Pets at Work: The Pros and Cons

Have you ever felt guilty about leaving your pet at home alone when you go to work? While not every workplace is pet-friendly, there are exceptions to having pets at work that should be considered.

How Can Pets be Relevant in Your Daily Work Activities?

First of all, regardless of whether you think yourself more as a cat or a dog person, pets offer a feeling of relaxation to their owners that can certainly ease the daily pressures of work. Nurturing and looking after an animal offers a therapeutic effect relieving stress and creating a more positive environment.

Having a pet around the office means there is potential for a significant boost to productivity. Moods can be improved with a pet present and they can be a great reminder to take a break when you need to, leaving you more focused when you have to return to work.

Having a pet around while on the job can help out you and your co-workers as well. Bonding between pet owners happens naturally and encourages conversations between everyone at home, so why shouldn’t that be the case at work as well? It also helps if conversation on your part is tough to do in the first place; having a pet present can be a real ice-breaker.

Business owners, entrepreneurs, and even solopreneurs may even want to build their brand around being a service or company that not only respects pets but also cannot function without them. Companies such as Workday not only encourage their employees to bring their pets in to work but also insist upon it. Even Google has taken note of these benefits, establishing and encouraging a working environment that thrives on creativity and engagement while pets are present and supervised.

The Downsides of Pets at Work

For every pro to having a pet-friendly workplace there are cons as well. For instance, your co-workers may have an allergy to pets that will harm their work performance and decrease efficiency while on the job. Some pets may misbehave and grind productivity to a halt instead of the other way round while in an office. Some companies you work for may have a zero-pets policy in place anyway, and bringing a pet despite this policy could actually harm you and your company’s reputation – especially if it’s a restaurant!

So are Pets at Work a Good Idea or Not?

It all depends on where you work and the policies present at your company. We do not recommend bringing your pet to work where cooking and handling food for people is a daily task, nor do we recommend bringing your pet to your office if it’s not permitted. Aside from these situations, a pet can offer a sense of companionship to your work life.

Being alone in a cubicle, day in day out, can make you a little stir crazy! But having a little furry critter to lie at your feet as you work at your computer offers something to have a little chat with, even if he or she might not answer back!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Hastings Veterinary Clinic and a clickable link back to this page.

Animal Health Week 2017

October 1st to 7th is a very special week for our pets – it’s Animal Health Week! Sponsored by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, this week celebrates the wonder of the human-animal bond, which is the unique and wonderful relationship that exists between a pet and its owner – a relationship based on unconditional love. Many studies have already defined the healing power of this bond, especially in reducing stress and heart disease, and in providing critical emotional support for the elderly and infirm.

Never judgmental, always forgiving, and possessing undying devotion and loyalty for their owners, pets truly provide us with a unique relationship that is hard to duplicate between people. Not only is the human-animal bond unique to every pet and owner, it is celebrated in unique ways as well.

Every year the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) surveys pet owners throughout the United States and Canada in an effort to learn more about peoples’ relationships with their pets. Here are some of the highlights from the past few years:

  • 84 percent of respondents refer to themselves as their pet’s “mom” or “dad&”
  • 72 percent of married survey respondents greet their pet first when they return home, compared with 13 percent who say they greet their spouse or significant other first, and 7 percent who greet their children
  • 63 percent of respondents celebrate their pet’s birthday, and 43 percent give their pet a wrapped gift
  • 87 percent of pet owners include their pet in holiday celebrations, with Christmas being the most celebrated holiday with a pet at 98 percent
  • 65 percent of pet owners have sung or danced with their pet
  • 66 percent would opt for their pet if stranded on a desert island and given the choice of a companion

As a general rule, pet owners are far more forgiving of inadequacies or misbehavior in their pets than they are for their own friends and family members! And what do our pets ask for in return? Nothing but our companionship.

So take a moment to rejoice in the human-animal bond that you share with your own pet and ensure that you are living up to your end of the bargain. Call your veterinarian to double-check that you have availed yourself of all of the preventative health measures your pet requires. Make sure that your pet is on a quality diet appropriate for his/her age and health care needs. Have your pet properly identified (i.e., tag and microchip) to ensure a speedy recovery should your pet become lost. And, finally (especially for dog owners) – grab the leash and watch your pet come alive. Go for a walk – it will do you both good!

Ask an Expert: Why Does My Pet Have Bad Breath?

Q: Why does my pet have bad breath?

