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8 Natural Home Remedies For Your Dog | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

8 Natural Home Remedies For Your Dog

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8 Natural Home Remedies For Your Dog | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

Most of us have home remedies which we like to use for ourselves.

Chicken soup when we’re sick.

Lavender oil for a headache.

A cucumber eye mask to help combat tired, puffy eyes.

However when it comes to our four-legged friends, we have to be careful, because some of the remedies we use for ourselves may not be so good for Fido.

Today we’ll take a look at some home remedies which can be used for our pups, and when to use them versus when to seek out veterinary treatments for your dog’s ailments.

Keep reading to learn what you can treat at home, and when to call the vet.

When Should You See Your Vet?

For certain minor things such as dry skin, or minor wounds, you are probably OK to give your dog a home remedy – though you should also make sure to bring it up at your next vet appointment.

However if your dog seems to be feeling under the weather or is acting strangely your best bet is to call your vet, because minor symptoms can often be indicators of a more serious condition.

You never want to risk an at home remedy making things worse, or your dog getting sicker because you’ve delayed a vet visit, so when in doubt, make an appointment.

What can you use to treat your dog safely at home? Keep reading to find out.

1. Yogurt

You’ve heard about the benefits of yogurt for humans – a great source of protein, calcium and of course those probiotics which are important for gut health.

Well, plain yogurt can have similar effects for your four-legged friends.

The live cultures in yogurt can help keep the balance in your dog’s intestines, however it still may not be the best option.

A better option is to look for probiotic supplements meant for canines specifically, but in a pinch, a bit of yogurt will work.

Make sure to choose plain, unsweetened, full-fat yogurt though, as some yogurts are sweetened with xylitol which can lead to a massive insulin spike and liver damage.

2. Chamomile Tea

I have fond memories from childhood of sharing a cup of chamomile tea with my father in the evening, to help calm me down before bedtime.

But it can also help decrease muscle spasms and cramps for your dog.

Chamomile also has anti-inflammatory properties, and can decrease inflammation of the stomach and intestines.

This tea can also be used topically to soothe raw skin – make a strong brew, let it cool in the fridge and use a spray bottle to apply.

3. Epsom Salts

An Epsom salt bath may be something us humans enjoy after a particularly strenuous workout, however they can also be used to help clean wounds.

An Epsom salt soak can help to drain abscesses, relieve pressure in wounds and promote healing for your pup.

Mix the salts with warm water, and apply for five to ten minutes a few times a day.

type of natural home remedies for your pet dog | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

4. Hydrogen Peroxide, Dishwashing Liquid, Or Baking Soda

You may have heard if your dog gets skunked, you should give them a bath in tomato juice.

But not only is this a messy solution, who has that much tomato juice on hand?

An easier solution, using ingredients you are more likely to have on hand to remove the skunk smell is to use four cups of hydrogen peroxide, one-third baking soda and a small amount of dishwashing liquid.

Apply this mixture to your pets coat, allow it to soak in for about five minutes and rinse well.

5. Vitamin E Oil

When I walk through the drugstore, there is no shortage of creams and oils containing vitamin E which claim to make my skin more moisturized and youthful-looking.

However aside from the superficial benefits, vitamin E Oil can be beneficial – not just for humans, but for dogs too.

Vitamin E can oil can offer protection from the sun’s harmful rays, which is great if you are spending a lot of time outdoors with your dog.

It can also help with dry skin, warts, and calluses.

Plus, if your dog decides to lick it off, it’s safe for them (although probably not as effective on those dry spots).

6. Licorice Root

If you’re picturing bright-red, candy flavoured Twizzlers, think again.

Licorice root is a form of cortisone, which can be used as a treatment for itchy skin.

It can be found in most health food stores, and can be used orally to help treat skin irritation.

It should be noted that cortisone is a steroid, which means you should always speak to your vet before giving it to your pet, especially if they are on any other medications as well.

7. Electrolytes

If you’re an athlete, you’ve probably heard of electrolyte replenishing drinks to rehydrate after an intense workout.

If you’re a parent, you may have used them to help your baby recover from illness.

However, if you have a dog who is experiencing diarrhea, drinks with electrolytes can help replenish electrolytes and fluids, especially if your dog’s appetite isn’t back to what it was.

Consult with your vet to determine the proper dosage for your dog.

8. Oatmeal

If you’ve ever had chicken pox, or come into contact with poison ivy, you may have been told to bath in a mixture of oatmeal, as it contains chemical compounds with anti-inflammatory properties.

And this is another case where what works for us humans can also be beneficial for our four-legged friends as well.

If your dog is experiencing skin allergies, itchy skin, or superficial infections, a mixture of oatmeal, or even an oatmeal bath (if they’ll let you) can be soothing.

As a bonus, it’s non-toxic, and safe if they decide to try to eat the mixture.

Call Bickford Park Animal Hospital

As you can see, many minor ailments which your dog might encounter can be easily treated with things you probably already have around the house.

However if any of these symptoms persist, if your pup is acting weird, or if you are worried that something might be wrong which goes beyond the minor symptoms mentioned here, Bickford Park Animal Hospital is here to help.

Don’t hesitate to contact us and bring your dog in for a visit if you want a second opinion.

10 More Delicious Foods That Are Poisonous For Your Dog | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

10 More Delicious Foods That Are Poisonous For Your Dog

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10 More Delicious Foods That Are Poisonous For Your Dog | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

Dogs are notorious for eating anything and everything they can get into.

From stealing an entire chicken, to munching on socks, I’ve heard it all.

For a big city dog, Toronto dog wellness is important to keeping your dog happy and healthy – and that starts with a balanced diet.

Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat

We looked at foods to keep away from your dog last month, however seeing as how some dogs will eat nearly anything, we felt it was important to continue to examine foods which your dog should steer clear of.

Keep reading to learn about what foods to stay away from.

1. Garlic

Garlic can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs, and result in symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and dehydration.

Although it would take a lot of garlic for your dog to become really sick, it’s best just to avoid it altogether – also, some dogs are more sensitive to it than others and a toxic dose spread over a few days’ time can be just as problematic as having it all at once.

