How to Care for a Senior Pet During Adopt a Senior Pet Month

Senior pets are just as fun and loveable as their younger counterparts, and with the right care, they can enjoy many more years of good health and happy times with their families.

How to Care for a Senior Pet During Adopt a Senior Pet Month

Senior pets are just as fun and loveable as their younger counterparts, and with the right care, they can enjoy many more years of good health and happy times with their families. November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month, and we’re using the opportunity to encourage people to adopt senior pets out of animal shelters while also educating them on some of the specific care needs that senior pets require.
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6 Tips for Caring for a Senior Pet

1. Know When Your Pet Is a Senior
When your pet is considered a senior depends on its species and breed. Typically, cats and smaller dogs are considered seniors at age 10-11. Larger dogs are considered seniors at age 6.
2. Schedule More Frequent Checkups
We recommend biannual checkups for senior pets. This enables us to detect age-related health problems as soon as they arise so that we can begin treatment and management to slow the progression and improve your pet’s quality of life right away.
3. Request a Health Screening
It’s usually customary to run routine laboratory tests on senior pets. The results of bloodwork, urinalysis, and fecal testing can help us detect the earliest signs of disease.
4. Adjust Your Pet’s Diet
As pets age, their nutritional needs change. They typically require fewer calories and can benefit from a diet that contains nutrients designed to help address a variety of age-related concerns.
5. Modify Exercise
Elderly pets still need to stay active, but they often can’t continue the same type or level of activities they enjoyed when they were younger. We recommend swimming and going for more frequent, shorter walks rather than long treks.
5. Create a Comfortable Environment
Senior pets often suffer from joint problems such as arthritis. You can make them much more comfortable by providing elevated food and water bowls, an ergonomic pet bed, and stairs onto the bed, sofa, or into your car.
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Senior Pet Appointments in Wisconsin

At Animal Wellness Center in Wisconsin, we provide highly personalized care to each of our patients. We tailor the care they receive and our recommendations based on the patient’s breed, health history, lifestyle, and age to ensure our patients have the best chance at living a long and happy life. To learn more about caring for a senior pet or to establish your new pet’s care with one of our veterinarians, we welcome you to contact our office today.

Make Halloween Fun for Everyone (5 Halloween Pet Safety Tips)

With Halloween on the way, October is filled with fun and frightful festivities. To make sure the spooky season is fun and safe for everyone in your family, consider the following Halloween pet safety tips.

Make Halloween Fun for Everyone (5 Halloween Pet Safety Tips)

With Halloween on the way, October is filled with fun and frightful festivities. To make sure the spooky season is fun and safe for everyone in your family, consider the following Halloween pet safety tips.
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5 Pet Safety Tips for Halloween

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1. Provide Easy Identification
Dogs and cats often go missing (or can even be stolen) on Halloween. So, it’s important your pet has a collar with readable ID tags in addition to permanent identification with a pet microchip.
2. Store Treats Safely
One of the best parts of Halloween is the party treats and candy. Remember, though, that many of these goodies contain ingredients (like chocolate, nuts, raisins, and alcohol) that are poisonous to dogs and cats. Store all treats safely and keep your pets in a secure, safe room during Halloween parties so that they can’t accidentally get into anything that’s been left lying around your house.
3. Keep Pets Secure Indoors
With so many trick-or-treaters dressed in scary costumes coming and going from your yard, pets can become frightened and confused. Be sure they are not left in your yard (even if it’s fenced). Keep them safely inside for the duration of the night.
4. Create a Pet-Safe Holiday Display
Halloween decorations often involve things that can be dangerous for pets such as electrical wires or toxins. Be sure to choose decorations that are safe for your pets (i.e. no glow sticks or fake blood) and keep any wires well out of their reach.
5. Supervise Pets in Costumes
If you choose to dress your pet up in a costume for Halloween, be sure you never leave them unattended while they’re wearing the costume (or any clothes for that matter). Clothes can become caught on furniture or branches and put pets in dangerous situations. They can also be choking hazards if pets end up chewing on them.
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Microchip Your Pet Before the Big Night of Frights

If your pet does not yet have a microchip, we strongly encourage you to schedule a microchip appointment at one of Animal Wellness Center’s Wisconsin locations. Getting a microchip is a quick and simple procedure, similar to getting vaccinations, that can greatly increase the odds of reuniting with your pets should they ever become lost. To learn more or schedule an appointment for your pet, we welcome you to contact our office.