A: Pets have bad breath (halitosis) for a number of reasons. The most common and most obvious cause is: dental problems.

The gold standard of oral care for pets is teeth brushing, mornings and evenings. I recommend brushing a pet’s teeth at least once a day, and getting oral checkups with your veterinarian at least once a year. Depending on their breed, age and oral care program, pets need veterinarian-supervised dental cleanings every 1-3 years.

Dental diets and dental treats also help maintain good oral health in pets.

Other causes of bad breath include gastric or kidney illness and viral infections to name a few.

Pet Boarding vs. a Pet Sitter—Which is Better for my Pet?

Have you ever felt guilty for leaving your cat or dog at home when you have to travel? Whether it’s for an overnight trip or lengthy trips for business or pleasure, we’re sure you’ve had to struggle with deciding whether to choose pet boarding versus a pet sitter to care for your fur baby.

For those who have to make this decision for the first time, it is okay to feel anxious. To help lessen the stress for you, we recommend you consider the advantages and disadvantages of the kinds of care available before deciding.

The Cost of Pet Care Varies Widely

Your cat or dog can be boarded at a kennel or a veterinary hospital or clinic that offers boarding care for pets, or can be cared for by a pet sitter. The prices are scaled to the type of environment, the amount of individual care offered, and any add-ons that you choose. 

  • Veterinarian Facility – A veterinary boarding facility can provide a scrupulously clean and safe environment, and healthy animal companions for your pet who will all have their vaccinations up-to-date. Pets are professionally monitored for signs of illness or problems. If your cat or dog requires health care, it will be provided.
  • Kennel – A kennel can also provide very suitable boarding care and prices vary. Do your homework and be sure to have a thorough understanding of the type of individual and group care offered and the safety measures you can expect.
  • Pet Sitter – The least expensive care is available from a pet sitter, with the sitter taking your kitty or pooch to his or her home for the duration, or moving into your home, or simply making daily visits for feeding, playtime, and walks. The costs vary depending on which services you need.

Hiring a Pet Sitter Has a Number of Advantages

You can arrange for a pet sitter to visit your home a couple of times a day to feed your pet, take them out on walks (if they’re a dog), bring in the mail, and give your home the appearance of being occupied.

Cats, in particular, are usually happier in their own homes and may get stressed out when boarded. However, even an independent cat can become troubled if left entirely on their own and usually needs human contact, even if it’s just a daily visit by a pet sitter for feeding and playtime.

If you have a sitter move into your home, you have the added expense of providing meals, but it is still less expensive than, say, a pet hotel. Also, most pets are happier in their familiar surroundings.

You can hire a trusted family member or neighbour as a sitter, but if that doesn’t work, hire a professional. Check their references and make sure the pet sitter is insured and bonded.

Pet Boarding is the Most Popular Choice

Pet boarding is a good idea for cats and dogs who are more adaptable to change and will enjoy the companionship of others. However, if your pet isn’t very open in terms of being around people and other animals, or exposed to new experiences, or is old and less sociable than he or she was, they will probably be happier with a sitter.

Be sure and check out the choices of veterinary facility accommodations. Interview the caregivers, tour the facilities, and ask for references. There may be such advantages as supervised cage-free running around and lots of playtime with other animals.

You may find that your cat or dog loves the boarding experience when he or she is young but not so much when they age. However, if they are older and troubled by arthritis or other conditions, you may have more peace of mind and be happy to be able to board them in a veterinary facility with trained medical people watching over them.

When deciding who will look after your kitty or pooch, factor in their age, personality, and physical limitations. Interview caregivers, do background checks, give complete instructions, and have a backup plan for emergencies. Leave the family’s vet clinic contact info with whoever is caring for your pet, in case of an emergency. If you do your research and set high standards, you will enjoy peace of mind knowing that your fur baby has the love and attention they need, no matter what your decision.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to the Hastings Veterinary Clinic and a clickable link back to this page.

Great Tips For Summertime Dog Flea And Cat Flea Control

It’s summer! Now that it’s here, pet owners should bear in mind that dog flea control and cat flea control are still important and they should consult their veterinarian for advice about the best products. Some people are surprised to learn that flea protection is a good idea for the entire year and if you have let flea control slide during the spring months, hop to it!

