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Ensuring you can spot common rabbit illnesses is a little tougher than the average cat or dog relationship. This is partly because rabbit healthcare isn’t covered quite as much as our feline and canine friends. And because pet bunnies are amazingly good at masking symptoms.

However, rabbits have got a great indicator of health in how their skin reacts and responds. You can use how your pet bunny’s skin looks to help spot rabbit illnesses as they occur.

Let’s look at some of the common rabbit illnesses you come across that show up via your pet bunny’s skin Rabbit skin disease

Photo by Nathan Boadle via Unsplash

Our vet Katie works hard to maintain healthy skin in pets. She spends a lot of time studying and looking to improve skin health. Consider how flea damage, hot spots or allergies can damage your cat or dog’s skin and the discomfort they bring. Skin health in rabbits is equally important.

Excessive grooming, plucking or removal of fur by your rabbit creating bald spots or hair thinning and skin damage.

Alopecia as it is known can be a result of pregnancy, nutritional deficiencies such as a lack of fibre in the diet, arthritis, obesity or skin irritation and inflammation.

Whatever the case, it’s always best to check the cause and get a treatment plan.

Rabbit mites

Rabbit mites damage can injury your pet bunny’s skin. It also makes their life incredibly uncomfortable.

Skin mites can create flaky, unhealthy and damaged skin. The irritation can lead to excessive grooming and scratching. This in turn creates greater injury on the skin.

If you are dealing with mites, always seek advice from a vet. Thankfully, while mites can do damage and be somewhat difficult to detect, treatment is relatively simple with over-the-counter products. However, you should consult your friendly Wahroonga vet team at Fox Valley Animal Hospital to properly diagnose the type of mite and decide on appropriate treatment plan.

Rabbit fleas

Just as cats and dogs must be treated for fleas, so too do rabbits need support to maintain healthy skin and coat by remaining flea-free.

Like rabbit mites, flea infestations can disrupt comfort, make rest and sleeping incredibly difficult and make your pet bunny feel worn and weathered.

Your rabbit can also lose hair, damage their skin, show irritation and redness in flea infested areas, display crusts and discharge in fur and on skin, and of course remain itchy and unhappy.

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to fleas of any kind. Luckily, you can treat rabbit fleas with monthly preventative measures including using kitten flea products and lower doses of other popular flea preventative products on the market.

A quick visit to our vent clinic should be able to treat any flea-related rabbit illness and put you on the right track for keeping the flea infestations to a minimum in future.

Rabbit grooming and bathing  

Grooming your rabbit is important. Choosing the right product for the job helps enormously in preventing rabbit illness and skin issues.

Rabbits can go into shock when bathed. They should not be forced to be cleaned and it’s better to provide a sponge bath as opposed to immersing a rabbit in water. You should always spend time with your rabbit afterwards and observe for signs of shock. This will often manifest in bodily weakness, inability to move, severe depression or pale mucus-membrane.

Due to their sensitive skin, your pet bunny also needs to bathe with the right kind of pet wash. Products that are heavy on the chemicals such as insecticide-based products can be harmful. Lime sulphur, carbyl based products and even baby shampoos can promote reactions and make for rabbit illness.

It is always best to consult your vet clinic about the sorts of grooming options available to your pet bunny, so you can make a safe purchase.

Dampness and rabbits

Rabbit skin is sensitive. If your rabbit remains damp for an extended period, this can encourage skin health issues. It also makes it incredibly uncomfortable for your pet bunny.

To avoid rabbit illness, you should house your rabbit in an enclosure that is free from water run-off and rain. Any water bottles or bowls should be secured to avoid spilling.

This is also why rabbit enclosures should include straw and other flooring to avoid concrete and hard surfaces that are cold. And so that any urine or faeces can be cleaned out regular and fresh straw provided. Obesity can also lead to moisture capture and damage to the skin through prolonged dampness.

So too with drool and any kind of discharge. In fact, drooling could be a sign of dental issues and discharge may signify skin injury, conjunctivitis or general ill-health. All of which requires proper diagnosis and treatment from your vet.

Need help? We’re only a short drive to Wahroonga or a phone call away.

Cancer and other ailments

Cancer can present in rabbits as well as most other pets. You can spot cancer through maintaining regular check-ups and noticing changes in your rabbit’s health. Presentations on the skin are indicators of other cancers such as uterine cancer for example.

When looking for other symptoms of rabbit cancer, this might include (but is not limited to):

  • Abscesses, lumps and bumps on and under your rabbit’s skin
  • Loss of appetite and changes in eating and drinking habits
  • Muscle weakness, lethargy and slowness
  • Discharge from vagina, anus, mouth or penis
  • Pale gums
  • Laboured breathing, rapid breathing
  • Increased weight and/or changes to consistency of chest tissue and mammary glands
  • Swelling and/or growths on the abdomen
  • Blood in urine or droppings
  • Bulging eyes

If you notice any of these sorts of symptoms presenting in your pet bunny, please bring them to our vet clinic. Even if it is not cancer, it may be a rabbit illness needing proper treatment.

Healthy skin for the win

Looking after any pet’s skin is important. This is especially true when looking to maintain your pet bunny’s health and avoid rabbit illnesses. Want to find out how to look after your rabbit’s skin and coat effectively and with minimum issues?

You know what to do- contact the friendly team from Wahroonga based Fox Valley Animal Hospital now and let’s prevent rabbit illness together!  

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When we think of pet health, we think of dog walks or cat gymnasiums, hamster wheels and the physical equipment that get a body moving. Pet exercise for the body is incredibly important. Like humans, your pets can fall foul of obesity, heart issues and even increase their risk of cancer through a lack of exercise.

We think about diet and preventative action that helps, such as guarding against teeth problems or managing your pet’s weight effectively.

However, the physical exercise your pet receives is not the whole ball game. And maintaining pet health isn’t only about treating ailments, managing weight or dental work. Mental stimulation is a big part of the mix as well.

Let’s look at the benefits of mental stimulation in relation to pet health and what you can do to introduce it into your everyday routine Why mentally stimulating your pet is important

Photo by Justin Veenema via Unsplash

Mental stimulation in your family pet is important to pet health for a few reasons. Anyone who has ever had a dog that they walked and walked for hours yet still came home to rubbish strewn across the house or broken and chewed up belongings may understand this better than anyone else. Simply put, physical exercise alone isn’t enough for a lot of pets.

