Teach Your Cat to Swim!

The idea of bringing your pet into any body of water may seem suspect. After all, cats loathe water, right? 

It may come as a shock to you, but cats can be taught to appreciate water if they get the right introduction. Several cat owners have pondered why cats can’t swim, but the truth is, the can! 

If you are one of the brave cat owners out there who would like to teach your cat to swim, you are in luck! The team at Highway Veterinary Hospital is here to explain the basics of cat swimming, and how to slowly introduce your feline friend to being in water.

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Decoding Dog Language: What Does a Bark Mean?

Your dog probably has all manner of expressing himself, whether it’s body language or verbal cues – such as barking. There is meaning in this expression, and your dog’s bark may have a lot to say about what’s going on in that brain of his. Understanding various barks and sounds from pets is key in making sure they are healthy, safe, and engaged in our lives with them. 

If your dog is a barker, you may ask yourself, what does a bark mean? Your friends at Highway Veterinary Hospital are here to decode this language for a better bond with your furry friend.

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Adventures Indoors: Creative Ideas for Indoor Pet Activities

Through the past few months of the pandemic, many of us have been pulling out all of the stops when it comes to entertaining ourselves. From art projects to YouTube travel, we are opting for new, fun indoor activities to keep us busy. Our pets also have a serious case of cabin fever and need daily exercise and enrichment to keep them from becoming listless, unhealthy or overweight, and bored.

The good news is that your friends at Highway Veterinary Hospital have some cool new games and activities that will entertain even the most discerning of pets. Read on to learn more!

8 Great Indoor Pet Activities for Your Fur Friend

Since movement and fun are important to the health and well-being of your pet, you don’t have to ditch those when you can’t get outside. There are many things you and your bestie can do when the weather stinks or you’re otherwise stuck inside.

  1. Learn something new together – There are some great options in online group classes for pets and people. You can learn how to dance together, zen out on downward dog during a doga class, or try your hand  at some DIY homemade treats or meals  for your pet.
  2. Play an indoor game of fetch – Yes, you can still play that favorite backyard game, but just switch to a soft ball or toy to throw. Pull away the furniture in the living room and toss the toy! Or, use a big space like a garage or rec room.
  3. Buy some puzzle games – Food based puzzle games are especially enjoyable for your pet. The challenge is to get small treats or pieces of kibble out of the toy. Your pet’s brain will be active, and this is a good way to slow down a quick-eating pet.
  4. Teach new tricks – Old dogs can learn new tricks. There are several commands you can teach your pet to keep them active and engaged. Tricks like beg, sit up, roll over, and so on are fun for your pet who wants an extra challenge. After you have mastered them, make a video. We’d love to see their new skills.
  5. Set up an agility course – there are some great agility courses that can easily be made using things lying around the home. Set up open boxes, kiddie pools filled with balls and toys, poles and chairs for jumping, and other obstacles. You can also purchase a ready-made agility course online, too.
  6. Build a catio – Your cat will love the addition of an extra, screened-in space to look at birds, play, and relax. Catios are essentially screened in patios that can be made as a standalone to use in the yard, an extension of a porch, or as a window unit. There are multiple plans available online to put your DIY skills to work.
  7. Use your pet’s nose for a scavenger hunt – The nose knows, as you know. Put your pet’s Sherlock Holmes skills to the test by hiding various treats, toys, or pieces of their kibble around the house. Then get them to go scout it out with their keenest sense, their sense of smell.
  8. Dance with your pet – Your pet may never have the moves of Fred Astaire, but they will definitely get into the groove if you put on some tunes and dance. Many dogs will hop on hind legs or circle around you if the music is right and the excitement of dancing is in the air. It’s a fun time for everyone in the family, too. 

We’re Only a Phone Call Away!

During the COVID-19 standstill, we are here for you and your pet. We are currently open Mondays through Fridays with varying hours.

We recommend that your pets stay current on any long term medications, their heartworm prevention, and their flea & tick prevention. Rabies and Leptospirosis are zoonotic diseases; therefore, we strongly recommend keeping current with these booster vaccines, too.

If you have any questions about your pet, including their vaccine status, just give us a call!

Help! My Dog Pees When Excited!

A black and white Boston Terrier standing next to a puddle of piddle looks a little frenzied

There are few things more joyful than a dog that’s happy to see you. But a whipping tail, floppy tongue, and dancing paws may conceal an embarrassing truth. If your dog pees when excited, you’re not alone. This issue is actually quite common among younger dogs, those that are newly adopted, or ones that simply need a bit more training. 

In other words, this behavior, while certainly inconvenient, can definitely be handled with patience, understanding, and support.

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Help! How to Stop Your Dog from Digging Holes

There’s nothing cuter than watching an excited dog happily digging in the soil with their tongue out and dirt billowing all around them… unless it’s your dog and your yard!

Digging is a common complaint among pet owners, and it can feel like an overwhelming task to curb this behavior. However, perhaps understanding why your pet does this is the first step toward stopping a dog from digging.

Ancient Instincts

Our dogs were once wolves – even that cute little Pomeranian or Corgi shares a lot of DNA with these ancient ancestors. Wolves and wild dogs do a lot of digging, especially when they’re making their dens. Similarly, a pet dog may dig in order to create a cool or protected spot to rest.

Burying tasty food items and other treasured possessions is another trait passed down from the ancestors of modern dogs. That’s why your pet may choose to bury their toys, bones, or especially delicious treats.

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