Plan a Pet-Safe Holiday Gathering | POSTED 6NOV17
Plan a Pet-Safe Holiday Gathering| POSTED 6NOV17
If you are planning to have a crowd at your house for the upcoming holidays, here are some guidelines for a pet safe gathering.
1. House Rules: If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you're busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session.
2. Put the Meds Away: Make sure all of your medications are locked behind secure doors, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.
3. A Room of Their Own: Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the hubbub.
4. New Year's Noise: As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat's intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears. And remember that many pets are also scared of fireworks, so be sure to secure them in a safe, escape-proof area as midnight approaches.
Let’s Talk Turkey
1. A turkey’s head is like a mood ring, it changes colors depending on how he is feeling.
2. Male turkeys gobble and female turkeys make chirping noises.
3. Each turkey has a unique voice which allows turkeys to tell each other apart.
4. A turkey’s gender can be determined by their poop. Male turkeys have spiral-shaped droppings and female turkeys have “J”-shaped droppings.
5. Turkeys have small stones in their gizzard to help them digest their food.
6. Wild turkeys can fly up to 55 miles per hour and run about 20 miles an hour for short distances. Domestic turkeys cannot fly as they are bred for meat and are, therefore, too big to fly.
7. Wild turkeys sleep in trees where they are better protected from predators.
8. Turkeys have great hearing, have a 270 degree vision field, and can see in color.
9. Turkeys form deep social bonds and are very affectionate with each other like dogs are with their pack mates.
10. A turkey’s home turf can be over 1,000 acres, and they can remember specific locations even if they have not been there for over a year.
This time of year is kitten season. We always seem to have meowing, fuzzy, fur balls that are looking for forever homes. If you need a new feline addition to your family, we may have the purr-fect match for you. Stop into the animal hospital and visit with the kittens. Whether you are looking for a cuddler or playful one, we probably have a kitten for you!
Interesting Christmas Holiday Facts
1. Some zoos take donated Christmas trees to use as food for some of their animals. Natural recycling!
2. If you gave all the gifts noted in the Twelve Days of Christmas song, you would give 364 gifts. That’s a whole lot of drummers drumming!
3. Almost 28 sets of LEGO are sold every second during the Christmas season. This just adds to the already astounding 80 LEGO bricks for every person on earth.
4. Legend has it that the Coca Cola Company generated the popular image of Santa’s red coat. Before that Santa wore many different colored suits including blue, white, and green.
5. Rudolph the red nosed reindeer originally did not have a red nose. In 1939 when Rudolph was created for Montgomery Ward’s holiday coloring books, a red nose was considered a sign of chronic alcoholism.
6. Xmas does not take the Christ out of Christmas. In fact, the letter X, or Chi, in Greek is the first letter of Christ. In the year 1551, Christmas was actually written as “Xtemmas” and was eventually shortened to “Xmas”.
7. The Druids believed mistletoe was and aphrodisiac. It also was an ancient symbol of fertility and virility. Maybe that innocent little sprig of green leaves and red berries isn’t so innocent after all!
8. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 15000 Americans go to the ER during the months of November and December due to holiday decorating accidents. No wonder my insurance premiums keep increasing!
9. In 1607, Jamestown Massachusetts was the home of America’s first batch of eggnog. The origin of the word eggnog is much debated amongst culinary experts. It is possible the word came about from a mashup of one of the drink’s ingredients (egg) and noggins which were small wooded mugs used by bartenders of the time to serve grog
10. Santa has his own zip code. If you want to send a letter to the jolly old elf, address it to the North Pole with the zip code HOH OHO.
Does your dog show any of these symptoms when they hear loud noises such as fireworks and thunder?
2. Lip licking
3. Trembling or shaking
5. Excessive vigilance
8. Ears back/brow furrowed
9. Freezing or immobility
10. Abnormal clinginess
11. Refuses to eat
13. Whining or barking
If so, your dog may have a behavioral problem called noise aversion. Sileo is a new medication that can be used to help your frightened dog through one of these noise aversion episodes. In the past, veterinarians have used anti-anxiety and sedating medications to help dogs with noise aversion. Sileo can calm your dog without sedating them. If you think Sileo sounds like a good fit for your dog, go towww.sileodogus.com for more information.
Warmth and Sunshine | POSTED 3MAY17
At Concord Chapel, we are starting to get really busy. This is common for most veterinary practices. When the weather gets warmer, new animals come into the world, parasites are prevalent, and pets are outside more. This all leads to more visits to the veterinarian for wellness exams, parasite control, and emergencies due to accidents and warm weather illnesses. We love seeing all the new puppies and kittens and their new families.
We love watching them grow and seeing them for their yearly wellness exams. We also love talking to our pet families about parasite control, so we can keep you and your furry friends safe. Emergencies are not necessarily a fun time for anyone, but we do love when there is a happy ending.
So, get out there and have fun! Go on a picnic or a hike and bring your barking buddy with you. Just remember to use a leash. Open the windows and doors. Let your feline friends chase some bugs and watch some birds. Come to the animal hospital to get them vaccinated and protected from parasites.
Remember, we want your pets to be catching mice and Frisbees, not intestinal worms and fleas. Get out there and revel in the warmth! You know where to find us if you need us and, if you do, we will be happy to help!
Got an Itch?
Spring is definitely here. Plants and trees are blooming everywhere which makes spring a beautiful time of year.
For some of our pets however, spring is not such a beautiful season. These pets get itchy and get skin and ear infections. Their skin looks red and their hair tends to look moth eaten due to hair loss. These pets have a condition called atopic dermatitis, otherwise known as seasonal allergy.
In the past, veterinarians only had one type of drug that really kept these poor pets from itching, steroids. Unfortunately, steroids have a lot of unwanted side effects. More recently some new medications have come to the veterinary field. Apoquel is a pill that is usually taken once or twice a day. It actually blocks the nerves that cause the itch.
Another drug called Cytopoint sticks to the proteins that triggers the nerves that cause the itch. This drug is given once monthly as an injection.
These new drugs might sound complicated, but for a lot of dogs, these new medications are literally a life saver. In the past, many dog owners have had to make a choice. Use steroids and potentially cause other health problems to keep my dog comfortable, or put my dog to sleep because they are miserable. Neither of these drugs are labeled for cats, unfortunately. They are currently being studied and sometimes used off label for our feline friends.
Other medications that are being used for our pets with seasonal allergy include flea/tick preventatives, antibiotics, antifungal medications, and antihistamines (think Benadryl, Zyrtec, and Claritin etc.).
