10 Reasons To Consider Dog Boarding

Happy Dog wearing sunglasses and button-up Hawaiian style shirt.

Along with all the reasons to consider dog boarding, you’ll see why more people are making more trips to their nearest doggie hotel. With life returning to normal, work hours and travel trips are picking up. If you expect to stay long at the office or are planning a week-long getaway and aren’t sure how to keep your pet cared for, boarding your dog could prove to be an exceptional solution for you. Read on to learn why you should consider dog boarding.

Safety

It can be hard to know who to trust with your furry companion, especially when you’re a couple hundred miles away. While some people consider pet sitters, there are downsides to this option. Firstly, you may not be entirely comfortable having someone you don’t know in your home. Further, it’s impossible to know every aspect of someone else’s home to ensure it’s 100% safe for your pet. At Germantown Vet, your dog stays in a safe facility with trained professionals who have experience with all breeds and sizes, giving you peace of mind while you’re away.

Socialization

If you’re the owner of a single pet, it’s understandable that your fur baby may not get a whole lot of interaction with other pets. While your dog loves having you around, having them get acquainted with other dogs can help relieve them of separation anxiety. At our pet resort, your dog will be able to meet all sorts of new dogs under the care of professionals to ensure your dog socializes safely.

Medical Attention

Being the owner of a dog with medical needs means having to make sure any boarding facility you choose has everything your dog requires. We not only have a pet resort that offers dog boarding services, but we’re also the most trusted animal hospital on this side of Montgomery County. We provide veterinary services ranging from x-rays and preventative care to senior pet and advanced vet care, so you feel at ease knowing your dog’s health is our top priority. Additionally, all pets age ten years or younger are covered up to $300 in medical care.

Activity and Exercise

As they say – a walk a day keeps the vet away. While you may not be able to take your dog on their daily walks while you’re away, Germantown Vet offers private walks and a private dog run. We also provide both an indoor and outdoor play area where your dog can burn off energy.

Supervision

Some dog owners opt to leave their dog home alone if they’re going on a short trip for a day or two, but we strongly advise against this. When left alone, adult dogs who may have not otherwise had any issues can suddenly tear apart furniture and relieve themselves indoors due to stress and separation anxiety. When your dog is at German Vet’s Pet Resort, they’ll have round-the-clock supervision, so your home stays exactly how you left it.

Nutrition

A dog’s dietary needs are crucial and need to remain consistent – which can be difficult if you’re not close by. At our dog boarding facility, you can expect your dog to have a constant supply of fresh water and top-quality dog food, though it’s recommended to bring your own for consistency purposes.

Travel Accommodation

As much as we love our furry companions, the truth is we can’t take them everywhere we go. Often, dogs can experience separation anxiety when unable to remain with their owners in a plane’s cabin, nor is it certain that your destination would be pet-friendly. Whether it’s a few days or a couple of weeks, our Germantown Pet Resort can help easily accommodate your dog as you travel.

In-home Social Events

Maybe as a more social butterfly, you might be planning a get-together with a couple of friends or colleagues or having family stay over for the week. If your dog has difficulty adjusting to newcomers into your home, dog boarding is the perfect solution for you! Your dog gets to enjoy a relaxing and interactive stay while you get to mingle without worrying about friends and family getting barked at or suffering from allergies.

Long Work Hours

Now that most of us are going back to the office, it’s possible for large projects to come up, causing you to spend longer-than-normal hours at work. When that happens, Germantown Vet is there for you. Here, your dog gets access to exercise, activities, and other dogs to socialize and play with while you bring home the bacon – literally.

Limited Living Arrangements

Whether it’s due to moving into a smaller place or dealing with renovations, we can’t always give our furry loved ones all the space they deserve, nor do we have the time to spend hours at a park. At our pet resort, your dog can run free in both our indoor and outdoor play areas, as well as have access to a private dog run so they can stretch, run, and play all day long.

