puppy care

Puppy Love: Raising Your Dog Right from Day One

The early days of pet ownership can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. With these tips in mind, you can help ensure your puppy is healthy and well-adjusted from day one.

With the great joy of a new furry friend comes great responsibility. You want to train and care for your puppy properly, but where to begin?

Not to fear. Remember, you’re not the only nervous one. As your puppy adjusts to its new environment, he’ll be looking to you for guidance, affection, and nourishment. If you adopt these five important measures after bringing your new pup home, you can set the stage for a long and happy relationship.


First Stop: The Vet

Whether your puppy’s arrived straight from the breeder or adopted from the kennel, a trip to the vet should be the first thing on your list.

At your puppy’s first visit, the vet will perform a general examination, administer vaccinations, and complete a de-worming procedure if necessary. If you plan to get your puppy spayed or neutered, schedule the procedure based on the vet’s recommendations. This appointment also offers an opportunity to address any lingering concerns or questions you might have about health considerations and dietary needs that are specific to the breed.


Crate and Barrel    puppy care

Though new owners may balk at the idea of confining their new furry friend to such a small space, housing a puppy in a crate is actually an essential element of housetraining. Although it may not look very inviting, the crate will actually function as a source of comfort and security for your pup.

To ensure your puppy’s new home is as cozy as possible, place a bed, water bowl, and a few hollow chew toys stuffed with food within the crate. At the farthest corner of the crate, cordon off an area for “elimination.” The puppy toilet area should be a square of artificial turf for rural and suburban pups, or concrete tile for city dwelling dogs. With this realistic simulation, the puppy will begin to associate the indoor potty area with the outdoor one.

Like all elements of house training, getting your puppy used to the crate will take a bit of time and effort. Place the crate in an area of the home he frequents, and encourage him to poke around by tossing in a treat and some favorite toys. Once he’s inside the crate, leave the door open at first, and never crate a puppy younger than six months old for more than two or three hours, except at night.


Establish a Schedule

Try to adhere to a regular schedule of feeding, walks, and potty breaks. Like humans, puppies need to be fed three times a day, so you can schedule his meal time around yours.

To potty train your puppy, you have a few options: take him out every two to four hours, after a lengthy confinement, or after waking from a nap. However frustrating accidents might be, never punish the pup for going to the potty when he shouldn’t. He’ll learn better habits from positive reinforcement tactics, so you should reward him for eliminating while outdoors.


Leash Training 101

Getting your puppy accustomed to walking with a collar and leash is no easy feat. Try walking him with a leash around your home or backyard before venturing further outdoors. Play with your pup while he’s on the leash, so that he’ll form positive associations instead of negative ones.

When walking, it’s important that your dog follows your lead, and not the other way around. If the puppy pulls at the leash while walking, simply turn and continue on in the opposite direction. In time, your puppy will learn who’s boss. As usual, reward him with praise to reinforce good behavior.


Make Your Puppy a Social Butterfly

It’s never too early to socialize your puppy with other humans and dogs. When you encounter friendly passers-bys on your walks, encourage them to interact with your puppy — you can even have them feed your him a small treat to reinforce the positive association. This way, he’ll learn to accept other people as friends, not foes.

A caveat: puppies have a tendency to nip and bite while teething. If your puppy motions to bite you, yell “no” to startle him, but don’t pull your hand away. Instead, let the puppy release the bite as your hand goes limp. To let the message sink in, ignore the puppy for 20 seconds before resuming play. In time, he will get the message that hard biting is wrong. In the meantime, keep chew toys on hand to satisfy the puppy’s teething needs.

Effective training is all about establishing good habits through frequent and positive reinforcement. By remaining loving yet firm, you and your puppy will most certainly embark on a long and caring partnership.

pet dental health

Make Those Canines Shine: The Definitive Guide to Your Pet’s Dental Hygiene

Proper canine dental care is essential to ensure a long and happy life for your pet.

