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Proper Care at Home

  • westgate2010_dsc04930Hard crunchy food is good chewing exercise for your pet's teeth and gums. We do not routinely recommend softened food or canned food. Rawhide dog chews also improve dental hygiene. Rawhide chews should be used in moderate amounts and under supervision. Abrasive chew treats for cats have similar benefits.

  • Exercise is as good for your pet's cardiovascular system as it is for yours. We recommend, however, that dogs avoid running long distances until their bones have reached maturity. This is typically 9 to 12 months of age. Some cats if trained from an early age will walk on a leash but the most important exercise involves interactive, daily play-time with various cat toys.

  • Proper restraint of your pet is important for its safety. Many injuries occur when pets are allowed to roam free. We discourage the use of the chained choke collars unless proper instruction has been obtained. Dogs are controlled better through the use of a Gentle Leader Collar. This collar is similar to a harness used by horses allowing for control without choking the neck. It was developed by a veterinarian and trainer in Minneapolis and has gained national popularity. Always watch your pet for evidence of illness. See Table VIII starting on page detailing the early signs of illness.

  • Anything a pet plays with can be swallowed and result in an intestinal obstruction. Emergency surgery is needed to save these pets. We recommend that discretion be used in choosing play toys and always supervise your pet's activities. Examples of objects removed by emergency surgery include rocks, shoes, phone cords, window blind cords, rubber balls, golf balls, dental floss, sewing needles and thread.

  •  Never leave a pet unattended in a car during the summer. A pet can not sweat to keep cool but instead it relies totally on panting to keep cool. The temperature inside a car can rise quickly on even moderately warm days with the car windows open.

  • Outdoor winter temperatures can also be dangerous. An outdoor pet needs lots of food to burn the calories needed to stay warm. Shelters must be properly insulated. Doors must be baffled to block the cold winter winds. Keep the inside bedding fresh and clean. Extremely cold temperatures can result in frostbite.

  • Water must be available at all times. Thirst is not satisfied by eating snow, and water bowls freeze quickly without an outside heat source.

  •  Traditional brands of antifreeze are made from ethylene glycol, an extremely toxic substance for pets and children. Lured by its sweet taste, each year pets die from drinking antifreeze leaking from radiators and from improper storage. Weakness, seizures, and kidney failure precede death. As little as ½ ounce of a 50:50 mix will cause death in a cat and four ounces can be lethal in a 22 pound dog.

  • Grooming is a healthy way to interact with your pet. Always use care when trimming matted hair. Scissors are a frequent cause of inadvertent cuts to the skin. Carefully examine the skin for any unusual lumps, examine the ears for redness, clean wax and dirt from ears, and examine the mouth for plaque and red gums.

  • Dogs frequently will not object to bathing. The frequency of bathing, grooming, and nail-trims depend upon its lifestyle and length of the coat.

  • Cats meticulously clean themselves and rarely need bathing. Many cats require frequent brushing to avoid matting. When bathing is necessary, try filling the tub with water and then quickly submerge the cat. Follow this with a lather and then submerge again. Alternatively, quietly trickle the water over the cat sitting on a skid resistant surface. Dry shampoos work well for cats without the fuss of water.

  • Nail trims are required for most pets at four to six week intervals. Outdoor dogs that are regularly walked on hard surfaces need less frequent nail trims. Indoor cats routinely have their front paws declawed. The guillotine trimmer is much preferred over the pruning-style trimmer. Trimming of the nails is very precise if the device is held properly. Our staff can assist with instruction of proper technique.

Our Mission:

We provide the quality care our clients expect and their pets deserve, by relying on the expertise and
compassion of each team member.


Contact Us

Westgate Pet Clinic
4345 France Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55410
Directions to Our Clinic
(612)925-6297 Fax
(612)568-1405 Pharmacy

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