Shampoos and leave on rinses are also used. Steroids and another medication called Atopic/cyclosporine are also still being used and are very helpful to some pets.
It’s good to have so many options in our seasonal allergy “tool box”. Unfortunately, none of these drugs are a “cure” for allergy.
They are symptomatic treatments or treat the infections that typically come with seasonal allergies.
Allergies and the drugs used to help manage them can be very confusing and frustrating for pet parents. If you are one of those pet owners that is caring for an itchy dog or cat, talk to a veterinarian and their team about it. They can guide you through the process and provide you with the tools and advice you will need to get you through this beautiful (but sometimes itchy) spring season!
Did You Know?
It’s puppy and kitten season again! Whether you are thinking about adopting a puppy or kitten or an adult dog or cat, you should always consider the initial and lifetime expenses of owning that new furry friend.
INITIAL EXPENSES (this includes neutering/spaying, leashes for dogs, and cat carriers and litter boxes for cats):
● Dogs: $565
● Cats: $365
LIFETIME EXPENSES* (This includes medical expenses, health insurance, food, toys, treats, and litter)
● Dogs: $10,719
● Cats: $12,050
*Based on a life span of 11 years for a medium-breed dog and 15 years for a cat. SOURCE: Veterinary Team Brief, pg. 13; April 2017.
Spring is in the Air | POSTED 3MAR17
It will be spring on March 20th. Hopefully, the weather will settle down and stay warm. Soon, the flowers will be blooming and the grass will turn green. Before we know it, we will be mowing the lawn every seven days trying to keep up with its endless growth.
At Concord Chapel, spring brings litters of kittens and puppies. We currently have a mother cat and her two kittens living at the hospital. They will be ready to meet their forever families very soon. Even though the kittens were just born in mid-February, they are already trying to play with each other while mom supervises and keeps them clean and fed.
Just as all the spring babies are coming into the world, spring also brings us a plethora of creeping and crawling insects and arachnids. Some of these critters are not so bad. Really, who hates butterflies? Other insects are just down right horrible. My top pick for the least liked bug is the tick. Ticks can be found almost all year round. However, we seem to see them in large amounts during the spring. Because ticks need a blood meal to grow and reproduce, our pets can become breakfast, lunch, and dinner for these blood sucking parasites. Some dogs and cats come into the hospital with literally hundreds of ticks on them. If one of these parasites stays attached to a dog or a cat for over 36 hours, they can spread some pretty nasty diseases. Luckily, there are many ways to prevent tick attachment through anti-parasitic drugs and collars. Many of these products also prevent another parasite that can cause humans and their pets misery, the flea. It’s too bad there isn’t any such products for people. These days, because my pets are all on heartworm, flea, and tick prevention, the only “beasts” I find ticks attached to in my house are my kids and my husband.
While you are enjoying the warmer weather, stop by the hospital and pick up some parasite control for your dogs and cats. And, while you are having a conversation about which one is best for your fur babies, check out the feline fur balls that are running around. They are so irresistibly cute, you may just find yourself taking one home!
JANUARY | NEWSLETTER
Happy New Year! | POSTED 17JAN17
It’s 2017. Did you make any resolutions? Have you broken them all yet? At Concord Chapel we are looking forward to another great year of caring for pets and their people. For those of us that went on a “see” food diet over the holidays, a common resolution may be to lose some extra pounds. Many of our pets need to do the same thing. Most people do not know that about 50-60 % of cats and dogs in the United States are obese. Just like us, many of our pets are eating too much food and not getting enough exercise. So when you bundle up to go for a walk take your dog with you. You can buy toys for your cats and dogs that make them work for their food. If you are having trouble getting your cat off your bed, grab your laser pointer or cat toy on a poll, sit down after you exhaust yourself exercising, and play with your cat. In addition, there are diet foods for cats and dogs that can help you in your quest to help your pet loose some extra pounds.
What is the benefit of increased exercise, decreased food, and prescription diets you may ask? Dogs and cats that maintain a healthy weight have decreased joint problems, have less chance of developing diabetes, and on average live longer lives than there overweight counter parts. Sounds pretty similar to humans doesn’t it?
Another resolution we have made at Concord Chapel is to continue to educate as many clients about dental disease in dogs and cats as possible. February is Pet Dental Health Month. It’s time to lift your pet’s lip and see if dental disease is present. Are there red gums, tartar all over the teeth, bad breath, loose teeth, or pus? If you notice any of these things, your pet probably has dental disease. If you think your pet is having dental problems, schedule an appointment for one of our veterinarians to take a look at it. We will be more than happy to discuss options to improve your pet’s dental health. Those suggestions may include dental treats, brushing your pet’s teeth, oral rinses, and dental cleanings.
Here’s too happy and healthy pets, humans, and a new year!
Top 10 Kitten Names from 2016 (VetStreet)
10. Gracie and Kitty
9. Lily and Jack
8. Daisy and Tiger
7. Nala and Smokey
6. Callie and Simba
5. Chloe and Charlie
4. Kitty and Max
3. Lucy and Leo
2. Bella and Milo
1. Luna and Oliver
Top 10 Puppy Names from 2016 (VetStreet)
10. Zoey and Tucker
9. Maggie and Jax
8. Chloe and Zeus
7. Lola and Bear
6. Molly and Buddy
5. Sadie and Duke
4. Lucy and Rocky
3. Luna and Charlie
2. Daisy and Cooper
1. Bella and Max
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER | NEWSLETTER
At Concord Chapel Animal Hospital we are very thankful for all of the wonderful people who work very hard every day to make the animal hospital a very special place. The team members at Concord Chapel truly care about your pets and the families attached to them. They want every client and pet to have a first-rate experience every time they visit the animal hospital. They also want to give each and every pet individual attention, and they love the slobbery doggy kisses and cat purrs they get in return.
Since January 1st 2016, the Concord Chapel Team has seen 3136 appointments. We have performed 111 dentals and completed 364 surgeries. We have placed 332 IV catheters and have given over 5250 vaccines. We have read 980 fecals and 277 urine samples (Yuck!). We have also adopted out 55 kittens who needed forever homes. Our work takes a lot of brains and sometimes brawn. We are at times mentally and physically exhausted, but we are always thankful for all the experiences, opportunities, and sense of fulfillment our profession provides us. (On the other hand, maybe we are not so thankful for fecal samples.)
