Veterinary Clinic

How to Find a Veterinarian in Eldersburg You Can Trust

Your pet is a part of your family, so you always want to make sure you’re taking good care of them.

When you move to a new area, or if you decide it’s time to make a change, and you need to find a new veterinarian it may seem like a pretty daunting task.

Eldersburg is home to many excellent vets, but, not all of them may have the skills to take care of your furbaby. So, it’s vital that you find the right vet for you and your pets before you need one.

Don’t know where to start?

Here’s everything you need to know about how you find a veterinarian in Eldersburg.

Look Online

By this point, it should be second nature for you to consult the Internet before making any serious decisions.

When it comes to finding a good vet, you should start by running a quick search of all the vets in your area.

By checking online first you can cross out any vets that are too far away, and any vets who are not trained to take care of your specific kind of pet. This step is especially crucial if you have an exotic or large pet.

By checking online first, you can also consult customer reviews to get a better feel of how that veterinarian will treat you and your pet.

Ask Around

Unless you buy all your pet supplies online, you’ll find yourself in a pet supply store near where you live at some point.

Apart from filling all your kibble and squeaky toy needs, pet stores are also usually full of pet owners.

And, these fellow animal lovers will likely be happy to share their knowledge of and experience with local vets with you.

If you’re trying to find a veterinarian, one of the best things you can do consult their clients first hand. So, try checking in with the cashier while checking out, they may be able to point you in the right direction.

Dog parks, kennels, feed stores, and any other location where you’d find a lot of pet lovers are also great places to try to scope out a little free advice.

Schedule a Checkup

Once you find a few offices you think might suit you and your pet’s needs, your next course of action should be to schedule an appointment.

Hearing about someone else’s experience will only get you so far. By bringing your pet in, you can both meet the vet and check out the facility.

You’ll be able to get a clearer idea of what services that veterinarian offers, and whether they’d make a good match for you and your pet.

How to Find a Veterinarian

Every pet owner knows how stressful a visit to the vet can be for both you and your pet.

Being able to find a veterinarian you know you can trust ahead of time can take a lot of the pressure off should your furry friend ever get sick.

If you’re looking for a veterinarian in Eldersburg, we may be the right fit for you and your pet. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Vet Emergency: When to Take Your Pet to an Emergency Veterinary Hospital in Eldersburg

Making sure your pet is happy and healthy is a top priority. You feed them the best food, make sure they get plenty of love and attention, and when they are sick you want them to receive the best care possible.

But what do you do in case of a vet emergency? Serious health issues and injuries can occur at any time of the day or night, and often happen without warning.

Let’s take a look at what you should do if your pet needs sudden emergency care.

Vet Emergency: When to Take Your Pet to an Emergency Veterinary Hospital in Eldersburg

Your pet’s health is a 24-hour concern and emergencies rarely happen during normal business hours. Here’s how to tell when you have a real vet emergency on your hands.

1. Know the Signs

The more familiar you are with your pet’s routines and normal behavior, the better you’ll be able to recognize when something’s wrong.

What might qualify as a pet emergency? Things such as seizures, changes in respiration, diarrhea, inability to urinate, and obviously behavior such as limping that tells you there might be broken bones.

2. Know How to Transport Your Pet

During a pet emergency, you’re going to need to safely transport your pet to receive care. Keep in mind that your pet will be in pain and thus very frightened, and might become aggressive or defensive.

For dogs, approach calmly and slowly. Gently say his name, and if he is aggressive you might need help carrying him. Use a makeshift stretcher to put him in the car.

For cats, place a towel or blanket over her head so that you don’t get bitten, and then gently place her in a carrier for the ride in the car.

Once your pet is loaded and ready for transport, call ahead to the emergency care facility so they know to expect you.

3. Know How Pet Emergencies Happen

Emergencies by their very nature are random and unexpected. They can happen at any time for any number of reasons. Your pet could eat something toxic, encounter an aggressive animal, or simply experience a natural traumatic health issue that requires emergency care.

4. Know How to Plan Ahead

It’s impossible to plan for every emergency, but you can pet-proof your home to minimize as many dangers as possible.

The key is to think ahead and be aware. There are steps you can take such as familiarizing yourself with the nearest 24-hour veterinarian hospital, and to keep this contact information easily accessible at all times in case you have emergency vet questions.

