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So far Matt McGarry has created 68 blog entries.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Fido!

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, a big day for chocolatiers and card companies, but it can also be a memorable occasion for your furry best friend.  Granted, a romantic dinner at a favorite Mexican restaurant may not be on the dance card, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t treat your dog or cat to a truly special Valentine’s Day dinner. Make it even more fun by having your furry friend help with the preparation, fetching the olive oil from the pantry or the eggs from the fridge… okay, maybe not…   Salmon Cat Treats Fish provides your pet with necessary omega oils that will keep his coat and skin in great shape. What you’ll need: 1 lb. salmon, pureed in the blender 1 cup whole wheat flour 1 cup corn meal 1 T. olive oil 2 T. garlic powder   Instructions: Add all ingredients to the pureed salmon. Mix thoroughly until it’s the consistency of cookie dough. Roll with rolling pin until 1/4 inch thick. Cut out the treats with a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Place on non-stick cookie sheet and bake in pre-heated oven at 250F for 30 minutes or until the dog treats are golden brown. Tip: These salmon dog treats can be frozen.   Valentine Liver Nibbles Nothing says “Be my Valentine” like a blender full of raw beef liver! Okay, your significant other might disagree, but your pampered pooch certainly won’t. What you’ll need: 1 lb beef liver or chicken liver 3 medium eggs 1/4 cup canola or other vegetable oil 2 cups instant oats 1 Tbsp applesauce (optional) 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional) 3 Tbsp powdered kelp Filtered water sufficient to make a batter Instructions: Process the liver in a blender [...]

By |February 13th, 2017|Categories: Dogs, Feeding, Holiday|0 Comments

Pain Management in Elderly Pets

Modern medicine can be both a blessing and a curse.  A blessing when it enables us to live longer, a curse when our quality of life is so diminished that a longer life can be a long, difficult road to travel. While we’re living longer, so are our pets, and there are a myriad number of reasons for this. People are spending more on their furry friends In 2016, Americans spent $62 billion on their pets and they’re on track to spend more than $64.5 billion this year, according to the American Pet Product Association. Americans spent a total of $23.04 billion on pet food, $14.39 billion on supplies/OTC medicine, $15.73 billion on vet care, $2.19 billion on live animal purchases and $5.24 billion on pet services like grooming and boarding. Obviously, we need to toss out the old “rule of thumb” that one year in a human’s life equals 7 in a pet’s.  Some pets, depending on their size and breed, are living nearly ten years for every one human year.  As you can imagine, while the dollars spent and care given to today’s pets, in the form of better living conditions, better nutrition, and better preventative medicines all contribute to this longer life span, the octogenarian dog’s long life is largely due to the veterinary care that is now available.  In fact, the animal kingdom has benefitted from advancements that we humans can still only dream about… such as a cancer vaccine!  Laparoscopic surgery, laser surgery… even acupuncture are now common veterinary practices, all but eliminating, in the case of a surgical procedure, a treatment that used to be quite invasive… and dangerous. Unfortunately, a longer life is often accompanied by long-term pain [...]

By |February 6th, 2017|Categories: Cats, Dogs, Senior Care|0 Comments

Vaccinations… Is your pet up to date?

We all cringe at the image of a long hypodermic needle, but we all know how important vaccinations are to our long-term health.  Our pets are no different. Vaccines help prevent many of the illnesses that plague our pets throughout their lives, and vaccinations have long been considered an easy and effective way to ensure that our dog or cat lives a long, healthy life. As you might imagine, there are a host of diseases that can infect pets, from distemper to hepatitis to bordatella.  Fortunately, science has done a good job of keeping up with nature and, as a result, there are as many different types of vaccines as there are different types of illnesses. Now, it goes without saying (probably) that a vaccination is a medical procedure and like any, has the administering of vaccinations has its risks.  These risks are minimal, of course, but when considering a regimen of vaccinations for your pet is imperative that you discuss it with your South Florida area veterinarian. He, or she, is intimately familiar with both the benefits and the risks as they pertain to your particular pet… all must be considered, including but not limited to age, size, breed, health, weight and lifestyle.  Your vet is the keeper of this information, so start there! Understanding Vaccines So, what exactly is a vaccine?  Vaccines help prepare the body's immune system to fight the invasion of disease-causing organisms. Contrary to popular belief, injecting someone with a vaccine is not the same as injecting them with the illness. Vaccines contain antigens, which look like the disease-causing organism to the immune system but are not, and don't actually CAUSE disease. When the vaccine is introduced to the body, [...]

By |January 29th, 2017|Categories: Boca Pet Vet|0 Comments

Hyperactive Pooch?