We are also very grateful for every client and patient that visits the animal hospital. Without you, we could not do the job we love. There are not many jobs where you can make a difference in the lives of a pet and their people all at the same time! In order to show our thanks for your patronage, we will give every pet who has a physical exam a free nail trim during the month of November. And during December, each pet with a scheduled physical exam will get a free gift.
From our family to yours, have a very merry and safe holiday season!
Concord Chapel Animal Hospital.
Be careful how you deck your halls! The Holiday season is generally a time of family togetherness in which even our pets participate. Usually, our thoughts are far from those of injury; however, we must be aware of some important seasonal hazards in order to insure a happy holiday season.
Ribbons and Tinsel
These are of special interest to playful cats and kittens who see these materials as toys (or prey) to be chased, pounced upon, chewed, or swallowed. While chasing and pouncing pose no health threats, chewing and swallowing do, as these strings or “linear foreign bodies” can catch in the GI tract. This can lead to bunching of the intestines as the body tries in vain to move the string or ribbon through. This is a life-threatening condition requiring surgery for correction. Supervise animals who play with string closely.
Electric Light Cords
These are also tempting to cats who like to play with string as well as to puppies who are teething and interested in chewing. If a pet bites through an electrical cord, it could result in a severe burn to the tongue. The lungs can also fill with fluid causing respiratory distress. This is also an emergency requiring immediate veterinary attention.
Many people do not realize that chocolate can be a poison. Unsweetened baking chocolate carries a much higher dose of the toxin “theobromine” than milk chocolate, but even normal milk chocolate can be dangerous; a small dog sharing candy can wind up in big trouble. Clinical signs of chocolate poisoning include hyper excitability, nervousness, vomiting, diarrhea, and death.
Consuming this festive-looking plant can be irritating to the mouth and stomach of the dog or cat that chews on or eats it. Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias is not specifically toxic.
The fact that there are several types of mistletoe makes it difficult to predict the clinical signs of poisoning. Some mistletoe produce only stomach upset while others may lead to liver failure or seizures. Consider mistletoe to be a hazardous substance and keep it inaccessible to pets and children.
Keep pets out of the kitchen during the hustle and bustle of the season. The last thing you want is for someone you love to get underfoot and burned from spillage. You also do not want your pets to eat things that may accidentally fall from the counter such as raisins which can cause kidney failure in our pets.
We all like to include our pets in Holiday meals along with the rest of the family, but try to keep in mind that sudden rich diet changes are likely to upset a pet’s stomach. Vomiting and diarrhea are not uncommon. If leftovers are of an especially fatty nature, the pancreas may become inflamed. This condition called pancreatitis is serious, may require hospitalization, and can potentially cause death in some pets.
It’s hard to believe that the kids are back to school and the football season is getting underway. This is a very busy time of year for many people due to their kids’ activities and just getting back into the swing of things after another crazy summer. This is a busy time at CCAH as well. The inside of the animal hospital has had a face lift with new floors and a fresh new coat of paint. If you haven’t seen it, ask for a tour. I think you will find that the “orange” exam room is pretty intense!
We also have several friendly felines that need forever homes. Let’s just say that the stray cats of Grove City have done a wonderful job of continuing their species over the warm summer months. If you are looking for a feline addition to your family, one of our kittens may fit the bill.
Believe it or not, September and October are also a busy time for fleas. We see plenty of these biting parasites all year round. However, the late summer and early fall months are heavy flea months for our pets. No one wants fleas on their pets or in their homes. Make sure your pets are protected. If you are not sure what flea product you need, ask us and we will be happy to help. Don’t forget to keep your pets on heartworm prevention year round too!
We are also looking forward to seeing all of our clients during the Arts in the Alley Parade. Give us a wave, and we will give you and your canine best friend a treat. You can’t miss us. We will be the ones wearing those really bright green shirts and walking a bunch of dogs behind a float with dogs and cats all over it.
And lastly, Halloween is just around the corner. Whether you enjoy dressing your pet up in a costume or not, remember to be careful out there. Our pets can be scared by those kids wearing creepy costumes too! Not to mention that dogs specifically like candy just as much as we do. This is one of those times that it is not okay to share your candy with your furry friend. Dogs and cats can be poisoned by chocolate and xylitol which are both ingredients in many of those Halloween treats. In the least, they may develop a really bad case of diarrhea and/or vomiting just like we can after eating too much candy.
Have a happy Autumn!
Top 10 Diseases
While you sit in the lobby of the animal hospital waiting with everyone else for your pet to be seen by the veterinarian, do you ever wonder what the other pets are there for? Here are the ten most common diseases veterinarians are seeing dogs and cats for.
Top 10 Canine Diseases
1. Ear infections
2. Skin allergies
5. Soft tissue trauma
9. Benign skin tumors
10. Eye infection
Top 10 Feline Diseases
1. Renal Failure
4. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease/Bladder infection
7. Ear infection
10. Tooth infection
Dasuquin AdvancedChews are a joint supplement for dogs. These chews contain glucosamine, chondroitin, and other nutraceuticals that can help control joint inflammation and reduce joint pain. Dasuquin Advanced Chews are just one of the many ways dog owners can help reduce pain in their arthritic dogs.
Kittens and More!
Welcome to spring! There are lots of amazing things going on at Concord Chapel Animal Hospital. First of all, kitten season is here! If you are looking for a new furry family member, stop into the animal hospital or the Humane Society and adopt a new feline friend. From now until December you will almost always find kittens looking for forever homes at Concord Chapel. All of them have had at least one physical exam, medical care if necessary, and at least one set of vaccines. They have also been dewormed and started on flea and heartworm prevention. The $85 adoption fee also includes your new pals spay or neuter procedure.
Also coming up on May is a spa day for your dog. If you have a dirty dog or your canine companion needs their tootsies trimmed, come see us at the animal hospital May 22. We will pamper your pooch with a cleansing bubble bath and then give them a professional pedicure all for a donation to the Sadie Sue Fund. This fund helps out families and pets that may not be able to afford veterinary care for their pet.
Concord Chapel will also be opening up a new online store. You can purchase food, heartworm, flea, and tick prevention, as well as refill prescriptions on this store. There is also an option on the online store that allows your purchases to be sent directly to your home without shipping costs. Combine all of that with competitive pricing and you have a winner.
Here in Columbus Ohio, many of us root for The Ohio State Buckeyes. Our hometown team is not named after a ferocious beast or a destructive object, but a poisonous plant. Buckeye sprouts, nuts, or seeds can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression/excitement, dilated pupils, coma, wobbly legs, convulsions, and possibly death in dogs, cats, and horses.
