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Taking Care of Animals: Pro Tips for Pet Owners

Bringing a new pet into your house can be as intimidating as it is exciting. Even if you have an animal or two at home, a new pet can lead to plenty of unanswered questions.

We dove into some research to dig up tips for taking care of animals, focusing on the most common household pets. Whether you’re becoming a first-time pet owner or have had multiple animal companions, this guide can help your new family member feel right at home.

YOUR GUIDE TO TAKING CARE OF ANIMALS

No matter what type of furry friend you’re welcoming into your family, there are some basic animal care guidelines you should follow. Scan the article to find your species and see your personalized tips.

Basics: Make sure to stock up on high-quality dog food, especially if you’re bringing home a puppy. As the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) points out, puppies typically need three to four meals per day. Fresh, clean water should be available at all times also

It’s important to maintain a safe environment. If your pooch will be staying outdoors, you’ll need some sort of temperature control system to ensure they remain comfortable. That may include a heated shelter during winter and access to cool water during the summer. A microchip or some sort of collar identification is a must for both indoor and outdoor dogs.

 

Tips to Prepare You for Owning a Veterinary Practice

According to a recent survey by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the average graduate has $162,113 in student loan debt. A recent graduate can expect to make a salary of between $60,000 and $80,000 a year. That seems like a good living for someone just out of school – until you take into account all of your expenses: a roof over your head, food on the table and, oh yes, those student loans.

Pay attention to non-compete agreements

Imagine that your friend comes running into the lab room 3 days before graduation. She just landed a job at a large practice that will produce $500,000 to $600,000 in production right away, which translates into a salary of $100,000 to $120,000 a year. You’re working for a small clinic that is privately owned and you’ll be lucky to make $85,000 a year between production and bonus. Did you make the wrong career decision?

Consider home ownership and proximity to available practices

Imagine that you’ve landed a well-paying job at a great clinic. You’re building your savings, settling down and even thinking about starting a family. You’re setting yourself up to buy a practice in the next year or so – and you’re thinking now is the time to buy your dream home.

Jobs, continuing education and relief work

Most veterinary associates who buy a practice do so within 5 to 10 years of graduation. This may seem like a long time, but it can go by in a heartbeat – think about being a freshman in college and being where you are today.

Find a good mentor

Very few people become successful without some help and guidance. That’s why it’s wise to seek out a mentor, someone who can help you grow as a doctor and a professional. Find someone who can be both your cheerleader and your coach. Your mentor needs to have time for you and be committed to providing guidance, feedback and support. Finding a mentor outside of your employer can give you a fresh perspective on daily situations; that person can also stay with you as you move forward to another clinic and eventually open your own.

 

Tips For Your Trip to the Veterinarian

Taking your cat to the veterinary office can be stressful for your cat and for you. Wellness visits are just as important for cats as for dogs, and cats are so good at hiding illness that routine exams are vital to maintaining their health and catching diseases early.  Once the carrier comes out or our routine for the day changes, they pick up on these cues and disappear. If you manage to get them into the carrier, it can be a stressful journey to the office for both parties.

Providing your cat with good health care, especially preventive health care, can allow her to live a longer, more comfortable life. However, this cannot happen unless you take your cat to see the veterinarian routinely.

Why is My Cat Fearful of Her Carrier?

Cats are most comfortable with the familiar, and need time to adjust to the unfamiliar. So, if her carrier is not an object in her regular environment, your cat does not have time to become familiar with it.

Your cat probably associates her carrier with visits to the veterinarian’s office which is probably not her favorite place.

Respect your cat’s need for time to become familiar with new situations, people, and places.

Stay calm. Cats can sense our anxiety or frustrations, which may cause them to become fearful or anxious.

Helping Your Cat Become Comfortable with the Carrier

The goal is for your cat to learn to associate the carrier with positive experiences and enter the carrier frequently and voluntarily.

Make the carrier a familiar place at home by leaving it in a room where your cat spends a lot of time.

Place familiar soft bedding inside the carrier. Bedding or clothing with your scent can make your cat feel more secure.

Place treats, catnip, or toys inside the carrier to encourage your cat to go inside. Often, you will first see that treats are removed from the carrier overnight. Cats do not learn from punishment or force. Give rewards to encourage positive behavior.

It may take days or weeks before your cat starts to trust the carrier. Remain calm, patient, and reward desired behaviors.

If you still have trouble, you may need to assess the carrier itself and find a carrier that your cat likes. Your veterinarian can help you with this search.

Clean the carrier thoroughly with a non-noxious cleanser, rinse well, and leave in the sun to dry for a day. This can help remove any previously released stress pheromones.

Getting an Unwilling Cat into the Carrier

If your cat needs to be transported immediately to go to the veterinarian or due to another emergency situation, and she is not yet accustomed to the carrier,

 

Tips for Applying to Vet School

The popularity of veterinary medicine has created a highly competitive admissions process for the available seats in each vet school class. Most of the 30 vet schools in the United States, as well as several international programs, utilize the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) to streamline the admissions process. This centralized service allows students to submit their information to multiple schools by creating a single application.

