Taking a Closer Look at Pet Insurance: Is it Right for You?

Pet insurance can help defray the cost of veterinary careModern veterinary medicine is literally a lifesaver for millions of pets. Being able to extend and improve the lives of our precious companions is a wonderful thing, but this advanced medical care is not without a cost. In fact, for many pet owners, this can place significant financial strain on a household.

Similar to how health insurance can help offset our medical bills, pet insurance can also provide peace of mind. Pet insurance isn’t necessarily the right choice for everyone, but it may be worth looking into and discovering for yourself whether the benefits outweigh the cost. Continue…

Prevention: The Simple Truth About Pet Wellness

The foundation of overall, lifelong pet wellness is initiated in the first years of an animal’s life.

In their first year or so, pets visit the vet more often to establish overall wellness. They are vaccinated to prevent disease, microchipped, spayed or neutered, and given medication to guard against internal and external parasites. The resulting picture of absolute health can make it seem unnecessary to keep up with routine pet wellness exams. But the best time to take your pet to the vet is when they are feeling their best. Why? Because pet wellness hinges on prevention.

Just Like Us

The foundation of overall, lifelong pet wellness is initiated in the first years of an animal’s life. Just as we commit to annual physicals or dental cleanings, pets need regular attention. Without this proactive approach, health issues can gain a foothold and threaten longevity and quality of life.

Given the opportunity to record normal, or baseline, values, your pet’s veterinarian can track any changes in the future that can lead to early diagnosis – and a better outcome.

Cause and Effect

Catching problems before they develop can save your pet’s life (and a significant amount of your own time and money). Early detection of disease can lead to easier, more affordable treatment and decreases the chances of debilitating pain and suffering.

Speaking of pain, animals – especially cats – are hardwired to mask any signs of weakness. If your pet is ill or injured, they may not show their symptoms to you before it’s too late.

Elements of a Pet Wellness Exam

Open channels of communication are essential between pet owners and veterinarians. Younger pets are typically seen once a year, whereas aging or senior animals should be taken in two times annually for exams that include attention to:

 

  • Weight – Obesity can lead to many other health conditions, such as heart disease and  osteoarthritis. Your pet’s vet will focus on the products your pet receives, portions, and the ways they burn calories.
  • Diet and age-appropriate nutritional needs – Similarly, food that is appropriate for growing pets doesn’t address the needs of aging ones. Knowing what products are best for every life stage is critical.
  • Behavior – Some pets need more help than others in the discipline and obedience departments, but even slight shifts in an animal’s behavior patterns can signal health problems that shouldn’t be ignored.
  • Dental health – One of the most common diagnoses in pets older than 3 years old is dental disease. Entirely preventable, dental disease can damage the heart and kidneys, cause terrible breath, and diminish quality of life.
  • Skin and coat – Giving your pet’s fur coat careful consideration can reveal certain issues, and keep you rpet looking and feeling good.

 

Maintenance Matters

It isn’t always clear when to seek emergency care. The good news is that when you commit to preventive care, any developing problems can be dealt with before they get out of control. Between your excellent care at home, and your vet’s professional recommendations, your pet can maintain excellent health for years to come.

If you have any questions about our referral process, please feel free to contact us at Berks Animal Emergency and Referral Center. Be well!

Do Expiration Dates on Pet Medications Matter?

veterinarianLet’s face it, our medicine cabinets and bathroom shelves likely have an array of old medications, prescriptions, ointments, and other expired health items. The question is whether you still use them or not.

The same quandary is faced when you look at your pet’s old medications. Do expiration dates on pet medications really matter? Are they still effective? Is it safe? To clear up the confusion around this issue, the team at Berks Animal Emergency and Referral Center is here to explain expiration dates on pet medications and the risks.

The Importance of Expiration Dates on Pet Medications

Each over-the-counter and prescribed medication contains a date that lets the consumer know when the product is no longer effective. This date is determined at the time of manufacturing and depends on the type and form (liquid vs. pill) of medication, as well as storage requirements. Continue…

Dog Swimming Safety

shillington vetThis summer, many of us are looking forward to spending time with our dogs on the water. There’s nothing quite so fun as going to the local pond, beach, or just as far as your backyard pool for a swim with your dog. But keep in mind there are some safety precautions to be aware of when it comes to dog swimming safety. Not all dogs are great swimmers, and it’s important to be prepared, be aware, and take proper precautions when swimming with your dog.

Following are our best dog swimming safety tips from your Shillington vet. Continue…

All the Way Home: The Importance of Microchipping Your Pet

microchippingAh, the first taste of spring! Fine weather is finally here, and we’re all ready to get outside with our dogs. Our cats, too, are anxious to get out – whether or not that’s allowed.

Of course, before we get too excited, safety first! That means taking a look at whether or not your pet could be found if the spring in their step finds them wandering away. Berks Animal Emergency and Referral Center explores the very big importance of that tiny device, the microchip, and why microchipping is essential to your pet’s safety.

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Preventing Lyme Disease in Dogs: What Pet Owners Need to Know

Lyme Disease in DogsAfter a long winter, it’s hard to be anything other than delighted by the arrival of spring, and the dangers associated with warm weather are probably the farthest thing from most pet owners’ minds. Before we turn our attention to dusting off the patio furniture and firing up the grill, your team at Berks Animal Emergency and Referral Center would like to turn your attention to a very real springtime risk to your pet: Lyme disease.

April is National Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month. At Berks, we want to bring awareness and education to pet owners regarding this dangerous, and surprisingly common, disease.

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Don’t Let a Pet Poisoning Happen in Your Home

pet poisoningBetween Valentine’s Day, Easter, and spring cleaning, the risk of a pet poisoning occurring at home increases tenfold. Ironically, home is the one place that’s supposed to be the safest for your pet. However, with some practical pet safety tips, you can still enjoy this time of year – and protect your pet.

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Puppy and Kitten Emergencies: How to Know When to Go

emergency veterinarian Adopting a new puppy or kitten can be one of the most delightful experiences in life. Although they are a lot of work, young pets captivate us with their curiosity, playfulness, and, of course, their cuteness. Unfortunately, the very characteristics that make puppies and kittens so wonderful can also lead them into danger.

Rushing a new pet to the ER probably isn’t on the forefront of our minds, but veterinary hospitals see their share of puppy and kitten emergencies each day. Knowing how to recognize and prevent common puppy and kitten emergencies will help you to ensure the ongoing health and wellness of your sweet pet.

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Our Top 5 Pet Care Blogs of 2017

The holidays are over! How did they come and go so quickly? 2017 is now just a memory, and we are gearing up for another wonderful year. Looking ahead, we’re excited to continue to share relevant, fun, and educational information with our friends and pet owners through our monthly pet care blog.

In order to be successful in the new year, it’s important to review what we have learned in the past. With that said, we are looking back at the blogs that our readers found most informational and interesting last year, and we’re sharing them here with you. So, without further ado, here are our top 5 pet care blogs of 2017!

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Being the Cool Cat During Feline Emergencies

The difficult part about caring for animals is that it isn’t always crystal clear when they don’t feel well. From an evolutionary standpoint, showing weakness is not a good thing, so pets tend to hide illness and pain.

Perhaps no species is quite so cryptic as the cat. Feline fanatics will be the first to admit that these guys are hard to read. Some things, though, are unmistakable emergencies. That’s why Berks Animal Emergency & Referral Center wants to help all cat owners know how to spot a feline emergency so they can respond quickly and appropriately.

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