2. Onions

Onions in all forms – powdered, raw, cooked, and dehydrated can be dangerous for your pup.

They damage and kill red blood cells, resulting in anemia.

If you think your dog has gotten into the onions, watch for signs such as weakness, vomiting, and breathing problems.

3. Avocado

Avocado contains a substance called persin, which can lead to vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.

Persin is found in the leaves, seeds, bark, and the fruit itself – so not only should you avoid feeding your dog a taste of your guacamole, but if you grow the plants themselves it should be kept away from your dog.

Additionally, the avocado pit can become lodged in the stomach or small intestine, which may require an internal medicine veterinarian, and complications from this can be fatal.

don't feed these poisonous foods to your dog | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

4. Chocolate

The fact that chocolate is bad for dogs is fairly common knowledge.

However many people assume the reason for this is the caffeine, or possibly the dairy.

And while neither of these substances are good for dogs, the big reason why it is not good is a substance called theobromine.

Theobromine is most concentrated in dark chocolate, and unsweetened chocolate usually used in baking.

It can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, heart issues, tremors, seizures, and death.

5. Raw Eggs

Feeding dogs a “raw diet”, which includes uncooked eggs is becoming more and more popular lately.

However feeding raw eggs to your dog is a bad idea for the same reason you personally should avoid raw eggs – there is a risk of food poisoning from bacteria such as salmonella, or E. coli.

6. Raw Meat

Another component of the “raw diet” is uncooked meat.

As with eggs, this carries a risk for bacteria which can lead to food poisoning.

Additionally, raw fish such as salmon, trout, and sturgeon can carry a parasite which can result in “fish disease”.

Watch for signs such as vomiting and inflamed lymph nodes.

7. Salt

As much as your dog might beg for a bite of your pretzels or chips, it’s important to ensure they don’t get too much salt.

Excessive salt consumption can make them thirsty and lead to sodium ion poisoning.

Symptoms to watch for include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, high temperature, and seizures.

In severe cases it can also lead to death.

8. Grapes

Grapes – and their shriveled counterparts, raisins – can lead to kidney failure for your dog.

Even a small amount can make them very sick.

Symptoms to watch for include vomiting, sluggishness, and depression.

9. Walnuts

In general, nuts are not good for dogs, due to their high fat content which can lead to stomach upset.

Black walnuts in particular are toxic to dogs, and if you have a walnut tree nearby it’s best to stay away from it.

Ingesting walnuts can lead to tremors and seizures.

10. Dairy Products

Out for a walk on a hot day, and tempted to get some ice cream?

Perhaps even share some ice cream with your dog?

You may want to reconsider this, as milk-based products can cause diarrhea and digestive upset in dogs.

They can also act as a trigger for food allergies, which can lead to itchiness.

What To Do If Your Dog Eats Something Toxic

So you’ve read our lists of what to keep your dog away from.

You’ve attempted to “dog-proof” your kitchen.

But your dog is sneaky and smart – and while most of the time you brag about how smart your dog is, this time she’s gotten into something she shouldn’t eat.

What now?

Be sure to always keep your vet’s phone number, as well as the number of your local emergency vet on-hand for these types of emergencies.

The ASPCA also has an Animal Poison Control Center which can be reached at (888) 426-4435.

If you suspect your dog has ingested harmful foods, or they are showing adverse symptoms be sure to contact your vet immediately.

Types of foods that are poisonous to your cat | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

5 More Delicious Foods That Are Poisonous For Your Cat

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Types of foods that are poisonous to your cat | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

Last month we looked at some of the foods which your cat should never eat, however we weren’t able to cover everything that should be avoided in one article.

Part of keeping your cat happy and healthy is ensuring they are eating a nutritionally balanced diet, and avoiding foods which can cause health issue, block important vitamins, or result in stomach upset, or worse.

So take it from a Toronto veterinarian, and keep reading to learn about 5 more foods which your cat should avoid.

For the first part of the list, click here to look at our last article on this topic.

Foods Your Cat Should Never Eat

Even though they can be picky eaters, some cats are less discerning than others, and if they get into food they shouldn’t have, we can end up looking at situations where the old adage “curiosity killed the cat” can ring sadly true.

Read on to learn about the foods you should avoid giving your cat – some may surprise you.

1. Liver

This one might not be something most people may not have to worry about. Since so many humans have a strong aversion to the taste of liver, it’s not something most people have in their homes.

However if you are one of those who does enjoy it, think twice before sharing your meal with your cat.

Although it can be OK in small amounts, too much liver can result in vitamin A toxicity.

This condition can affect your cat’s bones, and result in deformed bones, osteoporosis, and in extreme cases, death.

don't feed these poisonous foods to your cats | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

2. Raw Meat

Some people justify the practice of feeding their cats a diet containing raw meat, because they say it is closer to what cats would eat in nature, left to their own devices.

However, raw meat can contain bacteria which can result in food poisoning.

Additionally, there is an enzyme in raw fish in particular which can destroy the B vitamin thiamine.

Thiamine deficiency can result in neurological problems for your cat, and lead to convulsions and coma.

3. Raw Dough

If you make treats at home such as bread or homemade pizza, you know that the dough needs time to rise.

Eating raw dough results in the dough rising in your cats stomach, which can lead to stomach pain, and potentially the rupture of the stomach and intestines.

Raw dough can also ferment in the stomach, and release alcohol, which is also very dangerous for cats.

4. Potatoes

Raw potatoes contain a substance called solanine which is toxic to cats.

Consuming solanine can lead to lower gastrointestinal problems.

Cooked potatoes are free of solanine, as the heat destroys it – so if your cat nabs a bite of your mashed potatoes, or steals a French fry, you don’t need to worry.

5. Green Tomatoes

Solanine is also found in green, or unripe, tomatoes.

Although some cat foods contain tomatoes, they are in very small quantities, and the tomatoes used are ripe, so there is no safety issue in these cases.

If you have tomatoes in your garden, be sure to keep your cat from munching on the plants.

What To Do If Your Cat Eats Something Toxic

Even the pickiest of felines can surprise you with what they are interested in.

I once saw a cat walk up to someone eating French fries, sniff around a bit then take a big bite of fries – right out of their hand.

