Every dog owner wants a healthy dog! Taking care of your furry friend includes taking care of their mouth, something many owners forget about. Of course, this means brushing their teeth and getting regular dental cleanings at the vet, but did you know your dog’s mouth health can be aided by dental chews?
Here’s why you should consider adding them to your dog’s diet and a few recommendations for some of the best!
Why Your Dog’s Dental Health Matters
Dogs’ teeth are often overlooked, but they’re an important aspect of your pup’s overall health! In fact, about 80% of pets will develop periodontal disease before they even turn 3 years old. And poor oral health can cause other issues, like:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
You can help avoid issues with your dog’s teeth by regularly brushing them, taking your dog to your vet for check-ups and dental cleanings, and using some recommended dental chews.
If you would like to schedule your next appointment for your pup’s dental cleaning or are concerned about their oral health, give us a call at 281-693-7387.
Why You Should Use Dog Dental Chews
Dog dental chews are just one part of ensuring your dog’s overall health, but they’re an important step—and one your dog is likely to enjoy. Over time, plaque builds up inside your dog’s mouth. Dental chews help reduce that plaque buildup by up to about 70%, and if the chew contains polyphosphate, it can reduce tartar by 55%. To be labeled an accepted product by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC), a dog dental chew must reduce plaque or tarter by at least 10%.
Bonus! Dog dental chews are also known to reduce cases of bad breath.
The Top Dog Dental Chews
There are plenty of dental chews out there to choose from, but here are some of the top options on the market:
1. Enzadent Oral Care Chews (Recommended by Cinco Ranch Vet)
One of the dental chews we recommend the most is Vet Solutions Enzadent Oral Care Chews. Available in petite, small, medium, and large sizes, they work with your dog’s saliva and enzymes to break down any food left on the teeth. The beef hide they contain leaves your dog’s teeth clean and polished.
These chews can be given to your pup after meals.
2. Hill’s® Prescription Diet® Dental Care Chews (Recommended by Cinco Ranch Vet)
Another dental chew treat we recommend to our patients is Hill’s Prescription Diet Dental Care Chews. They’re shaped like a toothbrush and floss and are designed to clean the teeth and reduce bad breath. They are available in small and regular sizes, and come in a mint flavor.
These dental chews are approved by the VOHC, although they are not recommended for dogs under 10 pounds or younger than 10 months.
3. GREENIES™ Original Dental Chews
Used daily, they fight plaque, tartar, and bad breath and have ingredients that are easy for your dog to digest. In addition to the original flavor, try blueberry and freshmint flavors!
GREENIES also offers dental chews that work for weight management and hip and joint care, as well as grain-free choices.
Homemade Dog Dental Chews
Sometimes homemade is best! This can be true even for dog dental chews, especially if your dog is a picky eater.
4. DIY Dog Treat
This chew is similar to GREENIES but uses mint, chlorophyll, and homemade chicken stock and focuses more on combating bad breath in dogs than on reducing plaque and tartar buildup. Find the recipe here!
5. Doggie Pancake Breath Busters
This is another great recipe for freshening your pup’s breath. It makes about 30 biscuits and will have your dog’s breath smelling like mint. Check out this and nine other recipes here. If your dog isn’t a fan of pancakes, there are quite a few others to choose from!
Use Dog Dental Chews with Care
As with anything you feed your dog, it’s important to give them dog dental chews with care. While some are designed to be daily treats, read the label of anything you feed your dog, and look carefully at the ingredients. It’s also a good idea to ask your veterinarian for advice!
Just like regular dog snacks and treats, calories in dog dental chews add up quickly. If your pup is a huge fan of a particular chew, they could swallow it too quickly, before it can have any real benefit on their mouth. It’s important to find the right match for your dog and the right amount to give them, so they don’t pack on the pounds.
It’s also important to use the right size treats for your pet. For example, even the small version of Hill’s Prescription Diet Dental Care Chews are not for dogs under 10 pounds, while GREENIES Dog Dental Treats in petite size are perfect for dogs between 5 and 15 pounds. Giving your dog a treat that is too large can cause them to choke, and a treat that is too small may be swallowed without being chewed. Check with your vet if you’re unsure about the right size.
Other Fun Options for Dental Care
In addition to the top dog dental chews listed above, there are other treats and toys you can give your dog to aid their oral health. Rawhide chews are great for reducing plaque and tartar, although if your dog has diseased teeth, you may want to avoid hard bones and pigs’ ears.
Some kibbles are also designed to aid your dog’s teeth. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets and Science Diet Oral Care for Dogs are two choices that have been approved by the VOHC and are known to reduce tartar.
If your dog has a habit of eating dental care treats too quickly, look into toys! Kong and Gumabones are two recommended brands.
Taking care of your dog’s teeth is an essential part of their overall well-being. Giving them dental chews, brushing their teeth, and taking them to regular dental cleanings at your vet are all great ways to avoid issues like gingivitis and periodontal disease.
If you’re worried about your dog’s dental health or they’re in need of a dental cleaning, schedule their next appointment with us!
It’s likely that the only time you’re ever at your veterinarian’s office is when you bring your pet in for an exam. This gives you a peek at what life at the hospital is like, but it doesn’t paint the whole picture. There’s so much going on behind the scenes! And you don’t get to see a lot of your vet’s job. Each day is different, depending on who walks through the doors. Your vet’s morning may start with a young, happy puppy attending its first check-up or an aging cat in need of life-saving surgery.
Let’s explore a day in the life of a vet!
Starting the Day
Most veterinarians wake up the same way other pet owners do: with a cold nuzzle of a nose just in time for a morning walk or a soft, yet demanding cry for food. After their own morning routine and asking their pet to “be good,” a vet makes their way to the office. Most clinics open around 8 or 9 AM and begin seeing clients immediately. Cinco Ranch Vet opens at 7 AM, Monday through Friday, and 8 AM on Saturdays.
Spaying, Neutering, Surgeries
Often, veterinarians have set appointment times for surgeries, including spaying and neutering. They tend to do them in the mornings, so animal that need the procedures are seen in a timely manner and have the rest of the day to recover at the office before being picked up by their humans in the afternoons or early evenings.