Here is a list of the most common poisonous plants that the Pet Poison Helpline receives emergency calls about: Autumn Crocus, Azalea, Cyclamen, Kalanchoe, Lilies, Oleander, Dieffenbachia, Daffodils, Lily of the Valley, Sago Palm, Tulips, and Hyacinths.
Revolution is a heartworm and flea preventative that is applied to your dog or cat’s skin once a month. Not only does Revolution prevent heartworm disease and flea infestations, this product also prevents roundworms, hookworms, and ear mites in cats.
In dogs, Revolution treats and controls ear mite infections and sarcoptic mange as well as controls American Dog Tick infestations.
Even if your dog or cat stays inside all the time, they still need to be protected from heartworms and fleas. Mosquitoes that spread heartworms and biting fleas can easily get into your home. These insects enter your house through open windows and doors, screens, and can even hitch a ride on you.
Stop into Concord Chapel Animal Hospital to see if Revolution is right for your furry friend.
ARE YOU READY?
Very soon the cold and blustery days of winter will be left behind.
Warm spring days, green grass, and budding trees are heading our way. Won’t it be nice to go outside without hats and gloves? I think we all are looking forward to wearing shorts and a t-shirt instead of that jacket that is rated for twenty degrees below zero.
Once it starts getting warmer out, it will be time again to start getting the gardens ready for planting, tune up our lawn mowers, and clean up the house. While the rest of us are tackling our spring chores, all the other little critters out there will be emerging from their long winter’s nap.
They have some spring chores ahead of them too. Birds have nests to make and chipmunks have to repair their underground homes. Squirrels will go about looking for their lost winter stashes and raccoons will again start raiding your garbage cans. Our cats and dogs will shed their winter coats and head out into the great outdoors with us to enjoy spring warmth.
As we open our windows to let that fresh spring breeze air out of our homes, bugs of all shapes and sizes will start emerging from wherever it is they go during the winter. Unfortunately, not all of these bugs will be as harmless as butterflies.
Spring brings all the biting bugs as well. Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes will start to become problems in the beginning of spring.
Are you ready? Are your cats and dogs current on heartworm, flea and tick prevention? If not, we have you covered. Give us a call, drop us an e-mail, or stop by and we will get your pets ready for their spring debut!
Up Coming Events:
March 12th is Arbor Day
March 13th is CCAH’s next Memorial Service
March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day
March 23rd is National Puppy Day
March 27th is Easter Sunday
April is National Heartworm Awareness Month and ASPCA’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month
April 1st is April Fool’s Day
April 11th is National Pet Day
April 22nd is Earth Day
Parasites are a real concern all year round but, as the warmer months return, we see far more tick and flea issues.
Ticks need a blood meal to reproduce and to get bigger. Ticks spread many diseases to our furry friends as well as humans. Many of the symptoms of these disease can be vague and debilitating, sometimes even deadly. Symptoms of tick borne diseases include:
2. Joint pain
3. Swollen lymph nodes
5. Low red blood cell counts
6. Low platelet counts
Fleas also spread several diseases which can affect our furry friends and their human owners. These diseases include:
2. Cat scratch disease
3. Tape worms
4. Flea allergy dermatitis
5. Flea bite anemia
Preventing these diseases starts with good flea and tick control. Avoidance of infested areas is also a good idea. Here’s a list of several flea and tick products that can help in your pet’s quest to stay tick and flea free.
1. Frontline – Fleas and Ticks
2. Revolution – Fleas and one type of tick
3. NexGard – Fleas and Ticks
4. Trifexis – Fleas and other parasites
5. Comfortis – Fleas
6. Sentinel – Fleas and other parasites
7. Preventic Collar – Ticks (dogs only)
8. Seresto Collar – Fleas and Ticks
HAPPY NEW YEAR
The new year has begun. Everyone is still getting used to the fact it’s actually 2016 and trying desperately to uphold their new year’s resolutions.
For many of us, losing weight is at the top of the resolution list. Most of our pets need some help in that department as well. Taking a walk is an excellent source of low impact activity for your dog as well as their human family (as long as it is not too cold out).
Play more and eat less is always good advice to follow for all of us trying to get back to our slimmer selves. Also, February is dental month for our pets. If your dog or cat needs dental care, give us a call and we will address your pet’s dental needs.
Stay warm and enjoy the new year!
Ways to Prevent
Dental Disease in Pets
1. Brush your pet’s teeth with pet friendly toothpaste. This video will guide you through the process. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsNlLLSBWLU
2. Use oral rinses or water additives that kill the bacteria that create plague.
3. Use toys and chews specifically created to prevent dental disease.
4. Use foods such as Hill’s Science Diet t/D or treats such as Greenies® that are made to prevent dental disease.
Dental Services | Our comprehensive dental services include:
1. Complete physical exam.
2. An anesthetic protocol tailored to your pet.
3. Complete oral exam under anesthesia.
4. Digital dental x-rays (if needed).
5. Removal of diseased teeth.
6. Cleaning and polishing of remaining teeth.
7. Ear cleaning, nail trim, and anal sac expression.
8. Post-surgical monitoring.
9. Pain medication and antibiotics as needed.
There is a 10% discount for these services in the month of February.
National Pet Diabetes Month
November is a dangerous month for most Americans. Dangerous in that you could easily pack on 5-10 pounds and have some serious GI upset while eating all the left over Halloween candy and turkey dinners complete with mashed potatoes, gravy, and stuffing. All that candy and high fat food would give anyone’s GI system a workout. The same would be true for our pets if they put that much “not so healthy” food in their gut. There is one organ that is part of the GI system that is virtually always forgotten about until it starts causing problems and that is the pancreas. The pancreas is the organ that sits near the stomach and the first part of the small intestines. This organ just happens to produce most of the chemicals that help us and our pets to digest and break down food. The pancreas also produces another very important compound: insulin. Insulin helps sugar travel from the blood stream into the cells. Without the help of insulin our cells would never have the energy to function. So imagine if your body was not producing any insulin or that our cells were not reacting to the insulin in the right way.
This is what happens when people and our pets have diabetes. Diabetes leads to a constant state of high blood sugar because the sugar cannot get into the cells where it is needed. Also the cells “complain” to the rest of the body that they do not have enough energy to function. So the body goes into sugar producing mode and makes more sugar out of fat and protein. This leads to even more sugar in the blood which cannot get into the cells. This amount of sugar overwhelms the kidneys and now the diabetic patient is urinating boat loads of urine with sugar in it. Once dogs and cats reach this point, they are typically eating more than normal but losing weight. They are also drinking a great deal of water and asking to go out much more frequently or even having accidents in the house.
