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June is Adopt-a-Cat Month

photo of an owner holding his cat's head in his handWith June being Adopt-a-Cat Month, now is the perfect time to open up your home to a new pet. An orphaned animal will be more than happy to become a part of your family. You could develop a loving friendship that lasts for a lifetime. Here are some of the key benefits of adopting an older cat.

Already Housebroken

If you like to keep things neat and in order, a cat may prove to be the ideal pet. Although kittens are definitely cute and adorable, mature cats tend to be less destructive. The chances of you coming home to a big mess are very slim. In most instances, you won’t even need to housebreak an older cat. They’ll instinctively know how to use a litter box. Furthermore, cats have the ability to bathe themselves.

Great Companions

Everyone needs a friend that they can count on. After adopting a cat, you will quickly start to bond with your new pal. According to a study, cats can be just as fulfilling as human friends. Whether you’re lounging on the couch watching a movie or relaxing in the yard, your cat will be there to provide company.

Interact Well With Children

Older cats know how to interact with kids. This is especially true for the cats that were raised around children. Grown cats are usually far gentler than energetic kittens and puppies. Although older cats act more mature, they still love to play. A cat’s funny antics are bound to keep your children entertained throughout the day.

Independence

As you may know, cats are very independent animals. Although cats desire love and affection, they don’t need constant attention. This is a major benefit for the people who have a busy life. In contrast to dogs, cats don’t need to be walked.

Reasons Not to Give a Pet as a Gift

Whitworth Animal Clinic urges you to think twice before adopting a cat for someone else. Not everyone is interested in caring for a pet. If the person isn’t fond of animals or isn’t able to properly care for the cat, it’ll likely end up back in the shelter. This puts the cat in a terrible situation.

Don’t miss out on Adopt-a-Cat Month. Located in North Alabama, Whitworth Animal Clinic will help you to take good care of your cat. Our veterinary practice offers a wide range of important pet services, including vaccinations and emergency care.

*This article is not meant to take the place of professional veterinarian advice. If you have any questions, call the staff at Whitworth Animal Clinic or make an appointment with Dr. Whitworth.

© 2018 Whitworth Animal Clinic. All rights reserved.

The Health Consequences of Obesity in Your Dog

photo of overweight red brindle english bulldog stretched out lying downHas your dog been slowing down lately? Can you no longer rub your pet’s belly and feel the ribs and spine because of excess weight he or she has put on? Obesity is a diagnostic condition of being overweight. Being obese means there is an excess accumulation and storage of fat in the body. Just as being overweight is an unhealthy condition in humans, the same is true for our pets.

Unfortunately, more than half (about 53%) of dogs in the US are overweight to the point of obesity. If your dog is obese, this places him or her at risk for certain health issues.

Symptoms of and Diagnosing Obesity in Dogs

It’s important to know the signs of obesity that can affect your pet’s health. Here at Whitworth Animal Clinic, we recommend a twice-yearly physical exam for preventative health maintenance. One of the issues we examine during examinations is your pet’s overall body condition. Some symptoms of obesity include:

  • Weight gain
  • Excess body fat
  • Lowered inclination or ability to exercise
  • A heightened score in body condition assessment


photo of an overweight chihuahua sitting on a bathroom scaleBy measuring your dog’s body weight and properly scoring the condition of his body, we can assess total body composition. These findings are compared to the standard breed or breed combination of your dog. Obesity in a dog means there is an excess body weight of about 10-15 percent. Your vet may use the nine-point scoring system to check for obesity. A body condition score that is greater than seven is thought of as being obese.

Obesity in dogs can occur for a number of reasons. The most common is that your dog is eating more food that he or she can work off energetically. As dogs age, they tend to become obese due to a natural decrease in exercise ability and inclination. Eating a diet that is highly caloric with frequent treats between meals is another cause for obesity.

Your dog may also be overweight due to hypothyroidism, insulinoma, hyperadrenocorticism, or from neutering.