Contact Germantown Vet today to learn more about our dog boarding services. Call 240-252-7750 or message us online now.

How To Know If Boarding Is Right For Your Pet

Dog wearing sunglasses and relaxing in hammock.

For new pet owners, boarding is when your pet is taken to a boarding facility to stay with other pets (of the same species). Depending on the location, boarding facilities offer several activities and amenities for your pets to exercise and socialize, and some facilities may even have their own food. But is boarding a right fit for your pet? Here’s some insight on per boarding so you can have a clearer picture.

 

Is Pet Boarding the Same as Pet Sitting?

While they both include someone other than yourself looking after your pet, boarding is different than pet sitting. Pet sitting services offer the option of having your pet cared for in your home or at the pet sitter’s location. In contrast, boarding is at a commercial location and includes other pets (of the same species) that will interact with your pet during their visit. Pet boarding services provide an excellent opportunity for social pets to see and play with same-species pets instead of being alone with a pet sitter. Here at Germantown Vet, we offer pet boarding for cats and dogs in the Montgomery County area.

What if My Pet Has Medical Needs?

If your pet has specific or special medical needs, pet boarding is a great option for when you need or want to take a short trip away from home. While many boarding facilities may have veterinary professionals on staff, few can compare with the pet resort at Germantown Vet. In addition to offering boarding services, we’re also a pet hospital with a complete list of vet services available to meet all your pet’s needs while you’re away, so you won’t ever have to worry about your fur baby. 

To learn more about the veterinary services we have to offer, call 240-252-7467 to speak with one of our representatives today! 

Will My Pet Get Enough Attention With Other Pets Around?

It’s understandable for pet owners of single pets to worry about whether or not their pet will get the same levels of love and attention they get at home. You can have peace of mind knowing that when your pet stays at our pet resort, they will receive:

  • Tons of indoor and outdoor play
  • Socialization time with other pets
  • Special attention from our dedicated staff members
  • A safe, clean, and comfortable environment

Are There Vaccinations My Pet Needs Before Boarding?

Because boarding facilities house multiple pets at any given time, it’s important for both your pet’s safety and the safety of the other pets that you get the vaccines required before bringing your pet to a boarding facility. Before dog boarding at our pet resort, your dog must be up to date on all required vaccines, which include: 

  • Rabies
  • DHLPP
  • Lepto
  • Bordetella
  • Canine Influenza Bivalent Vaccine (H3N8 & H3N2)

Before cat boarding at our pet resort, your cat will need to be up to date on the following vaccines:

  • Rabies
  • FVRCP
  • FELV/FIV

Most boarding facilities will also require your pet’s most up-to-date information on all flea and tick medications.

Get your pet vaccinated at our facility before scheduling your boarding visit! Contact us online or call 240-252-7467 to schedule an appointment! 

Is Food Provided at Boarding Facilities?

Though some boarding facilities, including our pet resort, can provide food, we highly recommend that you bring your own pet’s food as a change in diet might cause unnecessary added stress. Some pet foods are designed for specific species, and there’s a possibility that your pet may not like the food provided and may refuse to eat it. You’ll want to keep your pet’s diet consistent to ensure they get their much-needed nutrients while you’re away, so it’s best to bring your pet’s food from home.

Schedule Dog & Cat Boarding Services in Germantown Today

If you have a trip coming up, pet boarding is a great option for making sure your pet is well cared for, especially if you’ll be away for a week or more. When you leave your beloved pet in the care of our Germantown Vet’s Pet Resort, not only will you get covered for up to $300 in medical care for dogs 10 years or younger, we also provide complimentary baths, even if they aren’t staying for a week or more. We also offer specialized kitten boarding services for your smallest fur babies!

To learn more about our pet boarding services, give us a call at 240-252-7467 to schedule a boarding visit or contact us online.

10 Tips for New Cat Owners

Small kitten laying on cat bed and looking up at camera.

