If there’s one thing my dog absolutely loves, it’s to run! As a whippet, he definitely sees a wide-open space as heaven! Leash-free parks provide a safe place for me to be able to let him run until his heart’s content, with enough space for him to get up to his “zoomie” speed. For other dogs they provide a perfect meeting place, a social hub, a place to make new friends.
For a list of year-round leash free areas on the Mornington Peninsula click here.
With the use of these wonderful areas does come responsibility. To help keep these areas running effectively and safely, it’s important to show courtesy by following these simple guidelines;
Pick up after your dog – Respect other owners and their pets by cleaning up after your own. Designated bins exist around the areas so there is no reason not to pick up after your dog. On the spot fines can occur for not cleaning up after your dog!
Respect other users – Remember that not everyone is comfortable with all breeds and temperaments. Especially in public areas it’s important to remember that not everyone will appreciate a big slobbery lick from your Saint Bernard, just like some people might not want your Miniature Poodle to jump up on their lap.
Know what to expect – In designated fenced areas there is a high chance that you will encounter bouncy, playful dogs so if you are fearful or wearing nice clothes it may not be an ideal place to hang. Freed from leads it’s common for dogs to want to run and play, when in a group they will also play off each other so things can sometimes get a bit rough. Small children at ground level may be knocked over or intimidated. So to avoid an accident keep them above and away from the play.
Watch your dog – Just like a young child at play or in the pool, watch your dog! You may not need to worry about them running onto a road (in fenced areas) but when other people and animals are involved it is important to always watch your dog, know where they are and what they are doing.
Know your pet – As an owner you’ll know best your pets behavioural cues, when they are getting a bit too excited, scared or even showing signs of aggression. If your dog is getting to a point where you think they may lose control or become scared, remove them. By being pro-active you can help avoid those situations altogether.
Be Responsible – If you are worried your pet may not be on their best behaviour when left to their own devices, don’t let them off their lead when there are a lot of pets and people. Take them at a quieter time and let them run free then, use your discretion. In these settings you are responsible for your pet and their behaviour.
Take a sick day – If your pet has been diagnosed with or is exhibiting signs of a contagious infection, it’s probably best to skip walking in a high pooch traffic area. Things like Gastroenteritis and Canine Cough can be very contagious, so taking your dog, whilst sick to an area where you know other dogs will be puts all the other pets at risk of contracting the illness. While your pet may not know they want a day off, like us, resting while sick is beneficial, so just give them love at home.
Consideration and Responsibility are the two key ingredients in maintaining the effectiveness of these leash free areas. Let’s all enjoy these areas together!
Ever been awoken from a stupor by a hacking noise? Have you accidentally trod on a sodden ball of fluff? If you answered yes to one or both of these questions chances are you have a cat in your life.
Fur balls are a small price to pay to have such magnificent creatures in our lives. But are there ways to reduce how many soggy fur landmines you run into? Well good news, you can employ a few tricks to help reduce fur balls, however the chances of your cat never having one again are slim. Why is this?
Well the main cause of fur balls is grooming, your cat is an expert groomer, your cat also has a lot of fur. So the more they groom the more fur they will inadvertently swallow, trouble is fur isn’t made to be digested, so it has to come out, one way or another. As self-groomers your cat swallows a lot of fur. How it’s passed can depend on many things, your cat’s breed, the type of coat they have, their diet and how often they groom.
Knowing how and why most fur balls occur helps in treating severe cases. So if your cat seems to be having trouble it is important to consult your vet, other factors in your pets health can sometimes contribute to excessive fur balls and it’s important to have a discussion with your vet to rule these out. Remember as self-groomers, more often than not your cat will occasionally bring up a fur-ball, however if you are concerned it’s always a good idea to speak with your vet.
What can you do at home to help alleviate your cats fur balls?
Well it’s important to consider the traits of the BREED of cat. Long haired breeds tend to have more of a problem with fur balls than short haired breeds. This can be as much due to the amount of grooming they have to do to keep on top of their hair-do as it does to the length and thickness of the fur itself. It can be harder for long thick fur to pass through the digestive system than short fine fur. On a side note the specific temperament of the breed can contribute to the amount of grooming a cat does. Excessive grooming can also be attributed to stress, so breeds more prone to anxiety can often fall into excessive grooming habits. For more information on over-grooming click here
DIET can also have a large impact on how fur passes through the digestive tract. For one a healthy digestive tract can typically handle occasional fur passing through better than an inflamed or under-active one can. Secondly as mentioned above, specific breeds can be pre-disposed to fur balls, there are specially formulated foods that can help aid your cats digestive system in passing the fur through their body. Thirdly a poor diet can greatly impact the condition of your cats coat, a healthy coat can decrease the amount of time your cat needs to be grooming as well as make the fur itself easier to pass through. It’s important to discuss your cat’s diet with your vet or a trained professional, a well-rounded, personally tailored diet can greatly impact not only your cats fur ball issues but also their over-all health and happiness.
