Sun Valley Veterinary Sun Valley Veterinary Thu, 15 Mar 2018 19:47:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 4 Tips for Preparing Your Dog for Spring, Pt. 1 Thu, 15 Mar 2018 19:47:55 +0000 Welcome back to the Sun Valley Animal Center blog! Spring is right around the corner, which is an exciting time for dog owners. As the temperatures warm up, you will likely be spending more time enjoying the outdoors with your furry friend, getting more exercise, hiking, playing, and going on fun excursions in the wilderness. Therefore, you will want to make sure your dog is ready for any outdoor adventure by ensuring their health and wellness are in top shape. As your Top Rated Local® animal center and veterinary hospital, we have some helpful tips you can follow to prepare your pup for the warmer, more active months ahead. Continue reading below to learn more.

Keep Up With Heartworm Prevention

One of the greatest threats to your dog’s health is Dirofilaria immitis, also known as heartworms. Heartworm disease, caused by foot-long heartworms, is a very serious disease in pets that causes chronic damage to the heart, lungs, and arteries, which can become fatal. As the weather warms up, bugs and pests like mosquitoes that spread heartworms and other parasites become more active. Pet parents will want to be proactive in taking preventative measures using heartworm medications to protect their dogs from this terrible disease.

Maintain Flea and Tick Prevention

Along with mosquitos, spring and summer are peak seasons for fleas and ticks. Both of these insects feed on the blood of mammals, and can spread a swath of diseases and parasites to dogs and humans, including Bubonic plague, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Talk with your vet about flea and tick prevention in the form of oral tablets, flea collars, and specially-formulated shampoos.

Give Their Diet a Nutritional Boost

As your dog becomes more active during the warmer months, their muscles and joints are at a greater risk for injury. What’s more, it is very common for dogs to gain a few extra pounds during wintertime when they may not be as active due to colder temperatures and severe winter weather. You can give your dog the vitamins and minerals they need for strong bones, joints, and muscles by feeding them dog-friendly, low-calorie fruits and veggies in place of boxed treats.

  • Healthy veggie snacks – Dogs love raw carrots and celery, cooked, plain sweet potatoes, and steamed green beans and broccoli. Avoid feeding them onions, garlic, and avocados.
  • Healthy fruit snacks – Blueberries, fresh, frozen, or mashed bananas, apple slices (without the seeds, which are poisonous to dogs), and fresh watermelon make excellent dog treats. Avoid feeding them grapes and raisins.   

Schedule a Wellness Exam

Scheduling your furry family member for a wellness exam at our veterinary hospital this spring will allow our veterinarians to examine your dog, update any needed vaccines, offer nutritional counseling, and address any health issues that may affect their quality of life. Contact Sun Valley Animal Center today for an exam. Be sure to join us for part two of this short blog series where we will continue exploring ways to prepare your dog for spring. Thanks for reading!

3 Tricks That Will Help Your Cats to Drink More Water Tue, 20 Feb 2018 17:43:13 +0000 It’s never fun seeing something wrong with your kitty, and then taking them to the veterinary hospital only to find out that you could’ve easily prevented the problem at home with no cost. Of course, the peace of mind from a veterinarian is good to have (better to be safe than sorry when it comes to pets), but ultimately the ideal situation is one where your animals are happy and healthy.

When it comes to cats, they’re often not drinking enough water, even when they have a full bowl readily accessible. There are a few reasons for this, and there are easy tricks you can do that will get them to start drinking more! Dehydration is a serious condition that can lead to a slew of other problems. By making simple tweaks to their living situation, you can help to prevent this.

Keep the Water Bowl Away From the Food Bowl

Do you have a cat that’s desperate to drink out of every cup you put down, despite having a giant bowl of nice clean water? The fix might be much more straightforward than you’d think—the cat’s water might be too close to its food.

It’s been observed that cats tend to drink more from a bowl that’s separate from their food. Experts have speculated reasons for this; the prevailing theory is that cats instinctually don’t like to drink water next to food, because in the wild, it could be contaminated by their kill. Obviously that’s not the case in your home, but you can’t fight against instinct. Moving the water bowl might send a message to the cat that the water is safer to drink.