By mentally stimulating and taxing your pet, you can-
  • Offset extra energy your pet may have by exhausting the mind as well as the body
  • Lowering stress levels
  • Help in the treatment of issues such as separation anxiety
  • Putting sharp minds to good use (powers for good instead of evil and all that!)
  • Introduce healthy behaviours and calm emotions in puppies and kittens
  • Improve mental stamina now and in old age

Think of it in human terms. We may love to run, go to the gym and dig out the bicycle. This physically taxes our body and releases endorphins and makes us feel good. Yet, it doesn’t replace our love of reading, the crossword or solving problems at work. We supplement our diet for a moving body with an active mind.

The same applies to your pet on their terms.

Pet training and learning

One of the greatest ways to keep your pet mentally fit and active is continuous training. The adage of you can’t teach an old dog new tricks is far from true. The idea you can’t train cats is false. Even your pet rate or guinea pig is bang up for some interesting activities.

Some pets will continue to increase their vocabulary and skillset throughout their life. Their interest in learning plus your approach to teaching can do a lot to influence this.

Think of puppy class. When your puppy first goes to school to learn basic commands, chances are they will come home and nap quite a lot. While play time and socialisation may have something to do with this, it’s also the learning process. The mind is stretching and expanding and connecting to concepts. That is mentally taxing.

As your puppies understanding and capabilities grow, so too does their stamina. It takes more learning to get the same tired result.

If you spend time with your pet learning things beyond the usual, you help them expend their mental energy through problem-solving. And it will help increase their understanding of the world, what you say to them and their confidence.

Moved beyond what you can teach your family pet at home?
  • Research areas that your pet shows aptitude for and hit the internet for articles and videos
  • Bring a pet personal trainer into the mix and learn along with your pet
  • Try dog agility classes and/or specialist groups for smart doggies
  • Consider learning through puppy raising for support dog organisations and translating the skills you pick up into teaching your pets at home
  • Use those cat hunting instincts in a positive way with interactive play sessions
  • Leash train your cat and walk them as you would a dog
  • Ask our friendly vet nurses for their tips and advice- we often run classes and exercises that help with pet health
Pet puzzles and games

At Fox Valley Animal Hospital, we stock a wide variety of pet toys and treats to help maintain the fun side of your relationship with your pet that also maintain mental stimulation and pet health. We do this because we know that some of the best ways to keep your pets mind nimble, entertained and alert is through puzzles and games.

Pets love challenges. They want to be able to find the treat in a shell cup game or stretch their intellectual muscle in a game scenario.

You can make use of all kinds of special puzzles to bring home the lessons direct from us. You can also stretch your pet’s mind by choosing to leverage every day circumstances.

These pet games scenarios could include:
  • Using a wobbler or puzzle feeder to feed your pet as opposed to a bowl and have them work for their meals
  • Instituting a dinner time routine such as a special command, handshakes, high fives and more and mixing it up each meal
  • Playing nose-work games where your pets hunt out treats, Easter egg style, around the garden, in the house or their enclosure
  • Teaching your pet the name of their toys and asking them to hunt for specific toys around the house or find it in a stuffed toy box
  • Create an obstacle course in the backyard with climbing, jumping and running points to truly flex their mental muscle
  • Clicker train your cat or dog to keep them on the ball and alert
Fillable foodie pet toys

We all know the benefits of food-related toys, especially the fillable variety. Kongs are wonderful to keep anxious pets from fretting if we pop out to the shops. Food toys help strengthen mental muscle and exercise the mind in our pets the same way crosswords help humans.

We have a variety of food related fillable toys you can use. Some of the ways you can use fillable food toys to their best advantage are:
  • Putting them to good use on rainy or busy days as a supplement to a routine
  • Using them to ward off separation anxiety by giving them to your pet as you leave for the day. Not only does it distract your pet, it also lowers their stress levels by creating a positive association with your departure
  • As a reward after a positive walk or training session
  • To keep young kittens and puppies from destructive behaviours and wearing out their curious minds
A change of scenery

Pets love to roam and investigate almost as much as we do. Think about how rejuvenated you feel after holidays in a new place, changing your walk home or checking out a place you’ve never been before. Your pet feels the same way. They want to explore and understand more of the world around them. It also increases their confidence with the world, especially when they are young. The exposure to new sounds, sights and smells help them make sense of the bigger picture. This is why service dogs are exposed to different environments from a super early age. It helps create positive associations instead of a sense of being overwhelmed by new places and people. It improves mood, lowers stress and can help with cognitive function, all of which have great pet health benefits.

Some of the ways you can use scenery to the best affect are:
  • Walk your pet before work when the mind is fresh. It could also help you too!
  • Allowing sniffing, snuffling and exploration on a walk. Your cat or dog wants to explore things and they do a lot of this with their nose. Allow them to do so on your daily walk
  • Cats, dogs, birds and pocket pets also love watching the world go by. Think about access to raised platforms and windows to satiate this desire
  • Consider pet friendly holidays. You love exploring the new sights and so do your pets. Why not combine the two?
  • Change the walking routes. A s simple as it sounds, varying your routine and exploring new local streets can be a wonderful source of mental stimulation for your pet
  • Interacting with other dogs in off-leash areas. Never discount the benefits of meeting a new dog and playing with a new friend at the park or beach
  • Puppy schools and doggy day-care situations can also help with the scenery change and socialisation, another key part of mental stimulation
Pet mental stimulation for the win

Your pet will love you and your ability to keep their mental needs in mind. It’s great for helping them learn, lowering stress, warding off boredom, curbing unwanted behaviour and keeping your pet healthy.

Stuck for ideas on how to get started with pet mental stimulation and improving your pet health with a focus on the mind? Drop in to our Wahroonga vet clinic and chat to our vet nurses today.

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Just like you and me, our family pets can get stressed. Including our cool friends, the cat. Cats and kittens can have stress for a variety of reasons. Some can be stressed due to experiences in shelters. They may have biological and temperament sensitivities. Perhaps it’s environment. Moving to a new house or the introduction of a new family member or another pet can create stress as well. It may even be a relationship with a previous person that is influencing the situation.

Photo via Unsplash by
Viktor Vasicsek

All kinds of things create stress in animals.

There can be good stress and bad stress as well. Stress helps your cat face challenges in daily life from hunger to navigating the dog or the fence. Stress keeps your cat nimble with the right amount of blood and oxygen to push forward and make the physical and mental leaps required in life.

Yet over-exposure to stress or issues with resilience can influence anyone’s coping mechanisms. Your feline friends are no different.

Here’s how you can identify some of the negative cat stress you may see- and what you can do about it When do cats get stressed?

