Deciphering Pet Food Labels:  What You Need To Know

pet food labelsAt first glance of the pet food labels, feeding your dog or cat appears to be the easiest aspect of pet ownership. You simply grab a bag of pet food off the shelf at your local grocery store, pour some in a bowl, and place it on the floor. Right?

Well, not exactly. Today’s discerning pet owner is quite aware of the overwhelming array of pet food choices available, and sifting through the options can be downright overwhelming.  Grain-free, gluten-free, corn-free, organic, raw – the list of potential “best” diets for a given pet seems to be never-ending.

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When You Suffer, We Suffer: The Truth Behind Veterinary Staff Grief

staff griefIt’s safe to say that the vast majority of veterinarians and veterinary support staff chose their line of work because they love animals and find joy and satisfaction in caring for them. Knowing that we are playing a role in helping and guiding our patients and their families through tough times makes the long hours, and sometimes sleepless nights, more than worth it.

But, like most things in life, veterinary medicine isn’t all puppies and kittens. There are the bad days, too, and having to bear witness to the loss of many beloved patients can take its toll on even the most cheerful among us. Veterinary staff grief is a real aspect of our profession, and deserves understanding and acknowledgement, in both our peers and our clients.

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Snug As A Bug In A Rug: The Best Pet Beds

pet bedsA recent survey conducted by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association found that 42 % of dog owners allow their pups to sleep on their beds. Given that, and our own experience to boot, we also feel that it’s safe to say that at least that many American dogs are making themselves at home on couches, chairs, and other furnishings, as well rather than pet beds.

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School Daze: Back To School Blues In Pets

As kids across the country head off to college, parents aren’t the only ones feeling the sting of an empty nest. When a family member is suddenly missing from daily life, a pet can also experience the back to school blues. Also referred to as separation anxiety, the back to school blues in pets can take a toll on a their sense of security and happiness.

Fortunately, there is plenty that an attentive pet owner can do to help ease the transition that occurs when a child leaves the home. Your team at Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center is committed to helping you get your pet back on track!

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Pet Insurance: Is It Right for You?

pet insuranceAs the field of veterinary medicine continues to advance, the costs associated with pet medical care are also on the rise. While it’s truly wonderful to be able to offer our beloved companion animals the best in medical treatment and life-extending procedures, the costs associated with modern technology can sometimes strain our financial resources.

Health insurance helps us to offset our medical bills, and in many cases pet insurance can provide similar peace of mind. Although pet insurance is not the right choice for everyone, it’s worth looking into and deciding for oneself if the benefits outweigh the risks.

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When Words Aren’t Enough: How to Help Someone Who is Grieving the Death of a Pet

pet lossFor many people, the loss of a beloved family pet is similar to losing a person. Although the status of companion animals in our society is elevated in comparison to previous generations, there remains a lack of understanding when it comes to the intense sadness that surrounds the death of a pet. Because of these societal influences, many pet owners don’t receive the support they need from family and friends when the time comes to say goodbye to their pets.

It can be difficult to know what to do or say when someone has experienced the death of a pet, but it’s important to remember that this is your opportunity to be there for a loved one in their time of need. We hope our guidelines can be of assistance in navigating this sensitive and important time.

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Pet DNA Testing: The Inside Scoop

pet DNA testingDNA testing for humans is nothing new. We regularly rely on the results of these types of tests to determine paternity, figure out our ancestry, and even check for the probability of developing certain inherited diseases. It only makes sense that, given the ease and relative low cost of genetic testing technology, that pet DNA testing would become a booming industry.

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To Declaw or Not to Declaw: Addressing the Scratching Problem

declawWhether cats should be declawed or not has become a hot-button issue in recent years. As a result, the declawing of cats has been banned in more than a dozen countries and in several California cities, and a bill is currently being considered that would make New York the first state to outlaw the procedure. The surgery is currently legal in Colorado, although attempts have been made to introduce legislation that would ban the procedure to declaw a cat.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has taken the stance that declawing is not a medically necessary procedure, but that it can be beneficial in instances where the cat would otherwise be given up for adoption, or when the owners are immunocompromised and cannot risk being scratched.

The AVMA and the staff here at Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center agree that, before making a decision, cat owners should be fully educated on normal cat scratching behavior and alternatives to the declaw procedure, as well as the risks involved. Our medical team works diligently to help cat owners with these alternatives. In the rare situation where all alternatives have been tried over time and have failed, in order to keep a cat in its forever home or avoid euthanasia, our veterinarians will provide the procedure.

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Fit Felines and Muscular Mutts: Making Pet Exercise Fun

pet exerciseMost of us already know how important physical exercise can be for our pets. Daily exercise not only burns calories and keeps our furry friends lean, it also helps to boost the immune system, which protects against diseases like diabetes and cancer. Daily play adds elements of fun and excitement to each day, a necessary component for the well-rounded life of our pets.

Even the most committed pet owners and active pets can easily find themselves bored with the daily walk or game of laser chase. Our creative pet exercise ideas are designed to provide you with a template for incorporating fun, simple, and regular exercise into your pet’s life.

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Keep Them Close: The Perils of Off-Leash Walking

Most of us humans have an innate desire to experience the outdoors and explore it whenever we have the chance, and our dogs are no different. As a result, many owners often give in to the temptation of allowing their dogs to roam freely off-leash on walks and hikes in order to give them that same freewheeling experience.

Leash-walking dogs, in general, is a popular activity in our area because of the many accessible trails and open spaces that surround us, just waiting to be explored.  Along with this, however, is the growing problem of dogs being allowed off-leash when accompanying their owners in these very same places. Unfortunately, tragic incidents involving off-leash walking of dogs are becoming more and more of a problem, so it’s worth taking a look at whether or not the risks outweigh the benefits.

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