How often should I give my pet a bath?
Bathing your pet every 2 to 8 weeks is usually sufficient to maintain clean, healthy skin. Frequent brushing and combing between baths will help remove old hair and reduce shedding. Besides, that’s a great time for you and your pet to spend together. They usually like the added attention!

At what age should I begin trimming my pet’s nails?
Begin trimming your pet’s nails when they are young so it becomes part of a routine and they become used to this type of grooming.

How much of my pet’s nails should be trimmed?
When trimming your pet’s nails, trim in front of the place where you see the blood circulating. On black toenails, trim in front of the groove on the underside of the nail.

At what age should a new pet be brought home?
The best age to take home a young pet is between 8 and 10 weeks.

What should I consider when choosing a male or female pet?
It doesn’t matter whether you choose a male or female pet as long as you treat your pet properly. Children will have just as much fun with males as females. Some males may be more assertive while females may seem easier to train and less likely to be hyperactive.

What causes an animal to shed?
Animals shed in the fall to replace their thin summer coat with thick winter fur. In the spring, they will shed to prepare for upcoming warmer days. Loss of hair is determined by your pet’s exposure to light. Animals that are kept inside under artificial light shed more than they normally would.

We want to get a second pet. Should it be the same sex as the one we currently have?
When choosing to bring a second pet into your home, remember that two females will usually do fine. However, two males generally won’t. If you do have a pair, one will need to be neutered unless you want breeding to take place.

At what age should my pet be spayed?
You should have your pet spayed before the end of her first year of life. It is perfectly safe after 20 weeks of age, and is generally accepted that 90 – 95% less mammary cancer occurs in females spayed at a young age.

Should I wait until my pet’s first heat before having her spayed?
You need not wait for your female pet to have her first heat to be spayed. The ideal age for spaying is around 6 months of age.

Can I take my cat or dog on a plane with me?
It is perfectly safe to take your cat on a plane with you. He needs to be in a pet carrier and if small enough, may actually fit under your seat. Do let the airline know your plans when you book your flight so they can best advise you on their procedures. If your cat must travel in the baggage compartment, your veterinarian might prescribe medication should he feel it’s necessary.

Should I have my pet microchipped for identification?
There is now a tiny chip placed just under your pet’s skin that when scanned, identifies the pet and ensures his safe return. Veterinarians and pet shelters have the scanners needed for quick and positive identification.

How old should my puppy or kitten be before his first de-worming?
Your puppy or kitten should be de-wormed at 2 – 3 weeks. It is advisable that your pet be tested first to determine what type of worms it has.

How can I weigh my pet?
Use your bathroom scale to weigh your pet. Weigh yourself first, then pick up the pet and weigh together. Subtract your weight from the combined reading to find your pet’s weight.

When should a newly acquired kitten or puppy have their first visit to the veterinarian?
The sooner you visit the veterinarian with your new pet, the better. A doctor will make sure your new pet is healthy and recommend a vaccination schedule to protect your new pet against some of the numerous common diseases. They will discuss feeding, parasite control, neutering, grooming, and many other things to help you enjoy your pet for many years to come.

I am looking to bring a cat into our home. Would I be better off selecting a registered one or would I be just as happy with a housecat?
Registered cats are not necessarily better than common housecats. Each animal has his own unique personality. If you must have a shorthaired cat for allergies or other reasons, check into registered breeds. Remember that your local animal shelter has many loveable cats of all ages for adoption.

How will I know when my cat is in heat?
You will know when your cat is in heat by her increased vocalization, unusual behavior like rolling around on the floor and an increased demand for affection.

What is the best way to carry a kitten?
The best way to carry a kitten is to cradle it in your hand, against your body. Don’t carry her by the nape of the neck for a long distance.

At what age should a kitten be taken away from its mother?
Between 6 and 8 weeks, the kittens should be weaned and ready to go to new homes. She should have her vaccinations at this time.

How often does a female go into heat?
A female goes into heat about twice a year. They may skip a heat cycle occasionally, but will seldom have an extra one. The cycle lasts 21 days in dogs. Cats first heat between 5 – 8 months. A cat will remain in heat until she is bred. Small breed dogs at about 6 months and medium breed dogs at 8 or 9 months.

How can I tell if my female pet is going into heat?
Some physical signs that your female pet is going into heat are a swollen vulva and a light red vaginal discharge. Cats become very affectionate and vocal.