The VMCAS application is certainly an important part of the process, but there are several additional things to consider when applying to vet school

Find Out Each School’s Admission Requirements

Make sure you have taken the required courses for each school you are applying to. While most requirements are similar, the specifics do vary somewhat from one school to the next.

Document Your Experience

Keep a log that documents your hours working in a vet clinic as well as all other animal-related internships and volunteer activities. Be sure you gain experience working with both small and large animals if possible. Make yourself a well-rounded candidate.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute to Start Your Application

Be well aware of the deadline for applications and be sure to have your application materials completed early. Applications through the VMCAS service are usually accepted beginning in May or June, with the deadline being early October. There are many sections that are required and it can take a significant amount of time to complete all areas.

 

Tips to Help Your Cat’s Veterinarian Visit Go Smoothly

As any caring cat parent knows, a routine visit to the vet is anything but routine. Regular examinations are the right thing to do, but try telling that to your cat. Stress levels run rampant. Emotions are on high. This can be especially true for senior cats that are showing signs of changes in their behavior. If only there was a way to help tame the entire vet experience. The following steps should help you plan and prepare the next time your senior cat is due for an appointment.

Carrier Tips

Be sure to always use a carrier, or substitute with another safe container for safe transport.

If your senior cat keeps refusing to enter the carrier, help get your cat acclimated to it by placing it among your home’s everyday environment. Place any treats, favorite toys or blankets inside to make it more comfortable and inviting for your cat. And be sure to keep them inside once your cat enters.

Top-loading carriers are less stressful for your senior cat, as they allow for easier removal. And if needed, your cat can be examined while remaining inside the carrier.

Car Ride Tips

Don’t limit car rides strictly for visits to the vet. Start taking your cat on regular rides in the carrier to help your cat get used to the motion and the surroundings of your vehicle.

Avoid feeding your cat for at least one hour before transport to keep your cat from getting carsick.

Office Tips

Give your cat a treat or verbal praise to reward good behavior in both the lobby and veterinarian’s office.

Always speak in a soft voice to help your cat remain calm.

Never resist a trained veterinary professional from handling your cat. This will raise your cat’s anxiety and cause her to bite or scratch.

Be sure to discuss with your veterinarian ways to make your next visit even more comfortable for both you and your senior cat.

Tips To Make An Eye Care

Everyday Eye Care Tips

Wear Sunglasses: not just for looking cool. Sun damage is serious business for your eyes. For all of your outdoor activities, you need year-round UV protection for your eyes. Always wear eyeglasses and sunglasses with 100% UV protection. You can’t rely on sunscreen alone for protection from UV rays. Even though 75 percent of Americans report having concerns about UV eye exposure, less than one-third (31 percent) wear sunglasses every time they go outside, according to the 2016 Vision Watch survey of more than 10,000 adults 18 and older. Pearle Vision makes it easy for you to get Rx sunglasses. Click here to find a Pearle Vision Eyecare center in your neighborhood.

Don’t ignore headaches. Reaching for another aspirin? Frequent headaches can be a sign of an eye health issue. Check with your eye doctor or read more about common eye health issues.

Tears can be a good thing. Beware of dry, itchy eyes caused by environmental factors, certain medications or just aging tear ducts. Artificial tears work wonders for thirsty, irritated eyes. Visit your nearest eyecare center.

Don’t be afraid to blink. Healthy eyes need breaks. Frequent blinking prevents fatigue.

Safety first. If you think you should be wearing safety glasses, put them on.

Supercharge your eyes.Diets rich in Vitamin A keep eyes healthy and sparkling. So eat lots of carrots, dark leafy greens or sweet potatoes. Read a full list of eye-healthy foods here.

Give ’em a rest. Reduce computer-related eyestrain with the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look about 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Sleep on it! Sleep is the most natural form of eye care. Lack of sleep can lead to increased strain and make your eyes look unhealthy (dark circles or bags).

 

How to Keep Your Eyes Healthy

Look Away From the Computer Screen

Staring at a computer or phone screen for too long can cause:

Use Safety Eyewear

If you use hazardous or airborne materials on the job or at home, wear safety glasses or protective goggles.

Wear Sunglasses

The right pair of shades will help protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Too much UV exposure boosts your chances of cataracts and macular degeneration.

Quit Smoking

It makes you more likely to get cataracts, damage to your optic nerve, and macular degeneration, among many other medical problems. If you’ve tried to kick the habit  before only to start again, keep at it. The more times you try to quit, the more likely you are to succeed. Ask your doctor for help.

Eat Well

Good eye health starts with the food on your plate. Nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E might help ward off age-related vision problems like macular degeneration and cataracts. To get them, fill your plate with:

 

Tips For Choosing The Best Eye Care Center For Your Family

Look for Savings

Money matters. All medical care can be expensive and depending on your family’s needs (and how many family members you have) and eye care is no exception. Look for a vision center that will help you identify what your insurance plan will cover. Many insurance plans will help cover the cost of vision care for your family. Try to find an eye care center that offers promotions, coupons, and more breaks to help you afford treatment. That’s a benefit you can take advantage of over time and it shows that the vision care center wants to help families afford care. That’s a sign that they’re approach is one your family can get behind.

