The Fortified Feline: A Quick Guide to Cat Enrichment

Cats have predatory natures. They need to survey their territory and ambush interlopers, and they thrive when acting upon their innate feline behaviors.

Unfortunately, many indoor-only cats succumb to a sort of humdrum existence that involves little else besides eating, sleeping, and grooming. Improve your pet’s quality of life with these ideas for cat enrichment at home.

Our Job

Indoor-outdoor cats may have more opportunities to climb, stalk, pounce, and frolic than indoor-only pets, but allowing cats to roam increases their risk of accidental injury, illness, or death. However, while indoor-only cats may lead longer, safer lives, they may not always have their needs fulfilled.

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Heartworm Disease and Prevention

pet heartworm prevention

Spring is right around the corner, and with it comes warmer weather, more outdoor time – and of course, creepy, crawly bugs. Among the most annoying can be the flying variety, namely, mosquitoes. And although the bite of a mosquito can be uncomfortable, it can also pose serious and even deadly risks for your pet.

All is takes is one mosquito bite to transmit heartworm to pets. Once thought of as only a problem in the southern states, heartworm disease is now found in all 50 states and Canada. An infected pet faces permanent organ damage to the heart and lungs, or death. So what’s a conscientious pet owner to do?

Let Berks Animal Emergency and Referral Center walk you through the basics of heartworm disease and prevention.

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All Good or Pass On Grass? The Reasons Why Pot and Pets Don’t Mix

Marijuana and pets

The issue of pot and pets isn’t new but since the legalization of medical marijuana in 2016, the frequency of toxic episodes in Pennsylvania has increased.

No matter where you stand on the topic of legalization, the fact is pets have more access to cannabis products than ever before. Together, we can work towards preventing a pet emergency. It’s equally important to be able to recognize the signs of an accidental poisoning and how to seek help.

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Taking One Heartbeat at a Time: Veterinary Cardiology

veterinary cardiology

Some may argue that lots of snuggles, excellent nutrition, or long, leisurely walks are be the most important part of making a pet feel loved. At Berks Animal Emergency & Referral Center, though, we know the fastest way to a pet’s heart is good heart health!

While good pet cardiac care may not make your pet knowingly love you anymore, it is an important part of a long and quality lifetime with your furry friend. Our veterinary cardiology services are here to ensure that you get as much time as possible with your beloved pet.

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A Look Back: Berks Animal Emergency and Referral Center’s Top 5 Blogs of 2018

2019 is upon us, bringing with it all the promise and possibility of a new year. While we’re looking forward to new challenges and new adventures, at Berks Animal Emergency and Referral Center we’re also are feeling grateful and looking back at all the wonderful things that 2018 brought us. Among the most valuable are the relationships we’ve forged with pet owners, and the pets we were able to help.

Looking back is also a fun thing to do when it includes our monthly blog posts. We’ve tallied up your favorite posts and are sharing our top 5 most popular blogs of 2018, here. Enjoy!

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The Picture Worth a Thousand Words: The Value of Veterinary Ultrasound

Veterinary ultrasound is an important veterinary diagnostic tool

While many people have seen an ultrasound image before (who hasn’t been subjected to in utero baby pics on social media?), most don’t realize how valuable a diagnostic tool this imaging modality can be. Veterinary ultrasound is a staple in what we do here at Berks Animal Emergency and Referral Center, and a tool we’re not so sure we could live without.

What Veterinary Ultrasound Does

Veterinary ultrasound is a valuable diagnostic tool because it is safe, non-invasive, and provides a wealth of information about the patient. Here’s how it works:

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Good Dog (and Cat)! Behavioral Training for Pets

Pet behavioral training is good helps all pets be good petsThe holidays are upon us, and if you’re like us, you are excited about seeing family, friends, and celebrating the season with delicious foods and parties. But, you also might be a bit apprehensive about all the activity, travel, and guests – and how the excitement might affect your pets.

Dogs and cats are creatures of habit, and sometimes changes in routine and new people that the holidays can bring can cause behavioral issues to arise. If you’re worried about barking, jumping up, spraying, or chewing, you may benefit from learning about behavioral training for pets and how it might make your life (and your pet’s life) easier and less stressful – especially during the busy holiday season. Continue…

Candy: The Truly Frightening Risk to Halloween Pet Safety

animal hospital pet safetyHalloween is great for kids of all ages, but there are many aspects that also pose a threat to our pets. Costumes and decorations notwithstanding, the endless variety of candy and treats is actually a big concern when it comes to Halloween pet safety. In fact, this is the cause of most pet emergencies this time of year. Depending on the type and quantity consumed, candy can really land your pet in a cauldron of hot water.

The Most Dangerous

While it’s safe to assume that all Halloween candy is relatively bad for pets, there are some foods that are worse than others. For example, chocolate candy is one of the worst (and most common) offenders around. Chocolate poisoning can result in vomiting, diarrhea, panting, restlessness, and even heart failure. Continue…

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

pet wellness in shillington PA

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. Continue…