The veterinarians and staff at the Fredericktown Animal Hospital are pleased to provide you with an online newsletter. This fun and fact-filled newsletter is updated on a regular basis.

Included in the newsletter are articles pertaining to pet care, information on our animal hospital, as well as news on the latest trends and discoveries in veterinary medicine.

Please enjoy the newsletter!

Summer Exacerbates Your Pet’s Breathing Problems


With summer in the air, it’s getting particularly hard for some animals to breath. This is especially the case for short-nosed – or flat-faced dogs such as the Pekingese, pug, bulldog, boxer, Shih Tzu, and Chihuahua. However, these airway problems, which are typically due to narrow nostrils, a long soft palate or collapsed voice box, can also affect our feline friends, such as Himalayans and exotic shorthairs. This condition (known as the Brachycephalic airway syndrome) is largely due to the dog or cat’s unique head shape, so there isn’t much you can do to entirely avoid it.
However, there are certain factors that can increase the risk and further complicate their breathing condition. These include:
Exercise: Panting may also naturally increase in the summer months as the weather gets hotter and more humid.
Treatment options largely depend on the symptoms exhibited by your dog or cat. In some cases, surgical procedures may be your pet’s best option. So don’t let the summer heat waves stop your pet from getting a breath of fresh air. For more information about symptoms and treatments, talk to your local veterinarian.
Become a Pet Foster Parent
With nearly 7.6 million companion animals entering animal shelters a year, it’s easy to understand why shelters are full and looking for volunteers. Not only do they need donations of pet supplies, they need help with pet care as well. That’s where the role of pet foster parents come in.
Fostering a cat or dog from a local shelter means you open your home to a pet on a temporary basis and provide them with a home-like environment until they’re adopted. It’s not an easy commitment, especially when you have to give them back when they finally find a forever home. It’s a hard decision, but a rewarding experience.
Providing Care
Often, there are a few different types of pet foster candidates like kittens, recovering or sick animals, or adult cats and dogs with medical needs. As a foster parent, you can choose which type of pet you are most comfortable caring for and the best home environment you can provide for.
As a foster pet parent, it’s your responsibility to take the pet to any veterinarian appointments. Most shelters will provide you with the food, equipment, and supplies needed to care for the animal. All animal medical expenses are covered. Before you foster, you’ll also need to set up your home for a new pet as well, including food bowls and beds. Some shelters will supply these items for you, however, it’s best to check the fostering agreement first just to be sure.
Fostering can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
Above all, fostering a pet means that you provide a loving environment for your new foster pet.
Consider Your Own Pets
Introducing a new pet when you already have pets at home can be tough. Some shelters recommend having a separate room where you can keep your foster pet to avoid any confrontations. Some pets may adjust to a new addition easily, others won’t. In short, don’t expect it to necessarily be an easy, quick adjustment.
Know Your Limits
When you volunteer to foster a pet, ultimately it’s up to you about which pet you can foster. While some shelters assign pets to volunteers, it’s important to be honest and upfront about any restriction you might have about fostering a kitten over an adult dog, for example. If your rent or own a condo, make sure your building doesn’t have any breed restrictions.
Maybe there are behavior problems you aren’t able to handle or would prefer to avoid. That’s okay. The same goes for health problems in foster pets. If you aren’t comfortable or able to provide medication to a sick and aging cat, make sure the shelter knows. Being communicative will help ensure you are matched with a good foster fit.
How to Get Started
Search for local rescues and shelters and read about their fostering programs and fill out the fostering application. Once accepted, shelters often require volunteers to go through a short training period or orientation.
What to Know about National Dog Week

Are you a dog lover? Then you’ll be happy to know that the fourth week in September has been reserved as National Dog Week. This is no ordinary holiday; it is a full-blown celebration of human’s best friend.


The Origin of National Dog Week

Ever wonder where this fun celebration came from? In 1928, World War I veteran Captain William Judy determined that dogs need a week long celebration to recognize their service and loyalty. Captain Judy had earned the Silver Star and eventually went on to establish a publishing company that was dedicated to canines.

He published Dog World magazines in addition to the numerous contributions he has made to establishing National Dog Week. Since 1928, the week is marked with fun activities, adoption drives, fundraising events and full community involvement.


Ways to Celebrate

There are countless ways to celebrate National Dog Week. It is truly about focusing your attention and affections towards dogs and those who care for them. Dog lovers should get involved and plan their own events if they can’t find any.

Find ways to rally donations for dog issues, join in on speaking engagement with your local veterinarians, or create some fun activities for the children in your neighborhood. If you are an experienced dog owner or trainer, take the week to gather at your local dog park and teach owners more about dog care. You may just make a few more friends; human and four-legged!


Ways to Make Your Dog Feel Special

Ready to show some appreciation to your dog for their years of loyalty? Here are a few simple ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

Spa Treatment
Doesn’t your pooch deserve a special day? Set aside some special time for a thorough cleaning of your pet. Start with a sudsy massage and use it as a great time to check for any abnormalities. While you pamper your dog, you can easily feel for bumps, ticks, fleas or bumps that should be addressed.

