When Stress and Anxiety Run High, Strategize With Holiday Pet Safety

Pet stress and pet anxiety can be combated with holiday pet safety


There’s nothing quite like the holidays. Entire days at a time are devoted to seasonal revelry as we dine, dance, and dash through December. We all roll with it the best that we can, but the individuals that tend to be negatively affected by constant activity usually have four feet. Undoubtedly, pets have more stress and anxiety than we know sometimes, which is why even a modicum of holiday pet safety strategies go a long way.

Getting There

It’s possible that your pet has previously demonstrated an absolute distrust of all things holiday. Many pets run and hide as soon as the tree is installed and the lights go up. Creatures of habit, pets do not like their routines to be disrupted at all. The best way to soothe any frayed nerves before and during the holidays is to uphold their sense of security via strict adherence to meal times, bathroom breaks, and opportunities for exercise.

Continue…

A Wonderland of Winter Senior Pet Care

Winter senior pet care helps senior pets have a happy winter

Winter isn’t exactly brutal in Montgomery, but that doesn’t mean we don’t experience our share of ice, wind, and freezing temps. Although people may enjoy the seasonal change and relish the opportunity to wear boots and sweaters, senior pets are more likely to experience aches and pains, flare-ups of chronic conditions, or even depression.

As the temps drop this time of year, let Carriage Hills Animal Hospital help you tackle winter senior pet care with our expert tips!

Continue…

Do Dogs Smile? Understanding Pet Facial Expressions

Pet facial expressions are one of the ways pets communicate with us.

Facial expressions are such an integral part of communication between humans that oftentimes we impart meaning on the expressions that our pets carry. Anyone who is an animal lover will maintain that their four-legged friends have meaningful facial changes, though. So what is the final verdict? Do dogs really smile or is it all in our heads? The team at Carriage Hills Animal Hospital  loves to decode pet facial expressions, and sharing our findings with you is part of the fun!


Pet Facial Expressions in Nature

You can tell a great deal about what another person is thinking or feeling based on their facial expression. Pets also rely heavily on nonverbal communication, but unlike people, they naturally use more body language changes than facial changes to communicate with one another.

Animal communication utilizes posture, ear position, tail carriage, and facial expression in order to convey information. All of these components are integral to the process. For instance, a dog with a low, relaxed tail, slightly open mouth, and perked ears communicates a sense of ease. A tucked tail, low body, and pinned back ears indicates a fearful demeanor.

Continue…

Leave It! What’s Your Policy for Pet Safety Around Snakes?

Pet safety around snakes is no joke.This time of year it’s increasingly common to have an encounter with a snake. Whether they’re swimming through the lake directly towards you and your pet, or you encounter one while out for a walk together, the fact is you have to be on your guard. Many pets are downright intrigued when it comes to a slithering serpent, while others may get struck in a surprise attack. Water moccasins, or cottonmouths, have a reputation for being rather aggressive, so it’s best to have a proactive approach to pet safety around snakes.

A Lay of the Land

There are many – venomous and non-venomous – water snakes. While you may teach and train your pet to leave all snakes alone, we recommend at least a fundamental, working knowledge of what a water moccasin looks like:

  • Heavy-looking or thick body shape
  • Tan to brown coloring with darker cross bands
  • Rough-looking scales
  • Thick or blocky head shape
  • A visibly narrow-looking neck
  • Dark eye stripe or facial band
  • Vertical pupil
  • Heat-detecting facial pits between the eye and nostril

These snakes will not retreat before attacking a perceived threat, increasing the need for pet safety around snakes.

Avoidance Is Key

Most pet owners are highly tuned into possible dangers facing their pets while out and about. Taking it an extra step further, we offer the following helpful measures for pet safety around snakes:

  • Keep your pet’s off-leash time to a minimum
  • Discourage exploration near tall grasses, overgrown areas, or thick underbrush
  • Do not play catch the stick with your dog in bodies of water known for cottonmouths (they may inadvertently get ahold of one in the mouth, but rattlesnakes and copperheads can swim, too!)
  • Do not pick up or turn over large stones
  • Do not reach into crevices or holes

You’ll Know When It Happens

Pet safety around snakes must also include knowing the signs of a snake bite, and what to do to help your pet. Water moccasins are venomous and can cause:

  • Extreme pain at the bite site
  • Redness and swelling
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Blurry vision or vision loss
  • Numbness in the face and limbs
  • Increased salivation
  • Weakness

Inspect the bites marks closely if if your pet allows you to. Attempt to wash the wound with clean, soapy water and then wrap the area in sterile dressing. Seek emergency care immediately and on the way be sure to:

  • Remove the collar from the neck if there’s swelling
  • Keep the bite mark below your pet’s heart level
  • Calm your pet as much as possible, taking care to keep them as stationary as possible

Pet Safety Around Snakes

Pet safety around snakes is so critical because of the terrible consequences of a venomous bite. Low blood pressure, kidney damage, and blood clotting disorders are among them.

