Stolen Dogs On the Rise | University Animal Hospital NYC

Did you ever think your dog would be stolen from you? It’s a frightening thought. Imagine you run out to the corner deli to grab some ice cream. You decide to bring your fuzzy child along with you for the walk. You tie your pooch up to the street sign directly outside the door to the deli. He seems happy enough to wait a few minutes while you grab some supplies. You emerge with a bag of goodies, in under five minutes, and you’re greeted with just an empty leash.
This scenario isn’t such a rarity, unfortunately. It isn’t just an amusing plot device in a Woody Harrelson movie, either.
It’s a pet-owner nightmare that is becoming more and more common with each passing year.
Animal theft is a growing concern among pet owners and New York City is no exception. According to the American Kennel Club there has been a rise in stolen dogs since 2008 each and every year. 2015 looks to be no different. In 2012 there were 444 reported crimes, nationally, which is up significantly from the 255 cases reported in 2010. It is worth noting that these are just the cases reported. Some estimates have the number of stolen dogs climbing as high as one million.
That terrifying experience at the deli is exactly what happened to a 7-year-old Pomeranian named Suki when he was left unattended outside of a city deli. Security cameras show a woman snatching little Suki and driving off with him in her car. In a surprising turn of events Suki was returned to his owners after the story blew up on social media. This is a lucky situation for Suki and his owners. It is certainly not the norm. In most situations the dogs are often never seen again by their owners.
In some cases the stolen dogs are listed for sale on craigslist or through the black market by people hoping to make a quick buck. Other times they’re held for ransom as the dog-nappers await a reward from the pet owner hoping to be reunited with his or her fuzzy child. They are sometimes given away as gifts to family or friends of the dog-napper.  In the worst situations the animals are harmed physically or are used as bait in dog-fighting rings (another issues plaguing the dog community). Pure bred dogs are particularly at risk as thieves often steal them intending to resell at a high price. Manhattan has quite a few pure-bred dogs so it makes this city a prime target for thieves.

HELP! WHAT CAN I DO TO PROTECT MY DOG!

Here are some tips for dog owners hoping to avoid this nightmare:
1. Do not leave your dog unattended in your car or yard. Never tie them up outside of a restaurant or shop. This is just asking for trouble. If you know you need to stop in somewhere just leave your dog at home. It isn’t worth the risk.
2. Do not tell people how much your dog cost. This is just flashing to potential thieves how much your dog is worth.
3. License and microchip your dog. This can increase the likelihood that your lost or stolen pet might someday be returned to you. I recently read a story about a woman who responded to a craigslist posting from someone trying to sell a dog that looked suspiciously like her stolen pooch. She showed up armed with a microchip scanner and confirmed that the dog was hers.
4. File a police report. Besides alerting to the authorities to your stolen dog this can help with any criminal charges filed if the situation escalates to a court hearing. If the police are apprehensive about making a report remind that pets are legally considered “property” and their theft is either a felony or misdemeanor under all state laws. Do not let them talk you out of it because they might not want to mess with some additional paperwork.
5. When posting signs avoid mentioning “stolen” as the potential dog-nappers or good-Samaritans might avoid coming forward out of fear of criminal charges.

The best thing you can do is be aware. Keep an eye on your pets and don’t create a situation for something bad to happen. Most property theft is opportunity based. Don’t give someone that opportunity and you can do your best to keep your pet safe. Next time you’re meeting with Dr. Zola or one of our amazing veterinarians ask about getting your pet micro-chipped if you haven’t already.

 

International Health Certificate | University Animal Hospital NYC

So you have plans to travel to another country with your pet. You looked up the information but it seems confusing and complicated. Depending on where you plan to travel there are specific requirements and they’re all time-sensitive and overly specific. You’re feeling anxious because it seems like there are too many steps and you aren’t sure if you’ve completed them all.

At this moment you’re probably thinking “Great! He’s going to tell us exactly what we need to do! We should buy him a present!”

You can lower your enthusiasm a tiny bit because this entry is not going to give you a breakdown of the exact protocol and procedure for traveling out of the country with your pet. You can feel free to still get me a present, though. I like presents.

“Why!? Why wouldn’t you want to tell us this information and just be done with it? Our tickets are booked and we just need some answers! Fluffy wants to see the Eiffel Tower! There’s no way you’re getting a gift now! We’d sooner toss it in the trash!”

Okay, that seems a little excessive. I like gifts. I’d love nothing more than to help you with this situation but the reason I can’t give you a simple list is because such a thing doesn’t really exist. Unfortunately pet travel is not simple.