So if, despite your best efforts your cat gets into something they should not have, its best to be prepared.

The ASPCA also has an Animal Poison Control Center which can be reached at (888) 426-4435.

As well, keep numbers for your vet, as well as your local emergency vet clinic on speed-dial.

If you suspect your cat has ingested harmful foods, or they are showing adverse symptoms be sure to contact your vet straight away.

how to remove ticks from your pet | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

How To Remove A Tick From Your Pet

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how to remove ticks from your pet | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

Now that the sun is shining and you’re spending more time outside, there is increased chance of your furry friend being bitten by a tick.

As an animal hospital clinic in Toronto, we commonly see cases of pets having been bitten by ticks while outdoors in the summer

There are many diseases and illnesses often spread by ticks and if your dog or cat suffers a tick bite, they will be at risk of contracting one of these conditions.

It’s incredibly important as a pet owner to pay special mind to skincare for cats and dogs, and ticks are a big part of that.

Let’s dive into what a tick is, how to spot if your pet has been bitten by a tick, and the possible consequences of a tick bite.

What Is A Tick?

The tick is a member of the Arachnida classification, so it’s closely related to spiders and other arachnids.

They’ve been around for at least 90 million years so you know they’re hardy little creatures.

Ticks are usually 3-5mm in length and are external parasites that survive by feeding on the blood of various animals.

There are two families of ticks known to spread diseases to humans, which are hard ticks (or Ixodidae) and soft ticks (or Argasidae).

Hard ticks may bite and not let go for days, but it can take only hours for diseases to make their way into the host’s system.

Soft ticks, on the other hand, transmit diseases much faster — within minutes.

The bite of a soft tick is also more intensely painful than that of a hard tick, which can often go unnoticed.

Most bites are by females as males usually die after mating, but ticks of all ages and both sexes need blood meals to progress to the next stage of their life cycle.

Some species of tick can survive for more than a year without feeding but they will die eventually if they don’t find a blood meal.

You’re more likely to find ticks in warm, humid areas, but they’re seen all across the world.

What Does A Tick Bite Look Like?

If you’re spending a lot of time in grassy or wooded areas, you should be mindful of checking yourself and your pet for ticks.

Hard tick bites are usually painless and you may bring a tick in from outdoors, so even if you have an indoor cat you should check all of your pets for potential tick bites.

Check your dogs and cats for ticks daily between the months of April and September by combing your fingers through their fur, searching for small bumps.

Investigate any bumps you may find and look for a black or dark brown dot, ranging from the size of a pinhead to a grape.

Sometimes, the legs of the tick are visible.

The tick bite may be accompanied by a rash, swelling, numbness, or an itching/burning sensation.

If you find a tick attached to your pet, remove it immediately — keep reading for instructions on how to remove a tick safely.

Dangers Of Ticks

These tricky pests are disease vectors, meaning they transmit several diseases to animals and humans.

Ticks carry microbes in their mouth secretions, which get into your blood upon being bitten.

Dogs and cats are especially at risk of these diseases because they can’t share with you if they’ve been bitten & it’s up to you to keep them safe from ticks.

If your pet spends a lot of time outdoors during the warmer months, they have a much higher chance of coming into contact with a tick.

However, you can also accidentally bring a tick indoors on your clothing or shoes, so indoor pets should also be checked.

Let’s look at some of the dangers of ticks to understand why proactive tick prevention is so important for pet owners.

1. Anemia

Although rare, your dog or cat may develop anemia if they lose a large amount of blood from a tick bite, or series of tick bites.

Anemia means your body can’t create red blood cells fast enough, which can cause a lack of energy, dizziness, fainting, and weakness.

A disease we’ll discuss shortly called babesiosis may also cause hemolytic anemia, where red blood cells are destroyed faster than they can be made.

tick removal tips for dog | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

2. Lyme Disease

The main disease most people associate with tick bites is Lyme disease because it is one of the most common tick-transmitted conditions.

Although Lyme only causes symptoms in around 10% of affected dogs, the symptoms can be extremely painful and even fatal.

Humans, dogs, cats, and other animals are at risk of contracting Lyme disease.

The primary symptom of this disease is recurrent lameness due to joint inflammation, which can further progress to the following signs and symptoms:

– Swollen joints and stiff walk
– Sensitivity to touch
– Fever and lack of appetite
– Swollen lymph nodes near tick bite
– Rare heart abnormalities

One of the most dangerous complications of Lyme disease is kidney failure, which may set in as your pet experiences vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and increased thirst and urination.

To diagnose Lyme disease, your veterinarian will conduct a series of tests (blood chemistry tests, a urinalysis, X-rays, and fecal examinations, to name a few).

There are various antibiotics prescribed to treat Lyme disease in dogs and cats, though Doxycycline is the most common.

3. Ehrlichiosis

Another extremely common disease spread by ticks is ehrlichiosis.

Ehrlichiosis is caused by the brown dog tick and is often undiagnosed for a long time because symptoms take months to surface.

Symptoms include:

– Fever
– Loss of appetite and weight loss
– Runny eyes and nose
– Swollen limbs and joints
– Nose bleeds
– Low energy and depression

4. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

This next condition is caused by multiple species of tick: the American dog tick, the lone star tick, and the wood tick.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is a bacterial infection that can be deadly if not treated with antibiotics immediately.

RMSF usually lasts around two weeks, and symptoms include fever, general stiffness, skin lesions, and neurological issues.

5. Anaplasmosis

Another name for anaplasmosis is dog fever, or dog tick fever, and it is spread by the deer tick.

In extreme cases of this disease, animals may suffer seizures.

Typical symptoms of anaplasmosis are similar to those of other tick-transmitted diseases and include fever, stiff joints, lethargy, and loss of appetite.

Digestion issues such as vomiting and diarrhea may also occur.

6. Babesiosis

As mentioned earlier, babesiosis may cause anemia after being spread by a tick bite.

You can spot signs of babesiosis by inspecting your pet’s mouth, because it often causes pale gums as well as weakness and vomiting.

7. Bartonellosis

Caused by the brown dog tick, bartonellosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria in the Baratonella genus.

There are a minimum of 22 named species of bacteria in the Bartonella genus and they can cause a wide variety of illnesses including bartonellosis.

