The Importance of Proper Pet Socialization

Four happy dogs at a party

If your terrier or tabby could talk, he would tell you that properly socialized pets are happier, more well-adjusted animals! Plus, you’ll rest easier knowing your pet is better equipped to adapt to new people, places, and other pets. 

If you’re wondering how to socialize a dog or how to socialize a cat, our team at Brownswitch Pet Hospital has some tips to get you started. But before blending furry friends in a social gathering, make sure your pet is up to date on vaccinations and parasite prevention.


The Big Easy & Beyond: Winter Pet Activities in Louisiana

A boxer stands by a lake.

When people outside of Louisiana think of our climate, they may think only of weather extremes during Hurricane season. While we do receive our fair share of heat, rain, and wind, our little corner of the world is rarely seen as having “winter weather.” That doesn’t stop people and their pets from hunkering down at home until, say, March or April. It doesn’t have to be like that at all. In fact, with our list of winter pet activities in Louisiana, you and your pet can get out and about to some incredible local destinations.


Why do I need to give heartworm preventative to my dog?

Heartworms are a deadly parasite that are spread by mosquitoes. If there are mosquitoes living in your area (welcome to the south), then your pet is at risk of acquiring heartworms.

Dogs are the normal host for heartworms, though some cats and ferrets can also be infected.

Heartworms are spaghetti size worms that live in the heart of animals infected with heartworms. These worms eventually cause heart and lung damage that leads to death. The worms will produce small babies (called microfilaria), that circulate throughout the dogs bloodstream. When a mosquito bites a dog with heartworms, it will suck up blood along with the baby heartworms. When the mosquito bites a second dog, the baby heartworms are transmitted into the second dog. These eventually end up in the heart where they start their damage. These worms will then start producing babies, and the process continues.

The treatment for heartworms is a 10-12 week process that consists of arsenic injections. This treatment can be both toxic and expensive.

What heartworm preventative does is that it destroys the baby heartworms before they can make it to the heart. We will start puppies on heartworm preventative at 7 weeks old and keep them on it for life. It is given year round in the south because we can have mosquitoes flying around at Christmas time.

There are many options for heartworm preventative, ranging from monthly oral to topical treatments. Dogs over 6 months old can also be given a multi-month injection.