It’s also a smart idea to prepare a first aid kit for your pet and perhaps take classes for such things as pet CPR.

Getting the Proper Care For Your Pet

A vet emergency will happen when you least expect it. These can be stressful situations, so it’s important to have a plan in place and to be prepared to act quickly.

Your local late-night animal hospital has a well-trained staff, ready to care for your pet’s needs at a moment’s notice.

Click here to learn the importance of pet dental care.

How to Teach Your Dog to Use a Ball Launcher

Dogs simply adore playing the “fetch” game, and it’s safe to assume that your pet wants you to comply 24-7, every day of the week. They let us “slide” from time to time, but the fact remains that their hunger for games and entertainment is insatiable – this is the reason why weary pet owners look for alternatives.

The best one we could come up with is the “Ball Launcher” – a special, yet quite simple and straightforward device that does precisely what its name implies.

It literally launches balls at different angles and speeds. Some models are capable of shooting multiple balls simultaneously, which is a perfect solution for pet owners who have more than one dog.

Where should you start?

First of all, you’ll need to properly understand the machine before you could share the “knowledge” with your dog. All Ball Launchers are designed to be simple, and operate in a similar, easy-to-use fashion. Note that these contraptions are intended for outside use, so as to avoid the risk of property damage or even harm.

After you’ve grasped the basic mechanisms of your launcher, give it a go and observe the reactions of your dog. Needless to say, most dogs will blindly rush to catch the ball without paying too much regard to who’s thrown (or launched) it.

The test run should prove successful enough to get your dog’s attention, and that’s precisely where the fun starts.

Things you should know before you begin your dog’s training

First of all, every ball launching machine makes a certain dose of noise. In fact, this “noise” serves as a “call to action”, urging your dog to take initiative and educating it that it should be independent in this sphere.

Secondly, we’re all aware of the “puppy eyes”, and we encourage you to remain strong, even if your dog literally begs you to do all the work. Actually, the prime reason why you got the launcher is to rid yourself of the hassle of playing with your dog all day long.

Last, but not least, rest assured that every type, race, or breed of a dog is capable of understanding how this machine works. It might take a while, but it’s achievable.

Two best ways to teach your ball how to use a Ball Launcher

Essentially, dogs are pretty smart animals, although their ability to understand certain things depends mostly on their race or breed. If you’re uncertain in any way regarding your dog’s capabilities, we’ll use an average dog as an example.

Most professional “dog whisperers” advise that dogs learn best when taught by the “reward & punishment” methods, but it’s more appropriate to use treats when your dog reacts positively and the “cold shoulder” when it responds negatively. Let’s review the two most popular methods by which your dog will undoubtedly learn how to operate a ball launcher:

Encouragement

The idea of the “encouragement” method is to assure your dog that “he’s a good boy (or girl)” every time the progress is made. You should use treats as positive reinforcement, and any sort of clicker to urge your dog to make a move.

First of all, play some fetch with your dog as a “warm-up”, all the while standing right next to it while it’s turned off. Load the launcher with a ball and wait for your dog to react. After a while (if not instantly), your dog should come straight to the launcher, and if it does, give him a treat.

Secondly, turn the ball launcher, but don’t operate it – instead, wait for the warning signal. Once it’s been rung, encourage your dog to come to you while retaining a positive attitude (smile, yell “yes”, or “good boy”).

Thirdly, load the ball and call your dog. Slowly and cleverly lead him (or her) to the launching button. Repeat the entire process several times, and your dog should be able to operate the machine alone.

Association

If the “encouragement” didn’t yield sufficient results, you should try associating key points in ball launcher’s operation so that your dog could understand the machine, rather than blindly stick to what you dubbed as “right”. This method is better for dogs which have a somewhat questionable grasp on authority.

Again, start by playing fetch while the launcher is off, but stand right next to it. At some point, use the ball to load the launcher instead of fetching it back, but don’t launch it. Pull it out, and throw it to your dog.

Link certain fetching commands you usually give out while fetching to the different steps of the machine’s operation – for instance, once you’ve loaded the machine, give a command with which you begin the fetch game, or give commands like “go fetch” at the exact same moment the machine launches the ball.