Common symptoms of bartonellosis include lameness and fever, and if this disease is left untreated it may result in heart or liver disease.

8. Hepatozoonosis

Unlike the other diseases on this list, hepatozoonosis is contracted through a much different method.

If your dog or cat decides to eat a disease-carrying tick (or does so accidentally), they are at risk of contracting this disease.

Hepatozoonosis causes fever, runny nose and eyes, bloody diarrhea, and muscle pain.

9. Tick Paralysis

Lastly, there is a rare form of animal paralysis that can be caused by a tick releasing a certain toxin.

Once the tick is removed, the paralysis is completely reversed — hence why it is so important to check your pet for ticks and get them removed as soon as possible.

The culprits known to cause tick paralysis are the Rocky Mountain wood tick and American dog tick.

After a female tick has fed for around a week, symptoms of this condition arise.

These symptoms include:

– Numbness and tingling, particularly in the limbs and face
– Weakness and fatigue
– Restlessness and muscle pain
– Irritability

As time passes, these symptoms worsen and progress to a lack of balance and eventually paralysis.

The paralysis caused by this toxin starts in the legs and travels upwards, often causing partial paralysis in one part of the body.

How To Remove A Tick From Your Dog Or Cat

Once you’ve located a tick feeding on your pet, the next step is to remove it as safely and quickly as possible.

In terms of tools, you’ll need a pair of disposable gloves and tweezers or forceps.

Using the tweezers, get as closely as you can to your pet’s skin and grab the tick by the head.

Pull confidently but gently away from your dog or cat’s body, and check to make sure you removed the entire tick.

Don’t assume the pest is dead upon removal — you may discard it and it could find its way back onto you or your pet’s skin.

Also, you will want to hold onto the tick in case any complications arise in the future.

You can put the tick into an air-tight jar with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol, and if there are any unfortunate consequences of the tick bite, it will be available for disease testing (and won’t be outdoors, ready to bite another).

After removal, keep an eye on your dog or cat and monitor their behaviour.

Is their temperature normal, and are they urinating/defecating as usual?

Fever, loss of appetite, stiffness, and joint pain are some of the first symptoms to show up in many tick-transmitted diseases.

Also, check on the bite area every day and look for rashes, redness, or any other signs of infection.

Contact Bickford Park Animal Hospital

It’s important to be knowledgeable about the potential diseases your pet is at risk of contracting from a tick bite.

Although it may be scary to read about these dangerous conditions, it’s best to be prepared and know the consequences of an encounter with a tick.

If you are proactive and engage in preventative tick treatment for your dog or cat, the chances of your beloved pet contracting one of these conditions will be drastically lowered.

If you have any questions about protecting your pet’s health, contact Bickford Park Animal Hospital.

We’ve been serving the Toronto area since 2012, and we would love to help you and your pet prepare for the peak of tick season.

At Bickford Park Animal Hospital, we know pets are family.

Reach out to our veterinary team and learn more about the services we provide for animals of all shapes and sizes.

Contact us at Bickford Park Animal Hospital today.

Preventative Medicine For Cats | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

Preventative Medicine For Cats

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Preventative Medicine For Cats | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

Despite their reputation for being less friendly than other furry companions, cats are incredible pets with a lot of love to give.

The average life span of cats is quite long, between 13 and 17 years, and there are steps you can take as a proactive pet owner to ensure your kitty lives a long and healthy life.

It’s important to look into veterinary wellness for cats if you’re a cat owner, or if you’re thinking about adding one to your family.

Let’s look at why preventative medicine is important and how it will enrich your cat’s life for years to come.

Why Is Preventative Medicine Important?

There’s nothing worse than discovering your beloved cat has an illness or issue that could have been prevented.

Preventative medicine is necessary because all every great pet owner wants is excellent quality of life for their pets.

Some health concerns are relatively common in cats but easily preventable, if you’re proactive and utilize the preventative medicine available to you from the moment you bring your kitty home.

1. A Healthy, Balanced Diet

The foundation of every healthy cat’s well being is a healthy and well-balanced diet, and it is your responsibility to make sure your kitten is eating what — and when — they should.

With the proper diet, your cat will be full of energy and better equipped to deal with any other health concerns that may arise.

Every cat needs a diet rich in protein and high-quality amino acids, which are typically found in most premium pet foods.

Cats require “life cycle feeding”, which means your cat’s age determines food quantity and ingredients.

Kittens require more calories and minerals because they’re always on the go and growing rapidly, while adult cats should be consuming a diet with a reasonable amount of calories to encourage a healthy body weight.

If you have any questions about choosing a proper diet for your cat, check in with your veterinarian — they’ll be able to work with you to ensure your kitty’s diet has enough nutrients and protein.

2. Spaying Or Neutering

One of the most important preventative care decisions you can make for your pet is whether or not to spay/neuter.

This surgery can prevent future problems that commonly affect cats, such as uterine infections, aggression/cat fights, spraying, roaming, and of course, overpopulation.

Spays and neuters are routine surgeries, so they are known to be safe. However, they are still major surgeries and require general anaesthesia.

Typically, cats are spayed or neutered at around 4-6 months old.

Your veterinarian is a great resource to help you learn more about the procedure and decide whether or not you want to spay/neuter your cat.

3. Vaccinations

Vaccinations are incredibly important for all household pets, and cats are no exception.

The purpose of vaccinations is not only to protect your pet, but to prevent the spreading of these dangerous illnesses.

Kittens need to receive vaccines as part of their preventative lifelong care, and booster shots should be administered when your kitten becomes an adult cat.

medicine for your cat to prevent illness | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

4. Parasite Control

Much like dogs, there are certain parasites and worms that try to find their way into your cat’s system and wreak havoc.

Thankfully there are ways for you to make sure your cat is parasite-free.

Many kittens are born with intestinal worms attached to the lining of their digestive system, which can cause painful symptoms and may even be life-threatening.

Intestinal worms affect the growth and overall energy of your cat by stealing their nutrients before they are properly digested.

Plus, these worms can be transmitted to humans — you don’t want to have a parasite outbreak happening in your home.