It’s natural to be a little grossed out by your cat’s need to bring up those fur balls, but considering they use their tongue’s like we use our brushes, you can appreciate the fact that they swallow some fur. I know my brush looks more like a small furry animal every time I brush my hair, and I sure wouldn’t want that sitting in my throat, I’d probably bring it up too!
If you are worried your cat may have a problem with fur balls or over-grooming feel free to contact us at the clinic, our staff is always there to help.
Ever feel like you’re a sucker for your pets? Do you feel like those puppy dog eyes are just too powerful? That playful mew is just too convincing? You’re not alone, the bond we share with our pets is unparalleled. Sometimes when looking into those innocent eyes you just cannot say no.
Spoiling our fur babies is absolutely fine, but remember that just like in child rearing it’s important to say no sometimes. It’s easy to slip a morsel or two to an eager mouth when it’s attached to such an adorable face, but by always giving in you are conditioning your pet to always expect something, encouraging begging behaviour. If you just cannot resist those “puppy dog eyes” that pleading mew, then try giving them any food at their bowl, after you finish eating, this helps combat begging and shows your pet that the time and place for food is at their designated meal area. Remember that not all food is pet friendly and some items are incredibly toxic, for a full list of toxic foods click here, and others given too often are very bad for your pets health. So moderation is important, spoil your pets in other ways, not always with food. The same goes for the Oliver Twist act, when your pet pulls out the ‘please may I have some more’ remember that some animals don’t regulate their meals well, they will eat whatever and whenever they can. This is why it’s important to consult your veterinarian and together work out a good diet and meal schedule that suits you and your pet. Sticking to it is also very important, even if it feels impossible to say no, sometimes it’s the best thing for your pet.
We’re very lucky on the Mornington Peninsula to have a number of Leash Free parks to take our pups. Below is a list of grassed and open areas, that are leash free all year round, for a list of leash free beaches click here
OFF STREET PARKING
John Butler Reserve
Off Mount Eliza Way- opposite Betty Avenue
Large grassed area
Cobb Road Reserve
Herbert Street & Lucerne Avenue
Pine Avenue Reserve
Pine Avenue, Pitt Street, Downward Street & Adelaide Street
Mornington Civic Reserve
Western side of Oak Hill Gallery & South Side of Peninsula Regional Gallery
Ever think there might be something fishy going on with your dog? I’m not talking about them walking around on two legs and emulating Maxwell Smart, I’m talking about a fishy smell. We all have experience with those killer dog smells, a sneaky toot that clears the room, but have you ever encountered a truly pungent fishy smell?
Well if you answered yes, you my friend have likely experienced the whiff of anal gland secretion. When your dog passes faeces it’s squeezed out, usually pushing on the two glands located either side of the anus. A healthy stool will push the glands allowing them to empty at the time of passing, so you may never fall victim to the stinky secretion. Some of use however will not be so lucky. Loose stools or constipation can result in the glands not emptying properly, so they will fill up and leak or ooze out at inopportune times. There can also be cases where the glands do not function properly or have been damaged and as a result must be manually emptied at regular intervals.
Signs your dog may have an anal gland problem;
The smell – if you are smelling the distinctive fishy smell (you can’t mistake it) frequently
Scooting – often your dog will scoot their bottom along the ground to attempt to empty the full or irritated glands
Excessive licking – you may notice your dog licking their anus excessively, the constant licking can also cause the anus to look red and irritated
Stains/Marks – The actual anal gland secretion is a dark, thick, pungent substance and small amounts can be left behind or seen on surfaces where your dog sits or lies.
If you seem to be smelling the smell a little too often or have noticed any of the signs listed above, it’s important to visit your vet, your dog may be experiencing problems or may just need them to be emptied. It’s imperative that you seek a professional to empty your dogs anal glands, it’s very easy to damage the glands by squeezing too hard or in the wrong way. Damage to the glands may result in your dog never being able to empty their glands naturally again, locking you and your dog into problems and anal gland emptying for the rest of their lives. Some people will request the anal glands to be emptied at the time of grooming, in some cases this is fine, but incorrect techniques result in problems, so it’s advisable to get a trained vet to perform the task.
Chronic problems can develop or even be there from the start, so if you are noticing any of the signs listed above it’s a good idea to take your dog to the vet so they can perform an assessment.