Fleas Are More Than a Pesky Nuisance

It is heartbreaking to watch your beloved dog or cat struggling to cope with the terrible itching caused by fleas and, even worse, some animals are allergic to flea saliva and have to deal with almost intolerable itching:

  1. An adult flea has a dark brown hard shell and is about 2.5 millimeters in size. Fleas can be seen by the naked eye. Fleas don’t fly but can jump long distances and have claws on their legs that allow them to attach themselves to animals, people, carpets, etc.
  2. When fleas bite the skin and feed on the host’s blood, it causes mild to severe itching and may cause a dreaded allergy dermatitis in animals with sensitive skin. This type of allergy doesn’t go away even after the fleas have been removed, and requires special treatment.
  3. A large flea infestation can cause an animal to develop anemia, can cause hair loss and skin abrasions (usually from non-stop scratching), and fleas serve as hosts for tapeworms.
  4. Fleas can invade your entire home and yard and bite people as well, and it may take months to get rid of them if you don’t engage in a full-out cleaning assault.

It is Important to Consult a Veterinarian about Flea Protection

There are a lot of flea control products on the market and you want to make sure you buy exactly what your pet needs, which is why you need the guidance of a veterinarian. For example:

  1. Some people who own both a cat and a dog may be tempted to use the same flea protection for both animals. Cats and dogs do not have the same physiologies and flea treatments not only affect them differently, but also some formulations for dogs can be toxic for cats.
  2. Your veterinarian will recommend the best products to control fleas for your pet, and you must be sure to follow the directions to the letter. Consult with your vet about your pet’s lifestyle in order to find the best-suited product—usually topical or oral—for them and for different time periods of coverage. Most products are used monthly.
  3.  Keep an eye on your pets after flea treatments are applied to make sure there isn’t some unusual reaction, which could be drooling or loss of coordination. While this is very unlikely, it is better to be safe than sorry.
  4. If your pet already has fleas, the same product that provides future protection can also kill fleas. However, it won’t protect you from having to clean your house from top to bottom to rid your home of the nasty critters.

It is Wise to Protect Pets from Fleas all Year Long

If you live in a warm region—and Vancouver is usually really warm, neither too hot or too cold!—you will need to make sure your pet has flea protection all year round. Most fleas can survive if they find warm hosts such as cats and dogs. Their eggs can live in protected areas such as animal dens, crawl spaces, and porches, and will hatch in the warmth.

Some pet owners prefer to avoid using chemicals on their pets constantly and fear it could be harmful. However, there has been a great deal of research demonstrating that veterinary-approved flea protection products such as topical solutions (Advantage, Revolution, etc.) and oral products (Bravecto, Sentinel, Program, etc.) are safe.

Use our dog flea control and cat flea control tips, and consult your veterinarian for the most appropriate products for your pets. Follow directions for their use carefully, and may you never suffer the agony of having to rid your home of fleas. We hope you are enjoying the warm weather without fear of those pesky pests!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to the Hastings Veterinary Clinic and a clickable link back to this page.

Beat the Heat with Our Summer Pet Care Advice!

With summer in full swing, now more than ever you need to protect yourself from sunburn and overheating. Don’t forget to include your pets too! Just like their owners, cats and dogs can become overheated if you’re not careful, as they show that they’re overheated and in need of care in slightly different ways.

If you’re not too sure about the hazards of hot weather for pets, read on! Here are some signs of heat-related problems in pets, some pet care tips you can apply for less serious situations, and how to tell it’s time to bring your overheated pet to a veterinarian.

Heat-related Issues

There are two common heat-related illnesses that can harm pets during these hot summer months:

  1. Heat exhaustion (hyperthermia) – not to be confused with hypothermia, which involves being too cold. Hyperthermia, or heat exhaustion, can happen if your pet runs around too much under direct sunlight. Dehydration is another way to describe heat exhaustion since they both involve being overheated and thirsty.
  2. Heatstroke – heatstroke is far more dangerous than hyperthermia, with long-term effects such as brain damage and other organ damage taking place. This is why we are determined as a local vet office to highly discourage leaving your pets alone in a hot, locked car, because heatstroke is often the result of doing so.

Signs of Heat Exhaustion & Heatstroke

If left out in the sun too long, both cats and dogs will exhibit the following signs of overheating:

  • Thick, sticky saliva
  • Excessive panting and difficulty breathing
  • Bright red gums
  • Drooling

Basically, if you’re feeling thirsty, then it’s likely your pet is also overheated and needs to be given prompt attention. Some cats may not be outside as often as dogs are, but they too can only sweat through their paw’s glands and with their fur it’s tougher for them to cool off. Preventative care against the heat should be given to both indoor and outdoor cats.