Spay and neuters involve anesthesia and pain medication as well as constant monitoring during the procedure. A male cat’s neuter is by far the fastest, with the procedure itself sometimes taking as few as two minutes! A male dog’s neuter will take a vet a bit longer—up to 20 minutes—but this depends on the dog’s size and age.
Spaying female cats and dogs takes vets a bit longer, especially if the animal is in heat. For cats, a vet will spend 15 to 20 minutes in surgery, and a dog’s spay procedure can be up to 90 minutes.
In addition to spay and neuter procedure, veterinarians usually have to factor in other surgeries, like:
- Tooth extraction
- Surgery on cancer
- Bladder stone removal
These are extremely common reasons a dog or cat may require a procedure.
Besides time in the operating rooms, vets also dedicate time out of their day, either at the office or at home, to research information about diagnoses and surgeries and surgical techniques, so they’re always improving the way they care for your pet.
Much of your veterinarian’s day involves doing check-ups. Many check-ups are for animals’ first ever vet visits! Some breeders’ contracts require new owners to take their pets to a vet within three days, and some shelters ask that new owners visit within seven.
During your cat or dog’s very first visit, your veterinarian will check many things:
- Lungs (by listening)
- Heart (by listening)
- Mouth and teeth
- Abdomen (by feeling)
- Lymph nodes (by feeling)
An animal’s first visit is also a great chance for owners to ask questions about their new pets, including future care and diet, so a vet will listen to their questions and concerns and propose solutions. Many pets also receive their first shots during this visit and get a schedule for booster shots and other vaccinations.
As you know, animals shouldn’t go to the vet just once. Annual check-ups are important for their ongoing health, and a vet’s typical day includes these too. An annual check-up may involve:
- A dental exam
- An overall wellness check
Many owners will also receive advice from their vets, which may include diet and activity changes as the pet gets older.
First-time visits and annual check-ups are made by appointments, which make up much of a veterinarian’s day. There are other reasons for appointments, usually because of concerns a pet owner has. Three common reasons cats and dogs see the vet are:
- Upset stomachs
- Skin allergies
- Ear infections
Dogs often also require appointments for skin and bladder infections, while cats visit for kidney and dental disease.
During these types of appointments, a vet inspects the animal, which may include taking its weight and temperature and asking the owner questions about changes in the pet’s:
- Eating habits
The vet may make a diagnosis right away, based on what they see and hear, but some issues require further testing like:
- Blood work
The veterinarian will also offer advice on what to look for in the next few days and how to care for the animal in the future.
Sometimes emergency cases walk—or are carried—through the door of a veterinary hospital. A dog could have been involved in a fight or a car accident. Or an animal’s behavior or health may have suddenly changed, like labored breathing or excessive straining in the litter box.
When situations like this happen, many owners are unsure at first and call veterinary offices for advice, which is always welcome. If the veterinarian advises, the animal will be brought in.
If a life-threatening emergency shows up at a clinic, it is likely to be seen immediately. After an examination—and stabilization, if needed—the veterinarian will advise the owner on what to do next.
Note: If you ever believe your pet needs an emergency vet visit, don’t hesitate: Call 281-693-7387 to ask for advice or get information about coming in.
Sadly, a veterinarian’s day sometimes involves euthanasia. When there is nothing more that can be done for a pet, or they are in considerable pain, euthanasia is sometimes recommended. Although it does make a beloved pet’s passing easier, it is heartbreaking for owners—and veterinarians.
Although a veterinarian’s day can sometimes have sad parts—because of a chronic condition or the passing of an animal—most veterinarians absolutely love their jobs. Their education and hard work pays off in ensuring puppies, kittens, dogs, and cats have long, happy lives. The best sight is a joyful, wagging tail walking out the door next to a satisfied owner.
We know bringing your pet into the office for an emergency or surgery can be nerve-wracking, whether you’ve been a pet-parent for a week or 10 years. Thankfully, there are two things your pet has on its side:
- Your vet’s education and experience (Find out more about that here.)
- The ever-improving technology your vet uses to care for your pet
Technology in veterinarian offices has improved and evolved over the last 25 years, making procedures faster and more comfortable for your pet and easier for us to ensure their health.
Here are just a few of the advanced technologies veterinarians throughout the U.S. use to keep animals healthy and happy!
Many humans have heard of MRIs, and many others have even received them, but did you know they’re also used by veterinarians? Formally called magnetic resonance imaging, radio waves and a magnetic field produce the images.
In humans, MRIs are often used to find:
- Artery disease
In dogs and cats, MRIs are most often used for investigating issues with the:
- And more
An MRI is an extremely advanced diagnostic tool. If your pet is suffering from an issue like a spinal cord injury or a brain tumor, an MRI will absolutely help your vet diagnose the issue. Non-invasive and with no ionizing radiation, it is much safer than many other solutions for find out what’s going on in your animal’s body.
Dog MRIs can be expensive, costing up to $1,500 per scan, but if you have pet insurance, it is most likely covered. This does not always include the price of anesthesia.
Since MRI technology is so advanced, it’s not available in every office. If your pet needs an MRI, and your vet doesn’t offer it, they will be able to help you schedule the appointment at a specialty center. At Cinco Ranch Vet, we often refer to Gulf Coast Veterinary Services, as well as Texas A&M.
A CAT (forcomputer axiel tomography)—or CT—scan is another tool familiar to us humans. It’s a diagnostic imaging test similar to the MRI, and in humans it’s often used to discover the cause of a stroke or investigate head injuries. It can also be helpful when looking for issues with blood vessels. For dogs and cats, CAT scans are most commonly used to determine the cause of neurological disorders, like issues walking and seizures.
Using X-ray beams—but more powerful than a conventional X-ray—the vet technician puts dye into the patient’s bloodstream to provide contrast on the CAT scan’s gray scale.
In some cases, after a CAT scan, further investigation is needed, which may include an MRI. Pet owners can expect to pay $500 to $1,200, depending on the extent of the scans plus monitoring and anesthesia.
