July 16, 2018 0

Does This Human Make Me Look Fat?

Approximately 2 out of 3 American pets are considered overweight or obese. According to a 2017 study from the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention, 56% of cats and 60% of dogs are overweight due to poor diet and lack of exercise. Despite the recent push toward healthy, balanced eating for humans, there has been significantly less information about how to improve the diet and lifestyle of some of our most beloved family members, our pets. Without nutritious food and exercise, animals can easily develop costly and even life-threatening health problems such as diabetes, kidney dysfunction, respiratory disorders, or worse.

How to Know Your Pet is Overweight

The first step to solving pet obesity is identifying pet obesity. Your dog’s pot-belly might be kind of adorable, but could it also be a sign of poor health. Sometimes, it can be difficult to differentiate between a little puppy fat and a serious underlying problem. Here are a few symptoms of pet obesity you can keep an eye out for:

  • No palpable rib cage
  • Lethargy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Overeating
  • Weight gain
  • Waddling

Like humans, all animal body types are different, so make sure to do your research on the healthy size for your pet’s breed. Some dogs are naturally lean and others are perfectly healthy couch potatoes. If you’re still not sure, you can always take your pet to a veterinarian for a professional evaluation.

What to Feed Your Pet

Unfortunately, there are few regulations on pet food to ensure animals are receiving the nutrients and vitamins they need. A lot of products in the market are low-quality and unhealthy for animals. Many owners are unaware that their cat or dog’s favorite food is the animal equivalent of eating junk food with little nutritional content. Check the ingredients before you purchase any pet food.

Avoid the following:

  • BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), and ethoxyquin are artificial preservatives commonly used in items like chips, cereal, gum, fast food, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. While these preservatives can be harmless in small doses, experts recommend limiting the consumption of them because they might have low doses of potentially toxic content. It’s better to stay on the safe side and opt for a brand with minimal or no synthetic preservatives, especially if you’re feeding your pet the same thing every day.
  • Simple carbohydrates such as white flours, corn flour, and corn syrup can be unhealthy for humans and animals alike when consumed in excess. They cause a quick spike in blood sugar and don’t fill the stomach for long, which may lead to overeating. For animals like dogs and cats, who are primarily carnivores, it’s unhealthy to be eating more filler carbs than healthy protein. When these animals have too much sugar, it can have harmful effects in the long run.
  • Meat, meat-product, rendered fat, or meat byproduct are seemingly harmless, but these names typically indicate low-grade processed meat. These vague terms could mean anything from expired meat and sick animals to unwanted parts such as hooves, organs, or intestines.

Ingredients to look for:

  • Easily identifiable sources of protein such as lamb, chicken, beef, and fish are optimal for cats 
  • and dogs who need a protein-based diet. These should be the first few ingredients listed in the food. A meat source followed by the word “meal” is also a sign of quality protein.
  • Whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and oats can be healthy for dogs and cats. The complex carbs in whole grains are a soluble fiber that keeps your pet full and help with digestion. They can be really healthy in moderation.
  • Vegetables such as carrots, green beans, and broccoli provide nutritious vitamins and minerals that can boost the immune system. While they’re not necessary, they have many health benefits and add flavor to pet food.

To improve your pet’s diet, take a second to read the ingredients label on pet food and treats the next time you go shopping. You can also get some fresh ingredients to cook for your dogs and/or cats! It’s not as expensive and time-consuming as it seems and it can definitely benefit your pet to have some variety in their diet. Lastly, stop feeding your animals table scraps! The extra calories add up and more often than not, human food isn’t healthy for dogs and cats.

How to Feed Your Pet

How you feed your pet is almost as important as what you feed your pet. Portion control is really important to regulating diet. Overeating can result in digestive problems, choking, or bloating. When dogs or cats eat too fast, they ingest large amounts of air, resulting in discomfort and even vomiting. In the worst case scenario, they may develop Gastric Dilation Volvulus, which is when air expands in the stomach and ruptures.

Luckily, there are many ways to avoid this problem. If your pet eats dry food, you can scatter food on the floor, so your pet has to eat each piece separately. This method is only viable, however, on clean hardwood floor or concrete. You don’t want your pet ingesting any harmful chemicals, dirt, or other objects.

There are also plenty of slow feeder bowls that are designed with obstructions in the bowl your dog will have to eat around, slowing them down. For cats, puzzle balls are a great option for both mental stimulation and controlled eating. The food is placed in a ball with food inside that the cat must move around for the food to fall out of the holes. A simple way to slow down your pet’s eating is to feed them more meals in smaller quantities throughout the day.

How to Exercise Your Pet

The exercise required to maintain a healthy lifestyle depends on your dog or cat’s breed and age. Ask your local veterinarian to assess just how much is appropriate for your pet. For obese animals, so much exercise all at once can be laborious, so owners may have to slowly incorporate more and more exercise into their pets’ daily routines with time.

