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                    [post_date] => 2019-04-22 10:53:13
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-04-22 14:53:13
                    [post_content] => It’s easy to overlook our pets when thinking about ways to be environmentally conscious. You know what a carbon footprint is and you actively recycle waste, but what about your pet’s carbon “paw” prints? Here are some tips for keeping your pets green:

earth day pics-01Keep Cats Indoors

Your lazy, cuddly housecat can quickly turn into a predator for wildlife while out on their morning stroll. Recent studies show that domestic cats kill billions of songbirds and small mammals every year. Research has proven that bell collars and trimming claws do not prevent cats from killing birds or other small animals. To keep cats safe and birds in the sky, keep your kitty inside!  

earth day pics-02Spay or Neuter Your Pet

Stray overpopulation is a major concern across many communities across the globe. Stray animals can severely disrupt the ecosystem and spread harmful diseases to wildlife and humans. Spaying or neutering your own pet is an easy way to help prevent this. Not to mention, you won’t have to worry about any surprise babies.  

earth day pics-03Think Before You Throw Away

Many used pet care items or pet food can be donated to local animal shelters instead of thrown away. Even household items such as blankets, towels, and cleaning products are almost always welcome.  

earth day pics-04Earth-Friendly Pet Care Products

Purchasing eco-friendly pet products is a simple and impactful way to go green. Consider buying toys, beds, leashes, collars, bowls and blankets made out of recycled, organic or natural materials. Even organic dog shampoo can make a difference. For cats that can make toys out of anything, use things you already have around the house like from old craft supplies, boxes, paper towel rolls, and shoe laces.  

earth day pics-05Clean a Little Cleaner

Try using organic or homemade cleansers instead of name-brand cleansers with chemicals. There are many eco-friendly options for odor eliminators, cleansers, and outdoor pesticides. You can also cut down on paper towel usage by opting for a reusable dish rag instead.  

earth day pics-06Taking Care of Business

When disposing of dog waste or kitty litter and waste, use biodegradable bags, not plastic. Plastic bags remain in landfills long after the waste contained in them would have decomposed. Consider using one of the many biodegradable litter choices, too. These litters are wheat, corn, or paper-based and will degrade much quicker than standard clay-based litters. Conventional clay and silica-based kitty litters come from strip-mining, a very non-eco-friendly practice.  

earth day pics-08Sustainable Pet Foods

Choose a pet food company with a commitment to the planet. This doesn’t necessarily mean just buying organic pet food. It can also mean trying pet food brands that value recycling or take an eco-friendly approach to manufacturing. Some companies have free recycling programs for pet food bag waste and some use recyclable/BPA-free packaging. Others source their ingredients from as close to the company’s headquarters as possible to reduce transportation pollution. ­  

earth day pics-07Make Your Own Treats

Why spend money and produce more packaging waste with store-bought treats when you could make your own! There are plenty of easy dog and cat treat recipes out there to whip up in your kitchen. They will be fresher, cheaper, and you’ll know exactly what you’re feeding your pet. Check out our Ethos Pet Kitchen series for easy, healthy pet treat recipes even you can eat!   

earth day pics-09Adopt, Don’t Shop

When considering getting a new pet, think about going to a rescue organization (every AKC breed has one), the humane society or a shelter & get a pet that is already on the planet & needs a loving home. It may take a little longer & it may even require more time spent in the car driving around to find the perfect dog or cat, but it can be worth it. It’s all part of learning to “recycle” whether it’s paper, plastic or giving a pet another chance at a better life.  

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What the sun does for us (humans)

Precursors of Vitamin D are converted to Vitamin D when UVB hits skin. Vitamin D helps us absorb calcium and utilize it properly. Calcium helps bone strength, muscle tone, nerve conduction, immune function, blood clotting and numerous enzyme functions. There is also some speculation that sunlight exposure releases endorphins. Those are the “happy” hormones that help produce feelings like the runner’s high.  