Most pet owners tend to notice these most common symptoms and head to their veterinarian to help them figure out what’s going on with Fluffy. When veterinarians hear from worried pet parents that their furry family member is drinking a lot, seems more hungry but is losing weight, and their normally accident free pet is urinating in the house, most likely will want to check some blood work and urine to check for diabetes and rule out other diseases that may have similar symptoms. If the pet has diabetes, the blood will show high glucose levels which will match the high glucose levels found in the urine. There may also be some other blood work abnormalities related to higher liver values and increased pancreatic enzyme level. There may also be bacterial infections in the bladder due to the increase in sugar in the urine.
After diagnosing the pet with diabetes your veterinarian will most likely start them on injectable insulin in order to try push the blood sugar back where it belongs, in the body’s cells. Some pets may need to be hospitalized to help with this process. Veterinarians use starting doses of insulin based on the pet’s weight. However, every pet is different and these doses may need to be adjusted especially after the pet is first diagnosed with diabetes. These adjustments will be made based on how the pet is doing at home. Is the pet drinking less or more? Are they eating normal amounts? Are they having accidents in the house? It will also be adjusted based on physical exams. Is the pet gaining lost weight back?
Veterinarians will also use blood tests to go along with the pets at home history and their physical exams. These blood tests could include glucose curves and fructosamine levels. Glucose curves can be done in the hospital or at home depending on the pet’s owners, the pet, and the veterinarian. Glucose curves are based on multiple, sometimes hourly, blood samples that are tracked based on when the pet ate and when they got their insulin injection. Another test that can be used is a fructosamine level. This test shows how the pet’s blood sugar has been doing over a 2-3 week time period.
In the month of October, you can celebrate National Nut Day, World Vegetarian Day, Columbus Day, and, everyone’s favorite, Halloween.
October is also Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. If you are looking for a new furry friend to share your Trick-or-Treats with, consider giving a shelter dog a new loving home and family. Every year, approximately 3.9 million dogs enter animal shelters, and only 1.2 dogs leave with new homes. This leaves 2.7 million dogs euthanized every year. Wouldn’t it be nice if dog loving humans could flip those numbers around?
There are several advantages to adopting a dog from a shelter. For starters, adoption gives a furry friend a new loving home, usually at a lower monetary cost than purchasing a pet from a breeder or a pet store. There is also a lot of dogs to choose from at the shelter. Small dogs, big dogs, long hair or short, floppy ears or ears that stand up. They are all there for you at the shelter.
Adopting a dog from a shelter can also decrease the pet overpopulation problem by not supporting the back yard breeder or puppy mill. Another bonus when you choose to adopt an adult dog is that most of these animals are already spayed or neutered and have received all of their immunizations. Most shelters also evaluate the temperament of the dogs they are adopting out to the public. This helps answer questions concerning whether they get along with other pets, whether they do well with children, are they house broken, etc. which helps the new dog owner make decisions on which dog is the perfect fit for their family.
Most importantly, adopting a shelter dog gives a special canine a second chance at a wonderful life full of new adventures and new best friends. If you think it is the right time to add a new furry friend to your life, visit your local shelter, humane society, or rescue group and see all the canine companions they have to offer. I guarantee you will find the right barking beast for your family and it will be a win-win situation for you and the dog. And, another plus, adopting a dog from the shelter, humane society, or rescue group will open up another space for another dog who can hopefully be adopted by another lucky family!
RESPONSIBLE DOG OWNERSHIP | SEPTEMBER 2015
September is Responsible Dog Ownership Month. Keeping a dog is not just a right. It is a privilege and that privilege comes with some responsibilities which can actually start before you even own the dog.
For example, if you are living in an apartment or condo, a Great Dane may not be the best dog to choose. If you are an easy going person, a busy terrier may not be the right dog for you. After you have an idea of what kind of dog you want, make sure to prepare your house and yard before you bring them home. Doggy proofing your house and yard is essential to your new dog’s safety. There is good information on the ASPCA web site concerning household items and plants that are poisonous to our pets. Review this list and remove anything that could be problematic prior to bringing your new tail- wagging critter home. High quality, age appropriate food, water, bowls, and a dog crate should also be set up and ready to go before picking up your new friend.
Now it’s time to bring your new best friend home. Bring a size appropriate collar and leash as well as an ID tag with you. The ID tag should have your pet’s name (if you know what it is going to be) and at least your phone number on it. As soon as you have possession of your new furry friend, let the training begin. Positive reinforcement training such as “Learn to Earn” and the “Nothing and Life is Free” training methods lead to less anxious/fearful and more well-adjusted dogs. These methods are not just for puppies, but adult dogs as well.
After bringing your new friend home, you should also schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. It is very important that the new canine in your life be examined, up to date on vaccinations, heartworm tested, placed on heartworm and flea prevention, and intestinal parasite free. You should also consider microchipping your pet for further identification. If your new furry friend is not already spayed or neutered, talk to your veterinarian about the procedure and schedule it based on their recommendations.
Veterinary care is very important in keeping a happy and healthy pet and a responsibility you must undertake for the life of your pet. For example, your dog may need more veterinary care as they age or they may develop a disease that requires more veterinary visits and hands on care at home. Eventually, a disease may decrease your pet’s quality of life to the point that you may have to end their suffering. This is a responsibility that none of us like to think about. Prolonging a dog’s suffering, because we fear the pain of losing a beloved friend is not responsible dog ownership.
Basic dog care should also be on your list of responsibilities. Basic dog care includes nail trimming, ear cleaning, and bathing regularly. It also includes providing appropriate shelter from the heat and the cold as well as choosing a boarding facility or pet sitter when needed.
Keeping your dog exercised and fit is also very important. This should be the fun part. Taking your dog for walks, playing with the Frisbee in the yard, taking your dog to the dog park, and setting up doggy play dates with friends are all great ideas that will keep your canine companion fit and healthy.
They also may help keep us a litter trimmer around the middle as well. Get to know what your dog’s favorite activity is and, as long as it is safe and appropriate, get out there and do it with them. Providing appropriate toys in your house is also part of your responsibility. If these toys are not provided, your dog may get bored and decide that your antique wooden table looks like an excellent chew toy. Destruction of property is not conducive to a healthy relationship with your dog.