At what age are pets sexually mature?
Males become sexually mature between 7 and 9 months old. Small breed females have their first heat around 6 months. Medium size breed females have their first heat at around 8 or 9 months.

How do I give my cat a pill, liquid medicine or eye drops?
When “pilling” a cat, hold the cat’s cheeks on either side with one hand and point his nose up. Drop the pill between his tongue and the roof of his mouth. Poke it down with one finger. For liquid medication, slip an eyedropper between his cheek and back teeth. For eye drops, let the medication drop into the eye while holding his head back and his eyelid back gently.

What does it mean when my pet drags his rear end along the ground?
When your pet scoots on his or her rear end, it is probably a result of an anal gland problem. It is wise for your pet to be examined and checked for worms.

How do I take a stool sample?
Getting a stool sample should not be difficult. Only a small amount is required for testing. Simply scoop up an amount equal to 1/4 teaspoon and place it in a small jar or plastic bag. Keep it in a cool place if you plan to keep it later into the day or the following morning.

What’s the easiest way to take my pet’s temperature?
Your pet’s temperature should be taken in his rectum with a lubricated rectal thermometer. Insert if only 1/3 of the way in and leave it for at least 1 minute.

When do puppies or kittens get baby and permanent teeth?
Puppies and kittens get their baby teeth at 8 weeks and fall out gradually. At 6-8 months, the permanent teeth should all be in.

How many teeth does a cat have?
Cats have only 30 permanent teeth.

What is the easiest way to get a urine sample from my pet?
Getting a urine sample from your pet is not that difficult but may take more than one try. For male dogs, place a wide-mouth jar under him as he lifts his leg. For a female, use a flat pan. For cats, place wide wax paper strips in the litter box. After the cat has urinated, pour off the urine.

Why do cats purr and exactly how do they do that?
Purring is the way a cat shows affection, contentment and appreciation. The source of purring is believed to be in the animal’s circulatory system rather than in her “voice”.

Is it normal for a new puppy or kitten to sleep a lot?
It is quite normal for new puppies and kittens to sleep a lot. Young pets sleep a great deal, especially after meals.

How long is a cat pregnant before she has her kittens?
The normal gestation period for a cat is 61 to 69 days. Siamese may carry for as many as 71 days. The average is about 9 – 10 weeks.

Which vaccinations do my cat need?
The vaccinations needed for your cat’s health are: feline distemper, feline calcifivirus, feline rhinotracheitis, rabies and leukemia. Not all cats will require every vaccine.

How would I know if my pet has an ear infection?
Ear infections can cause your pet a great deal of pain. Look for signs of head shaking, smelly discharge or dark colored earwax. These are all possible symptoms of an ear problem. If you suspect a problem, bring your pet in for proper medical care.

My pet seems to have a lot of gas. What can I do to prevent this?
Many pets suffer from flatulence also know as gas. He should be checked for worms. If that proves negative, try changing his diet. Cut back on the amount of can food as it may be contributing to the gas problem.

Is it normal for my cat to vomit hair?
It is normal for a cat to vomit hair. This is called a hairball and is especially common in cats that have long hair. Laxative products may help with this problem. There are also products sold in pet stores that when sprinkled on the food help eliminate this problem. If nothing seems to work, it would be wise to consult your veterinarian.

At what age does my pet need to be protected from heartworm?
Heartworm has a 6-month cycle and you begin preventative treatment for your pet before 6 months of age. No preventative treatment should ever begin before a blood test is done because it is best to know if your pet already has heartworms so they can be treated.

How can I check my pet for heartworms?
The way your veterinarian checks for heartworm is by taking a blood sample from your pet. It is mixed with a special solution and incubated with tracer molecules that bind with any signs of heartworm in your pet, producing a positive color change. The test is extremely accurate.

How does a mosquito pick up the heartworm larvae?
A mosquito picks up heartworm larvae by drawing blood from an infected dog. When the mosquito bites another dog, it passes on the immature heartworm know as microfilaria to that pet.

What are heartworms?
Heartworms are worm-like parasites that grow to be about 14 inches long and live in the right side of a dog’s heart. The larvae of the parasite are transmitted to dogs through mosquitoes. The growth of the heartworms can block the flow of blood to your pet’s heart and eventually cause death. It is important to have your pet tested for this disease if you suspect he may have it. Cats can also get heartworms. Ask the doctor for preventative medication.

