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Treating Your Pet Like A Family Member

To Spay Or Not To Spay? Is It Really Even A Question? Top 3 Best Reasons To Spay Your Furry Friend

Posted by on Feb 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on To Spay Or Not To Spay? Is It Really Even A Question? Top 3 Best Reasons To Spay Your Furry Friend

There are pet owners that neglect to spay their female pets, thinking that opting out of the procedure will help their furry child in the long run. However, spaying your female pet before she even hits her first menstrual cycle is both a responsible and smart decision to make. Spaying your female pet will prevent many things, not just pregnancy. Being on the fence about spaying your pet is completely natural. You want to gather all of the information you can before making a major decision like this. To help you with your decision, below is a list of the most common benefits that are available to your pet when choosing to get them spayed. Longer Life Expectancy You can help prevent certain pet diseases when you choose to spay your little furry friend. Female dogs that aren’t spayed are more susceptible to diseases like uterine infections and breast cancer. In fact, about fifty percent of all deaths among dogs is caused by cancer. Another scary fact is that fifty percent of breast tumors that are found in female dogs are malignant. When you have your female pet spayed before she starts her first menstrual cycle, you significantly reduce her chances of getting breast cancer. A Better Behaved Pup A female pet usually goes into heat starting at about six months. If your pet is not spayed, generally this cycle will last two to three weeks and will reoccur twice a year. During this delicate time in your pet’s life, she will start exhibiting some pretty bad behavior, like peeing over your house to prove her dominance, howling at anything and everything and nipping more often than usual. Spaying your pet before she goes into heat will stop these problems before they even happen. It will also circumvent any unneutered males from smelling her heat and trying to mark his territory over her. Better Community, Overall Once you have your pet spayed, it means that there is no longer a chance that she can get pregnant and have litters of unwanted or hard to place pets. When your female pet is spayed, there will be lesser unwanted animals being euthanized and less crowding in already overcrowded animal shelters. There will also be less stray animals walking the streets, which will help prevent animal involved car accidents. Stray pets have the tendency to nip or bite and strangers. So spaying your pets will make your community safer for everyone. There is really no reason to be on the fence about spaying your female pet. It is a decision that will not only effect you, but also everyone around you. Spaying your pet is a responsible and smart decision and it will make your entire community a safer place to be. To learn more, contact a spay clinic like Akaal Pet...

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Doggy Gotta Go! 4 Tips To Help Your Canine Overcome A UTI

Posted by on Feb 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Doggy Gotta Go! 4 Tips To Help Your Canine Overcome A UTI

Your dog used to be able to hold its urine all day long. Now it seems like it’s constantly waiting to go outside. If you’ve noticed that your dog is urinating more frequently, it may have a urinary tract infection. Urinary tract infections make it difficult for the bladder to empty properly, which is why your dog needs to go outside more often. If you suspect that your dog has a urinary tract infection, you should take it to the veterinarian at a place like Murrells Inlet Veterinary Hospital as soon as possible. In addition to the care your veterinarian will provide, here are some simple steps that will help relieve some of the discomfort your dog may be experiencing. Increase the Potty Breaks When urine remains in the bladder for too long, the bacteria levels can build up. When that happens, your dog may experience more pain and discomfort. You can help your dog release the urine by increasing the potty breaks. Don’t wait for your dog to go to the door. Instead take your dog outside at least once every hour. This will help your dog empty its bladder and relieve the pressure. Once the infection is cleared up, you can prevent a recurrence by continuing with the increased potty breaks. Juice Things Up The same juice that helps relieve the symptoms of human UTIs can also be used on your dogs. Cranberry juice is an excellent way to help reduce the discomfort of a canine urinary tract infection. Simply add cranberry juice to a bowl of fresh water and allow your dog to drink it throughout the day.  Get Them Moving If your dog leads a sedentary life, meaning that it spends most of its time indoors, you might want to increase its physical activity. Getting your dog moving at least once a day will help prevent urine retention. Watch for Warning Signs Most urinary tract infections will clear up in a few days. However, in some cases, complications can arise from the infection. If your dog is still experiencing discomfort after a few days, or exhibits any of the following signs, you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. The warning signs to look for include these: Lack of urination Blood in urine Loss of appetite Urinary tract infections aren’t just a human thing. If your dog is having difficultly urinating, or is urinating more frequently, it may have a UTI. The tips provided above will help your pet recover from the...