Typically, 30 minutes to two hours a day is a good amount of exercise for dogs. Take your dog for a walk, play a game of fetch, or go swim! It’ll be good for both you and your pup to head outside for some fresh air and outdoor activity. If you’re located around Anaheim like us, we have a list of fun things to do for you and your dog to do right here in Orange County.

Unlike dogs, cats have extremely high metabolisms that allow them to lounge about without too much consequence. Nevertheless, you should still consult your veterinarian about a fitness plan for your cat, especially if they’ve been getting a little pudgier than usual. For most cats, aim for around 15 minutes of exercise. Get some toys like yarn, a laser light, a wand, or a ball. Kittens can actually be trained to go on walks similar to dogs, but that does require proper training and equipment. Cats like to climb, so getting a cat tree could encourage your cat to exercise more.

Pet obesity is no joke! It can lead to tons of expensive, painful health issues later down the road such as liver disease or osteoarthritis. Just because your little buddy is somewhat fluffier than normal, that doesn’t necessarily make you a bad owner. Now that you know, there are numerous ways to prevent and treat obesity for pets, so they can live the long, healthy lives they deserve. If you’re worried about your pet, it’s never too late to ask your veterinarian for a checkup, pet food recommendations, and an exercise plan. If you have more questions about pet obesity, Dr. Lopez is an experienced veterinarian in Orange County who can answer your questions and help your furry friend.


June 27, 2018 0

Growing up, it’s pretty normal to feel completely uncomfortable in your own skin sometimes – it’s just a part of growing up! Some reptiles and bugs bring a whole new meaning to that saying, however. As they grow, it’s common for these animals to simply crawl out of their old skin. If you’ve noticed a change in your pet’s appearance and behavior such as discoloration, lack of appetite, or cloudy eyes, they might be shedding their skin! Here’s why and how you can help them through this natural process of growth.

What is Shedding?

The skin is an organ that continuously grows with the rest of the body. Molting or shedding is the process of regenerating new skin cells and discarding old skin cells. While humans are able to regenerate or shed skin unconsciously, other animals don’t shed quite so gracefully. Unlike humans, some reptiles shed layers of skin in large quantities periodically. Other creatures such as snakes and exoskeletal bugs may shed all their skin at once, which is called ecdysis.

Animals That Shed

Snakes are a popular example of animals who undergo ecdysis. According to Cascade Kennels, snakes can shed their skin fairly regularly, from 4 – 12 times a year. Snakes shed as they mature, so younger snakes that are actively growing shed more than older snakes. As snakes begin to shed, their skin becomes dull and dark. Since the old skin includes spectacles that protect the eyes, the snake’s eyes will fill up with liquids between the old and new skin, making their eyes look white and blue.

To remove the skin, snakes will normally rub against different objects, but snakes can come across issues if the temperature is too dry. Humid conditions help the skin rub off smoothly, so if you have a pet snake that is struggling to shed its skin. It can be a good idea to measure and adjust the humidity in its environment.

Lizards shed their skin in pieces, so don’t be alarmed if you find a giant slab of skin in your lizard’s tank! The skin will naturally fall off the body, but lizards can also exfoliate their skin off by rubbing against rocks or branches. Like lizards, turtles and tortoises also shed skin in pieces, especially around their neck, legs, and head. As their shells grow, their scutes (plate-like scales) peel and flake off. You can learn more about turtle shell peeling here.

It is common for animals undergoing shedding to be irritable and lose their appetite. Concerned pet owners shouldn’t worry too much about the change in temperament or shedding. You can leave your pet to shed skin naturally for the most part. If you think something is truly amiss, contact your veterinarian for professional help.

Problems with Shedding

Shedding can be a laborious process if conditions aren’t ideal for your pets. Here are a few things that may signal a trip to the vet:

  • Sores from rubbing
  • Stiffness
  • Algae blockage
  • Shell rot
  • Partial shedding (for snakes)
  • Extremely frequent shedding (for turtles)

No matter what species you own, it’s important to keep an eye on your pet to make sure there is no abnormal shedding or infection occurring. Our veterinarian, Dr. Lopez at Brookhurst Animal Medical Center in Anaheim, can assess whether your animal is having problems shedding. For snakes and lizards, he can speed along the shedding process for snakes by carefully bathing the snake in water for an extended period of time. For turtles, it’s quite the opposite. Too much time in the water could lead to infections or mold which Dr. Lopez can also treat. While it’s possible for pet owners to attempt the same procedure, it is generally advised to see a professional because shedding is such a sensitive process. Ultimately, it depends on the situation. Check out this article about reptile molting or give your local vet a call to learn more.

Shedding is a normal part of a reptile’s growth, kind of like puberty with the weird skin and cranky disposition. It’s also a good indicator of your pet’s general health. Too much molting? They might be overfed. Too little molting? They might be malnourished. Either way, now you have a better understanding of your scaly friend and you’ll know what to do at these crucial stages of growth (which is mostly nothing). Happy shedding!