5 Tips for Disaster Preparedness Month: How to Prepare Your Pet for Emergencies

September is Disaster Preparedness Month, and that means it’s time for pet owners to take a hard look at their emergency preparedness plans. Disasters can happen anytime, anywhere, and they often have a devastating impact on pets. That’s why it’s so important for pet owners to be well prepared in advance.

5 Tips for Disaster Preparedness Month: How to Prepare Your Pet for Emergencies

September is Disaster Preparedness Month, and that means it’s time for pet owners to take a hard look at their emergency preparedness plans. Disasters can happen anytime, anywhere, and they often have a devastating impact on pets. That’s why it’s so important for pet owners to be well prepared in advance. In this blog post, we will discuss five tips for disaster preparedness month that will help keep your pet safe during emergencies.
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5 Ways You Can Prepare Your Pet For A Disaster

Identification is the first and most important step in pet disaster preparedness. Even if your pet is always wearing a collar with up-to-date tags, there’s always the chance that he or she will become lost. If your pet does become lost, a microchip can help increase the chances of being reunited with him or her. Collars and tags can also help identify your pet, but they can be easily removed or lost. By microchipping your pet, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that he or she is always identifiable, no matter what. If they don’t have a microchip, now is the time to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to get one.

Secondly, you need to know where you will go in the event of an evacuation. If you are ordered to evacuate your home, do not leave your pets behind. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommends that you take your pets with you if you can. If you must leave them behind, make sure they are in a safe place where they will have food and water and can escape danger.

5 Ways You Can Prepare Your Pet For A Disaster Cont...

Thirdly, always try to stay together with your pet if possible. In the event that you are separated, make sure you have a recent photo of them as well as their identifying information with you at all times.

Fourth, make a pet emergency kit in advance. This should include items like food, water, bowls, leashes, collars, medications, and first-aid supplies. When emergencies hit, you do not always have time to stop and look for all the supplies you may need to care for your pet on the go, having a kit ready at all times will allow for a more stress-free exit from the disaster area.

Finally, know who to contact in the event of an emergency. If a disaster hits while you are at work or away from your home, it is crucial that you have a plan of action in place. Designate a trusted friend or family member who can check on your pet and provide them with any necessary care. Ask your Veterinarian if they have advice or options for you and your pet in case of a disaster or emergency.

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Preparing Your Pet For A Disaster With The Help of Animal Wellness Center!

By following these simple tips, our Doctors and Staff here at Animal Wellness Center are confident you can help ensure that your pet is safe and well-prepared in the event of an emergency. Take the time this disaster preparedness month to put a plan in place and give yourself peace of mind.

How to Hit the Road and Have Fun With Your Pet: 5 Tips for Car Trips With Pets

If you are planning to take a trip and bring your pets along, Animal Wellness Center is here to help give you some tips on how to prepare for the journey. These tips will help put your pets at ease the whole drive-through. Call us today to book an appointment for your pet’s clean bill of health!

How to Hit the Road and Have Fun With Your Pet: 5 Tips for Car Trips With Pets

Nothing beats hitting the open road for a car trip with your best furry friend by your side. Traveling with pets, though, is more complicated than choosing a destination and taking off; it requires careful planning and packing to make sure you and your pet have a fantastic time.
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5 Tips for Better Road Trips With Your Pets

1. Schedule Plenty of Breaks
Make sure to schedule time for plenty of breaks and plan good places to stop along the way before leaving. Be sure you have a secure harness and leash for your pet.
2. Give Your Pet a Designated Spot
Traveling with pets is safer if your pet has a spot to relax safely and securely. Small pets can travel in pet carriers. Larger pets should have a designated dog bed and vehicle harness.
3. Pack Extra Pet Supplies
Bring more food and water than you need. Remember your pet’s medications, poo bags, toys, bed, and an extra leash.
4. Don’t Roll Down the Windows
Yes, pets love to feel the breeze in their fur, but rolling down the windows actually exposes your pet to dust, debris, and allergens that can lead to eye and ear infections. It’s better to leave the windows up and crank the AC.
5. Get a Microchip Before You Leave
Pets are more likely to become afraid, disoriented, and get lost when they’re visiting unfamiliar places. Schedule an appointment to microchip your pet before you leave. Then you can have peace of mind that your pet is outfitted with permanent identification. Be sure your contact information is kept current in your pet’s microchip database.
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Make Sure Your Pet Is Travel-Ready With a Checkup at Animal Wellness Center

Before you hit the road with your pet, getting a clean bill of health from a veterinarian is a good idea. Plus, if you plan to cross state lines or travel to a different area with your pet, then it’s good to make sure your pet has all of the necessary vaccinations, parasite protection, and paperwork to ensure they can travel safely and legally all the way to your destination.
To learn more about traveling with pets or to schedule an appointment for your dog or cat, we welcome you to contact Animal Wellness Center today.

