How to Treat Canine Hot Spots

As summer months bring heat and extreme temperatures, it is important to be mindful of ailments that can affect our furry friends. Hot spots can be both painful and unpleasant for dogs; however, with quick and attentive at home care from owners, recovery is a few steps away. In order to provide the proper treatment owners must be mindful and attentive to their pet’s behavior as well as employ proper preventative measures to avoid occurrence and reoccurrence of hot spots. If hot spots do emerge, pet owners can employ a variety of at home treatments from vetdepot to ease pain and discomfort.

Hot spots are usually seen in long haired breeds of dogs as moisture that is trapped close to the skin creates bacteria akin to dermatitis as seen in their human counterparts. Observing one’s pet during the summer month for excessive itching and the emergence of red spots or sores is important to identifying canine hot spots. If your pet is scratching the same spot repeatedly, experiences pain to the touch, or has a spot that is red and irritated or releases pus, then hot spots are most likely the culprit.

If you have a long-haired dog, you might consider a short summer haircut. Regular brushing and baths can keep mats and tangles at bay, which are often the contributing cause of hot spots in long haired dogs. Allergies can also affect hot spots so be mindful of your pet’s exposure to certain outdoor plants.

If hot spots appear, proper care is necessary. First, clip all of the hair in the area surrounding the hot spot. Next, carefully wash the wound with a gentle antibacterial soap and let dry completely to avoid more exposure to moisture. Depending on the severity and quantity of hot spots, you may consider visiting your vet for some cortisone or a topical antibiotic for dogs. Medicated anti-itch powders can also provide comfort for your four legged friend.

It’s important to be mindful of the cause of your pet’s hot spots, whether it be a grooming issue or an allergic reaction. Knowing the cause can help prevent reoccurrence and make the rest of your summer itch free for your lovable pet!

Is your Pooch One of the Ten Most Popular Dog Breeds?

The American Kennel Club (AKC) has released its ranking of dog breed popularity based on its registration statistics.  Here are top 10 dog breeds, according to the AKC:

1.            Labrador Retrievers

2.            German Shepherds

3.            Yorkshire Terriers

4.            Beagles

5.            Golden Retrievers

6.            Bulldogs

7.            Boxers

8.            Dachshunds

9.            Poodles

10.          Shih Tzus

No matter what the breed, save money on all of your lovable pup’s pet medications and pet supplies by shopping on


Is Pet Insurance Right for You?

More owners are looking into and purchasing health insurance for their pets.  Choices range from very inexpensive policies that provide some financial help when dealing with an unforeseen illness or accident to more comprehensive plans that cover preventative care and have high coverage limits.  Of course these latter policies also have higher premiums, but with a little research most pet owners can find a pet insurance plan is a good fit for them.

Here are a few things to remember when considering health insurance for your pet:

  • No policy covers all your veterinary expenses.  You will still need to have savings and/or credit available to cover deductibles, copays, and costs that exceed or are excluded from your policy.  Primarily think of insurance as a way to help deal with unexpected expenses.  Routine purchases like vaccines, heartworm prevention and flea and tick control can be budgeted for and purchased from online retailers such as
  • Know what you are buying.  All policies have exclusions, so check the fine print.
  • Preexisting conditions will not be covered, so if your dog or cat has already been diagnosed with a disease, the cost of treating it (pet medication refills, rechecks, etc.) will come out of your pocket.  Consider getting insurance when your pet is young to avoid the pitfalls associated with preexisting conditions.

Tips on Saving Big Bucks on your Furry Little Friend

Responsible pet ownership requires an investment that lasts the lifetime of your pet. In this regard, owning a pet is similar to caring for a child. There are many ongoing costs associated with caring for your dog or cat, but there are easy things you can do to help keep some of these costs down.

Shop Around for Vets: When you’re choosing a vet, call several local veterinary offices and ask them the cost for a routine exam. Often, vets will use this price as a base price for all other procedures. Vets who charge less for a routine exam tend to have lower prices overall. Don’t wait for an emergency to choose your veterinarian; you will be more stressed in emergency situations and may not be as concerned with cutting costs.

Compare Prices Online for your Pet’s Medications: If you buy your flea preventatives and other pet medications at your veterinarian’s office, you are likely being charged a mark-up of over 100% of the wholesale price. Shopping online for your pet’s medication can lead to huge savings, plus the added convenience of receiving your pet’s medications delivered to your door. When you’re comparing prices online, you can often save money by ordering more doses in one time. Make sure you order discount pet medications only from secure sites based in the US that are certified by either LegitScript or Vet-VIPPS like vetdepot.

Don’t Let Fido Eat You out of House and Home: No matter what, your furry friend is always going to want to eat! The biggest ongoing cost pet owners pay is food. Many pet foods labeled as “Premium” or other special diets cost more than double what other pet foods cost. Be aware that there is no legal standard pet foods must meet to be labeled as “Premium”, but any food that is labeled “complete & balanced” or “total nutrition” meets the minimum legal standard required for pet foods. Unless your pet has a medical condition requiring a special diet, you probably don’t need to spend extra on pricey foods that may offer no extra benefit to your pet’s health.

Invest in Preventative Care: You’ve probably heard the old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Keeping up with your pet’s routine exams and vaccinations can prevent a wide variety of serious and costly health problems. Clean choppers also make a big difference in your pet’s health. Brushing your dog or cat’s teeth and feeding them dental treats can help prevent periodontal disease, a common cause of kidney and lung problems. Finally, make sure your pet maintains a healthy weight. Have plenty of playtime and don’t overfeed your furball. Obesity can cause diabetes and arthritis, among other expensive problems. Remember, a healthy pet is a happy pet, and a healthy pet costs you less!

Is your Four-Legged Friend Going on a Raw or Organic Diet?

In recent years, Americans have been spending more money than ever on organic and natural foods.  It should come as no surprise that many people are also beginning to buy natural or organic foods for their animal companions. Many of us feel like our dogs and cats are members of our family. As we begin to think more about finding healthy foods for ourselves, many of us are also becoming interested in feeding our pets better foods too. At pet stores around the country, new foods are cropping up featuring specialty ingredients like blueberries, alfalfa and brewer’s yeast.

There is some debate, however, as to whether these more costly “natural” foods actually have health benefits for your pet. It certainly can’t hurt your pet to keep them on a diet made from higher quality ingredients however some brands may be lower in important nutrients such as potassium, calcium and phosphorus. Grain-free foods also promise many benefits but there is debate as to the truth of these claims. According to some veterinarians, grain-free foods mainly benefit pets with specific food allergies.

In the end, it’s up to you to decide if a natural diet would be a good thing to try with your pet. If your pet has allergies or suffers from any feline or canine digestive troubles, paying more attention to their diet might help improve their overall condition. Rest assured, even if you can’t afford the additional cost of organic, specialty pet foods, more traditional brands are still a safe and cost effective way to fill up that furry little tummy.