Retractable Leashes Are Dangerous to Pets and People

Retractable leashes seem like a convenient choice for pet owners. They allow a pet to explore by being able to control the extension of the leash, and they come in a handy plastic case handle that is useful for the owner. Sounds perfect, right? Some of these factors can be tempting, but did you know that retractable leashes pose some serious problems for your pet and even you?

Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital wants to explain the risks in using these leashes and some options for safer alternatives for your fur friend.


Happy Dog Looks: Do Dogs Really Smile?

Do dogs smile? We’ve all seen the helicopter tail when we get home, ask if it’s dinner time, or take our 4 legged pal hiking. This is often accompanied by a bouncy body, soft eyes, and a wide, panting mouth. Is it really a smile, or are we simply translating our human emotions onto our dogs – known as anthropomorphizing?

Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital explored this question, and here’s what we’ve discovered!


Peanut Butter and Xylitol Dangers for Pets

Have you ever been wondering how to get that medication into your pet, and reached for a jar of peanut butter? You’re not alone! Peanut butter – perhaps for its stickiness and for its general yumminess to dogs – is a common “tool” used among pet owners to give pet medication.

But did you know that certain brands of peanut butter contain a substance that can kill your dog? Sadly, it’s true. A sugar substitute called xylitol is being used more and more often in peanut butter, and it can spell really bad news for your dog or cat.

We’ll explore the hazards of xylitol and which products – in addition to peanut butter – to look out for in your home.


(Don’t) Bite Me! …Rattlesnake Safety for Pets

Rattlesnake safety for pets is an important part of outdoor pet safety, especially when hiking with pets.When spending time outdoors with your pet in the great state of Pennsylvania, hazards like bears and ticks probably come to mind. However, did you know there are some venomous snakes that live in our neck of the woods?

Rattlesnake safety is important for pets and owners alike when venturing into the great outdoors. Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital is here to help our clients understand how to avoid encounters with venomous reptiles in our home state.

Snakes 101

Pennsylvania is home to a few species of venomous snakes, most notably the timber rattlesnake. These creatures reside in more heavily forested regions of the state, and while greatly misunderstood, they are an important part of our ecosystem. Continue…

Kennel Cough


Kennel Cough

We have been seeing a large number of cases of “kennel cough” over the past 1-2 weeks.  Kennel cough is a bronchitis that causes a honking type of a cough and can be severe enough to lead to a pneumonia.  Kennel cough is HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS between dogs.  Kennel cough can be caused by a bacteria or a virus or sometimes both.  We do have vaccines that can prevent 2 major pathogens that cause kennel cough, the bordatella vaccine and the canine flu vaccine.  If you have plans to take your dog to the kennel or groomer, please make sure your dog has these vaccines.  They should be vaccinated at least 2 weeks prior to needing the immunity.  If your pet has never had these vaccines, it is usually a 2 part initial series spaced 3-4 weeks apart to develop the maximum immunity.  If you have further questions, please call us at 570-424-6773.


Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital

Jeremy Wentz, VMD


posted in:  For The Dogs  |  Pet Safety