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Tags and Microchips for Your Pets

One of the biggest fears of any pet owners is losing their beloved pet. Since outside cats are not often in a contained space, they can easily wander off out of curiosity. Even though dogs are not typically allowed to roam freely, they can still get loose and run off to explore. When dogs and cats are out exploring, they can end up far away from home. For this reason, it is essential that your pet is wearing some type of identification at all times. With proper identification, your pet can be quickly returned to you. Unfortunately, many pets have no way to be identified. Our staff at 5 Points Animal Hospital knows what a nightmare it is to lose a pet, and we would like to help you prevent this from happening by telling you about how tags and microchips can keep your pets safe in case of an accidental separation.

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Identification Tags

An easy and inexpensive way to ensure your cat or dog can be identified is to put an ID tag with your contact information on your pet’s collar. Because your pet can always get lost, Vet Street recommends you leave your pet’s collar on at all times, even if you have an indoor dog or cat. The ASPCA reports that 80 percent of pet owners feel strongly about the importance of their pets wearing ID tags; however, only 33 percent of these people’s pets consistently wear ID tags. You never know when a fire or other natural disaster could occur that could cause your pet to become lost. If your cat or dog is not wearing his or her ID tag at the time, you could have a hard time finding your animal quickly.

Microchips

Since ID tags can fall off the collar, the most secure form of identification is a microchip, which is a small electronic device that is injected underneath your pet’s skin. This device allows veterinarians, shelter workers, and animal control officers to identify your pet by waving a scanner over the area to receive your pet’s unique identification number to be able to search for that number in a database to contact you. This is why it is important to keep the microchip information updated. If you move or get a new phone number, make sure you update the information on the chip. 5 Points Animal Hospital can be sure the microchip has the correct information by scanning your pet once a year to check the details.

Losing your pet can be a horrible experience, which is made worse without a form of identification. Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital for more information about our microchip services.

How to Manage Pet Shedding

If you have a cat or a dog, you probably know that the arrival of spring means shedding season has begun. The warmer weather causes pets to shed the thicker coats they had for winter, and, unfortunately, this shedding can lead to dog or cat hair all over your home. Dealing with all the hair can be frustrating, but 5 Points Animal Hospital is here to help. We would like to tell you a few ways that make managing pet shedding much easier so that you can spend more time outside having fun with your pet rather than devoting all of your free time to cleaning up pet hair.

How to Manage Pet Shedding - Nashville TN - 5 Points Animal Hospital

Use a vacuum that is specifically designed to clean up pet hair.

The best cleaning tool you can have to deal with pet shedding is a good-quality vacuum. In the spring and summer, you may need to vacuum every day, especially if you have a breed that sheds more than others. We recommend you use a vacuum that has been designed to help pet owners remove cat and dog hair from the floors and furniture. Some vacuums even come with dog attachments that allow you to remove loose hair from your dog before it sheds! However, not all dogs like being vacuumed.

Brush your pets every day.

Brushing your dog or cat often makes a huge difference in the amount of hair that ends up on your floors and furniture. According to Vet Street, it is best to brush your pet outside to keep loose fur from flying around inside your home. Giving your pet a bath before brushing helps to loosen up hair in the undercoat. If you need help selecting a good brush, 5 Points Animal Hospital can tell you what type of brush is the best for your pet.

Rubber gloves can be the trick to cleaning up pet hair quickly.

Put on a pair of rubber dishwashing gloves and run your hands over your carpets and furniture to quickly capture pet hair. You can even rub your pet while wearing these gloves to remove loose hair.

Remember the nooks and crannies.

You can find pet hair in some odd places, including places you would not even think about cleaning. Dog and cat hair can end up underneath the refrigerator, behind and underneath furniture, and on lampshades and curtains. When you are deep cleaning shedded pet hair from your home, don’t forget to check these spots.

Using these suggestions can go a long way when managing pet shedding. If you need more help with dealing with pet hair, contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to get more advice.

Motion Sickness in Dogs

Most people think dogs love to ride in cars, but this is not always the case. Just like some humans, some dogs get motion sickness whenever they go on a car ride, and this can be quite stressful for both the dog and the owner. The dog gets nervous about becoming sick, and the owner gets worried about the dog vomiting inside the car. Fortunately, for all involved, you can help to ease (and even eliminate) your dog’s motion sickness with both conditioning and medical treatment. 5 Points Animal Hospital would like to take this opportunity to tell you how you can get your dog to enjoy riding in the car.

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What kinds of dogs are prone to motion sickness?

While all breeds of dogs can suffer from motion sickness, it generally affects puppies and younger dogs rather than in older dogs. According to Vet Street, this is due to the ear structures that are used for balancing have not yet fully developed in puppies. However, if the first few car rides in your dog’s life involve nausea, your dog may always suffer from motion sickness, even once those ear structures have completely developed. This is why treating motion sickness as soon as possible is so important.

Are there other signs of motion sickness besides vomiting?

Of course, vomiting is a very obvious symptom of motion sickness, but there are other signs to look for as well. These symptoms include whining, excessive drooling, being inactive or listless, yawning or panting, displaying uneasiness, and being afraid of cars.

How can I treat my dog’s motion sickness?

