Camp Fire Safety Tips

We are in the peak of summer, which means trips to the beach and trips to the campground. Bringing your dog along to the campground with you is always fun. But there is a big safety hazard when your dog comes with you: the camp fire pit. Here are some things you can do to keep your pet safe during your camping trip.

A man and young girl warm their hands over a just starting camp fire. The man uses one hand to restrain their pet dog at a safe distance from the fire. The dog appears to be a Weimararner. In the background there is a bright yellow tent, and a lake.

Camp Fire Pit Training

The first step in camp fire safety is to teach your dog that the fire pit is not a place they are allowed. By teaching them to steer clear of the pit, they are less likely to approach it. Even when the fire pit is empty and unlit, your dog should not be allowed to touch it. There are many tempting things that go into a fire pit that a dog might want, especially if your dog loves playing with sticks! Your kindling and large sticks placed in the pit may be attractive toys to your dog. Setting a clear, off-limits boundary can prevent them from approaching to take the sticks, especially when the fire is lit!

Food at the Camp Fire

One of the best parts about camping is cooking over the open flames of a fire pit. Cooking can be a big temptation for dogs to get close to the fire. Avoid giving them pieces of food while cooking or sitting around the camp fire. Doing so cause the dog to feel comfortable approaching the fire with or without you. The same goes for tossing food scraps in the fire. The smells of good, especially anything left over after the fire is put out, can attract your dog. They may dig in the pit to try and get the food, which could be covered in chemicals from other burning trash nearby. Worse still, there may be hot embers buried in the ashes that could burn and injure your dog.

Stay Aware of Your Dogs Presence

Many pets are able to roam around the campsite freely on long leashes, which isn’t a bad thing. It lets them stretch their legs and enjoy the trip as much as you are. Being close to the fire is dangerous though, even if it’s a few feet away. A gust of wind can pick up embers and drop then in the area surrounding the fire. If your dog is too close, these embers could land on them and hurt them. The wind can also carry the smoke to your dog. If you’ve had camp fire in your face before, you know it can burn the eyes and make it difficult to breath. The same thing happens to dogs. Some exposure is inevitable, but you should be aware off the signs that your dogs has breathed in too much.

Symptoms to watch for include:

  • coughing
  • wheezing
  • loud or difficult breathing
  • disorientation
  • fatigue
  • reduced appetited or thirst
  • red, watering, or irritated eyes

To much smoke can cause these symptoms in senior and younger pets commonly. However, the most at-risk breeds are brachycephalic breeds, or breeds with scrunched noses. Try to keep your dog upwind of the fire whenever possible to avoid possible complications.

Equipment Hazards

Like at home, you will need to be smart about the storage of your camp fire equipment. It’s important to be aware of and properly store anything that gets hot, is sharp, or toxic chemicals for the fire when not in use. Be sure to keep sharp objects, like axes, put away after use. Keep items hot from being placed into the fire, such as cooking equipment, out of reach of your dog while they cool. When it comes to lighter fluid, put it away after you get a fire going to prevent your dog from getting exposed to it.

For information on safety for your pets with other fires, such as home or wild fires, check out this article by the ASPCA. For some summer treat ideas for your dog, check out our blog post here.

Disclaimer: This written content is meant to be educational and is not medical advice. Always consult a veterinarian about medical advice for your pet.

It’s Hot! Here is How You Can Help Dogs in Hot Cars This Summer

As the temperature rises, the danger it can pose to pets goes up too. If you see dogs in hot cars this summer, don’t panic. There are things you can do to help!

A red outlined white box has a dog looking up from the right side of the image. On the left side is a list of temperatures outside, and how hot it gets after 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, and 40 minutes. When it is 70 degrees Fahrenheit outside, it will become 89 degrees after 10 minutes, 99 degrees after 20 minutes, up to 108 degrees after 40 minutes. More extreme, if it is 95 degrees outside, it will ecome 114 degrees after 10 minutes, 124 degrees after 20 minutes, 129 degrees after 30 minutes, and 133 degrees after 40 minutes.