Change the Water Every Day

You don’t need a doctor to tell you that you’d rather drink a fresh cup of water instead of one that’s been sitting out for three days. Similarly, you don’t need a veterinary hospital to tell you that your cat probably feels the same way. Cats are picky about their water, and even though they’ll drink what’s there if they have to, you can bet that they’d rather drink from a fresh source.

Scents, contaminants, and debris can find their way into an old water bowl, which might deter the cat from drinking there if they don’t have to.

Try Moving Water

Did you know that most cats love drinking from a running water source? Studies have shown that, when given a choice, kitties much prefer a moving water source rather than a stagnant one. There are exceptions, but this is generally true for most cats.

There are a couple of theories for this; going back to our first point, running water has a lesser chance of being contaminated in the wild. It’s also more fresh when it’s always being cycled. Whatever the reason is, most cats love running water, and you should try setting it for them if you can.
Cat fountains are affordable and found at most pet shops. Why not give one a try?

A Little Bit of Action Can Go a Long Way

At Sun Valley Veterinary Hospital, your pet’s health is our biggest concern and top priority. We hope these tips will help you to keep your cat hydrated, which could prevent more serious conditions in the future! And of course, if you’re in the Boise, Salt Lake, Spokane, Billings, or Sun Valley areas, feel free to stop by or contact us for all of your pet’s health needs! We’re happy to help your buddy be as healthy as they can be.


Famous Misconceptions About Cats Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:40:38 +0000 Are you known for your love of cats? Then you won’t mind reading a bit about your feline friend and debunking some of the popular myths those weird, non-cat people believe. If you’re searching for a new veterinarian to enhance your pet care regimen for you adorable buddy, then look to Sun Valley Animal Center here in Ketchum. We’d be delighted to see you and your adorable kitty.

Milk Is Good For Your Cat

We know it’s hard to say no to your fuzzy lil Mr.Meowkins, but just because he’s whining does not mean you have to give him something. Especially if that thing he’s demanding is milk. This substance is widely debated for humans. However, the major issue with cats ingesting milk is that after they are no longer kittens, they lose all the enzymes in their digestive tract that can break down those kinds of fats. Essentially, your cat is lactose intolerant when they’re grown. This can come in the form of fishy, milky farts that will probably be in your face at night while your kitty is snuggling you. So be strong and avoid kitty gas by saying no to sharing your dairy beverage.

Dogs Are Smarter Than Cats

For some reason, this is a common misconception. The average cat is at least twice as smart as a dog. This is due to several different factors. The brains of cats are much more complex than that of dogs. Where dogs ring in at 160 million neurons in their cerebral cortex, the cat has 300 million neurons in the same place. This portion of the brain, in both animals and humans, controls the processing of cognitive information. Cat’s brains also are 90% identical to a human brain, which is mainly displayed in the similarities within the section of the brain that controls emotions. Their overall intelligence is pointed to by their much larger capacity for long-term memory, which is heightened by doing rather than seeing a rick of behavior displayed. It must be conceded that dogs have a higher social IQ, but can solve higher-level cognitive issues than dogs can.

Whiskers Are Used Balance

Have you ever seen a particularly chubby lil kitty try and fit through something they’re too wide for? That’s because they’re sensing the width of this space with their whiskers. They’re made of keratin which is the same material you’ll find in horns on other animals. In relation to balance, the only thing they’ll be able to do is sense their body’s proximity to the ground, and potentially if there’s a shop drop off. This little strands of keratin are attached to nerve points in your cat’s face. They allow them to sense how the air moves around objects, like your couch, and therefore notifies them of an obstacle. They assume that their whiskers are the same width as their body, so when they use them to feel out if they can fit through that tiny space, they assume they can because they don’t realize their pudgy body is gonna get stuck.

If your feline is in need of a checkup or a great place to vacation while you’re out of the house traveling the world, then Sun Valley Animal Center is your one-stop shop. With a wonderful staff and experienced pet care services, we’re proud to offer top of the line services to you and your pet. Contact us today.

