Leptospirosis – Know the Risks to your Pet and Your Family

September 12th, 2014 by PetMed Staff

Old sad dogLeptospirosis … the name even sounds ominous, doesn’t it? And ominous it is; Leptospirosis is a virulent bacterial infection in that it has the potential of causing life-threatening kidney and liver damage. Leptospirosis, or sometimes commonly called field fever, is a serious infection caused by contact with a form of the more than 250 bacteria strains that comprise the genus Leptospira.

While it may sound exotic, Leptospirosis  is actually becoming more common in the United States and is being considered with greater seriousness as it. Like rabies,Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be transmitted between animals and humans.

Leptospirosis is most frequently contracted by pets through soil and water which has been contaminated by the urine of infected animals. Read the rest of this entry »

The Fantastic Flea

September 9th, 2014 by PetMed Staff

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The flea is the arch-nemesis of many a pet-owner, and nothing is so helpful as to understand you enemy to the fullest extent. Despite the problems they cause and the chaos that they can bring to a household, fleas are really pretty amazing creatures.  Get to know more about this pet-owner pest.

The Common Flea

The flea we all know and love is properly called Ctenocephalides felis. That’s right, the cat flea. Despite the name, dogs and cats (and many other mammals) are both hosts for this parasite. Fleas have been around for a long time, and flea fossils date all the way back to the Lower Cretaceous period.

Fleas are small, only about 1-2 mm in length. They are usually a reddish brown color and are narrow, making it difficult to find them.

Fleas can make our pets itchy and uncomfortable, and some pets have an actual allergy to flea saliva. Besides causing itching, fleas can carry diseases including Bartonella and parasites like tapeworms. Severe flea infestations can also result in enough blood loss to cause anemia.

People can also suffer from flea-related diseases, which makes even a flea or two in your environment a problem. And, with one flea laying up to 2,000 eggs in her lifetime, an infestation can get out of control very quickly. Read the rest of this entry »

Protecting Your Pet: Why Year-Round Heartworm and Parasite Preventatives Matter

September 5th, 2014 by PetMed Staff

iStock_000026101899_MediumFleas, ticks, and heartworm-carrying mosquitoes are year-round threats to your pet in Tennessee. The diseases these parasites carry can cause your pet serious discomfort and illness, and even prove to be fatal.

As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to help keep your pet healthy and parasite-free throughout his or her lifetime. The single best way to accomplish this is by providing your pet with monthly parasite preventatives, year-round.

In Tennessee, especially, regular preventatives are crucial for pets, due to the warmer weather that persists throughout the year. Fleas, ticks, and even mosquitoes can rear their heads all year long if the weather is right, making continuous coverage a must. Be proactive with your pet’s health by starting a parasite preventative treatment plan that will help protect your pet against illnesses like heartworm disease and Lyme disease. Read the rest of this entry »

Pet Ownership 101: 10 Things Every First-Time Pet Owner Should Know

August 31st, 2014 by beyond

PetMeowSo, you’ve decided to take the plunge and adopt your first pet… Congratulations!

We hope that you’ve prepared yourself for the journey ahead. Adopting a pet is a huge responsibility. You’re making a lifelong commitment to your new furry friend; and, as with any relationships, there will be ups and downs. But the good times and the struggles will be worth it.

Most first-time pet owners know the basics: have your pet spayed or neutered, plenty of food and water, a shiny new tennis ball or catnip mouse, a soft place to sleep, and (of course) lots of love.

But there is a bit more to pet ownership than just that.   Read the rest of this entry »

Pet Cancer Prevention: Reducing Risks and Encouraging Wellness

August 27th, 2014 by PetMed Staff

Cat at the vetCancer is not something we want to think about when it comes to our loved ones, including our cherished pets. Advancements in veterinary medicine and an understanding of disease prevention have helped us extend the lives of our pets, so that they (and we) might enjoy their golden years. Unfortunately, the risks associated with developing certain types of cancer increase with age.

Canine cancer is the leading killer of dogs today. However, there are a lot of things that we, as pet parents, can do to help minimize the chance of our pets developing cancer.