Examine The Mission

What is the Mission of the vision care center you’re looking into? Do they seem primarily concerned with cultivating lifelong eye care relationships with patients of all ages? Or, do they seem like they’re motivated by making money and taking on as many new patients as possible to grow profits? If it’s the latter, you have to ask yourself ‘Is this the right place for me and my family?’ Especially for younger children, it’s important to find an optometrist who will put them at ease and be a steady resource for all kinds of vision maintenance and improvement. An optometrist that can provide vision for life is invaluable to your family. Find an eye care center with values that match your own. It’s the groundwork for a successful and lasting eye care relationship.

Go Somewhere with Selection

After you receive top-flight medical care from an optometrist and they determine you need glasses or contacts, it’s a humongous benefit to be able to find what you need right in the same vision center. Opt for an eye care center that has an incredible selection of glasses (lenses and frames) for every need. Not only should you be able to order contacts from your vision care center, but you should also be able to find the perfect pair of glasses. Find an eye doctor that has brand names at competitive prices. A good selection will make it easy for each person in your family (who needs glasses) to find the pair that works for them! Think about the trouble saved when you’re able to knock out eye exams and find new glasses for everyone in the same place.

Make Sure They’re Qualified

This tip can apply across the medical care spectrum. But, it’s important. Your family is what matters most. Ensure that you’re taking them to an eye care center with licensed, credentialed, and experienced optometrists. How long the vision center has been in business, how trusted it is within a community, and its experience treating patients should all be considered when choosing where to take your family for vision care. You want to find an optometrist that will be a resource for vision care throughout each family member’s life. That’s a tall task and not everyone will be up to it. Find eye doctors who want that life long relationship and have the skills to back it up.

Ask if They Treat All Ages

Taking a child or a grandparent into an eye care center for their first exam is enough of an event. If the optometrist you’re seeing doesn’t have experience treating particular age groups, that can add undue pressure and result in some clumsy interactions and sub par treatment. Find out ahead of time whether the eye care center you’re considering has experience treating all ages. You want to find an optometrist that has seen it all and is equally comfortable treating a 4-year-old as they are treating an 80-year-old and every age in between. If you’re looking for a family vision care center, make sure that the entire family can find the treatment they need there. That will make eye doctor appointments easier on your family and will spare inexperienced optometrists the awkwardness.

 

Eye Care Tips Your Optometrist Wishes You Knew

Take UV Damage Seriously

Don’t reserve your sunnies for bright days. “UV damage to your eyes is cumulative over your lifetime,” says North. “Make sure the label on your sunglasses says they block 100 per cent of UVA and UVB rays.” Overexposure to UV light is linked to cataracts, macular degeneration, eyelid cancer and corneal sunburn.

Be Careful with Cosmetics

Eyelash extensions are trendy, but the strong glue that holds them on can cause allergic reactions or chemical burns. Reserve those fluttery lashes for special occasions, and be sure to go to a licensed aesthetician who uses sterile equipment.

Learn to Fight Screen Fatigue

Sit back as far as possible, get rid of any extraneous glare and take frequent breaks: some optomet­rists recommend looking away at least every 20 minutes. “Staring at a screen is like holding a weight over your head,” North says. “Every time you look away, those muscles relax.”

Digital Eye Strain is on the Rise

And most bifocals and reading glasses aren’t designed for computer use. “Get prescription eyewear specifically for work,” says North.

Never Rinse Your Contacts in Tap Water

Acanthamoeba, a rare but nasty sight-­destroying bug, may lurk in your water supply.

 

Tips for Optimal Eye Health

The Sooner the Better

Timing is of undeniable significance when it comes to treating most serious eye conditions like AMD and glaucoma. The sooner they get diagnosed, the higher is the probability of treating them successfully. So, start consulting your eye doctor regularly before it’s too late.

Avoid Excessive Coffee Consumption

To be honest, that hurt me the most as well, but I still prefer healthy eyes. If the thought of a steamy cup in front of you every afternoon is too strong to resist, try replacing coffee with green tea. In addition to fulfilling your body’s fluid requirements, green tea is known to be a great source of catechins, which along with other antioxidants (like vitamin C, vitamin E, zeaxanthin and lutein) help eyes fight against various eye problems including cataracts and AMD.

Sharing Your Towel is Not a Good Idea

Being generous is one thing and sharing your towel is a totally different one. It’s more like choosing between the two, because sharing face towels and washers means getting your eyes vulnerable to contagious eye infections like conjunctivitis (or pinkeye).

Sleep Well

Your eyes can also get into trouble if you are in a habit of skipping sleep regularly. Adequate sleep ensures that your eyes are well rested and strain free.

Stay Hydrated

Talking of dry eyes, dehydration can also lead to it. Human body relies heavily on water to function smoothly. If you are not conscious about fluid level in your body, tear production in your eyes is also affected amongst a myriad of other complications, which results in dry eyes. Simply, stay hydrated to keep your eyes out of trouble.