If you’re bringing a kitten into your family, make sure to visit your vet and have their stool checked for worm eggs.

Typically kittens are routinely dewormed, but it’s best to make absolutely sure your cat is 100% worm free.

Your vet may also recommend deworming medication, if and when necessary.

Fleas are another parasitical threat to you and your pets, and they are incredibly difficult to get rid of once you have an infestation.

Talk to your vet to keep your cat flea-free.

5. Routine Check-Ups

The best thing you can do for your cat is maintain regular communication with your veterinarian.

From parasite prevention to healthy diet tips to general health and well being, your vet can share all sorts of knowledge on pet care with you and your cat.

If you visit your doctor, dentist, and other various healthcare providers multiple times a year, why would you settle for less when it comes to your furriest family member?

Regular check-ups will keep you on top of your cat’s health and set you both up for a long and happy life together.

Contact Bickford Park Animal Hospital

Preventative care is absolutely crucial to give your cat the best chance at living a long, healthy life.

So many potential problems in your cat’s life can be avoided by being proactive and taking steps to ensure your cat’s health.

At Bickford Park Animal Hospital, we know pets are family members and they deserve the best care possible.

Our veterinary team would love to get to know you and your pet, and we can answer any questions you may have about preventative medicine.

For more information on veterinary care, contact Bickford Park Animal Hospital today.

How To Brush Your Pet's Teeth | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

How To Brush Your Pet’s Teeth

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How To Brush Your Pet's Teeth | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

Most humans acknowledge the importance of going to the dentist regularly (although whether they do this or not is another story).

When it comes to our pet’s teeth however, dental care is something which often gets overlooked.

Let a Toronto pet dentist tell you why your pet’s dental care is important, and how to go about helping your pet keep their teeth healthy.

Do You Need To Brush Your Pet’s Teeth?

You probably brush your teeth at least two, maybe three times a day.

Dental care is important, and prevention is the best way to avoid needing pricey procedures later on.

Just as with humans, taking care of your pet’s teeth can help prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar, and brushing their teeth regularly means you remain aware of changes in their mouth, including noticing signs of gum disease, trauma, or other issues.

Your pet can’t tell you if something hurts, or is irregular, so brushing their teeth and getting to know what is “normal” makes it more likely you will recognize when something is wrong – and then you can deal with any issues before they escalate.

Keep reading to learn why to brush your pet’s teeth, and some tips on how to do it.

1. Deals With Bad Breath

I don’t know many people who would say their dog’s breath smells good.

Not only is bad breath unpleasant, it can be an indicator of dental disease.

Regular teeth cleaning can not only help deal with your pets smelly breath, but also makes you more aware of issues which might come up, as you become familiar with what smells are “normal” and which are not.

2. Prevents Periodontal Disease

Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease can result in inflamed, swollen, and bleeding gums.

Brushing teeth regularly can help protect against periodontal disease.

In its advanced stages, periodontal disease may necessitate tooth extraction, which you want to avoid.

3. Helps You Detect Signs Of Oral Pain

Your pet won’t always show you when they are in pain.

Although an injury to a limb may result in an obvious sign such as limping, there is not always an outward sign of dental pain.

Brushing your pet’s teeth means you will be more likely to notice if something is wrong that might be causing them pain.

How To Get Your Pet To Not Hate Teeth Brushing

If you have never brushed your pet’s teeth before, it may take a few attempts to be successful and get them to cooperate.

Here are some tips for getting them to cooperate with you, and with some practice you will soon become a pro at pet dental-hygiene.

how to brush your dog or cat's teeth | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

1. Use A Tasty Toothpaste

What flavour is your toothpaste?

Probably some form of mint.

Maybe bubblegum or fruit flavoured if you have kids.

What if I told you there was toothpaste flavoured like beef, seafood, or peanuts?

These are some of the flavours toothpaste for dogs and cats come in.

Don’t be tempted to share your own toothpaste with your pet – although humans know not to swallow toothpaste, chance are some will be ingested when brushing your pets teeth, so specially formulated products meant for pets are your best option.

2. Don’t Try To Force Their Mouth Open

If you’ve ever tried to pry a stolen object from your dog’s mouth so they don’t swallow it, you know how difficult it can be.

When it comes to teeth-brushing you want to make it a pleasant experience for them, so you can continue to do it on a regular basis, and forcing their mouth open can lead to them panicking, struggling, and result in aversion to future brushing attempts.

Start gradually, get them used to the taste of the toothpaste and be sure to offer rewards for good behaviour and cooperation.

3. Don’t Push Too Hard

Just as you would not brush your own teeth too hard or roughly, be gradual and gentle with your pet.

Pull their gums back gently, and brush gently, from the gum line to the tip of the tooth.

Practice makes perfect, and you’ll want to make sure that the experience is pleasant for your pet.

4. Get A Professional Cleaning First

Before attempting to brush your pets teeth, consider a professional cleaning through your vet first.

Otherwise you could just end up pushing bacteria around, and back into the bloodstream.

“I Tried All That, And They Still Hate It”

Sometimes, despite your best efforts a pet just will not let you brush their teeth.

There are still ways you can protect their teeth, even if brushing is not an option.

Feeding quality pet food can go a long way to help maintain good dental health (and overall health as well).

There are also pet foods specifically formulated to help keep your pets teeth clean – these will often be labeled as “dental diets”.

Look for foods approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC).

There are also pet-safe chews and toys approved by the VOHC which can help keep your pets teeth clean and disease-free.

Contact Bickford Park Animal Hospital

Are you worried about your pet’s oral health?

Or maybe you just want a check-up to ensure everything is in good shape.

Perhaps you’ve tried our tips and can’t quite get your dog or cat to cooperate with having their teeth cleaned, and need a professional to step in.

Bickford Park Animal Hospital can help.

All of our vets are trained in veterinary dentistry, and can help assess your pet’s teeth and set up a treatment plan if required.

Call us to set up an appointment today.

Some Tips For Preventative Care For Your Dog | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

Some Tips For Preventative Care For Your Dog

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Some Tips For Preventative Care For Your Dog | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

All every pet owner wants is to give their furry friend the best life possible, and this means doing everything you can to keep your pet healthy and happy.