While 5 Points Animal Hospital does have medication that can prevent vomiting when your dog is riding in a car, you should try a few conditioning techniques first. These include making your dog face forward by strapping him into the seat with a special seatbelt for dogs, positioning the seat as far back as possible, lowering the car windows a few inches to equalize air pressure, and keeping your car cool. You can also give your dog a treat every time he or she gets in the car as well as a special toy he or she can only play with in the car. To keep your car cleaner, limit your dog’s food and water consumption before riding in the car. You should also take your dog to fun places like the dog park so he or she will not associate the car with going to see the vet.

How can I build up my dog’s tolerance to car rides?

Vet Street suggests four steps to increase your dog’s tolerance to riding in a car. These steps may take a few days to a week and include the following

  • Get your dog used to approaching the car without getting inside.
  • Spend time with your dog inside the car while it is not running.
  • Take short trips around the block.
  • Take longer trips, and remember to reward your dog with praise and/or treats every time he or she behaves appropriately in the car.

If your dog suffers from motion sickness, 5 Points Animal Hospital is here to help. Contact us if the conditioning techniques do not help your dog get used to riding in the car.

Tips for Switching Your Pet’s Food

Sometimes your dog or cat needs to make a diet change. At 5 Points Animal Hospital, we often recommend switching to a different brand or type of food because your pet needs to lose or gain weight or has another health issue that requires another type of diet. Another reason you would have to switch your pet’s food is the brand may discontinue the type of food that your dog or cat prefers, or your local store stops carrying that entire brand, which you couldn’t find in your town anywhere else. You have probably noticed that your pet can be picky, especially when it comes to a new food, so it can help to know a few tricks to make this change easier for all of you. We would like to share some tips with you to successfully switch your pet’s food.

Mix the new food with the old food, and increase the amount of the new food each day for a week.

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If you have ever had to make changes to your own diet, you know it can have an affect on your digestive system. Your pet’s digestive system is just like yours, and even the tiniest and most subtle differences in diet can cause in the bacteria that helps digest food properly. To keep these changes from causing nausea, vomiting, and other stomach ailments, you should slowly add the new food to the old food. Each day, you will increase the amount of new food until your pet’s food is completely made up with the new food. We recommend that you mix the old and new foods for a week. According to Vet Street, if the new diet has more fat or has changed the amount of dietary fiber than your pet is used to eating, your pet could suffer from gas, diarrhea, and soft stools.

Think about the best time and place to begin the diet change.

If your dog or cat is sick and is just returning home from the animal hospital, it is not really the best time to change his or her diet. Your pet associates how he or she is feeling at the time when being offered a new food, and if your dog or cat is physically ill at that time, he or she could develop a food aversion and refuse the new food. We recommend starting the change after your pet has recovered. You should offer the new food in a quiet place where your pet is alone with just the new food. If you have other pets, keep them away as you start this diet change process.

Pay attention to your pet’s weight.

The vets at 5 Points Animal Hospital will tell you exactly how much you should be feeding the new food to your pet as well as if your pet needs to stay at the same weight or gain or lose weight. If we feel your dog or cat needs to lose weight, we will tell you how much weight should be lost each week and how to adjust the diet so this can happen, Do not be alarmed if you notice that your pet is eating less after you have changed foods because this is normal. If your dog or cat needs to gain weight, however, you do need to let us know how much your pet is eating so we can decide if we should make changes to your pet’s diet or not.

Feeding your pet the right food can make a big difference in his or her health. Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital if you notice your dog or cat not eating enough or eating too much food. We are here to help you with your pet’s diet and health.

Why Does My Cat Pounce?

You are walking through your house when, all of a sudden, your cat jumps from out of nowhere to pounce on you. If this is a normal occurrence for you, you do not need to worry about your cat’s behavior. Cats typically pounce on their owners as a sign of playfulness, but there are certain situations when your cat pouncing may signal something is wrong. At 5 Points Animal Hospital, our staff not only cares about the physical condition of your pets, but we also are here to help you with your pets’ behavioral problems. We would like to tell you more about why your cat pounces and when you should talk to us about this behavior.

Why does my cat like to pounce on me?

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The biggest reason why your cat pounces is for your attention. Pouncing is how cats like to be playful, and they also like to see what kind of reaction you will have. According to Vet Street, your cat has figured out if you will chase after him or her after pouncing, and this interaction can be very rewarding for your cat. Your cat feels like this is his or her best way of getting your attention for playtime.

Is the only reason my cat pounces for playtime and attention?

Sometimes, your cat may pounce on you out of agitation, but the source usually does not have anything to do with you. Your indoor cat may see a neighborhood cat wandering around through the window and become upset because he or she cannot chase this cat. Your cat may redirect his or her aggressive behavior towards you instead. Additionally, your cat may become agitated when you move quickly around the house. If you are still, your cat will stay calm, but as soon as you get up to do something, he or she may start pouncing to show his or her irritation.

When should I talk to 5 Points Animal Hospital about this behavior?

When your cat’s pouncing increases in either frequency or intensity, you should bring your cat in to see us so that we can be sure there is no underlying health issue that could be causing this behavior. If your cat digs his or her claws into you when pouncing, we also recommend that you bring your cat in to see us. We can give you ways to redirect this playfulness with some easy play activities to keep yourself from getting injured by your cat’s claws.

Whenever your cat starts behaving out of the ordinary, it is a sign that there could be something wrong. Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to learn more about cat pouncing and other feline behaviors.

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5 Points Animal Hospital | 1103 Woodland St., Nashville, TN 37206 | Click to Call Us Now