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National Dog Bite Prevention Week

Did you know…

    • Each year, more than 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs.
    • Almost 1 in 5 people bitten by dogs require medical attention.

  • Every year, more than 800,000 Americans receive medical attention for dog bites; at least half of them are children.
  • Children are, by far, the most common victims of dog bites and are far more likely to be severely injured.
  • Most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities and while interacting with familiar dogs.
  • Senior citizens are the second most common dog bite victims.

These facts and figures were provided by the American Veterinary Medical Association, and may sound a little bit scary. Any dog, even the most friendly pets, can bite under the right circumstances.

So, what causes our beloved pets to bite? Common reasons include fear and pain:

  • Learn to recognize signs of fear in dogs, including early warning signs (called “calming signals”) like lip-licking, yawning, and looking away.
  • If your pet has certain environmental triggers that contribute to fear and anxiety, learn to recognize them and mediate them. For example, some pets have storm or noise phobias, or severe separation anxiety. Tools like the ThunderShirt (available to purchase at Companion Animal Hospital) can work very well for some pets.
  • Other pets may need prescription medication to aid with anxiety. Talk to your pet’s doctor. Just like some people with anxiety disorders, these medications can offer much needed help.
  • Calming pheromone products like Adaptil can help some pets.
  • Socialization is important for pets young and old, and doesn’t just mean “meeting lots of people,” but helping your dog experience different people, places, and things in a safe and secure way to help reduce fear and anxiety in future encounters. Dr. Sophia Yin goes over puppy socialization in detail here.
  • Dogs can be wonderful family members, but make sure that you can teach children that interact with your dog how to do it safely. The AVMA has some great tips!
  • Pain can be difficult to detect in some pets. After all, many of them live to please us! Pets are masters at hiding pain. Learn about what can cause pain and how to recognize it. Regular checkups with your pet’s veterinarian can help detect problems early.

While prevention is the best solution, sometimes bites happen. Read up on what to do if you’re bitten by a dog here.

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Let’s get Active!

I am sure you all know that it's important to make sure our furry friends stay active. However, once winter time hits well that is simply more difficult with the snow and storms that come around. So then how do we keep our friends active in winter as we would in spring/summer? Why is physical activity & mental stimulation so important for animals? Well simply put, as humans do, if they are stuck inside, they will get bored which then can make them become destructive and have other negative behaviors. Cats Cats may not always be outside walking like dogs, but you may still notice with the change in weather maybe they are slowing down and not exercising like they should? Here are some helpful ways to encourage them to exercise. Set up a game of hide and seek and hide toys or treats for them to find. Bring in something new from outside like a stick to mentally stimulate them and work out their brain. The new smells and textures can be very enriching for them. Winter is the perfect time for box forts for our kitty friends. If you have spare time made them a kitty castle or kitty boat whatever your imagination can think of! And of course, everyone likes a little stimulation from Tv. Put on something on the tv or a tablet and let them watch it but be careful they do not knock over your TV. Dogs Our dog friends love to be outside! This is great when the weather is cooperating but on those days that it just makes no sense to go outside or is unsafe to so you can try these helpful exercising tips. Let them walk/run on a treadmill. Now as great as this is for exercise you also need to be careful. Desensitize them to the treadmill first, and start slowly. It can be dangerous if not done properly. If your furry friend likes car rides, go on a trip together even just a short one. Let them enjoy the different sights and smells. Winter is perfect time to learn new tricks! This is the time to teach them that special trick you have wanted to for a while. Set up an obstacle course in your house for them to try and get through. Written by: Ashley G, VT    

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Last updated: June 9, 2022.

Dear Clients,

Masks are now optional for both staff and clients at our hospital. Please respect everyone's comfort level. Here is what you can expect:

For appointments:
  • There are no longer any capacity limits on our exam rooms or reception area
  • Masks are optional for both team members and clients.
  • For food / medication / retail:
  • It is best to call your order in ahead of time so the team can get it ready for you. Please allow 24 - 48 hours for medication refills
  • We are continuing to see all cases by appointment only including pets in need of: vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, parasite prevention, and more.

    OPERATING HOURS

    Monday to Friday: 7:30 am – 7:30 pm
    Saturday: 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
    Sunday: CLOSED

    Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

    - Your dedicated team at Companion Animal Hospital