What the sun does for our pets

Reptiles, the obvious onesBD leash - my recently passed BD in the yard- her name was Button

Most people who have cared for a reptile have some understanding of the need for UV light exposure. Snakes do get enough vitamin D and calcium from their diet alone, but most turtles, tortoises and lizards require exposure to UVB lights. The ones that don’t require exposure most likely benefit from some low level exposure. For example, Leopard Geckos can live normal, healthy lives without UV lighting, but studies are now seeming to find hat some low level exposure for a few hours a day helps them do better. What many people don’t know is that the lights we use lose their effective UVB spectrum long before the light burns out. Most should be replaced at the 6 month mark even though the light still comes on and has visible light. Fewer people know the power of the sun. Despite the impressive advances that have been made in the manufacture of these lights, when we compare Vitamin D3 levels in animals held indoors with UV lights to those that have natural sun exposure, the results are astounding.
The animals with outdoor time in the sun have Vitamin D3 levels 10-20 times higher than those with artificial UV lighting!
We still have a long way to reproduce the sun. Many reptiles also have a special scale on the top of their heads. This scale allows light through to another retina. This area is called the parietal eye. The retina in this “eye” connects directly to the area of the brain that produces melatonin and serotonin. Light levels, day length and changing day lengths in this area regulate seasonal changes in physiology. It’s likely that many of the immune deficiencies and reproductive diseases seen in reptiles are related to poor regulation of light cycles in captivity.

It’s for the birds (and mammals)

Okay, so we’ve known for years that most reptiles in captivity need access to UV light for normal development and ongoing health. Guess what? When we look at some of the same type of issuesphoto-1518001589401-1743b61d1def in pet birds and mammals we find the same benefits with UV exposure at the right levels. Just like us, levels that are too high can lead to burns and cancers, but no exposure is also not the best. Parrots, macaws, cockatoos, cockatiels and our other pet bird species live in areas where they get a lot of sun exposure every day.
It may be no surprise to learn that when birds live indoors, their bones are not as strong.
Injury, arthritis and weakness can result in extreme cases. There are now UV lights designed for indoor birds to help reverse these problems and help indoor birds live healthier lives. On your next wellness visit, be sure to ask if UV lights should be provided for your pet bird. Rabbits and Guinea Pigs are a similar case. Recent studies show weaker bones in indoor rabbits when compared to theirphoto-1512087499053-023f060e2cea wild or outdoor counterparts. In coming years you may see some time with UV lights as a routine recommendation for rabbits and other mammals. I have even prescribed this for one of my favorite patients, a bunny that needed surgery for a fracture. The fracture was slow to heal and required a second surgery. After a biopsy of the bone, we set him up with a “prescription” for time in the sun, and we saw his bone density increase in the following weeks!

Fun in the sun

So far we’ve decided that pretty much all the pet species we have looked at get some benefit from the right amount of UV and that even the best bulbs we have are nowhere near as good as the sun, so...let’s talk about some time in the sun for our pets! Getting safe, supervised outdoor time can probably be good for almost all the exotic pets we have.

What makes it safe?

  1. The correct temperature: We’ve had some good upper 60s and lower 70s lately that could be great for some chinchillas, rabbits, some larger birds and pot-bellied pigs, but not quite warm enough for all of the Guinea pigs and definitely not yet reptile weather. As it warms up, more of our pets can get outside and some of the ones who are out now may need to stick to morning and evening times to avoid excess heat. Make sure the temperature is good for your specific pet. If it’s not warm enough for your pet yet, you can enjoy some time outdoors making a fun enclosure!
  2. The correct enclosure: Most indoor pets are not well equipped for the outside here. Flighted birds can easily escape, and even those with clipped wings may not have behaviors that help defend against predators here. Birds should have outdoor enclosures that allow them to get into the sun at the right temperature, but also provides a shaded area. Small mammals should have some type of enclosure that prevents escape from the yard and keeps them away from any plants that have been treated with pesticides, fertilizers or other chemicals. Reptiles need to have enclosures that prevent escape, often including protection from digging under the enclosure. Enclosures for all should ideally include a closed top to keep out predatory birds, access to shade, and easy access to water in multiple locations.
  3. Protection from wild animals and parasites: Remember that parasites can live outside along with mosquitoes, wild mammals, and wild birds. I don’t think we need to be paranoid, but just aware. Ferrets should be protected against heartworm just like your dog. Ferrets, rabbits and a few other mammals can be treated with the monthly topicals to help prevent fleas, ticks, and other parasites. Going out at the proper time of day can help with mosquito exposure. Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk. They can transmit heartworm to ferrets and can transmit West Nile to birds. Use sprays or citronella candles cautiously, especially with birds (they have sensitive respiratory tracts), but using screened enclosures can help. You can also eliminate standing water around your home and avoid outdoor time when mosquitoes are most active. Supervise your pet to avoid encounters with skunks, coyotes, and raptors.
In addition to having some great health benefits for both you and your pet, some time in new environments is good enrichment and can be a lot of fun, so get outside with your exotic pets and have some springtime fun!  