Being a responsible dog owner will help you have years of happiness with your canine companion. Dogs can be your best friend, are there for you when you are feeling down, and are loyal to a fault. They want to love you! Earn their loyalty and love by being a responsible dog owner.
VACCINE AWARENESS | AUGUST 2015
August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Most of us know that vaccinations against life threatening diseases has helped keep the human population healthier since 1796 when Edward Jenner created the first vaccine against smallpox. Vaccines have done the same for our pets as well.
Long gone are the days when it was common for the family pet to die of rabies. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), before 1960, most cases of Rabies were in domestic animals (cats, dogs, cows, etc.)
The movie “Old Yeller”, which tells the story of a heroic dog who contracted rabies, was released in 1957. It was a very popular, heart wrenching, cry your eyes out sort of movie, because there has never been a cure for rabies and (spoiler alert) Old Yeller dies at the end. Since the 1960’s, all dogs and cats by law must be vaccinated for rabies. All ferrets, valuable livestock, horses traveling interstate, and livestock in petting zoos, at fairs, etc. should be vaccinated against rabies.
Due to the wide spread vaccination of domestic animals, greater than 90% of all rabies cases reported to the CDC are wild animals. This also means that human deaths due to rabies has decreased from over 100 at the turn of the century to one or two per year in the 1990’s.
There are other vaccinations besides rabies that are very important to the dog and cat. Most of the viruses and bacteria we vaccinate Fido and Fluffy for are usually very contagious, life threatening to the dog or cat population, or life threatening to humans. The American Animal Hospital Association’s (AAHA) Canine Task Force and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), have devised vaccine guides for veterinarians which helps determine which vaccinations are right for your dog or cat.
Below are the links to these web sites for more information.
1. AAFP’s vaccine guidelines - http://jfm.sagepub.com/content/15/9/785.full.pdf+html
2. AAHA’s vaccine guidelines - https://www.aaha.org/public_documents/professional/guidelines/caninevaccineguidelines.pdf
3. Another good source for information concerning dog and cat vaccines is www.veterinarypartner.com.
You can go to this link for more vaccine facts - http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=524.
Whether Fido or Fluffy are not up to date on their vaccinations, or have never been vaccinated, your local veterinary office is there to help. Schedule an appointment for your furry family member, and the veterinarian and their team will advise you on what your pet needs in order to stay healthy.
Their recommendations will indirectly help keep the human members of your family healthier as well!
TAPEWORMS | JULY 2015
Tapeworms are called tapeworms because the entire worm looks like a long piece of masking tape. When most people say they are seeing tapeworms, they are actually only seeing small segments of the worm called proglottids. These pieces can look like a moving grain of rice when they are fresh but look more like sesame seeds when they are dry. The proglottids are essentially packets of eggs.
There are two types of tapeworms that can infect dogs and cats: Diplidium caninum and Taenia species. Diplidium caninum is the more common of the two tape worms and is contracted by the dog or cat after eating fleas. Flea larva that live on the ground eat tapeworm eggs after the proglottids have broken open. While the flea larva are developing into adult fleas, the tapeworm becomes ready to infect a dog or cat. The dog or cat with fleas then eats the fleas laced with tapeworm eggs. The dog’s or cat’s digestive system disintegrates the flea, and the tapeworm finds a new home in the gut of the dog or cat. These tapeworms can grow up to about 6 inches long. However, most of this six inches are the segments that contain tapeworm eggs waiting their turn to be shed into the environment.
The Taenia species have a similar life cycle to Diplidium caninum. Their journey also starts in a dog’s or cat’s digestive tract where proglottid packets filled with eggs wiggle their way out. The segments fall on the ground where another animal like a deer, rat, mouse, sheep, or rabbit accidently ingest the eggs. The eggs hatch into a tapeworm larvae which finds their way into their blood stream. After hitching a ride on the blood stream express, the larvae tunnel through the liver. From the liver, the larvae find their way into the animal’s abdominal cavity and form a cystic structure. When the animal carrying these encysted tapeworm larvae dies and is then eaten by a dog or cat, these cystic structures are digested along with the other animal parts. The tapeworm larvae then finds a cozy spot inside the intestines of the dog or cat. Here, the tapeworm starts its life cycle again. Some types of Taenia species can grow up to 5 feet long.
Both Diplidium caninum and the Taenia species can be eradicated using a drug called praziquantel. This drug can be given orally, injected under the skin (dogs), and applied topically (cats). If your cat or dog has been infected with Diplidium caninum, they will also need to be treated for fleas and may need to be treated for their tapeworms a second time while you are trying to get rid of the fleas.
The good news for humans: humans can only get these types of tape worms if they decide to snack on an infected flea or eat an undercooked piece of meat. Humans cannot get tapeworms from their dog or cat.
If you think your pet has tapeworms, bring the stool sample with the segments in it to your veterinarian. This will also allow your veterinarian to make sure you are not mistaking maggots for tapeworms, a very easy error for pet owners to make. Your veterinarian will also use a microscope to look at the stool and determine if there are any other intestinal parasite eggs present. Tapeworm eggs can be difficult to find in your pet’s stool as one of the proglottids would have to rupture allowing the eggs to leak out into the stool in order to find them. After determining what types of intestinal parasites your pet has, your veterinarian will prescribe a dewormer to kill those disgusting tape-like worms. After your pet has been medicated, do not be alarmed if a large, wriggling piece of tape exits your pet via your dog’s or cat’s feces. If you have any questions, call your veterinary office or go to veterinarypartner.com for more information.
ADOPT-A-CAT MONTH | JUNE 2015
June is National Adopt-A-Cat month. If you have ever owned a cat, you know these small, purring creatures make great pets. For those of you that are thinking about cat ownership but need a little push, here are some reasons that a cat may be a great addition to your home.
1. Most cats are easy to please, and are pretty happy to watch the birds out your window, or take a nap on the couch with you.
2. Cats do not require much space and are great for people living in condos and apartments.
3. Cats are very clean animals and spend much of their waking hours grooming. (One of my cats just spent 15 minutes “detailing” his claws while I wrote this!)
4. Most cats are easily litterbox trained. If you have the time and a little patience, you can even train a cat to use the toilet.
^ Ferrous was adopted by Dr. Kerr in March.
5. Cats are natural born hunters and will stalk (and eventually kill once they’ve played with it for a little while) the occasional mouse or spider that finds its way into your home.