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Eye Issues That May Affect Your Dog

Posted by on Dec 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Eye Issues That May Affect Your Dog

Eye issues are just as dangerous for dogs as they are for humans. While there are many relatively benign conditions, such as seasonal allergies, that will clear up on their own with no lasting damage, there are also eye problems that can result in blindness or provide symptoms of internal illnesses. Blepharitis in dogs This is an infection that affects the eyelids and surrounding tissues rather than the eyes themselves. Symptoms of blepharitis include: Swollen, itchy eyelids Watery or mucus-filled discharge Crusted flaky skin around the eyes, which may cause eyelids to be stuck together Causes of blepharitis  Genetic abnormalities, especially in breeds with excessive facial skin folds and other exaggerated features. Eyelashes that grow inward, in an errant fashion, or through the eyelid. These conditions are also genetic and more likely to affect specific breeds. Allergic reactions to insect bites, flea infestation, and medications. Autoimmune disorders Staph or strep bacterial infections  Viral infections Diagnosis and treatment of blepharitis in dogs Diagnosis will require a trip to a vet hospital, where samples of infectious material will be taken to be analyzed to determine the cause. Bacterial infections will be treated with antibiotics, while congenital deformities may require surgery to alleviate persistent occurrences. Conjunctivitis in dogs This is the same type of conjunctivitis, known as pink eye, that affects humans. It is an infection of the conjunctiva, the tissue that covers the eye. Symptoms of conjunctivitis include: Red eyes Swollen or stuck-together eyelids Watering eyes Intense itching that causes constant pawing at eyes Causes of conjunctivitis: Allergic reactions to mold, pollen, and other common allergens. Seasonal and not contagious. Upper respiratory or other types of viral infections. Highly contagious. Staph or strep bacterial infections. Also highly contagious. Diagnosis and treatment Although conjunctivitis is usually not serious, some of the symptoms are similar to more dangerous conditions, so a trip to the veterinarian would be advisable. Cold compresses are good for relief of symptoms and to remove excessive buildup of discharge from the eyelids. Antibiotics will be prescribed for bacterial infections and antihistamines for allergic reactions. Glaucoma This is a very serious condition, caused by the buildup of pressure inside the eye. If it is not diagnosed and treated soon upon onset, damage to the optic nerve and blindness will result. Symptoms of glaucoma include: Cloudy eyes Dilated or unresponsive pupils Eyes that begin to recede inside the eye socket Obvious loss of vision Causes of glaucoma While glaucoma can be caused by injury or infection, it is usually genetic in origin and occurring with greater incidence in specific breeds. Treatment While many cases of glaucoma don’t respond to treatment and result in eventual blindness or removal of affected eyes, veterinary care through a company like Grove Center Veterinary Hospital can save eyesight in some cases with aggressive treatment, including medication to relieve pressure in the affected eyes. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential in preserving sight for affected dogs, so if your dog exhibits any symptoms of glaucoma, they should be taken to an animal hospital as soon as possible for an...

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Are Black Spots On Your Cat’s Gums A Problem?

Posted by on Dec 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Are Black Spots On Your Cat’s Gums A Problem?