It’s imperative that you call your dog right to the machine after trying out this method. Hover above the “launch” button (or lever) for a few minutes with appropriate commands in the background. Repeat the process.

Conclusion

Teaching your dog to fetch back a ball is fairly easy. Essentially, teaching it to play with a ball launcher on its own is quite simple as well, but you’ll have to be really patient in certain cases. Just remember that not all dogs learn at the same rate, but they all do.

Try out the methods we’ve provided, and, in case your dog is stubborn enough to refuse to learn, switch “treats” with a “cold shoulder”. Ignoring your dog will make him (or her) feel as if something bad has been done, and, in the end – the game will have ended if the wrongs haven’t been made right. Either way, stay patient and persistent, and your dog will come around.

How to Choose the Best First Dog for a Family With Kids

Did you know that there are 78 million dogs who have homes in the U.S. today? If you have kids, it’s likely that they have been begging to join the number of dog-loving families.

Of course, as you have probably been telling them, adopting a pet is a big decision. Even when you’ve determined that the time is right to get a dog, choosing the best first dog takes time and research.

Read on for some tips to choosing the perfect pet — and for making sure that your home is perfect for the pet you choose.

Set Some Ground Rules

We’ve all heard stories of kids who swear they’ll feed and water and walk and groom the dog — only to let such responsibilities slide when the latest Xbox game comes out, or when the weather turns inclement.

Establish upfront who will be responsible for each aspect of the dog’s care. If your kids aren’t old enough to help with much more than scooping kibble into the bowl, that’s OK, as long as you’re willing to do the rest.

Some dog breeds are more high-maintenance than others, so it’s important to make sure that their needs will be met before you bring them home.

How Active Is Your Family?

Dogs enjoy human companionship, and some breeds get downright destructive if they’re not given enough attention and company. If your family is on the go more often than not, you might be better off adopting a cat or delaying pet ownership altogether.

Shepherds, retrievers, and collies require a lot of vigorous exercise. That means they’re best suited to families who have a lot of land, or who will commit to regular outings to the dog park.

Apartment or city-home dwellers would do better with dogs that are content to take a quick jaunt around the block and play indoors. Think bulldogs, pugs, Bichon Frises, Shih Tzus, and smaller, toy breeds.

Consider the Temperament

The best first dog for your family will depend on the dog’s temperament — but also on your children’s. Homes with very young kids should choose gentle, protective dogs over those that are aggressive or even overly energetic.

Similarly, rescue dogs with behavioral issues might not be the best choice for families with small children.

Newfoundlands are gentle giants, and Golden Retrievers are also fantastic with kids. Despite their reputation, Pitbulls and pitbull mixes tend to be sweet dogs that do well in families.

Adopting a dog can be a real boon to special-needs children. However, this situation requires extra research, and maybe even a trial period, to ensure that everyone will mesh well together.

Puppies or Older Dogs?

Puppies are irresistible, but they also require a lot of time and effort. They will likely need to be housebroken, crate-trained, and otherwise shown how to live harmoniously with their humans.

If you and your family are willing to put in this effort, great! You will be rewarded with a devoted dog who will grow along with your family.

Adult dogs might require less training, and therefore transition into family life with more ease. Bear in mind, though, that adult rescues could come with behavioral problems. If a dog has been abused in the past, for example, you’ll need to use patience and kindness to teach her that she now has a safe, loving family.

Finding the Best First Dog Takes Time

In the movies, Dad goes to the pet store and picks out the most adorable puppy to bring home. The kids love it, the puppy is easily trained, and everyone lives happily ever after. This scenario does not reflect reality, however.

It may take weeks or even months to find the right pooch. Your dog might need to travel from an out-of-state rescue, or could be in foster care. Teach your children that not every cute pup out there will be the best first dog to adopt.

Unless you’re willing to spend a lot of money to purchase the exact breed you want, it’s important to be somewhat flexible. Most shelter dogs are mixes, so you’re not likely to stumble upon a purebred Pembroke Welsh Corgi at the local human society.

Many shelters will send email alerts set to your preferences, or you can put out word that you’re looking for a certain breed or mix. Just know that you can’t waltz into a shelter and expect your perfect pet to be waiting for you.

Speaking of Shelters vs. Breeders…

If you decide to go the breeder route, due diligence is necessary to find one who’s responsible. The American Kennel Club has some tips on choosing a good dog breeder.

