Category Archives: Blog

What’s With All the Rules?

Do you ever wonder about the “rules” that have been set forth by your family veterinarian’s office?  Veterinarians, like all other medical professionals, undergo a rigorous training process in order to earn that title, and they are required to meet a rather lengthy list of ethical, educational, and professional requirements throughout the duration of their careers.  Most importantly, veterinary medicine is, by nature, an altruistic profession.  Your pet’s vet has worked so hard to enter this industry because he or she, first and foremost, wants to help and care for companion animals.  So, while those “rules” may sometimes be frustrating for well-meaning pet owners who only wish to give their pets the very best of everything, it’s important to remember that every veterinary practice has guidelines and restrictions in place for good reason.  Let’s review some of those reasons.

Why does my veterinarian’s office require me to come in for regular visits?

Every state has its own set of requirements regarding the frequency of your pet’s visits, but you should know that this is not your veterinarian’s rule.  This falls under the ethical requirement known as the Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR), which essentially refers to how well your vet knows your pet’s current health status.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “If a VCPR is established but your veterinarian does not regularly see your pet afterward, the VCPR is no longer valid and it would be illegal and unethical for your veterinarian to dispense or prescribe medications or recommend treatment without recently examining your pet.

As a pet owner, it helps to familiarize yourself with these guidelines.  Some states require visits once every 6 months, while others require that your veterinarian only sees your pet once every 12 or 24 months.

Why can’t I return my pet’s medication for a refund?

According to the FDA Compliance Policy Guideline 7132.09 and the Board of Pharmacy, veterinarians are not permitted to accept returns on prescription medications.  It makes sense, right?  You would not want your veterinarian to prescribe returned or “recycled” medications to your pet, would you?

These rules exist for the sole purpose of promoting excellent medical care for all pets, including yours.

In cases where there was an actual problem with the medication, the manufacturer will almost always issue a refund, and the contact information for those manufacturers is readily available online (and sometimes on the medication’s packaging).

Why does my pet need to be current on vaccines for something as simple as boarding or grooming?

A veterinary practice serves a multitude of purposes, including providing a safe boarding facility for when you travel, offering routine healthcare, and of course, providing care for pets when they are either sick or injured.  Vaccine policies are in place so that your pet and the others visiting the practice are protected.

The other important thing to note is that rabies vaccines protect not only companion animals and wildlife, but humans, as well.

These are only a few of the many questions that are asked of veterinary professionals.  We want you to understand the reasons behind the rules, and more than anything, we want to help you make the best possible decisions for your pet’s overall health and wellness.

So, if there’s anything else you would like to know, just ask!  Your family veterinarian is always happy to hear from you.

 

Featured Photo Credit: Chuckumentary via Compfight cc

It’s National Love Your Pet Day!

February 20, 2015 is National Love Your Pet Day!

The majority of U.S. households have at least one pet, so this unofficial national holiday is one that we should all be celebrating.  Most of us don’t really need another reason to spoil our pets, but hey, we’ll take it!  The entire month of February is a celebration of love, and if you forgot to include your pets in the festivities of the 14th, now is your chance to pamper your furry (or feathered) sidekick until they can’t possibly take any more!

Celebrating National Love Your Pet Day shouldn’t require much on the part of pet owners.  (For example, maybe you can take them for a longer walk than usual.  That would cover you for today and National Walk Your Dog Day, which is on February 22, 2015.)  However, there are also tons of options for pet parents who wish to take their show of appreciation to the extreme.

Also, if you’ve already been planning to adopt a pet from your local animal shelter, today is a fantastic day to go ahead and make it happen!

Photo Credit: smilla4 via Compfight cc

Whatever you do, make sure that you show a little extra love to your favorite companion animal today. As a matter of fact, we think every day should be National Love Your Pet Day.

Featured Photo Credit: Tonymadrid Photography via Compfight cc

It’s National Love Your Pet Day!

February 20, 2015 is National Love Your Pet Day!

The majority of U.S. households have at least one pet, so this unofficial national holiday is one that we should all be celebrating.  Most of us don’t really need another reason to spoil our pets, but hey, we’ll take it!  The entire month of February is a celebration of love, and if you forgot to include your pets in the festivities of the 14th, now is your chance to pamper your furry (or feathered) sidekick until they can’t possibly take any more!

