Q: How do I know if my pet is overweight, and why does it matter?

A: When your dog is standing up, you should see the abdomen or belly slope upwards.  Your pet’s ribs shouldn’t be visible; but you want to be able to feel them with gentle pressure.

A cat tends to store fat at the belly.  You don’t want to feel a ball of fat larger than a lemon in this area.  You should also be able to feel the ribs with gentle pressure.

If your pet is overweight, it can lead to many serious medical conditions just like in people.  Diabetes, joint problems, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease and others can all be triggered by obesity.  Being overweight can also be a sign of a hormone imbalance such as low thyroid.

Q: What should I do if I can’t get my dog to eat dog food?

A: Some dogs can become finicky over time, especially small dogs. If your canine won’t eat dog food, you can try adding dilute chicken broth, small pieces of chicken, pet food dressing, or canned food to the kibble

Q: Why is people food bad for my pet?

A: People food is often not nutritionally balanced for the needs of your pet. People food is also often rich and high in fat. This can lead to health problems such as Pancreatitis, Liver Disease, Irritable Bowl Disease, and others.

Q: Why is oral health so important?

A: Oral and dental disease have been strongly linked to many serious diseases in people and the same is true for dogs and cats. Bacteria trapped in the recesses between gums and teeth can erode ligaments that hold the tooth in place. More importantly, they can gain access to the bloodstream, where they deposit on heart valves and kidney tubules, causing serious damage. Cleaning your pet’s teeth is far more than a cosmetic issue

Q: What vaccines are recommended?

A: Vaccination protocols are tailored to meet the specific needs of each patient. These needs may vary depending on such factors as lifestyle, environment, age and ongoing research among veterinary specialists. You may find that some of the older vaccines are needed less often, and newer ones are being developed as the risks change.

Q: How often should my pet be examined by a veterinarian?

A: We typically recommend yearly examinations for all pets. Like people, the older an animal gets, the higher the probability of health problems. For this reason, a 6-month interval may be advised to avoid complications from untreated conditions. We often screen for some of the common diseases associated with old age when a pet is over 6 or 7 years old. Discuss signs of these diseases with us when your pet is middle aged.

Q: When will my puppy calm down?

A: Your puppy’s behavior, especially if he seems hyperactive, is the product of breed, age, environment, and individual personality. Some dog breeds are noted for their calmness and others for their high energy. Be sure to investigate prior to acquiring your puppy. Most healthy puppies are very active unless they are asleep. Social maturity may come with physical maturity, but some breeds (especially sporting and larger dogs) may appear to be adults and behave like puppies for a long time after. Neutering your pet will not “calm him down”, but maturity will.