Once your pet is examined, we’ll test their blood. Pain medication, antihistamines, IV fluids, and more may be necessary. Sometimes, effects of snake bites aren’t exactly clear until later, increasing the importance of monitoring and repeated lab work.

Move Quickly

If you need our assistance with pet safety around snakes, please let us know at Carriage Hills Animal Hospital. Stay safe out there!

Service Spotlight: The Online Pet Pharmacy at Carriage Hills Animal Hospital

Use a trusted veterinarian online pet pharmacyOnline shopping has become the new normal in our modern world. You can order anything from groceries, household goods, clothing, and more to be delivered right to your doorstep. Pet owners aren’t excluded from the online shopping phenomenon, as they, too, can order nearly everything their pets need without ever getting off the couch.

While the internet and online shopping certainly has its place in our modern world, it can bring with it some serious, and even deadly, concerns, especially when it comes to ordering pet medications online. Carriage Hills Animal Hospital wants all of our beloved patients to stay safe and healthy, which is why we are now offering you the convenience and safety of a trusted online pet pharmacy.

Buyer Beware

It can be tempting to search out a good deal online for the medications or parasite preventives your pet needs. The lower prices and convenience of some online pet pharmacies can certainly sway you to order the medications rather than going through your veterinarian. Continue…

Pets and Slime: A Possibly Perilous Match

pets and slimeOne of the biggest trends among children is slime, although people of all ages find it intriguing. This gooey, stretchy, globby stuff has infiltrated craft and art supply stores, toy stores, schools, and Facebook feeds detailing quality recipes. While it’s definitely fun, pets and slime don’t mix. The worst part? Most animals are fascinated with whatever children are into, making an already dangerous situation even worse.

Continue…

Is Pet Boarding an Option During Spring Break?

School is out for a week (or more), and families/college students are bound for various travel destinations. Depending on your plans, your pet may be accompanying you on your trip. However, flights to foreign countries and long road trips aren’t always the top choice of territorial, travel-wary pets. This year, don’t compromise your plans for spring break. Instead, consider the wonderful benefits of pet boarding – your pet’s home away from home.

Continue…

Carriage Hills Animal Hospital’s Top 10 Pet Care Blogs of 2017

At Carriage HIlls Animal Hospital, we are so grateful for the opportunity to get to know our patients and their families this past year. As 2017 comes to a close, we reflect back on our year and are amazed at the trust you’ve placed in us to care for so many pets, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We’re grateful that you’re connecting with us, too, on our blog. Over the past few weeks, we’ve looked at which blogs you found the most useful, entertaining, and fun this year. With that information, we have compiled our Top 10 Pet Care Blogs of 2017. We hope you enjoy the Top 10, and keep letting us know which topics you’d like to hear more about!

Continue…

Ring in the New Year with Our Top New Year’s Resolutions for Pets

Dog with macaroonsThe beginning of a new year often signals a fresh start for those of us needing a change in our habits or routines. Here at Carriage Hills Animal Hospital, we believe that pets should be included in this yearly ritual of self-improvement. What better time to commit to changing your pet’s health and wellness routines for the better than the start of 2017?

If the idea of coming up with New Year’s resolutions for pets is new to you, we have you covered. Check out our simple and effective ideas for making a positive change in your pet’s health and wellness this year.

Continue…

Plain Old Heartbreak: Coping with Pet Loss

T boys and dad in yard burying petWhether you expect it after a long illness or it happens in a shocking or traumatic way, pet loss can stop you in your tracks. To be sure, preparation for a beloved pet’s final breath can only get you so far…The quiet, empty space left behind is anything but quiet or empty.

A pet can leave behind years of memories, and it’s common for pet owners, children, and fellow pets to endure all the stages of grief. The good news? You can all get through the loss of a special pet together.

The Truth About Mourning

We all know that our pets cannot live forever, but it’s nevertheless shocking when we have to let them go. We can prepare for the inevitable passing, but when it actually happens the grief, sadness, and despair takes over our sense of normalcy. The veterinary staff at Carriage Hills Animal Hospital are familiar with this part of life, and are positioned to help you and your family honor your pet.

Continue…