6. Cats are actually social creatures and get along well with other animals... dogs included!
7. Cats are very smart and can even be trained to do tricks including sit, stay, roll over, and fetch.
8. Cats make great company. They can cheer you up after a hard day and keep you warm on a cold winter’s night.
9. It has been scientifically proven that purring cats can improve your health.
10. Best of all, cats are very entertaining. All you need is a laser pointer and a cat and you have instant America’s Funniest Home Video footage and the ability to start your own YouTube channel!
There are many furry felines looking for forever homes. If you are looking to add a new feline friend to your family, look no further than your local veterinarian’s office. At Concord Chapel, we have many kittens and sometimes even adult cats for adoption throughout the spring, summer, and fall months. There are also several other rescue groups in the Columbus area that have many cats and kittens ready to go to new homes. Listed below are just a few of the feline rescue groups in the Columbus area.
Capital Area Humane Society
Cozy Cat Cottage
Pets Without Parents Columbus, Ohio
If you are thinking about adoption, but are still not sure or you like cats and cannot have one at the moment, consider volunteering for a local rescue group. Making a donation to one of these groups is another way you can help the feline population. Donations provide health care, vaccines, and housing for many unfortunate cats. Donations also help make cat adoption more economical for folks in need.
Good luck to all of you looking for that new feline family member. There is a perfect cat out there just waiting for you to find them!
LUMPS, BUMPS AND BULGES | MAY2015
Lumps, Bumps, and Bulges, Oh My!
Recently you were petting your dog or cat and noticed an unusual lump under the skin. You are pretty sure you have never felt this particular bump before, but just to be sure, you check with the rest of your human family members to make sure this bump is indeed new. All of the humans in the family take turns feeling the lump and everyone confirms that this lump has never been felt before.
Your pet is loving all the attention and is curious why everyone keeps petting them in the same spot. Now that you have found this new protuberance, what do you do? The first step is to take your pet to your veterinarian.
Your vet will also feel the lump, check for more, and note the size and location of it. Based on those findings, she will then give you a recommendation. Most of the time there are only three choices:
1. Watch the mass for growth and change, and if these things are noted, have the mass reevaluated.
2. Aspirate the mass. This means that a needle will be stuck in the mass, and cells will be removed from it and placed on a microscope slide. Your veterinarian may look at the slide herself, recommend sending the slide to a pathologist, or both. Depending on the results of the aspirate, the veterinarian will either recommend removing the mass or monitoring it. Surprisingly, both dogs and cats do very well with aspiration and typically do not need pain medication or sedation during or after the procedure.
3. Remove the mass or biopsy (take a piece of the mass), and submit it to a pathologist to determine what type of mass it is. This method gives the best information about the type of mass such as what type of tumor it is, whether it is benign or malignant, if it will come back, or if it will spread. This method is also the most invasive and may require anesthesia, sedation, and postoperative pain medication.
In some cases your veterinarian may also recommend x-rays of the chest, ultrasounds of the abdomen, blood work, or even bacterial cultures of the lump depending on what they are seeing and feeling. Lumps, bumps, and bulges you find on your pet can be caused by many things including cysts, abscesses, benign wart-like masses, skin tags, callouses, and sometimes cancerous growths. That is why it is always important to let your veterinarian exam your pet and the lump before thinking the worst and jumping on the cancer band wagon. Your veterinarian and their team are an excellent source of information.
So if you find a lump while scratching Fluffy, give your veterinary office a call.
PET FIRST AID KITS | APRIL 2015
April is American Red Cross National Pet First Aid Awareness Month. As pet owners, we know that sometimes accidents happen. It is always a good idea to be prepared for those accidents. Below is a list of items you should have in your home pet first aid kit. This list was provided by the Humane Society web site http://www.humanesociety.org/. If you do not want to create a first aid kit from scratch, you can purchase kits online. Remember, if you are unsure if your pet needs medical attention or if you need to use your first aid kit, call your veterinarian for help. Pet-specific supplies
Pet first-aid book
Phone numbers: your veterinarian, the nearest emergency-veterinary clinic (along with directions!) and a poison-control center or
hotline (such as the ASPCA poison-control center, which can be reached at 1-800-426-4435)
Paperwork for your pet (in a waterproof container or bag): proof of rabies-vaccination status, copies of other important medical
records and a current photo of your pet (in case he gets lost)
Self-cling bandage (bandage that stretches and sticks to itself but not to fur—available at pet stores and from pet-supply catalogs)
Muzzle or strips of cloth to prevent biting (don't use this if your pet is vomiting, choking, coughing or otherwise having
Basic first-aid supplies
Absorbent gauze pads
Antiseptic wipes, lotion, powder or spray
Blanket (a foil emergency blanket)
Cotton balls or swabs
Hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting—do this only when directed by a veterinarian or a poison-control expert)
Non-latex disposable gloves
Petroleum jelly (to lubricate the thermometer)
Rectal thermometer (your pet's temperature should not rise above 103°F or fall below 100°F)
Scissors (with blunt ends)
Sterile non-stick gauze pads for bandages
Sterile saline solution (sold at pharmacies)
A pillowcase to confine your cat for treatment
A pet carrier
Other useful items
Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®), if approved by a veterinarian for allergic reactions. A veterinarian must tell you the correct
dosage for your pet's size.
Expired credit card or sample credit card (from direct-mail credit-card offers) to scrape away insect stingers
Glucose paste or corn syrup (for diabetic dogs or those with low blood sugar)
Non-prescription antibiotic ointment
Penlight or flashlight
Plastic eyedropper or syringe
Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) to clean the thermometer
Splints and tongue depressors
Styptic powder or pencil (sold at veterinary hospitals, pet-supply stores, and your local pharmacy)
Temporary identification tag (to put your local contact information on your pet's collar when you travel)
ANTIFREEZE | MARCH 2015
Antifreeze is found in car and truck engines, brake fluid, HVAC systems, some paints and cosmetics, and novelty snow globes. The purpose of antifreeze is to keep these items from overheating in the summer and freezing in the winter. The chemical in antifreeze that is responsible for these properties is called ethylene glycol. This chemical is colorless, odorless, and has a sweet taste to it.
The sweet taste is what attracts animals and entices them to drink it. Unfortunately, a very small amount of this liquid can readily poison a dog or a cat. One teaspoon of ethylene glycol can poison the average cat and four teaspoons can poison a ten pound dog. After consuming the liquid, both dogs and cats quickly go into irreversible kidney failure.