The perfect mix between affectionate and independent, cats can make for excellent companions. Though many people often think that cats are not the friendliest of pets, they actually can be quite the opposite. When properly cared for, cats can be affectionate, playful, and loving towards their owners. So, if you’re looking to enjoy the company of a feline companion, or have already decided on adopting one, here are our top 10 tips to help you be the best cat owner you can be!

1. Help Your Cat Feel Safe and Secure

Cats aren’t a big fan of big changes, so it can be a bit of a jarring experience for them. It isn’t uncommon for them to suddenly hide once they’re let loose in your home, at least until they’ve become more acquainted with their new environment. Having comforts such as a nice fluffy bed and some catnip available for them can help your new cat feel snug and safe while they get used to their new home. Also, give your feline friend plenty of room to roam and space to retreat and hide when they need to. They’ll come to you when they’re ready. 

2. Take Routine Trips to the Vet (Make Sure They’re a Good One)

You’ll want to keep your cat to stay in tiptop shape. Finding a trusted veterinarian ensures that your cat will have experienced and knowledgeable care. Schedule routine trips to your cat’s vet to keep them up-to-date on their vaccinations and checkups. Regular vet visits can additionally help prevent future medical issues. You can also look into having your cat microchipped, so they can be easily found if they run away.

3. Find the Right Litter and Litter Box for Your Purring Companion

Arguably one of the best qualities about owning a cat is that they don’t need to be trained to use a litter box. Even as kittens, felines know to use litter boxes to do their business, making them a lower-maintenance pet. With that said, you’ll still want to be sure to get the right litter and litter box, not only for them but for your home. Some cats prefer clumping litter, while others prefer non-clumping litter. As for boxes, some may prefer open boxes while others are more comfortable with enclosed ones. Try out different combinations to see which is right for your furry feline. Additionally, a happy cat has a clean litter box, so be sure to clean it out daily.

4. Use High-Quality Cat Food

To lower the risk of health problems in your cat, it’s important to check the ingredients in the cat food you buy for them. Many big-name brands use a number of filler ingredients that can lead to a variety of health problems for your cat, including:

  • Obesity
  • Urinary stones
  • Allergic reactions
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Feline diabetes
  • Immune deficiencies
  • Nutritional imbalances

Look for cat food approved by the American Feed Control Officials and talk with your veterinarian about which food is best for your cat to keep them nice and healthy.

5. Invest in a Scratching Post

Cats LOVE to scratch, but it’s not because they want to be destructive in any way. Scratching is an instinctual behavior for cats, which allows them to express emotions, mark their territory, and sharpen their claws. Because cats have no concept of right and wrong, they tend to use whatever objects best fit their scratching needs. Investing in a decent-sized scratching post can help save your furniture, walls, and other valuable items. If you noticed your cat already scratching non-preferred items, consider getting scratching posts that mimic the texture and position of the objects your cat usually opts for.

6. Make Time to Groom Your Cat Regularly

Unless you’ve decided on getting a hairless cat, cat hair will 100% become part of your everyday life. Shedding can vary from breed to breed, but the fact remains that all cats (except hairless cats) do shed. Grooming your furry friend regularly will help minimize the amount of cat hair left around your home. You can use different methods such as investing in grooming gloves, brushes, or appointments with a professional grooming service.

7. Stock Up on Lint Rollers

This ties into the fact that most cats shed. The bulk of their shedding usually happens twice a year – during spring and winter. To keep your home – and your clothes – from being as hairy as your fur baby, stock up on lint rollers and quickly pass over any surfaces where your cat likes to lay, roam, and play around.

8. Keep Your Cat’s Litter Box Clean

We talked about getting the right combination of litter and litter boxes for your cat, but it’s also essential to keep your cat’s litter box clean. When litter boxes become full, your cat may opt to do their business elsewhere – usually somewhere you DON’T want them doing it. So, not only does maintaining a clean litter box mean keeping your home free of dreadful odors, but it also ensures that your cat keeps doing their business in their litter box.