Health Effects of Obesity

Even an extra pound or two of extra fat can add stress to your pet’s body. Obesity significantly affects your dog’s health over the long term. Some conditions that can result due to excessive weight gain in your dog are:

  • Decreased stamina and lowered ability to exercise, run, and play
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Lessened tolerance for heat
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Surgical procedures requiring anesthesia place your dog at higher risk
  • Immune system functioning is lowered
  • Obesity increases the risk for development of cancerous tumors

If you are concerned that your dog may be overweight or at risk for obesity, contact us at Whitworth Animal Clinic to make an appointment for a wellness visit and checkup. Our veterinary staff can work with you on a healthy diet for your dog’s needs that may include specific reduced-calorie food that tastes good, an exercise plan, and other tips that will benefit your dog’s health.

This blog does not take the place of professional veterinarian advice. Contact Whitworth Animal Clinic or your local veterinary practice for more information on obesity in dogs.

© 2018 Whitworth Animal Clinic. All rights reserved.

Cat Companions: Does your Cat Need a Friend?

photo of kitten licking the face of a white dog | Whitworth Animal ClinicCats are notorious loners. Yet despite their reputation, many cats thrive in and desire companionship from other animals.

Companions can provide mental and physical stimulation for cats allowing them to interact socially, promoting exercise, and providing a playmate. Often companions curb destructive behavior, and if the companion is another cat, they will both stay cleaner as they will groom each other.

While the benefits can be rewarding for cat and owner, there are many things to consider before introducing a new animal into your house. First, you must be ready for a second pet. Getting your cat a buddy may seem like a great idea, but it will be your pet to feed and care for, and initially at least, it will be more work for you.

If you are ready for the responsibility, then you should also consider whether your cat can handle sharing you and your home. You need to take your cat’s personality and temperament into consideration. Cats have various needs, and you should spend careful time considering those before making a decision. While you may want another pet, it may not work for your current furry friend.

Once you are ready to move forward, you will need to consider what kind of companion will be best. If you are adding another cat, you will need enough space and toys for both and plenty of time to help them adjust. Experts disagree on the best matches for cat pairs, but all agree an older cat will do best with cats that have a complimentary personality. Kittens and adolescents generally will find a way to get along. And of course, make sure if the cats are opposite sexes, they are spayed and neutered.

Even if the cats are a match, you cannot just bring a cat home and expect them to be best buddies. You will need to put the new cat in a separate room bonding with it and doting on your old friend separately. After a few days, gradually introduce the cats by leaving the door open. The cats will meet on their own time; don’t force it. Make sure you focus on your longtime friend, so he or she does not feel threatened. It can take up to a year for some cats to buddy up, so make sure you are in it for the long haul before bringing another cat home.

If it is a dog you want for your cat’s new friend, then look for either a puppy or a dog raised with cats. When introducing them, confine them to one room making sure your cat has plenty of space to hide. Also make sure you protect the dog’s nose as it is particularly vulnerable to scratches.

If you need help determining whether or not your cat is companion ready, contact Whitworth Animal Clinic. Located in Madison, Alabama, Whitworth Animal Clinic serves Madison, Huntsville, Decatur and other areas in north Alabama. Dr. Charles Whitworth has been treating cats and dogs since 1981, providing expert quality and personal care. Contact us today to make an appointment.

Your Pet’s Teeth Are a Big Deal

photo of a hand brushing dog's tooth for dental careProper dental care for your pet is just as significant as quality dental care for humans. In fact, brushing your pet’s teeth on a regular basis may prevent numerous dental issues like early tooth decay, gum disease and other problems. In addition, by regularly brushing your pet’s teeth you will be more aware of any professional dental care that may be needed.