Adopting a shelter dog, however, is a good lesson for children. Some 3.3 million dogs enter U.S. shelters each year, and many of those are eventually euthanized because they don’t find homes.

It can be heartbreaking to visit a shelter, especially with children in tow — you’ll want to adopt every dog, cat, bunny and guinea pig there. One tip for finding the best first dog for your family is for Mom and Dad to check out a potential pet by themselves.

If that dog seems like a good fit, then take the kids to visit, or see if you can arrange an in-home visit.

Steer Clear of Pet Stores!

Whatever you do, stay away from puppies for sale in pet stores. Although they may look adorable, they are all too often bred in puppy mills with inhumane conditions. Such animals may come with health problems, too.

The adoption process is a great opportunity to educate your children about animal cruelty, including the irresponsible breeding of puppies in mills.

Congratulations on Your New Family Member!

The days following an adoption are exciting ones. Don’t forget to bring your new canine friend to the vet for an initial checkup, and for spaying or neutering if necessary.

What dog breeds are you considering? Did you grow up with a particular best first dog? Let us know in the comments!

How to Plan a Safe Trip With Your Dog

Are you hoping to take your dog on a cross-country adventure?

Having “man’s best friend” by your side can make any trip better. But traveling can get pretty hairy if you don’t prepare ahead of time.

By taking the right precautions and following the tips outlined in this guide, you can plan a safe trip with your dog that will be “paws-itively” awesome.

How to Plan a Safe Trip with Your Dog

Planning a safe trip with your pup isn’t easy. There’s a lot of things you have to do in advance to make sure your traveling goes smoothly. Here are some key things to do before em-barking!

Contact Your Vet

You should always bring your dog to the vet before going on any long-term trip. It’s important to make sure that all of his or her vaccinations are up to date and that you pick up any prescriptions that they may need. The last thing you want to do is spend your vacation taking care of your sick dog.

Tip: Ask your vet if your dog will need any additional vaccinations depending on where you’re traveling, as there may be different diseases or threats in that area.

Plan the Proper Route

If you want to plan a safe trip with your dog, you need to make sure to map out a dog-friendly route. What’s a dog-friendly route? One that accommodates regular breaks and provides you and your dog with an opportunity to get out of the car and get fresh air.

Tip: Plan to take a 15-30 minute break every 4 hours so that your dog won’t get anxious or restless in the car. You should also try to make some of those stops pet-friendly locations like dog parks.

Buy the Right Travel Crate for Your Dog

Even if your dog is a “good boy”, you’ll need the right crate to plan your safe trip. A crate is a great way to keep your dog safe and is a must-have if you plan on visiting other people or leaving him or her alone. Here are some features your dog crate needs to have safe travels:

  • It should be big enough so your dog can stand, turn around, and lie down
  • It should be durable with handle and grips
  • It should have a leak-proof bottom with an absorbent material
  • It should have ventilation on either side
  • A label with your name, address, and phone number
  • A plush mat, a water bottle, and your dog’s favorite toys.

If you’re unsure of what size to get, go with a bigger size so that you know your dog can fit inside the crate comfortably.

Prepare Proper Identification for Your Dog

While you may not want to even think about planning for your dog getting loose, it’s a possible reality you need to prepare for. If your dog ever gets loose or runs away, you can increase the chances of finding him or her by following these identification tips:

  • Buy a sturdy leash and a collar that has their name, your name, your address, and proof of a rabies shot
  • Consider getting a micro-chip for your dog
  • Bring a recent picture of your dog with you

By preparing these things, you’ll have a much easier chance of finding your dog!

Review Best Practices for Driving with a Dog

Not all dogs love traveling in the car. And even those that do may not love every minute of it. Here are some things to consider and practice before you leave to make sure you have a safe trip.

  • Get your dog used to being in the car by taking him on short trips often
  • Train your dog to not lean outside of the car window or keep them rolled up
  • Pay attention the sounds and behaviors your dog exhibits when they’re restless or have to use the bathroom
  • Never leave your dog unattended in the car, especially in the heat
  • Never let your dog travel in the back of a truck

By following these best practices you’ll be sure to have a safe trip with your dog.

