New Research on Canine Nutrition May Eradicate Grain-Free Diets

A grain-free diet for dogs may not be the best for canine nutrition.

Recently, the FDA issued a warning about the potential connection between canine nutrition and canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM). They are specifically investigating the link between some grain-free foods and the disease, which causes the heart to enlarge and ineffectively pump blood.

A grain-free approach to canine nutrition can be deadly in certain breeds with genetic predispositions to DCM, but now the research suggests that this diet can equally affect any breed, age, gender, and lifestyle. If the list on your dog’s food label begins with peas, lentils, potatoes, and legume seeds, they could be at risk.

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Don’t Let Them Suffer in Silence: Recognizing and Treating Pet Pain

Pet pain can have a huge impact on your pet's quality of lifeHelping your four-legged best friend when they’re in need is part and parcel of pet ownership. However, it’s not uncommon for illness or injury to go unnoticed – or undiagnosed. Many symptoms are obvious, but others can be extremely subtle, flying beneath the radar of even the most dedicated pet owners.

September is Animal Pain Awareness Month. Even though most owners are tuned in to the habits and behaviors of their pet, we could all use some helpful reminders when it comes to pet pain.

Consistency is Key

Animals love routine. They like to anticipate their next meal, when the backdoor might be open again, and the frequency of play or exercise time. Perhaps the most apparent symptom of pet pain is departure from their normal routine, which may present in the following ways: Continue…

Is Pet Anxiety Common when Kids Go Back to School?

Pet anxiety is common when kids go back to school.Pets immersed in all manner of family summer fun may feel like the rug’s been pulled out from under them when the academic year revs up. Indeed, there’s a common slump that household animals find themselves in when there’s no one to frolic with after breakfast, no sticky hands to lick after lunch, and no one to doze with before supper. Luckily, there are things you can do to ease symptoms of pet anxiety before the school year gets underway.

Routine’s the Thing

Pets thrive when they know what to expect. They love routine so much that when it’s disrupted, even slightly, they may experience a type of despondence they’ve never known before. By the time summer is over, the family pet has probably grown accustomed to receiving lots of attention, affection, and activity. Continue…

Dog Behavior: Pack Mentality and Dog Park Safety

Dog behavior at the dog park is largely dictated by the pack mentality.Dog parks can be wonderful places for pets and their people to play, exercise, and cultivate an enduring friendship. Indeed, images of happy, carefree dogs frolicking in an open field come to mind – but the reality is often much different. Certain aspects of dog behavior preclude a safe, enjoyable experience, but a successful visit also hinges on a dog owner’s fully realized understanding of the pack mentality.

Take the Time

Taking your dog into an unfamiliar dog park with strange dogs may quickly trigger pack instincts. Some dogs naturally lead the pack; others try to contend with challengers. Some dogs can be quite content to follow the pecking order within the pack, while others display absolute avoidance or downright shyness when it comes to other dogs they haven’t met before. Continue…

Summer Thrills: What to do When Pet Anxiety Occurs

Pet anxiety can be caused noise, especially fireworks and thunder.When it comes to pet behavior, many owners know the exact triggers that affect their pets. It could be a siren, crying baby, or UPS truck; however, one thing is certain: a pet’s fear and stress levels can be so deeply experienced that it shakes them to their very core. It’s also not uncommon for pet anxiety to appear unexpectedly, especially if a pet is newly adopted or if a certain stimulus is very rare.

Summertime provides ample opportunities to gather and celebrate, but without a proactive approach to your pet’s emotional well-being, there could be problems facing them.

Rumble and Roar

Thunderstorm phobia is one of the leading causes of seasonal pet anxiety. Responsible for creating severe, panicked reactions in pets (like bolting away from the house or yard, relentless digging, hiding, vocalizing, and more), thunder and lightning are truly upsetting to some animals. Continue…

Toxic Algae in Texas: A Serious Threat to Pet Health

Toxic algae poses a serious threat to pet health.As summer sets in, many of you may be planning to take your dogs with you on vacation. However, if your vacation plans involve a visit to Texas’ waterways, you will want to bone up on the possible threat of toxic algae and how it can impact your pet’s health.

Understanding toxic algae is essential to pets and people safely co-existing with these primitive lifeforms, and Northpark Animal Hospital is here to help you do so.  

What Are the Odds?

Toxic algae has been harming humans and their animals for a long time. In fact, the first documentation of this occurrence was in Australia in 1878. When conditions are just right, algae can grow out of control, reaching toxic levels. While only about 200 of the thousands of species are toxic, it can be difficult to know which are dangerous until it is too late. Continue…

Pet Perils: The Disquieting Nature of Heartworm Disease

Heartworm disease is a serious condition.Caring for a pet is one of the easiest things to do because it’s so fun and rewarding. However, truly taking responsibility for an animal’s health and well-being isn’t without certain challenges or worries. In the case of heartworm disease, there are critical steps that need attention throughout the year.

What Is Heartworm Disease?

Diagnosed in all 50 states, heartworm disease is caused by internal parasites that live in the blood vessels of the lungs and heart. It is potentially life-threatening, and both outdoor and indoor-only pets are at risk.

How It’s Transmitted

The mosquito is responsible for transmitting heartworm disease. When an infected animal is bitten, the mosquito picks up microscopic baby worms (microfilaria) in the bloodstream. Over the next 10-14 days, the microscopic worms develop into infective larvae inside the mosquito. When it bites a vulnerable animal, the mosquito deposits larvae on the skin and the bite wound. Continue…

Parasite Prevention in Pets

Parasite Prevention in PetsParasites may be tiny, and some we’re even unable to see with the naked eye. But, they can cause big problems for your pet. From heartworm, to internal parasites, to external parasites like fleas and ticks, the threats to your pet’s health come from many directions. So, as the weather warms up (and parasites get more active), we’re focusing on parasite prevention and the steps you can take to protect your pet (and your family) this spring and all year round.

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More Than Meets the Eye: The Subtle Power of Routine Pet Dental Care

Pet owners are sometimes more familiar with their pet’s mouth than they might prefer. Among us, who hasn’t caught a whiff of kitty or puppy breath right in their face? Whether it’s a post-run pant or during a sweet snuggle session, dog and cat breath can be undeniably potent.

Pet dental care encompasses daily brushing at home and professional cleanings, but when it comes to what’s happening beneath the gums, digital radiographs hold the key.

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Christmas Pet Safety Tips That Really Hit Home

The prevention of an illness or injury is definitely the gift that keeps on giving, but during the holidays, this can be a major feat. Amidst a bursting social calendar, shopping sprees and cookie exchanges, a pet owner’s usual vigilance and presence might understandably be at a deficit. Don’t worry! Northpark Animal Hospital has some safety tips you can implement to help your pet remain safe and healthy throughout the holidays in our Christmas pet safety guide.

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