We’ve covered a few causes of cat stress in the introduction but much of the stress cat’s feel can drill down into 5 main categories:

  • A lack of stimulation- this is especially true when a cat is not receiving exercise, mental stimulation and their environment is barren and uninviting
  • Introduction of new family members – from new babies to new pets, the introduction of a new family member can create an awful lot of stress on your family cat
  • Changes in the physical environment – this includes moving to a new house, taking a pet on holidays, cat rehoming situations, renovation impacts and general changes to physical environments
  • Issues with socialisation- punishment based relationships can lead to stress, so too can a lack of attention, affection or uneven care
  • Inter-feline conflict – this can be reflected in the household or even in neighbourhood situations. It can arise with new cats being added to the mix or a return of a previous cat from boarding, hospital and reintroducing old cat flat mates

Stress levels can also be influenced by general health and wellbeing. Nutrition, care and the general sense of acceptance a cat feels with it’s health and situation can influence stress to the positive or negative.

Is your cat showing signs of stress?

One of the biggest indicators of stress in any animal is a change of behaviour. If you notice a loss of interest in things that provide joy, changes to patterns of behaviour and even back-sliding on training and other habits, these are signs your cat may be under stress.

Some specific things you might see in a stressed cat include:

  • More talking- increased vocalisation and even howling and elongated sounds can be a symptom
  • Change in toileting habits- where a cat chooses to go to the toilet is a strong indicator of their happiness with a situation. If a cat is supplied with clean litter and still toileting elsewhere and in increasingly inappropriate places, it can be stress related
  • Spraying – this is not only isolated to intact males, desexed males and females can spray as a stress sign
  • Restlessness and a loss of focus – cats are usually quite good at keeping their cool and maintaining focus. However, if you find your cat cannot seem to calm and get comfortable, doesn’t have the focus for toys and puzzles it once enjoyed, and generally looks restless and listless, stress could be a factor
  • Increased interest in grooming – a cat that has moved from general cleaning to repeated cleaning can be stressed as they attempt to soothe and control their environment. If your cat is grooming to the point of hair loss and skin damage, they need help
  • Decreased interest in grooming- this is akin to stressed people that find it difficult to cope with showering and dressing that may be moving beyond stress to depression or anxiety
  • Short-tempered and aggressive behaviour- again like humans, if cats are stressed, they lack the resilience required to cope. This lack of coping may show in unwanted behaviours such as aggression and lashing out. Or it may demonstrate in a lower tolerance to changes in circumstance
  • Changes in appetite- think of your own stress and how this can influence our relationship with food. Some of us can’t eat due to nerves. Others try to calm ourselves with treats and comfort food. How your cat eats, their disinterest in everyday food and a strained food relationship can be an early sign of increased stress
  • Comfort needs change- cats that are under stress may avoid other animals, people, being touched and situations where they attract attention. Or they may seek more comfort and cuddles than usual. It comes down to the individual personality of the cat

Stress might be something where a little time can be applied, and things begin to revert to normal. For example, after moving to a new house or a change in routine or family makeup, expect your cat to show some signs of stress.

When it becomes problematic is if the feelings are intense and showing strong reactions. Or if the period of showing signs of stress is prolonged. Even low-level stress for a lengthy period can create issues. Treating it in a timely fashion can help alleviate the distress and get everyone on track.

Be proactive about cat stress

While we’d like to think that cat stress can reduce itself over time, this may not always be the case. In situations where the environment won’t change for a while, your cat needs support to de-stress and positive coping mechanisms.

Want some positive ways you can reduce your cat’s stress? Check out this blog.

Want more advice on helping your cat with stress? Contact us now.

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Pets in apartments – it’s not such an alien concept these days. As Sydney house prices increase, more people are thinking about units, townhouses and apartments. In Wahroonga and the Kur-ring-gai area, while houses still dominate, smaller types of housing are becoming

Photo via Unsplash by
Channey Tang-Ho

increasingly popular. And it’s not only about affordability. Family sizes are smaller than they were two decades ago. Plus, many residents that move to the area in their early, family-raising years fall in love with the area and stay. This means downsizing as the nest becomes empty and/or to make for a more manageable lifestyle.

As the independent local veterinary hospital for Wahroonga, Turramurra, Westleigh and surrounds, we know how popular pets are with the residents. We certainly haven’t seen the interest in family pets decline. And why would it? Pets are great companions and they help instil great values in children. They also help remind us to think outside ourselves on a regular basis.

To meet the changing needs of the area and the ways in which we live, we’ve pulled together a guide to keeping pets in apartments Checking with the law

The first thing you should do before buying a new property, renting a unit or getting a new pet is to check with the building strata first. In New South Wales, a strata committee can refuse a pet to a building on a casual or permanent basis if it is part of their strata by-laws.

The only time this is different is they cannot refuse a support animal such as a seeing eye dog or assistance dog. They can however refuse an assistance dog in training, which makes things complicated indeed.

A lot of places will say no on the outset, but you can present a case. Some of the ways you may be able to do this is to:

  • Appealing directly to the body corporate and strata based on the obedience, condition and habits of your pet. This could include proving they don’t cause mess, allergy or excessive noise as part of living in the apartment that may otherwise lower another tenant’s enjoyment
  • Demonstrate the age of an existing pet plus it’s place in your family and agree not to have another pet in future if it dies
  • Undertake specific training to have your pet licensed as a companion and/or service animal. This may be useful if you have someone in the family that gains comfort and support from a family pet when dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Dementia, PTSD and/or mental health conditions. This would need to be done with the proper certification and support
  • Provide a CV and certification to show that your pet is well trained and has lived in multiple places without damage, noise complaint or associated issue. You can also include their health records and if the pet is well known to us, may include something from the vet hospital to speak to the character of your pet
  • Ensure that high standards of behaviour, especially in shared and public spaces attached to the building such as entries, carparks and shared outdoor areas, are adhered to
  • Create contracts that include hygiene standards (grooming, cleaning up after waste, general fumigation for fleas and ticks etc) also become part and parcel of an agreed standard of care to maintain your apartment and the building. This may include regular steam cleaning of carpets, treatments and using agreed services to complete these tasks

The smartest thing to do is ensure you are compliant with the law. Don’t think that a pet can remain hidden from curious tenants or strata teams. Work with the apartment building management to ensure that a pet in an apartment is an expected and welcome feature.

Choosing the right pet

Choosing the right pet for your family is always a consideration. This is especially true with pets in apartments. You’ll need to think about your pet’s habits, enclosures, cleaning habits, level of noise and general behaviour considering living around others. Equally important is looking after your pet’s safety, health and comfort.