Better Breath and Health

Typically, a pet that has healthy teeth will generally have better breath. Although dogs breathe often smells horrible, it is generally a sign of dental disease. In fact, dental disease affects up to 80% of pets over the age of three. Moreover, there can be serious issues when dental health is poor. For example, infections in the gums and teeth can affect the heart, kidneys and liver with impurities. Conferring to Dogs Naturally Magazine, dental disease affects more than the teeth and may lead to serious health problems like:

  • Fractures in the jaw
  • Abscesses of the tooth root
  • Difficulty regulating sugar metabolism
  • Infection in the blood (Septicemia) – leading to shock and death
  • Sinusitis and Nasal discharge – chronic sinusitis may be from a tooth root issue
  • Infection of the bone (Osteomyelitis) – tooth infections can spread to other bones because tooth roots are attached to the jawbone
  • Damage to heart valves which can cause heart failure, liver and kidney damage – mouth can work its way into the circulatory system and into the liver and kidneys via filtration system

How to Detect Dental Issues in Your Pet

close up photo of dog's teeth with cavities close-up | checking a dog's teethGenerally the first sign of dental issues is bad breath. Carefully, lift up your pet’s teeth and lips to check for gum inflammation, tartar and broken or missing teeth.

Both cats and dogs may have signs of dental problems like a lack of enthusiasm to play, unwillingness to eat, bleeding gums, “chattering” of the teeth when eating, fatigue, disinterest in grooming (mostly cats) and worn-down teeth. There can also be increased drooling, particularly in cats.

Dental disease advances in stages. However, if you catch the disease early you may be able to prevent additional damage and save most of your pet’s teeth.

Prevention and Good Oral Health

According to Pet Health Network, your pet needs regular dental care and good oral health in order to prevent dental disease. In fact, caring for your pets teeth may actually prevent other diseases plus save you money in the long run. The truth of the matter is; pets that don’t receive dental care can experience excruciating pain and serious health problems. What is more, many pets are good at hiding their tooth pain. In fact, oftentimes a pet owner does not realize their pet has a serious dental problem until it has greatly advanced.

One of the best ways to prevent dental disease is by brushing your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. As well, regular dental check-ups are recommended to prevent dental disease and other health issues.

Whitworth Animal Clinic

If you suspect that your pet has dental disease or you are concerned about your pet’s teeth, contact a knowledgeable veterinarian as soon as possible.

Additionally, make certain to schedule an appointment while your pet is young and once their adult teeth come in. Generally all teeth fall out by the time your pet is 6 months old. However, sometimes permanent teeth come in prematurely before the baby teeth have fallen out.

For good oral health, it is advantageous to schedule a check-up with your vet if your pet is over three years old. Your vet can check for underlying problems and a dental cleaning if needed.

At Whitworth Animal Clinic, Dr. Charles Whitworth offers superior care for your pet. In fact, Charles D. Whitworth, DVM has more than thirty years of commitment as a veterinarian in the Madison region. Not only does the Whitworth Animal Clinic provide the highest quality medical and surgical care for your pet but they always strive for excellence.

If you have any concerns or questions about dental disease, contact Whitworth Animal Clinic. The clinic is suitably located in Madison and serves the neighboring area of northern Alabama plus Decatur and Huntsville in the Madison area.

Note: This post is not intended to replace any type of expert medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns about dental disease, make an appointment at Whitworth Animal Clinic.

© 2018 Whitworth Animal Clinic. All rights reserved.

Fire Ants Are No Sunday Picnic For Pets

When Fire Ants Attack - Your Pet’s Wellness is Important to Whitworth Animal Clinic

When Fire Ants Attack – Your Pet’s Wellness is Important to Whitworth Animal Clinic

Since their introduction from South America, fire ants have become a serious nuisance throughout the southeastern United States. Along with their ability to wreak havoc on crops, they also pose a threat to both people and their pets. Because of fire ant’s aggressive behavior, it’s important for any pet owner to keep an eye out for signs of an attack on your pet and take quick action when needed.