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Strawberry Spring Snacks

20190411_071457 Disclaimer: these treats are so yummy and fresh, they even make a good snack for you! You and your pup can enjoy guilt-free together.

Ingredients:20190411_063833

Instructions:Screen Shot 2019-04-12 at 12.06.49 PM

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, mix flour, diced apple, and thawed strawberries. Then, slowly add water while mixing.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spoon silver-dollar sized dollops onto the sheet.
  4. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
  5. Allow cookies to cool and serve! Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
 

Happy Spring Baking!

[playlist type="video" ids="12214,12215"]

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ACVO social graphic2_Artboard 1 The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) will host its annual public service event providing free eye exams for service animals in May 2019. Drs. Nick CassotisNancy CottrillRuth Marrion, Sarah Stone Hoy, and Alison Clode along with over 250 ACVO board certified veterinary ophthalmologists across America and Canada will donate their services to provide complimentary screening eye examinations to active Service Animals. The Service Animal’s owner/agent will incur no cost for these services. It is anticipated that through these efforts service animal health can be improved and potential disease averted for thousands of working dogs. shutterstock_127990031 Guide dogs, handicapped assistance animals, detection dogs, therapy animals, and search and rescue dogs selflessly serve the public. To honor these animals and their work, the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) is launching the annual ACVO/STOKESRx National Service Animal Eye Exam Event in the month of May, to screen service animals who dedicate their lives to serving the public. This is a national event. Please share this important information with your service animal clients, friends and family. Qualification information and registration available at: www.ACVOEyeExam.org Registration is open April 1st- 30th, 2019 Free Eye Exams for Service Animals take place, by appointment, in May 2019

Steps to take:

Click to Register

Qualifying:

For more information on whether your service animal qualifies, please take a look a the the ACVO Eye Exam website. The ACVO National Service Animal Eye Exam event will provide a free screening-wellness eye exam to Service Animals including those provide the following services: guide, hearing assistance, drug detection, police/military, search and rescue, therapy, and those assisting people with disabilities other than blindness. All animals must be formally trained, certified, currently working service animals or formally trained therapy animals with active registration. Those currently enrolled in a formal service animal training program may qualify, but is based upon clinic availability.

Registration and Appointments:

Special Note:

  [post_title] => 2019 Free Eye Exams for Service Dogs [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 2019-free-eye-exams-for-service-dogs [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-04-01 11:46:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-04-01 15:46:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ivghospitals.com/?p=12184 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 12167 [post_author] => 25 [post_date] => 2019-03-27 09:44:28 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-27 13:44:28 [post_content] => Tabby cat sitting in a litter box and look to the camera. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is a common disorder in male cats. In some cats, the disease can progress to a urethral obstruction (UO), a life-threatening emergency. The underlying problem is thought to be a sterile cystitis (inflammation of the bladder wall not associated with bacterial infection), which results in sand-like particles and mucoid material in the urine which can plug up the urethra.

What causes FLUTD?

The cause of the bladder inflammation is currently unknown, but it is believed that stress, diet, and water intake play significant roles. Urethral obstructions can unfortunately become a recurrent problem in some cats. There is no way to predict which cats will re-obstruct and which will not.

What are the signs of FLUTD?

The clinical signs for FLUTD are:

What can I do to decrease the possibility of my cat getting FLUTD?