June 19, 2018 0

In the opening scene of The Secret Life of Pets, we watch as a French poodle has had enough of the classical music his owner has been playing throughout the morning. The French poodle quickly changes the music to heavy metal the minute his owner leaves for the day. He then starts jamming, headbanging to heavy metal while it blasts through the speakers. Although this is just an animated movie, a question arises. Do dogs enjoy music and more importantly, do they enjoy the music their owners enjoy playing?

We listen to a lot of music in our households. There is always music playing through the house; it can be coming from the kitchen while a meal is being prepared or in the bathroom while we pretend to be America’s next top pop star. Now, have you ever stopped and wondered, does my dog care about the music I play and how loud I play it?

A Dog’s Hearing

A dog’s sense of hearing is ranked second right after their sense of smell. A canine’s sense of hearing is four times better than the average human. Dogs can hear the frequency of 40 to 60,000 hertz, while a human can hear the frequency of 20,000 Hertz.  This means that sounds that can be acceptable for humans may be uncomfortable for many dogs.

It is easy to look around and agree that all human ears look the same. For dogs, that isn’t the case. Dog ears can differentiate in size, shape, or the amount of hair. There’s the prick-eared wolf, bat-eared corgi, drop or pendant eared basset hound, V-shaped ear vizsla and many more. It may be easier for a greyhound with rose ears to listen compared to a bloodhound with folded ears. This is just because of the fur that surrounds the ear and how the ear lays on the dog.

Not to show off, but while a human may be able to wiggle their ears, a dog has 18 muscles in each ear that makes it possible to wiggle, tilt, raise or lower, and rotate their ears. You may ask yourself how your dog heard the mailman way before he was right at your doorstep. Dogs can move their ear around to locate and focus on sounds.

Do Dogs Listen to Music?

Research conducted by Deborah Wells, a psychologist at Queen’s University Belfast shows that dogs do behave differently in response to the different music that is being played. Dogs seem to act relaxed with classical music and seem to bark and seem tensed with heavy metal. So, you may ask why it is that in The Secret Life of Pets, the French poodle seems to hate classical music but enjoys heavy metal? Is it because the French poodle is being rebellious and won’t listen to anything his owner listens to? Is it because dogs can have a sense of understanding when it comes to music and the poodle in the movie has his specific music taste?

Although music for humans is psychological, there have been studies that show that animals do share the same capacity for music as humans. An animal psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, tells us that dogs enjoy “species-specific music.”

Species-Specific Music: Tunes specially designed using the pitches, tones, and tempos that are familiar to their particular species.

You heard it here folks, dogs might as well have the ability to form their own music taste! And we thought dogs couldn’t get any cooler! Of course, this doesn’t mean that your dog has the same music taste as you do. Actually, for most animals, the music we play throughout the house is unrecognizable. Just like the hertz between humans and dogs are different, so are their vocal ranges and heart rates. Our vocal ranges and heart rates are the reasons we like certain music, and because dogs’ and humans’ vocal ranges and heart races are so different, the music we play is simply just not meant for the ears of dogs.

What Music Does My Dog Enjoy?

If you have an anxious little pup or a huge bulldog, classical music does soothe dogs! Lower frequencies calm the canine nervous systems. Dogs generally like music that is soothing.

Now, don’t go home and play classical music all day long, as you can see in the scene of The Secret Life of Pets, classical music does get boring and heavy metal may be needed. Just remember, some sounds that can be acceptable for humans may be uncomfortable for many dogs.

At Brookhurst Animal Medical Center, Doctor Carlos Lopez would be happy to help figure out if your loved furry one is having difficulties with their pinna or if the music being played at home is the problem.


May 30, 2018 0

Rabbits can make great pets – they’re cuddly, small, and downright adorable. However, it’s important to understand that they are also a huge investment. Like any other pet, these creatures require lots of space, time, attention, and resources to care for them.

With that being said, there are a lot of rabbit breeds available if you are interested and prepared to take on the responsibility of a pet rabbit. According to the American Rabbit Breeders Association, there are 49 distinct breeds of rabbits with different characteristics from their ears to their fur. Our veterinarian at Brookhurst Animal Medical Center, Dr. Lopez, is trained to treat bunnies, and he has a special place in his heart for the little critters. From his experience, here are a few unique types of rabbits that stand out the most. Some are rare while others are common and make excellent companions. Check out our list of notable rabbit breeds!

