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5 Common Genetic Disorders that Affect Dogs

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It is an unfortunate fact that many dogs are affected by genetic disorders that can impact their overall health and lifestyle to varying degrees. However, this does not mean that one cannot enjoy a long and fruitful relationship with a dog who is prone to or suffering from one of these disorders. In fact, knowing the most common genetic disorders can allow one to take precautions that may help minimize the extent to which their dog may be affected. Common Genetic Disorders in Dogs Some purebred dogs tend to suffer from certain genetic diseases due to their basic genetic makeup, whereas some dog breeds just tend to be healthier and suffer fewer medical problems than others. However, this does not mean that all purebred dogs are automatically doomed to a life filled with medical problems and all mixed breed dogs are automatically immune to all medical problems. When considering the…

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How to Identify Dangerous Ingredients in Pet Treats

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One of the many joys of pet ownership is being able to spoil your pet with treats every now and again. Of course, we also care deeply about our pets and would never want to give them anything that could potentially harm their health. So how do we know if their treats are actually healthy? Identifying Dangerous Ingredients Just as you check the ingredient lists of the foods you eat, you should check the ingredient lists of your pet’s treats. Ingredients are listed by weight order, so the first few ingredients on the list should definitely be high-quality–as fresh, pure and minimally processed as possible. You should recognize every ingredient on the label and know exactly where it came from–chicken fat obviously comes from chickens, whereas animal fat is of indeterminate origin. You also want to look for whole food ingredients, as they are less processed and contain more nutrients…

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Guide to Preventing Heart Disease in Your Dog

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Sharing your life with a dog means that you are also willing and able to take full responsibility for ensuring the fulfillment of their every need. Since dogs are unable to easily communicate with their owners, owners must fully understand these needs. Even the most well-intentioned owners may err in failing to provide full, necessary care to their dog, usually only realizing their error after their dog receives a non-optimal health diagnosis. Considering that heart disease in dogs can cause extensive problems to a dog’s health and happiness, but that many forms of heart disease are entirely preventable if the dog leads a healthy lifestyle, it is important for owners to understand their role in preventing this disease. Preventing Heart Disease Effectively preventing heart disease begins with understanding the main types and their causes, as well as what one can do about it. Congenital heart disease occurs when a dog…

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5 Responsibilities That Come With Being a Pet Owner

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As pet owners, we consider our pets to be important members of our family and we try to do everything possible to keep them healthy and happy. We recognize that pet ownership is both a privilege and a responsibility, and we cannot simply tend to our pets when it’s convenient for us. We recognize that our pets need love, care, and devotion in order to survive well, and we are willing to provide these things to them, especially since they so willingly provide us with unconditional love in return. But what exactly does being a responsible pet owner mean? In honor of Responsible Pet Owner month, we have outlined five key responsibilities that come with being a pet owner: Make every effort to incorporate your pet into your family. Domesticated pets, and especially dogs, need human companionship in order to live happy, fulfilling lives. Many of our pets are traditionally…

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National Pet Dental Health Month: Why Professional Teeth Cleanings Are Important

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Your pet is a very important part of your family, and as such you want to ensure that they always received the absolute best care. This certainly includes food, water, and regular physical check-ups, but it also must include professional teeth cleanings. The Importance of Professional Teeth Cleanings Perhaps you make the effort to clean your pet’s teeth on a regular basis, in which case you may wonder why you would still need to bother with professional teeth cleanings. No matter how diligent we are about keeping our pet’s teeth clean and healthy, we simply lack the tools and know-how necessary to clean them on the deep level that is necessary to remove plaque and tartar, which can build up and cause extensive health issues. Furthermore, professional teeth cleanings can provide the veterinarian with the opportunity to assess your pet’s oral health. Pets who suffer from untreated dental disease are…

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Adding To Your Pet Family: Why Gender Matters

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Making the decision to add to your pet family is definitely a big one. You may have already considered many aspects of this decision, including your current pet’s disposition and therefore the necessary disposition of the new pet, the increased responsibility and cost, and much more. While this is all important, you also need to consider the gender of your new pet–not as a simple matter of personal preference, but as a matter of what will work with your current pet. Why Gender Matters When Expanding Your Pet Family While there have certainly been plenty of exceptions, many pet experts agree that the best rule of thumb when adding to your pet family is to adopt an animal of the opposite sex to your current pet. The primary reason for this is that you current pet undoubtedly feels like the dominant pet in your household, and threats to this can…

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Alternative Options to Declawing Your Cat

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Recently, the issue of declawing cats has garnered attention and created a debate on whether or not the procedure is safe for pets or even necessary. Here at Somerset AMC, declawing cats is a routine service that we offer to pet owners who choose that option. While any surgical procedure can involve a certain level of pain, we have developed a compassionate and effective pain management plan that is implemented preoperatively.  Because of our surgical techniques and pain management protocols, our furry patients are able to heal more quickly. If you are still unsure of whether declawing your cat is the right decision for you, we’ve compiled a list of possible alternatives. Alternatives to Declawing For a variety of reasons, some individuals choose not to declaw their cats. If you are a cat owner who is searching for a solution to deal with their cat’s indoor scratching behavior, here are some…

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Identifying Lumps on Your Pet: When to See a Vet

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The last thing any pet owner wants to discover on their beloved pet is a lump that they are quite certain wasn’t there before.  Regardless of how rational and calm we may try to be, it can be very difficult to keep that horrible “C” word from wandering through your mind.  So how do we know when it’s safe not to worry, and when we need to take our pet to the vet? Identifying Lumps Following are some of the basic causes behind lumps forming on a pet’s body: A lipoma. These are soft, round, non-painful masses of fatty tissue normally found just under the skin.  They usually do not invade surrounding tissue or metastasize to other areas of the body, but rather simply grow to a certain size and hang around.  However, some lipomas are malignant and can spread throughout the body, while others can grow so large that…

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Why You Should Be Exercising Your Cat

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Unless they have been trained well, usually from kittenhood, cats cannot simply be hitched to the end of a leash and taken on a walk like dogs can.  But while cats do have high metabolisms that allow them to spend an enormous amount of time lying around, they do need some regular physical activity in order to stay fit and well. Exercising Your Cat Regular, physical activity allows your cat to establish and maintain a healthy body weight, which can have enormous benefits on their overall health, especially as they age.  Regular physical activity also allows them to maintain toned, strong muscles and an alert and active mind.  Depending upon how one chooses to exercise their cat, they can also find these activities to be valuable bonding opportunities that don’t take too much time but can make both of you happier. It would be best for your cat to engage…

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How Pets are Making Your Children Better People

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When it comes to raising children, parents have quite a job cut out for them.  They may find that every choice they make in regards to their children, including how they interact with them, how they discipline them, where they go to school and much more, can effectively impact who their children grow up to be.  Obviously, parents try hard to raise their children “right” so that they can become healthy, confident, self-sufficient and independent adults.  Apparently, part of the “magic formula” for raising children to be better people includes ensuring they have pets in their lives. How Pets Help Children According to Mary Renck Jalongo, PhD, education professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, educators are well aware of the fact that therapy animals can help developmentally challenged kids learn.  Now they are discovering that animals can provide children with much-needed, calming, non-judgmental support throughout any time in their life. …

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