Preventative care is crucial for your dog’s well being and it should begin from the moment you decide to add a dog to your family.

We know how being a dog owner enriches your life, and it’s important to be proactive when it comes to your pet’s health.

From regular vet visits to vaccinations to things you can do at home, there are important steps you should take to ensure the long-term health of your dog.

There are many online resources where you can learn more about veterinary wellness for dogs.

Keep reading for our top tips on basic preventative care for dogs.

Why Is Preventative Medicine Important?

There’s nothing worse than finding out your dog has a health issue that could have been prevented.

Obtaining all of the knowledge necessary to ensure your pup has a long and healthy life is the first step in being the best pet owner you can be.

Taking these quick and simple steps can save you stress, pain, and money in the long run – but of course the most important thing is ensuring the health and happiness of your dog.

1. Know Your Breed

Knowing all there is to know about your dog’s breed is necessary for you to give them the best care possible.

It will also prepare you for any breed-specific illnesses or conditions that may arise at some point in your dog’s life.

For example, if you have a large deep-chested dog, issues such as bloat and volvulus are more common and can be managed by avoiding meals before exercise.

Flat-nosed dogs are more likely to develop heat stress, which is also manageable if you are aware it affects your dog.

Hip dysplasia is another condition affecting certain breeds of dogs.

Reading up on your dog’s breed and learning about how to best care for them is necessary when you are responsible for their health.

How to provide better care for your dogs | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

2. Keep Your Vaccinations Up To Date

Vaccinations are incredibly important in keeping your dog free from disease.

Puppies must be vaccinated at around 6-8 weeks, 10-12 weeks, then again at 14-16 weeks.

After your dog receives their third round of shots, vaccines are typically administered annually or every three years.

The vaccination schedule may vary depending on risk factors, and is up to the discretion of you and your veterinarian.

Disease outbreaks happen, even if certain diseases are not as common as they used to be, which is why it’s important for your pup to stay up-to-date on their shots.

Annual vaccinations for dogs are also a great time for your vet to check up on your dog’s overall health and well-being.

3. Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

Dogs need regular teeth cleanings, just like us humans!

Using a gentle brush with soft bristles and toothpaste formulated specially for pets, brushing your dog’s teeth daily can prevent periodontal (gum) disease.

Dental disease can lead to more serious problems such as infection, pain, and damage to their internal organs.

There are many risks involved with putting your dog under general anaesthesia, which is often necessary with dental surgery – so preventative care is extremely important when it comes to your dog’s teeth and gums.

Other ways to take care of your pet’s dental health are water additives, raw meaty bones, and dental diets – check in with your vet for more information.

4. Feed Them A Healthy, Balanced Diet

Diet is the foundation for good health, which is why you should be feeding your dog a well-balanced diet of high-quality food.

Your vet can recommend some healthy treats that are less processed and artificial than many other treats on the market. You can also look for foods that have the AAFCO label or foods approved by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA).

Home cooking your dog’s meals can be a great choice, but make sure you work with your vet to formulate a healthy diet plan.

Fatty or rich foods should be avoided, and cooked bones are unsafe – if you’re giving your dog bones, make sure they are raw.

Some bones are extremely hard, such as beef, pork, or lamb bones.

They can potentially cause a tooth fracture, so your dog should be eating the meat off of these kinds of bones rather than chewing on the bone itself.

Your dog’s diet should be healthy, high-quality, and full of the protein and nutrients necessary for optimal health.

5. Deal With Parasites And Fleas

Internal parasites and fleas can be immensely stressful for you, and potentially very harmful for your pet.

In terms of preventative care for parasite control, there are steps you can take to keep your dog worm-free.

Typically, worming should be started when your dog is 2 weeks of age and repeated every fortnight for 12 weeks.

After that, preventative treatment should maintain monthly for 6 months (or longer, for heartworm).

For intestinal worms, treatment should reduce to every 3 months.

Talk to us here at Bickford Park Animal Hospital to find out what sort of heartworm treatment is best for your dog.

Fleas, meanwhile, are incredibly pesky creatures, and they’re very difficult to eradicate once you have an infection.

Monthly flea treatments are recommended, even if you don’t see any obvious fleas.

Did you know that female fleas can lay 50 eggs per day? These eggs are tiny and can easily be brought into your home by accident.

Getting rid of a flea infestation is a lengthy process, but taking steps to prevent ever having an infestation in the first place is much easier.

6. Bring Them In For Routine Check-Ups

The best thing you can do for your dog is maintain an ongoing relationship with your veterinarian and take your pet for regular check-ups.

Your vet can inform you about breed specific concerns, vaccinations, healthy diet tips, and so much more.

When it comes to preventative care and building a strong, healthy foundation for your dog to grow, it’s key to keep your vet in the know on your dog’s well being.

Thorough examinations will give you peace of mind and allow you and your pet to enjoy life together without worry.

Your vet is also a great resource for any questions you may have about pet care, from general health to behavioural concerns.

Make sure you take your dog for a vet check-up every 6 months or so, even if there are no immediate or obvious issues.

Contact Bickford Park Animal Hospital

Preventative pet care will ensure your dog lives a long and happy life, with you giving them the best care possible.

If you have any questions or want to speak with an experienced veterinary team, contact Bickford Park Animal Hospital.

We offer a variety of veterinary services to help you ensure your dog’s health, for years to come.

The Toronto area has been our home since 2012, and we would love to get to know you and your dog.

At Bickford Park Animal Hospital, our passion and love for animals shows in the work we do.

Contact us Bickford Park Animal Hospital today.

10 Delicious Foods That Are Poisonous For Your Cat | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

10 Delicious Foods That Are Poisonous For Your Cat

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10 Delicious Foods That Are Poisonous For Your Cat | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

Even though it’s dogs who seem to get the reputation for eating anything and everything in their path, any cat owner who has been woken up at 4am by their cat standing over their face and demanding breakfast knows our feline friends are just as motivated by food as their canine counterparts.

And while some cats can be extremely picky eaters, others are just as eager to eat whatever they can get their whiskers into.

Today we will look at nutrition for cats, and some of the foods which they should steer-clear of in order to live long, happy, and healthy lives.