Responsible pet owners know that proper nutrition, ample exercise, affection, and regular visits to the vet are all necessary to keep their furry housemates healthy and happy. In fact, most pet parents monitor their dog’s or cat’s well-being as vigilantly as they do their own.

Yet many of those same owners overlook a crucial element of pet health: dental hygiene. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats harbor some form of tooth decay or oral disease by age three. To avoid such decay, proper canine dental hygiene must start from a puppy’s very first days.


Read the Signs   pet dental health

Since your pet can’t tell you if they’re experiencing tooth pain, you should always be on the lookout for the telltale signs of dental disease yourself.

Twice a week, gently pull up your pet’s lips to examine her teeth and gums. Healthy teeth will appear white and clean, with no patches of brown tartar, and healthy gums will appear pink with no swelling. If this sounds like your pet’s mouth, you’re in the clear. But if you notice particularly foul-smelling breath, red and swollen gums, broken teeth, a mass on the gums or tongue, or excessive drooling, schedule an appointment with the vet immediately. Those may be symptoms of more serious dental problems.

Be aware of behavioral changes, too. If your pet avoids playing with a favorite chew toy or refuses to drink cold water, a dental problem may be the cause.

Pets are prone to the same dental problems as humans: gingivitis (gum inflammation), periodontitis (a disease of the oral cavity that affects the gum, bone and tissues around the teeth), pyorrhea (an inflammation of the gum and tooth socket that leads to loose teeth and pus); and plaque, which is a build-up of materials on the tooth enamel that can cause cavities and more serious periodontal disease. All of these health conditions must be addressed by a medical professional.


Healthy Mouth, Healthy Home (for Bacteria)

Your dog or cat’s mouth is warm and moist, making it a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Most of these microscopic organisms cause no harm, but when a pet’s oral cavity is compromised by other problems, like plaque or tartar, the stage is set for serious health problems which may spread beyond the mouth. Toxins from dental disease can seep into the pet’s bloodstream, potentially infecting and damaging other vital organs, such as the liver, kidneys, and brain. That damage can be permanent and can even lead to death. So when you care for your pet’s teeth, you are ensuring her continued overall wellbeing.


Keeping Pearly Whites Pearly

A study from the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) estimates that 66% of pet owners fail to provide the proper dental care as recommended by veterinarians: an annual full dental exam and cleaning under anesthesia. Cleaning a cat or dog’s teeth is both time-consuming and intricate, so anesthesia is required for the pet’s comfort during this procedure. The vet may also take dental X-rays.

Some breeds, especially small and toy breed canines, are more susceptible to dental problems and may benefit from more frequent exams and cleanings.

Between those visits, you can practice good home care in the following ways:

  • Feed your dog or cat a dry diet, which reduces plaque and tartar. Never feed your dog or cat canned food or table scraps — those tend to worsen dental problems.
  • Brush your pet’s teeth with specially designed toothbrushes or a gauze pad wrapped around your finger. Use toothpaste made especially for pets. To get the pet accustomed to the process, start by massaging the lips in a circular motion, then move into the mouth and massage the gums and teeth, also in a circular motion. Be patient, as it may take weeks for your pet to accept this toothbrushing routine. Once he does, you should repeat the teeth cleaning two or three times a week.
  • Encourage your pet to gnaw on chew toys that require some effort to chew, like rawhide, rubber or nylon chewies. Regular teeth cleaning combined with use of a chew toy that promotes dental hygiene significantly reduce plaque and other dental deposits.

Always reach out to your vet or an accredited animal hospital (like University Animal Hospital) for advice on your pet’s dental care. We offer a full suite of dental services, from professional exams, cleaning, and advanced X-ray technology to tips for at-home care.

urban pets

The Ultimate Guide to Keeping Your City Dog Happy & Healthy

Urban living and pet ownership don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Here are our tips for keeping your furry friends happy and healthy in the big city.