Is it possible to get hookworm from my pets?
Humans usually don’t get intestinal hookworm from their pets. However, the small canine hookworm larvae may penetrate a person’s skin and cause skin sores. Checking your pet for worms periodically and giving monthly preventative reduce spreading of worms.

How can I tell if my pet has mange?
To tell if your pet has mange, a microscopic examination of the skin specimen is required. Because of this, you should bring your pet in for an examination by the veterinarian.

What is the best way to put medicine in my pet’s eyes?
The best way to put medicine in your pet’s eye is to hold the eye drops above the eye while holding the eyelid up. Be sure not to touch the bottle or dropper to your pet’s eye. Ointment can be applied under the lower eyelid.

Is it really true that a cold wet nose means my pet is healthy?
A cold, wet nose is not necessarily a sign that your pet is healthy. The idea is misleading. Animals sweat on their noses and footpads. Your pets may be wet with perspiration. Wet noses may be normal or they can indicate that your pet has a respiratory disorder.

Is being overweight a serious health problem in pets?
Obesity is a serious problem for animals. Being overweight can cause liver disease, pancreatitis, back and heart problems. He may become overheated more easily causing heat stroke. Difficulty in breathing is also apparent in overweight animals.

Is it true that houseplants can be poisonous to pets?
Houseplants in general can be poisonous to cats. Many common plants are toxic to your cat if she chews or ingests them. These include Jade plants, Philodendron, Easter Lilies, Poinsettia, Iris, Mistletoe, and English Ivy.

Just exactly what are roundworms?
Roundworms are 4 to 5 inch long parasites that attack the small intestines and respiratory tract of dogs. They are most prevalent in puppies. The worms can be transmitted from the mother to the pups in the womb. Symptoms are: mucus – stained stools, dull coat, vomited roundworm segments that look like coiled spaghetti. Pups may have a potbelly. The best treatment is to see your veterinarian for deworming. Children can contact roundworms and cause serious health problems. All puppies and kittens should be checked and treated for worms several times.

What does it mean if my pet’s stool is like black tar?
A black tar-like stool may indicate worms or another problem. Bring your pet in for an examination. Oxydized blood in stool appears tar-like.

What does it mean if my pet has a light-colored, chalky stool?
If your pet has a light-colored, chalky stool it may be a problem with his pancreas. If you have been feeding him bones other than rawhide, this may be the cause. It is important not to feed your pet any bones, for while they seem harmless, they can splinter and cause serious problems.

What does it mean if my pet has blood in her stool?
Blood in a pet’s stool may indicate several things. Perhaps it is a minor irritation in the large intestine that could clear up in a day or Canine parvovirus or poisoning. It is a good idea to bring the pet in for an examination to determine the actual cause and appropriate treatment.

Should I give my pet medicine for heartworms?
Before any medication can be given for heartworms, a pet must be tested to insure that active infection does not exist. Both dogs and cats can develop heartworm disease.

How can I safely remove a tick from my pet?
If you treat your pet with flea and tick medicine, don’t worry if you should see a tick on his coat. It will die and fall off. If you must remove it, place a tissue between your thumb and forefinger and grab the tick as close as possible. Pull the tick out straight and slowly. Never use a match or gasoline to remove ticks. This is very dangerous!

What exactly are tapeworms?
If your pet has tapeworms, your veterinarian may suggest an injection or tablets to eliminate them. He may also suggest using veterinarian approved products to rid your dog and home of fleas.

My pet drinks a lot of water then seems to urinate a lot. Is something wrong with him?
Some pets drink a great deal of water then urinate excessively. The condition that may cause this kind of behavior is fairly complicated. It is best to bring your pet in for an examination.

How do animals get tapeworm?
Animals get tapeworms by ingesting fleas that carry tapeworm eggs. They may also eat rodents that have been infected with tapeworms.

How often should my pet be checked for worms?
Your pet should be checked once a year for worms. If he has problems with worms than a checkup every 6 months is advisable. Anytime your pet has vomiting or diarrhea a worm check is indicated.

What are the signs that my pet is ready to give birth?
Symptoms of an impending birth are: mothers loss of appetite, restlessness and “nesting”. Her body temperature will drop to about 99 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is the normal time to wait between each delivery?
The normal time between each delivery is 1/2 to 2 hours for the mother to rest. Be aware, however, that the break should not exceed 4 hours.

After my pet gives birth, should I bring her in for an examination?
After whelping, bring the mother and her litter in the day after or within the week for a checkup.