We’ve talked, many times in this blog, about how many unfortunate pets end up in shelters. The number is staggering but we haven’t talked much about WHY.  Why is it that so many pets, many of them first time pets and “gift” pets, end up in shelters? He’s not bad.  He’s just too full of energy! Well, here is a reason that is very widespread. That’s the bad news. The good news is that it’s an issue that can be dealt with… and often remedied:  Hyperactivity. Many dogs are turned in to animal shelters because of behavior problems caused by hyperactivity. Shelters are over flowing with dogs that barked too much, dug up the garden or the irrigation system, chewed everything in sight including the legs of your antique coffee table and the arm of your favorite couch (?!) and generally made a nuisance of themselves.  Are they bad dogs? No.  More than likely, they were simply dogs who had way too much energy and way too few ways to release it… without being annoying or destructive or both. So, you think you have a hyperactive dog… What do you do?  Well, the first and most obvious solution is exercise.  We’ve seen it in pre-teenage boys.  You know the scenario; 11 or 12-year old boys who seem to have boundless energy and no way to release except to play knife fight (using real knives) with each other, jumping on the furniture (or each other) and just rough-housing in general.  Well, your furry friend is no different, and the similarities are most obvious when they (dogs, that is) are pre-teens, too.  They’re just youngsters who need to “run it out,” as it were. So… If you [...]

By |January 23rd, 2017|Categories: Boca Pet Vet|0 Comments

In Search of a Groomer?

In search of a groomer in the Boca Raton/South Florida area? For starters, your Boca Raton pet care specialist would be happy to recommend one, if you’d like. You can also go out online and do a bit of research. Look around; the choices in the Boca area are just about limitless. Be warned, however: Finding the right groomer for your fur-ever friend can be as hard as finding the right physician or hairdresser. Sure, we want our dogs to look fluffed and fabulous. But we also want to be sure that they’re in good hands; that they are both safe and comfortable during the entire process. Things to Consider Mobile Services If the very idea of putting Bowzer in the car and driving to the local grooming shop makes you break out in a cold sweat, maybe you don’t have to… drive, that is. Limit your search to mobile groomers; there are lots of them in the Boca area, and not only are they convenient in saving drive time, but they can also be a Godsend when your pup either 1) doesn’t like being in the car and/or 2) doesn’t like visiting places that he or she has not been before. Training Now, this is not to say that formal training is an absolute necessity, but it is one way to help you in your search. There are grooming schools. Not every groomer attends one. There are no regulations when it comes to training, so it is totally up to the individual how much training he or she wants before starting to work on dogs. Internships aren’t required, but many people who are really interested in getting into the business try to get some [...]

By |January 23rd, 2017|Categories: Boca Pet Vet|0 Comments

Get on out there!

If your dog could talk (and wouldn't that be an eye-opening experience?!), he or she would probably be saying, “let’s go outside!”  After all, the weather we’re enjoying right now here in Florida is the kind of weather that brings people to the Sunshine State.  And with any luck, the nice weather will continue on for a least a couple more months! But don’t count on it! We all know that Florida weather here can change quicker than you can say "Sable Palm," so get out there now and enjoy it while you can.  Of course, this is the best time of year for pets, too.  It’s comfortable outside and with temperatures in the mid 80’s, there’s no worrying about your pet overheating when you take him or her out for some vigorous exercise.  Those outdoor pests such as fleas and ticks seem to be some sort of vacation, which is nice.  And, dogs love the beach! (Just make sure it's a dog-friendly beach or you may end up paying a hefty fine) This is an especially good time to take part in some festival-type events, where your furry friend can meet others like himself and practice being a good dog when outside with others.  Remember, socialization is important… yes, for you, but for your dog, too!  Now is a good time, too, to pay a visit to your Boca Raton area veterinarian to make sure that Fido is fit for the Great Outdoors... you know, shots and stuff. This is that festival time of year, and there are numerous online resources you can consult for details on events in the South Florida area.  One such resource that seems particularly useful is   The site [...]

By |January 14th, 2017|Categories: Boca Pet Vet|0 Comments

Consider this New Year’s Resolution: Pet Training!

For pets, this time of year is a time of both joy and sorrow.  Joy because come Christmas morning, many puppies will find themselves in new, loving homes.  It can be a time of sorrow, too, however, as many of those puppies find their stay in that new home short lived.  Unfortunately, shelters are busiest this time of year as the shelter is most often the place where these pet “gifts” are returned. It’s no accident then that this month has been designated by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) as “National Train your Dog Month.”  Whether you’ve received a puppy as a gift, given one has a gift, or even have a long-time furry friend who might benefit from a “refresher” course in training, make this a New Year’s resolution:  Get that dog some training! Now, if you have a new puppy, your first stop should be to your Boca Raton pet care specialist, of course.  Your vet can help the relationship between you and your new friend get off on the right foot.  You’ll probably learn more about your pup’s breed and with that, critical insights into behavior such as sociability and eating habits.  You’ll want to have your pup checked for any potentially harmful conditions that can often go undetected to the untrained eye, as well as given the vaccinations needed to stay healthy.  Finally, you’ll also want to get set up with a schedule of regular visits.  This is important as your pup grows into “doghood”.  Why?  When your dog is ill, it’s important that he or she feel comfortable with their vet.  There is nothing worse than having a sick dog who is also deathly afraid of going to [...]