Owning a pet in the city requires a few logistical considerations that might not apply for more spacious environments. If you do decide to adopt a furry roommate, you must take the necessary steps to ensure that he’s safe and satisfied in his surroundings — here are a few of the most crucial items to tick off your list.


Pet-Proof Your Apartment

Think your dog can’t get into trouble in a 500-square-foot apartment? Think again. First, ensure that you are not harboring any houseplants that could be harmful if ingested. Jade, aloe vera, and rosemary can pose a particular threat. Be sure to check in with a vet for a longer list of potentially dangerous and common household plants.

While removing potentially harmful items from your apartment is relatively straightforward, you may face another challenge that’s a bit more difficult to address: a lack of space. While you may not be able to move into a larger apartment just for Fido, you can learn to cohabit peacefully in your tight quarters. For city dogs, proper crate-training is key to keep your dog (and your apartment) safe while you’re out and about. Make your pup comfortable by giving them a bed, some water, and a toy or two — in fact, if handled correctly, you can teach a dog to think of their crate as a safe and happy place, rather than as a punishment.


Close Quarters   urban pets

So you and your dog are getting along just great — but what about your neighbors?  If at all possible, try to choose an apartment with a friendly policy towards pets, so that your dog will have plenty of canine company — and you’ll be able to enjoy the camaraderie of fellow dog owners.

Then, with your very thin, shared apartment walls in mind, you’ll want to minimize the possibility of any pet-related disturbances. The sound of a dog running back and forth across the floorboards could very well drive neighbors up the wall, so opt for densely woolen rugs that insulate noise and can withstand wear and tear. Lonely pups also have a tendency to express their discontent with vocal yowls (which may not be very popular with your neighbors). In order to avoid this, maintain your pet’s high spirits with regular exercise and proper socialization.


Exercise, Exercise, and More Exercise

Everyone knows that keeping a dog healthy requires regular fresh air and exercise. However, without the luxury of spacious, fenced-in yards, urban pet owners must take a more proactive approach to keeping their dogs fit and happy. Many community parks feature “dog runs,” where local owners are able to unleash their pets and encourage them to socialize with fellow canine friends. Before taking your dog to public parks, however, you may need to obtain proof of vaccinations from your vet.

For larger, more active breeds, long brisk walks or jogs in the park may be the best way to maintain your dog’s health — plus, it has the added benefit of keeping you healthy as well! If your schedule doesn’t allow for one or two walks during the workday, consider hiring a dog walker to help fill in the gaps. Keep in mind that, because most city dog walkers handle multiple dogs at once, you should make sure your dog is well-socialized and able to travel in groups.


Playtime for Puppy

Doggie day care centers and pet spas are another great option for dogs with working owners. Many offer training, grooming, and health care for your pet, as well as numerous exercise and socialization opportunities. Before dropping your dog off for day care, research the requirements of the center, since most demand up-to-date vaccinations. Tour the facility to confirm it is a safe and suitable place for your pet’s needs, and leave emergency contact information with the administration.

At University Animal Hospital in New York City, we have years of experience caring for urban pets. We offer dog and cat boarding services at our Upper East Side location, with a vet on-premises 24 hours a day for medical care and supervision. Our staff will also take your dog out for a walk three times a day, with additional outdoor playtime in our cage-free area. You can trust us to take attentive care of your dog while you’re at the office or away on vacation, ensuring that your beloved pet returns home well-rested, well-exercised, and well-fed.

Air Travel Tips and Information

Air Travel Tips

If traveling with your pet is not an option, let them have a staycation with us. Whether it’s one night, one week, or more, your dog will enjoy our clean and comfortable facilities. We provide supervised and loving care around the clock. While you are away we will closely monitor your pet, ensuring his or her comfort and health. We have a veterinarian on premises 24 hours a day for boarding supervision, and can accommodate special medical boarding requests.

Rain, sunshine, sleet or snow, our kennel attendants walk each dog individually 3 – 5 times per day, just like you would at home. Our expert groomer, Gracia, is also available to give your pets the spa treatment with a full grooming before they go home. Call us today to book your space.