Celebrating National Love Your Pet Day shouldn’t require much on the part of pet owners.  (For example, maybe you can take them for a longer walk than usual.  That would cover you for today and National Walk Your Dog Day, which is on February 22, 2015.)  However, there are also tons of options for pet parents who wish to take their show of appreciation to the extreme.

Also, if you’ve already been planning to adopt a pet from your local animal shelter, today is a fantastic day to go ahead and make it happen!

Photo Credit: smilla4 via Compfight cc

Whatever you do, make sure that you show a little extra love to your favorite companion animal today. As a matter of fact, we think every day should be National Love Your Pet Day.

Featured Photo Credit: Tonymadrid Photography via Compfight cc

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for Pet Parents

By now, we all know that the traditional chocolate Valentine’s Day gifts can be hazardous to pets, but that doesn’t mean that your best friend has to miss out on all of the fun.  In fact, an article that was published a few years ago on Business Insider claimed that Americans spent approximately $815 Million on Valentine’s Day gifts for their pets in 2013!  We’re not sure if that’s the wisest choice, but it is certainly a lot of fun.  After all, pets are very much a part of the family, and we all enjoy spoiling them from time to time.

There are tons of gifts available for pets on this super-sweet holiday, so get a little creative and show your sidekick some V-Day love!  Here are some great examples of Valentine’s Day gifts that we found from around the web.  Enjoy!

The Heart Pet Bow Tie – This is such a cute gift, and it will really come in handy if you’re expecting company for Valentine’s Day.  Dress your dog or cat up for the occasion!  Find it HERE on Etsy.

The Pooch Heaven Valentine Dog Gift Basket – This is such a cute gift basket, and it’s overflowing with things that your pup is sure to love.  It even includes dog biscuit mix and a bone-shaped cookie cutter so you can put your baking skills to the test.  (Of course, you should avoid this option if your pet has any special dietary restrictions.)  Read more about the Pooch Heaven Valentine Dog Gift Basket HERE on Pampered Paw Gifts.

Queen of Hearts Pet ID Tag (in oxidized copper) – This is one of the prettiest pet ID tags you’ll find.  They are made to order and hand-stamped, which means that yours will be completely unique.  We’re also a huge fan of the safety and practicality of this gift. Check it out HERE on Etsy, and be sure to browse through the company’s other designs while you’re there!

Striped Heart Crochet Dog Toy by Dogo – For a pooch, you can never go wrong with a squeak toy!  We love the simplicity of this toy, along with its claims of durability and flexibility.  Find it HERE on The Uncommon Dog.

Imperial Cat’s Valentine’s Day Cat Kit – This Cat Kit is a sure-fire way to make your kitty’s Valentine’s Day a delight!  It includes a variety of entertainment, such as toys, teaser wands, and scratchers.  Check it out HERE, courtesy of The Old Maid Cat Lady.

Finally, if you’re in the mood for a do-it-yourself kind of Valentine’s Day, check out this great article for some gifts that you can create for your pet right at home.

Featured Photo Credit: geckoam via Compfight cc

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for Pet Parents

By now, we all know that the traditional chocolate Valentine’s Day gifts can be hazardous to pets, but that doesn’t mean that your best friend has to miss out on all of the fun.  In fact, an article that was published a few years ago on Business Insider claimed that Americans spent approximately $815 Million on Valentine’s Day gifts for their pets in 2013!  We’re not sure if that’s the wisest choice, but it is certainly a lot of fun.  After all, pets are very much a part of the family, and we all enjoy spoiling them from time to time.

There are tons of gifts available for pets on this super-sweet holiday, so get a little creative and show your sidekick some V-Day love!  Here are some great examples of Valentine’s Day gifts that we found from around the web.  Enjoy!

The Heart Pet Bow Tie – This is such a cute gift, and it will really come in handy if you’re expecting company for Valentine’s Day.  Dress your dog or cat up for the occasion!  Find it HERE on Etsy.

The Pooch Heaven Valentine Dog Gift Basket – This is such a cute gift basket, and it’s overflowing with things that your pup is sure to love.  It even includes dog biscuit mix and a bone-shaped cookie cutter so you can put your baking skills to the test.  (Of course, you should avoid this option if your pet has any special dietary restrictions.)  Read more about the Pooch Heaven Valentine Dog Gift Basket HERE on Pampered Paw Gifts.

