Monthly Archives: January 2015

The Three Biggest Questions You’re Likely Asking About Spaying and Neutering Your Pets

Although many people are aware of what spaying and neutering is, they may not know about the importance of getting their pet spayed/neutered. Please visit our site and blog at for more information on neutering and spaying your pet.
Most pet owners are aware of spaying and neutering, which are two surgical procedures that remove the reproductive organs of a female or male pet, respectively. But do you know all there is to know about why you should spay and neuter your pets — and how it can offer benefits for both you and your pet?

You might actually be surprised at how little most pet owners know about the importance of spaying and neutering your pet. To learn a little more about why spay & neuter procedures are a necessity, check out our answers to these three frequently-asked questions:

Q: Why do I need to have my pet spayed or neutered?

A: There are virtually countless advantages of bringing your pet to a dog and cat spay and neuter clinic. Your cat or dog will be healthier and live a longer, happier life — spaying and neutering has been proven to extend a pet’s lifespan by as much as three to five years. In addition, your pet will have a significantly reduced risk of getting cancer, will be better behaved, more easily-trained and won’t contribute to the number of stray pets unable to find homes.

Q: How do I prepare my pet for a trip to an affordable spay and neuter clinic? How long is the recovery time?

A: Usually, there isn’t much you need to do to prepare your cat or dog for a spay or neuter procedure. If your pet is no longer a puppy or kitten, you may need to withhold food from your pet after midnight on the evening before the procedure. For younger pets who need this nutrition, withholding food isn’t recommended.

Q: When is the ideal time to have my pet spayed or neutered?

A: You can generally have your pet spayed or neutered at any point in his or her life after reaching eight weeks of age. In most cases, it’s best to schedule a spay or neuter procedure before your pet reaches six months of age, so certain behavioral problems can be prevented altogether. Older pets can be good candidates for spaying and neutering too — just be sure to consult with your veterinarian beforehand.

Want to know more about why you should spay and neuter your pets? Ask us anything in the comments below this article!

Before you buy or adopt a puppy, read these tips to make sure your new friend is healthy.

Choosing a Healthy Puppy
The best time to acquire a puppy is at 8 to 12 weeks of age. At this age a puppy should be well socialized, will have received the first series of immunizations, and should be weaned and eating solid food. The breeder can usually make a good guess about whether a puppy is of show or breeding quality. But keep in mind that picking a future champion at 8 weeks of age is a problem, even for breeders with considerable experience.

Most puppies look healthy at first glance, but a closer inspection may make some puppies more desirable than others. Take your time and go over each puppy from head to tail before making the final decision.

Begin by examining the head. The nose should be cool and moist. Nasal discharge or frequent sneezing is a sign of poor health. Brachycephalic breeds, such as Pugs and Pekingese, often have nostrils that collapse when the dog breathes in. This is undesirable.

Check the puppy for a correct bite. The correct bite for most breeds is a scissors bite, in which the upper incisors just slightly overlap the lower ones. An even bite, in which the incisors meet edge to edge, is equally acceptable in most breeds.

The gums should be pink and healthy looking. Pale gums suggest anemia, possibly caused by intestinal parasites.

Feel for a soft spot on the dome of the skull. If present, the fontanel is open. This is not desirable. In toy breeds, an open fontanel can be associated with hydrocephalus.

The eyes should be clear and bright. If you see tear stains on the muzzle, look for eyelids that roll in or out, extra eyelashes, or conjunctivitis. The pupils should be dark and have no visible lines or white spots that may indicate congenital cataracts or retained fetal membranes. The haw (third eyelid) may be visible. This should not be taken as a sign of disease unless it is swollen and inflamed.

The ears should stand correctly for the breed, although in some breeds, such as German Shepherd Dogs, the ears may not stand up fully until 4 to 6 months of age. The tips should be healthy and well furred. Crusty tips with bare spots suggest a skin disease such as sarcoptic mange. The ear canals should be clean and sweet-smelling. A buildup of wax with a rancid odor may be caused by ear mites. Head shaking and tenderness about the ears indicate an ear canal infection.

Feel the chest with the palm of your hand to see if the heart seems especially vibrant. This could be a clue to a congenital heart defect. The puppy should breathe in and out without effort. A flat chest, especially when accompanied by trouble inhaling, indicates an airway obstruction. It is seen most commonly in brachycephalic breeds such as Pugs, Boston Terriers, and Pekingese.

A healthy coat is bright and shiny and has the correct color and markings for the breed. In long-coated breeds, the puppy coat may be fluffy and soft without a lot of shine. Excess scratching and areas of inflamed skin suggest fleas, mites, or other skin parasites. “Moth-eaten” areas of hair loss are typical of mange and ringworm.

Next, examine the puppy for soundness and correct structure. The legs should be straight and well formed. Structural faults include legs that bow in or out, weak pasterns (the area between the wrist and the foot), flat feet with spread toes, and feet that toe in at the rear. Two inherited bone and joint diseases that may be present in puppies younger than 4 months of age (but are usually not discernable on puppy selection exams) are canine hip dysplasia and patella luxation. Certification of the puppy’s sire and dam by the OFA, PennHIP, or GDC is highly desirable in breeds with a high incidence of these diseases.

The puppy’s gait should be free and smooth. A limp or faltering gait may simply be the result of a sprain or a hurt pad, but hip dysplasia and patella luxation should be considered and ruled out. Patellas can be examined at this age, but this should only be done by an experienced breeder or veterinarian.