A few things you can do to prevent recurrence are:

Increase your cat's water intake

Ensure proper litter box hygiene

Minimize stress as much as possible

If you notice any symptoms

Urinary obstruction is very serious and can be potentially fatal especially if the obstruction lasts longer than 24 hours, so never hesitate to call your veterinarian or bring them in to be seen.  

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Case #1: The Sick Puppy

We commonly see puppies through emergency for upset stomachs, which usually means ongoing or waxing and waning diarrhea and an overall lethargic, unplayful puppy. national puppy day blog graphics-06Symptoms: diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite Causes: many possibilities including new home anxiety, diet change, virus/bacteria, parasites (i.e. giardia), or a congenital condition Treatment: supportive care, which usually includes IV fluids, anti-nausea medication, and other medications as needed  

Case #2: The Parvo Puppy

Parvo is a highly contagious and potentially fatal virus that affects the intestinal tract of puppies. national puppy day blog graphics-01Symptoms: fever, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, dehydration Cause: transmitted through bodily secretions or direct contact with other infected dogs Treatment: hospitalization on IV fluids, nutrition therapy, and medications & antibiotics as needed  

Case #3: The Accident Puppy

Puppies are rambunctious and clumsy and can sometimes injure themselves, causing broken bones, fractures, or hernias. national puppy day blog graphics-02Symptoms: limping, whining/crying, signs of pain, lumps and bumps Cause: jumping from high surfaces, falling down stairs, playing too rough, being stepped on, the possibilities are endless! Treatment: depending on the severity of the injury, may require surgery, casting, wound care, or other forms of treatment  

Case #4: The Coughing Puppy

Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease affecting puppies and dogs of any age. national puppy day blog graphics-05Symptoms: begins with lethargy, decreased appetite, and fever and then progresses to a deep, often productive, cough. If untreated, it can lead to pneumonia. Cause: since it's airborne, it often spreads in social settings (dog parks, boarding kennels, play groups, etc.) Treatment: treated with antibiotics and supportive care  

Case #5: The Puppy Who Ate Something

Most puppies will get into anything and everything they can get their paws on. We see many cases of puppies who present sick, and have actually eaten something they shouldn't have. national puppy day blog graphics-04Symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain Cause: eating some kind of foreign body, whether it be food or an object Treatment: after detected via x-ray/ultrasound, may need surgical or endoscopic removal. May induce vomiting if it is a toxic food. Also treat with supportive care.  

Case #6: The Specialty Puppy

Some puppies, especially purebreds, may be born with or develop a condition inherent with their breed such as a heart condition, eye condition, or neurologic condition. A primary care veterinarian will often refer the puppy to one of our specialists for further diagnosis and treatment. national puppy day blog graphics-03Symptoms: varying, usually detected by family veterinarian and referred to one of our hospitals Cause: congenital or developed as puppy grows Treatment: varying, specialist will work collaboratively with primary care vet in treating or managing condition  

How do I keep my puppy healthy?

national puppy day blog graphics-07Regular visits with your puppy's primary care veterinarian can help keep your puppy happy and healthy! They will need multiple vaccination boosters, de-wormers, and exams to ensure they are healthy and protected. At home, be sure to keep your puppy away from potential dangers (rough play or things they can chew/eat) and avoid contact with other dogs until they are fully vaccinated. Keep an eye on them, avoid any major life changes or stressors while they adjust, and have fun! Puppyhood won't last forever, so enjoy it! We hope you won't need our services for your puppy, but if you do we are here.  

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Easter Lilies and Cats

Screen Shot 2019-03-19 at 2.35.42 PM The most common call the Pet Poison Helpline receives for cats is lily ingestion. These flowers are often given as gifts or bought for decoration around Easter and end up right on your dining room table or kitchen counter: where your cat can reach them!

What makes lilies toxic to cats?photo-1508733990996-0299ac6ca2db

The exact toxin in lilies that is poisonous to cats is unknown.

What part of lilies are toxic?

All parts of these beautiful plants are poisonous, including the leaves, pollen, stems, and flowers. It only takes 1-2 leaves, or just the pollen, to kill a cat or cause severe kidney failure. Common varieties include the Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter, and Japanese Show Lily.