  • Lionhead Rabbits: The Lionhead Rabbit is a new breed of dwarf rabbit that originated in Belgium. Its name is derived from its lion-like, wool mane around its head. These intelligent creatures can be trained to use litterboxes and follow basic commands. They can also be incredibly social and energetic pets. If you plan to adopt a Lionhead (or any rabbit at all for that matter), it’s important to have lots of outdoor space for your pet to explore and exercise.
  • Angora Rabbits: There are four different types of Angora Rabbits, but they all share the same long, silky Angora wool. These fluffballs are generally easygoing and playful. Like other rabbits, they are high maintenance creatures. Owners should be especially careful of wool block, which is a condition that rabbits may develop from ingesting their own hair as they groom themselves. Since Angora Rabbits have especially long, thick fur, they’re more susceptible to this condition, which can cause loss of appetite and major digestive problems. Dr. Lopez recommends monitoring your rabbit’s stool and regularly grooming its long fur.
  • Colombian Pygmy Rabbit: The Colombian Pygmy is the smallest member of the rabbit family, with adults averaging around 1 pound each. Unfortunately, you probably won’t be able to own this little bun as a pet because they’re an endangered species due to the loss of their natural sagebrush habitat. However, you can appreciate them in all their tiny glory at the Oregon Zoo, where experts are working to breed and conserve their species in the wild.
  • Volcano Rabbit: As original inhabitants of the volcanos in Mexico, this round rabbit breed gets its name from its interesting home. Unlike other members of the rabbit family, they have short, brown fur and have tiny ears. They’re also known for making a high-pitched squeal to communicate rather than thumping. Unfortunately, they are also an endangered species and it’s improbable that you’ll be able to adopt one.
  • Sumatran Striped Rabbit: The Sumatran Striped Rabbit is known for its striking appearance, namely the distinctive brown stripes on its coat. Unlike the other balls of fluff, this breed is long, lean, and muscular. Little is known about the incredibly rare, nocturnal bunny except that it is intelligent and elusive. The Sumatran Striped Rabbit is so rare, it’s only been sighted a few times and most people are unaware of its existence at all. Unfortunately, as humans continue to destroy Indonesian forests for resources, this rabbit breed faces the threat of extinction from habitat loss.

Rabbits come in all different shapes and sizes. If you’re interested in raising one of your own, make sure you’re properly educated on rabbit care first. Despite how cute and gentle they are, bunnies are the third most abandoned pet after cats and dogs, according to the National Geographic. A great option is to check out the local animal shelter and adopt a rescue rabbit. These extraordinary animals also require medical attention from a veterinary specialist. At Brookhurst Animal Medical Center in Anaheim, Dr. Lopez provides specialized care for exotic pets like rabbits. If you’re ever in need of a rabbit vet in Anaheim, feel free to stop by.



April 18, 2018 0

Who knew too much cuteness was a crime? Unfortunately, having over a certain number of cuddly companions can actually result in serious repercussions. In Orange County, each city has its own rules limiting the number of pets every household can have. So for the self-proclaimed cat ladies or dog whisperers, it may be a good idea to check your city’s ordinances about pets to avoid getting into trouble. There are tons of rules for both domestic and exotic animals that range from pet restrictions on dogs to walking catfish.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of pet restrictions in popular cities around Orange County and how you can work with them if you just can’t seem to part with all your precious pets.


As local residents ourselves, we’re quite familiar with pet rules and regulations in Anaheim at Brookhurst Animal.  Let us break it down for you:

  • No more than 3 adult dogs or 3 adult cats in each household
  • Only 1 bird, poultry, rabbit or rodent is allowed per 1800 square feet of property
  • Only 1 pig is allowed per residence
  • Dogs and cats over 4 months old are required to have a license
  • No peacocks or roosters allowed

If you have more than 3 adult dogs or cats, don’t panic. It’s still possible to keep them all by applying for a special permit from the city. As for other exotic pets like reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals, owners are required to get their animals licensed.

Costa Mesa

Like Anaheim, Costa Mesa has similar rules regarding pet ownership which you can read more about in their city ordinance. Here’s what you should know:

  • No more than 5 grown (4+ months old) pets in one household
  • All livestock are prohibited without a special animal permit
  • All pets should be licensed (learn more here)
  • No beekeeping without adequate permission from the city


The city of Fullerton has an extensive set of rules for its residents. We’ve summarized the most basic parts below, but you can check out the full list here.

  • No walking catfish or piranha allowed
  • No more than 4 pets per household in single-family homes with a maximum of 3 dogs
  • No more than 2 cats or dogs per apartment, condominium, duplex or mobile home in any combination
  • No wild animals except for some birds, hamsters, guinea pigs, white rats or mice, nonpoisonous snakes less than 6 feet long, turtles, nonpoisonous toads, lizards, salamanders, newts, chameleons, and kangaroo rats
  • No more than 2 adult horses, cattle, or sheep are allowed for every 33,000 square feet of land

If you want to adopt a few more pets, you might be able to with enough extra land. Some animals need more space to comfortably exercise and it’s courteous to neighbors who may not want to hear or smell your pets.