By |January 4th, 2017|Categories: Boca Pet Vet|0 Comments

Christmas shopping for that “best friend”.

I turned on the television today and saw my first Christmas-themed commercial.  No surprise, right?  But it got me thinking that maybe it’s time to start my Christmas shopping… get ahead of it this time, ya know? Of course, no Christmas is complete without a gift for our furry friends, so I started by searching online for our dog, Scout.  I knew that pet beds are a bit passé as pet gifts but I had no idea just how out of fashion they’ve become.  Go out to frontgate, for instance, and you’ll see why there’s no way in the world that today’s fashion-forward canine is going to be happy with a pet bed as a gift! Here’s a good place to start for today’s dog: The jeweled dog collar.  “Accessorize your posh pooch with this Art Deco Jeweled Dog Collar, handcrafted with Italian full-grain leather and embedded with Swarovski® crystals,” says frontgate.  Price tag?  A very reasonable $39.  As the weather begins to cool and your pet’s own fur is not enough to keep him warm (is this really a problem?  His own fur isn't enough??), you might consider the “Faux Fur Pet Jacket.”  Is it just me or is there something disturbing, faux or not, about a dog wearing a fur jacket?  “Keep your beloved comfortable and in vogue.”  It evens comes with a “jeweled button closure for quick wardrobe changes”! The Faux Fur Jacket would run me $150, but I still felt like I hadn’t spent quite enough on ol’ Scout.  In search of a gift a bit more indulgent, my surfing took me to this: the Luxury Pet Residence with FREE crate pad!  It’s the “ultimate comfort for your pet and doubles [...]

By |November 6th, 2016|Categories: Boca Pet Vet|0 Comments

Protecting your Pet’s Eyesight

Unlike a human, a dog cannot really tell us when something is bothering him or her. Therefore, it is important to have your dog examined regularly.  One such regular examination should be an eye exam. Again, your dog won’t tell you that he’s having trouble with distance sight, or that he might need reading glasses.  Only an exam will reveal deteriorating eyesight. If your dog’s vision IS suffering, that deterioration could also be a sign of a more serious disease.  As with any illness, the earlier it is detected, the less likely it is that the illness will progress to seriously problematic. A quick and easy exam you can administer at home. Take your dog to a well-lit area. Hold your dog’s head gently in your hands and look carefully into each eye for signs of infection or debris. Be sure to check both eyes thoroughly. You should also look for crustiness, discharge, or excessive teariness. Make sure that the eyeball also has a white area around it that is healthy looking, and free from redness.  Now, look closely at the pupils and make sure they are the same size. Check that the eyes do not seem cloudy or otherwise irritated. Cloudiness may be an indication of cataracts, which is a relatively common condition in dogs. Although some breeds have naturally bulgy eyeballs, if your dog starts to develop bulgy eyes when they did not have them before, it could be a sign of glaucoma.  If you notice that your dog’s eyelids seem to roll inward, it could signal a condition called “entropion”, which can cause damage to the eyes as the eyelids rub against the eyeball. A lot of discharge, irritation, and redness may [...]

By |October 23rd, 2016|Categories: Boca Pet Vet|0 Comments

Are you Annoying your Dog?

Of course, you would never do it intentionally. We love our dogs, so it only makes sense that we want them to love us back. And while your dog surely thinks that you hung the moon, believe it or not, there ARE things that we humans do that annoy our pets. Not surprisingly, these behaviors also apply to relationships between people and, as you might imagine, more specifically to the relationships between adults and children.  For instance… Let Sleeping Dogs Lie (as they say) There’s a reason for this old adage.  Like humans, who likes being jolted out of a nice, restful sleep? No one that I know, anyway… especially my significant other!  Not that you can serve your dog coffee in bed, but wake your pet as “gently” as you can.  If your dog is like mine, you never have this problem; if anything, getting her to go to sleep is a challenge, never waking up!  Also, something else to consider. As dogs age, they can sleep more heavily, and can be more easily startled and react poorly if woken up abruptly.  If your dog is catching “z’s”, especially if he or she is “up there” in age, let your sleeping dog lie. Hugs It’s just one of the ways that as human beings, we show affection, but hugs aren’t always good for pets. While we may think that a hug is sweet and comforting, dogs often feel trapped and scared during hugs, particularly when humans pull them into their faces. This can be especially problematic if people with whom your dog is not familiar attempt a hug.  If a friend’s hug makes your dog feel trapped, he could respond with aggression and no [...]

By |October 18th, 2016|Categories: Boca Pet Vet|0 Comments