Tips For Introduction Your Kids To A New Pet

Tips For Introducing Your Kids To A New Pet

Every pet owner understands how pets can enhance their lives and bring more love and joy into the home. However, if you have children, introducing them to an unfamiliar cat or dog might be intimidating for all parties involved. Even the most docile dog or cat can bring fear and tears to a small child’s eyes if the interaction is not handled properly. You have to make sure that the child understands how to properly approach the new pet. So, if you are bringing a new pet home, here are some helpful tips to introduce your kids to the newest member of the family.

Supervise The Interaction

It is never a good idea to leave babies or small children with a new pet. Kittens and some older cats tend to play rough as scratching and biting are the ways they interacted with their kitten siblings. Therefore, they may end up doing the same with a young child who unknowingly extends their hand. Puppies also need time to grow, learn, and develop good behavior through positive training tactics. So, you can teach your children how to properly approach a dog, read its body language and know how to appropriately pet them. Another general rule of thumb is to never leave a child under the age of 5 alone with a new pet. If you have older children, then they will need to demonstrate that they can be gentle and follow the rules before being left alone with the pet.

Let The Pet Approach The Child

Another initial step in making sure this introduction process goes smoothly is to allow your pet to approach the child, rather than the other way around. You can do this by having the child drop treats or have a toy in between them. Be sure, however, not to hand feed the pet as they either are not comfortable approaching just yet, or they could be too excited and accidentally pinch a few fingers while grabbing the treat.

Give Your Pet Time To Adjust

Anytime you introduce a pet to new surroundings, allowing it to feel secure and comfortable will take some time. Plus, a child’s excitement over the new furry friend might add to the initial stress. You might notice cats hiding in a closet or under a bed initially. Dogs can be a bit different and require more stimulation and new sights and sounds to properly adjust. As mentioned previously, you will want to supervise all interactions with a new dog to ensure no one gets hurt. Older dogs might require more training, so patience will be critical as you learn the character of the dog and how they react to people of all ages. So, make sure you give the pet time to adjust and make sure your children cooperate by leaving it alone until it is ready. 

Bringing in a new pet and letting them adjust to its new environment, especially one that includes children is a process that must be taken care of delicately and properly to ensure the safety of the children and the pet. If you have any additional questions about how to introduce a new pet to your children, feel free to reach out to Cherrelyn Animal Hospital at (303) 532-1258!

Common Holiday Hazards For Pets

Common Holiday Hazards for Pets

The holidays are a festive time for the family and the pets as well. However, sometimes with everything going on, the ongoing activities, and constant distractions, it can be easy to overlook any potential dangers to your furry friends. The curious nature of pets such as cats and dogs can lead them to holiday decorations, food, and drinks which could lead them in an emergency and that is a quick way to ruin the holidays. So, it is important to be aware of these items which can be dangerous, so let’s take a look at some common holiday hazards for pets.

Holiday Tinsel & Ornaments

Tinsel, while it is not toxic, can be very attractive to pets, cats in particular. The issue with tinsel is that if it is consumed, it can cause serious injury to your pet. Plus, if it isn’t caught in time, these foreign body ingestions could even be fatal because it will twist and bunches up inside your pet’s intestines. Along with tinsels, bright and colorful tree ornaments can also attract your pet’s curiosity. Your pets may chew and swallow these objects and the broken pieces then form sharp edges that can lacerate their mouth, throat, and intestines.

Gift Wrap Ribbon

It may be tempting to dress your pet up in a decorative ribbon “collar,” but it is important to keep in mind that these can quickly become a choking hazard. Best practices would be to quickly discard the ribbons and bows so that your curious, furry companions won’t be enticed to chew or swallow them. The ingested ribbon is not only a choking hazard but can also twist through the intestines leading to emergency surgery and could be fatal sometimes.

Lights And Wires

You will also want to keep any electrical cords clear from your pets because if they chew on them it can cause serious injuries like electrical shock and oral burns. One way to take these necessary precautions is by using electrical cord covers and cord organizers that will make them less accessible and out of sight.

Toys And Batteries

You will also want to keep small toys and loose batteries off the floor and away from your pet’s mouth. For example, if a dog happens to chew on a hard plastic toy, it can risk breaking its teeth. Batteries along with board game pieces and other small household items can contain zinc and this can cause pancreatitis and renal damage if your pet ingests them. So, if you have some time, be sure to monitor your children’s playtime and pick up any and all toys they have played with. Keep in mind that batteries can also be found in cameras, watches, remote controls, and even in some greeting cards.  