9. Play with Your Cat

Many people believe that all cats prefer to be alone and hate human interaction, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Cats can be wonderful playmates and enjoy having fun with their owners. Playing with your cat is a great way to give them exercise, relieve stress for both you and them, and help strengthen the bond between you and your feline companion. It also helps to have toys in your home, so your cat has something to do when you’re away.

10. Look Into Finding Cat Daycare or Boarding Near You

Having a safe place for your cat to go relieves you of any anxiety and stress when you plan to be away for longer periods of time. Whether it’s for business trips or vacations, it pays to have professional cat daycare or boarding services that you can depend on where they will care for your cat just as much as you do. 

Germantown Veterinary Clinic – Where Your Pets Receive Only the Best

There you have it, our top 10 best tips for being the best cat owner around! As for finding a great vet for your new cat, you found them! We’ve been taking care of pets since 1983 with state-of-the-art technology, complete with an in-house lab allowing us to provide the most comprehensive care around. Our services include:

  • Lab work
  • X-rays
  • Prescriptions
  • Surgical services
  • Dental care
  • Ultrasounds
  • Acupuncture

There’s no better place to keep your pet happy and healthy than entrusting them to our highly trained and experienced staff. That’s why pet owners have trusted us with their pets’ care since 1983. Contact us today to schedule service!

10 Tips for New Dog Owners

Young woman smiling and sitting behind dog, petting the dog's cheeks.

You’ve been anticipating this moment for what feels like fur-ever. The day you can finally bring home a 4-legged best friend of your own. But with all the excitement from you and your new canine pal, it can be easy to overlook some of the things you and your dog need for a lasting, loving friendship.

1. Get established with a trusted vet – yes, even if your dog is already “fixed”

As you’re building trust with your dog, you’ll also want to develop a relationship with a vet that both you and your dog can trust. Some clinics, like Germantown Vet, offer services specifically for new pet owners to look for parasites, make sure all vaccines are current, and even help with plans for nutrition and behavior.

2. Learn about typical dog behaviors & want they mean

Do you have that friend who seems to be the “dog-whisperer”? They always seem to know exactly what any animal is thinking. You may not be Dr. Dolittle, but learning about common dog behaviors will help you understand what Rover is trying to tell you, and build a better friendship with your dog.

3. Take time to get to know each other

It’ll take some time for you and your dog to “sniff each other out,” so try to be patient if it takes longer than you expect for your pet to warm up to you – how would you feel if you suddenly found yourself living with new people in a new home where you haven’t smelled every corner yet?

4. Routine, routine, routine

Establish a routine for your furry pal as soon as possible. When are meals? When do you go for walks? How about those potty breaks? The fewer adjustments to your dog’s daily schedule, the better. And if you work long hours away from home, consider signing up for a trusted doggy daycare service early on.

5. Go easy on the dog toys… for now

While you’ll want to equip your home with basics like a bowl and a leash, you won’t know what really makes Fido’s tail wag until you get to know him better. Some dogs couldn’t be happier with more than just a big yard to get the zoomies out. Try introducing just one new toy at a time until you find his favorite way to play.

6. Feed them the right things

Before any dinner-table begging begins, learn everything you can about not only what your dog can eat, but what your dog should eat. Remember that some common human foods are fatal to dogs, and learn what to do if your dog eats something he shouldn’t.

7. Decide whether to microchip

Depending on how old your dog is, he may already be microchipped. Microchipping your dog keeps them safe, bringing you peace of mind. If you’re on the fence, talk to a trusted vet about the right choice for your dog.

8. Don’t believe everything you hear

You’ve probably heard more than a few myths about dogs, and you may even do some research (likely why you’re on this page right now!). But remember that the best way to learn about your new canine friend is to spend time together.

