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Ft Lauderdale Area’s Top Vet on 4 Ways Dogs Improve Your Well Being

Ft Lauderdale Area’s Top Vet Offers 4 Ways Dog Ownership Can Improve Your Well-Being

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Many people think that owning a pet will do nothing but increase stress. The pet will need food, attention, care, and vet visits, which increase costs and make any outing more difficult. However, dog owners have actually been proven to live longer, happier, and healthier lives. Here are a few reasons you should consider taking a trip to your local animal shelter:

Exercise Requirement

All dogs, even the tiny ones, need regular exercise. This demand to either go out to a yard and play fetch or go out on a walk will keep you active and healthy by insisting that you get up and get out.

A daily walk with your dog may not be an hour at the gym but even just getting up to take a stroll in the mornings can make you feel noticeably better and may actually improve your sleep. You can always walk other people’s dogs as well.

Smiling, throwing a ball for your dog, and laughing when they make a silly face may not do your body the same good a walk will but is does do your mind good. Smiling can actually make you feel happier as can laughing and, with a dog, every day brings a smile or a laugh.

Social Opportunities

Social interaction is extremely important for your mental and emotional well-being as humans are social animals. It can be tough to find an excuse to go out alone, however when you have a dog, you never have to go out alone.

Each day your dog brings you outside for a walk or a jaunt to the dog park, they are offering you innumerable social opportunities. They bring you out into the public eye and provide a ready-made icebreaker. You can bond with other dog owners or strike up a love-struck stranger who has stopped to pet your dog. Dogs bring you out and draw people in.

Unconditional Love

Another hugely beneficial aspect of owning a dog is the unconditional love they provide. Dogs can alleviate depression simply by waiting to greet you when you get home. Coming home to an empty house can aggravate preexisting depression as can a lack of affection. Dogs, regardless of what kind of person you are. A dog can serve as a warm cuddle buddy to curl up and watch your favorite TV shows with, which can do wonders for your mental well-being.

Stress Reduction

Dog owners have been shown to have lower blood pressure and a decreased risk of heart disease. Simply owning a dog acts as a stress reducer. The combination of love, exercise, and humorous antics makes a dog a ready-made companion with the added benefits of limiting your stress and improving your mood.

Furthermore, the act of caring for another living thing can ramp up your desire to live healthier and be better. Tending to your dog’s needs and seeing them blossom under your care is a reward in itself, acting as a wonderful way to decrease symptoms of several mental illnesses.

If you needed another reason to go out and adopt a dog, consider that dog ownership can help you live a longer, happier life in a multitude of ways. A dog will force you to stay active; they will love you no matter what, and they will help you meet potential new friends simply by going to the park.

Though dogs can complicate your life and, of course, require money for their food and care, the benefits of becoming a pet owner far outweigh the negatives. Somewhere near you, a shelter dog is waiting to make your life better. Get up and head to your nearest animal shelter to find your new best friend.

Image via Pixabay by taniadimas


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Holiday Safety Tips From Hollywood Florida’s Best Vet

How You and Your Pets Can Have a Happy Holiday From Hollywood Florida’s Vet Dr. Megan Cassels-Conway, DVM

‘Tis the season for extravagant holiday feasts, gathering of family and friends, cookies and candy and all the decadence of the holidays. At the veterinary clinic ’tis the season for pancreatitis, gastroenteritis and chocolate toxicity. All the wonderful things we love about the holidays can spell disaster if our furry friends partake alongside us. Vomiting cats and dogs with diarrhea put a damper on the holiday spirit but can easily be prevented. Use this guide as your holiday helper this season to avoid the major culprits of the holiday pet woes.

Chocolate

This is one most people know about but do you know just how little it takes? The darker the chocolate the more theobromine and caffeine, making baking chocolate the worst. Signs range from mild vomiting and diarrhea to seizures and heart arrythmias and eventually death. Baked goods are not quite as bad as pure chocolate but can still pack quite the punch.

Turkey, Ham, Drippings and Gravy

There’s a good chance you’re four-legged friends will be staring you down during your entire meal pred, but don’t give in to the pouty eyes. Meat skin, fat, drippings and gravy can be extremely high in fat for pets. This is a level of fat they are not used to and their body cannot metabolize properly. These levels of fat result in pancreatitis, a severe inflammation of the pancreas (the organ producing enzymes to break down fat in the intestines). Pancreatitis is typically seen as bloody vomiting and diarrhea, although both are not always seen. Pork products or turkey skin are frequent culprits of pancreatitis but any high fat food can do the trick. Pancreatitis can cause severe dehydration and can become life threatening. It is best to avoid human food for all pets.