For example, if you have a springy puppy or an adventurous cat, maybe a low set balcony isn’t such a great temptation to have waiting through the sliding door. Size can also matter, but it is not the whole ballgame. For example, you might have a terrier or working dog that has excess energy to burn that won’t appreciate the lack of backyard. You might meet a greyhound that is quite happy being a couch potato in between their daily walks.

It does take some research and working through what kind of apartment, unit or townhouse you must find the right pet match.

This is something our vet nurses can and will talk to you about, by the way. We not only understand where you may be able to exercise your pet locally, we can use some local knowledge as well as animal healthcare expertise to our benefit when advising on the right pet for your family.

A few things that can help when deciding on what pet to have in an apartment setting: 

  • Whether or not there are temptations, trip hazards and things such as balconies or different types of windows that might create potential for accidents
  • How likely it is you can pet-proof the apartment you are in
  • The age of a pet. For example, toileting and training may play a significant role in how comfortable life can be in an apartment for pet and human alike
  • Enclosures- do you have space for a rabbit hutch and a big dog bed, or is it more likely it’ll be a cat scratching post and goldfish bowl that you can fit?
  • How open are you to different pet varieties? Are you into your cats and dogs? Or would a pocket pet such as a guinea pig or rabbit suit? Do you see as birds, fish and reptiles as potential family pets? Are spiders and insects of interest? The wider the scope, the more likely you are to find an apartment suitable pet

Once you’ve selected the right family pet, now it’s time to think like that family pet to test if things really are going to work out.

Think like your pet in an apartment

Cats love to be up high, as do bird and some reptiles. Dogs and cats both love a good view and love having windows and doors to gaze through. Other pets might prefer darker places. But regardless, you should think about your apartment from a pet’s eye-view.

Your family pets care about:

  • Where they eat
  • Where they can toilet
  • Where they can rest and relax
  • Where their toys and bedding are
  • Where they can sleep

This might mean claiming spaces for them up high, away from other areas. It means having a routine and designated place to eat, toilet and sleep to reduce mess and stress. Make sure your pet has their space to call their own in an appropriate place. The same is true from escaping midday sun or being able to enjoy the sun in darker places.

You’ll also need to consider odour. Even clean pets have distinct body odour. This will be reflected in the pet, on their bedding and any belongings and furniture they frequent. Toileting can also increase smell. Kitty litter, training pads, enclosures all smell of droppings and urine. It may mean additional cleaning, extra vigilance and working on specific habits to make sure you, your pets and your neighbours are fine with the scents coming from your apartment.

Always supply even pets that toilet outside on a walk usually with the option to toilet inside as accidents can and do happen. And be vigilant about picking up after your pet in communal areas and shared spaces.

Pets in apartments alone

One of the quickest ways for pets to cause a disruption is through noise. Many pets with separation anxiety will be noisy when you are out. You should keep time spent away from your apartment to a reasonable level. Being out for the workday is one thing but being out all night as well may increase their anxiety. You may also find that doggy day-care or pet sitting may be something to add to your pet care roster when you hit a busy season or to avoid issues at all.

Please, never leave pets unattended when you leave for a weekend or holiday period. Your family pet, no matter how intelligent or trusting, is not capable of coping with the concept of food self-regulation and/or long periods alone. Make suitable arrangements with a neighbour, boarding kennel, pet host or take a pet friendly holiday instead. Emotionally, being left by your family is incredibly stressful. It can lead to your pet acting out and injuring themselves.

Want to make your pet in an apartment adventure a positive one?

Contact Fox Valley Animal Hospital now. We’re happy to help you make the right decisions about your new or existing pet.

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Cat stress involves a lot of the body on a physiological, emotional and mental level. When cats are stressed, their heart rate increases, blood flows quicker and their breathing changes. Digestion and consumption changes can result. Blood pressure increases. The immune system can be momentarily suppressed.

Your cat may have increased discharge from eyes and mouth. Sneezing can pose an issue.

Cat stress can also re-trigger previous viruses your cat may have had such as cat herpes infection. Bladder conditions could become an issue with toileting changes and create breeding grounds for infections such as feline interstitial cystitis.

Now think about the symptoms of cat stress in terms of longer periods of time 

If breathing, pulse rate and heart are working overtime, increased strain is placed on the body. High blood pressure and more heart activity can create issues with the heart, lungs and circulation. The changes in digestion and diet can influence your cat and bring upset stomachs, loose stool, pain, nausea and dietary problems along with it. An immune system under stress means greater susceptibility to health issues and disease.

The greater the issues with toileting and bladder control, the longer and more likely infections become.

You can then add in the impact on their general feelings and symptoms such as over-grooming leading to hair loss and things start looking sorry for your family kitty cat.

Living with a restless mind and body that feels ill and plagued by stress is bad for your cat. It can even have lasting health impacts and shorten life expectancy.

Treating stress when you notice the changes gives you the ability to reduce the impact on your cat’s overall wellness. The longer it is left, the harder it can be to reverse the stress cycles and impacts.

What you can do with a stressed cat

The first port of call with cat stress is to bring them into Fox Valley Animal Hospital. Our vets can listen to the situation and work with our vet nurses to monitor the physical impacts. We can also undertake a health check to see how the cat is functioning physically.

Next, we can talk through the actions at home and the situations that may have increased stress. This allows us all- vet team and pet owner- to come together as one for a stress reduction plan.

Some of the common cat stress reduction techniques include:
  • Positive encouragement and support during stressful situations. If there are triggers to stress and anxiety, consider treating your cat to frame it in a more positive light
  • Think about distraction techniques – puzzles, play and game when you cat might be stressed can really help keep your cat centred and focused on something fun instead of whatever is creating stress
  • Increase the petting and soothing times- make more time to talk, pet, brush and lavish your cat with attention to offset any deficit they may be feeling
  • Think about your cat’s environment – can you create more places to relax, de-stress, play and unwind? Would scratching equipment work? Are platforms helpful? Think like a cat that wants to relax and design safe spaces away from sources of stress such as small children and other animals
  • Consistent routines – feeding, playing with and spending time with your cat can help return a disordered world to something less stressful and easier to navigate
  • Isolation from stress triggers – moving your cat away from other animals and triggering family members may help alleviate their immediate concerns and allow for re-introduction later
  • Creating cats only spaces – this includes hiding places and places to escape to when baby or dog or life becomes too much to handle
Some veterinary aids you may need to consider include:
  • Changes in diet and/or exercise in consultation with your vet
  • Enrichment and stimulation such as active play and specific games
  • Cat pheromones to calm anxious nerves and promote a peaceful home association
  • Herbal remedies- should only ever be used in consultation with a vet
  • Medication – anti-anxiety medication can be used in short, medium and long-term situations but again should only ever be used in full knowledge and in consultation with your vet
Cat stress doesn’t have to dictate the terms of your relationship. Want to help your cat and enjoy your relationship without cat stress interfering? Reach out for help today.