9. Find a trusted pet resort before going out of town

Life happens, from fun travel plans to emergencies. But before any of that comes up, make sure to find a caring and professional pet resort that you don’t have to think twice about booking.

10. Get ready for a rewarding world of fun

Sure, dog-ownership can be a lot of work, but so many people have dogs because the relationship built is so rewarding.

Find a lifetime of friendship with your new dog by scheduling a New Pet Owner visit at Germantown Vet – call our team at 240-252-7467 today!

How to Know If Your Pet Has Heart Disease

Cat in the sun

Pet parents are often in tune with their furry one’s health, picking up on the first sign of distress. But did you know one of the biggest threats to both cats and dogs is also one of the hardest to recognize? Heart disease is known as a silent killer because many of its symptoms can be masked as common animal behaviors and can strike suddenly. The good news is you can still be proactive in protecting your pet from heart disease, and Germantown Vet can help.  

Types of Heart Disease & Symptoms to Watch For

There’s more than one kind of heart disease that affects pets. The first is valve disease (when the valve thickens and becomes distorted) and is more common in dogs. The other is a disease of the heart muscle and is more commonly seen in cats. There are four classifications of this type, which you can learn more about here.

As with any serious illness, early diagnosis is incredibly important to the effectiveness of treatment. The only way to know which type of heart disease is affecting your pet is with proper testing from a trained professional. You should schedule an appointment right away if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Weakness
  • Fainting or collapsing
  • Changes in behavior
  • Restlessness
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Increased respiratory rate and effort
  • Coughing
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Bloated abdomen
  • Swelling of the legs
  • Cyanosis (purple coloration of the gums), if the heart failure is severe enough

As we mentioned earlier, some of these symptoms are also normal animal behaviors (cats being lethargic, anyone?). However, we’re talking about excessive behaviors that aren’t part of their usual routine, such as a loss of interest in food or playing. A cat’s respiratory distress often shows itself through vomiting or rapid, open-mouthed breathing. Another key sign in cats is difficulty walking, particularly in the hind legs, as a result of blood clots.

New Testing Options for Cats

Heart disease is particularly dangerous to cats, as one in six cats can be born with or develop the illness in their lifetime. This can happen at any age (young or old) and affects both indoor and outdoor cats.

A cat owner’s main line of defense has always been annual vet check-ups, but a new option has emerged in the last few years that could detect heart disease even earlier. It’s a blood test called proBNP, and it’s actually been used in humans for years. It can also be used to screen dogs, but it’s especially beneficial for cats. The proBNP test is a simple, inexpensive blood test that can be done in most veterinarian offices. It measures stretching of the heart due to disease, and can establish a baseline of a cat’s heart condition without a more expensive echocardiogram. Plus, if your young cat had a relative with heart disease, the proBNP test is a way to check for genetic predisposition.

Germantown Vet Can Help

At Germantown Vet, we understand how difficult it can be when a pet is sick. Our trained and experienced technicians are here to guide you through the process, from wellness checks to specialized testing (including the proBNP blood test) at our state-of-the-art facility for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

You can trust your furry loved one to our care! Call Germantown Vet today at 240-252-7467 or visit us online to learn more about our heart disease services.

The Truth Behind 6 Dog Myths

As the pet-owning population becomes more educated on the facts about dog behavior, there are still a number of dog behavior myths that persist. Some of these myths can be detrimental to your relationship with your dog, so it’s important to know what’s true and what isn’t.

When it comes to training and living with your dog, these are six common dog behavior myths you shouldn’t believe:

Dog mouths are cleaner than human mouths

Dogs actually have just as much bacteria in their mouths as humans, just different varieties.

A dry nose means a sick dog

If your dog’s nose is dry, it isn’t necessarily a sign of illness. Dry noses are usually a sign of sunburn (more common in dogs with pink noses) or allergies.