Dog Swim Safety: Do These Three Things

Swimming is the perfect summer exercise activity – especially for senior dogs with joint health issues and cold-weather dog breeds. However, swimming isn’t 100% safe; it poses some risks. Before you head to the lake or river with your pup in tow, consider the following top three safety tips for swimming with dogs.

Dog Swim Safety: Do These Three Things

Swimming is the perfect summer exercise activity – especially for senior dogs with joint health issues and cold-weather dog breeds. However, swimming isn’t 100% safe; it poses some risks. Before you head to the lake or river with your pup in tow, consider the following top three safety tips for swimming with dogs.
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Three Safety Tips for Taking Your Dog Swimming

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1. Swim Lessons
Although most people associate dogs with water, not all dogs can or like to swim. There are certain breeds, like retrievers, that have a predisposition to spending time in the water. Other breeds, however, might not be so comfortable. So, be sure to start out slowly with your pet. Test the water in a shallow area where there is no current and stay close. Watch your dog closely to see how they react. Do they dive right in and paddle away? Or do they seem apprehensive to get their paws wet? Take cues from your dog and don’t try to force your dog to swim, if they don’t seem like they want to.
2. Avoid Toxic Algal Blooms
From mid-June to September in Wisconsin (and elsewhere), blue-green algae is a problem and a risk for pets swimming in fresh water. These algal blooms contain cyanobacteria and are highly toxic and are usually fatal for pets who swim in them. Swimming in a harmful algal bloom (HAB) can quickly turn a fun day at the lake with your pet into a tragedy by late afternoon or evening
3. Know Your Dog’s Limits
Just because your dog can swim and enjoys swimming it doesn’t mean they’re ready to swim Niagara Falls or maybe even in a swift creek. If your dog is a puppy or senior, has short legs, is brachycephalic, is a small breed, or simply isn’t the best swimmer, be sure to stay in places where there is no current and the water is shallow enough for them to touch the bottom.
It’s smart to invest in a life vest for your dog – whether they are a strong swimmer or not. This will prevent your dog from getting overly tired or too cold and struggling to stay afloat.
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Talk Dog Swimming Safety With Our Expert Veterinarians in Wisconsin

If you aren’t sure about whether your dog can swim safely or what their limitations in the water might be, we recommend scheduling an appointment with a veterinarian at Animal Wellness Center in Wisconsin.

Keeping Your Pets Happy When You Are Away

Whether you’re returning to work at the office after working from home or have a pet that feels anxious when you leave, the following tips can help your pet have a happier, more content time while you’re away for any reason.

Keeping Your Pets Happy When You Are Away

Our pets are social creatures. This is one of the reasons why they love living with us, but it’s also the reason they often have a difficult time being left alone. Whether you’re returning to work at the office after working from home or have a pet that feels anxious when you leave, the following tips can help your pet have a happier, more content time while you’re away for any reason.
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6 Tips to Keep Your Pets Happy When You Aren't Home

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1. Know the Signs of Separation Anxiety  
There’s a difference between a pet being sad that you’re away and a pet that is suffering from separation anxiety. The latter is marked by severe distress, excessive vocalization, destructive behaviors, accidents in the house, and other problems. If your pet has separation anxiety, you should seek assistance with training and your veterinarian right away.
2. Puzzle Toys
Puzzle toys can keep a pet’s mind occupied and busy for hours while they work to solve the puzzle and release the treats hidden within.
3. Dog or Cat Television  
There are several YouTube channels that provide calming, engaging content that is dedicated to entertaining dogs and cats. If this isn’t an option in your home, you can simply leave the television or radio on while you’re away.
4. Chew Toys  
Chew toys are a great way for your pet to direct their instinct to chew (sometimes as a result of anxiety) toward a positive activity. Provide them with chew toys that are appropriate for their size and strength, making sure your pet won’t be able to destroy them and accidentally swallow the pieces while they are unsupervised.
5. Snuffle Mat  
A snuffle mat is a soft, grass-like feeding mat that provides a way for pets to practice the foraging skills they would use if living in the wild.
6. Safe Retreat
Be sure your pet has a safe place, like a bed, cat tree, or crate, where they can find comfort when you are away.