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One of the wonderful parts of Wahroonga and the Ku-Ring-Gai area is it’s wonderfully leafy. The downside of course is that bushfires are a real risk. We’ve covered what to do with your family pets in a natural disaster style situation previously.

At all times, if you and/or your pets are at imminent risk from a fire situation, you should follow the advice handed down by the Fire and Rescue NSW, SES, Ku-Ring-Gai Bushfire Brigade and/or local area command police.  This post is more about some of the responses you may see in your family pets when fire is a feature of the surrounding landscape but not an immediate threat.

Let’s have a look at how a bushfire at some distance can still impact family pets and what you can do Heat stroke and pets

We’ve spoken about heatstroke in family pets previously. It’s appropriate to remember heatstroke as an issue when a bushfire rages nearby.

You can find the full rundown in our heatstroke specific blog but as an overview, you should watch out for signs of distress. These include salivating, excessive panting, agitation, whining and general unrest.

Also make sure you:

  • Provide access to clean, fresh drinking water for drinking and add ice cubes to the water to keep them cooler for longer
  • Ensure your pet has a cool, shaded area to rest in
  • Bring your pet inside if possible. This not only gives them shade, it also gives you a better opportunity to monitor them. It also may aid in reducing their stress levels
  • Wipe your pets down with cool, damp towels. With cats or other pets that are not fond of water, you can use wash cloths to dampen belly or even pat with wet hands
  • Provide wet towels and cool surfaces for your pets to lie on
  • Give access to bathing water for birds and dogs if you have the space

Remember, excess heat can cause all kinds of health issues with pets. Vigilance around heatstroke helps keep your family pets safe.

The dangers of bushfire smoke

You don’t have to be near a bushfire for your family pets to end with smoke-related issues. The first rule of bushfire smoke is that you and your family pets should avoid inhaling it as much as possible. This means staying indoors with windows and doors closed. Birds are particularly susceptible to smoke inhalation and should be moved to secure indoor location as soon as you know smoke may pose an issue.

With cats and dogs, you may need to limit and supervise bathroom breaks to ensure minimal exposure to smoke. You should also avoid exercising or over-exciting your family pets when smoke is present. The poor air-quality may be harmful to your pet so it’s best to wait until the smoke clears. You can also listen for Air Quality reports, so you can make an informed decision about when it is safe to exercise your pets again.

Be on the look out for the following symptoms:

  • Changes to breathing such as coughing, gagging, laboured patterns and signs of struggle
  • Asthma- like symptoms such as wheezing, tightness of chest and shallow breathing
  • Irritated eyes and excessive watering, squinting, redness, conjunctivitis in the eye
  • Excessive pawing at eyes and/or nose
  • Reduced appetite and thirst
  • Nasal discharge, sneezing, mucus
  • A loss of balance and general disorientation
  • Inflamed throat or mouth
  • Fatigue or weakness

Unchecked smoke inhalation can lead to serious issues such as fainting, coma and seizures. It may also damage the lungs. If in doubt, it’s always best to gain veterinary advice and assistance as soon as possible.

Look for signs of distress

Our family pets are incredibly cluey and can pick up on all sorts of emotional micro-expressions and sentiments from us. They also understand bushfire and what that means in terms of safety.

If we’re stressed by fire, our pets may also be affected.

You may find that your family pets are agitated and unhappy at this time. Some pets may dig more than usual as some of the instinct with animals is to bury themselves during fire. You may also find they want to hide.

Therefore, it’s important to have a good bond with your pets and to train them to come when called. Family pets that are stressed that could eventually require evacuation are much easier to handle if the training is to rely on you for answers.

Make sure you keep your pets close. Look for ways to calm their nerves.

If you are not at risk, your family pet will start to soothe. You can also try the following techniques when your pet is stressed:

  • Petting, brushing and massaging your family pet
  • Making Kongs and other puzzle style toys available to allow for distraction and stress relief
  • Keep your routine as close to usual as possible
  • Spend quality time together
  • Supervise any toilet breaks or outside activities to ensure they don’t attempt escape and to also allay fears
When bushfire strikes, it’s always safety first

We hope none of you ever face bushfire or housefire issues. If, however this is a real possibility, safety must be your number one priority.

The safety of you and your family and family pets should be of the utmost priority when dealing with any kind of natural disaster. This includes bushfires. Prevention is always better than cure.

Make sure you have an actionable disaster plan in place. Rehearse the plan with your family so that if time comes for action and evacuation, you’re ready. Pack kits that help make evacuation simple that include both human and animal alike. Include pet carriers and seatbelts to aid in transporting your pets as part of this process. Listen to local authorities and news for updates. If in doubt, always err on the side of caution.

If you or your family pet is injured by fire, whether that be through smoke inhalation, heatstroke or burns, seek medical attention immediately.

Want more advice on keeping your family pets safe and healthy? Contact Fox Valley Animal Hospital today.

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Pet theft might not seem like a huge issue, but if figures from the UK are anything to go by, it’s a growing concern. Pet theft in the UK has risen 33% with dogs alone rising from 1,333 in 2014 to 1,797 in 2015. Pet theft can occur for a variety of reasons. Popular breeds are particularly susceptible, especially if they attract high breeder prices. Resale of a stolen pet can attract quite a good financial return for savvy thieves.

Another reason why pets may be stolen is sadly for use in illegal dog fighting rings. Dogs such as Staffordshire Terriers and rescue crosses can be stolen for fighting. Smaller dogs and kittens may be taken for baiting purposes. Here again, there is financial reward for pet theft as betting pools at dog fighting rings can be in the hundreds and even thousands.

Beyond these two reasons, opportunity to own your pet by other people may be one reason. There have also been cases of well meaning and ill-informed rescues attempting to remove family pets. This usually occurs if the pet in question is habitually found in the street and/or has value.

You can protect against pet theft. While these remedies may not be 100% foolproof, they do go along way to deterring potential pet thieves. Here’s how Restrict public access

One of the most common ways to find a pet is stolen or unwittingly rescued is by allowing your pet free reign in public spaces. This is especially true of cats. You and the locals may understand that your pet is part of the suburb and your pet may continue to return if given free will. Others may have different plans in mind.

Encouraging your pet to stay within your backyard and on private property is your best recourse.

You may also wish to reduce risk by only allowing your pet to roam freely in low fence areas when you are home and able to see them. Pets greeting over smaller fences, roaming on strips outside the house near footpaths or in driveways can be stolen.