Why is it dangerous?

To begin, let’s look at why hot cars are so dangerous for dogs. First, is to understand just how hot it actually gets inside a car during the summer. When it is a nice, sunny, 75 degree day here in Minnesota, a car can get up to temperatures as high as 113 degrees! On an especially hot day, where it is 90 degrees out, it can get up to 128 degrees inside of a car!

This extreme heat is already very hot for us, and when you add fur on top of it with a dog, it gets even worse. The high temperatures put dogs at risk of developing heat related conditions, such as heat stroke. Some breeds, such as those that are flat faced, are at even higher risk of this.

Signs of Heatstroke

  • Heavy panting 
  • Restlessness/anxiety 
  • Clawing at the window 
  • Trembling 
  • Collapse
  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Disorientation
  • Vomiting 
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Seizures 

What should you do?

If you see a dog inside a hot car, no matter how long it has been, you need to take action right away. Time is extremely critical for getting the dog out of the car.

  1. First thing to do is call 9-1-1. In Minnesota, the police have the ability to assess if force is needed to get a dog out of a hot car, so you will need their assistance if it becomes necessary to break the dog out of the vehicle.
  2. The next step is to find the owner. If there is a business nearby, notify them and ask the to us their loud speaker to request the owner immediately. Best case scenario, the owner is near by and can help get the dog out of the vehicle immediately. Inform them of their pets condition, and your concern for the pets safety.

    Don’t try to lecture them or ridicule their decision to leave their dog in the car. It can be frustrating to deal with an owner who left their dog in a dangerous situation, but its important to protect yourself too. Keep the focus on saving the pet to minimize the chance of confrontation or fall out after the situation is resolved.

What can Law Enforcement Do?

The next step is understanding Minnesota laws. In Minnesota, there are several laws and statutes that cover leaving an animal inside a car (Minnesota Statute 346.57) by classifying it as endangering an animals health or safety. When the police arrive, the officers will be able to determine if a law was broken, and the repercussions from there.

If it is determined that the dog is in danger of overheating and heat stroke, than the officer may decide force is necessary to remove the dog from the car. From there, police will begin working to care for the dog, and you can offer assistance if they need it.

The police will focus on cooling the dog down slowly by:

  • Moving pet to a shaded area where it will be cooler temperatures
  • Offering fresh water (but not forcing the pet to drink) 
  • Drenching the pet in lukewarm water
    • This should not be cold water
    • Cold water constricts blood vessels in the skin and slows the body’s ability to cool itself 
  • Apply wet rags under the dogs arms, on their stomach, and on their neck
  • Placing the pet in their vehicle with the A/C on
  • Bringing the pet to a nearby animal emergency hospital
    • There, the pet can receive IV fluids and further cooling measures 

A second officer, if present, may begin their investigation, including trying to find the owner, talking to you as the caller, talk to other witnesses, and so on. This is to determine what laws, if any, have been broken.

Three dogs are shown side by side, panting. They have red fur tone and are outside. The background is filled with greenery.

    Stay informed

    Overall, the best thing you can do for a dog, or any pet for that matter, left in a car is call for help. Stay informed as laws develop and change on the topic, and be ready to stick around to help the police once they have arrived. You can also help by educating people you know about the dangers of leaving their dog in their car.

    For more information on the dangers of hot cars, you can check out this article by The Humane Society of the United States. For a tasty way to keep your dog cool this summer, check out our blog on Summer Dog Treats!

    Disclaimer: This written content is meant to be educational and is not medical advice. Always consult a veterinarian about medical advice for your pet.

    Things to Consider When Adopting a Pet

    An image of two dogs and two cats peeking over a white wall. The order is dog, cat, dog cat, with their paws hanging over the wall. The first cat is brown, the first dog is a golden retriever, the second cat is orange, and the second dog is a black and white boarder collie.