University Animal Hospital

(212) 288-8884

354 East 66th Street

New York, NY


pet travel

Bone Voyage! Everything You Need to Know About Traveling With Your Pet

Planning to bring your furry friend along for your next big adventure? Here’s what you should know before booking your flight.

As the holiday season kicks off, people will soon take to the skies in droves to visit far-flung loved ones. For many, a pet is as much a family member as a person, and you can bet that Lassie will be coming along for the cross-country holiday celebrations.

Flying with a pet requires careful planning, so if you’re bringing yours along for the ride, consider these precautionary steps before boarding the aircraft to ensure that both your pet and your fellow passengers are as comfortable as possible.


Routine Check Up

Before you take off, be sure to make a trip to the vet, who can ensure that your pet is healthy enough to travel and provide the necessary paperwork to confirm as much. Obtaining proper documentation from the vet can ease international travel significantly. Many countries have vaccination requirements, a full list of which can be found at the International Air Transport Association. Be sure to request a domestic or international travel certificate that lists the dog’s breed, country of origin and full vaccination history before you go.

Finally, if you know your pet experiences severe travel anxiety, consider the option of pre-flight sedation. Of course, you should only administer sedatives with the vet’s approval. If your pet will have a positive reaction to the medicine, you’ll be able to determine the correct dosage with your vet’s assistance.


Pre-Boarding Checklist    pet travel

Each major airline has its own specific guidelines for transporting pets. Pet owners must take numerous factors into consideration, from dog breed and size to whether the plane is already at pet “capacity.” That’s right — planes can only hold a certain number of dogs at a time, so ensure that yours makes the cut by planning for your trip well in advance. American Airlines only allows seven dogs per flight, and JetBlue caps the number of total canine and feline passengers at four.

Experts recommend that pet owners book their tickets as early as possible to secure seats in the cabin for themselves and their pets. In addition, watch out for airline fees, which can vary depending on whether your pet is traveling as checked baggage or carry-on cargo. Most flights charge about $125 for pets in the cabin, but prices for checked cargo can climb up to $250 each way. With this in mind, it’s best to book direct flights to avoid multiple fees — not to mention the discomfort of multiple takeoffs and landings for your pooch.


Flight Maintenance

Price aside, which is the optimal mode of pet transportation: carry-on or cargo?

One option is storing your pet in the under-seat carriers provided by many airlines. However, these are limited in size. If your pet is too large for a carrier, you can opt to transport your pet in the plane’s cargo hold — but it might not be an easy trip. Cargo conditions, which are subject to very hot and cool temperatures, can make an already taxing situation more stressful for you and your pet. So if your pet is compact enough to fit, you should try to bring him into the cabin with you.

One last thing to consider: airlines generally recommend that snub-nosed pet breeds, like pugs and Persian cats, avoid flying altogether. With their delicate and compressed respiratory systems, these pets are especially sensitive to cabin pressure changes, meaning that flying could be harmful to their health.


Know Your Pet

As the owner, you know your pet’s personality better than anyone. Some dogs and cats may take to the air like seasoned travelers. Others may be thrown off by a new routine, and find the experience too stressful. Only you, the pet parent, can make that final determination.

As a test run, animal expert Cesar Millan recommends putting your pet in an airline carrier and going for a drive to mimic in-flight conditions on the ground. He also suggests applying an “association scent” to your hands when you take your dog for a walk or at feeding time — for example, you might try lavender oil. Use the scent again on the plane, and your pet will develop a positive association with air travel.

Another tip? Take your pet for a long walk before heading to the airport. That way, your pet will be tired and use the flight as an opportunity to nap.

If you decide to forego the hassle and leave your pet at home, consider the dog and cat boarding services at University Animal Hospital in New York City. We offer 24-hour vet supervision, multiple walks per day, and additional outdoor play time in our cage-free area. We’ll take attentive care of your pet while you’re away, allowing you peace of mind as you enjoy the holiday festivities.

