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How to Be a Great Cat Owner

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Our feline friends have a reputation for being quite independent and self-sufficient. While this is true in some ways—your cat will keep herself clean, and use a litterbox to see to her needs—kitties do need good care in order to truly thrive. But what does it take to be a great cat owner? A San Leandro, CA vet offers some helpful tips in this article.

Toys and Entertainment

Playtime and exercise are both very important to Fluffy’s health and well-being. A fun play session will help your kitty blow off some steam, practice her pouncing skills, and generally keep her active and happy. It’s also great for her mind! Offer your cat lots of toys, and spend a few minutes dangling that feather toy for her.

Regular Veterinary Care

Many of our furry patients don’t see us quite as often as they should. Adult cats should be examined by a vet at least once a year. Fluffy should be microchipped and spayed or neutered, and kept current on vaccinations and parasite control. At home, watch for signs of illness, such as hiding or poor grooming. Contact your vet immediately if you notice anything amiss. Cats often hide signs of illness, so Fluffy could be quite sick before you realize she isn’t feeling well.

Good Food

Choosing the right cat food brand can be tricky these days, with every company employing slick marketing tactics to present their brand as the best. Choose a cat food that lists meat as its first and most numerous ingredient. Ask your vet for specific recommendations, including serving sizes and suitable treats.

Keep Kitty Indoors

Cats are much safer staying inside, even if they don’t see it that way. As soon as Fluffy sets her cute little paws outdoors, she is exposed to the dangers posed by cars, predators, weather, and other hazards. Keep your furball safe and sound indoors.

Purrfectly Happy Pet

Kitties are actually quite easy to pamper. Just make sure Fluffy has some suitable cat furniture and comfy beds, and a clean litterbox. For extra purrs, give your furball a comfy window seat. Last but not least, play plenty of attention to your pet, so she feels loved, safe, and perhaps a bit spoiled.

Please contact us, your San Leandro, CA animal clinic, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

Taking Your Dog to Work

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If you’re a dog lover, you may know that a very important doggy holiday is coming up. June 24th is officially Take Your Dog To Work Day! But is it really a good idea to bring your canine buddy to your workplace? In this article, a San Leandro, CA vet discusses taking your pooch to work.

Fido’s Application

Hopefully, this goes without saying, but we do need to point out that not all dogs are cut out for regular jobs. If your pooch barks a lot, isn’t completely housetrained, or has any aggressive tendencies or behavioral issues, such as food aggression, it’s probably best to leave Fido at home.

Choosing The Right Career

Of course, you’ll need to check with your boss before bringing your pup to work. Much of whether Fido gets hired or not will likely depend on the industry you are in. If you work in a pet store, you’ll have a much better chance of getting your four-legged friend the job than if you work in manufacturing or in food service industries. People who work in small, independently-owned stores may find their pets a perfect match for their workplaces. Brain surgeons? Not so much.

The Interview

Even if you get the green light from your boss, you’ll want to check with your co-workers as well. Not everyone is as enamored with our canine friends as we are. Be considerate of people with allergies, and those who may find an adorable furry co-worker a bit too distracting.

The Background Check

If your dog hasn’t been fully trained, you may want to take your pooch back to school so he can complete his education. Fido should know basic obedience commands, such as Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. Chewing is another thing to consider. You definitely don’t want your pup eating a co-worker’s report!

Dress Code

Before bringing your pet to the office with you, make sure that Fido is microchipped, spayed or neutered, and up to date with his vaccinations and parasite control products. Your canine pal should also be well-groomed and wearing his ID tags. It also won’t hurt to tire your furry friend out with a vigorous walk before you take him to the office.

Please feel free to contact us, your San Leandro, CA animal hospital, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!

Adopt a Cat Month

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Did you know that June is Adopt A Cat Month? Of course, any month is a wonderful time to adopt a kitty. If you are looking for a new pet, read on! A San Leandro, CA vet discusses kitty adoptions below.

Shelter Kitties

If you are searching for that one purrfect pet to bring home, please consider getting Fluffy from a shelter. There are far too many cute, lovable felines in shelters, just hoping someone will save them and give them a forever home. There are actually several benefits to adopting from a shelter. You can choose from a variety of adorable kitties, and will be able to spend some time with your furry new friend before making a final decision. You may also save money on veterinary care costs, since most shelter kitties have been spayed or neutered, and are current on vaccinations and parasite control.

Bringing Kitty Home

Before you bring your new furball home, you’ll need to pick up a few things. Fluffy will need toys, treats, bedding, pet furniture, and dishes. A litterbox and litter are also musts. If your feline friend is a kitten, avoid clay or clumping litters for now, as they aren’t safe for baby cats. As for food, if you know what your cat has been eating, get the same brand for now, and then ask your vet for specific advice.