Book Pet-Friendly Accommodations

One of the most important parts of planning a safe trip for you and your dog is picking safe, pet-friendly housing. Not all hotels accept pets, and plenty of campsites have an anti-pet policy as well.

Before you leave, you should contact hotels in advance to find out their pet policies, and if they have breed restrictions, rules, and possible fees. This is important as lodging availability may impact or dictate your final route.

Arrange Dog Care for Your Final Destination

A safe trip is about more than traveling, it’s also about your final destination! If you’re attending an event like a wedding or graduation that will keep you from your dog for a while, you need to find a daycare or boarding service for him or her.

Leaving your dog alone in an unfamiliar environment can increase anxiety for him or her. You want to make sure your dog is left in the hands of qualified professionals, so plan for this kind of care before leaving.

Tip: If you’re unsure of where to keep your dog, ask friends and family at your final destination for any local recommendations.

Pack the Ultimate Doggie Bag

If you’re going on a road trip with your dog, you’ll want to make sure you pack a dog bag with everything they may need for the trip. Here are some must-have items you need to have for your furry friend:

  • Food
  • Food bowl
  • Leash
  • Toys
  • Any medication/prescriptions
  • Protective clothing
  • Dog-safe insect repellent
  • Flea comb and tick remover
  • Poop bags

Make sure you don’t forget the most important thing of all: dog treats!

Final Thoughts on Planning a Safe Trip With Your Dog

The key to a truly unforgettable trip with your dog is planning ahead to make sure everything goes smoothly! By following these tips, you’ll be able to plan a truly purr-fect trip that you and your dog will be sure to love!

Have you traveled with a dog? Are there any tips or tricks we missed? Let us know in the comments!

How to Kennel Train a Puppy at Night

When you bring a puppy into your family, one of the first things you need to do is begin housetraining. You want your puppy to be comfortable at home and avoid accidents. Learn how to kennel train a puppy at night.

Kennel or crate training your puppy will ensure that it doesn’t damage part of your home while you’re out. Puppies are curious and can cause a mess if they’re left on their own.

Kennel training is just one part of the training process.

For more puppy training tips, read on then check out this post.

Why You Should Kennel Train a Puppy

You may also see this referred to as crate training. This form of training will get your puppy comfortable with the crate in your home.

Puppies and young dogs can get in a lot of trouble. They might make a mess on the floor or chew on things you need. Kennel training will prevent them causing more damage.

You want your puppy to feel comfortable in the crate. Think of the crate as the dog’s den. Your puppy will want to go into it to relax and sleep because it’s a safe, comfortable space.

Kennel training can also help if you plan on traveling with your dog. This form of training is even recommended by veterinarians.

How to Kennel Train a Puppy at Night

First, ensure that you don’t use the crate as a punishment for your puppy. If you use it as punishment, your puppy will become afraid of it and refuse to go in.

You should also get a crate that will grow with your puppy. Rather than replacing the kennel over time, get one that will fit your dog’s full-grown size. Use dividers to make the space smaller and more comfortable for your puppy.

As this will be your dog’s main sleeping space, get a comfortable dog bed to place inside. You can even give it a toy or two so your puppy isn’t bored inside the crate.

Giving your puppy treats when it goes into the crate will also reinforce that it isn’t punishment. This will give your dog a positive reason to go in on its own.

Setting your puppy in the kennel at night will get it used to sleeping in its own space. To make it more comfortable, you should leave the crate near your bed.

However, you should not leave a puppy younger than eight weeks in a crate for more than three hours. Anytime you use the crate, keep a consistent schedule.

Before leaving your puppy in the crate all night, let it relax and nap inside for shorter periods during the day. Begin with 10 minutes at a time and work your way up to longer times. This will help your puppy get used to the crate.

Don’t leave a puppy in a crate for too long though. Set your puppy in the kennel just before you go to sleep and let it out early in the morning. Leaving a dog in a crate too long can lead to accidents or cause the dog to not want to enter the crate again.

Keeping a Puppy Happy in a Crate

Once you know how to kennel train a puppy at night, other training activities will be easier.

While you get your puppy settled in its crate, you can check out our puppy care package to keep your dog healthy.

5 Reasons Why Dogs Make Good Pets

Ever heard the saying, “A dog is a man’s best friend”?

Dogs are beloved by people everywhere as their preferred furry companion.