Foods Your Cat Should Never Eat

Before sharing your dinner with your cat, read over this list of foods which they should stay away from – preferably before they climb on your table and start eying your plate like it’s prey…

1. Tuna

Before you go tossing away all of your tinned cat food, bear with me for a moment here.

Some tuna every so often won’t hurt your cat, however they require a larger variety of foods in their diet for proper nutrition – and because cats can be picky creatures, it’s easy to fall into giving them the same favourite foods again and again.

Too much tuna in the diet can lead to mercury poisoning however, and tuna made for human consumption is lacking in vital nutrients your cat needs – tuna specifically manufactured for cats has added nutrients to make it more nutritionally complete.

Also – avoid sharing your sushi with your cat.

Raw tuna carries risks such as salmonella and E. coli, and although we humans face the same risks, they are much greater for your cat whose body size is much smaller than yours.

2. Dairy Products

Even though the image of cats and kittens lapping up milk is a common one, this generally isn’t a good idea.

Many cats are lactose intolerant, and cannot properly process dairy.

Giving them cow’s milk or other dairy products can lead to vomiting and diarrhea.

3. Caffeine

Although many humans need coffee or tea in the morning to get moving, it needs to be kept away from your cat.

Caffeine can cause muscle tremors, heart palpitations, and rapid breathing for your feline friends.

Sadly the effects of caffeine poisoning can be fatal – and there is no antidote.

4. Grapes

Even though there are no reported cases of cats becoming sick from eating grapes, or their shriveled counterpart, raisins, this fruit has been known to cause acute kidney failure in dogs.

Therefore, we recommend playing it safe and not allowing your cat to eat grapes either.

unhealthy cat foods | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

5. Alcohol

Even the tiniest amount of alcohol can be deadly for your cat.

It has the same effect on your cat’s liver and brain as it does on yours, however due to their smaller body size, even just a couple of teaspoons can have devastating effects – from coma, to death.

6. Onions

Onions may be a delicious addition to your cooking, however don’t share them with your cat.

All forms of onion – including powdered, raw, and cooked can cause your cats red blood cells to break down, resulting in anemia.

If they manage to take a bite of your burger, and ingest a small amount one-time, it’s probably nothing to worry about too much, however eating a large quantity or having it on a regular basis can cause onion poisoning.

Garlic and chives can cause gastrointestinal upset as well.

7. Chocolate

Chocolate contains the compound theobromine.

It is found in all forms of chocolate, however it is most concentrated in dark, and unsweetened varieties.

Ingestion of theobromine can lead to heart problems, muscle tremors, or seizures.

Add to this the fact that chocolate contains caffeine, which we discussed earlier, and it’s best just to keep it away from your cat altogether.

8. Xylitol

Xylitol is found in sugar-free foods such as chewing gum.

Although there are no records of this sugar-free sweetener causing illness in cats, it can cause seizures and convulsions in dogs, and eventually lead to liver failure.

Better safe than sorry, due to the effects Xylitol has on dogs, it’s best to keep it away from cats as well.

9. Raw Eggs

One of the reasons not to give your cat raw eggs may seem fairly obvious.

This is the risk of salmonella or E. coli. which is the same risk humans face when eating raw eggs.

The other is that a protein in raw egg whites, called avidin, can interfere with the absorption of vitamin B – this can lead to skin problems for your cat.

10. Dog Food

If your cat gets into the dog’s dish and has a few bites, it probably won’t hurt them.

However cat food and dog food are separate for a reason, as cats and dogs have different nutritional needs.

Eating dog food instead of cat food on a regular basis can cause your cat to be severely malnourished.

What To Do If Your Cat Eats Something Toxic

Although cats can be known as notoriously picky eaters, sometimes what they can get into surprises even the most careful pet owners.

And sometimes they are attracted not by the food, but by the shiny packaging – I know of one cat who decided the silver, tin-foil wrappers on Hershey’s Kisses were “interesting”.

So if, despite your best efforts your cat gets into something they should not have, its best to be prepared.

Keep numbers for your vet, as well as that of your local emergency vet clinic on-hand for these types of emergencies.

The ASPCA also has an Animal Poison Control Center which can be reached at (888) 426-4435.

If you suspect your cat has ingested harmful foods, or they are showing adverse symptoms be sure to contact your vet straight away.

10 Delicious Foods That Are Poisonous For Your Dog | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

10 Delicious Foods That Are Poisonous For Your Dog

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10 Delicious Foods That Are Poisonous For Your Dog | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

Dogs are man’s best friend, right?

And when those sweet puppy-dog eyes come along and stare at you, begging for a bite of food, it can be hard not to give in.

However before you offer Fido a piece of your dinner, it’s important to recognize some foods which we as humans love, can be harmful – deadly even – to our furry family members.

Keep reading to learn more about nutrition for dogs, and some of the foods which you should never share – no matter how much they make puppy-dog eyes at you.

Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat

So what is safe to share and what should you keep away from your dog at all costs?

While some of these may seem like common sense (I don’t think many people are sharing their beer with their pets) others may not be so obvious.

Keep reading to learn what you should never feed your dog.

1. Alcohol

Even though you might love a nice glass of beer or wine after a long day, this treat that humans love can be very dangerous for your dog.

Alcohol does the same thing to a dog’s liver and brain as it does for humans, however it only takes a very small amount to see adverse effects.

From vomiting and diarrhea, to problems with coordination, difficulty breathing, coma, and death – it’s probably best for Fido to stick to water.

2. Coffee

Although for many humans, coffee is an essential substance needed to start the day, it’s not the same for dogs.

Caffeine in coffee – as well as things like cocoa, cola, and chocolate can be fatal for dogs.

3. Tea

Curling up with a nice ‘cuppa tea, good book, and your dog at your feet may seem like the perfect way to spend a quiet afternoon.

Just don’t share your tea with your dog – as with coffee, the caffeine in tea can be harmful.

foods that will make your dog sick | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

4. Xylitol

Xylitol is a commonly used sweetener, often used in candy, gum, and diet foods.

If your dog gets his paws on it, it can lead to low blood sugar and liver failure.

Symptoms to watch for include vomiting, lethargy, and seizures.