A CAT scan, like an MRI, may only be available at a specialty practice in your area and might require recommendation from your vet.
For CAT scans, MRIs, spaying and neutering, and surgery on almost any pet, that animal will be put under anesthesia to ensure it doesn’t move or feel pain during the procedure. While most pets do not have reactions to anesthesia, it’s always important to be careful and monitor their vital signs, like any human during surgery. Thanks to improvements in technology, anesthetic monitoring is better than ever!
There are several parts of the monitoring process:
- An electrocardiogram (ECG) can be used to show a patient’s heart rate and rhythm while also detecting any abnormalities that may occur.
- A pulse oxymeter monitors the oxygen levels in your pet’s blood.
- A CO2 monitor checks the CO2 that your pet exhales.
Also watched carefully throughout the procedure are your pet’s:
- Blood pressure
- Pulse rates
The cost of anesthesia depends on:
- The procedure
- The type of animal
- The size of the animal
For most surgeries and diagnostic exams, the anesthesia price will be explained by your vet and added to the cost of the procedure.
Since dog MRIs and MRIs for cats can be quite expensive and not always readily available for use, pet owners have another solution available to them: ultrasounds.
An ultrasound is perfect for investigating your pet’s heart and abdomen. It’s extremely helpful if your pet has swallowed something it shouldn’t have. Fast, inexpensive, and non-invasive, most patients will not even require anesthesia during an ultrasound.
Although ultrasounds are not yet in every veterinarian’s office, they are becoming a popular tool, and many vets are investing in them. Costs can range between $50 and 500, making it a more affordable solution for most pet owners.
If an X-ray does not determine the cause of an issue, we provide ultrasounds in our office by appointment.
3D printing seems to be used for almost everything now, and it’s still evolving. Biological engineers are even looking into its uses for artificial organs!
This technology allows veterinarians to plan ahead when surgery for pets is required. In one case, when a CAT scan didn’t provide enough information for a particular patient at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, professors used a 3D printer to replicate the dog’s effected bones. This allowed the veterinarian to determine a solution ahead of time, rather than during the surgery.
3D printing requires a specialized computer that layers materials into a specific shape. Due to the advanced technology of 3D printing, 3D printers are most often found at veterinary teaching colleges, where they were first used in 2009.
More colleges and more specialty centers are using 3D printers to plan surgeries and look for solutions that may not have been used in the past. Unfortunately, due to the cost, it may be quite a while before a 3D printer is available in your local vet’s office.
At Cinco Ranch Vet, we use FDA-approved laser therapy to decrease the pain associated with surgery and reduce animals’ inflammation. It’s a great treatment post-surgery and provides much-needed relief to dogs and cats with arthritis.
Laser therapy works by calling on the body’s own healing and immune system. Different wavelengths are used for different procedures. Deep tissue treatment, for example, takes only 5 to 10 minutes, but arthritic patients require several sessions.
At Cinco Ranch Vet, we know bringing your cat or dog in for an MRI, an ultrasound, or even a spay or neuter procedure can be stressful; it’s natural to worry! But thanks to advances in technology, our job of taking care of your pet and diagnosing their problems is easier than ever. If you are curious about the technology we use at our practice or our preferred specialists, give us a call, or feel free to ask during your next visit!
Just like brushing your dog’s teeth, trimming a dog’s nails can be a bit intimidating at first, especially if you have a pup that doesn’t want to cooperate. But trimming your dog’s nails at home is likely easier than you think! Below is a short guide to what you’ll need to keep their claws looking their best. Of course, if you’re still unsure, have any questions, or want a demonstration, call Cinco Ranch Vet today!
Why Trimming Your Dog’s Nails Is Necessary
You know that all dogs have claws, but did you know that properly maintaining them is important to your pup’s overall health? If growing claws are left unattended, they can eventually cause pain or even injuries to your dog’s paws and legs. Long nails can leave the paw splayed, making it difficult to walk and, in some cases, causing the foot to become deformed.
For this reason, your dog’s nails should be trimmed every 4 weeks, although digging in the dirt and walking on pavement can help keep them dull and filed. You should also clip them if they become broken or torn.
Materials You’ll Need
There aren’t many materials you need to trim your dog’s nails, but you’ll want to have everything on hand before you start, so the process is as smooth and stress-free—for your pooch—as possible.
- Nail clippers
- Clotting powder
- Grinder tools/emery board (optional, but recommended)
- Treats (suggested)
When it comes to nail clippers, there are quite a few choices available. Guillotine-style clippers are generally easiest to use, but this style also makes it pretty easy to pinch your dog’s toes. They are perfect for small dogs but may be more difficult to use on larger dogs.
Pliers-style and scissor-style nail clippers are great options for bigger breeds, as their nails are larger and tougher.
Maintain your clippers by ensuring they are sharp or using replacement blades.
Note: Never use human nail trimmers on your dog! Dog nail clippers are designed to meet the shape of a dog’s nails.
How to Use the Clippers
Guillotine clippers work very differently than pliers or scissor clippers, and it’s important to know how to use each one before beginning.
- Guillotine clippers – Slide your dog’s nail into the hole at the top, and squeeze. As the blade lowers, it will cut off the nail tip.
- Pliers and scissor clippers – Put your dog’s nails in between the pliers or scissors, and cut the nail through in one stroke.
Clotting powder is a must-have in case you accidentally trim your dog’s nails too short, and they start to bleed. Styptic powder is great to have on hand, but if you need to trim your dog’s nails and don’t have access to clotting powder, mix together:
- Baking soda
- Baking flour
A grinder tool is essentially an emery board that rotates. It’s great for smoothing out your dog’s nails after a trim, but it isn’t required to get trimming done. Pedipaws is a popular product.
Some dogs that are especially unhappy about having their nails trimmed may prefer a grinder, and many groomers like to use grinders because they cauterize the end of each nail.
As a dog owner, you know that treats make everything better!
Before You Start…
Before trimming your dog’s nails for the first time, you may want to have your groomer or vet show you how to do it.