Veterinary Care

Speaking of veterinary care, one of the first things you’ll want to do is bring Fluffy to the vet for a full exam. If your kitty isn’t microchipped or spayed and neutered, you’ll want to get that done as well. While you’re there, ask for recommendations on your kitty’s diet and care.

Purr Activation

Fluffy may need a few days to adjust to her new home. Put your new kitty’s thing in a quiet back room, so she has a comfy place to settle in. If you have other pets, take your time making introductions. Keep your furry pals in separate rooms at first, and don’t leave them alone together until they’ve made friends. It’s also important to make sure your new furball feels happy and safe. Provide your feline buddy with plenty of fun toys, soft beds, and cuddle time. You’ll have that little motor going in no time!

Please contact us, your San Leandro, CA animal clinic, anytime. We are here for you!

Taking Fido to the Beach

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Do you plan on taking your dog to the shore this summer? Many of our canine pals love fun in the sun! However, the beach can be dangerous for dogs, so you’ll want to take some precautions to keep your furry buddy safe. Read on for some great tips on taking Fido to the beach from a San Leandro, CA vet.

Training

Make sure that Fido knows—and obeys—basic doggy commands, like Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. This is very important, as it can keep your pup near you, and away from dangerous areas.

Currents

Avoid bringing your canine buddy to beaches with strong currents and/or heavy wakes. These areas can be extremely dangerous for Man’s Best Friend!

Swimming

Before bringing Fido to the shore, take time to teach him how to swim. Keep in mind that swimming isn’t suitable for all of our furry friends. Some dogs love the water, but others, like pugs and other brachys, get winded very quickly, and can easily get into trouble at the beach. The shore can be especially dangerous for small dogs, as they are often over their heads in very shallow water. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Heat

Dogs can easily get overheated from running and playing at the beach. After all, Fido is already wearing a fur coat! Bring along plenty of water for your pooch. If you notice your canine friend panting, immediately give him some water and get him out of the sun. If he still seems hot, and/or is lethargic, drooling, or vomiting, contact your vet immediately.

Paw Care

Fido’s paw pads are very delicate, especially when they are wet. Your canine companion could get painful blisters from running around on the sand! Beaches are also dangerous because the sand can hide things like shells, sharp rocks, and broken glass. Use paw balm or wax to protect your furry pal’s feet, and try to keep him on soft ground.

Fur and Skin

Did you know that dogs can get sunburns? If your four-legged buddy has thin or pale skin, ask your vet for advice on putting pet-safe sunscreen on him. We also recommend rinsing Fido off before you take him home.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns about caring for your dog. As your local San Leandro, CA vet clinic, we are always happy to help!

How to Create the Purrfect Catio

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Do you have a screened porch or sunroom? Why not make a catio for your kitty? Fluffy is both safer and healthier living indoors, but who says she can’t have the best of both worlds? A local San Leandro, CA vet offers some helpful tips on creating a great catio in this article.

Kitty Furniture

A catio is a purrfect place to put your kitty’s cat tower. You can also add a catwalk, or some wall-mounted furniture. If you own your home, and really want to spoil your pet, consider building Fluffy a customized yard enclosure.

A Room With A View

Ideally, your feline pal’s catio should look out over a spot with an interesting view. If your backyard is small or plain, add a few birdfeeders to make it more entertaining for your furball. Cat love spying on local wildlife!

Cat Toys

Playing is great for Fluffy, both mentally and physically. Make sure your pet’s catio includes lots of fun toys. You can include classic kitty toys, like catnip mice or little plastic balls, which are always popular. You can also try something new, like catnip bubbles, or robotic mice.

Plants

No catio is complete without some kitty-friendly plants! After all, one of Fluffy’s favorite outdoor activities is peeking out thorough green leaves. Set out some nontoxic plants for your furball, so she can get a taste of nature. Catnip and cat grass may be the obvious choices, but there are many other great options. You can find a full list of safe and unsafe plants at the ASPCA website.

Beds

Make sure to add lots of comfy beds for Fluffy to relax in. You can find many kitty beds in stores, but if you want to do something a little different, look online for great DIY ideas. You can turn an old suitcase, hatbox, or even an end table into a cute kitty bed for your drowsy feline friend.

Finishing Touches

After adding all of these things, you may find that you still have plenty of room left over for yourself. Add some comfy furniture and decorations, and you’ve got a cute, cozy reading nook or entertainment area.

Is your cat due for an exam, vaccinations, or parasite control? Please contact us, your San Leandro, CA animal clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!