    Adoptng a new pet is an exciting time! Whether you get a young puppy or kitten, or an older dog or cat, there are a variety of things to consider before you bring your new furry family member home. Here is a list of some important considerations before your first day home with a new pet

    Veterinary Costs

    To keep a new pet healthy, you should take them to the veterinarian at least once a year. During this visit, they will get necessary vaccinations against illness, and make sure there are no signs of health issues. You will need to set up an appointment for your pet to discuss being spayed/neutered if it hasn’t been done already. Fun fact: Getting your pet “Fixed” can have several health benefits! In addition to preventing unexpected puppies or kittens, you also can decrease the chance of your pet developing illnesses, including certain cancers!

    Pet Insurance

    Some veterinary costs are unexpected. Your pet may get hurt accidentally, hit by a car, or some other possible illness or injury that needs costly veterinary care to treat. To offset these greater costs, you can invest in pet insurance. Pet insurance works as a reimbursement program, and typically you can choose what you want to pay for monthly or annually, and how much coverage your pet gets. It’s good to shop around for the best options to fit your needs, and to get pet insurance early in your pets life.

    The Commitment

    Thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, nutrition, and the quality of care of our pets, they are living longer than ever, depending on size, dogs can live anywhere from 7 years to 16 years, with cats living from 12 to 18 years, and many may even live into their 20’s.

    Pet Care

    The biggest consideration before adopting a new pet, is the care that goes into it. Who will be feeding the pet? Who will be helping it get exercise through walks or play time? Will the pet need grooming? All of these factors add up in both time and money, and should be discussed thoroughly with your family before adopting a new cat or dog.


    You will need to think about your lifestyle before adopting a new pet. Are you a very active, outdoorsy person? Or do you prefer to be a homebody and read a good book? Different pets have different needs, and could either fit well or clash greatly with your lifestyle. An active person should consider an active breed of dog that enjoys exercise and time outdoors. Someone who is more of a homebody, should consider a cat, or a dog breed with lower energy levels.

    A female presenting person has her arms wrapped around a dog. They are sitting in front of the kennels at a dog shelter. The woman is smiling and the dog has it's mouth open. Both are facing the camera.

    Bringing a new pet home is a life changing thing, but it can be life changing in a good way. Make sure your ready for a new ball of fur and sunshine in your life! You can find additional information on preparing for a new pet here. For information on introducing a new puppy, you can check out our blog!

    Disclaimer: This written content is meant to be educational and is not medical advice. Always consult a veterinarian about medical advice for your pet.

    April: Prevention of Lyme Disease in Dogs Month

    As temperatures rise, we will see more and more activity from bugs and creepy crawlies. This means your dog’s risk of contracting preventable illnesses will increase too! Lyme, and several other illnesses, are carried by ticks and spread through their bite. While ticks are out year round, the spring and summer see a significant increase in their numbers. That is why April is a great time to discuss the hazards of Lyme, and ways to protect your pet!

    A close up shot of three different tick species resting on a large leaf.

    Where Do Dogs Get Lyme?

    Lyme Disease in Minnesota is a well known risk for both people and dogs alike. According to The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC), there have been over 109 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in Sherburne County alone, and 4,189 cases across Minnesota in the first few months of 2024. 

    The risk is very present, and those numbers are, unfortunately, expected to rise. Ticks are typically found in environments with heavy vegetation, like forests or grassy areas, like when you go hiking or camping. However, they can also be found in your own back yards. They are also common near bodies of water or in marshy areas.

    Symptoms of Lyme Disease and Treatment

    If you are worried your pet is getting ill, here are some common symptoms associated with lyme:

    • Limping that starts and stops again
    • Less interest in eating or complete loss of appetite
    • Decreased activity, laying around often
    • Swollen lymph nodes
    • Painful and swollen joints
    • Fever

    Call your veterinarian right away to discuss the symptoms and risk factors your pet has for Lyme, including their exposure to ticks and their symptoms. To diagnose your pet, the veterinarian will want to run lab tests to rule out other illnesses and to confirm the Lyme diagnosis.