Prevention is often better than cure.

Update to date council registration

Proper registration of your pet with the appropriate council is imperative. It can stop your pet from being mistaken for homeless and destroyed. Microchipping your pet is a pain-free procedure that allows your cat or dog to be returned to you much quicker should they roam.

Always keep both the council registration and microchip details up to date at all times.

Pet tags with recent details

Another way that makes the return of your pet easier and gives a visible sign to others that a pet is loved and owned is a collar with a name and phone number. This makes it simpler for people in the local area to call you should they find your pet. And it can be something that tips off concerned citizens if they see the pet as it poses as another way to identify them in a crowd.

Think before you tie up

Leaving pets tied up outside of shops may be convenient for owners, but they are also convenient for thieves. The problem with tying a dog up out the front of the shop is that your pet can easily be persuaded to follow a new person without anyone seeing a crime take place. Any passer-by may assume it’s simply the rightful owner taking their pet on the rest of the day’s walk.

If you do have plans to shop with your pet in tow, take someone with you so they can wait with the pet.

And never leave a pet alone in a vehicle. Not only is this a potential theft risk, it also places your pet in danger from heatstroke.

Pet training

You can train pets not to follow other people without a command given. In fact, you can train dogs to refuse food without a command and to wait for a command to cease barking at strangers. If your pet is valuable, then training your pet to have a single owner relationship can come in handy.

The drawback with training a pet in this manner means they have to travel with you on every holiday unless you share the commands with a trusted friend. It may also make the pet’s ability to be rehomed if your circumstances change or in the event of your death quite difficult.

Proper fence security

All pets should be housed in safe, secure yards. This includes six foot fences for dogs that are in good repair and gates that can be locked when you are not at home.

This not only deters would-be pet thieves, it may deter your dog from running away, jumping the fence or fleeing for the hills if they receive a fright.

Extra security

If your pet is valuable for any reason, you may wish to look into security against pet theft. Extra security acts as a deterrent. Plus, it can help you recover the pet or prevent a pet theft in progress.

Some ideas for additional security against pet theft include:

  • CCTV through fixed and web cam solutions
  • CCTV connected to your smartphone via an app
  • House alarms that emit sound and light
  • Back to base alarm systems through security firms

In each of these security options, you can obtain footage to identify pet thieves, deter them through alarms and even take further action through security patrols and/or timely notification of the police.

Not sure if your pet is appropriately protected against pet theft?

Bring your pet in and we can check their microchip, help with pet tags and can advise on the kinds of places you can start your pet security journey. We regularly receive pets from concerned citizens in the Wahroonga area and do what we can to return them back home.

We’re also happy to help you with promoting a lost pet if you need assistance. Simply give us a call and we can help you with ideas to outreach in the local area for your pet’s safe return.

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Considering a new pet? A rescue pet may make a wonderful addition to the family. That’s why we actively foster kittens at Fox Valley Animal Hospital and work with countless rescue organisations and individuals to give them the best start in life.

Making a new home for any pet is important. For rescue pets, it’s extra important because they may have had disruption and situations that make them feel vulnerable.

But never fear, Fox Valley Animal Hospital is here. Here’s your guide to making a new rescue pet feel welcome Take what comes with your rescue pet

We might love the idea of shopping for a new fancy collar, bed, blankets, clothes and toys for our new rescue pet. But it’s important to recognise that familiar items help calm and soothe your pet. Many rehoming organisations offer a few belongings with the rescue pet you adopt. If this is the case, it’s a good idea to take them with you and integrate them slowly into life.

You may not be impressed with their choice of puppy blanket, but to a rescue dog, that might be something that has familiar smells and a good association. That cat toy might look a little worse for wear, but it could have been a vital part of your rescue cat’s enrichment and leisure and could help with stress reduction.

Try not to overwhelm your rescue pet by changing too much and removing the familiar all together. Strike a balance as it will help them understand that the new home is theirs, too.

Keep the introduction calm and close

It may be exciting to show off the new rescue pet to the extended family and start them off with as much socialising as possible. But your rescue pet may not share this sentiment. All pets need time to adjust to new surroundings, people, sounds and smells. Try not to create a situation of sensory overload as it may stress your pet.

The best advice is to spend time getting your new rescue pet getting used to home and to the people they will see daily, namely who it will live with.

Be mindful of being too excited and ensure that your rescue pet is supervised with any child based interaction. And don’t whoop, holler or leave your rescue pet unattended for great stretches of time while they get used to their new family.

Routine is also important. Walks relieve stress in rescue dogs and will help associate you and your interactions with your new pet as positive ones. So too do enrichment toys, games and puzzles for dogs and cats alike.

And set the standard of behaviour you expect. Don’t compensate for their newness by allowing your rescue cat to sleep on the kitchen bench if you don’t want that to continue. Similarly, don’t invite cuddles on the couch or bed from your rescue dog unless that is going to be your daily routine.

Introduce your rescue pet to the rest of the pet family slowly

With other pets in the household, there will be a need to work out who the new addition is and see how everyone fits into the family again. This takes time and patience.

A few tips that help a rescue pet assimilate are:

  • Avoid feeding new and existing pets in the same space for a while to avoid any issues with food related aggression
  • Do not allow unsupervised play for the first two weeks. Even if your rescue pet seems to be great mates with the existing fur family, there will still be kinks to work out over time
  • Help your rescue pet get used to toileting routines by guiding them to the right places to go just like you would with puppies and kittens
  • If your rescue dog is timid, try walking them on leash around the backyard with a treat bag and with lots of praise to explore the environment in a positive way
  • Avoid extra stressful situations for the first few weeks. So, no big parties (pet or otherwise) and minimise exposure to further foreign animals such as the dog park and opt for the walk instead
  • Try to create personal space for your rescue pet through demonstrating where their bed is (and protecting it from someone else using it), allowing toy play and making toileting positive

Make life fun but in a gentle, respectful way. Add treats, games and positive interactions to the “getting to know you” stage to help both the bond between rescue pet and existing pet and the humans in the house.

Exercise patience and kindness

Even the most house-trained rescue pet can have toileting accidents in a new house. They may also get lost, be skittish and act in ways you wouldn’t expect. Don’t forget, they are taking in a whole new environment, family and routine. They may be missing any foster brothers and sisters they bonded with or be pining for a carer. They may still be stressed from time in a pound or be generally feeling out of sorts.

Accidents will happen, and time will be needed to build the right bond.

Try to include your rescue pet in to the family as much as possible. Introduce long stretches of time without company slowly where you can. Forgive the mistakes and praise the good behaviour to get where you want your rescue pet to be.

