Feeling a bit lonely this Valentine’s Day?

Roses are gray, violets are gray, I'm a dog

No need to worry… Isn’t that what pets are for? As a pet owner, you know you can always rely on your four-legged companion to make you feel wanted and loved! Their love and loyalty towards us is unconditional. Sure, they can sometimes do naughty things and not always listen to us, but you can feel good knowing deep down that they really do love us!

Do you know what the signs of affection are?

Does your dog:

  • Bring you their favourite squeaky toys, often covered in dirt and slobber? – This is a sign of affection.
  • Lick your face frantically? – This is an easy one…. You are being kissed.
  • Make eye contact with you? – Prolonged eye contact is a sign your dog feels safe and secure with you.
  • Yawn when you do? Some people believe if a dog yawns after you do it is a sign of empathy.

Or how about your cat? We all know how sassy our felines can be!

Do they:

  • Bring you presents?  - Whether it is a dead mouse or bird, this is their prized catch and they are giving it to you.
  • Flashes their stomach at you? – Rolling onto their back is a vulnerable position; it can signify they feel safe and happy around you.
  • Knead you or rub their head on you? – They leave their pheromones on you by massaging you with their paws and deposit their facial pheromones on you with each head rub. A very big sign of affection.

Like we said, our fur-kids love us to bits. They basically give us their hearts, so it’s only fair that we make sure we do everything to look after them.

Speaking of hearts, there are a couple diseases that can affect our pet’s hearts that we thought we should touch base on. Heart Disease and Heartworm – both can be fatal if not treated promptly. So let’s have a quick recap on what to look out for if we think our pets are showing signs of having either condition.

Heart Disease

Most heart conditions involve a decrease in the effective pumping of blood. This can lead to a build-up of fluid in the chest and abdomen. There are two main types of heart conditions: one affecting the heart valve and the other the heart muscle.

Take notice of these early symptoms of heart problems:

  • Coughing more than usual (during or after exercise)
  • Having a hard time breathing or exercising
  • Tiring easily
  • Pacing before bedtime and having a hard time settling down
  • Increased respiratory rate

More symptoms may develop, as the disease gets worse, including:

  • A swollen belly from fluid build-up in
  • Fainting
  • Change in tongue or gum colour to bluish grey
  • Weight loss

Heart disease occurs in our older pets mainly, but can be something that our pets are born with too. They can get heart disease from infections as well.


Heartworm disease is an infection caused by a worm parasite, Dirofilaria immitis. The organism is transmitted by mosquitoes, which carry the heartworm larvae (called microfilariae).

Make sure to look out for these symptoms:

  • Dry and persistent cough
  • Lack of stamina when exercising
  • Weight loss
  • Dry coat
  • Listlessness or weakness
  • In more advanced cases there may be heart failure, distressed breathing, a distended abdomen, severe damage to internal organs, and sometimes collapse

They great thing about Heartworm is that it can be prevented by a monthly tablet or a yearly injection which you can ask us about today! Luckily it’s not something that is common here in South Australia, but there has been noted cases of it in the last 5-10 years, so like we always say –prevention is better than cure!

If you’re beloved animal is showing any of the signs above, make sure you make a booking to see one of our lovely vets to get them checked out. You can also make appointments on our website.

We hope you & your pets have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!