If you’ve noticed that your cat’s gums have black spots on them, you may understandably be concerned. Any kind of blemishes, marks, or lesions on the skin of any animal are something that deserve attention. This guide will explain what the black spots on your cat’s gums might be, and what you can do about them. Lentigo One of the most common causes of black spots on cat’s gums is a skin condition called lentigo. Lentigo is a non-harmful skin disorder in which the body produces abnormal amounts of melanin over portions of a cat’s skin and gums. Melanin is what turns skin dark and protects against sun damage, but sometimes a cat’s body may distribute melanin abnormally, resulting in isolated black spots. Lentigo is not a dangerous disorder and shouldn’t cause any harm to your cat. However, you can expect your cat to develop more black spots as they age. Periodontal Disease You might be surprised to learn that 85% of cats may develop dental disease once they’re past the age of three. Unfortunately, unlike lentigo, black spots on the gums that signify periodontal disease are a serious sign that your cat’s health is at risk. Black spots on the gums in association with periodontal disease generally indicate that the teeth, roots of the teeth, or even the gums themselves are decaying. Once a cat has developed periodontitis, it cannot be reversed through tooth brushing at home. Determining Cause There are a few easy ways to tell the difference between periodontitis and lentigo. Lentigo has no additional symptoms, since it’s just a build-up of melanin. However, periodontitis may have many other symptoms, including: Sensitivity – Cats with poor oral health may avoid being petted on the face, or lash out if you touch them near their mouth. Smell – Oral disease is often accompanied by a very bad smell. If your cat’s breath smells particularly bad, they may have periodontitis. Bleeding – If the gums are sick enough to be changing colors, chances are your cat’s mouth is bleeding. If you don’t see blood in their water after they drink, try gently poking their gumline and see if it bleeds. If your cat has none of these additional symptoms, it’s probably lentigo. However, if your cat does have any of these signs, you should get them to a veterinarian for a checkup and dental cleaning immediately. Prevention of Periodontal Disease Whether your cat has periodontal disease or not, it’s important to protect them from it. Make sure to brush your cat’s teeth regularly, and take them to see a vet for professional cleanings. Through the information in this guide, you can determine whether your cat has lentigo or periodontal disease. If you have further concerns, don’t hesitate to see a veterinarian to get a professional assessment. To find out more, speak with a business like Gwynedd Veterinary...

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5 Tips For Preventing Cancer In Your Dog

Posted by on Sep 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Tips For Preventing Cancer In Your Dog

Cancer does not just affect humans; it can also occur in canines. The thought of your precious pooch developing this disease can definitely be scary, so it is important to take extra good care of his health. Here are five tips for preventing cancer in your dog: Keep Your Dog’s Weight Under Control According to PetEducation.com, obese dogs have a higher risk of developing cancer, especially cancer of the urinary bladder. If your dog is currently carrying some extra pounds, it is up to you to help get their weight down. When you are at your dog’s next vet appointment, ask the veterinarian what a healthy weight for your pooch is. You can help your dog lose weight by reducing his portion sizes and making sure he gets exercise every day. Instead of giving him fattening dog treats as snacks, feed him vegetables like carrots and green beans. Give Your Dog Pure Water Because tap water contains harsh chemicals, it is a wise idea to only provide your dog with pure water. Consider using a water purifier to filter the tap water in your home. According to the Advanced Purification Engineering Corp., if you give your dog pure water, he will not ingest harmful organisms and metals. Be Careful With Garden Pesticides Garden pesticides might keep your lawn beautiful and healthy, but they can be very dangerous to your dog. If your dog ingests these chemicals, he may be more likely to develop cancer in the future. It is much safer to seek out non-toxic and organic pesticides for your lawn. Use Natural Flea Products If your dog has some fleas, do not use flea products. According to PETA, they contain harmful chemicals that can increase the risk of cancer. Instead, try combing your dog’s hair with a flea comb and vacuuming your carpeting frequently. Feed Your Dog High-Quality Food Feeding your dog a good-quality food is one of the best ways to lower the risk of cancer and other diseases. If the kibble you feed your dog has natural ingredients and is free of preservatives or additives, it can go a long way in preventing cancer. Choose grain-free kibble that does not contain corn or other fillers. Although you can’t completely prevent cancer in your dog, following these helpful tips can dramatically reduce his risk. It is also important to take your dog for regular checkups so that the veterinarian can look for changes in his body. If cancer is found sooner, it is much easier to treat. If it sneaks up on you and it can’t wait, visit a local emergency clinic, such as Animal Emergency...