Praise Outranks Treats For Dogs | University Animal Hospital NYC

According to ScienceMag a recent study strongly indicated that dogs might actually prefer the praise of their owners over treats. Despite the long-standing use of treats and food by us ‘Hoomans’ to help train our canine companions it would appear that the positive reinforcement of a belly rub or a pat on the head is actually more effective in melting most of your fuzzy children’s hearts.

In the first half of the study (soon to be published in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience) the brain activity of fifteen canines was monitored by researchers. After being shown a toy car the canines were then praised by their respective owners. Later, they were each given toy horses with a piece of hot dog. Of the fifteen dogs in the study thirteen exhibited a greater or equal response in the area of the brain associated with reward and decision-making when the reinforcement was praise from their owner vs. food/treats.

The second half of the experiment positioned the dogs at the start of a maze that forked in two directions. One led to a bowl of food and the other led the dog to his or her owner. Most of the dogs chose their owner over the food bowl. The dogs who chose the food were the same subjects who favored treats in the first half of the study indicating that some dogs are just food motivated.

Of course fifteen is not a large enough sample size to reach absolute conclusions but it gives us further understanding of the nature of the dog/owner relationship. The affection does appear to go both ways.

There are always skeptics who question the ability of our furry children to truly reciprocate the feelings of love we have for them but anyone who has returned to their dog from a long absence knows the reaction of their furry child. It’s pure excitement and joy. Watch this dog after he is reunited with his owner after being stolen from him two years before.

So dogs prefer praise. What about Cats?

Are cats on the same level as the canine companions we love so dearly or do they merely tolerate our existence in exchange for food? The latter is apparently much more likely if another recent study is any indication.

In February of 2016 BBC2 broadcast Cats V. Dogs, a television documentary that explored this question by measuring the level of oxytocin in cats and dogs. Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter produced in the brain when we feel an attachment to someone or something. Oxytocin levels in humans rise by up to 60% when we see someone we love.

Researchers tested saliva samples from ten cats and ten dogs before and after playing with their owners for a ten minute period. The dogs showed an increase of 57.2% after the playful interaction with their owners. For cats it was just 12%. In fact, only 50% of the cats tested showed any rise in their oxytocin levels at all. Moo (from the video below) appears to be the exception to the rule.

Again, these small sample sizes can’t back up definitive conclusions but they do seem to support the notion that most of our cats view us as food dispensers above anything else. Compared to dogs they appear to be fairly indifferent to us. As someone who has had multiple cats and multiple dogs I don’t think these theories are too far from the truth. Do I think my cats have loved me on the same level that my dogs have? Maybe — but who can be sure? Look at those glares…


This doesn’t look like satisfaction…


Maggie’s ‘friendliest’ expression. Seriously.





Summer Heat Solutions for Cats and Dogs| University Animal Hospital NYC

The summer heat in New York City is really kicking into high gear. With record heat waves scorching the city and making all of us reconsider even stepping outside there are some that feel the effects of the harsh sun’s rays far worse than we do — our furry children. Both cats and dogs are at risk of overheating as our city roasts like a rotisserie chicken. Cats typically because they’re confined inside baking apartments or homes that often lack suitable air-conditioning when owners are not present and dogs because they’re walking in the intense heat — lacking a sufficient way of naturally cooling themselves.

Dogs are particularly susceptible to the effects of the heat. Heatstroke for canines is dangerous and likely when dealing with temperatures over 100 degrees. Dogs do not sweat through their skin like we do so the heat is much more uncomfortable and dangerous for them. I just read an article this morning about a police dog in Texas that died in the line of duty from heatstroke while pursuing a suspect. It’s a real threat and something people sometimes overlook or forget about. Signs of heatstroke to look out for include: excessive panting (a natural way dogs cool themselves down), drooling, increased salivation, restlessness and other signs of agitation. There are, fortunately, actions pet owners can take in order to help with the dangerous heat that might make these summer months a bit safer for your fuzzy child.