‘Tis the Season for Holiday Pet Care Tips, Pt. 2 Sat, 16 Dec 2017 16:42:26 +0000 With the holidays finally here, you’re probably already exhausted and wanting a break. But it’s not over yet, the festivities have only just begun. Be careful to make sure everything is in order as far as dinner, but be extra sure that your fuzzy pal isn’t about to get sick from some strange holiday related occurrence.


Your guests will hopefully not be slipping a little vino to your puppy or kitty under the table. But no one is going to blink about giving table scraps that include alcohol content like a rum cake or booze filled chocolates, or anything else you can think of. This can be dangerous in the form of unbaked dough as well. Your pet’s body will digest the bread and turn it into ethanol and carbon dioxide. Your fur baby will bloat from the carbon dioxide and become alcohol poisoned from the ethanol. So keep these things out of their realm and be diligent about unbaked products falling within their reach.


You’ll find these in quite a few holiday recipes. These morsels make for a great natural sweetener in your own food but can prove extremely problematic for the fuzzy buddy walking all around the house and entertaining your holiday guests. These are actually poisonous to dogs and cats which is something those great guests you’re having over may not know. So inform your friends and family about this hazard before you have to make a call to an emergency pet hospital.


Grandma is, of course, delighted to be invited over to your home for the holidays, but she might bring a case of pills with her. Your uncle might have a prescription for his blood pressure, and your friend might need a high strength ibuprofen to help them get through the holiday stresses. If this is the case, gently remind them to keep these pills stored securely away from  those curious pets that might wander and get access to some of these harmful substances. Keep suitcases up off the ground and pills out of Ziploc baggies. Try shutting the guest room door and making sure it stays shut to ensure the safety of your pet.


Cat’s absolutely love playing with the Christmas tree decorations. Whether it’s the little hooks for the ornaments or knocking the tree over itself, it can lead to all sorts of funny issues. However, when decorating the tree, choose to avoid darning the tinsel on the branches. Kitties and puppies enjoy eating things they shouldn’t which includes tinsel. This holiday ornament is particularly dangerous once it enters their digestive system. It’s sharp and prone to balling up in the stomach. It can even wrap itself around the intestines and cause major issues with your pet’s health.

If one of these disasters does occur, call your emergency vet immediately. Here at Sun Valley Animal Center, we’re proud to offer the very best animal surgeons that can assist with that pesky tinsel and hazardous alcohol to save your pet’s life. If you’re in need of a traditional pet vet for the best gift you received this season: a new addition to your family, then be sure to contact us to schedule regular pet care to keep your furry friend in tip-top shape.

‘Tis the Season for Holiday Pet Care Tips, Pt. 1 Tue, 14 Nov 2017 21:05:03 +0000 Hello, and welcome back to our blog! Now that the holiday season is officially here, most pet parents will include their fur babies in all of their holiday celebrations. As you get ready for the holidays, you’ll want to keep your pet’s health and wellbeing in mind. With all the holiday festivities, travels, visiting guests, and extravagant meals, it can be easy to lose track of your pet’s needs in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Here are some holiday pet care tips for pet parents so that you can keep your furry companions safe and protected from a variety of holiday hazards.

Holiday Food Safety

In our last blog post, we explored some of the foods that you should never feed your dog. With all of the festive holiday meals that will be cooked, there are staple holiday foods to avoid giving your pup.

  • Turkey, Turkey Skin, and Bones: While baked, unseasoned poultry without the skin is a great fresh food alternative to feed your dog, holiday turkey is packed with seasonings, sodium, and other ingredients that can upset your pet’s tummy. While people often extend the giving tradition to their pet, it’s best to avoid giving them tastes of holiday turkey. The skin can affect their pancreas and turkey bones can split, causing damage to your dog’s digestive tract.
  • Chocolate: If you’re like most, chocolate candies will fill small holiday bowls throughout your household, which increases the chance of your pup sneaking a taste of one (more likely several). Chocolate of any kind is an absolute no-no, as it is toxic to both dogs and cats.
  • Baked Goods & Breads: Sweets of any kind (other than dog-friendly fruits as listed in a recent blog post) are off-limits. Most sweets contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is harmful to cats and dogs which is linked to liver failure and even death. Also, keep in mind that yeast dough used in baked goods is very harmful to pets and causes bloating that may result in extreme sickness and/or death.   