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How To Protect Your Pets At Halloween

Posted by on Sep 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Protect Your Pets At Halloween

Halloween is a time of fun and mischief for humans, but it can present hidden dangers for your pets. Being informed and mindful about these risks can avoid sickness or death for your pets, and a trip to an emergency veterinarian for you. Special risks at Halloween time include: Poisoning from Halloween candy Although chocolate candies are harmless for humans in moderation, chocolate can be deadly to dogs and cats. While most cats usually don’t eat sweets, they may still ingest enough to sicken them if coaxed by a child that normally gives them cat treats. Dogs, on the other hand, can be accustomed to receiving sweet treats from indulgent owners, and develop a sweet tooth. Halloween  presents a special problem because it is a time when children have additional access to an excessive amount of candy, and may either feed chocolate to their pets or leave it where it is accessible. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning Because it is the caffeine in the chocolate that causes the problems, symptoms can include restlessness and rapid breathing. Vomiting and diarrhea can also occur, and may include blood. An excessive intake may result in seizures or death.  If poisoning is suspected, your pet should be taken to an emergency veterinarian for treatment, especially if severe symptoms occur. Physical injuries Halloween is used by some misguided or sadistic individuals as a reason to harm cats. Black cats in particular are in danger from ritualistic killing or mutilation, because of their association with witches in folklore. Black cats are also in danger of being taken by persons looking for a prop for a Halloween party. After the party, they are tossed out the door. It is for this reason that many pet adoption services won’t allow black cats to be adopted near Halloween. Pets can also face physical danger from vehicles if they are excited or frightened by trick-or-treaters or other celebrants. Trick-or-treaters will leave gates open as they enter a yard, and your pet has ample opportunities to run through the repeatedly opening door and into the street. Although you may want your pet to share in the festivities, your pet and visiting children will both be safer if the pet is restrained or kept behind a baby gate or another form of containment. If you use candles inside your Halloween pumpkin, you must keep a close eye on your cat. The pumpkin will not only tease their natural curiosity, but it also may be occupying their spot on the windowsill. A singed tail or a burn from hot wax could occur if a cat is curious or “accidentally” knocks the pumpkin from its perch. To learn more about animal safety, talk to a veterinarian clinic like After Hours Veterinary Emergency Clinic...

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Naturally Eliminate Fleas From Your Dog’s Body While Pampering Them

Posted by on Sep 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Naturally Eliminate Fleas From Your Dog’s Body While Pampering Them

Fleas can cause skin irritations and trigger a dog to bite and scratch due to the constant itchiness that they have been experiencing. If your dog has a flea infestation on their body, learn how to naturally eliminate the pests while pampering your pet. Once finished, your pet will feel comfortable and their skin will begin to heal. Materials oatmeal blender warm water cup pet bathtub  mild dish detergent soft towel dim lighting flexible pet comb aloe vera gel hairdryer  dog treats Reduce Inflammation Add a cup or two of raw oats to a blender and blend them until they are a powdery consistency. Pour the powdered oats into a bowl. Add a small amount of water to the bowl and stir the two ingredients until they are a creamy consistency. Add more water as needed. Oatmeal naturally reduces inflammation and can be used on all skin types. It also helps remove dead skin cells, promoting healthy skin. Fill a pet bathtub with a few inches of warm water. Put the tub in a room that your dog is comfortable spending time in. Gather the oatmeal, a cup, a bottle of mild dish detergent, and a soft towel and place them near the tub. Turn on soft lighting to assist with keeping your pet calm. Gently lift your dog and set them in the tub. Quietly praise your dog as they stand in the tub. Slowly pour warm water onto their body. Avoid getting water in your pet’s eyes or ears because this may frighten them. Dip your fingers in the oatmeal and grab a small handful. Massage the oatmeal into your pet’s back, stomach, legs, neck, and tail by pressing your fingertips into each body part and moving them around in circles. Add more oatmeal to your pet’s body as needed. Once your pet has a light coating of oatmeal covering their fur, rinse it off with cups full of warm water. Kill And Remove The Fleas And Apply Aloe Vera Gel Add a few drops of mild detergent to your pet’s fur and work it into a lather. Dish detergent naturally kills fleas and won’t irritate your dog’s skin. The fleas will die soon after they come into contact with the soapy water. Rinse your pet off well with warm water. Remove your dog from the tub and loosely wrap a soft towel around them. Hold your dog closely to you while doing this so that they feel comforted. Comb your pet’s damp fur to eliminate the fleas. Use a comb that is flexible so that it doesn’t tug any pieces of fur. Apply a small amount of aloe vera gel to any sores on your dog’s skin. The gel will promote healing. A small amount can be added to the affected skin each day until it heals. Dispose of the fleas and dry your pet’s fur with a hairdryer that is adjusted to a low setting. Give your dog some of their favorite treats to reward them for their cooperative behavior. Your pet will be able to relax and their skin will begin healing. For more information, talk to a local holistic...