The fact of the matter is that pet travel (out of the country, at least) is complicated. In order to fly outside of the country with your pet you aren’t so much following protocol from the USA — you’re following the protocol of the country you’re flying into. This means that different countries have different requirements. In some cases your pet might need to have seen a vet within ten days of arrival at your destination. In some cases it’s three days.

Some countries require proof of de-worming at a certain point before travel. Other countries require your pet have a microchip implanted within a specific time-frame prior to your trip. There’s no easy answer for exactly what you’ll need but when you come in for an appointment to get your certificate the doctors will make sure everything you need to travel is in order. What I can guarantee is that in almost every situation you will require an international health certificate. That much I do know. So haul that present out of the garbage and send it on over.

The USDA maintains an online database for each country which breaks down specific requirements and provides the exact paperwork for that nation. Even these documents and requirements can change from time to time as individual countries update their standards, etc. The paperwork is essentially a legal document stating that a USDA accredited veterinarian examined your pet on a specific day and has deemed them fit for travel. All of our staff veterinarians are USDA accredited and are highly experienced filling out these forms. They know how to make the process as simple and stress free as possible for you.

Pet Travel 8

Our vets can handle all of this

I realize it’s a daunting task reading up on all the requirements and it can seem overwhelming. That is why our vets are here. Let them do all the work. These papers seem complicated and overly specific but our vets are used to filling them out and know what is required for wherever you are traveling to. We will find the necessary paperwork and handle everything we can

The Tick Problem | University Animal Hospital NYC

Everyone has a tick story. Several years ago I was on a cleaning frenzy tackling the nightmare that had become my apartment. Okay, nightmare might be a bit of an overstatement. It wasn’t like my place had become an un-filmed episode of Hoarders (though the bathroom did slightly resemble a set from the SAW franchise…)

I mean, there weren’t piles of newspapers from the 1950s littering the floors nor did I have a collection of old coffee cans making towers to the ceilings. I had limited my collection of doll heads to just three shoe-boxes and I’d thrown out all nine of my old tire swings. There was, however, a fine layer of dust on nearly every item that wasn’t my coffee maker. It was time to vacuum, mop and possibly even clean under the stove and refrigerator — activities I had read about and was curious to try. I set about getting to work and soon found myself on a chair wiping down the walls because if I’m going to do a total clean then I’m going to do it right.

 

THE MONSTER ARRIVES
So there I was balancing on a chair and using a washcloth on my walls when my eyes focused on a tiny monster crawling slowly down from the ceiling toward the floor. At first I thought it was a spider but a closer glance revealed the creature to be something far worse = A TICK!

How could this be? I was living in Queens (Elmhurst, to be exact) and there wasn’t much in the way of grass or trees around. Where had this little monster come from and why was he in my apartment? I asked him but he kept silent for fear of further incriminating himself. I already had him on home invasion and attempted blood-suckery. There he was, slowly moving down the white wall on a path for the hardwood floor and I knew his destination was likely the flesh of my adorable cocker spaniel, Emeril.

The first thing I did was “take care of” this invader but fearing he had accomplices I immediately inspected my dog and, thankfully, found him to be free of any other parasites. I was still nervous though. There are over a dozen diseases that can be transmitted by ticks to our fuzzy kids. The big one: Lyme disease and many more (Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, ehrlichiosis, ect.) so I was obviously concerned.

I’m often asked by clients at University Animal Hospital if it’s important for their pet to be on Nexgard or Frontline. The common belief is that because their pet resides in Manhattan and they don’t travel to Connecticut or upstate their pet is not at risk for flea and tick exposure. These pests, however, can easily be found in Upper East Side dwellings as easily as any other neighborhood or borough surrounding Manhattan. They can live up to a year without feeding and 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 creepers.

Your fuzzy child should be on flea/tick preventative year round. Fleas and ticks might not be able to survive in cold weather but there are plenty of warm places around this city they can survive in during the winter months so that doesn’t really matter much. It was February when I found that tick crawling down my wall.
There are two fantastic options for flea/tick preventative available at University Animal Hospital.

Frontline Plus

Topical options are effective.

1. Frontline. 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.

Nexgard

Chewables are growing in popularity.

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

Nexgard - Chew

It’ s a chewable 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 a chewable but it only needs to be given every three months. That’s just four doses a year.