Holiday Decorations

Now that the holidays are here, out come the decorations, which means lots of fun things for your pets to play with. However, holiday decorations are not always designed with pets in mind, so take extra precautions with the following decorations:

  • Candles & Other Smell Goods: Candles, potpourris, and oil diffusers make the holidays even more magical, but these items can be harmful to pets. Dogs and cats can easily knock over lit candles which could result in injury to them or worse, a house fire. Always keep candles in safe areas where pets can’t reach them. The same goes for scented oil and potpourri that may look and smell appealing to a curious pup. Potpourris feature fragrance, paints, and dyes that, if ingested, could make your pet very sick.
  • Table Decorations: Pets, especially dogs, often mistake stuffed holiday decorations like silly Thanksgiving turkeys, fun pumpkins, and other traditional decorations, for puppy toys. These decorations tend to feature smaller adornments that could tear your pup’s intestinal tract, and may require pet surgery to remove the harmful object. Keep these decorations out of reach from your pets to be safe.   

Thank you for reading our blog series. We will post more helpful tips in parts two and three so that you can maintain your pet’s health and safety throughout the holiday season. Should your pet ingest hazardous objects, toxic food, or need a pet surgery, give Sun Valley Animal Center a call to schedule with our team.

5 Foods You Should Never Feed Your Dog Tue, 24 Oct 2017 17:22:14 +0000 Welcome back to the Sun Valley Animal Center blog! In our recent blog posts, we looked at some of the best people foods that are safe to share with your canine companion. While there are a plethora of foods like carrots, apple slices, sweet potatoes, and unseasoned, deboned chicken and turkey that are safe and nutritious to feed your dog, there is a myriad of foods that are toxic to them. While dog lovers enjoy sharing their food with their pups, these are the foods that you should never give them, as they can damage your dog’s digestive system and trigger severe health problems. Here are the foods to avoid feeding your furry family member:

Grapes & Raisins

Many dog lovers mistakenly feed their pups grapes and raisins as an easy-to-chew treat. These snacks are actually very toxic for your pup and can cause kidney failure. While the toxic substance that causes canine kidney failure is still being researched, it is best to avoid sharing these treats with your dog. Make sure to keep grapes and raisins stored in an area that is inaccessible to your dog.


Avocados contain persin, a fungicidal toxin that is mildly poisonous to dogs. While avocados are not as toxic to pups as some other foods, they can cause vomiting and diarrhea, which can dehydrate your dog and decrease their energy levels. The most dangerous aspect of the avocado is the pit which presents a choking hazard to your dog. It’s best to dispose of the pit in a wastebasket that your dog cannot access. Additionally, if you grow avocados at home, make sure your dog can’t get to them.


With Halloween just around the corner, chocolate candy will be a common feature in households across the country. Chocolate contains a substance called methylxanthines found in the cacao seeds used to make chocolate. While dark chocolate contains the highest level of this toxic substance, milk chocolate and white chocolate contain lower amounts. If your dog ingests chocolate, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea which leads to dehydration and excessive thirst. Additional symptoms include heavy panting, frequent urination, shaking and tremors, hyperactivity, rapid or abnormal heart rate, seizures, and in the worst case, death. It’s best to keep all chocolate and chocolate products stored in high, secure places where your dog can’t reach it. Be extra mindful about where candy bowls are placed around the house this holiday season.

Garlic & Onions

These staple foods are commonly found in kitchens, but should never be given to your pup. Garlic and onions contain enzymes which cause gastrointestinal issues that can wreak havoc on your dog’s red blood cells. Some recommend using garlic as a flea deterrent, but this simply does not work and should not be a part of your dog’s diet.  

It’s best to avoid these feeding your pup these foods altogether. If your dog needs immediate care for ingesting a toxic food, call us immediately.  If you have questions about your dog’s diet and would like nutrition guidance, contact Sun Valley Animal Center, the nation’s Top Rated Local® veterinary hospital and animal clinic, where your pet’s health is our main priority.

