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Fun Places in Nashville to Take Your Dog

One of the many reasons why 5 Points Animal Hospital loves Nashville so much is the city’s warm-hearted attitude towards dogs. With numerous dog parks and hiking trails as well as dog-friendly bars and restaurants located throughout the city, you can bring your dog just about everywhere you go. We would like to tell you more about some of the fun places in our city where you can take your dog to help you plan a new and exciting adventure to share with your best four-legged friend.Fun Places in Nashville to Take Your Dog - Nashville TN - 5 Points Animal Hospital

DOG PARKS

A couple of decades ago, there was not really anywhere in Nashville where you could let your dog run around off-leash without risking paying a fine for violating the county leash law. Fast-forward to today, however, and you will find six dog parks around the city to explore. Since these parks are operated by the Metro Nashville Parks and Recreation Department, there are specific rules you must follow, including picking up after your dog and disposing of his waste. While these dog parks do not discriminate against certain breeds, any dog who shows aggressive behavior towards another dog must be leashed and removed immediately. Although 5 Points Animal Hospital loves all six of these dog parks, we must admit that we do have a favorite one, Shelby Dog Park, which is located not far from our office in East Nashville. One of the first dog parks in the city, Shelby has become a popular hangout spot for both dogs and their owners.

HIKING TRAILS

If you are a nature lover, Tennessee offers a wide variety of scenic spots and its state parks system provides hundreds of hiking trails, many of which are dog-friendly. Here in the Nashville area, 5 Points Animal Hospital recommends Long Hunter State Park as a fun place to take your dog. Located next to our largest body of water, Percy Priest Lake, this state park allows leashed dogs to accompany you on five of its nine hiking trails. We especially like the five and a half mile Volunteer Trail Day Loop for its lakeside views.

BARS AND RESTAURANTS

You will find many restaurants and bars here in Nashville with dog-friendly patio seating. While each place may have its own dog policy, you should always make sure that your dog is under control on a six-foot (or shorter) non-retractable leash. Remember that dogs cannot go inside a restaurant for any reason. Some of our favorite dog-friendly hangouts in our East Nashville neighborhood include Drifters BBQ, Two Ten Jack, Eastland Café, and Pomodoro East. We are looking forward to checking out the debut of the first-ever BarkPark, a three-month pop-up from BARK, the company behind BarkBox when it opens soon. With a $19-a-day membership pass, you can enjoy free WiFi at a coffee bar (or BYOB beer and wine) while your dog plays on a square block of green space right here in East Nashville.

As one of the best full-service comprehensive veterinary clinics in Nashville, 5 Points Animal Hospital knows the best dog-friendly spots in the area, but with new places opening up all the time, we could use your help. Contact us today and share with us your favorite fun place to go in our city with your dog. Our staff will pass along more of our recommendations, and we can also schedule an appointment for your dog’s annual wellness care visit when you call.

What to Expect If Your Pet Needs Surgery

Just like humans, cats and dogs may need to have some type of surgery during their lifetimes. Knowing what to expect when your pet needs a surgical procedure can help him recover as quickly, comfortably, and successfully as possible. Since 2011, 5 Points Animal Hospital has been providing comprehensive veterinary services, including a wide range of surgeries, to the pets of East Nashville. We are proud to have a state-of-the-art surgical suite that is fully stocked with the most advanced tools, including surgical instruments, anesthetics and other pain management What To Expect With Pet Surgery - Nashville TN - 5 Points Pet Hospital medications, and monitoring equipment. We would like to answer some of our most frequently asked questions about pet surgeries to help you feel more prepared when the time may come for your cat or dog.

What kinds of surgeries could my pet need?

While you may think your pet may only need to have a surgical procedure if he is very ill, the most common types of surgeries are spays and neuters. Recommended by pet experts, having your pet spayed or neutered not only has both medical and behavioral benefits, but you are helping to control the pet homelessness crisis, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Along with spays and neuters, 5 Points Animal Hospital also provides other surgical services, including biopsies, tumor removals, splenectomies, exploratory laparotomies, and cystotomies.