Tips for Bathing Fido

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Does your canine companion run and hide as soon as he hears the dreaded B-word? While we suspect that many dogs enjoy feeling soft and clean, most of our furry pals are definitely not big fans of bathtime. We can help! Here, a San Leandro, CA vet offers some helpful tips on giving Fido baths.

Fido’s Bathing Needs

Every dog has slightly different grooming needs. Fido’s coat will be the biggest factor that influences how many baths he needs, but his age and activity levels will also play important roles in determining his beauty treatment schedule. Needless to say, if your pooch has a penchant for rolling around in mud puddles, he’ll probably need frequent baths. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Basics

When bathing your four-legged pal, always use warm, not hot, water. It’s also important to stick to products made for pets: human shampoos can strip the oils from Fido’s fur, leaving his coat looking dry and frizzy. You don’t want to get suds in your dog’s eyes, nose, or ears, so just use a washcloth on that adorable furry face. To make bathtime a little easier, get a pitcher for rinsing.

Hacks

Do Fido’s bath sessions leave both you and your bathroom soaked? Get a clear shower curtain, and cut two slits in it, going from the bottom up. The cuts should be about two feet apart and four feet high. If you hang this up and use the holes as arm slits, you probably won’t get splashed as much.

Training

Does Fido really hate baths? Try this: call your furry buddy into the bathroom, and have him hop into the tub. Then, instead of giving him a bath, offer him a tasty treat and let him go. Choose something extra yummy to really get that cute tail wagging. After a few rounds, you may find your dog much more willing to jump into the tub!

The Afterbath

As soon as your canine friend puts his paws on the floor, he’ll probably start shaking to get the water out of his fur. If it’s warm enough, immediately take Fido for a walk to help him dry off. Once your furry friend is dry, you get your reward: cuddles from a clean, fresh-smelling dog!

Please contact us, your San Leandro, CA vet, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!

Pet First Aid Awareness Month

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Did you know that April is officially Pet First Aid Awareness Month? While we hope that none of our clients ever have to perform first aid on a beloved pet, we always advocate being prepared for emergencies, just in case. Here, a San Leandro, CA vet discusses pet first aid.

Preparing Your Pet’s Kit

We strongly recommend making a first aid kit for your four-legged buddy. An easy way to do this is to start with a regular first-aid kit, and then add some pet-specific items to it. Some of the things you’d want to include are gauze, non-stick bandages, blunt-end scissors, antiseptic lotion or spray, styptic powder, a muzzle (for dogs), blankets, and splints. In addition to these medical items, you’ll also want to add basic emergency supplies, such as food, treats, bedding, and collapsible dishes. Ask your vet for more information.

Brochures

In addition to specific medical items, your first aid kit should include information on what to do in emergencies. While you should of course immediately call your vet or emergency clinic if your furry pal is ever hurt, you may have to do some first aid before transporting your pet. Download a few apps, and buy or print some first-aid brochures. Keep these in the kit. You’ll also want to add copies of your pet’s medical records.

Contact Information

Your first aid kit should also contain relevant numbers, such as the number for the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline, which is (888) 426-4435. (Note: charges may apply.) Don’t forget to add your vet’s number to your contact list. We can be reached at (510) 278-8440.

Being Prepared

Taking some basic precautions can greatly reduce the odds of your furry friend getting hurt. Do some simple petproofing, and remove sharp and/or small objects. You’ll also want to keep anything potentially toxic, such as plants, chemicals, and medications, away from your furry friend. In addition to petproofing, we also recommend keeping cats inside: Fluffy is much safe indoors! As for Fido, if he has a yard to patrol, make sure the fencing is secure. Last but not least, do some research on both safe and unsafe foods, and make sure to only feed your four-legged pal healthy, suitable treats.

Do you have any questions about your pet’s health or care? We can help! Please contact us, your local San Leandro, CA animal clinic, anytime.

5 Adorable Ways Cats Demand Respect

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Did you know that March 28 is Respect Your Cat Day? Although kitties deserve respect every day, sometimes we can’t help but laugh at their silly antics. Fluffy may be small, but she may very well consider herself the boss of your household. Actually, our feline buddies can demand respect in some super cute ways! A San Leandro, CA vet lists some of them below.

Cuddle Time

Too much attention, too little attention, or the wrong kind of attention will all displease your furry overlord. It’s up to Fluffy, not you, to decide when it’s cuddle time. (Of course, your pet may very well demand attention while you’re in the middle of something. That’s just what cats do.) Our feline friends reserve the right to change their minds about being petted rapidly, without warning, and at any time. Your cat may think she wants attention, only to walk away or even smack your hand if you try to oblige.