No Small Problem

With a warm climate and no natural predators, fire ants have heavily colonized the South all the way to central Tennessee. This means north Alabama, including Huntsville, Madison, and other nearby communities, are an attractive habitat for these pests. Not only will they attack when their mound is bothered, they are often attracted to a pet’s food bowl. Attacking from the ground, the ants usually spread up the legs and onto the underside of the pet. They both sting and bite simultaneously – hence the feeling of being on fire at the bite spot. The pet’s reaction is usually scratching or rolling. A dog or cat will also try to remove them with its mouth, where they then have access to the muzzle nose, mouth and ears.

As soon as you see even one fire ant on your pet, take the following actions:

  • Immediately move the pet to another location away from the anthill or attack site,
  • Use a cloth, a glove, a brush or even your hand to knock them off, brushing downward with short strokes,
  • Do not try to spray the ants off with a hose or dunk the animal in a pool or bath, as water actually provokes the ants to cling to the animal with a harder grip with their mandibles.

Treatment

In most cases, the pet suffers painful bites but will recover with prompt at-home follow-up treatment, similar to neutralizing a jellyfish sting:

  • Clean the bites with pure ammonia on a cotton ball to mitigate the stinging.
  • Make a paste of water and either meat tenderizer or baking soda, apply to the bites and let it sit 20 minutes.
  • Wash paste off with antibacterial soap and lightly pat dry.
  • Apply an hydrocortistone lotion or spray to the bite areas.
  • To reduce itching and swelling place a cold compress on the affected spots

Complications

Whitworth Animal Clinic, serving the communities of Madison, Huntsville, Decatur and surrounding areas in north Alabama, can provide both medications and advice. There are some situations where pet wellness can be threatened and a trip to the clinic is vital. If the animal was seriously swarmed with ants, bring it in immediately, as the animal can suffer an allergic reaction, depending on the size of the dog, it’s age, and the number of bites. Small and elderly animals are at the greatest risk of serious reaction. This will become apparent soon after the attack and might include pale gums, seizures, regurgitation, or loss of balance. Fire ant bites often get infected, indicated by a continuation of swelling, inflammation, pustules on the bite site, and oozing after a day and a half.

With the presence of fire ants lurking in the grass, northern Alabama is not as pet-friendly as in the past. Your pet’s wellness depends on awareness of this constant threat and taking fast action when called for. Whitworth Animal Clinic is here to help in any pet emergency.

Pet Allergies: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

photo of a Jack Russell Terrier wallowing on its back | Whitworth Animal ClinicDoes your pet suffer from allergies? When pets begin to itch and scratch, some owners are quick to blame fleas. However, these blood-sucking insects are not always the culprits. The irritation could also point to another type of allergic condition. Let’s examine the most common pet allergies.

Environmental Allergies

A lot of people tend to suffer from seasonal allergies. Animals are at risk as well. Pollen, dust mites, and mold can all cause pets to experience allergy flair-ups. You should pay close attention to changes in your pet’s behavior. If they start to excessively scratch or rub against walls, this could definitely be the result of pet allergies. On the other hand, respiratory problems that stem from rhinitis will cause your pet to act very sluggish. Ear infections are also especially common in dogs. Whitworth Animal Clinic urges you to get your pet examined as soon as possible. The required treatment will vary from one pet to the next. While some may benefit from topical treatments and baths, others will need to get vaccinated.

