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January is National Train Your Dog Month

Train Dogs

American Kennel Club announced that “January is National Train Your Dog Month and there's no better way to celebrate the bond between you and your canine companion than by introducing some fun into your daily routine. Tricks training is a great way to do that. National Train Your Dog Month

National Train Your Dog Month was established six years ago by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, to remind new owners that, like children, dogs need socialization and schooling to become well-behaved companions.

Tricks are easy to teach and they both build upon and reinforce skills you and your dog have mastered—or are still working on—in basic obedience work. There are also good exercises, stretching and working muscles that are not used in day-to-day activities like walking and running.Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT)In 2010 the Association of Professional Dog Trainers began the National Train Your Dog Month campaign. The APDT thought it was long overdue to dedicate a month to bringing awareness to the importance of socialization and training, and most of all, to inform the public that training your dog can be easy and fun! We selected January as the perfect month because so many dogs and puppies are adopted or purchased from breeders and brought home during the winter holidays. The desire is to help these new pet parents start off the new year right with their newest family member.

The event is designed to promote the importance and benefits of training dogs to become happy and healthy companions. Too many dogs are turned into animal shelters each year for behavior and training issues that could be easily solved with proper socialization and positive, gentle, science-based methods of training. Moreover, we want the public to know that training your dog is not just beneficial, it's FUN!

The APDT is a professional educational organization of trainers who are committed to becoming better trainers through using positive, dog friendly methods based on sound scientific principles. With over 6,000 members worldwide, the APDT provides professional dog trainers with a respected and concerted voice. The APDT promotes caring relationships between dogs and people and works to increase public awareness of dog-friendly training techniques. For more information, visit the Web site at apdt.com.

Locate a Dog Trainer

If you want to join in for dog training in January or during the year, either check with your local veterinarian or the APDT “Locate a Trainer” service.

Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.

Most Popular Dog Breeds in the U.S.

The American Kennel Club put out their Most Popular Dog Breeds List in America.

Here are the top ten breeds:

#1 Retrievers (Labrador)

The sturdy, well-balanced Labrador Retriever can, depending on the sex, stand from 21.5 to 24.5 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 55 to 80 pounds. The dense, hard coat comes in yellow, black, and a luscious chocolate. The head is wide, the eyes glimmer with kindliness, and the thick, tapering “otter tail” seems to be forever signaling the breed’s innate eagerness. Labs are famously friendly. They are companionable housemates who bond with the whole family, and they socialize well with neighbor dogs and humans alike. But don’t mistake his easygoing personality for low energy: The Lab is an enthusiastic athlete that requires lots of exercise, like swimming and marathon games of fetch, to keep physically and mentally fit.

#2 German Shepherd DogsGerman Shepherd Dogs can stand as high as 26 inches at the shoulder and, when viewed in outline, presents a picture of smooth, graceful curves rather than angles. The natural gait is a free-and-easy trot, but they can turn it up a notch or two and reach great speeds. There are many reasons why German Shepherds stand in the front rank of canine royalty, but experts say their defining attribute is character: loyalty, courage, confidence, the ability to learn commands for many tasks, and the willingness to put their life on the line in defense of loved ones. German Shepherds will be gentle family pets and steadfast guardians, but, the breed standard says, there’s a “certain aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships.

#3 Retrievers (Golden)The Golden Retriever is a sturdy, muscular dog of medium size, famous for the dense, lustrous coat of gold that gives the breed its name. The broad head, with its friendly and intelligent eyes, short ears, and straight muzzle, is a breed hallmark. In motion, Goldens move with a smooth, powerful gait, and the feathery tail is carried, as breed fanciers say, with a “merry action.” The most complete records of the development of the Golden Retriever are included in the record books that were kept from 1835 until about 1890 by the gamekeepers at the Guisachan (pronounced Gooeesicun) estate of Lord Tweedmouth at Inverness-Shire, Scotland. These records were released to public notice in Country Life in 1952, when Lord Tweedmouth’s great-nephew, the sixth Earl of Ilchester, historian and sportsman, published material that had been left by his ancestor. They provided factual confirmation to the stories that had been handed down through generations. Goldens are outgoing, trustworthy, and eager-to-please family dogs, and relatively easy to train. They take a joyous and playful approach to life and maintain this puppyish behavior into adulthood. These energetic, powerful gundogs enjoy outdoor play. For a breed built to retrieve waterfowl for hours on end, swimming and fetching are natural pastimes.