Bed Space

It isn’t uncommon for people owned by cats to find themselves squished to one side of the bed, while their kitties sprawl out in the middle. Fluffy clearly thinks she has the right to decide whether she wants to sleep on your legs, pillow, or even on your head.

Dinner Choices

Many cats have their owners wrapped around their paws as far as food is concerned. Has your kitty ever meowed for her supper, only to turn away from the food you offer her? If Fluffy demands something different, there is a pretty good chance that you’ll oblige her. Those cute meows are hard to resist!

Attention Demands

If your cat is trying to get your attention, and you ignore her, look out! Fluffy may smack something off the table, run out in front of you, bat at your ankles, or just meow at you. (We suspect that sometimes kitties misbehave because they know they’re so cute that we usually break down and pet them instead of punishing them.)

All-Access Pass

As far as Fluffy is concerned, nothing in the house is off-limits. You may find your kitty on your research papers, in your suitcase, or even on a counter, just looking at you smugly. Clearly, cats live by their own rules!

Please contact us, your local San Leandro, CA animal clinic, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re happy to help!

Preventing Doggy Boredom

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Does your canine buddy spend a lot of time home alone while you are at work? As much as we would love to abide by our pets’ wishes, and spend all of our time offering belly rubs and ear scritches, most of us have to leave our furry companions at home while we go off to work. Fido is both intelligent and playful, and can easily get bored with nothing to do. We can help! Read on for some great tips from a San Leandro, CA vet on ways to keep your pooch entertained while you’re off earning money for pet food, doggy toys, and treats.

Toys

Make sure your pup has plenty of toys to play with. Puzzle toys can keep Fido amused for hours! Kong toys are also great for beating the bored-doggy blues. Here is a fun DIY option: drop a cupcake tin on the floor, upside down, and put a few pieces of kibble between the slots. Your four-legged friend will have a blast getting his snack! Remember to swap your furry buddy’s toys out regularly, so he doesn’t get bored with them.

Window View

Just like cats, dogs often like to look outdoors and see what is going on. Offer Fido a safe, comfortable spot, so he can supervise the neighborhood cats and squirrels and create nose art on your window.

Games

This one will have to wait until you get home, but why not play some games with your furry friend? Put a treat in one hand, and make Fido pick which hand has the treat. Tag, tug-o-war, and fetch are more good options. Scavenger hunts are also lots of fun for our canine pals.

Play Sessions

Before you head off for work, take your pup on a long walk, and spend a few minutes playing with him. A vigorous round of fetch will burn off Fido’s excess zing. Afterwards, your furry pal will probably be ready for a nice, long nap. This will help the time pass more quickly for him.

Entertainment Options

Turn a TV or radio on for Fido before you leave. The sound of voices and music will help keep your canine companion from feeling lonely. You can even find programs made just for dogs!

As your San Leandro, CA animal clinic, we are here to serve all your pet’s veterinary care needs. Please contact us anytime.

Walk Your Dog Day

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Does your dog bounce up from a dead sleep when you go near his leash? Fido certainly does love his walks! Actually, those daily strolls are very good for your canine pal! Here, in honor of Walk Your Dog Day, which is coming up February 22nd, a local San Leandro, CA vet talks about walking your dog.

Benefits of Walking

Although bathroom breaks are often the main reason people take their dogs out, walks are good for Fido in many other ways as well. They help him stay active, which is great for him physically. Walking can also burn off your four-legged buddy’s excess energy. This can help with many behavioral issues. After a long walk, your pooch will be more interested in napping than in digging in your garden for buried treasure! Walking also offers our canine friends beneficial mental stimulation.

Safety

Always keep Fido’s safety first and foremost. Make sure that your furry buddy is microchipped, current on his vaccines and parasite control products, and wearing proper ID tags. In hot weather, always bring water along for your pooch, and take care not to let him overheat. When you are walking on the side of a road, keep your pet to the outside, as he will be harder for drivers to stop. At night, use reflective gear and stick to well-lit, familiar paths.

Change of Scenery

Fido may get a bit bored taking the same old walking route every day. Take your pup somewhere new now and then, like a park or trail. Remember to follow park rules, and always pick up after your furry pal.

Foxtail Grass

Foxtail grass can be very dangerous for dogs! The seeds have sharp barbs, which can lodge themselves in Fido’s skin, and then work their way inside his body. Keep your canine companion away from foxtail grass, and always check your pooch thoroughly when you get home.

Paw Care

Fido’s paw pads are actually quite sensitive. Your four-legged buddy can get painful burns and blisters on his feet by walking or running on hot surfaces. In summer, keep your canine friend on soft ground as much as possible. You can also put paw balm on your furry companion’s paws to help protect them.

Please contact us here at your local San Leandro, CA animal hospital for all your dog’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!