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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 can avoid it. 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 week…

Tune in next time for Part II: The Fleas of Bushwick…

The Myth of Cats vs Dogs

by Myles Tomczak, Client Services

A widespread belief among us “humans” is that our canine and feline companions are always at odds with one another. It isn’t an absurd notion. We’ve all seen a dog go “Cujo” when a cat casually saunters by. You may have been present to see a seemingly mild-mannered cat barrel out from underneath the mattress to land a few solid wallops on the snout of an oblivious pooch. Whether it’s animated films, television commercials or even just our own experiences in life the general opinion is that cats and dogs do not get along. Mortal enemies. Destined to play out an age-old battle that would have Tolkien saying “Hey, that’s a little much, guys.” This legendary war has been the subject of at least two Warner Bros. films (unseen by me) as well as countless media depictions. You’d be hard-pressed to find a moment in popular culture in which a set of cats and dogs are cuddly and warm with each other or where their endless battle isn’t referenced. Cats vs dogs is just a widespread acceptance.

 

The cat and dog war has always surprised me. Growing up I saw plenty of households (my own included) in which cats and dogs coexisted in harmony and in the years I’ve spent behind the scenes of the pet-care industry I’ve seen more than my share of instances where this myth of the cat and dog war doesn’t hold much weight. Take, for instance the two fearless house-cats of University Animal Hospital…

corndog Critter_TummyTime

These gorgeous babes have grown up among thousands of dogs and often don’t bat an eyelash when they’re confronted by a Golden Retriever whose head is bigger than both of them (or bigger than Kornflake and half of Krispy Kreme.)

I’m no scientist but being that I have a Master’s Degree in dog/cat psychoanalysis from a University I can’t remember the name of I think this is clearly enough to prove that this belief is outdated and should probably be put to rest. Truthfully, cats and dogs can very easily get along if the right steps are taken to ensure they acclimate to one-another.

No expert would suggest tossing them into a room together to “see what happens” but many would likely advise a slow introduction that allows both to adjust to the change in the normal routine. The key factor to remember is that like “humans,” cats and dogs have their own eccentricities and traits. No two cats or dogs are exactly the same and any change in their regular lifestyle can cause stress or anxiety. Talk to your trainer or the next time you’re meeting with one of our amazing University Animal Hospital staff veterinarians ask how to best introduce any new addition to your household. They’re happy to provide any advice that pertains to your situation.

Despite popular culture’s attempts to sell us this ongoing battle of the beasts the truth is that cats and dogs can be friends if we’re willing to take the time to help them out a bit.

Check out this video that depicts a cat being reunited with his dog friend after a mere ten days apart and tell me that’s not love.

Watch on YouTube: Not Always Archenemies!

Tips for Dental Care Between Cat Dentist Visits

Tips for Dental Care Between Cat Dentist Visits

These tips are designed to help you keep your cat’s mouth and teeth in good condition between visits with the cat dentist. Some cats are not fond of some of these tips, it is best to start them when they are still kittens if you can, and it is important to do them regularly the more days you skip the less likely your cat will want to participant.

Visit to the Cat Dentist

A visit to the cat dentist for an exam, complete cleaning, and finding out if your cat has any sores, inflammation or mouth diseases beforehand will be helpful before you and your kitty begin your daily dental care routine. Plus, your cat dentist can tell you what needs to be done and the best way to do it so you and your cat are both happy when you are finished.

  1.  A Closer Look

Any of these symptoms or signs could be an indication that your cat is having dental problems.

  • Excessive drooling
  • Red and/or swollen gums
  • Puss Ulcers on gums or tongue
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Ulcers on the tongue or gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Pawing at the mouth

Be sure to give your cat’s breath a smell, if it smells bad or really unusual, your cat may have an infection and should be seen by the veterinarian at the pet hospital.

  • Check the Gums

Carefully push back your cat’s lips, with them facing you and look to see if the gums a pink (the color they should be and the gums should also be firm, not sagging), if your cat’s gums are red or white and the gums are not swollen, just brush the cat’s teeth and it should go away. Make sure all of the teeth are intact and none are missing.

  • Time to Brush the Teeth

Ask your pet dentist what type toothbrush and special cat formulated toothpaste you should get. A very important note of caution – never use toothpaste for humans, it can make your cat very sick and in some cases, they may die. You will also need a few cotton swabs.

Start by gently rubbing the cotton swabs on your cat’s teeth and gums at first your cat will probably try to bite them. Once they have accepted the cotton swab put just a tiny amount of feline toothpaste on it and rub it on their gums and teeth, so they can get use to the flavor.