#4 French BulldogsThe French Bulldog resembles a Bulldog in miniature, except for the large, erect “bat ears” that are the breed’s trademark feature. The head is large and square, with heavy wrinkles rolled above the extremely short nose. The body beneath the smooth, brilliant coat is compact and muscular. The bright, affectionate Frenchie is a charmer. Dogs of few words, Frenchies don’t bark much—but their alertness makes them excellent watchdogs. They happily adapt to life with singles, couples, or families, and do not require a lot of outdoor exercise. They get on well with other animals and enjoy making new friends of the human variety. It is no wonder that city folk from Paris to Peoria swear by this vastly amusing and companionable breed.

#5 BulldogsYou can’t mistake a Bulldog for any other breed. The loose skin of the head, furrowed brow, pushed-in nose, small ears, undershot jaw with hanging chops on either side, and the distinctive rolling gait all practically scream “I’m a Bulldog!” The coat, seen in a variety of colors and patterns, is short, smooth, and glossy. Bulldogs can weigh up to 50 pounds, but that won’t stop them from curling up in your lap, or at least trying to. But don’t mistake their easygoing ways for laziness—Bulldogs enjoy brisk walks and need regular moderate exercise, along with a careful diet, to stay trim. Summer afternoons are best spent in an air-conditioned room as a Bulldog’s short snout can cause labored breathing in hot and humid weather.

#6 BeaglesThere are two Beagle varieties: those standing under 13 inches at the shoulder, and those between 13 and 15 inches. Both varieties are sturdy, solid, and “big for their inches,” as dog folks say. They come in such pleasing colors as lemon, red and white, and tricolor. The Beagle’s fortune is in his adorable face, with its big brown or hazel eyes set off by long, houndy ears set low on a broad head. A breed described as “merry” by its fanciers, Beagles are loving and lovable, happy, and companionable—all qualities that make them excellent family dogs. No wonder that for years the Beagle has been the most popular hound dog among American pet owners. These are curious, clever, and energetic hounds who require plenty of playtime.

#7 PoodlesPoodles come in three size varieties: Standards should be more than 15 inches tall at the shoulder; Miniatures are 15 inches or under; Toys stand no more than 10 inches. All three varieties have the same build and proportions. At dog shows, Poodles are usually seen in the elaborate Continental Clip. Most pet owners prefer the simpler Sporting Clip, in which the coat is shorn to follow the outline of the squarely built, smoothly muscled body. Forget those old stereotypes of Poodles as sissy dogs. Poodles are eager, athletic, and wickedly smart “real dogs” of remarkable versatility. The Standard, with his greater size and strength, is the best all-around athlete of the family, but all Poodles can be trained with great success.

#8 RottweilersA male Rottweiler will stand anywhere from 24 to 27 muscular inches at the shoulder; females run a bit smaller and lighter. The glistening, short black coat with smart rust markings add to the picture of imposing strength. A thickly muscled hindquarters powers the Rottie’s effortless trotting gait. A well-bred and properly raised Rottie will be calm and confident, courageous but not unduly aggressive. The aloof demeanor these world-class guardians present to outsiders belies the playfulness, and downright silliness, that endear Rotties to their loved ones. (No one told the Rottie he’s not a toy breed, so he is liable plop onto your lap for a cuddle.) Early training and socialization will harness a Rottie’s territorial instincts in a positive way.

