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March 2021 Newsletter


March is such a great month!

Sunday, March 14th starts off with Daylight Savings Time beginning. Just love returning to longer evenings with daylight! Next on Wednesday, the 17th is St. Patrick's Day. Such a fun day even if one is not Irish. I am Irish and incredibly happy for the wearing of the green. Then Saturday, March 20th is the first day of Spring. How wonderful it is to watch the earth renew itself. We get to see an explosion of new growth of flowers and trees; new wildlife babies coming into this new fresh spring season. It is a wondrous month for retrospect and enriching our lives with new beginnings.

Have a glorious March!

Surviving Your Dog's First Year!

Welcoming a new puppy is such an exciting love-filled time! There is nothing quite like a tiny canine furball. However, they are not without their challenges. There will be times when you stop and think: "Was this a mistake?" Relax, most people who get a new puppy have those thoughts now and then, especially when your fur baby chews your favorite pair of shoes or a table leg! It can be frustrating, and at times you may feel at your wit's end. Hang in there; these thoughts will pass (and so will puppy behavior)!

If you start on the right foot, you'll have an easier time of it. Remember, before you got your puppy, he was able to cuddle with mom, play fight with his littermates, chew, sniff, bite, and jump! Then the cute little guy goes home with you, and everything is different. There are rules and expectations! Keep your expectations low with a brand new puppy, he's trying as hard as he can to figure out the rules and make you happy, but it will take some time.

First, be sure to puppy-proof your home so your new buddy can't get into trouble. Don't leave your favorite pair of shoes out, they are just too tempting. Make sure there are no obvious electrical cords for him to chew on, no toxic plants, and balconies or decks that he can fall off of. Close the bathroom, put away chemicals, and lock up medicines. It may just be easier to block off dangerous rooms with a baby gate.

Make sure your pup has all sorts of toys to play with. Keep in mind that until you got your puppy, he was probably never alone. He always had the company of his mom or his brothers and sisters. Now, he only has you, so make sure you spend a lot of time with him. Plenty of exercise is key for bonding and overall health. When you can't keep an eye on your pup, be sure he's in a secure room or his crate to keep him safe.

Reward your puppy with praise and treats when he does something right! Keep in mind that leash training and housebreaking will take some time. Again praise and treats will help a lot; punishment won't.

Find a veterinarian that you like, and once your puppy is fully vaccinated, it is a great idea to expose him to all sorts of new situations. Take him for many walks, rides in the car, and consider signing up for a puppy class. In class, he will get to meet a lot of other pups, learn some basic manners, and you can get tips from the trainer on puppy behavior.

Puppies require a considerable time investment and a lot of patience, but he'll be worth every minute. Remember, you and your pup are taking the first step on a journey that will last for years! If your pup needs extra walks or playtime, give us a call!

Some things to know before you get a puppy.

What to expect in your pup's first year.

Playing or Fighting - That Is The Question

Meow, Hiss, Bam, Bop, Pow!

If you have two or more cats, you may have seen this happen. One minute they are just lounging around; the next minute, they are on the floor biting and kicking. How can you tell if this is all just for fun or if they are seriously fighting?

Cats love to engage in play fighting (just like dogs), and often this behavior looks and sounds serious, even when it isn't. That being said, occasionally, what starts as play can deteriorate into a fight. So, how do you tell if it's a spat or a game? It's really all about body language.

If your cats are rolling around on the floor swatting, look closer. Are they actually biting into the skin? Are their claws out? Are their ears back? Is their fur puffed up? Do they avoid each other after it's over? These are all signs that they are disagreeing, and it's not a game. If they take turns winning and seem friendly after it's over, they are just amusing themselves with a play tussle.

If you determine that your cats are NOT playing, here are some tips to breaking up a fight:

  • Don't reach in with your hand.
  • Make a loud noise - slam a door, clap your hands, or yell "hey."
  • Throw a towel over them both.
  • Try putting a barrier between them, a broom, a baby gate, a piece of cardboard, or even a cushion (again, not your hand).

Once you get them separated, let them both cool off away from each other. Put them in separate rooms with the door closed or a baby gate between them. You may have to reintroduce them slowly.

Some ideas to prevent fights: make sure they don't have to compete for resources; each cat should have its own food and water dishes, toys, beds, and litter box (in different areas). If your cats have window perches, have two of them, perhaps in different rooms. Play with your cats, separately and together (if possible), because games and play can be very bonding. Also, having them spayed or neutered often reduces fighting.

Keep an eye on your felines, but in most cases, if you take the right steps, they will be good buddies again.

What Is Bloat?

Bloat, also called Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV), is a very serious problem that is most common in larger breeds of dogs. It requires immediate medical and surgical intervention. 

Bloat happens when your buddy's stomach fills with gas, food, or fluid. This can cause it to expand, which will put pressure on other organs. This can affect the blood flow to those organs (including the heart and stomach lining). In some cases, the stomach will rotate or twist, which traps the blood and prevents it from returning to their heart.

Bloat often comes on quickly, and you have very little time to get your pup to the vet. These are the symptoms of bloat:

  • Your dog may act restless and anxious
  • Excessive drool
  • A swollen stomach
  • Your fur baby may pace back and forth
  • She may try and vomit, but nothing comes up
  • Display weakness and be short of breath
  • As time goes on, she may collapse

If your dog has these symptoms, get her to the vet immediately: put your dog in the car and call your vet on the way. Bloat can be deadly without swift veterinary intervention.

Vets are not 100% sure why some dogs bloat, but these things can raise the likelihood of it happening:

  • Having only one large meal per day
  • Eating from a raised bowl
  • Eating very quickly
  • Running or playing before or after they eat
  • Eating or drinking too much
  • Stress
We know that bloat sounds very scary, and it is. However, there are steps you can take to prevent bloat from happening. Don't use a raised bowl unless your dog has a medical reason for one. Keep her quiet before and after she eats. Don't allow her to drink copious amounts of water. It is much better to feed your pupper a few small meals during the day instead of all at once. Some veterinarians may perform a small surgery on breeds prone to bloat which tacks the stomach down so it doesn't twist; this is something to discuss with your vet.


Breeds that are more disposed to bloat are; Great Dane, Bloodhound, Newfoundland, St Bernard, Weimaraner, Irish Setter, and Poodle. However, even smaller breeds can bloat.

While you can't prevent all cases of bloat, if you take the precautionary steps above, you may be able to reduce your dog's risk. If your furry friend shows symptoms, you need to see your vet immediately.

Great Pet Links!

March is:
Poison Prevention Month
Adopt a Rescue Guinea Pig Month

March 1 - National Pig Day
March 13 - K9 Veterans Day
March 23 - National Puppy Day
March 28 - Respect Your Cat Day