Newsletter

The veterinarians and staff at the Good Neighbor Vet 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!

Current Newsletter Topics

March 23 is National Puppy Day

March 23 is National Puppy Day! Since 2006, National Puppy Day celebrates the magic and unconditional love that puppies bring to our lives. Over the years, this holiday has grown into an international holiday, and has trended on Twitter since 2012.

Creator Colleen Page—who also founded National Dog Day and National Cat Day—created this event to help save orphaned puppies across the globe while educating the public about the horrors of puppy mills. According to the National Puppy Day website, there are approximately 8,000-10,000 puppy mills in the U.S. , including many businesses that call themselves breeders that purposely allow their dog to get pregnant in hopes of selling puppies through local papers or online.

“The tragedy of puppy mills is that they don’t care about the animals more than a commodity to be sold,” National Puppy Day’s website reads. “Most of these animals live in crammed cages with no room to movie, in complete and utter squalor.”

While National Puppy Day is a great day to post pictures of your adorable puppy to your Twitter feed, don’t forget why we celebrate this holiday: for the fair and ethical treatment of dogs across the world. To learn more about National Puppy Day and why adopting a puppy is important, visit http://www.nationalpuppyday.com/

Preparing For Your New Kitten

You will need to have the following items on hand before bringing home your new kitten:

A litterbox that is the right size for the age of the kitten. Avoid boxes that are too deep and thus might be difficult for your new kitten to climb into.

Litter for the litterbox - you may be surprised at how picky some kittens can be. Some cats prefer the very fine grain litter and some prefer the coarser types. Don't give up if your kitten does not seem pleased at first. Most kittens will definitely let you know when you have hit upon the right mixture. The breeder can let you know what the kitten is used to.

Scratching Posts (or some type of cat furniture) - They are invaluable in training your kitten to avoid harming your furniture. Scratching their claws is a healthy, natural instinct for cats, and providing them with the right place to do that will keep you and your kitten happy. Be aware that some cats prefer rough surfaces like sisal rope white others go crazy for plain old carpet (the kind on your floor, if you don't have a scratching post!).

Grooming Tools suitable for the breed of your kitten - A brush and comb are indispensable for a long-haired kitten/cat, or a flea comb or special brush for short-haired cats. You'll also need clippers for their nails (human nail clippers are not recommended). Purchase clippers made especially for cats. These can be found in most quality pet stores. Trimming the nails is an important part of feline grooming. We also recommend discussing teeth brushing with your veterinarian. This requires a special toothbrush and toothpaste.

Food and Water Bowls - Believe it or not, there is a difference even in the type of food and water bowls you provide for your kitten. Certain types of plastic, wood and even some types of ceramic bowls may contain tiny cracks that can harbor potentially harmful bacteria. Most professionals recommend using glass and stainless steel food and water bowls. These bowls should be cleaned regularly (the dishwasher is great). Make sure the bowls are not too high for your kitten to reach.

TOYS, TOYS, TOYS - Just as human babies love to play, so do kittens. It is their survival instinct and throughout their lives, kittens and cats emulate hunting in their play. Providing them with suitable toys helps to ensure they fulfill this need. You will need to be very selective in the type of toys as kittens do love to chew and nibble. Avoid purchasing toys with small strings or beads that can be swallowed easily. Toys don't have to be expensive to be appreciated by kittens and cats.

Cat Carrier (Pet Taxi) - You'll need to have a carrier for safely traveling with your kitten, as well as trips to the vet. There is also a new "Pet Seat" available, which secures your kitten/cat (up to 30 pounds) in your car, allowing for more interaction between you and your kitty.

Food - Check with the breeder or veterinarian to be sure you have the proper food on hand. Changes in diet and water, even litter and environment, can cause minor diarrhea and other problems. It doesn't hurt to pick up a few bottles of Pedialyte liquid to keep in the cupboard in case of diarrhea and/or dehydration.

Bedding - A nice cozy bed is a great idea for the new member of the family. Your kitten will soon know that this is her/his special place. Choose a bed that is well constructed and one that is machine washable.

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 between 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, 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.

Doggy Couch-Surfing: The Newest Trend in Dog Care

The couch-surfing phenomena is raging across Europe and the US as one of the most affordable and interesting ways to travel. And now it looks like Fido can join you in the trend. New to the list of overnight options for your dog is DogVacay, structured after the more familiar couch-surfing model.

How it Works

The online site allows pet owners to look up people in a specific area who host dogs. A host is expected to give your pet the same loving care that you would expect them to give their own animal – plenty of exercise and attention, meals, and of course, a doggy “couch” to rest their heads. The service costs approximately 25-30 a day, depending on your dog’s needs, and the services offered.