    Once diagnosed, they will begin a course of antibiotics to fight back against the illness. This can take a month or longer to resolve itself.

    Preventing Lyme Disease

    The best way to avoid your pet getting sick is to be proactive in protecting them. A reliable tick-preventative product recommended by your veterinarian, as well as vaccination, are the strongest protections for your dog.

    Additionally, you can also:

    • Mow your grass, trim bushes, and remove unnecessary brush piles to make your yard less friendly to ticks.
    • Inspect your pet when coming in from outdoor activities. Check their bodies over, including particularly tick-favored spots such as ears, legs, tails, and under their collar. Remove ticks you find immediately, wrapping them in tape or flushing them to dispose of them.

    If you do find a tick on you or your pet, be sure to get checked for Lyme disease to be on the safe side. It can take 3 to 4 weeks before symptoms start.

    Talk to your veterinarian today about prevention options.

    To learn more about Lyme Disease, you can also visit another of our blogs on Lyme disease Prevention.

    Disclaimer: This written content is meant to be educational and is not medical advice. Always consult a veterinarian about medical advice for your pet.

    Pet Poison Prevention Week – Keep Your Pet Safe!

    By Katie Meneses

    Set outside, a black and white boarder collie sits in a grey wheelbarrow with green handles and a red rimmed tire. In front of the wheelbarrow is a blue watering can with a yellow spout. To the right of the dog is freshly planted flowers in different varieties.

    This year, Pet Poison Prevention Week Runs from March 17th to March 23rd. To help you learn more, we have listed some common hazards that come around every year in the springtime. From gardening materials to plants, there are many things to be aware of!


    As things warm up, people will start prepping their gardens with various fertilizers. Most only cause mild symptoms, like upset stomachs, but there are some that are toxic and can be fatal if ingested by a pet. Here are a few!

    • Blood Meal – A great organic fertilizer, blood meal can be very upsetting for your pets stomach. It can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and in more severe cases, pancreatitis!
    • Rose and Plant Fertilizers – many plant fertilizers contain a compound known as disulfoton, or other organophosphates. One teaspoon of this chemical can be fatal to a 55lb dog! Symptoms from ingesting this compound include drooling, urination, defecation, seizures, difficulty breathing, hyperthermia, and more.
    • Iron – Iron is a common additive to fertilizers. Iron can lead to toxicity in your pets! Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, shock, elevated heart rate, panting, and tremors.

    Common Poisonous Plants

    There are hundreds of poisonous plants out there, both inside and outside of the home. With more than 700+ plants out there that are a threat, it can be important to be aware of some of the common ones.

    1. Autumn Crocus
    2. Azalea
    3. Aloe
    4. Hyacinth
    5. Lilies
    6. Oleander
    7. Bird of Paradise flowers
    8. Daffodils
    9. Sago Palm
    10. Tulips
    A list of plants that are toxic and are not toxic to pets, provided by the Schwarzman Animal Medical Center. Toxic plants include Lilies, Sago Palm, Azaleas, English Ivy, Poinsettia, Daffodils, Holly, Peonies, and Elephant Ears.  Non-toxic plants include Orchids, Spider Plants, Petunias, African Violets, Swedish Ivy, Achira, Sunflowers, Autumn Olive, Blue Echeveria, and Boston Fern. A picture of each plant is provided under their name in the list.

    Household Cleaners

    With warmer weather comes spring cleaning! As you start opening up your home and deep cleaning, it can be important to protect your pets from possible hazards caused by common cleaners at your home. Some products lead to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and skin irritation. More severe cases may show skin burns/lesions in their mouth, face, or body. It’s important to keep household cleaners out of their reach.

    • Drain Cleaner
    • Concentrated dishwashing chemicals
    • Lime-removal products
    • Oven cleaners
    • Grill cleaners
    • Concentrated toilet cleaners
    • Bleach

    This list is just a small collection of common hazards to watch out for with the warmer weather. For more information on toxins and poisons that can harm your pet, visit the Pet Poison Hotline. You can also learn about toxins in some of our other blog posts! Check out our blog on Lily Toxicity.

