What’s Better While Away From Home: Pet Boarding Facility Or Hiring a Pet Sitter?

December 18th, 2020
An orange kitten awaits its pet sitter on the floor at home.

It can be nerve-wracking to leave your pet behind, but not all travel plans can include them. The good news is that you have options to choose from. Depending on your pet’s individual needs and preferences, your budget, and the length of time apart, you can choose between dropping them off or keeping them at home (or at a pet sitter’s house). 

As with most things in modern life, there are pros and cons to both pet boarding and pet sitting. 

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Slowin’ Down: Understanding the Changes of Senior Pet Care

November 24th, 2020
A golden retriever sits in a red toy wagon. Proper senior pet care is vital to ensure a long and healthy life for your furry friends.

Thanks to improved owner involvement, top-notch nutrition, and advances in veterinary care, pets are living longer than ever before. While pets are considered “seniors” when they reach the age of 6 or 7 years old, they may not act or look “old” until much later in life. 

Even when it’s obvious they’ve entered their golden years, many senior pets are still able to do the things they’ve always enjoyed, like hiking, playing with the kids, or jumping up into their cat tree. However, because pets age faster than we do, a proactive approach to senior pet care is essential.

Moving Down the Line

Pet owners are unlikely to miss their pet’s greying muzzle or unsteady gait. The aging process seems to start slowly, but by the time we see physical changes it’s possible that a senior pet already feels aches and pains or suffers from age-related health conditions. 

As a result, we recommend increasing a pet’s routine wellness visits from once a year to twice annually (every 6 months). The opportunity to stay in front of any developing illness may lead to effective (and possibly less expensive) treatment. Diagnostic testing can screen for:

  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Deafness/blindness
  • Periodontal disease

Together we can build a treatment plan that elevates senior pet care and helps to ensure a long, healthy life with less pain.

Dental Details

A majority of pets over the age of 3 years old have the signs of periodontal disease. If they’ve never received dental care, a senior pet may have advanced signs of dental problems, such as broken or missing teeth, gum infections, and severe sensitivity.

A major facet of senior pet care is upholding or maintaining their dental hygiene. Brushing their teeth at home 1-2 times a week is very helpful, but professional dental cleaning under anesthesia (along with full sets of x-rays) gives us a full understanding of what’s happening in their mouth. Poor dental health can cause disease in the kidneys, heart, and liver. 

Use It or Lose It

Keeping your pet fit and active is necessary for their mental and physical wellness. It may seem counterintuitive to work out with an aging, arthritic pet, but if they don’t exercise regularly their condition is likely to worsen.

A daily walk is the perfect form of exercise for an older pet. Provide breaks and stay close to home so you can return if you notice they are struggling to keep up. 

What’s In the Bowl?

Aging pets have different nutritional needs than younger animals. Finding food that your pet not only likes to eat, but also adds value to their changing dietary requirements isn’t always straightforward or easy. Some senior pets need a prescription that supports kidney function or urinary tract health, but it can take time for them to adjust to their new food. 

Senior Pet Care for Many Years

It can be emotionally difficult to watch an aging pet lose some of their functions. However, since you know them so well you can advocate for their changing needs. Always watch for any shifts in behavior and take note of the following:

  • Changes in coat quality or appearance
  • Overgrooming
  • Lameness or limping
  • Sudden changes in activity level
  • Sore mouth, dropping food or inappetence
  • Abrupt weight changes
  • Increased thirst

If you have any questions or concerns regarding senior pet care, we hope you’ll let us know. Our staff is always here for you at Berkeley Veterinary Center.

The Joys (and Sometimes Challenges) of New Dog Ownership

October 23rd, 2020
A cute happy puppy greets his new dog owner.

If you have decided to adopt or bring a new pet companion into your life, congratulations! Pets are wonderful companions and are so hard to resist when we see them looking lonely in a shelter or rescue. No wonder there are so many multi-pet households, since one sweetie is never enough! 

If you have never cared for a pet before, there is a lot to consider when it comes to making the adoption and your life with a new pet successful. The team at Berkeley Veterinary Center is here to give you some helpful tips as you embark on new dog ownership.