What to Do at Home

More often than not it’s easy to tell if a pet’s getting too hot, and heatstroke and heat exhaustion are both easily preventable. Pet care at home for preventing overheating can include the following:

  • Give your pets easy access to their water bowls and always ensure their water is clean.
  • If you must bring your pets with you on your travels, bring bottles of water and their water bowls so they can have a drink while you’re travelling.
  • Make sure they have a cool place to retreat in at home where the air conditioning is switched on.
  • Provide easy shading from the sun in any outdoors areas as well so they can rest.
  • Keep your dog walks short and brisk, and give them water afterwards.

When to Go to Your Vet Office

If left alone and untreated, heatstroke and heat exhaustion will cause the following extreme symptoms in your pet:

  • Lethargy
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting, with traces of blood (sometimes)
  • Diarrhea, with traces of blood (sometimes)
  • Shock
  • Coma
  • Seizures

Should you see any one or more of these signs in your pet, call your veterinarian office and bring them in for emergency treatment. On your way to the office, try and help cool off your overheated pet with lukewarm water (not freezing cold, as this may shock their body to the point where it hurts them more!) using a damp cloth or towel. Gently apply the wet cloth to their paw pads and nose on your way to the office.

Keeping the heat off both you and your pets will ensure you both have a safe and happy summer!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to the Hastings Veterinary Clinic and a clickable link back to this page.

Pet Distress: How to Keep Pets Calm During Summer Activities

Summer is the time of year when most families get a chance to let loose, possibly travel, or have guests visiting from out of town, and maybe enjoy some fireworks to boot! This includes your fur babies as well, but unlike you they may not take to these goings-on as easily as you may think.

Your pets can get stressed out and overwhelmed by things such as new smells, new people, having their daily routine interrupted, and especially loud noises such as fireworks. This is why we think now is a good time to help teach you how to keep pets calm.

Leaving Your Pet at Home?

If you decide that you are going to leave your pets at home while on vacation, and don’t want to put them in a kennel, finding a good pet sitter can be a massive help to alleviate any stress your pet may have. Finding one that can stay at the house is a bonus. It helps to keep their routine and they feel safe with someone there in the house with them, especially at night. Plus, the bonus of playtime and cuddles makes for a happy fur baby.

If a pet sitter can’t be found in time for your departure, you can also consider pet boarding from your local kennel or vet office. It’s best to contact your veterinarian beforehand to ensure your pet gets the right care and attention they need.

Tips for Travelling With Your Pet

Research: This is especially necessary for flying on an airplane. Make sure you are aware of what vaccines your pet requires and what documentation is needed by the airline. Some airlines do allow for small pets to accompany their owners and may be kept under their seat in the proper carrier. Otherwise, your pet will be in the cargo hold so be sure you know what carrier/crate is needed.

Comfort Zone: There are pheromone products which you can spray into their carrier and on their blankets which help create a sense of security and calm for your pets.

ID: In the off chance your pet does become stressed out enough to flee, be sure they have tags and/or are microchipped and/or ear tattooed with the appropriate contact information for you, so they may be located and returned safely.

Is Your Aunt Betty Coming to Visit for the First Time?

When you have new people visiting, your pet may get stressed as they aren’t used to them. Here are a few tips to alleviate their anxiety:

Space: When your guests arrive, be sure to give your pets some space in a separate room. Wait until they’re ready to meet new people and decide they want to come out.

Sense of Calm: Again, set up a space for your pets that is safe, where they are going to be comfortable, and where they can meet your new visitors.

Play Nice: One way to introduce your pet to your guests is by giving them a favourite treat or toy to play with to associate the interaction with being fun rather than intimidating. Be sure to teach young children to be gentle when petting and playing and not to bother your pet while they are eating and sleeping.

Manage Interactions: Minimize your pets’ stress by keeping your pet and their litterbox, food bowls, and water bowls in a separate part of the house so your visitors don’t have access, especially when you aren’t home.

Expecting Fireworks Nearby?