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5 Dog-Friendly People Foods, Part 2 Wed, 27 Sep 2017 21:12:59 +0000 Hello, and welcome back to the Sun Valley Animal Center blog. In our last post, we started looking at some of the best people foods that are safe and healthy for dogs to eat. Because there are so many wonderful raw foods out there that provide our furry friends with the filler-free nutrition they need and love, we will continue looking at a few more of these foods today. Substituting regular store-bought treats with these raw foods may help strengthen their bones, improve their coat’s shine and texture, help reduce digestive issues, and improve weight management. Additionally, these fruits and veggies can be mixed into their normal meal of kibble for added vitamins and minerals.

Vitamin-Rich Blueberries

Blueberries are a delicious treat for your dog. These little blue gems provide high amounts of vitamin C, are rich in fiber, and jam-packed with antioxidants that help protect your pet from free radicals which can lead to cellular and molecular issues in dogs. What’s more, blueberries are a low-calorie treat that helps to strengthen your pup’s immune system. Blueberries are the perfect size for carrying as a quick treat while taking your dog for a walk, and are easily mixed into their kibble for a boost of vitamins. For an added benefit, try mixing mashed up blueberries with coconut oil and aloe vera and treat your pup to a calming blueberry facial that will soothe, hydrate, and refresh the skin and hair on their face. Don’t forget to get their noses!  


The next time you cook salmon for yourself, you may want to share some with your pup, too. Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids that can improve your dog’s skin and coat, making it healthy, shiny, and soft to the touch. What’s more, these fats also support your dog’s immune system, and may even help those pups who suffer from allergies. The caveat here is that the salmon should be cooked to avoid any parasites that may live on raw fish, which could make your pup sick.

Sweet Potatoes

These spuds are a great treat for your buds! Sweet potatoes are versatile when it comes to dogs; when sliced and dehydrated, sweet potatoes make the perfect chewy treat to help maintain the health of your dog’s teeth, while strengthening the muscles they use to chew. If you’d like to implement sweet potatoes into their meal of kibble, make sure the potatoes are cooked thoroughly, cooled, and cut into small cubes. These orange potatoes are rich in fiber and provide a wealth of vitamins, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, manganese, and vitamin B6.

Apple Slices

There’s nothing better than biting into a juicy apple, and most dogs would probably agree. Apples are a crunchy treat that, like carrots, help clean your pup’s teeth with every bite. Apples provide vitamins C, calcium, and are rich in fiber. Do not feed them the core and make sure you remove all the seeds from the apple before feeding it to your dog, as apple seeds contain cyanide, according to the American Kennel Club AKC.

This concludes our short blog series on healthy people foods to feed your dog. Make sure to check back next time as we explore the human foods that you’ll want to avoid feeding your dog. If you would like to bring your dog to our animal hospital for pet nutrition counseling, dentistry, or have questions about our surgery services, contact our team at Sun Valley Animal Center today.   

5 Dog-Friendly People Foods, Part 1 Sun, 27 Aug 2017 20:51:49 +0000 Pet owners love to share their food with their furry family members; slipping their pups a taste of the last bit a steak or chicken at dinner is common in most American households. But did you know there are many human foods that have excellent health benefits for dogs? If you’re one of those who is guilty of sharing your dinner with your dog, opting for dog-friendly human foods is a great way to change up their diet from the usual dog kibble. Here are some of the best, most healthful foods to consider if you’re looking to go for a more natural diet, or if you’re simply looking to implement fresh foods into their existing diet.


As long as they are fully cooked, hard-boiled eggs are an excellent source of protein for your pup, and can also help calm an upset stomach. You’ll want to feed them eggs sparingly, as eggs are high in fat. Try adding half of a chopped hard boiled egg to their kibble every four days or so for a protein boost. Just remember, dogs are susceptible to salmonella, just like humans, so make sure the eggs are cooked all the way through to avoid catching the disease.

Unseasoned Chicken and Turkey

Dogs love poultry as much as humans do. While people prefer their turkey to be basted and seasoned, this can lead to toxicity in dogs, which may cause vomiting and diarrhea. If you would like to start feeding your dog turkey dinners, make sure the turkey is free of oil, seasonings, and most importantly, bones. Poultry bones are extremely dangerous for dogs, as they splinter during digestion which may cause tearing and blockage in their digestive tract. Simply add shredded or chopped chicken or turkey to their kibble for added protein.


