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Friday, December 20, 2013

Looking for that "Perfect" gift?

Christmas Pets
   It’s that time of  year again! When everyone tries to think of the PERFECT gift for a loved one, young or old.  Many families may consider purchasing a new pet (puppy or kitten) as a gift, but there are several things to consider before making this type of commitment.
            First, if the pet is a kitten or puppy, it is likely that this will become a member of the family for many years to come.  On average, large breed dogs can live 12-13 years old and smaller breed dogs can live to be 15-16 years old.  A cat’s lifespan can average between 15-16 years old, but some do live to be 20!  Regardless, it is a lifetime commitment for that individual pet, and with that comes certain responsibilities: providing adequate shelter, food, and water, and appropriate health maintenance. Yearly wellness examinations are recommended for each pet, regardless of age.  Once the pet reaches senior age (dogs >7 years old, cats >8-9 years old), yearly wellness bloodwork is recommended to monitor overall organ function.  Even if no problems are noted at home, yearly wellness bloodwork can aid the veterinarian in identifying a disease in the early stages BEFORE it is evident to the owner. 
            Second, not every breed is meant for every person.  Each breed has its own list of specific diseases or anatomical abnormalities that they may br predisposed to.  Becoming an owner of a “problem-proned” breed can be a time commitment and a financial commitment.  Many of the purebred organizations, as well as the AKC (American Kennel Club) have breed specific websites available with important information regarding the breed.  Always research a breed of dog or cat before purchasing or adopting to ensure that it will be a suitable fit for the family.  There are also numerous purebred dogs and cats that find their way to shelters every year, so make sure to visit the local shelter or breed rescue organizations when searching for a pet as well.
            Lastly, Christmas can be a very stressful time for the introduction of a new puppy or kitten.  There are often numerous visitors stopping by, the family schedule is not what it typically may be, and there are plenty of opportunities for a new pet to consume something it shouldn’t (whether it be a toxic food or a new toy).  The recommendation is generally to wait until after the holidays when it is easier to get into a new “routine” with the pet, especially if house-training a new puppy.  Less visitors in the house mean less stress on the pet and less opportunity for them to sneak a treat that they should not have.  It may also decrease the pet’s exposure to an illness that could be brought into their new surroundings by a visitor (pet or human). 
            If you have any questions regarding a new pet or a specific breed, please feel free to contact your family veterinarian. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Pet Supply Drive - to help cats and dogs awaiting their forever homes!

We will be collecting donations until December 30th for Ruff World and Cats Can. These rescues depend on the support of our community to be able to give the best possible care to the dogs and cats awaiting homes, and we hope you’ll partner with us in raising money & collecting supplies. Items can be dropped off Monday through Saturday in our office. We will match any monetary donations up to $500, to be split between Ruff World and Cats Can.

Here is Ruff World's wish list: donations toward their account at STAH, Dog & puppy food- they don't turn any food away but prefer pedigree type food (no food coloring) called bites and bones in generic form, Flea & tick meds, blankets, dog beds, pillows, paper towels, are always welcome.

Cats Can's wish list includes: Friskies canned food, bleach, Purina one chicken & rice, laundry detergent-(H.E. formula), Purina one kitten formula, gently used towels and paper towels. Thank you!!