Never had a dog and wondering what the fuss is about?

This article will break down 5 reasons why dogs make good pets and why you should go adopt a pup today.

1) Dogs Watch Your Back

One of the most practical perks of having a dog is that they’ll guard your home and your loved ones.Home invaders are far less likely to intrude on your home if they hear or see a dog present.

Dogs will bark anytime anyone tries to enter your home which will alert you to the danger and warn the intruder to back off.

You’ll sleep better at night knowing your furry friend has their ears perked up and listening for any signs of danger.

2) Dogs Will Keep You Active

Having a dog is good for your health as they absolutely must get exercise.

Take your dog on a daily walk or jog so that you can both get your heart rates up and de-stress.

Walking just 20 minutes a day with your pup can reduce your risk of heart disease by 8 percent.

3) Dogs Bring You Friends

Our society has become wary of talking to strangers in public. If you have a dog in your hand walking next to you, that fear totally goes away.

You’ll start to notice that everyone wants to talk to your dog and pet him as well as ask you questions about him.

People love dogs. There are plenty of meet up groups available online for people who have the same dog breed.

Take your pup to one of these meetup groups and both you and your pup will make new fur-ever friends.

4) A Dog Can Make You Feel Less Alone

One of the reasons why dogs make good pets is because they help with loneliness.

There are times in life where we aren’t surrounded by lots of friends and family members.

During these times, having a dog as a companion can be very comforting.

Dogs love being around their owners and love to please them. You’ll always have your dog to cuddle with, eat dinner with, or head to a dog-friendly bar.

You’ll discover quickly that your dog will become your most loyal friend.

5) Dogs Relieve Stress

Petting a dog is proven to be good for relieving anxiety.

Your dog doesn’t have to be a licensed therapy dog to bring you these benefits.

Petting your dog increases feelings of contentment and relaxation. Unlike most cats, dogs love the affection and attention of petting.

These are the Reasons Why Dogs Make Good Pets

We hope this article convinced you to add a new dog to your life.

The best way to get a new dog is through adopting one who’s in need of a good home.

Make sure your pup is up to date on his shots and that he’s well taken care of.

If you ever have a problem with your dog’s health and want to contact us, please do so here.

7 Questions To Ask Your Veterinarian About Your Fur Baby

When it comes to the health and well-being of your fur baby, no chances should be taken. Your pet is like a part of your family, and deserves medical care that is equivalent to any human being’s.

When you bring your dog, cat, hamster, or other type of fur baby to the veterinarian, there is a certain level of care that is to be expected. One way to ensure that your pet is receiving the health care that he or she deserves is by asking questions. But what questions should you be asking your veterinarian?

Here are 7 questions to ask your veterinarian about your fur baby.

1. “Is My Pet’s Weight Healthy?”

You might not realize it, but the majority of pets in the United States are actually considered to be overweight. So, it stands to reason that your pet could very well pack a few too many pounds.

For this reason, it’s important to ask your veterinarian whether or not your pet possesses an adequate weight.

A pet that is overweight is prone to a number of medical problems, from high blood pressure, to skin issues, to joint pain, and much, much more. In fact, it could be said that obesity is a major link to any health issue that an animal suffers.

Make sure to have your vet weigh your pet so that he or she can determine whether or not it needs to change its overall lifestyle habits.

2. “Does My Pet Needs Its Teeth Cleaned?”

Unlike humans, pets do not brush their teeth every day. Because of this, they’re prone to a number of oral hygiene conditions, from gingivitis to cavities to much more.

In some cases, more serious conditions such as kidney failure and heart disease can be caused by poor oral health.

When you take your fur baby to your veterinary clinic in Sykesville, MD, make sure to inquire as to whether or not it needs a teeth cleaning. It’s not necessary for an animal to have its teeth cleaned every day, but every once in awhile there is a need to remove excess plaque and tartar.

Your vet should be able to clean your pet’s teeth, and should also be able to provide you with some information as to how good oral hygiene can be maintained.

3. “Are There Any Vaccines That My Pet Needs?”

In order for your pet to remain healthy and happy, you need to ensure that he or she is getting all necessary and relevant vaccines.

Your veterinarian will discuss with you what vaccines are needed for your pet and how often they are given. Some vaccines must be boostered annually, while some, like rabies vaccines can be given every 3 years.

