Pet Care Tips
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NJ Veterinary Medical Association
390 Amwell Road, Suite 402
Hillsborough, NJ 08844
Phone:  908-281-0918
Fax:  908-450-1286

Featured Tip

Fleas can cause great discomfort in your pet. Scratching is the typical response, however, some pets are more allergic to flea bites than others, resulting in severe skin infections and hair loss. Untreated, your pet could become anemic. This is especially true in very young and very old pets. There are effective year round flea preventives that are extremely safe and can keep you from having to treat your home and pet multiple times. Be careful not to mix too many flea and tick products together. It is easy to overdose pets, especially cats with even the mildest insecticides. Never use human or household bug sprays on your pets. Consult your pet's veterinarian about the best products for your pet's lifestyle.

Exotic animals

  • Ferrets love to play with and chew on rubber items such as toys. However, they could swallow them and get an intestinal blockage. If you become concerned your pet may have swallowed a foreign object, contact your veterinarian immediately.
  • Ferrets need a high fat and high protein diet. Cat food is commonly fed to ferrets but does not supply enough of the nutrients they need. Kitten food is better but not ideal. Discuss the best diet for your ferret with your veterinarian.
  • Ferrets are fairly resistant to cold weather, but do not tolerate heat well. In hot humid weather, make sure your ferret is in a well-ventilated area and always has access to plenty of fresh water.
  • Ferrets are one of the only animals that can catch human influenza. If you have a cold, try not to handle your ferret. If you do, remember to wash your hands well. Keep in mind you can also catch the flu from your ferret.
  • If your ferret shows signs of increased sleeping, weakness or staring into space it could be a signs of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), most often caused by a tumor in the pancreas, which produces insulin (insulinoma). If your ferret shows any of these signs, please consult your veterinarian immediately.
  • It is never a good idea to feed ferrets or any small mammals high sugar snacks. Ferrets, in particular, have a high incidence of pancreatic tumors and high sugar snacks could make the symptoms worse.
  • Training a ferret to eliminate in a litter box can be challenging but it is possible. Ferrets often prefer to eliminate in corners.

Canine and feline nutrition

  • Table scraps will not provide the balanced diet dogs and cats require, and ideally should not be fed. Owners who do offer them should never feed more than 10% of the animal's daily food intake as table scraps.

Nutritional supplements in dogs and cats

  • Omega 3 fatty acids, which are found in fish oils, are helpful in both dogs and cats. They have anti-inflammatory properties and may help with skin problems as well as arthritis. Your veterinarian can recommend which supplements may be useful.

Canine and feline medical problems and advice

  • Do not give your dog or cat any of YOUR pain medication. These medications may cause serious problems in your pet. Aspirin in certain situations can be used, but be sure to consult your veterinarian first as to the proper dosage.

Did you know? (dogs and cats)

  • Puppies have 28 baby teeth and 42 permanent teeth. Kittens have 26 baby teeth and 30 permanent teeth.

Acquiring a new pet

  • Puppies and young adult dogs need lots of exercise. Exercise often prevents destructive and mischievous behavior. Before adopting a puppy, make sure you have the time to provide the attention, love and exercise your new puppy needs.


  • Did you know a flea's life cycle is only 2 weeks? Both the environment and your pet must be treated before the new generation arrives. There are very safe and effective topical, oral, and environmental products available from your veterinarian. Consult with your veterinarian as to which of the products would be best for you and your pet.


  • Do NOT feed your pet chocolate! Chocolate contains a substance similar to caffeine, known as theobromine. It can cause a toxic reaction and lead to signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and even death. If your pet has eaten chocolate, consult your veterinarian immediately and be sure to have on hand the information of what your pet weighs and the type and amount of chocolate ingested.

For more information concerning common animal health topics,
please view our Pet Care Articles.

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