5. Macadamia Nuts

For humans, macadamia nuts can be a great, and healthy snack.

High in protein, fibre, and healthy fats – what’s not to love?

For dogs however, it’s a different story.

As few as six macadamia nuts can be enough to cause symptoms such as vomiting, fever, and weakness.

6. Pitted Fruits

Pits from peaches, persimmons, and plums can be primarily problematic for your precious pup.

Say that five times fast.

Or don’t.

The bottom line is pits from fruits can become lodged in the small intestine and cause problems and blockages.

Additionally, some fruit pits contain cyanide which is poisonous to both humans and dogs, but your dog doesn’t know to avoid them.

7. Uncooked Dough

Who doesn’t love to sneak a taste of cookie dough when making baked goods?

Even though we’ve all heard many times over about how you shouldn’t do this – I know I’m guilty.

And this habit, while bad for humans, is also bad for dogs.

The risks are the same for both of us – salmonella or E. coli which can be found in raw eggs.

8. Baking Soda

Baking soda is very handy to have around the house, and can have many uses – who doesn’t have a box in their fridge to absorb food odours?

However this useful product can be harmful to pets if ingested in large amounts.

Did you spill some baking soda and your sneaky pup managed to lick some up before you could clean it?

Watch for vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, tremors, and seizures.

These symptoms will generally occur within three hours of ingestion.

9. Nutmeg

Nutmeg can invoke feelings of warmth, and make us think of the holidays, however before you offer your new pup a taste of grandma’s favourite cookies, consider this may not be the best idea.

Nutmeg contains a compound called Myristicin which is toxic to dogs.

In high doses, it can cause hallucinations, disorientation, increased heart rate and blood pressure, abdominal pain, and seizures.

In smaller amounts, you may see mild vomiting or diarrhea, or possibly no side effects at all.

When hosting holiday parties, be sure to tell your guests not to feed any snacks to your dog – no matter how much they beg, it’s not worth the risk.

10. Sugary Food

Too much sugary food can have the same effects on dogs as it does on people.

It can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and teeth problems.

Avoid health issues in the future by avoiding sharing sweet treats with your dog today.

What To Do If Your Dog Eats Something Toxic

So despite your best attempts to keep these foods away from your dog, she somehow managed to get her sneaky paws on some anyways.

What now?

Be sure to always keep your vet’s phone number, as well as that of your local emergency vet on-hand for these types of emergencies.

The ASPCA also has an Animal Poison Control Center which can be reached at (888) 426-4435.

If you suspect your dog has ingested harmful foods, or they are showing adverse symptoms be sure to contact your vet straight away.

Why Is My Cat Refusing To Eat? | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

Why Is My Cat Refusing To Eat?

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Why Is My Cat Refusing To Eat? | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

Many of us think of our pets as our children, but unlike human children cats can’t tell us specifically why something is wrong.

If your cat isn’t eating, there are a number of reasons why this could be, and it can be especially worrying if you are used to being woken up at 5am every morning by a small furry creature demanding food (tip: automatic feeders can help ensure you get your full night’s sleep).

Before you take your kitty to get nutritional counseling for cats, let’s look at some of the reasons why your cat may be refusing to eat.

What Happens When Your Cat Stops Eating?

If your cat is refusing to eat, their body will turn to fat reserves for energy.

In order for stored fat to be used for energy, it is processed in the liver, which requires protein.

As protein supplies are depleted to convert fat to energy, a condition called hepatic lipidosis can occur, which can result in liver failure.

Why Isn’t Your Cat Eating?

There are a number of reasons why your cat may not be eating.

From illness to anxiety, many of the reasons for a loss of appetite are the same as why humans might experience this.

The sooner you can pinpoint the reason and take appropriate action, the better a chance you will have to do something which will make a difference for your furry friend.

Keep reading to learn about common reasons why your cat may not be eating.

1. Illness

There are a number of illnesses which may cause your cat to stop eating.

From the relatively minor, such as a toothache, to serious issues such as kidney failure, pancreatitis, or even cancer.

If you suspect this to be the case, be sure to see your vet to pinpoint the precise cause.

2. Anxiety or Depression

Is your cat depressed?

Anxiety or depression could be the reason for a loss of appetite, especially if you have had changes in your home.

Moving to a new home, the addition of another person or new pet, or even changes to your schedule (perhaps you used to work from home and took a new job where you are away more often) can trigger these issues in your cat.

reasons why a pet cat refuses to eat | Bickford Park Animal Hospital | Toronto Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care

3. Recent Vaccination

Vaccines are super important for both humans, and our pets.

But they can sometimes result in side effects such as loss of appetite.

The good news here is that this reaction is usually temporary, and after a day or so Fluffy will be back to normal.

4. Being In Unfamiliar Surroundings

Have you moved recently?

Cats don’t always adjust well to new environments – they are creatures of habit and don’t always respond well to change.

Additionally, if you have had them in a vehicle, motion sickness could also be a factor in refusal to eat.

5. General Finickiness

Some cats are just picky.

If you’ve had to change the food you are giving them, it could take a while for them to get used to it.

How To Encourage Your Cat To Eat

No matter the reason for your cat’s refusal to eat, if they go without food long enough the consequences can be heartbreaking.

If it’s a question of having a picky eater, one tip for changing cat foods is to do it gradually, and give a mix of the old food and the new food, gradually increasing the amount of the new food and decreasing the old until you are feeding only the new food.

Never try to starve your cat into eating a particular type of food – always be sure they have an option that they will eat readily available as you transition to a new food.

If your cat isn’t eating due to illness, you should work with your veterinarian to find the best solution.

Sometimes a cat who is sick will refuse dry kibble but be willing to try canned wet food more easily.

Other times medications may be used to help stimulate appetite.

In extreme cases syringe-feeding a liquid diet to ensure your cat is getting proper nutrients, or use of an IV may be needed.

Contact Bickford Park Animal Hospital

Are you worried about your cat?

Have they stopped eating, or exhibiting other behaviours which are out-of-the-ordinary?

Here at Bickford Park Animal Hospital we want to help, to ensure you have as many happy years with your furry friends as possible.

Contact us today to book a consultation.