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Leptospirosis: Protect Your Dog Against An Increasing Threat

Posted by on Sep 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Leptospirosis: Protect Your Dog Against An Increasing Threat

The number of diagnosed cases of leptospirosis in dogs across the United States has increased over recent years. This infectious disease is also a zoonotic concern. If your dog is at an increased risk for exposure to leptospirosis, have a conversation with your veterinarian about having your dog vaccinated against this potentially deadly illness. Transmission and Effects of Leptospirosis Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that is carried by wildlife, including raccoons, bats, rats, skunks and opossums. The route of transmission to dogs is through the wild animal’s urine. The bacteria, called leptospires, are shed in the urine, and the dog may ingest the bacteria either by drinking from a stagnant puddle or body of water or by licking its paws after stepping in these aquatic sources. A dog can also contract leptospirosis from exposure to the urine or mucous membranes of another dog that is infected with the illness. Human family members who are caring for a dog that is infected with leptospirosis are at risk for contracting the disease. While some cases of leptospirosis in dogs may be mild, other cases are life-threatening. Leptospirosis targets the liver and kidneys, and many canine survivors are left with permanent liver disease and renal failure. Risks for Exposure Leptospirosis was once believed to be more prevalent in certain geographic and environmental locations. Farm dogs that were exposed to cattle and other livestock that carried the disease as well as hunting dogs that tread through wooded trails and retrieved waterfowl from rivers and ponds were believed to have the greatest risk for exposure. Temperate regions with high humidity and rainfall continue to present with the highest number of cases, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. However, as more rural areas are developed and such wildlife as raccoons are adapting to living among human inhabitants, the disease has infiltrated backyards in dryer and cooler areas, such as Oregon and Colorado. To assess your dog’s risk for exposure to leptospirosis, your veterinarian will consider the incidence of recent cases that have been diagnosed in your area, and he or she will also pose such questions as: Does your dog play outdoors in your yard? Does your dog visit local dog parks? Do you take your dog along on hiking, camping, hunting or fishing expeditions? Do you live in a wooded area where you have seen wild animals on your property? If your canine companion happens to be a teacup Yorkshire terrier that eliminates on pads inside your apartment and never ventures outdoors beyond the safe confines of a carrier or your arms, then your can consider your furry friend to have a low risk for exposure. Protection Through Vaccination Unlike rabies and distemper vaccines, which are known as core vaccines and required for all dogs, the leptospirosis vaccine is considered a non-core vaccine that is only recommended for dogs that are at increased risk for contracting the disease. Once it has been determined that your dog’s risk of exposure warrants protection, your veterinarian will recommend vaccinating your dog against leptospirosis. Adult dogs and puppies older than 12 weeks of age must initially receive the vaccine in a series of two inoculations, which are administered two to four weeks apart. One this series has been completed, revaccination is typically required once annually thereafter to...