    Disclaimer: This written content is meant to be educational and is not medical advice. Always consult a veterinarian about medical advice for your pet.

    Fruits and Veggies that Double as Dog Treats!

    By Katie Meneses

    When picking up treats for your pet, it can be easy to forget that there are healthy options that you can give not just your pet, but yourself too! There are many foods that you and I eat, that are perfectly safe for your canine companions too. Here is a list of healthy fruits and vegetables to treat your dog with, as well as a few yummy recipes for homemade dog treats!


    Apples are a great treat for your dog. They are full of vitamins A and C, and are a good source of fiber too! Low in protein and fats, they are especially good for senior dogs. Just remember to remove the seeds and core before giving it to your dog. Here is an easy recipe for making baked apple chips for your dog!


    Dogs can have bananas, though they should be fed in moderation. Banana’s are very sugar, so they should be used as a special treat, rather than becoming a part of your dogs everyday diet. That being said, they are also rich in  potassium, vitamins, biotin, fiber, and copper, making them a great source of nutrients for your pet. Here is a recipe for making your own banana and peanut butter dog treats, right at home!


    Blueberries are a superfood for humans and pets alike! They are full of nutrients that can benefit your pup. If you want to teach a new trick, or even just train your dog to catch food in the air, than blueberries are a great option as a treat. You can mix them with a plain yogurt, or make this easy dog biscuit recipe!


    Cucumbers are a great snack for your dog, but especially those that are trying to lose weight. Not only are they a great source of hydration for your dog, but they have little to no carbohydrates or fat. Plus, they are full of vitamins K, C, and B1, as well as potassium, copper, magnesium, and biotin. They are a great snack for your dog, and can be frozen for a fun enrichment snack!


    Pumpkin is very healthy for dogs, containing antioxidants and helping dogs with easily upset stomachs. If you are buying canned pumpkin, make sure you check that it is 100% pure pumpkin. Alternatively, you can roast pumpkins in your oven and peel it, for a delicious treat for your dog. Here are some great pumpkin treat recipes for your dog too!

    A female presenting person stands in the background, her hand extended forward with a piece of chopped carrot offered as a dog treat. To her left is a black countertop with a sink. Resting next to the sink is a small hand strainer filled with chopped carrots. On her right is a small Jack Russel, sniffing at the carrot in her hand.


    Yes, dogs can eat carrots! Carrots are a great, low-calorie snack that can help your dog feel fuller, longer! It is a great vegetable to add to your dogs daily food to help with weight loss plans as well. Carrots are high in fiber and beta-carotene, and they are great for your dogs teeth too! They are a great crunchy treat to provide your dog.

    Unsafe Foods

    This list is a small sampling of the many possible healthy treats you can give your dog right from your own kitchen. The most important thing to do before giving your pet a new human food as a treat, is to make sure it’s safe. While they may eat anything offered to them, there are many foods that are dangerous if ingested by your dog. Some of these foods include:

    • Grapes
    • Onions
    • Garlic
    • Mushrooms
    • Chocolate
    • Avocado
    • And many more

    Now that you have some ideas to treat your pup, what are you waiting for? Go get some yummy and healthy treats for your dog! For more recipes, check out our blog on summer treats!

    Disclaimer: This written content is meant to be educational and is not medical advice. Always consult a veterinarian about medical advice for your pet.

    Dental Facts: Oral Health for Life

    By Katie Meneses, HR Manager

    A short coated brown dog sits in the center of a light blue background. He has a white patch on his chest. He has a dental tooth brush held in between his jaws.

    Dental health is important to maintain for humans, but it is just as important for your pets! February Pet Dental Health Month, and it’s for good reason! Dental health directly impacts our pets health and quality of life. Here are just a few dental facts about dental health in our furry companions.

