Q: How much should I feed my pet?
A: Start out using the suggested amount written on the bag of food. However, regardless of what the bag recommends, if your pet is too thin or too fat, then an adjustment in the amount may be needed. If your pet is too thin or too fat you should have them evaluated by your veterinarian.
Q: How long will my dog be in heat?
A: Dogs should come in heat every 6 months, starting at 6-13 months of age. Dogs are usually in heat for 3 weeks. We recommend not spaying a dog while it is in heat. Both dogs and cats are likely to have life threatening problems if they are allowed to continue to cycle beyond middle age.
Q: Does my dog need to have her first heat before being spayed?
A: It is now considered acceptable to have a pet spayed or neutered before it is 6 months old. We recommend waiting until 6 months of age because of the anesthesia. Anesthesia complications are much less common after 6 months of age. When a dog is spayed before its first heat cycle, the likelihood of mammary cancer later in life is almost zero. If they come into heat after one time, chances are up to 20%, after 5 cycles it goes to 80%. As dogs age, their cycle becomes very erratic. They may cycle every year or 2 and stay in heat for 6 weeks. This is setting her up for life threatening uterine problems.
Q: My dog scoots across the floor why?
A: The 3 most common reasons for this activity are anal gland irritation, tapeworms, or feces stuck to hair under the tail. The anal gland problems are by far the most common. Anal glands are similar to the scent glands on a skunk. A dog should excrete enough of the smelly secretion with each bowel movement to prevent the buildup of secretion and subsequent irritation. Many dogs, especially small dogs, are not very proficient at this and require assistance. We can express your pet’s glands or show you how to do it. Most groomers do this as part of routine grooming.
Q: Can my dog eat table scraps?
A: Dogs survived on table scraps for 1000’s of years before commercial foods were available. Many dogs can eat table food and do just fine, BUT many dogs don’t. Hundreds of years ago table scraps didn’t include fried chicken, pepperoni pizza, or barbeque sauce. Our table scraps have a much higher fat and spice content today than years ago. Some dogs can eat table scraps fine for a while, but then their pancreas has had enough, and they can only hold down a prescription diet designed for sensitive stomachs.
Q: My dog never listens.
A: We recommend two types of training. Group training is less expensive and is designed to teach the owner to teach their pet in a group-oriented fashion. Typically, these would be one night a week for 4 weeks and learn the basic commands (come, sit, stay). There is also individual training. It is more expensive and normally takes longer. You drop your pet off at the trainer and pick them up several weeks later. Your dog will be trained with a short course for the owner.
Q: How long will my cat be in heat?
A: Dogs and cats should come in heat every 6 months, starting at 6 months of age. Cats commonly exhibit behavioral changes that may last 4-5 days. If not bred, they may recycle on a weekly basis for a month or more. We routinely spay cats while they are in heat, but on dogs we recommend waiting until a dog is out of heat before surgery. Both dogs and cats are likely to have life threatening problems if allowed to continue to have cycles beyond middle age. It is by far best to have your pet spayed at 6 months of age or as soon as you are no longer intending to have a litter.
Q: Does my cat need to have her first heat before being spayed?
A: It is now considered acceptable to have a pet spayed or neutered before it is 6 months old. We recommend waiting until the pet is 6 months old. Anesthesia complications are much less common after 6 months of age.