Early Symptoms

Severe (More Rare) Symptoms

Symptoms are noticeable within 6 to 12 hours of ingestion and cause severe damage within 24 to 72 hours as kidney failure worsens.

How is it treated?

There is not an actual antedote. So, if you suspect your feline friend may have eaten any part of a lily, they need to be seen by a veterinary professional ASAP. Treatments that can be administered are: induced vomiting, giving activated charcoal to bind the poison in the stomach and intestines, intravenous fluid therapy, kidney function monitoring tests, and supportive care. To ensure the best possible outcome for your cat, IV fluids should be started within 18 hours of ingestion.

Chocolate and Dogs

choc-01 Coincidentally, chocolate is also the most common call the Pet Poison Helpline receives for dogs. The ASPCA also reports that they receive more calls from pet owners regarding chocolate ingestion on Easter than any other holiday, even Christmas and Halloween! With all those chocolate-filled Easter eggs around the house and yard, it's just as much a game to seek them out for your dog as it is for your kids.

What makes chocolate toxic to dogs?photo-1457301473530-d6d4d4d7b824

Chocolate contains an ingredient called theobromine, which is a distant cousin to caffeine. Dogs cannot process theobromine the same way humans can. Check out our blog on chocolate poisoning in dogs.

What types of chocolate are toxic?

Darker chocolates such as Baker’s chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, cocoa powder, and gourmet dark chocolates are highly dangerous in comparison to milk chocolate and white chocolate. Your dog's weight and the amount they ate also plays a role in how much chocolate it takes to be dangerous for your pup.

Symptoms

How is it treated?

Plans of action and treatment include inducing vomiting and usually administering multiple doses of activated charcoal to decontaminate or clean out the stomach/intestines. IV fluids are also administered to help with excretion. In some cases, sedatives may need to be given to calm the pet. If there is a high heart rate and blood pressure, the veterinarian may administer heart medications to reduce the rate and blood pressure. To curb seizures, an anti-convulsant can be given. To alleviate stomach discomfort and diarrhea, antacids like Pepcid may be given.  

Other Common Easter Dangers for Pets

So, if you're hiding Easter eggs or leaving out baskets from the Easter bunny, keep the eggs in high places and keep the baskets put away or covered. And please, opt for a flower bouquet without lilies. It is not worth it and your cat will likely seek them out for a good chew. Happy Easter!  

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[post_title] => Two Dangerous Easter Toxins for Pets [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => two-dangerous-easter-toxins-for-pets [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-03-19 14:37:04 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-19 18:37:04 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ivghospitals.com/?p=12113 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 12095 [post_author] => 25 [post_date] => 2019-03-19 12:09:49 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-19 16:09:49 [post_content] => choc-01 Chocolate toxicity is a very common case we see in dogs. In fact, chocolate ingestion is the most common call the Pet Poison Helpline receives. Dogs tend to smell and seek out this sweet treat even if it's in a closed bag, out of reach, or put away, so it is important for us as pet owners to be extra diligent.

Why chocolate is bad for dogs

Chocolate is toxic to dogs because it contains substances known as methylxanthines, specifically caffeine and theobromine. Dogs metabolize, or break down, theobromine much slower than humans. Depending on your dog's weight, even small amounts of chocolate can be very bad for your dog.
The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more dangerous it is to dogs.
chocolate-a_doggy_danger Different types of chocolate have varying amounts of theobromine in them. Generally, the more cocoa solids contained in a product, the more theobromine will be present and the more dangerous the item is for your pet. Therefore, dark chocolate and chocolate used for baking (cocoa powder or Baker's chocolate) are much more toxic to dogs than milk chocolate or white chocolate. Use this calculator to determine how toxic chocolate is to your dog based on their weight, how much chocolate, and what kind of chocolate they ate.

Symptoms of chocolate toxicity in dogs

Initial or minor symptoms of chocolate toxicity may include: Worsening symptoms may include: In worse cases or in high doses, ingesting chocolate may cause:

Treatment for chocolate ingestion

Treatment for chocolate ingestion is dependent on how much chocolate is ingested and the symptoms the patient is having.

