A Helping Paw: The Incredible World of Working Dogs

We’ve all witnessed or heard stories about incredible service animals and working dogs who are trained to help people. From assisting a visually impaired owner to comforting a soldier suffering from PTSD, there’s no end to the contributions these animals make.

The team at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital wants to take a moment to recognize and pay tribute to working dogs!

Working Dogs 101

Dogs have evolved alongside humans for millennia and have performed invaluable tasks throughout history, such as guarding, herding, hunting, pulling, and more.

Nowadays, most dogs serve as companions, but some are also trained to perform certain tasks that make our lives easier.

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Good For Us, Bad For Them: The Truth About Essential Oils and Pets

essential oil and and cat

Essential oils have earned their place among those that enjoy and benefit from aromatherapy. From easing nausea to decreasing anxiety, these natural, plant-derived products have been central in the lives of many generations, and now they are part of the natural cure-all trend.

While seemingly safe and advantageous for people, essential oils and pets may be a terrible combination.

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Beware the Medicine Cabinet: The Truth About Pets and Medications

pet poison human medication

When we think about pet-proofing our homes, it makes sense to put away leftover food, cover the garbage bin, and make sure your favorite slippers are out of reach. However, securing the medicine cabinet probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, but perhaps it should be. The Pet Poison Hotline reports that nearly 50% of all the calls they receive involve human medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.

The team at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital has the scoop on why keeping pets and medications separate is so important.

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For the Love of Pet Safety: What Pet Owners Need to Know About Chocolate Toxicity

pet chocolate toxicity

A heart-shaped box of chocolates is synonymous with Valentine’s Day, but for those of us with dogs, any chocolate in the home can put our canine companion at risk. As we prepare for an onslaught of delicious treats this February, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of chocolate toxicity and take steps to protect our pets.

Chocolate Toxicity

It’s fairly well-known that chocolate is dangerous to dogs, but why? For starters, all forms of chocolate contain caffeine and theobromine, both of which cannot be properly metabolized by dogs or cats.

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Fear Free and Proud at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital

Fear free veterinary certification can make veterinary care more accessible.

Going to the vet shouldn’t be a stressful experience, but for most pets (and their owners), that’s exactly what it is. At Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital, we make protecting the emotional well being of our patients a top priority, which is why the majority of our staff have participated in the Fear Free certification program. We’re thrilled to share more about this program and the many physical and mental benefits of reducing fear, stress, and anxiety in pets.

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Coping With Pet Loss

Coping with pet loss is as difficult as losing best friend or family member.

Nothing can compare with the deep sadness and feeling of loss that accompanies the passing of a pet. Even though most of us know that we won’t outlive our pets, the loss of the familiar face, personality, and daily interaction can be devastating.

Unfortunately, our society doesn’t take the grief and trauma of pet loss as seriously as it should. So when the time comes to say goodbye to our pet, it can feel as if there is no support and few resources for processing our sadness.

At Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital, we’ve found that taking the time to to honor your pet in a way that is meaningful to you as well as seeking support where you need it can help your family cope and adjust.  

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Ringing in the New Year with Our Top 10 Pet Care Blogs of 2018!

It’s hard to believe that 2018 is coming to a close already! We’ve had an incredible year at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital, and for that, we extend our heartfelt thanks to you!

Our regular pet care blog is just one way we like to give back to our valued clients, and we’re always striving to provide useful, relevant information. We thought you might be interested to know which blogs your peers have found most valuable over the past year. Without further ado, here are our most popular pet care blogs of 2018!

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What to Consider Before Giving a Pet as a Gift

Plan ahead if you plan to give a pet as a gift, and please adopt a pet if you do!

Tis the season of giving, and for many of us, a pet seems like a wonderful gift to bestow on a deserving family member. Unfortunately, many of these animals will be surrendered to shelters across the country in the weeks and months following the holidays. Certainly, it’s nice to picture a precious puppy or cuddly kitten popping out of a beautifully wrapped box on Christmas morning, but the team at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital urges you to consider whether giving a pet as a gift is really a good idea.

Skip the Surprise

When it comes to giving a pet as a gift, perhaps the most important factor is the element of surprise. We all want to delight a loved one with the perfect present, but pet ownership should always be carefully thought out ahead of time. A surprise may be more fun in the short-term, but ultimately, everyone will be happier if a plan is in place prior to welcoming a new pet into the family.

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The Big Question: Pet Insurance

Pet insurance can help defray the cost of vet care

If your pet was critically injured and needed to be hospitalized tomorrow, would you be able to afford the bill?

We all want to do the very best we can for our pets, and we are fortunate that today, we have access to ever advancing veterinary medicine. From cancer treatment, to blood transfusions, to laser therapy and advanced surgical procedures, it’s now possible to treat almost all pet injuries and illnesses.

This advanced care comes with a cost, however. Standard pet care costs already average $1800 per year, making it easy to see how a pet accident, illness, or emergency can put a financial strain on many families.   

That’s where pet insurance comes in. Just as human health insurance is designed to bridge the gap between needed cost and care, pet insurance can offset the financial burden of unexpected injury or illness to our pets. The big question is – is pet insurance right for you? It’s an individual decision, but it’s important to weigh the costs and benefits for your own situation. Here, Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital shows you how.

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Are Pet Facial Expressions a Real Thing?

Pet facial expressions are a good way to know what your pet is thinking

As a pet owner, you’re familiar with your pet’s unique personality traits. Through their body language and vocalizations, it’s easy to tell when they’re happy, annoyed, excited, angry, fearful, curious, etc. In fact, many of these communication styles can seem almost human-like.

The way a pet expresses themselves can be extremely nuanced, such as in the case of pet facial expressions. What do they mean, and how can they help us gain a better understanding of what our furry family members are trying to tell us?

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