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Cat Health for All Nine Lives

September 22nd, 2020

Some people think cats make great pets because you can leave them home alone for long stretches of time. Many believe that cats don’t require much interaction, and are content to simply “do their own thing”. 

This couldn’t be further from the truth! 

Cats are actually highly social animals that thrive in a stimulating environment. They are creatures of habit, loyal companions, and intuitive housemates. Cats give their people so much, and they deserve the attention they need to maintain lifelong cat health.

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Are Pet Vaccines Necessary for Pet Health?

August 20th, 2020

Like humans, pets are susceptible to a multitude of dangerous contagious viruses and bacteria. Prior to the advent of vaccines, many pets suffered from these illnesses and often suffered an early death. Thankfully, veterinary science has developed safe and effective vaccines for many diseases, and these have saved countless animals from needless suffering. 

While vaccinations have safeguarded countless pets from disease, some pet owners are still skeptical. Are vaccinations necessary for your pet’s health? The team of veterinary experts at Berkeley Veterinary Center is here to explain this important topic.

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Hot Dog! Signs that Your Dog Is Overheated

July 16th, 2020

High humidity and soaring temperatures can make for a dangerous combination for our pet companions. Sometimes, we make the mistake of assuming dogs can handle warm weather better than us. However, that is not the case. Dogs are prone to sunburn, heatstroke, and heat stress from being out in intense sun and heat for too long.

In order to avoid a sun related emergency, the team at Berkeley Veterinary Center is here to give you some recommendations to keep your dog cool. We will explain what to watch for, if your dog is overheated, so you can act quickly.

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The Purr-fect Match: Adopting the Right Cat for Your Family

June 18th, 2020

As a Certified Cat-Friendly Practice, we see a lot of wonderful, playful, affectionate cats  at Berkeley Veterinary Center. There are few things more gratifying than seeing cats being cared for so deeply by their owners. Cat pet-parents tend to enjoy the privilege of cat ownership immensely, often doing anything and everything to ensure that all their cat’s needs are met. 

You may assume that “any” cat could be the best pet-match for any and all, but adopting the “right” cat for the “right” person takes a substantial amount of time and consideration.

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A Guide to Pet Allergies: Environmental, Fleas, and Food

May 21st, 2020

When people start to sneeze, wipe their noses, and blink away tears, it’s usually a dead giveaway that they’re experiencing seasonal allergy symptoms. Whether it’s pollen, dust, mold, or grass many people become seasonal victims of allergies.  Aside from the irritation and discomfort, most people live through them without much hassle. 

Pet allergies, on the other hand, can create extremely bothersome symptoms, such as severe itching which can lead to skin infections. These symptoms can reduce your pet’s quality of life. Determining the allergic triggers isn’t always straightforward, but when allergies are diagnosed properly it can eliminate needless suffering.

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When Your Pet Has Fleas or Ticks, They Aren’t Alone in Their Misery

April 30th, 2020

There are few things worse than a flea infestation. Beyond causing pets endless itching, scratching, and pain; fleas are infamous for upending entire households by exponentially reproducing themselves. For this reason alone, year-round parasite prevention 

is highly recommended to help pet owners avoid the miseries associated with flea infestation. 

Not to be outdone, ticks are also formidable pests to pets and their owners. Responsible for the spread of Lyme disease, ticks are nothing to shrug off. And due to their highly evolved anatomy, shrugging them off is nearly impossible!

Whether your pet is plagued by fleas and/or ticks, there are specific ways you can put a stop to their mayhem. Provided you catch these pesky parasites in time, you can minimize the misery they cause, while also preventing any future mishaps.

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Warmer Weather Ahead: Getting Your Pet Ready for Spring 

March 19th, 2020

Spring means plenty of outdoor fun for people and pets alike. Soon, flowers and grasses will emerge, trees will bloom, and the sun will begin to shine a little longer each day. Outdoor fun, coupled with spring yard cleaning and garden planting, are on the horizon.

That’s why the team at Berkeley Veterinary Center is here with some tips on getting your pets ready for spring and the transition of the season.

Parasite Prevention

If your pet isn’t current on their heartworm and flea and tick preventives, now is the time to get them protected. While heartworm infection and flea and tick-borne illnesses are year-round risks, the arrival of warm weather increases these risks. 

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