    Dental Fact #1 – Dental Disease Causes Chronic Pain in Pets

    Dental disease can start very early in your pets life. By age three, most cats and dogs have dental disease to some degree. This illness causes significant levels of inflammation and diseased teeth, meaning your pet is experiencing significant, chronic, life-changing pain. Animals are great at hiding their pain, so you may not even notice it until your veterinarian gives you a diagnosis. Common signs of dental disease includes bad breath, yellow tartar buildup on the teeth, and red, swollen gums. Many pet owners see a “whole new pet” after a dental procedure to treat this disease.

    Dental Fact #2 – Homecare is Essential

    Brushing your cat or dog’s teeth daily is important to promote good oral health and prevent expensive surgeries later on. There are plenty of tasty pet toothpaste flavors to make it easier to brush your pets teeth too, including flavors like beef, chicken, fish, and even peanut butter! You can also use pet foods specially designed to be dental diets, helping to preserve oral health. 

    Dental Fact # 3 – X-rays Help with Diagnosis

    Sometimes, your pets dental concerns aren’t visible just by examining their teeth. That is why your veterinarian will recommend X-rays. X-rays allow us to see below the gumline of the teeth, all the way to the root of the teeth. This allows us to see exactly what is causing a problem for your pet, and could even help identify problems that weren’t visible by the naked eye alone.

    Dental Fact #4 – Dental Illness Can Lead to Other Health Problems

    Dental health is important, not just for your pets oral health, but for their entire body. Bacteria from dental disease can get into the bloodstream, affecting organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys. This bacteria is commonly associated with heart disease in dogs. It can also cause infections in the liver and kidneys, leading to fever, weight loss, and decreased appetite, making your pack sicker still.

    Overall, ZimmVet knows how important dental health is to your pet’s overall health. That is why we offers the Oral Health for Life Program, which offers a 10% discount on dental cleanings within 18-months of your last dental cleaning with us. Talk to our staff to learn more, or go here to read up about dental health on our website.

    For more dental facts, you can also visit the American Animal Hospital Association fact-page!

    Disclaimer: This written content is meant to be educational and is not medical advice. Always consult a veterinarian about medical advice for your pet.

    Three Tricks to Teach Your Dog in January

    By Katie Meneses

    January is National Train Your Dog Month! With the cold outside, it makes for a great time to teach a new trick to your new puppy, or your dog. Every dog, big or small, old or young, can learn new tricks. Here are a couple tricks, as well as some tips to teach them to your dog.

    A hand reaches from the top right of the picture to shake the paw of a dark brown dog. The dog is wearing a pink collar. The background is a blurred forest scene.

    Trick 1: Handshake

    A classic trick, handshake, is great for beginners. Start by placing a treat in your hand, and closing it into a fist. Then, hold your hand out to your dog, palm up but fist still closed. Your dog should naturally paw at your hand to get to the treat. When they do, immediately open your hand to let them get to the treat, and begin praising them. Repeat this, giving the command “shake”, or your chosen command cue, until your dog starts to understand the command. Then, you can start phasing out the treat, offering it instead after they put their paw in your hand.

    Trick 2: Speak and Quiet

    A common behavior problem among dogs is excessive barking. One great way to solve this is to teach the “Speak” and “Quiet” commands.

    The best place to start is with the “Quiet” command. The first step is to set up a situation that will cause your dog to bark, such as knocking or a doorbell ringing. Once barking, go to the window and look outside briefly to acknowledge their concern. Then, return to your dogs side with a treat or toy and get their attention. Once they stop barking, give them the treat or toy and say “Quiet”, or your command cue of your choice. Repeat this, saying the command when they stop barking, but gradually increasing the time between when they get quiet and when you give the treat. This can take some time to teach, and should be practiced frequently, but briefly each time.

    On the other end of this process is teaching the “Speak” command. Begin by encouraging your dog to bark naturally, as with the “Quiet” command. When your dog barks, give your command as “Speak”, or the que word of your choice, in a clear and upbeat voice. Then, praise your dog and give them a treat or toy. Repeat this process until your dog begins to understand.