The first step is to make sure your dog is comfortable, relaxed, and okay with its feet and claws being touched. This may take a few sessions. Once your pup is comfortable with you handling its paws, you can move on to trimming.
At the beginning, you may want to clip only a few nails at a time to reduce your dog’s stress. Have a few treats handy during the session to reward your pup for good behavior and make the situation more appealing. If your dog becomes uncomfortable—squirming or acting nervous—stop and try again later.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Trimming Your Dog’s Nails
Again, it’s recommended to watch a professional groomer or veterinarian trim your dog’s nails before trying it yourself.
Once you’re ready, your dog is comfortable, and you have all your supplies, it’s time to get started!
Step 1: Position your pup.
Have your dog lie down on its side. Some people find having the dog lie on a table is easier. Ensure your pup remains still throughout the process.
Step 2: Gain access to the nails.
Take your dog’s paw into your hand, and squeeze the pad softly. This will splay the foot and extend the nails.
Step 3: Look for the quick line.
The quick line supplies blood to the nail and contains nerves. Make sure to clip in front of it to avoid injuries.
Step 4: Trim.
Carefully trim each nail one at a time using the clippers.
Note: If you accidentally trim the quick, use the clotting powder right away to stop any bleeding. Hold the powder onto the nail until the bleeding stops, and continue to add more as needed. Consider trimming the remaining nails another day.
Step 5: Grind.
Once all the nails are trimmed, use the grinder tool to smooth them. Using the V of the tool, move in one direction until you reach the end of the V. If you decide to use the grinder tool for the entire process, note that it will take longer than trimming, and some dogs will require extra time to become accustomed to the sound and movement.
Step 6: Treats!
Once you’re all done, it’s time for treats! Although you should consider giving your dog treats—and definitely give it reassurance—throughout the entire session.
When to Take Your Dog to a Professional Groomer or Vet
If you don’t feel comfortable trimming your dog’s nails at home, schedule an appointment with your groomer or vet. This is also the case if your dog just cannot get comfortable with the process, even after several sessions.
Dogs with darker nails may require trips to a professional, as it is harder to see the quick and avoid injury. You may also want to take your pup to the vet if you don’t have clotting powder on hand and an injury occurred.
Trimming your dog’s nails is necessary to ensure its health and well-being. It can be done at home when your dog is relaxed but sometimes requires a professional’s assistance. If you don’t feel comfortable trimming your dog’s nails or would like to see how it’s done, give us a call at 281-693-7387!
The veterinarian who takes care of your furry, slithery, or feathered companion sometimes seem like they were just born knowing everything there is to know about animals and their health. But the truth is, they earned the privilege of caring for your loved one after lots of work and learning.
So what does it actually take to become a veterinarian? Here’s a peak into what’s required!
Children who are seriously interested in vet training usually start working toward it in high school by taking—and often excelling in—courses including:
College and AP (advanced placement) courses during their junior and senior years also help them get a head start on their Bachelors’ degrees.
During high school years, many future vets take up volunteering. Almost every community offers plenty of opportunities to work with animals. The most obvious choice is a local vet’s office, but not all practices accept high school volunteers.
Lots of other places are always looking for volunteers, donations, and extra help:
- Humane societies
- Local pet rescues
- Wildlife rescues
- National parks
- Neighbors (who need dog walking and pet-sitting)
Some organizations even offer internships for college students.
Earning a Bachelor’s Degree
Almost all veterinary schools require applicants to earn a Bachelor’s degree first. While they’re undergraduates, students who want to be veterinarians have to take the pre-requisites for veterinary college, which include more advanced courses in biology, chemistry, math, and physics.
Students are also encouraged to continue to volunteer or intern, since most veterinary colleges like that students have this experience. Some colleges have pre-veterinary clubs on campus, which can help students:
- Pursue career tracks
- Take part in shadowing programs
- Find scholarships
Bachelor’s degrees generally take about four years to earn, and the expense depends on:
- The school
- The courses a student takes
- How many years it takes to complete their required classes
- Whether they’re an in-state or out-of-state student
While most veterinary training colleges require or prefer Bachelor’s degrees, some admit students who have not earned one. Approximately 10% of students do things this way. They can earn an Associate’s degree in animal science or a similar subject and take only the pre-requisite courses without earning a degree. This can save thousands of dollars, but it may not get them into every veterinary college.
Applying to Veterinary School
- A competitive GPA – Students aim for 3.5 or better and work especially hard on pre-requisite courses.
- Letters of Recommendation – Most vet colleges request at least three letters, from:
-An academic adviser
-An established veterinarian
-A professor or someone else the student chooses
- The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) – This is the standardized test for getting into vet colleges.
- Experience – This includes experience in animal work and leadership.
Applications to veterinary school are generally due in the fall of senior year of college, and the process is very competitive. About 7,000 students apply each year, and fewer than 3,000 spots are available, although class sizes increase by about 1.8% every year.
While every future vet should love animals, colleges look for someone with more than that, like a passion for:
- Areas similar to vet medicine
The cost of veterinary school is high. In-state tuition is about $22,500. Out-of-state students pay about $46,000. Veterinarians also tend to graduate with debt—over $130,000 of it.
After completing veterinary school, which is usually four years, students receive their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree. To practice in the United States, they have to take the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) and the Veterinarian’s Oath. Each state also has its own requirements.
Finding a Job
At this point, the child with a love for animals is officially a veterinarian! What now?
Most veteran veterinarians suggest new vets find an office to intern in before accepting a permanent position. Most colleges help students find the clinics that match their interests, and sometimes students complete their internships while they’re still in school.
Some graduates find positions in small animal clinics; others specialize in larger animals, such as horses or cows; and others work with exotic animals. Other students decide not to work directly with animals but work in related fields, like research. Entry-level veterinarians can expect to make about $67,000.
Many veterinarians ultimately want to open their own practices. To do this, it helps to have experience in business and approximately $1,000,000 in funding.
Choosing to become a veterinarian, like many careers, requires a lot of hard work, long hours, and dedication—along with about eight years of schooling! And, of course, a love for animals. Next time you talk with your vet, you can be sure they put a lot into getting to help your pet. Most vets love to chat about their experience and their extremely rewarding career choice.