Look for signs of distress and over excitement as well. If your pet is acting nervous and strange, feel free to call our vet nurses for some advice.

Like anyone, your rescue pet needs time to adjust to their new life. You’ll be discovering their personality and they in turn will be exploring you. To build trust and make your new rescue pet feel like a part of the family is a work in process and may take weeks and even months to truly develop.

Enjoy the new adventure with your rescue pet

Rescue pets have an amazing capacity to love and connect, even if they’ve faced some tough life circumstances. Their boundless enthusiasm for life and their willingness to give humans a chance is an inspiring thing to see in action.

Remember to enjoy that journey as it unfolds. Look for those quirky habits that make you smile. Cherish the moments where a friendly paw is offered, or a lap snuggle is sought. Have the giggle as you watch them learn how to play with toys and/or explore the world with you.

Love them for who they are, and your rescue pet is bound to do the same.

Need advice on picking the right rescue pet for you or want to set them up with the best possible start with your family?

Contact Fox Valley Animal Hospital for all the right advice on your rescue pet adventure today!

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Australian pets are especially lucky to have use around for the summer season. Between public holidays and school holidays, it can be a great time for family pets to truly enjoy family life.

At Fox Valley Animal Hospital, we love seeing the new Australian pets that summer brings. Summer is also a great time to spend time with your existing family pets and bond.

We all look forward to the end of the year to minimise stress, chill out and enjoy our loved ones.

Here are some of the ways you can do the holiday period right with your Australian pets over the summer and beyond  Buy good quality toys

Australian poets are lucky because they do have quality pet toys available. The issue is distinguishing the good from the bad. There may be a lot of gifts flying around during the festive season and you may be tempted to buy up big for your family pet. Family pets however don’t need a lot of toys and belongings to make them feel special. In fact, pets are far more interested in the experiences than objects.

Some of the ways you can show your pet you love them without buying lots of pet toys are:

  • Choosing Kongs, games and puzzles over types of gifts. Your family pet, cat, dog or pocket pet, loves exercising body and mind. If you supply pet toys that allow that to happen, they’ll be suitably impressed
  • Look for toys that help with maintaining health. There are some great chew toys and dental treats on the market that give hours of fun while cleaning the gums and teeth
  • Spend time teaching your pet how to work with a soft toy. While our dogs especially enjoy soft toys, it’s best to encourage the gentle nature of your pet with gentle handling tips. Instead of handing over a soft toy to end up in tug of war, in the dirt and more, lovingly stroke the soft toy and spend time teaching your dog that it means “gentle”. Restrict access. It helps to teach great manners with smaller creatures and associate “gentle” with gentle behaviour, a great thing to use around small children, the dog phobic and elderly
  • Choose quality toys. We stock a great range of toys for all kinds of Australian pets at Fox Valley Animal Hospital. They’re all safe and vet approved so you and your pet can play without concerns for broken toys, swallowed pieces and general unsuitability
A healthy diet makes for healthy Australian pets 

The Christmas period sees us break out all manner of delicious treats. That doesn’t mean your pets should indulge as well. Meats like ham and pork are far too fatty for your family pet to digest and should not be fed to cats and dogs. Common flavourings such as onion and garlic can make your pet sick, so anything cooked with these sorts of herbs should be avoided at all costs. High doses of sugar and fat are always problematic, so resist the temptation to give leftovers.

You should also be mindful that certain commonly found Christmas items can make your pet quite sick or even endanger their life. Alcohol should never be left unattended as it can make all kinds of animals unwell. Fruit cake and minced pies are a danger as they can cause kidney failure. Chocolate can make a pet very ill and would require vet attention. And diet sweets and drinks (and peanut butter) containing Xylitol should be kept well out of reach of all pets as it may poison your pet if ingested.

Some household foods you can give are peanut butter (make sure you check to make sure no Xylitol is present), apple slices without the seeds and cores, chopped carrot, plain chicken without skin, cooked beef in small chunks, banana, eggs and fish.

If you do want to treat your pet to something special, pop on in to Fox Valley Animal Hospital. We have a great selection of healthy treats to give your dog, cat or pocket pet.

Even if our cat is eyeing us from across the room or the dog is flopped happily on the floor in a snooze while the bunny ferrets for more to munch in its hutch, rest assured, your pets are glad you are there.

Taking your pet with you during family holidays and spending extra time with them at home helps both pet owner and pet alike. Dogs especially love exploring new territories and seeing new places.

All Australian pets love seeing their humans about the place. So why not include your family pet in your holiday plans? Set time aside for walks, visits to the beach and use your dog to get you moving after all that rich Christmas fare. Brush and groom your cat and spend time playing games. Look for new tricks you’d love to teach your pets and set some goals to learn new things together.

Or you can simply cue up Netflix and get a few extra belly rubs in.

Whatever the case, a happy holiday is great with a little extra pet time under your belt.

Get you know your new family pet

Many families choose the summer holidays as the right time to get a new family pet. With additional time to show them the ropes, bond and train, it can be a great time for all concerned. It’s the best way to introduce Australian pets to the family with the most available support.

At Fox Valley Animal Hospital, we welcome questions and can help you choose the right pet for your family. Having the sort of pet that suits your lifestyle, family personality and has the right temperament can make all the difference. So please, drop in and ask for advice or give us a call on (02) 9489 4805 to discuss.

We also have a long history of fostering cats and kittens as well as working with the many rescues in the local Wahroonga area, so if you are looking to adopt, we can help.

Any new pet will need time to adjust to their surroundings and new family. We recommend approaching the integration of a new pet by allowing additional time to be home, extra supervision between any existing pets and the new arrival, and having boundaries around access to the new pet as far as the children are concerned.

Taking the time to get to know your pet and their likes and dislikes is important. And don’t forget the all-important health checks, de-sexing, microchipping and council registration.

Need a hand? We’re only a phone call away!

The joy of holidays with your Australian pets

Summer calls- and so too do long days, small adventures and a whole lot of love. Including your family pet in those summer adventures and sharing the love can be the most fun part of the holiday season.

Want to ensure your holiday is the best one possible? Drop into Fox Valley Animal Hospital to update your flea, worm and tick protection. Grab some great quality treats and pet toys for Santa’s big day. And ask all the questions you need to enjoy your holiday with your family pet.

Want to bring more joy to Australian pets this summer? We’re located at 107 Fox Valley Road, Wahroonga and you can reach us on (02) 9489 4805 and talk to one of our helpful vet nurses today.

