterinary hospital immediately so that the vet can check your pet and decide on the best way to move forward depending on the type of insecticide ingested. They can choose to flush out your dog’s stomach in order to remove the chemicals or to give your dog activated charcoal which will prevent the absorption of the insecticide.
  2. Your prescription medication: You should be very careful as medications such as antidepressants, pain relievers, and blood pressure drugs can do a lot of damage to your dog if ingested. Rushing your dog to a veterinary hospital as soon as you know about the ingestion can save your pet’s life. A vet clinic will also provide your dog with a safe and quiet place for recovery.
  3. Household products: Household products such as fire logs, paint thinners, antifreeze, chocolate, gum, and cleaners such as bleach and dishwashing detergents are toxic to dogs. The best course of action for your dog if they ingest any of the above products is to take him or her to a veterinary hospital as soon as possible.

Those living in Sykesville, Maryland, can take their dogs to Sykesville Veterinary Clinic where they will find seasoned veterinary doctors who will take care of their pets.

Animal Hospital: A Safe Place for Your Cat

It’s important to vaccinate your cat when he or she is a kitten, so that your kitty can live a long, healthy life. You should start your kitten’s vaccine regime when it is 6 to 8 weeks old. There are must have vaccinations and optional vaccinations.

Must Have Vaccinations

  1. FPV: Also known as feline distemper vaccination, this vaccination protects your cat from one of the most devastating diseases for felines: feline enteritis or parvovirus. If your kitten contracts this virus, it will die.
  2. FHV: This is an upper respiratory infection that can be fatal to your kitten. Sneezing and watery eyes, symptoms of a cold, are the usual first signs. However, this is no ordinary cold.
  3. FCV: Similar to FHV, this is also an upper respiratory infection that can be deadly. If your kitten is infected, it may get pneumonia and die.
  4. Rabies: Most pet owners know of this dreaded disease. There is no cure for rabies. It must be vaccinated against. Moreover, the law requires this vaccine and a booster at year one (if your cat is younger) and every three years following.

Optional Vaccine

  1. Feline Leukemia:This is considered an optional vaccine, but it is highly recommended that you inoculate your kitten against this disease. According to Pet Place, it is the leading cause of death for cats, and it is highly contagious.

Professional Care at an Animal Hospital

How often should you take your cat to the vet or to an animal hospital? First, if your cat is in need of immediate medical attention and it is after your veterinarian’s office hours, you should take it to an animal hospital. Otherwise, regular check ups at a veterinary clinic are recommended

You should ideally take your cat to the vet once every six months. You want to keep your cat in optimal health and this is a good way to catch early signs of trouble and treat if needed. Cats age faster than humans, so two times per year is not taking your cat to the vet too often.

Whether your cat is young or old, a visit to the vet every six months will keep your cat in good health and give you peace of mind. A physical exam along with blood work will be your vet’s primary tools to diagnose any medical issues in your cat. The physical exam includes weighing your cat, checking it’s skeletal structure, ears, eyes and mouth. The blood work is designed to detect abnormalities and thus get ahead of any serious medical issue.

Be sure to keep a journal, a list, or make notes regarding your cat’s health. Keep the record of your cat’s health somewhere visible. This will also help you remember to take the item with you when you visit the vet. Having a health record will prove valuable to your veterinarian. Your cat’s good health is worth it!