My Pet Just Ate What? Holiday Foreign Body Dangers

The holidays are filled with baubles, bells, bows, and other bling. And each of these items can be just as tempting as the next when it comes to our pets. Decorations, food, gifts, the endless array of good smelling gifts, along with the feast, can prove tempting to even the most well behaved dog or cat. 

Pet emergencies during the holidays are all too common, and most pet owners understand why. Because of the busyness of the season, most people are juggling obligations and pay less attention to what Fido or Fluffy are up to. Couple that with all of the sights, smells, and wonders, and you’re suddenly thinking to yourself, “my pet just ate what!” 

Thankfully, the Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital are here to shed light on these risks so you can better protect your pet.

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Key Concepts of Leash Training Your Dog

Walks are important for all dogs, regardless of age. In addition to building the bond between you and your pet, exercise keeps you both healthy and keeps boredom at bay. Dogs need to explore their environment for their own well being. Daily walks also aid in your pet’s digestion and help them sleep better at night. 

But many people are reluctant to walk their dogs, afraid of the pulling, barking, and general unpleasant behavior that may accompany leash walks. It’s easy to think that dogs just innately know how to walk on a leash, but in fact, this skill is something that needs to be trained. It’s an important skill to teach, and one that you’ll appreciate every time you take your dog out for her walk. 

Keep reading for tips on leash training from The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital.

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Bringing Home Fur-Baby! Preparing Your House for Your Newly Adopted Pet

How exciting it is to bring home your brand new little one. You must be anticipating all of the little meows or barks, the pitter-patter of paws across the living room floor, and the sweet moments of getting to know your new pet companion. Your friends at Wheaton agree…This time is one of the very best. 

But there is a lot to think about when it comes to a newly adopted pet. Your home, especially if it has been fur-free, is probably not entirely pet-proof. What is pet-proofing the home, you may ask? We are here to help you out!

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Too Much, Too Often: How to Train Your Dog Not to Bark

Dogs and barking seem to go hand-in-hand. In fact, it can actually be helpful when your pet barks to alert you to a dangerous situation or an unknown visitor. However, unprovoked bouts of barking or prolonged periods of barking can be difficult to manage. 

Of course, no pet owner wants to completely eliminate all forms of barking. Fortunately, you can focus on correcting the behaviors you don’t want so your dog can engage in natural barking behaviors that benefit the whole family. 

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Pet Hydration: The Key to a Safe Summer for Your Furry Friend

a tired looking dog drinks from an outdoor public water fountain

We’ve had an unseasonably cold spring here in Chicagoland, but that doesn’t mean we can’t expect blisteringly-warm temperatures as the summer progresses. However, the heat doesn’t have to be extreme to place pets at risk of heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and dehydration. Especially if you’re aware of proper pet hydration.

Keeping pets hydrated is simple, but it can easily slip our minds in all the excitement and activities of summer. July is Pet Hydration Awareness Month, and The Pet Experts want to use this opportunity to share the principles of pet hydration with our readers.

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The Best Ways to Take Care of Your Pet’s Paws This Summer

Seasoned pet owners are familiar with the dangers of heatstroke, especially when it comes to leaving their best friend in the car. Less common, however, is an awareness of the ground temperature during the hottest months. Even when air temperatures hover between 75-85 degrees, asphalt and concrete temperatures can soar to 125-140 degrees! While that doesn’t impact our shoe-laden feet, damage to animal paw pads is imminent. 

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to prevent injury and protect your pet’s paws this summer.

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Toxic Flowers Can Turn Your Pet’s Day Upside Down

People that care about animals typically have a fondness for all life. These nurturing sensibilities naturally extend to caring for and enjoying plant life. In the past, The Pet Experts blogged about yard and garden safety and dangerous holiday plants to avoid. However, it’s essential this time of year to share information about other toxic flowers that pets can easily come across in their day to day routines.

Super Cautious

It’s happened to every pet owner at least once. The impromptu lapse of judgement that inadvertently places a pet at risk. It could be that Easter lily given to you by someone special, or a Mother’s Day bouquet that included toxic flowers you never even heard of. Whatever the case may be, the rule of thumb is to make sure that whatever you bring home cannot threaten your pet’s health and wellness.

There are few pet owners that expect their pets to simply ignore a sweet-smelling bouquet or arrangement brought into the house. The fact is, pets are curious and (more often than not) interested in sampling unfamiliar flowers.

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Do You Have a Plan for Your Pet During a Disaster?

What would you do with your pet during a disaster?Most people accept the fact that terrible things can happen, but assume it’s more probable that they won’t. Sure, there are those that operate from a point of fear, but plenty of pet owners – not unlike their pets – live in and embrace the moment. Wherever you stand on the issue, the fact remains that having a plan for your pet during a disaster is better than the alternative. The good news? The Pet Experts have a few suggestions to get you going.

Perfect Place

Illinois doesn’t rank very high on the list of states with the most potential for natural disasters, but we are very high on the list of states that are prepared to handle them. Tornadoes, flooding, blizzards, and fires are no strangers in this part of the country, increasing the importance of disaster preparedness. Continue…

Is Pet Anxiety Normal this Time of Year?

Pet anxiety can come from separation and a bored petWhen pet owners come to us with reports of urinating or defecating inside the house, pacing, destroying property, and endless vocalization, discussing separation anxiety is a natural place to start. To err on the side of caution, we first ensure there isn’t an underlying medical condition. If nothing is found, The Pet Experts work with pet owners to help assuage dangerous or challenging symptoms and re-prioritize their pet’s needs.

It’s All About Routine

Undoubtedly, pets are creatures of habit. They rely heavily on predictable events, such as meal times, bathroom breaks, and opportunities for play and exercise. After a long, active summer in which they’ve grown accustomed to daily, consistent involvement, some pets have a tough time adjusting to a new routine. Continue…

What Are Pet Microchips and How Do They Work?

Pet microchips help lost pets get homeIt sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, but pet microchips have been around for more than two decades. Statistics show that dogs and cats with chips are reunited with their owners 52% and 38% of the time, respectively. The likelihood of an animal going home that is not microchipped is much, much smaller. Because the Pet Experts believe in the power of pet microchips, we offer them for free at your pet’s first wellness exam.

Not a Replacement

Pet microchips are never a replacement for collars and tags. Rather, they act as a supplemental insurance against permanent separation.

The Skinny

Encased in biocompatible glass or polymer, pet microchips are about the size of a grain of rice and simply comprised of a capacitor, antenna, and connecting wire. They do not contain a battery and do not use GPS to show location. Continue…