Keep your Pet Fit this Fall: The Importance of Pet Exercises

You do your best to eat right, be active and stay healthy. But did you know the same applies to your pet? It’s very important for your pet to have an active lifestyle and one of the best ways to achieve this is through regimented pet exercises. This fall, Germantown Vet is all about exercise. Keep reading for some great pet exercises and tips on how to keep your pet fit this season!

Walking: One of the Best Pet Exercises

Walking is one of the best exercises for humans. And the same goes for pets! Walking helps you pet’s cardiovascular health, prevent arthritis, and manage its weight. It’s one of the best pet exercises in town! Ideally, larger pets like dogs should get about 30-60 minutes of activity per day. Unfortunately, the average dog gets only 20.

You might think that you’re too busy to walk your pet every day. Not true at all! It’s actually much easier to get 30 to 60 minutes of activity in for your pet than you think. For starters, try breaking up your pets walks into smaller chunks throughout the day. Two 15-20 minute walks, one in the morning before work and the other in the evening, can add up to 40 minutes of activity a day!

Also try taking your pet with you while you exercise yourself! If you enjoy running outside or on trails, your pet will be eager to tag along. Bringing your pet during your own workout not only gets you fit, but it also helps your pet. Moreover, activities like this are a great way for you and your pet to develop a closer emotional bond. So the next time you go for a run, bring your pet with you!

Playing: One of the Pet Exercises Often Overlooked

Some of you might not have large dogs that are ideal candidates for daily walks. Don’t forget that there are many pet exercises you can do in smaller spaces or even indoors. Also remember that besides being a great pet exercise, playing is a great way to improve your pet’s interactive, mental and cognitive skills. In other words, playing is a great activity for your pet all around!

For instance, smaller dogs might benefit more from playing a game of fetch in your backyard. This way, the dog can still get a great dose of aerobic activity without overexerting itself in a long walk. What’s even better is that you don’t need much to play fetch! A small ball, your dog’s favorite toy and even a small stick from your backyard all make great fetching toys.

If you have a cat, don’t think that you’re excused from pet exercise either. It’s just as important to have a set of pet exercises for your feline companion. Since cats don’t go for long outdoor walks, it’s important to play with your cat on a regular basis. Try investing a few dollars in some toys that your cat can play with either independently or with its owner. Toys infused with catnip are usually very popular, as are toys with wands and feathers. These pet exercises not only get your cat moving, but keep them engaged!

There are plenty of ways to incorporate pet exercises into your dog or cats everyday schedule. For more information, contact a Damascus MD animal hospital like Germantown Vet. Serving the Montgomery County and other areas of Maryland, see us today with any questions about your pet’s activity level and potential pet exercises you can incorporate!

The Importance of an Annual Veterinary Checkups

It’s that time of year! Fall is here and school has recommenced. Start off the season right by making sure that your pet is also healthy. Before you know it, the winter holidays will be approaching. If your pet is having any sort of health issue, don’t you want to fix this sooner rather than later?

If you’re in the Montgomery County, Maryland area, and want to know more about the importance of an annual checkup, keep reading!

An Annual Checkup Allows your Pet to Communicate

Animals often have a difficult time communicating with their owners. Sure, they might have different barks, meows, or make other vocalizations. But in terms of health, illness and pain, animals cannot effectively communicate their problems. They often won’t let you know when they’re sick. By the time you realize that something is wrong, your pet can be seriously sick.

An annual checkup is the key to preventing a treatable ailment from becoming a serious health problem. As much as you might know and love your pets, veterinarians are trained to look to signs and symptoms of illness that you might not notice. Think of your veterinarian as not just an animal doctor, but rather an advocate and voice for your pet.

An Annual Checkup lets you Learn More About your Pet

Regulations for human health and wellness are constantly changing and updating. The same goes for your pet! For instance, the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AFFCO) is the primary regulator of pet food and pet medication in this country. Each year they release reports about new findings, experiments and regulations that they want to pass.

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) is also another association that regulates animal welfare. They recently released a new diabetes guide for cats and dogs that are suffering from uncontrollable blood sugar levels. Would you have known that to treat diabetes in cats and dogs, regimented meals four times a day is what’s recommended?