Onions and Garlic

Members of the onion and garlic family can be toxic to dogs and cats in very low doses. Feeding any food that has been cooked with onions or garlic is enough to do the trick. Ingestion leads to destruction of red blood cells, needed to transport oxygen around the body. Dramatic anemia can occur within hours and leave your pet severely weak with breathing difficulty.

Xylitol

Sugar substitutes are a common way we watch our waistlines over the holidays. Xyltitol is one of those sugar substitutes found in many candies, gum and even peanut butter. Canine bodies do not recognize a difference between xylitol and regular sugar and release large amounts of insulin which can result in severe hypoglycemia. Later on xylitol causes death of liver tissue.

Nuts and Raisins

Some of our favorite holiday snacks and cookie ingredients can lead to severe medical concerns in pets. Macademia nuts can cause neurologic problems from weakness to seizures in dogs. Effects on cats are unknown. Raisins and grapes have an unknown component which causes severe kidney damage with as little as 1-2 grapes or raisins.

Alcohol

This may seem like an obvious one but happens more often than you would think. Alcohol poisoning occurs in dogs and cats with much smaller amounts than you might imagine. For a small puppy or kitten, even a few licks of a spilt drink on the floor can affect the nervous system and heart. The holidays are full of wine, beer, eggnog and other festive libations. Enjoy the festivities but be sure to clean up spills and keep an eye on drinks, never leaving them unattended.

And if you just have to give in…

If those pouty puppy or kitty eyes get the better of you, what can you give your pet? Stick with raw or steamed vegetables and fruits. Dark green vegetables such as broccoli, green beans, spinach; carrots; apples and sweet potatoes are healthy, safe treats for pets when they au natural. Problems arise when they are cooked with butter, oil, cream or drippings. You can always give regular dog food or biscuits, as well in moderation. Sometimes your pet just wants to feel included and have a little snack while you eat.

If your pet is know to have eaten a toxic food or substance, call your veterinarian immediately. Daytime emergency care is offered at DPC Veterinary Hospital in Davie, FL. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet shows any of the signs discussed above. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at (954) 989-9879.

 


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Ft. Lauderdale’s Leading Vet Offers Summer Safety Tips for Your Pet

Ft. Lauderdale’s Leading Vet Offers Summer Safety Tips for Your Pet

Sometimes it’s easy for pet owners to forget that their pets have different tolerances to the hot climate than humans have and that leads to putting them unintentionally at risk. We’ve put together some simple tips to remind pet owners what they can do to ensure that their cat or dog makes it through another Florida summer without harm.

5 Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe in the Summer

Heat is your pet’s number one enemy during the summer. While we like to get outdoors and often take our pets with us, we have to keep in mind that the climate is more dangerous to our four legged friends than it is to us. Be alert to signs of heat stroke in your pet and don’t hesitate to get it to a veterinarian for help.

  1. Water Safety. If you take your pet with you on a boat, make sure they wear a floatation device. Not all dogs are good swimmers and the ocean, or even a lake is certainly not the same as a backyard pool.
  2. Avoid Party Animal Behavior. If you throw a BBQ party outside advise your guests not to feed the pet. The things we like, alcohol, buffalo wings, chocolate ice cream and cake can do serious harm to a pet’s digestive system.
  3. Symptoms of Heat Stroke. If your dog or cat exhibits excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse, get them to a vet immediately. Animals with flat faces like pugs and Persian cats are more susceptible to heat stroke because they can’t pant as efficiently as other pets.
  4. Hydration. Make sure your pet has easy access to plenty of fresh, clean water to prevent dehydration. If you have an outside dog, make sure that both the pet and the water bowl have an area that is shaded all day long.
  5. Safe Walks. Keep in mind that your pet doesn’t slip on a pair of tennis shoes when they go for a walk with you. There is nothing between the hot concrete and their bodies other than the pads on their paws. While those pads are durable they are not indestructible and can blister from the heat. Keep walks short or limit them to grassy areas (if they have not been recently sprayed with insecticides).

These are all simple tips but they are essential for your pet’s safety. If you have questions about a specific summertime activity and what, if any risk it poses to your pet, give us a call today and we will be happy to offer our advice.