These are just a few of the many different holiday hazards that you will want to keep away from your pet this season. If you have any further questions or concerns, please reach out to Cherrelyn Animal Hospital at (303) 532-1258!

How Often Should You Vaccinate Your Pet

How Often Should You Vaccinate Your Pet

For those who may have been unaware, August is known as National Immunization Awareness Month for pets. Now, the question of whether to vaccinate pets or not and how often is one of the most debtated questions in veterinary medicine. Previously, it was much simpler as you would take your dog or cat to the vet at least once a year, and they would receive the recommended vaccinations and anything else they may need, and then you were on your way. However, now that the standard of care has changed, it is no longer as simple as just vaccinating every animal every year with every vaccine available.

Nowadays, vaccines have been divided into two categories: “core” and “non-core” vaccinations. Core vaccines are the ones that every animal should get at some point during their lifetime like rabies, distemper, and parvovirus. Non-core vaccines refer to the ones that should be administered based on certain risk factors of a particular animal. For example, the feline leukemia virus (FeLV) vaccine is for cats who are allowed outside and the bordetella vaccine is for dogs who are regularly boarded in a kennel.

One of the most straightforward reasons to vaccinate your pets is to comply with the local law. For example, it is typical for every community to require dogs and cats in some communities, to be vaccinated for rabies. The reason being that it is a public health issues considering rabies is zoonotic, meaning it can spread from animals to people and it is not a curable disease. In fact, the only time it is acceptable to not vaccinate for rabies is if your pet has a disease that could be worsened by the vaccine. Another thing to consider is whether your pet goes to a day care, or a dog park or kennel. If they do, then they are likely to be exposed to more diseases so they should be on a regular vaccination schedule. Finally, you will want to consider your pets’ lifestyle. For example, does your dog encounter wildlife or play in areas where you may frequently spot wildlife? If so, then you may want to vaccinate for leptospirosis.

So, how often should your pets be vaccinated? Some recommendations include doing the puppy and kitten series, and then a booster vaccine in one year, and then every year thereafter.

Keep in mind that vaccines are important for your pet’s general health care and a cornerstone of proper wellness care for your animals. So, if you are looking to get your pet vaccinated or have further questions about pet vaccinations, please feel free to contact Cherrelyn Animal Hospital at (303) 532-1258!

Best Cat Breeds For Those With Allergies

Best Cat Breeds For Those With Allergies

For those who were unaware, June is actually Adopt-A-Cat month. So, if there was ever a time to visit your local shelter and adopt a new furry addition to the family, this would be the perfect month to do so. However, one of the biggest, if not the biggest setbacks for adopting a cat is allergies. Now, you may be wondering what may cause these allergies and a common misconception is that it comes from the cat’s fur. In actuality, it is a protein known as Fel D1 which is found in cat saliva that causes you to sneeze and feel itchy. So, if a cat licks a piece of your clothing, the saliva will dry up and become airborne which increases the likelihood of an allergic response. 

The good news is that some cat breeds produce less of this protein than others which makes them the ideal pets for people who have these allergies. So, let’s take a look at some of the best cat breeds for people with allergies. 

Balinese

These cats are also referred to as the “longhaired Siamese” and while they may look like the unlikely candidate to be a hypoallergenic cat breed, they are one of the few breeds that produce less of the Fel D1 protein than other cats. They are also smart, sweet, and fun to be around. Similar to the Siamese, they are also known for their ability to communicate vocally and they are sensitive to your mood, so they will be willing to cheer you up if you’re feeling gloomy.

Oriental Shorthair

While these are also considered non-allergenic cats, it would still be a good practice to groom them frequently to keep danger at bay. These breeds are also natural entertainers, full of enthusiasm, and enjoy being at the center of attention. They also tend to be conceited one minute and the animated the next, depending on their mood. You can also expect them to go to great lengths to be involved in your activities as they are highly curious.

Sphynx

The hairless Sphynx is one of the cat breeds that is most associated with being a hypoallergenic breed. Keep in mind, however, that just because they are hairless, that does not mean they are maintenance-free. They will require frequent baths in order to remove any gummy buildup of oils on their skin. They also have large ears that will require frequent cleaning. As far as their personality, to say they are lively would be an understatement. They are known to keep you entertained as they perform their aerialist feats from the tops of doorways and bookshelves (if you have one). They are also very devoted and loyal and will follow their owners around as they wag their tails similar to that of a dog and constantly purr with affection.

These are some of the different cat breeds that go best with people who suffer from allergies. For more information about cat breeds or even cat maintenance, feel free to call Cherrelyn Animal Hospital at (303) 532-1258!