What can I expect on the day of my pet’s surgery at 5 Points Animal Hospital?

When you bring your cat or dog into our clinic, we begin with a complete physical exam, which includes preoperative blood work. We will then place your pet under anesthesia as well as start giving him intravenous fluids via an indwelling catheter. During the entire time your pet is under anesthesia, he will be closely monitored by an experienced and qualified technician who keeps a close eye on parameters that include blood pressure, oxygen saturation, heart rate, and respiratory rate. To keep your pet comfortable, we provide aggressive pain management before, during, and after the surgical procedure. We will most likely also send pain medication home for you to administer as your pet recovers at home. Most of our patients will be able to go home the same day as their procedure; however, we do partner with a local 24-hour veterinary clinic if your pet may need overnight care.

No matter which surgery your cat or dog may need, you can trust 5 Points Animal Hospital to provide the best possible care. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a wellness and preventive care exam.

When Should I Take My Pet to the Vet?

As a pet owner, you want your dog or cat to be as happy and healthy as possible. In order to keep your pet in good health, it is important to take him to the veterinarian at least once a year for his wellness and preventive care examinations. When Should I Take My Pet to the Vet - Nashville TN - 5 Points Animal Hospital

At these annual visits, the vet will make sure your pet is up to date on his vaccinations and will also look for any health problems that need to be treated before they could potentially develop into a more serious illness. There are also times when your dog or cat may not be feeling his best, but you’re unsure of whether or not he should go to the vet to be treated. Since 2011, 5 Points Animal Hospital has been providing comprehensive veterinary services, including preventive and wellness care, diagnostic lab work, vaccinations, surgeries, and dental care, for the pets of the East Nashville area. We would like to tell you some of the symptoms that require immediate veterinary attention to help you know when to take your pet to the vet.

BREATHING DIFFICULTIES

Whenever your pet has trouble breathing, you should immediately bring him or her to the veterinarian, according to Dogster. This symptom is a huge veterinary emergency because your pet could die after only three minutes without being able to breathe. You will know if you need to bring your pet to the vet if you hear him make strange noises when breathing or if you see his lips puff when he tries to breathe.

REPEATED VOMITING AND/OR DIARRHEA

Occasionally your pet may vomit once or have a single loose bowel movement that can be treated at home by resting his stomach for a few hours and giving him bland food for a couple of days. However, if your dog is repeatedly vomiting or having diarrhea, there is a high risk of dehydration, which can be life-threatening. Our staff at 5 Points Animal Hospital will give your pet the fluids he needs to rehydrate, and we will also check to make sure there is no other issue, such as a gastrointestinal obstruction, that could be causing the problem.

REFUSAL TO EAT OR DRINK

When your pet refuses to eat or drink, it is a clear sign that something may be off. Although your dog or cat may skip a meal from time to time, you should bring him into 5 Points Animal Hospital if he goes for a day or longer without eating or drinking. Not only could there be a serious health problem, but your pet could also be dehydrated and need veterinary care.

SEVERE WEAKNESS

When your pet is too weak to get up and walk around, it could be a symptom of a major problem, including internal bleeding, anaphylactic shock, poisoning, Addison’s disease, or heart failure. Your pet could also be having trouble getting up because of severe pain from a spinal cord, hip, or leg injury. All of these medical issues require urgent attention from our veterinary staff at 5 Points Animal Hospital. We have the most advanced diagnostic tools to find out the exact problem so that we can begin treating the issue as quickly as possible.

5 Points Animal Hospital understands that your pet may have an unexpected health emergency when our office is closed, which is why we have partnered with two local pet emergency clinics that are available 24 hours a day. If you notice any of these symptoms occurring with your pet, contact us immediately to let us know you and your pet are on the way to our East Nashville office.