Your veterinarian is your closest contact and source to this kind of information. While you’re free to research on your own, your pet doctor will have the most accurate and up to date information. Don’t fall into the trap of being misguided by the internet or what you hear from other animal owners. Visiting your veterinarian for an annual checkup is the ideal way to stay informed about up and coming trends in pet healthcare.

An Annual checkup for your pet at Germantown Vet is one of the easiest and best forms of preventative medicine for your cat or dog. It’s a great way to learn more about your individual pet as well as what trends are surfacing in the pet healthcare world. If you’re looking for an animal hospital in Laytonsville, MD and want to schedule an annual checkup, contact Germantown Vet today!

Animal Acupuncture: Learn the Benefits and More

Is your pet in pain? When conventional medications and therapies fail to work, consider scheduling an acupuncture appointment with Germantown Veterinary Services to manage your pet’s pain and help your pet feel better. Keep reading for more information about acupuncture and its benefits for pets.

What is Veterinary Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese Medicine that has been used for over three thousand years. It operates under the philosophy of energies called qi (pronounced “chi”) that flow through the body. When this flow is interrupted or when there is an excess of flowing energy, illness can form in the body. Although typically we associate acupuncture with humans, a lot of evidence shows how animal acupuncture also poses benefits! Just like in a human, the imbalance of energy can cause illness for an animal. At Germantown Vet, we use acupuncture in attempt to balance the qi of your pet.

Benefits of Animal Acupuncture

Animal Acupuncture has many benefits for both pet and owner:

Arthritis—As pets get older, their joints begin to become more stiff, which causes a loss of mobility and increased fatigue. Many animals even develop arthritis in their later years. Acupuncture can help regulate the energy in these joints, allowing cats and dogs to be more active and manage their pain better.

Gastrointestinal Disorders—As pets age, their stomachs often become more sensitive to various pathogens and even food allergies. It’s not uncommon for older dogs and cats to have more instances of the flu, stomach viruses and other stomach problems. Animal acupuncture can help alleviate some of the nausea and gastrointestinal discomfort that many pets experience with age. It’s also a great therapy for pets that are undergoing chemotherapy or aggressive cancer treatments.

General Quality of Life—Even if your dog or cat seems healthy and happy, wouldn’t you consider improving their well-being even more? Although your pet doesn’t have any serious health issues, animal acupuncture is a great way to improve the happiness and extend the healthy life of your pet. Try using acupuncture as a way to maintain your pet’s optimal health!

Why Animal Acupuncture?

Often, westerners are hesitant to try this alternative medicine. Many simple aren’t convinced that acupuncture poses many benefits for humans, let alone for animals. But it’s important to remember that when traditional methods of animal health care don’t seem to work, many pet owners are eager to try any and all alternative options if it means their dog or cat feels better. Don’t hesitate to try animal acupuncture today. If you would like to learn more, our Germantown Vet team can help you make an educated decision.

If you think that your pet would benefit from animal acupuncture, or are curious to try acupuncture on your pet at a licensed animal hospital in Damascus, Germantown, and other areas of Montgomery County Maryland, contact Germantown Veterinary Clinic today!

Obedience Training Tips for your Dog

Obedience training for your dog or puppy is the most basic step to communicating proper obedience and behavior. If you want to have a dog that you can confidently take into public, you must make sure that your dog receives at least a basic level of obedience and behavioral training. Obedience training ensures that your dog knows how to interact with you, the general public, and other dogs. A dog that has not been given proper obedience training is potentially a danger to you and others.

With proper obedience training, you can communicate with your dog better, leading to a better relationship for both you and your dog. There are several things you can do to help improve your dog’s obedience and behavior. We recommend:

