Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December Food Drive

Baldwin Borough Public Library, located at 41 Macek Drive, is having a December Food Drive. Canned and other nonperishable goods can be dropped off at the library during open hours. Donations will be given to the Baldwin Borough Food Pantry in January. If you have questions, you can contact the library at 412-885-2255.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

November is National Senior Pet Month

November is National Senior Pet Month.  Whether you have a senior pet or have plans to adopt one, we can provide you with information on how best to care of your senior pet.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

One Thing you should Never see on Pet Food Label

If you see the words "veterinarian approved" on your pet food label, look out. That claim is always untrue.
Veterinarians do not approve labels or products. Only state regulatory agencies can do that, according to the The Business of Pet Food, a new website launched by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
That’s just a taste of the information you’ll find on the site: www.petfood.aafco.org.
What else?
Ingredient lists, labeling requirements, analyses of commercial pet food and government regulations for making and labeling pet food.
The site is for people who sell pet food -- or want to. But there’s lots of information for pet owners, too.
"Many people are surprised by how many regulations apply to the pet food industry," says Liz Higgins, Chair of AAFCO‘s Pet Food Committee.
For example, did you know "veterinarian recommended" means that the company making the food actually surveyed veterinarians to find out if they would recommend the food?
And, like we said, "veterinarian approved" is never true.
So, if you’ve ever wondered …
What’s really in my pet’s food?
What would it take to turn my secret recipe for Tasty Treats into a mail-order business?
Go to http://www.petfood.aafco.org.

Originally published by Healthy Pet.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ack—My Pet Ate Garbage!

Anytime food preparation is underway, food scraps, wrappers and more end up in the garbage.
Inevitably, household animals help themselves to that tempting trash. In the holiday season,
decorations become fodder as well.

Why worry? Because people food is not safe for animals. And food isn’t the only risk—animals
will eat the most unexpected things. It’s important to guard that garbage can.

“You don’t want your dog to pig out on chocolate or leftover pizza, chicken or turkey—anything
with a high percentage of fat can lead to pancreatitis (inflammation and swelling of the pancreas,
which can cause permanent damage and be fatal)," says Martha Gearhart, DVM, owner of
Pleasant Valley Animal Hospital, Pleasant Valley, N.Y. “Raw bones are digestible, but their
sharp points are dangerous, and cooked bones are very brittle and can shatter [once eaten].”

The odor of food or blood attracts animals to garbage, sometimes with tragic results—Gearhart’s
brother’s dog ate the plastic wrap and Styrofoam tray from a package of meat, killing the dog. “It
didn’t show up in the X-ray, but the points from the Styrofoam punctured the lung,” she recalls.
Boredom and separation anxiety can make animals explore trash cans or pounce on decorations,
Gearhart says. “Some dogs have a passion for salty, smelly socks!” she notes. “I had one dog that
enjoyed knocking down glass ornaments and biting on decorative balls.”

Cats eating tinsel is so common that tinselitis is a veterinary term. “Cats won’t eat tinsel from the
garbage can, but will be attracted to tinsel on a tree,” warns Gearhart.

I discovered that myself—my own cat once ate tinsel. I found out when she eliminated it, tangled
in balls of poop that she dragged around the apartment. I was lucky to get her to the veterinarian
in time for treatment.

Dogs may eat used tampons or sanitary pads, which cause dangerous internal obstructions,
Gearhart says.

There is string in a roast or bird, and string is severely dangerous—it causes internal damage.
Cats are more likely to eat string than are dogs, notes Gearhart.

Prevention First
Prevention is the best way to protect animals from garbage:
• Rinse wrappers, containers and packaging before pitching them.
• Lock garbage under the sink or on the porch.
• Use trash cans with tight-fitting lids (heavy, self-closing cans for households with large
• Move garbage from indoors to well-secured outdoor containers.
• Put tinsel and breakable decorations high up, out of reach.
• Put a decorated tree in a room with a door—and keep it closed.
• Keep dogs away from dangerous and tempting situations.
As Gearhart notes, “I’m all for crate training. They feel better and more secure.”

