How to Pick a Veterinary Hospital

When you have to choose a veterinary hospital, there are certain things to evaluate. Not only do you want a clean, established practice, you also want reliable, respected staff members and happy animals. Look at the services and support they provide, ask a lot of questions and bring your pet in for an introduction prior to making an appointment.

Preventative Services

Be selective and proactive when trying to find your new veterinary hospital. The providers should have exceptional skills when treating ailments, but they should also be proactive in prevention, like All Creatures Hospital. Some preventative options you should look for include:

  • Preventative Medicine Programs
  • Immunizations
  • Puppy and Kitten Health Care Packages
  • Mature/Senior Pet Programs
  • Spay and neuter surgeries
  • HomeAgain Microchips

Surgical Services

Even though you immunize and follow all preventative practices, your pet may need surgery or treatment of some kind. We understand how stressful that can be, so we do our very best to make sure you’re as comfortable as your pet.

Our trained anesthetic techs ensure that your pet is constantly monitored and always safe. We have Board Certified Specialists in Veterinary Surgery and Veterinary Radiology, Ultrasound and Cardiology. You should make sure that anyone interacting with your pet during a surgical procedure is highly trained and qualified. This is nothing you want to take for granted, especially when you trust them with the well being of your beloved furry friend.

Specialty Services

The practitioners at All Creatures Hospital provide services that extend beyond standard practices. Your new veterinary hospital should do the same. Your provider should offer oncology and cancer treatments, like we do. You also want to make sure your new vets have experience with oral health care in pets.

Overall Experience

Whether you’re just stopping in for an initial introduction or facing a long-term treatment plan, your experience should be filled with positive interactions, knowledgeable staff and encouraging words. You’ll know when you find the right veterinary hospital for you and your pet. You will look forward to visiting the staff and practitioners, and always feel welcome and comfortable. Your experience should leave you and your pet happy and healthy.

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Safe Halloween Fun – tips to remember:

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is flooded with calls every Halloween from worried pet owners. Here are the top 5 tips to keep your pets safe:

1. Lock candy safely away. Kids love to stash candy in their rooms, but a dog’s keen sense of smell will lead him to even the most cleverly hidden treasure. Contact a veterinary professional right away if your pet does get into Halloween candy, especially if it contains chocolate or is sugar-free and contains xylitol.

2. Don’t leave glow sticks lying around. Glow sticks are used to help keep kids safe while they are out in the dark. Pets (especially cats) find these glow sticks to be a lot of fun as well, and we commonly get calls about pets puncturing the sticks. While most of them are labeled as non-toxic, they do have an extremely bitter taste and we will often see pets who bite into them drooling and racing around the house. A little treat or sip of milk will usually stop the taste reaction.

3. Keep your pet identified and visible. There are a lot of extra people on the streets at Halloween, and that combined with strange costumes can spook pets and cause them to bolt. If you take your pet out after dark, make sure he or she wears a reflective collar and is securely leashed. And make sure your pet has proper identification on the collar.

4. Calm your pet. Even pets who are kept indoors may experience intense anxiety over the large number of strangely dressed visitors. Keeping your pet away from trick-or-treaters may do the trick, but if you think more will be needed be sure and speak with your vet well in advance about options to help calm your pet.

5. Check those costumes. Costumes can be fun for the whole family. If you are planning on dressing up your best bud, ensure that the costume fits well and isn’t going to slip and tangle the pet or cause a choking hazard if chewed on. Never leave a costumed pet unattended.

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15 minutes to a better bond with your dog

Got 2 Minutes?

Pet With Purpose Instead of zoning out watching SNL and absentmindedly patting your pup, focus on your dog while you pet him. Like people, your dog can tell when he has your attention. Feel free to spill about your day, even. Your BFF—best furry friend—will appreciate the extra effort and it will have a cathartic effect for both of you.

Got 3 Minutes?

Hide and Sniff Hide your dog’s favorite treat somewhere fairly easy to sniff out, then guide her along with the appropriate level of hints and praise: good girl, you’re very close! The positive vibes and subsequent reward will put the pep back in her paws.

Got 10 Minutes?

Mutt-ssage Connect with your dog by giving her a relaxing massage. Start with slow strokes from head to tail, then target specific areas by scratching behind the ears, cheeks, under the chin, bridge of the nose, and between the eyes. Gently rub in a circular motion with three fingers, going down the neck and around the shoulders; then keep the motion going from the buttocks down the thighs. Give gentle squeezes down each leg. Finish by walking your thumb and forefinger down each side of the spine to the base of the tail and come full circle with several slow full-body strokes. By giving a regular, thorough massage, you’ll be able to familiarize yourself with your dog’s normal lumps and bumps and will notice any changes that may warrant a check up. You’ll also be able to tell if there are sore or tender spots that needs attention. Remember to keep it light and gentle, though; leave the deep-tissue work to the professionals!

