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So far Matt McGarry has created 68 blog entries.

Benefits of daycare, physical and social

If you consider your dog as part of the family -- and we know that you do! -- leaving him or her behind every morning when you go to work is one of the toughest parts of your day. However, there is a growing business that will benefit you and your pup! Doggie daycare facilities are popping up all over the country and, believe it or now, have multiple benefits for your dog while providing you with much-needed peace of mind. At doggie daycare, not only will your pup be able to enjoy the company of other dogs, but other humans as well! This can help relieve separation anxiety and destructive behavior at home; a win for both you and your dog. You can bet that with all of the exercise, he or she will be able to more easily maintain a healthy weight and be exhausted when they get home. Dog daycares will typically have indoor and outdoor fenced in yards, and sometimes even kiddie pools to keep them cool during those hot summer months. Now one main concern people have with doggie daycare is the safety aspect; questions from, “How will I know my dog is being treated well?” to “What if a fight occurs?” are common concerns. Of course, your first stop should be your Boca Raton pet care specialist, who can advise you on what your pet needs, both physically and socially. Some places have cameras so you can check up on your dog anytime throughout the day, offering an unfiltered view of what is really going on while you’re dog is at daycare. Employees are typically trained in lots of areas; from how to properly socialize with your dog to [...]

By |August 5th, 2016|Categories: Boca Pet Vet|0 Comments

Happiness is… a healthy mouth!

Does your “man’s best friend” have breath that’s not the best that it could be? Well, not to alarm you too much, but your pet’s bad breath is more than a sign that he doesn’t floss often enough; it’s often a sign of a progressing dental disease. You see, bad breath is caused by bacteria… bacteria that, over time, builds up and becomes plaque and tartar. As these build up on your pet’s teeth, they cause not only the bad breath, but reddening gums, which can become quite painful. Additionally, if left unaddressed, this bacteria can enter your pet’s bloodstream, affecting his heart, kidneys and liver, and lead to much more serious – even life threatening, diseases. Your Boca Raton pet care specialist will tell you… an estimated 85 percent of dogs over the age of four are suffering from some form of periodontal disease, a painful oral condition that can lead to tooth loss and infection. The good news? All of these problems are preventable with regular dental cleanings, a few simple “tricks,” and professional checkups. Now, experts will tell you that the ideal way to prevent mouth and gum issues in your pup is regular brushing. Ideal, yes. Realistic? Not really. But, even if you don’t brush your dog’s teeth, and many people don’t, you can still take measures to ensure that he or she is not plagued by plaque! Chew toys, for instance, are a fair substitute for brushing. A good long chew can help scrape away plaque, and most dogs are happy to chew away on a good rawhide or a knucklebone. Knucklebones are a softer bone that's gentler on the teeth and are far more preferable than hooves or bones [...]

By |July 27th, 2016|Categories: Boca Pet Vet|0 Comments

Dealing with Canine Cough

‘Tis the season, as they say and yes, it would be nice if we were talking about the Christmas season and some blessedly cooler weather but, unfortunately no… we’re talking about the Tracheobronchitis season. Ok, maybe that sounds worse than it really is. How about this instead? The Canine Cough season. Is that better? Probably not, because anyone who knows anything about dogs knows that this illness can be a pesky one. With summertime in full swing and with it, more family vacation travelling and with that, more dog boarding, Canine Cough becomes a real problem. So, what is Canine, or Kennel, Cough? For starters, as we said earlier, it’s the common name given to infectious canine tracheobronchitis, a highly contagious respiratory disease among dogs... puppies (with immature immune systems) and older dogs (with diminished immune system capabilities) are more at risk. As the name suggests, it is typified by inflammation of the trachea and bronchi.It is also sometimes referred to as bordetellosis. Young puppies often suffer the most severe complications that can result from this disease since they have immature immune systems. Also at increased risk are older dogs, who may have decreased immune capabilities. What causes it? We are venturing now into an area that is the purvue of your Boca Raton veterinary professional… the medical causes of Canine Cough. According to WebMd, “some of the most common microorganisms that contribute to infectious canine tracheobronchitis are Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria, canine adenovirus, parainfluenza virus, and mycoplasma.” Any of these, alone or together, according to experts, can cause symptoms. As with any illness, canine or human, any infection that involves more than one organism tends to present with more severe symptoms. So, what are these [...]