Food Allergies

Your pet’s diet has a major impact on its overall health. Simple changes, such as giving your pet gluten-free foods, can be a major benefit. Some animals are hypersensitive to certain foods. Beef, dairy, wheat, egg, chicken, and soy are just a few of the known culprits. Even gnawing on bones will cause issues for some dogs. Because food allergies can develop at any age, they often confuse pet owners. Like environmental allergies, food allergies can cause itchiness. Don’t be surprised to see hives and rashes on your pet’s body. You also need to watch out for gastrointestinal problems, which may include vomiting and diarrhea.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

The chemicals inside your home have a direct impact on your pet’s likelihood of suffering from allergic contact dermatitis. While walking around, your buddy can easily get exposed to insecticides, paint, and detergents. If you look closely, you’re likely to notice redness on their skin. In contrast to cats, dogs are prone to developing hot spots. The irritation often causes dogs to complicate the problem by scratching profusely. Over time, hair loss and scabbing are likely to occur. Although washing your pet with a medicated shampoo can bring temporary relief, antihistamines may be necessary to completely alleviate the symptoms.

Located in Madison, Whitworth Animal Clinic proudly serves all of the surrounding areas in North Alabama. From treating pet allergies to veterinary surgery, we provide a wide range of different services. Call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Whitworth.

*This article is not meant to take the place of professional veterinarian advice. If you have any questions, please contact Whitworth Animal Clinic or a vet in your area.

© 2018 Whitworth Animal Clinic. All rights reserved.

There’s an App for That: Animal Poison Control

photo of a little white maltese dog and human food ingredients toxic to himIf you’re a pet owner, be sure to download the app for Animal Poison Control. It may one day save your friend’s life. Believe it or not, even tasty treats from your cabinet can put a pet’s life in serious danger. Here are some of the potential dangers that may lurk in and out of your home.

People Food

Think twice before giving your pet leftovers from the kitchen table. Although these foods may seem harmless, they could wreak havoc on your pet’s digestive system. According to the ASPCA, dark chocolate is an absolute no-no. It can cause pets to experience a wide range of troublesome symptoms, including abnormal heart rhythm and seizures. Some of the other dangerous foods include raisins, yeast dough, and salty snacks. Despite being a favorite among dogs, raw bones can actually puncture a pet’s stomach.

Plants

Plants definitely make your home look more inviting. Although there are also health benefits to having plants around, be sure to keep them away from your pets. Some are toxic to certain pets. For example, Azalea leaves can cause dogs to experience severe diarrhea. Meanwhile, just a few nibbles of an Easter lily may cause a cat to vomit.

Household Products

It’s no secret that pets are known to be quite curious. Unfamiliar smells will cause them to investigate. Never, ever make the mistake of leaving cleaning supplies out. Whitworth Animal Clinic recommends that you keep them stored in a secure area at all times. If you happen to find your pet licking a spilled chemical, contact Animal Poison Control by calling (888) 426-4435 immediately!

Medications

The overwhelming majority of human medications are not safe for pets. As you probably already know, some pets have a knack for chewing on stuff. You certainly don’t want them to gnaw on your prescription bottles. Tylenol, antidepressants, and blood pressure pills are all toxic to animals.

Outdoor Hazards

Make sure that the yard remains a safe place for pets to roam. As we discussed earlier, you should be careful about growing certain plants in your garden. Insecticides and pesticides pose an even greater threat to animals. Even in small amounts, these toxic chemicals may require emergency attention. If your vehicle happens to leak engine coolant on the ground, clean it up as soon as possible.

Located in Madison, Whitworth Animal Control proudly serves North Alabama and all of the surrounding areas. We provide veterinary emergency care, which gives your pet around-the-clock access to help. We also offer plenty of other important pet services, including micro-chipping and vaccinations.

* This article is not meant to take the place of professional veterinarian advice. If you have questions, please call the staff at Whitworth Animal Clinic or contact a vet in your area.

© 2018 Whitworth Animal Clinic. All rights reserved.

How Can I Cut Down on Pet Shedding?

photo of grooming with a dog brush on a shetland sheepdogShedding is an animal’s natural process of losing old or dead hair. Certain breeds of dogs are more prone to shedding than others, but most pets lose hair. Some dogs, particularly dogs who are kept indoors most of the time, tend to shed the same amount throughout the year, while other breeds develop a thick coat to combat the cold weather and shed more in the summer. If you notice an abnormal amount of hair loss in your dog, however, there may be something going on that warrants a visit to the vet. You pet may be coping with stress, in need of better nutrition, or there could be a medical issue that needs attention.