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Bonding and reading your cat’s behavior

Signs Your Cat Loves You

Even though your kitty is standoffish sometimes and may even disappear for hours, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you. To learn to love like a cat, simply watch what she does and imitate her, understand that she’s a child who never grows up, and appeal to her senses. Here’s how:
Be on the lookout for these affection-showing moves:

The head bump. It’s her way of saying hello, by using the oil glands in front of her ears to greet you as if you’re a cat and leave her scent on you. She sees you as one of her clan, so bump her right back.

The butt presentation. When your cat backs up to your face and lifts her tail, she’s waiting for you, her mom, to clean her. If you gently blow at her rear end, she’ll think that this is what your cleaning style is and will go on about her business.

Kneading you or “making biscuits.” If you maneuver yourself into the right position, you’ll get a free massage out of this one. This is another sign that Kitty-Face thinks you’re her mom, since she’s trying to get milk out of you. It also means she’s happy.

Licking you. Your cat may think you taste good, but grooming is actually a social practice to establish a common scent among a clan of cats. In other words, she’s claiming you as one of her own. The exfoliation is an extra added bonus.

Gumming you. This is another way Kitty-Face blends her own scent with yours, establishing a common “family scent.” Take advantage of it by feeling all of her teeth to gain her trust for when you actually need to be in her mouth.

Read Cat Tail Wagging, What Different Wags Mean

Appeal to Her Sense
Show her you love her through your touch and your voice.

Sing to her. In your little kitty voice. Whether you have talent or not. She doesn’t care.

Greet her. Tell her “hi” and say her name, even if you just saw her a minute ago. She’s choosing to be near you, which is a big deal to a cat.

Meow back. Imitate her sound exactly, and she’ll think you’re one of her kind.

Carry on a conversation. She meows, you talk. Just make up what she’s asking and answer what you think she wants to know.

Tell her what she wants to hear. Cats seem to know what the word “beautiful” means, especially in reference to them. Hearing it makes them very content.

Give her a neck massage. Kitties are very alert and watchful, holding their head up almost constantly. Relax her with a gentle neck massage to pamper her.

Hold her hand. Stroke her paw, both on top and underneath on her toe pads, and loosely wrap your hand around her paw. This should feel good to both of you.

Getting in touch with her inner kitten

Nurturing her inner kitten will strengthen your parent-child bond and provide hours of fun.

Play fetch. Cats like this game almost as much as dogs, especially Bombays. Rather than balls, toss items they can easily fit into their small mouths, like toy mice.

Turn the faucet on. Drinking water is good for your cat, and is even more fun from a running tap. Plus a flowing stream encourages water play.

Indulge their sense of fun. Being brought a palmetto bug may not be much fun for you, but it’s Kitty-Face’s way of showing you what a great huntress she is and that you’re worthy of her prey. And in the world of kitty, that’s a very big compliment.

You’ll probably come up with even more ways of bonding with your cat as you get to know her on a deeper, more intimate level. But one thing’s for sure, you’ll have a very happy kitty — a cat that loves you!

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Tips on making your walks even more enjoyable!

Happy National Walk Your Dog Week!

It’s no secret that our dogs make excellent exercise partners. They’re great at keeping us motivated, and they never complain. Even when we’re sticking to the same old path every day the dog is excited and ready to go.

Unfortunately us humans aren’t always so optimistic: we find taking the same old route every day a bit dull. Luckily there are a few simple ways to change up our daily dog walking routine and turn it into something more exciting and enjoyable.

1. EXPLORE A NEW TRAIL
Once or twice a week find a nearby park or new neighborhood to explore and enjoy the change of scenery. The new sights, sounds, and smells will make your walk more exciting for the both of you.

2. ENCOURAGE SNIFFING
For our dogs a walk is more than just exercise, for many it’s their daily opportunity to explore the outside world. Take a few minutes on your walk to stop and let them sniff around, it’s their way of exploring the world around them. Taking a few sniff breaks will add a lot of mental and sensory stimulation to their walk.

3. BRING A FRIEND
When was the last time you took a stroll with a good friend? Instead of catching up via text invite a friend over for a nice leisurely walk. Enjoy the simplicity of some nice face to face conversation, and if your friend has a dog invite them over for a double dog walk.

4. CHANGE THE PACE
Do you normally walk at a leisurely pace or fairly quick? Switch gears and take more time to enjoy the scenery, or pick up the pace to add some intensity to the walk.

5. RAISE MONEY FOR YOUR FAVORITE RESCUE
Apps like Wooftrax & ResQWalk have made it easy to raise money for your favorite rescue organization while you walk. They’re pedometers that track your distance and donations are based on performance and distance.

6. SOCIALIZE
Stop for a couple minutes to catch up with your neighbors as you’re walking by. Most dogs love a bit of extra attention, and it’s an easy way to stay up to date with what’s going on in your neighborhood.

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