Ask the Vet will be a regular column in our bimonthly e-newsletter.
One or two questions will be selected for each newsletter issue.
Answers will be provided by Dr. Francie Rubin or Dr. Carrie Hutchinson. Please submit no more than three questions at a time.
Email us your questions!
Domino is a wonderful cat who is looking for a home of his own. More...
Herbie is an adult American Bulldog/Pit Bull mix. He would love to be your best friend. More...
If you enjoy travelling, it is much easier nowadays to take your pet along. Pets Welcome has all the information you need.
Be sure to keep all your pets safely inside on Halloween and the day or two preceding. Although it may seem like a good idea to take your pet Trick or Treating, with all the Ghouls and Goblins out and about, your pet can be easily startled, causing them to bolt or maybe even bite. If you would like to include Fido or Fluffy in your Halloween, dress them up and keep them at home for family fun and a group photo.
Be sure to keep all candy out of reach. If your pet does get into the candy, call the nearest Emergency Clinic for help.
We lost some special friends in August and September, we will miss them all.
ScaredyKat Kleeman, Comique Russell, Jake Space, Cheech Shiffler, Denver Koniers, Melvin Maxx Beck, Bailey Gouveia, Ilia Kravvaritis, Dottie Ulmer, Foxy Higgins, Max Huffer, Gigi DiStefano, Teddy Streeper, Sam Weiner, Q-Tip Rominiecki, Samantha Sienkiewicz, Scooby Vanderstar, Gracie Risch, Buddy Eisman, Ginger Tomaselli, Chloe from St. Joe’s Manor, Rudi Campagna, Penny McGowan, Humphrey Goodstein, Bailey Hutchinson, Lucy Leftwich, Charlie Ferris, Oscar Doner,
Sugar Worrell, Chica Praediger, Lady Mellinger, Misti Peck, Pickles Susner, Muffin Lyons, Boaz Stewart, Max Uccelletti, Cailin Reeder, Shaye Garback, Scotia Heckler, Muffy Obrecht, Dante Zodeiko, Dusty Floyd, Rocco Pawling, Pookie Gilmour, Polly Townsend, Cassie Battis, Penny Burke, Millie Wright, Sammie Martino, Bicky Wismer, Kitty Gudonis, Midnight Gehret.
We hope you will read it in its entirety, enjoy the stories and learn a tidbit or two. We will be sending the newsletter bimonthly. Our Ask the Vet column gives you the opportunityto ask questions that perhaps you did not get to ask in an appointment. Lisa Berkenstockwill be writing about important training techniques and will give you ideas on how to best understand your furry friend. We will be posting special animals who need loving homes. And lastly, but surely not least, we say goodbye to our beloved companions who have recently crossed over the rainbow bridge. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the read.
We always know the day that the new school year starts, whether or not we have children. The urge to buy a copybook and No. 2 pencils is upon us again. The trees are getting ready to change their colors, and as the early days of fall approach, just as we may notice that our kids have grown a little older, we may also notice the same about our canine companion. We may notice some graying around the muzzle, or less spring in her step on the daily walk. This doesn’t mean that the years are nearing an end for our friend. It is, in fact, the beginning of the autumn of her life.
Just as we never tire of starting a new school year, our canine friend may be eager to begin something new. This stage of your pet’s life is the chance to do things with her that you may not have done when she was younger as she may have been “too full of herself” or unable or unwilling to concentrate. And in our impatience, just like an overtired parent, we let her do as she wished.
If you have just noticed that the years are slipping away and you’re inspired to do something new and fun with your friend, it is the perfect time to take advantage of these autumn days with activities that will be both stimulating and enjoyable.
Remember how much fun it was to pick pumpkins and go for hay rides? Some of the local pumpkin farms will let you bring a leashed pet along for the fun. This is a great low impact way to get your pup started on a new walking regime. When you are traversing the fields and corn stalks at the maze, that walk just does not seem as long as you might think. Watching your dog sniff out the trails of the local wildlife will bring a smile to your face!
Some of the local farms that welcome your pet are None Such Farm in Buckingham; Wilcox Farms in Boyertown PA; or try Freddy Hill Farm in Lansdale. You will be able to find directions and times on line for all special events. Of course you can always enjoy the fall weather in a stroll around Peddlers Village or Chestnut Hill with your dog.