Low dose of chocolate ingested

Dogs who have ingested a low dose of chocolate may or may not need medical treatment, but it is commonly recommended to induce vomiting with activated charcoal to prevent further absorption. Some patients may be given subcutaneous fluids (under the skin) to help flush their kidneys as well as keep them hydrated if they’re already having symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea. Anti-nausea medications may be sent home as well. [caption id="attachment_12108" align="aligncenter" width="382"]46013269_2051887841542609_8727413875214909440_n Three Cavaliers who ate Halloween candies and needed induced vomiting and supportive care.[/caption]

High dose of chocolate ingested

Dogs who have ingested higher doses and are showing more symptoms are recommended to be admitted to the hospital for monitoring of their heart rate and rhythm, IV fluids, and multiple doses of activated charcoal. In extreme cases, dogs are sometimes given beta blockers. If you are diligent about treatment as soon as ingestion is noticed, most patients recover and do fine.  

What to do if you think your dog has ingested chocolate

If you suspect your cat or dog has gotten into chocolate, it is best to contact your veterinarian or your local emergency veterinary hospital for advice, call animal poison control, or go straight to your nearest open veterinary hospital.
Although cats don't commonly get into chocolate like dogs do, it is just as toxic for them.
You may find that the veterinarian will want to perform a full exam, including a blood profile, urinalysis, and possibly an ECG to help determine if the heart is showing any abnormalities. Depending on the symptoms, your veterinarian may advise you to have your pet hospitalized for monitoring, supportive care, and follow-up blood work. Pet Poison Helpline: 855-764-7661 ASPCA Poison Control: 888-426-4435  

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Reason #1: The great sounds they make

Screen Shot 2019-03-15 at 1.54.12 PMGuinea pigs chirp, squeak, squeal, whistle, purr, and sometimes even growl. No matter what sound they are making, it’s usually the cutest sound in the room. You won’t even care about them reminding you it’s time for evening vegetables while you’re watching TV. You’ll just feed them and enjoy the sounds of “I’m hungry!” turn into the sounds of “This is great food!” then cuddle them after dinner to hear the purring that says “You are petting me correctly.” I have often joked that evolution failed these cute animals to some degree, because even the sounds that tell you they hate what’s happening are so cute that it’s only really a deterrent once you speak their language.

Reason #2: They help you eat healthy vegetables (or at least look like you do)

In addition to constant access to hay and a daily helping of pellets, Guinea Pigs should have regular portions of leafy greens (Romaine, red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce), bell peppers, occasional treats offered in the form of kale or spinach and it’s even fun to feed the occasional berry (not too often because it’s very sugary). Having these around may even help you eat more vegetables and improve your own health. Even if it doesn’t, everyone in line with you at the store will be impressed at how healthy your food selection has become!

Reason #3: Cowlicks

Need I say more? Many Guinea Pigs come with cowlicks in their fur that give that “too cute to care” disheveled look.

Reason #4: The bald ones look like baby hipposScreen Shot 2019-03-15 at 1.54.02 PM

“Skinny Pigs” are hairless breeds. Look at them and tell me that they don’t look like very small hippos. Obviously they need to be kept warmer, but that just means more cuddle time.

Reason #5: Those floppy ears

Whether they have no fur, short fur, long fur, straight or curly fur, they all have cute floppy ears visible on their heads. I’m convinced that their ears are the source of the ‘pig’ part of their names, but that is up for debate. It seems that most don’t mind the ear rubs that we feel compelled to give them, but if they do mind, they’ll let you know with a loud whistle. The ears sometimes flop back and forth when they are chewing food or when they shake their heads.

