Tips for Running with Your Dog

Black and white dog on leash with woman jogging

Dogs love to be with us, and they usually have boundless energy. In fact, they could be the perfect exercise partner—as long as you pay attention to some basic do’s and don’ts of running with your dog.

The Do’s of Running with Your Dog

Do check with your veterinarian. Before starting any new exercise program, be sure to bring your dog in for a preventive care exam. It’s important to assess your dog’s fitness level and know how to avoid any joint or muscle injuries. Continue reading →

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When A Good Walk Goes Bad: The Dangers Of Retractable Leashes

Retractable leashes are popular but do have some safety issues that you should be aware of. If you’ve never seen a dog being walked on a retractable leash you might very well be living in a cave or under a rock. These wildly popular leashes aren’t really leashes at all, rather they consist of a cord which is wrapped around a spring loaded device and contained inside a plastic handle. A button on the handle allows the walker to control the amount of leash that extends out, allowing a dog to walk as far or as close as their human chooses.

While this may sound like great fun and freedom for both dog and walker, retractable leashes pose significant risk to the health and safety of both the dog and human who uses it.

Continue reading →

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On the Road to Healing: What to Expect After Pet Surgery

Recovering from pet surgery requires post-op pet careIt can be scary, loading your pet up in the car and heading home after a major surgery. You are expected to help him recover, but you may not feel all that prepared to do so. At Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital, we know that feeling confident helping your furry family member heal is important for you. We are here for you during the time before, during, and after a pet surgery.

How to Prepare to Bring Your Pet Home

During recovery, your pet should have a quiet, comfortable place to rest that is dry and clean. Be sure to prepare an area with food and water, and an easy to access place to relieve himself. A crate can make a great recovery den, if your pet is used to using one.

The area should be free of obstacles, such as stairs, that may pose a safety hazard to a pet who is under the influence of medications. Block off any potentially dangerous areas with a childproof gate or doors. Continue reading →

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Lost in Translation: 5 Things Your Dog Wishes You Knew About Them

If dog wishes were fishes...No bones about it: dogs are really smart animals. They’ve managed to live and work with us for centuries, in part because of their brains. By constantly reading body language and tones of voice, dogs understand us pretty well. Wouldn’t it be great if we could return the favor? Consider these 5 things your dog wishes you knew.

1. I Want What You Want

As a pack animal, your dog finds value in group dynamics – even if it’s just the two of you. They want to do whatever you’re doing, go wherever you’re going, and, if left alone, stress or anxiety might creep in. Destructive behavior can be a result of temporary separation, as your dog wishes they were otherwise occupied.

Keep your pup’s mind active with basic training techniques (it really does boost health and happiness!) and increase opportunities for exercise and enrichment. Continue reading →

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How to Tell if You’re Ready for a Cat

Knowing if you're ready for a cat is part of responsible cat ownershipHave you been thinking about adopting a cat, but you’re not sure if you’re ready to take the plunge? There are plenty of things to consider, and Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital has a few ideas to get you started.

Are You Ready for a Cat?

Cats are wonderful, unique, and mysterious at times, but one thing’s for sure – once you adopt a cat, you’re in it for the long haul. Cats can live for a long time, so it’s great that you’re giving the idea serious thought. Here are some important prerequisites when it comes to owning a cat. Continue reading →

This entry was posted in Pet Rescue & Adoption, The Cat's Meow, You & Your Pet and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Thunderstorms and Fireworks: What Can You Do About Pet Anxiety This Summer?

Pet anxiety is a reality.Many pet owners know exactly when it’s about to rain buckets in July, but it’s not because they saw the weather report. Instead, by watching their pet closely for any signs of of fear or stress, they can count down when the first bolt of lightning will fill the sky. Between summer storms or Fourth of July fireworks, pet anxiety is a real danger this time of year. However, with a bit of clever planning and preparation, animals don’t have to suffer.

Signs of a Problem

Every pet reacts differently to stress, but pet anxiety is typically characterized by hiding, trying to escape, damaging their surroundings, or even harming themselves. Noise aversion can develop into a full-blown phobia if left alone. Luckily, there are ways to support animals going through this. Continue reading →

This entry was posted in Pet Safety, Pet-Friendly Holidays, Training & Behavior, You & Your Pet and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Made in the Shade: An Essential of Summer Pet Safety

Shade for pets is an important part of summer pet safetyAs the dog days of summer arrive, we all may be spending more time outdoors, including our pets. During warm, sunny days in Texas, though, it quickly becomes a priority to stay cool by finding a shady tree, cooling off in the pool, or even heading indoors to the air conditioning.

What about our pets? At Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital, we’re thinking about how to keep pets safe and cool this summer, too.  And, so we’re exploring shade; why it’s necessary to summer pet safety, and perhaps, how to create some fun new shade areas in our yards this summer, too. Continue reading →

This entry was posted in Pet Safety, Seasonal Pet Care and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Beat the Bugs in Your Yard With Pet Safe Mosquito Control

For much of the year in San Antonio, mosquitos are an unfortunate part of life thanks to our humid summers and mild winters. Besides being annoying to both people and pets, mosquitoes can also transmit a variety of diseases, such as West Nile virus and Zika virus. Since there are no vaccines or cures for these illnesses, protecting your pets and family from mosquitoes is critical.

However, while keeping bugs at bay is important, dousing your property with harsh chemicals can be dangerous, especially when you have pets. Fortunately, a little bit of creativity and elbow grease is all you need to accomplish pet safe mosquito control. Continue reading →

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What’s the Real Deal with Cats and Milk?

Of the myriad myths about cats, their misunderstood proclivity for cow’s milk ranks near the top. Despite modern conventional wisdom, the idea that cats love, need, and want milk remains ubiquitous among cat owners and admirers alike. Cats and milk used to go together like mice and cheese, dogs and bones, but today a different view takes center stage.

High Fat

The cats and milk myth is actually based in truth. Cats love the high fat content of cream, especially if it’s fresh from the cow. Similar to other infant mammals, kittens are born with the ability to digest lactose, the main sugar in milk. However, as they age, lactase, the enzyme that triggers digestion of lactose, disappears. Many cat owners out there can relate to that terrible grumble after a pint of ice cream! Continue reading →

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Does My Dog Need a Diet?

Does your dog need a diet? Weight loss is a tough subject, for humans and pets alike! It’s a challenge, especially when we realize we may have spent the winter months on the couch a bit too much, or perhaps eaten one too many desserts. But, for our pets (and for us!), losing weight can add years to their lives and make those years healthier and happier.

The most recent veterinary surveys tell us that over half of our nation’s pets are either overweight or obese. Extra weight may seem to make them extra snuggly, but in reality, overweight pets are at risk for serious and debilitating health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and high blood pressure.

Helping your pet to lose weight might be easier than you think. Below, our team gears up to answer the question, does my dog need a diet, or just more exercise? Continue reading →

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