Queen of Hearts Pet ID Tag (in oxidized copper) – This is one of the prettiest pet ID tags you’ll find.  They are made to order and hand-stamped, which means that yours will be completely unique.  We’re also a huge fan of the safety and practicality of this gift. Check it out HERE on Etsy, and be sure to browse through the company’s other designs while you’re there!

Striped Heart Crochet Dog Toy by Dogo – For a pooch, you can never go wrong with a squeak toy!  We love the simplicity of this toy, along with its claims of durability and flexibility.  Find it HERE on The Uncommon Dog.

Imperial Cat’s Valentine’s Day Cat Kit – This Cat Kit is a sure-fire way to make your kitty’s Valentine’s Day a delight!  It includes a variety of entertainment, such as toys, teaser wands, and scratchers.  Check it out HERE, courtesy of The Old Maid Cat Lady.

Finally, if you’re in the mood for a do-it-yourself kind of Valentine’s Day, check out this great article for some gifts that you can create for your pet right at home.

Featured Photo Credit: geckoam via Compfight cc

Common Pet Myths Debunked

As veterinary professionals, we hear a lot of pet-related myths and misnomer on an almost daily basis, and while the vast majority are actually quite entertaining, they can also be dangerous to your pet.  Here are some of the most common pet-related myths debunked:

Cold nose, warm heart. 

Oftentimes, pet owners will come to their family veterinarian with concerns that their dog or cat may be sick because he or she has a warm dry nose.  This is strictly urban legend, and there has never been any real evidence that supports this idea.  There is a long list of symptoms that pet owners should always be on the lookout for, but rest assured that this isn’t one of them.

Cats only purr when they’re happy.

It’s sweet to think that every time our feline friends make this relaxing sound, they are expressing love and contentment.  While this is certainly the case most of the time, it’s unfortunately not the only explanation for why your cat purrs.  Purring is just as soothing to the cat as it is to the owners, and you may find that your cat is doing this to ease his or her own anxiety, discomfort, or pain.

Mixed breed dogs are always healthier than purebred dogs.

Hey, we love mixed breed dogs more than anything, but if you’re thinking that you can adopt a mutt and save on veterinary care, think again.  Mutts require just as much preventative care as the next dog, and just like humans, every dog will have his or her own set of health challenges throughout life.  It’s true that there are certain hereditary diseases that are most commonly found in a particular breed, but the majority of those diseases are also found in other breeds, as well (including mixed breeds).  Regardless of your pet’s pedigree, you should be prepared to provide a lifetime of support for whatever ailments may come up.

Garlic is an effective flea preventative and dewormer.

There is no scientific evidence supporting this myth, and in fact, feeding your pet large amounts of garlic can be harmful.  Beside the potential side effects, the fact remains that it is ineffective, and if you choose to go this route, you may be allowing your pet’s parasites to flourish.  Instead, speak with your veterinarian about what options you have for proven and effective parasite prevention.

Pets who live primarily indoors do not require heartworm prevention.

This is absolutely false.  Every pet should receive adequate heartworm prevention, regardless of lifestyle.  It only takes a fraction of a second for your beloved pet to contract heartworms, and the resulting damage will last a lifetime.  Heartworm preventative is also much more budget-friendly than the treatment options that are currently available.

Relying on myths over the advice of your veterinarian can have dangerous long-term effects on your pet’s health, and it can also lead to the need for costly medical treatments and procedures.  If you’re ever unsure about what you should believe regarding your pet’s health, all you have to do is ask!

 

Featured Photo Credit: bortescristian via Compfight cc

Common Pet Myths Debunked

As veterinary professionals, we hear a lot of pet-related myths and misnomer on an almost daily basis, and while the vast majority are actually quite entertaining, they can also be dangerous to your pet.  Here are some of the most common pet-related myths debunked:

Cold nose, warm heart. 

Oftentimes, pet owners will come to their family veterinarian with concerns that their dog or cat may be sick because he or she has a warm dry nose.  This is strictly urban legend, and there has never been any real evidence that supports this idea.  There is a long list of symptoms that pet owners should always be on the lookout for, but rest assured that this isn’t one of them.

Cats only purr when they’re happy.

It’s sweet to think that every time our feline friends make this relaxing sound, they are expressing love and contentment.  While this is certainly the case most of the time, it’s unfortunately not the only explanation for why your cat purrs.  Purring is just as soothing to the cat as it is to the owners, and you may find that your cat is doing this to ease his or her own anxiety, discomfort, or pain.