Garden Grove

  • Only 4 dogs, cats, birds, or other household pets in any combination allowed at each household
  • No more than 10 parakeets permitted on any premise
  • No more than 10 racing pigeons permitted on any premise

One requirement all these cities in Orange County have is to maintain proper care of your pets. Regardless of how many you own, the most important aspect of owning pets is keeping them healthy and happy. This includes proper food, exercise, equipment, and wellness exams. If you’re looking for an experienced clinic, our vet in Anaheim at Brookhurst Animal Medical Center is available to help you and your pets.

Although these rules may seem inconvenient to pet owners in Orange County, they are in place for good reason! Having certain exotic pets can be a huge threat to the native species and they can seriously damage natural ecosystems. While some adjust well to domestic living like guinea pigs and a few reptiles, others may have natural behaviors that can be difficult to handle and even dangerous for their owners. Limiting the number of pets per household also helps control pet waste and noise in the city. Though it’s difficult to resist the temptation of rescuing the neighborhood stray, it may not always be in your best interest to adopt another pet if you don’t have the resources to care for it. Lastly, it’s always a good idea to check with your local government officials and vet for advice.


March 2, 2018 0

Sometimes, taking your dog for a walk in the park isn’t exactly… a walk in the park. If you find yourself dreading walks because of the constant pulling, distracted wandering, and barking, it’s time for change! Dog walks provide endless benefits including exercise, blood circulation, mental stimulation and more, but most importantly, they should be a fun way for you and your pet to bond. Luckily, it’s never too late to start training your dog good habits. Grab your leash because we’re walking you through the basics of teaching your dog how to behave better the next time you two go on a stroll.

1. Set a time to walk your dog

Like humans, dogs need routine in their lives because it provides stability and security. By allotting a specific time every day to walking your dog, he or she knows what to look forward to and when to expect it. This can actually help your dog deal with stress and anxiety if and when your family faces any changes because it will be one constant your dog can depend on. Setting aside a time for dog walks also helps you get in the routine of doing it every day! We know it can be easy to put off, but those 30 minutes are important for your dog’s mental and physical health.

2. Get the right leash

Not every leash is made the same. There are unique leashes and harnesses for every dog’s needs. Here are just a few:

  • Regular leash: Typical dog leashes are made of cotton or nylon and they measure around 6 feet long. This may be a good leash to start off with if you’re not sure where to begin.
  • Retractable leash: We’ve reached a consensus in the dog walking community: these retractable leashes aren’t the best choice, especially if you’re just starting out walking your pet. Retractable leashes can be confusing for dogs. Often, they will naturally resist when their leash is pulled and with a retractable leash, there’s always tension. On top of that, there’s the risk that the retractable leash will snap and break, which could hurt you and your dog.
  • Chain leash: If your dog is a gnawer and goes through leashes like biscuits, a chain leash might be a good idea. However, it is also harmful for a dog’s teeth if he or she continues to try chewing through metal, so make sure to switch out leashes should the problem persist.
  • Martingale leash: These leashes are paired with a Martingale collar. The collar sits loosely around the dog’s neck unless the dog pulls, then it tightens without choking the dog. These leashes are good for discouraging pulling during walks, but they’re still quite gentle.
  • Front clip harness: Bigger dogs with a tendency to pull or get distracted on walks may need a front clip harness. These provide the walker with more control over the dog without pulling as much on its neck.
  • Back clip harness: These harnesses may be better for well-trained dogs since they allow more freedom
  • Head halter: These can be useful for dogs that are large and difficult to control with just a regular collar and leash. However, head halters should be used with caution because they are right on the dog’s head and they can cause pain to the dog if they’re fitted and used improperly.

Of course, there are many more options to explore. Every dog has unique needs, so consult a trainer or veterinarian if you’re unsure which is the best choice. Also, owners should take into consideration the material, collar, identification tag, and clip that comes with the leash. It might take some time to figure what’s right for you, but it’s worth it to be prepared! The right equipment can make walks much easier and more fun for both of you.

3. Be the leader

Every walk you take is also an opportunity to train your dog’s behavior. Make sure to reinforce good habits and reprimand bad ones, starting right from your home. Ask your dog to sit calmly before you head out for a walk – this helps enforce obedience from the start. Remember, you’re walking your dog; your dog is not supposed to walk you! Be aware if your dog moves ahead of you and change directions or stops, so you can stay in the lead. You can also bring treats to reward your dog for following your commands and stop the walk if he or she disobeys.

4. Be prepared

Check the temperature. Is it hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk? Then you’ll probably want to reschedule that walk for later. Be conscientious of your environment and don’t put you and your pet in a dangerous situation that could result in a heat stroke or hailstorm.

If you can, try to figure out a safe route for you and your dog where you won’t get lost. For example, if you’re just starting out walking your puppy, it might be a good idea to avoid the scary pit bull around the corner or steer clear of the raucous elementary school two blocks away. Of course, it’s impossible to predict exactly what will happen when you go on a walk like coming across a stray animal or rowdy kids. Regardless of the situation, stay calm and think of a reasonable solution that will keep your dog and yourself safe. If you panic, your pet will pick up on your anxiety and may act erratically.