If you have questions about your pet’s health or you want to learn more about Dr. Hibler and other Cinco Ranch staff, don’t hesitate to ask! Give Cinco Ranch Veterinary Hospital a call at (281) 693-7387.
Siamese cats are one of the best-known breeds of the feline family. Bolstered partly by their Lady and the Tramp fame, they are a lot more lovable than the troublemakers they were made out to be in the Disney film. Whether you’re thinking about adding one to your family or are just intrigued by these unique felines, here’s everything you need to know about Siamese cats!
From Royalty in One Country to Another: History of the Siamese Cat
Siamese cats have a lot going on besides being absolutely gorgeous, including a rich history. They’re one of the oldest and most well-known cat breeds on the planet. From Thailand, which was originally known as Siam (hence the cat’s name), Siamese cats were favored by royalty and even known as the Royal Cat of Siam.
No one is entirely sure when the breed first left Thailand and made an appearance in Britain. There is evidence of the Siamese cat at the first cat show at Crystal Palace in London, 1871, where, rumor has it, they were poorly received. The first documented evidence is from 1884, when two Siamese were gifted to the sister of a British consul general.
Records show that the first Siamese cat in the United States belonged to Lucy Hayes in 1878, the First Lady and wife of President Rutherford B. Hayes. The cats quickly become popular in America and were a top contestant in cat shows by the 1900s.
Today, the Siamese cat is still immensely popular! In addition to being featured in the Lady and The Tramp, they have appeared in:
- The Aristocats,
- The Wizard of Oz
You might also have seen a hint of Siamese in other cats! They were bred to create other breeds, including the:
- Havana Brown
- And more!
Siamese cats are almost instantly identifiable but their colored points, beautiful blue eyes, and large ears. The traditional colors for a Siamese are:
- Lilac point
Some less common colors include:
Their bodies are a lighter shade than their faces, ears, paws, and tails.
This breed is a natural breed, which means it wasn’t bred for specific qualities. The Siamese came about due to a natural, genetic mutation.
Following the breed standards that exist now, most Siamese have:
- An elongated but muscular body
- A triangular head
- A long neck
- A slender tail
- Fine hair
Siamese cats boast of one of the longest life spans of any cat breed, living to about 15 to 20 years old. The oldest one lived to 30!
Why Siamese Cats Make Great Pets
There’s no doubt: Siamese cats make wonderful pets. They are well known for their intelligence and training capabilities, including walking on a leash and playing fetch! In fact, they are one of the most intelligent cats out there. That also means if you don’t keep them stimulated, they are easily bored. Puzzle toys, bird feeders, training, and a lot of playtime are sure to keep them entertained. They will let you know if they’re bored by chatting up quite a storm!
Due to their intelligence and high energy, it is recommended that they have a buddy. It can be another cat, but they also get along with dogs quite well. (And children too!) A companion can be especially important if someone isn’t at home all the time.
In addition to being extremely smart, Siamese cats are also very affectionate. They’re always happy to cuddle or sleep in your bed; in fact, they will also worm their way into every aspect of your life, even watching television with you! As long as you like spending a lot of time with your Siamese cat, it is sure to be happy.
Future Siamese cat owners may also be glad to know that this breed sheds very little and requires very minimal grooming. They may need extra care when it comes to their teeth, though.
While Siamese cats make excellent and loveable companions, future owners should note that due to their high energy and talkative nature, they may not be for everyone.
If you decide to adopt one, you will be rewarded handsomely. They’re known for their conversations, cuddles, and their ability to easily become the center of attention. There is nothing quite like a Siamese!
5 More Fun Facts about Siamese Cats
Siamese cats are truly unique. Here are a few more bonus facts about this cool breed:
- Kittens are born all cream or all white. They get their colored points later!
- Siamese is the breed’s name in Western cultures. Its name in Thailand is wichien-matt, which means “Moon Diamond” in Thai.
- Cats usually only give birth to 4 to 6 kittens, but one Siamese mix gave birth to 19.
- Since they are generally active, when left alone and bored, Siamese cats will often get into mischief or adventures that can include turning on the sinks and finding excellent hiding spots.
- When a Siamese cat breeds with a non-Siamese cat, their kittens will often be pure black or a mix of black and white.
Siamese cats are definitely a unique and popular breed! If you’re thinking of adding one to your family, first check your local shelters, as purebreds are there more often than people imagine. If you’d like to purchase one from a breeder, do your research. Ensure the breeder is certified, a member of associations, and ask to see the kitten’s parents. Always double-check the information you are given, ensuring the breeder you choose is reputable.
Once you’ve adopted, take your new family member in for a vet checkup within the first week or two of bringing it home. Schedule your first appointment with Cinco Ranch Vet by simply calling 281-693-7387.
Many pet owners don’t clean their pets’ teeth, but it’s essential to your animal’s health! Brushing their teeth may seem like an astronomical task—prying their mouth open, getting a toothbrush in, not getting bitten—but it’s quite easy and should be done regularly in addition to professional dental cleanings that ensure plaque and dental disease are kept at bay. Call us at 281-693-7387 to book your furbaby’s next dental cleaning! In the meantime, here are some ways you can keep your pets’ canines sparkling white!
Why Cleaning Your Pet’s Teeth Is Important
Just like humans, cats and dogs can really benefit from regular teeth brushing. It helps remove the buildup of plaque and may even reduce the need for professional cleanings at the vet. Over 80% of pets will get periodontal disease before the age of 3, which can result in:
- Bad breath
- Tooth loss
- Pain while chewing
Poor dental health can also have an effect on the kidneys, liver, and heart, so it’s essential to your pet’s overall well-being that they have a healthy mouth.
Not sure if your cat or dog has issues with their teeth or gums? Peek inside! Tartar appears as a brown buildup, while gingivitis may be displayed by redness around the gum line.
If you spot your pet having difficulty chewing or notice missing teeth, it’s time for a trip to the vet. In cats, drooling is not normal and should be checked out.