Lifestyle and Behavioral Counseling at Animal Wellness Center

If your pet is exhibiting behavior issues while you’re away from home, we recommend scheduling an appointment with a veterinarian at Animal Wellness Center. We can examine your pet to rule out (or address) any underlying medical conditions that could be contributing to the behavioral issues. We can then provide you with powerful training tools and pet enrichment advice to help you get your pet on the track to happy independence. To learn more or schedule an appointment, contact us today.

Your Guide to Keeping Your Pet Safe From Ticks

When the weather warms up, it’s time to take your favorite furry friend out and about. Unfortunately, you’re not the only one who wants to get up close and personal with your dog or cat. Many insects and pests, especially ticks, love to hitch a ride on Fido’s fur. When that happens, your pet may get a tickborne disease, putting it in the hospital or potentially leading to life-threatening situations.

Your Guide to Keeping Your Pet Safe From Ticks

When the weather warms up, it’s time to take your favorite furry friend out and about. Unfortunately, you’re not the only one who wants to get up close and personal with your dog or cat. Many insects and pests, especially ticks, love to hitch a ride on Fido’s fur. When that happens, your pet may get a tickborne disease, putting it in the hospital or potentially leading to life-threatening situations.
But how can you keep your pet safe? Let’s break down the top tips for tick prevention and mitigation for pets.
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The Dangers of Ticks

Ticks can carry and transmit various harmful diseases to both humans and animals. The most well-known is Lyme disease, but depending on where you live, you likely have to worry about several more, like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
The primary issue with tickborne diseases is that vaccines or treatments don’t exist for pets. So, your furry friend will have to suffer through the worst symptoms while you watch, helpless to do anything.
Another issue is that it can be hard to spot ticks and tick bites on your pet because of all its fur. You also can’t rely on your dog or cat to notify you when they’re not okay since they may not feel the tick either. So, you could wind up with a sick pet with no prior warning.

How to Protect Your Pet

There are several protective options to keep your pet safe, such as:
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Contact Animal Wellness Center Today

Don’t wait until your pet gets sick to take action. At Animal Wellness Center, we can help you prevent tickborne diseases and keep your pet safe. Contact us today to find out more.

Top Tips for Keeping Your Dog Fit

Most dogs are naturally active and curious animals, meaning they need lots of love, affection, and exercise. However, since modern life can often get in the way, many dog owners don’t keep their pets as physically active as they should. If you start to notice your dog packing on the pounds, now’s the time to do something about it.

Top Tips for Keeping Your Dog Fit

Most dogs are naturally active and curious animals, meaning they need lots of love, affection, and exercise. However, since modern life can often get in the way, many dog owners don’t keep their pets as physically active as they should. If you start to notice your dog packing on the pounds, now’s the time to do something about it.
Here are four tips for keeping your dog fit.
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Pay Close Attention to Its Diet

Weight control starts with what you eat. It’s the same for humans and dogs. Fortunately, since dogs have a higher metabolism, it’s easier to shed pounds. So, a few tweaks to your dog’s diet should help it look trim and fit in no time. If necessary, talk with your vet about specific dietary needs or restrictions.
As a rule, your dog should never eat human food. So, if you’re feeding your pet table scraps regularly, changing the habit can yield some incredible benefits.

Exercise and Walk It Daily

Some breeds are more active than others. Generally, small dogs have more energy, but what really matters is the dog’s genetics. Do some research to figure out how often you should be walking your pet every day. Most dogs should be okay with one 30-minute walk daily. Some breeds may need two or more.
You can also exercise your dog by playing with it. For example, if your breed likes fetch, that’s an easy way to tire it out and give it some much-needed exercise. Physical activity is not just helpful for losing weight – it ensures the dog’s body is in peak condition.

Have Your Dog Interact With Other Dogs

Fitness is both mental and physical, so you have to stimulate your dog’s brain and body. Dogs are naturally social animals, which is a big reason why they’re so good with humans. Take your pet to the dog park regularly and let it interact with the other doggies there.

Get Regular Vet Checkups

Finally, the best way to ensure your dog stays healthy is to focus on preventative and comprehensive care. Rather than taking your pet to the vet whenever it’s sick, it’s better to bring it for an annual checkup. These visits allow you to spot potential health problems and eliminate them before they worsen.
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Protect Your Dog With Animal Wellness Center

Animal Wellness Center is committed to bringing high-quality veterinary care to your pets. Whether you have a puppy or an elderly dog, we can provide the best care and treatment. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

5 Household Products That Could Put Your Pet in the Hospital

As a pet owner, you want what’s best for your furry friend. Unfortunately, pets are often curious creatures and can wind up putting themselves in unsafe and unhealthy situations.

