Well Summer is here!! Its only the first week and here in Queensland we have been sweltering with temperatures reaching 40 degrees and the hottest December days for ten years.

The heat is not only felt by people but our four legged friends feel it too.  During the hot and humid summer days it is always a possibility that our pets may suffer from heat stroke.  Heat stroke is a very serious and life threatening condition that can progress quite quickly.  Heat stroke occurs when your pet starts to overheat and is unable to cool themselves down.  Unlike people, dogs and cats do not sweat, only a little through their foot pads and nose, and they rely on panting to cool themselves down.  Often when the air temperature is high their panting is not efficient enough to cool them down and they can become stressed and suffer from heat stroke.

Some things that make your pet more susceptible to suffering from heat stroke include;
*  Extreme heat and humidity
*  Being locked in a car
*  Exercising in extreme heat or humidity
*  Being confined with no shade or fresh cool drinking water
*  Being confined with no ventilation or air circulation
*  Being confined on hot surfaces like concrete or bitumen
*  Being muzzled
*  Obese pets are more prone to heat stroke
*  Pets with medical conditions, like heart and lung problems
*  Short-nosed breeds like Pugs or British Bulldogs are more susceptible to heat stroke
*  Having a history of heat stroke

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Most cat owners at some point will hear that terrible sound of 
their beloved cat hacking and gagging as they try to vomit up a hairball.  Just recently one of mums cats, “Kit Kat”, a three year old Burmese started this terrible process of eliminating hairballs for the first time.  Vomiting up hairballs is a common and normal process that most cats will go through at some point.

Cats in general are meticulous self groomers using their tongue to clean themselves.  The tongue has tiny hook like structures that help in the grooming process by removing the loose hair.  While grooming, some of the hair may be ingested but usually it will pass through the stomach with the faeces.  Occasionally the hair can build up in the stomach and the cat will need to vomit it up, this is a hairball.  A hairball looks more like a long thin tube of wet hair rather than a ball.

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It’s Springtime, so this season don’t forget to treat and prevent those nasties that affect our pets.

Picture courtesy of http://community.petpalstv.com

Flea infestations can have a detrimental affect on your pets health.  Apart from being unbearably itchy the constant biting and rubbing can cause flea allergy dermatitis, broken skin and infections.  A severe flea or tick infestation can cause a pet to become anemic and very ill.   The paralysis tick can be very dangerous when it attaches to a dog or cat.  It affects the nervous system and causes paralysis, which if left untreated it can quickly lead to death.

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An example of poor dental health in a dog with plaque and tartar build-up on the teeth.

Do your pet’s teeth look like this?

Good dental hygiene in pets is sometimes overlooked, however it is a very important part of keeping your pet healthy.If a pet is having dental problems it can affect their overall health.  The animal may not want to eat as usual due to pain and inflammation.  When plaque and tartar build up on the teeth, bacteria will grow and eat away at the teeth and gums.  The bacterial infection may not only affect the mouth, it can also affect other areas of the body like the kidneys, heart, liver and joints.  It is best to start dental care at an early age to help prevent problems in the future, however its never too late to start. To check your pets teeth, carefully and gently lift up their lips and have a look at their teeth and gums.

Signs to look out for that may indicate its time for a dental check up from the vet include,

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Are you sitting on a flea problem this winter?

It’s not a nice thought, but your favourite armchair could be hiding more than the odd biscuit crumb.  Unless you’ve been keeping up with flea treatments, you could be providing a warm winter shelter for fleas at various stages of their life cycle.

Many pet owners believe that fleas are only a problem in summer.  Fleas can survive during the winter months especially indoors where it remains warm.  Veterinarians recommends treating your pets year-round.

Your pet is likely to get fleas at some time  – unfortunately it cannot be avoided.  However, what we can do is get rid of them before they become a problem.  Regular grooming of our pets will allow us to see early stages of flea occupancy.

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Everyone loves the warm, lazy days of summer, especially our pets. After the long, cold winter, they finally get to go outside and romp around in the sunshine. However, there are some important things to think about during the warmer months in order to keep our precious pets safe and comfortable. So, we’ve compiled the top nine summertime safety tips to help you keep your pet happy and healthy.

1. Keep Pets Hydrated

The most important thing to remember in the warmer months is to provide clean, fresh water for your pet. It’s also good to clean the water bowl daily. Your pet won’t want to drink water with a foul taste, due to bacterial growth, which can also make your pet sick. 

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In order to explain clicker training, you first have to look at its basis, which is operant conditioning. Operant conditioning is a fancy scientific term that refers to the technique of positive reinforcement by means of a conditioned reinforcer, in other words, a reward. Animal trainers have used this technique to train all kinds of animals including rats, pigeons, dolphins, birds, rabbits, dogs, cats, horses and even fish. Examples of the tasks that animals are trained to carry out include pigeons that carry messages for the military in areas where other types of communications fail, dolphins that deploy weapons to military targets in the ocean during wartime, and seagulls that find and report on life rafts and swimmers that have drifted too far away from the shoreline.

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After conducting much research, I’ve compiled a list of the top Australian cat names and their meanings. However, before we get to that, here are a few tips to help you pick the perfect name for your new cat or kitten.

Choosing the perfect name for your new cat or kitten is important. Remember, you will use that name several times a day, sometimes in public, so choose a name that you are proud to call your cat. One of the best things about naming a cat is that they don’t really care what you name them, as long as they get lots of love, a comfortable bed and plenty to eat.

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Trimming your pet’s nails is necessary, because untrimmed nails can catch in carpeting, furniture or clothing and will break and bleed, which is painful for your pet. In addition, untrimmed nails will become ingrown, which is extremely painful and may cause infection. Overgrown nails are also much more difficult to trim, because the quick, which supplies blood to the nail, will extend down further if the nails grow very long. Trimming your pet’s nails can be easy and routine with a few simple tips.

Start trimming claws or nails when your pet is very young to help them learn to relax, making the process much easier and more pleasant for you both. Trim nails regularly to get your pet used to the experience. Offering a treat and lots of praise will make trimming nails a positive one for your pet. If your pet is uncomfortable with nail clipping, trim just one nail or one paw each day.

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Fleas have been around for millions of years and there are more than 2,000 species of them on our planet. Voraciously hungry, they will seek out any warm-blooded animal for food. Although the bites usually cause minor itching and irritation, flea bite allergies are common. It only takes one flea bite to trigger an allergic reaction. Fleas are carriers of the dog tapeworm, which the dog picks up when it grooms itself and eats a mature flea with a tapeworm cyst. 

Thankfully, there are safe and effective spot on flea treatments for both cats and dogs available at vet-n-pet DIRECT, which provide excellent results at keeping fleas in check. There are spot on flea treatments that repel and kill ticks, so if ticks are a concern in your area, look for one of these combined products.  

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