How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
At first, brushing your dog’s teeth may be awkward for you and your dog, especially if they’re not used to it. That’s why it’s recommended to start early. But don’t worry! Even old dogs can learn new tricks, and your adult dog will be comfortable with the practice in no time.
Before brushing your dog’s teeth, gather the right materials, including:
- A dog toothbrush
- Dog toothpaste
- A finger brush
It’s important to never use toothbrushes or toothpaste that is made for humans. Flouride is an ingredient in most human toothpaste, and it is poisonous to dogs. Dog toothbrushes are also much softer than regular toothbrushes and specially angled for dogs’ mouths. Finger brushes work well for smaller dogs, generally under 30 pounds.
We recommend our clients and their pets try the Enzadent enzymatic’s tooth-brushing kit. It includes:
- A specialized pet toothbrush
- A finger brush
- Poultry-flavored toothpaste
If your dog doesn’t particularly like poultry, we also find that CET toothpaste works extremely well, and you can purchase it at our office! It’s available in poultry, vanilla mint, and beef flavors.
If you want to ty something completely homemade, a recipe of turmeric, parsley, and kelp will do the job.
Once you’ve purchased the materials, it’s time to start brushing:
Sit down or kneel in front of your dog. Make sure they’re comfortable; if they are at all anxious, wait to brush their teeth at another time.
Once your dog is comfortable, see how well they respond to your finger in their mouth, with just light pressure. This includes rubbing their upper gums and teeth.
If your dog appears uncomfortable, repeat this step at different times until they are okay with their mouth being touched. Then move on to Step 3.
Ensure that your dog prefers the toothpaste. This is another step that may take a few days. If they show no interest in licking the toothpaste off your finger in a few days, purchase a different flavor.
Once your dog is completely comfortable with the above steps, break out the toothbrush and lift your dog’s upper lip. For smaller dogs, use a finger brush.
Angle the toothbrush to make sure it reaches your dog’s teeth, gum line, and gums. Always use light pressure with small, circular brushes.
For the first few sessions, concentrate on only a few teeth at a time. On later days, you can try more and more teeth.
Note: If you notice light bleeding, it’s probably normal. If the bleeding is heavy or doesn’t stop, you may be brushing too hard. It could also be a sign of gum disease.
More plaque will tend to accumulate on your dog’s canines and back teeth, so it’s important to give those extra attention when brushing. Always stop if your dog appears to be uncomfortable.
It’s a great idea to end the session with a treat or chew snack that promotes dental health, such as synthetic bones designed to strengthen a dog’s mouth.
How to Brush Your Cat’s Teeth
Brushing a cat’s teeth may seem a bit more complicated than brushing a dog’s, but just like a dog, it’s important to make sure your cat is comfortable above all else. It just may take them a little more time to adjust.
The materials you will need to brush your cat’s teeth are:
- A cat toothbrush
- Cat toothpaste
- A finger brush
Never use human toothpaste on a cat; it is harmful to their stomach. Cat toothbrushes tend to be smaller and softer than dog toothbrushes, but finger brushes work extremely well for cats and may be preferable. The Enzadent enzymatic’s tooth-brushing kit is also built for cats, as is CET toothpaste. Most cats like poultry flavors, but fish is another popular choice.
Don’t rush your cat. They will have to get comfortable with the process and maybe try out different toothpaste flavors before they’re comfortable with the process.
Here are some steps you can follow to make sure your cat’s dental health is taken care of:
Let your cat get comfortable. Often, you can hold them on your lap. If your cat becomes anxious or uncomfortable at any time during brushing, stop and try again later.
Raise your kitty’s upper lip, and begin to brush. You will want to brush downwards to remove food, plaque, and other items stuck in their teeth.
Once your cat’s top teeth are finished, move the lower lip and brush their bottom teeth in an upward motion.
Note: Always allow your cat access to a water bowl after you have finished brushing their teeth. The toothpaste is not harmful, but they will appreciate a drink!
For cats especially, you may want to consider brushing a few teeth at every session, stopping, and resuming the next day. You should also give your kitty a dental-friendly treat afterwards.
If you notice any issues with your pets’ teeth while you’re brushing, it’s important to call a vet right away. Dental disease is painful for cats and dogs and can interfere with their eating. And, of course, if you’d like our experts to show you how to brush your pet’s teeth, we’d be happy to!
Regular, professional dental-cleaning appointments are also important for your cat or dog’s overall health. Call Cinco Ranch Vet at 281-693-7387 to make sure their smile remains pearly white!
If you’ve been on the Internet, it’s safe to assume you’ve run into your fair share of famous Internet cats. Their cute capers are captured in images and videos across the Web. There’s no question that cats rule the Internet. Sorry, dogs!
Why do cats get the majority of YouTube views and funny captions? An exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York titled “How Cats Took Over the Internet” posited that the answer lies in:
While dogs outwardly show their emotions—there are plenty of dogs excited to see their returning servicemen and women, for example—cats do their own thing. They don’t pay attention to the camera or even to people, in most cases. They behave as if no one is watching, sometimes unpredictably. We peek in on their world because we wonder, “What will they do next?” Time Magazine said people like to watch cat videos because “we’re all secret voyeurs.”
Cats are also cute and funny, and that definitely plays a role in their fame!
Getting Their Start on the Internet
Even before YouTube, cats started taking their place as the mascots and representatives of the Internet. ebaum’s World, a site popular in the early 2000s, featured the short “The Kitty Cat Dance.” When YouTube was released, the first cat video was posted by YouTube co-founder Steve Chen. The next year, “Puppy vs Cat” became the first cat video to go viral. Today it has more than 16 million views!
The year 2007 was when cats and their Internet popularity took off running with the introduction of the LolCats website, i can has.cheezburger.com. The website allows users to take cat photos and write captions over them, resulting in plenty of cute photos featuring cats and other animals!
The Cat Stats
Today, there are over 2 million cat-related videos available on YouTube alone. They average about 12,000 views each, higher than any other category. I Can Has Cheezburger also currently boasts about 100 million visits each month. The cat phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down.