Prepare yourself with the tools for success. That may include bringing water, snacks, and bags to pick up after your dog. If you’re walking at night, get reflective gear for you and your dog. It can be dangerous to walk around at night, especially in an urban areas where there are many cars. Drivers can easily miss your dog and hurt them without appropriate attire. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so make sure to invest in a reflective leash or collar if you plan on walking at night.

5. Practice

Last but not least, practice makes perfect. Take the time to get your pup adjusted to the leash indoors and practice walking around in a controlled environment like your backyard or even living room. Even if your dog seems like they’ll never get the hang of it, don’t be discouraged! Plenty of dog owners are going through the exact same thing. Going on walks can be incredibly exciting for dogs, so they might not always remember to stay on their best behavior. Training your dog will take time and if yours is being especially difficult, just remember, patience is a virtue. The short-term struggle of teaching your dog how to go on walks now will result in some awesome dog walking adventures for you two in the long run.

Now that you’re a pro at dog walking, at least theoretically, unleash your inner dog whisperer and head outside for some exercise and fresh air! Depending on your dog’s size and breed, you may need to go more than once a day. Ask your veterinarian how much exercise your furry friend needs to stay in shape.  If you find yourself struggling to fit it in your schedule, don’t be alarmed – there are tons of experienced dog walkers in Orange County who can help.

If you have other questions about your dog, Brookhurst Animal is a veterinary clinic located in Anaheim, CA. We understand your pets are an important part of your family and treat them as such. Feel free to reach out if you need advice or would like to schedule an appointment


December 26, 2017 0

Between hanging up decorations in your home and preparing to see your relatives, the holiday season can get incredibly hectic. If you haven’t had the chance to get the perfect gift for everyone yet, don’t worry! We have the ultimate holiday gift guide for your dog-loving friends and family.

1. Rescued Wine Pet Candle

We all love our pets, but sometimes, we don’t always love how they smell… Rescued Wine offers soy based candles in different wine-themed scents such as Palm Sangria, Cabernet, and Merlot. The best part? Their candles are made of recycled wine bottles and a portion of each candle’s sale goes to animal rescue groups!

2. Mutt Mitt

Your loved ones will definitely appreciate this gift! Mutt Mitts make cleaning after dogs a breeze and they’re completely biodegradable.

3. Corgi Planner for 2018

Help your friends get a head start on 2018 with this corgi-themed agenda. The charming planner comes in multiple layouts (daily, weekly, monthly spreads) to help keep track of tasks like work, birthdays, and most importantly, dog walks.

4. French Bulldog Socks

Keep frostbite at bay with these French Bulldog socks. They’re a great stocking stuffer for anyone who likes these puppies (and who doesn’t?).

5. Pins, Earrings, Necklaces

Dog Milk is always keeping up with the latest treats for dogs and humans alike and we absolutely agree with their review of these precious dog-themed earrings, pins, and necklaces. If you’re still searching for a gift, this is a definitely a great choice. You can’t go wrong with jewelry and you definitely can’t go wrong with puppies.

6. Dog Sweater

Forget ugly Christmas sweaters, get your friend a hoodie with a dog pouch! This way, they can bring their furry companion to enjoy all the fun holiday festivities together. Just a warning, these sweaters only support up to 10 pounds.

7. Ornaments

These festive ornaments make great decorations for any tree. They’re an affordable stocking stuffer for any puppy or cat lover!

8. Dog Shaming Calendar

This desk calendar is a definite weiner (winner) in our book. Pet Life Today recommends this Dog Shaming 2018 Day-to-Day Calendar and we agree! The New York Times bestseller features hilarious photos of troublemaking dogs, caught in the act.

9. Dog Selfie Helper

A picture is worth a thousand words and a picture with a pooch is probably worth a million. With this dog selfie helper, your friends can finally get cute pictures with their pet for those holiday greeting cards.

10. Personalized Pillow

Taking a tip from Fidose of Reality, we went on the hunt for the perfect personalized and affordable gift for every pet parent. Make the holidays extra special with these personalized dog pillows! The pillow includes a customized monogram of any name and include options including french bulldogs, poodles, labradors, dachshunds, english bulldogs, golden retrievers, pugs, malteses, rottweilers, and yorkies.

Hopefully, this gift guide helps you find the right item while staying under budget. After all, it’s the time to enjoy family, friends, and furry companions, not stress out over buying presents! Don’t forget that the best gift of all for both your friends and their pets is simply being together and making memories for years to come.

If you or your close ones need to take your pets to the vet over the holidays, Dr. Lopez at Brookhurst Animal Medical Center is available to help. Please call ahead for emergencies and we can provide you with the veterinary care you need.


June 22, 2017 0

Its the time of the year when it gets pretty hot in Orange County. For our guinea pig parents we want to share some tips on keeping your guinea pigs cool over the summer. To start things out we have this great graphic by When Guinea Pigs Fly.
Preventing Heat Stroke for Guinea Pigs this Summer

The list above does a great job sharing all the different things you can do. We also want to take this time to review why this is so important for guinea pigs.

Heat Stroke is a Common Health Issue for Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs are sensitive to extreme temperatures. They can catch a cold when its too cold and develop heat stroke when its too hot. Remember too that it isn’t just outside where guinea pigs can develop heat stroke.

They can also become dehydrated and overheated indoors. If your guinea pig is in direct sunlight they are in danger of heat stroke.

Unlike humans where heat stroke can happen over a long period of time, guinea pigs do not have the same luxury. When its too hot, guinea pigs only need 10 – 15 minutes before they start suffering from heat stroke.

Temperatures above 80 degrees Farenheit can cause heat stress or heat stroke

In Anaheim, the average summer temperature in Anaheim can go from 78 to 89°F. This means that heat stroke is something our local community members need to look out for.

How to Spot the Symptoms

Signs of heatstroke include:

  • Laying in a stretch out position or on their side
  • Rapid breathing, panting and drooling
  • Dehydration
  • Lack of energy and inability to move
  • Seizures, convulsions and increased heart beat

Keys to keeping your guinea pig safe is to remove their cage/aquarium away from direct sunlight or any other heat sources.

What You Can Do to Prevent Heat Stroke

When temperatures are hot, the most important things to remember is to remove the guinea pigs from any environment that is too hot. If the guinea pigs are outside, take them inside.

If you cannot immediately take them inside, make sure the guinea pigs stay in a cool, shady area. Ensure that they stay hydrated as well.

When your guinea pigs are in their cage or acquariam is near a fan or anything that is providing cool air circulation. However, it is extremely important not to point fans directly at guinea pigs as this can cause Upper Respiratory Infection.

In addition, you can use ice packs or anything frozen to help cool down the guinea pig. Wrap the ice pack, or whatever you choose, in a cloth or newspaper. Guinea pigs can then lay down on the surface and cool their bodies down.

And just like humans, when it is hot for us we drink more water. Same thing for guinea pigs. Ensure that there is ample, cool and clean water for guinea pigs to drink.

What to Do If You Think Your Guinea Pig is Suffering from Heat Stroke

If your guinea pig is already exhibiting signs of heat stroke, your guinea pig is probably already in critical condition. It is important to act fast.

Your number 1 priority is to cool your guinea pig down. If they are outside or in direct sunlight, immediately take them inside away from the source of heat.

To cool down your guinea pig, put a cold wet towel around their body. Other options include putting the guinea pig in cool water. It is important to not put them in ice cold water. That can shock the guinea pig and cause a cold or worse.

You can also get a spray bottle and spray am mist of cool water and also give the guinea pig cold water to drink.

Once you’ve cooled them down, you want to make sure to allow them to relax and recover. Put them in a quiet, dark and cool place. Preferably you want to place them in an area where they are use to and comfortable with. This way the guinea pig’s stress is minimized and they have time to get themselves together from the ordeal.

If your guinea pig becomes unresponsive that is when it is important to take your guinea pig in for medical attention.

How to Know When to take your Guinea Pig in for Veterinary Attention

If your concerned about heat stroke, its best to take your cavy in immediately. Like we mentioned earlier, guinea pigs have a much smaller body that us. Their bodies can react to extreme temperatures immediately.

Without cooling down your guinea pig, they are susceptible to continual seizure and other violent symptoms. So when transporting the guinea pig to the vet, its also important to keep the guinea pig cool during the car ride.

As we all know, cars get hot. You should not under any circumstance leave your guinea pig in the car on a hot day. Make sure the A/C is on and that the car is cooled down.




April 7, 2017 0

When you bring pets into your life, it can be difficult to keep your home feeling and smelling clean. We love our furry friends, but as soon as they enter our hearts, they begin wreaking havoc on our homes. It could be hair all over our furniture, muddy paw prints running up and down the stairs, or even just the smell!

Keeping Your Home Clean When You Have Pets

Whether you live in the suburbs on the east side, or the cozy apartments of central Anaheim it can be difficult to keep our homes tidy. Owning pets is one of the most rewarding experiences that life has to offer us, and we would do anything to keep them. Even though it may seem impossible to keep our homes clean, there are some things that we can do on a regular basis to make it easier to keep our homes spotless.

