Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Avoid Memorial Day Mishaps

Memorial Day Weekend is in a few days, and while it’s a great time to celebrate with family and friends, we need to be cautious of our pet’s safety.  Fireworks are a Memorial Day tradition, and while most of us enjoy the noise and flashes from a firework display, this can be extremely frightening to dogs.  Here are some tips to keep your dog safe during the holiday weekend.
  • Keep your dog inside at all times.  It is easy to lose track of your pet when you’re entertaining guests.
  • Be cautious of alcoholic beverages.  Make sure all alcohol is kept out of reach and guests are mindful where they place their drinks.
  • Avoid offering table scraps.  Raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and avocados are common snacks found at barbeques, but these are all toxic to dogs.
  • Make sure your pet is wearing an ID tag or microchip.  If your pet becomes lost during the holiday commotion, they can be easily identified.
  • Stay clear of glow jewelry.  Dogs can chew up and swallow the plastic jewelry, which can cause excessive drooling and gastrointestinal upset.
  • Leave your pet at home when going to a fireworks display.  The combination of loud noises and unfamiliar people can be extremely frightening and traumatizing to your pet. 
Everyone at Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod wishes you a wonderful and safe holiday weekend.  We would like to honor all of the men and women who sacrificed their lives to serve in the U.S. Military and continue to serve to keep our Country safe. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Summer Time Tips

As the weather warms up and summer approaches, we will be spending more time outside with our family, friends and pets!  Many of us will be having cookouts and spending our days at the beach.  Here are some helpful tips to keep your pet safe during these fun social gatherings.
  • Save outdoor time with your pet during the early morning or later in the day.  Pets can easily succumb to heatstroke, especially pets who are older, overweight, or brachycephalic (has a flat-shaped face).  Always provide plenty of cold water and shade.  Avoid walking on pavement when the sun is in full force, as this can burn your pet’s paws. 
  • Be mindful of food during barbeques.  Corncobs, chicken bones and ribs are just a few common foods that can cause obstructions if ingested by your pet, which may require surgery.  Keep food out of reach from your pet at all times and don’t forget to keep a tight lid on any trash cans.
  • Avoid bringing your dog for a day at the beach.  While this may sound like a great idea, we recommend limiting your dog’s beach excursions to either early morning or late afternoon.  It is too hot for your pet to endure an entire day at the beach, which can result in heat stroke.  Dogs can ingest sand, come in contact fish hooks and drink saltwater, all of which can become very serious and require veterinary care.
As pet owners, we naturally want to involve our pets during social gatherings or day excursions.  However, we must always place our pet’s safety first and foremost.  Often times, this means keeping your pet at home in a cool and safe environment. 


Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Importance of AAHA Accreditation

Did you know that Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod is one of only three veterinary hospitals on Cape Cod that is AAHA accredited?  In fact, we are the only AAHA accredited veterinary hospital located in the Mid Cape.  The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) is the only organization to accredit companion veterinary hospitals.  AAHA accredited hospitals hold themselves to higher standards, placing pets as their #1 priority.  What sets AAHA accredited practices apart from non-accredited practices?
  • Accreditation is voluntary – only hospitals interested in raising the bar strive for this accreditation
  • Accredited practices undergo regular comprehensive evaluations by AAHA veterinary experts who evaluate the practice on approximately 900 standards of veterinary care
  • Re-evaluations are required every three years to keep practices up-to-date
  • Only 12-15% of all veterinary practices in the United States and Canada are AAHA accredited
We encourage everyone to ask if their veterinary hospital is AAHA accredited, regardless of where you bring your pet.  The AAHA evaluation process gives us the opportunity to continuously improve our practice and provides an atmosphere in which all team members work together harmoniously.  If you’ve never been to Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod, we encourage you to stop by for a visit!  We are confident that our hospital with both meet and exceed your expectations of a veterinary hospital.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Happy Vet Visits Part 8

A lot of changes have been made to help ease your pet’s fears and anxiety when coming to the veterinary hospital.  We understand that it can be nerve-racking when your pet is brought to the back for vaccines and bloodwork.  The inability to see what is being done to your pet can make you feel helpless, even if you know and trust your veterinarian.  For this reason, we are performing more vaccinations and bloodwork in the exam room with owners present.  Here are few changes you will see:   
  • Lower-stress handling approach.  There are long-standing consequences for the future ability to handle your pet based on how your pet was handled in the past.  Our gentle, lower-stress handling approach will leave a positive experience in your pet’s mind.
  • We believe in positive reinforcement and pets often appreciate treats as a reward.  Each exam room is stocked with plenty of treats.  We encourage bringing a hungry pet for exams.
  • We try our best to examine your pet in their comfort zone.  Whether that be on the floor, an exam table, in their crate with the lid removed, or even your lap!   
We have made these changes to benefit both you and your pets.  If you are uncomfortable watching your pet receive vaccinations or other treatments, you are welcome to step out of the exam room or we can bring your pet to the back – the choice is yours.  Next time you come for a visit, we encourage you to take note of the changes we made.  We never want pets to fear going to their veterinarian and we’re hoping to make veterinary visits fun for both pets and their owners.  If your pet suffers from extreme anxiety, we encourage you to alert the client services representative when booking the appointment.  We will go above and beyond your expectations to make your pet’s visit a positive one!