Common questions we receive on a daily basis.

How often should I bring my pet to a Veterinarian?

Just like people, regular checkups help to ensure your pet maintains optimal health. Puppies and kittens should be seen at 2 months, 6 months and again at 12 months, and it is recommended that older pets be seen at least bi-annually. A healthy adult should be seen annually.

What procedures are recommended for a cat and at what age:

We encourage all our patients to maintain the following schedule


  • 2 months
  • 4 months Spay/Neuter
  • 6 months
  • 12 months
  • Annually – Heart worm and stool tests

Does spaying or neutering my pet change them?

Your spayed female pet won’t go into heat. While cycles can vary, female felines usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. In an effort to advertise for mates, they’ll yowl and urinate more frequently—sometimes all over the house!

Your male dog will be less likely to roam away from home. An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate, including finding creative ways escape from the house. Once he’s free to roam, he risks injury in traffic and fights with other male animals.

Your neutered male may be better behaved. Unneutered dogs and cats are more likely to mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house. Your dog might be less likely to mount other dogs, people and inanimate objects after he’s neutered. Some aggression problems may be avoided by early neutering.

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Cold weather and your pet

Cold weather affects pets in much the same way it affects people. Conditions such as arthritis may worsen, and elderly pets may have more difficulty moving around or may slip and fall which can lead to injury. Pets with short coats may require additional jackets and most dogs benefit from the use of boots when walking around. Ice and snow can mat in long hair and salt can injure the paws of our four legged friends.

For more on Winter Wellness, see

Hot weather and your pet

When the temperature rises, your pets requires special consideration. Unable to shed their coats completely, your pet can overheat quickly under the right conditions. In addition to always ensuring your pet has an adequate supply of water and shade or air conditioning, you should

  • Never, ever leave your dog in the car;
  • Take walks during the cooler hours of the day;
  • When walking, try to stay off of hot surfaces (like asphalt) because it can burn your dog’s paws;
  • If you think it’s hot outside, it’s even hotter for your pet – make sure your pet has a means of cooling off;
  • Keep your dog free of external parasites (fleas, ticks) and heartworms – consult your veterinarian about the best product for your pet;
  • Consider clipping or shaving dogs with long coats (talk to your veterinarian first to see if it’s appropriate for your pet), and apply sunscreen to your dog’s skin if she or he has a thin coat.

Getting your pet ready for Spring

Spring is the transition season for all of us and your pet is no exception. With the arrival of warm weather, your pet is probably anxious to get outside and get active again. With the flowers, grass and trees coming to back to life, we unfortunately also see the return of mosquitoes, ticks and other parasite vectors. In addition to cleaning up the backyard of the winter waste, now is a good time to replace worn out beds or bowls, dispose of any damaged toys left out during the winter and of course, get your pet checked for heartworm and startup preventative flea, tick and heartworm medication.

For more information on springtime safety for your pets:

Allergies and your pet

Allergies in Dogs

Some common symptoms you might see include:

  • Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin
  • Increased scratching
  • Itchy, runny eyes
  • Itchy back or base of tail (most commonly flea allergy)
  • Itchy ears and ear infections
  • Sneezing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Snoring caused by an inflamed throat
  • Paw chewing/swollen paws
  • Constant licking

For more information about allergies in dogs:

Allergies in cats

Some common symptoms you might see include:

  • Sneezing, coughing (if the cat has asthma), wheezing
  • Itchy skin/increased scratching
  • Itchy, runny eyes
  • Itchy back or base of tail (most commonly seen in flea allergies)
  • Itchy ears and ear infections
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Snoring caused by an inflamed throat
  • Paw chewing/swollen paws

For more information about allergies in cats:

Heartworm, should I worry?

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets in the United States and many other parts of the world. It is caused by foot-long worms (heartworms) that live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected pets, causing severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body. Heartworm disease affects dogs, cats and ferrets, but heartworms also live in other mammal species, including wolves, coyotes, foxes, sea lions and—in rare instances—humans. Because wild species such as foxes and coyotes live in proximity to many urban areas, they are considered important carriers of the disease.


The dog is a natural host for heartworms, which means that heartworms that live inside the dog mature into adults, mate and produce offspring. If untreated, their numbers can increase, and dogs have been known to harbor several hundred worms in their bodies. Heartworm disease causes lasting damage to the heart, lungs and arteries, and can affect the dog’s health and quality of life long after the parasites are gone. For this reason, prevention is by far the best option, and treatment—when needed—should be administered as early in the course of the disease as possible.


Heartworm disease in cats is very different from heartworm disease in dogs. The cat is an atypical host for heartworms, and most worms in cats do not survive to the adult stage. Cats with adult heartworms typically have just one to three worms, and many cats affected by heartworms have no adult worms. While this means heartworm disease often goes undiagnosed in cats, it’s important to understand that even immature worms cause real damage in the form of a condition known as heartworm associated respiratory disease (HARD). Moreover, the medication used to treat heartworm infections in dogs cannot be used in cats, so prevention is the only means of protecting cats from the effects of heartworm disease.

For more information about heartworm:

Is keeping my cat indoors cruel?

It’s a myth that going outside is a requirement for feline happiness. Playing regularly with a cat and providing their entertaining toys can easily satisfy their stalking instinct, keep them stimulated and provide the exercise they need to stay healthy and happy. It also keeps local wildlife safe!

For more information on keeping your indoor cat happy:

Travelling with my pet

For information on keeping your pet comfortable during travelling:

For information regarding import and travel requirements for your pets: