Your Guide to Pocket Pet Care

Gerbil in enclosure.

From hamsters to rabbits and everything in between, Summeridge Animal Clinic loves our pocket pets! While these pint-sized pets are not uncommon to see in people’s homes, it is a little crazy how little many of their owners know about their care. Read on to get started on the right paw when it comes to pocket pet care.

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How Often Should I Walk My Dog?

Walking a dog.

All dogs—big, small, and in-between—need exercise every day to help them stay healthy and happy. But knowing just how much physical activity your dog needs depends upon many factors, including age, breed, size, and overall health. 

Your dog’s annual wellness exam is the perfect time to ask your Summeridge Animal Clinic veterinarian for recommendations that meet the needs of your individual pet. 

Why Walking Matters

Yes, you need to take Max outside for potty breaks, but actually walking your dog to the extent that it benefits his overall pet health requires more than a trip to the backyard.  

Exercising your dog for an appropriate amount of time every day will:

  • Help him maintain a healthy weight;
  • Keep his joints active and loose;
  • Promote a longer dog lifespan;
  • Give him opportunities to explore the world around him;
  • Give him a sense of belonging 
  • Provide a bonding experience that will deepen his relationship with you; and
  • Help him expend pent-up energy so he’s more relaxed.

A General Rule of Thumb

Dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and physical abilities, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach, but one thing is certain: your dog needs to exercise every day. The frequency and duration of your dog’s daily walks depend on many factors, but as a general rule, aim for 30 minutes to 2 hours of physical activity each day, divided into segments that are manageable for your dog. 

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Pet-Safe Houseplants: Do They Really Exist?

A cat and a houseplant.

Many pets carry on their daily lives without disrupting household plants, but that doesn’t mean that toxic plants have a place inside the home. Pets might completely ignore a poisonous plant for years, until a combination of boredom, curiosity, or hunger propels them to investigate. Indeed, all it takes is one spontaneous sample to upend an otherwise normal day. Luckily, there are many pet-safe house plants to choose from.

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