The Most Famous Internet Cats
Ask anybody to name at least one famous Internet cat, and they can probably do it. Here are just a few of the most popular:
The runt of a feral litter, Lil’ Bib is an adorable girl who gets her unique looks from several genetic mutations. Her tongue hangs out due to a short jaw and not having teeth, but that does not affect her voracious appetite. Although she had some difficulty finding her forever home, Mike Bridavsky knew she was for him the second he saw her.
Since her introduction on Tumblr in 2011, Lil’ Bub has been showered with over 2 million Facebook likes, starred in documentaries, attended meet-and-greets, and won awards. Her owner sells plenty of merchandise featuring the famous cat, but the majority of sales go toward animal rescue groups.
Tardar Sauce, better known to the Internet as Grumpy Cat, also received her looks from a genetic mutation. Her appearance is caused by feline dwarfism and an underbite. She rose to fame after a relative of her owner posted her photo to Reddit. It was only a matter of time before she became an Internet meme and well-known Lolcat.
Grumpy Cat has also made her rounds of the celebrity circuit, appearing on news shows, in photo sessions, and even as a guest on WWE Monday Night Raw.
Cats love boxes, and there is no better model of this than Maru. Maru’s owner has over 540,000 subscribers and at least 1 video with over 22 million views featuring some of his most famous antics. No matter how big or how small the box is, this Scottish Fold from Japan will try his hardest to fit.
Sadly, this next cat has passed on, but Colonel Meow’s fame will live on through the Internet. In 2014 he held the Guinness World Record™ for longest fur on a cat at about 9 inches long! His face did the rest when his owners posted photos of his grumpy, militant appearance to social media.
Simon’s Cat is a famous cartoon featured on YouTube. Although the cat is technically a drawing, it is based on the artist’s (Simon’s) cat and the many cat antics that all pet owners experience. With over 4 million subscribers, the YouTube artist has just under 824 million views on his hundreds of videos. For any cat owner that is woken up at 5 AM by cries for food or destroyed trees at Christmas, this YouTube channel is a must-watch.
Dogs Get Their Due
While cats reign supreme on the Internet, it wouldn’t be right not to acknowledge the Internet-famous dogs. “Yes, This is Dog” is one of the most popular and most used memes on the Internet today. And this puppy received over 183 million views for his antsy behavior and the well-done dubbing by Talking Animals. Fenton rose to fame when he decided chasing deer was more important than listening to his owner, and Denver became well-known when he made the choice to get into the cat treats.
There are plenty of diversions available on the Internet, and cats are definitely one of them, but there’s no question our lives would be a little less furry and a little less funny without their antics.
There are thousands of pets across the country that are looking for homes. The Houston area is no exception! In addition to the typical rescue organizations that do great work, there are several unique, smaller animal rescues in town. You may find your next family member among them!
Here are just four of Houston’s most unique animal rescues. Learn what makes them so special.
1. Friends for Life
Friends for Life, known for running the Don Sanders Adoption Center, is the only no-kill, LEED certified animal rescue in Houston—and Texas!
The rescue provides:
- Spay/neuter services
- Pet assistance
- A medical clinic (coming soon)
Since 2008, Friends for Life has seen a 580% increase in adoption and is so proud of the 75% adoption rate for animals that were deemed “unadoptable” by other shelters. Dogs staying at the rescue until they find forever homes enjoy sniff holes and plenty of space. Cats are cage-less, with room to climb—even up to the skylights!
Beyond getting animals adopted, the shelter is committed to keeping families together, no matter the obstacles. For local families and communities that can’t afford to spay or neuter their pets, Friends for Life offers free fix services, in partnership with the Houston animal rescue, BARC. One unfixed female cat could potentially have more than 100 kittens in her entire lifetime. That could lead to 420,000 kittens in 7 years! To avoid cats being the most-killed animal in shelters, they need to be spayed or neutered. Friends for Life has done over 1,700 cat surgeries in just 3 years.
Friends for Life also understands that pet owners could potentially run into financial issues that make keeping their pets difficult. Their answer is offering assistance to ensure a lifetime with pets. This includes a food bank, assistance with animal containment and fences, grants for vets, and even free behavioral services. In the future, the Houston animal rescue will open a medical clinic to offer affordable pet care for those in financial straits.
2. Texas Wolfdog Project
The Texas Wolfdog Project is a newer Houston animal rescue, started in 2013. Wolfdogs are usually half-dog, half-wolf, but can be any combination of the two. Unfortunately, they are often subjected to misrepresentation, negligence, misunderstanding, and death.
While they’re certainly intriguing, wolfdogs don’t make good pets for owners who are uneducated about the breed. Many people who buy a wolf or wolfdog love the idea of owning one but are ill-equipped to handle the animal. When bored, wolfdogs can become destructive, especially with their increased prey drive, and can tear apart yards, homes, and more. Also, wolves howl, and a wolfdog is no different; it will howl at all hours of the night. The Texas Wolfdog Project hopes to educate the public about the care that this breed requires.
Often, when a breed is labeled “wolf,” it is automatically put down. The Texas Wolfdog Project steps in to help these dogs, giving them a second chance at life with more educated and responsible owners. The Project’s adoption process is lengthy and in-depth, so each dog gets its best chance.
3. K-9 Angels Rescue
A smaller animal rescue in Houston is the K-9 Angels Rescue. Focusing purely on dogs, it relies on a network of volunteers and foster families rather than its temporary adoption center. K-9 Angels Rescue does not accept animals from the public, but pulls adoptable dogs from kill shelters where they face death.
Each dog that is pulled from one of the area’s kill shelters remains with the rescue until it is adopted, often living in foster homes or with volunteers. K-9 Angels focus on finding the right family and the best match for each dog before adopting it out.
The mission of K-9 Angels Rescue is to ensure that as many of Houston’s dogs as possible do not face death just because they were abandoned, orphaned, rejected, surrendered, or neglected. The rescue is constantly looking for volunteers and eligible foster families.