Finally, get out your feline toothbrush and put a little water on it and repeat the same process as you did with the cotton swabs for a few days, your cat will still likely try to bite the toothbrush, even though, they have stopped biting the cotton swabs.

At first you may only be able to brush a few teeth at a time before your cat takes off on you, but don’t give up. Give your cat a few hours and try again with different teeth eventually by the end of the day you will have brushed all of your cat’s teeth.

In time, your cat will allow you to brush their teeth and gums all in one sitting of about five minutes and when you add the “look and smell” to the routine it should take more than 10 minutes. The trick is to do it daily, every day, or you may have to start the process all over again.

University Animal Hospital in NYC, has the kindest and loving veterinarians. If you are having trouble caring for your cat’s teeth and they are not due back at the animal hospital for an animal teeth cleaning for a while give them a call or when you take your cat or dog in for cat grooming or dog grooming, you can always ask while you’re waiting for your pet grooming to be finished.

February is Dental Month! 10% off all dental cleanings!

 

February is Pet Dental Health Month!

 

Receive 10% off your pet’s Dental Health Care in February!

Dental care is more than just a cure for your kitty or pup’s bad breath. Just like people, pets need preventative dental health care to avoid painful problems later in life.

Here are some things to think about while you’re brushing your teeth:

  • More than 8 out of 10 dogs, and 7 out of 10 cats show signs of poor dental health by the age of three.
  • Dental problems in pets as in people can lead to pain, tooth loss, and periodontal disease.
  • Pets’ oral disease invariably progresses with time, as does people’s, and can result in damage to internal organs, including the heart, liver and kidneys.

 

Poor dental care affects more than just your pet’s mouth. Bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream and damage your pet’s liver, kidneys, lungs and heart. A proper dental care routine can add 3-5 years to your pet’s life.

Call (212) 288-8884 to schedule ‘s appointment. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

University Animal Hospital

(212) 288-8884

354 East 66th Street

New York, NY

10065

 

 

10% off Microchipping through April

 

Get 10% off microchipping for your pet through April!

National Pet ID Week is coming up and University Animal Hospital is celebrating by offering 10% off microchipping through the end of April. Microchipping is a quick, pain-free, and permanent method of identifying your pet. While ID tags are helpful, they can get faded or lost over time –microchipping is a permanent way to ensure that you are reunited with your pet if he/she were ever to get lost.

Please call (212) 288-8884 for more information or to schedule an appointment, and don’t forget to visit us on Facebook and Twitter – become our friend and post pictures of your baby!

Canine Influenza and Kennel Cough Outbreak!

Canine Influenza and Kennel Cough Outbreak!

Our doctors are greatly concerned with the increased amount of sick dogs we have seen in the past week. Veterinarians, doggie daycares, grooming parlors and shelters are reporting a dramatic increase in Canine Influenza and kennel cough cases.

We are strongly encouraging all dog owners to be vigilant about watching their pet for symptoms or signs of illness, particularly dogs with high exposure risks. Please be sure to keep

October is Pet Dental Health Month – 10% off all dentistry!

October is Pet Dental Health Month!

Receive 10% off your pet’s Dental Health Care in October.

Dental care is more than just a cure for bad breath. Just like people, pets need preventative dental health care to avoid painful problems later in life.

Here are some things to think about while you’re brushing your teeth:

  • More 8 out of 10 dogs, and 7 out of 10 cats show signs of poor dental health by the age of three.
  • Dental problems in pets – as in people – can lead to pain, tooth loss, and periodontal disease
  • Pets’ oral disease invariably progresses with time, as does people’s, and can result in damage to internal organs, including the heart, liver and kidneys.

Poor dental care affects more than just your pet’s mouth. Bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream and damage your pet’s liver, kidneys, lungs and heart. A proper dental care routine can add 3-5 years to your pet’s life.

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pet’s life.

Call (212) 288-8884 to schedule your pet’s appointment. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

354 East 66th Street

New York, NY

10065

 

Tick Infestation!

Tick infestation in NYC!

Our doctors are seeing a huge upswing in cases of tick infestation! Ticks are now in more places and in higher numbers, putting more dogs at risk of developing potentially debilitating and deadly tick-borne diseases. That’s why The Companion Animal Parasite Council recommends year-round tick control in all areas of the United States.

Certifect, the newest addition to the Frontline family, gives your pet the added power to fight the increasing threat of ticks and fleas, and the serious diseases they can carry. It offers fast-acting, long-lasting protection to keep your pet and your family safe. You can find out more about Certifect here.

Certifect

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