Carrots make excellent treats for dogs. Simply saying the word “carrot” will have them running to the kitchen. Not only is this vegetable tasty for dogs, it is a low-calorie treat that his high in fiber and vitamin-rich. One of the best benefits of feeding your pup carrot treats is that the veggie acts as a toothbrush, gently scrubbing your dog’s teeth with every crunch.

Canned or Raw Pumpkin

If you’re looking for a fiber-rich treat to feed your pup, pumpkin is a great choice. Dogs seem to really enjoy eating pumpkin, whether canned or raw. Pumpkin is also a great source of vitamin A and can help reduce digestive issues.


Cheese, in small quantities, is a great treat for your furry friend—as long as your pup isn’t lactose intolerant (a rare condition among dogs). Cheese is a great source of calcium which can help strengthen your dog’s teeth and bones. Most cheeses are high in fat, so if you’re trying to get your overweight dog’s weight under control, pass on giving them cheese treats. However, there are many kinds of cheese that are low-fat, such as mozzarella, cottage cheese, and reduced-fat swiss.

Join us next time as we continue looking at human foods that are good to feed your dog. If you’re concerned about your dog’s weight or diet and would like to explore pet wellness and nutrition options, schedule an appointment with our dog nutrition specialists or contact our veterinary hospital today. At Sun Valley Animal Center, your pet’s health and wellness are our main priority.

How to Prepare Your Dog for Surgery Thu, 01 Jun 2017 17:54:37 +0000 If your dog requires surgery, you may be quite nervous. Your pooch is part of the family, and you want to make sure that they are as comfortable as possible. Whether it is as simple as getting them spayed or as complex as TPLO surgery, you want to do everything you can to set your dog up for success. Fortunately, with some education, there are certain simple steps you can take to help your furry friend be as comfortable as possible.

One Week Before the Surgery

You should start preparing for your dog’s surgery one week beforehand. Ensure that your dog is up-to-date with all of their vaccinations, and make sure you know which ones are required for surgery, which are most commonly for rabies, Bordetella, distemper, and parvo. It’s important that any vaccinations your pet does not have are administered at least five days before surgery to ensure that your pet is properly protected. Also make sure that you have the time off work necessary to take your pup into our veterinary hospital and care for them afterwards.

The Night Before Surgery

When you are preparing for surgery, make sure to ask the vet whether or not you should give your dog any medication they normally take. While in some cases, it may be important for your dog to continue taking the medication, in others, it will more important to have an empty stomach during surgery.

Additionally, you may want to give your dog a bath the night before surgery. This is because you are not going to be able to groom your dog for several days after surgery, so if your dog requires a nail trimming, ear-cleaning, or bath, this is the time to do it. If you have a difficult time grooming your dog normally, you may see if you could have this service performed while your dog is under anesthesia. If your dog doesn’t require a bath, make a point to at least give them a good brushing beforehand.

The day before surgery, don’t go on long walks or allow your dog to play roughly. This may cause their muscles to be extra sore the day of surgery, and they don’t need more soreness on top of the discomfort from the surgery.

If your dog requires a specific diet prior to surgery, make sure that you have food they can eat on hand so that you aren’t running around post-surgery looking for a way to feed your pet.

Also consider washing your dog’s bedding. This ensures that their sleeping space is as clean as possible to reduce risk of infection, and they can be as comfortable for recovery as possible.

If your dog needs to be limited in their movement during recovery, prepare an enclosed area of your home now with their crate. This ensures that once you are home from surgery, you don’t need to run around, setting up an area for your pet.

It’s important for most surgeries that your pet fast beforehand. This is because if your dog becomes nauseous from the anesthesia, they may vomit during surgery, which comes with the risk of your dog choking. Take away food and water from your pet the night before surgery, and make sure there is no way for them to eat or drink after midnight before the surgery (hint: close the toilet bowl and take food off the counters). If your dog somehow does eat before surgery, let your vet know that they did so they can watch out for vomiting.

Finally, ensure that everyone is well-rested before surgery. If both you and your pooch get enough sleep, it will make surgery much less stressful for everyone.