Protective Measures
If precautions fail, the best thing to do is call your veterinarian, who might have you come in to
get a vomit-inducing drug. Or, they may encourage you to induce vomiting, unless the animal ate
something sharp, acidic or caustic.
In some instances, your veterinarian might have you wait—it can take up to 5 days for
elimination. Regardless, work with your veterinarian to find the best “cure” for your pet.Here’s to a safe diet, and holiday season, for your animals!
Readers: Tell us what your pet has gotten into by e-mailing the editor at

Originally published by AAHA

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Dog House Repairs Month

Does your dog have his or her own house? It's Dog House Repairs Month! Make sure that it’s in good shape this summer! Check the interior corners for beehives, and make sure to repair leaks and splinters in the wood.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Pet First Aid Program TOMORROW

The Pleasant Hills Library on Old Clairton Rd. is holding a "Pet First Aid Program" TOMORROW June 18th from 6:30 to 8:000 p.m. It will be presented by Karen Sable, Pet Emergency Training LLC. Please register by calling Deb Chebatoris at 412-220-7800.

Monday, June 3, 2013

National Pet Preparedness Month

This month is National Pet Preparedness Month. In order to be sure your pet is prepared for a disaster, make sure your safety kit includes food, water, leash and collar, bowls, pet ID, medications, immunization records, pet carrier, first aid kit, and a contact list for all pet emergency contacts.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Memorial Day

Monday is Memorial Day, a time to remember the men and women who dedicated their lives to our nation’s freedom.

Monday, April 8, 2013

April is Lyme Disease in Dogs Month

Did you know that Lyme Disease is a deadly illness passed by ticks? April is Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month! It’s important to always keep your pet protected from tick bites in order to prevent Lyme Disease! Ask us for details about our tick preventative options.

Friday, April 5, 2013

It's Pet First Aid Awareness Month

Save your veterinarian’s phone number and emergency veterinary clinic’s phone number (if applicable) in your cell phone address book and keep a hard copy in the kit.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pets a Go Go: Tips for Traveling with Fido and Fluffy

Traveling with your pet can be a rewarding experience, but a successful trip depends on more than packing your pet’s favorite tennis ball or catnip toy.
To ensure the safety and happiness of your pet, start planning early, research transportation and lodging options, and make an appointment with your veterinarian.

Jet Setters

Most major airlines transport animals, but before booking a flight, consider all the factors, including your pet’s size and temperament and possible weather conditions.
Pets that are too large to fit in a pet carrier under your seat must fly as checked baggage in the plane’s cargo section.
Many animals become anxious in unfamiliar environments, particularly when separated from their owners, and can suffer both emotionally and physically during a flight.
Sedation is not considered a safe option.
"An animal’s natural ability to balance and maintain equilibrium is altered under sedation," says Patricia Olson, DVM, of the Morris Animal Foundation. "When the kennel is moved, a sedated animal may not be able to brace and prevent injury.”
Gary L. Rose, DVM, of AAHA-accredited Cabrillo Veterinary Hospital in San Diego, Calif., adds “When heavily sedated, some short-nosed breeds can have trouble breathing.”
Temperature extremes can also put your pet at risk. Many airlines do not transport pets during the hottest months of the year, or will not accept pets when the forecasted temperature is above a certain point.
Look for flights in the early morning or late evening, when temperatures are at their lowest.

On the Road

Of course there are also safety concerns when traveling by car. Pet crates are strongly recommended.
If an accident occurs, pet crates can protect animals from impact injuries and also prevent them from running out into traffic.
Marci Cook, DVM, of AAHA-accredited Shiloh Veterinary Hospital in Billings, Mont., says, “A crate offers a safe environment for your pet and helps them to feel comfortable.”
Rose recommends introducing your pet to the crate over several weeks. “Get them used to it by feeding them in it, and by taking short trips around the neighborhood to see how they do.”
For pets prone to motion sickness, Rose advises, “Make sure there’s adequate ventilation in the car. Keep [it] cool and comfortable. If your pet still shows signs of motion sickness, medication is available through your veterinarian.”


Always research accommodations before leaving home, and make reservations whenever possible.
Many hotels and inns allow pets but may have size and weight limits, breed restrictions, or a limit on the number of pets allowed per room.
Campgrounds also have pet policies and occasionally prohibit pets altogether. State and national parks that allow pets often restrict them from certain areas, such as hiking trails and beaches.