Couch Surfing

Scared a host doesn’t fit the bill for your Fido?

Every host is interviewed by DogVacay, and owners are encouraged to meet the host families, the majority of which are dog owners themselves. The website provides bios, home photos, location, prices, and other relevant notes on their capabilities as dog-sitters. The company also offers insurance and GPS-enabled dog collars, should you want extra guarantees.

The Santa-Monica based company debuted their services in New York and Los Angeles in March, and is now available throughout the US and Canada. Though kennels still remain a good and viable option, DogVacay provides yet another possibility for Fido as you start planning your own summer vacay.

Popular Cat Breeds

Cats are becoming the most popular household pets worldwide. There are more than 100 million house cats in the Western world and this figure is increasing. In the U.S., 38 million households have cats and the total number of cats exceeds 90 million. There are many reasons for feline popularity. Cats make affectionate, extremely devoted and low maintenance companions.

There are over a hundred recognized breeds of domestic cats. According to the Cat Fanciers Association, fewer than 3 percent of all owned cats worldwide are pedigreed. Unlike dog breeds, cat breeds are a relatively new concept and many are imports from other countries. Only for the last 20 years have we seen the diversity that makes up most of our cat breeds today.

Below is a list of some of the more common cat breeds of the world.


The Abyssinian is a very active, playful and inquisitive breed. This slender, short-haired breed is distinguished by its ticked tabby coat pattern, which is a pattern more commonly seen in wild cats. Though ruddy is the color most associated with the breed, "Abys" are available in blue, fawn and red (also known as sorrel) as well.

Although the Abyssinian is one of the oldest known breeds, there continues to be speculation and controversy concerning its history. Recent studies by geneticists show that the most convincing origin of the Abyssinian breed is the coast of the Indian Ocean and parts of Southeast Asia.

Abyssinian


The American Shorthair was developed from native American working cats. It is a moderately stocky, even-tempered cat with a short coat. Although this breed is available in a wide variety of colors and patterns, the silver classic tabby is perhaps best known.

The American Shorthair is America’s own breed, whose ancestors are the cats that came to North America with the early pioneers from Europe. There are records that indicate several cats arrived on the Mayflower.

American Shorthair


Also known as the "Sacred Cat of Burma", the Birman has a number of fanciful legends associated with its origin. It is a semi-longhaired cat, accepted only in the pointed pattern, but is distinguished from the Balinese and Himalayan not only by its moderately stocky body type, but by its four white feet.

The Birman cat is believed to have originated in Burma, where it was considered the sacred companion cat of the Kittah priests.

Birman


The Chartreux is an old natural breed which originated in France. There exists a lovely old legend that the Chartreux lived with, and were named for, the Carthusian monks of France, and perhaps even shared a tipple or two of their famous Chartreuse liqueur.

Known for its woolly blue coat, brilliant orange eyes and smiling expression, it is a sturdy, quiet and sweet-tempered cat.

Chartreux


The Cornish Rex is known for its soft, wavy, curly hair: even the whiskers curl. Its coat feels like crushed velvet to the touch. The original Rex, a cream male named Kallibunker was born in 1950 in Cornwall, England.

Today’s Cornish Rex has a racy, slender body, and is found in a wide variety of colors and patterns.

Cornish Rex


The Korat is a small cat known for its sleek silvery blue coat, heart-shaped face and prominent gooseberry-green eyes. Korats originated in Thailand, where they are regarded as "good luck" cats. They are energetic and affectionate companions.

The earliest known picture of a Korat, or Si-Sawat, cat is to be found in the ancient book of paintings and verses known as The Cat-Book Poems in Bangkok’s National Library. It is believed by the Fine Arts Department, a division of Thailand’s Ministry of Education, to have been produced some time during the Ayudhya Period of Siamese History (1350-1767). The gift of a pair of Si-Sawat cats to a bride ensures a fortunate marriage.

Korat


The Maine Coon is known for its large size, easy-going temperament and rugged appearance. This native New England breed is well-adapted to that harsh climate, with a heavy, shaggy coat, bushy tail and tufted ears and toes. Though the brown classic tabby pattern is perhaps the best known, Maine Coons are available in a variety of colors and patterns.

The Maine Coon Cat is the native American longhaired cat and was recognized as a specific breed in Maine where they were held in high regard for their mousing talents. Through nature’s own breeding program, this breed has developed into a sturdy cat ideally suited to the harsh winters and varied seasons of the region.