4. “Is There Anything Peculiar About My Pet’s Behavior?”

Have you been noticing anything that you deem to be abnormal about your pet? Perhaps he or she is gagging often? Maybe he or she just isn’t moving around the way he or she once did?

In any case, you believe that there might be something wrong with your pet. If you’re in this situation, it’s absolutely vital that you bring the problem up to your veterinarian.

Your veterinarian can determine whether or not it is a normal behavior, and can then right any problems that might exist.

You don’t want to let strange behaviors like this linger. They could be the sign of a serious problem that needs to be tended to as soon as possible.

5. “Does My Pet Have Any Bumps to Worry About?”

Maybe you’ve noticed some bumps and lumps on your dog, cat, or hamster? While these could be completely harmless, there is also a chance that they’re symptoms of a more serious medical issue.

Because of this, you need to alert your veterinarian to their existence. He or she will be able to tell you whether or not they’re something that should be worried about.

Lumps could indicate anything from infections, to cysts, to cancer. If they’re not monitored and addressed as quickly as possible, they could worsen over time.

6. “Are Blood Tests Necessary for My Pet?”

The next question you need to ask your veterinarian whether or not a blood test is in order for your pet. While they’re extraordinarily helpful for the monitoring of an animal’s health, veterinarians will advise on the best times to carry them out.

Blood tests offer relevant information on everything from kidney function, to diabetes, to cancer, and more.

Performing these tests often will ensure that you catch your fur baby’s health issues before they become a serious problem.

7. “How Can I Keep My Pet from Getting Fleas?”

Dealing with fleas is one of the necessary evils of being a dog or cat. As a pet owner, you don’t always know where they come from, but they sure do come.

Fortunately, there are measures which can be taken to prevent your dog or cat from contracting fleas. There are plenty of oral and topical solutions available which can be used to combat the existence of fleas.

To figure out which type of preventative measure is best for your particular pet, it’s best to ask your veterinarian. Veterinarians are familiar with all types of situations. They’ll know exactly what your pet needs to remain comfortable and flea-free.

Seeking Out a Reputable Veterinary Clinic in Eldersburg?

If you’re looking for a professional, knowledgeable, and reliable veterinary clinic in Sykesville, Maryland, Sykesville Veterinary Clinic is exactly what you’re looking for.

Headed by Dr. Ellen Colwell, we offer all types of care for dogs, cats, and various pocket pets.

Have any questions? Contact us today!

Why Is My Old Dog Peeing in the House?

Does your pooch have a case of the puddles? Is that something they haven’t done in years?

It can be quite alarming to discover your old dog peeing in the house. You’ve trained them well, and all these years they’ve faithfully waited to do the duty outside. But for some reason, seems like they’ve decided your home is the new fire hydrant.

Don’t get upset.

Afraid to say, it’s all a part of getting older. Now’s the time to head to your trusted veterinarian for a full check-up to figure out what’s going on with your old dog peeing in the house.

Read on so you’re well-informed for you and Old Yeller’s next appointment.

Age-Related Causes

Canine age is quite similar to humans- it just moves at a faster pace. As we all get older, our bodies start to falter and lose efficiency.

The most common cause of an older dog peeing in the house is that, simply, they can’t hold it like they used to. Their muscle tone has been reduced, and the control they once had over their bladder to wait until they’re outside is fading.

Not only that, but their hormones are changing as well. Particularly in spayed females, dropped levels in their hormones can lead to incontinence.

Your dog could also be undergoing kidney failure. An excess of toxins in the system means more urination needs to take place.

Lastly, your older dog might be experiencing canine cognitive dysfunction. It’s like Alzheimer’s disease–your dog simply has trouble remembering that peeing is something you’ve trained them to do outside.

Emotional-Related Causes

Drastic changes in your older dog’s usual routine can greatly upset and confuse your pet. This might be one way they’re acting out.

If you’ve just introduced a new dog into the family, you might find your old dog peeing in the house to mark their territory. If this is the case, some firm correcting might be all you need.

Stress and anxiety can also play a factor in your aging dog’s incontinence.

As dogs get older, they might begin to feel an impending sense of their mortality and vulnerability. They might have walked the walk during their younger years, but now they’re skittish over even the phone ringing. Loss of bladder control can be a side-effect to this new, stressful part of their lives.