#9 Yorkshire TerriersThe Yorkshire Terrier is a compact, toy-size terrier of no more than seven pounds whose crowning glory is a floor-length, silky coat of steel blue and a rich golden tan. Don’t let the Yorkie’s daintiness fool you. Tenacious, feisty, brave, and sometimes bossy, the Yorkie exhibits all the traits of a true terrier. Often named the most popular dog breed in various American cities, Yorkies pack lots of big-town attitude into a small but self-important package. They are favorites of urbanites the world over. Yorkies are long-lived and hypoallergenic (the coat is more like human hair than animal fur), and they make fine little watchdogs. This is a true “personality breed,” providing years of laughs, love, and close companionship.

#10 Pointers (German Shorthaired)Male German Shorthaired Pointers stand between 23 and 25 inches at the shoulder and weigh anywhere from 55 to 70 pounds; females run smaller. The coat is solid liver (a reddish brown), or liver and white in distinctive patterns. The dark eyes shine with enthusiasm and friendliness. Built to work long days in the field or at the lake, GSPs are known for power, speed, agility, and endurance. “Noble” and “aristocratic” are words often used to describe the overall look. GSPs make happy, trainable pets who bond firmly to their family. They are always up for physical activities like running, swimming, organized dog sports—in fact, anything that will burn some of their boundless energy while spending outdoors time with a human buddy.

Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.

Does Your Pet Need Dental Care?

How do you know if you pet needs dental care? Did you know that “more than 80% of dogs over 3 years old have periodontal disease,” states Pets WebMD.

A professional dental cleaning removes not only the visible plaque and tartar on the teeth surfaces but also the bacteria under the gums. This eliminates potential sources of infection to the mouth and other organs and protects your pet from pain and tooth loss.

Why Dental Care?

“Plaque, which is made of saliva, sloughed mouth cells, food, and other things, forms on teeth just minutes after eating. If left untreated, the plaque builds up, leading to gum inflammation that can then cause tissue decay. The inflammation then progresses deep enough to destroy bone, which finally leads to tooth loss, the ultimate end of periodontal disease. Unfortunately, periodontal disease (also called gum disease), occurs five times as often in pets as it does in people. Yet, while gum disease is usually the biggest dental problem a dog faces, it's not the only one. Some dogs, especially larger breeds, are also prone to broken or fractured teeth,” reports Pets WebMD.

How Often?

Regular cleanings and exams for your dog depends on:

  • The dog's breed. (Smaller breeds have more dental problems that larger breeds.)
  • The dog's age.
  • The home care you provide. (Do you brush your dog's teeth? Offer them good-quality chew toys and treats?)

Signs

Here are some signs that your pet needs to have dental care:

  • Bad breath
  • Drooling
  • Pawing at mouth
  • Tartar build-up
  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Difficulty Chewing

If you notice any of these signs in your pet, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.

Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.

Holiday Safety Tips for Your Animals

The holiday excitement is in the air with the season upon us. Families love to include their pets with the many festivities and celebrations. We want you to remember your furry loved ones and keep them safe.

Safety Tips

Here are some safety tips for your animals over the holidays:

Care

  • Try to keep a normal routine for your pet’s exercise and feeding habits.
  • With your schedule getting busier, remember to take some time to give attention and affection to your pet.

Food

The American Veterinary Medical Association AVMA recommends to “keep people food away from pets. If you want to share holiday treats with your pets, make or buy treats formulated just for them. The following people foods are especially hazardous for pets:

  • Chocolate is an essential part of the holidays for many people, but it is toxic to dogs and cats. Although the toxicity can vary based on the type of chocolate, the size of your pet, and the amount they ate, it’s safer to consider all chocolate off limits for pets.
  • Other sweets and baked goods also should be kept out of reach. Not only are they often too rich for pets; an artificial sweetener often found in baked goods, candy and chewing gum, xylitol, has been linked to liver failure and death in dogs.
  • Turkey and turkey skin – sometimes even in small amounts – can cause a life-threatening condition in pets known as pancreatitis.
  • Table scraps – including gravy and meat fat –also should be kept away from pets. Many foods that are healthy for people are poisonous to pets, including onions, raisins and grapes. During the holidays, when our own diets tend toward extra-rich foods, table scraps can be especially fattening and hard for animals to digest and can cause pancreatitis.
  • Yeast dough can cause problems for pets, including painful gas and potentially dangerous bloating”.