One Houston animal rescue that Cinco Ranch Vet is proud to work with is CAP (Citizens for Animal Protection). Although CAP’s main mission is rescuing homeless animals and finding families for them, it also stands strongly:
- Against animal cruelty
- For the education of the public
- For the respect of animal life
Since the 1970s, CAP has found forever families for Houston’s homeless, abused, and unwanted animals. Currently, it has one of the highest adoption rates in the country, and its program is award-winning. It also offers senior citizens the ability to adopt any pet over seven years old for free.
Unlike many shelters, where you choose a pet, CAP requests that all potential adopters fill out a “Pet Match” request card. This helps you and the rescue find the pet that fits your needs and lifestyle as well as the animal’s. In addition to dogs and cats, CAP rescues rabbits, guinea pigs, reptiles, and more.
CAP is also extremely dedicated to raising awareness about the treatment of pets throughout the Houston area and the nation. Its mission is to create an aware and responsive community that shows compassion for animals. Thanks to CAP’s efforts, thousands of pets in our city have found families and loving care.
When looking for your new family member in the animal rescues around Houston, the best place to start is online. Through education and research, you can learn about the compassion, respect, and work that goes into saving homeless animals. If you’re on the search for a fur-baby, check out the four rescues mentioned here. There are hundreds of animals around our city just waiting for loving homes!
Have you been to the zoo lately and dreamed of owning a tiger? How about a bear? Or a monkey? It may just be a fun fantasy for you, but there are many across the country who take their dreams of owning an exotic animal and make them come true. But most people are not equipped to own them.
What is an exotic animal? In the United States an exotic animal could be a(n):
- Foreign domestic cow
- And more
Here are just a few of the problems that arise when exotic animals become pets:
They require research and special care.
If you’re buying a specific breed of dog, it’s important to know what to expect. For example, a border collie will require plenty of exercise (and then more on top of that), but a pug is a bit more relaxed.
The research that goes into safely and successfully owning an exotic animal is very different from owning a dog or a cat. Each animal—tiger, snake, monkey, etc.—requires special:
Many homes and yards are not equipped to safely house an exotic animal. Some owners attempt to avoid providing the proper care by declawing, chaining, or abusing. Just like any animal, if an exotic pet is not given the care it needs, it may become aggressive, depressed, or ill. Owners who have taken on exotic animals often become overwhelmed by the care they need, and the animals are given to zoos or sanctuaries.
They can be dangerous to you, others, and the ecosystem.
Another reason exotic animals shouldn’t be pets is the danger they present—to the owner and to the public. Since 1990, big cats have killed more than 19 people in the country. This does not include the hundreds of injuries that have been reported and gone unreported. Big cats, snakes, monkeys, and other exotic animals are wild, not domestic, and can be extremely dangerous. Often, they don’t adjust well to captivity.
Exotic animals are much easier to acquire now due to the Internet, and some estimate that there are almost 5,000 tigers kept by people across the country. Unfortunately, the animal attack rate has stayed steady over the last 20 years. Born Free USA, an advocate organization against the ownership of exotic animals, keeps a list of attacks on owners, which have involved mountain lions; kangaroos; snakes; reptiles; and even kinkajous, rainforest animals related to raccoons.
If an exotic pet escapes its enclosure, it can present a serious risk to the public. This is especially true if the exotic pet is kept in an enclosure too small for its needs and isolated from its kind or any interaction. In 2011, 49 animals were killed in Ohio after the man who owned them set them free and then took his own life. Some were put down by police and other law enforcement, a big cat was hit by a car, and one monkey—likely infected with the herpes B virus—was unaccounted for several days after the event. Witnesses described the animals showing aggressive behavior and lions attacking the other exotic pets at the preserve.
Snakes are a common exotic animal that are often released or escape from their enclosure, as seen in Florida. The Everglades is fighting a battle against the Burmese python, a snake that doesn’t belong in the state or even the United States. Some of the pythons may have gotten away from a facility after Hurricane Andrew, while others may have been released when they became too large to care for, or they simply escaped. Difficult to find, they are wreaking havoc on the ecosystem and have nearly wiped out the local raccoons, opossums, and rabbits.
They pose potential health risks.
Exotic animals can pose serious health risks to the community. Monkeys, for example, bite to show dominance, which may cause infection or bone deformities. Macaque monkeys often carry the herpes B virus, adding another layer of danger to their bites. Transferred through saliva, it is usually fatal for humans. Monkey pox, Ebola, and other illnesses can also be transmitted via monkey bites.
Reptiles, such as turtles and snakes, also have the potential to be a health risk; that’s primarily because 90% carry salmonellosis. It’s estimated that 93,000 cases of the illness in the country are due to reptiles, and the animals don’t show symptoms. To avoid catching salmonella, always wash your hands after handling reptiles, a reptile’s cage, or anything a reptile has touched. Never put a reptile near your mouth. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends that children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems avoid all reptiles.
Owning exotic animals could be against the law.
There are several federal, state, and local laws either prohibiting or regulating the sale and ownership of exotic animals in Texas and the United States. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) prevents the sale of endangered species but does not stop private possession. The Public Health Services Act prohibits importing primates for personal use.
Texas requires citizens to have a license or permit to obtain and possess an exotic animal. A person interested in getting a permit must submit several materials, including:
- The location the animal will be kept
- Photos of their enclosure
- Liability insurance
- Veterinary inspections
Each certificate must be renewed annually.
While it is not against the law to own exotic animals in Texas as a whole, that’s not the case in Houston. The city bans any animal considered wild by nature. This includes lions, foxes, gorillas, elephants, and venomous reptiles.
Spend time with exotic animals!
Almost everyone can agree that exotic animals are amazing to watch and learn about. While it’s probably not a great idea to own one, there are several places to see and even interact with them in a safe manner.
Owning an exotic animal may seem like a fun and exciting idea, but there are several reasons why they should stay in the care of very educated owners, zoos, or the wild, and the examples listed above are only a few. If you are still interested in owning an exotic animal, do careful research into every aspect of owning the pet, including your local laws and the animals’ needs, diet, and behavior, so you can ensure that you and your pet stay healthy and happy.