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Teaching Your Child Lessons Through Pet Adoption

Posted by on Sep 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Teaching Your Child Lessons Through Pet Adoption

Adopting a pet can be a rewarding experience for everyone in the family and can be a great way to teach your child responsibility. If you are considering a pet through an adoption center, make sure your child is part of the process. Here are four ways you can involve your child in the pet adoption process that can provide teachable moments along the way. 1. Prepare Your Child For What Pet Adoption is All About Educate your child to understand at a young age why adopting animals in need is important. If they can gain an understanding about how animals can be put down in shelters and may never find a forever home, this will make them better pet advocates in the future. If your child understands some of the realities when it comes to pets in shelters, they will be more apt to adopt rather than pay for designer pets. 2. Visit the Adoption Center or Shelter Together Whether you are adopting a dog or a cat, find an adoption agency that is patient and will let your child be a part of the process. If you can, let your future pet pick your child as well. Animals that are kid friendly will be more apt to come out and greet your child. This is the best way to find a good fit for your child while letting them experience the adoption process. 3. Have Your Child Attend the Initial Vet Visit Many adoption agencies encourage a second vet checkup after adoption. If you have adopted a pet with physical or social limitations, your vet can review methods that your family can use to make your home a safe, calm environment. Your child can ask questions as well and may be more apt to take the vet’s advice seriously. 4. Give Your Child Pet Care Responsibilities Once your adopted pet is settled in at home, you may want to dote on them and do everything to make sure they are well taken care of. Giving your child some responsibilities as well will teach them that caring for pets isn’t all about fun and can be some work. You can supervise feeding times and even get kids involved in training if your new dog might need to attend a class or two to get up to speed. Adopting a new pet into your family is something that you should feel proud of. This is a great way to teach the next generation the importance of adopting animals in need. If you can get your child excited about the process of adoption, you can instill good values in your child and help a pet in need all at the same time. If you’re looking to adopt a pet, visit Pilot Knob Animal...

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Weathering The Weather Together: Disaster Preparedness Tips For Your Pets

Posted by on Sep 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Weathering The Weather Together: Disaster Preparedness Tips For Your Pets

From hurricanes to brush fires, natural disasters that are beyond your control can force you and your family to evacuate your home. Preparing your dog or cat for such a contingency can make the difference between survival and a devastating consequence for your cherished furry family member. Take these steps before the threats of hurricanes and other dangerous and destructive events loom on the horizon. Decals, Chips, and Tags Visit your local pet supply retailer and purchase a pet alert decal. This adhesive decal may be placed on a window or on the door to your home. Their purpose is to alert emergency workers to the presence of pets in your home that may need to be rescued. You should also purchase a new identification tag for each of your pets’ collars. When having the tag engraved, include the following information: The pet’s name Your name Your home address Your current contact number The name of your pet’s veterinary clinic Since collars can slip off of pets during times of a struggle, such as in trying to free themselves from a stranger’s grasp or from a pile of rubble from a collapsed building, ask your veterinarian to implant a microchip into each of your pets. Once this procedure is performed, do not delay in registering the chip with its company database so that your contact information can be accessed if the chip is scanned. Remember to keep all contact information up to date. Research Evacuation Destinations Prepare a list that includes the names and telephone numbers of pet friendly hotels that you may need to turn to for accommodations in the event of an evacuation. This list should be laminated or placed in an airtight, waterproof plastic bag. You should contact each of these facilities periodically to confirm that they are still in operation and that their pet friendly policy remains in effect, updating the list as needed. Prepare a second list that provides the names of all animal hospitals in the area in case your pet becomes injured and requires medical attention. Some animal hospitals provide boarding services in the event that you cannot locate a hotel that accommodates pets.  Survival Kit Each of your pets will benefit from a survival kit in the event of a lengthy power outage or a home evacuation. The kit should be stored where it can be accessed quickly and easily, and every member of the household should be made aware of this location. Each kit should contain a pet first aid kit and all of your pet’s basic needs over the duration of at least three days: Store your pet’s usual dry kibble food in airtight containers, and remember to pack a manual can opener if your pet eats canned food. Each time you shop for your pet’s food, remove the old food from the kit and replace it with the new food to ensure that the food does not spoil. Include bottles of water in the kit in case access to running water is interrupted. Store any necessary long-term medications in waterproof bags. To prevent expiration, employ the same strategy as for the food and exchange the medication each time you refill your pet’s prescription. In a sealed waterproof bag, keep updated copies of your pet’s medical records, an index...

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