The Litter Box Chronicles: Decoding Litter Box Issues

A cat exits its litter box.

A cat’s ability to be an indoor-only pet is one of its biggest selling points for many pet owners. This impressive feline feature is largely thanks to the fact that they can be trained to use a litter box instead of needing to head outside any time nature calls.

While in most cases litter boxes are extremely effective and convenient, they can come with their fair share of issues. Health or behavioral problems could be keeping your cat from properly utilizing the litter box.

Litter box issues can stem from a wide range of issues like the type of box to intentional behavioral outbursts. Here are a few of the most common problems we encounter:

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Second Sight: Blindness in Dogs and How You Can Help

For many pet owners, the very notion of their dog losing his or her eyesight can be alarming, if not downright heartbreaking. The thought of those once doleful and loving eyes not being able to see your smile or fetch their favorite toy can feel like a death knell to many pet parents; but that’s simply not true. 

Dogs are incredibly resilient creatures and, like humans, they are able to adeptly adjust to shifts in their sensory awareness. While it is true that, in some instances, you may have to become your dog’s seeing eye human, your pup can learn to find their way in the world with aplomb – and a little patience and planning on your part. 

Whether your dog’s blindness has come on gradually as a result of age or illness, or is the result of a sudden injury or acute condition, living with a blind dog can be just as sweet (if not more so) as it was when they could see the world around them.

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Self Care Recommendations After the Loss of a Pet

We take for granted that death is a natural part of life and something we know we must face when we care for a pet. But nothing quite prepares us for when that time comes. The loss can be devastating and you may wonder how you can move through this tremendous hurt. 

There is hope in recovering from the loss of a pet and, with time and gentleness, you can heal. It’s important, however, to be true to yourself. The team at Dickinson Animal Hospital and Pet Wellness Center has some recommendations to help you cope with this time of mourning.

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Dealing with Kids and Dogs in Close Quarters

There’s no doubt that kids and dogs make the cutest of buddies. Growing up with a dog is a wonderful experience for most kids, and the benefits far outweigh the work involved. Living with a dog promotes empathy, compassion, and self esteem, and can teach valuable lessons about responsibility.

But when kids and dogs are stuck together in the house all day, things can go awry without a game plan. Your team at Dickinson Animal Hospital & Pet Wellness Center wants to help you make the most out of cabin fever with our top tips for managing your two and four-legged crew!

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Jelly Belly: Helping Your Pet Lose Lose Weight This Spring

Now that the long winter is coming to a close, you may have noticed that your pet, like so many of us, has gained a few pounds. Winter fat is a problem for several pets because they aren’t as active as they are in the warmer months. Couple this with the busy holidays, and those daily exercise needs probably went to the wayside.

Now that spring is here, it’s a good time to get outside and get moving with your furry loved one. Here are some tips to help your pet lose weight and get back into a better state of health.

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The Truth About Pets and Essential Oils

Candles, incense, and simmering potpourri have been available to consumers for a long time. In recent years, these products have had some steep competition in the personal wellness department: essential oils. 

Extracted via steam or cold-pressing, essential oils capture a plant’s essence (namely their scent and flavor), in an effort to promote health and well-being. Although this sounds like a safer alternative to the man made chemicals found in other scented products, pet owners need to be aware that pets and essential oils don’t really mix.

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Things Your Cat Wishes You’d Stop Doing Already (Ahem… Avoiding the Vet!)

People love cats, a fact widely supported by social media. But beyond their sheer entertainment value and the fuzzy feelings they invoke, cats have absolute power to deeply and profoundly impact humans – especially the ones that own and care for them. 

Just because we are positively affected by cat behavior, it’s a stretch to say that all cats like (or trust) people. This disconnect can be explained by numerous reasons, but we do know that through close observation of body language, we stand a better chance of understanding the cats we wholeheartedly admire.

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The Guilt-Free Way to Leave Your Pet Home Alone

A Dalmatian sits behind a glass window, waiting for her people to come home.

For many pet lovers, leaving our pets behind as we head off to work for the day is difficult. But, like most, work and other obligations require that we go out in the world without our four-legged friends. This reality begs the question: how long can you leave your pet home alone?

Dogs, cats, and other pets can be left at home with some understanding of their needs. For each pet, this will vary based on species, breed, behavior and physical health, as well as other social factors. Because pets are much like kids, the pet parent guilt can come on strong. If you’ve been asking yourself, “How much time can I leave my pet home alone?” you’ve come to the right place!

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A Look at Disease Prevention and Indoor Cat Care

Most cat owners do a wonderful job at meeting the needs of their pet, and they go to great lengths to ensure their feline’s comfort and security. However, some owners of indoor-only cats believe their companions are protected from contagious diseases and parasites simply by virtue of keeping them inside.

Unfortunately, no pet is entirely safe from these threats, but with a proactive approach to indoor cat care, you can definitely lower your pet’s risk of contracting a harmful disease.

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Dickinson Animal Hospital & Pet Wellness Center’s Top 5 Pet Care Blogs of 2018

At Dickinson Animal Hospital & Pet Wellness Center, we proudly deliver what we call The 5 Pillars to our animal patients and their owners. Fundamental to our practice, The 5 Pillars value lifelong wellness care, a high level of comfort, supportive companionship, compassion, and  providing everything a pet might need under one roof (diagnostics, grooming, medication, etc.).

The 5 Pillars also provide direction for our pet care blogs. Whether you have a new pet or are a seasoned pet owner, we strive to educate and inform our growing community of readers. And we can all agree that things are easier with a little guidance from time to time!

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