Decorations

“Be Careful with Seasonal Plants and Decorations:

  • Oh, Christmas Tree: Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn't tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria, and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe.
  • Avoid Mistletoe & Holly: Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.
  • Tinsel-less Town: Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching "toy" that's easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It's best to brighten your boughs with something other than tinsel.
  • That Holiday Glow: Don't leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out!
  • Wired Up: Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws' reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet's mouth and digestive tract,” reports the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

Leaving the House

  • Don’t forget to unplug the decorations so pets will not be tempted to nibble on electrical cords.
  • Empty the trash so they will not eat something dangerous.

Happy holidays to you and your pets.

Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.

Top Toxic People Foods for Animals

With the holidays here, festive celebrations with food and drinks are in the air. While you are enjoying friends, family and good food, please keep in mind that certain foods are highly toxic to animals.

ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center experts have put together a handy list of the top toxic people foods to avoid feeding your pet. As always, if you suspect your pet has eaten any of the following foods, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Here is the list:

  • Alcohol - Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death. Under no circumstances should your pet be given any alcohol. If you suspect that your pet has ingested alcohol, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately.
  • Avocado - Avocado is primarily a problem for birds, rabbits, donkeys, horses, and ruminants including sheep and goats. The biggest concern is for cardiovascular damage and death in birds. Horses, donkeys and ruminants frequently get swollen, edematous head and neck.
  • Chocolate, Coffee and Caffeine - These products all contain substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee, and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Note that darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has the lowest level of methylxanthines, while baking chocolate contains the highest.
  • Citrus - The stems, leaves, peels, fruit and seeds of citrus plants contain varying amounts of citric acid, essential oils that can cause irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression if ingested in significant amounts. Small doses, such as eating the fruit, are not likely to present problems beyond minor stomach upset.
  • Coconut and Coconut Oil - When ingested in small amounts, coconut and coconut-based products are not likely to cause serious harm to your pet. The flesh and milk of fresh coconuts do contain oils that may cause stomach upset, loose stools or diarrhea. Because of this, we encourage you to use caution when offering your pets these foods. Coconut water is high in potassium and should not be given to your pet.
  • Grapes and Raisins - Although the toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure. Until more information is known about the toxic substance, it is best to avoid feeding grapes and raisins to dogs.
  • Macadamia Nuts - Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and can last approximately 12 to 48 hours.
  • Milk and Dairy - Because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other dairy-based products cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.
  • Nuts - Nuts, including almonds, pecans, and walnuts, contain high amounts of oils and fats. The fats can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and potentially pancreatitis in pets.
  • Onions, Garlic, Chives - These vegetables and herbs can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Although cats are more susceptible, dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed. Toxicity is normally diagnosed through history, clinical signs and microscopic confirmation of Heinz bodies.
  • Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones - Raw meat and raw eggs can contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli that can be harmful to pets and humans. Raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin), which can lead to skin and coat problems. Feeding your pet raw bones may seem like a natural and healthy option that might occur if your pet lived in the wild. However, this can be very dangerous for a domestic pet, who might choke on bones, or sustain a grave injury should the bone splinter and become lodged in or puncture your pet’s digestive tract.
  • Salt and Salty Snack Foods - Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Signs that your pet may have eaten too many salty foods include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death. As such, we encourage you to avoid feeding salt-heavy snacks like potato chips, pretzels, and salted popcorn to your pets. 
  • Xylitol - Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release in most species, which can lead to liver failure. The increase in insulin leads to hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels). Initial signs of toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. Signs can progress to seizures. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days.
  • Yeast Dough - Yeast dough can rise and cause gas to accumulate in your pet’s digestive system. This can be painful and can cause the stomach to bloat, and potentially twist, becoming a life-threatening emergency. The yeast produce ethanol as a by-product and a dog ingesting raw bread dough can become drunk (See alcohol).

Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.

Can I Travel with my Emotional Support Dog on a Plane?

The holidays are here. Road and plane travel increases significantly during the holidays. The holidays also increase people’s stress levels. Be prepared to see a little of furry friends on the road and in the air.

The presence of a dog is critical to some people with disabilities just to function daily. The emotional support provided by their pet allows them to deal with challenges. These pets are known as emotional support animals (ESAs).

Here is some valuable information about traveling with emotional support dogs:

Airline Travel

“Under the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) a service animal is any animal that is individually trained or able to provide assistance to a person with a disability; or any animal that assists persons with disabilities by providing emotional support. Documentation may be required of passengers needing to travel with an emotional support or psychiatric service animal” explains U.S. Department of Transportation.

Owners must have written proof from a licensed physician or mental health professional to qualify for this benefit.

Airline Guidelines

The U.S. Department of Transportation further explains the guidelines that airlines use to determine whether an animal is a service animal:

  • The credible verbal assurances of an individual with a disability using the animal;
  • Looking for physical indicators such as the presence of a harness or tags;
  • Requiring documentation for psychiatric support animals and emotional support animals; and
  • Observing the behavior of animals.
  • Emotional Support and Psychiatric Service Animals - Airlines can request specific documentation and/or 48-hours advanced notice for service animals that are emotional support animals and psychiatric service animals.

Housing

The Fair Housing Amendment Act of 1988 helps emotional support animal owners qualify for pet-free housing at no extra charge. No other entities such as motels, libraries, theaters or public areas must abide by these laws. In these areas, these pets are considered pets and have no additional rights.

Emotional Support Dog

An emotional support dog is a pet that provides comfort and relief to those with disabilities. They provide security and love which relieves at least one symptom of their owner’s disability. These animals are often used to help those with anxiety, mental or emotional conditions.

These animals are prescribed to owners who need emotional support and stability. These dogs do not perform tasks for their owners, but simply improve their quality of life through emotional connection and support. Since the dogs are not required to perform tasks, there is no specific training needed.

Vs Service Dogs

A service dog is categorized as medical equipment for their owners. They are trained specifically to perform certain tasks their owners cannot complete on their own. Some examples are seeing eye dogs that help their owners cross the street or dogs that help owners do chores around the house. Service dogs are permitted to go places most pets cannot go because their owners need their help.

Qualifications for Getting an Emotional Support Dog

You must legally qualify to do so. A psychologist, therapist or psychiatrist must write a prescription letter in the proper format. The letter must state the name of the patient, that they are under the care of the practitioner and the type of disability that exists. In addition, the letter must state how this disability negatively affects at least one activity in life. The practitioner must also clearly state they are prescribing an ESA as an essential part of mental health treatment. In order to be legal, this letter must be written on the practitioner’s letterhead and dated. The license number of the professional and the state in which it was issued is also required.

Disabilities that support getting an Emotional Support Dog are serious mental or emotional health conditions. You may qualify to obtain an ESA if you have one of the following conditions: depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, seasonal affective disorder and panic disorder. 

Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.

Do You Need to Board Your Animals Over the Holidays?

Lots of holiday travel this time of year. Sometimes it is not practical to travel with your four-legged family member? Do you need to make sure your precious animal is safe, happy and well-cared for while you are traveling? Make sure you find out these things before you make a reservation.

