Preparing Pets for Boarding and Kenneling

doc-picSummer vacations are quickly approaching, which means many pet owners may be traveling to visit friends and family. With all the hustle and bustle of travel plans being made it’s easy to forget about the necessary preparations and plans for Fido and Fluffy! Whether you will be kenneling Fido or bringing Fluffy along for the trip, Allentown Animal Clinic has the info on what you’ll need to know!

If you are kenneling your pet avoid the seasonal rush and be sure you have the following done a few weeks before you are set to travel.

  • Visit the kennel before you drop off your pet. Most kennels welcome visits and it gives you a chance to ask any questions about the facility.
  • If your pet is on medication, be sure you have enough to last through his/her entire stay. Also, you want to be sure the kennel staff can administer it properly. Some kennels, especially during peak seasons, may not be able to give medication as often as your pet requires.
  • Most kennels will require a health certificate and a copy of your pet’s most recent vaccines.  Kennels can have different vaccine requirements as well, don’t just assume your pet has everything the kennel will require. Find out from the kennel what is required. Now is a good time to call your vet and be sure all required vaccines are up to date!
  • If your pet has fleas, or other parasites, he/she should be treated prior to arrival at the kennel.

If you will be taking a road trip with your pet it will be a lot less stressful for them (and YOU!) if you make the necessary preparations well in advance.

  • If your pet is not accustomed to being in the car, it’s up to you to change that prior to travel. Get your pet used to being in a carrier or a pet seat belt. It’s never safe to have a loose pet in the car. Start taking short trips to the park or grocery store before hitting the open road with your pet in tow.
  • Don’t let your dog hang his/her head out the window. Debris from the road can hit your dog, causing possible injury and/or ear and eye infections.
  • Take frequent breaks!
  • Some pets do get carsick. Ask your veterinarian about appropriate medication and dosage before you leave.
  • Bring along a health certificate and vaccination records. Also, be sure your pet is wearing a collar and ID tags!
  • Prepare an emergency medical kit. A familiar toy or blanket may also be useful.
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May is National Chip Your Pet Month

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May is National Chip Month, so the folks here at Allentown Animal Clinic are discussing microchips and their benefits.

Losing a pet is an extremely difficult event for an owner and pet-lover to go through. Even worse, once a pet is lost, the chances of him/her making it home again are not in their favor. The good new is there is something you can do to help the chances of a lost pet finding its owners again.

Of course, we always recommend keeping pets in a fenced in yard or on a leash and to keep a collar and ID tags on them. Collars can slip off, tags get scratched and rusted, making them difficult to read.  Microchipping your pet, however, serves as a fantastic secondary identification system for your pet.

What is it?

A microchip is an identifying integrating circuit implanted just under the skin at the shoulder blades of your pet. It is no bigger than a grain of rice. When your pet is scanned with a microchip reader the microchip number will appear on the screen of the reader. This number is then linked to the owner information.

How much does it cost?

While prices can vary from $25-$50 for the microchip and implanting by your veterinarian, this is a one time fee. Microchip companies may charge a small fee for registering the owner information in the database or to change information if you move. Once the microchip is implanted it never needs to be replaced.

Does it hurt my pet?

Implanting the microchip is much like giving a vaccine. It is inserted under the skin near the shoulder blades with a needle. The procedure is quick and does not require any anesthesia. Some veterinarians, however, will use a topical anesthetic, although this is not necessary.

Is is safe?

The risk to your pet is minimal compared to the risk of losing your pet. The microchips are made from an inert, biocompatible substance, which means it won’t cause an allergic reaction in your pet. Over the years there have been reports of microchips migrating. The newer chips on the market today have anti-migrating properties so this doesn’t happen. Once implanted the microchip will stay in place and will not degenerate over time, ensuring that your pet has permanent identification if he/she were ever to be lost or stolen.

Who has a scanner?

Nearly all veterinarians and animal shelters are all equipped with a microchip reader. In recent years the microchip readers have become universal, meaning they can read any brand of microchip your pet may have.

Microchips are a safe way to be sure your pet has identification. We do recommend still keeping a collar and up to date information on ID tags. Remember any time you move or change your phone number to update any tag information as well as the information stored at the microchip database to increase the chances of your lost pet getting returned to you.

 

 

 

National Pet Weeks is May 5-11

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The first full week of May is National Pet Week. It’s a week to celebrate our pets, promote responsible pet ownership, and celebrate the bond we have with our pets! What could be better than that?!

Looking for some ways to help you celebrate your pets? Allentown Animal Clinic has a few suggestions!

Give them a little something extra

While fat pets do not equal happy, healthy pets, perhaps, this week just slip your pet a little special treat. Most dogs and cats like veggies. Try offering them a baby carrot or a piece of sweet potato. Got birds? Try giving them a tasty treat, some papaya or mango. Remember that feeding a well balanced diet and making sure your pet gets enough exercise are key to keeping your pet happy and healthy.

Have Fun!

Maybe, just, maybe…let Fido sneak up next to you on the couch or let Fluffy outside (on a leash and supervised, of course!)  for a few minutes. Perhaps, this week on your walk let the dog choose the direction you head or take an extra long walk…or even a nice hike.

Don’t have a pet?

Maybe now is the time to adopt one! There are plenty of great pets, cats, dogs, even pocket pets at your local shelter that are looking for a home! If now is not the time for you to bring a new pet home…celebrate the week by volunteering some time at your local shelter.

This week and always keep in mind that it’s important to have a relationship with a good veterinarian and to maintain yearly wellness visits and vaccines for your pets. By having your pets spayed and neutered you are keeping hundreds of animals out of the already over-burdened animal shelters.

So, whether you have pets or not…this week celebrate the enrichment pets bring your life and the lives of others by finding ways to help animals in your area.