Dogs can’t see color

Dogs can see colors on the blue and yellow spectrum; however, they don’t have the cone receptors in their eyes to pick out red and green. Regular dog vision is closest to a human with red-green colorblindness.

Dogs only eat grass when they’re sick

Dogs of all shapes and sizes just love a good graze. Dogs will vomit occasionally, after eating certain kinds of grass or eating too much, but it doesn’t indicate that they’re sick.

A wagging tail means a happy dog

Yes, it is true that happy dogs wag their tails, but so do aggressive or agitated ones. Dog body language is much more involved than just setting the tail to “on” or “off.” Gaze, posture, facial expression, and ear position, along with the tail cues, create a range of expressions.

Dogs age 7 years for every human year

In reality, dogs mature much faster, and their size and weight play a large role in their life span – so it’s different for each dog.

Did you find these debunked myths about dogs interesting? Want to learn more about our services here at Germantown Vet? Contact our team online or call 240-252-7467 today!

Can Dogs Get Colds?

Since your canine companion lacks the ability to verbally communicate, any signs of discomfort or illness can be immediate cause for alarm. Are you experiencing cold symptoms and are worried that you might give your sickness to your dog? Is your dog sneezing, coughing, having a bout of the sniffles, or showing other signs that you would attribute to the common cold? Read on to learn more!

Have more questions about your dog’s illnesses? Contact Germantown Vet online or call us at 240-252-7467.

Do Dogs Get the Common Cold?

Medically speaking, dogs do not suffer from illnesses that we call “the common cold.” The viruses that are suspected to cause human colds have no impact on doggie bodies, so if you were worried about giving your furry buddy your cold (or catching theirs), you needn’t be concerned. This said, dogs certainly do get colds of a sort—it’s just from different viruses.

Interestingly, even though the viruses are different, dog colds show pretty much identical symptoms to human colds. Common symptoms for dog colds include:

  • Sneezing and sniffling
  • Coughing
  • Runny or congested nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Mild lethargy

Generally, dog colds are no more serious or threatening than human colds. They often come and go within a small handful of days, at which point your pet should return to normal. Treatment usually involves simply ensuring your pet stays hydrated by offering water and good-quality wet foods.

If you want to, your dog might also benefit greatly from some chicken noodle soup, which offers a good nutrition profile, hydration, and warmth that can ease symptoms—just avoid varieties that include onion or garlic!

When to Be Concerned About Dog Colds

Symptoms should be treated with a higher level of caution and care if your dog is older, very young, or pregnant. In any of these states, dogs have a compromised immune system, which could mean that the cold could potentially rapidly progress into a worse condition, or there could be trouble if a more dangerous issue is misdiagnosed. If your dog with a cold falls into any of these three categories, we highly advise a trip to your trusted veterinarian as soon as possible!

There is reason to be concerned if any cold symptoms coincide with worse symptoms as well. If your pet is also doing any of the following, it’s time to see your vet:

  • Retching and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Prolonged periods of lethargy
  • Cold-like symptoms that last more than a few days

Some of the larger, more concerning illnesses to watch out for can include kennel cough, which is very cold-like but also typically includes loud coughing and wheezing. Canine influenza is also a worry, which includes all cold symptoms in conjunction with an extreme loss of appetite, fever, vomiting, and discharge from the nose and eyes.

Protect Your Pet with Annual Vaccinations

Unfortunately, just as there’s no vaccine that treats human colds (to our never-ending sadness), there’s no vaccine for dog cold, either. However, there is an annual vaccine that you should absolutely make sure your dog is protected by. The canine 5-in-1 is easy to keep up with, and it prevents many of the severe conditions that may be confused with a simple doggie cold.

Treat Your Dog’s Cold at Germantown Vet

As a loving pet owner, you never want to see your companion suffer, and we don’t either!

If you are concerned about the health of your pet and want to find the right solution, reach out to our team to schedule an appointment with our experienced veterinarians today.