Here are some things to consider doing and/or asking before your trip:

Ask Your Vet

The first place to start is contact your local vet for boarding or to ask for a recommendation in case they don’t offer boarding as a service. You already trust your vet and they know your furry loved one.

Reviews

Best way to get a feel for the new place is to see what other people are saying about that Animal Care Center or Vet. Find reviews on your search engine browser. You’ll get a pretty good indication of the place through other people’s comments / opinions.

Make an Unannounced Visit Stop by unannounced to check out the place that you are considering.

  • See how responsive and friendly the staff are to you.
  • Witness the animals there or ask to get a tour.
  • How does it smell and feel?
  • Is it clean?
  • You know your animal better than anybody. Will he/she feel comfortable there?
  • Is there enough space in the kennel or boarding arrangement?
  • How do the indoor and outdoor play areas look?

Inspection Certificate Current

Your particular state has laws for an Animal Care Center or Vet that boards animals. Typically, there is an inspection certificate in plain view displayed. If you don’t see it, ask about the laws?

Require Current Vaccinations

Ask about the specific requirements of animals that are boarded there so your animal is protected.

Animal’s Food and Belongings Let’s make your family pet as comfortable as possible. See if they will let you bring your animal’s food, bedding, toys, etc.

Animal Care Information Don’t forget to make up a list of medications, emergency contacts, and special instructions for your loved one and give it to the Center or Vet.

One of the greatest worries for many dog and cat owners is leaving their pets unattended while they are away from home. There may be no place for your pet on a business trip or a family vacation. With Animal Care Center so close to home, there's no need to worry.

Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.

National Adopt a Senior Pet Month

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month! ASPCA states that “if you’ve been thinking about adding a four-legged-friend to your family, consider opening your home and your heart to an older dog or cat in need”.

According to Petfinder, the absolute most difficult group of homeless pets to place are older dogs and cats. Senior pets tend to spend the longest amount of time at a shelter or rescue before finding their forever home — if they find one at all, that is. Older canines and felines of advanced age have higher euthanasia rates than their younger counterparts, and can often live the rest of their lives out in a shelter kennel.

While small puppies and kittens are adorable, older pets are just as loving and loyal as their younger counterparts. Adopting a senior animal companion comes with some cool advantages:

  • Adult pets don’t require the training and constant monitoring that kittens and puppies do.
  • Most of the adult animals are already housetrained.
  • Since senior pets are fully grown, you’ll be immediately aware of important information like personality type and grooming requirements, making it easier to choose the perfect pet for your family.

You are welcoming a lifetime of love into your home and saving a precious life when you adopt a senior pet.

Benefits of Pet Ownership for the Elderly

“Animals can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and increase social interaction and physical activity. Pets provide other intangibles, too. “Dogs and cats live very much in the present,” says Dr. Jay P. Granat, a New Jersey-based psychotherapist. “They don’t worry about tomorrow, which can be a very scary concept for an older person. An animal embodies that sense of here and now, and it tends to rub off on people.”

Pets can also have an astounding effect on symptoms of depression and feelings of loneliness. “Older pet owners have often told us how incredibly barren and lonely their lives were without their pets’ companionship, even when there were some downsides to owning an active pet,” says Linda Anderson, who founded the Angel Animals Network in Minneapolis with her husband, Allen, to spread awareness of the benefits of pet ownership,” reports Aging Care.

History

“The ASPCA and petfinder.com founded Adopt a Senior Pet Month to improve the perception of senior pets as quality animals for adoptions. They are just as, and sometimes, more adoptable than younger animals. Consider adopting an older animal when you look into adopting this year,” recommends National Day Calendar.

Call today at 770.438.2694 to get more information or to schedule an appointment for your animal.

Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.

Most Common Surgeries for Pets

We all want our family pet to be happy and healthy. There are times when your furry loved one will have to have surgery.

Here are the most common surgeries your pet may face:

Spaying

Spaying is removing the ovaries and uterus of a female pet. It is a veterinary procedure that requires minimal hospitalization and offers lifelong health benefits.

