Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: How do I know if my dog is overweight?

    When you look down at your dog from above, you should see a waistline between his ribcage and hips. If you don't, then your dog is likely overweight. If your dog becomes overweight, talk to our veterinarian about ways your dog can lose weight. A health weight is crucial to maximizing dog's lifespan. Obesity in dogs--as in humans--will shorten its lifespan.

  • Q: Do pets grieve?

    Animals can form very firm attachments with each other. Even pets that seemingly do not get along well will exhibit signs of stress when separated. Pets can show many symptoms one would expect to see from a grieving pet owner. There may also be overt sighing, sleep and eating disturbances, and attention-seeking behavior.

  • Q: What vaccination schedule should I follow?

    Both dogs and cats should be vaccinated against rabies at 12 weeks, again one year later, then every three years after that. Cats should be vaccinated annually after the first two shots.

  • Q: At what age should my pet be spayed or neutered?

    You should have your pet spayed or neutered before the end of his or her first year of life. It is perfectly safe to do anytime after 12 weeks of age.

  • Q: What is the best food to feed my pet?

    There is no best diet, despite marketing claims to the contrary. A good rule of thumb is that if the marketing of a product sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Instead, consumers should look for foods made by reputable companies with long histories of producing quality diets. Look for labels stating that the diets have undergone "animal feeding trials."

  • Q: My cat hates going to the vet. What should I do?

    You can help your cat have a calmer trip here if you teach your cat that a travel carrier is a good thing. Cats can be trained to use a kennel just like dogs. Cats that are comfortable going into and out of a travel kennel are much less stressed when they come into the clinic. Don't be embarrassed if your cat is unhappy during the exam. Our staff is trained to work with stressed cats so that they receive the veterinary care they need.

  • Q: Is it safe to let my cat outside?

    It can be unsafe to let your cat outside. An outdoor cat faces many of the same risks as a stray dog, such as: injuries from fights with other animals; exposure to rabies, parasites, and fleas; getting stolen; or getting hit by a vehicle. Since we don't expose dogs to these risks, we shouldn't expose cats to them, either. It is important to note that a cat can live a happy, fulfilled life indoors.

  • Q: Which dog breeds need grooming?

    Nearly all dogs need their coat and nails tended to, but some dogs require much more than that. Select breeds such as Poodles, Shih Tzus, Yorkshire Terriers, Schnauzers, and West Highland Terriers require very regular grooming.

  • Q: Does my cat need grooming?

    Typically, cats do not require grooming. They clean themselves and have a tongue meant for cleaning fur. If someone in your home suffers from allergies, occasionally bathing your cat may improve that person's condition. For cats with longer hair, you may want to shave their coat during the hot summer months, though this is a matter of personal preference.

  • Q: Sometimes my dog scoots his bottom on the carpet. Why?

    This behavior is primarily seen in small or overweight dogs. Dogs have anal sacs that are usually emptied with bowel movements. When this doesn't happen, however, the anal sacs become full, and can be itchy and painful. Without treatment, it can become a serious condition. If your dog is scooting his or her bottom on the floor, call us to schedule an appointment so we can treat this condition.

  • Q: Which foods are not safe for my dog to eat?

    What is safe for humans is not always safe for our pets. Among the most harmful and dangerous ingredients are macadamia nuts, xylitol (a widely used sugar substitute), raisins, lilies, tulips, cyclamen, rodenticides, and chocolate.

  • Q: What should I do if I spot an animal on the side of the road?

    Proceed with caution and use common sense. Scared animals are more likely to bite, especially if grabbed suddenly. Some animals don't enjoy human contact. In most cases, it is best to call your local animal control center and let trained professionals decide how to proceed.

  • Q: If a dog's tail is wagging, does that mean it will not bite you?

    Not necessarily. Dogs also wag their tails when agitated. Look to see what the dog's face is doing when the tail is wagging. If the dog is snarling or looks confused, then give it some space. As for cats, if the tail is wagging then do not reach for it. Cats only wag their tails when they are angry or agitated.

  • Q: Why does my dog walk in a circle before lying down?

    Circling their sleeping place is one of the many “wild” habits that canines never evolved away from. In the wild, dogs would circle a grassy area to trample down grass and make a comfortable surface to lie on. Circling is also how dogs mark their territory, so it is possible they are also staking claim to the surface upon which they are going to lie down.

  • Q: Why is my cat suddenly refusing to use its litter box?

    Cats refuse their litter box for several reasons. The reason why your cat chooses not to use the litter box depends on where they are opting to go instead. Cats who start to relieve themselves just outside the litter box are trying to signal you to clean the box. No pet likes to step in their own waste so perhaps the litter box is too full for your cat to comfortably “go” in. If your cat is seemingly having accidents around the entire house, they may have a urinary tract infection and will need immediate veterinary assistance.

  • Q: Should I have my dog's dew claws removed?

    Most dogs with dew claws attached are in perfect health. Removing dew claws is not a necessity, but rather a matter of personal preference. Dew claw removal is recommended for pets who dig frequently and are at risk for ripping the claws off, which is a painful and unnecessary experience. If you prefer to have your dog’s dew claws removed, mention it at your pet’s veterinary exam prior to their spay or neuter surgery. The vet may be able remove the claws during the same procedure.

  • Q: How do I clean my pet's eye discharge?

    Some pet breeds are susceptible to excessive eye discharge. Cleaning these secretions is very important, because a build-up of eye fluid may cause harmful bacterial infections. If you do not have one of the numerous products found at pet stores for this purpose, then you can use a damp cloth to gently remove eye discharge while avoiding contact with the eye itself.