The Importance of Practicing Good Pet Dental Hygiene

You know that you need to follow good dental hygiene practices to keep your mouth healthy, but did you realize the same is true for your pets? Gum disease and other oral health problems can lead to serious health issues like heart, liver, and kidney diseases in dogs and cats as well as in people. 5 Points Animal Hospital makes it easy for pet owners to take care of their dog’s or cat’s teeth by offering a free dental exam every six months to our patients. We also provide other pet dental health services, including routine cleanings, periodontal therapies, and extractions. If your pet is in need of more advanced dentistry services, we work closely with two board-certified veterinary dentists who will treat your pet with the same possible dental care. We would like to tell you more about the importance of good pet dental health and hygiene practices and how you can help keep your pet’s mouth as healthy and happy as your own.

Why does my pet need to have his teeth examined twice a year?

According to Vet Street, periodontal disease affects 85 percent of pets by the time they are three years old. In order to catch this disease in its early stages, your pet needs his teeth professionally examined at least twice a year. Our staff at 5 Points Animal Hospital provides free dental exams to our pet patients every six months. If we find a buildup of plaque and tartar on your pet’s teeth during the exam, we will recommend a professional dental cleaning to keep bacteria from spreading and causing gingivitis. Scheduling regular dental exams for your pet is the best way to protect him from developing periodontal disease, enduring pain, and losing any teeth.

How can I practice good dental hygiene for my pet at home?

You can help keep your pet’s teeth healthy by brushing them every day with a child’s toothbrush or with a special finger brush for pets. 5 Points Animal Hospital can show you the best type of toothbrush for your pet, and we can also help you find the right pet toothpaste. Our staff is happy to show you the best tips and hacks for making this important daily pet dental hygiene practice easy to do. We can also recommend the best pet dental diets and treats that will work to reduce plaque and tartar.

Prolong the life of your pet by taking the best possible care of his teeth. Contact us today at 5 Points Animal Hospital to find out more about our professional pet dental care services.

Best Dog Breeds for Young Children

Your kids have been asking for a puppy, but you are not sure which kind of dog would be the best for your family. Although your children may want to pick out their new pet, it is a good idea to do some research on different dog breeds to find out which one is perfect for your lifestyle. To help you in your search for a family dog, 5 Points Animal Hospital would like to share with you some of the best dog breeds for younger kids. We hope to give you a better understanding of the options you have in finding the perfect pet for your entire family.

GOLDEN AND LABRADOR RETRIEVERS

Gentle and patient, these two retriever breeds are recommended by Cesar’s Way as great dogs for growing children. Both golden and Labrador retrievers are kind, intelligent, eager to please, and easily trained, which are all great characteristics for good family pets. Your kids will love helping these dogs use up their endless energy by playing with them in your yard or local dog park.

COCKER SPANIELS

These beautiful dogs love to play with kids, and they also enjoy snuggling on the couch because they are all about spending as much time as possible with their humans. While this breed typically has a sweet and gentle temperament, they do not handle teasing very well, so you will need to teach your kids the best ways to treat your new cocker spaniel to avoid moments of snapping and snarling.

BOXERS

Even though this breed is large, the average boxer loves children. Sweet, loving, and pack oriented, a boxer enjoys playing with younger kids and can handle rowdy behavior. Since boxers are very energetic, you need to be sure you can provide this dog breed with plenty of opportunities for exercise, or you may have behavioral problems like digging and incessant barking on your hands.

BEAGLES

If your children are very active and adventurous, a beagle can be a great choice of dog breed as a pet. Your kids will spend hours of fun playing with a beagle, and you will enjoy watching them wear each other out as they run and play together. Even though beagles are a small breed, they are built tough enough to withstand high-energy activities, but you do need to make sure your kids are not overfeeding your beagle, as this breed has tendencies towards obesity.

MIXED BREEDS

According to Cesar’s Way, you can get the best of all worlds with a mixed breed dog. Some of the harsher traits of pure breeds are softened when they are mixed with another breed, and mutts do tend to be healthier overall and are in a greater need of rescue. If you are nervous about adopting a rescue mixed breed, you can talk to the shelter workers to find out more details about the dog’s personality to see if he is the right fit for your family.

Considering adding a new puppy to your family? Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital for more suggestions and tips to find the perfect dog for your home.

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