Have a Date
Just like you would with someone you love, taking the time to have a date together is an important part of your relationship. Take your dog to pick out a new collar or head to a restaurant that welcomes pets.

Pet Therapy
Volunteering your dog to work with local organizations will not only bless the lives of others but can be healing for your dog. There are places that use dogs to treat abused or neglected children. You can even talk to local hospitals about therapy with cancer patients or terminal illnesses. Consider calling a local nursing home to see if the patients would enjoy a visit from your best friend.

Give Back to Other Dog Owners
Many dog owners around the nation struggle to take care of their pets adequately. If you have the means to help, now would be a great time. Consider holding a fundraising dog walk to raise money for your veterinary clinic. You can also gather friends and family to gather supplies and drop them off to a family in need. Don’t neglect your local shelters as well because they can always use the extra food donations.

Adopt a Dog
Do you have a little extra room in your heart for another fun loving dog? It is time to adopt and help with those that don’t have a loving home. Not only could your current dog enjoy some companionship, but you will also reap the rewards of adding more snuggle partners in your home.

Be Sure to Shop the Sales
Every year, multiple stores will offer deep discounts on everything you need for your dog. This is a great time to save some money, and maybe even buy a little extra to donate. Since the prices will be right, treat your dog to a few extra treats.

Throw a Party
Give your dog a special party and be sure you invite other dog-loving friends. You can set toys and treats throughout the home for your “guests” to find. There are also plenty of fun games to enjoy like hide-and-seek or fetch with some dog-friendly balls.

Meet with Your Local Photographer
Now is a great time to get some professional portraits done with your dog. Capture your pooch’s cute quirks and funny nature on camera so you can remember them forever.

What Will You Be Doing to Celebrate?

No matter how you choose to celebrate this amazing week, be sure you take the time to remember how important dogs are to our way of life. They provide companionship, service and love to all they encounter. One week a year seems like a small way to give them the thanks they deserve for their undying loyalty to us.

National Pet Memorial Day


How to Participate in National Pet Memorial Day


On the second Sunday of September each year, we celebrate National Pet Memorial Day. It’s a time to look back with love at our dog and cat companions whose paws have walked the Earth. September 10, 2017, is the day this year when pet lovers can honor their lost friends and remember the love and joy they shared with their pets. Pets are cherished family members, and often our best friends. We love our fur babies and value their importance just as much as any family member. National Pet Memorial Day is a day of remembrance dedicated specifically to those beloved pets and the role they played in your life.

Honoring your pet is a beautiful way to pay tribute to the life that you shared. You don’t have to plan something elaborate; the point is to dedicate the time to sit down and think about the impact this wonderful animal had in your life.


Volunteer in a Pet’s Honor

Contribute or volunteer with an animal protection group or charity in honor of your pet. Choose an organization that focuses on your animal's breed.

Volunteers are always needed at animal shelters, rescue groups, and humane societies. Consider a donation drive to provide a pet-friendly organization blankets, food, and collars. Any gesture you make will be appreciated. Helping animals in need will lighten your sorrow.


Create a Living Memorial

Many people like to have a memorial they can visit, so a popular tradition is to plant a tree or shrub. One popular tradition is to plant a tree as a living memorial. The Arbor Day Foundation will plant a tree in honor of your pet and issue you a personalized certificate identifying where the tree was planted. As the tree grows, you’ll have the satisfaction of helping the environment and seeing your pet grow with it.


Visit your Pet

Visit the burial site and make a tribute by decorating it with your pet’s favorite thing. Bring a blanket or toy, tell a story, relive a favorite playtime memory, light a candle or read a special poem or book. You could even play a video while you visit to remind you of good days.


Share Memories

Post a favorite memory on social media and share it with others by tagging it with #NationalPetMemorialDay. The International Association of Pet Cemeteries hosts a site where you can share an online memorial for your pet if you choose. If you lost your pet suddenly, try to keep your thoughts positive for others who might be grieving on that special day. National Pet Memorial Day doesn’t have to be a lonely affair; send sympathy cards to your friends who suffered the loss of a pet.



Photographs capture the wonderful times you shared with your pet. Refresh your memories by browsing through a collection, or make a scrapbook of special times. As time goes by it will help to turn sadness into smiles as you take a walk down memory lane. Another way is to keep a favorite toy in a special place to revisit playtimes. These items were very important to your pet and will hold fond memories that they often provide some emotional relief.


Write a Story

We were all struck by the love in the story of Marley and Me. Create a personal tribute for your pet by writing short stories about how your pet enriched your life. Add in some pictures and a favorite toy to capture details of the story. Bind it all together as a tribute to the life you shared.


Artistic Tribute

Create or ask someone make a custom piece of art for you. You could get a tattoo of their birthdate or nickname, choose jewelry with paw prints, or frame a picture. There are so many ways to express your love for a pet that has passed away.

National Pet Memorial Day is a day for you to remember how much impact your pet had on your life. Take the time to grieve if you haven’t yet had the chance. Online support groups can be very helpful if you need an understanding shoulder to process your loss.