By |July 20th, 2016|Categories: Boca Pet Vet|0 Comments

The most overlooked veterinary service

Today we’re going to talk about, you guessed it, the most overlooked, and therefore underutilized, veterinary service. Any idea what it might be? Dental care? Microchipping? Grooming? Nope, you’re not even close. Try this on for size: The wellness visit. Yes, that’s right. Although not terribly surprising really when you consider how we, as human beings, behave when it comes to the wellness visit; we overlook them, too! Probably because it’s human nature, a case of either 1) I feel good so I must be healthy or 2) best to leave well enough (pun intended) alone. The fact of the matter is, be it man or beast, looking good and feeling good don’t necessarily rule out the possibility that we are suffering from some unseen and (at least for the moment) “unfelt” illness. Consider this, as well. When it comes to your pet, he or she can’t tell you they’re not feeling themselves. Should you wait for the obvious signs of sickness – i.e., a bad cough, diarrhea, ear scratching or hobbling – to bring your beloved pet to your Boca Raton pet care specialist? We think not! Whether a youngster, a “senior” or any age somewhere in-between, wellness exams provide an excellent opportunity for your veterinarian to conduct a thorough physical examination, AND (importantly) to develop a health profile for your pet. The wellness visit not only helps identify medical problems, along with other issues that may affect your pet’s quality of life, but also the opportunity to build a roadmap for a healthier life moving forward. So, what does a wellness visit “en-tail”? At Compassionate Care Animal Clinic, your pet’s wellness exam includes an evaluation of all of his or her major organ [...]

By |July 11th, 2016|Categories: Boca Pet Vet|0 Comments

Preparing your Pup for July 4 Fireworks

While today -- July 4, Independence Day --  is a wonderful time to get together with family and friends, and to celebrate the freedoms we enjoy as Americans, it can be a terrifying time for our pets. Many are completely petrified of the loud bangs and bright flashes of light that accompany fireworks, and that fear and anxiety can cause both short-term and long term problems for your pet. Two things to making your dog comfortable during an evening of fireworks and July 4 festivities; keep him comfortable and keep him distracted.  Here are some practical tips -- ranging from a comfortable bed go pheromone therapy – to help your dog get through a raucous evening of Fourth of July fireworks. Provide him with a playmate. Of course, that can be YOU and you can keep your pup engaged by playing games and helping him to keep his mind off the loud noises and flashes of light. If keeping your dog busy is not an option, a playmate will work, too.  Either way, your dog is too busy to think about the July 4th mayhem. Prepare a calming place. Make sure that your dog has a safe place to spend the evening.  Perhaps he has a favorite room in the house… at the very least, a favorite place such as where he sleeps. The goal is to try to keep him in the area of your home where he feels most comfortable. If he has a favorite room in the house, consider putting a radio in that room and closing the curtains if possible.  The drawn curtains will shield him from the bright flashes and the radio will help drown out the noise of the [...]

By |July 4th, 2016|Categories: Boca Pet Vet|0 Comments

Teaching your Pup to Love the Water

It’s that time of year again.  Temperatures are rising and the only place to find relief is in the pool.  Now, why shouldn’t your furry friend enjoy the same cooling-off benefits that YOU do?  There’s no reason why not… provided you take a thoughtful approach to it.  After all, most dogs – there are a few exceptions, of course – simply aren’t programmed to jump right in and become the next Michael Phelps. But, with the proper care and guidance, most breeds can enjoy the pool just as much as you do. First Step?  Your Vet. Start with some research or, better yet, visit with your Boca Raton pet care specialist.  Find out, as best you can based on breed, how your pet will respond to the water.  Some breeds -- the bulldog, for instance -- cannot swim at all and will sink like a rock if placed in a pool. Create a Safe Environment Dogs who swim prefer bodies of water that they can enter, and exit, easily.  Place your pup in the pool and you’ll see that their first reaction is to scramble for the closest solid footing.  Never consider letting your dog swim in a body of water from which he or she cannot exit on their own!  Rivers (provided there is no current), the beach (when allowed by local law) and creeks are good swimming environments as they offer a “shore”.  When considering pool swimming, the pool must have a shallow end and, ideally, stepped stairs that your pup can use to enter and exit on his or her own.  If you’re going the “natural” route, ala creek or river, keep your dog on a lead so that there’s no possibility of him [...]

By |June 29th, 2016|Categories: Boca Pet Vet|0 Comments

What to do when Fido gets “skunked”

Dogs may be “Man’s Best Friend”, but that friendship can hit a rough patch if your canine pal has had a close encounter with a skunk.   Your best bet is to be prepared, so you should make it a point to contact your Boca Raton Veterinarian to ask which products they recommend, and how best to use them. Whether the classic striped skunk, or the less common (but equally potent) spotted variety, these nocturnal scavengers will usually only spray in self-defense after attempting to warn potential victims away with posturing behaviors like stamping the ground with their paws, hissing, small forward charges, and raising their tails. If your pet is leashed, you may be able to make a slow retreat before your dog’s natural “chase” instinct is triggered.   But if your dog returns home from a solo outing bearing a “stench cloud” souvenir, you will need to act quickly to lessen the impact on your pet and your home. The foul-smelling “thiols” are most easily removed while they are still wet (and you can more easily see the primary areas that have been hit). The best plan is to tend to your pet outdoors if possible, but if you must bring them into the house, be sure to have all of the items you need at hand, like large and small towels, a small bucket or bowl, a disposable brush, and a garbage bag. You may want to put down a pathway of newspaper or other thin material, like plastic sheeting with a border of painter’s tape to affix it to the baseboards (sold at hardware stores). Try not to let your dog brush against furniture or walls on the way to the bathroom/basement/utility room. [...]