There are three stages to ethylene glycol poisoning in dog and cats: Stage one: 30 minutes to 12 hours – The symptoms are similar to alcohol poisoning and the animal will act drunk. They may drool, vomit, or seizure and they may drink a lot more and Stage two: 12 to 24 hours post ingestion – In this stage the symptoms in stage one seem to Stage three: Cats 12 hours; Dogs 36 to 24 hours post ingestion – Both cats and dog will show symptoms of severe kidney failure during this stage which include vomiting, inappetence, lethargy, drooling, halitosis, depression, coma, and seizures. Once antifreeze is ingested, there is very little time to administer medical treatment before the poison’s effects are irreversible.
There is an antidote for antifreeze called fomepizole or 4-MP but it needs to be given within 8 to 12 hours of ingestion to be effective in dogs and within 3 hours of ingestion to be effective in cats. Cats or dogs that have ingested antifreeze should be taken to a veterinarian immediately. The pet will be made to vomit to prevent further digestion of the poison.
Then they will be given activated charcoal which will help absorb any residual poison, also preventing further digestion. Blood work and a urinalysis will be run to determine if the kidneys are affected and if there are any electrolyte abnormalities. An intravenous catheter will be placed, fluids started, and the antidote
administered. If 4-MP is not available, ethanol (100 proof vodka) can be used intravenously in an attempt to prevent irreversible kidney failure.
FELINE RESORPTIVE LESIONS | KITTY CAVITIES
| FEBRUARY 2015
Most adults have experienced a cavity in one of their teeth at one time or another. Our feline and canine friends also suffer from similar types of tooth cavities called resorptive lesions. These lesions happen far more often in cats than they do in dogs. In fact, approximately 60% of cats over the age of 6 have at least one of these cavities. Kitty cavities typically begin at the gum line and then start to eat away other parts of the tooth. These lesions are very painful to the cat, and most cats react when these lesions are touched. Why these lesions occur is a mystery and, although they have been studied for years, a specific cause has yet to be found. Proposed theories include autoimmune disease, genetics, calcium regulation disorders, and viruses.
Most of the time cat owners do not know that their furry feline friend is suffering from kitty cavities until their veterinarian shows them the lesion. Even though these lesions are painful, most cats do not show that they are painful. Some cats may stop chewing their food and just swallow it whole. Other cats may salivate or have bloody saliva. Any of these symptoms would be difficult for most owners to pick up on. Therefore, it is not unusual for cat owners to be surprised when their veterinarian lifts their cat’s lip to show them red angry tooth lesions. There are five phases of tooth resorption starting with stage one where there is just a defect in the smooth surface of the tooth (enamel). In stage two, the enamel and dentin (hard inner part of the tooth) are both affected followed by stage three, which progresses into the nerve of the tooth. By the time a tooth is stage four, most of the tooth is destroyed, including the tooth roots and the crown. In stage five, all that is left of the tooth is a gum covered bump.
The treatment of kitty cavities starts with taking dental x-rays of all the teeth in the cat’s mouth and identifying the diseased teeth, as many times only the roots of the teeth, hidden by bone and gums, are affected. After the unhealthy teeth are noted, they are usually removed. Even if the defect in the tooth is filled, the resorptive lesions are progressive and painful, leading to a tooth that will most likely need to be removed some time later.
X-ray image of resorptive lesions. All three teeth are affected but the middletooth is more normal.
This February, in observane of Pet Dental Health Month, lift your pet's lip and take a look at their teeth and gums. If your cat has teeth like any of the ones described above, take them to your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will help you make oral health decisions for your cat.
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR PET | JANUARY 2015
If you have a new furry family member, or are thinking about getting one, you are going to have to train that new furry friend. Here are some tips that will help make that training experience a little less frustrating.
1. Keep your new pet nearby or confined to a small space. Tether your new puppy or dog to you or next to you from the moment you get them until they are house trained and learn the rules of your house. This will help prevent undesirable behaviors, allows you to stop undesirable behaviors while they are occurring, and gives you, the owner, control of the situation. Kittens should be kept in a room or a penuntil they know the rules and their environment.
2. Focus on rewarding desirable behaviors and removing rewards for undesirable behaviors. If your new puppy is chewing on something that is inappropriate, remove that object (or remove the puppy) and replace it with something you want them to chew on. Then tell them how good they are or treat them for the good behavior of chewing on the appropriate object.
3. Get your new family member on a schedule. Schedules provide structure and make it easier for your pet to learn the rules.
4. Start right away with training compliance commands (sit, stay, down, etc.). Most puppies want to please their people and want to learn the rules. Giving treats and verbal encouragement also helps. Make sure to deliver the treat directly to your dog’s mouth so you are not accidentally training it to jump. Believe it or not, this also works very well for cats too!
5. Timing is everything. When giving your new furry friend treats and encouragement, it should be given within 5 seconds of performing the good behavior; otherwise, they will not know why they are getting positive reinforcement. For example, your new Labrador puppy urinates outside which is incredibly awesome, because you do not have to cleanup another mess on the rug. It’s cold outside, so you did not go out with your new friend. Because you were not standing right next to her when she went, you give her a treat when she gets back to the door. In this example, you just rewarded your dog for coming back to the door which is definitely a good thing, but you did not reward her for urinating outside.
6. Force or “smacking” your pet does not work but distraction does. Punishing wrong behavior in an aggressive way only creates fear and possibly an aggressive dog. And again, timing is everything. Your timing has to be perfect to deter the undesirable behavior when using force. Instead, use a loud noise or a clap to get their attention when you catch them in the act.
These tips should give you a good start on training your new furry friend but, if you need more specific instruction on training, puppy classes are a good idea. At Concord Chapel, Cindy Luhring, RVT offers puppy classes on Wednesday nights year round. Cindy also offers private behavior consultation appointments through Concord Chapel Animal Hospital. If you have an older dog, taking them to obedience classes can also be helpful to you and your new pooch. Your veterinarian and people like Cindy who have training in animal behavior are also a good resource if you have a training issue that cannot be addressed through regular puppy or obedience classes. In the long run,training your pet the right way by using the tips listed above will save you time and money, and will make pet ownership much more enjoyable for you and your furry family member.
Concord Chapel Animal Hospital
Monday 8:00AM - 9:00PM
Tuesday 8:00AM - 7:00PM
Wednesday 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Thursday 8:00AM - 7:00PM
Friday 7:30AM - 7:30PM
Saturday 8:00AM - 3:00PM
Closed on Sunday