The Origins of 10 Dog Breeds and What They Were Bred to Do

How did we end up with so many dog breeds? Man domesticated dogs roughly 15,000 years ago and they have been man (and woman’s) best friend since. Dogs roamed with us as protectors and to ward off other wildlife and would-be intruders. They also kept rodents and other pests away. Of course, they quickly became our companions, tried and true.

What about the many dog breeds we see today; why do we have so many and why were some of them bred to do certain “jobs”? The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services is glad you asked. 

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Tricks That Work for Giving Pills to Dogs or Cats

Giving pills to dogs or cats is a big challenge for most pet owners and ranks up there with giving them a bath. They can hear you open the cabinet to get the bottle, then they are nowhere to be found. When you finally find them and get them in front of you, they refuse to open their mouths. When they do…they can smell or detect the most cleverly-disguised pill and it ends up on the floor.  

If you have tried everything to give your dog or cat a pill, we can help! We have suggestions ranging from simple to no fail. We administer pills to dogs and cats every day. The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services can teach you the tricks for successfully giving pills to a dog or cat. 

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Cat or Dog Scared of the Vet? How to Create a Fear-Free Visit

You know the routine…As soon as you get the carrier out of the closet, your cat goes AWOL. The situation only becomes more dramatic once you get them in the car and simply escalates in the clinic lobby. Or, as soon as your dog realizes that you’re on the way to the vet, they give you the stink eye or try to hide. 

Fear of the vet is common among many pets. If you have a cat or dog scared of the vet, how can you ensure good veterinary care without the fear and drama? The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services is trained to help reduce fear and stress once your pet is here. Our suggestions for reducing your pet’s anxiety and creating a less fearful visit can help you reduce the drama before your visit and while you’re waiting. 

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Red Eyes, Squinting and Other Dog Eye Problems

A dog eye being examined by a techincian

Red eyes, excessive tearing, green or yellow discharge, squinting one or both eyes, and trouble seeing are dog eye problems that indicate you should have your pet’s eyes checked by a veterinarian.

What causes these eye problems in dogs? We’re here to answer these questions and emphasize the importance of vision health for your pets. 

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Cloudy Vision: Cataracts in Dogs

dog with cataracts in his eyes

Cataracts in dogs are usually easy to spot. The clouded look of the pupil gives them away. Unfortunately, many dog owners assume that cataracts just come with age and don’t think to intervene to address them. This is troubling because eye health is so important to a dog’s general health and quality of life.

The good news is that there is treatment available for cataracts so that your canine can have good vision and eye health throughout their golden years.

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DCM and Grain-Free Diets and Dog Food

grain-free diets and dog food

Since July 2018, the FDA has conducted investigations into grain-free diets and dog foods and their potential link to canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Since then, more pet owners have come forward after their dogs have been diagnosed with or have died of DCM. And, each of these pets was fed a grain-free diet.

On June 27, the agency published an updated listing of 16 brands of dog food as those with the highest correlation to this form of heart disease. Many pet owners are understandably concerned about this FDA warning and would like more answers about these diets. Are grain-free diets bad? Should you change your pet’s food?

The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services wants to address these concerns and help dog owners understand these precautions and what actions to take.

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The Sweet Spot: Why Do Dogs Kick When You Scratch Their Belly?

Have you ever noticed that when you scratch your dog’s belly, something unusual occurs? It happens every time you hit the “sweet spot.” You know the one. Suddenly, your dog starts kicking his back leg like he’s running on his side. 

Dogs are full of quirky habits, but this one is puzzling. What is it about that sweet spot that makes a dog’s leg twitch or kick? Are they ticklish or is it something else?

Oakland Veterinary Referral Services takes a look at this funny mystery of why dogs kick when you scratch their belly.

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Is Your Dog’s Shedding Related to Stress?

Shedding Pet

Your Dog’s Shedding — Normal or Excess?

This time of year, when the sun begins to shine a little longer each day and the heat index starts to rise, you may notice something… Your dog is leaving little hair tumbleweeds across the tiles. Shedding can be a major problem for some breeds, and many pet owners have the lint rollers in hand and vacuums going strong.

Shedding is a normal process of keeping your dog’s skin and coat healthy. There are times, though, when hair loss can signal a larger issue. The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services wants to tackle the question of shedding and explore the causes and conditions of excess shedding.

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Mother’s Day Gifts for Dog Moms & Cat Moms

mothers day gifts

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Dog, Cat and Pet Lovers

Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate moms, and the many ways they make our lives wonderful. Mother’s Day is all about recognizing the spirit of nurturing, kindness, care, and wisdom of mothers. This same spirit is true for dog, cat, and other animal moms out there!

Those who care for animals are among the biggest-hearted people we know. On Mother’s Day, we choose to honor all of the dog moms, cat moms, rabbit moms, guinea pig moms, and so many others by suggesting a few simple, meaningful gifts. We hope you find something to add to your list!

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Bunnies, Duckies, and Dogs! Fun Easter Costumes and Treats for Pets

Easter costumes for pets

Let Your Pets Join the Easter Fun!

The Peeps are out and Easter is on! If you aren’t devouring too many Cadbury Eggs, hats off to you. Those things are the epitome of Easter and all of its delicious treats. If you are a pet parent, you may be wondering how to include your dog or cat in the Easter excitement and festivities.

The Easter Bunny mentioned to the OVRS team that there are some pretty great Easter costumes and treats in store for your best fur friend. Let’s take a look at some of our favorites.

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