Check out Norristown Mom and Pumpkin Patches and More to find even more farms in your area. Just a quick phone call to be sure pets are welcome and you are on your way to a fun-filled day. And bringing home some locally grown produce is just a plus.
Have an extra hour on a weeknight? Look into local training classes. Yes, old dogs can learn new tricks! Just ask Gabrielle. At 11 years old she attended Tricks and Reliable Recall classes with local dog trainer Lisa Berkenstock. She may have not been as quick on the draw as some of the younger pups, but she had loads of fun and picked up some new skills as a plus, helping her pass the Canine Good Citizen test at the ripe old age of 12.
Now that your dog is at an age where he or she has some real life experience, why not visit local nursing homes or hospitals? There are several therapy pet groups in the area. Abington Hospital has an Animal Assisted Therapy Program where dogs are permitted to visit patients. You can also check out Comfort Caring Canines and Therapy Dogs, Inc.
I have seen firsthand the smiles these animals bring to people who may be ill or alone most of their days. It is amazing what joy the touch of a soft paw can bring.
Gabrielle and I are looking forward to our next class with Lisa and in a few weeks we will be headed out to Wilcox Farms for a fun day with some two and four legged friends! Maybe we’ll see you there.
Fall is here. School is back in session. For a lot of families, that means a change in their schedules. For a lot of pets, that means more time home alone. Our pet dogs and cats are social animals. They thrive in an environment rich in interaction. If our demanding schedules cause us to have less time for our pets, there are effective ways to compensate so that we can help them cope with the changes.
The best way to relieve boredom and improve the behavior of your pet is simply to increase their exercise. For your canine friend, this can be achieved through long exploratory walks, retrieval games or interactive toys. Our feline friends would benefit from increased play that satisfies their inquisitive nature and predatory drive.
Fortunately for them and us, there are a large variety of new and exciting interactive toys on the market for dogs and more recently, for cats. These toys not only relieve boredom but they also help decrease anxiety. Two of my favorite choices for the home alone dog are Kong Time and the Kibble Nibble. Both of these toys reward your dog for simply exploring and manipulating them. This mental stimulation causes your dog to feel rewarded and tired and, as we all know, a tired dog is a good dog.
Some more recent additions to the cat toy box are the Kitty Kong which has movable whiskers and can be filled with food and small, high-value treats, Play-N- Squeak toys which come in a variety of choices each of which makes real, live mouse sounds and Fling-ama-String which will keep even the laziest of cats jumping for joy.
So, before you run out the door to put the kids on the school bus or head off to the office, make sure your cat and dog are happily playing and hunting and learning at home. They'll be glad you did and so will you!
For all of us, the seasons bring different rituals. In the fall, some of us like to go for long walks in the woods, some go in search of the perfect pumpkin or decorate the house for Halloween. For me, the last 4 falls have meant a trip to Arizona or to New Mexico to help needy pets at Native American reservations. As a member of NAVS (Native American Veterinary Services), I have travelled with other veterinarians to spay, neuter and vaccinate pets at the Hopi reservation in Arizona and the Zuni reservation in New Mexico. Our work there has helped many pets live healthier, happier lives.
The Hopi and Zuni Native Americans have limited income, jobs are scarce and many rely on the sale of handicrafts to support themselves. They love their pets but they have very few resources a nd no easily accessible veterinary care. They are quite appreciative of the help that is given to them. With each trip, the number of pets we are able to help continues to grow. And the best part is that all the services NAVS provides to these native tribes are free.
For me, traveling to the reservations and helping the people and their pets has been an extraordinary experience. I plan on continuing my work with these native peoples and truly appreciate my clients understanding and patience when I am out of the office.
My beloved dog Hopi came back with me after my trip to Arizona 4 years ago. Hopi was a hungry, stray puppy who stole my heart when she wandered into the clinic. She is now a beautiful adult dog who accompanies me to my clinic every day.
NAVS is a small, nonprofit organization that continually seeks financial support for these much needed services. If you would like more information about NAVS, or would like to donate to support our efforts, please email us to request a brochure.
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