Maine Coon


The Manx is distinguished by a feature it lacks - a tail. This natural mutation is thought to have originated hundreds of years ago on the Isle of Man, off the coast of England, hence the name Manx. Since many trade ships docked on the Isle, and all had ship cats, it is hard to tell just what the parent cat really was. CFA has recognized the Manx as a breed since the 1920s.

The "Manx gene" produces cats with tails of varying length, from the "longie" (normal tail) to the "stumpy" (short tail) and "rumpy" (no tail). Manx cats are stocky and rounded in appearance, with short backs and long hind legs that make them appear rabbit-like. The thick coat can be either short or semi-long, though in some associations the longhairs are known as Cymrics. Manx are available in a variety of colors and patterns.

Manx


The Ocicat looks like a small wild spotted cat, but is in fact a domestic breed created by combining the Siamese, Abyssinian and American Shorthair. "Ocis" are active, affectionate and very social. They are available in various patterns, though only the spotted patterns may be shown and in several different colors.

Feline enthusiasts have always been awed by the spotted cats of the wild: ocelots, margays, leopards and others. Never before was there such an effort to breed an entirely domestic cat that can offer the spotted beauty of the wild cats, while maintaining the lovely, predictable disposition of the domestic cat. With so many wild spotteds disappearing as their native habitats are destroyed and invaded, it is increasingly important that this man-made breed can satisfy people who want something "exotic."

Ocicat


The Persian is perhaps the most widely recognized cat breed. It is certainly the most numerous of all the breeds. The Persian is known for its extremely long, fluffy coat, very stocky body type, round head, large eyes and flat face. Persians have a sweet and gentle temperament, and are among the most placid of all breeds. Buyers are advised that the long, soft coat requires daily grooming.

Persians are available in a myriad of colors and patterns. Persians with the pointed ("Siamese") pattern are sometimes called Himalayans. In Britain, the Persian is known as the Longhair, and the Himalayan is known as the Colorpoint Longhair.

Persian


The Scottish Fold is characterized by its distinctive ears, which are folded forward and down, and by its large, rounded eyes, which give it a sweet, wide-eyed expression. They are mellow and affectionate cats. Scottish Folds are found in both longhair and shorthair varieties, in a great number of color and pattern combinations.

In 1961, a shepherd by the name of William Ross spotted the first known Scottish Fold cat at a farm near Coupar Angus in the Tayside Region of Scotland, Northwest of Dundee. The unique thing about this cat was that her ears folded forward and downward on her head. The resulting look gave the impression of a "pixie," "owl," or "teddy bear" that has captured the hearts of many American cat fanciers. Scottish Fold kittens are born with straight ears. At about 3 to 4 weeks of age, their ears fold...or they don’t!

Scottish Fold


The Siamese is distinguished by its brilliant blue eyes and its colored "points" (ears, face, tail and feet), which provide a striking contrast to its light-colored body. It is vocal, demanding, lively and affectionate. Today’s show Siamese display a very long, slender body type and a long, wedge-shaped head with huge ears. Some breeders work with a more moderate, rounded type of Siamese known as the Traditional (Applehead) Siamese.

Siamese were originally recognized in the seal, blue, chocolate and lilac point colors. In some associations, additional colors and patterns are accepted as part of the Siamese breed while other associations call these cats Colorpoint Shorthairs.

Having been nurtured and protected within temple walls for centuries, a fact documented in art and literature, the Siamese became known to the rest of the world through the royal family of Siam. What better gift to present to a visiting dignitary than these beautiful native treasures? This is exactly the way this breed became known outside the borders of what we now call Thailand.

Siamese


The Tonkinese was produced by crossing the Burmese and Siamese breeds. This playful, people-oriented breed has a moderate body type and a sleek, soft coat and features a unique pattern known as "mink": it is pointed like the Siamese, but the body is colored in a shade harmonizing with the point color and the eyes are aqua in shade. "Tonks" are available in a range of colors intermediate between their Burmese and Siamese parent breeds. In some associations non-mink colors and patterns are also accepted.

Caring for Tonkinese is as easy as feeding a well-balanced feline diet, clipping their nails weekly (providing a scratching post and insisting they use it is also imperative), using a rubber brush to groom them, and of course the all important visit to the vet for check-ups and vaccinations.

Tonkinese


The Turkish Van is a semi-longhaired cat distinguished by its unusual pattern: the cat is white except for a colored tail and color on the head. (This is called the "Van" pattern and is seen in other breeds as well.) Turkish Vans are said to be fond of water and swimming.

The cat known in the United States as the Turkish Van is a rare and ancient breed that developed in central and southwest Asia, which today encompasses the countries of Iran, Iraq, southwest Soviet Union and Far Eastern Turkey. They are considered regional treasures in their homeland.

Turkish Van