Mixed breed dogs are always healthier than purebred dogs.

Hey, we love mixed breed dogs more than anything, but if you’re thinking that you can adopt a mutt and save on veterinary care, think again.  Mutts require just as much preventative care as the next dog, and just like humans, every dog will have his or her own set of health challenges throughout life.  It’s true that there are certain hereditary diseases that are most commonly found in a particular breed, but the majority of those diseases are also found in other breeds, as well (including mixed breeds).  Regardless of your pet’s pedigree, you should be prepared to provide a lifetime of support for whatever ailments may come up.

Garlic is an effective flea preventative and dewormer.

There is no scientific evidence supporting this myth, and in fact, feeding your pet large amounts of garlic can be harmful.  Beside the potential side effects, the fact remains that it is ineffective, and if you choose to go this route, you may be allowing your pet’s parasites to flourish.  Instead, speak with your veterinarian about what options you have for proven and effective parasite prevention.

Pets who live primarily indoors do not require heartworm prevention.

This is absolutely false.  Every pet should receive adequate heartworm prevention, regardless of lifestyle.  It only takes a fraction of a second for your beloved pet to contract heartworms, and the resulting damage will last a lifetime.  Heartworm preventative is also much more budget-friendly than the treatment options that are currently available.

Relying on myths over the advice of your veterinarian can have dangerous long-term effects on your pet’s health, and it can also lead to the need for costly medical treatments and procedures.  If you’re ever unsure about what you should believe regarding your pet’s health, all you have to do is ask!

 

Featured Photo Credit: bortescristian via Compfight cc

National Pet Dental Health Month is Approaching!

The term “dog breath” exists for good reason, and most pet owners can attest to the fact that it’s a very unpleasant odor.  You shouldn’t just write it off as a normal part of being a dog (or cat), though.  That offensive breath can be a sign of a very serious underlying condition.  It’s such an important issue, in fact, that the veterinary community has devoted an entire month to raising awareness for the importance of our pets’ oral health. February is National Pet Dental Health Month, and it should serve as a reminder to schedule your pet’s oral exam and perform routine dental maintenance as directed by your veterinarian.

The American Dental Society reports that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of oral disease by three years of age.  These figures are significant because although this may start as a problem of the teeth and gums, oral disease will begin to have a negative impact on the heart and other vital organs if left untreated.

Signs and Symptoms

Of course, anytime your pet shows any signs of illness or injury, you should speak to your veterinarian right away.  This concept also applies to your pet’s oral health.  If your dog or cat shows any of the following symptoms, schedule an oral exam as soon as possible.

  • Bad breath
  • Broken, loose, or discolored teeth
  • Bleeding from anywhere in the mouth
  • Frequently dropping food from the mouth during meals
  • Apparent reduction in appetite or refusing to eat altogether
  • Whining during meals
  • No longer showing interest in favorite chew toys or other typical chewing habits
  • Drooling more than usual

Prevention

As your pet ages, some amount of dental trouble is to be expected.  However, there are a lot of things that you can do to prevent dental disease or slow its progression, regardless of your pet’s age.

At minimum, your pet should have a prophylactic dental scaling once per year.  Some pets may require more frequent dental cleaning, particularly small breeds who are more prone to overcrowding of the teeth and dental decay.

In addition to the procedures that are performed in the office, you should also consider making regular dental maintenance a part of your home routine.  For some pets and pet owners, brushing teeth may seem like an impossible feat, but you should at least give it a shot.  Pet owners who are able to manage this task at home are making a huge impact on their pet’s overall long-term health and comfort.  If possible, start brushing your dog or cat’s teeth when they are very young and allow them to get used to this being a normal part of daily life.  Be sure to only use toothpaste that is intended for veterinary use, though, because human toothpaste could make your pet sick.

Talk to your pet’s doctor about other ways to promote good dental hygiene for your pets.  It’s an essential part of your best friend’s overall wellness, and it’s never too late to start.

 

Featured Photo Credit: Defence Images via Compfight cc

National Pet Dental Health Month is Approaching!

The term “dog breath” exists for good reason, and most pet owners can attest to the fact that it’s a very unpleasant odor.  You shouldn’t just write it off as a normal part of being a dog (or cat), though.  That offensive breath can be a sign of a very serious underlying condition.  It’s such an important issue, in fact, that the veterinary community has devoted an entire month to raising awareness for the importance of our pets’ oral health. February is National Pet Dental Health Month, and it should serve as a reminder to schedule your pet’s oral exam and perform routine dental maintenance as directed by your veterinarian.