Neutering

Neutering is the removing of your male dog or cat’s testicles. This procedure will vastly improve your pet’s behavior and keep him close to home.

USA Today cites “that pets who live in the states with the highest rates of spaying/neutering also live the longest. According to the report, neutered male dogs live 18% longer than un-neutered male dogs and spayed female dogs live 23% longer than unspayed female dogs”.

The reduced lifespan seen in unaltered pets is typically caused by the pets' natural urge to roam outdoors and fight with other animals, and unfortunately, they also can be hit by cars.

“Many people are surprised to learn that nationwide, more than 2.7 million healthy, adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters annually. Spay/neuter is the only permanent, 100 percent effective method of birth control for dogs and cats”, reports The Humane Society.

Every year, millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized or suffer as strays. These high numbers of unplanned litters that could be prevented by spaying or neutering.

Soft-tissue Surgery

Here are some examples of soft-tissue surgeries:

  • Removal of skin disorders, cancers and cysts
  • Body cavity procedures
  • Cardiovascular system repair
  • GI (removal of foreign objects, urogenital and respiratory tract

Repair Injuries

Another type of surgery could include repairing physical injuries to:

  • bones,
  • muscles,
  • ligaments and
  • tendons

Neurosurgery

Another type of surgery could include diseases of the:

  • brain
  • spinal cord
  • nerves and
  • muscles

It is important that you locate a Veterinary that is certified and experienced at diagnosing and performing these surgeries.

Call today at 770.438.2694 to get more information or to schedule an appointment for your animal.

Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.

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Items in Your Purse Could be Poisonous to your Pet

Pet owners contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) daily due to their pets ingesting something dangerous in their purse or bag. Make sure you are educated about what your pet can and cannot be exposed to. Here is a list of items from ASPCA to make sure you keep away from your pet that could be poisonous to them and cause serious damage or be fatal.

Pet Poisons

  • Medications: These can range from over-the-counter meds, to prescriptions, to vitamins and supplements. Sometimes medications are combined into one container or pill-minder to save space, but that can make it difficult to remember how many of each were in the container and what medications were in there to begin with. And if your pet does get into any medications, it is important to know (or be able to estimate) how much they ingested. It is always safest to keep medications and supplements in separate child-proof containers and out of reach of our furry friends.
  • Sugar-free gum or candy: These candies and gums can be toxic to dogs because many of these products contain the sweetener xylitol, which can cause low blood sugar and liver failure if enough is ingested. Be sure to check the ingredients on any sugary products and keep away from curious pets.
  • Chocolate: This one should be a no brainer. Risks in pets from chocolate ingestion can range from stomach upset to an increase in heart rate and effects to the nervous system, depending on how much was ingested and what type of chocolate was consumed. Always remember the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. 
  • Make-up: Depending on what country it was manufactured in; some cosmetics may contain lead which could be harmful to pets if ingested. 
  • Albuterol inhalers: If pets are able to puncture an inhaler, symptoms can include lethargy, an increase in heart rate and changes to their potassium level. 
  • Eye drops: Naphazoline, an ingredient found in most redness relief formulas, and brimonidine, found in eye drops for glaucoma, can both cause a serious drop in heart rate and blood pressure, even if small amounts are ingested.
  • Coins: Pennies contain zinc and can cause zinc toxicity. Too much zinc will cause severe stomach upset, anemia, kidney injury and inflammation of the pancreas.
  • Illicit drugs: Any exposure is considered life-threatening with drugs such as cocaine, heroin or methamphetamines. Marijuana or THC can also be potentially hazardous and can be found in things like edibles, homemade desserts or gummies. 

If you suspect that your pet has been exposed to any poisonous substances or ingested something dangerous, contact Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) 888-426-4435 immediately or a local Veterinarian to make sure your furry loved one is safe.

Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.

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