Health Certificates

Most airlines require pets be examined by a veterinarian no more than 10 days prior to the date of travel. Be prepared to present health and rabies certificates at the time of departure.
If you are traveling by car, pack a copy of your pet’s prescriptions and vaccination records. Some states require proof of rabies vaccination.
Your veterinarian can also tell you if your pet needs additional vaccinations or preventive medications for the area in which you will be traveling.

Travel Tips and Car Safety

  • Be sure your pet is wearing a flat collar with identification tags at all times.
  • If your pet doesn’t have a microchip, consider having one implanted.
  • Know basic pet first aid, and carry a first aid kit.
  • Never allow your pet to travel with its head outside the car window.
  • Do not allow pets to ride in the front seat. They are at risk of being thrown into the windshield, can interfere with your ability to drive, or could be injured by an airbag.
  • Disable electric window controls. Dogs have have been know to get their heads stuck in windows after stepping on the buttons.
  • Stop for “potty breaks” every two hours.
  • Always leash your pet before opening the car door.

Originally published on Healthy Pet

Monday, January 21, 2013

How to Travel Safely With Your Pet

Traveling with pets is becoming more and more popular. Today's dogs, and even some cats, are vacationing thanks to friendlier airlines, safety innovations, pet-friendly hotels, resorts, campsites, and restaurants with outdoor dining privileges.

Gregg Takashima, DVM, founder of the Parkway Veterinary Hospital in Portland, Ore., offers tips to keep pets safe while traveling:

By Plane
In most cases, it's safe for your pet to travel by plane if your vets give the OK. "Animals accustomed to traveling in a car, going out on walks, and who are socialized tend to travel very well depending on their personalities,'' Takashima said.

Traveling internationally or even crossing state lines in a plane requires a health certificate from your vet. Additional ways to prepare:
  • Make sure vaccines (especially rabies) are up to date.
  • Consider an ID collar and a tag - even a microchip.
The trend nowadays is against sedation unless significant risks for pet injury exist. "Sedation can cause the pet to feel unstable and cause more fear,'' Takashima explained. "Cats tend to fly pretty well because they are usually allowed in the cabin in a cat carrier under the seat.''

Preparations for international travel with pets can be complex and there may be extensive planning. Double check with the airlines and your destination's consulate to make sure you have the most up to date information about the papers you are required to bring. Many documents for international travel require the signature of a certified USDA veterinarian which adds an additional step. Pet travel companies, like travelpets.com, remove a lot of the guesswork. "It's very tedious to have to do the work yourself. You would have to start six months ahead of time,'' Takashima said.

By Car
A few pointers for traveling safely with dogs in motor vehicles:
  • Have your dog always wear a specially designed dog seat belt or dog car harness in front and back seats.
  • Ensure adequate ventilation.
  • Never let your dog put its head outside the window, as this can lead to ear and eye injuries.
  • For cats, provide a good carrier, a place to sleep, and a safe place for the litter box. Make sure they cannot escape if the doors or windows accidentally open.
By Boat
Some innovative products make boating and sailing with your dog reasonably safe. "There are dog life vests," Takashima said. "If they do fall overboard, you can pull them up.''

Dogs can also use puppy pads and artificial turf products for elimination. "Your pet can get acclimated fairly easily, but do that well ahead of time,'' Takashima said.

Basic Tips
  • Make sure your pet is well groomed (not itchy or dirty).
  • Take along some comforts of home – bed, blanket, toys, litter box.
  • Rather than buying new types of food, carry your pet's familiar food from home when practical.
  • Carriers should be big enough for standing and turning around, with room for food and water.
  • Place absorbent towels on the carrier floor in case of accidents.
  • Have a pet first aid kit for emergencies.
Takashima's own dog sleeps in a carrier every night, even at home. "We turn off the television and he runs to his carrier. He's a good traveler,'' Takashima said.

Originally published by Everyday Health.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

National Pet Travel Safety Day

Today is National Pet Travel Safety Day, to remind you to be aware of your pet’s safety during travel. If you’re traveling by car, you should always have your dog in a seat belt and your cat in a strapped-in carrier. If you have questions about your pet’s safety during travel, don’t hesitate to ask us.