Cleaning Up All That Fur

  1. Regular Grooming
    If you can take your dogs or cats to the vet or groomer’s for a regular brushing, then great! But if not, then it is good practice to brush through your pet’s coat a few times a week. This preventative measure will help stop your pet’s hair from shedding inside your home and causing potential allergies. If you have cats, regular brushing also helps prevent other health problems related to their health, such as hairballs and constipation. Try to do it outside at a time when your dog or cat is relaxed. While this may sound time-consuming, the benefit is that your furry friend’s hair is less likely to end up on the floor or on the furniture.
  2. Vacuuming & Mopping
    In the past, we’ve relied on traditional brooms and dustpans to clean up after our pet’s hair. Vacuums are also great options to quickly clean up small spaces, but who has the time to do that every day? Some of technology’s newest toys can help out here if you are someone who likes a clean house but doesn’t enjoy pushing around a heavy vacuum every day. A Roomba, for example, is a small robot vacuum that can navigate through the floors of your house, essentially picking up all the fur and dust left behind but your furry friend. Another quick option could be a Swiffer mop, which is a low-maintenance tool for picking up small messes on your floor.


Keeping Fido Clean

The obvious solution to keeping your house clean is by keeping your pets clean. Easier said than done, right? Experts suggest that dogs should be bathed only once a month, to prevent drying out the oils in their skin. Unfortunately, this means that we can’t bathe them every single time they start to smell. Other options for keeping our pets clean without having to give them a bath are:

  1. Pet Wipes – Using pet grooming wipes to clean your furry friend is quick and convenient. It’s a great way to prevent him or her from smelling between baths. Even baby wipes could work as an alternative!
  2. Dry Shampoo – You may have discovered dry shampoo for yourself – it’s convenient for when you just don’t have time to wash your hair before work. Dry shampoo is also available for animals, and it’s useful in removing that “pet smell” that Fido might get between baths.
  3. Freshening Sprays – Another way to freshen up your furry friend without bathing him or her is with freshening spray. Sprays are great to use when you are brushing your pet’s fur coat.

As cute and lovable as our pets are, they are horrifically messy. Having a tidy home is essential to maintaining good health for everyone who lives there – you, your family, and your pets. It isn’t impossible to have a clean house when you own pets, and a little extra work can go a long way when you follow these tips and tricks.



March 21, 2017 0

We know how important it is to take good care of our teeth. Our dentists constantly remind us about the importance of maintaining healthy habits for oral care. On the other hand, when we bring a new pet into our lives we go straight to thinking about what we will feed them, how often we have to take them out for walks, and where they will sleep.

Taking Care of Your Pet’s Teeth

One of the most important parts of keeping your pets healthy is by taking care of their teeth – and not just because of how bad their breath can get. Periodontal disease is one of the most common diseases that pets face, and it can cause them pain and discomfort that they just can’t tell you about. What’s worse is that once your pet develops a dental disease, waiting too long to take care of it could result in an enormous bill to fix the problem.

Caring for your furry friend’s teeth is no easy task, but it’s essential to their overall health. Keep reading the following tips and tricks to learn about how you can protect your pet’s teeth.

  1. Make Sure They Are Comfortable
    When you bring your pets home, it is important that you get them comfortable with people handling their mouth or muzzle area. If they aren’t comfortable, you risk getting bitten and you may not be able to check up on their teeth in the future.
  2. Choose Quality Pet Food
    There are some great brands of pet food out there, and many of them offer dental health benefits. Some treats can not only help clean your pet’s teeth, but also serve as entertainment – those chewable treats could keep them busy for hours!
    When considering options for what to feed their furry friends, many pet owners opt for dry food. This can benefit your pet’s smile by scraping off bacteria from the teeth, preventing plaque from building up.
  3. Brush Their Teeth Regularly
    As humans, we’re taught to brush our teeth at least twice a day for best results. Our pets also need to have their teeth brushed regularly as well, at least once a day or a few times each week.  In order to effectively brush your pet’s teeth, start by building up to it and getting him or her comfortable with you touching their mouth. You should also set a time when he or she is most comfortable, and try brushing at that time every day.
    The toothbrush that you use can either be a human toothbrush, or one that is specific to the type of animal. It is essential that you choose a pet-friendly toothpaste, and it must be safe to swallow.
  4. Consider Dental Care Alternatives
    No time to brush? A good start to cleaning your pet’s teeth is to wipe his or her teeth and gum line to clean away bacteria, dirt, or food. While it’s no alternative to a thorough brushing, it’s certainly better than nothing.
  5. Visit Your Veterinarian
    If you are one of the 95% of pet owners, you probably don’t brush your pet’s teeth. For this reason, it is especially important that you bring your pet in for a professional cleaning. To get a thorough cleaning for your pet, see your veterinarian for a dental check up at least once a year. However, if you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, it is strongly advised that you bring them in sooner.

In order for our beloved pets to live long and happy lives, it is very important that we take care of their teeth! Taking the extra steps to prevent dental diseases will save you from the trouble of dealing with worse problems later. Your pets deserve to be pain-free and have beautiful, healthy smiles. For any questions about dental health for your pet, feel free to contact Doctor Lopez at Brookhurst Animal Medical Center in Anaheim or schedule an appointment today.



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