    Once your dog learns the commands separately, you can begin using them together. Practice by starting with the “Speak” command, and getting them to bark a few times before giving them the “Quiet” command.

    Trick 3: Back Up

    Teaching your dog to back up can be a fun trick to show friends, or a nice way to keep your dog from crowding you in the kitchen, or at the door. This trick does have to start with the stay command first. If your dog knows stay, it will make the new trick easier to train.

    To begin, start by commanding your dog to “Stay”. Then, take a few steps away and turn to face them. Begin moving toward your dog. Some dogs will take a few steps back immediately when you approach. If your dog does not back up right away, continue stepping forward until they do, leaning forward slightly. When your dog backs away, you can say the command “Back up”, or your chosen command cue. Follow the command with praise, a treat, or a toy.

    Continue to repeat this process until your dog picks up on the command. Most dogs pick up on this command quickly, and just need to practice a few times a day to get this trick under their belt!

    Tips for Teaching Tricks

    1. Treats or Toys? – Every dog is different. Some prefer treats as rewards, while other prefer play.
    2. Training Clickers – Many dogs do well when a training clicker is used in the training process. Giving a few clicks, followed by a command, and then a treat, can help lead to quicker training sessions for some dogs.
    3. Positive Reinforcement – It is important to use positive reinforce throughout the training process. Keep your voice happy and upbeat, and never punish a pet for getting a trick wrong.
    4. How often? – Training should be worked into daily life. Make it apart of your routine, spending a few minutes a day revisiting the tricks your pet knows, or beginning to train the new ones. This keeps the training fresh for your dog.
    5. Consistency – the biggest part of training your dog is consistency. You must keep the training the same, especially when addressing problem behaviors. Consistency makes the training process easier throughout the process.

    Make the best out of January, and celebrate National Train Your Dog Month by training your dog with some of these new tricks.

    For more tips on training your dog, checkout this Hill’s Puppy Obedience Guide. You can also check out one of our blogs, Training Talk: Bringing Home a New Puppy, for some tips specific to puppy training.

    Disclaimer: This written content is meant to be educational and is not medical advice. Always consult a veterinarian about medical advice for your pet.

    Year in Review: ZimmVets Five Best Blog Posts of 2023

    by Katie Meneses, HR Manager

    We put out blog posts every month of the year, covering pet topics from veterinary care, to general pet topics. Let’s look back through 2023 at some of our top posts with our Year in Review!

    Year in Review Number Five – Why Grooming Your Dog is Important

    A golden retriever is shown from his front shoulders up, covered in soap and suds. He has his eyes closed, and arms come in from the left to scrub the soap into his fur on his head and around his ears.

    Number five on the list of blogs is Why Grooming Your Dog is Important. This blog covers the different aspects of dog grooming, and why each one is important to your dogs health and general wellbeing. From nail trims, to taking care of their skin and the fur coat they wear, this article covers it all!

    Number Four – Leptospirosis: A Risk to Pets and People!

    Microscopic image of leptospirosis spiral structure is enhanced for ease of examination. The spiral structure is red, and placed against a green, dynamic background.

    Number four, is our article this year about Leptospirosis. Leptospirosis, or Lepto, is an illness that can effect both people and pets alike. This article warns about the ways you can get infected, typically in area’s with high levels of wildlife, and drinking, swimming, or walking through contaminated water and soil. Your dog can also pass it to you directly if they catch it from playing in some mud. This blog does over the symptoms of Lepto, as well as treatment and prevention through vaccination.

    Number Three – Canine Influenza

    A golden lab is shown from its upper shoulders to its head, laying on a wooden floor. The dog appears lethargic and sickly, and looks into the camera with its head tilted slightly to the side.

    Coming in at number three is our blog about canine influenza. Last year, Minnesota had an outbreak of canine influenza, centered primarily around the Twin Cities. We shared important information about how it spreads, as well as the signs and treatments through this blog post. The post also discusses prevention through vaccination, helping to protect your dog from illness.