Dogs and Cats Can Donate Blood

You may have donated blood, but did you know that dogs and cats can donate blood too? During surgeries, illness or injury, veterinarians need the blood of other pets to potentially save a cat or dog who is in the hospital. According to a recent Huffington Post article, there are a few requirements for a cat or dog to be able to donate blood.

Your dog or cat may be eligible to donate blood if they meet the following requirements:

• Be between the ages of one and nine
• Dogs must be 50 lbs. or more
• Cats must be 10 lbs. or more
• Cats must be solely indoor pets
• Never had a transfusion
• Not used for breeding
• Not on any long-term medication

Some of these requirements may vary depending on the state and blood bank, so it is important to check every hospital or donation center in your area individually. During every donation, a dog will donate approximately two cups, or one pint at each donation. A cat will donate approximately two ounces. When a dog donates blood just one time, it can help save the lives of up to four dogs! Pets get rewarded for their good deed with food, treats, toys and of course, belly rubs. Learn more with the video and article below.

Huffington Post (Dogs Can Donate Blood, Too)

September is Happy Cat Month – How Will You Celebrate?

Did you know that September is Happy Cat Month? This is great news for all pet owners that experience endless joy from feline companionship. Your cat is important to you, so this is a great time to celebrate them. It is also a great time to engage in education, community and of course happiness!

What is Happy Cat Month?

CATalyst Council is the founder of Happy Cat Month, which has become an annual event in September. It was designed as an event to serve and educate fellow cat owners in ways to ensure their cats remain happy. There will be many events planned throughout the communities in a way to educate the public about cat’s health.

The focus is mainly on spreading the word about the welfare, value and health of cats. Many people tend to view cats more self-reliant, less in need than dogs and overall shy creatures. Happy Cat Month hopes to break those stereotypical boundaries and ensure cats receive the love, companionship and care that they deserve.

Helping to Keep a Happy Cat

Are you ready to get involved? The best way to celebrate Happy Cat Month starts in your own home. Make sure that you have an environment that allows your cat to be happy. Here are some simple tips that might help you get started:

There are many playthings that your cat would enjoy and it will help to keep them mentally stimulated. Anything from a toy mouse, to catnip, to even a cardboard box can help keep a cat busy and content, even when you’re not in the house!

While many cats live inside, it only takes a moment and they will dart out the door. Protect your feline with a microchip. This helps to ensure they are returned to their happy home should anything ever happen to them.

Stay Sharp
Provide a scratching post. This not only protects your furniture but gives you little friend an outlet to play. It also ensures that their claws remain sharp, which apparently makes them quite happy.

If you have more love to give, why not consider adopting a cat in need? Most felines prefer to have some companionship with another cat, so this could benefit everyone. Imagine the cuddly times that will occur with even more cats in the home!

Keep Veterinary Appointments
Nothing is more important than the health of your cat. Ensure that you attend all recommended appointments with the vet and follow their recommendations. This will ensure your cat’s overall health and well-being.


Fun Ways to Pamper Your Cat

Want to go above and beyond this Happy Cat Month? It is time that your cat received a little pampering for themselves. You can find some practical ways to ensure your cat knows they are loved and cared for. Try these tips to pamper them:

Play some games with them. Cats love being active and it is even more fun when you join in. Consider helping him chase a toy or grab a piece of yarn and start dangling it over her head. In no time, you’ll be enjoying some laughs together.
Treat them to some raw meat. A little piece of beef or poultry can improve the tooth and gum health of your cat. On top of that, they really enjoy the treat. Just be sure to discuss the health of your cat with your vet before you make changes to their diet.
Brush your cat. Not only is it great for their coat, but they adore it. Pet behind the ear and under the chin as well. In no time, you’ll be enjoying some purrs and nudging for more.
Give them a catnip toy. Catnip is a member of the mint family and makes cats. Find quality, organic catnip or a catnip toy for your cat to enjoy and see the fun that they will have.

Happy Cat Month shouldn’t just be about once a year, but a complete lifestyle change. Your cat’s health and happiness should always be important and at the forefront of your mind. Be sure to take this month as an opportunity to share the event with other cat owners. You can help them find ways to make their pets feel more valued and loved. Be sure to also look for local events that might be happening in your area.

Help Your Dog Overcome the "Back-to-School Blues"

Parents and youngsters aren’t the only ones having adjust to a new schedule every fall. Just as kids grow accustomed to the care-free days of summer, dogs get used to the constant attention and play time that a child’s constant presence brings. Many dogs will adjust quickly to the change when school begins again, but those prone to separation anxiety may look for ways to lash out.




In an interview with the Associated Press, Dr. Nick Dodman of Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine recommended the following tips to help ease the transition between summer and the school year:

• Make departure time happy using toys and treats
• Create a place in the house where the dog feels safe
• Try starting the routine before school begins
• Do not indulge with baby talk or sympathy
• See a veterinarian if the dog’s disposition doesn’t improve

With a little advanced planning and a few tweaks to you and your dog’s morning routine, you can keep your dog relaxed and content while his favorite playmate is gone for the day. Before you know it, your dog’s “back-to-school blues” will be a thing of the past.