By |June 20th, 2016|Categories: Boca Pet Vet|0 Comments

An RX for your Pet’s Health

Medications are an important part of your pet’s health care – both as a preventative measure, and when illness occurs.  Your Boca Raton Veterinarian is dedicated to providing the best care possible for your furry family members, but it’s just as important for you to take an active part in your pet’s health plan. Medications are best able to help if they are administered correctly.  The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) promotes Animal Health Literacy, and suggests asking the following questions to help ensure that you fully understand how to properly provide medications to your pet: 1:  “Why has my pet been prescribed this medication, and how long do I need to give it?” 2:  “How do I give the medication to my pet?  Should it be given with food?” (If your pet has a sensitive stomach, be sure to mention it so your Boca Raton Pet Specialist can determine the best way to make sure that the medicine will be effective.) 3:  “How often should the medication be given, and how much should I give each time?  If it is a liquid, should I shake it first?” 4:  “How do I store the medication?  Does it need to be refrigerated?” (Keep medications in their original containers, and in a different location than any of your own medicines to avoid confusion.  If your pet is receiving more than one medication, be careful not to mix up the containers/dosages.) 5:  “What should I do if my pet vomits or spits out the medication?” 6: “If I forget to give the medication, should I give it as soon as I remember, or wait until the next scheduled dose?  What if I accidently give too much?” 7:  [...]

By |June 14th, 2016|Categories: Boca Pet Vet|0 Comments

Preparing your Pet for an Emergency – Part 3 of 3:  Weathering the Storm

It can’t be stressed enough: NEVER leave your pets behind if you must evacuate your home! Not only could your absence be longer than anticipated, but in the event of structural damage to your home, your pets could escape and very possibly be injured, lost, or worse. In a situation where it is likely that you will be required to leave your residence, don’t wait until evacuation notices become mandatory.  Escalating weather conditions – in additional to your stress levels, which most animals can sense – may make it more difficult to get your pets to cooperate with a departure, and if you have to be evacuated by emergency personnel, officials may insist that you leave your pets behind. Call ahead for a reservation at your designated hotel (check with your Boca Raton pet specialist ahead of time for recommendations) as soon as you think you might have to leave your home, and confirm that they will house all of your family members and pets. While loading your pre-packed evacuation kit and any additional food/water supplies, note the level in your car’s gas tank and plan to “top up” en route if needed. Lastly before departing, turn off the main house valves for water, electricity, and natural gas.  (Natural gas customers should be certain to contact their provider well in advance for detailed specific instructions.) If You must Stay in your Home during an Emergency Situation 1) Secure and seal exterior doors/windows (including pet doors and fireplaces), as well as any objects inside your home that could become dangerous if they became airborne (like breakable, sharp, or toxic items and materials). 2) Choose a structurally safe room, and gather your family, pets, and emergency kit [...]

By |May 30th, 2016|Categories: Boca Pet Vet|0 Comments

Preparing your Pet for an Emergency – Part 2 of 3

Emergencies, by definition, are difficult to predict, and evacuation is no exception. What seems like a possible overnight stay at a local shelter or hotel, could turn into days or weeks, or even involve leaving your local area entirely in the event of a major storm. In addition to the paperwork and medications provided by your Boca Raton Veterinarian, basics like canned/dry food and bottled water – for you and your pets - should be your first priority. Choose cans with “pop tops”, but be sure to bring a manual can opener in case you need to buy additional food later. Dry food should be stored in a watertight container.  Non-breakable/non-tippable food and water containers with lids can serve as feeding bowls.  Camping stores sell combination fork/spoon/knife utensils (in plastic or metal) as well as other “pocket knife”-type combination gadgets (some even shaped like animals!), which are lightweight space savers. Non-toxic liquid antibacterial dish soap, paper towels, hand sanitizer, moist towelettes, and plastic trash bags will help with clean up, and some first aid basics like bandages, individually wrapped alcohol pads, medical tape, scissors, magnifying glass (and/or extra reading glasses) and styptic powder (or corn starch) to stop bleeding are good to include. In addition to the regular supplies you normally use for your pet, your evacuation kit should contain its own dedicated leash, harness, bedding, towels, toys, grooming items, and waste accessories (“pick up” bags and “puppy pads” for dogs, and litter/scoop/aluminum pans for cats) so that you aren’t scrambling to grab them from various locations around your house when time is limited. If your pet routinely sleeps in their carrier (which should be permanently marked with your contact information) elsewhere in the house, [...]

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