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While our local Wahroonga vet clinic sees a lot of action from old age, general medical complaints, genetics and illness, we also see our fair share of accidents and injuries as well. Treating accidents and injuries in pets often means healing broken bones, treating damage to skin and the mental anguish related to the event. Any of these events can take a while to heal and can be quite costly in money and time terms. Most are preventable.

Here are some of the ways you can help avoid accidents and injuries with your family pets from your friendly local Wahroonga vet clinic, Fox Valley Animal Hospital Always properly restrain pets in cars

Photo by Krista Mangulsone

While humans always buckle up because we know that our seatbelts can save lives, we often overlook the importance of providing our pets the same protection. The problem with not restraining our pets is that in an accident or even when we must brake suddenly, it’s very easy to propel a pet forward. A pet can get injured from hitting seats, windows or windscreen. They can also act as a source of injury for passengers and/or driver as they fly through the air.

No matter the length of the trip or the ability of the driver, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Even if you are not involved in an accident, your pet will feel more at home and less anxious if they are secured.

When you transport your pets, think about safety first. Use approve pet carriers for cats and pocket pets and proper dog seatbelt, harnesses and/or crates for dogs.

Unsure of what is safe and what isn’t? Pop in to local Wahroonga vet clinic Fox Valley Animal Hospital and we’ll let you know what it is the best option available.

Make proofing your house a priority

Casting a critical eye around your yard and house can save you a lot of mishaps and problems. Hazards in the family home make up a lot of the mishaps we see at our local Wahroonga vet clinic. Most of which comes down to not realising exactly where the problems lie.

A couple of things you need to think about:

  • Pebbles, loose stones, shiny items, small toys and ornaments attract curious mouths. Whether you have a cat or a dog, anything small enough to go in the mouth can be a potential choking or bowel obstruction waiting to happen
  • Fence lines, nooks and crannies in the home and anywhere that bodes well for a squeezing out to freedom or a tight spot to explore should be avoided. Always patch fence lines, cabinet spaces, holes and anything that looks like a great place for hiding or escape
  • Plants can be toxic to your pets. Think about placing veggie gardens out of reach of hungry pets. Check houseplants and garden additions for their compatibility with your chosen pet. Make sure you know your weeds and grasses, so you can spot contact allergies and poisonings early

Think like your pets. What could potentially attract chewing or destruction? What places entice exploration? Look for the trouble spots in your yard and minimise the dangers.

Select the right toys for the right pet

At our local Wahroonga vet clinic, we see a lot of broken teeth, dislocated jaws, bowel obstructions and more from the wrong toy being eaten. This could lead to tooth extraction, induced vomiting and surgery- all of which is not much fun for pet or pet parent alike.

One of the simplest ways to avoid this kind of accident is to buy only proper pet toys from the right kind of sources. We’re talking pet shops, vet clinics and direct from manufacturers like Kong. Avoid cheap toys at discount stores as they can often fail on the safety scale. Choose toys that are appropriate for the age and size of your pet. And scrutinise them for moving parts and choking hazards.

Another way you can make sure you don’t have any toy related incidents is keep children’s toys and toys for other pets in the household away from your family pet. Pets aren’t great at choosing what toy is meant for them, so make sure that any tempting item is kept away from playful pets.

Training, socialisation and de-sexing for the win

Want to avoid injuries through altercations in the dog park, when roaming at home or when dealing with other pets? Training, proper socialisation and de-sexing can all help keep your pet safe.

Fighting is not a natural part of pet life or easily overcome if it occurs. Bites, scratches and abrasions can become infected. Teeth and bones can break in altercations. Courage can be depleted and downright trampled. Plus, you may find that you end up on the wrong side of the council if your pet is not properly monitored, trained and housed.

Spending time to train your pet, allowing them exposure to other animals for socialisation and de-sexing them are essential parts of raising a happy, healthy and problem free pet.

Need a hand with any of these or all three? Call our local Wahroonga vet clinic now to arrange a consult on (02) 9489 4805.

Teach the kids to play gently

Another issue we find at our local Wahroonga vet clinic is sometimes, children don’t always understand animal boundaries.

Whoever said there can be too much of a good thing was probably referring to how much love and pet play can go wrong with kids. Kids naturally push the boundaries with animals. They sometimes don’t have the awareness to recognise how rough play might be. It may be an overwhelming experience for a pet to be surrounded by lots of children and they may take evasive action. Kids can also feed pets the wrong items through play.

Whatever the case, you don’t want to end up with a broken tail or extracting a toy cupcake for a pet tummy by accident.

Instilling respect for a pet’s space from an early age is important. Hugging too tightly can result in crush injuries. Not allowing a pet to leave can cause a pet to take action that could lead to strained, sprained or even broken limbs. It should always be a case of gentle touch on agreeable terms.

While pets and kids love each other a whole lot, unsupervised play is often a bad idea. Not only as it may be injurious to the pet but also because the pet may lash out at the children. This is especially true of kids younger than teenage.

Leaps, loose bits and loony times

Cats and dogs can be curious climbers that put themselves in jeopardy. Mad attacks around the yard, over estimating jumping abilities and all kinds of play activities can lead to problems.

Again, the key here is to think like your pet and remove temptation.

A few things to check for are:

  • Not placing eye-catching or twinkling temptations high up
  • The placement of rails and banisters in relation to getting heads stuck
  • Ensuring big steps, ledges and high trees are not accessible
  • Locking down sheds and places where chemicals, fertilisers and tools are housed
  • Making sure sharp edges cannot pierce or cut your cat or dog as they walk, run and play in the yard
  • Keeping cockroach and rodent baits and traps out of reach of pets
  • Covering compost, grass clippings and never allow access to garden waste or kitchen scraps
  • No access to wood piles during winter or building materials during renovations and clean ups
  • Fencing off fish ponds and other tempting bodies of water such as pools and spas

Whatever situation, spending a little time working through your yard safety can save you all kinds of issues in the future. You can always call on your local Wahroonga vet clinic, Fox Valley Animal Hospital, and our nurses to help you with advice.

 Accidents and injuries can be avoided

By training your pet to move around the house, yard and in public spaces well, you can help minimise issues that pop up. By proofing and making sure temptation for trouble is minimised, you can further reduce the risk.

All pets have quirks and some of those quirks might involve pushing their inner daredevil or eating things they shouldn’t or having a nose for trouble. So, you can never make a pet 100% safe against accidents and injuries. But with proper planning and supervision, you can reduce the risk considerably.

Need a hand working out how to ensure your pet’s safety? Call local Wahroonga vet clinic Fox Valley Animal Hospital today on (02) 9489 4805 to discuss.

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