FAQs

Why does my pet need vaccines?

Vaccines are an important part of your pet’s health care. Vaccines keep your pet healthy and prevent serious diseases. We will make sure your pet avoids these serious diseases through a vaccination schedule based on your pet’s lifestyle, health, exposure to other animals in kennels and urban dog parks, your pet’s risk of preventable diseases and other individual circumstances.

How often does my pet need a Rabies vaccination?

The first Rabies shot your pet receives is good for 1 year. Subsequent canine Rabies vaccinations immunize your pet for 1 – 3 years depending upon the vaccine your dog receives. [Most all states require dogs to have a current rabies vaccination](https://www.avma.org/advocacy/state-local-issues/administration-rabies-vaccination-state-laws). For cats, we use feline-exclusive rabies vaccines which are good for 1 year.

How long should my pet be on heartworm prevention medication?

Heartworm disease is a serious disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes and can be fatal if left untreated. Our veterinarians recommend that all dogs be given year-round heartworm prevention, regardless of their lifestyle.

Do I need to brush my pet’s teeth at home?

Regular at-home dental care is recommended to help maintain your pet’s oral and overall health. Home dental care for your pet should start early, even before their adult teeth come in. Pet owners should brush their pet’s teeth frequently, as tooth brushing is the best method of preventing plaque, calculus, and bacterial build-up. There are also additional options for at-home dental care such as dental formulated foods, water additives, and dental treats.

Do you take pet insurance? How does pet insurance work? Do you recommend a specific insurance carrier?

Pet insurance has been extremely beneficial to many of our clients and there are many different companies to choose from. While we do not specifically recommend one over another, we do recommend comparing multiple policies before deciding. Important things to consider are deductibles, percentage of claim paid, whether or not the claim is based on the actual treatment or a predetermined value, and what happens with pre-existing conditions or breed specific issues.

Why does my pet need a dental cleaning and how often should this be done?

Yearly professional pet dental exams, tooth scaling, and polishing are necessary to maintain healthy teeth and gums for your pet. Oral diseases can have a negative impact on your pet’s overall health; this is why it’s important that your pet receives a dental exam with our veterinarians on a regular basis.

Does the fecal sample test for heartworms?

No. Heartworm disease is a blood-borne disease that is transmitted through mosquitoes. A routine blood test will confirm whether or not your dog has heartworm disease.

What should I do if my pet gets sprayed by a skunk?

Mix 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of strong liquid soap (dishwashing detergent) together in an open bucket or bowl. Mixture will fizz. Wet pet thoroughly and massage solution into coat. Keep out of eyes, nose and mouth. If necessary to use on face, use a washcloth or sponge CAREFULLY. Leave mixture on for 10 minutes, then rinse the coat thoroughly.

Why does my dog need a blood test before purchasing heartworm prevention?

Dogs can become extremely sick if placed on heartworm prevention while they have a severe heartworm disease. Even if they have been on heartworm prevention year round, there is always the possibility that the product may have failed for various reasons (your pet spit out the pill, did not absorb the pill appropriately, topical medicine was not applied properly, forgot to administer medication on time, etc.) and the earlier we can treat your pet for heartworm disease, the better the prognosis. Some companies will guarantee their product providing that you use the heartworm prevention year round and are performing a yearly heartworm test.

Why does my dog need a blood test before purchasing heartworm prevention?

Dogs can become extremely sick if placed on heartworm prevention while they have a severe heartworm disease. Even if they have been on heartworm prevention year round, there is always the possibility that the product may have failed for various reasons (your pet spit out the pill, did not absorb the pill appropriately, topical medicine was not applied properly, forgot to administer medication on time, etc.) and the earlier we can treat your pet for heartworm disease, the better the prognosis. Some companies will guarantee their product providing that you use the heartworm prevention year round and are performing a yearly heartworm test.

When can my puppy eat adult food?

It is strongly recommended that puppies eat puppy-specific food until 1 year of age. Puppy foods should be labeled for puppies only and not multiple life stages. If you have any questions about which type of food is appropriate for your puppy, please consult your veterinarian.

When can I take my puppy to public places, like dog parks?

It is very important that puppies be kept restricted from public areas and other dogs until they are fully vaccinated. Puppies do not have a fully functioning immune system and their vaccines are not completely effective until around four-five months old. There are numerous serious infectious diseases that your puppy can be exposed to at dog parks and in other public areas. If you have questions about specific situations, consult with your veterinarian.

At what age should I have my pet spayed or neutered?

We recommend waiting until your pet is at least 4-6 months of age before seeking a spay or neuter procedure. Contact us to discuss specific details based on species, breed, and size. Spaying/neutering leads to health and behavior benefits for your pet, and of course helps prevent overpopulation.

Why does my pet need an annual physical exam–especially if no vaccines are due?

Annual or Wellness exams are much more important than just receiving vaccines. During an annual exam, your pet will have all of its body systems thoroughly checked for any potential current or arising issues. There may be subtle changes to your pet’s health that your veterinarian will be able to discover during an exam well before your pet shows any symptoms. Your pet’s wellness exam is also a great time to discuss any questions you have about your pet’s age or nutritional status with your veterinarian.

How do I get my pet’s prescription medications?

Our in-house pharmacy has a selection of prescription medications and therapeutic diets for your family pet. Our staff members can help you select the best medication, determine the proper dosage, and provide information on side effects or interactions. Contact us immediately if your pet experiences an adverse reaction, or if you have any questions or concerns regarding a prescription medication.

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