Reason #6: They started as food animals (and still are in South America) but were so cute they became pets

In what is now Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador, the residents of the Andes domesticated Guinea Pigs around 4,000 years ago for food. They are still a food animal in some of those areas, and as sad as it is for us to hear, it’s a very environmentally friendly practice that does not destroy rainforest land for pasture. I have been to some of the farms and restaurants there and I have to say that the Guinea Pigs raised for food all had good space and seemed to be happy in their pens...no I didn’t eat any Cuy (Peruvian Guinea Pig dish). I’ve known too many of them personally to be able to eat them. However, looking at it with recognition of cultural bias, I will say that the animals are treated like our best free range animals here. Even at the restaurants, they have cages with multi-level access, ramps, hides, and toys. When compared to lobster tanks in restaurants in the U.S., I would say they are treated far more humanely.

Reason #7: You have vitamin needs in common!

Screen Shot 2019-03-15 at 1.53.52 PMNext time you want to impress your friends with trivia knowledge, ask them what dietary need that Guinea Pigs have in common with them. Most animals make their own Vitamin C and don’t need to have it supplemented in their diets. The exceptions: Guinea Pigs, their cousins the Capybaras, humans and our primate cousins, bats, and some fish. Bell Pepper is a great source of Vitamin C for Guinea Pigs (and for us). Don’t forget to also ask your friends if they know the disease that occurs with Vitamin C deficiency: Scurvy. Maybe pirates should not have called each other scurvy dogs, but scurvy monkeys, scurvy cavies, scurvy bats?

Reason #8: It’s really cute watching them run

When you’re done reading this blog, I highly recommend you watch these: Save these links for any time you need a little happiness in your life. I find it’s impossible to frown when watching a line of Guinea Pigs running over obstacles. Corgi butts have nothing on Guinea Pig butts, sorry Corgi enthusiasts, but your dogs get second prize. Looking at their body shape, you would never expect them to move as well as they do!

Reason #9: They have a great personalityScreen Shot 2019-03-15 at 1.54.19 PM

Guinea pigs do best when they are kept in pairs or groups (don’t forget about spay/neuter). It’s fun to watch their playful interaction, listen to their conversations and watch the feasting at vegetable time. Out of their cage, they also do well running and playing around on the floor, sitting on your lap while you watch TV, or coming outside in the right weather (and of course proper supervision in an area with safe plants and no pesticides). They do well with children and I have even met some great certified therapy Guinea Pigs.

Thinking of adopting a piggy?

If I have convinced you of the value of sharing your life with a Guinea Pig, and you have decided a Guinea Pig is the right pet for you and your family after some research, then I would recommend you look into the following rescues who have piggies available NOW! When you bring home your new companion, we will be happy to do your first health check and make sure your new family members stay happy and healthy!  

More from Exotic Pet Tales:

The Misunderstood History of Snakes and Snakes as Pets Giving Pets as Christmas Gifts Meet Our Exotics Specialist!   [post_title] => Exotic Pet Tales: Top 9 Reasons to Adopt a Guinea Pig [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => exotic-pet-tales-top-9-reasons-to-adopt-a-guinea-pig [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-03-15 14:08:51 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-15 18:08:51 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ivghospitals.com/?p=12074 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 12050 [post_author] => 25 [post_date] => 2019-03-12 14:24:22 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-12 18:24:22 [post_content] => March 12th is National Pancake Day and in celebration of this delicious day, we would love to share a healthy, but hearty, recipe for puppy pancakes!

Healthy Doggie Pancakes

cvoer These pancakes are 100% dog friendly and make the perfect treat for a pancake flipping feast!

Ingredients:20190305_173603

Instructions:Untitled-1-01

  1. Preheat a small frying pan or skillet on medium heat with a very small amount of coconut oil (just enough to coat pan).
  2. Peel banana and place into a clean blow – mash with fork until nearly a puree texture.
  3. Add blueberries to bowl, then coconut oil, then chia seeds, mixing well after each.
  4. Add almond milk and stir – allow to sit, undisturbed, for at least 5 minutes to allow chia seeds to bloom.
  5. Slowly combine flour into mixture until batter texture is reached.
  6. Using a large spoon, pour small amount of batter into the heated frying pan. Note: treats should not be larger than a silver dollar.
  7. Allow pancakes to cook until bubbles stop forming on uncooked batter on top, then flip pancake and allow to finish cooking until steam stops rising.
  8. Allow time to cool and serve with love to your pups!
 

