All posts by Candace

Guinea Pig Care Tips

March is Adopt A Rescued Guinea Pig Month? Guinea pigs—also known as cavies—may be small, but they are full of personality, and make very adorable pets. Here, a Floyds Knob, IN vet offers some tips on caring for Guinea pigs.

Basics

Guinea pigs are quite sociable, and are much happier with a friend to play with and cuddle up to. These little furballs usually live 4-8 years, with proper care. They are often chosen as kids’ pets because they are fairly inexpensive, easy to care for, and have a sweet demeanor.

Diet

You’ll need to offer your Guinea pig fresh grass hay, such as Timothy hay. Commercial cavy food is fine for your cavy’s breakfast and supper. To round out your tiny buddy’s menu, offer the little guy safe, suitable produce. Include lots of food that include Vitamin C, which is essential to your pet’s health. Plenty of fresh water is also a must.

Cage

A good, comfy cage is very important. We recommend at least 7.5 square feet for one cavy. If you get more than one Guinea pig, you’ll need a bigger cage than that. Add a suitable substrate, such as aspen or fleece. (Tip: don’t use pine or cedar, which are toxic to cavies.) Your pet will also need some hiding holes, like a box or a cozy, which is basically a tiny tent for small animals, dishes, and a water bottle.

Toys

Cavies are very playful, so offer your pet lots of fun playthings. To keep your pet’s teeth healthy, you’ll want to give the little one plenty of chew toys. Many wood, wicker, and cardboard items can make great toys! Look online for easy DIY options. Just be careful not to give your furball anything with dangling threads, sharp edges, or small parts, or anything coated in varnish, paint, or dye.

Veterinary Care

Watch for signs of illness, such as lethargy, matted fur, strange postures or behavior, and lack of appetite. Call your vet immediately if you notice anything amiss.

Fun!

Guinea pigs are very fun pets! Handle your furry friend gently and regularly to keep him friendly and sociable. You may even be able to teach him some adorable tricks, like jumping through a hoop.

As your Floyds Knob, IN pet clinic, we’re happy to provide veterinary care for Guinea pigs. Please feel free to contact us anytime!

Why Your Cat is Ignoring Her Litterbox

Has your cat seemingly given up on her litterbox? Noticing more and more accidents outside of Fluffy’s bathroom? There are many reasons why a cat may decide to ignore her box. Here, your Floyds Knob, IN veterinarian helps you get to the bottom of your pet’s bathroom problem.

Cleanliness

Just like you, your cat isn’t fond of doing her business in a dirty bathroom. If you don’t clean your cat’s box enough, she may decide to go elsewhere! Scoop out your cat’s litterbox on a daily basis, and swap out the litter entirely about once a week. This will ensure that your pet’s bathroom stays clean and fresh at all times.

Location

Who wants to use the bathroom in a crowded, noisy place full of other people? Not your cat, that’s for sure. If you put the litterbox in a spot that’s highly trafficked by family members and other pets, your feline friend isn’t likely to take to it. Try placing the box in a quiet, out-of-the-way place like a basement or bathroom. Make sure your cat can access it at all times, even when you’re not at home.

Litter Type

Different cats prefer different types of litter. There is a wide variety, including clumping and non-clumping, scented and non-scented, various granule sizes, and much more. If your cat experiences a litter she doesn’t like, she might decide to simply avoid the litterbox entirely. Try experimenting a bit to find out what your cat prefers.

Negative Conditioning

If your cat was startled while using the litterbox in past years, especially if it happened during kittenhood, she may have a distrust of litterboxes in the present day. This is called a negative conditioning scenario. It might require the help of a professional animal trainer or animal behaviorist to correct. Talk to your veterinarian if you think this might be the cause of your cat’s aversion to her bathroom.

Medical Issues

Various medical issues, from injury and illness to infections like UTIs, could be the root cause of your cat’s anti-bathroom behavior. You’ll want to have your cat examined right away to rule out any medical problems. Set up an appointment with your vet if you can’t seem to get to the bottom of your cat’s issue.

Would you like to learn more about your cat’s behavior and healthcare needs? Call your Floyds Knob, IN veterinary clinic today. We’re here for you!

Dental Health Tips for Your Canine Companion

Dental health is an important part of your dog’s care regimen—in fact, dental problems are some of the most common health issues that veterinarians see in dogs. Keep your canine companion’s teeth and gums in tip-top shape with these tips from a Georgetown, IN veterinarian:

Home Mouth Exams

Once a week or so, sit down with your dog to give the mouth a quick check-up at home. Gently peel back Fido’s lips to check out the teeth and gums; look for any inflammation or redness, swelling, cracked or misaligned teeth, excessive plaque build-up, or anything else that seems out of the ordinary. Let your vet know right away if you find something that warrants concern.

Great Diet and Fresh Water

One of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your dog’s oral health in peak condition is to feed them a great diet, supplying them with the essential nutrients for healthy teeth and gums. A steady supply of fresh water is also important for keeping the mouth clean and washing away loose plaque.

Brushing

Pick up a canine-formulated toothpaste and a pet toothbrush at your pet supply store. Start by letting your dog smell and taste the paste, and try rubbing your dog’s teeth and gums with a finger at first. Slowly, introduce the paste and brush until you can effectively brush the outer tooth surfaces. It’s a great way to keep harmful plaque and tartar at bay!

Chew Toys

Chew toys are about more than good plain fun. They give your dog’s teeth and gums a healthy workout day after day, and they help to scrape plaque off of the teeth and gum beds, removing it before it can harden into tartar. Supply your dog with plenty of fun toys, both for his entertainment and oral health!

Dental treats and chews are another good option for keeping your dog’s teeth and gums healthy. They also help to freshen the breath. Ask your vet to recommend a great choice.

Professional Cleanings

Remember: there is no substitute for professional dental cleanings at your vet’s office! Pro cleanings get at the nooks and crannies that home brushing simply can’t. If your dog is due for a cleaning, or if you have questions about the procedure, call your veterinarian to learn more.

Your Georgetown, IN animal hospital is here to serve all of your veterinary care needs. Make an appointment today!