A Penny Saved: Why You Should Consider a Pet Wellness Plan

Gone are the days when the average family pet had to earn his or her keep by herding sheep or killing rodents. A few generations ago, the lives of pets were a far cry from the comfort our four-legged family members enjoy today, a comfort that also extends to their medical care.

U.S. pet owners spend an estimated $15 billion on veterinary care each year. While it is truly wonderful that veterinary medicine has advanced so much in recent years, and that we value pets more than ever as a society, the combination of these things often winds up being a recipe for a potential financial struggle when a pet falls ill or is in an accident.


Why it’s Important to Spay or Neuter Your Pet

If we told you there was an insurance policy against dangerous cancers, would you take us up on the offer? When you spay or neuter your pet, not only are you reducing animal overpopulation, but you are also offering your pet benefits that stretch far into his or her future health.

A Decades-Long Discussion

In spite of the real and obvious advantages, spaying or neutering isn’t always the go-to choice for pet owners. While research from the last few decades proves how beneficial the procedure can be, perceived risks still run rampant among pet owners.


More than Good Looks: The Importance of Regular Pet Grooming

Pet grooming is about so much more than having a clean pet. Although our pets surely enjoy the extra snuggles they receive when they look and smell their best, regular brushing, bathing, and nail trims can also have a positive impact on their health and wellness.

Skin and Fur

Dogs and cats require regular brushing to remove debris and loose hairs, stimulate blood flow to the skin, and distribute oils evenly throughout the coat. Regular brushing keeps your pet’s fur free of tangles and mats, which could pull, tear, or restrict airflow to the skin. Brushing also cuts down on hairballs in cats.

Brushing and bathing give you or your groomer the chance to observe any issues with the skin related to allergies, disease or injury, or parasites, such as fleas or ticks.


Feline Fun: Keeping Your Indoor Cat Active

Although winters in Texas can be unpredictable, we do spend more time inside during this season than any other – particularly around the holidays. Naturally, this can lead to a more, shall we say, couch potato lifestyle.

The same can be true for indoor cats, as their natural instinct to hunt and roam can become secondary to snoozing on a window perch. While it’s true that feline friends who stay inside are safer and healthier, they also need a bit more help staying at a healthy weight.

To help keep your indoor cat active, we’ve compiled some tips for exercise and enrichment.


Holly, Jolly, Folly: Don’t Forget About Holiday Pet Safety!

Celebrating Christmas with my familyIt’s reasonable to think that once you pet-proof your home, you don’t really have to worry about it anymore. Fluffy stopped chewing on your laptop cord ages ago, and Fido hasn’t been interested in your kitchen scraps lately. You’re all good, right? Maybe, but with the holidays fast approaching, you might want to amp up your household vigilance.

While this is a time for spreading joy and goodwill, the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s are also overflowing with opportunities for danger, trouble, or both. That’s precisely why our team came up with the following guide to holiday pet safety.


An Underappreciated Danger: Heartworms in Cats

Mosquito on Cats noseMost dog owners in Texas are educated about heartworm disease. It’s not just about dogs, though – cats are at risk for heartworms, too!

While we don’t hear much about heartworm disease in our feline friends, it is perhaps an even scarier diagnosis for them. Read on to learn why Hallsville Veterinary Hospital wants you to know about heartworms in cats.

The Hated Heartworm

Heartworm disease is a very serious disease caused by a parasitic worm called Dirofilaria immitis. This nasty little worm is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it picks up the baby worms (called microfilaria) in its digestive tract. In 10-14 days, these baby worms become infective, and when the mosquito bites another animal, it injects these larvae into a new host. Continue…

Furry Ghosts and Tail-Wagging Goblins: All About Pet Costume Safety

Dog wearing sunglasses and Elvis wigIt’s our favorite time of year here at Hallsville Veterinary Hospital – pet costume season! For us, the crisp air and changing leaves conjure up images of adorable pets showing off their fabulous costumes during the annual Hallsville pet costume contest at the Western Days festival.

Whether you are entering your furry ball of joy in our costume contest this year or plan to take your pet out trick-or-treating (or both!), take a moment to review our pet costume safety tips ahead of time.

All Dressed Up?

Before you pay top dollar for that adorable cheerleader skirt and pom-poms for your labradoodle, or spend hours creating a Pinterest-worthy taco costume for your tabby, it’s important to keep your pet’s comfort in mind. Continue…

A Heart Full of Fluff: Caring for a New Kitten

Young cat looking from the pet carrier at the vet ordinationThe only thing better than a fluffy, bright-eyed kitten is an adult cat who’s well cared for. To get between the important life stages, however, a healthy foundation must be established and maintained. Of course, it’s easy to get wrapped up in a kitten’s cuteness, but without a general working knowledge of feline development, proper wellness may be overlooked. From kitten-proofing your home to important veterinary care, we’re here to review the best in caring for a new kitten.


It’s Puppy Love! Caring for Your New Puppy

Beagle puppy sleepWithout a doubt, there are few things more precious than a new puppy. From those awkward attempts at running to the adorable Buddha bellies, getting a new puppy is fun and exciting.

However, along with the cuteness comes a lot of work. To start your pet off on the right paw, it’s important to tackle socialization, behavioral training, and proper veterinary care early on.  

The First Few Weeks

When it comes to new puppy care, one of the best places to begin is at our hospital. Make an appointment for a thorough physical exam. We will review proper vaccinations, parasite screening and prevention, and spaying/neutering. Continue…

Cute and Cuddly: Teaching Kids About Pet Safety

Girl and her best friendPets have been part of human culture for over 25,000 years. The desire to seek out – and enjoy – animal companionship is often cultivated during childhood. As kids, we’re swept away by books and films depicting animal heroes, which only strengthens our collective love of pets.

However, while it’s well-established that children love animals, it’s less common to hear what we should be teaching kids about pet safety. That’s where your friends at Hallsville Veterinary Hospital come in!

Further Study

Perhaps kids love pets because they feel empowered to care for them or maybe children just need the unconditional love of a pet. Whatever the reasons are behind these pint-sized relationships, the fact remains that kids love animals. But not all animals love kids. Continue…