Happy National Pancake Day!

[playlist type="video" ids="12056,12055,12054"]

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Apple Carrot Crisps Vegan Chia Peanut Butter Snacks Zucchini Carrot Rice Cups Pumpkin Cookies Wholesome Apple Bites Chewy Peanut Butter Blueberry Cookies

 

[post_title] => Ethos Pet Kitchen: Doggie Pancakes! [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => ethos-pet-kitchen-doggie-pancakes [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-03-12 14:24:22 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-12 18:24:22 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ivghospitals.com/?p=12050 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 10 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 12243 [post_author] => 25 [post_date] => 2019-04-22 10:53:13 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-04-22 14:53:13 [post_content] => It’s easy to overlook our pets when thinking about ways to be environmentally conscious. You know what a carbon footprint is and you actively recycle waste, but what about your pet’s carbon “paw” prints? Here are some tips for keeping your pets green:

earth day pics-01Keep Cats Indoors

Your lazy, cuddly housecat can quickly turn into a predator for wildlife while out on their morning stroll. Recent studies show that domestic cats kill billions of songbirds and small mammals every year. Research has proven that bell collars and trimming claws do not prevent cats from killing birds or other small animals. To keep cats safe and birds in the sky, keep your kitty inside!  

earth day pics-02Spay or Neuter Your Pet

Stray overpopulation is a major concern across many communities across the globe. Stray animals can severely disrupt the ecosystem and spread harmful diseases to wildlife and humans. Spaying or neutering your own pet is an easy way to help prevent this. Not to mention, you won’t have to worry about any surprise babies.  

earth day pics-03Think Before You Throw Away

Many used pet care items or pet food can be donated to local animal shelters instead of thrown away. Even household items such as blankets, towels, and cleaning products are almost always welcome.  

earth day pics-04Earth-Friendly Pet Care Products

Purchasing eco-friendly pet products is a simple and impactful way to go green. Consider buying toys, beds, leashes, collars, bowls and blankets made out of recycled, organic or natural materials. Even organic dog shampoo can make a difference. For cats that can make toys out of anything, use things you already have around the house like from old craft supplies, boxes, paper towel rolls, and shoe laces.  

earth day pics-05Clean a Little Cleaner

Try using organic or homemade cleansers instead of name-brand cleansers with chemicals. There are many eco-friendly options for odor eliminators, cleansers, and outdoor pesticides. You can also cut down on paper towel usage by opting for a reusable dish rag instead.  

earth day pics-06Taking Care of Business

When disposing of dog waste or kitty litter and waste, use biodegradable bags, not plastic. Plastic bags remain in landfills long after the waste contained in them would have decomposed. Consider using one of the many biodegradable litter choices, too. These litters are wheat, corn, or paper-based and will degrade much quicker than standard clay-based litters. Conventional clay and silica-based kitty litters come from strip-mining, a very non-eco-friendly practice.  

earth day pics-08Sustainable Pet Foods

Choose a pet food company with a commitment to the planet. This doesn’t necessarily mean just buying organic pet food. It can also mean trying pet food brands that value recycling or take an eco-friendly approach to manufacturing. Some companies have free recycling programs for pet food bag waste and some use recyclable/BPA-free packaging. Others source their ingredients from as close to the company’s headquarters as possible to reduce transportation pollution. ­  

earth day pics-07Make Your Own Treats

Why spend money and produce more packaging waste with store-bought treats when you could make your own! There are plenty of easy dog and cat treat recipes out there to whip up in your kitchen. They will be fresher, cheaper, and you’ll know exactly what you’re feeding your pet. Check out our Ethos Pet Kitchen series for easy, healthy pet treat recipes even you can eat!   

earth day pics-09Adopt, Don’t Shop

When considering getting a new pet, think about going to a rescue organization (every AKC breed has one), the humane society or a shelter & get a pet that is already on the planet & needs a loving home. It may take a little longer & it may even require more time spent in the car driving around to find the perfect dog or cat, but it can be worth it. It’s all part of learning to “recycle” whether it’s paper, plastic or giving a pet another chance at a better life.  

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