  • Keep to a strict schedule – sticking to a specific daily training schedule helps make training seem like just another part of life for your dog. They’ll come to anticipate and look forward to spending time with you. If possible, scheduling training right before feeding time is a good idea. This will often result in a dog being extra motivated to participate as they know they will be “rewarded” with food at the end.
  • Keep obedience training sessions to a reasonable amount of time – dogs generally have a relatively short attention span. The key to successful obedience training is to keep your dog interested and engaged. If your sessions are too long, your dog will lose interest and may lose interest in future training sessions.
  • Don’t punish your dog for poor performance – punishing your dog by yelling, hitting, or isolation can actually do more damage to your dog’s obedience training than help. Punishing your dog verbally, physically, or psychologically can cause stress, fear, or destructive behavior. Instead, successful obedience training will reinforce good behavior with rewards and withholding rewards for bad behavior.
  • Plan your obedience training – before starting obedience training, plan out your goals. Just like with any project, an obedience training plan with clear direction is more likely to be successful than obedience training without clear goals and objectives.
  • Start with professional training – before attempting obedience training yourself, we recommend signing up for professional obedience classes. Professional obedience classes will help you learn the basics and best practices of obedience training and even bring to your attention behaviors that you may not have noticed on your own. By starting with professional training, obedience training will be more beneficial to you and your dog long term.

Following these steps will help create a better relationship between you and your dog. For more information on obedience training, or to schedule obedience training in Germantown, Maryland, contact Germantown Veterinary Clinic today. We offer obedience training for dogs small and large, old and young, on a variety of topics, including potty training, socialization, leash training and more!

When to Take Your Dog to the Vet: Dog Illness Symptoms

In our blog post last week, we examined ten symptoms of cat illness. This week, we turn our attention to our canine friends.

For many, pet dogs are like family members, but unlike human family members, dogs cannot always effectively communicate when they are having health issues. Some health issues are obvious, but others – which can be serious – are not. If your dog is acting strangely or out of character, it is best to schedule a veterinarian appointment with us immediately. If you are unsure when you should take your dog to the vet, consider these symptoms of dog illnesses:

  • Vomiting – It is not uncommon for dogs to vomit and it is not necessarily a symptom of an illness in your dog, but if you notice your dog vomiting, be sure to watch your dog more closely. If you notice that your dog is less active or exhibiting unusual behavior after vomiting, it could be a symptom of something serious and you should call us immediately.
  • Uncommon urination – If your dog is experiencing more frequent urination or straining to urinate, this could be a symptom of a serious illness that requires immediate attention.
  • Change in dietary habits – A dog’s appetite can change frequently and it is not necessarily a symptom of canine illness, but if you notice unusual dietary habits for an extended period of time, call Germantown Veterinary Clinic immediately to schedule an evaluation.
  • Abnormal body temperature – Abnormal body temperature can be a symptom of illness in your dog. A dog’s normal body temperature should be between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. If you suspect that your dog’s body temperature is not normal, you can take its temperature with a rectal thermometer. If the temperature reading falls outside of the 100.5 to 102.5 range, call us immediately.
  • Change in appearance – If you notice a distinct change in your dog’s appearance, the first thing you should do is see if your dog will eat or drink anything. If food and drink is refused, call Germantown Vet Clinic to schedule an evaluation.
  • Changes in activity – If your dog seems less energetic than usual or shows signs of physical pain when moving around, call us or schedule a check-up today.
  • Gum color – If you notice strange behavior in your dog, check its gums. Healthy canine gums should be pink in color. If your dog’s gums are yellowish, white or blue in color, this could be a symptom of anemia in your dog and should be checked out by one of our veterinarians immediately.

If you are unsure when to take your dog to the vet, consider the checklist above. If you are still unsure or concerned about your dog, schedule a veterinary appointment with us and we will be happy to check for any serious dog illness symptoms.

If you notice your dog is acting out of character, it is a good idea to take notes about any strange behavior they may be exhibiting. This information could be very valuable to us when you bring your dog in for a check-up.

How do I schedule a veterinary surgery appointment?

To schedule veterinary services for your pet, visit our contact us page, or call us today!

How is my pet’s pain managed after surgery?

Post-surgery, we can prescribe pain medications if your pet needs them. Managing your pet’s comfort after surgery can speed healing time because your pet will not scratch or bite at the surgery site.

What happens if my pet injures the surgery site?

If you suspect your pet has re-injured the surgical site, call us immediately for advice. If the problem is more serious, bring your pet in immediately for treatment.

My pet won’t eat after surgery, is this normal?

Decreased appetite is common after surgery, so do not become alarmed if your pet appears to have lost his or her normal appetite after operation. Your pet’s appetite should return to normal within a few days. If loss of appetite is a persistent problem, contact us for more information.

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