Sabal Chase Animal Clinic

Sabal Chase Animal Clinic
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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

It's Back To School Time!

Summer is a time when many families decide to bring home a new pet.  When children are home from school, and routines are more relaxed, more time can be spent helping the new pet adjust, and teaching children about the responsibilities of pet ownership.  When the school year starts, and routines change drastically, the pet can easily become confused or develop separation anxiety.  This is especially true of pets who were brought home as puppies or kittens, and are now entering adolescence.

If you suspect your pet has the back-to-school blues, be sure to include them in the morning routine.

Feed them one of their main meals at this time, as they are more likely to sleep throughout the day if their belly is full.  Designate a special toy that is only given to them by the children, and only as the children are leaving for the day.  Look for toys marketed as food  puzzles or brain teasers that will allow your pet to entertain himself.  A “cat sitter” DVD with images of birds and squirrels can keep a bored kitty entertained for hours.  Allow both pets and children to play together and blow off steam as soon as the kids get home.  When it’s time for homework, encourage the pet to sit quietly near the children as they study.  Making the afternoon routine predictable and fun will give your pets something to look forward to, and make it easier for them to cope with being alone all day.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Dogs and Swimming

A question I am often asked during the summer is whether or not all dogs instinctively know how
to swim.  Many breeds of dogs, such as Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and
Portuguese Water Dogs are both physically built and genetically wired for swimming, while
many other breeds do not fare nearly as well.  Dogs with deep chests, such as Boxers,
Weimaraners, and Great Danes are naturally top heavy, and may or may not be strong enough
to make up for this natural imbalance.  Brachycephalic, or “smushy-­faced” breeds such as Pugs, Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers tend to be very poor swimmers and are common victims of
drownings.  While some of these dogs may enjoy the water, my recommendation is to only allow
swimming if the dog is wearing a life ­vest, on a leash, and very closely supervised.

While Dachshunds are not generally a water-­loving loving breed, our little Grendel is a skilled
and enthusiastic swimmer! That being said, she has yet to figure out how to budget enough
energy to return to shore before running out of energy. This is not an uncommon problem, so
dog owners should be certain to teach their dogs how to reach the side of the pool and climb out
unassisted. Consider installing a doggie pool ramp and teaching your dog where it is and how to
use it.  Dogs that swim in natural bodies of water must be taught to return to you on command
without exception.  Since Grendel will not do this consistently, she is only allowed to swim in the
bay attached to a long, extendable leash.  As she ages, we are more inclined to add the life
vest.  It is important to remember our dog’s changing physical abilities as each new summer
rolls around.  Dogs that are elderly, blind, deaf, or prone to seizures must never be left
unattended near any bodies of water or unfenced pools.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Meet Leia, Our August Pet of the Month!

Leia was adopted last month from Miami Dade Animal Services. Leia rules the roost in her new home, and her favorite place to be is on top of her new dad’s head! Leia has plenty of friends looking for forever homes in our shelter. If you’ve thinking of adopting a furry friend, check out our social media platforms for details, using the hashtag #ClearTheShelters.

Congratulations Leia and share with your friends - you’re our Pet of the Month!