If you live in Madison or surrounding areas in north Alabama, you can contact Charles D. Whitworth, D.V.M., who heads up the Whitworth Animal Clinic, to ask whether your pet is at risk or is simply dropping dead hair at a normal rate. Although shedding is to be expected in most dogs and cats, the mess those hairs make around your home can be quite a nuisance. While there is no way you can stop your pet from shedding completely, there are some steps you can take to at least keep things under control.

Brush your pet regularly. Make a habit of brushing your dog’s hair at least two or three times a week, perhaps even daily if your dog has long hair. Not only does brushing reduce shedding by catching dead hairs on a brush instead of your rug or couch, but it also relaxes your pet and enlivens her coat to be shinier and healthier. You’ll also be removing accumulated dirt from the skin and help prevent matting. It’s a good idea to ask the north Alabama professionals at Whitworth Animal Clinic for tips on the best type of brush to use. There are various kinds of brushes and de-shedding tools that work differently depending upon your breed’s coat.

Keep your dog on a high quality diet. If you are feeding your pet nutritious food, without a lot of fillers, you can help avoid excessive shedding issues from occurring. Stay away from pet foods that are high in corn or grains that are hard to digest. Instead, look for diets that list meat and protein as the first or main ingredients.

Give your pet a weekly, gentle bath. This is especially true during the hotter months, when shedding tends to be more of an issue. If your pet is clean, his coat will be healthier. Use an oatmeal soap so the skin doesn’t become dried out.

Add some Omega-3 fatty acids to your dog’s food. Check with your vet or call Charles D. Whitworth, D.V.M. for advice on the amount or type of Omega-3 fatty acids to serve your pet before going forward, however. This nutritious additive can be in the form of olive oil, flaxseed oil, dietary supplements, or fish, such as salmon (no bones, of course!). The amounts and types given vary depending upon body weight, but Omega-3 can decrease dandruff and calm skin as it also improves the texture of your pet’s coat.

Make sure your pet gets regular check-ups. Keeping your pet healthy with regular visits to your Madison area veterinarian is important to ensure your dog isn’t shedding for a reason that can be avoided. For example, some dogs have food sensitivities or allergies that can cause shedding. Issues with fleas can also lead to shedding, so get some flea protection advice while visiting your vet.

Whitworth Animal Clinic is a full-service veterinarian facility serving the communities of Madison, Huntsville, Decatur and surrounding areas in north Alabama. Charles D. Whitworth, D.V.M. and the staff at Whitworth Animal Clinic provide the latest in preventive health care, routine check-ups, and lab and surgical procedures. Contact us today for a consultation or to learn more about pet shedding.

© 2018 Whitworth Animal Clinic. All rights reserved.

Health Benefits of Pet Ownership

photo of senior woman smiling with her dog in the woodsMost people consider their pet to be a friend for life. However, pets offer more than just great companionship. They can also help boost your health. Dr. Charles Whitworth urges you to make pets a part of your life. Here are some of the top health benefits of pet ownership.

Less Stress

As you may already know, stress can take a major toll on your mind and body. Having a pet by your side will help you to overcome life’s anxieties. In fact, a study performed by the State University of New York at Buffalo found that pets are actually more effective at reducing stress than close friends and family. Even when facing extremely difficult times, pets are able to provide a sense of calm.

Improves Fitness

By now, everyone should understand the consequences of being a coach potato. In order to remain healthy, you need to exercise on a regular basis. A pet can motivate you to start enjoying a more active lifestyle. Simply taking your dog on a 30-minute walk around the neighborhood can improve your health. Playing a game of fetch is yet another way to get your blood flowing. If you want to take your fitness to the next level, considering jogging with your pet. Expect your blood pressure and cholesterol levels to plummet.