As a pet owner, you want what’s best for your furry friend. Unfortunately, pets are often curious creatures and can wind up putting themselves in unsafe and unhealthy situations. In many cases, products that are human-friendly can be downright dangerous for dogs and cats. So, if you’re not careful, your pet could wind up in the hospital.
The best way to avoid this danger is to know what’s unsafe so you can keep it out of your pet’s reach. Here are the five most common household products that can be dangerous or deadly for your pet.
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Human Medications

Most medications, even over-the-counter options, can be potentially toxic for your pet. Examples can include flu medicine, painkillers (such as Advil or Tylenol), cough medicine, and more. As a rule, you should never give your pet anything that hasn’t been approved by your vet. So, even if your pet is in pain, don’t try to prescribe anything, no matter how harmless it may seem.

Chocolate

Most people know that chocolate is toxic for dogs, but it’s also lethal for cats as well. Fortunately, cats tend to avoid chocolate, so there’s less of a chance that your feline friend will dig into a box of Hershey’s Kisses. As a rule, dark chocolate varieties are the most toxic, and even small amounts can cause vomiting and diarrhea in your pet. Overall, just keep chocolate away from your pup or kitty at all times.

Rat Poison

Getting rid of pests can be challenging as a pet owner because what’s lethal to rodents is also toxic for your furry friends. So, if you have a rat problem, you need to make sure to avoid putting traps where your pet can get into them. If you’re using rat poison, be sure to lock it up and put traps in hard-to-reach locations.

Alcohol

While a few sips can get your dog or cat drunk, the after-effects can be far more unpleasant than you may realize. Since your pet is much smaller than you, it doesn’t take much for them to develop alcohol poisoning. Effects can include diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, difficulty breathing, and even death.
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Soap

Unfortunately, hand soaps can often smell appealing to your pet, so you have to keep them out of reach. The soap can wreak havoc on your pet’s digestive system, which can dehydrate them and cause blockages.

Take Care of Your Pet With Animal Wellness Center

Even if you take steps to prevent your pet from getting into harmful household products, accidents can still happen. If your pet gets sick, we can help them get better. Contact us with all the details and set up an appointment ASAP.

4 Winter Pet Travel Tips

It’s winter and if you’ll be visiting relatives or family in a cooler climate and taking your pets with you, be sure to consider the following pet travel tips for winter.

It’s winter and if you’ll be visiting relatives or family in a cooler climate and taking your pets with you, be sure to consider the following pet travel tips for winter.

4 Winter Pet Travel Tips

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1. Plan for the Weather
If you and your pet are going to be in a cooler climate than Orange County, then be prepared. Your dog or cat won’t be used to the chilly weather. Pack a sweater or coat for your pet, but do not leave them unattended while wearing it, as they can present choking hazards and other dangers to your pet.
2. Fly Cozy
If you’ll be flying, research the type of pet travel crate you need and start crate-training your pet right away. You don’t want your dog or cat to be afraid while flying. Additionally, be sure to include a cushion, plenty of puppy pads in the bottom of the crate, and a warm blanket. If your pet does need to fly in a crate, it might also be a good idea to talk to our veterinarian about a sedative to reduce your pet’s travel-related stress.
3. Be Prepared for Emergencies
If traveling in a car, be sure to pack plenty of provisions for your pet. This includes warm clothing and/or blankets (just in case), plenty of water, food, pet medications, a leash and harness, a pet first aid kit, and travel pet bowls.
4. Wash and Dry Paws  
If your destination has snowy and icy sidewalks, then it probably also has lots of salt and de-icers. These chemicals are harmful and toxic for pets. They can stick to your pet’s paws when they go outside for a walk, and then pets can accidentally ingest them when they lick their paws. Be sure to wash and dry their paws thoroughly whenever you come inside from the outdoors.
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Schedule a Pre-Travel Checkup With Your Trusted Veterinarian

If you have an upcoming trip with your pet planned, we strongly encourage you to schedule a pre-travel checkup with our veterinarians at Animal Wellness Center. We’ll ensure your pet is healthy enough to travel, provide you with any of the travel certificates or vaccination records you might need, and help you determine if your pet should have any additional vaccinations or get a microchip before departure.
To learn more or schedule a veterinary appointment at your doorstep, please contact us today.