Many people have taken to carrying around a spray bottle when they walk their dog in order to give a relieving cool mist on the face or belly. Consider carrying a collapsible water cup and water to decrease the risk of potential dehydration. Look into obtaining booties to protect his or her pads on the hot pavement and sidewalks. It may seem odd to look at but have you wondered what it might feel like to go barefoot on the Manhattan streets in the blazing heat? Your dog isn’t too concerned with how he looks to strangers (you shouldn’t be either) and avoiding discomfort is probably much higher on his list of priorities.


If your dog is pad/paper trained you should think about foregoing outside walks until the heat has died down. If outside walks are necessary take shorter relief walks as opposed to the usual jog or hour-long strolls. Pay close attention to your dog’s behavior when out and about so you can be aware of significant discomfort or distress. If your dog lays down in the shade or grass perhaps it’s time to head back inside. Take frequent breaks and try to walk in shaded areas or on grass whenever possible.

Keep your home at a reasonable temperature even if you’re not there with your pet. People are often apprehensive about leaving the air-conditioner on when they aren’t home for fear of extreme electric bills. Keep the air conditioning at a level that’s safe for your stay-at-home pets but that won’t kill your energy bill. Make sure the water you leave out is cool and that the bowl is full. Consider dropping an ice cube in from time to time when you are home with them. Do not ever leave your dog in an unattended car for any period of time even if you think you’ll only be gone for a moment. In under ten minutes the inside of your car can reach temperatures of over 102 degrees so no amount of time in a car alone is acceptable or excusable.

The most important thing to remember is that your dogs and cats can’t verbalize the discomfort that the summer heat bestows upon them. It is up to you to keep your eyes and ears open and look for the signs of distress or overheating. Be alert and present when you’re taking your walks and pay attention to the tiny details that your dog is giving you. The dangers of the heat are too great to risk and you know your fuzzy child is worth it.


International Pet Travel | University Animal Hospital NYC

Last year I posted about some of the nightmares that can come out of the process of international pet travel. With the summer months here I thought it was a good time to revisit the topic. For starters, international pet travel can be a complicated scenario.

Beyond all the stresses you have with traveling suddenly you are required to have documentation that’s specific to the country where you are going. This documentation might require proof of certain blood tests, proof of rabies vaccination by a specific time-frame, microchip information. It’s a hassle and there’s no getting around it. Importing your pet into another country means you are at the mercy of that particular country’s rules and regulations for pet transport.

International Pet Travel – France

For reference, let’s take a look at France and their requirements for importing a cat or dog.

Pet dogs, cats, and ferrets exported to a Member State of the European Union (EU) must be identified with a microchip compatible with ISO standard 11784 or 11785.  If a microchip does not comply with ISO standards, the appropriate microchip reader must accompany the pet.  Alternately, if a non-ISO compatible microchip was implanted, and the client is unable to travel with a microchip reader, then the accredited veterinarian can implant an ISO-compatible microchip.  The location and implant dates of both microchips must be documented on the health certificate.

Microchip implantation (whether ISO-compatible or not) must occur prior to or on the same day as rabies vaccination.  A rabies vaccination given prior to microchip implantation is considered invalid.  If the valid rabies vaccination expires before the booster is given, then the pet must be revaccinated. In both situations, the new vaccination is now considered to be the “primary vaccination.”  After a primary vaccination, the pet must wait 21 days before being eligible to enter the EU.

Rabies vaccination is not required for pet dogs, cats and ferrets under 12 weeks (3 months) of age.  Note that some EU Member States do not allow import of unvaccinated pets. Import of unvaccinated pets under 12 weeks of age must be authorized by the EU Member State. The exporter should contact the animal health authorities in the Member State for authorization, and documentation of authorization should be attached to the export certificate.  All dogs, cats and ferrets over the age of 12 weeks must be vaccinated for rabies.

