My Dog Has a Heart Murmur…Should I Worry?

If your dog has a heart murmur or other cardiac problems, you may wonder if this is something serious to worry about. What causes heart murmurs and does that mean my pet has heart disease? How does this affect my dog’s life expectancy? The purpose is to check for any abnormal heart rhythms, heart murmurs and other possible. 

Oakland Veterinary Referral Services is here to address the issue of heart murmur in dogs, its diagnosis, and treatment. 


More Fun for Fido: Why Playing Is Important for Dogs

Playing is important for dogs. It’s not only a pleasurable pastime, but it’s an essential ingredient in the total wellbeing of most animals. Dogs thrive on interaction with their human friends as well as other pet companions. This sociable act serves many purposes, and play should factor into your dog’s daily routine. 

Playing keeps dogs active, healthy, and happy. This is why Oakland Veterinary Referral Services wants to spotlight this wonderful aspect of spending time with your four-legged pal.


Dog Food Allergies

Dog food allergies are one of the more frequently diagnosed forms of allergies in dogs. Many dog owners have jumped on the bandwagon of switching to grain-free diets, assuming that their dog is allergic to, or intolerant of, gluten as many humans are. In fact, in most cases the allergen for dogs is a protein or proteins.

The problem with recognizing a food allergy in pets is that it doesn’t always look like tummy troubles. The signs can be more subtle or manifest as a symptom that you might not associate with food allergies.

If your dog has food allergies, there are signs that will be present. The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services is here to discuss dog food allergies and intolerances, and what you can do to help your pet.


Nutritious and Delicious: Your Guide to Homemade Dog Food

Many dog owners are looking to better their pets’ health through great nutrition. One way to do that is with homemade dog food. You can supplement commercial brands that feature whole foods or grain-free ingredients, or you can completely jump into creating your own DIY dog food. 

The trouble with jumping into the unfamiliar waters of home cooked dog food is that many essential nutrients can be overlooked. This is why the team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services wants to explore homemade dog food and what loving pet owners need to consider.


Cozy and Dry: The Best Dog Coats and Rain Jackets

This time of year brings temperamental weather to the Detroit area. One day it is frigid with snow in the forecast, while the next week brings warmer weather and rain showers. This is why it is so important to have all of your pet’s outdoor apparel needs met, so you are prepared for whatever Mother Nature has in store. 

Of course, there are a sea of options in dog coats and rain jackets, making it hard to choose the right one with high quality at a good price. The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services is your source for many of the best products to choose. 


Living the Life! Simple Ways to Improve Your Dog’s Life

You take great care of your pet but are there ways to improve your dog’s life? Our pets make us undeniably happy, offering an unconditional love that is immeasurable. So, it is no wonder why, as pet owners, we ask about ways to better our dog’s lives. We want the same wonderful existence for our dogs that we strive for, and do this in ways related to their best health and wellbeing. 

To answer the question of ways to improve your dog’s life, the team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services is here. We offer a few simple ways to create health, happiness, and fun for your dog’s incredible life.


The Best Dog Food Dispenser Bowls and Puzzles

Dog food dispenser bowls can be great for better meeting the needs of you and your dog. When you think of your dog’s food bowl, you probably think a bowl is a bowl, right? Not all dog bowls are equal though.

Certain regular bowls are best for certain types of eaters (for example a non-slide base or stainless steel bowl especially for rowdy eaters). The same is true in dog food dispenser bowls and puzzles. Food dispensing products are popular these days so, if you have looked online, you may wonder which ones are the best. 

You have come to the right place! Your friends at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services have compiled a list of 5 of the best for your convenience. 

Top-Rated Dog Food Dispenser Bowls

Automatic or standard dog food dispensers get a nod for the busy pet parent who sometimes can’t get home in time to feed the family dog. They are also a great way to program a set time and portion for your pet to better stick to a regular schedule (which your dog appreciates). 

Here are some of our favorite dog food dispenser bowls.

