Monthly Archives: August 2016

Microchip Media Alert at Kingsbrook Animal Hopital!

A few weeks ago, Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick posted a blog about the importance of microchipping our pets. Just recently, we were all reminded of just why it is such a good idea to microchip every pet in Maryland!

One of Kingsbrook Animal Hospital’s longtime clients found a tabby cat with white feet in her driveway almost a week ago. This kitty was very sweet and a perfect guest in the client’s home.  When our client brought the cat in for an exam, the first thing we did was to scan for a microchip–and the kitty had one! We contacted the microchip company and discovered that the chip was registered to a family right here in Frederick. We gave them a call and found out that this kitty’s name is Roxy…

…and she had been missing for two whole years!

While Roxy’s family was on vacation two years ago, Roxy escaped out the door when the pet sitter came in to feed her. Roxy’s family tried very hard to find her, but eventually gave up–except for Regan, Roxy’s human sister.  No one was more excited than Regan to have Roxy back home.  She wished and prayed every day to be reunited with her kitty. Thanks to Roxy’s owners’ decision to have Roxy microchipped, Regan’s wish came true. A special thanks goes out from Roxy’s family and from the entire Kingsbrook Animal Hospital staff to our Good Samaritan client who brought Roxy in and graciously arranged for her to be returned to her family!

microchipping

KAH Assistant Robin (right) with Roxy and her family–reunited at last!

One of the most common reasons owners cite for not microchipping a cat is that he or she is “indoors only.” Actually, indoor cats benefit the most from microchipping. They are not able to find their way home as well as their outdoor counterparts, and since they are used to living in a house they are more likely to “adopt” a new family and return to an indoor lifestyle.  Microchipping is inexpensive and safe, and is a great way to ensure a lost pet is returned to his/her owner. Please ask a veterinarian at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick about a microchip for your beloved pet!

Kingsbrook Animal Hospital Reveals: The Shocking Truth About Shock Collars

At Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, MD, our staff is noticing an increase in the number of visiting dogs wearing shock collars. One of the most ubiquitous training devices found today, they are also known as training collars, electronic collars, or “e-collars.” Shock collars are marketed to well-meaning pet owners for training purposes including obedience, recall, and hunting, and to correct behaviors such as barking. Several high-profile board-and-train programs in Maryland use these collars. These programs guarantee their training results and promise to correct any future behavior issues, all via a shock collar.

Electronic training collars, or "shock collars," have metal prongs that rest closely against a dog's skin to deliver the correction.

Electronic training collars, or “shock collars,” have metal prongs that rest closely against a dog’s skin to deliver the correction.

Anyone who has ever received any sort of an electric shock, even a mild one, will state that it is unpleasant and uncomfortable–and most people do not care to repeat the experience.  An electric shock is exactly what is happening to a dog wearing one of these collars! While most owners understand this, they defer to professional trainers regardless of their discomfort.  More unfortunately, after spending hundreds or thousands of dollars, many feel trapped by their contracts and continue to forge ahead with additional lessons; after all, it is “guaranteed to work” and future sessions with the trainer are included in the package.

Dogs that persist with unwanted behaviors can leave owners feeling frustrated and confused.

Naughty behaviors, such as chewing shoes or stealing food, are some of the main reasons dog owners turn to shock collars for training.

Naughty behaviors are one of the main reasons dog owners turn to shock collars for training.

The most appealing premise of shock collars is that they result in a “quick fix” of the undesirable behavior. The truth is that shock collars do not eliminate behavior, they suppress it – there is a big difference. Behaviors that are suppressed are still there, and the things that cause them are still there too.  For example, if a shivering person in a cold room puts on a coat, he or she will be warmer, but the real problem is that the thermostat is set too low. Likewise, a quick fix may not be the best idea for owner-canine bonding or a well-behaved dog in the years to come. Training with shock collars can have unintended consequences. Sensitive dogs may develop generalized anxiety and related behavioral problems, including self-mutilation and even aggression. Dogs wearing bark-triggered collars may become fearful of the front door or other places where they bark. “You end up trading a nuisance behavior — barking — for fear and anxiety, which is much harder to deal with,” says Jean Donaldson, a California-based dog trainer who opposes the collars’ use. Most dogs do not know why they are receiving a shock, and that uncertainty in itself can create even more anxiety. People from the Midwest can relate; anxiety levels persist long after the tornado sirens sound, whether the tornado touched down or not.  Other problems that can arise include pain and stress, escalation of level of stimulation, generalization, and global suppression of behavior (“learned helplessness”).

Laurie Luck owns Smart Dog University, a fantastic positive reinforcement-based training program that offers classes right here in Kingsbrook Animal Hospital's lobby!

Laurie Luck owns Smart Dog University, a fantastic positive reinforcement-based training program that offers classes right here in Kingsbrook Animal Hospital’s lobby!

Fortunately, there is a better way to train our beloved fur babies—positive reinforcement! This method of training uses rewards and helps build a relationship of love and trust between dog and owner. For further information on positive-based training, speak with one of our caring veterinarians here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital.  They have every dog’s best interests at heart!

The Top Ten Reasons To Adopt A Black Cat (by Kingsbrook Animal Hospital)

Statistically, black cats are have the lowest adoption rates. Why? Who knows! Maybe it’s the superstition that black cats are unlucky. Maybe it’s difficult for people to make a connection with a black cat in a poorly-lit kennel. Or maybe it’s because black cats don’t show up as well in photographs as their lighter colored comrades. Whatever the reason, black cats deserve a loving home, just like any other cat.

Registered technician Katie Bruner, cuddling a sweet tuxedo kitty. "Tuxedo" cats are those that are mostly black, with white feet and a white chest.

Registered technician Katie Bruner, cuddling a sweet tuxedo kitty. “Tuxedo” cats are those that are mostly black, with white feet and a white chest.

If you’re considering adding a kitty to your family, here are our top 10 reasons to pick a black cat!

10. You’ll never lose your black cat in a snowstorm.

9. Black goes with everything!

8. Black cats look like little panthers. Who doesn’t want a mini, tame panther??

7. Black is beautiful!

6. When you love a black cat, luck is on your side!

New patient Stanley has just finished his squeeze cheese... now it's playtime!

New patient Stanley has just finished his squeeze cheese… now it’s playtime!

5. Black cats are loving.

4. Black is slimming!

3. Research has shown that black cats may be more resistant to disease than other cats.

2. They make the perfect accessory for your witch/warlock costume for your Halloween party!

1. Black cats are least likely to be adopted.

Kingsbrook assistant Abby shows off an adorable five-week-old black kitten…who could say no to this sleepy little face?

If you’re looking for a black cat, make sure to check out Frederick County Animal Control, located right here in Frederick, MD. Don’t forget that the veterinarians here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital don’t discriminate against black cats– all cats matter!