Loud noises can startle and cause stress in your pets, especially thunderstorms and summer activities such as fireworks. Here’s how to help get your pets used to the loud noises:

  • Stay positive. Help find your pet a place to settle, where they are most comfortable and where they are going to be during the event. If they are going to be at home, perhaps choose a corner of the living room. If you are taking them out, maybe a favourite blanket near some trees. Scolding or punishing their behaviour during these situations just escalates the stress, so try and be comforting to your pet.
  • To get your pet accustomed to these sounds, find an audio recording and play it at low level while they are in their comfort zone, calm, and playing with a toy or eating a treat. As your pet becomes more familiar with these sounds they will start to ignore them and focus on the toy or treat.
  • Gradually increase the volume and practice where they are going to be during the actual event, in their comfort zone. Keep things slow and positive.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to the Hastings Veterinary Clinic and a clickable link back to this page.

Eye Care for Pets: Our Top Tips

Your pets’ eyes are one of the more sensitive organs, making eye care an essential part of pet care. Some awareness and monitoring goes a long way to ensure proper eye care and monitoring by pet parents. If there is any eye related discomfort, pets will typically rub their faces against carpet or furniture. They may even try to scratch/soothe themselves with their paws. This can be unsafe as the nails can traumatize the eyes or other facial structures. Like many other things, your pet depends on you to provide this important part of his or her well-being.

Pet parents should perform a weekly health maintenance check up on their pets (more frequently for puppies and kittens) – during the routine evaluations, look for any redness or swelling in or around the eyes. If your pet squints or is abnormally sensitive, it may be an early indicator of a potential problem. If you notice green or yellow mucus discharge in excessive amounts, this would indicate towards an eye infection. Dogs and cats will get some “sleep” (normal physiological eye discharge) in their eyes routinely. Regularly checking the eyes will help you differentiate between what is normal and abnormal for your pet. Healthy eyes of dogs and cats are moist and clear.

Dogs with long hair-coats can be prone to eye infections due to the hair irritating the cornea. Professional groomers are good at identifying the appropriate length of facial hair for dogs and their advice should be sought, if you cut your pets hair at home. Bathing can also lead to eye irritation if the shampoo comes in contact with the eyes. It is best to do wipe downs of the face carefully rather than splashing water or shampoo on the face when bathing pets. This should help prevent irritation to sensitive parts of the face including the eyes, nose and ears.

Many dogs can get brownish stains below the inside corner of the eyes, especially the light-coloured breeds. There are several causes of the overflow of tears. Miniature dog breeds and Persian cats often have more prominent eyes. This stretches the eyelid and may cut off the drainage system. This is the most common cause and there is little we can do to correct it. Some animals are born with an abnormal drainage system that may or may not be surgically correctable. Sometimes, the eyelids turn inward and block the drainage. This is also surgically correctable. It is important to remember that while most of the staining due to tears is a cosmetic problem, it can get quite unsightly if not cared for.

Your veterinarian should be able to advice you on appropriate treatments if the tear staining is considered due to other potential causes such as allergies, eyelid anatomy, or other irritation to the eyes. Annual health checkups by your veterinary team will ensure that more subtle changes to your pets’ eyes do not go unnoticed.

By – Dr. Jangi Bajwa,
Veterinarian at Hastings Veterinary Hospital, Burnaby.

Pain Control in Pets: Important Then, Important Now

It has been known for centuries that pain affects a human’s quality of life greatly. This fact holds true not only for acute pain from injuries to muscle, ligament, and orthopedic pain from fractures.  Chronic (or long lasting) pain from spinal disease, arthritis, kidney stones, etc. can cause a much greater degree of distress and affect quality of life negatively.

Surprisingly, the importance of pain has only been given due importance only in the past few decades. Thankfully, during recent times, the importance of pain alleviation in pets’ healing process has become well recognized (duh!). This has led to further research on the existence of pain in pets and how best to alleviate it.

Currently many options exist for treating pain in the furry critters, while more options are being explored. Pets can tolerate and receive benefit from some of the drugs humans are given as well. This is not without the potential for adverse effects, some of which may not be the same in our pets. For example, cats are much more susceptible to the adverse effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories than humans and dogs would be.

Using a multi-modal approach to fight pain compensates for such potential for problems while managing pain in companion animals. Additional options include appropriate nutrition, supplements (such as sources of omega 3 oils, glucosamine, etc.), physiotherapy, laser therapy in certain situations, and most importantly treatment for the underlying cause of pain.

Likely indicators of pain in pets are numerous, including change in behavior, stiffness, decreased appetite, vocalization, change in facial expression, change in grooming habits, or posture while sleeping to name a few. Some of these changes can develop over time and may often be regarded as an aging change. Arthritis is the most common source of pain in pets and can go untreated for long periods in senior pets. Again, it is very manageable and may not even need painkillers if managed early.