What should I do for my pet if he is having a convulsion?
Sometimes animals will have convulsions that can be quite frightening. Look for signs of muscle twitching, collapse, uncontrolled shivering and thrashing about, uncontrolled urination and defecation. The best medicine is to keep the environment quiet and prevent the animal from hurting itself. When coming out of a seizure or convulsion, sometimes a pet is disoriented and may bark at you or members of your family out of fear. Speak to him in a quite, reassuring voice and allow the event to pass. Consult your veterinarian to decide if your pet needs to be on medication to prevent further episodes. This is very treatable and veterinarians can alleviate your concerns.

Is it safe to give my pet bones from the table?
Do not give your pet bones from the table. A hard rubber ball or leather-like chew toy is a much better bet than risking injury from bones that may splinter.

My cat loves fish. Is it healthy to feed only fish?
Cats love fish, but fish alone is not a balanced diet.

Will my pet eat as much as I give him or does he know when he is full?
Some pets, like humans, will eat more than they need. This will cause lethargy and obesity, things you want to avoid. Please don’t let your pet get fat.

Should pets be fed milk?
People wonder if pets in general need milk. The answer is “no”. Many pets have an intolerance to milk, which can cause diarrhea.

Does my kitten need to be on a special diet?
When buying food for your kitten, look for commercial pet foods that offer special formulas that are made especially for kittens less than one year old. And remember, too much milk can give your kitten diarrhea.

How often does my puppy or kitten need to be fed?
One frequently asked question is, “How often should I feed my puppy or kitten?” Between 6-12 weeks feed 3 times a day. Between 12 weeks and 6 months feed twice a day. From 6 months on feed once a day. You can also try a self-feeding program by keeping his bowl full all of the time. Be sure to select a good food like Science Diet Growth or IAMS.

Is being overweight a serious health problem in pets?
Obesity is a serious problem for animals. Being overweight can cause liver disease, pancreatitis, back, and heart problems. He may become overheated more easily causing heat stroke. Difficulty in breathing is also apparent in overweight animals.

Is there any way to tell if my new pet will have a good personality?
A good pet personality may be indicated if he or she comes to you freely, without snarling. When picked up, he should be fairly easy to hold and not cry excessively. And finally, he should be alert, active and curious.

Do different breeds of cats have different personalities or is it just in the way I raise it?
Different breeds of cats seem to have different personalities. As a rule, Siamese are more aloof and vocal than others. Persians and Himalayans require more care than shorthaired breeds, but are as affectionate as any other cat. Burmese are especially friendly and are good with children.

What kinds of toys are good for my cat to play with?
The best toys to give to your cat are: wooden spools, catnip mince, hard rubber balls, paper balls, and remember…cats generally make their own toys.

Whenever, I leave the house, my pets favorite chew toy is my furniture. How can I stop this behavior?
To keep a pet from chewing on the furniture when you are out of the house about 30 minutes before you leave lightly dab Listerine Mouthwash on those things you want your pet to avoid chewing. Don’t let him see you doing this. On the first day only, take your pet out of the treated area and apply a little bit of Listerine across your pet’s nose. Also be sure to leave a favorite toy or chewy to keep him busy until you return.

We currently have a cat. We will be bringing home a new puppy. How will they get along with each other?
When bringing a dog into a home that already has a cat, be prepared that there might be some conflict. The adult cat that hasn’t been around other animals may not like the dog. Declawing the cat may help. When bringing puppies and kittens together, there should be less of a problem, as the topic of being “territorial” has not truly taken place.

How can I stop my cat from spraying?
The causes of “spraying” by your cat differ with each cat, and so does the treatment. Altering will help if he or she is spraying to establish territory. If he is spraying because he is lonely, consider a friend or puppy for him. Also try giving the cat more affection. Often something has changed in the cats environment and causes anxiety in the cat and causes territorial spraying.

My pet is terrified of thunder and storms. How can I help her get over this fear?
Many pets have a fear of thunder. Train him to be less afraid by repeatedly playing a recording of a thunderstorm. Gradually increase the volume while comforting him. If your pet reacts severely, tranquilizers should be kept on hand in the event he should need them.

Should I punish my pet if I come home and find that he’s soiled the floor?
Upon returning home, if you find that your pet has eliminated in the house, it does no good to punish him at that time since he won’t remember what he did wrong. The punishment will actually confuse the pet. A better idea would be to confine your pet to one area of the house or crate him when you are away from home.