Say cheese! In a world dominated by Instagram, Twitter and Facebook ever wondered how all those people manage to take such amazing photo’s of their pets? Like seriously, how did you get your dog to sit like that? Is her cat actually smiling?
Well as one who has fallen victim to my pet’s own Instagram page I can assure you there are MANY, MANY, MANY outtakes! In a roll of 200 photos there’s only ONE where my whippet isn’t yawning or doesn’t have his tongue in his eyes! Even when using treats or a toy above the camera to get them to direct their focus down the lens, you still can’t guarantee an ‘insta’ worthy image!
Well now’s your opportunity to make your pet internet famous!
We’re giving away 2x $100 credits to our clinic!!! To spend on ANYTHING in the clinic, goods or services!
We want to see how photogenic your pet is! Simply like our page, share our competition facebook post and send us your pet’s image to enter! Entries close Friday 9th March at 7:00pm AEST
A fan favourite (the finalist image with the most likes on Facebook) and the Clinic favourite will be announced Tuesday 13th March on our Facebook page.
*$100 credit will be added to account at clinic, the amount cannot be redeemed for cash. Any entries received after the cut off date and time will not be valid.
Ever watch your cat as they groom themselves and notice how serene they look. Just like a spa day and a little pampering can help de-stress us, grooming can be a wonderful stress reliever for your cat.
Functionally, grooming helps keep your cat looking their best, with all that fur it takes time to keep the perfect ‘do. Some cats however can take their grooming habits a bit too far. Overgrooming can be a common problem in cats, it can cause problems such as undue hair loss, matting, excessive fur balls and in some cases skin irritations.
What causes your cat to over-groom?
One problem can be parasites. It can be hard to see fleas on cats as when grooming they will ingest the fleas, all that’s left to alert you of their presence is flea dirt, which is their faeces. How can you tell the difference between flea dirt and garden dirt? Well flea dirt is made up of the fleas digested food, which is blood, so when run under water flea dirt will run the water red. Treating your cat with a good quality parasite prevention will help alleviate their itches. NOTE: in cats where there is a presence of fleas, it’s always a good idea to administer an intestinal wormer. As mentioned cats will often ingest the fleas, this can lead to intestinal worms laying siege to your cat.
The most common cause of over-grooming can be attributed to stress or obsessive behaviour. Changes in your cats environment or circumstances can easily cause a bit of upset in your cats life, to calm themselves they may start over-grooming. Sometimes after the initial stress has passed or the stressor has been removed your cat will return to normal grooming behaviour. For others the over-grooming becomes a habit, resulting in an obsessive-compulsive behaviour. Recognising when your cat may be stressed and being proactive in potential stressful situations, you can employ some tools to help calm your cat. Some breeds are known to be a little more susceptible to over-grooming due to the specific temperament associated with the breed, for example Siamese, Orientals and Abyssinian’s can be known to become stressed a little easier than other breeds.
There are also a few medical conditions that can cause over-grooming and/or hair loss. So if you are noticing an increase in your cats grooming habits or unexplained hair loss and irritation, it is a good idea to consult your vet to rule out any underlining problems.
Your vet will also be able to help you with a regime to help calm your cat and decrease their grooming habits. Depending on the cause of the over-grooming this can include the help of calming products such as Feliway, medications, calming techniques, introduction techniques (where new family members are involved), parasite prevention, daily routines to follow or special diets to employ. It’s important to identify the cause of the over-grooming to be able to treat it effectively, so expert knowledge coupled with your observations allow our staff be able to restore your cat to their happy and content selves.
August is National Pet Dental Health Month and is a great time to have your pet’s oral health assessed if you have not already done so in the last few months. Dental disease is the most common health condition we see in cats and dogs at our clinic and is also very frequently unnoticed by pet owners. Every day we see pets with chronic tartar and gingivitis, oral pain, tooth decay and life-threatening medical conditions secondary to untreated dental disease. Dental disease is easily prevented and treated, so don’t let your best friend become a victim of
This majestic feline hails from New England, unsurprisingly from Maine, New England. As a popular “mouser” from as far back as at least the 19th Century, this pest controller would typically call farms and ships ‘home’ Other than this small tit-bit of history, little else is known of the Maine Coon’s origin, there is however much speculation! What is known is the origin of this particular breed’s name. With an appearance unlike other cats, this brown coated tabby with a furry ringed tail, was likened to another animal. A raccoon. The resemblance of these cats to the masked bandit coined the name ‘Maine Coon’ in fact those of the breed that didn’t have the brown tabby coat were referred to as Maine Shags!