Pet dogs, cats, and ferrets returning to the EU after traveling to the United States may be accompanied by an EU Pet Passport issued prior to leaving the EU. If a pet requires echinococcus treatment for travel to the UK, Ireland, Finland, Malta or Norway, the treatment may be entered in the Passport by an accredited veterinarian. An EU health certificate issued in the United States is not required, and APHIS should not endorse the Passport. If an animal needs a rabies booster while in the United States, this information cannot be entered into the EU Passport by a US veterinarian. A regular EU health certificate must be issued by the U.S. accredited veterinarian and endorsed by APHIS.

Does that seem a little complicated? It is. Fortunately the doctors here are experts at handling these documents and all of the treatments your fuzzy child might need in order to travel to the country of your choice. We handle hundreds of international health certificates each year and we take on the stress so you don’t have to.

No matter where you travel you will need an international health certificate from a USDA certified veterinarian (all of the doctors at University Animal Hospital are USDA certified) stating that your pet is healthy and fit for travel. Many countries in Europe use a standard form for this but in some cases there are specific papers required for a specific country. Just a tip — don’t be fooled by websites trying to sell you these documents for a fee. They can usually be obtained from the USDA website free of charge.

Beyond that there could be any number of requirements depending on the country of your destination. If you plan to travel with your pet call us to make an appointment with one of our expert veterinarians to take the stress away.

Cost Effective Heartworm Products | University Animal Hospital NYC

If you have or have ever had a dog then chances are you have heard about heartworm disease before. What exactly is this disease and how can I keep your dog from getting it? Preventative care is your best solution to fight heartworm disease. There are a handful of reputable products currently available to protect your furry child from this potentially fatal disease. Between Sentinel, Heartgard and Interceptor and the cost effective pricing available at University Animal Hospital for these “once a month” medications there is no reason your pet should not be kept safe from these parasites.

Parasites!? What are we talking about here?

First let’s discuss what exactly heartworm disease is.

For dogs the disease is caused by long worms that reside in the lungs, associated blood vessels and the heart of affected pets. This can lead to severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other internal organs in your dog. These monsters can affect the quality of your dog’s life and his or her overall health even after the parasites are gone. Therefore prevention is the best option for maintaining your dog’s healthy status.

Dogs can develop heartworm disease by getting bit by a mosquito that has had contact with a heartworm infected mammal (which includes a large assortment of wild animals besides just dogs). Once bitten by an infected mosquito the larvae are deposited into the bite wound of the mosquito and over time mature into adult heartworms. These unwelcome intruders can live anywhere from five to seven years in dogs.


What might happen to your dog if he or she becomes infected?

Many dogs are asymptomatic at first but as time goes on they may develop lethargy, a mild but persistent cough, fatigue, weight loss and decreased appetite and heart failure. Dogs with large numbers of heartworms can develop a sudden blockages of blood flow within the heart leading to a life-threatening form of cardiovascular collapse.

Your dog should be tested annually for heartworm infection. This is a routine blood test that is necessary even if your pet is on preventative medication. Heartworm medications are highly effective, but dogs can still become infected. If you miss just one dose of a monthly medication—or give it late—it can leave your dog unprotected.

What about those cost effective heartworm products?

At University Animal Hospital we have a few different products we recommend to protect against heartworm disease.

1. Sentinel

This is a beef flavored pill you give your pet once a month. In addition to heartworm protection it also guards against hookworms, whipworms and roundworms. It controls fleas by preventing the development of flea eggs (it does not kill adult fleas, however). If you purchase twelve doses from University Animal Hospital you receive a rebate for $12.

$12 dollars off a pack of 12

$20 off a pack of 12, or $7 off a pack of 6

2. Heartgard

This is a flavored chew-able treat that is given once every month. Like Sentinel it guards against heartworm disease. It also protects against hookworms and roundworms. If your purchase from University Animal Hospital you receive a rebate for $12 off a pack of 12.

