Dear Tabby, We’ve had our puppy on heartworm preventatives for about a year. The cost is starting to weigh heavily on our wallet and I was curious to know if our dog really needs heartworm prevention year-round. We haven’t seen a mosquito in months! Questioning Heartworm Meds in The Heights Dear Questioning Heartworm Meds, With Valentine’s Day upon us, we’re seeing cute, glittery hearts festooning every surface; but do you want to know what’s not as cute? A canine heart infested with heartworms. According to the American Heartworm Society, (yes, there is such a thing), “Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets in the United States and many other parts of the world. It is caused by foot-long worms (heartworms) that live in the heart, lungs and … [Read more...] about Can you save a dollar by skimping on year-round heartworm prevention?
Dear Tabby, We have a male cat who showed up at our house a few months ago. We’re not sure where he came from and it’s clear that he’s not neutered. We’re considering taking him in to get neutered but aren’t sure if we want to take on the responsibility of cat ownership. Looking For A Fix in Forest West Dear Looking For A Fix, In short, if you’re able to, you should definitely step up to the plate and get this cat fixed--and soon! There’s no doubt about it, neutering eases the strain of behavior issues and lessens the overpopulation of cats in our neighborhoods. A less invasive surgery than spaying, a neuter typically doesn’t even require stitches--only a dab or two of glue--and this boy will be back to his old (albeit, calmer and less intense) self in no time at … [Read more...] about To fix or not to fix? Is that EVEN a question?
Dear Tabby, We’d like to get a bird as a pet, but hate the idea of buying one from a breeder. Is it possible to adopt a bird? What do we need to know prior to getting one? Bringing Home A Birdie in Brooksmith Dear Bringing Home A Birdie, Thank you for your willingness to explore bird adoption before heading directly to a breeder or pet store! According to the website Petfinder.com, many people do not realize that there are thousands of birds that are looking for forever homes. Birds are beautiful, often exotic animals that are fun, social, and smart creatures – some even talk! These attributes have made birds popular pets in recent years. However, people often have unrealistic expectations about the amount of love and care it takes to properly care for a bird, which in … [Read more...] about Readers hoping to add a feathered friend to their flock
Dear Tabby, My husband and I just completed the Chevron Houston Marathon and have really enjoyed our training runs leading up to the big race. We also just got a puppy and we’d love to take our new addition along with us on our runs. Is this advisable? Ready to Run in Garden Oaks Dear Ready to Run, Congratulations on your marathon and your new canine addition! I’m sure, with all of that manic puppy energy in your home, you’re eager to find ways to help your puppy exercise. Since you’re both runners, taking the puppy along on your runs seems like a logical way to spend time with your pup and fit in your runs. Well, hold your horses a bit: Vets agree that dogs shouldn’t go jogging until their growth plates have closed. Dogs grow a lot in their first year, especially large … [Read more...] about Is running with the family safe for puppy?
Dear Tabby, With the cold weather that we’ve been having lately, I’ve been worried about how to keep my pets safe in colder temperatures. Obviously, all outdoor animals come inside when the weather is freezing, but are there any other cold-weather pet hazards that we need to consider? Chilly in Candlelight Estates Dear Chilly, Houston has experienced some rather unseasonably cold temperatures lately and there’s a good chance that winter is not quite done with us yet. While meteorologists remind us to protect our pipes, plants and pets during freezes, there’s more to it than just putting a sweater on your dog when the temperatures dip below freezing. Here are a few other things to consider: Watch Out for Outdoor Cats: If you have a cat–or even if you don’t and there … [Read more...] about Pet hazards to consider when temps drop