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Category Archives: Pet Health

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Could You Be Overfeeding Your Pet?

Royal Canin training at Northwest Pet Clinic At Northwest Pet Clinic, we continuously invest in the professional development, training, and education of our team. Whether it’s through continuous education courses, breakfast seminars, private one-on-one training, or other outside sources, our team is continually enveloped in training. This not only makes them a greater asset to us but to you as well. When you bring your pet to Northwest Pet Clinic, you can be confident that our knowledgeable team is well prepared to handle your questions and concerns, or that they can help point you to the correct resources.

We are very fortunate to have Rocco Pelino, from Royal Canin, come educate our staff about the importance of pet nutrition. Did you know that you may be overfeeding your pet and not even know it? For example, if you give your dog 2 slices of ham, that’s the equivalent of you eating a chocolate glazed donut with sprinkles. If you gave your dog 3 oz of bacon strip treats, that’s the equivalent of you eating FOUR chocolate glazed donuts with sprinkles! So if you’re already feeding your dog 100% of the amount of food that he or she is supposed to be getting on a daily basis AND you’re adding treats on top of that, you may be overfeeding your dog and not even realize it.

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, an estimated 54% of dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese. We know that you are a responsible pet owner and implore you to continuously develop and grow in your knowledge and understanding of the care that your pet requires. We encourage you to have a conversation with one of our vets about the importance of a healthy and well-balanced diet and how to achieve it. Let’s learn and grow together, aiming towards a common goal: providing a lifetime of compassionate, high quality care for your pets.


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Six Halloween Hitches for Pets and How to Avoid Them

Northwest Pet Clinic - Halloween Pet Safety TipsIt may not feel like it, but fall is here! With the advent of autumn comes the beginning October—and preparations for Halloween. It’s easy for the whole family to get caught up in enthusiasm for the cooler seasons’ first big holiday.

New health and safety concerns arise for animals during this time of year, with increased treats, visitors, and household decorations. There are six major elements of the impending holiday that carry preventable risks for pets; familiarize yourself with them so that this year’s Halloween is fun for all.

1. Decorations
The best way to get into the holiday spirit is definitely to throw up some spooky decorations. Think twice before you put them within your pet’s reach, though, as some decorations might actually be harmful. Pumpkins, gourds, decorative corn, spooky plants, and other potentially edible decorations could cause an upset stomach if your pet has the chance to ingest even a little bit of them. And speaking of pumpkins, watch out for Jack-o-Lanterns: if your pet accidentally knocks over a pumpkin with a lit candle in it, she might start a fire. Light displays usually have cords that pets might enjoy chewing on, and this could also be a fire hazard—or worse. Chewing on an exposed wire can burn your pet or expose her to electrical shock. Non-electrical decorations that have cords or dangling pieces could also attract your pet’s teeth, which could pose a choking hazard or lead to your pet ingesting something inedible.

2. Costumes
Of course your cat looks adorable in his lion costume. But how does he feel about it? If your pet is upset by being put into a costume or shows a desire to destroy the costume, you may want to reconsider your plans for his debut at the Halloween party. Forcing your pet to wear a costume might create undue stress that will ruin the festive environment for everyone. If your pet is fine parading about in a costume, then by all means dress him up. Just keep watch for any loose, constricting, or annoying parts of the costume that might hurt your pet or get on others’ nerves as he moves through the crowd. Also make sure no parts of the costume pose a danger of your pet getting stuck somewhere.

3. Trick-or-Treaters
It’s likely that your doorbell doesn’t ring every five minutes on a normal night. The increased number of people stopping by your house on Halloween—whether they ring the doorbell, knock, or simply approach you outside—can be stressful for pets, especially those who are not well-socialized with humans. To keep the anxiety level down and minimize the risk of your pet accidentally escaping, keep your pet locked in another room while your household accepts Trick-or-Treaters. Having the TV on in the room might minimize some of the unusual noise, and keeping your pet in a room that has a small nook or much-loved bed will give her a feeling of safety, despite all the intruders she hears. Finally, make sure your pet is wearing her collar and ID tags on Halloween, just to be safe. You don’t want your pet to be caught without identification in the event that she does run away.

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What You Need to Know About a Vomiting Pet

Northwest Pet Clinic - Sick PetIt’s a topic we’d all probably prefer to avoid, but one that is also incredibly important for pet health: vomiting. While it’s normal for dogs and cats to throw up on occasion, vomiting can also be a sign of a health problem.

We’ve compiled a list of basic facts about pet vomit to help you decide whether or not it’s time to call the vet or just let Fido’s stomach sort things out for itself.

When it’s Normal
For dogs, vomiting is often a natural mechanism for dealing with a mildly upset stomach. This can be caused by eating something the dog doesn’t normally eat or which is irritating, but not dangerous, to the dog’s stomach.

This is a natural response, as dogs have evolved to become omnivores. Their stomachs do some damage control as dogs test out what is or is not good for them to eat.

In cats, vomiting is often related to hairballs—particularly if you have multiple cats and the vomiting cat is everybody else’s main groomer.You can minimize future hairball-related vomiting risks by brushing your cats regularly, so there isn’t so much hair building up in their gastrointestinal tracts.

What to do when it’s Normal
Throwing up once in a while can be totally normal for both species. When it happens, hold off on feeding your cat or dog a normal diet for 12 to 24 hours. Instead, give your pet water as normal and wait to gradually begin reintroducing bland foods back into your pet’s diet the next day.Cats and dogs that are fed on a regular schedule may vomit if they are not fed at the exact time they expect to be fed each day. The same goes for cats and dogs that are fed only one kind of food for long periods of time.

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