Puppy as a Present? Things to Consider Before Giving a Pet as a Gift

A Jack Russell terrier sitting on a package amongst holiday decorations

While it may seem Scrooge-ish to say “no” to a new puppy request from a child, many parents make the mistake of giving in. A few months later, that out-of-control adolescent dog seems less desirable, and the child is no longer that enthusiastic about daily chores and the like.

Each year, well-intentioned people make the mistake of giving a pet as a gift, causing thousands of animals to be surrendered to shelters because of poor planning. This is not to say that pets should never be presents. However, there are many things to consider before bringing a cat, dog, or other animal into someone’s life. Continue…

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Save a Life: Tips for Avoiding Pet Pancreatitis This Holiday Season

Dog is satisfied with the service in own restaurantWe all have foods we want to (or should) avoid, but the holidays make it really, really hard. Savory meats, sweet treats, and buttery goodness abound during the last few weeks of the year, and your pet isn’t immune to all the temptation. Indulgences are just plain difficult to ignore, but we hope the dangers of pet pancreatitis are enough to keep you saying “paws off” to certain dishes.

A Functioning Pancreas

The pancreas doesn’t get much credit – until it’s under attack. The truth is, a healthy, functioning pancreas completes two critical jobs. Primarily, it produces insulin, an integral part of blood glucose regulation. Second, the pancreas makes enzymes that aid in food digestion. Normally, these enzymes are secure inside pancreatic cells until released into the small intestine to do their job. They help breakdown proteins, carbohydrates, and fats so your pet’s body has energy.

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Hearing the Issues of Pet Ear Care

A dog with perky earsYour pet’s ears are an important part of their existence. They allow them to hear the surrounding environment. They can alert to danger. They help your pet get oriented. They also help with balance and coordination.

Taking good care of your pet’s ears is an essential part of responsible pet ownership. Read on to learn about pet ear care and what you can do to protect one of your pet’s most vital senses.

Getting to Know You

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Oh, for the Love! The Benefits of Responsible Pet Ownership

Happy Couple at Home with DogOwnership is a noun with a rather serious tone; essentially, it’s the act, state, or right of possessing something. We can “own” various assets, such as a home, car, or boat, but the term “pet ownership” seems inaccurate. Of course, responsible pet owners care for their pets’ needs, but it seems more precise to say that our pets own us.

While a sweet, devoted pet certainly inspires love and affection, there’s more to pet ownership than cuddles and treats. Before you dive in, it’s best to be as prepared as possible. You’ll be a much happier owner – and your pet will definitely thank you.

An Ounce of Prevention

Did you know Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital offers preventative health plans? Choose one of our specially-designed canine plans or feline plans to ensure your pet’s health and longevity. Continue…

Keeping Flat-Faced Pets Safe in Hot Weather

Boston TerrierIf you’re the proud owner of a brachycephalic breed, you probably adore the unique features of your pug, Boston terrier, Persian cat, or Shih Tzu (to name a few distinctive breeds). To be sure, they’re adorable, but the same endearing characteristics can also lead to serious health issues. This is true year round, but high temperatures and humidity make this time of year especially hard for many flat-faced pets.

The Anatomy

Respiratory issues are caused by the characteristic facial bones and nasal structure of brachycephalic breeds. Other challenges stem from short tracheas, smaller nostrils, and excessive bone and tissue that block airways. Combined, these physical traits result in Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome. Continue…

Going Above and Beyond for Pet Pool Safety

A black labrador retriever in the poolThe heat index makes it harder for your pet to cool down (thanks, humidity). While certain animals are considered high-risk for heat stroke (young, senior, overweight, ill, or brachycephalic breeds), all pets need an opportunity to cool down during the summer months.

Drowning and near-drowning episodes are more common than you may think. As a result, we want to provide the best in pet pool safety so you and your companion can chillax until the leaves start turning.

Tried and True

Shade trees, fans, and air conditioners go a long way to increasing comfort, but perhaps the most effective method is water. Kiddie pools and sprinklers are great, and there’s no beating an inviting backyard pool. Continue…

posted in:  Pet Safety

All Better: Putting Together A Pet First Aid Kit

Cute border collie puppy with an emergency kitYou probably have plenty of first aid supplies in your medicine cabinet, especially if you have children. Bandages, antibiotic ointment, thermometer, and over-the-counter pain relievers are among the most common first aid items found in our homes.

But what if your pet were to be injured? Would your home contain the necessary pet first aid items to help your pet if he or she is hurt? Fortunately, putting together a simple first aid kit for your furry friends is as easy as making a trip to the store to gather supplies. Your pet will thank you! Continue…

Canine Influenza: How to Protect Your Dog

A dog wearing a maskCanine influenza has made a comeback this spring, spreading rapidly across the United States. While canine flu has been in the news since the original outbreak in Chicago in 2015, the illness has actually been around for a few decades.

What makes the recent strain so contagious is that there hasn’t been enough time for dogs to build up resistant antibodies. Therefore, it spreads quickly to pets who remain unvaccinated.

A Brief History of Canine Influenza Virus (CIV)

Despite causing alarm over the past two years, canine influenza virus (CIV) was first detected in 2004. What was once an equine-specific virus mutated and affected a group of confined racing greyhounds. This strain is known as CIV H3N8. Continue…

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Steering Clear of Lyme Disease in Dogs

A tick on a leafWhile it may seem a little early in the year, springtime is prime tick season. Besides the fact that ticks are just gross, they can carry several nasty diseases that can be transmitted to your pets (and you).

One of the more common tick-borne diseases in this neck of the woods is Lyme disease, a bacterial infection that certain species of ticks can carry. While it is not possible to eliminate ticks from Pennsylvania, it is possible to prevent the effects of Lyme disease in dogs. Keep reading to learn how to protect your pet.

Learning About Lyme Disease in Dogs

Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi that is carried in the tick’s digestive system. Not just any tick can carry this infection, it is specifically transmitted by the Ixodes, or deer, tick. Continue…

The Seasonal Alarm Clock: Protecting Pets From Fleas and Ticks

Dog FleasIs Brodhead Creek Park calling your name?

Like most Stroudsburg residents you may be itching to get outside, but while we’re all enjoying the spring weather, some pretty terrible parasites are waking up from a long winter’s nap.

Although it’s important to keep up a year round prevention schedule, protecting pets from fleas and ticks is critical during the spring and summer months.

A Critical Juncture

Most pet owners understand that parasites should be avoided at all costs, but the reasons for this go far beyond the pesky, irritating nature of fleas and ticks. Both have the propensity to carry and spread disease, making prevention your best bet of all. Continue…