  1. WOPET Automatic Pet Food Dispenser — You can program this item for up to 4 meals while you are away. It also allows you to set the right portion for each meal, which is a good way to keep track of those calories. The coolest part is that it offers a voice recorder, so you can say “hello” and “good dog” to your pet while they eat.
  2. PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Dispenser — Another good choice is the PetSafe feeder that gives you the option of feeding two pets, rather than one. This well-designed dispenser is programmable and allows for portion control for both pets. It’s also easy to clean!
  3. Roffie Automatic Food Dispenser — While this dispenser is for cats, it is a top rated product that you can also use for small dogs since their kibble is about the same size. This all-in-one dispenser features scheduled feedings for up to 4 meals, an alarm to alert your pet that it’s dinner, and voice recorder.
  4. PetSafe 5 Meal Pet Feeder — The added bonus to this robust bowl is that you can feed your pet wet food in it as well as dry. It has an automatic timer and portion control settings, along with the option of holding up to 5 meals. It is easy to clean and the bowls are dishwasher safe.
  5. AmazonBasic Gravity Fed Feeder — If you are on a budget and like the traditional feeding bowls, this one’s for you. Gravity fed feeders are easy to clean and keep the food coming no matter the time of day. It’s a good choice for dogs who need to gain some weight or the fussy eaters who are not at risk of obesity.

Fabulous Dog Food Dispenser Puzzles 

Being bored is a drag for anyone, including your best canine companion. Dog food dispenser puzzles make for a great deal of fun and allows your pet to slow down their eating for better digestion. Enrichment is key for behavioral wellness. Here are some of our picks for awesome food and treat puzzles.

  1. Starmark Pickle Dog Toy — Shaped like a pickle, this is a basic treat dispensing chew toy that is durable and fun.
  2. PetSafe Kibble Nibble — This ball dispenser rates high with curious canines and pet parents alike. This rollable toy can actually feed your dog their full meal in increments while they play and exercise.
  3. Bob-A-Lot Treat Toy — Bob-A-Lot bottom-heavy design allows your pet to move and nudge the toy, causing it to dispense treats or kibble in bits along the way. 
  4. Buster Cube — The Buster Cube dispensing toy has several sections in order to release food in small increments. The goal is to get your dog to nudge the toy and bat it around to get the treats or food out.
  5. Hide and Slide Puzzle Game — This challenging puzzle gives you the chance to keep your furry loved one occupied while slowing down their eating. Simply fill all or part of the slots with kibble and give your canine Einstein the chance to sleuth out the goodies.

Have you tried any dog food dispenser bowls or puzzles that your pet especially likes? Feel free to let us know by posting on our Facebook or mentioning them to us at your pet’s next visit. 

If you have any questions about your pet’s health, or would like to schedule an appointment, speak with your veterinarian. If your pet has a pet emergency or needs to see one of our veterinary specialists, ask your doctor for a referral then contact us to make an appointment.

Clutter: 7 Easy Ways to Organize Your Dog Supplies

Dogs seem to have almost as much clutter as we do. Let us help you organize your dog supplies. Toys across the kitchen floor, dental chews hidden under the sofa, last year’s Christmas gift for Fido buried somewhere in the closet…Yes, it is time for some decluttering! With all the food and treats, toys, beds, and grooming supplies, you probably wonder if you need a separate room just for your dog. 

This is where the team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services comes in. We are here to give you simple tips and organization hacks to help you organize your dog supplies for less clutter and greater efficiency. 


Itchy-Scratchy: Help for Dogs with Dry Skin

Dogs with dry skin can be suffering for a number of reasons, including parasites and allergies. Itchy skin is not only unpleasant for your dog but can result in skin problems over time. If your dog is scratching more than normal, they may have dry skin and a possible health condition that contributes to it. 

The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services will scratch the surface of why dogs have dry skin so that you can help give your best fur friend some relief.


Understanding Laryngeal Paralysis in Dogs

Laryngeal paralysis in dogs is a serious medical condition that affects the upper airway and obstructs breathing. This condition occurs mostly in dogs and is progressive, sometimes leading to death if not treated. 

If your pet is diagnosed with the condition, it can be understandably concerning, but we are here to help. The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services is here to give you an overview of what laryngeal paralysis in dogs is, what to expect, and its treatment.