$12 off a pack of 12

$12 off a pack of 12

3. Interceptor

This is a once per month pill that protects against heartworm disease. It also treats and controls hookworms, roundworms and whipworms.


All of these protections are cost effective when factoring in how much they cover

If you have questions about heartworm disease or any of these products reach out to the staff of University Animal Hospital and we will help any way we can.

Cost Effective Flea and Tick Products | University Animal Hospital NYC

Do not let the recent cold temperatures fool you. Spring is right around the corner. Any day now people will be wearing sandals and tank tops and the heat wave will soon be upon us. With that comes an increased risk that your dog or cat might be interacting with the dreaded parasites. The flea and tick problem.

These little monsters are actually a year-round presence but they are far more prevalent in the warmer months of the year.

That is why it’s so important for your pet to be on monthly flea and tick preventative all year round.

Some of our clients at University Animal Hospital have downplayed the need for their pet to be on the flea and tick preventative. I’ve heard people say that fleas and ticks aren’t really an issue in Manhattan. This is simply not true.

Fleas can live up to a year without feeding. Ticks like to hang out on the tops of blades of grass waiting to grab onto unsuspecting warm-blooded beings. You don’t need to leave the city to encounter these creeps. You can find them in plenty of places in New York City. I’ve run into ticks in a few of my apartments in Queens over the last several years. Twice in the month of December.

The health concerns of your pet getting bit by a tick far outweighs any apprehension you should have about the medications. The products are very safe and very effective. It just depends where you get it from.

Many pet stores and online pharmacies sell generic flea and tick medication that can be very harmful to your pet. In the cases where they have the actual product and not a cheap knock-off they are getting them through third party suppliers and not the manufacturer or a licensed distributor. Since this product is coming from a third party seller there is a risk that it is not being shipped and stored based on the manufacturers recommendations. This can leave the product ineffective and potentially harmful to your pet. You don’t really know what you’re getting.

Fake Frontline Plus found on ebay can be very dangerous

Fake Frontline Plus found online

These online pharmacies also do not offer some of the rebates and freebies you get from buying the product from a licensed distributor (like University Animal Hospital.) In our case we’re able to offer two free additional doses of Frontline Plus when a client purchases a pack of six. In the case of Nexgard we’re able to offer a free month worth of the medication. With Bravecto there are rebate coupons available that helps keep the cost of the medication manageable. The net down price of the free goods we’re able to offer our clients often-times makes our product considerably less expensive than one you’re buying online.
There are three fantastic options for flea/tick preventative available at University Animal Hospital.

Frontline Plus

Topical options are effective.

What kind of flea and tick products are there?

1. Frontline Plus. Chances are you’ve tried this before or have at least heard of it. It’s a topical that is placed on the skin of your pet (between the shoulder blades) once every month. This is a highly effective treatment. If purchased from University Animal Hospital you can get 8 months for the price of 6.


Chew-ables are growing in popularity.

2. Nexgard. This is a once-a-month chew-able from the makers of Frontline that is just as effective — if not more.

Nexgard - Chew

It’ s a chew-able treat and thus there is no chance the medication will rub off on your hands or come off if your pet gets wet. It’s also beef flavored so dogs tend to love them. If purchased from University Animal Hospital you can get 7 months for the price of 6.

3. Braveco. Like Nexgard this is chew-able but it only needs to be given every three months. That’s just four doses a year. If you buy multiple doses the rebate amounts increase.

These items are also available for purchase through the University Animal Hospital Online Store

There’s really no reason you shouldn’t take measures to protect your dog or cat from these creatures. The cost of the medications is minor and the peace-of-mind they provide should be more than worth it. Trust me when I say you don’t want to have to treat your pet for Lyme disease if you don’t have to. Not to mention dealing with fleas is a burden I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy (okay, maybe I would but only because I have firsthand knowledge of how terrible it is). You’ll get that story next time

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