The Morning of Your Dog’s Surgery

Again, do not give your pup anything to eat or drink before surgery. Go for a brief walk to give them the opportunity to eliminate. Also make sure that you have plenty of time to get to our veterinary hospital to ensure that surgery is as stress-free as possible. You will be contacted as soon as your pooch wakes from surgery, so make sure you have your phone on hand. When you are saying goodbye to your furry friend, don’t make a huge deal about it, as an emotional goodbye will only stress and confuse your pet further. You want your pet to be calm during the procedure, so don’t rile them up with a dramatic goodbye beforehand.

After Surgery

Once you bring your dog home post-surgery, make sure to follow the instructions given by the vet precisely. Even if you feel that your pooch is totally fine after surgery, don’t allow them to play or move around too much so that the incision does not rip. Watch out for any chewing or licking of the stitches, as well as any changes in your dog’s disposition or appetite. If you notice anything unusual, feel free to call our veterinary hospital for guidance.

You may be anxious about your pet’s surgery, but if you are prepared for it, the recovery time will go a lot smoother. If you need more information about our pet surgery services, contact Sun Valley Animal Center in Idaho today.

Your Anxious Dog and Fireworks: How to Help Mon, 15 May 2017 20:43:54 +0000 Summer’s here, and before you know it, it will be the Fourth of July. This holiday brings with it much excitement and anticipation, but it may actually be something you are dreading this year. Not because of the barbeque, patriotism, or red, white, and blue decorations, but because of the fireworks. For many dog owners, the Fourth of July is a source of stress because the loud fireworks give their pets extreme anxiety. No one wants to see their pup scared, but it can be a more serious issue than just a trembling pooch hiding in the bath tub. Every year, dogs decide to flee from their homes during the fireworks show, seeking safety but actually putting themselves in more danger. If your pooch is the anxious type, it is important to take steps to help them stay calm during the festivities. With the right preparation, you can prevent your dog from having an extreme reaction to fireworks so you can both enjoy the holiday more.

Preparing For Independence Day

You can and should start preparing your dog for the fireworks now. You can start by introducing your dog to the sound of fireworks now. Play a sound recording of fireworks on low every evening, then continue to slowly raise the volume over time. With time, your dog will get used to the sound, and will probably be much less anxious about them when Independence Day rolls around.

Additionally, you may need to bring your dog into the veterinarian before the holiday so you can acquire a calming medication for your furry friend. Many dog owners hesitate to use sedatives on their dog, but sedating your animal may be the best solution for keeping them safe on the Fourth of July. If you come into our vet hospital in Idaho for help, we can determine which medication is most appropriate for your pet. There are many options ranging from mild sleeping aids to benzodiazepines. Whatever we prescribed, we will make sure it is the best for your pet to ensure they keep calm this Fourth of July.

On the Fourth

On the big day, you should set your dog up for success by getting them a lot of exercise. This is a good day to take your pooch for that hike you have been talking about, to the dog park, and/or just on several long walks. When your dog is tired, they will be more likely to be calmer during the fireworks because they will be too exhausted to be bothered. Next, make sure to never take your dog with you anywhere to watch the fireworks. This is a problem because it makes it much easier for your dog to run away and far more difficult to be found should they panic and run. Keep your dog inside during the fireworks, ideally with a human and air conditioning.

There are also steps you can take to ensure the environment feels safe to your dog. When feeling anxious, your dog may feel safest in an enclosed space, and therefore, may hide in the bathroom or closet. You might crate your dog, if that doesn’t cause them more anxiety. You can also close the blinds and curtains so that your dog won’t be visually stimulated by the fireworks.

If you are leaving the dog alone, make sure to give them something entertaining to distract them, such as a Kong toy stuffed with their favorite treats. Additionally, turn on some calming music to help your dog relax while you are off enjoying the festivities. There is actually music designed to calm dogs that may help! It is designed to physically calm a dog’s nervous system, so play it quietly before you leave the house (keeping in mind that your dog’s hearing is much more sensitive than yours).

You never want to see your dog distressed, but fireworks can cause canine (and human, for that matter) anxiety. Fortunately, if you take these simple steps, you are way more likely to have a calm pet during the Fourth of July than a scared one. If you need to make an appointment to take your pup into our veterinary hospital before the Fourth, contact us today!