Even though pain control for pets has come late to the party, it is every bit as important in pets as it is for us.

By – Dr. Jangi Bajwa,
Veterinary Dermatologist & Practice Owner at Hastings Veterinary Hospital, Burnaby.

How to Take Great Photos Of Your Pets

There is nothing more satisfying than capturing perfect pictures of your adorable pets on camera! We have gathered some useful tips to help you accomplish this challenging task. Pets do present unique problems as subjects but you can reduce the difficulties with these simple tricks.

It Can be Tough to Take Good Photos

Here are some of the problems you may encounter while trying to take that perfect pic:

  • Cats won’t sit where they’re told and won’t look you in the eye unless they feel like it.
  • Easy, full-body shots of pets become boring very quickly.
  • Face shots can be too nose-focused, especially for dogs.
  • Taking pictures of pets in motion can result in a blurry mess.
  • Flashes can make animals look unattractive and cast ugly shadows around them; natural lighting can make the whole photograph too dark.
  • Backgrounds may be intrusive and overpowering.
  • Not all phone cameras have the choices possible with lighting and speed.

Good Equipment Matters

Yes, a good camera and experience in taking photos is certainly an advantage when trying to capture those “aw-w-w-w” moments with your pet. An expensive camera will have a fast shutter speed and be able to hold the focus on a moving subject.

Great software to enhance your photos before developing or printing them is another advantage. Expensive software can blot out backgrounds, remove and alter images, as well as provide the usual enhancement of color and brightness.

Fortunately, you can produce master shots of your pets by following a few simple rules with any camera—even phone cameras or point-and-shoot cameras—and can adjust them with simple, standard technology.

10 Tricks of the Trade

The whole point of this post! Here they are:

  1. Take many pictures – Don’t expect to take a great photo with one or two shots. Take lots and lots of pictures. Have your camera ready for those special moments.
  2. Get your pet’s attention – For a dog, call their name, make sounds they respond to, and use treats to get their attention or to look in a certain direction. If you make an unusual sound, they will usually tilt their head to look at you, which is perfect if you want a portrait shot! Dogs often smile after vigorous exercise—is your camera ready? Cats are more difficult subjects and you have to be crafty to get their attention. Take a picture of your cat in a room they’re comfortable in, play peek-a-boo with a toy or have one dangling from a string, or make a scratching sound on the carpet, floor, or up high from where they are.
  3. Let your pet examine the camera – If the camera makes a noise or flashes light, let your pet check out the camera and get used to it before you get to work.
  4. Take the picture at your pet’s eye level – You can take photos from above them, but remember to crouch down and take lots of shots of your pet at eye level or just below them.
  5. Keep an eye on the background – Don’t hide a white cat in the snow or a black dog against a black building. A busy background can be very distracting, especially if your photo focuses more on the background and not your pet. Position your pet at least a dozen feet in front of a busy background, which will help keep the background slightly out of focus.
  6. Ask a friend for help – A friend can dangle the toy on the string or stand at your shoulder squeezing the squeaky toy if and when you need that kind of help.
  7. Be creative! – Being creative means capitalizing on other people’s creativity! Look at award-winning photos and those that appeal to you, and use the same ideas in your own photos. With standard software, you can crop photos and adjust the color and brightness. Remember that lighting helps create a mood and emotion.
  8. Composition matters – Always focus your shot on your pet’s eyes, and don’t let the camera choose for you or it will always be the closest body part. Change the focus from automatic to single point if you can. Crop your photo to draw attention to the point of interest in each photo and get rid of any distractions outside that point.
  9. Turn off the flash – Natural light is best for outside photos. Morning and evening light, overcast days, or in the shade on a bright day works. For indoor shots, open the curtains and let in the natural light with your pet facing it. If you need to use a flash, it is best to use an off-camera flash and bounce it off the ceiling.
  10. Action shots are tricky – Action shots are always the most difficult to take, even for experienced photographers with high-quality equipment. Your best hope is to turn off the flash and set the camera to burst mode, which takes many pictures at once and you can choose the best—you may get lucky!

A simple camera and standard photo software are all you need to capture those great photos of your adorable pets that will warm your heart for years to come. Have fun!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to the Hastings Veterinary Clinic and a clickable link back to this page.