How to Throw a Pawsitively Pawsome Pet Birthday Party


Our pets do so much for us. Besides giving unconditional love, their daily antics bring joy and laughter to our lives (not to mention some great Instagram pictures!). With their wagging tails, sweet purrs, and cute faces, our pets certainly give us something to look forward to at the end of a long day. Studies show that pet ownership even contributes to better health and longevity.

With all these benefits, you might be looking for a special way to show your pet how much you appreciate them, and a pet birthday party may be just the ticket!

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Finishing Strong: The Benefits of Exercising a Senior Pet

exercising senior petPets age faster than humans and begin slowing down between 7 to 10 years old. Because of their age and associated health conditions, it might seem more compassionate to allow/encourage them to lay around the house. After all, they’ve earned their place on the couch, right? However, a sedentary lifestyle not only exacerbates age-related issues, it can also decrease an animal’s quality of life. Let The Pet Experts of Wheaton Animal Hospital review some fun, safe ideas for exercising a senior pet!

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Cancer in Pets: Know Your Enemy

November was Pet Cancer Awareness Month, and although we’re now into December, we wanted to be sure to address this important topic.

The good news:  Our pets are living longer than ever thanks to advances in medicine and better overall standards for care.  The bad news:  Just like in people, the longer a pet lives the more likely it is to be affected by cancer.  In fact 1 in 4 pets will die of cancer.  But all hope is not lost.  By following these tips you can help catch problems in your pet early as well as take actions to try to minimize the risks of your pet developing cancer.

  • Keep those appointments.  Annual or semi-annual vet visits allow us to perform a thorough examination and lab work as well as time for us to discuss any new concerns that you might have.  These visits are an important step in stopping cancer in its tracks.
  • Know your breed.  Did you know that certain breeds of dogs and cats are more prone to certain types of cancers?  While any breed can develop any kind of cancer, knowing what body systems would most likely be affected can tip you off to problems early on in the process.  General signs of a problem can include weight loss or behavior changes, among other things.
  • If it’s bad for you it’s bad for your pet.  Substances that are known to cause cancer in people likely can lead to cancer in our pets- think cigarette smoke, asbestos, and herbicides.  As if you needed another good reason to give up smoking!
  • Spay or neuter!  Spaying your dog or cat greatly reduces her risk of mammary cancer (among other health issues) and a pet that is neutered can’t get testicular cancer!
  • What’s good for the goose…  We’ve all heard it a million times over.  Eat right and exercise.  Good quality nutrition and a healthy weight are important factors in reducing cancer risk.

While cancer is a formidable foe, it is not unbeatable.  By working with us as a team, you can help identify problems early, making your pet’s prognosis much more favorable.

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month!

Here are the top 10 reasons to consider adopting an older pet when making an addition to your family!

  1. Happy Senior DogBy taking home a senior pet you are making a statement- to your friends, your family, and to society, that these lives are valuable too!
  2. An older pet is more likely to already be housebroken. No puppy puddles!
  3. You know what size pet you are getting!
  4. They are ready to go- you can immediately start the fun activities associated with pet ownership like going for walks as they probably can already walk on a leash!
  5. Your love and attention won’t ever go unappreciated.
  6. Because senior pets are usually the last to be adopted and the first to be euthanized in a shelter, you can feel good knowing that you have very likely saved a life.
  7. You will be ensuring your new older pet a comfortable, happy life instead of one in a shelter.
  8. A senior pet is not likely to demand as much attention as a younger animal- by adopting a senior citizen you can finish your cup of coffee in peace!
  9. What you see is what you get.  You can more easily assess temperament, health issues, and other behavior traits in an older pet.
  10. You can go to sleep each night knowing that you have made a good choice.

And remember, bring your newly adopted pet to us for a first exam, parasite check, and rabies shot – all FREE!

Aging Gracefully

Senior DogPets often require special attention as they get older.  Here are a few common areas where they may need a little help:

Loss of vision/hearing:

Senior pets may not hear or see as well as they once did.  There is often nothing that can be done about these changes, so we must help them as much as possible.  Do not startle pets that cannot hear or see you coming.  Avoid rearranging furniture and other objects in the household if your pet does not see well.

Difficulty getting around:

Arthritis is a very common problem in the older pet.  There are many ways to help your pet get around, though.  Steps or ramps made can help your senior animal continue to enjoy car rides or sitting in the window.  Your pet may require a softer place to rest.  There are also a variety of medications and treatments that can help with arthritis pain.

Changes in personality:

Older pets may not be as tolerant as they once were simply because they hurt.  Take this into consideration, particularly when they are around small children who may not always be gentle.  Pets can also suffer from a form of dementia known as cognitive dysfunction.  Any major changes in personality indicate the need for an examination by your vet.

Accidents in the house:

Loss of housebreaking may indicate a health problem that should be investigated immediately.

If you’re noticing these or any other changes in your aging pet and would like to discuss his care, please feel free to contact us.