These gentle giants can reach anywhere from 4-8kg, typically reaching their full size when they are 3-5 years old. Their average lifespan is 9-15 years so there’s a lot of cuddling time with your big furball! Speaking of fur, these magnificent cats have an equally magnificent coat. Smooth, shaggy fur that reflects the nature of their origin. A coat suited to run around in all weather conditions and large, round, well tufted paws that served as “snowshoes” in winter. Their heavy coat is shorter on the shoulders, growing longer on the stomach and hind legs. Large well tufted ears tapering to a point, a full-bodied ruff in front and a long, furry tail complete their look. Commonly a brown tabby, Maine Coon’s can come in various colours, solid and patterned, excepting pointed (like Siamese.)
With this lovely coat, perfectly suited to Maine, daily grooming is needed to help them see through our Melbourne weather. While a Maine Coon’s coat doesn’t matt easily thanks to its silky texture, tangles can occur, gently brushing their coats at least twice a week to remove dead hair and distribute skin oils is sufficient. Remember to keep the rump area clean, removing dried faeces stuck to the fur as needed, obtaining a ‘hygiene clip’ from your vet if required. Keeping the coat brushed and free from matts will help keep them cool through our summers and comfortable all year round!
Whilst caring for this pleasant and affable cat you will be rewarded with a wonderful companion, content to receive your attention but still allow you your time, while they supervise of course! Loyally acting as your shadow they are often eager to remain in your company, but not necessarily as a ‘lap cat’. Destined to keep you young, a playful trait shows them displaying kitten behaviour well into adulthood. Their retained skills as a mouser has them chasing all manner of things, balls, toys and of course rodents! So beware of any pocket pets in the house! With a gentle soul (rodents aside) these beautiful creatures make fabulous companions and have the ability to adapt to a number of different lifestyles and personalities.
Very few of us actually enjoy vacuuming, an unpleasant necessity that is known to send many of us barking! While we understand this chore has it’s place, for our four legged counterparts it’s near impossible to fathom the importance of this noisy contraption! Aptly named, my four legged vacuum simply licks the floor when there’s something on it, why bother with this scary, colossal, sucking machine!
While some pooches merely sigh and tilt there head at our foolishness, others cower in absolute fear. Why? Where does the fear come from? While many of our human innovations may escape our pets understanding, bear in mind a microwave isn’t loud, larger than life and heading straight for them! Not to mention that the vacuum dance we do to reach all those spots, looks more like a wrestling match to our pets.
So while some pets may cower in fear when you fire up the engines and begin to “fight” the vacuum, others may just pull up a chair and watch this ritual with a mild interest. There are also certain breeds of dogs whose herding instinct kicks in when the hoover animal begins to run rampant all over the house, giving cause for them to round it up! Barking, lunging, cowering, whimpering, what ever response you may witness, your pet is obviously reacting to this misunderstood, somewhat unfamiliar stimulant.
Whether it’s an instinctual reaction or an inherited fear from a previous trauma, when it comes to the vacuum, where ever the fear may come from we need to help our friends overcome or get through it. We can do this through desensitising your pet’s fear, it is important that you employ patience, desensitising can take multiple sessions and remaining calm throughout the process is imperative.
Start by giving your pet a treat when in the same room as the vacuum whilst it’s turned off. Continue treating them while moving closer and closer to the vacuum, up to the point where your pet will take the treat directly off the powered-down vacuum.
Next begin moving the turned-off vacuum, start slowly, only moving it an inch or two and only treat your pet when they don’t react. Eventually begin raising the stakes by moving the vacuum, while off, further and for longer periods of time, continuing to treat your pet so long as they stay calm.
The objective is to get your pet to associate the vacuum with something good, hence the treats. On this journey your first goal is to be able to move the vacuum around the room for five minutes, whilst off, without a negative reaction from your pet.
Eventually you will need to turn on the vacuum, for this stage you will need another pair of hands!
Stand with your pet on one side of the room, treats at the ready, have your helper bring the vacuum into the room, turned off.
When ready your helper can turn the vacuum on, immediately treat your pet and continue treating while the vacuum is on.
After a few seconds turn the vacuum off and immediately stop offering the treats.
Continue this process, gradually moving closer to the switched on vacuum. Eventually your pet should look to you, expecting a treat, this is a sign that the positive association is taking effect.
Once your pet can tolerate the vacuum being on but remaining stationary for five minutes you can begin moving it, starting slowly, moving it only a little initially and gradually increasing distance and duration. Just as you did with the other steps.
Remember desensitisation can take a long time and may need to be personally tailored to your pet. Discussing the process and different options with your vet are always a good idea. Our staff are always happy to have a chat with you should you have any queries, you can contact us on 5975 3811
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