Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring puppies and kittens!

Frank as a puppy
Spring is my favorite time of the year for many reasons but it is the influx of adorable new puppies and kittens into the hospital for wellness care that really brightens my days.  If you are looking for a feline family member, this is kitten season and the shelters are overflowing with these tiny little balls of fur.  Bringing a new pet into your house can be overwhelming so I have provided a cheat sheet with the top three things you need to focus on to have a healthy and well adjusted new friend.

1. Bring your new pet to the veterinarian right away – All puppies and kittens should come with a health record of vaccines and de-worming medications administered by the breeder or shelter. On your first visit be sure to bring this paperwork, so you and your veterinarian can discuss and plan out an appropriate vaccine schedule. In addition, a poo sample is helpful so your veterinarian can make sure your new buddy didn’t bring home any unwanted friends (internal parasites) with him. At this first visit you can also get him started on preventives for heartworm, fleas and ticks – kittens too!

2. Take your puppy to basic training class – All veterinary behaviorists agree that early socialization is a crucial step in creating a happy and well-adjusted dog. Exposure to other puppies, new people, and places can help prevent your puppy from being fearful and socially awkward. The critical time period is in the first three to four months of life, which is when sociability outweighs fear and they are most open to new experiences. 
Poppy as a puppy
Puppies need to be taught how you want them to behave; a training class will give you proper guidance and a safe environment to achieve this.   You do not want to let your puppy loose in a dog park until he is fully vaccinated.  This potentially exposes him to unvaccinated dogs carrying diseases such as parvovirus and distemper virus.  A puppy class or play date in a clean environment with a fully vaccinated, healthy dogs lets your puppy meet new faces while minimizing the risk of disease.

I offer a free monthly class called The Polite Puppy on the last Sunday of every month.  We discuss teaching manners and recommendations for wellness care to get your new puppy off on the right paw.  You can visit www.thepolitepuppy.org for more information or you can email me if you are interested in joining us.  We meet at 3 pm at Happy Paws on Wisconsin Avenue in Tenlytown.

3. Spay or neuter!! – I cannot stress the importance of this enough. In my opinion, spaying or neutering is the single best thing you can do, not only for your own pet but also for the millions of homeless animals living and dying in shelters. In this country we euthanize around four million dogs and cats every year due to overcrowding in shelters. 

These simple surgeries that remove the reproductive organs are a direct way to improve the health of your pet.  Along with eliminating the chances for many types of cancer as well as a life threatening uterine infection, spaying and neutering can prevent many behavior issues. If the above reasons to spay or neuter haven’t convinced you, consider this: female dogs in heat are messy and it is always embarrassing to have your male dog humping someone’s leg....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fashion for Paws

The Fashion for Paws Runway Show was this past Saturday and I could not be more proud of Frank.  He was an absolute star strutting down the runway like a supermodel in Paris.  We ended up raising a total of $15,512 which far succeeded my initial expectations.  The event itself was amazing and hugely successful raising over $520,000.  Thank you to everyone for your support!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fashion for Paws this Saturday

Frank and I are in the homestretch for fundraising for the Fashion for Paws Runway Show benefiting the Washington Humane Society (WHS).  The event is on Saturday, we both have our runway looks planned out and we could not be more excited.  If you would still like to make a donation you can do so up to noon on Friday but visiting my fundraising page

WHS is also competing in the ASPCA $100K Challenge and needs your help to win.  You can visit http://www.votetosavelives.org/ daily to support WHS in this nationwide contest.  I just placed my vote for today and they are currently in 27th place out of the 50 shelters participating.  Vote today and every day until April 15th!

For those of you that read my blog for veterinary health information and are wondering when I will start posting non-Fashion for Paws related articles, fear not they are coming.  I have many interesting topics that I am working on such as brachycephalic syndrome, my newest thoughts on pet food recommendations, Friendship's new partnership with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and gastrointestinal diseases of cats. 

Thanks again to all my wonderful clients, family and friends for their amazing support over the last few weeks, Frank and I will see you on the runway!