    Number Two – Get Your Dog Ready for Hunting Season

    An English pointer is pictures, walking through purple wildflowers with trees in the background. Posing in a point stance, the dog appears to be mid-motion. The dog is white with large brown spots, and smaller brown spots across  it's body. Around the dogs neck is an orange collar with a radio and antenna attached for hunting.

    A big part of Minnesotan life is covered in our number two blog for this year, hunting season! Many people have dogs that they train and take out hunting with them every year. This article covers the important steps to take to keep your hunting companion protected and safe. From parasite protection, to vaccination, and exercise, this blog covers all the ways to keep your hunting dog healthy!

    Year in Review Number One – Pet Arthritis is Common and Treatable

    An brown, elderly Daschunde with a greying face is shown against a bright pink background. The background had red spots, and the dog is outlined in a fuzzy red outline. The front left paw is being lifted by a pair of human hands, coming into frame from the left side and wearing white latex gloves. The hands are massaging the joint on the front left paw, and the joint is highlighted in red to imply pain.

    Finally, our number one blog for this year, is Pet Arthritis is Common and Treatable. Arthritis is a very common illness among pets. Cats and dogs alike can suffer from arthritis, starting at early ages. However, we have had new medications released in the last two years, plus pain management and other treatments available. This blog covers it all, from diagnosis to treatments.

    Which of these blogs interests you the most? Keep an eye out for more educational blogs from ZimmVet in 2024!

    Disclaimer: This written content is meant to be educational and is not medical advice. Always consult a veterinarian about medical advice for your pet.

    New Years Resolutions for Your Pets

    By Katie Meneses, HR Manager

    A dog lays facing the camera and wearing a head band with the words "Happy New Year" on it's head. Scattered around the dog is fairy lights and some noise makers. The background is sparkling and golden.

    Every year, people across the country set New Years resolutions for themselves, from getting healthier, to completing new career goals; However not many people think of making resolutions for their pets too! Use this New Years to make new resolutions about the care of your pet and their health!

    A New Year’s Resolution for Your Dog

    A great resolution to set for your dog is to take them on longer walks. Walks are the best source of exercise a dog can get. It helps burn off excess energy and keep their bodies healthy. It also gives you the benefit of longer walks too. In fact, longer walks can give your dog a longer life.

    A 20-30 minute walk is great for healthy dogs, and shouldn’t be a problem for an already healthy dog. If your pet is obese or has health issues, then do smaller 10-minute walks throughout the day, to help build up their strength. You can also build up the length of the walk over time.

    A New Year’s Resolution for Your Cat

    Cats are very active creatures, even if they do appear sleepy during the day. Cats are nocturnal creatures, and are always looking for something to entertain themselves. This year, you can make a New Year’s resolution for your cat by finding more ways to enrich their life.

    There are many ways to enrich your cat’s life. You can place a bed in front of a sliding glass door, or put up a window cat cot perch. The window should be in front of a tree, or a bird feeder so the cat can watch. Food and toy puzzles are also a great option to keep your cat mentally stimulated, and gain a little exercise Scratching posts and cat trees are also beneficial, giving your pet a place to climb and dig their claws in, instead of doing so on your furniture.

    A New Year’s Resolutions for All Pets

    There are many New Year’s resolutions that you can set for any type of pet. The first of these is to spend more quality time with your pets. Social animals, like cats and dogs, can benefit greatly from some down time with you, or from some play time.

    Another important resolution to make is to keep up with regular wellness checks. Annual and bi-annual  visits are very important for your pets. Talking regularly with your veterinarian can help to catch the early signs of illness. It also gives you a chance to talk about a healthier diet for your pets, and keep up on your pets dental care.

    Add one or a few of these resolutions as we enter the new year.

    For more idea’s of new habits for yourself and your pet, check out AVMA’s suggestions here. Or, check out another of our blog posts on Improving your Pets Lifespan.

    Disclaimer:  This written content is meant to be educational and is not medical advice.  Always consult a veterinarian about medical advice for your pet.