Infections

Sometimes, however, it’s just a simple case of an infection.

Urinary tract infections affect dogs as much as humans. You’ll notice your dog wanting to go outside much more frequently, dancing around jittery.

Left untreated, a UTI can develop further and cause more problems. Like kidney stones or infection. Seek out the proper anti-bacterial medication to cure the infection before it gets worse.

Schedule an Appointment for Your Old Dog Peeing in the House

It’s best to contact your veterinarian immediately to find the cause for your old dog peeing in the house.

Often, the symptoms you notice are just the tip of the iceberg. Your veterinarian will be able to properly assess your dog’s incontinence, and find the best treatment available. It’s all part of regular care for your senior dog.

What Explains the Sounds Cats Make?

If you’re a cat owner, you’re familiar with the scenario.

One minute, you’re lounging on your couch binge-watching the Animal Planet with your feline friend. Then, you hear it: a sweet, reassuring rumble that vibrates her little, curled-up body.

While a purr is one of the most common sounds cats make, it’s far from the only one. Today, we’re discussing a few more noises you might hear from your kitty, and what’s behind them.

Ready to learn more? Let’s go!

1. Meowing

One of the first concepts we teach babies is that dogs say “woof,” pigs say “oink,” and of course, cats say “meow.”

What we don’t usually discuss with tykes is that it’s not quite that cut and dry.

Though it’s one of the most widely known sounds cats make, a “meow” can mean many different things coming from behind those whiskers.

When your kitty says “meow,” take a look at her environment. Is her water bowl empty? Are you distracted and not watching her cool yarn tricks?

Sometimes, it’s simply a greeting. Other times, it’s a call for attention or a plea for food.

2. Purring

Ah, the glorious cat purr.

It can be soft and subtle, or it can sound like it’s coming from a grown man.

Either way, it’s a gentle way your kitty can let you know she feels safe and content.

Keep in mind, however, that a purr can sometimes mean your kitty isn’t feeling well or is uneasy. When this is the case, her purr is less of an affectionate response and more of a self-soothing mechanism.

Again, the key to discernment is analyzing her environment. Are there other animals around that might be causing her anxiety? Or, are you stroking her ears as she lies on your pillow?

If it’s the former, she may feel threatened and is purring defensively. If it’s the latter, consider it her way of saying, “I love you, too.”

3. Hissing

Of all the sounds cats make, hissing is arguably the least precious — and for good reason.

When a cat hisses, she’s not trying to get your attention or return your affection. Rather, she needs a little space and it’s wise to give that to her.

If the ominous, snake-like sound isn’t enough to push you away, her body will also relay the warning. Often, a hissing cat will flatten her ears against her head, open her mouth widely, and move her tail quickly back and forth as an alert.

Though a hiss can seem threatening to you, it’s likely that your cat is actually the one who feels vulnerable. Let her hang out for a while alone in her favorite hiding spot. She’ll come out when she feels the danger has passed.

4. Chattering

Have you ever watched your cat eyeball a squirrel outside the window, then express frustration when she couldn’t swat at it with her paw?

If so, you’ve likely heard her chatter. Also known as “chirrup,” this noise sounds like a combination of a “meow” mixed with a sheep’s bleat.

When a cat chatters, she’s expressing excitement, mixed with a little frustration. It’s especially common to hear chattering when two or more cats are joined together and spot something interesting!

5. Caterwauling

You might not have known what to call it, but chances are you’ve heard your cat caterwaul.

A kitty in heat will make this sound, as will one that’s seeking a mate. The irony? It’s a loud, shrill wail that sounds about as romantic as a root canal.

Yet, what might not make sense to us is perfectly understandable in the animal kingdom, so don’t be surprised if the call attracts the attention of nearby cats!

Understanding Your Kitty and the Sounds Cats Make

Your cat is a bonafide member of your family. As such, it’s helpful to understand when she needs your help, when she’s looking for your attention, or when she just wants you to keep rubbing her belly.

As Sykesville Veterinary Clinic, we know how important your pets are to you. That’s why, for more than 20 years, we’ve provided our clients, and their humans, with expert medical care and attention.

Contact us to schedule an appointment for your furry friend today!