Wellness Exams

Just as we might attend to our own health or that of our family, regular physical examinations, lab work, and screenings are vital in encouraging health throughout all life stages. Read the rest of this entry »

Pooches at the Park: Dog Park Safety & Etiquette

July 28th, 2014 by PetMed Staff

iStock_000016017211_MediumAs more and more Americans move into urban areas, the resulting rise in dog park popularity is understandable. In the urban hub of Nashville and its surrounding communities, dog parks are becoming a common way of life as pet parents seek out ways to socialize their pups and allow them to play in a paw-friendly park setting. Dog parks are also a top choice for behavioral training classes and puppy play groups, with their open, dog-friendly green space and opportunity to interact with a wide variety dogs.

Even though dog parks have their own unique rules, they have recently come under some scrutiny with regard to how safe they really are.

Unfortunately, dog attacks and fighting can be common. Even when one pugilistic pooch is introduced, this dynamic can create an environment rife with aggression. Part of the problem is that aggression can be tough to define. And what’s worse, is even if the aggression is recognized by others, some pet owners simply refuse to acknowledge or address the problem. Read the rest of this entry »

Low-Cost Spay and Neuter Clinics: What You May be Compromising in Quality

July 25th, 2014 by PetMed Staff

cat and her kidThe lure of low-cost spay and neuter clinics is understandable when budgets are tight or several rescued strays need veterinary care. While there are certainly community and animal welfare benefits to the existence of such facilities, it is important to realize that the quality of care, particularly pre- and post-surgical care, may be compromised.

Of course, there are many good reasons to have your pet spayed or neutered. Each year, there are millions of unwanted animals that are euthanized, due to pet overpopulation. And your decision to help prevent this from occurring is commendable. By having your pet surgically sterilized so he or she cannot reproduce, you will do your part to prevent the birth of unwanted puppies and kittens and can enhance your pet’s health and quality of life.

However, not all spay and neuter procedures are created equal… Read the rest of this entry »

Quality Pet Food – You Get What You Pay For

July 24th, 2014 by PetMed Staff

Hungry dogThe prices on pet food can be shocking. It is hard to wrap your head around paying more than you already do, but as with many things in life – you often get what you pay for. While you probably don’t need to purchase the most expensive diet on the shelf, there are some important reasons to consider investing in a quality pet food.

A More Expensive Pet Food May Not Be More Expensive

Less expensive pet foods are often full of fillers that don’t provide any nutritional value. This means that you need to feed more of the food to get the same amount of calories as a higher quality diet. This means that a 10 pound bag of an inexpensive food may end up costing you the same or more as a 10 pound bag of a more expensive diet. Read the rest of this entry »

Traveling With Pets

July 18th, 2014 by PetMed Staff

Enjoying the ViewTaking your pet on that family vacation can be exciting and fun, and your pet will love the chance to experience new places with you. However, it is very important to make sure that your pet is prepared for travel. Whether you will be traveling by car or plane, keeping your pet safe and comfortable during your family vacation should be a priority when planning your trip.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to traveling with pets…

Safety First

As with any trip away from home, it is important that your pet is wearing his or her collar (a breakaway collar is best) with current ID tags, and is microchipped. Also, have a strong leash handy for pit stops, hikes, and all the fun you plan on having together along the way and once you arrive. Read the rest of this entry »

Pets and People Food: Choosing the Healthiest Ingredients for Your Pet

July 7th, 2014 by PetMed Staff

kitten smelling mushroomsAs we embrace healthier, organic food choices for ourselves and our family, many of us are also taking a critical look at the quality of food we are feeding our pets. No longer are we satisfied with ‘mystery ingredients’ that glop out of a can or additives that take a clever linguist to pronounce.

Yet, when it comes to pet snacks, making the right choices in ingredients can be confusing. There are many foods we eat regularly that have the potential to make our pet ill. There is also conflicting information as to whether or not it’s even safe to feed your pet human food.

The good news is: there are many healthful human food options for your dog, cat, or other companion. The trick is in understanding ingredients and using the best quality foods, either as supplements to a pet’s daily meal plan or as the basis of homemade pet treats.

Some simple guidelines for making your pet’s diet more delicious and nutritious are as follows. Read the rest of this entry »