The American Dental Society reports that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of oral disease by three years of age.  These figures are significant because although this may start as a problem of the teeth and gums, oral disease will begin to have a negative impact on the heart and other vital organs if left untreated.

Signs and Symptoms

Of course, anytime your pet shows any signs of illness or injury, you should speak to your veterinarian right away.  This concept also applies to your pet’s oral health.  If your dog or cat shows any of the following symptoms, schedule an oral exam as soon as possible.

  • Bad breath
  • Broken, loose, or discolored teeth
  • Bleeding from anywhere in the mouth
  • Frequently dropping food from the mouth during meals
  • Apparent reduction in appetite or refusing to eat altogether
  • Whining during meals
  • No longer showing interest in favorite chew toys or other typical chewing habits
  • Drooling more than usual

Prevention

As your pet ages, some amount of dental trouble is to be expected.  However, there are a lot of things that you can do to prevent dental disease or slow its progression, regardless of your pet’s age.

At minimum, your pet should have a prophylactic dental scaling once per year.  Some pets may require more frequent dental cleaning, particularly small breeds who are more prone to overcrowding of the teeth and dental decay.

In addition to the procedures that are performed in the office, you should also consider making regular dental maintenance a part of your home routine.  For some pets and pet owners, brushing teeth may seem like an impossible feat, but you should at least give it a shot.  Pet owners who are able to manage this task at home are making a huge impact on their pet’s overall long-term health and comfort.  If possible, start brushing your dog or cat’s teeth when they are very young and allow them to get used to this being a normal part of daily life.  Be sure to only use toothpaste that is intended for veterinary use, though, because human toothpaste could make your pet sick.

Talk to your pet’s doctor about other ways to promote good dental hygiene for your pets.  It’s an essential part of your best friend’s overall wellness, and it’s never too late to start.

 

Featured Photo Credit: Defence Images via Compfight cc

Crowdfunding Goes to the Dogs (…and Cats)

Crowdfunding, a relatively new concept, has garnered an incredible amount of attention and media coverage in recent years.  Understandably so!  It has created opportunity for those who would not have had it otherwise, and in 2013, the crowdfunding industry soared to over $5.1 Billion worldwide.

It has become a very commonly used term, but for those who are unfamiliar, crowdfunding is a way of funding a project or venture through numerous small contributions made by a large group of people.  As the saying goes, a penny saved is a penny earned, and those small donations really do add up quickly.  Many of the businesses that we know and love today began with a few small donations from a few kind people.

So, how does this relate to our pets?  Thanks to Mr. Peter Alberti, there is now a crowdfunding platform meant strictly for pets, their owners, and their veterinarians.

Since being founded in 2012, PetChance.org has been quietly helping sick or injured pets get the medical attention they need.  However, the platform recently got a bit of media attention (which how we found out about it), and we loved the idea so much that we wanted to share it with our audience, too.

Petchance.org allows pet owners to raise funds for necessary medical treatments or procedures, which has been a huge help for people who are otherwise unable to afford veterinary care for their beloved pets.  It protects donors from scam by working directly with the veterinarian who is caring for the pet in question, which is a unique feature that offers peace of mind to anyone who wishes to donate.

When you log on to the website, you have the ability to search for a specific pet or pet owner.  However, you don’t need to know the recipient’s personal information or the pet’s name to donate.  The website makes it very simple to donate to any pet who is currently undergoing medical treatment, and users can choose at random if they prefer.

Registering your pet (and his or her medical condition) is known as “creating a chance”.  You’ll have to enter some basic information, including the anticipated expenses for treatment.  At first glance, the platform seems extremely user-friendly, and they even offer resources that will help you succeed in your fundraising efforts.  For example, they provide templates for sharing your campaign on social media, tips for using multimedia to increase the amount of donations you receive, and suggestions for thanking your donors properly.

We love the idea of supporting friends, neighbors, and even strangers in such an important cause.  Ensuring that every pet receives the care that he or she deserves is certainly worth a few clicks, so visit PetChance today to learn more or donate a few dollars to a pet in need.

Featured Photo Credit: bortescristian via Compfight cc