Less Likely to Have a Stroke

Studies show that pet owners are significantly less likely to have a stroke. This is especially true for the people who have cats at home. Felines have a knack for putting your mind at ease. Whether you’re lounging on the couch or doing a little household cleaning, a cat will be more than happy to keep you company.

Fewer Allergies

Although allergies tend to be hereditary, there are some ways to decrease your risk. Children who grow up with pets are less likely to suffer from allergies as they grow older. There will also be a lower risk of your child developing serious asthma complications. Being around animals can certainly strengthen their immune system. This means less dependence on medications and fewer trips to the doctor.

Helps People Suffering from Diabetes

Based on recent statistics, there are more than 30 million diabetics living in the United States. Dogs can be trained to prevent diabetic attacks by sensing chemical changes in their owner’s body. After being alerted by their dog, the diabetic will then know it’s time to grab an emergency snack.

Located in Madison, Whitworth Animal Clinic is a professional veterinary practice that proudly serves North Alabama and the surrounding areas. Led by Dr. Charles Whitworth, our facility offers a wide variety of different pet services. Whether your pet requires a vaccination or needs to be treated for a health ailment, we promise to give your loving friend the best possible care. To schedule a visit, simply contact Whitworth Animal Clinic at your earliest convenience.

* This article is not meant to take the place of professional veterinarian advice. If you have questions, call the staff at Whitworth Animal Clinic or a vet in your area.

© 2018 Whitworth Animal Clinic. All rights reserved.

Responsible Pet Ownership

photo of Maltese dog and his owner on exam in vet clinicUnderstandably, many people consider their pet to be a beloved family member. Like a child, pets demand a great deal of care and attention. You must be willing to make a serious commitment to their well-being. Here are some of the most important aspects of responsible pet ownership.

Microchipping

Trying to track down a lost pet can become a living nightmare. Although pets such as dogs have an uncanny ability to find their way home, you should never take any chances. Microchipping your pet should always be a top priority. Because microchips are embedded underneath the skin, they are far more reliable than ID tags and collars. The entire process of microchipping is harmless, so don’t worry about your pet feeling any pain.

Get the Necessary Vaccines

Responsible pet owners understand the importance of vaccinations. Vaccinations help shield your pet from dangerous diseases. Young animals are especially vulnerable, which means that may require a series of vaccinations. Whitworth Animal Clinic can administer all of your pet’s required shots.

Be Careful About Giving a Pet as a Gift

The truth of the matter is that not everyone is cut out to be a pet owner. Gifting an animal to a negligent person is a disaster waiting to happen. While some people are simply not able to handle the extra expense, others may lack the necessary time and dedication it takes to be a good pet owner. Depending upon the person’s living arrangements, their landowner may not even allow pets on the premises.

Be Sure to Socialize Your Pet

It’s never a good idea to keep your pet locked in a cage for long periods of time. In order to thrive, pets need to be exposed to the outside world. An antisocial pet is far more likely to attack strangers and experience constant fear of new people. They must also be able to safely mingle with other animals. Whitworth Animal Clinic encourages you to begin socializing your animal as soon as possible.

Pet-Proof Your Home

Securing your home will go a long ways towards keeping your pet safe. Never make the mistake of leaving around dangerous items. Even foods such as chocolate candy can cause serious health problems for some animals. You should also store your household chemicals in a good location. Remember, curious pets love to investigate things.

Located in Madison, Whitworth Animal Clinic is a professional veterinary that proudly serves the entire North Alabama area. From vaccinations to emergency surgeries, our top-rated facility offers a wide variety of different pet services. Don’t hesitate to contact Whitworth Animal Clinic for more information.

* This article is not meant to take the place of professional veterinarian advice. If you have any questions, call the staff at Whitworth Animal Clinic or a vet in your area.

© 2018 Whitworth Animal Clinic. All rights reserved.